Earth's attic is on fire: Arctic sea ice bottoms out at a new record low

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:46 PM GMT on September 20, 2012

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The extraordinary decline in Arctic sea ice during 2012 is finally over. Sea ice extent bottomed out on September 16, announced scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) on Wednesday. The sea ice extent fell to 3.41 million square kilometers, breaking the previous all-time low set in 2007 by 18%--despite the fact that this year's weather was cloudier and cooler than in 2007. Nearly half (49%) of the icecap was gone during this year's minimum, compared to the average minimum for the years 1979 - 2000. This is an area approximately 43% of the size of the Contiguous United States. And, for the fifth consecutive year--and fifth time in recorded history--ice-free navigation was possible in the Arctic along the coast of Canada (the Northwest Passage), and along the coast of Russia (the Northeast Passage or Northern Sea Route.) "We are now in uncharted territory," said NSIDC Director Mark Serreze. "While we've long known that as the planet warms up, changes would be seen first and be most pronounced in the Arctic, few of us were prepared for how rapidly the changes would actually occur. While lots of people talk about opening of the Northwest Passage through the Canadian Arctic islands and the Northern Sea Route along the Russian coast, twenty years from now from now in August you might be able to take a ship right across the Arctic Ocean."


Figure 1. Arctic sea ice reached its minimum on September 16, 2012, and was at its lowest extent since satellite records began in 1979. Image credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).

When was the last time the Arctic was this ice-free?
We can be confident that the Arctic did not see the kind of melting observed in 2012 going back over a century, as we have detailed ice edge records from ships (Walsh and Chapman, 2001). It is very unlikely the Northwest Passage was open between 1497 and 1900, since this spanned a cold period in the northern latitudes known as "The Little Ice Age". Ships periodically attempted the Passage and were foiled during this period. Research by Kinnard et al. (2011) shows that the Arctic ice melt in the past few decades is unprecedented for at least the past 1,450 years. We may have to go back to at least 4,000 B.C. to find the last time so little summer ice was present in the Arctic. Funder and Kjaer (2007) found extensive systems of wave generated beach ridges along the North Greenland coast, which suggested the Arctic Ocean was ice-free in the summer for over 1,000 years between 6,000 - 8,500 years ago, when Earth's orbital variations brought more sunlight to the Arctic in summer than at present. Prior to that, the next likely time was during the last inter-glacial period, 120,000 years ago. Arctic temperatures then were 2 - 3°C higher than present-day temperatures, and sea levels were 4 - 6 meters higher.


Figure 2. Year-averaged and 3-month averaged Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent from Chapman and Walsh (2001), as updated by the University of Illinois Cryosphere Today. I've updated their graph to include 2011 plus the first 9 months of 2012.


Figure 3. Late summer Arctic sea ice extent over the past 1,450 years reconstructed from proxy data by Kinnard et al.'s 2011 paper, Reconstructed changes in Arctic sea ice over the past 1,450 years. The solid pink line is a smoothed 40-year average, and the light pink areas shows a 95% confidence interval.  Note that the modern observational data in this figure extend through 2008, though the extent is not as low as the current annual data due to the 40-year smoothing. More commentary on this graph is available at skepticalscience.com.

When will the Arctic be ice-free in summer?
So, when will Santa's Workshop need to be retrofitted with pontoons to avoid sinking to the bottom of the Arctic Ocean in summer? It's hard to say, since there is a large amount of natural variability in Arctic weather patterns. Day et al. (2012) found that 5 to 31% of the changes in Arctic sea ice could be due to natural causes. However, the sea ice at the summer minimum has been declining at a rate of 12% per decade, far in excess of the worst-case scenario predicted in the 2007 IPCC report. Forecasts of an ice-free Arctic range from 20 - 30 years from now to much sooner. Just this week, Dr. Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University predicted that the Arctic will be ice-free in summer within four years. A study by Stroeve et al. (2012), using the updated models being run for the 2014 IPCC report, found that "a seasonally ice-free Arctic Ocean within the next few decades is a distinct possibility." Of the 21 models considered, 2022 was the earliest date that complete Arctic sea ice occurred in September.


Video 1. A powerful storm wreaked havoc on the Arctic sea ice cover in August 2012. This visualization shows the strength and direction of the winds and their impact on the ice: the red vectors represent the fastest winds, while blue vectors stand for slower winds. According to NSIDC, the storm sped up the loss of the thin ice that appears to have been already on the verge of melting completely.Video credit: NASA.

But Antarctic sea ice is growing!
It's a sure thing that when Arctic sea ice hits new record lows, global warming contrarians will attempt to draw attention away from the Arctic by talking about sea ice around Antarctica. A case in point is an article that appeared in Forbes on Wednesday by James Taylor. Mr. Taylor wrote, "Antarctic sea ice set another record this past week, with the most amount of ice ever recorded on day 256 of the calendar year (September 12 of this leap year)...Amusingly, page after page of Google News results for Antarctic sea ice record show links to news articles breathlessly spreading fear and warning of calamity because Arctic sea ice recently set a 33-year low. Sea ice around one pole is shrinking while sea ice around another pole is growing. This sure sounds like a global warming crisis to me."

