Top Ten Global Weather Events of 2012

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 5:34 PM GMT on January 11, 2013

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It was another year of incredible weather extremes globally during 2012. The year featured two of the most expensive weather disasters in world history--Hurricane Sandy and the Great U.S. Drought of 2012, which will both cost more than $50 billion. Thankfully, no disasters had a death toll in excess of 2,000, though the 1,901 people dead or missing due to Super Typhoon Bopha in the Philippines may rank as that nation's 2nd deadliest typhoon ever. Twenty-six weather disasters costing at least $1 billion occurred globally, according to insurance broker AON Benfield. Eleven billion-dollar weather disasters hit the U.S., a figure exceeded only by the fourteen such disasters in 2011. Nine billion-dollar weather disasters hit China, their highest total in a decade of record-keeping. I present for you, now, the top ten global weather stories of 2012, chosen for their meteorological significance and human and economic impact:



1) New Record Minimum for Arctic Sea Ice (September 16)
Sea ice extent in the Arctic fell to 3.41 million square kilometers on September 16, breaking the previous all-time low set in 2007 by 18%--despite the fact that 2012's Arctic weather was much cloudier and cooler than in 2007. Nearly half (49%) of the icecap was gone during 2012s 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." Arctic sea ice is an important component of the global climate system. The polar ice caps help to regulate global temperature by reflecting sunlight back into space. White snow and ice at the poles reflects sunlight, but dark ocean absorbs it. Replacing bright sea ice with dark ocean is a recipe for more and faster global warming. The fall air temperature over the Arctic has increased by 4 - 6°F in the past decade, and we could already be seeing the impacts of this warming in the mid-latitudes, by an increase in extreme weather events. Another non-trivial impact of the absence of sea ice is that is causes increased melting in Greenland, contributing to sea level rise.


Figure 1. A sunny, slushy day near the North Pole on September 1, 2012. Webcam image courtesy of the North Pole Environmental Observatory. It won't be many years before Santa's workshop needs pontoons in the summer to stay afloat.

2) Agricultural Drought in the U.S., Europe, and Asia (Summer)
Drought is civilization's great enemy, and the most dangerous threat from global warming. Drought impacts the two things we need to live--food and water. When the rains stop and the soil dries up, cities die and civilizations collapse, as people abandon lands no longer able to supply them with the food and water they need to live. In a harbinger of things to come, severe droughts affected important agricultural regions across the globe during summer 2012, including eastern Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and central North America. Wheat, corn, and soybean crops were among those heavily impacted; global food prices rose by 10 percent during July. While it will be several months before the costs of America's worst drought since the 1930s Dust Bowl are known, the 2012 drought is expected to cut America's GDP by 0.5 - 1 percentage points, said Deutsche Bank Securities. Since the U.S. GDP is approximately $15 trillion, the drought of 2012 represents a $75 - $150 billion hit to the U.S. economy. This is in the same range as the estimate of $77 billion in costs for the drought, made by Purdue University economist Chris Hurt in August, and the Great U.S. Drought of 2012 is going to be one of the top-five most expensive weather disasters in world history.


Figure 2. Corn in Colby, Kansas withers in the Great Drought of 2012 on May 27. Image credit: Wunderphotographer treeman.

