Record warmth at the top of the Greenland Ice Sheet

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 9:25 PM GMT on July 18, 2012

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The coldest place in Greenland, and often the entire Northern Hemisphere, is commonly the Summit Station. Located at the top of the Greenland Ice Sheet, 10,551 feet (3216 meters) above sea level, and 415 miles (670 km) north of the Arctic Circle, Summit rarely sees temperatures that rise above the freezing mark. In the 12-year span 2000 - 2011, Summit temperatures rose above freezing only four times, according to weather records researcher Maximiliano Herrera. But remarkably, over the past week, temperatures at Summit have eclipsed the freezing mark on five days, including four days in a row from July 11 - 14. There are actually three weather stations located at the location--Summit, Summit-US, and Summit AWS. The highest reliable temperature measured at any of the three stations is now the 3.6°C (38.5°F) measured on Monday, July 16, 2012 at Summit-US. A 4.4°C reading at Summit in May, 2010 is bogus, as can be seen by looking at the adjacent station. Similarly, a 3.3°C reading from June 2004 is also bad. Records at Summit began in 1987.


Video 1. A 20-ton tractor attempting to repair a bridge washed out by the raging Watson River on July 11, 2012 in Kangerlussauaq, Greenland gets washed downstream. The driver escaped unharmed. Image taken from an article, Warm air over the ice sheet provides great drama in Greenland, at the Danish Meteorological Institute's web site.

Record heat leads to major flooding in Greenland
The record heat has triggered significant melting of Greenland's Ice Sheet. According to the Arctic Sea Ice Blog, on July 11, glacier melt water from the Russell Glacier flooded the Watson River, smashing two bridges connecting the north and south of Kangerlussuaq (Sønder Strømfjord), a small settlement in southwestern Greenland. The flow rate of 3.5 million liters/sec was almost double the previous record flow rate. The latest forecast for Summit calls for cooler conditions over the coming week, with no more above-freezing temperatures at Summit.

Another huge iceberg calves off of Greenland's Petermann Glacier
A massive ice island two times the size of Manhattan and half as thick as the Empire State Building calved off of Greenland's Petermann Glacier on Monday, July 16, 2012. According to Andreas Muenchow, associate professor of physical ocean science and engineering at the University of Delaware's College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment in his Icy Seas blog, the break-off point has been visible for at least 8 years in satellite imagery, and has been propagating at 1 km/year towards Nares Strait. The same glacier calved an iceberg twice as big back on August 4, 2010--the largest iceberg observed in the Arctic since 1962. The freshwater stored in that ice island could have kept the Delaware or Hudson rivers flowing for more than two years, or kept all U.S. public tap water flowing for 120 days. “While the size is not as spectacular as it was in 2010, the fact that it follows so closely to the 2010 event brings the glacier’s terminus to a location where it has not been for at least 150 years,” Muenchow said in a university press release. “Northwest Greenland and northeast Canada are warming more than five times faster than the rest of the world, but the observed warming is not proof that the diminishing ice shelf is caused by this, because air temperatures have little effect on this glacier; ocean temperatures do, and our ocean temperature time series are only five to eight years long — too short to establish a robust warming signal.”


Figure 1. The calving of a massive 46 square-mile iceberg two times the size of Manhattan from Greenland's Petermann Glacier on July 14 - 18, 2012, as seen using MODIS satellite imagery. Image credit: NASA.


Figure 2. Look familiar? Two years ago, a 100 square-mile ice island broke off the Petermann Glacier. It was the largest iceberg in the Arctic since 1962. Image taken by NASA's Aqua satellite on August 21, 2010. Image credit: NASA. I've constructed a 7-frame satellite animation available here that shows the calving and break-up of the Petermann Glacier ice island. The animation begins on August 5, 2010, and ends on September 21, with images spaced about 8 days apart. The images were taken by NASA's Aqua and Terra satellites.

