Global warming unthaws warrior mermaids and mermen frozen during last ice age

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:49 PM GMT on April 01, 2010

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Global warming has unthawed an entire race of warrior mermen and mermaids in the Arctic, scientists revealed today. At a packed press conference in Boulder, Colorado, Dr. Mark Xyzzy of the National Institute for Cryosphere Exploration and Tertiary Research on Yetis (NICETRY) revealed the details of the discovery: "We've been operating robot research submarines under the sea ice in the Chukchi Sea north of Barrow, Alaska this winter, as part of International Geophysical Year studies on the dynamics of arctic sea ice loss," commented Dr. Xyzzy. "Last week, one of our submersibles caught a remarkable video of a warrior mermaid, armed with a trident, riding past the submarine on the back of a narwhal. We were able to track the mermaid to her home--an underwater merfolk city at the bottom of the Chukchi Sea. The city had been thawed out in 2005 by warm water currents invading the Arctic due to global warming. These mermaids and mermen had been frozen into the underwater permafrost since the onset of the last ice age, 115,000 years ago. We undertook immediate efforts to establish communications with the merfolk, by sending in divers with underwater writing boards who were able to work out a simple symbol-based language. We learned that the Chukchi Sea merfolk are at war with a tribe of rival merfolk in the Greenland Sea. The two tribes have been fighting a heated underwater battle for dominance of the Arctic Ocean ever since global warming thawed out both tribes in 2005. It is the explosions from their undersea battles that have been the dominant cause of arctic sea ice loss since 2005, not global warming, as had been previously assumed. A team of experienced United Nations negotiators is now in the Arctic, attempting to broker a truce between the rivals and save the arctic sea ice from further destruction."


Figure 1. Merfolk negotiator Urgok Nzgradborkan and an exhausted U.N. diplomat take a break after a grueling all-night round of peace talks.

Critics of climate change science immediately pounced upon the news to unleash a new barrage of criticism against the National Intergovernmental and Territorial Panel to Investigate Climate Change (NITPICC). "The computer climate models used by the NITPICC utterly failed to anticipate the record loss of arctic sea ice due to underwater explosions from merfolk battles," commented spokesman Markoff Chaney of the Very Competitive Free Enterprise Institute. The Institute maintains of staff of top-notch scientists who swear that their funding from the fossil fuel industry does not affect the objectivity of their science. "This new "mermaid-gate" scandal proves that we can't trust climate models to say diddly-squat that's right about global warming, nah-nah-na-nah-nah!" taunted Chaney.

The head of NITPICC, Dr. R. J. Donteventrytopronouncemylastname, conceded that his organization had some work to do. "We're working very hard to incorporate the effect of underwater explosions from merfolk sea battles into the NITPICC models," said Dr. Donteventrytopronouncemylastname. "We've also begun to explore the impacts on sea ice should other denizens of the Arctic unthaw. For instance, the possibility exists that plesiosaurs from the time of the dinosaurs may be frozen in the underwater arctic permafrost. Should global warming thaw out these great leviathans of the deep, the turbulence from their swimming motions could cause significant cracking and breakup of the sea ice. We now have a new plesiosaur parameterization module built into our top models to account for this possibility."

Dr. Xyzzy of NICETRY commented, "I applaud NITPICC's efforts to incorporate their Underwater Merfolk Battle Module and Plesiosaur Parameterization Module into the climate models. However, I caution that they might also need to build modules to simulate the effects of astrology, thermography, ice-nine, and the warming effect of hot air coming out of Washington politicians, before critics of the NITPICC models will be satisfied."

April Fools!

Internet radio appearance today
I'll be appearing with San Francisco-based wunderground meteorologists Shaun Tanner and Tim Roche on The Daily Downpour Internet radio show at 4:20 pm EDT today, to talk about weather, hurricanes, and climate change. There will not be the opportunity to call in today. No foolin'!

Jeff Masters

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Quoting SevereHurricane:


You should try trade winds...
But aren't TW anomalies dependent on pressure anomalies?

I asked my folks, and my mom says they used to look at spring tides and so on. Higher than average tides mean it was likely to be busier than normal. She says they also associated dry springs with rainy / stormy hurricane seasons. My dad says they also paid a lot of attention to changes in the skies. I guess none of this is really surprising in a seafaring pple whose livelihood at least partially depended on what they could harvest from the sea. Both my grandfather on one side and my greatgrandfather on the other were sailing sloop captains in the 1920s to 1940s, and they would not have had access to radio, radar or other modern devices. Even a barometer would have been considered a sophisticated and expensive tool in those relatively impoverished times.
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Quoting SevereHurricane:


You should try trade winds...