3) Superstorm Sandy (October 29)
Hurricane Sandy was the most powerful and second most destructive Atlantic hurricane in recorded history. Ten hours before landfall, at 9:30 am EDT October 29, the total energy of Sandy's winds of tropical storm-force and higher peaked at 329 terajoules--the highest value for any Atlantic hurricane since at least 1969, and equivalent to more than five Hiroshima-sized atomic bombs. At landfall, Sandy's tropical storm-force winds spanned 943 miles of the the U.S. coast. No hurricane on record has been larger. Sandy's huge size prompted high wind warnings to be posted from Chicago to Eastern Maine, and from Michigan's Upper Peninsula to Florida's Lake Okeechobee--an area home to 120 million people. Sandy's winds simultaneously caused damage to buildings on the shores of Lake Michigan at Indiana Dunes National Lake Shore, and toppled power lines in Nova Scotia, Canada--locations 1200 miles apart! Sandy made landfall near Atlantic City, NJ on October 29, with sustained winds of 80 mph and a central minimum pressure of 946 mb--the lowest pressure on record along the Northeast coast. The Battery, in New York City Harbor, had an observed water level of 13.88 feet, besting the previous record set by Hurricane Donna in 1960 by 3 feet. Sandy's catastrophic storm surge was responsible for the majority of the 131 deaths and $62 billion in damage in the U.S. Sandy also brought torrential rainfall in excess of 12 inches to the mid-Atlantic, and blizzard conditions to the central and southern Appalachians. Sandy's late-season show of unprecedented strength, unusual track, and exceptionally damaging storm surge were made more likely due to climate change, and the storm helped bring more awareness and debate about the threat of climate change to the U.S. than any event since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.


Figure 3. Hurricane Sandy at 10:10 am EDT October 28, 2012. Image credit: NASA/GSFC.

4) Greenland Ice Sheet melt and Glacier Calving (July)
Measurements from three satellites showed that on July 8, about 40 percent of the Greenland ice sheet had undergone thawing at or near the surface. But during four consecutive days July 11 - 14, temperatures rose above freezing at the top of the Greenland Ice Sheet, which is 10,551 feet (3216 meters) above sea level and 415 miles (670 km) north of the Arctic Circle. Melting of the ice sheet dramatically accelerated, and an estimated 97 percent of the ice sheet surface had thawed by July 12. This was the greatest melt since 1889, according to ice core records. On July 16, an iceberg twice the size of Manhattan calved from the Petermann Glacier in Northeast Greenland. This was the second huge ice island to calve from the glacier since 2010. The glacier's margins have now retreated to the farthest point in the last 150 years. The record melt in Greenland caused the highest loss of ice mass observed in the satellite era, and melting from Greenland is now thought to cause about 0.7 mm/year of global sea level rise, which is about 20 - 25% of the global total.


Figure 4. The massive 46 square-mile iceberg two times the size of Manhattan that calved from Greenland's Petermann Glacier on July 16, 2012, as seen on July 21, 2012, using MODIS satellite imagery. Image credit: NASA.

5) Super Typhoon Bopha (December 3 - 4)
The deadliest weather disaster of 2012 was Super Typhoon Bopha. Bopha was the strongest typhoon ever hit the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, making landfall as a Category 5 super typhoon with winds of 160 mph (260 km/h) on December 3. Bopha made two additional landfalls in the Philippines, on central Visayas and on Palawan, on December 4. The typhoon left 1901 people dead or missing, mostly on the island of Mindanao. If the missing people are presumed dead, this total would make Bopha the 2nd deadliest typhoon in Philippine history. Bopha affected over 5.4 million people and left over 700,000 people homeless. With damages estimated at $1.04 billion, Bopha is the most costly typhoon ever to hit the Philippines. The previous record was the $600 million price tag of 2009's Typhoon Parma.


Figure 5. December 7, 2012: rescuers and residents look for missing victims amongst toppled tree trunks and coconut shells after flash floods caused by Super Typhoon Bopha hit Compostela Valley on Mindanao Island in the Philippines on December 3 - 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Jay Morales, Malacanang Photo Bureau, HO)

6) Northern Hemisphere Warmth (throughout 2012)
Land areas in the Northern Hemisphere reached record warm monthly values for four consecutive months (April - July). Much of the unusual warmth occurred in North America; Canada was 3rd warmest on record for the period January- September, and the United States had its warmest year on record. Many European countries and Russia had record to near-record warm summer temperatures in 2012.


Figure 6. This young lady chose to cool her heels in the Fox River on June 28, 2012, as the temperature was topping 102 degrees in Carpentersville, IL imag credit: wunderphotographer pjpix.

