Typhoon Bopha hits the Philippines at Cat 5 strength; at least 40 killed

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 5:00 PM GMT on December 04, 2012

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Typhoon Bopha slammed ashore on the Philippine island of Mindanao at 4:45 am local time on Tuesday morning as a Category 5 storm with 160 mph winds. Bopha is the third Category 5 typhoon to affect the Western Pacific this year, and the strongest typhoon ever recorded to hit Mindanao, which rarely sees strong typhoons due to its position close to the Equator. The death toll from the powerful storm already stands at 40, and is expected to rise. While passage over land has weakened Bopha to a Category 2 storm, the tropical cyclone is spreading torrential rains over a large portion of the southern Philippine Islands, and this will cause serious flooding problems today. The island of Mindanao is highly vulnerable to flood disasters from tropical cyclones; last year's Tropical Storm Washi, which hit Mindanao on December 16, 2011 with 60 mph winds and torrential rains, killed over 1500 people. Before hitting the Philippines, Typhoon Bopha brought a storm surge estimated at ten feet to the island nation of Palau, where near-total destruction is being reported in some coastal areas.


Figure 1. Super Typhoon Bopha as seen from the International Space Station on December 2, 2012. At the time, Bopha had top sustained winds of 150 - 155 mph. Image credit: NASA.

Bopha: the 2nd most southerly Category 5 typhoon on record
Bopha, a Cambodian word for flower or a girl, became a tropical depression unusually close to the Equator, at 3.6°N latitude. Tropical cyclones rarely form so close to the Equator, because they cannot leverage the Earth's rotation to get themselves spinning. Bopha became the second most southerly Category 5 typhoon on Monday at 7.4°N latitude. The record is held by Typhoon Louise of 1964, which was a Category 5 storm at 7.3°N.


Video 1. Scenes of wind damage and flooding from Typhoon Bopha's landfall in the Philippines yesterday.

Jeff Masters

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Before we jump to conclusions on food lets look at the harvest data for the U S

Sorghum harvest up nearly 20% from last year

Corn harvest down 13% from last year

Soybeans down 10% from last year

Wheat harvest up 13% from last year

Cotton up 12% from last year

Source usda
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USDA FAQ

here

How important is agricultural trade to the U.S. economy?
The United States is now the world’s largest agricultural exporter. The value of agricultural exports equals nearly one-fourth of farm cash receipts, about twice the level of the overall U.S. economy, and 1 out of 3 acres are planted for export.


and

How much of its agricultural products does the United States export?
American farmers export 45 percent of their wheat, 34 percent of their soybeans, 71 percent of their almonds, and more than 60 percent of their sunflower oil.


Apparently, we feed or else supplement everyone else's diets while we eat all the wrong things.

Since most of us in the U.S. eat too much currently, we could probably do with less than half of our present production (disregarding the financial chaos and looking only objectively at the ability to feed ourselves,) but other parts of the world would be in serious trouble if we could not export at rates similar to above.

People in certain other parts of the world will either starve to death, or start a war over food, which is horrible to contemplate because it might actually be the first "real" food war in history.
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Quoting bappit:

The U.S. tried to invade Canada back in 1812. Marked as a great victory in Canadian history.


Didn't any of you folks see Canadian Bacon? We one that one.
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Quoting Kumo:


You do realize that they employ many different kinds of people of all ethnic backgrounds and sexual orientations, right? Their company in fact does not discriminate in hiring practices.

Slamming a company that produces a great product and has a positive impact on the local economy simply for the religious opinion of the owner, shows what a bigot you are.


Oh, so I am the bigot here?
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2893
Quoting pottery:

Any ideas ?


Since you asked, yes I do.

As outlined on the percylives WU blog, I think a carbon tax/dividend is the fairest way to approach and possibly solve this massive problem. It provides a monetary reward to lowering significantly our individual fossil fuel footprints and gets the entire population involved. I'm looking for feedback as I want to go to DC with it as soon as the new Congress is seated. Right now it's aimed primarily at the US because we seem to be the laggards. It's not a new idea but it's the best one I could find.
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Quoting pottery:

Any ideas ?

Use less fossil fuel, make less cement, less deforestation. Those are the big three CO2 contributors. But it will be a tough sell. People won't see any benefit from doing it for quite a while since CO2 has a fairly long life time in the atmosphere--except the benefit from imagining how much worse things could be.

