Bitter cold -65°F temperatures hit Alaska

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 5:13 PM GMT on January 30, 2012

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If you're wondering who's getting all the cold air the lower 48 states is missing during this non-winter of 2012, the answer during the past week has been Alaska. Our 49th state is used to intense winter cold, but not like what they've experienced during the past week. Friday night and Saturday night, temperatures plummeted to -50°F and -51°F in Fairbanks, marking the first time since 1999 the city had seen back-to-back minus fifty nights. The low temperature so far today at the Fairbanks International Airport has been -44°F, giving the city sixteen days of -40°F temperatures so far this month. Since 1906, there have only been three years (1906, 1934, and 1971) with more 40 below days during the month of January. At forty below zero, the air is so cold that the water vapor condenses out into ice crystals, which float in the air creating a low-visibility fog. A large area of Alaska experienced bitter cold temperatures of -50 to -65°F Sunday morning:

FORT YUKON CO-OP..............65 BELOW
KANDIK RIVER CO-OP............64 BELOW
FORT YUKON AIRPORT..........62 BELOW*
BETTLES.................................60 BELOW**
HUSLIA.....................................60 BELOW
MANLEY HOT SPRINGS............60 BELOW
NORTH POLE/WOODSMOKE....60 BELOW
CHICKEN CO-OP.....................59 BELOW
GALENA AIRPORT....................58 BELOW
TANANA...................................58 BELOW
CIRCLE HOT SPRINGS..........58 BELOW
DELTA 20 SE CO-OP...............58 BELOW
COLDFOOT................................57 BELOW
EAGLE CO-OP.........................57 BELOW
KALTAG...................................56 BELOW
GOLDSTREAM CREEK..........55 BELOW
ARCTIC VILLAGE..................54 BELOW
NENANA..................................54 BELOW
SALCHA..................................54 BELOW
FAIRBANKS AIRPORT..............51 BELOW
DELTA JUNCTION/FT GREELY......50 BELOW
LAKE MINCHUMINA.................50 BELOW
MCGRATH.................................50 BELOW

*TIED DAILY RECORD LOW OF 62 BELOW SET IN 1909
**EXCEEDS DAILY RECORD LOW OF 58 BELOW SET IN 1989

The cold snap is expected to continue through mid-week, with more -65°F temperatures possible in the interior valleys north of Fairbanks. Warmer air is expected to arrive state-wide by Thursday.


Figure 1. It's a tradition! Photo taken Sunday, January 29, 2012, by one of our more adventurous wunderphotographers. Image credit: wunderphotographer TerezkaSunshine.

All-time U.S. low temperature record threatened?
The coldest temperature ever recorded in the U.S. was a -80°F (-62.2°C) reading from Prospect Creek, AK (about 180 miles north of Fairbanks) on January 23, 1971. A weather station just a few miles from Prospect Creek, the Jim River DOT site, appears to have recorded a low temperature between -78°F and -79°F Saturday morning (January 28, 2012), shortly before the weather station lost power. Keeping the power going at -70 is very tough, and it is not a surprise to see that the station lost power during this extraordinary cold snap. Power just returned this morning to the site, where the temperature was -66°F at 7 am AKST. Wunderground's weather historian Christopher C. Burt is corresponding with Alaska's state climatologist to get more information on whether the data during the power outage will be recoverable, and how reliable these near-record low temperatures might be.

Jeff Masters

54°F Below (alaskajuliens)
This capture was shot just outside of North Pole , Alaska. It was a very cold and slow night for aurora hunting. One of these days I will learn to leave earlier in the evening.
54°F Below
SunDog (katy99780)
Looking due south down a side road, not too long after noon. Chilly night last night, down to -51.
SunDog
Dangerous Temps (alaskajuliens)
This was shot at 0345 on 29, Jan. It was painfully cold.
Dangerous Temps

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181. Neapolitan
2:48 AM GMT on January 31, 2012
This from NWS in Fairbanks:

NOAK49 PAFG 302352
PNSAFG
AKZ219-222-311200-

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FAIRBANKS AK
252 PM AKST MON JAN 30 2012

...CLARIFICATION OF TEMPERATURES FROM JIM RIVER DOT CAMP...

