New USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map for gardeners shows a warming climate

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:17 PM GMT on February 01, 2012

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Wintertime minimum temperatures in the U.S. have risen so much in recent decades that the United States Department of Agriculture decided last week to update their Plant Hardiness Zone Map for gardeners for the first time since 1990. The Plant Hardiness Zone Map is the standard by which gardeners and growers can determine which plants are most likely to thrive at a location. The map is based on the average annual minimum winter temperature, divided into 10-degree F zones. Compared to the 1990 version, zone boundaries in the new 2012 edition of the map have generally shifted one 5-degree Fahrenheit half-zone warmer than the previous map throughout much of the United States. This is mostly a result of using temperature data from a longer and more recent time period. The old 1990 map was based on temperature data from only a 13-year period of 1974-1986, while the new map uses data from the 30-year period 1976-2005.


Figure 1. Comparison of the 1990 and 2012 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Maps. Image credit: USDA and Arbor Day Foundation

Northwards, ho!
While humans are generally not attuned enough to nature's rhythms to tell if the climate is changing, plants and animals know the climate is changing. Many species of animals, insects, and plants have shifted their ranges poleward and to higher elevations in recent decades because of global warming. The 2007 IPCC report stated that "numerous studies document a progressively earlier spring by about 2.3 to 5.2 days per decade in the last 30 years in response to climate warming. That report also documented over 400 species that have moved their ranges poleward or to higher elevations because of climate change. For example, conifer trees expanded northwards into former tundra areas at a rate of 12 km per year between 1982 - 2000 in portions of Canada (Fillol and Royer, 2003.) Holly plants moved northwards by several hundred kilometers in recent decades into coastal Norway, Northeast Germany, Denmark, and coastal Sweden in response to warming temperatures (Walther et al., 2005.) As the climate continues to warm, plant and animal species previously unknown in many regions will appear, and will disappear from places they used to inhabit.


Figure 2. Change in the boundary line between conifer forest (taiga) and tundra between 1982 (grey line) and 2000 (white line) over Canada. In the grey box marked "Transect", the rate of northwards migration was 12 km per year, or 228 km (142 miles) in nineteen years. Image credit: Fillol and Royer, 2003, "Variability analysis of the transitory climate regime as defined by the NDVI/Ts relationship derived from NOAA-AVHRR over Canada", Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, 2003. IGARSS '03. Proceedings. 2003 IEEE International.

Jeff Masters

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Close-up of the Left Bipod Foam Ramp that broke off and damaged the Shuttle wing.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20514
#89

"Publishing a map like this destroys their credibility."

I agree that credibility is important. When you speak in terms of us and them (the reference to "their") it destroys yours. Whatever happens will affect all of us. Perhaps you just misspoke?

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Genetic information migrates across species barriers from plant to plant.
As for why that's posted here, it does raise some*hope that survival traits can be passed between some species fast enough to allow adaptation to keep up with rapid ClimateChange.

* Which is better than having nothing to hope upon.
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Quoting SPLbeater:


i would like to destroy the EPA. aint done nothin good but spend money i think.

Spoken like a true thirteen year old.
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LATEST FROM ENEWS

Published: January 31st, 2012 at 10:40 PM EDT By Enenews
109 comments
Report: ‘Empty’ Reactor No. 4 was actually filled with nuclear fuel — Only a matter of time before melt-out

Source: Numayu Date: Jan 31, 2012

Translated by Fukushima Diary:
[...] The nuclear worker is trustworthy. [...] Please read the post below as a story I heard from a Fukushima worker. [...]
Tepco was planning to start reactor 4 in the AM of 311.
(The nuclear fuel was in reactor.) [...]
Soon after the earthquake hit it, meltdown started.
Because reactor 4 was stand-by, cooling system could not be started either. [...]
The damage of reactor 4 is serious. [...]
In the container vessel of reactor4, melted fuel is stocked, but there is no technology developed to pick it up, it’s only the matter of time for it to have melt-out. The longest time would be one year.
If another earthquake hits it, it’s over.
Technically speaking, if it goes melt-out, it would flow to the sea.
Pacific ocean side of Japan and west side of America won’t be inhabitable anymore.