People won't change on their own. History with coal and killer smogs in the US and UK show that. There will have to be legislation. That won't happen without an enlightened electorate. I'm pessimistic about that.

Then there is the problem of China which has quickly passed the US as the largest CO2 producing country--even though the per capita production is less. All of the denial propaganda helps China continue on their current course.
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Quoting bappit:

From Wikipedia at least:

"Canada also emerged from the war with a heightened sense of national feeling and solidarity, having repelled multiple American invasions. Battles such as the Battle of Queenston Heights and the Battle of Crysler's Farm became iconic for English-speaking Canadians. In Canada, especially Ontario, memory of the war retains national significance, as the invasions were largely perceived by Canadians as an annexation attempt by the United States, seeking to expand its territory. In Canada, numerous ceremonies are scheduled in 2012 to commemorate a Canadian victory."

Not sure what the article is referencing regards 2012 commemorations.


Pushed back American aggression in 1812....its 2012. Humm. Maybe some kind of anniversary? LOL 200th anniversary I believe
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Quoting RitaEvac:


POOF...more like what this global economy is going to do, he just misjudged on that one

Yeah, I think so too.
But we have to forgive him.
He had no internet.

We are much more highly evolved and aware.
But we still have not got it sorted.
I wonder why that is, sometimes.
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Quoting bappit:

Got some fonky dates on Michael. 11/06/2012 ?

LOL. I fixed it.
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Quoting lilElla:
24. hydrus

The possibility of snow is now in the Milwaukee forecast discussion for next week, Monday. Let's hope the ECMWF model is the winner!

SOUTHWEST 500MB FLOW LINGERS ACROSS THE REGION LIKE THE GFS. THE
ECMWF BRINGS A STRENGTHENING LOW FROM THE TEXAS PANHANDLE SATURDAY
NIGHT NORTHEAST TO FAR NORTHEAST ILLINOIS SUNDAY...THEN NORTHEAST
INTO CANADA SUNDAY NIGHT. STRONG SHORTWAVE TROUGH MOVES JUST NORTH
OF THE AREA SUNDAY NIGHT. IT THEN BRINGS ANOTHER STRONGER LOW FROM
CENTRAL TEXAS TO NORTHERN ARKANSAS MONDAY...THEN TO FAR NORTHWEST
INDIANA MONDAY NIGHT. A STRONG NEGATIVELY TILTED SHORTWAVE TROUGH
ACCOMPANIES THE STRONG LOW. THIS SYSTEM...IF IT WORKS OUT...WOULD
GIVE THE AREA A GOOD SHOT AT ACCUMULATING SNOW MONDAY NIGHT AND
BEYOND.


How does it look for Wausau?
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2893
Quoting FunnelVortex:


Who wants to eat food from those homophobic a**holes anyway?

I have a punching bag if you want to borrow it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
24. hydrus

The possibility of snow is now in the Milwaukee forecast discussion for next week, Monday. Let's hope the ECMWF model is the winner!

SOUTHWEST 500MB FLOW LINGERS ACROSS THE REGION LIKE THE GFS. THE
ECMWF BRINGS A STRENGTHENING LOW FROM THE TEXAS PANHANDLE SATURDAY
NIGHT NORTHEAST TO FAR NORTHEAST ILLINOIS SUNDAY...THEN NORTHEAST
INTO CANADA SUNDAY NIGHT. STRONG SHORTWAVE TROUGH MOVES JUST NORTH
OF THE AREA SUNDAY NIGHT. IT THEN BRINGS ANOTHER STRONGER LOW FROM
CENTRAL TEXAS TO NORTHERN ARKANSAS MONDAY...THEN TO FAR NORTHWEST
INDIANA MONDAY NIGHT. A STRONG NEGATIVELY TILTED SHORTWAVE TROUGH
ACCOMPANIES THE STRONG LOW. THIS SYSTEM...IF IT WORKS OUT...WOULD
GIVE THE AREA A GOOD SHOT AT ACCUMULATING SNOW MONDAY NIGHT AND
BEYOND.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
This lack of snow is pissing me off.

I WANT MY BLIZZARD! I WANT IT I WANT IT! And soon too!
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2893
Quoting Kumo:


Something tells me that we won't, I've got a gut feeling that the drought is going to continue well into next Summer. I am not looking forward to a $4 loaf of bread or $6 for lb. of ground beef. With taxes going up too, it looks like we'll be eating less Chick-fil-A and doing more cooking at home.