Related posts

Unprecedented May heat in Greenland; update on 2011 Greenland ice melt

Greenland update for 2010: record melting and a massive calving event

Jeff Masters

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Quoting jeffs713:

I think what most of us are reacting so strongly to is people refusing to consider other sources. Think about it. If you are looking at cars, and one of your friends says "you HAVE to buy a Toyota", and then talks about how their Toyota is so nice... but refuses to acknowledge that you can't afford a Toyota... you'd get a little irritated with them. Same thing here.
Hi jeffs, I gotta great used Matrix I'll sell ya for a good price. Only 58K miles on it. Got all the service records and even the original window sticker. I'm gonna go get the biggest, honkingest RV I can afford and cruise around the U.S. before it all goes up in smoke.

There are some here who come down critically on bloggers who mention this is a global problem and extends far beyond U.S politics, that there are more factors involved in eliminating fossil fuels, or let's talk solutions, and that, perhaps, mankind is in a helpless situation. Sometimes I wonder if these bloggers aren't paid by "Big Oil" with the goal to irritate the silent majority so much they tune out any mention of "global warming."

(T-61)
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Quoting jeffs713:

Absolutely they do. One of my neighbors actually named a drink he created after them (UV Blue vodka & Red Bull = Evil Leprechaun)

Sounds pretty potent. Deadly, even.
I'll have three.

What effect does it have on GW ?
:):))
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Quoting pottery:

And what have you got against them ?
They make great bartenders, you know.

Absolutely they do. One of my neighbors actually named a drink he created after them (UV Blue vodka & Red Bull = Evil Leprechaun)
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Quoting yoboi:


that's like saying if your muddy and jump into clean water the water will still be clean...

humans are at the noth pole polluting everyday...you can't spin it any other way...

Right. And when you drive your car to work every day, you're polluting too. I never said they weren't polluting. I just said that their pollution is a statistically insignificant amount when compared to the rest of the world.

The pollution the people in Greenland do is similar to a person putting a single drop of food coloring into a 20,000 gallon tank of water. Chances are, you won't notice the extra drop of food coloring.

I think you're using a bit of a straw man argument, by the way. That kind of argument tends to not fare well in an open debate.
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Quoting nativhoustonian:


Fair enough- i must have missed the sarcasm. I leave you with this link to consider the counter evidence for this issue in the last century
Do you have any links from a site that doesn't call people names like 'alarmist'? Because that tends to color and discredit whatever content might come thereafter.
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36972
Quoting hydrus:
I see your point, but it should not be much longer when scientists will bring irrefutable evidence to the masses and explain it in laymans terms. This should settle some of the arguments and denial issues that are common on the subject.
getting past the who-did-what-when is going to be one of our species greatest accomplishments.. and i don't limit that to this debate.. it is mostly aimed at reality television ;)
but seriously, action among the masses only comes at the heels of this debate. it is comforting to know that many many people, corporations, and agencies are actively working on reducing their footprint. that is a heck of a lot better than an alternative of no one acting.
it would be a fallacy, a mistake, to stop efforts at reducing ones footprint simply because other people, corporations, or agencies(countries) refuse to do so, even those that are major emitters such as China. i mean, here I am using a computer, but why should that prohibit me from making better choices regarding my own footprint when i'm Not at a desk job requiring i be online!
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Quoting nativhoustonian:


Fair enough- i must have missed the sarcasm. I leave you with this link to consider the counter evidence for this issue in the last century:

http://www.co2science.org/articles/V10/N29/EDIT.p hp

"The scientists who performed the analysis note that the 30 major droughts they identified were "mostly located in semi-arid and arid regions" that "are naturally prone [our italics] to large fluctuations." And it's as simple as that. The 30 major droughts of the 20th century were likely natural in all respects; and, hence, they are "indicative of what could also happen in the future," as Narisma et al. state in their concluding paragraph. And happen they will!"