TEMPERATURES THIS PAST WEEKEND AT THE ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF
TRANSPORTATION JIM RIVER MAINTENANCE CAMP AT MILE 138 DALTON
HIGHWAY...STATION JMTA2...HAVE BEEN REPORTED AS LOW AS 79 BELOW.

THE TEMPERATURES ARE NOT CORRECT. THE WEATHER STATION IN USE AT
THE JIM RIVER DOT CAMP IS A PERSONAL WEATHER STATION THAT IS NOT
RATED FOR TEMPERATURE COLDER THAN 40 BELOW. THE UNREALISTICALLY
LOW TEMPERATURES ARE BELIEVED TO BE A FUNCTION OF THE BATTERY
FAILING AT VERY LOW TEMPERATURES.

THERE ARE NO OFFICIAL...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE STANDARD...
TEMPERATURE MEASUREMENTS AT JIM RIVER DOT CAMP.

$$
RT/JL JAN 12
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13526
180. SPLbeater
2:48 AM GMT on January 31, 2012
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

That's right, he is home-schooled isn't he?

I was about to say, didn't you learn about planets and stuff in 7th grade at school?


no...i started hmeschooled in 7th. Christian cirriculum, doesnt tell false stuff. learned of earth in 5th. tried not to though.

All they told us was this crap about "Pangea, and for no reason at all, it split into continents. and for no reason at all, australia is going to move north and crush indonesia.

isnt that stupid?
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4485
179. TomTaylor
2:47 AM GMT on January 31, 2012
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

That's right, he is home-schooled isn't he?

I was about to say, didn't you learn about planets and stuff in 7th grade at school?
Even if he did, it wouldn't matter. The only textbook he believes in is the bible. His parents, or whoever raised him, did a good job of instilling this in his brain.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4357
178. yqt1001
2:47 AM GMT on January 31, 2012
Quoting hydrus:
And he is the "go to" guy at church. Which would indicate he is older than 12....Unless that was a lie.


His parents forced him but he grew to enjoy it? I know my parents forced me, but I ended up hating it and praising atheism.
Member Since: November 19, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 1286
177. ShenValleyFlyFish
2:46 AM GMT on January 31, 2012
I think you're right but the jury is still out.  We got badly Trolled a while back by someone spent a crazy amount of time building a persona and then played havoc during "The Season".  One of the reasons I refuse to cut him any slack.
Quoting TomTaylor:
He's home-schooled and he's like 12 or 13...when you put things into perspective you kind start to feel bad for the kid.

Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
176. HurricaneDean07
2:46 AM GMT on January 31, 2012
.
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
175. hydrus
2:43 AM GMT on January 31, 2012
Quoting bappit:

He indicated he votes in elections, or at least why else would he get involved in politics only during elections?
And he is the "go to" guy at church. Which would indicate he is older than 12....Unless that was a lie.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21175
174. TropicalAnalystwx13
2:43 AM GMT on January 31, 2012
Quoting TomTaylor:
He's home-schooled and he's like 12 or 13...when you put things into perspective you kind start to feel bad for the kid.

That's right, he is home-schooled isn't he?

I was about to say, didn't you learn about planets and stuff in 7th grade at school?
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32004
173. SPLbeater
2:41 AM GMT on January 31, 2012
Quoting SPLbeater:


none ur concern. i just know that earth will never...well...now that i think of it...Jesus said that earth would be destroyed with fire, so thats close lol xD


but climate change aint gone kill me!


I just want a thunderstorm....
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4485
172. SPLbeater
2:40 AM GMT on January 31, 2012
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

What grade are you in?


none ur concern. i just know that earth will never...well...now that i think of it...Jesus said that earth would be destroyed with fire, so thats close lol xD
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4485
171. Xyrus2000
2:39 AM GMT on January 31, 2012
Quoting RTSplayer:
Oh well, it's Stephen Hawking, but I don't agree with him.

Earth's maximum worst case scenario temperature should be roughly half of Venus, due to the amount of sunlight we recieve, even if Earth had a 100 bar atmosphere of pure greenhouse gases.

Problem is, that isn't hot enough to thermalize all the dirt and rock to release the CO2 in the first place.


The worst case scenario, with all the CO2 already being released from the soil and rock, does not get hot enough to facilitate it's own existence.

It would require an artificial cause, such as an alien attack or a doomsday bomb, etc.


It's not the CO2 that would do it. That would just get the ball rolling. The real determining factor would be the water vapor.

