Arctic sea ice loss tied to unusual jet stream patterns

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:40 PM GMT on April 02, 2012

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Earth has seen some highly unusual weather patterns over the past three years, and three new studies published this year point to Arctic sea loss as a potential important driver of some of these strange weather patterns. The record loss of sea ice the Arctic in recent years may be increasing winter cold surges and snowfall in Europe and North America, says a study by a research team led by Georgia Institute of Technology scientists Jiping Liu and Judith Curry. The paper, titled "Impact of declining Arctic sea ice on winter snowfall", was published on Feb. 27, 2012 in the online early edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "Our study demonstrates that the decrease in Arctic sea ice area is linked to changes in the winter Northern Hemisphere atmospheric circulation, said Judith Curry, chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech, in a press release. "The circulation changes result in more frequent episodes of atmospheric blocking patterns, which lead to increased cold surges and snow over large parts of the northern continents."


Figure 1. Arctic sea ice in September 2007 reached its lowest extent on record, approximately 40% lower than when satellite records began in 1979. Sea ice loss in 2011 was virtually tied with the ice loss in 2007, despite weather conditions that were not as unusual in the Arctic. Image credit: University of Illinois Cryosphere Today.


Figure 2. The extent of Arctic sea ice loss in the summer July - August - September period in 2007 was about 1.4 million square miles (3.6 million square kilometers) greater than in 1980, according to the University of Illinois Cryosphere Today. For comparison, the lost ice coverage (orange colors) was equal to an area about 44% of the size of the contiguous U.S., or 71% of the non-Russian portion of Europe.

Summertime Arctic sea ice loss: 40% since 1980
The Arctic has seen a stunning amount of sea ice loss in recent years, due to melting and unfavorable winds that have pushed large amounts of ice out of the region. Forty percent of the sea ice was missing in September 2007, compared to September of 1980. This is an area equivalent to about 44% of the contiguous U.S., or 71% of the non-Russian portion of Europe. Such a large area of open water is bound to cause significant impacts on weather patterns, due to the huge amount of heat and moisture that escapes from the exposed ocean into the atmosphere over a multi-month period following the summer melt. The Georgia Tech study found that Arctic sea ice loss had caused a 20 - 60% weakening of the west-to-east belt of winds circling the pole in recent years, producing broader meanders in the jet stream that allowed it to get "stuck" in place 20 - 60% more often. When the jet stream gets stuck in place for a long period of time, we say a "blocking pattern" has set up. Since the jet stream marks the boundary between cold, Arctic air to the north, and warmer subtropical air to the south, areas on both sides of the jet are subjected to extended periods of unusually warm or cold weather during a blocking episode. Such a blocking pattern began on January 26, 2012 and lasted until February 11, bringing and exceptionally cold and snowy conditions to much of Europe, which lay on the cold side of an elongated loop of the jet stream that got stuck in place. Conversely, most of North America and northern Siberia saw unusually warm temperatures during this period, since they were on the warm side of the jet stream. Lead author Jiping Liu, a senior research scientist in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech, added, "We think the recent snowy winters could be caused by the retreating Arctic ice altering atmospheric circulation patterns by weakening westerly winds, increasing the amplitude of the jet stream and increasing the amount of moisture in the atmosphere. These pattern changes enhance blocking patterns that favor more frequent movement of cold air masses to middle and lower latitudes, leading to increased heavy snowfall in Europe and the Northeast and Midwest regions of the United States." The paper concludes: "if Arctic sea ice continues as anticipated by climate modeling results, we speculate that episodes of the aforementioned circulation change will become more frequent, along with more persistent snowstorms over northern continents during winter."


Figure 3. Waiting for the warm-up after a rare snowfall in Italy during the February, 2012 European cold blast. Image credit: wunderphotographer cathykiro.

Two other studies link Arctic sea ice loss to atmospheric circulation changes
"The question is not whether sea ice loss is affecting the large-scale atmospheric circulation...it's how can it not?" That was the take-home message from Dr. Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University, in her talk "Evidence Linking Arctic Amplification to Extreme Weather in Mid-latitudes, presented at December's American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco. Dr. Francis presented new research that has just been published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, which shows that Arctic sea ice loss may significantly affect the upper-level atmospheric circulation, slowing its winds and increasing its tendency to make contorted high-amplitude loops. High-amplitude loops in the upper level wind pattern (and associated jet stream) increases the probability of persistent weather patterns in the Northern Hemisphere, potentially leading to extreme weather due to longer-duration cold spells, snow events, heat waves, flooding events, and drought conditions. Dr. Francis describes her work in a March 5, 2012 post on the Yale environment360 web site.

