My worst global warming fear: buckeyes in Ann Arbor

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:53 PM GMT on February 10, 2012

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Last week, I blogged about how wintertime minimum temperatures in the U.S. have risen so much in recent decades, that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) had 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. I got to looking at the new zone map for Ann Arbor, Michigan, where I live, and saw how we've shifted one 5-degree Fahrenheit half-zone warmer. Ann Arbor used to be in Zone 5, but is now solidly in the warmer Zone 6. This got me to wondering, what sort of plants in Zone 6, until now rare or unknown in Ann Arbor, might migrate northwards in coming decades into the city? Then, with a sudden chill, I contemplated a truly awful possibility: The Ohio Buckeye Tree.


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

Buckeyes in Ann Arbor? The Horror!
For those of you unfamiliar the the buckeye tree, it is the emblem of Ohio State University. The Buckeyes of Ohio State have one of the most fierce rivalries in sports with that "school up north", the University of Michigan. As someone who spent twelve years of my life as a student at the University of Michigan, the thought of Buckeye trees in Ann Arbor is not one I care to contemplate. But the USDA Forest Service has published a Climate Change Tree Atlas which predicts that the most favorable habitat for the Ohio Buckeye Tree can be expected to move northwards with a warming climate. While they give their model for the Buckeye Tree a rating of "low reliability", it is nonetheless chilling to contemplate the potential infestation of Ann Arbor with this loathsome invader. I can only sadly predict that to stem the invasion, non-ecologically-minded University of Michigan students will unleash genetically engineered wolverines that eat buckeye seeds.


Figure 2. Potential changes in the mean center of distribution of the Ohio Buckeye tree. The green oval shows the current center of the range of the Buckeye Tree, well to the south of Ann Arbor. In a scenario where humans emit relatively low amounts of heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide (light blue oval), the most favorable climate for the Buckeye Tree edges into Southern Michigan, and marches into Ann Arbor under the medium and high scenarios for emissions (other ovals.) Image credit: USDA Forest Service Climate Change Tree Atlas.

Libyan snowstorm triggered major Saharan dust storm
On February 6, a rare snow storm hit North Africa, bringing 2 - 3 inches of snow to Tripoli, Libya. It was the first snow in Tripoli since at least 2005, and may be the heaviest snow the Libyan capital has seen since February 6, 1956. The storm responsible for the North African snow also had strong winds that kicked up a tremendous amount of dust over Algeria during the week. This dust became suspended in a flow of air moving to the southwest, and is now over the Atlantic Ocean.


Figure 3. Dust storm on February 7, 2012, off the coast of West Africa, spawned by a storm that brought snow to North Africa on February 6. Note the beautiful vorticies shed by the Cape Verde Islands, showing that the air is flowing northeast to southwest. The red squares mark where fires are burning in West Africa. Image credit: NASA.

Have a great weekend, everyone, and I'll be back Monday with a new post.

Jeff Masters

BUCKEYE BIRTH (WHIPPME)
NO SILLY NOT THE FOOTBALL TEAM .......THE REAL THING
BUCKEYE BIRTH

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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


You can freeze this image by uploading it at imageshack,us. Click url and then put link at space and that is it.

Link


I'm silly anyway, all I have to do is save the thing to my HD, but I rarely do that, so I sort of...forget...


I have no clue why I have a 500GB HD, because I never use more than a few megabytes of it...sad...
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 32 Comments: 1502
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
Naked swirl in South Atlantic off Brazil.


It looks like a clockwise Jose. :P
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Quoting RTSplayer:
Ok, this should be updated tomorrow, so post it here to compare when it happens, else this gets archived, and I don't know the link to find it.



Will be interesting to see where the warm anomaly moves and how it changes.


You can freeze this image by uploading it at imageshack.us. Click url and then put link at space and that is it.

Link
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Ok, this should be updated tomorrow, so post it here to compare when it happens, else this gets archived, and I don't know the link to find it.



Will be interesting to see where the warm anomaly moves and how it changes.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 32 Comments: 1502
516. fuzed
Sorry if this has been posted before, but it seems new news.
http://www.tacc.utexas.edu/news/feature-stories/2 012/upgrading-the-hurricane-forecast

Texas super computer improves hurricane forecasts (h/t slashdot)
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Naked swirl in South Atlantic off Brazil.