This analysis is highly misleading, as it ignores the fact that Antarctica has actually been warming in recent years. In fact, the oceans surrounding Antarctica have warmed faster than the global trend, and there has been accelerated melting of ocean-terminating Antarctic glaciers in recent years as a result of warmer waters eating away the glaciers. There is great concern among scientists about the stability of two glaciers in West Antarctica (the Pine Island and Thwaites Glaciers) due the increase in ocean temperatures. These glaciers may suffer rapid retreats that will contribute significantly to global sea level rise.

Despite the warming going on in Antarctica, there has been a modest long-term increase in Antarctic sea ice in recent decades. So, how can more sea ice form on warmer ocean waters? As explained in an excellent article at skepticalscience.com, the reasons are complex. One reason is that the Southern Ocean consists of a layer of cold water near the surface and a layer of warmer water below. Water from the warmer layer rises up to the surface, melting sea ice. However, as air temperatures warm, the amount of rain and snowfall also increases. This freshens the surface waters, leading to a surface layer less dense than the saltier, warmer water below. The layers become more stratified and mix less. Less heat is transported upwards from the deeper, warmer layer. Hence less sea ice is melted (Zhang 2007). As the planet continues to warm, climate models predict that the growth in Antarctic sea ice will reverse, as the waters become too warm to support so much sea ice.


Figure 4. Surface air temperature over the ice-covered areas of the Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica (top), and sea ice extent, observed by satellite (bottom). Image credit: (Zhang 2007).

Commentary: Earth's attic is on fire
To me, seeing the record Arctic sea ice loss of 2012 is like discovering a growing fire burning in Earth's attic. It is an emergency that requires immediate urgent attention. If you remove an area of sea ice 43% the size of the Contiguous U.S. from the ocean, it is guaranteed to have a significant impact on weather and climate. The extra heat and moisture added to the atmosphere as a result of all that open water over the pole may already be altering jet stream patterns in fall and winter, bringing an increase in extreme weather events. This year's record sea ice loss also contributed to an unprecedented melting event in Greenland. Continued sea ice loss will further increase melting from Greenland, contributing to sea level rise and storm surge damages. Global warming doubters tell us to pay attention to Earth's basement--the Antarctic--pointing out (incorrectly) that there is no fire burning there. But shouldn't we be paying attention to the steadily growing fire in our attic? The house all of humanity lives on is on fire. The fire is certain to spread, since we've ignored it for too long. It is capable of becoming a raging fire that will burn down our house, crippling civilization, unless we take swift and urgent action to combat it.

References
Funder, S. and K.H. Kjaer, 2007, "A sea-ice free Arctic Ocean?", Geophys. Res. Abstr. 9 (2007), p. 07815.

Kinnard et al., 2011, "Reconstructed changes in Arctic sea ice over the past 1,450 years".

Walsh, J.E and W.L.Chapman, 2001, "Twentieth-century sea ice variations from observational data", Annals of Glaciology, 33, Number 1, January 2001, pp. 444-448.

Related info
Half of the polar ice cap is missing: Arctic sea ice hits a new record low. September 6, 2012 blog post
Wunderground's Sea Ice page

Jeff Masters and Angela Fritz

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Meteor mania: Watch VIDEO of huge comet spotted over north west England

Twitter goes into meltdown as hundreds report "massive cluster of lights in the sky"



http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/meteor-mania -huge-comet-spotted-1337427
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1158. Grothar
.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26143
Quoting whitewabit:
Meteors over UK


Sounds like quite the show!
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Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:

Twitter just exploded with reports, pictures, and videos of an extremely bright fireball moving over the northern part of the UK at around 22:00 UTC. I've seen tweets from folks in Ireland, Manchester, and more. It was traveling east-to-west, and broke up into many pieces as it fell. No reports of it hitting the ground yet, though some pieces may fall all the way down.


FROM:

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/20 12/09/21/very-bright-and-spectacular-meteor-seen-o ver-northern-uk/
Are there any planes missing? Terrorism in that area is always in the front of my mind. Fireball in the sky likely isn't a plane crashing from mechanical problems.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:



Yes... and thank you.

I had always wondered where the word Cootie came from.

: )


Hahaha I can't believe it actually had such a proper beginning!


I didn't see the meteor/space debris :( I'd have been in work.


I don't see why WPac storms have to have an 'international' name. What, are they too exotic for people not in the far east?!

And I had no idea loofa's start out like a squash!
Member Since: October 12, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 842
1154. guygee
Actually having a hard time getting to sleep tonight. Here is different view of polar wander from the one Skyepony posted.


Source:
Global View of Great Earthquakes and Large Volcanic Eruptions Matched to Polar Drift and its Time Derivatives
There is an even more interesting figure in the paper that correlates great earthquakes and volcanic eruptions to the more abrupt changes in polar wandering:

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Doppler22:

HI :p and thanks

Hey and you're welcome. Hopefully it goes out to sea like forecasted to.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7942
1152. whitewabit (Mod)
Meteors over UK
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting wxchaser97:

Miriam and it could become a hurricane, hi doppler.

HI :p and thanks
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TD 13-E:



Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167
Quoting clamshell:


I bet you have one of those AGW bumper stickers too.

Ah well, birds of a feather flock together.

Which bird? Chicken Little of course.

As I said earlier: when you can't attack the science, attack the scientists--and those who support them. Be sure to let us know how that works for you...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13535
Quoting Doppler22:
TD 13 formed off West coast of Mexico in EPac... Whats the next EPac name?

