Is the Atlantic hurricane season getting longer?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 6:34 PM GMT on December 16, 2008

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It seems like there have been an unusual number of early and late season tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic in recent years. In 2008, we had four named storms in July, and the second most powerful November hurricane on record. Both 2007 and 2005 had rare December storms, and 2003 featured Tropical Storm Anna, the first April tropical storm ever recorded. This year, Hurricane Tomas made 2010 the fourth straight year with a November hurricane, something that has never occurred in the Atlantic since accurate records began in 1851. Is hurricane season getting longer? Dr. Jim Kossin of the University of Wisconsin published a 2008 paper in Geophysical Research Letters, "Is the North Atlantic hurricane season getting longer?" He concluded that yes, there is a "apparent tendency toward more common early- and late-season storms that correlates with warming Sea Surface Temperature but the uncertainty in these relationships is high".


Figure 1. Observed sea surface temperature (SST) trends during the official North Atlantic hurricane season (June-November) for the period 1950-2007. Units are °C per century. The dashed rectangle denotes the tropical storm formation region south of 30° North latitude and east of 75° West longitude. Data are from the NOAA Extended Reconstructed Sea Surface Temperature V3 product [Smith et al., 2008]. Image credit: Kossin, J., 2008, "Is the North Atlantic hurricane season getting longer?", Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 35, L23705, doi:10.1029/2008GL036012, 2008.

Methods
Dr. Kossin utilized the "best track" database of Atlantic tropical cyclone activity going back to 1851. However, since lack of satellite and aircraft reconnaissance data before 1950 makes the early part of this record suspect, he limited his analysis to the period from 1950 onward. The era of best data--the satellite era beginning in 1980--was also looked at separately, to ensure the highest possible data quality. The area studied was only a portion of the Atlantic--the tropical storm formation region south of 30° North latitude and east of 75° West longitude. This region has shown considerable warming of the Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) since 1950, in excess of 1°F (0.6°C) (Figure 1). A statistical method called "quantile regression" was employed. The method looked at how certain thresholds that mark the beginning and end of hurricane season have changed over the years. For example, the date where 5% of all tropical storms form earlier than that date, was called the 0.05 quantile, and the date where 5% of all tropical storms form later than that date, was called the 0.95 quantile. Kossin was able to show that the date of the 0.05 quantile got steadily earlier and the date of the 0.95 quantile steadily got later since 1950. Hurricane season for both the period 1950-present and 1980-present got longer by 5 to 10 days per decade.


Figure 2. Trends in tropical storm formation dates, in the region south of 30° North latitude and east of 75° West longitude, at the 0.05.0.95 quantiles. Trends are based on the periods (left) 1950-2007, and (right) 1980-2007. The dates (month/year) associated with the 0.05, 0.25, 0.50, 0.75, and 0.95 quantiles for each period are shown on the top axis (these threshold dates are based on the full sample for each period). Shading denotes the 90% confidence interval. Image credit: Kossin, J., 2008, "Is the North Atlantic hurricane season getting longer?", Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 35, L23705, doi:10.1029/2008GL036012, 2008.

Relationship with Sea Surface Temperature
The broadening of the Atlantic hurricane season found was strongly dependent upon Sea Surface Temperatures. Both the onset and end of hurricane season shifted by 20 days per degree C of warming of the SST. With global warming projected to increase tropical Atlantic SSTs 1-2°C by the end of the century, can we then expect a 40-80 day increase in the length of hurricane season? Dr. Kossin doesn't explore this possibility, and doesn't blame the observed increase in the length of the season on human-caused global warming of the oceans. There is reason to believe that future warming of the Atlantic SSTs won't necessarily broaden the area over which tropical storms will form, though. Papers by Henderson-Sellers et al. (1998) and Knutson et al. (2008) theorize that as SSTs warm, the lowest temperature at which tropical storms can form will also increase. The current minimum temperature of 26.5°C (80°F) may increase to 28.5°C for a 2°C warming of Atlantic SSTs. Johnson and Xie (2010) have found observational evidence that the lowest temperature at which tropical storms can form has indeed been increasing at about 0.1°C per decade in the Atlantic, in line with climate model predictions.

References
Henderson-Sellers, A., et al., 1998, "Tropical Cyclones and Global Climate Change: A Post-IPCC Assessment", Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc. 79, 19–38.

