Arctic temperatures the warmest in 2,000 years; 2009 Arctic sea ice loss 3rd highest

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:32 PM GMT on September 04, 2009

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It's time to take a bit of a break from coverage of the Atlantic hurricane season of 2009, and report on some important climate news. The past decade was the warmest decade in the Arctic for the past 2,000 years, according to a study called "Recent Warming Reverses Long-Term Arctic Cooling" published today in the journal Science. Furthermore, four of the five warmest decades in the past 2,000 years occurred between 1950 - 2000, despite the fact that summertime solar radiation in the Arctic has been steadily declining for the past 2,000 years. Previous efforts to reconstruct past climate in the Arctic extended back only 400 years, so the new study--which used lake sediments, glacier ice cores, and tree rings to look at past climate back to the time of Christ, decade by decade-- is a major new milestone in our understanding of the Arctic climate. The researchers found that Arctic temperatures steadily declined between 1 A.D. and 1900 A.D., as would be expected due to a 26,000-year cycle in Earth's orbit that brought less summer sunshine to the North Pole. Earth is now about 620,000 miles (1 million km) farther from the Sun in the Arctic summer than it was 2000 years ago. However, temperatures in the Arctic began to rise around the year 1900, and are now 1.4°C (2.5°F) warmer than they should be, based on the amount of sunlight that is currently falling in the Arctic in summer. "If it hadn't been for the increase in human-produced greenhouse gases, summer temperatures in the Arctic should have cooled gradually over the last century," Bette Otto-Bliesner, a co-author from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, said in a statement.

The Arctic melt season of 2009
Arctic sea ice suffered another summer of significant melting in 2009, with August ice extent the third lowest on record, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. August ice extent was 19% below the 1979 - 2000 average, and only 2007 and 2008 saw more melting of Arctic sea ice. We've now had two straight years in the Arctic without a new record minimum in sea ice. However, this does not mean that the Arctic sea ice is recovering. The reduced melting in 2009 compared to 2007 and 2008 primarily resulted from a different atmospheric circulation pattern this summer. This pattern generated winds that transported ice toward the Siberian coast and discouraged export of ice out of the Arctic Ocean. The previous two summers, the prevailing wind pattern acted to transport more ice out of the Arctic through Fram Strait, along the east side of Greenland. At last December's meeting of the American Geophysical Union, the world's largest scientific conference on climate change, J.E. Kay of the National Center for Atmospheric Research showed that Arctic surface pressure in the summer of 2007 was the fourth highest since 1948, and cloud cover at Barrow, Alaska was the sixth lowest. This suggests that once every 10 - 20 years a "perfect storm" of weather conditions highly favorable for ice loss invades the Arctic. The last two times such conditions existed was 1977 and 1987, and it may be another ten or so years before weather conditions align properly to set a new record minimum.

The Northeast Passage opens
As a result of this summer's melting, the Northeast Passage, a notoriously ice-choked sea route along the northern Russia, is now clear of ice and open for navigation. Satellite analyses by the University of Illinois Polar Research Group and the National Snow and Ice Data Center show that the last remaining ice blockage along the north coast of Russia melted in late August, allowing navigation from Europe to Alaska in ice-free waters. Mariners have been attempting to sail the Northeast Passage since 1553, and it wasn't until the record-breaking Arctic sea-ice melt year of 2005 that the Northeast Passage opened for ice-free navigation for the first time in recorded history. The fabled Northwest Passage through the Arctic waters of Canada has remained closed this summer, however. An atmospheric pressure pattern set up in late July that created winds that pushed old, thick ice into several of the channels of the Northwest Passage. Recent research by Stephen Howell at the University of Waterloo in Canada shows that whether the Northwest Passage clears depends less on how much melt occurs, and more on whether multi-year sea ice is pushed into the channels. Counter-intuitively, as the ice cover thins, ice may flow more easily into the channels, preventing the Northwest Passage from regularly opening in coming decades, if the prevailing winds set up to blow ice into the channels of the Passage. The Northwest Passage opened for the first time in recorded history in 2007, and again in 2008. Mariners have been attempting to find a route through the Northwest Passage since 1497.