"Even if the current weather situation may seem to speak against it, the probability of cold winters with much snow in Central Europe rises when the Arctic is covered by less sea ice in summer." That was the opening sentence of a January 26, 2012 press release by a group of European scientists, led by Ralf Jaiser of the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany. The words proved prescient, because that day marked the beginning of a brutal two-week cold air outbreak over Central and Eastern Europe that killed 823 people and did over $660 million in damage, according to preliminary estimates by insurance broker Aon Benfield. Dr. Jaiser's team, using modeling studies, showed that Arctic sea ice loss weakens upper-level winds over the Arctic in winter, allowing an increased chance of cold air surges over Europe.


Figure 4. Digging out in Maryland after "Snowmageddon" on February 4, 2010. Image credit: wunderphotographer chills.

Why was the winter of 2011 - 2012 so warm in the U.S.?
The winter of 2011 - 2012 in North America was unusually warm--the fourth warmest on record. The cold air spilling out of the Arctic during the winter was confined to Europe, unlike that previous two winters, which were unusually cold and snowy in the Eastern U.S. Obviously, loss of Arctic sea ice is not having the same impact each winter; such factors as El Niño/La Niña, the phase of the 11-year sunspot cycle, and the amount of snow cover in Siberia also have strong influences on the winter weather pattern that sets up. Cold air is less likely to spill out of the Arctic during a solar maximum, as we are now headed towards, so this factor may tend to reduce the odds of getting big cold blasts in the U.S. during the coming two winters. However, cold air may be more likely to spill out of the Arctic in winter due to the decades-long pattern of warming and cooling of Atlantic Ocean waters known as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). A 2012 study by NASA scientists found that the warm phase of the AMO (like we have been in since 1995) causes more instances of atmospheric blocking, where the jet stream gets "stuck" in place, leading to long periods of extreme weather. It will be interesting to see how all these factors play out in the coming years. If these three newly-published studies are correct, the U.S. should see more winters like 2010 - 2011 and 2009 - 2010 in coming decades, as Arctic sea ice continues to melt and affect global atmospheric circulation patterns more strongly.

References
Francis, J.A., and S.J. Vavrus (2012), "Evidence linking Arctic amplification to extreme weather in mid-latitudes," Geophysical Research Letters, 21 February, 2012.

Jaiser, R., K. Dethloff, D. Handorf, A. Rinke, J. Cohen (2012), Impact of sea ice cover changes on the Northern Hemisphere atmospheric winter circulation, Tellus A 2012, 64, 11595, DOI: 10.3402/tellusa.v64i0.11595

Liu et al. (2012), "Impact of declining Arctic sea ice on winter snowfall", Proc. Natl. Academy of Sciences, Published online before print February 27, 2012, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1114910109

Jeff Masters

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On tdwr the storm is getting close enough for the hook to dissapear leaving the storm and the funnels possible location.
Wonder if there will be a full ground stop at Dallas Love field
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Quoting hurricanehunter27:
These storms would be wonderful to chase. I bet theses storms have a nice clear slot.


For like and hour they were just 2 little arcs and then.......boom!!!!
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Both storms have very little base reflectivity. Most chasers would love to chase this storm except its in a high populated area.
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Wow, Dallas area take precautions. What a very unique set up, two rotating super cells moving due north.
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Quoting dogsgomoo:

"Regarding "nomanic times", the Scythians are known as "nomanic invaders" but this is a esoteric word used mostly by historians referring to an obscure Iran-Afghan race. Perhaps it was a mispelling for "nomadic" and a period when the ancient Hebrews were nomadic. This also is consistent with a mostly biblical time line of the earth. The source of the data for the graph is unclear. Finally, if you look up Cliff Harris and Randy Mann, you will find that they are two guys who run a website http://www.longrangeweather.com/About-Us.htm and that neither are trained as a climatologist or a meteorologist, unless one considered appearing on television to report weather or studying geology to be training for such a field. Harris apparently is a conservative Christian who believes in looking in the Bible for clues on what the weather will be."

From a review of that uhm ... drawing? I feel more comfortable calling it a drawing.


thanks for posting that link to that lovely drawing(sic)......
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
The storm next to the tornadic one doesnt look to friendly anymore either.
These storms would be wonderful to chase. I bet theses storms have a nice clear slot.
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A tornado for DFW and a tornado for Dallas Love. Crazy!

Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Tornado warning on the other storm now, TDWR shows some good rotation.
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


debris ball on the tip maybe?
A weak hook echo headed right into Dallas, and another to the southwest of Fort Worth.

Live TV from WFAA.
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The storm next to the tornadic one doesnt look to friendly anymore either.
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
TVS is back and rotation is strenghtening, anybody have a cross section of this storm?
Way to close to the radar site for a good one.
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cont...

Hey, you know, you're half right.

It would be nice to find a job I actually liked and enjoyed and was genuinely good at, but unfortunately most people don't have the luxury of working in a field they actually enjoy, and end up getting stuck in some dead end job barely getting by all their life.



Hey, but like I said, that'd be great, because I sure as hell don't like any of the jobs I've ever had. I've pretty much always absolutely hated my job everywhere I've ever been, for one reason or another.


So If you got any real ideas, I'm open to them, because I'm fresh out of them.

Well, not exactly, it's just, you know, you can have a million dollar idea, but without the framework and funds to start it, it's worthless anyway.


But fine, shoot, let's hear something useful, because I'm stumped at this point in my life, I really am.
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CMC is really cold too.

Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Quoting CJ5:


...However, most people want the government to provide those things and thus where we find ourself today.


That statement is an outrageous lie and is not backed by a single shred of evidence. Most people want a good job and decent life.
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Quoting ScottLincoln:


I think there are meteorologists with GIS experience that work at many different offices. We also have several of them at our regional headquarters. I do not know of a centralized office with many GIS-centered personnel.


Need to let the meteorologists be meteorologists and focus on weather and let the GIS folks do the GIS and assist with weather
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debris ball on the tip maybe?
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Not likely. From what I can see, things should turn cooler for the Mid-Atlantic states, but they shouldn't seen anything record-breaking, and certainly not temperatures more appropriate to mid-winter.


I don't know but I will say the models have been consistant showing since last week. GFS has the 540 line all the way down to SC.

Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
TVS is back and rotation is strenghtening, anybody have a cross section of this storm?
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This is serious folks! This could be crippling for about 1/3 of the US. Very dangerous cold snap coming infact North & South Carolina if the GFS verifies will see the coldest air since January!



Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
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Link

Interesting 1 page read about water temps from the late 1800's.
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Quoting StormTracker2K:
This is serious folks! This could be crippling for about 1/3 of the US. Very dangerous cold snap coming infact North & South Carolina if the GFS verifies will see the coldest air since January!
Not likely. From what I can see, things should turn cooler for the Mid-Atlantic states, but they shouldn't seen anything record-breaking, and certainly not temperatures more appropriate to mid-winter.
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The regular radar is hazing it out but:
TORNADO WARNING
TXC251-439-031830-
/O.NEW.KFWD.TO.W.0002.120403T1744Z-120403T1830Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORT WORTH TX
1244 PM CDT TUE APR 3 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN FORT WORTH HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
NORTHEASTERN JOHNSON COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL TEXAS...
SOUTHEASTERN TARRANT COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL TEXAS...

* UNTIL 130 PM CDT

* AT 1244 PM CDT...TRAINED STORM SPOTTERS OBSERVED A TORNADO NEAR
JOSHUA...MOVING NORTHEAST AT 25 MPH. IF YOU ARE IN THE PATH OF THIS
DANGEROUS STORM...TAKE COVER IMMEDIATELY!

* THE TORNADO WILL BE NEAR...
BURLESON AND BRIAROAKS AROUND 1255 PM CDT...
CROWLEY AROUND 100 PM CDT...
RENDON AROUND 110 PM CDT...
EVERMAN...EDGECLIFF AND MANSFIELD AROUND 115 PM CDT...
FOREST HILL AND KENNEDALE AROUND 120 PM CDT...

THIS WILL IMPACT THE FOLLOWING INTERSTATES...
I-35W BETWEEN MILE MARKERS 35 AND 59...
I-20 BETWEEN MILE MARKERS 426 AND 445...
I-30 BETWEEN MILE MARKERS 5 AND 23...
I-820 BETWEEN MILE MARKERS 1 AND 35.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

EVACUATE MOBILE HOMES FOR A STORM SHELTER OR PERMANENT BUILDING. IF
NO SHELTER IS AVAILABLE...LIE FLAT IN THE NEAREST DITCH AND COVER
YOUR HEAD.

