Intriguing Tipping Points TV Series Begins Airing Saturday at 9pm EDT

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:09 PM GMT on October 18, 2013

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How does one tell the most important story of our time--the emergence of our great Climate Disruption--without boring one's audience to tears, but at the same time, not resorting to over-hyped spinning of the science? “Tipping Points”, a landmark 6-part TV series that begins airing at 9 pm EDT Saturday, October 19 on The Weather Channel, aims to do just that. "Tipping Points" follows a group of preeminent scientists as they venture off the grid to explore the perilous tipping points making our weather systems more extreme and unpredictable.

The phenomena of “tipping points” follows the concept that, at a particular moment in time, a small change can have a large, long-term consequence on a fragile climate system already in a state of flux. Localized ecological systems are known to shift abruptly and irreversibly from one state to another when they are forced across critical thresholds. Further, when the situation is pushed past the “tipping point,” it will potentially lead to a chain reaction, putting other ecosystems around the globe in peril. “Tipping Points” will feature several of the most critical examples, including the collapse of the Greenland ice sheet, total melting of the Himalayan icecap glaciers, die-back of the Amazon rainforest, shutdown of the Atlantic Thermohaline Circulation, and the rapid melt of the permafrost in Siberia. "Tipping Points" will not only show how climate changes affect local communities in exotic and distant locales like the Amazon or Siberia, but how it impacts and is relevant to people from Australia and Asia to Europe, South America to Canada and every community in between. The series explores what is happening at the most dramatic tipping points and looks to find answers to understand what can be done to stem the tide of change before we do irreparable damage, and ultimately put our own lives at risk.



The series is hosted by polar explorer and climate journalist Bernice Notenboom, the first woman to climb Mt. Everest and walk to the North and South Poles. She is joined by a number of leading international environmental scientists in each episode, such as Dr. Jason Box, Dr. Matthew England, Professor Peter Cox, and more. In each episode, Notenboom heads off to a far corner of the world to find scientists in the field undertaking vital climate research to try to understand how the climate system is changing and how long we have to make significant changes before we reach a tipping point--a point of no return when our climate system will be changed irreversibly.



The first episode at 9 pm EDT/8 pm CDT this Saturday will be "Amazon Rainforest Risks". "Tipping Points" host Bernice Notenboom will join Peter Cox, Professor of Climate System Dynamics at the University of Exeter, on an expedition across the vast Amazon Rainforest to explore the mega droughts and tree deaths occurring that threaten the forest's survival this century. The Amazon stores CO2 in its soils and biomass equivalent to about fifteen years of human-caused emissions, so a massive die-back of the forest could greatly accelerate global warming. Photosynthesis in the world's largest rainforest keeps the Earth cooler by taking about 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide out of the air each year. However, exceptional droughts in both 2005 and 2010 reversed this process. The Amazon emitted 3 billion tons of CO2 to the atmosphere in 2005, causing a net 5 billion ton increase in CO2 to the atmosphere--roughly equivalent to 19% of the total CO2 emissions to the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels that year. A 2013 NASA-led study found that an area of the Amazon rainforest twice the size of California continues to suffer from the effects of the 2005 mega drought. A 2008 paper by Professor Cox warned that their climate model predicted a rapidly increasing risk of 2005-like droughts from 1-in-20 years in the present climate to 1-in-2 years by 2025, if we continue emitting CO2 at our current "business-as-usual" pace. A 2013 study by Fu et al. found that the dry season length has grown by about seven days per decade in the southern part of the rainforest. If this trend continues in coming decades at half of that rate, the fire season that contributed to the 2005 drought would become the new norm by the late 21st century. The leader of the study, Rong Fu, explained: "The dry season over the southern Amazon is already a marginal for maintaining rainforest. At some point, if it becomes too long, the rainforest will reach a tipping point."



Typhoon Francisco headed towards Japan
Category 4 Typhoon Francisco continues to intensify over the warm waters of the Western Pacific about 200 miles west of Guam. Even though the eye of Francisco passed more than 150 miles west of Guam Friday morning, the huge storm brought sustained winds of 37 mph, gusting to 46 mph, to the island, along with 6.75" of rain. Satellite loops show that Francisco is well-organized with an impressive area of heavy thunderstorms and a prominent eye. With warm waters that extend to great depth and low wind shear, continued strengthening is likely, and Francisco is forecast to become a super typhoon with 150 mph winds by Saturday as it heads northwest towards Japan. The European model now shows that Francisco will miss Japan, but the GFS model predicts that Francisco will hit Japan on Thursday next week. There is very high uncertainty in the storm's track that far into the future, since the timing of Francisco's turn the northeast is difficult to predict.