Ok. What about the increase in variability? Or the rise in average temperatures globally? Or the increase in the past 100+ years of significant weather events?
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572. yoboi
Quoting jeffs713:

You do realize that where the CO2 is put into the atmosphere isn't that important, right? Because you know... winds move it around. Also, the population of Greenland is smaller than the cities most of us live in...


that's like saying if your muddy and jump into clean water the water will still be clean...

humans are at the noth pole polluting everyday...you can't spin it any other way...
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2329
Quoting jeffs713:

While they are at it, I'd like to see them produce scientific proof of UFOs, unicorns, and leprechauns.

Somehow, I think the last 3 will come first.

And what have you got against them ?
They make great bartenders, you know.
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36972
Quoting hydrus:
I see your point, but it should not be much longer when scientists will bring irrefutable evidence to the masses and explain it in laymans terms. This should settle some of the arguments and denial issues that are common on the subject.


I agree. But some individuals are so set in their ways, and have been indoctrinated to believe that it is all a conspiracy theory. Sadly, those individuals can't be helped or convinced.

These are the same individuals that will SWEAR that a blue index card is red, even though everyone else who sees it says it is blue.
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This wave should hold healthy for a while....



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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36972
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


Morning Grothar. My talk is about the tropics and really that wave looks good now.Let's see how it does in a new enviroment as soon it splashes into the water.


Big wave.
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Quoting jeffs713:

Actually, it was more mocking than anything. I never once said that I was perfectly correct, and would refuse to look at new information. Show me something that can account for the extra energy. Or fully account the increase in CO2 aside from human sources.


Fair enough- i must have missed the sarcasm. I leave you with this link to consider the counter evidence for this issue in the last century:

http://www.co2science.org/articles/V10/N29/EDIT.p hp

"The scientists who performed the analysis note that the 30 major droughts they identified were "mostly located in semi-arid and arid regions" that "are naturally prone [our italics] to large fluctuations." And it's as simple as that. The 30 major droughts of the 20th century were likely natural in all respects; and, hence, they are "indicative of what could also happen in the future," as Narisma et al. state in their concluding paragraph. And happen they will!"
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Just a thought here for floridians...had not that dry air and cooler waters been in the atlantic this month..we floridians would have had, 2-3-4 tropical storms crossing our state, every one of those tropical waves might have developed..what scares me is this..I do hope this next month..the weather pattern changes and all the storms coming INTO the gulf, dont cross over florida like all the last tropical waves did
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36972
Quoting yoboi:
why is it that the people that belive in GW are at the north pole flying air planes driving tractors, ships and burning fossil fuels daily there...could they be doing more harm than good??? does anyone fator in the damage they are doing????

You do realize that where the CO2 is put into the atmosphere isn't that important, right? Because you know... winds move it around. Also, the population of Greenland is smaller than the cities most of us live in...
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Quoting jeffs713:

I think what most of us are reacting so strongly to is people refusing to consider other sources. Think about it. If you are looking at cars, and one of your friends says "you HAVE to buy a Toyota", and then talks about how their Toyota is so nice... but refuses to acknowledge that you can't afford a Toyota... you'd get a little irritated with them. Same thing here.
I see your point, but it should not be much longer when scientists will bring irrefutable evidence to the masses and explain it in laymans terms. This should settle some of the arguments and denial issues that are common on the subject.
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561. yoboi
why is it that the people that belive in GW are at the north pole flying air planes driving tractors, ships and burning fossil fuels daily there...could they be doing more harm than good??? does anyone fator in the damage they are doing????
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2329
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36972
Quoting jrweatherman:


Except when Dr. Masters always referenced human caused global warming.

You mean the part where Dr. Masters never says that man is the sole cause?
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Well looks like the models are still forecasting a trough split so that'll be interesting to talk about next weeek.Well I would stick around for the entertainment but looks like it's getting a bit sticky in here.Audios.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16432
Quoting BigTuna:
False. Weather cycles are accounted for in the data, as are solar cycles and other regularly-occurring phenomenon. No one is saying man is the sole cause.