Johnson, N.C., and S.P. Xie, 2010, "Changes in the sea surface temperature threshold for tropical convection", Nature Geoscience doi:10.1038/ngeo1008

Knutson, T.R., J.J. Sirutis, S.T. Garner, G.A. Vecchi, and I.M. Held, 2008, Simulated reduction in Atlantic hurricane frequency under twenty-first-century warming conditions", Nature Geoscience 1, 359 - 364 (2008), doi:10.1038/ngeo202

Kossin, J., 2008, "Is the North Atlantic hurricane season getting longer?", Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 35, L23705, doi:10.1029/2008GL036012, 2008.

Jeff Masters

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155 storm
Actually, I do.
Sometimes I grit my teeth, but yes I do. LOL
Member Since: September 11, 2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 10091
Does anyone even read STL's posts?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
153 chi
Sorry that tonal inflections don't come across on keyboards. If you feel I have insulted you, then I appologize, Sir.
But, I think Sophism may exist in the Science of Economics as well. If you sincerly beleive that overpopulation in third world countries is due to need and if you sincerly beleive that overpopulation in certain races is due to need, then we'll just have to disagree.
Member Since: September 11, 2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 10091
Quoting theshepherd:
148 chi
Nothing glib there, I was sincere.
To say that the population of the earth is self correcting is profoundly askew to a realistic, stewardly philosophy amigo.


I didn't realize you were my amigo.

Realistic philosophies are based on the facts at hand. Realistic philosophies do not come from a misplaced notion that the world is overpopulated.

Almost all of Europe has a declining birth rate. Not self correcting? It's not from population restricting measures, mi amigo, it's from a self correcting measure that happens when countries establish a nice standard of living and no longer need large families to maintain that lifestyle.

Solutions aren't found by yelling on the street corners about the end of the world. It's about realistic philosophies that strive to boost the economies of developing nations without using misplaced ideas such as population limits. That only acts *against* the establishment of strong economies, ironically. You're part of the problem, not the solution.


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Michael your graph of the US misrepresents population growth. It includes immigration to the US, one of the countries with the largest immigrant growth.

Of course the US growth continues up as more people immigrate. To look at the issue responsibly, you should look at the standard growth metric called the "birth rate".

Take your pick of pages showing maps of the world and where babies are coming from:
http://p2o2.blogspot.com/2008/07/bye-bye-cosy-europe.html

You'll find that overpopulation is a problem coming from poor economic conditions. The problem is *not* overpopulation, but rather awful economies. Solutions should address the root problem, economics.




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148 chi
Nothing glib there, I was sincere.
To say that the population of the earth is self correcting is profoundly askew to a realistic, stewardly philosophy amigo.
Member Since: September 11, 2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 10091
149. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Darwin Tropical Cyclone Warning Center
Tropical Cyclone Advice Number THREE
TROPICAL LOW (02U)
5:00 AM ACST December 18 2008
=====================================

At 3:30 am Australia CST, a Tropical Low [1002 hPa] located at 13.7S 127.7E, or kms east northeast of Kalumburu and 375 kms west southwest of Darwin. The low has 10 minute sustained winds of 25-30 knots with gust of 45 knots and is reported as moving south at 5 knots towards the Kimberley coast.

There is the possibility of a tropical cyclone developing close to the north Kimberley coast on Friday. GALES are not expected in coastal areas within the next 24 hours, however gales could develop later.

Tropical Cyclone Watch
==========================
A Cyclone WATCH continues for a developing tropical low for coastal and island communities from Cockatoo Island to Western Australia/Northern Territory border.

The next advice will be issued by 11:00 am ACST
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 51 Comments: 45561
Quoting theshepherd:
We were talking about the population here on earth.


And I'm not? Or is that you trying to retort with a glib comment so everyone ignores the actual facts in my argument?

Show some respect ... as you said yourself a few minutes ago: "But, that still does not give you the right to disrespect so many honorable people."
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Ya know we wasted a ton of fresh water from Lake O the past 3 years dumping out so much fresh water down the calusahatchee river...(had to hand out those muck removing contracts)to the point no one could cut across FL anymore. The fresh water ruined our river and brought on red tide...what a waste! Now we are back to normal(close) from Fay...amazing that we dumped all that water.
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Quoting chilliam:
Overpopulation?