It is theorized that Venus once had oceans similar to Earth. However, due to it's slow rotational rate and closer proximity to the sun, as the solar output increased over time the water vapor content of the atmosphere increased. This eventually triggered warming that boiled off the oceans on Venus. With all the water vapor in the atmosphere acting as an impermeable thermal blanket, the temperatures skyrocketed (theoretically even hotter than the Venus of today).

This had two effects. One, it baked the planet releasing large amounts of trapped CO2. Two, it pushed the water vapor high into the atmosphere where UV radiation could split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The water vapor bled off into space, and left behind a thick scorching CO2 atmosphere in it's place.

To get to the same point on Earth, you'd need to heat the planet to the point where water vapor stayed in the atmosphere for extended periods of time ( a lot longer than the current water cycle). Even during our high greenhouse gas periods in the past we never got to that point. Sure, Earth was a global steamy swamp/jungle but it was still no where near warm enough to trigger a runaway effect.

It's not impossible. Just extremely unlikely. The only scenarios I can envision where Earth turns in to Venus are scenarios that have us and most of life wiped out long before we experience 250 C temperatures.
Member Since: October 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1477
170. SPLbeater
2:39 AM GMT on January 31, 2012
Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

5 billion years later...


lol thats funny there
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4485
169. BobWallace
2:38 AM GMT on January 31, 2012
Quoting RTSplayer:
113:

In order to get a real runaway greenhouse effect you'd need to burn all the remaining coal, oil,natural gas, and all remaining plant life.

Then you'd need to bake a significant portion of the Calcium Carbonate deposits of the world long enough and hot enough for it to release the CO2 into the atmosphere.

Even then, under present solar conditions, Earth should end up with a mean temperature a few degrees below boiling, and ironically, this is not hot enough to bake CO2 out of Calcium Carbonate. Which means true runaway greenhouse effect is not possible on the Earth under existing solar conditions, regardless of any amount of CO2 bombs or man-made emissions.


Might we call that "extreme runaway"?

It seems like releasing the CO2 and methane from the permafrost and Arctic waters is an adequate runaway situation that can spoil our party. It might not be enough to bake the CO2 out of rocks, but it certainly would toast our buns.

"Runaway" is the situation in which we trigger forcings beyond what we are doing by pumping greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. Once/if we hit that point then things are likely beyond the point of our being able to reverse conditions....
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
168. TomTaylor
2:37 AM GMT on January 31, 2012
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

What grade are you in?
He's home-schooled and he's like 12 or 13...when you put things into perspective you kind start to feel bad for the kid.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4357
167. WeatherNerdPR
2:36 AM GMT on January 31, 2012
Quoting SPLbeater:


dont need dis crap here earth will NOT be like venus. ever. ever.

5 billion years later...
Member Since: July 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5682
166. j2008
2:35 AM GMT on January 31, 2012
Quoting BobWallace:


It used to be that the permafrost stayed frozen all year round. That's why it was named "permafrost".

Now we're seeing significant melting during the hotter months. And that's a very bad thing.

Simple enough for you?
HAHA yea just kidding around wanted to point out some silly irony, this blog seemed so serious today.
Member Since: December 19, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 224
165. bappit
2:34 AM GMT on January 31, 2012
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

What grade are you in?

He indicated he votes in elections, or at least why else would he get involved in politics only during elections?
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 6021
164. TropicalAnalystwx13
2:33 AM GMT on January 31, 2012
Quoting SPLbeater:


dont need dis crap here earth will NOT be like venus. ever. ever.

What grade are you in?
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32004
163. SPLbeater
2:29 AM GMT on January 31, 2012
SO......any thunderstorm activity forecast for the east anytime soon?

I miss summer:(
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4485
162. TomTaylor
2:28 AM GMT on January 31, 2012
Quoting SPLbeater:


dont need dis crap here earth will NOT be like venus. ever. ever.
In a few billion years from now it will be. As the sun ages it will expand into a red giant, getting closer to our planet, thus heating it more. Never say never.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4357
161. BobWallace
2:27 AM GMT on January 31, 2012
Quoting j2008:
Well....... IDK bout that, currently Alaska is frozen as cold as a freezer. -50 isnt exactly melting ground weather... I'm sure you meant over all but yea contradicterary to say it at this time.