7) Eurasian Continent Cold Wave (January 24 - February 17)
Europe's worst cold snap in at least 26 years hit central and eastern Europe hard during a 3-week period in late January and the first half of February. The 824 deaths being blamed on the cold wave made it 2012's second deadliest weather disaster. Parts of the Danube River froze over for the first time in 25 years, and Northeast China through eastern Inner Mongolia recorded extremely cold minimum temperatures ranging between -30°C to -40°C.


Figure 7. Snow falls in Trogir, Croatia on February 3, 2012. Image credit: wunderphotographer antoniomise.

8) China Floods (July 21 - 22)
Torrential downpours on July 21 - 22 affected Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei, with several stations recording their highest daily precipitation on record. Mentougou recorded an impressive 305.2 mm (12 inches) of precipitation in one day. The floods killed 129 people and did $4.8 billion in damage, one of a record nine billion-dollar weather disasters to affect China in 2012.


Figure 8. A Chinese man uses a signboard to signal motorists driving through flooded street following a heavy rain in Beijing Saturday, July 21, 2012. China's government says these were the heaviest rains to hit Beijing in six decades. The torrential downpour left low-lying streets flooded and knocked down trees. (AP Photo)

9) Pakistan Floods (August 21 - September 30)
Torrential monsoon rains caused deadly floods in Pakistan, with Balochistan, Punjab, and Sindh provinces the hardest hit. Over 5 million people and over 400,000 hectares of crops were affected by the floods, with more than 460,000 houses and infrastructures damaged or destroyed. The death toll of 455 made it Earth's 3rd deadliest weather-related disaster of 2012.


Figure 9. A driver makes his way on a street flooded from heavy rain in Peshawar, Pakistan, Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)

10) African Floods (July - October)
Heavy rains in Nigeria killed at least 431, making it Earth's 4th deadliest weather disaster of 2012. Over 3 million people were affected by flooding across 15 countries in Africa, most notably Nigeria, Niger, Senegal, and Chad. The floods destroyed farmlands, homes, and schools, and caused outbreaks of cholera and other diseases.

Other Top Ten Weather Lists of 2012
My Top Ten U.S. Weather Events of 2012.

Wunderground's Angela Fritz's has a list of Top Climate Events of 2012.

A group of seventeen climate scientists and climate bloggers created a Climate Disruption: Critical 2012 Events and Stories list of 19 key climate change events that occurred in 2012.

TWC's Stu Ostro has his annual post showing his pick for top weather images of 2012.

Climate Central has a top-ten most striking images of 2012 post.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Jeff Masters

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Quoting wxchaser97:


I fixed my few spelling mistakes, the joys of doing two things at similar times at 1:30am.
12:30 AM*.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


GFS at 96 hours:



Euro at 96 hours:



CMC at 96 hours:



NOGAPS at 96 hours:



The storm relative isobaric fields, even amongst the GFS, strongly resemble a cold core system, which is further supported by upper air forecasts suggesting that the system will be collocated with an intense upper low. Remember also how many times we were tricked in November and December when the models depicted a similar scenario.

I doubted we would get anything subtropical/tropical from this system in the first place. I really wanted to get to Valerie last year, so yeah I remember that.

I fixed my few spelling mistakes, the joys of doing two things at similar times at 1:30am.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
Quoting wxchaser97:

Have the ECMWF, GFS, or any other model still showing a subtropical storm in the past few runs? I have been pretty busy with other stuff to e monitoring that.