LOL ...I've already given up the Chick-fil-A and the ground beef ...guess I'l start making my own bread ...probably be better for me anyway ...should probably buy the flour now and freeze it though as that will be going up too.

Have to agree with you though ...things will be going up in price
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Here's both of them at peak intensity...

Michael:
Oscar:


Got some fonky dates on Michael. 11/06/2012 ?
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Quoting pottery:

Not according to Queztaquotle (or whoever it was that scribed the Calendar)

It just ends................ POOF !


POOF...more like what this global economy is going to do, he just misjudged on that one
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Quoting percylives:


When stomachs get to growling folks will be likely to listen better when someone tries to tell them this is the future unless we back away from fossil fuels.
br>We might actually get something done on that very important issue.

Any ideas ?
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Quoting PlazaRed:

First I can offer you my deepest sympathy for your plight, as I know it only too well in Europe but on a much more localised scale, we just went about 2 years with almost no rain in my area but its changed a lot these last few weeks with big storms.
What I am really concerned about in the case of the Mid Western states is that you are going to have to do something about this. It isnt a case of wait about and it might rain. There are millions of people at stake there and they will have major problems and soon.
First you get the drought, with the fires and dust. Then it gets bad, no water for irrigation and failing local economies, thoughts of migration but to where?
This has to be a national issue of paramount importance which should be addressed with the utmost urgency NOW!


Yep, but in this country, it's playing on Facebook, how to make the next million dollar idea, how to get rich and make more profits, and what's the latest fashion, what's my stock portfolio look like, and where we going to party this weekend, and all about me, me me, me me. Just sit back and watch the whole thing implode and fall in on itself, matter of time.
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Canada has Les Stroud.

U.S. has 40% obese people who don't actually know where we get vegetables or beef.
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Quoting RitaEvac:
With this kind of atmospheric feedback with dry soil content, summer of 2013 could be deadly, with extreme temperature heat, and if things were to hold, expect a total loss and destruction of the food supply in the breadbasket of this country.



When stomachs get to growling folks will be likely to listen better when someone tries to tell them this is the future unless we back away from fossil fuels.

We might actually get something done on that very important issue.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting RitaEvac:
With this kind of atmospheric feedback with dry soil content, summer of 2013 could be deadly, with extreme temperature heat, and if things were to hold, expect a total loss and destruction of the food supply in the breadbasket of this country.



I think you could be in a new climate regime in the US, and changed jet stream activity could be part of the problem.

Maybe you need 2013 to be an ENSO year, or does that make things worse? Suppose it depends on whether it's a La Nina or an El Nino. There's been very little ENSO activity for about 7 years, 2010 being the excepton.

I'd expect food riots in the developing world next year. There have been bad harvests in other countries, too.

You won't get a 'total loss and destruction of the food supply' in the US. Water extracted from the Ogallala aquifer irrigates much of the crop land in the drought affected area. But I assume farmers have to pay for that, so grain will be more expensive.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
The National Hurricane Center Tropical Cyclone Reports for Hurricane Michael and Tropical Storm Oscar are out.

Michael

Duration: 3-11 September
Max. winds: 100 knots (115 mph) (09/06/2012 12z)
Min. pressure: 964 millibars (09/06/2012 12z)
Damage: N/A
Fatalities: 0

Oscar

Duration: 3-5 October
Max. winds: 45 knots (50 mph) (10/05/2012 06z)
Min. pressure: 994 millibars (10/05/2012 06z)
Damage: N/A
Fatalities: 0

Here's both of them at peak intensity...

Michael:



Oscar:

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Quoting RitaEvac:


lol, The end?....it's only just beginning, we aint going out with a bang, it's gonna be a long drawn out process....

Not according to Queztaquotle (or whoever it was that scribed the Calendar)

It just ends................ POOF !
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting RitaEvac:
I believe our water wars are going to begin in the lower 48, at this rate


First I can offer you my deepest sympathy for your plight, as I know it only too well in Europe but on a much more localised scale, we just went about 2 years with almost no rain in my area but its changed a lot these last few weeks with big storms.
What I am really concerned about in the case of the Mid Western states is that you are going to have to do something about this. It isnt a case of wait about and it might rain. There are millions of people at stake there and they will have major problems and soon.
First you get the drought, with the fires and dust. Then it gets bad, no water for irrigation and failing local economies, thoughts of migration but to where?
This has to be a national issue of paramount importance which should be addressed with the utmost urgency NOW!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
75. Kumo
Quoting RitaEvac:
If there is a time to panic....now is the time....because if we don't get widespread rains over these areas, it'll be beyond panicking when reality sets in next summer.