Except when Dr. Masters always referenced human caused global warming.
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Quoting nativhoustonian:


Your recent post was a tad closed minded, don't you think, or do you?

Actually, it was more mocking than anything. I never once said that I was perfectly correct, and would refuse to look at new information. Show me something that can account for the extra energy. Or fully account the increase in CO2 aside from human sources.
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Quoting jeffs713:

Morning, Grothar!

I just jumped into the convo, and have no intention of fighting - just mocking and irritating people who refuse to post with an open mind.


Your recent post was a tad closed minded, don't you think, or do you?
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Quoting hydrus:
Granted, there are many folks here that believe that mankind has contributed significantly to global warming " myself included ", but the fact is, numbers are coming in now that can prove that we are indeed causing some of it and it is not a natural cycle that Earth periodically goes through. Something is wrong and we a a large part of it. Some people here are passionate, and may seem harsh at times. but most will kindly state the data without calling you a troll...:)

I think what most of us are reacting so strongly to is people refusing to consider other sources. Think about it. If you are looking at cars, and one of your friends says "you HAVE to buy a Toyota", and then talks about how their Toyota is so nice... but refuses to acknowledge that you can't afford a Toyota... you'd get a little irritated with them. Same thing here.
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Hey Everyone,

There is a tropical weather blog on WU..no one is ever in there blogging..why not try it out for a day and lets leave the children in here arguing about GW and the end of the world..LRandyB Blog


Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 14581
Quoting Grothar:
Good morning boys and girls. We're all fighting early today, I see.




Morning Grothar. My talk is about the tropics and really that wave looks good now.Let's see how it does in a new enviroment as soon it splashes into the water.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14050
Quoting Ftmyersstorm1:
I have had it with this global warming talk!! The scientist that choose this can not and will not deal with the fact that the sun is getting hotter because of the approach of the 13th planet. No one talked about the fact the the other planets are warming just as fast!! Gee people must be warming those planets too. Wow! Because I have a degree and was taught by the same proffessor as the other knuckle heads were about the global warming lie. Also if the government would stop spraying aluminum in the air with chem trails which acts like aluminum foil over a hot dish which keeps the hot air in maybe that would help! Oh that's a conspiracy! Cant talk about that can we. Scary. Yes they are playing God. And we are all gonna reap the whirlwing. Good bye!!



I actually pity you.
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Quoting kwgirl:
I think I would rather have the dog alive in the kitchen than dead! None at all is very telling.

That's not chicken.
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Quoting nativhoustonian:
There are weather cycles mostly ignored in the pro GW discussions which, when the cycle completes, leaves most of the advocates of GW silent.
False. Weather cycles are accounted for in the data, as are solar cycles and other regularly-occurring phenomenon.
it is not realistic to say they are the sole cause when the weather cycles are omitted from the discussion.
No one is saying man is the sole cause.
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Quoting nativhoustonian:
The GW diatribe is becoming very annoying, but the discussion is led by the blog creator so it will not be dropped anytime soon. Personally, I will not be looking at the blog as often so I dont have to breathe the tainted air. Dr. Jeff will attract the audience for which he sows the seeds with his discussion.

The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle as do most contentious issues. There are weather cycles mostly ignored in the pro GW discussions which, when the cycle completes, leaves most of the advocates of GW silent. It still does not alleviate corporate responsibility to the environment, but it is not realistic to say they are the sole cause when the weather cycles are omitted from the discussion.

I think those of us who post the most often about GW have ever stated than man is the ONLY cause. Personally, I am fully aware that there are other factors at play with warming. I've never denied those. What gets me is when those factors are accounted for, there is still an underlying warming trend. Where is that coming from? Science has been able to account for just about every other source of warming known - and there is still a warming trend.

Where could that heat be coming from? It isn't because the sun is somehow pumping out more heat. It isn't because the planet is pumping out more heat. Yet, there is more CO2 in the atmosphere (which is a known greenhouse gas). Where is that CO2 coming from? Natural processes can't explain the increase. But CO2 is byproduct of combustion, and the world economy relies on the combustion of fossil fuels, which are a known geological carbon sink... OH SNAP!