Sea contamination level increased on 1/30/2012
Posted by Mochizuki on February 1st, 2012
Tepco announced the samples taken at intake of reactor 2 and 3 contained more radiation then the ones of 1/29/2012.

1/30/2012
At intake of reactor 2
Cesium 134 : 130,000 Bq/m3
Cesium 137 : 170,000 Bq/m3

At intake of reactor 3
Cesium 134 : 260,000 Bq/m3
Cesium 137 : 340,000 Bq/m3

TEPCO says 8.5 tons of water leaked from Fukushima No. 4 reactor TOKYO, Feb. 1, Kyodo

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Wednesday that 8.5 tons of radioactive water leaked from the No. 4 reactor of the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi power plant because a pipe connected to the reactor dropped off, but added that the liquid has not flowed outside the reactor building.
At the time of the devastating earthquake and tsunami last March 11, the reactor's fuel rods were in its spent fuel pool due to maintenance work that was taking place. The water contains radioactive materials as it is mixed up with water that is in contact with the fuel in the spent fuel tank.
According to the utility known as TEPCO, water was found to have leaked onto the floor of the No. 4 unit building at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. The leak was stopped at 10:43 p.m. by closing a valve, officials said.
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117. flsky
"Found: Earth's Missing Energy"
Link
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Carp invasion threatens North American fish industry
Posted on February 1, 2012
February 1, 2012 – Environmentalists in North America are looking at options to control an invasive species of fish, the Asian carp, which threatens to squeeze out other species if its numbers continue to grow. Imported as a farmed species in the 1970s, Bighead and Silver carp from China were first seen as a way to produce cheap food, but floodwaters overwhelmed the fish farms, spreading the fish throughout the U.S. Midwest. The threat from the species is so grave that authorities could end up spending billions of dollars and physically separating two river basins. –Al
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Beaver Dam Creek Sludge Release
Rose Hill, NC - EPA Region IV
NRC#: 917748




Uploaded by AnacostiaWS on Jun 15, 2010
Concerned members of Friends of Lower Beaverdam Creek (FLBC) in Prince George's County, Maryland found potential pollution in Tuxedo Business Park while they were hiking. The case was reported to AWS and our Water Quality Specialist, Masaya Maeda, investigated and documented this case.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127592
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Superfund sites


A Superfund site is an uncontrolled or abandoned place where hazardous waste is located, possibly affecting local ecosystems or people. Sites are listed on the National Priorities List (NPL) upon completion of Hazard Ranking System (HRS) screening, public solicitation of comments about the proposed site, and after all comments have been addressed.

Over the past 20+ years, Superfund has located and analyzed tens of thousands of hazardous waste sites, protected people and the environment from contamination at the worst sites, and involved states, local communities, and other partners in cleanup. Superfund measures its cleanup accomplishments through various criteria including construction and post construction completions of hazardous waste sites.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127592
Quoting FatPenguin:


we've already proven we can effect the climate on local and worldwide levels (see CFCs). anytime someone says we can't I know immediately they've done little to no research on the subject and don't know what they're talking about.


CFC's have nothing to do with atmospheric CO2 content. Ultraviolet Radiation and Greenhouse Gases are independent of one another.
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Quoting SPLbeater:


no actually my knees were not jerking. I dont say anything without confidence behind it.


it isn't an issue of lack of confidence...so much as lack of evidence
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10479
Comet Garradd to make its closeth approach to Earth in March
Posted on February 1, 2012


February 1, 2012 – SPACE – The star cluster and the comet are both located in the constellation Hercules, high overhead in northern hemisphere skies before sunrise. Sky and Telescope offers a sky map of the comet’s path. Observers with computerized GOTO telescopes can track the comet by plugging in orbital elements from the Minor Planet Center. At the moment, Comet Garradd has an astronomical magnitude of +6.5, invisible to the naked eye but an easy target for backyard telescopes. Forecasters expect it to brighten by a factor of ~2 in the weeks ahead as the comet approaches Earth for a 1.3 AU close encounter in early March. This could be a good time to invest in a Comet Hunter. –Space Weather
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Damages from tropical cyclones expected to double by 2100 February 1, 2012

Tropical cyclones will cause $109 billion in damages by 2100, according to Yale and MIT researchers in a paper published in Nature Climate Change.