Something tells me that we won't, I've got a gut feeling that the drought is going to continue well into next Summer. I am not looking forward to a $4 loaf of bread or $6 for lb. of ground beef. With taxes going up too, it looks like we'll be eating less Chick-fil-A and doing more cooking at home.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TomballTXPride:


When great leaders in our country's past were faced with such fear and uncertainty--the Cold War being one of them--JFK did not panic. JFK had resolve.

The Cold War was a far greater threat to our livelihood than this.

Instead of instigating and spreading fear, remember those great leaders of the past. JFK being one of them.

At the rate you're are going, you best better have your final preparations made for the end of the world later this month....







lol, The end?....it's only just beginning, we aint going out with a bang, it's gonna be a long drawn out process....
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Quoting Bielle:


1812 is a long time ago. I don't remember it being portrayed as a "great victory" in my history books, just that the Americans were pushed back by the British forces.

From Wikipedia at least:

"Canada also emerged from the war with a heightened sense of national feeling and solidarity, having repelled multiple American invasions. Battles such as the Battle of Queenston Heights and the Battle of Crysler's Farm became iconic for English-speaking Canadians. In Canada, especially Ontario, memory of the war retains national significance, as the invasions were largely perceived by Canadians as an annexation attempt by the United States, seeking to expand its territory. In Canada, numerous ceremonies are scheduled in 2012 to commemorate a Canadian victory."

Not sure what the article is referencing regards 2012 commemorations.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The National Hurricane Center Tropical Cyclone Reports for Hurricane Michael and Tropical Storm Oscar are out.

Michael

Duration: 3-11 September
Max. winds: 100 knots (115 mph) (09/06/2012 12z)
Min. pressure: 964 millibars (09/06/2012 12z)
Damage: N/A
Fatalities: 0

Oscar

Duration: 3-5 October
Max. winds: 45 knots (50 mph) (10/05/2012 06z)
Min. pressure: 994 millibars (10/05/2012 06z)
Damage: N/A
Fatalities: 0
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting bappit:

The U.S. tried to invade Canada back in 1812. Marked as a great victory in Canadian history.


1812 is a long time ago. I don't remember it being portrayed as a "great victory" in my history books, just that the Americans were pushed back by the British forces.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Canada has a military?


I appreciate the joke. We certainly don't have one to take on the U.S.A. head to head (or even arms to arms). And I am not saying Canada would "win", whatever that may mean. However, as a good friend (francophone, Quebecois) said at the time of last referendum on Quebec sovereignty, it won't be about armies; it will be about terrorism. That is really frightening, but so is widespread drought. Just look at the map.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Canada has a military?

The U.S. tried to invade Canada back in 1812. Marked as a great victory in Canadian history.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
If there is a time to panic....now is the time....because if we don't get widespread rains over these areas, it'll be beyond panicking when reality sets in next summer.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Bielle:


I think I have said before that, if there is ever a war between Canada and the U.S.A., it will be over water rights.
EH!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
With this kind of atmospheric feedback with dry soil content, summer of 2013 could be deadly, with extreme temperature heat, and if things were to hold, expect a total loss and destruction of the food supply in the breadbasket of this country.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Bielle:


I think I have said before that, if there is ever a war between Canada and the U.S.A., it will be over water rights.

Canada has a military?
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Quoting RitaEvac:
I believe our water wars are going to begin in the lower 48, at this rate


I think I have said before that, if there is ever a war between Canada and the U.S.A., it will be over water rights.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I believe our water wars are going to begin in the lower 48, at this rate

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Bucketing rain today (and yesterday) in my part of southern Ontario. It could be worse. At least I don't have to have it shovelled.

For those of you in sustained droughts, I wish I could blow a few days of this your way. I'd like to see some sunshine.
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Quoting bohonkweatherman:
First trace of rain in over 6 weeks here in South Central Texas, we are dryer than we were in the later parts of 2010 into 2011 which was the dryest spell ever here. Cracks in the ground are pretty wide, looks like the end of Summer here.


