EPA rules greenhouse gases threaten public health; winter storm pounds U.S.

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:03 PM GMT on December 08, 2009

Share this Blog
3
+

In a press release yesterday the EPA announced: "After a thorough examination of the scientific evidence and careful consideration of public comments, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that greenhouse gases (GHGs) threaten the public health and welfare of the American people. The ruling comes in response to the 2007 U.S. Supreme Court decision that GHGs fit within the Clean Air Act definition of air pollutants, and paves the way for the EPA to regulate CO2 as a pollutant. In the event Congress does not pass legislation to limit greenhouse gas emissions, the EPA now has the power to do that on its own. In the words of the press release, "President Obama and Administrator Jackson have publicly stated that they support a legislative solution to the problem of climate change and Congress. efforts to pass comprehensive climate legislation. However, climate change is threatening public health and welfare, and it is critical that EPA fulfill its obligation to respond to the 2007 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that determined that greenhouse gases fit within the Clean Air Act definition of air pollutants." The first EPA rule to limit CO2 would likely affect cars and light-duty trucks. Over 23% of U.S. greenhouse gases emissions are caused by on-road vehicles. Rules drafted on September 15, 2009, if imposed, would require vehicles sold between 2012 - 2016 to average 35.5 MPG.

Release of hacked emails had "organization and orchestration", UEA official says
Prof Trevor Davies, pro-vice chancellor at the University of East Angelina where the "climategate" hacked email controversy began, said in an interview yesterday: "A lot of people have remarked that it seems an unlikely co-incidence that this happened just before Copenhagen. There are indications that the people who stole this data and documents have had them for some time. They have clearly had the chance to go through them and we have had to check them ourselves. I think from the way that this has mushroomed and the very rapid responses on various blog sites, it seems to me that it has some organization and orchestration".

Meanwhile, in the U.S., the FBI is investigating death threats made against two U.S. climate scientists involved in the emails. Clearly, meteorologists involved in tornado and hurricane chasing are risking their lives in the cause of science, but who would have thought that meteorologists sitting behind a computer crunching numbers would be risking their lives? Crazy life!.

Other posts on the hacked climate change email affair
Don't shoot the messenger
Embattled UK climate scientist steps down
The Manufactured Doubt industry and the hacked email controversy
Is more CO2 beneficial for Earth's ecosystems?

Ricky Rood in Copenhagen
Our Climate Change expert, Dr. Ricky Rood, is in Copenhagen for the COP15 climate change summit. His post on the "climategate" affair is one of the more intelligent and diplomatic commentaries I've seen.

Major winter storm blasts the Plains and Western U.S.
Meanwhile, back in North America, it is winter. The season's first widespread heavy snow event is here, with a fierce winter storm that is the pounding the west. The storm will dump heavy snow along a wide swath across a large region of the country, from California to Michigan. The storm brought blizzard conditions and a foot of snow to northern Arizona today. Fierce thunderstorms with winds gusts up to 74 mph hit the Phoenix region, causing widespread tree damage and power outages for 250,000 people. California's Sierra Mountains recorded over 3 feet of snow, and 1 - 3 feet of snow is expected in the mountains of southern Utah and in Colorado. Up to a foot of snow is expected tonight through Wednesday across Kansas, Iowa, southern Minnesota, and southern Wisconsin, with blizzard conditions likely in Iowa.