Figure 1. Sea ice extent on September 2, 2009, with the Northwest Passage (red line) and Northeast Passage (green line) shown. The Northeast Passage was open, but the Northwest Passage was blocked in three places. The orange line shows the median edge of sea ice extent for September 2 during the period 1979 - 2000, and this year's ice extent is about 19% below average. Image credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Commercial shipping begins in the Northeast Passage
This year's opening marks the fourth time in five years that the Northeast Passage has opened, and commercial shipping companies are taking note. Two German ships set off on August 21 on the first commercial voyage ever made through the Northeast Passage without the help of icebreakers. The Northeast Passage trims 4,500 miles off the 12,500 mile trip through the Suez Canal, yielding considerable savings in fuel. The voyage was not possible last year, because Russia had not yet worked out a permitting process. With Arctic sea ice expected to continue to decline in the coming decades, shipping traffic through the Northeast Passage will likely become commonplace most summers.

When was the Northeast Passage ice-free in the past?
People have been attempting to penetrate the ice-bound Northeast Passage since 1553, when British explorer Sir Hugh Willoughby attempted the passage with three ships and 62 men. The frozen bodies of Sir Hugh and his men were found a year later, after they failed to make it past the northern coast of Finland. British explorer Henry Hudson, who died in 1611 trying to find a route through Canada's fabled Northwest Passage, (and whom Canada's Hudson Bay and New York's Hudson River are named after), attempted to sail the Northeast Passage in 1607 and 1608, and failed. The Northeast Passage has remained closed to navigation, except via assist by icebreakers, from 1553 to 2005. The results published in Science today suggest that prior to 2005, the last previous opening was the period 5,000 - 7,000 years ago, when the Earth's orbital variations brought more sunlight to the Arctic in summer than at present. It is possible we'll know better soon. A new technique that examines organic compounds left behind in Arctic sediments by diatoms that live in sea ice give hope that a detailed record of sea ice extent extending back to the end of the Ice Age 12,000 years ago may be possible (Belt et al., 2007). The researchers are studying sediments along the Northwest Passage in hopes of being able to determine when the Passage was last open.

References
Belt, S.T., G. Masse, S.J. Rowland, M. Poulin, C. Michel, and B. LeBlanc, "A novel chemical fossil of palaeo sea ice: IP25", Organic Geochemistry, Volume 38, Issue 1, January 2007, Pages 16-27.

Darrell S. Kaufman, David P. Schneider, Nicholas P. McKay, Caspar M. Ammann, Raymond S. Bradley, Keith R. Briffa, Gifford H. Miller, Bette L. Otto-Bliesner, Jonathan T. Overpeck, Bo M. Vinther, and Arctic Lakes 2k Project Members, 2009, "Recent Warming Reverses Long-Term Arctic Cooling", Science 4 September 2009: 1236-1239.

Howell, S. E. L., C. R. Duguay, and T. Markus. 2009. Sea ice conditions and melt season duration variability within the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: 1979.2008, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L10502, doi:10.1029/2009GL037681.

Tropical Weather Outlook
The remains of Tropical Storm Erika are bringing heavy rain to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands today, and this activity will spread to the Dominican Republic on Saturday. Radar-estimated rainfall shows up to three inches of rain has fallen in eastern Puerto Rico from the storm. Long range radar out of Puerto Rico shows no surface circulation or organization of the echoes, and redevelopment of Erika over the next three days is unlikely to occur due to high wind shear of 25 - 30 knots. By Monday or Tuesday, shear may drop enough to allow redevelopment, depending upon the location of Erika's remains. Redevelopment is more likely if Erika works its way northwestward into the Bahamas.

A large tropical wave with plenty of spin is located a few hundred miles southwest of the Cape Verdes Islands, off the coast of Africa. Heavy thunderstorm activity has increased slightly in this wave over the past day, and it has the potential to gradually develop into a tropical depression by early next week. NHC is giving this wave a low (less than 30% chance) of developing into a tropical depression by Sunday. The GFS model continues to predict development of this wave into a tropical depression early next week.

I'll have an update Saturday or Sunday, depending upon developments in the tropics.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting BiloxiIsle:
I didn't know that Dree was hurt. Hope it isn't serious. And you are right stormno, the Saints would be in big trouble if he can't play.


Brees didnt Play,and 90 percent of the starters didnt ,Play. Brees is NOT injured at all.

They held out the starters to avoid injury for next week,Most NFL teams do.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Quoting tornadodude:


b


H) WS/JSV's bathroom curtain, whats on it?
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Quoting rwdobson:


I know. And it was an absurd comment. You act like "if something is only 4 in 80,000, it can't be harmful". which is absurd.