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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
43 in Lake Worth, Fla. With the wind, feels about 38.

morning, 31 here in zephyrhills fl, with a breeze around 8mph. NICE
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Quoting WxGeekVA:
Coooooooollllddddd!!!!! 18 degrees with drifting snow and high winds. Finally winter has arrived!
Did you see my earlier post????.Wind damage was occurring where I had lived.I saw the winds yesterday night whip around the snow like a blizzard.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 15710
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10578
Coooooooollllddddd!!!!! 18 degrees with drifting snow and high winds. Finally winter has arrived!
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3466
43° in Lake Worth, Fla. With the wind, feels about 38.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10578
28F at 05:50 on the GoM, north florida.. clear, waning gibbous moon..
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508. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Seychelles Meteorological Services
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #13
CYCLONE TROPICAL GIOVANNA (09-20112012)
10:00 AM RET February 12 2012
================================

At 6:00 AM UTC, Tropical Cyclone Giovanna (965 hPa) located at 17.6S 57.5E has 10 minute sustained winds of 75 knots with gusts of 105 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west at 5 knots.

Hurricane Force Winds
========================
40 NM radius from the center

Storm Force Winds
=================
60 NM radius from the center

Gale Force Winds
=================
90 NM radius from the center extending up to 110 NM in the southeastern quadrant

Near Gale Force Winds
=====================
110 NM radius from the center, extending up to 120 NM in the southwestern quadrant and up to 150 NM in the southeastern quadrant

Dvorak Intensity: T4.5/5.0/W0.5/24 HRS

Forecast and Intensity
========================

12 HRS: 17.6S 55.6E - 80 knots (Cyclone Tropical)
24 HRS: 18.0S 53.1E - 75 knots (Cyclone Tropical)
48 HRS: 18.5S 48.1E - DEPRESSION sur Terre
72 HRS: 21.3S 42.5E - 25 knots (Perturbation Tropicale)

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

Meteosat7 infrared imagery keeps on showing a rather bad defined eye and last night microwave imagery showed an eyewall existing within more than 25 NM radius from the center. Winds extension has been recalibrated thanks to 0546 AM UTC ASCAT swath. The mid-level barometric col, is currently evacuating southeastwards and system will be undergoing the steering influence of the mi-level ridge rebuilding in its southwest.

This deep mid-level ridge would steer the system on a gradually faster westwards track for the next few days. Significant intensification is no more expected. On and after Monday, Giovanna should undergo a weak to moderate easterly vertical wind shear on the northern side of rebuilding upper level high pressures. Some weakening is likely before the landfall on the eastern coast of Madagascar Monday night.

The expected landfall area at this time is located between Fenerive northward to Mahanoro southward including the city of Tamatave.

The residual center should come back over seas in the Mozambique Channel on Wednesday within a rather favorable environment. It should track west southwestwards to southwestwards on the northwestern edge of the subtropical ridge.

Unhabitants of Mascareignes islands and eastern coasts of Madagascar (specially people who lived within the threaten area cited previously) should continue to closely monitor the progress of this dangerous system.

The next tropical cyclone advisory on TC GIOVANNA issued by Seychelles Meteorological Services will be issued at 12:30 PM UTC..
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507. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Fiji Meteorological Services
Tropical Disturbance Advisory #15
TROPICAL CYCLONE JASMINE (12F)
18:00 PM FST February 12 2012
===================================

At 6:00 AM UTC, Tropical Cyclone Jasmine, Category One (987 hPa) located at 24.9S 179.5W has 10 minute sustained winds of 45 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving east northeast at 15 knots. Position fair based on hourly GMS enhanced infrared imagery.

Cloud tops cooling past 6 hours. Organization has decreased in the past 24 hours. Outflow remains good in the eastern flank. The system lies to the south of 250 HPA ridge axis in a low to moderate sheared environment. The system is being steered east-northeast by deep layer mean west southwest flow. Sea surface temperature around 26C

Dvorak analysis based on 0.6 wrap, yielding DT=3.0, PT=3.0 and MET=3.0. Final Dvorak based on DT.

Dvorak Intensity: T3.0/3.0/W1.0/24 HRS

Most global models agree on a east-northeast movement with gradual weakening in the next 24 hours.

Forecast and Intensity:
=======================

12 HRS: 23.9S 177.8W - 45 knots (CAT 1)
24 HRS: 23.2S 176.8W - 40 knots (CAT 1)
48 HRS: 21.6S 176.6E - 25 knots (Tropical Depression)

The next tropical disturbance advisory from Fiji Meteorological Services on TC JASMINE will be issued at 14:30 PM UTC..
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Currently on the Gold Coast, Queensland. (video)









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Eye is really starting to clear.

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Quoting washingtonian115:
I am Grothar :).I've stayed up past my bed time now to see this crazy weather in action.


Enjoy it while you can. I don't have a bedtime anymore. I just fall asleep every 15 minutes. Sort of a nice break in the day.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23723
Quoting Grothar:


I know you like the snow. You must be in your glory. I just like to look at pictures of snow.
I am Grothar :).I've stayed up past my bed time now to see this crazy weather in action.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 15710
Quoting washingtonian115:
It's every weather nerd's dream outside.The winds are crazy outside and their blowing the snow around making it look like a blizzard.Pretty impressive.I'm starting to hear damage outside.....My nieghboors wind shingles just got blown off the side of her porch.