That figure represents an increased vulnerability from population and especially economic growth, as well as the effects of climate change. Greater vulnerability to cyclones is expected to increase global tropical damage to $56 billion by 2100 double the current damage from the current rate of $26 billion per year if the present climate remains stable.

Climate change is predicted to add another $53 billion of damages. The damage caused by climate change is equal to 0.01 percent of GDP in 2100.

The United States and China will be hardest hit, incurring $25 billion and $15 billion of the additional damages from climate change, respectively, amounting to 75 percent of the global damages caused by climate change. Small islands, especially in the Caribbean, will also be hit hard, suffering the highest damages per unit of GDP.

The research reveals that more intense storms will become more frequent with climate change. "The biggest storms cause most of the damage," said Robert Mendelsohn, the lead economist on the project. "With the present climate, almost 93 percent of tropical cyclone damage is caused by only 10 percent of the storms. Warming will increase the frequency of these high-intensity storms at least in the North Pacific and North Atlantic Ocean basins, causing most of the increase in damage."

The authors based their estimates on a future global population of 9 billion and an annual increase of approximately 3 percent in gross world product until 2100. "More people making a lot more income will put more capital in harm's way," he said.

Tropical cyclones today cause $26 billion in global damages, which is 4 percent of gross world product. North America and East Asia account for 88 percent of these damages, because these regions have powerful storms and well-developed coastlines.

The future economic damage from tropical cyclones will be less than $1 billion a year in Europe and South America because there are few storms there, and the damage in Africa will be low because, Mendelsohn said, there is "relatively little in harm's way." Damages in Asia and Central America are expected to grow rapidly in concert with high economic growth. The Caribbean-Central America region will have the highest damage per unit of gross domestic product 37 percent.

"When you calculate damages as a fraction of GDP, island nations are hit disproportionately hard," he said.

More information: The paper, "The Impact of Climate Change on Global Tropical Cyclone Damage," is available at http://www.nature.com

Provided by Yale University (news : web)
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God Bless the crew of Columbia. Feb 1st, 2003.
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Europe freeze kills 89, fears rise over Russian gas

Death toll approaching 100 in the Europe cold wave, temperatures expected to drop below -30 C in parts of Poland, Romania & Bulgaria tonight.
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Quoting presslord:


Is it painful when your knee jerks like that?


no actually my knees were not jerking. I dont say anything without confidence behind it.
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Quoting Patrap:
High Novelty Human Tragedy with rescue underway at Soccer Stadium Match in Egypt.


Egyptian official: 73 dead, hundreds hurt in riots after soccer game
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3468
High Novelty Human Tragedy with rescue underway at Soccer Stadium Match in Egypt.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127592
Brain signal analysis could allow paralysed to speak
1 February 2012




With neuroprosthetics, people have shown that it's possible to control movement with brain activity, said project collaborator Dr Robert Knight of UC Berkeley. But that work, while not easy, is relatively simple compared to reconstructing language. This experiment takes that earlier work to a whole new level.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127592
Quoting N3EG:
Interesting topic. I live in WA state at 46 degrees north, and have seen smaller mimosa trees either die (in my back yard!) or be reduced to small annual shoots each year. Older trees have survived, but new ones will not take hold. I thought the milder winters would help them. Another case of our PDO overriding the effects of AGW? Sure seems that way, with the longer cool temperatures here in spring.


I'm also in WA (around 48 north). While the mean winter temps are higher, there have been sharper and longer cold snaps these last two winters. Tender plants are more likely to reflect the extremes than the mean, I think.
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I know it is wayyyyy early for this, but SST anomolies off the NE coast are super toasty!
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97. N3EG
Interesting topic. I live in WA state at 46 degrees north, and have seen smaller mimosa trees either die (in my back yard!) or be reduced to small annual shoots each year. Older trees have survived, but new ones will not take hold. I thought the milder winters would help them. Another case of our PDO overriding the effects of AGW? Sure seems that way, with the longer cool temperatures here in spring.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
George VI Ice Shelf Antarctic Lakes Move Up To 5 Feet Per Day


from the above,



Pine Island Glacier ice shelf rift
NASA's DC-8 flies across the crack forming across the Pine Island Glacier ice shelf on Oct. 26, 2011. The ice shelf is in the midst of a natural process of calving a large iceberg, which it hasn't done since 2001


also related,

Pine Island Glacier

In mid-October 2011, NASA scientists working in Antarctica discovered a massive crack across the Pine Island Glacier, a major ice stream that drains the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Extending for 19 miles (30 kilometers), the crack was 260 feet (80 meters) wide and 195 feet (60 meters) deep. Eventually, the crack will extend all the way across the glacier, and calve a giant iceberg that will cover about 350 square miles (900 square kilometers).

