New Blockbuster IPCC Climate Report: Comprehensive, Authoritative, Conservative

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 11:31 AM GMT on September 26, 2013

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Comprehensive. Authoritative. Conservative.
Those words summarize the world's most rigorous and important scientific report in history: the 2013 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) climate assessment, due to be released at 4am EDT Friday in Stockholm, Sweden. The Nobel Prize-winning IPCC has put together an amazingly authoritative and comprehensive report on a subject crucial to the future of civilization, a report that will guide policymakers worldwide as they struggle to cope with the growing chaos generated by the Great Climate Disruption that is already upon us. The first 31 pages of the report, called the "Summary For Policymakers", is what will be released Friday, and this summary will lay out a powerful scientific case that significant climate change with severe impacts is already occurring, humans are mostly responsible, the pace of climate change is expected to accelerate, and we can make choices to cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases to limit the damage.

Q: What is the IPCC?
A: In 1988, 300 scientists and high-ranking government officials at an international conference convened by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) concluded that changes in the atmosphere due to human pollution “represent a major threat to international security and are already having harmful consequences over many parts of the globe.” Immediate action was needed, they said, to negotiate a set of strict, specific targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But who should coordinate such an effort? The conservative Reagan Administration and some other governments were wary of control by any group that was part of the United Nations structure. These governments proposed formation of a new, fully independent group under the direct control of representatives appointed by each government—that is, an intergovernmental panel. Responding to this pressure, the WMO and UNEP collaborated in creating the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988. The IPCC was neither a strictly scientific nor a strictly political body, but a unique hybrid. It could issue reports only with the firm agreement of a great majority of the world’s leading climate scientists, plus the unanimous consensus of all participating governments. Importantly, it would put policy options on the table, but would not make explicit policy recommendations. Given these requirements, the IPCC reports tend to be quite conservative, but have unimpeachable authority.

Q: What is an IPCC report?
A: Every 5 - 6 years, the IPCC issues a massive 3,000+ page report summarizing the current state of knowledge on climate change. These "assessment reports" have been issued in 1990, 1995, 2001, 2007, and now, 2013. The latest assessment will be released in four parts:

"The Physical Science Basis" (September 2013) will describe the observed and predicted changes to Earth's climate.

"Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability" (March 2014) will document the dire consequences associated with the path that we’re on.

"Mitigation of Climate Change" (April 2014) will outline what it will take to get us back on track to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

The "Synthesis Report" (October 2014) will summarize all of the other reports.

The scientists who prepare the 3,000+ page report cite over 9,200 peer-reviewed scientific articles, but present no original research of their own. At least 259 authors from 39 countries drafted the part of the report being released this week, and the report was subjected to two rounds of review by 1089 experts in 55 countries beginning in December 2011. None of the scientists were paid for their work. The report was also reviewed by government representatives from 38 nations, and the final report that is being debated in Stockholm this week was revised based on the over 54,000 review comments received. The most important part of the report is the "Summary for Policy Makers", a 31-page document that summarizes the key scientific findings, used by governments to make policy decisions on how to respond to climate change. The "Summary for Policy Makers" for "The Physical Science Basis" portion of the 2013 IPCC report is being released on September 27. The actual 1,000+ page scientific report that the "Summary for Policy Makers" summarizes is being released the following Monday (September 30.) While the "Summary for Policy Makers" is drafted by the scientists who serve as the lead authors for the IPCC report, the summary is subject to approval by the governments of the 195 member nations of the IPCC. During the final week of the approval process, politicians can weigh in and demand changes to the summary drafted by the scientists, since the final "Summary for Policy Makers" requires unanimous approval by all of the IPCC nations. The IPCC reports have the most elaborate review and approval process for any scientific report in the world. In 2007, the IPCC won the Nobel Peace Prize. In short, three words summarize the IPCC reports:

Comprehensive.
Authoritative.
Conservative.


FIgure 1. IPCC lead authors gather for a group photo at the four most recent meetings for drafting of the 2013 IPCC assessment report. Image credit: IPCC.

Q: Do errors in the IPCC reports undermine confidence in the science?
A: No. Two small errors have been found in the 3000+ pages of the 2007 IPCC report. Neither has anything to do with the basic conclusions that the globe is unequivocally warming and that human activity is the primary cause (one error was simply a typo.) The mistakes have been acknowledged and corrected and review procedures are being strengthened to avoid future errors. In a report of over 3,000 pages by hundreds of authors, it is not unusual that there would be a few minor errors. Contrarians seeking to discredit climate science, and some in the media, have blown these errors out of proportion, claiming the errors invalidate the entire IPCC report. It's like saying we need to throw out an entire phone book because two misspellings were found in it.