I know you like the snow. You must be in your glory. I just like to look at pictures of snow.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23723
It feels like 8 degrees outside.My flag has tears in it now.Old man winter has come back with a vengeance .Visability has gone down hill as well.Some of the wet areas have probally turned into ice now.Whooooooa I just saw a trash can get flipped over three times.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 15710
It's every weather nerd's dream outside.The winds are crazy outside and their blowing the snow around making it look like a blizzard.Pretty impressive.I'm starting to hear damage outside.....My nieghboors wind shingles just got blown off the side of her porch.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 15710
Eye is clearing out a bit.

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Could be fun times in Seattle if this forecast holds..

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Quoting SPLbeater:


i hope it makes category 8 intensity and then does a TS Don on madagascar :D
Sometimes it is those convectionless swirls that look better than a major hurricane. Go figure.
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ok well goodnight all tell Giovanna to behave save the show for me in morning lol.

be back 2morow evenin
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Quoting washingtonian115:
BORING.Hope Giovanna continues on it's weakning trend(sorta similar to Irene from 2011).Good luck to the people in the path of the storm.


i hope it makes category 8 intensity and then does a TS Don on madagascar :D
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481


ok i just looked at the little 2hr animation on new day and there does seem to be an eyewall taking shape inside the southeastern side of the large eywall.

Here is febuary 11th 0:00UTC-23:45UTC Link

And here is febuary 12th 0:00UTC-2:45UTC Link
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
BORING.Hope Giovanna continues on it's weakning trend(sorta similar to Irene from 2011).Good luck to the people in the path of the storm.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 15710
Quoting yqt1001:


I disagree, it is strengthening. The banding is getting better defined and the eye is slowly clearing out. It's nothing rapid, but I feel it is very slowly strengthening.

It is definitely not strengthening. We may be able to settle on staying steady in the intensity department, but its cloud pattern has remained disorganized all day.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30257
Quoting yqt1001:


I disagree, it is strengthening. The banding is getting better defined and the eye is slowly clearing out. It's nothing rapid, but I feel it is very slowly strengthening.


ya by watching the microwave animation throughout today, there is a big eye, but it looks like a smaller eyewall might develop inside the east side of the larger eyewall. may not happen, but a possibility:D
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Giovanna continues to weaken and probably will make landfall in approximately 36-48 hours as nothing more than a minimal Category 3 equivalent at best.



I disagree, it is strengthening. The banding is getting better defined and the eye is slowly clearing out. It's nothing rapid, but I feel it is very slowly strengthening.
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Quoting SPLbeater:
I just made a move with my knight on chess to get away from the opponents queen, and boom landed right in a spot where the king is trapped by his own pieces not moves yet, he in checkmate!

First time i done that :D


Was gonna add something else about Chess.

You can get a lot of wins just by pretty much doing nothing but working your Queen and Knight in tandem, because you can effectively control the opponent's turn with them.

If you're playing chess titans, it should be able to beat anything below the 5th difficulty level without moving half of your pieces. i.e. move only Queen side stuff, or move only king side stuff, and you'll win.

Like basily pretend you King side doesn't exist, and just move the pieces on the queen side.

Do that till you can beat up to the 4th difficulty without moving or losing anything on the King side.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 32 Comments: 1502
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Not really..



i dont think u have checked the microwave. the eye is way bigger then the previous one

but if it clears out i think it might tighten just a bit
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
The record-breaking cold temps are still hanging around in Europe, but look like they'll finally be moderating by mid-week (applause).

Meanwhile, the abnormal continues across the United States. Some preliminary numbers:

-Last week saw a paltry total of just 8 record daily low, or low maximum, temperatures set or tied. That's the smallest one-week low record total since the summer of 2010.

-Last week was the ninth consecutive week--and 12th out of the last 13--with more record highs than record lows.

-Today was the 28th consecutive day, and 62nd out of the last 63--with more record highs than record lows.

-For 2012 to-date, there have been 5,208 record highs vs. just 346 record lows, a ratio of 15.05 to 1.

-For the month to-date, things are even more lopsided, with 888 record highs and just 19 record lows, a ratio of 46.74 to 1.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13275
Quoting SPLbeater:
Giovanna has a huge eye...

Not really..

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30257
...
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 15710
Giovanna has a huge eye...
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30257
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Giovanna continues to weaken and probably will make landfall in approximately 36-48 hours as nothing more than a minimal Category 3 equivalent at best.