GFS at 96 hours:



Euro at 96 hours:



CMC at 96 hours:



NOGAPS at 96 hours:



The storm relative isobaric fields, even amongst the GFS, strongly resemble a cold core system, which is further supported by upper air forecasts suggesting that the system will be collocated with an intense upper low. Remember also how many times we were tricked in November and December when the models depicted similar scenarios.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KoritheMan:
This is the closest the central Atlantic baroclinic zone gets to becoming a warm-core system on any of the models (this is the GFS):


Have the ECMWF, GFS, or any other model still been showing a subtropical storm in the past few runs? I have been pretty busy with other stuff to be monitoring that.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
This is the closest the central Atlantic baroclinic zone gets to becoming a warm-core system on any of the models (this is the GFS):

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Eye has become more cloud-filled on satellite imagery:

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Quoting Astrometeor:
How many days has it been for Chicago? lol, it has to be one of TWC's topics whenever they are actually covering the nation and not having some lifeguard show on.

From the NWS in Chicago:

Number of days wit less than an 1" falling that day.
1 - 322 - 01/11/2013

Latest day with less than an 1" to fall.
T5 - Jan 11, 2013

Stretch of days without a snow depth of 1" or greater.
1 - 320 - 01/11/2013

Since there was obviously no snow yesterday(11th), I changed the dates from the 10th to the 11th and changed any ranks as needed. This is a very bad winter for people who love snow in Chicago.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
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How many days has it been for Chicago? lol, it has to be one of TWC's topics whenever they are actually covering the nation and not having some lifeguard show on.
Member Since: July 2, 2012 Posts: 101 Comments: 10480
Member Since: July 2, 2012 Posts: 101 Comments: 10480
Maybe, just maybe, Chicago can get an inch of snow out of this next system.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
This is interesting day 2 outlook for freezing rain exceeding .25".

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Hey, Pat.....

Are you old enough to remember this one?

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Quoting Xandra:

From The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP):

Over the past 50 years, Alaska has warmed at more than twice the rate of the rest of the United States’ average. Its annual average temperature has increased 3.4°F, while winters have warmed even more, by 6.3°F.501 As a result, climate change impacts are much more pronounced than in other regions of the United States. The higher temperatures are already contributing to earlier spring snowmelt, reduced sea ice, widespread glacier retreat, and permafrost warming. These observed changes are consistent with climate model projections of greater warming over Alaska, especially in winter, as compared to the rest of the country.

Source



Which, as I already pointed out, occurred in one giant "step" during the mid-late 1970s. As of yet, the warming of Alaska in recent history is less of a trend, and more of an event.
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I'm a gonna go Crazy on you
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Quoting Levi32:


Well regardless of what the global long-term tendency may be, our state does not exhibit a global warming signature, at least not yet. The only statistically significant long-term warming that occurred here in the last 60 years was a "stair step" in 1976 during the great Pacific climate shift. On either side of that giant step, the temperature trend has been essentially flat, and there are indications in recent years that we are about to undergo a similar step in the opposite direction since the PDO now appears to be shifting back to its pre-1976 phase. If there is a global trend affecting Alaska, it will not be evident for some time.



Source: UAF Geophysical Institute

From The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP):

Over the past 50 years, Alaska has warmed at more than twice the rate of the rest of the United States’ average. Its annual average temperature has increased 3.4°F, while winters have warmed even more, by 6.3°F.501 As a result, climate change impacts are much more pronounced than in other regions of the United States. The higher temperatures are already contributing to earlier spring snowmelt, reduced sea ice, widespread glacier retreat, and permafrost warming. These observed changes are consistent with climate model projections of greater warming over Alaska, especially in winter, as compared to the rest of the country.

Source

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257. BtnTx
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Feels like you've been hit by a bus, doesn't it?
Definitely! But my doctor has me medicated now to the point where I spend most of my time sleeping! Yawn
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256. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Perth Tropical Cyclone Warning Center
Tropical Cyclone Advice #21
SEVERE TROPICAL CYCLONE NARELLE, CATEGORY FOUR (05U)
11:50 AM WST January 12 2013
=========================================

At 11:00 AM WST, Severe Tropical Cyclone Narelle (934 hPa) located at 18.9S 111.9E or 410 km northwest of Exmouth and 690 km north northwest of Carnarvon has 10 minute sustained winds of 100 knots with gusts of 140 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving south southwest at 4 knots.