Q: What are some of the weaknesses of the IPCC report?
1) The report is already out-of-date, since papers had to be submitted for publication by July 2012 and published by March 2013 in order to be cited.

2) The report is tedious, complex, and difficult to read, making this vital science difficult to access. Little regard was given by the IPCC to communicating the results of the report. Science has little value if it is not understandably communicated to those who need the information. Where are the accompanying explanatory videos? Why was the report issued on a Friday, the worst day of the work week to get attention? The IPCC has devoted a very small portion of its budget to communication and outreach, leaving the interpretation of the report to others. I can understand the reluctance of the IPCC to provide a more slick and showy interpretation of the report, since they might be accused of "spinning" the science, and one of the great strengths of the IPCC report is its great science and the impartiality of the content. But the assumption that the science will speak for itself is wrong. The most powerful and richest corporations in world history--the oil companies--are waging very well-funded PR campaigns to deny the science, play up the uncertainties, and question the character of the scientists who write the report. The world's most rigorous and important scientific report in history is being kicked apart by powerful special interests whose profits are threatened by the findings.

3) Since the "Summary for Policymakers" is subject to unanimous approval by politicians, the science is potentially compromised, and the conclusions will tend to be conservative. Naomi Oreskes, in Chapter Six of her book, "Merchants of Doubt", recounts the haggling that led up to the approval of the 1995 Summary for Policy Makers. Government delegates for Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and other major oil exporting nations demanded a change to the statement the scientists had drafted, "The balance of evidence suggests an appreciable human influence on climate." For two whole days, the scientists haggled with the Saudi delegate over the single word "appreciable". Nearly 30 different alternatives were discussed before IPCC chair Bert Bolin finally found a word that both sides could accept: "The balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on climate." The term "discernible" established a middle ground by suggesting that human-caused climate change was detectable, but the level of that influence was subject to debate. This sentence would go on to become one the most famous scientific statements ever made about climate change, but it was more conservative than what the scientists wanted.

4) The lower-end emissions scenario, called RCP2.6, which assumes that CO2 concentrations will reach 421 ppm by the year 2100, is highly unlikely. Earth reached 400 ppm of CO2 earlier this year, and CO2 has increased by over 2 ppm per year during the past decade. CO2 emissions are accelerating, and CO2 levels will surpass 421 ppm by the year 2023 at the current rate of acceleration. RCP2.6 requires that we slash emissions of CO2 by 50%, relative to 1990 levels, by 2050. We are currently on a pace to match or exceed the worst-case scenario considered by the IPCC (RCP8.5), where CO2 levels reach 936 ppm by the year 2100.

Commentary
The two higher-end emission scenarios of the four considered by the IPCC will very likely warm the planet more than 2°C (3.6°F) over pre-industrial levels. Two degrees Centigrade represents a "dangerous" level of warming for civilization that we must avoid, according to the 2009 Copenhagen Accord, signed by world leaders including President Obama. We will have to work very hard, and very soon, to keep warming below this 2°C "danger" level. As climate writer Elizabeth Kolbert says, holding the global temperature increase to “only” two degrees Celsius, though, is like limiting yourself to “only” a few rounds of Russian roulette: unless you’re uncommonly lucky, the result is not likely be happy. The 0.9°C warming we've experienced since 1900 has already caused a destabilization of global weather patterns, resulting in unprecedented extreme weather events and accelerating melting of polar ice caps. As a group of climate scientists wrote in 2009 at RealClimate.org,

"Even a “moderate” warming of 2°C stands a strong chance of provoking drought and storm responses that could challenge civilized society, leading potentially to the conflict and suffering that go with failed states and mass migrations. Global warming of 2°C would leave the Earth warmer than it has been in millions of years, a disruption of climate conditions that have been stable for longer than the history of human agriculture."

I'll have a full analysis of the new IPCC report Friday morning, and will be offering expert commentary live on The Weather Channel beginning at 7:10 am EDT on Friday. The 2013 Summary For Policymakers will be available on the IPCC website beginning at 4 am EDT Friday.


Video 1. I did a live interview with http://www.democracynow.org Thursday morning during their 8am - 9am EDT news hour, discussing the upcoming IPCC report.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting 389. LAbonbon:


Not so good them them, though...