As for breathing the tainted air, they have medicines for that. Might want to look into those.
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Quoting Grothar:
Good morning boys and girls. We're all fighting early today, I see.


That won't develop.If it was September or August I'd be more worried.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16432
Quoting divingpyrate:


I actually enjoy true debate on the subject.
But you will rarely find that here.

Here if you do not insist man is destroying the planet you are just a troll.
There is just as much science that indicates the warming is part of a larger cycle we do not understand. But no one wants to discuss that. just want to push wind power and electric cars as the solution.

If everyone in the US stopped driving cars today, the rest of the world will not.
So then what.

No one has found an economical replacement for fossil fuels yet. When they do I will be the first to jump on board. Fusion is getting close, and will be a great step forward. But to think wind mills and solar panels are going to stop climate change is just crazy.

It wont.

Ask Solindra, i just heard this morning, that chevy dealers are facilitating a buy and sell promotion on the chevy volt. Apparently you can buy one of these fire traps, and get your 7500 dollar tax credit, then turn right around and sell the car back to the dealer.

And it is all legal.

Good example of politics and government using what needs to be an important discussion for political reasons and shutting down true debate.
Granted, there are many folks here that believe that mankind has contributed significantly to global warming " myself included ", but the fact is, numbers are coming in now that can prove that we are indeed causing some of it and it is not a natural cycle that Earth periodically goes through. Something is wrong and we a a large part of it. Some people here are passionate, and may seem harsh at times. but most will kindly state the data without calling you a troll...:)
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Link
here's a 918mb low
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Quoting Minnemike:
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2007/08/08/201757 /the-other-planets-are-warming-myth/
here's a little jumping off point.. information is like a shiny red ball on the playground; it's play time ;)

Be careful, they may take their ball and go home.

(or they may be afraid we will start a sudden game of dodgeball against them)
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The GW diatribe is becoming very annoying, but the discussion is led by the blog creator so it will not be dropped anytime soon. Personally, I will not be looking at the blog as often so I dont have to breathe the tainted air. Dr. Jeff will attract the audience for which he sows the seeds with his discussion.

The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle as do most contentious issues. There are weather cycles mostly ignored in the pro GW discussions which, when the cycle completes, leaves most of the advocates of GW silent. It still does not alleviate corporate responsibility to the environment, but it is not realistic to say they are the sole cause when the weather cycles are omitted from the discussion.
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Quoting StormTracker2K:


There aren't any. I've never heard of such a thing. I think it's a denialist coming up with an excuse to promote his or her anti GW Campaign.

Link
here's a little jumping off point.. information is like a shiny red ball on the playground; it's play time ;)
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Quoting Grothar:
Good morning boys and girls. We're all fighting early today, I see.



Morning, Grothar!

I just jumped into the convo, and have no intention of fighting - just mocking and irritating people who refuse to post with an open mind.
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Quoting jeffs713:

While they are at it, I'd like to see them produce scientific proof of UFOs, unicorns, and leprechauns.

Somehow, I think the last 3 will come first.


LOL!
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Quoting 954FtLCane:


LOL. You are marked down as 1/2 a vote for each. But out of curiosity do you prefer soy, duck sauce or mustard with your egg rolls? BTW what is your favorite chinese food here in the Fort Lauderdale area. Ever since channel 10 busted my local chinese restaurant during their "dirty dining" segment for, yes literally, keeping their pet dog in their kitchen I haven't been able to find a new one.

BTW, looks like a few dry days moving into south florida due to my uncle SAL arriving tomorrow and staying into the weekend.
I think I would rather have the dog alive in the kitchen than dead! None at all is very telling.
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Quoting Minnemike:
i would love some resources about how the other planets are also warming up at the same observed rate data informs us the Earth surface atmosphere is warming.
anybody; links?