It used to be that the permafrost stayed frozen all year round. That's why it was named "permafrost".

Now we're seeing significant melting during the hotter months. And that's a very bad thing.

Simple enough for you?
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
160. bappit
2:26 AM GMT on January 31, 2012
#149 Correcto!

"Emily continued moving west-northwestward to the south of a mid-level subtropical ridge located over the central Atlantic and developed an irregularly shaped central dense overcast as it passed about 150 n mi south of Puerto Rico on 2 and 3 August. There was some increase in westerly shear by 3 August, and Emily did not strengthen as the low-level center of the cyclone became partially exposed to the west of the main convective mass that morning. A vigorous burst of thunderstorms developed east of the center early the next day while Emily was passing to the south of Hispaniola, and the aircraft data indicated that a low-level center reformed closer to the convection. Later on 4 August, the low-level center accelerated west-northwestward, leaving behind a mid-level cyclonic circulation within the convection that later moved inland over Hispaniola. Now lacking convective support, Emily’s surface circulation degenerated into an open wave as it approached the southwestern tip of Haiti around 1800 UTC."

The blog was buzzing on Aug. 4th. Some bloggers talked like RI was happening ... but no.
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 6021
159. ILwthrfan
2:23 AM GMT on January 31, 2012
Quoting Xyrus2000:


Thanks. :)

No, 80 billion tons of methane wouldn't be enough. But there's actually a lot more than that available.
This is a pretty good summary of what could be expected in a worst case scenario. Granted it still wouldn't be pleasant but it isn't the end of the world. :)


cool site. thx!
Member Since: February 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1520
158. StormGoddess
2:22 AM GMT on January 31, 2012
Quoting Xyrus2000:


Thanks. :)

No, 80 billion tons of methane wouldn't be enough. But there's actually a lot more than that available.
This is a pretty good summary of what could be expected in a worst case scenario. Granted it still wouldn't be pleasant but it isn't the end of the world. :)


Thanks Xyrus. :)

Well, it is good to know that the world isn't coming to an end after all. Guess I'll have to wait for hurricane season for that. (j/k) :)

Night all.
Member Since: June 10, 2010 Posts: 6 Comments: 589
157. SPLbeater
2:22 AM GMT on January 31, 2012
geez where every1 go lol
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4485
156. TomTaylor
2:16 AM GMT on January 31, 2012
Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
You called my son?

Hm, must be a different God..
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4357
155. TomTaylor
2:12 AM GMT on January 31, 2012
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Woah, you put an image of yourself up.

Are you Californian?
Yes, I did. Kori put up a picture of himself, so I figured I'd try it out too. And yes, San Diego, California brah
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4357
154. SPLbeater
2:12 AM GMT on January 31, 2012
Quoting presslord:


Folly Beach


oh, ok....
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4485
153. TomTaylor
2:11 AM GMT on January 31, 2012
Quoting PensacolaDoug:



The name of the blog tells all you need to know.
Lots far left types post here. Outnumber the righties at least two to one.

Well most people in America are, or would be, democratic, the thing is this usually isn't reflected in voting because minority groups and young people (who are mostly democratic) participate far less in voting than upper class or even middle class white people.

While on this topic, another interesting thing is republicans are slightly favored to win in presidential elections. Why, you ask? The reason being is that a presidential nominee does not win the election by the popular vote, he, or she, wins by getting the most votes in the electoral college. Since the number of electoral votes is determined by the number of representatives it has in Congress (which is determined by the population of the state (for the House of Representatives) plus two additional members (senators in the Senate)). The result of this is states with a lower population get more electoral college votes per person than do states with a larger population. Historically, the less developed, less populated, and rural states tend to be more republican (think of the South and the Midwest). Therefore, the end result is bias towards a Republican president.

If you still don't believe me, here are some numbers; Wyoming gets 3 electoral college votes, California gets 55. Based off the 2010 census, California has 37 million people, Wyoming has 536 thousand. That means that per person, each electoral vote represents 178 thousand people in Wyoming, whereas each electoral vote represents 672 thousand people in California. If you think about it, that's pretty ridiculous and just goes to show why we should do away with the electoral college.


Anyway, I'm done rambling, but I figured I'd share one of the more interesting things I learned this year in my government class.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4357
152. presslord
2:11 AM GMT on January 31, 2012
Quoting SPLbeater:


i assume FB is facebook?