This image from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument on NAS's Terra spacecraft was acquired Nov. 13, 2011, and covers an area of 27 by 32 miles (44 by 52 kilometers), and is located near 74.9 degrees south latitude, 101.1 degrees west longitude.

Image Credit: NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team




Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127592
My PWS is reporting 69 degrees. WTH? Absolutely insane to have the average high for May on the 1st of February!
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3468
When the president moves away from talking about climate change and talks more generally about energy, as he did in the State of the Union, calling for an all-out, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy, the impact is more than just political.

It just might get him re-elected. All talk about 'the left this' and 'the right that' discounts the fact that none of these folk elected themselves. If the discussion is moving in the "energy" direction, it's because that's where the discussion leaders think that the votes are. Our votes. That points the mirror, and the blame, squarely where they belong. At you and me.

I work at a lab where climate change and ocean acidification are major components of the work. The parking lot is full of cars, every day. I rest my case.
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Link

Lovely day at the pool today, Outlook for us remains warm, while others need their Tuques.
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129 record daily low minimum temperatures were set or tied across the continental U.S. in January, 2012:

Uh-oh

Meanwhile, 3,068 record daily high maximum temperatures were set or tied across the continental U.S. in January, 2012:

Uh-oh

Source...
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Quoting SPLbeater:


i would like to destroy the EPA. aint done nothin good but spend money i think.


Is it painful when your knee jerks like that?
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10479
When I read this blog post, I was really interested to check Google Earth to see how drastically the landscape had changed in Canada. I fully expected to verify what's in this "Northward Expansion of Trees..." map.

Either their methodology for drawing the map is bad or the map is just terrible.

First, there are places that OBVIOUSLY have been forested for quite a long time, but are shown on the map as only gaining trees since 1982 as a result of climate change. Does anyone really think that the parts of the Côte-Nord region of Quebec next to the Saint Lawrence had no trees before 1982. Look at the following locations:
50.43510° N, 64.40846° W
51.95261° N, 62.86960° W
50.67476° N, 64.59611° W
51.31422° N, 58.47182° W
Numerous photos around these areas show that these trees form thick, fully-developed forests. And considering the growth rates of these types of trees in these cold climates, many of these trees must be at least 50 years old. If there is any truth to their map, they must have used an incredibly liberal definition of treeline.

Second, there are some areas which still show up as completely tundra, both from satellite pictures and from recent photographs.
64.512887° N, 101.361422° W appears to me to be within the 2000 treeline, but pictures from the area show complete tundra.

A quick Google search would have clued the authors in to the fact that their analysis methods, or baseline, or something was incorrect.

If the data was only good for their transect, they should have just published that ... and then written another paper for another transect ... and so forth.

Publishing a map like this destroys their credibility.
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Quoting NativeSun:
So the Co2 changes more than a little and the climate changes, but is the climate change all from man made pollutants or is there other factors involved like an El Nino or La Nina, a cold or warm PDO,AMO or Solar Min or Max. Their are so many variables that change the way the earths atmosphere heats or cools and I don't think we have all the answers yet. I don't like the idea of being taxed for something that we may have no contol over but I rather live in a warmer planet than one on the verge of an Ice Age if all of our so called knowledge about climate change is wrong. Billions of People will die if we enter another Ice Age and that would probably help with the excess CO2 problem. Just an idea.


we've already proven we can effect the climate on local and worldwide levels (see CFCs). anytime someone says we can't I know immediately they've done little to no research on the subject and don't know what they're talking about.
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Very very rare to see such a wet pattern developing across FL & the SE US in a La Nina event.
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As a result of the MJO try to find FL on the GFS 12 precip accum map.

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Looks like the MJO is returning next week just in time for maybe a little early season fun.