Some snow amounts from the storm so far (with distances in miles from the city included, where appropriate):

...CALIFORNIA...
ALPINE MEADOWS 42.0
KIRKWOOD 40.0
CISCO 5 ENE 35.0
KINGVALE 1.3 WSW 29.0
HOMEWOOD 2 SE 27.0
PROSSER CREEK RESERVOIR 24.0
FAIR PLAY 2.8 ESE 17.0
PLACERVILLE 2.9 WNW 13.0
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE 13.0
VOLCANO 5.4 NE 12.5
GRASS VALLEY 5.5 ESE 11.5
COLFAX 3.1 SW 11.0
ALTA SIERRA 0.4 WSW 10.0
SUSANVILLE 3.2 SSW 8.8
LAKE OF THE PINES 8.0
NEVADA CITY 5.4 W 5.2
FOLSOM 3.4 ESE 0.5
CARMICHAEL 1.4 W 0.3
SACRAMENTO 8.0 NE 0.1

...NEVADA...
HEAVENLY VALLEY 24.0
MT ROSE SKI AREA 23.0
CARSON CITY 1.3 NW 18.0
DAYTON 1.7 SW 13.0
RENO 7.1 N 12.0

...ARIZONA...
FLAGSTAFF 11.6
WILLIAMS 8.0
BELLEMONT 7.2
GRAND CANYON ARPT 3.0

...COLORADO...
DELTA 10.2

...UTAH...
VERDURE 8 WNW 25.0

Next post
My next post will be Wednesday.

Jeff Masters

Ice Bells (thomasanthony)
Ice Bells
Star on ice (Olbetsy)
Star on ice

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 198 - 148

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15Blog Index

Quoting AwakeInMaryland:

USPS flat rate boxes, too. Hey, someone's gotta' give the post office it's props; if they stop Saturday service, our Netflix schedule will be totally screwed.

See ya, BBL.


I'm not giving any props to that socialist organization! Hail Fedex and UPS!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting atmoaggie:

So, 5 parts per thousand, or 5000 parts per million isn't so good for those unused to such concentrations.

( 0.005 X 1 M = 5000 )
I imagine
1000 ppm happens all the time being stuck in traffic. CO2 levels are not as constant as one thinks.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
186.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
"Ever consider what happens to the storage device that is used with those isotopes. 25,000 years is an awfully long time and it is almost impossible to predict what will happen over such an incredibly long time. "

And how can we develop warning signage that will be understandable even 5,000 years from now?

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
194. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Mauritius Meteorological Services
Tropical Cyclone Advisory Number TWELVE
CYCLONE TROPICAL INTENSE CLEO (06-20092010)
22:00 PM Réunion December 8 2009
=========================================

At 18:00 PM UTC, Intense Tropical Cyclone Cleo (937 hPa) located at 11.3S 75.0E has 10 minute sustained winds of 105 knots with gusts of 150 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west-southwest at 7 knots.

RMSC Dvorak Intensity: T5.0/6.0

Hurricane Force Winds
======================
20 NM from the center

Storm Force Winds
===============
40 NM from the center

Gale-Force Winds
=================
60 NM from the center extending up to 90 NM in the southern semi-circle

Near Gale-Force Winds
=====================
90 NM from the center extending up to 150 NM in the southern semi-circle

Forecast and Intensity
========================
12 HRS: 12.0S 73.1E - 85 knots (Cyclone Tropical)
24 HRS: 12.6S 71.3E - 75 knots (Cyclone Tropical)
48 HRS: 13.6S 68.4E - 55 knots (Forte Tempéte Tropicale)
72 HRS: 14.4S 65.6E - 50 knots (Forte Tempéte Tropicale)

Additional Information
======================

Satellite data shows that CLEO is on a weakening trend. At 1430z, cloud pattern has shifted from 'eye' to 'embedded center'. However, over the very last pictures, and 'eye pattern' seems to appear again. Mean DT over 3 hours (small system) gives T5.0.

According to CIMSS data, east northeasterly wind shear has strengthen a bit since 0900z as it is higher than 10 knots since 1200z. This constraint can also be seen over water vapor imagery. Analysis of latest available Numerical Weather Prediction products shows that this unfavorable element could strengthen Thursday. Consequently, weakening trend has been push up a little bit for this package.

The system tracks west southwestward on the northwestern edge of a subtropical ridge located in the southeast. Available Numerical Weather Prediction remains in good agreement for the next 24-48 hours but show some disagreement thereafter. The present forecast is based on a blend between the previous forecast and the middle of all available guidance. It is a bit northward than previously estimated.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


Aber ohne den Musik!