The Atlantic is quiet
None of the reliable computer models for forecasting tropical cyclone genesis is predicting development over the next five days.

Jeff Masters

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52. Neapolitan 9:25 AM EDT on October 18, 2013

So basically you would be good with no comments from otherwise uneducated politicians and other "true believers" who cannot back up their arguments with any science:

Eric Hoffer (July 25, 1902 – May 21, 1983) was an American moral and social philosopher. He was the author of ten books and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in February 1983. His first book, The True Believer, published in 1951, was widely recognized as a classic, receiving critical acclaim from both scholars and laymen.

Hoffer argued that fanatical and extremist cultural movements, whether religious or political, arose under predictable circumstances: when large numbers of people come to believe that their individual lives are worthless and ruined, that the modern world is irreparably corrupt, and that hope lies only in joining a larger group that demands radical changes. Hoffer believed that self-esteem and a sense of satisfaction with one's life was of central importance to psychological well-being. He thus focused on what he viewed as the consequences of a lack of self-esteem.


Unfortunately GW/Climate change has also become highly politicized and there are lots of true believers around these days...................
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make up a good chuck of that 97%.

Chuck?

Is dat you's?

; )
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128344
On this climate change thing:-
The human contribution has been steadily rising for the last 200 years, with the industrialisation of the world from Europe outward until the mechanisation is now global.
Having written that the next thing is to state that there is probably an upper limit somewhere to how much green house gases humans are eventually going to put into the atmosphere.
Next comes the point where the natural balanced gases system of the planet take over. This is like the fuse to a greenhouse gas explosion in which nobody is quite sure what the effects will eventually be.
One thing seems to be for sure. The world in perhaps a lot less than a 100 years from now is going to look different from the present time.
These changes from humanities point of view will probably be irreversible and also probably fatal to a large amount of the planets populations, people included.
I personally think that climate change is now inevitable as we have probably already passed the "Tipping Point."
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That'll be a Super Typhoon then,

18/0832 UTC 14.7N 142.0E T7.0/7.0 FRANCISCO
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24039
Quoting 88. NASCARfanatic:

There are alot of made up handles in the climate change blog though. They plus up each other's posts to push their climate change agenda. It's pretty obvious when some post have 1 or 2 plusses and others have 20. We're not stupid.


That is completely untrue, conspiracy nonsense. We have a very small, but good community of regulars there. There are no multiple handles, just a small group of people who discuss and share information on climate change.
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Quoting 48. StormTrackerScott:


Dry Season usually kicks in Orlando around October 18th.
Yep. About the time they receive there first cold front. which on average, is in the third week of October.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21249
Quoting 75. Greenberg:

All of the above. And all those things continue to affect our climate. 97% of all scientists might agree humans are having some effect on climate, but the % of that affect varies greatly. Some of the chuck of the 97% only believe man is influencing the climate as little as 5%. Be careful when you read the 97% number. Don't assume that mean 97% are certain man is the only or primary driving force behind a changing climate.



That is inaccurate. The study where the 97% number comes from is here: Link

"We analyze the evolution of the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming (AGW) in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, examining 11 944 climate abstracts from 1991–2011 matching the topics 'global climate change' or 'global warming'. We find that 66.4% of abstracts expressed no position on AGW, 32.6% endorsed AGW, 0.7% rejected AGW and 0.3% were uncertain about the cause of global warming. Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming. In a second phase of this study, we invited authors to rate their own papers. Compared to abstract ratings, a smaller percentage of self-rated papers expressed no position on AGW (35.5%). Among self-rated papers expressing a position on AGW, 97.2% endorsed the consensus. For both abstract ratings and authors' self-ratings, the percentage of endorsements among papers expressing a position on AGW marginally increased over time. Our analysis indicates that the number of papers rejecting the consensus on AGW is a vanishingly small proportion of the published research."

Also, the study states: "Another potential area of uncertainty involved the text of the abstracts themselves. In some cases, ambiguous language made it difficult to ascertain the intended meaning of the authors. Naturally, a short abstract could not be expected to communicate all the details of the full paper. The implementation of the author self-rating process allowed us to look beyond the abstract. A comparison between self-ratings and abstract ratings revealed that categorization based on the abstract alone underestimates the percentage of papers taking a position on AGW."