You guys must have grown up in the 80's when that was all the rage and had it engrained into your heads that it was a problem. I remember all the death clocks that ticked up the current population and projected huge numbers of people ... numbers far above what they actually are today.

Population is self-correcting as people become uncomfortable with their surroundings.

Let alone, do a quick search and you'll find populations have leveled and even declined in most developed nations. The US is getting closer to flat even year by year.

UNDERpopulation is actually the new problem, if you look around. There's a reason Russia is beginning to pay people to have more babies.

Don't spread fear!
We were talking about the population here on earth.
I grew up in the 50's when the population was 2 billion. Now it's 6.6 billion.
Member Since: September 11, 2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 10091
Overpopulation?

You guys must have grown up in the 80's when that was all the rage and had it engrained into your heads that it was a problem. I remember all the death clocks that ticked up the current population and projected huge numbers of people ... numbers far above what they actually are today.

Population is self-correcting as people become uncomfortable with their surroundings.

Let alone, do a quick search and you'll find populations have leveled and even declined in most developed nations. The US is getting closer to flat even year by year.

UNDERpopulation is actually the new problem, if you look around. There's a reason Russia is beginning to pay people to have more babies.

Don't spread fear!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting weathermanwannabe:
...Yup, that does seem to be the common theme.......
only way to ensure the planets survial is to ensure we don't
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Quoting mixade:


Ah, you nice messed up little excuse of a man. You humor me so much. I had to laugh a little (okay, a lot) when you complained that I implied you follow Al Gore, but then you did the same thing right back by assuming that I'm a right wing, religious nut job. Allow me to educate you on myself before you make more assumptions.

I am just about the furthest thing from religious you could possibly find. From day one, I have fervently promoted free thinking and nothing else. That includes religious zealotry, and guess what, it also includes causes that have become pseudo-religions, such as...global warming.

If global warming research were no longer tied to grant funding, I can guarantee you the whole global warming parade would end tomorrow. As a university student in an earth science department, I see the battles for grant money on a daily basis. Statistics and facts are manipulated ("slightly embellished" is the term I've heard used) for the purpose of getting money. If you think this isn't happening, you've got your head in the clouds. Although judging from your prior comments, I already know that to be the case.
Now you've gone and done it, you will be the newest addition to the Poof list (Ignore). LOL
Member Since: June 11, 2008 Posts: 24 Comments: 5910
Quoting MichaelSTL:


- overpopulation, overconsumption.
...Yup, that does seem to be the common theme.......
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
141. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #46
T2008-22 DOLPHIN
3:00 AM JST December 18 2008
==================================

Subject: CATEGORY ONE TYPHOON IN SEAS EAST OF THE PHILIPPINES

At 3:00 AM JST, Tropical Storm Dolphin (992 hPa) located near 20.7N 135.2E has 10 minute sustained winds of 45 knots with gusts up to 65 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving east-northeast at 14 knots.

Gale-force Winds
================
180 NM from the center in north quadrant
100 NM from the center in south quadrant

Dvorak Intensity: T3.0

Forecast and Intensity
=====================
24 HRS: 21.6N 139.0E - 35 knots (CAT 1)
48 HRS: 21.7N 141.1E - TROPICAL DEPRESSION
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 51 Comments: 45561
Quoting Buhdog:
Shep,

You too man.....

Desaliniztion is the way to go for fresh water right? I mean if a yacht can change over salt water...then don't we have enough fresh water if the earth is almost all salt water?
You are right on.
SE Fla tried unsuccessfuly several years ago to divert Suwanee river water south. We won't budge on that issue. They have built beyond the capacity of their infrastructure for years. West Palm,Lauderdale and Miami need a common desalinization plant badly. They also need to stop pumping their poop into the,used to be, pristine ocean.
There is also the Tri-State Water War between Alabama,Georgia and Florida that has existed for years. There is an ongoing battle about the spillway height at the lower end of the Okeefenokee Swamp. Interesting reading along those lines.
Member Since: September 11, 2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 10091
138. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Mauritius Meteorological Services
Tropical Cyclone Warning Number EIGHT
DEPRESSION TROPICALE 04-20082009
22:00 PM Reunion December 17 2008
======================================

At 18:00 PM UTC, Tropical Depression (997 hPa) located at 10.9S 67.0E has 10 minute sustained winds of 30 knots with gust of 45 knots. The depression is reported as moving south at 4 knots.