Checked....absolutely no correlation with Caribbean hurricane activity. It's random. In fact every year since 2004 has seen faster-than-normal trade winds in the western Caribbean from December to March, with the exception of 2005 which had slow trades in March, but fast trades before that.

Of course this is all without knowing about the mangos. I'd like to know what they did in every year since 2004, except Stormwatcher said Ivan in 2004 wiped away the fruit for a while. But, years like 2006 should have seen less fruit, and years like 2004, 2005, and 2007 should have seen more.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
Thanks in part to Weather Underground and comments on this blog... my garden this year is a knockout.

Since there is levity in the air today (rather than the AG* word; any time arguments break out I will post on efficiency!) I will give examples of how this site really has helped over the years of lurking and looking at the comments.

Above all it helped to prevent a disasterous evacuation during Rita. While a computational fluid dynamics geek myself I have to admit that I can do nothing myself and have to rely on the comments of others; I was holding off to the last minute anyway (but if it were a 5 headed to Houston I would have been out of there eventually) but it became fairly clear that it was headed towards the stateline quite a ways in advance. Of course the National Weather Service didn't tell anybody this and the day of landfall I got a panicked call from my mother wondering why I was still in Houston with my family (we are at 53 feet.... no flooding danger) and it is like, "Mom, this thing ain't headed towards Houston." Once again, folks at my elevation are not in the evacuation zone but nobody wants to stay around for a cat 5, especially with young kids.

Another real useful product for me has been the degreedays.net site. Hey, in the process of getting 55% better energy use (with the exception of solar, which INCREASED my carbon footprint since the backup was both inefficient AND seriously against code as I learned later) one does a lot one spends a lot of time graphing AC and heating use.

Here was the latest application. Obviously in Houston one likes to plant as early as possible, but this year we had a cold year (although I don't think any records were broken, except for earliest snow). I kept monitoring long range forecasts and went for it in early February with a new bed with about 100 new Texas Native type bushes (have about 300 total). A light freeze is fine but heavies like the early January one would have been a killer. Also got a bit lucky; on the weekend of the extreme cold in January went by the nursery to discuss design of the project and what could go where (knew that nobody would be there) and got 4 trays of free plants that he was getting rid of owing to looks. They all survived planting that weekend without any potting soil; straight into the newly dug Houston gumbo. Turned out they were all red, lavender, and white dyanthis and snapdragons (didn't know the color). And further luck, I am using red mulch and trim because of the solar reflectivity. So everything magically matched.

Wow.

And folks are just beginning to plant :)
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Quoting hydrus:
I have witnessed that a few times myself Storm. They instinctively know when trouble is brewing.


Yes, definitely a scary sight to see a bunch of squirrels with passports in their paws running around. LOL (Only joking) I have witnesssed the same.
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Quoting Levi32:
Aww...hit a snag. 2004 was obviously a busy Caribbean year near the Caymans but March-April Sea-level Pressure Anomalies were positive. I'd try May anomalies next but that's after mango blossoming season. I can't think of anything else Meteorologically that might affect or set off the plants.

2004 March-April sea-level pressure anomalies:



You should try trade winds...
Member Since: September 7, 2008 Posts: 17 Comments: 1604
Quoting StormW:
Animals do sense weather changes. I was stationed on a Cutter in Portsmouth, VA. back in 1993. Hurricane Emily was heading for us. The evening before watches and warnings went up, it was an eerie quiet. Usually, there were squirrels running around and climbing trees. There were normally birds chattering and flying around. That night, there was quiet. There was not one squirrel to be found, nor were there any birds flying around, not even any chirpping...it was dead quiet.
I have witnessed that a few times myself Storm. They instinctively know when trouble is brewing.
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Quoting Levi32:


Yeah, but wouldn't it be so cool if we made a collection of all those tales, then made a checklist for every year to see how well it verifies? I bet we could find some very intriguing stuff to go on. I really want to find a way to do that sometime, but I wouldn't know where to find all the old wives tales. Maybe I should make a blog for people to post the ones they hear about in their communities.


Not a bad idea. Could provide someone with some material for their thesis. Could prove interesting.
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352. auburn (Mod)
sorry guys...Didn't mean to bust in on ya all...but I just couldn't believe what I was hearing that guy say...yall have at it...Auburn Out!!!
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Aww...hit a snag. 2004 was obviously a busy Caribbean year near the Caymans (and Florida...) but March-April sea-level pressure anomalies were positive. I'd try May anomalies next but that's after mango blossoming season. I can't think of anything else Meteorologically that might affect or set off the plants.