Severe Tropical Cyclone Narelle is expected to move to the south southwest and pass west of the Northwest Cape on Sunday.

Gales with gusts to 100 kilometers per hour may develop in coastal areas between Onslow and Exmouth later Saturday, extending south to Cape Cuvier on Sunday. Gales may extend south to Denham late on Sunday or Monday if the cyclone takes a track closer to the coast than expected.

Thunderstorm activity in western parts of the Pilbara could be squally with isolated heavy falls.

Tides along the west Pilbara coast are likely to rise above the normal high tide mark with flooding of low lying coastal areas possible. Higher than normal tides should extend along the west coast overnight tonight and continue into early next week.

Tropical Cyclone Warning
======================
A Cyclone WARNING continues for coastal areas from Onslow to Cape Cuvier, including Exmouth

Tropical Cyclone Watch
======================
A Cyclone WATCH continues for coastal areas from Cape Cuvier to Denham, including Carnarvon
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 52 Comments: 46909
Quoting BtnTx:
I am also suffering from bad case of the flu! The meds i am taking have my brain whacked out!

Feels like you've been hit by a bus, doesn't it?
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32813
same Dudes..one slightly tilted one could say maybe?

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129838
Quoting BtnTx:
I am also suffering from bad case of the flu! The meds i am taking have my brain whacked out!


Fluids,rest,fever control.

...get well soon dude.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129838
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251. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Philippines Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services and Administration
Tropical Cyclone Bulletin #3
TROPICAL DEPRESSION BISING
11:00 AM PhST January 12 2013
==============================

Tropical Depression "Bising" has maintained its strength as it continues to move north northwestward

At 10:00 AM PhST, Tropical Depression Bising (1004 hPa) located at 13.8N 126.3E or 215 km east of Virac, Catanduanes has 10 minute sustained winds of 25 knots. The depression is reported as moving north northwest at 9 knots.

Signal Warnings
================

Signal Warning #1
-----------------

Luzon region
=============
1. Catanduanes

Additional Information
======================
Public Storm Warning Signal elsewhere is now lowered.

Residents living in low lying and mountainous areas under public storm warning #1 are alerted against possible flashfloods and landslides.Estimated rainfall amount is from 05-15 mm per hour (moderate to heavy) within the 300 km diameter of the tropical depression.

Fishing boats and other small seacrafts are advised not to venture out into the seaboards of northern and central Luzon over the seaboards of southern Luzon and Visayas due to Tropical Depression "Bising" and the Northeast Monsoon.

The public and the local disaster risk reduction and management councils concerned are advised to take appropriate actions and watch for the next bulletin to be issued at 5 PM today.
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 52 Comments: 46909
Rain rain go away, come back ....



Member Since: July 2, 2012 Posts: 101 Comments: 10480
249. BtnTx
Quoting BtnTx:
I won't argue there Pat - I was just passing thru briefly and thought I would throw in a spark!
I am also suffering from bad case of the flu! The meds i am taking have my brain whacked out!
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Quoting Patrap:
2012 was anything but Boring in the CONUS for Millions.


..be careful what u wish fer.

Hurricane Sandy





Isaac was a forecasting nightmare. I still refused to believe the Louisiana landfall until the last minute. Once the Euro joined in, I knew we were screwed.

Seriously hoping I can quit Walmart this summer. You bet I'll be doing all kinds of hurricane chasing.
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Quoting BtnTx:
I won't argue there Pat - I was just passing thru briefly and thought I would throw in a spark!


Been dere done dat myself BtnTx.

:)
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129838
New Orleans Locals fer sho' during Isaac, Lake Ponchartrain.

:)

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129838
Not an expert, but $6 wouldn't happen unless inflation increased, and/or the government dropped their subsidies on gas.
Member Since: July 2, 2012 Posts: 101 Comments: 10480
244. BtnTx
Quoting Patrap:
..nothing er, like a well thought out comment.