Miriam and it could become a hurricane, hi doppler.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7942
1146. bappit
Quoting beell:
Opinions? In what realm of science do opinions matter?

In what realm of science blogdemonium do we currently find ourselves in, sir?

Einstein had some strong opinions, like "God doesn't play with dice." He contributed to quantum mechanics anyway, for instance, Bose-Einstein condensate and the EPR paradox.
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Quoting Doppler22:
TD 13 formed off West coast of Mexico in EPac... Whats the next EPac name?


Miriam.
Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167
TD 13 formed off West coast of Mexico in EPac... Whats the next EPac name?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


I knew someone would look it up. LOL Madja look, madja look.



Yes... and thank you.

I had always wondered where the word Cootie came from.

: )
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TROPICAL DEPRESSION THIRTEEN-E DISCUSSION NUMBER 1
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP132012
800 PM PDT FRI SEP 21 2012

THE WELL-DEFINED LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM LOCATED ABOUT 375 N MI
SOUTH-SOUTHWEST OF MANZANILLO MEXICO HAS ACQUIRED SUFFICIENT
CONVECTIVE ORGANIZATION TO BE CLASSIFIED AS A TROPICAL DEPRESSION.
THE INITIAL INTENSITY IS SET AT 30 KT BASED ON A BLEND OF DVORAK
CLASSIFICATIONS FROM TAFB AND SAB. THE DEPRESSION SHOULD HAVE A FEW
DAYS TO GAIN STRENGTH AS IT IS EXPECTED TO REMAIN OVER 28-29C
WATERS AND STAY IN AN FAIRLY LOW WIND SHEAR ENVIRONMENT. IN
FACT...THE SHIPS MODEL RI INDEX INDICATES ABOUT A 40 PERCENT CHANCE
OF 30-KT STRENGTHENING DURING THE NEXT 24 HOURS. AFTER A FEW
DAYS...THE GLOBAL MODELS SHOW AN INCREASE IN WESTERLY SHEAR IN
ASSOCIATION WITH AN UPPER-LEVEL TROUGH OFF THE CALIFORNIA COAST.
THESE LESS FAVORABLE ATMOSPHERIC CONDITIONS COMBINED WITH COOLER
WATERS SHOULD CAUSE A WEAKENING TREND.

THE DEPRESSION IS MOVING WESTWARD AT ABOUT 10 KT TO THE SOUTH OF A
MID-LEVEL RIDGE LOCATED OVER THE SOUTHWESTERN UNITED STATES. THIS
RIDGE IS EXPECTED TO WEAKEN AND BE REPLACED BY A SHORTWAVE TROUGH
IN A FEW DAYS...CAUSING THE CYCLONE TO SLOW DOWN AND TURN
WEST-NORTHWESTWARD. THE NHC FORECAST LIES BETWEEN THE GFS AND ECMWF
MODELS THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE PERIOD. BASED ON THE CURRENT
MODEL GUIDANCE...THIS SYSTEM IS NOT EXPECTED TO BE A THREAT TO LAND.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 22/0300Z 13.7N 107.5W 30 KT 35 MPH
12H 22/1200Z 13.9N 108.8W 35 KT 40 MPH
24H 23/0000Z 14.3N 110.4W 45 KT 50 MPH
36H 23/1200Z 14.9N 111.8W 55 KT 65 MPH
48H 24/0000Z 15.7N 113.1W 60 KT 70 MPH
72H 25/0000Z 17.5N 116.0W 75 KT 85 MPH
96H 26/0000Z 18.5N 118.0W 70 KT 80 MPH
120H 27/0000Z 19.5N 120.0W 65 KT 75 MPH

$$
FORECASTER CANGIALOSI
Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167
POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE NADINE DISCUSSION NUMBER 43
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL142012
1100 PM AST FRI SEP 21 2012

WHILE NADINE CONTINUES TO MAINTAIN A WARM CORE AND A VIGOROUS
LOW-LEVEL CIRCULATION...THERE HAS BEEN NO SIGNIFICANT CONVECTION
ASSOCIATED WITH THE SYSTEM FOR THE PAST 15 HOURS OR SO. WHAT
CONVECTION THAT CURRENTLY REMAINS IS IN POORLY-DEFINED BANDS TO THE
SOUTHWEST OF THE CENTER. BASED ON THIS...THE SYSTEM DOES NOT
REALLY FIT THE DEFINITION OF A SUBTROPICAL CYCLONE AND SO IT IS
DECLARED TO BE POST-TROPICAL. THE INITIAL INTENSITY IS HELD AT 50
KT DUE TO A LACK OF DATA NEAR THE CENTER...BUT THIS COULD BE A
LITTLE GENEROUS.

