Maria brushes Bermuda; 24-hour blitz by Climate Reality Project underway

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:27 PM GMT on September 15, 2011

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Tropical Storm Maria is roaring past Bermuda, bringing winds near tropical storm force. At 11 am local time, winds at the Bermuda airport were sustained at 36 mph, just below the 39 mph threshold of tropical storm strength. Outer spiral bands of Maria have brought a few brief heavy rain squalls to the island, as seen on Bermuda radar. The core of Maria is now at its closest point of approach to the island, about 150 miles (240 km) to the west, and the island may yet see an hour of two of sustained winds of 40 - 45 mph. Maria is headed north-northeast, and will brush Newfoundland, Canada on Friday afternoon. Since Newfoundland will be on the weak (left) side of a rapidly weakening Maria, I'm not expecting much in the way of wind damage from the storm in Canada, though heavy rains may cause isolated minor to moderate flooding. Top sustained winds in St. Johns will probably be in the 25 - 35 mph range Friday afternoon, though a few hours of tropical storm force winds of 40 - 45 mph are possible if Maria ends up tracking farther west than expected.


Figure 1. Radar image of Tropical Storm Maria taken at 10:13 am EDT September 15, 2011. Image credit: Bermuda Weather Service.

Elsewhere in the tropics
Even the busiest of hurricane seasons have lulls, and we're hitting one this week during what is traditionally the busiest week of hurricane season. A westward-moving tropical wave a few hundred miles south of the Cape Verde Islands, off the coast of Africa, has a modest amount of poorly organized heavy thunderstorm activity. This wave is under a moderate 10 - 20 knots of wind shear, is in a moist environment, and is over warm waters, so has the potential for some development, though NHC is currently not mentioning it in their Tropical Weather Outlook. The UKMET and NOGAPS models predict this wave could develop into a tropical depression 5 - 6 days from now. The NOGAPS model continues to predict the Western Caribbean off the coast of Nicaragua could see the development of a tropical depression 6 - 7 days from now, but the other models are showing little support for this scenario.


Figure 2. Heidi Cullen of Climate Central introduces Boulder, Colorado teacher John Zavalney, one of the presenters of the Climate Reality Project's 24-hour live streaming special.

The Climate Reality Project
The Climate Reality Project (climaterealityproject.org) is a little more than halfway through their live, 24-hour streaming video effort that features 24 different presenters for 24 hours, representing every time zone around the globe. The presentations began last night at 7 pm EDT, and will end tonight at 7 pm EDT. It's worth checking out; there have been some interesting presentations and some dull ones. Interspersed with the presentations are panel discussions with some slick Google Earth graphics; last night's discussions were led by Heidi Cullen of Climate Central, who is a rarity--a very personable and well-spoken scientist, and someone you'll be seeing on TV much more in coming years. The Climate Reality Project showed one excellent video tracking the history of industry-funded denial of science that began with the tobacco industry, something I've discussed as well in post called The Manufactured Doubt Industry and the hacked email controversy. Also shown were two cute 15 - 30 second comedy videos. But while the Climate Reality Project's 24-hour blitz has already gotten 3 million people to tune in, its documentary-style tone and Powerpoint lectures will not be engaging enough to keep most visitors around for more than a few minutes. Ph.D. oceanographer Randy Olson, who left a tenure-track professorship to become a Hollywood film maker, has written an excellent book called Don't be Such a Scientist, about the failure of scientists to communicate in way that will engage people (I thought so highly of the book that I bought 20 copies of the book to give away to students at the University of Michigan's Department of Atmospheric Science this year.) In the latest post in his blog, The Benshi, Olson outlines how the climate community has failed in the main way needed to engage an audience: create a likable voice through the effective telling of stories, which is a less literal means of communication and is less cerebral and thus reaches a mass audience. Future efforts at communication by the climate science community really need to work on using the telling of stories by likable voices in order to get their message across, and I highly recommend that all climate scientists who do public outreach read Olson's book "Don't be Such a Scientist."

Jeff Masters

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Quoting jpsb:
I agree, I have done just about all I can to reduce my carbon foot print, not by design mine you by necessity. I always have my eye out for something I can buy that would replace some of my electric usage. Right now I am looking for a wind power pump to pump water out of my well for my garden. No luck as of yet but one of these days I'll find something.


Ya Know. The AC manufactures a lot of water? Dig a hole, sink a tank, add a pump. Just an idea. Greater minds could devise a ???
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66. jpsb
Quoting Birthmark:

It appears that you are saying that we can't continue business as usual without severe repercussions. Is that a fair characterization of your position?