While they are at it, I'd like to see them produce scientific proof of UFOs, unicorns, and leprechauns.

Somehow, I think the last 3 will come first.
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Good morning boys and girls. We're all fighting early today, I see.


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Link

shows the sun is not getting hotter.




Link


shows how volcanoes come into play.

I hope I don't have to post a link for the laws of thermodynamics.

We can mostly agree that average global temperature is rising. We know that we cannot just make more heat, it has to come from somewhere. If the sun is not hotter (read above link) we have to be retaining more heat in the atmosphere. More CO2 in the atmosphere best fits the known data.

Really, "I am only an egg" and better than me have posted all this. I am surprised we are still arguing.
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Quoting Minnemike:
i would love some resources about how the other planets are also warming up at the same observed rate data informs us the Earth surface atmosphere is warming.
anybody; links?


There aren't any. I've never heard of such a thing. I think it's a denialist coming up with an excuse to promote his or her anti GW Campaign.

Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Dr. Masters,saw your spot on WeatherChannel last night,Nice job!!!
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Quoting divingpyrate:
...you are very naive if you dont think this issue is being politicized.
The issue is being politicized--but one side of the "debate" (in quotation marks because there is no debate so far as the basic facts of the issue are concerned) is doing nearly all of the polticizing. Scientists have established that a) the planet is warming, and b) it's primarily because of CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. Those who stand to gain the most from maintaining the current fossil fuel-only paradigm--energy company executives and the politicians beholden to them--kick and scream in denial of those facts, and thus drag the issue into the political arena. Only one particular party has for all intents and purposes made climate change denial a plank in their base platform; it's an extreme example of false equivalence to claim that both sides have polticized the issue.
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There has only been a handful of times when a Day 8 Convective Outlook has been issued. Before people start panicking, no, this does not mean there will be a significant outbreak across the risk area...it just means there is higher-than-average confidence in location and timing thanks to model consensus.



DAY 4-8 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0350 AM CDT THU JUL 19 2012

VALID 221200Z - 271200Z

...DISCUSSION...
AN UPPER RIDGE WILL HOLD OVER THE CNTRL U.S. FOR THE D4-D5
PERIOD...WITH MODEST NW FLOW ACROSS THE GREAT LAKES INTO THE NE.
FORCING FOR STORMS...ANYWHERE FROM THE NRN PLAINS INTO THE GREAT
LAKES...WILL BE WARM ADVECTION...WITH A FEW SMALL CLUSTERS OF STORMS
WITH MARGINAL WIND AND HAIL THREATS EACH DAY.

AS AN UPPER LOW MOVES INTO THE NRN ROCKIES ON D6...A MORE
SUBSTANTIAL SEVERE THREAT MAY MATERIALIZE OVER ND AND NRN MN TUE
NIGHT...WITH THE THREAT PERSISTING ACROSS MN/WI/MI ON WED/D7 AND
INTO THE LOWER LAKES REGION BY THU/D8. THIS TROUGH WILL BRING
FORCING WITH A COLD FRONT...AS WELL AS STRONG FLOW AND SHEAR FOR
SEVERE INTO AN AREA THAT WILL BE UNSTABLE. THIS GENERAL SOLUTION IS
SUPPORTED BY BOTH THE ECMWF AND GFS MODELS...WITH RELATIVELY LITTLE
ENSEMBLE SPREAD. WHILE POSITION ERROR MAY BE ON THE ORDER OF 200
MILES WITH THE EVENTUAL COLD FRONT...THIS IS NOT UNCOMMON FOR AN
OUTLOOK THIS FAR OUT. ADJUSTMENTS WILL BE MADE IN SUBSEQUENT
OUTLOOKS AS THE EVENT NEARS.

..JEWELL.. 07/19/2012
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31510
i would love some resources about how the other planets are also warming up at the same observed rate data informs us the Earth surface atmosphere is warming.
anybody; links?
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I heard there were non tropical lows with pressures of 910mb but I will see if I can find a source
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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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