LoL
I won't argue there Pat - I was just passing thru briefly and thought I would throw in a spark!
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243. BtnTx
Quoting BtnTx:
It is good to see the EPA is on top of this! Maybe we will be able to enjoy $6/gal gasoline soon! I am sure everyone here as buckets of cash in their pockets!
I know I know - clean green at all costs!
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..nothing er, like a well thought out comment.

please, continue to enlighten us with mo'
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129838
241. BtnTx
Quoting etxwx:
EPA cites Shell for air pollution in Arctic drilling
By Mary Pemberton, Associated Press / January 11, 2013

Anchorage, Alaska -
Excerpt: Two Royal Dutch Shell PLC ships operating in the Arctic emitted excessive amounts of air pollution during drilling operations last summer off Alaska's northern coastline, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
The federal agency announced Thursday that it issued Shell notices of air quality violations coming from its drill rig and drill ship during what was a shortened Arctic drilling season of about two months. Shell's drill rig Kulluk and drill ship Noble Discoverer emitted excessive amounts of nitrogen oxide. There were multiple violations for each ship, the agency said.


More here.
It is good to see the EPA is on top of this! Maybe we will be able to enjoy $6/gal gasoline soon! I am sure everyone here as buckets of cash in their pockets!
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2012 was anything but Boring in the CONUS for Millions.


..be careful what u wish fer.

Hurricane Sandy



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129838
Good evening everyone.

Cyclone Narelle has been beautiful today with a clear eye. But, it looks like Narelle has reached its peak intensity and is beginning to weaken. Microwave imagery depicts a weakness in the southern eyewall. By 24 hours, the cyclone will be entering cold waters. In 48 hours, it will also be encountering significantly high shear. Weakening is likely to be rapid by then as the cyclone moves generally south. Although Narelle is anticipated to remain away from Australia's west coast, it would still bring some rain and strong waves there.

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When The Levee Breaks
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6226
Quoting Levi32:


The ensemble probabilistic distribution is much more helpful:



NO not again :(

Looks like another "SAL/DUST/DRY" boring year!!

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do you think about tomorrow
do you worry bout today
happiness or sorrow
you decide which way
and did you ever think to wonder
there'd be dues to pay someday
ya gotta feed the hunger
is there any other way?
Member Since: July 25, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 661
Accusing the NWS of something they don't do.... sigh.

Link

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234. N3EG
Quoting etxwx:
...Rep. Allan Ritter...filed two bills Thursday that would allow a one-time transfer from the state's rainy day fund into a new account to help pay for water-related infrastructure


Irony, and no water to make it rust.
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Quoting ycd0108:
It's slright Pat:
"We are gonna Ride across the River
To the Other Side"


..maybe kinda like this ycd'
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129838
It's alright Pat:
"We are gonna Ride across the River
To the Other Side"
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Quoting aspectre:
183 Levi32: Australia dodges Narelle...

The wording makes it seem as if Australians wanted it to miss... whereas I suspect that like Texans of 2011&2012, many would have welcomed a landfalling TropicalCyclone for its drought-busting rain... as well as a partial/regional damper on its extremely hazardous FireSeason this year.


Don't forget the storm chasers.
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Top 10 Most Polluting Countries (2011)

#1 - China

Estimated 2011 CO2 Emissions in metric tonnes: 8.7 billion.


(Photo PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129838
Top 10 Most Polluting Countries (2011)

#2 - USA
Estimated 2011 CO2 Emissions in metric tonnes: 5.42 billion.