Another question: Is there enough fuel for nuclear power plants to do the heavy energy lifting world wide? And for how long? (I seriously don't know the answer to that.)
Well being a realist I know that someday soon we are going to run out of easy to get fossil fuels and I would rather not do the extreme techniques to get the fuels like fraqing or steam injection. Clean coal sounds appealing but even then there is only so much of that, so whether we like it or not we are going to have to learn to live without fossil fuels. Ergo my willingness to go to nuclear is based on that, rather then a fear of tipping the planet into a runaway global warming period.

You might say I am making a virtue of necessity :)
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Climate Change.. formerly known as SEASONS!
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64. jpsb
Quoting Neapolitan:

I don't personally know of anyone credible who believes for a moment that the world can get by on renewables alone. Instead, what most are concerned with is the calls from those who use the odd logic of saying, "Since we can't get completely off of fossil fuels this moment, we shouldn't bother trying to get off of them at all." And that is a dangerous and foolish way to think.
I agree, I have done just about all I can to reduce my carbon foot print, not by design mine you by necessity. I always have my eye out for something I can buy that would replace some of my electric usage. Right now I am looking for a wind power pump to pump water out of my well for my garden. No luck as of yet but one of these days I'll find something.
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With the return of LaNina.......the midwest will be a winter wonderland again.......have fun you cool weather peeps.
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Quoting stoormfury:
any system that forms in the catl will move west into the caribbean sea. the steering currents show no no signs of recuvature the next 8 days
The feature you mention near the C.V. is also very far south, looks only 8 degree's or so?
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Quoting MNhockeymama:
It was 38 degrees in the Twin Cities this morning. I'd like some global warming about now, thanks.
I see it is still warm in the banana belt. Up north in MN we I'm from it was 21 degrees everything in my garden is dead.
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Quoting ncstorm:


this is a climate change blog now. you can tell by the high traffic of 42 comments that this is what the majority wanted.


Wellll. Let Maria go cat 1, go west, add GW and watch this blog explode. The subject, draws no comments. The weather does.

























g
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Quoting jpsb:
Hi, I am on board for utilizing more nuclear power to cut carbon emissions. France gets 80% of it's energy needs from nuclear and the third generation plants are very safe. The only down size to nuclear power it the cost of decommissioning the plant, very expensive. But if society decides the cost is worth it, to cut CO2 then nuclear is the way to go.

It appears that you are saying that we can't continue business as usual without severe repercussions. Is that a fair characterization of your position?

Another question: Is there enough fuel for nuclear power plants to do the heavy energy lifting world wide? And for how long? (I seriously don't know the answer to that.)
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I do have a question that might seem like a totally silly newbie question, but here goes:

By the time Irene's eye passed through my part of New Jersey, her thunderstorm/wind activity south of her eye had largely dried up and ceased. The air was dramatically cooler and less humid, very suddenly.

I know that these systems push a lot of warm, moist air ahead of them, but Irene was the most severe tropical system I've ever experienced, so it was all new to me. Surprising and very abrupt, like all the heat and moisture were simply sucked out of the air.

Is there a single particular component of the hurricane's machinery that does this, or is it just a function of the storm's passage as a whole, as higher pressures build in behind the low system?
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That's an interesting ULL at 20N 55W.
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8747
Quoting ncstorm:


this is a climate change blog now. you can tell by the high traffic of 42 comments that this is what the majority wanted.



LOL, nice!
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55. jpsb
Quoting stoormfury:
GLOBAL WARMING, COME DECEMBER AND IT WILL GLOBAL FREEZING,
I have been told that Global Warming causes Global Freezing. I kid you not. I have also been told GW causes floods and droughts.
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Quoting jpsb:
Some of us, in our more paranoid moments see an agenda, making the world safe for the super rich, behind some of these movements. But such a conspiracy could never be contained. So I don't pay it that much attention. Far more troubling to me is that some people actually believe we can get by on just renewables. If those people ever gain power we are going to h*ll on a path of good intentions.

I'm all for renewables and research but lets not fool ourselves into thinking that renewable alone can power a modern society. They can't. Sort term nuclear is the only way to cut carbon emissions if cutting carbon emission becomes a priority for us.

I don't personally know of anyone credible who believes for a moment that the world can get by on renewables alone. Instead, what most are concerned with is the calls from those who use the odd logic of saying, "Since we can't get completely off of fossil fuels this moment, we shouldn't bother trying to get off of them at all." And that is a dangerous and foolish way to think.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13805
LOL
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2722
Quoting MNhockeymama:
It was 38 degrees in the Twin Cities this morning. I'd like some global warming about now, thanks.
this is MN seasonal at it's finest!! i'll take it just as it is, thanks :)

so nice to feel the cool air and the warm sun mingling in the morning... jeans and a sweater, and it's comfy cozy.
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Quoting MahFL:
"Wind Energy is Free ..."