Folly Beach
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10490
151. Xyrus2000
2:10 AM GMT on January 31, 2012
Quoting StormGoddess:


Wouldn't 80 billion tons of methane release as a greenhouse gas do the trick? If not, then that is good as the runaway greenhouse effect is what I am worried about and this has been the concern of many for a long time. Thanks for answering my question Xyrus I enjoy reading you on here. :)


Thanks. :)

No, 80 billion tons of methane wouldn't be enough. But there's actually a lot more than that available.
This is a pretty good summary of what could be expected in a worst case scenario. Granted it still wouldn't be pleasant but it isn't the end of the world. :)
Member Since: October 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1477
Quoting Patrap:
Life forms on Earth have survived two Major Extinction epoch's and well..

We got FB, Thermo-Nuclear Weapons by the Tens of Thousand's and American Idol.


Aint it wunderful?








i assume FB is facebook?
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4485
149. j2008
Quoting bappit:
I'm seeing some pretty wild speculation on the blog. You'd think a tropical cyclone was having a burst of convection just south of Hispaniola (just at the same time wind shear sets in and blows the thing apart). Can you name the 2011 storm?

Edit: Hey 115, I see scientific speculation, no political discussion at the moment--though some of the political/religion posts were interesting.
What is Emily??
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Ok guys, I'm here now, let's get this blog back on track. :D


Wow if I am correct that is Iggy? Impressive looking, in that picture at least, he seems to go through phases.
Member Since: December 19, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 224
Life forms on Earth have survived two Major Extinction epoch's and well..

We got FB, Thermo-Nuclear Weapons by the Tens of Thousand's and American Idol.


Aint it wunderful?






Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Spicewood Texas West of Austin is Out of Water, it is being Trucked in. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/lcra-trucki ng-water-to-town-of-spicewood-beach-after-wells-ra n-dry/2012/01/30/gIQAADqDdQ_story.html?wpisrc=emai ltoafriend
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Oh well, it's Stephen Hawking, but I don't agree with him.

Earth's maximum worst case scenario temperature should be roughly half of Venus, due to the amount of sunlight we recieve, even if Earth had a 100 bar atmosphere of pure greenhouse gases.

Problem is, that isn't hot enough to thermalize all the dirt and rock to release the CO2 in the first place.


The worst case scenario, with all the CO2 already being released from the soil and rock, does not get hot enough to facilitate it's own existence.

It would require an artificial cause, such as an alien attack or a doomsday bomb, etc.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
145. j2008
Quoting BobWallace:


The permafrost is also melting in Alaska and Canada. We're loosing roads and buildings as they slide into the great goop of melted soil.

It used to be that one could count on the soil remaining frozen as hard as rock. Those days are over....
Well....... IDK bout that, currently Alaska is frozen as cold as a freezer. -50 isnt exactly melting ground weather... I'm sure you meant over all but yea contradicterary to say it at this time.
Member Since: December 19, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 224
Here is what is happening to our airports due to the magnetic north is moving,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHbQsIyz3R8&featur e=related
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Quoting Neapolitan:
There's really no such thing as "making up the difference" where the subject of polar ice is concerned, of course; that's a little like saying having your left leg accidentally amputated makes up the difference for your right leg suddenly sprouting a 20-pound tumor. ;-)