So of those papers, many more may take a position, all in all, it's a very good study with excellent methodology.
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I saw this graph the other day and I'm still trying to completely wrap my head around it.
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6909
Quite a trough for October.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21249
Quoting 75. Greenberg:

All of the above. And all those things continue to affect our climate. 97% of all scientists might agree humans are having some effect on climate, but the % of that affect varies greatly. Some of the chuck of the 97% only believe man is influencing the climate as little as 5%. Be careful when you read the 97% number. Don't assume that mean 97% are certain man is the only or primary driving force behind a changing climate.


Thanks Greenberg. Insightful information.
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Quoting 81. washingtonian115:
Naga is not wolverine.
True. Naga is more patient and can do statistics.
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Quoting 69. rickdove:
So what was the tipping point that caused global warming and cooling before man discovered the engine? was it asteroids, volcanoes, earthquakes???


Natural forcings. Tectonics, variations in orbital cycles, volcanoes, all these comes into play.

What makes what's occurring now different is that we know through measurements the CO2 in the atmosphere is being created through combustion as it corresponds to a proportional decrease in O2.Link We can effectively measure the incoming and outgoing energy from the sun and there is an energy imbalance. Link

And we can measure the radiation spectrum of the energy reaching the ground and that spectrum clearly shows known greenhouse gases, specifically CO2, are responsible for the imbalance currently seen. Link
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Quoting 77. mistymountainhop:

Hey Naga5000. Why the second handle Bud?
Naga is not wolverine.
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The series explores what is happening at the most dramatic tipping points and looks to find answers to understand what can be done to stem the tide of change before we do irreparable damage, and ultimately put our own lives at risk.




it's nice to see the change from announcing climate change to going forward with what we can do to negate these changes....
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Quoting 69. rickdove:
So what was the tipping point that caused global warming and cooling before man discovered the engine? was it asteroids, volcanoes, earthquakes???

Large meteorite impact would probably be an high end contender for climate changing, given its catastrophic nature and damage caused by impact.
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O lordy,..

LOL
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128344
Quoting 53. SLU:
It might be a couple more seasons before we see something like this in our neck of the woods.

Well I noticed that seasons that end with a "5" bring something interesting to the table.A matter of fact I'm thinking about doing a blog on it.Perhaps in 2 years I'll see if my theory is true.
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18/0832 UTC 14.7N 142.0E T7.0/7.0 FRANCISCO -- West Pacific


FRANCISCO is looking a lot less lopsided then it was when I went too bed what evere shear it had is gone now
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115131
Quoting 68. BackwoodsTN:

I love how you so cleverly twist the words. You spin things very well. There are just as many scientists undecided with AGW as there are with ones that support it. Roughly 50/50. How about them apples. You see, I give facts, no spin, no BS.

It's easier that way.
Any evidence to support that "fact"?
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Quoting 63. Torito:
Meanwhile in the Atlantic..
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Quoting 48. StormTrackerScott:


Dry Season usually kicks in Orlando around October 18th.


yep and it appears it will once again. only exception is Halloween, always seems to rain that day.
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So what was the tipping point that caused global warming and cooling before man discovered the engine? was it asteroids, volcanoes, earthquakes???
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Quoting 63. Torito:


Now moving NW.
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Quoting 56. FunnelVortex:


We are still expecting the possibility of an el ninio next year.


The ENSO models in their Mid-October update show hint of El Nino coming by next summer but is still far in time to be sure.

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.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13538
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Quoting 7. StormTrackerScott:
Gulf temps are slowly coming down. I mean very slowly.

These temps are much above average for this late in October.


That should change some next week, especially for the northern Gulf Coast. They might as well put their swim suits away for the season.lol

I find it funny when people visit the Florida Panhandle during the winter and expect the weather to be warm. Then its ends up being 50 degrees for a high.



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Quoting 45. StormTrackerScott:


You got me instead.

THAT was funny Scott!

Ainslinpaps still brings breakfast out for us!
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58. SLU
Quoting 54. Tropicsweatherpr:


You still think that 2014 will not be too different than 2013?