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Quoting NativeSun:
Hi ILwthrfan, Texas is part of the Desert Southwest, there always will be droughts in that part of the country (dust bowl years) and there have been droughts in that part of the country and flooding in the midwest long before this climate change agenda came to be. We have very little control over the cooling and warming of this planet, like I said before we dont posses the knowledge to say CO2 is 100% the cause of climate change. If CO2 was a major gas and a pollutant than maybe their would be some concern. We can't predict the weather from week to week with our models, how are we going to predict whats going to happen 80 to 100 years from now with the climate models. I'll bet the next 20 to 30 years the earth will continue to cool as it is now and everyone will be calling for an Ice Age ala the 70s.


I do agree that models can only be so accurate and never will be 100%, but at least look at the data we do have to be accurate and make an assumption.



The graph above shows the exact idea you where referring to back in the 70's when scientists were predicting an "Ice Age". You can see from 1940 to 1980 or so we had no increase in global temperature and a slight negative trend, but look at what we have accomplished since 1980...Almost a 4 degree C increase. Now the earth has natural cycles, but this is just a small piece of data from a much larger picture.


Same data-set, bigger picture...blue represents temperature and Co2 is in green. Notice the correlation between the two. They mirror each other perfectly, so we do know that increasing Co2 = higher temperature. I am curious to your point of view on this data?
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Iggy closing in on Western Australia, 60 knot windspeeds n decreasin..
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Quoting SPLbeater:


i would like to destroy the EPA. aint done nothin good but spend money i think.


Tell that to all the cleaned up superfund sites. Love Canal? Times Beach? Cuyahoga River?

There are dozens of such sites in my state alone that have been transformed from their toxic pasts into useable land once again.
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 3168
Quoting NativeSun:
So the Co2 changes more than a little and the climate changes, but is the climate change all from man made pollutants or is there other factors involved like an El Nino or La Nina, a cold or warm PDO,AMO or Solar Min or Max.


Internal climate cycles like the PDO, AMO, or ENSO, do not create nor destroy heat energy. They are merely the observed representation of the earth's attempts to redistribute already accumulated heat at varying magnitudes and speeds.
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 3168
Quoting Patrap:
The House on Friday passed the first in a planned series of Republican bills to effectively block the Environmental Protection Agency from reining in toxic pollution under the Clean Air Act.

We expect no less from the ones on the right.

Obstruction and personal interest trump whats good for the Country and the Planet, every time.


Clearly, the right is NOT on America's side. Their total disdain of what is the correct thing to do, is trumped by their collective arrogance, ignorance and greed.



i would like to destroy the EPA. aint done nothin good but spend money i think.
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
"Novelty" does not even avoid Politics, as we slide down the TimeWave Zero.

'Gasland' Journalists Arrested At Hearing By Order Of House Republicans (UPDATES)


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127592
Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:

I'll have you to know i resemble that remark. Why do you have it in for me?

(FIRST!) ;^)}


Any Man who can wear a Fine Hat indoor's..,I'll not toy with.

But Sadly, the Price of wisdom,is age.




Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127592
Quoting Patrap:
To argue with a fool is to his advantage.

Your all being played by a certain "perma-banned imitation of Life".

Move on to more constructive things.
Yes. Like beating my head repeatedly against a wall... ;-)

I ran some quick numbers on Arctic Sea ice area for comparison purposes. In the month of January, 2007, there was a net gain of 1.321 million km2 of ice. For January of 2011, that net gain was 1.182 million km2. But for 2012, that gain was a mere 0.863 million km2.
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Quoting Patrap:
To argue with a fool is to his advantage.


I'll have you to know i resemble that remark. Why do you have it in for me?

(FIRST!) ;^)}
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To argue with a fool is to his advantage.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127592
Hi ILwthrfan, Texas is part of the Desert Southwest, there always will be droughts in that part of the country (dust bowl years) and there have been droughts in that part of the country and flooding in the midwest long before this climate change agenda came to be. We have very little control over the cooling and warming of this planet, like I said before we dont posses the knowledge to say CO2 is 100% the cause of climate change. If CO2 was a major gas and a pollutant than maybe their would be some concern. We can't predict the weather from week to week with our models, how are we going to predict whats going to happen 80 to 100 years from now with the climate models. I'll bet the next 20 to 30 years the earth will continue to cool as it is now and everyone will be calling for an Ice Age ala the 70s.
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127592

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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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