Study says smog causes surge in heart deaths

Particulate smog is becoming a major problem in Asian cities that have built up over the past decade




Don't care about China. I do care about coal mining jobs in this country.
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Quoting 391. daddyjames:


Nothing personal, truth hurts hurts sometimes.
Oh My
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Quoting 386. bjrabbit:


Personal attacks and condemnation...thanks...you have proven my point.


Nothing personal, truth hurts hurts sometimes.
Member Since: June 25, 2011 Posts: 2 Comments: 3733
Quoting 384. daddyjames:


You go on enjoying life, you're irrationality demonstrates that we cannot have conversation. As much as you choose not to recognize what is happening, I do not have to lend any credence to your lunacy.
Oh My...Daddy, You shocked me
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Quoting 377. bjrabbit:


So, you have "lost patience" with people who simply don't agree with you. Wow, glad I don't work for you.

Old Vlad had his hackers get all of the East Anglia e-mails that showed how corrupt these "Scientists" really are...or did you join the group that blotted that event out.

One of the most beautiful sights in the world is my weekly trip to Chesapeake, VA where I go right past the coal piers adjacent to I664 in Newport News. Mountains and mountains of beautiful, black coal...all going to India and China. And there isn't a dang thing the AWG's can do about it. :>)


Not so good them them, though...

Study says smog causes surge in heart deaths

Particulate smog is becoming a major problem in Asian cities that have built up over the past decade


Member Since: June 26, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 1850
Quoting 368. daddyjames:


LOL - but certainly would not help the love life. ;)


The trick is to have your better half drink the hot toddies with you :)
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Quoting 355. daddyjames:


No stiff neck. I thought I was getting better, but came back with a vengeance this week. Which is why i am hoping this is the last stand.

Beginning was confined to gastrointestinal difficulties, this stage has been fever, respiratory difficulties. Hopefully the last gasp . . . whatever is, it most likely is viral though.
Be very careful of the mosquitoes ...Many infected here in Florida with Dengue Fever...Particularly around Jensen Beach where IRG lives...
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Quoting 384. daddyjames:


You go on enjoying life, you're irrationality demonstrates that we cannot have conversation. As much as you choose not to recognize what is happening, I do not have to lend any credence to your lunacy.


Personal attacks and condemnation...thanks...you have proven my point.
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Quoting 373. HiDesertRat:

None of them on the science and technology committees have any real science or technology backgrounds. Most are lawyers. Some are business men, and it seems that even the one with a science/medical background (gynocologists) don't know how all the lady parts seem to work, at least from their public comments.


triple plus good
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3662
Quoting 377. bjrabbit:


So, you have "lost patience" with people who simply don't agree with you. Wow, glad I don't work for you.

Old Vlad had his hackers get all of the East Anglia e-mails that showed how corrupt these "Scientists" really are...or did you join the group that blotted that event out.

One of the most beautiful sights in the world is my weekly trip to Chesapeake, VA where I go right past the coal piers adjacent to I664 in Newport News. Mountains and mountains of beautiful, black coal...all going to India and China. And there isn't a dang thing the AWG's can do about it. :>)


You go on enjoying life, you're irrationality demonstrates that we cannot have conversation. As much as you choose not to recognize what is happening, I do not have to lend any credence to your lunacy.
Member Since: June 25, 2011 Posts: 2 Comments: 3733
Quoting 352. StormTrackerScott:


FL may need to watch this one.

I see nothing
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Quoting 332. daddyjames:


Compared to last year, things are looking good, and will only get better with this weekend's rains.



Hey there DJ. Ahh its nice to see that the drought is starting to be impacted for the better, especially now that the summer has ended. I'm hoping for a wetter than normal winter for the south. Maybe we will be so lucky as to have an El Nino pattern setup. :)
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Good Lord...no tropical development and AGW fighting like children again. Can you all PLEASE TAKE IT ELSEWHERE? Unless there has been a radical change to this blog, I (for many years now) have understood that this is a WEATHER blog, not a CLIMATE blog. Weather, to me, means rain (which in copious amounts can cause flooding), snow/blizzards, tropical systems in all oceans, wins, tornadoes, etc. While I concede that climate change can include these weather related results, fighting, bickering, and name calling concerning the existence of Gw is NOT discussing current weather.
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ya know by the time we are done arguing about the causes and outcomes of climate change it will be too late if not already to do anything about it anyway
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See?

216 hour: Nor'easter heads away from the US.



264 hour: Nor'easter absorbs another low and heads towards the east.



300 hour: Nor'easter makes the turn towards Greenland/Iceland.