THE INITIAL MOTION IS 165/11. NADINE IS CURRENTLY BEING STEERED BY
A DEEP-LAYER TROUGH TO ITS NORTHEAST. A GENERALLY SOUTHEASTWARD
MOTION WITH A DECREASE IN FORWARD SPEED IS EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT
24 HOURS. AFTER THAT...THERE ARE TWO FUTURE TRACK SCENARIOS FOR
NADINE OR ITS REMNANTS. THE FIRST IS THAT ENOUGH TROUGHING REMAINS
NORTHEAST OF THE CYCLONE TO STEER IT GENERALLY EASTWARD. THIS
SCENARIO IS SUPPORTED BY THE ECMWF...UKMET...GFDL...AND FLORIDA
STATE SUPERENSEMBLE. THE SECOND IS THAT DEEP-LAYER RIDGING
DEVELOPS NORTH OF THE CYCLONE AND STEERS IT IN A GENERALLY WEST-
NORTHWESTWARD DIRECTION. THIS SCENARIO IS SUPPORTED BY THE GFS...
GFS ENSEMBLE MEAN...NOGAPS...AND CANADIAN MODELS. IT SHOULD BE
NOTED THAT THE VARIOUS ENSEMBLE MEMBERS OF THE ECMWF...GFS...
UKMET...AND CANADIAN MODELS ARE SPLIT BETWEEN THESE TWO
SCENARIOS... MAKING IT DIFFICULT TO TELL WHICH WILL COME TO PASS.
THE NEW TRACK FORECAST WILL FOLLOW THE EASTWARD SCENARIO FROM THE
PREVIOUS FORECAST...WITH A SLOW FORWARD MOTION DUE TO THE VERY
LARGE SPREAD IN THE GUIDANCE AFTER 24 HOURS.

THIS MAY NOT BE THE LAST HURRAH FOR NADINE. THE CYCLONE IS MOVING
TOWARD WARMER SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES...AND SEVERAL OF THE GLOBAL
MODELS SHOW A FAVORABLE UPPER-LEVEL WIND PATTERN DEVELOPING OVER
THE SYSTEM IN 48-72 HOURS. THE SHIPS AND LGEM MODELS FORECAST THE
SYSTEM TO STRENGTHEN AND RE-ACQUIRE TROPICAL CYCLONE
CHARACTERISTICS BY THAT TIME. THE INTENSITY FORECAST WILL NOT SHOW
A TRANSITION BACK TO A TROPICAL CYCLONE...BUT IT IS A DISTINCT
POSSIBILITY...ESPECIALLY IF THE SYSTEM TURNS WESTWARD UNDER THE
RIDGE. EVEN IF THIS TRANSITION DOES NOT OCCUR...THE MAJORITY OF
THE DYNAMICAL MODELS MAINTAIN NADINE AS A VIGOROUS CYCLONE THROUGH
THE FORECAST PERIOD...AND THE INTENSITY FORECAST IS THUS CHANGED
LITTLE FROM THE PREVIOUS FORECAST.

THIS WILL BY THE LAST ADVISORY ON NADINE BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE
CENTER UNLESS REGENERATION OCCURS.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 22/0300Z 31.9N 26.6W 50 KT 60 MPH...POST-TROPICAL
12H 22/1200Z 31.0N 26.1W 45 KT 50 MPH...POST-TROPICAL
24H 23/0000Z 30.5N 25.2W 45 KT 50 MPH...POST-TROPICAL
36H 23/1200Z 30.7N 24.5W 45 KT 50 MPH...POST-TROPICAL
48H 24/0000Z 31.4N 24.5W 45 KT 50 MPH...POST-TROPICAL
72H 25/0000Z 32.5N 24.5W 50 KT 60 MPH...POST-TROPICAL
96H 26/0000Z 32.5N 23.0W 55 KT 65 MPH...POST-TROPICAL
120H 27/0000Z 33.0N 20.0W 50 KT 60 MPH...POST-TROPICAL

$$
FORECASTER BEVEN
Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167
...TROPICAL DEPRESSION FORMS SOUTHWEST OF MAINLAND MEXICO...
8:00 PM PDT Fri Sep 21
Location: 13.7N 107.5W
Moving: W at 12 mph
Min pressure: 1005 mb
Max sustained: 35 mph

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 22/0300Z 13.7N 107.5W 30 KT 35 MPH
12H 22/1200Z 13.9N 108.8W 35 KT 40 MPH
24H 23/0000Z 14.3N 110.4W 45 KT 50 MPH
36H 23/1200Z 14.9N 111.8W 55 KT 65 MPH
48H 24/0000Z 15.7N 113.1W 60 KT 70 MPH
72H 25/0000Z 17.5N 116.0W 75 KT 85 MPH
96H 26/0000Z 18.5N 118.0W 70 KT 80 MPH
120H 27/0000Z 19.5N 120.0W 65 KT 75 MPH
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7942
New tropical depression formed in the eastern Pacific.

BULLETIN
TROPICAL DEPRESSION THIRTEEN-E ADVISORY NUMBER 1
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP132012
800 PM PDT FRI SEP 21 2012

...TROPICAL DEPRESSION FORMS SOUTHWEST OF MAINLAND MEXICO...


SUMMARY OF 800 PM PDT...0300 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...13.7N 107.5W
ABOUT 655 MI...1055 KM SSE OF THE SOUTHERN TIP OF BAJA CALIFORNIA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...35 MPH...55 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...W OR 275 DEGREES AT 12 MPH...19 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1005 MB...29.68 INCHES
Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167
...NADINE BECOMES A POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE... ...REGENERATION POSSIBLE IN A COUPLE OF DAYS...
11:00 PM AST Fri Sep 21
Location: 31.9N 26.6W
Moving: SSE at 13 mph
Min pressure: 984 mb
Max sustained: 60 mph