(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129838
Summers are longer and hotter, and periods of extreme heat last longer than any living American has ever experienced. Winters are generally shorter and warmer. Rain comes in heavier downpours, though in many regions there are longer dry spells in between.
Other changes are even more dramatic. Residents of some coastal cities see their streets flood more regularly during storms and high tides. Inland cities near large rivers also experience more flooding, especially in the Midwest and Northeast. Hotter and drier weather and earlier snow melt mean that wildfires in the West start earlier in the year, last later into the fall, threaten more homes, cause more evacuations, and burn more acreage. In Alaska, the summer sea ice that once protected the coasts has receded, and fall storms now cause more erosion and damage that is severe enough that some communities are already facing relocation. ...

These and other observed climatic changes are having wide-ranging impacts in every region of our country and most sectors of our economy. Some of these changes can be beneficial, such as longer growing seasons in many regions and a longer shipping season on the Great Lakes. But many more have already proven to be detrimental, largely because society and its infrastructure were designed for the climate of the past, not for the rapidly changing climate of the present or the future.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129838
National Climate Assessment Details Stronger Evidence Of Global Warming And Its Impacts

Posted: 01/11/2013 4:43 pm EST | Updated: 01/11/2013 6:24 pm EST



A federal committee has published a draft of the nation's third climate assessment report, a comprehensive analysis of the latest and best peer-reviewed science on the extent and impacts of global warming on the United States.

None of the body's findings are entirely new, but the report suggests that evidence is now stronger and clearer than ever that the climate is rapidly changing -- primarily as a result of human activities, including the copious burning of fossil fuels. Observed weather extremes are on the rise, and the possible connection between at least some of these events and human-induced climate change is also more strongly supported by the science.

The nation can expect increased impacts on everything from crops to fresh water supplies, and better and broader national plans for adaptation are needed, the assessment noted.

The draft report, which was prepared by the so-called National Climate Assessment Development Advisory Committee and written and amassed by a group of 240 scientists, will be subject to a three-month period of review and public comment.

"Climate change presents a major challenge for society," the committee's leadership said in a letter addressed to the American people. "This report and the sustained assessment process that is being developed represent steps forward in advancing our understanding of that challenge and its far-reaching implications for our nation and the world."

In an emailed statement, Gene Karpinski, the president of the League of Conservation Voters, said the report confirms what many Americans already know. "Hurricane Sandy and the historic droughts, floods and heat waves happening across the country aren't a fluke, but the result of a climate warming much faster than previously thought," he said. "If we put off action on climate change, the costs of addressing its impacts will only rise and this extreme weather will be just the beginning. This report should serve as a wake-up call that it's time to act."

The committee's letter continues:

Summers are longer and hotter, and periods of extreme heat last longer than any living American has ever experienced. Winters are generally shorter and warmer. Rain comes in heavier downpours, though in many regions there are longer dry spells in between.
Other changes are even more dramatic. Residents of some coastal cities see their streets flood more regularly during storms and high tides. Inland cities near large rivers also experience more flooding, especially in the Midwest and Northeast. Hotter and drier weather and earlier snow melt mean that wildfires in the West start earlier in the year, last later into the fall, threaten more homes, cause more evacuations, and burn more acreage. In Alaska, the summer sea ice that once protected the coasts has receded, and fall storms now cause more erosion and damage that is severe enough that some communities are already facing relocation. ...

These and other observed climatic changes are having wide-ranging impacts in every region of our country and most sectors of our economy. Some of these changes can be beneficial, such as longer growing seasons in many regions and a longer shipping season on the Great Lakes. But many more have already proven to be detrimental, largely because society and its infrastructure were designed for the climate of the past, not for the rapidly changing climate of the present or the future.

The report's roots can be traced to the The Global Change Research Act of 1990, which required that a national climate assessment be conducted every four years, with a report issued to the president and Congress. The legislation led to the formation of the U.S. Global Change Research Program, an inter-governmental body involving 13 federal agencies and departments, including the Departments of Commerce, Defense and Energy, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Science Foundation, among others.

The first such assessment was not published until 2000, however, and it was subsequently attacked by conservative groups who claimed that it exaggerated the climate threat. One group, the free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute, filed multiple lawsuits arguing that the findings were not subjected to federal guidelines for scientific research.