Near-Gale Force Winds
===================
Squally weather exist within 60 NM radius from the center extending up to 250 NM in the northeastern sector and up to 350 NM in the southeastern quadrant

Near Gale-force winds 20 NM from the center extending up to 70 NM in the southern semi-circle where it reaches locally 35 knots.

Dvorak Intensity: T2.5

Forecast and Intensity
=========================
24 HRS: 13.0S 66.0E - 35 knots (Tempete Tropicale Modereé)
48 HRS: 14.1S 64.1E - 30 knots (DEPRESSION TROPICALE)
72 HRS: 15.1S 61.6E - 30 knots (DEPRESSION TROPICALE)

Additional Information
======================
As usual by nighttime, convection has strengthen around the low level circulation center. A Quikscat Pass at 1344z suggest some winds in the 30 knots range in the southern semi-circle (The max no contaminated wind at 43 knots is suspected). Intensity is kept at 30 knots at this time (although it could be a little bit conservative).

A windsat pass at 1330 (Fix: 10.7S 67.7E) shows that the system is a little bit more eastward than previously estimated. It seem to make a slow drift towards the south.

This system evolves within an environment which is neutral to slightly favorable for the moment Located beneath the western periphery of the upper ridge it benefits from weak vertical wind shear, while the upper outflow is restricted to a moderately potent poleward outflow channel (ahead of an upper trough to the west). While there is a consensus among the different numerical models for a general southwest motion of the system they disagree noticeably about the future speed of movement.

The present track, that takes into account the latest consensus from the ECMWF ensemble prediction system and the 1200z track from the french limited area french model Aladin, is a little bit to the left and slower than the previous forecast.

The potential for further intensification appears limited although there is a window for some marginal improvement within the next 12 to 24 hours before northerly to northwesterly winds start to strengthen and to impinge on the cloud system affecting it through increasing vertical wind shear.
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 51 Comments: 45561
Quoting MichaelSTL:


not that you will or care to do so because it violates your religious views...


Ah, you nice messed up little excuse of a man. You humor me so much. I had to laugh a little (okay, a lot) when you complained that I implied you follow Al Gore, but then you did the same thing right back by assuming that I'm a right wing, religious nut job. Allow me to educate you on myself before you make more assumptions.

I am just about the furthest thing from religious you could possibly find. From day one, I have fervently promoted free thinking and nothing else. That includes religious zealotry, and guess what, it also includes causes that have become pseudo-religions, such as...global warming.

If global warming research were no longer tied to grant funding, I can guarantee you the whole global warming parade would end tomorrow. As a university student in an earth science department, I see the battles for grant money on a daily basis. Statistics and facts are manipulated ("slightly embellished" is the term I've heard used) for the purpose of getting money. If you think this isn't happening, you've got your head in the clouds. Although judging from your prior comments, I already know that to be the case.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting pottery:
Hi Weathermanwannabe.
I agree that water will certainly be a major consideration in future.
But we can simply de-salinate the ocean, and pipe the stuff where we want it. Water prices will obviously soar, but we have used it for virtually "free" for ever.


Hey Pottery; we did not get into the desalinization issue, and I am not sure of the mechanics of it (although all military ships including submarines have their on-board plants) but I can't begin to imagine the cost of massive plants able to sustain a general population as well as agricultural needs (along with the "pipes" to transfer the water inland for hundreds of miles for irrigation purposes)........There is no viable alternative, at present, for natural rain water and/or well and aquifer reprenishment...(Why we often pray for tropical storms in the SE to reduce rain deficits in the Summer)......
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Yoikes, I have to go to the Teeming City. Sit around in traffic and stuff. Joy !!
Check you guys tonight......
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128 pot
What a hoot.
I see mum is not the word with the three banditos. Better than facing grandpa's wrath alone.
They'll never forget these days...LOL
Member Since: September 11, 2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 10091
Hi Weathermanwannabe.
I agree that water will certainly be a major consideration in future.
But we can simply de-salinate the ocean, and pipe the stuff where we want it. Water prices will obviously soar, but we have used it for virtually "free" for ever.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Shep,

You too man.....