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 22/0300Z 31.9N 26.6W 50 KT 60 MPH...POST-TROPICAL
12H 22/1200Z 31.0N 26.1W 45 KT 50 MPH...POST-TROPICAL
24H 23/0000Z 30.5N 25.2W 45 KT 50 MPH...POST-TROPICAL
36H 23/1200Z 30.7N 24.5W 45 KT 50 MPH...POST-TROPICAL
48H 24/0000Z 31.4N 24.5W 45 KT 50 MPH...POST-TROPICAL
72H 25/0000Z 32.5N 24.5W 50 KT 60 MPH...POST-TROPICAL
96H 26/0000Z 32.5N 23.0W 55 KT 65 MPH...POST-TROPICAL
120H 27/0000Z 33.0N 20.0W 50 KT 60 MPH...POST-TROPICAL
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7942
BULLETIN
POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE NADINE ADVISORY NUMBER 43
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL142012
1100 PM AST FRI SEP 21 2012

...NADINE BECOMES A POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE...
...REGENERATION POSSIBLE IN A COUPLE OF DAYS...


SUMMARY OF 1100 PM AST...0300 UTC...INFORMATION
-----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...31.9N 26.6W
ABOUT 420 MI...680 KM S OF THE AZORES
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...60 MPH...95 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...SSE OR 165 DEGREES AT 13 MPH...20 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...984 MB...29.06 INCHES
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32056

Twitter just exploded with reports, pictures, and videos of an extremely bright fireball moving over the northern part of the UK at around 22:00 UTC. I've seen tweets from folks in Ireland, Manchester, and more. It was traveling east-to-west, and broke up into many pieces as it fell. No reports of it hitting the ground yet, though some pieces may fall all the way down.


FROM:

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/20 12/09/21/very-bright-and-spectacular-meteor-seen-o ver-northern-uk/
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1134. etxwx
From Philippine News:
Storm warning signal no. 1 hoisted over Eastern Samar
Friday, 21 September 2012 16:50
By Helen Flores (The Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines - Public storm warning signal number one was raised over Eastern Samar yesterday as tropical storm “Lawin” (international name Jelawat) continued to intensify while hovering over the Philippine Sea, the state weather bureau said. Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) administrator Nathaniel Servando said forecasts by the local weather bureau and foreign meteorological agencies showed that the storm will not make landfall in any part of the country.

As of 4 p.m. yesterday, the center of Lawin was spotted at 560 kilometers east of Catarman, Northern Samar with maximum sustained winds of 85 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 100 kph. It was forecast to move west southwest at nine kph in the next 24 to 36 hours.

“There are two scenarios: first, after moving west southwest it will shift to northwest, therefore will not landfall. Second scenario, if it continues to move west southwest it will make landfall over Bicol,” Servando told The STAR. Servando said the storm was moving west southwest due to its interaction with a high pressure area north of the Philippines. “Most models, including Japan, show the first scenario,” Servando said. Servando, however, said moderate to intense rain or about 10 to 20 millimeters per hour are likely to prevail in areas within the 600-km radius of the storm.

Lawin is predicted to be 370 km east of Catarman, Northern Samar this afternoon; 270 km east of Virac, Catanduanes tomorrow afternoon; and 240 km northeast of Virac by Monday afternoon. PAGASA’s 24-hour weather forecast showed that Samar provinces will experience rains with gusty winds. The regions of Cordillera, Ilocos, Cagayan Valley and Central Luzon will have cloudy skies with occasional moderate to heavy rains.
Metro Manila, Mimaropa, Calabarzon, Bicol region, the rest of the Visayas and Mindanao will have occasional light to moderate rains and thunderstorms.

On red alert

Meanwhile, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Operations Center was placed on red alert yesterday in preparation for Lawin.
NDRRMC executive director Benito Ramos said the red alert, which places all disaster management personnel on standby, took effect at 8 a.m. A red alert would ensure that there are enough personnel in the event of an emergency. Ramos said regional field units have been ordered to undertake precautionary measures in their respective areas of responsibility. Local disaster units have been asked to initiate preemptive evacuation of families in low-lying and mountainous areas, if necessary. Cagayan residents living in low-lying areas and mountainous slopes have been warned about possible flashfloods and landslides. Disaster units in Bicol have also been alerted.

The Coast Guard in Eastern Visayas has advised fishing boats and other small seacraft not to venture out to the sea, especially in the eastern seaboard of the Visayas. – With Alexis Romero, Jaime Laude
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1133. Grothar
Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:
Some Malay words in English

Agar (also 'agar-agar')
a gelatinous substance obtained from various kinds of red seaweed and used in biological culture media and as a thickener in foods.
Amok (also 'amuck' or 'amock')
out of control, especially when armed and dangerous; in a frenzy of violence, or on a killing spree, 'berserk', as in 'to run amok'.
angrecum (anggrik)
Babirusa (also 'babiroussa') 
from French babiroussa, from Malay babi hog + rusa deer. A wild pig (Babyrousa babyrussa) of the East Indies with backward-curving tusks.
Balanda] (also 'ballanda' or 'ballander') 
from Makasar balanda, from Malay belanda, from Dutch Hollander meaning a white person, a European.
Bamboo 
from bambu
Banteng 
from banteng, 'a SE Asian forest ox that resembles the domestic cow, domesticated in Bali [Bos javanicus.]'
Binturong 
from binturong, 'a large species of civet, Arctictis binturong, of SE Asia'.
Caddy (also 'caddie')
from kati (a measurement unit, whereby 1 kati = approximately 600 g).
Cassowary 
from kasuari/kesuari, 'a very large flightless bird related to the emu'.
Catty 
from kati (a unit of measurement)
Camphor 
see Kapur. From Old French camphore or Mediaeval Latin camphora, from Arabic 'kāfūr', from Malay kapur.
Cempedak (also Chempedak) 
from Cempedak, a species of tree and its fruit in the family Moraceae.
Cockatoo 
from kakaktua, a parrot with an erectile crest.
Compound (enclosed group of buildings) 
by folk etymology from kampung or 'village'[1], [2]
Cooties 
from kutu, 'lice'
Dammar 
from damar, 'resin; resin obtained from various mainly Indo-Malaysian trees, used to make varnish.'
Dugong 
from duyung, 'mermaid'
Durian 
from duri 'thorns', hence durian, 'thorny'
Gambier 
from gambir(the name of the plant), an astringent extract of a tropical Asian plant, used in tanning'
Gecko 
from geko,gekok
Gingham 
from ginggang