And again, if you don't understand the difference between CO2 in breath and CO2 from fossil fuels...you cannot possibly understand this debate. If you want to argue your side, you need to have some grasp of the basic science, which you obviously do not.


Last time I checked, I and everyone around me are doing just fine. "The harmful" effects you purport of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere must be only affecting you.

And don't come back with "the Artic and everything else ice is melting" shpeel...it doesn't fly.

No one knows what is causing it. Oh...but you do, right? LOL

"It is obvious" that you have been hoaxed well by the global warming and climate change chicken littles. LOL!!!!

Good luck with that. Might I suggest banging your head against a wall?
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Quoting tornadodude:


b


H) WS/JSV's bathroom curtain, whats on it?
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Quoting BiloxiIsle:
I didn't know that Dree was hurt. Hope it isn't serious. And you are right stormno, the Saints would be in big trouble if he can't play.


Drew is not hurt.
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Quoting justalurker:
POLL:

which topic would you like to discuss?

A) global warming
B) football
c) hurricane hits
d) cv wave
E) erika
F) spin in GOM
G) FL wiscaster

Poll closes never


b
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Quoting stormno:
reason why drew didnt play because he hurt himself in the warmups before the game...i wouldnt be surprised to see drew not play sunday in the detriot game...i hope its nothing serious but they are taking it day by day...the saints are in big trouble without drew..Stormno
WRONG
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Quoting CycloneOz:


Analogy Of The Day:

Let's compare the Earth's atmospheric gasses with a football stadium that holds 80,000 people.

The total concentration of CO2 in the Earth's atmosphere, when a ratio is applied to make that gas fit into the stadium would equate to CO2 taking up 4 seats.

4 seats out of 80,000. That's how small a concentration CO2 is in our atmosphere...and IT'S REQUIRED TO BE THERE...or plant life would die.

When I breathe out, it's CO2. I guess I need to stop breathing, huh?


What a rediculous analogy. It's one to say we need co2 for life, It's quite another to understand that too much co2 causes heat build up by trapping in heat like a greenhouse causing arctic ice to melt which holds what was once inert co2 bound up in the ice to be released which then excelerates the whole warming melting co2 release warming drought etc. Man is a part of the earth. If we as parasites on the earths resources become cancerous, the earth has to fight back with heating and pestulence and famine and drought to cull us off. We are reliant on the Earth, not the other way around. If you want to stop breathing, then that will be a start, but perhaps what would be a better solution is a machine ala star trek that those over a certain age have to walk into and disappear, thus saving us all the war that will take these lives anyway (Of course I am being facitious). All I know, is wilfull ignorance solves nothing, and frankly, those that are opposing the idea of man-made global warming (republicans and conservatives and capitalists) ought to embrace the idea as a money maker. What better way to make money thant to say you are solving a problem which you don't even believe exists anyway. Apply the old saying, a fool and his money are quickly parted (a la the "green revolution"), and you will come to love the idea of man-made global warming.
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POLL:

which topic would you like to discuss?

A) global warming
B) football
c) hurricane hits
d) cv wave
E) erika
F) spin in GOM
G) FL wishcaster

Poll closes never
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Quoting apocalyps:
"where is my nose,where is my nose????"
Michael Jackson,


Now THAT, cracked me up...
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I didn't know that Dree was hurt. Hope it isn't serious. And you are right stormno, the Saints would be in big trouble if he can't play.
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I like the Saints.


But I love the FISH!



Tough luck Saints fans!
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Exhaled CO2 is part of the carbon cycle. It has no effect on atmospheric CO2 levels. It comes from food we eat and was recently in the atmosphere until incorporated into plant carbohydrate.
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Thanks for the info on Artic melt Dr. M; you know that you are having a below average hurricane season when the Blog topic issue, on September 4th 6 days before the historical peak, is Artic Ice.
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Morn Brian!
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Quoting apocalyps:


Possible but the convention of erika could make all the difference.