Desaliniztion is the way to go for fresh water right? I mean if a yacht can change over salt water...then don't we have enough fresh water if the earth is almost all salt water?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hey All; I see Dr. M, and his colleagues, are still looking at GW issues and the impact on hurricane season........I am not qualified to discuss the issue, and it will take years to "nail" it down with evidence one way or the other...However, and for a change of topic, I had a conversation with a respected FSU met professor a few weeks ago and he felt that we/they were all missing the boat with the GW debate in terms of immediate urgency of issues; he basically said that the issue of growing shortages of "fresh water" for the growing earth population is the most pressing issue facing us right now......(He told me, "forget about GW being a real factor in your lifetime, your kids "may" have to worry about that, but everyone is talkng about GW and not stressing enough right now how this water issue will be affecting us in the very near future)...............Just some food for thought...........WW
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130. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
87. AussieStorm 1:55 PM GMT on December 17, 2008
Quoting HadesGodWyvern:


BOM Darwin is showing a slight possibility of Tropical Cyclone Billy just before landfall
Will it be Tropical Cyclone Billy or Tropical Cyclone Anika ???

---
Billy. TC Anika was last month
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 51 Comments: 45561
buhdog
reluctant ditto
peace and karma, bro
Member Since: September 11, 2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 10091
LOL Sheph. 3 grandsons live in the bottom of the garden (ages 10,8,6 )
The memories are being created every day.
A couple days ago, they set up a camp-site in the trees. Made their own food - cooked Tilapia from the pond, which they caught. Slept an a tent till rain and dark spooky motions in the bushes chased them home at about 9 pm.
Yesterday, I went to check the water level in one of my tanks. It was full last week. IT WAS DRY !! 4000 gallons of PRECIOUS H2O.
Well, it was a LOOOONG story, about Max was in charge of the tap, but he could not find it, so Sam did something, and Chas something else. You know how it goes.
Anyway, I tried to sound vexed and filled with fury.
But the truth is, I should have checked the dam thing ...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
127. Skyepony (Mod)
P451~ If the data being so iffy & the media's scientist's in disaggreeance is so confusing why close your eyes to what is happening? Answer me this.. When before the last few years was the Northwest passage open? Some try & say satalites scew all the data...How about the satalites showing Greenland & permafrost melting way faster then ever thought possible? At this point saying the world hasn't warmed a noticable amount is like saying an ice cube doesn't melt because of heat.

It's frustrating since the data sets will never be 100% right. That doesn't change the fact the physical changes to the earth are happening faster than the worst dooms sayers said. That is more real than data sets.

We need to stop polluting the world now for alot of reasons. Not fight about why & continue burning resourses & unsustainable farming.

Surfmom~ Have a sweet ride, weather couldn't be nicer..
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Shep..

I hear ya...the really smart ones can't seem to use their smarts in a way to let us common folk understand. Lord knows that when I believe something...no one else can tell me different. If I had STL's brain capacity...No one could tell me crap cuz I would think i am right. Maybe we can all grow a little more. It's too bad that STL is on some peoples crap list...he has been one of my favorite posters since I joined in 2005 at the start if this place...I only understand about half of what he says...but I feel smarter when i read it.
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Yo pot
Still propped up on that chair arm?
Making new memories with grandsons still???
Member Since: September 11, 2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 10091
116 buhdog
You are correct. Michael will post whatever he wants, whenever he wants until he's banned from this blog once more by the administrator. Whether he gives you a chance to respond or reflect is an entirely different story.
Yes I do in fact love his passion and I have wadded through all his posts. Maybe I can learn something. But, a gentleman doesn't ban and run at every turn.
Just my two cents. LOL
Member Since: September 11, 2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 10091
123. Skyepony (Mod)
Death Map I thought was a bit contrived. Only goes back to 1970. Go back 100 years & South FL would look more like South LA. Same might have been said about CA, faultlines can be infrequent. General point about the heat being the worst killer can't really be disputed. I just wouldn't pick me out a "safer" place to live based on it.
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122. IKE
Global warming and STL....same old blog.....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
So good to come by today --whew!!! I'm off to work the herd...... lots of trot & canter now that season is on.... nice for me to do in the warm......... although a bit harder on the herd.