I'm afraid Central TX is becoming Mexico desert land, and massive implications are coming for TX
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Quoting nymore:
RTS

Five investigations (three major and two minor) were conducted by civil engineers and other experts, in an attempt to identify the underlying reasons for the failure of the federal flood protection system. All concur that the primary cause of the flooding was inadequate design and construction by the Corps of Engineers.

Source Government Accountability Office

In other words they built them too short and to weak for the design criteria as stated in the flood control act.



When you develop an "adequate design" for a 14ft high wall to stop an 18ft to 24ft high surge, let me know. You will have re-written all math and physics texts along the way.

The design criteria was for a category 3 storm surge on the SS Hurricane scale chart. Katrina's surge was two categories higher than that, and would have been 3 or 4 categories higher than that in some locations, if more categories had existed.
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...THE 500MB FLOW INDICATES A POTENTIAL
SHIFT IN PATTERN HEADING INTO THE EXTENDED. OVER THE PAST FEW WEEKS
WE HAVE SEEN BLOCKING OVER THE POLE...BUT IT IS FINALLY PROGGED TO
WEAKEN AND ALLOW A STRONG DOME OF COLD AIR AND ENHANCED LOW PRESSURE
SYSTEMS TO DEVELOP OVER NORTHERN CANADA (MORE OF A TYPICAL EARLY
WINTERTIME LOOK TO THE HEMISPHERIC FLOW). THIS COULD PUT SOME OF THAT
ENERGY OVER THE GULF OF ALASKA TO USE...SWINGING IT DOWN THE SPINE OF
THE ROCKIES AND POTENTIALLY PRODUCE STRONG CYCLOGENESIS AS IT SHIFTS
TOWARD TEXAS.
THIS IS ALL OCCURRING VERY LATE IN THE PERIOD AND

THEREFORE DOES NOT LEND ITSELF TO STRONG CONFIDENCE IN THE FCST SOLNS
ATTM...BUT IT BEARS CLOSE WATCHING FOR MS/TN VALLEY WEATHER AT THE
START OF NEXT WEEK.
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Quoting indianrivguy:


Go Navy beat Army!

Much of that is online... Ancestry.com has a lot, it's where I got my gramps civil war, and another gramps ww1 stuff.

PBW, I have met the General before.. didn't get a chance to speak, other than to thank him for his service, but I came away the same as you. Awed some, liking a lot. A very nice man.

I like all history and will, given the opportunity read about it, any of it. Florida history in general, and specifically pioneer east Florida is a great passion. Part of my family homesteaded on Lake Worth, 1873, another is in the 1835 Volusia County census, and was at Sand Point to greet the arrival of Col. Titus and family 1866.
IRG.... I probably have seen the movie "Patton" 10 times. General Albin Izryk has written a few books where he stated that General Patton was the best commander ever to lead men into war. When I flip channels and I happen to see Patton is on I cannot help myself to stop at watch it again.
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Quoting MrMixon:
Climate Models Project Increase in U.S. Wildfire Risk

WASHINGTON -- Scientists using NASA satellite data and climate models have projected drier conditions likely will cause increased fire activity across the United States in coming decades. Other findings about U.S. wildfires, including their amount of carbon emissions and how the length and strength of fire seasons are expected to change under future climate conditions, were also presented Tuesday at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.

"Climate models project an increase in fire risk across the U.S. by 2050, based on a trend toward drier conditions that favor fire activity and an increase in the frequency of extreme events," Morton said.

The researchers calculated results for low and high greenhouse gas emissions scenarios. In both cases, results suggest more fire seasons that are longer and stronger across all regions of the U.S. in the next 30-50 years. Specifically, high fire years like 2012 would likely occur two to four times per decade by mid-century, instead of once per decade under current climate conditions.

As the U.S. land area burned by fire each year has increased significantly in the past 25 years, so too have the emissions. Carbon dioxide emissions from wildfires in the western U.S. have more than doubled since the 1980s, according to Chris Williams of Clark University in Worcester, Mass.

The satellite-based view allowed Williams and his colleagues to quantify how much carbon has been released from fires in the U.S. West. The team used data on fire extent and severity derived from Landsat satellites to calculate how much biomass is burned and killed, and how quickly the associated carbon was released to the atmosphere. The team found carbon emissions from fires have grown from an average of 8 teragrams (8.8 million tons) per year from 1984 to 1995 to an average of 20 teragrams (22 million tons) per year from 1996 to 2008, increasing 2.4 times in the latter period.