&&

LAT...LON 3278 9703 3257 9704 3255 9706 3255 9709
3252 9709 3239 9725 3243 9748 3286 9731
TIME...MOT...LOC 1744Z 205DEG 21KT 3246 9737

$$


CAVANAUGH
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Snow from MI over to West Virginia!



Link
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
the storm S of Fort Worth has good upperlevel rotation and storm structure, and may produce a tornado in an hour if it holds together.

TDWR is already trying to put a TVS on it, but there is no tornado.
I am also watching that particular storm. Its just been keeping its hail core at the upper levels the entire time. When it begins to fall to the ground there are going to be some very large hailstones. A tornado is also possible with this storm. Has a nice inflow notch that shows best on composite.

Edit: It is now tornado warned. Fort Worth area is in some trouble.
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Quoting SteveDa1:
I find this interesting...

Does anyone hold a clue as to what might have been causing the delay (compared to average) of the start of the melting season for the past couple of years? Also, this year seems to be no exception.

This probably has no significant effect on the melting season since last year's September extent was very close to the record low. I actually still strongly believe the Arctic ice extent will be extremely close to the record low this year for obvious reasons (ie: low volume, plenty of one-year ice). I just find it peculiar that the melting of the ice seems to be delayed by a probable cause...

What if in one of the next couple of years, the ice starts to melt very early as opposed to recent years? Will the record low get obliterated by as much as 500,000km^2 or even 750,000km^2? (questions thrown in the air... no need for an answer)



It's not necessarily late melting. Extent depends not only on how much ice there is but also how it is dispersed. Winds have a strong effect on ice extent and what has appeared to be happening over the past couple of years is that the winds around this time of year have become more favorable to "spreading out" the ice. Those graphs are based on areas that show at least 15% coverage, so even "slush" ice will show up as extent.
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I am worried about this storm as it strengthens N of Dallas Fort Worth
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You have blamed everyone but yourself. I suggest you start taking responsibility for yourself and quit looking around for someone or something to blame.


That's absolutely not the case, and it speaks volumes to your attitude about people in general.

I already told you, I could do that job myself easily, effortlessly, I just wasn't the one lucky enough to be offered it.

A while back, I was offered a job with an insurance company, but I couldn't take the position, because I didn't have the money to pay for the school they wanted me to go to.

The hiring manager said he'd never seen aptitude tests that high in his life, but they wouldn't help me with the finances to get started, and neither would anybody in my family.

So I guess you'd say that's my fault too, right?

WTF?



You need to find something you enjoy, find something you are good at and go be the best at it you can be. Quit relying on a degree or the right place at the right time attitude and go make something of yourself.


Like what?

Unfortunately, you actually don't get paid for most of the things I'm exceptionally good at, unless you're about top ten in the world, and I'm too old for that now anyway.

You know people who do things like home construction?

Well, the don't make money. They are a big part of the ones of government programs.

I should know, that's what my dad did, and my weekends and summers were spent working in home construction for as long as I remember, because when I was a minor I didn't have a choice, do what your parents tell you or else.

I was 17 years old when I started college, and I had parents with about the equivalent of what was then considered about a 5th or 6th grade education, so I sure as hell wasn't getting any scholastic or financial help out of them either.

In fact, they were living off the surplus from my school grants and loans, and that's the truth.



anyway, stuff like cash jobs or construction and such, while technically being a "job", doesn't help you on a modern job interview. My experience is employers would practically prefer you have no experience at all rather than to mention construction work on your resume.

I used to do the damn math for everyone else on the site, because they really couldn't do it in a cost-effective manner, and it's freaking 7th to 9th grade "baby stuff".

I can do that crap in my head, without even thinking about it most of the time, in feet, inches, and 32nds (which only 16ths are needed anyway,) and don't even have to look at the damn blueprint to get it right.

But what good is that?

You can't make a living doing that, which is why nobody wants to work in such a field, except maybe the big contractors, but you have to already be filthy rich and own your own lumber yard to compete with those people.

All of those actual construction workers who do the work in home construction and most other construction fields are on Earned Income Credit and other government programs, because most of them can't make enough money to live on.


And as for the other part of your comment, you don't "get good at" something without on the job experience in that specific field, because college education is mostly irrelevant to job skills. and nobody hires you unless you already have a job to begin with, and already have 2 to 4 year experience in that same field (which begs question of how anyone gets the job in the first place).


I live in a civilization where irrational people will pay more for a piece Lolita decorated glassware, than for a rational product, so what the heck do you expect someone like me to do?