"the convention of erika"
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
156. Relix
Erika's "COC" is gone at last. Nothing going on here in north PR... =/
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This table, updated from Jarrell et al. (2001), shows the number of hurricanes affecting the United States and individual states, i.e., direct hits. The table shows that, on the average, close to seven hurricanes every four years (~1.75 per year) strike the United States, while about three major hurricanes cross the U.S. coast every five years (0.60 per year). Other noteworthy facts, updated from Jarrell et al. (2001), are:

Forty percent of all U.S. hurricanes hit Florida
Eighty-three percent of category 4 or higher hurricanes strikes have hit either Florida or Texas
Pennsylvania's only hurricane strike between 1851-2004 was in 1898 (from Blake et al. 2005).
Hurricane direct hits on the mainland U.S. coastline and for individual states by Saffir/Simpson category
1851-2006 AREA CATEGORY Major
Hurricanes
1 2 3 4 5 ALL

U.S. Coastline
(Texas to Maine) 113 74 76 18 3 284 97

Texas 23 18 12 7 0 60 19
(North) 12 7 3 4 0 26 7
(Central) 7 5 2 2 0 16 4
(South) 9 5 7 1 0 22 8
Louisiana 18 14 15 4 1 52 20
Mississippi 2 5 8 0 1 16 9
Alabama 12 5 6 0 0 23 6
Florida 44 33 29 6 2 114 37
(Northwest) 27 16 12 0 0 55 12
(Northeast) 13 8 1 0 0 22 1
(Southwest) 16 8 7 4 1 36 12
(Southeast) 13 13 11 3 1 41 15
Georgia 12 5 2 1 0 20 3
South Carolina 19 6 4 2 0 31 6
North Carolina 22 13 11 1 0 46 13
Virginia 9 2 1 0 0 12 1
Maryland 1 1 0 0 0 2 0
Delaware 2 0 0 0 0 2 0
New Jersey 2 0 0 0 0 2 0
Pennsylvania 1 0 0 0 0 1 0
New York 6 1 5 0 0 12 5
Connecticut 4 3 3 0 0 10 3
Rhode Island 3 2 4 0 0 9 4
Massachusetts 5 2 3 0 0 10 3
New Hampshire 1 1 0 0 0 2 0
Maine 5 1 0 0 0 6 0

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Quoting stormno:
reason why drew didnt play because he hurt himself in the warmups before the game...i wouldnt be surprised to see drew not play sunday in the detriot game...i hope its nothing serious but they are taking it day by day...the saints are in big trouble without drew..Stormno


Possible but the convention of erika could make all the difference.
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Quoting TriniGirl26:
ok 954FtLCane i hear where u are coming from and i agree with you to a point...try and understand where i am coming from as well...(hand shake)...ok guys i am out to lunch...starting to get a hunger headache...laterz

BTW, the CV wave will hit FL... lol gotcha
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ALL Floater Imagery

I'd go and take the Family to Glacier National Park,,cuz at the rate were Losing them,,well they will completely gone by 2035-2040.

Id also check out the Photos from there from the Late 1890s to Now.

Very disturbing trend there.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Quoting CycloneOz:


The comment was on CO2. Good luck with reducing the concentration from 4 to 3 parts per 80,000. LOL!!!!


I know. And it was an absurd comment. You act like "if something is only 4 in 80,000, it can't be harmful". which is absurd.

And again, if you don't understand the difference between CO2 in breath and CO2 from fossil fuels...you cannot possibly understand this debate. If you want to argue your side, you need to have some grasp of the basic science, which you obviously do not.
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Quoting Patrap:


Id beg to differ as the Se. La..down to the Mouth of the river has a Large Percentage of Impacts due to Location..

We consider Fla. our First Barrier Island in Se. Louisiana,..what affects them,,usually affects the Northern GOM,..

"..weak storm Miami,NOLA beware is the Old Sailors ditty.."

Betsy 65,Andrew 92,Katrina 05.


Nice one.
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Without greenhouse gases, Earth's temperature would be 33C lower than it actually is. Life might only exist in a narrow tundra region girdling the equator and around submarine volcanic vents. CO2 is believed to contribute roughly 60% of the warming.
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Quoting Patrap:
The Warming isnt the debate,the Numbers Globally from the Artic,Greenland,,US Glacier Park etc..is occurring,..what the debate is about is the root cause,I dont think the CO2 and Methane and other pollutants we put out 24/7/365 is wiped away every Night by the Co3 and Methane Fairies.



ver see a Clear day In Hong Kong or Mexico City?



LOL,vary rare as Taz would say.



Ever seen what occurring is the Alps,..Greenland ?



And every farmer in the Northern Hemisphere can tell ya summer and spring are coming earlier and Lasting Longer. Even the tropics might have to push back the Start of H season In the Atlantic eventually,..to May 1.



We had our worst Impact by that Storm Memorial weekend in Daytona in Fla,..so I wouldnt willy nilly the Warming,it is occurring.