Grothar! You old hound-dog, how’s it going? Still trampling all over Europe? My first day back on the blog in…forever. Hope all’s well my friend…
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
thanks junky...

:)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting pearlandaggie:
178. oh, my...does the frozen precip get close to Houston?

540 thickness College Station, 850 mb 0C College Station---yes close.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
atmo...it only takes time and money...and an indulgent spouse helps...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
"I rest my case."

Without bothering to attempt to make one, apparently.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting presslord:
speaking of Taco Bell...this is mine...it was once used in a Taco bell TV commercial...this is relevant to nothing...except that I'm sure it is a mighty polluter...
Link

Good timing. Currently looking at a couple of 1952 Hudson Hornets that need a lot of work. Going to fix one up...someday (you know, that magical someday time).
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting NRAamy:
And Hansen came out against cap-and-trade

Yeah, but he also came out with "Mmmm-bop"...which should be a crime punishable by death...or atleast being sent to France for life...


THAT was funny! LOL!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Maat:
Press, that's an awesome truck and a awesome color too.


Thanks!! My cousin hauled it to California several years ago...where he pimps it out for TV work...this was the result of a compromise with my wife...who wanted me to sell it...after learning that I was cruising around Folly Beach one Saturday with my business partner...and the back filled with drunken, bikini clad coeds...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Very interesting read in Forbes



The Fiction Of Climate Science -
Gary Sutton


which, again, using Wunderground Link button routs to Jeff's blog - yeesh!

http://www.forbes.com/2009/12/03/climate-science-gore-intelligent-technology-sutton.html?utm_medium =twitter&utm_source=drudgefeed

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AGWcreationists:
"Are you sure your handle shouldn't be AntiGWPropagandist?"

I was pointing out the relative absurdity of the EPA's 'reasoning', within the intent of the law they are using to try and regulate CO2. CO2 is not a toxic chemical such as sulfur dioxide. And warming historically has been beneficial to humanity, and cooling detrimental.

And my handle derives from my observation debating both AGW proponents and Young Earth creationists - both start with a premise and then shoehorn the data to fit their beliefs.

Prime example:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/08/the-smoking-gun-at-darwin-zero/

What on earth justifies that adjustment? How can they do that? We have five different records covering Darwin from 1941 on. They all agree almost exactly. Why adjust them at all? They’ve just added a huge artificial totally imaginary trend to the last half of the raw data! Now it looks like the IPCC diagram in Figure 1, all right … but a six degree per century trend? And in the shape of a regular stepped pyramid climbing to heaven? What’s up with that?

Those, dear friends, are the clumsy fingerprints of someone messing with the data Egyptian style … they are indisputable evidence that the “homogenized” data has been changed to fit someone’s preconceptions about whether the earth is warming.


I rest my case.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Grothar!!!!!

:)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


Aber ohne den Musik!


wir hatten Weihnachtsmusik gestern Abend!
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8300
178. oh, my...does the frozen precip get close to Houston?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Ahhh...ECMWF threatens more frozen precipitation for Texas (Austin/College Station) next Tuesday.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Buhdog:
It's obvious how much the good doc cares about climate change with all of his in game commentary. I am impressed on how he answers direct questions as well. I must admit that i wish Doc did it more during storms to clear up confusion in here when things are popping. I just feel pooped out on the gw debate....it's like nails on a chalkboard to me at this point. If you could pop in during tropical season with some armchair QB'ing that would be great!


Definitely, his commentary is very helpful.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting tornadodude:
good afternoon all,

still the "debate" is on going,

ich fange an, zu glauben, daß dieses blog schlechter als eine mosh Grube ist


Aber ohne den Musik!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting jpritch:
CO2 only becomes toxic at, what, four parts per hundred? We currently measure atmospheric concentrations in parts per million.