I knew someone would look it up. LOL Madja look, madja look.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26143
I'm getting some rain right now, haven't had to water in a while. 94L is not going to develop, just not enough time or good conditions.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7942
1131. guygee
Quoting Skyepony:
The aloofa joke was dead form the get go..comparing it to a sponge. & on a SCIENCE blog.. Sponges grow in the sea. Loofahs grow on a vine, on land & are what we used before plastic scrubbies came along. Loofahs actually make better scrubbies, they are less gross & last much longer. They would make a terrible sponge. & they are edible & tastey if harvested when small..almost squash like.

This is yet another example how over the years we've been dumb down into buying plastic derived from oil. I grow one or two plants of them every summer. They love heat, poor soil & abuse. One plant yields more than all the scrubbies you'd need in a year & then some for gifts.

Now here's a Loofah (but not quite ready for pickin)..
Yes, loofahs are wonderful and an excellent alternative to sponges, which are being over harvested and going extinct in many areas.
Sorry for the misunderstanding about the joke, it was not my intention to denigrate loofahs, just to play a pun on words with a cultural reference to the sexual practices of a celebrity who liked to use loofahs for sexual purposes.

That actually is a personal preference and not any of my business, and ultimately not a bad thing at all, a good feature if that is your personal preference, I have no personal preference or opinion either way.

End of topic, end of my night.
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1130. beell
Opinions? In what realm of science do opinions matter?

In what realm of science blogdemonium do we currently find ourselves in, sir/ma'am?
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Above-normal temperatures and drier air return to the northern tier of states over the next few weeks, according to these images from the CPC:

Heat

Heat

That may put a lid on talk of snow for at least a few more weeks. And that's either great news or bad news, depending on how one sees such things...

We are just getting back to normal, money is on the line for me whether the north stays in or gets out of drought. As for snow I feel it is too early to be thinking about it. When late fall comes I am all in for snow.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7942
1128. etxwx
Via Christian Science Monitor:
This is an interesting piece about resourceful local folks trying to solve their water problems and it touches on the "tragedy of the commons" subject too. Overall it shows how it is important to manage risks in relationship to benefits and for local folks to have a stake in the project and outcome.

Beyond big dams: turning to grass-roots solutions on water
By Fred Pearce, Yale Environment 360 / September 21, 2012

Excerpt: How will the world find the water to feed a growing population in an era of droughts and water shortages? The answer, a growing number of water experts are saying, is to forget big government-run irrigation projects with their mega-dams, giant canals, and often corrupt and indolent management.

“Cheap pumps and new ways of powering them are transforming farming and boosting income all over Africa and Asia,” says Meredith Giordano, lead author of a three-year research project looking at how smallholder farmers are turning their backs on governments and finding their own solutions to water problems.

“We were amazed at the scale of what is going on,” Giordano says. Indian farmers have an estimated 20 million pumps at work watering their fields. As many as 200 million Africans benefit from the crops they water. And in addition to pumps, she notes, “simple tools for drilling wells and capturing rainwater have enabled many farmers to produce more crops in the dry season, hugely boosting their incomes.”
...
Too often, we have a picture of poor smallholder farmers as passive victims of natural disasters, or the grateful recipients of aid from others. But here they emerge in a different light. It is they – rather than governments, NGOs, or Western aid-givers – who are the active players, taking charge of their own destiny.

But there is a downside, which the IWMI report touches on, and which in some regions is a major threat to both future water supplies and the survival of the farming communities themselves.

The danger is that independent action by farmers to water their fields is creating a “tragedy of the commons” – in which everyone grabs what water they can while they can, because they know that all will suffer when the water runs out. This is especially a risk where farmers are pumping out underground water reserves at rates that the rains cannot replenish.


Entire article here.
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I would like to see our friend Levi do a Tropical Tidbit about what he expects will occur the rest of the North Atlantic 2012 season.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14263
Quoting Xyrus2000:


When it comes to issues that pose a threat people, opinions should shut the hell up and let the science do the talking.