All the Fodder is on the root cause.
youare right man. i was in the infield at daytona speedway when that rain hit working. i think we should enjoy the calm season now because hurricane seasons in the coming seasons are gonna be brutal
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Quoting iluvjess:
"It has nothing to do with our past, Floridians aaren't more prone to wishcast. I guess what I'm trying to say is that the percentage of wishcasters from a certain area on WU is equal to the percentage of people that are from that given area at one time. So in essence there are more wishcasters from FL because there are more folks on here from FL."

That is about the most naiive comment I have seen in a while. Nobody that pays HomeOwners insurance in Florida wishes a storm to come within a 1000 miles of Florida. The folks that do not know anything about insurance are the ones that make the dumbfounded assumptions. Anyone else that lives in FL or along the GOMEX want to step in and concur here? Pay my HO insurance for a while then call me a wishcaster. LOL



give me your address so i can send you the check..LOL
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Quoting rwdobson:


That's a terrible analogy. Many chemicals are deadly when present in the air at concentrations much less than 4 in 80,000. It really doesn't matter whether it's 4 in 80,000 or 4 in 8,000,000. What matters is: what is the concentration that is high enough to have an effect.



The comment was on CO2. Good luck with reducing the concentration from 4 to 3 parts per 80,000. LOL!!!!
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Quoting Patrap:


Id beg to differ as the Se. La..down to the Mouth of the river has a Large Percentage of Impacts due to Location..

We consider Fla. our First Barrier Island in Se. Louisiana,..what affects them,,usually affects the Northern GOM,..

"..weak storm Miami,NOLA beware is the Old Sailors ditty.."

Betsy 65,Andrew 92,Katrina 05.


whoa whoa whoa, andrew was by no means weak when he hit miami..
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Quoting CycloneOz:


So my human exhaust gasses are a pollutant?

Fine...instead of being offended...I'll just exhaust greater quantities. (Please pass the beans.)



It all depends on how much convention Erika can generate.
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350 ppm in CO2 and others was the Threshold for er,,Uh-Ohh!!

,were at 380 and Climbing..I'd do a lil research Instead of relying on ones er,..Mental View on Warming Globally..
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Quoting Patrap:


Id beg to differ as the Se. La..down to the Mouth of the river has a Large Percentage of Impacts due to Location..

We consider Fla. our First Barrier Island in Se. Louisiana,..what affects them,,usually affects the Northern GOM,..

"..weak storm Miami,NOLA beware is the Old Sailors ditty.."

Betsy 65,Andrew 92,Katrina 05.


I knew you'd bust me on something (lol)...we don't mean to send to you, but...
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Quoting Patrap:
The Warming isnt the debate,the Numbers Globally from the Artic,Greenland,,US Glacier Park etc..is occurring,..what the debate is about is the root cause,I dont think the CO2 and Methane and other pollutants we put out 24/7/365 is wiped away every Night by the Co3 and Methane Fairies.


So my human exhaust gasses are a pollutant?

Fine...instead of being offended...I'll just exhaust greater quantities. (Please pass the beans.)

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Quoting rwdobson:


That's a terrible analogy. Many chemicals are deadly when present in the air at concentrations much less than 4 in 80,000. It really doesn't matter whether it's 4 in 80,000 or 4 in 8,000,000. What matters is: what is the concentration that is high enough to have an effect.

And as for the "breathing" part, well, if you don't understand the difference between CO2 from breath and CO2 from fossil fuel combustion...you need to crack open a few books before you can even be part of the debate.


I guess the question should be, What are we going to do about it? Global warming is occurring, while the cause is somewhat unclear, we shouldnt fight about that. we should work together and come up with a solution.
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
"It has nothing to do with our past, Floridians aaren't more prone to wishcast. I guess what I'm trying to say is that the percentage of wishcasters from a certain area on WU is equal to the percentage of people that are from that given area at one time. So in essence there are more wishcasters from FL because there are more folks on here from FL."

That is about the most naiive comment I have seen in a while. Nobody that pays HomeOwners insurance in Florida wishes a storm to come within a 1000 miles of Florida. The folks that do not know anything about insurance are the ones that make the dumbfounded assumptions. Anyone else that lives in FL or along the GOMEX want to step in and concur here? Pay my HO insurance for a while then call me a wishcaster. LOL

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If Drew Brees had just played one quarter last night, all you Dolphin fans would be crying this morning instead of bragging.
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"where is my nose,where is my nose????"
Michael Jackson,
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Quoting mikatnight:


One should also note that Florida gets the most US hits (by far).