338 hour: Nor'easter slams into Greenland/Iceland as a sub-980 Mb storm.

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Quoting 363. daddyjames:


We have lost patience with those that think "inaction" is the best course of action. And what's with the Putin reference? You really advocate that things are better in Russia?


So, you have "lost patience" with people who simply don't agree with you. Wow, glad I don't work for you.

Old Vlad had his hackers get all of the East Anglia e-mails that showed how corrupt these "Scientists" really are...or did you join the group that blotted that event out.

One of the most beautiful sights in the world is my weekly trip to Chesapeake, VA where I go right past the coal piers adjacent to I664 in Newport News. Mountains and mountains of beautiful, black coal...all going to India and China. And there isn't a dang thing the AWG's can do about it. :>)
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happy equal day

today marks 12 hrs of light 12 hrs of dark after which we get less light and more dark onward to winter we go in the northern hemisphere
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Quoting 370. bappit:
Sure is a nice day here in Houston.

Thank God for Vladimir Putin and his hackers!!!!


Stop! you're killing me here!

How I ever got the names confused I'll never know...
Member Since: June 26, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 1850
Hmm so we got (will get) the W Caribbean system a E Coast system 4 tropical waves to look out for during this week and next week (Sept going into Oct) yeah that seems about right
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Quoting 347. LAbonbon:


My senator is one of those ranking whoop-t-doos...I voted for the other guy :P

None of them on the science and technology committees have any real science or technology backgrounds. Most are lawyers. Some are business men, and it seems that even the one with a science/medical background (gynocologists) don't know how all the lady parts seem to work, at least from their public comments.
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Wow look at that massive Low in the North Atlantic!

Impressive :)


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Gfs fantasy land, but something still notable:

Look at that POWERFUL low (978MB)slamming into Iceland/Greenland. There are some dark purple spots in that system, which is 64-75KT winds.....

The thing is, the nor'easter we saw earlier in the run is that SAME SYSTEM that ends up there if you look closely.

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Sure is a nice day here in Houston.

Thank God for Vladimir Putin and his hackers!!!!
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204 hour gfs full res: Nor'easter to the east of the US and a potential strong tropical storm or weak hurricane even farther east.


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Quoting 365. redwagon:


Hot toddies with lots of honey, lemon and 90o. Some pasta with a bunch of garlic, and garlic toast.. should fix you right up!


LOL - but certainly would not help the love life. ;)
Member Since: June 25, 2011 Posts: 2 Comments: 3733
Quoting 283. AussieStorm:


It is common....



That was a great video, Aussie. Thanks.
Member Since: June 26, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 1850
Quoting 337. JohnLonergan:



My previous response should be:

You should have emphasized this line, but I don't think StormPro would get it.

Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming.

Question,how many times do planetary astronomers state in a paper that they accept the Copernican theory?

None, it's just accepted, it's the same in climate science, most active researchers accept the basics.


This is completely correct. In my field, if I published a paper based on Post Modernist Theory, I would never need to explicitly state I agreed with the theory in my conclusion or abstract, the agreement is wholly implied since my work is based on the theory.
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 3965
Quoting 355. daddyjames:


No stiff neck. I thought I was getting better, but came back with a vengeance this week. Which is why i am hoping this is the last stand.

Beginning was confined to gastrointestinal difficulties, this stage has been fever, respiratory difficulties. Hopefully the last gasp . . . whatever is, it most likely is viral though.


Hot toddies with lots of honey, lemon and 90o. Some pasta with a bunch of garlic, and garlic toast.. should fix you right up!
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Navgem shows the nor'easter being blocked off and shoved to the east due to all of the highs in its way.

(the noreaster is also weaker on navgem.)

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Quoting 350. bjrabbit:
This is a political, not a scientific document. There is simply not enough data for scientists to justify their conclusions.

What is really sad is how AGW believers attack deniers in the most vile way. A report who recently posted an anti-AGW argument had someone wish that he would be a victim of parricide.

We all have a right to our opinion. I'm open minded and enjoy to read other opinions. However, the AGW believers on this blog won't listen to anything...so why bother. Any contra AWG results in an attack against the poster...despite the "rules" of this blog.

Thank God for Vladimir Putin and his hackers!!!!

Bert


We have lost patience with those that think "inaction" is the best course of action. And what's with the Putin reference? You really advocate that things are better in Russia?
Member Since: June 25, 2011 Posts: 2 Comments: 3733
Quoting 360. FunnelVortex:


Yeah, I don't think it is hitting.