Well, that's certainly a blunt way to put it, lol. But I agree completely.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32056
Some Malay words in English

Agar (also 'agar-agar')
a gelatinous substance obtained from various kinds of red seaweed and used in biological culture media and as a thickener in foods.
Amok (also 'amuck' or 'amock')
out of control, especially when armed and dangerous; in a frenzy of violence, or on a killing spree, 'berserk', as in 'to run amok'.
angrecum (anggrik)
Babirusa (also 'babiroussa') 
from French babiroussa, from Malay babi hog + rusa deer. A wild pig (Babyrousa babyrussa) of the East Indies with backward-curving tusks.
Balanda] (also 'ballanda' or 'ballander') 
from Makasar balanda, from Malay belanda, from Dutch Hollander meaning a white person, a European.
Bamboo 
from bambu
Banteng 
from banteng, 'a SE Asian forest ox that resembles the domestic cow, domesticated in Bali [Bos javanicus.]'
Binturong 
from binturong, 'a large species of civet, Arctictis binturong, of SE Asia'.
Caddy (also 'caddie')
from kati (a measurement unit, whereby 1 kati = approximately 600 g).
Cassowary 
from kasuari/kesuari, 'a very large flightless bird related to the emu'.
Catty 
from kati (a unit of measurement)
Camphor 
see Kapur. From Old French camphore or Mediaeval Latin camphora, from Arabic 'kāfūr', from Malay kapur.
Cempedak (also Chempedak) 
from Cempedak, a species of tree and its fruit in the family Moraceae.
Cockatoo 
from kakaktua, a parrot with an erectile crest.
Compound (enclosed group of buildings) 
by folk etymology from kampung or 'village'[1], [2]
Cooties 
from kutu, 'lice'
Dammar 
from damar, 'resin; resin obtained from various mainly Indo-Malaysian trees, used to make varnish.'
Dugong 
from duyung, 'mermaid'
Durian 
from duri 'thorns', hence durian, 'thorny'
Gambier 
from gambir(the name of the plant), an astringent extract of a tropical Asian plant, used in tanning'
Gecko 
from geko,gekok
Gingham 
from ginggang


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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Everyone is entitled to an opinion on AGW.


Opinions? In what realm of science do opinions matter?

When it comes to issues that pose a threat people, opinions should shut the hell up and let the science do the talking. "Opinions" are why it took years or decades for something to be done about serious issues in the past (like smoking, acid rain, etc. ).

People get injured or killed when opinions get in the way of making rational decisions based on facts. But if money is at stake, then a lot of vested interests will try very hard to drown out fact with opinion (or fiction, there isn't much separating the two). The more complex the issue, the easier it is to snowball a population with very loud opinions. This happened many times in the past where science and business have collided.

Having said that, it doesn't make it right for people to attack other bloggers who are presenting their anti AGW opinion in a respectful way.


There aren't any. Every popular contrarian site is full of non-nonsensical, psuedo-scientific garbage that has been roundly and thoroughly debunked many times. Most postings on such sites are demeaning and derogatory towards both the scientists and the science. The postings and forums could be swapped with practically any conservative blog and you'd hardly notice. The sites aren't about being skeptical on the science or having a rational discussion about the science. They're about full on denying the existence of the science and will do practically anything to do so (including outright lying). For example, compare RealClimate to WattsUpWithThat.

Real skeptics are few, and none of them dispute the fact that humans are at least contributing to the problem.

Perhaps it will be easier to show people how real AGW and its effects are through polite discussions and presentations of facts rather than a continuous game of "You're wrong!", "No you're wrong!" like we see way too much of here.


Been there, tried that. Facts don't work on people nearly as well as appealing to their emotions does. That's why political debates quickly devolve into mudslinging. Why discuss serious issues rationally and factually when smearing and debasing your opponent has been shown to statistically work better?

As long as certain interest continue to have more money to blow on PR than national science budgets spend on doing science, most people will never hear the facts (and most can't be bothered to look up the facts either). At some point in the not-to-distant future, it will suddenly come as a big shock and people will wonder "Why weren't we told?" or "How come no one did anything about this?" and "It's not our fault! We were lied to!" and "We didn't know!" and finally "It's time to act now!".

This isn't cynicism or pessimism. It's historical precedent. It's like watching the same show over and over again. Sure, the actors may change, and maybe a line or two is different but we already know how it starts and how it's going to end.
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Above-normal temperatures and drier air return to the northern tier of states over the next few weeks, according to these images from the CPC:

Heat

Heat

That may put a lid on talk of snow for at least a few more weeks. And that's either great news or bad news, depending on how one sees such things...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13535
1122. guygee
Quoting Skyepony:
The aloofa joke was dead form the get go..comparing it to a sponge[...]
Don't *Rush* to judgment, consider the cultural implications...Bill O'Reilly style...Fox News...Yummy.
Sorry, brain bleach on sale here
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1121. guygee
Quoting NOWCAST:
I believe in this more than I believe in man made global warming http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pole_shift_hypothesis
Redistribution of earth mass... in the past poles have shifted 55° a couple of times.
Here is the case against this theory with many peer-reviewed citations:
Alternative theories for low-latitude glaciation
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1120. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting JNCali:
Q: What do you call a disinterested sponge?
A: Aloofa



The aloofa joke was dead form the get go..comparing it to a sponge. & on a SCIENCE blog.. Sponges grow in the sea. Loofahs grow on a vine, on land & are what we used before plastic scrubbies came along. Loofahs actually make better scrubbies, they are less gross & last much longer. They would make a terrible sponge. & they are edible & tastey if harvested when small..almost squash like.

This is yet another example how over the years we've been dumb down into buying plastic derived from oil. I grow one or two plants of them every summer. They love heat, poor soil & abuse. One plant yields more than all the scrubbies you'd need in a year & then some for gifts.