Actually, physiologic effects of CO2 start at a pretty low threshold. Most people are not very comfortable even at 1000 PPM. That's when symptoms like drowsiness, headaches, impaired circulation and hearing, and the like first start to be evident. People vary in sensitivity a bit, but by 1 percent you'd be hard pressed to find anyone unused to high CO2 levels who wasn't experiencing some unpleasant effects.

Over time, even small elevations of CO2 cause changes in blood chemistry and reduced muscle strength. The blood gets more acidic. Calcium deposits build up in muscle tissue. Those effects are easily measurable with long-term exposures around .5 percent, which is probably why that's the OSHA cutoff.

So, 5 parts per thousand, or 5000 parts per million isn't so good for those unused to such concentrations.

( 0.005 X 1 M = 5000 )
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting HurricaneNewbie:
I think it about even as far as the technological explosion of information. Only difference is that at that time the PC was just begining to take off. The massive equations were done with a pencil and a calculator. My son will never understand a world where doing things in your head was commonplace. My hat is off to those that used a slide rule.
Yeah, what happened to the good ole days when you had to show your work per the equation? If I had been allowed to use a calculator back then I would have caught a lot more fish instead of all that homework.:)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
speaking of Taco Bell...this is mine...it was once used in a Taco bell TV commercial...this is relevant to nothing...except that I'm sure it is a mighty polluter...
Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting JeffMasters:


Well, these are good points. However, I don't think we can ramp up renewables fast enough, and nuclear should be given a chance to compete against solar and other renewables with the playing field leveled--by repealing the Price-Anderson Act, which essentially gives free disaster insurance to the nuclear industry. If we remove that act, and nuclear can make energy cheaper than renewables, I think we should go for it (and still ramp up renewables). Of course, if I lived near Chernobyl, I might think differently. Like I said, I'm not a policy expert, and I'm sure many of you have more informed opinions about energy solutions.

Jeff Masters

Nuclear power should be utilized; but, there should be an ironclad agreement that when the renewables are moving into place, whatever they may turn out to be, the nuclear plants will be de-commissioned in some sort of proportion to the renewables.

I believe that the half life of most of the isotopes used or created in the standard nuclear reactor is more like 25,000 years. The biggest problem is how to store the materials once they are removed. Ever consider what happens to the storage device that is used with those isotopes. 25,000 years is an awfully long time and it is almost impossible to predict what will happen over such an incredibly long time. Will we even be living on this planet or will we have gone to the stars?

If it takes 25 years to develop and deploy alternate energy sources and we use nuclear power in the mean time...so what. When compared to 25,000 years of half life, 25 years is not even a drop in the bucket.

Either that or destroy our resources and our source of income so to speak...the very planet on which we all live.

BTW....Chernobyl was a completely different type of reactor compared to those here in the US. The type of failure that Chernobyl experienced is highly unlikely with our type of reactor. We have failures, that is true, only ours are not nearly as explosive.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting atmoaggie:

"Larry Acker is a former minor league baseball pitcher who played from 1980 to 1988 in the Pittsburgh Pirates, Houston Astros, Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Royals systems."

http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Larry_Acker

???


Different Larry Acker :P LOL

http://www.3fforecasts.com/


this guy, someone asked me about him earlier
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8300
mmm bop rocked! I don't care if my WU reputation is ruined. (is that even possible)

Trying to get my kids some snow for xmas in Dayton Ohio in a bout 12 days....anyone want to take a stab at a forecast? Will they see it for the first time?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting HurricaneNewbie:
Never underestimate the eduction of the A/C guy. He charges you $85 an hour to change the filter when you forget too and freeze up your unit.


no, no...please don't misunderstand my comment. i wasn't knocking the A/C guy's education, but rather lamenting the relatively poor pay i get for my edumacation :) i actually considered getting a license and starting my own HVAC business...that was until i read about all the government regulation involved...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
CO2 only becomes toxic at, what, four parts per hundred? We currently measure atmospheric concentrations in parts per million.