No it's not, you still have to pay the co. for the electricty, and the co. has to pay for the equipment/land etc.






And there's no little battery at the bottom of each wind turbine that holds the energy - if the wind doesn't blow, it has to be backed up by traditional energy sources. The lines for the transmission of wind energy have to be built. In Southern MN there's thousands of wind turbines that aren't HOOKED UP INTO THE GRID. Xcel was required to have a certain number of turbines built by a certain year, but have extra time to build the lines to connect them into the grid. So you have thousands of turbines turning but not actually generating electricity; wearing out the turbines that only have about 10 year lifecycle anyway, not to mention how many turbines it takes to generate the same power generated by coal or natural gas. It is an expensive boondoggle.


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Quoting stoormfury:
GLOBAL WARMING, COME DECEMBER AND IT WILL GLOBAL FREEZING,
No, that would be climate change! lol
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GLOBAL WARMING, COME DECEMBER AND IT WILL GLOBAL FREEZING,
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2722
47. jpsb
Quoting Birthmark:

And what happens if we continue business as usual? Will the outcome be better or worse than what you outline above?
Hi, I am on board for utilizing more nuclear power to cut carbon emissions. France gets 80% of it's energy needs from nuclear and the third generation plants are very safe. The only down side to nuclear power it the cost of decommissioning the plant, very expensive. But if society decides the cost is worth it, to cut CO2 then nuclear is the way to go.
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Quoting stoormfury:
any system that forms in the catl will move west into the caribbean sea. the steering currents show no no signs of recuvature the next 8 days
...but will any system bring rain to Texas?
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Very slow blog right now.
What happened?
Meanwhile, Maria is close to hurricane strength, and I believe it could get to 70 kts.
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any system that forms in the catl will move west into the caribbean sea. the steering currents show no no signs of recuvature the next 8 days
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2722
Quoting keisa90:
Boy what I would give for a storm right now. GW is a no win subject for anyone on this blog. Haven't looked this morning, are the models still showing W. Caribbean development?


this is a climate change blog now. you can tell by the high traffic of 42 comments that this is what the majority wanted.
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It was 38 degrees in the Twin Cities this morning. I'd like some global warming about now, thanks.
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Quoting SQUAWK:

If you can look at context and spelling you might see what he is pointing out to the Doc.

ohhhhhh lol. ya that would be the first time a tropical system bushed someone i suppose lol
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Quoting SQUAWK:

Global warming.


Smart.....a_s..........LOL. Good one tho!
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Quoting jpsb:
Some of us, in our more paranoid moments see an agenda, making the world safe for the super rich, behind some of these movements. But such a conspiracy could never be contained. So I don't pay it that much attention. Far more troubling to me is that some people actually believe we can get by on just renewables. If those people ever gain power we are going to h*ll on a path of good intentions.

I'm all for renewables and research but lets not fool ourselves into thinking that renewable alone can power a modern society. They can't. Sort term nuclear is the only way to cut carbon emissions if cutting carbon emission becomes a priority for us.

And what happens if we continue business as usual? Will the outcome be better or worse than what you outline above?
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Hey Ravensfan, a kid I used to coach in high school football was a wide receiver for the Ravens about 4 years ago. He got injured (tore ACL) and never made it back.

His name is Randy Hymes. From Hitchcock, Texas and played for Grambling.

He had 14 receptions one year for the Ravens and even made a few ESPN highlight films on Sportcenter.

Do you remember him?
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Quoting RavensFan:

tropical storm winds did but not the center, i think thats what he meant lol

If you can look at context and spelling you might see what he is pointing out to the Doc.
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Quoting SQUAWK:

Global warming.

hahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!
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Quoting keisa90:
Boy what I would give for a storm right now. GW is a no win subject for anyone on this blog. Haven't looked this morning, are the models still showing W. Caribbean development?

you and me both... i love a good global warming debate but not over a blog, person to person sure.
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Quoting Jax82:
"Maria bushes Bermuda" ????? oops Dr. M.

tropical storm winds did but not the center, i think thats what he meant lol
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Boy what I would give for a storm right now. GW is a no win subject for anyone on this blog. Haven't looked this morning, are the models still showing W. Caribbean development?
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Quoting Minnemike:
seems a good time to share this link in retort: http://www.catswhothrowupgrass.com/kill.php Link
I got to admit, that is funny! lol

But trust me, I am quite sane.

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So, why was August so active, and now a few weeks later and into the prime time for the season, is it at a stand still?
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the area of disturbed weather south of the cape verde islands is begining to show signs of organisation. the steering forecast shows the area moving west for several days under conducive conditions for development, this area could be invest 97L the next 72 hrs, the long range track shows the system moving through the central atlantic and could be the real cape verde long tracker. we just have to wait and see if this scenario were to pan out.
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2722
Quoting violetprofusion:


This is definitely worth noting. I am not a scientist by trade, but my academic background is in science, and I've certainly encountered what you've mentioned.