Now here's a Loofah (but not quite ready for pickin)..
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
Look at the outflow boundary being put out by these storms crossing the bay.

here is my data as that same boundary came through my area just before 8pm... Notice the steep drop in temperature and dew point, and steep increase in wind speed.
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1118. guygee
Quoting Skyepony:
NOWCAST~ I checked out that link.. This article is about the hypothesis of pole shift in its historical context. For a description of the modern scientific understanding, see true polar wander..
Skye - The tracking of true polar wander is fascinating, I am sure the military is very interested in funding this sort of research...other organizations do not have the funds necessary, but the information gained is dual-use for scientific purposes as well.

On the other hand, even the idea that these relatively very small changes are responsible for large changes in polar climate are laughable, desperate denialism designed to seduce the scientifically gullible. Best to shoot it down quickly.
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1117. Grothar
Quoting guygee:
So Grothar, you are against being loof, so you want to remain aloof? That is like saying you are trying to remain amoral. No wait, that would only be true if you said "I am trying to be a loofah"


Let me soak that up for a minute and I will respond.

By the way, did you know the work amok is the only word in English borrowed from the Malay. It is a very useful word. Someone can often write, "This blog has gone amok"
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26143
1116. bappit
If anyone is interested in what might be done to deal with excess CO2 emissions, here is one source with links to additional info: "Case Study: Greenhouse Gases and Climate Change" from
Sustainability: A Comprehensive Foundation, Tom Theis and Jonathan Tomkin, Editors. (I kind of groan at the "Comprehensive Foundation" title, but Rome wasn't built in a day.)

Here's a sample.

"Urban areas produce a lot of waste. In fact, 75 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions are generated in urban areas. Therefore, it is important for cities to develop plans to address environmental issues. The Chicago Climate Action Plan (Chicago CAP) is one such example. The mid-term goal of this plan is a 25 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and final goal is 80 percent reduction below 1990 GHG levels by the year 2050."

I don't know if the Chicago plan is any good or not, but I bet a lot of people didn't know that such plans do exist even if they might be paper exercises.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Sleet? Nah...it was probably small hail. There were tons of reports of it yesterday across North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

And yet I am in none of those states:) but I did make a correction. Whatever feel it was really small and felt like fall outside.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7942
Quoting wxchaser97:

Yeah it is going to be cool, I got sleet a yesterday. Definitely got the fall feeling with the cool temps, leaves changing, and that feel of the air.

Sleet? Nah...it was probably small hail. There were tons of reports of it yesterday across North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32056
1113. Skyepony (Mod)
NOWCAST~ I checked out that link.. This article is about the hypothesis of pole shift in its historical context. For a description of the modern scientific understanding, see true polar wander.

Now true polar wander is something I watch.. earthquakes & tsunami's slosh can change the course of the earth axis.. But it's small. Keep in mind this wander is in cm in the plot below..


C. Bizouard, S. Lambert, D. Gambis, J. Y. Richard, O. Becker. Service International de la Rotation de la Terre & Centre d'Analyse IVS


The polar motion over the last little more than a year has been pretty normal.



This is what chandler's wobble looks like. I don't see any huge shifts in the last year to account for the mad melting of sea ice. Even if I hadn't had college chem for science majors..which teaches the chemical process of how & exactly how much heat different compounds trap & for how long...I'd have a hard time seeing how polar motion took out all that sea ice. This also leaves little explanation for the glaciers melting just about worldwide.

Also polar drift/shift affects time. The end of June a positive leap second was added. Which is no indicator of a huge shift recently. It's already been determined that there will be no change in time at the end of December.

Motions in the Earth's core and mantle, as well as redistribution of water mass as the Greenland ice sheet melts & isostatic rebound~ the slow rise of land that was formerly burdened with ice sheets or glaciers causes polar wander...& the recent sudden changes in ice, especially glacier melting away, are expected to result in some large quakes, which could further affect the polar axis..which is a bit opposite cause & effect to what you posted. Anyway...click on the pics to go to the Earth Orientation Site. If you're really into polar wander (or love numbers) it's a real treat if you haven't seen it.
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1112. guygee
Quoting Grothar:
Just a disinterested third party, trying to remain aloof.
So Grothar, you are against being loof, so you want to remain aloof? That is like saying you are trying to remain amoral. No wait, that would only be true if you said "I am trying to be a loofah"
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Quoting Slamguitar:


I barely got a few sprinkles today, looks like the rain is coming down for you atm.

My NWS forecast for tomorrow:

Rain showers likely, possibly mixed with sleet. Some thunder is also possible. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 58. West northwest wind 5 to 14 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.

Yeah it is going to be cool, I got sleet or really small hail yesterday. Definitely got the fall feeling with the cool temps, leaves changing, and that feel of the air.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7942
Quoting wxchaser97:
Tomorrow is the first day of fall going by the calender. For some, like me, it will sure feel like fall with highs in the 50s and 60s with scattered showers.


I barely got a few sprinkles today, looks like the rain is coming down for you atm.

My NWS forecast for tomorrow:

Rain showers likely, possibly mixed with sleet. Some thunder is also possible. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 58. West northwest wind 5 to 14 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.


Yup, it'll feel like fall.
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Tomorrow is the first day of fall going by the calender. For some, like me, it will sure feel like fall with highs in the 50s and 60s with scattered showers.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7942

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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.