2004 March-April sea-level pressure anomalies:

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
350. xcool
hi all
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Maybe that thing about the "calm before the storm" doesn't refer only to the winds....
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Quoting auburn:


Me too and in his face..I bet I wouldnt be able to hold back!!!
Now Guam does get slammed by some vicious typhoons. But not even a Cat-5 can flip it over. ;)
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Quoting Grothar:


I have no idea if I were to lend any credibility to the theory. However, it was one of the signs the old Floridians used as an indication of an active season. The other was when the banana shoots began to appear more that usual. Also, when there was no rain in the month of May in South Florida, the old Floridians always looked out for a storm that season. No way of knowing if any of it were true, just relating old-wive's tales.


Yeah, but wouldn't it be so cool if we made a collection of all those tales, then made a checklist for every year to see how well it verifies? I bet we could find some very intriguing stuff to go on. I really want to find a way to do that sometime, but I wouldn't know where to find all the old wives tales. Maybe I should make a blog for people to post the ones they hear about in their communities.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
Quoting Grothar:


The mango trees were loaded with a bumper crop, as they will be this year. The mango trees in our area are the fullest I have seen in years. Ask anyone who lives in S. Fla if they have noticed.
This sounds entirely possible. I remember going to NOLA two weekends before Katrina hit, but I remember very little about the mango season... lol
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Quoting Levi32:


Well that's dang scary....if there's any credibility at all to the mango theory.


I have no idea if I were to lend any credibility to the theory. However, it was one of the signs the old Floridians used as an indication of an active season. The other was when the banana shoots began to appear more that usual. Also, when there was no rain in the month of May in South Florida, the old Floridians always looked out for a storm that season. No way of knowing if any of it were true, just relating old-wive's tales.
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Continuing to test this theory....

March-April sea-level pressure anomalies for 2006, a non-season for the Caribbean:



March-April sea-level pressure anomalies for 2007, when Dean and Felix came through:




Sorta half 'n half on 2007....not sure what to think.

Again I don't know what the mangoes were doing.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
342. auburn (Mod)
Quoting hydrus:
I bet he laughed a little after he split. I would have been in tears.lol


Me too and in his face..I bet I wouldnt be able to hold back!!!
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Quoting SevereHurricane:


That's something else too. The Parrots haven't really made a comeback since Katrina impacted SE LA.
If I was a parrot I would,nt comeback after Katrina either.
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Quoting Grothar:


The mango trees were loaded with a bumper crop, as they will be this year. The mango trees in our area are the fullest I have seen in years. Ask anyone who lives in S. Fla if they have noticed.


Well that's dang scary....if there's any credibility at all to the mango theory.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
Quoting auburn:


You have to hand it to the Admiral for not busting out in laughter though...
I bet he laughed a little after he split. I would have been in tears.lol
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Hmm. I don't remember what the mangos did that year..... I admit I have been paying more attention since the doc posted the turtles thing....


The mango trees were loaded with a bumper crop, as they will be this year. The mango trees in our area are the fullest I have seen in years. Ask anyone who lives in S. Fla if they have noticed.
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I think the indigeneous fauna fares better in some ways than we might expect. After all, they've likely adapted to landfalling 'canes as part of the natural order of things.... insects like mosquitos and wasps may have a harder time in heavy winds, though I have a feeling they have their own protective measures.
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335. auburn (Mod)
Quoting Grothar:


I don't know what is so funny. After all, I heard that all the islands in the Pacific are already surrounded by water. LOL (Great video)


LOL
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
2005 we had NO fruit of any kind as Ivan severely destroyed our trees in 2004. They took a couple years to mature enough to begin to bear again.


Wow. Well...I guess there's no way to know what they would have done then. That's too bad.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
I think the worst thing about the wildlife here would be losing the parrots as the ones we have here are native only to the Cayman Islands as are the blue iguanas. Hopefully they will both be okay if we have a very active season although we were affected by several hurricanes in 2005 and 2008 the wildlife was not as badly damaged as it was after Ivan.


That's something else too. The Parrots haven't really made a comeback since Katrina impacted SE LA.
Member Since: September 7, 2008 Posts: 17 Comments: 1604
Quoting Levi32:


Except 2005 doesn't make sense....but I don't know what the mangoes were doing in 2005. Maybe someone knows.

Dec-Feb 2004-2005 Sea-level Pressure Anomalies:



However, that 2005 map is heavily weighted positive because of December and January. February dropped down to near normal and March and April went below normal. March and April of 2009 were both positive just like Dec-Feb. In that case the air pressure hypothesis still works, assuming mangoes were going bonkers in 2005 similarly to this year in the Caribbean. Taking into account things from a little further along in the preseason makes more sense too, and Baha did say the blossoming season is more around the end of March.

