Science & Technology

Published December 2, 2015

This year’s El Niño event is one of the strongest in recorded history, and researchers believe it is increasing the likelihood of a winter that is both warmer and drier than usual.

El Niño is a periodic natural occurrence where warm water cycles around in the Pacific Ocean and reaches the surface. The increase in sea surface temperatures in turn impacts how storms and air pressure regions form and impacts global weather patterns — typically in the Northern Hemisphere’s winter months.

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Published December 2, 2015

Water levels in most of the Great Lakes are expected to stay at or above the long-term average over the next six months, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Army Corps of Engineers.

Water levels have rebounded after more than a decade of being at near-record lows the past two years, according to NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab hydrologist Drew Gronewald. With the exception of Lake Ontario, they are all currently seasonally above the long-term average. That average was compiled using data from 1918 through 2014.

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Published October 30, 2015

SOLAR SYSTEM — As the National Aeronautic and Space Administration probe New Horizons continues to beam back photos and data from its July flyby of Pluto, scientists are discovering that the dwarf planet is far more interesting than first thought.

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