Actually, physiologic effects of CO2 start at a pretty low threshold. Most people are not very comfortable even at 1000 PPM. That's when symptoms like drowsiness, headaches, impaired circulation and hearing, and the like first start to be evident. People vary in sensitivity a bit, but by 1 percent you'd be hard pressed to find anyone unused to high CO2 levels who wasn't experiencing some unpleasant effects.

Over time, even small elevations of CO2 cause changes in blood chemistry and reduced muscle strength. The blood gets more acidic. Calcium deposits build up in muscle tissue. Those effects are easily measurable with long-term exposures around .5 percent, which is probably why that's the OSHA cutoff.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Tdude...I've been singing "Swiss Colony Beef Log" by Cartman in my head...that's how I'm doing....

;)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting tornadodude:
Does anyone have information on Larry Acker?

"Larry Acker is a former minor league baseball pitcher who played from 1980 to 1988 in the Pittsburgh Pirates, Houston Astros, Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Royals systems."

http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Larry_Acker

???
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting NRAamy:
hey Tdude....



hey how are you?
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8300
Quoting hydrus:
Have you seen the show? I only mentioned it in passing. I saw your post and thought you would find it interesting. There is nothing simple about the C02 greenhouse effect, if it were simple, there would be a lot less bantering on Dr Masters blog, and little more desk space for politicians.

I caught most of it some time ago when it aired...you are talking about a couple of years ago, right?
(Unless there has been a newer one...)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Does anyone have information on Larry Acker?
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8300
hey Tdude....

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AGWcreationists:
"What's wrong with Taco Bell?"

The potentcy of methane as a global warming gas...one Chalupa equals the warming from two Ford Expeditions...


Now thats funny. I don't care who you are.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
good afternoon all,

still the "debate" is on going,

ich fange an, zu glauben, daß dieses blog schlechter als eine mosh Grube ist
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8300
"What's wrong with Taco Bell?"

The potentcy of methane as a global warming gas...one Chalupa equals the warming from two Ford Expeditions...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting atmoaggie:

And, it doesn't cover (to my knowledge) what effect that phenomenon has had on surface temp measurements nor Arctic sea ice, which clouds our ability to quantitatively attribute changes/trends to CO2 longwave absorption/emission.

I though someone earlier said the CO2 greenhouse effect was simple? While the function is simple, if considered devoid of any other factors, it's relative contribution couldn't be further from simple.
Have you seen the show? I only mentioned it in passing. I saw your post and thought you would find it interesting. There is nothing simple about the C02 greenhouse effect, if it were simple, there would be a lot less bantering on Dr Masters blog, and little more desk space for politicians.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting atmoaggie:

That would be a WUnderful use of the off-season in here.
I would much rather the GW/CC stuff be relegated to Rood's blog...


Yeah, we do click on Tropical/Hurricane to read about GW.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting txag91met:

Actually during days when wind is light the CO2 will concentrate just above the ground surface.

Isn't that more likely going to happen at night when:
1. photosynthesis pauses
2. winds are far more likely to be calm\
?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Maat:


This going to sound strange but so did I in Orlando in 1991. Were we on the same set?


Mine was back in 1988!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting minorLeague:
Long-time lurker.

AGW debate is like a train wreck to me. I hate to keep looking at the posts, but I can't help myself.

I'd love to see a brief series of posts from Dr M on "tropical weather for dummies." I follow a lot of the elements of the tropical weather discussions, but I haven't seen it all put together, especially the elements to watch for in system development. Anyone else interested? Any of you experienced posters have suggestions on best resources?


That would be a WUnderful use of the off-season in here.
I would much rather the GW/CC stuff be relegated to Rood's blog...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 198 - 148

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15Blog Index

Top of Page

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.

Local Weather

Overcast
71 °F
Overcast