Good Afternoon to ALL
Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
ALOHA Pottery - I have 80 degrees today -- the gulf is way cold 63 degrees..... but it's warm and SUNNY on land -- I'm thawing and coming alive.......there is the energizerbunny & me.... the SUNBUNNY.
Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
Hey there, all.
Enjoying the good discourse in here for 2 days now. Good points, well presented.
Most appreciated too.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
BTW,

I did not see STL dissrespecting anyone....I do not approve of that...so you know. SOrry to just jump in.
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the sheppard,

You really think I am encouraging him? I think he will post whenever he desires with or without my approval. And to be honest, Why shouldn't I encourage someone to post evidence backing up what he believes? It is better than the alternative of just saying (NOT) or (TRUE)_...You do not have to read his posts..(STL) but you must admit that he backs up his claims with painstaking research. That research can be viewed in many different ways yes....but his passion and knowledge is true!
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ROTFL = Shep, I may have had the crap beat out of me this month.....but I ain't DEAD yet....us little ones learn to be scrappers.....ruff, ruff,
Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
110 mom
Had ta go there. Dent cha???
Member Since: September 11, 2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 10091
Just thought I would add a note about the collecting of accurate weather data --- during WW11 weather forecasts were banned. Don't know if reporting on weather events was also banned. Given Government reluctance to unclassify anything (ever) those years may have vanished! 'Tis a fine line between skepticism and cynicism.
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107 Surfmom
Well spoken. And respectfully so.
Member Since: September 11, 2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 10091
Quoting MichaelSTL:


Thanks



I also want to add - I am not the only one who gets peeved by the misreporting you often see by the media; the scientists don't like it either, as shown here (referring to failure to check facts) and here (reference to a glitch made in October data).
The science may indeed be correct, Michael. But, that still does not give you the right to disrespect so many honorable people.
Member Since: September 11, 2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 10091
Quoting presslord:
Attention all hands!!!!


I just met Stormjunkie, Jr.

....quite a handsome young man....doesn't look a thing like his father....
better not look like you either!!!
Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
Dr. Masters:

It seems to me that 1950 to 2007 was a period the ran from no satellite data to heavy satelite data. The heavy satellite coverage in recent years would tend to detect systems that otherwise would have not been known, particularly over the Eastern Tropical North Atlantic where ship traffic is less than in the Western half.

Also in the period from 1987-2007 when satellite coverage was good, the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation (AMO) went from the cold phase to the warm phase which might also influence the results.

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20 degrees below in some of the Northern States and 80 degrees in FLORIDA.... Guess what, I AM GLAD TO BE A GULFSTER..love this warming trend with sunny skies and light East wind.

If you want waves SWFL surfers...fill the tank and head to where the sun rises. Gulf waters 62 degrees.

Seems like the high pressure will dominate -- perhaps a front around 12/22..... looks iffy
Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
In his fascinating book Carbon Detox, George Marshall argues that people are not persuaded by information. Our views are formed by the views of the people with whom we mix. Of the narratives that might penetrate these circles, we are more likely to listen to those that offer us some reward. A story that tells us that the world is cooking and that we'll have to make sacrifices for the sake of future generations is less likely to be accepted than the more rewarding idea that climate change is a conspiracy hatched by scheming governments and venal scientists, and that strong, independent-minded people should unite to defend their freedoms.

He proposes that instead of arguing for sacrifice, environmentalists should show where the rewards might lie: that understanding what the science is saying and planning accordingly is the smart thing to do, which will protect your interests more effectively than flinging abuse at scientists. We should emphasise the old-fashioned virtues of uniting in the face of a crisis, of resourcefulness and community action. Projects like the transition towns network and proposals for a green new deal tell a story which people are more willing to hear.

Marshall is right: we have to change the way we talk about this issue.

I am in agreement w/Marshall MichaelSTL --

remember though you get more cooperation w/honey then venom

our present methods of energy, farming and lack of birth control hurt the planet..... GW or not. why do the humans insists on using products and methods that hurt the earth in any way. We need not to add to the earth's stress factor and we need to change our ways & think. "you dont "sh--" where you eat.
Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.