Uncertainty is the whole reason we do science at all. We don't know with 100% certainty 100% of the answers 100% of the time. Unfortunately this isn't a really intuitive concept, because humans like definite answers. There's a sort of common misconception like "Well, if science doesn't yet have a definitive answer, is it worth doing the science at all?"

To relate this to weather: I was speaking to a friend (who has no background in science) about the current hurricane season, and she said something like, "The models and forecasters are totally wrong all the time anyway, it's just guesswork, storms will randomly do whatever they want." I was at a loss as to how to respond to her.

No, the models are not 100% right, but they are getting better all the time, and they give us a framework that answers at least some of our questions. That is better than having no answers at all.

Unfortunately it's a difficult concept to distill into a soundbite.


Good example. It is difficult to explain the advantage of forecasting versus climatology to the lay person. If you rely on climatology, you gamble. If you use forecasts, you get an edge. If you use ensemble forecasts, you get better information about the value of your edge. Still, even given good information, people have to make their own cost versus risk calculations and I suspect this is where the ball usually gets dropped.
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Quoting AllBoardedUp:
One of many examples. Let me know if you want more proof.

http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/yes-the y-really-do-want-to-reduce-the-population-22-shock ing-population-control-quotes-from-the-global-elit e-that-will-make-you-want-to-lose-your-lunch
seems a good time to share this link in retort: http://www.catswhothrowupgrass.com/kill.php Link
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One of many examples. Let me know if you want more proof.

http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/yes-the y-really-do-want-to-reduce-the-population-22-shock ing-population-control-quotes-from-the-global-elit e-that-will-make-you-want-to-lose-your-lunch
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22. jpsb
Quoting AllBoardedUp:
The global elite (Rockefellers, Rothchilds, etc.) are already on record through speeches before select crowds that there are entirely too many people on this planet. According to them 500 million is an ideal number. How do we get to that number? Hmmn. This is not conspiracy theory, they have said it on a number of occasions.
Some of us, in our more paranoid moments see an agenda, making the world safe for the super rich, behind some of these movements. But such a conspiracy could never be contained. So I don't pay it that much attention. Far more troubling to me is that some people actually believe we can get by on just renewables. If those people ever gain power we are going to h*ll on a path of good intentions.

I'm all for renewables and research but lets not fool ourselves into thinking that renewable alone can power a modern society. They can't. Sort term nuclear is the only way to cut carbon emissions if cutting carbon emission becomes a priority for us.
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Quoting ColdInFL:
Not again!

Link

Surprised it took Dr. Giaever so long. Giaever--whose specialty was tunneling superconductors along with a little biophysics, and who doesn't appear to have done any real science since the mid-1970s--has been a "global warming" expert for the Big Energy-funded Heartland Institute for some time.

Big surprise...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13805
Quoting Progster:
Style of communication is important but I have found it difficult speaking to a group or even a colleague on matters where the notion of uncertainty is important. There is an argument that people seek definitive answers and that the expression of uncertainity is thought of as a hedge, not an unavoidable aspect of a complete answer, and, in fact a better quality answer.


This is definitely worth noting. I am not a scientist by trade, but my academic background is in science, and I've certainly encountered what you've mentioned.

Uncertainty is the whole reason we do science at all. We don't know with 100% certainty 100% of the answers 100% of the time. Unfortunately this isn't a really intuitive concept, because humans like definite answers. There's a sort of common misconception like "Well, if science doesn't yet have a definitive answer, is it worth doing the science at all?"

To relate this to weather: I was speaking to a friend (who has no background in science) about the current hurricane season, and she said something like, "The models and forecasters are totally wrong all the time anyway, it's just guesswork, storms will randomly do whatever they want." I was at a loss as to how to respond to her.

No, the models are not 100% right, but they are getting better all the time, and they give us a framework that answers at least some of our questions. That is better than having no answers at all.

Unfortunately it's a difficult concept to distill into a soundbite.
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OK, Poll time.
.
A) Anti AGW 50%
B) Pro AHW 50%
C) Total disruption & Trolliness 100%
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Quoting lickitysplit:


The tinfoil hats are in full-force today on the blog. What insanity.
You my friend are indeed naive. Try doing some research other than the stuff that is forced fed to you.
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Quoting AllBoardedUp:
The global elite (Rockefellers, Rothchilds, etc.) are already on record through speeches before select crowds that there are entirely too many people on this planet. According to them 500 million is an ideal number. How do we get to that number? Hmmn. This is not conspiracy theory, they have said it on a number of occasions.


The tinfoil hats are in full-force today on the blog. What insanity.
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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.

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