Ok.... Touching.
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Quoting 348. SFLWeatherman:


Similar analysis (my wannabe opinion) as the feature in the Central Atlantic.

Sheer is pretty high down there (Link) and the upper level Tutt cell draped from Nicaragua towards Cuba and Hispanola (Link) is helping enhance the convective burst.

It is pretty much boxed in with no where to go.
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Quoting 356. Torito:
GFS at 111 hours shows the nor'easter hitting near CT and a TD to the south in the Atlantic!



Yeah, I don't think it is hitting.
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Quoting 353. SFLWeatherman:
12Z NAM you can you it at 1008MB in 84HR


1006MB at 105 hours. (GFS)
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Quoting 352. StormTrackerScott:


FL may need to watch this one.



Nah, the front currently stalled out, and the associated lows, introduces a weakness in the high pressure to the north. High pressure dominates the Caribe. If it spins up, most likely stays out to sea.
Member Since: June 25, 2011 Posts: 2 Comments: 3733
Quoting 331. VAbeachhurricanes:


What is so funny?

Absurd things make me laugh.

Edit: The way I read your post was: everyone makes mistakes so we should not believe anyone. That's absurd, isn't it?
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GFS at 111 hours shows the nor'easter hitting near CT and a TD to the south in the Atlantic!

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Quoting 340. redwagon:


Hey, DJ, is your neck stiff? That's one symptom of W. Nile. I swear I had it a couple of months ago after being eaten alive by mosquitoes, I swatted a couple of those black ones with white stripes.


No stiff neck. I thought I was getting better, but came back with a vengeance this week. Which is why i am hoping this is the last stand.

Beginning was confined to gastrointestinal difficulties, this stage has been fever, respiratory difficulties. Hopefully the last gasp . . . whatever is, it most likely is viral though.
Member Since: June 25, 2011 Posts: 2 Comments: 3733
Quoting 346. SFLWeatherman:
12Z GFS you can see it at 1010MB


All I see is an open low.
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12Z NAM you can you it at 1008MB in 84HR
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Quoting 347. LAbonbon:


My senator is one of those ranking whoop-t-doos...I voted for the other guy :P


FL may need to watch this one.

Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 9 Comments: 4705
351. yoboi
Quoting 344. intampa:
the only thing i dont understand about global warming is how come some people act that even suggestions about cleaning up the way we live and treat the planet are some diabolical master plan to make all mankind submit to the will of the United Nations. There should be no argument that we have one earth. we are polluting it at record levels. global warming or not... i do not feel like its fair to leave future generations a polluted filthy planet because our generation was to concerned it might cost some extra money to clean it up . we seem to have unlimited funds for wars and subsidies for oil companies and bailing out corporations that almost broke the country but cant agree on on trying to do something... anything.. to help the earth. maybe we deserve what unknown disasters massive pollution brings.



Almost broke???? we are 17 trillion in debt and growing......what do you consider broke?????
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2593
This is a political, not a scientific document. There is simply not enough data for scientists to justify their conclusions.

What is really sad is how AGW believers attack deniers in the most vile way. A report who recently posted an anti-AGW argument had someone wish that he would be a victim of parricide.

We all have a right to our opinion. I'm open minded and enjoy to read other opinions. However, the AGW believers on this blog won't listen to anything...so why bother. Any contra AWG results in an attack against the poster...despite the "rules" of this blog.

Thank God for Vladimir Putin and his hackers!!!!

Bert
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Quoting 341. HiDesertRat:

People vote them into office!


My senator is one of those ranking whoop-t-doos...I voted for the other guy :P
Member Since: June 26, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 1850
12Z GFS you can see it at 1010MB
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GFS is coming around now that something whether it is just tropical moisture or a TS moving toward S FL in 6 to 8 days.
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 9 Comments: 4705
the only thing i dont understand about global warming is how come some people act that even suggestions about cleaning up the way we live and treat the planet are some diabolical master plan to make all mankind submit to the will of the United Nations. There should be no argument that we have one earth. we are polluting it at record levels. global warming or not... i do not feel like its fair to leave future generations a polluted filthy planet because our generation was to concerned it might cost some extra money to clean it up . we seem to have unlimited funds for wars and subsidies for oil companies and bailing out corporations that almost broke the country but cant agree on on trying to do something... anything.. to help the earth. maybe we deserve what unknown disasters massive pollution brings.
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You can clearly discern that ULL spinning at the 50 degree mark on the WV loop below pumping dry air and south-westerly sheer into the wave:

Link

Tropical development is not likely with that Tutt killing the chances of organization.
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