From a fire and emissions management perspective, wildfires are not the entire U.S. fire story, according to research by Hsiao-Wen Lin of the University of California at Irvine. Satellite data show agricultural and prescribed fires are a significant factor and account for 70 percent of the total number of active fires in the continental U.S. Agricultural fires have increased 30 percent in the last decade.

For images and additional information on this research, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/climate -fire.html


Meanwhile, in northern Colorado (just three weeks before Christmas...):




"Agricultural fires" are from sugar cane, and possibly some beets (I forget).

Look it up, I don't feel like typing.
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First trace of rain in over 6 weeks here in South Central Texas, we are dryer than we were in the later parts of 2010 into 2011 which was the dryest spell ever here. Cracks in the ground are pretty wide, looks like the end of Summer here.
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Quoting kwgirl:
You can try writing to the US Army asking for transcripts of his records, if they are still available. That might work.


Go Navy beat Army!

Much of that is online... Ancestry.com has a lot, it's where I got my gramps civil war, and another gramps ww1 stuff.

PBW, I have met the General before.. didn't get a chance to speak, other than to thank him for his service, but I came away the same as you. Awed some, liking a lot. A very nice man.

I like all history and will, given the opportunity read about it, any of it. Florida history in general, and specifically pioneer east Florida is a great passion. Part of my family homesteaded on Lake Worth, 1873, another is in the 1835 Volusia County census, and was at Sand Point to greet the arrival of Col. Titus and family 1866.
Member Since: September 23, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 2637
Quoting kwgirl:
Good afternoon all. PBW, my dad served in the Navy all his life, joining during WWII. He passed away in 1986, but this year we just got a copy of a commendation letter he received from his commander stating his outstanding service during the campaign on Luzon and other areas of the Pacific while stationed on the Nehanta (sp?) Bay. I would not have been impressed when I was younger, but I certainly am now. It's a shame I never sat with my Dad and asked him about the wars he was in. The only time he told me anything was the day before he died. I am not sure if the things he said are still classified, so I won't repeat it. I guess as we get older we appreciate the work our enlisted men do for our nation.


My grandfather served in WW2 also. He was a radio/intelligence guy in Greenland and other places. However, he never did talk much about his time in the service. It as though many of that generation of veterans just did their service kept quiet and came back (the lucky ones at least.) All in all a posthumous “thank you for your service” to all those who have passed and ditto to the ones that we’re still honored to have with us today.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Climate Models Project Increase in U.S. Wildfire Risk

WASHINGTON -- Scientists using NASA satellite data and climate models have projected drier conditions likely will cause increased fire activity across the United States in coming decades. Other findings about U.S. wildfires, including their amount of carbon emissions and how the length and strength of fire seasons are expected to change under future climate conditions, were also presented Tuesday at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.

"Climate models project an increase in fire risk across the U.S. by 2050, based on a trend toward drier conditions that favor fire activity and an increase in the frequency of extreme events," Morton said.

The researchers calculated results for low and high greenhouse gas emissions scenarios. In both cases, results suggest more fire seasons that are longer and stronger across all regions of the U.S. in the next 30-50 years. Specifically, high fire years like 2012 would likely occur two to four times per decade by mid-century, instead of once per decade under current climate conditions.

As the U.S. land area burned by fire each year has increased significantly in the past 25 years, so too have the emissions. Carbon dioxide emissions from wildfires in the western U.S. have more than doubled since the 1980s, according to Chris Williams of Clark University in Worcester, Mass.

The satellite-based view allowed Williams and his colleagues to quantify how much carbon has been released from fires in the U.S. West. The team used data on fire extent and severity derived from Landsat satellites to calculate how much biomass is burned and killed, and how quickly the associated carbon was released to the atmosphere. The team found carbon emissions from fires have grown from an average of 8 teragrams (8.8 million tons) per year from 1984 to 1995 to an average of 20 teragrams (22 million tons) per year from 1996 to 2008, increasing 2.4 times in the latter period.

From a fire and emissions management perspective, wildfires are not the entire U.S. fire story, according to research by Hsiao-Wen Lin of the University of California at Irvine. Satellite data show agricultural and prescribed fires are a significant factor and account for 70 percent of the total number of active fires in the continental U.S. Agricultural fires have increased 30 percent in the last decade.

For images and additional information on this research, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/climate -fire.html


Meanwhile, in northern Colorado (just three weeks before Christmas...):

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Looks like one of my posts never made it.......Dammit, I forgot what I said.LOL
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