CEI settled its legal challenges with the Bush administration, which subsequently suppressed use of the report by other branches of the federal government in their implementation of policies.

The next full climate assessment was not published until 2009, after President Barack Obama took office.

"This draft report sends a warning to all of us," said Sen. Barbara Boxer, the California Democrat and chairwoman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, in an emailed statement. "We must act in a comprehensive fashion to reduce carbon pollution or expose our people and communities to continuing devastation from extreme weather events and their aftermath."

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129838

Asteroid Apophis was discovered on June 19, 2004. Image credit: UH/IA

NASA Rules Out Earth Impact in 2036 for Asteroid Apophis01.10.13



PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA scientists at the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., effectively have ruled out the possibility the asteroid Apophis will impact Earth during a close flyby in 2036. The scientists used updated information obtained by NASA-supported telescopes in 2011 and 2012, as well as new data from the time leading up to Apophis' distant Earth flyby yesterday (Jan. 9).

Discovered in 2004, the asteroid, which is the size of three-and-a-half football fields, gathered the immediate attention of space scientists and the media when initial calculations of its orbit indicated a 2.7 percent possibility of an Earth impact during a close flyby in 2029. Data discovered during a search of old astronomical images provided the additional information required to rule out the 2029 impact scenario, but a remote possibility of one in 2036 remained - until yesterday.

"With the new data provided by the Magdalena Ridge [New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology] and the Pan-STARRS [Univ. of Hawaii] optical observatories, along with very recent data provided by the Goldstone Solar System Radar, we have effectively ruled out the possibility of an Earth impact by Apophis in 2036," said Don Yeomans, manager of NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office at JPL. "The impact odds as they stand now are less than one in a million, which makes us comfortable saying we can effectively rule out an Earth impact in 2036. Our interest in asteroid Apophis will essentially be for its scientific interest for the foreseeable future."

The April 13, 2029, flyby of asteroid Apophis will be one for the record books. On that date, Apophis will become the closest flyby of an asteroid of its size when it comes no closer than 19, 400 miles (31,300 kilometers) above Earth's surface.

"But much sooner, a closer approach by a lesser-known asteroid is going to occur in the middle of next month when a 40-meter-sized asteroid, 2012 DA14, flies safely past Earth's surface at about 17,200 miles," said Yeomans. "With new telescopes coming online, the upgrade of existing telescopes and the continued refinement of our orbital determination process, there's never a dull moment working on near-Earth objects."

NASA detects and tracks asteroids and comets passing close to Earth using both ground and space-based telescopes. The Near-Earth Object Observations Program, commonly called "Spaceguard," discovers these objects, characterizes a subset of them and plots their orbits to determine if any could be potentially hazardous to our planet.

The Near-Earth Object Program Office at JPL manages the technical and scientific activities for NASA's Near-Earth Object Program of the Science Mission Directorate in Washington. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

For more information about asteroids and near-Earth objects, visit: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/asteroidwatch Updates about near-Earth objects are also available by following AsteroidWatch on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/asteroidwatch .



DC Agle 818-393-9011
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
agle@jpl.nasa.gov

Dwayne Brown 202-358-1726
NASA Headquarters, Washington
dwayne.c.brown@nasa.gov

2013-017
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129838
I hear the horses thunder down in the valley below
I'm waiting for the angels of Avalon, waiting for the eastern glow..


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129838
explosive ?

Science is Logically and Scientifically derived.

What any Single Human believes is the opine of the speaker.

Global Climate Change Indicators
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Climatic Data Center



Many lines of scientific evidence show the Earth's climate is changing. This page presents the latest information from several independent measures of observed climate change that illustrate an overwhelmingly compelling story of a planet that is undergoing global warming. It is worth noting that increasing global temperature is only one element of observed global climate change. Precipitation patterns are also changing; storms and other extremes are changing as well.


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129838

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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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