March-April 2005 Sea-level Pressure Anomalies:



Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
Quoting Levi32:


Except 2005 doesn't make sense....but I don't know what the mangoes were doing in 2005. Maybe someone knows.

Dec-Feb 2004-2005 Sea-level Pressure Anomalies:

2005 we had NO fruit of any kind as Ivan severely destroyed our trees in 2004. They took a couple years to mature enough to begin to bear again.
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Quoting auburn:


You have to hand it to the Admiral for not busting out in laughter though...


I don't know what is so funny. After all, I heard that all the islands in the Pacific are already surrounded by water. LOL (Great video)
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
We would all do well to observe the behaviour of animals as they seem to sense changes in the weather.


I certainly do, however, it has been difficult to over the past 5 years to pay attention to what they are doing because a lot of the wild life in this area disappeared after Katrina struck this area, and they have been slow to return. The squirrels and numerous types of birds in this area just began to comeback strong last summer, 4 years after Katrina!
Member Since: September 7, 2008 Posts: 17 Comments: 1604
Quoting Levi32:


Except 2005 doesn't make sense....but I don't know what the mangoes were doing in 2005. Maybe someone knows.

Dec-Feb 2004-2005 Sea-level Pressure Anomalies:

Hmm. I don't remember what the mangos did that year..... I admit I have been paying more attention since the doc posted the turtles thing....
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Re the disappearance of wildlife, my dad likes to tell the story of the hurricane (I think it was Donna) that blew all the birds and insects off Mayaguana....
I think the worst thing about the wildlife here would be losing the parrots as the ones we have here are native only to the Cayman Islands as are the blue iguanas. Hopefully they will both be okay if we have a very active season although we were affected by several hurricanes in 2005 and 2008 the wildlife was not as badly damaged as it was after Ivan.
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Quoting auburn:


You have to hand it to the Admiral for not busting out in laughter though...
Especially if the guy was actually trying to be a jokester. Either way the admiral prolly bust a gut afterwards...
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Quoting Levi32:


Well, my money's on air pressure.

Dec-Feb 2008-2009 average sea-level pressure anomalies:



Dec-Feb 2009-2010 average sea-level pressure anomalies:



Except 2005 doesn't make sense....but I don't know what the mangoes were doing in 2005. Maybe someone knows.

Dec-Feb 2004-2005 Sea-level Pressure Anomalies:

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
Re the disappearance of wildlife, my dad likes to tell the story of the hurricane (I think it was Donna) that blew all the birds and insects off Mayaguana....
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323. auburn (Mod)
Quoting hydrus:
Auburn- I saw that clip on t.v. I simply could not believe what I was hearing. Our government official hard at work. lol


You have to hand it to the Admiral for not busting out in laughter though...
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Auburn- I saw that clip on t.v. I simply could not believe what I was hearing. Our government official hard at work. lol
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Quoting BahaHurican:
316. Cool. So my perception that it's been rainier than usual this winter isn't completely off. As for the temps, it may have been cooler last year overall, but I dunno about average daytime highs. I think the Dec - Feb average reflects the abnormally high temps we had in Dec (I think 17 of the 1st 20 days of Dec had temps at or over 83 here)more so than a generally warmer winter.

I'm still curious what would be more likely to affect flowering periods for these trees. I am still inclined to go with my hypothesis of abnormally rainy winter, except that doesn't fit what's happening in the Caymans...


Well, my money's on air pressure.

Dec-Feb 2008-2009 average sea-level pressure anomalies:



Dec-Feb 2009-2010 average sea-level pressure anomalies:

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
We would all do well to observe the behaviour of animals as they seem to sense changes in the weather.


I certainly do, however, it has been difficult to over the past 5 years to pay attention to what they are doing because a lot of the wild life in this area disappeared after Katrina struck this area, and they have been slow to return. The squirrels and numerous types of birds in this area just began to comeback strong last summer, 4 years after Katrina!
Member Since: September 7, 2008 Posts: 17 Comments: 1604
319. auburn (Mod)
Sorry if this is kinda off topic...but I must share...

please say this is a joke!!!
Hank Johnson Afraid Guam Will "Tip Over and Capsize"
On April 1, anything suspiciously bizarre or interesting is to be taken with a shaker full of salt. Still, a recent comment from Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) has many wondering if he's misguided on gravity and geography or just a very gifted deadpan comedian.

At a March 25 meeting of the Armed Services Committee, of which Rep. Johnson is a member, the esteemed congressman had an interesting discussion with Robert Willard, commander of the United States Pacific fleet. The topic: Guam. Specifically, how an influx of Marines and their families may cause the tiny island to "tip over and capsize."