Lately, I couldn't even get "temporary" filler type jobs that other people take while they are going to school or something.

I even applied at temp agencies, and one of them took my application and never called me back, except one time by accident, and then another actually turned down my application...to a temp agency...I never even heard of such!

They are like, "Well, we already know we don't have anything for you."

I'm like, WTF am I supposed to do?

At the time, I was looking for anything available, clerical, light industrial, tech, whatever they could find...

I can do multiple-integral calculus, type 65wpm, read several pages per minute, do 3rd and 4th dimensional math in my head to multiple decimal places, code at least some in BASIC, C, C++, PHP, HTML, Javascript, and JAASS, (mostly all self taught, because they don't actually teach you anything at LSU,) and more in other fields that I can't bother to list, including computer tech support and troubleshooting, QA, lab, light industrial, and tax, but a damn temp agency won't even hire me. They wouldn't even accept an application!

I sort of got tired of filling out applications to "go to" employers like big chains and stuff, because they take 2 hours to fill out an application by the time you re-copy your resume every time, because almost every employer has a different format for their application software, so even cut and paste doesn't help half the time, and then take their personality tests and stuff, and then never contact you back anyway.



But I mean whatever, go on thinking real people want to be on government aid just for the hell of it.

go on thinking real people haven't already tried everything they and their friends and family could think of, only to come up empty every time anyway.
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Noting:- 592. Xyrus2000,
You say:-
"It really depends on the environment and the child."
I might add:-

Without the right environment and the willing, enthusiastic, child, the possibilities of success are greatly reduced, as an individual faced with learning is much more challenged than a member of a communal group!

Having said that it still ultimately comes down to the environment and the child.
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This is serious folks! This could be crippling for about 1/3 of the US. Very dangerous cold snap coming infact North & South Carolina if the GFS verifies will see the coldest air since January!

Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Quoting TropicTraveler:


They don't get bailed out unless they have bought flood insurance.
Good day everyone. Sorry, I have to butt in on this. I live in a flood hazard area and we are required to obtain flood insurance if we are to have a mortgage on our home. If you have flood insurance, the governement will NOT help you.... you are insured. It was supposed to be that if you are in a flood zone and do not carry insurance, that FEMA would NOT bail you out. That is not the case as I found out after Wilma. A lot of people who got flooded got FEMA help if they did not have insurance. Sure, it wasn't enough to fix the flood damage, but money was being handed out. I can't say how much because I was insured and only tried once for a loan, and was turned down because we were insured. Have a nice day all:)
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Nino 3.4 continues to pushback the warm waters to the east.

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Very impressive cold snap coming for people across the Mid West and all the way down to the Mid Atlantic. Basically all fruit trees that have bloomed will be lost early next week if this does come true.
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Quoting wxmod:
Quoting SPLbeater:
"RTS...idk why im responding, but...

"I aint in a public school because of the trash they are teaching kids, and how some teachers arent doing ANYTHING about students behavior. i dont want to hear the cursing and and the inappropriate talk in public school."


I knew of a home schooled kid with your attitude who "graduated" not even being able to read or write. You are aiming for the bottom, will not be able to get a job above floor mop or dish washer for the rest of your life. I personally think you should not be allowed to vote when the time comes. But, I'm sure that doesn't bother you or your parents.


I've no great desire to get into this home school discussion, but having had some experience let me throw in a thought or two.

First, there are both excellent and terrible public school teachers. Most place somewhere in between.

Second, there are both excellent and terrible home schooling teaching parents. I expect most place somewhere in between.

If you've got a parent who has the educational skills to be a teacher (which is not always the case) and they make a sincere effort to teach, then they can probably do a better job than the average public school teacher who has to spread their time and energy over a much larger number of students.

However, there is the problem of a parent who does not have the educational skills to be a decent teacher or who does not take the job seriously. When that happens you can have students who are subjected to years of a failing classroom. Were they in a public school they would, at least, have a chance of moving out of that failing classroom and into one that works.

I was able to watch two home schools over a number of months. In one case the parents took their job very seriously and their student, who had been having significant academic problems, caught up on their education and pulled ahead. In the other case the students did not obey their parent/teacher and were learning nothing.

There is no "this is always better than that".