Giovanna weakend because I had my magical wand at my side.The magical wand is back and revived.Better than ever might I say.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 15710
Giovanna continues to weaken and probably will make landfall in approximately 36-48 hours as nothing more than a minimal Category 3 equivalent at best.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30257
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
Mmmm I'm looking at it and if I'm correct does that mean snow for me???
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 165 Comments: 52262
a strong storm for newfoundland tonight

Environment Canada's Official Weather Warnings

Rainfall warning for
Avalon Peninsula Southeast continued

Rainfall accumulations of 30 to 55 millimetres are expected tonight into Sunday.

This is a warning that significant rainfall is expected or occurring in these regions. Monitor weather conditions..Listen for updated statements.

A low pressure system currently south of Nova Scotia will track northeastward tonight and through the Gulf of St. Lawrence Sunday morning to lie across Southeastern Labrador later on Sunday. Strong southerly winds and heavy rain ahead of this system has started to develop over Southwestern Newfoundland and will continue to spread elsewhere tonight and Sunday. Rainfall accumulations will be highest along the south coast where 40 to 55 millimetres are expected. Parts of Eastern Newfoundland and the Northern Peninsula will see closer to 30 millimetres.

The strong southeasterly winds are expected to gust between 100 to 130 km/h for most coastal regions of Newfoundland beginning later overnight or Sunday morning. In the Wreckhouse area, southeasterly winds will gust to 190 km/h beginning late overnight before diminishing by noon as winds veer to southerly.

Additionally, high waves and pounding surf will impact the south and the east coast of the Avalon on Sunday evening. This could result in minor flooding in low lying coastal areas exposed to the southeast.

Avalon Peninsula Southeast
10:31 PM NST Saturday 11 February 2012
Wind warning for
Avalon Peninsula Southeast continued

Southeasterly winds gusting to 100 to 130 km/h are expected Sunday morning.

This is a warning that potentially damaging winds are expected in these regions. Monitor weather conditions..Listen for updated statements.

A low pressure system currently south of Nova Scotia will track northeastward tonight and through the Gulf of St. Lawrence Sunday morning to lie across Southeastern Labrador later on Sunday. Strong southerly winds and heavy rain ahead of this system has started to develop over Southwestern Newfoundland and will continue to spread elsewhere tonight and Sunday. Rainfall accumulations will be highest along the south coast where 40 to 55 millimetres are expected. Parts of Eastern Newfoundland and the Northern Peninsula will see closer to 30 millimetres.

The strong southeasterly winds are expected to gust between 100 to 130 km/h for most coastal regions of Newfoundland beginning later overnight or Sunday morning. In the Wreckhouse area, southeasterly winds will gust to 190 km/h beginning late overnight before diminishing by noon as winds veer to southerly.

Additionally, high waves and pounding surf will impact the south and the east coast of the Avalon on Sunday evening. This could result in minor flooding in low lying coastal areas exposed to the southeast.

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 165 Comments: 52262
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 165 Comments: 52262
Quoting Grothar:


You make Timothy Dexter proud, Keeper. . , ; ! ""
somebody got a do it may as well be me
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 165 Comments: 52262
Quoting SPLbeater:
I just made a move with my knight on chess to get away from the opponents queen, and boom landed right in a spot where the king is trapped by his own pieces not moves yet, he in checkmate!

First time i done that :D


What difficulty are you on? And what Chess engine?

I can repeatedly beat Windows "Chess Titans" without losing anything on the first difficulty or two.

I've beaten it on 8th difficulty 1 time. Never beat 9th or 10th.

Can beat 5th and 6th difficulty, usually losing just 2 pawns and 1 Bishop.

I've found a couple ridiculously powerful chess engines online which are almost unbeatable, like Winboard.

Winboard is pretty cool, because it's also fully customizable. If you are patient and want to learn, you can input data to make your own custom chess pieces and stuff.

The Winboard A.I. is so good, it even knows how to play with custom pieces, and will still beat you with those too.

Computer A.I. is ridiculously good with turn based games, but suck hard at Real Time games.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 32 Comments: 1502
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
cold tonight winters growl but for a short while rtn flow commences on monday above normal abnormally after that i think sping comes early gonna be dry


You make Timothy Dexter proud, Keeper. . , ; ! ""
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23723
I just made a move with my knight on chess to get away from the opponents queen, and boom landed right in a spot where the king is trapped by his own pieces not moves yet, he in checkmate!

First time i done that :D
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
cold tonight winters growl but for a short while rtn flow commences on monday above normal abnormally after that i think spring comes early gonna be dry for some wet for others
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 165 Comments: 52262
Quoting Grothar:


Hangin' in there KEEPER.
we are all just hangin in there Gro
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 165 Comments: 52262

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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.