Id beg to differ as the Se. La..down to the Mouth of the river has a Large Percentage of Impacts due to Location..

We consider Fla. our First Barrier Island in Se. Louisiana,..what affects them,,usually affects the Northern GOM,..

"..weak storm Miami,NOLA beware is the Old Sailors ditty.."

Betsy 65,Andrew 92,Katrina 05.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
ok 954FtLCane i hear where u are coming from and i agree with you to a point...try and understand where i am coming from as well...(hand shake)...ok guys i am out to lunch...starting to get a hunger headache...laterz
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Quoting CycloneOz:


Analogy Of The Day:

Let's compare the Earth's atmospheric gasses with a football stadium that holds 80,000 people.

The total concentration of CO2 in the Earth's atmosphere, when a ratio is applied to make that gas fit into the stadium would equate to CO2 taking up 4 seats.

4 seats out of 80,000. That's how small a concentration CO2 is in our atmosphere...and IT'S REQUIRED TO BE THERE...or plant life would die.

When I breathe out, it's CO2. I guess I need to stop breathing, huh?


That's a terrible analogy. Many chemicals are deadly when present in the air at concentrations much less than 4 in 80,000. It really doesn't matter whether it's 4 in 80,000 or 4 in 8,000,000. What matters is: what is the concentration that is high enough to have an effect.

And as for the "breathing" part, well, if you don't understand the difference between CO2 from breath and CO2 from fossil fuel combustion...you need to crack open a few books before you can even be part of the debate.
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U/L winds mostly west in N. GOMEX ..surface winds E-SE...along with old frontal boundary
causing uplift and tstms south of Ms/AL border
and east of LA.
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Quoting CycloneOz:


Analogy Of The Day:

Let's compare the Earth's atmospheric gasses with a football stadium that holds 80,000 people.

The total concentration of CO2 in the Earth's atmosphere, when a ratio is applied to make that gas fit into the stadium would equate to CO2 taking up 4 seats.

4 seats out of 80,000. That's how small a concentration CO2 is in our atmosphere...and IT'S REQUIRED TO BE THERE...or plant life would die.

When I breathe out, it's CO2. I guess I need to stop breathing, huh?


The problem with that analogy is that if the atmosphere were normal for say, 200 years ago, the CO2 would be less one half of one seat...the ushers are slow and for the seats taken by CO2 to increase to 4 should really take about 1000 years...
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Quoting mikatnight:


We all have our heroes...


Mimi.p..Mimi...p..VROEeeeeeeemmmmmmmm
coyoté,
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Anyone,

Bear with me, this is a long one, but my question/observation is based on several years of using this website and following the comments in this blog, and is based on (to me) unusual observation:

I have been following tropical weather patterns during the hurricane season for several years now and am seeing something that appears not to be the norm.

Normally (to me) when I see tropical disturbances forming south of the Cape Verde Islands area (somewhere in the 10-15N degree latitude zone this time of year, this means real trouble. The system will often stay low in the latitudes and will either pass to the south of the Antilles/Hispanolia area, hit the west side of Cuba and then pull up into the Gulf where all hell breaks loose.

That looked like the scenario for Ericka; however, it runs into this real serious set of winds coming out of the Southwest which just shut Ericka down, period.

Now looking at the Infrared Animation for the Western Caribbean/Western Atlantic area, there is the very large area of convection which appears to be spinning off these strong winds and is located over Colombia, moving (it appears) into the Pacific side of the Central American land mass.

I don't ever remember seeing anything like this happen before (a potential deadly Tropical System - Ericka) killed by winds coming out of the southwest from a system located in extreme NW South America that is moving towards the Pacific Ocean during the "Prime Time" of the hurricane season between the last week of August and first week of September.

My question, is this a very unusual occurance or just one happens often (the southwesterly winds of high magnitude during the peak of hurricane season) or just one of those dumb luck things that kept a interesting tropical system from becoming a bad one in the Gulf of Mexico?

Sorry for the length, but things are a little quiet now until perhaps that new disturbance that came of Africa in the last 36 hours starts to develop and define a path towards the America's, so for some of you (StormW, Patrap, Drak, Keeper, Dr. Masters, etc) and others that have historical knowledge of these things, could you weigh in on this observation I have made and comment on its uniqueness or my perhaps my ignorance of not paying more attention to developing weather patterns over the north part of South America and the effect they have on tropical systems during hurricane season - Thank You
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About

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