The comments were delivered without a clear hint of sarcasm or irony, however Rep. Johnson is now insisting through a comment issued by a spokesperson that he was simply using a metaphor.

"I was using a metaphor to say that with the addition of 8,000 Marines and their dependents -- an additional 80,000 people during peak construction to the port on the tiny island with a population of 180,000 -- could be a tipping point which would adversely affect the island%u2019s fragile ecosystem and overburden its already overstressed infrastructure."

Maybe so, but Admiral Willard responded to the question with the utmost sincerity. His answer to Rep. Johnson's concerns over Guam capsizing like a lily pad playing host to an obese frog (our words)...

"We don%u2019t anticipate that. The Guam population, I think, currently about 175,000, and again, with 8,000 marines and their families, it%u2019s an addition of about 25,000 more into the population."

We're inclined to give Rep. Johnson the benefit of the doubt, but many Web searchers aren't so sure. After news of the bizarre exchange hit the Internet, online lookups for "hank johnson guam" and "guam sinking" both roared to life. The odd comment and clarification have also proven irresistible fodder for talk radio hosts, notes Atlanta Journal Constitution writer Jim Galloway.

Below, a clip of the exchange. Concerns over Guam's ability to stay literally or figuratively afloat occur at around the 1:18 mark.

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316. Cool. So my perception that it's been rainier than usual this winter isn't completely off. As for the temps, it may have been cooler last year overall, but I dunno about average daytime highs. I think the Dec - Feb average reflects the abnormally high temps we had in Dec (I think 17 of the 1st 20 days of Dec had temps at or over 83 here)more so than a generally warmer winter.

I'm still curious what would be more likely to affect flowering periods for these trees. I am still inclined to go with my hypothesis of abnormally rainy winter, except that doesn't fit what's happening in the Caymans...
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Quoting SevereHurricane:


I certainly do, however, it has been difficult to over the past 5 years to pay attention to what they are doing because a lot of the wild life in this area disappeared after Katrina struck this area, and they have been slow to return. The squirrels and numerous types of birds in this area just began to comeback strong last summer, 4 years after Katrina!
We don't really have a lot of wildlife here besides iguanas, birds and agoutis. Lost a lot after Ivan but iguanas are all over now. Traffic has to stop all the time to wait for them to cross the road. We lost a lot of parrots after Ivan because there wasn't any fruit left for them to eat but they seem to be making a slow comeback now.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Re: 304

Levi, the green on the precip map points to moister than average, am I correct?


Yes, sorry I should have clarified....no legend on those maps. The contours are in millimeters, green is more precipitation than normal, brown is less than normal.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
Just to inform yall, yesterday I was talking to Stacy Stewart, senior hurricane specialist at the NHC, at the Miami-Dade county fair. It seems the NHC believes this year will be very active. Well all the conditions are there for an active season. He mentioned the very high SSTs and lower pressures, as well as above average precip. He said it all depends on the tropical waves coming off Africa, which we can't really forecast. If they are strong this year, the conditions will be ripe for an active year. It was great talking to him, and he has a great personality. He was awarded a bronze star for his service in the Navy special ops. He said the down-season compared to what he was doing is like "watching paint dry." haha. Here's an article about his award.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
We would all do well to observe the behaviour of animals as they seem to sense changes in the weather.


I certainly do, however, it has been difficult to over the past 5 years to pay attention to what they are doing because a lot of the wild life in this area disappeared after Katrina struck this area, and they have been slow to return. The squirrels and numerous types of birds in this area just began to comeback strong last summer, 4 years after Katrina!
Member Since: September 7, 2008 Posts: 17 Comments: 1604
Re: 304

Levi, the green on the precip map points to moister than average, am I correct?
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If you have a few minutes, here's a good down to earth and interesting GW article about the different beliefs when it comes to TV mets and climatologists. This is from the New York Times on Monday. It does happen on rare occasions, but I actually agree with Bastardi.

Link
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Quoting Levi32:


How are they doing so far this year?
Winds have been less virulent - and less constant - than last year, so thus far a lot more young fruit is still on the tree. We'll see how April progresses. Of course, the later the winds impact them, the more likely they are to stay on the tree to maturity LOL.
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Quoting SevereHurricane:


Here's one... In 2005, in the few weeks before Katrina, the squirrels and all the other tree critters were eating and storing the nuts like crazy. They usually didn't begin doing that until October/November. I know because for years I would walk my dog around the block every morning before school.
We would all do well to observe the behaviour of animals as they seem to sense changes in the weather.
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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.