I can't imagine it being worse but I don't think we're going to see a "2005" next year.
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Quoting 43. stacyrunnergirl:
OMG so I miss morning around here with the good old days!!!!! Whatever happened to our daily breakfast with Ainslinpaps, our daily pictures from Mikatnight, and the bikini girl that liked trees - I think her name was Natalie. I always loved her bright bubbly personality. Where have all these people gone!!!!!!!
Change happens.. welcome to today.. Let's make it a good one!
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Quoting 54. Tropicsweatherpr:


You still think that 2014 will not be too different than 2013?


We are still expecting the possibility of an el ninio next year.
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2873
55. DDR
Thanks Doc
Quoting StormTrackerScott:


I agree but I would watch for a heavy rain potential across FL. Look at the 0Z GFS 0Z Euro is similar as well. This is normally a dry time of the year so to see this much rain over FL during this time of year is unusual. Active Southern jet this winter?


Hey Scott
We are entering our second peak in the rainy season here in Trinidad,if we get a strong mjo pulse id like that!
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Quoting 53. SLU:
It might be a couple more seasons before we see something like this in our neck of the woods.



You still think that 2014 will not be too different than 2013?
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53. SLU
It might be a couple more seasons before we see something like this in our neck of the woods.

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Quoting 38. weathermanwannabe:
Thanks Dr. Looks like the Tipping Point show will be good discussion fodder, and continued argument, as to GW-Climate Change issues and the folks and topics to be discussed, per your summary, appear to be in the "pro" GW camp. Nothing wrong with that but as you are affiliated now with TWC, it might be appropriate to also have segments or scientists with an opposing viewpoint. Current climate change, with the noted impacts per the program notes on regions and eco-systems around the world, is a reality, and that particular evidence is undeniable, but I don't know that anyone knows for certain which way the ultimate outcome will "tip" in the coming decades. No doubt the Human caused emissions over the last 100 years is having an impact on the Earth but how the Earth will ultimately react (cooling/warming/recovery, etc.) is up for grabs and we are merely here in this space and time to record what is going on for future generations to build on.
I agree that it would be fair for the series to represent the viewpoints of those who disagree with climate change theory, but under the following conditions:

1) The series consists of six hour-long episodes. Standard television clocks allows for roughly 15 minutes of ads and promos per hour, leaving 45 minutes for actual programming. 6 episodes x 45 minutes = 270 minutes of programming over the entire series. Given that 97% of active climate scientists support climate change theory as it now stands, approximately 3% of the series, or roughly 8 minutes and 6 seconds in total, should be devoted to airing the opinions of those credible scientists holding the dissenting POV. (That's around 81 seconds per episode.)

2) Those discussing the dissenting opinion need to be actual practicing climate scientists; that time may not be devoted to hearing from politicians, ideologues, CEOs of fossil fuel companies, and the like, nor may it include the words of non-scientist "skeptics" such as Christopher Monckton, Fred Singer, Anthony Watts, etc.

I'd be good with that...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13538
Quoting 43. stacyrunnergirl:
OMG so I miss morning around here with the good old days!!!!! Whatever happened to our daily breakfast with Ainslinpaps, our daily pictures from Mikatnight, and the bikini girl that liked trees - I think her name was Natalie. I always loved her bright bubbly personality. Where have all these people gone!!!!!!!


They went where Grothar went... They left...
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2873
Quoting 35. CybrTeddy:
Beast




Amazing storm.

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Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #23
Typhoon Warning
TYPHOON FRANCISCO (T1327)
21:00 PM JST October 18 2013
=====================================

Near Marianas Island

At 12:00 PM UTC, Typhoon Francisco (925 hPa) located at 15.2N 141.9E has 10 minute sustained winds of 100 knots with gusts of 140 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving north at 7 knots.

Storm Force Winds
==================
80 NM from the center

Gale Force Winds
==================
180 NM from the center

Dvorak Intensity: T6.5

Forecast and Intensity
========================
24 HRS: 17.5N 139.5E - 105 knots (CAT 5/Intense Typhoon) Sea East Of The Philippines
48 HRS: 19.5N 137.5E - 105 knots (CAT 5/Intense Typhoon) Sea East Of The Philippines
72 HRS: 21.9N 136.1E - 100 knots (CAT 4/Very Strong Typhoon) Sea South Of Japan
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Quoting 46. weathermanwannabe:


It always rains in Florida this time of the year as the Fall/Winter fronts start to come through...The biggest rains usually come if a frontal boundry stalls; that may be what the models are reflecting.


Dry Season usually kicks in Orlando around October 18th.
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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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