That said, my concern is for those children who are being pulled from school because their parents want them to believe that the earth is flat or some other bit of stupidity. Those kids are going to have some serious catching up to do later on....
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
593. flsky
So - any weather going on today??? CFL is lovely, as usual, this time of year. We're even seeing sea breeze storms already. Have a good day all.
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Quoting NEFL:


So none of these people learned anything from homeschooling, right? (george washington, ben franklin, abraham lincoln to name a few). Maybe you could use some more school?


Homeschooling, like regular schooling, only works if you have good teachers. If the parents are young Earth creationist/IDers who believe that people rode dinosaurs and that thunderstorms happen when god is angry, and that prayer is the only medicine needed, then obviously home schooling is not going to yield good results.

On the other hand, if the parents have a good, well-rounded education who are open to new ideas and discovery then homeschooling can yield better results than regular schools.

It really depends on the environment and the child.
Member Since: October 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1224
Link

Here is a link to an article with images of those Jets
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Nice dip in the jet. Should be a couple more good ones the next couple weeks,,
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Later guys!
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 7459
the storm S of Fort Worth has good upperlevel rotation and storm structure, and may produce a tornado in an hour if it holds together.

TDWR is already trying to put a TVS on it, but there is no tornado.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Other than that, though: cool chart. :-\

"Regarding "nomanic times", the Scythians are known as "nomanic invaders" but this is a esoteric word used mostly by historians referring to an obscure Iran-Afghan race. Perhaps it was a mispelling for "nomadic" and a period when the ancient Hebrews were nomadic. This also is consistent with a mostly biblical time line of the earth."

From a review of that uhm ... drawing? I feel more comfortable calling it a drawing.
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I knew of a home schooled kid with your attitude who "graduated" not even being able to read or write.


I know of public-schooled kids that are the same way. Homeschooling doesn't make someone an idiot, it's what they do for themselves. I know many home schoolers who are WAAAY smarter than their public/private school peers. The type of education doesn't make a person, it's what they choose to do with it.


SEVERE WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORT WORTH TX
1218 PM CDT TUE APR 3 2012

TXC237-031800-
/O.CON.KFWD.SV.W.0047.000000T0000Z-120403T1800Z/
JACK TX-
1218 PM CDT TUE APR 3 2012

...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 100 PM CDT
FOR JACK COUNTY...

AT 1218 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING GOLF BALL SIZE HAIL...AND
DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH.
THIS STORM WAS LOCATED 7 MILES
WEST OF JACKSBORO...MOVING NORTHEAST AT 40 MPH.
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480 SteveDa1: Does anyone hold a clue as to what might have been causing the delay (compared to average) of the start of the melting season for the past couple of years? Also, this year seems to be no exception.

As a guess, ozone depletion over the NorthernHemisphere.
Ozone is a particularly strong greenhouse gas because it "blocks" a part of the infrared spectrum (heat window) that is left open by CO2. When there is less ozone in the stratosphere, less heat is reflected back to the ground and more heat is allowed to escape into space.
Due to the water/temperature-sensitive photochemistry involved in creating ozone-depleting compounds, those catalysts are formed most strongly near the Poles during the last days of winter / early spring.
So the strongest depletion occurs near and shortly after the SpringEquinox.ie The most infrared escapes into space, cooling Arctic temperatures, encouraging growth in the sea-ice extent.

Less-than-normal levels of ozone-depleting catalysts later in the year doesn't help much to prevent Melting because ozone is also a VERY strong UltraViolet blocker. Less ozone means more of those highly energetic photons reach the surface, to be transformed into heat and infrared.
Don't know the energy balance between UV heating and infrared cooling, but I strongly suspect that less stratospheric ozone causes more Melting than normal from laterSpring through*Summer approaching near AutumnEquinox.

* Sunlight's path through the atmosphere to the surface is shortest at SummerSolstice due to insolation angle, leaving less travel distance for Rayleigh scattering to occur, and therefore fewer high-frequency photons are refracted back out into space, leaving more to reach the surface. The distance that infrared travels from the surface through the atmosphere to space remains constant.
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Quoting entrelac:

Here's a link with some good basic information


A very informative link!, thank you very much!

Its too bad that I'm a bit lost on the proposed models of positive cloud to ground lightning formation though :/
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Quoting weatherh98:


Don't take what i said out of context.


I didn't. You made a statement that life will endure. I agreed. I then pointed out the fact that the comfort you live in is a result of a specific climate, and that a disruption of said climate will have impacts to all life on the planet including humans.

Your previous statements seem to imply that this was no big deal and that future tech will solve it. Neither of those statements are really correct.
Member Since: October 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1224

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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.