Holiday Shopping Guide for the Weather Enthusiast
What’s the hottest gift of the year for the weather enthusiast? It’s the 2014 Climate Models Calendar, featuring the world’s hottest climate scientists posing in front of provocative backgrounds. I’m in San Francisco this week for the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the world’s largest climate science conference. Over five thousand of the world’s top climate scientists are here, giving a staggering 10,000 talks and poster presentations. One of the poster presentations yesterday was for the Climate Models Calendar, a crowd-funded project that raised $10,000 to make this humorous calendar of “climate models”. The calendar includes information about the climate models’ research, favorite datasets, and has memorable dates in weather and climate history. You can pick up a copy of the the Climate Models Calendar for your favorite weather and climate science enthusiast at http://climatemodels.tictail.com/; it’s $20.
Figure 1. Front cover of the 2014 Climate Models Calendar.
Buy a Personal Weather Station!
Every serious weather enthusiast deserves a Personal Weather Station (PWS) in their backyard! Not only can you enjoy seeing what the weather is in your backyard, you can share the data with everyone else on the Internet by uploading to the Wunderground Personal Weather Station network, which boasts data from over 25,000 stations. You don’t need to have a computer on all the time to collect the data and send it to the Internet—a company called Ambient makes a weather bridge that will keep the data flowing to the Internet even when your computer is turned off. A full list of wunderground-compatible PWS models, software, and add-ons like the Ambient weather bridge is available from our Personal Weather Station page. I have had a Davis Vantage II Pro in my backyard for the past five years, and have been very happy with it, but Rainwise also makes an excellent PWS that is very easy to set up.
Holiday books for the climate science enthusiast
If your favorite climate science enthusiast hasn’t read “The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines”, by Michael E. Mann, now is the time to give him or her this must-read book. It’s out in paperback for the first time, and the new paperback edition includes a postscript from the author updating the story, and a new foreword from Bill Nye the Science Guy. My 2012 review of the book is here. The paperback version of “The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars” is $19.95 from the Columbia University Press.
If your climate science enthusiast’s reading taste runs more towards fiction, there is a whole new genre of climate fiction called “cli-fi” that has emerged in recent years. The best book I’ve read in this genre so far is “Flight Behavior” by Barbara Kingsolver. Kingsolver's story concerns a young wife and mother on a failing farm in rural Tennessee who experiences something she cannot explain—the mass migration of monarch butterflies from Mexico to new overwintering grounds in Tennessee. Her discovery energizes various competing factions—religious leaders, climate scientists, environmentalists, politicians—trapping her in the center of the conflict and ultimately opening up her world. Given the huge crash in monarch butterfly numbers in 2013, this novel is particularly timely. “Flight Behavior” is $10.63 in paperback from Amazon. I’ve read two other works of “cli-fi” this year that I enjoyed. ”Year of the Bad Decision” by Charles Sobczak tells the story of a geoengineering project in the year 2043 gone horribly wrong. ”A Change in the Weather” by Raymond Welch is set in 2028, and focuses on an Orwellian U.S. society that comes about in response to severe climate change.
Follow this week’s talks at AGU via the Internet
You can watch live streaming and recorded talks at this week’s AGU meeting—nearly 100 sessions (almost 600 presentations in total) will be available live and on demand. Register here, and be sure to use code AGU13 for free access. You can also browse thousands of poster presentations at the poster site.
I’ll have a new post by Friday at the latest.
Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.
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