How about the departure of 20% polarity from the North Pole to the South pole, since 1900.
2005
Solar System - Did you notice? In February 2001, the Sun did a magnetic polar shift. The next one is due again in 2012. NASA scientists who monitor the Sun say that our star's awesome magnetic field flipped 22 months ago, signaling the arrival of a solar maximum. But it wasn't so obvious to the average human. ImageThe Sun's magnetic north pole, which was in the northern hemisphere just a few months ago, now points south. It's a topsy-turvy situation, but not an unexpected one. "This always happens around the time of solar maximum," says David Hathaway, a solar physicist at the Marshall Space Flight Center. "The magnetic poles exchange places at the peak of the sunspot cycle. In fact, it's a good indication that Solar Max is really here." The Sun's magnetic poles will remain as they are now, with the north magnetic pole pointing through the Sun's southern hemisphere, until the year 2012 when they will reverse again. This transition happens, as far as we know, at the peak of every 11-year sunspot cycle -- like clockwork. Earth’s magnetic field also flips, but with less regularity. Consecutive reversals are spaced 5 thousand years to 50 million years apart. The last reversal happened 740,000 years ago. Some researchers think our planet is overdue for another one, but nobody knows exactly when the next reversal might occur. ImageAlthough solar and terrestrial magnetic fields behave differently, they do have something in common: their shape. During solar minimum the Sun's field, like Earth's, resembles that of an iron bar magnet, with great closed loops near the equator and open field lines near the poles. Scientists call such a field a "dipole." The Sun's dipolar field is about as strong as a refrigerator magnet, or 50 gauss (a unit of magnetic intensity). Earth's magnetic field is 100 times weaker. When solar maximum arrives and sunspots pepper the face of the Sun, our star's magnetic field begins to change. Sunspots are places where intense magnetic loops -- hundreds of times stronger than the ambient dipole field -- poke through the photosphere. "Meridional flows on the Sun's surface carry magnetic fields from mid-latitude sunspots to the Sun's poles," explains Hathaway. "The poles end up flipping because these flows transport south-pointing magnetic flux to the north magnetic pole, and north-pointing flux to the south magnetic pole." The dipole field steadily weakens as oppositely-directed flux accumulates at the Sun's poles until, at the height of solar maximum, the magnetic poles change polarity and begin to grow in a new direction. Hathaway noticed the latest polar reversal in a "magnetic butterfly diagram." Using data collected by astronomers at the U.S. National Solar Observatory on Kitt Peak, he plotted the Sun's average magnetic field, day by day, as a function of solar latitude and time from 1975 through the present. The result is a sort of strip chart recording that reveals evolving magnetic patterns on the Sun's surface. "We call it a butterfly diagram," he says, "because sunspots make a pattern in this plot that looks like the wings of a butterfly." In the butterfly diagram, pictured below, the Sun's polar fields appear as strips of uniform color near 90 degrees latitude. When the colors change (in this case from blue to yellow or vice versa) it means the polar fields have switched signs. The ongoing changes are not confined to the space immediately around our star, Hathaway added. The Sun's magnetic field envelops the entire solar system in a bubble that scientists call the "heliosphere." The heliosphere extends 50 to 100 astronomical units (AU) beyond the orbit of Pluto. Inside it is the solar system -- outside is interstellar space. "Changes in the Sun's magnetic field are carried outward through the heliosphere by the solar wind," explains Steve Suess, another solar physicist at the Marshall Space Flight Center. "It takes about a year for disturbances to propagate all the way from the Sun to the outer bounds of the heliosphere." Because the Sun rotates (once every 27 days) solar magnetic fields corkscrew outwards in the shape of an Archimedian spiral. Far above the poles the magnetic fields twist around like a child's Slinky toy. Because of all the twists and turns, "the impact of the field reversal on the heliosphere is complicated," says Hathaway. Sunspots are sources of intense magnetic knots that spiral outwards even as the dipole field vanishes. The heliosphere doesn't simply wink out of existence when the poles flip -- there are plenty of complex magnetic structures to fill the void. Or so the theory goes.... Researchers have never seen the magnetic flip happen from the best possible point of view -- that is, from the top down. But now, the unique Ulysses spacecraft may give scientists a reality check. Ulysses, an international joint venture of the European Space Agency and NASA, was launched in 1990 to observe the solar system from very high solar latitudes. Every six years the spacecraft flies 2.2 AU over the Sun's poles. No other probe travels so far above the orbital plane of the planets. "Ulysses just passed under the Sun's south pole," says Suess, a mission co-Investigator. "Now it will loop back and fly over the north pole in the fall." "This is the most important part of our mission," he says. Ulysses last flew over the Sun's poles in 1994 and 1996, during solar minimum, and the craft made several important discoveries about cosmic rays, the solar wind, and more. "Now we get to see the Sun's poles during the other extreme: Solar Max. Our data will cover a complete solar cycle." www.PoleReversal.com

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Man i got new earbuds today since last 'ns broke...and the music sound like ur sitting at a live performance
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4485
Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
Who died and made you blog police? 



nobody. i aint no police. and im tired of your negative responses to me.


go look at the community standards why dont you
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4485
Quoting NativeSun:
How is the icecap in Antarctica doing, probably making up the difference with the ice loss in the Arctic. Wait till we get a cold PDO,AMO and solar minimun. These are the real drivers to gobal temps one way or another.


The CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere in the southern hemisphere lag behind the northern hemisphere by about 5 to 10 years, because mixing just doesn't happen fast enough, probably due to the larger oceans, lower land area and lower population.

Methane in the SH also lags decades behind the methane in the NH.

So it will take at least another 5 to 10 years before the greenhouse effect in the SH is as strong as the greenhouse effect in the NH currently is, but by then, the NH will have gained another 22PPM CO2...

The antarctic sea ice EXTENT is currently growing, but that is slightly misleading for several reasons.

The average temperature of the southern ocean is increasing by 0.2C to 0.3C per decade.

Also, extent can be misleading vs volume.

Let's say you have an ice cube 2cm on each edge, so a volume 8cm^3.

If it's sitting in water, it's top face has an area of 4cm^2.

Now let's cut it into 8 cubes of 1cm each, and let's MELT 3 cubes, so that we have 5 remaining.

The 5 cubes top face now has an area of 5cm^2, an increase in area and extent!

But wait, the total volume has actually decreased from 8cm^3 to 5cm^3.


Ok, so that's a simple analogy of how things are more complicated than just one graph. The sub-surface ice in Antarctica often goes all the way down to the sea floor. This ice is being gradually eroded from beneath by the warming oceans, even as continental glaciers and ice shelfs collapse and fall into the sea.


Once the greenhouse gases in the SH catch up with the NH, give or take a certain amount, then Antarctica's sea ice and continental ice will also begin retreating.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Quoting Xandra:
Stephen Hawking - Earth could become like 'sister planet' Venus due to global warming




dont need dis crap here earth will NOT be like venus. ever. ever.
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4485
Who died and made you blog police? 
Quoting SPLbeater:


i did that once before. meant to hit minus...but hit plus.


watch language plz:D

D--- is bettr

Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
The NAO is currently almost in neutral,but the forecast is to be positive by early Febuary.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Stephen Hawking - Earth could become like 'sister planet' Venus due to global warming


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
You called my son?
Quoting TomTaylor:
oh god

Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
Quoting wxmod:
With present trends continuing in a straight line, how long do statistics show until life on earth as we know it will be impossible? PH, oxygen, temp, etc. Anyone calculated that. (not belief, just data)


I'm not sure what kind of information you could get from doing something like that. None of trends are linear, and in fact level off over time at points of saturation.

If your talking about what it would take to turn into Venus, it would take a lot more than what is projected. And we be long dead from other factors before we saw anything like Venus happening on Earth.

Besides, life as we know it would continue just fine for the most part. There'd be a number of extinctions, but life is so varied that it would be really hard to kill it all off, though at times I think we try really hard to. We might have a hard time or eventually vanish, but those crawly guys in the deeps hanging out around the geothermal vents could probably care less.
Member Since: October 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1477
113:

In order to get a real runaway greenhouse effect you'd need to burn all the remaining coal, oil,natural gas, and all remaining plant life.

Then you'd need to bake a significant portion of the Calcium Carbonate deposits of the world long enough and hot enough for it to release the CO2 into the atmosphere.

Even then, under present solar conditions, Earth should end up with a mean temperature a few degrees below boiling, and ironically, this is not hot enough to bake CO2 out of Calcium Carbonate. Which means true runaway greenhouse effect is not possible on the Earth under existing solar conditions, regardless of any amount of CO2 bombs or man-made emissions.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520


PNA nicely positive. eastern CONUS go possible(should i say likely??) pattern change.
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4485
Quoting StormGoddess:



After all of the ice melts, and the heat is still there, then all of the permafrost would be next. Complete permafrost meltdown would cause an enormous methane release into the atmosphere. Humans and all mammals on Earth would then truly be in a heap of trouble if we let it go that far. We would then enter into a cycle of becoming hotter and hotter, with air quality dropping more and more. On the heels of this, would come uninhabitable living conditions. Earth would become more like Venus than anyone would ever want to deal with. Permafrost has now begun melting in Siberia. This video shows what it looks like there as it is melting.



The permafrost is also melting in Alaska and Canada. We're loosing roads and buildings as they slide into the great goop of melted soil.

It used to be that one could count on the soil remaining frozen as hard as rock. Those days are over....
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344

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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.