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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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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192 hour GFS really shows the separation between the GOM and Caribbean at 7+ days.
GFS keeps wanting to spin something up down in the western Caribbean, but I'm not holding my breath.
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6150
Quoting 44. 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?



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.
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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!!!!!!!


You got me instead.
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Quoting 42. weathermanwannabe:


Sheer continues to pick up in the MDR and very dry, cooler, and more stable air continues to pour into the Gulf; I am not holding my breath on seeing any storms in the Western Caribbean or Gulf in the short term with these conditions which will only be amplified over the coming weeks with the onset of deep Fall/Winter trofs.


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?

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Quoting 39. StormTrackerScott:


Well see


Sheer continues to pick up in the MDR and very dry, cooler, and more stable air continues to pour into the Gulf; I am not holding my breath on seeing any storms in the Western Caribbean or Gulf in the short term with these conditions which will only be amplified over the coming weeks with the onset of deep Fall/Winter trofs.
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A mess of convection in the central atlantic and Caribbean. quite an active tropical wave approaching lesser Antilles ,with nice 850mb vorticity near 11N 49w
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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.

In terms of the tropics, I would add that we have another potential system brewing in the E-Pac late in their season (which I believe officially ends in early November). Incredible to see how active the E-Pact has been this year and they want to keep coming; this potential system might be related to the pending MJO pulse but it remains to be seen whether the same pulse with flourish on the Atlantic side in a few weeks and spawn development in the Gulf or Western Caribbean.

Everyone have a great weekend.


Well see
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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.

In terms of the tropics, I would add that we have another potential system brewing in the E-Pac late in their season (which I believe officially ends in early November). Incredible to see how active the E-Pact has been this year and they want to keep coming; this potential system might be related to the pending MJO pulse but it remains to be seen whether the same pulse with flourish on the Atlantic side in a few weeks and spawn development in the Gulf or Western Caribbean.

Everyone have a great weekend.
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Quoting 32. Sfloridacat5:


Yep, 80.3 degress on my station with 84% humidity.


77 here with a dewpoint of 73. No fog this morning means we are going up into the 90's today.
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It is 9:00am and it is 72.2 °F for me!:)

Quoting 28. StormTrackerScott:
# it's 8:45am and it's already nearing 80 outside
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Beast


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Quoting 31. Sfloridacat5:
Effects of next week's cold front (as of right now according to wunderground.

Fort Myers
91/73
88/72
to
82/61
77/63

Miami Beach
88/77
88/75
to
81/70
81/68


It's better than nothing I guess. Anyways several days of seabreeze thunderstorms return starting tomorrow thru Wednesday.
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WPB
90/72
88/70
to
84/64
81/63

Quoting 31. Sfloridacat5:
Fort Myers - effects of next weeks cold front (as of right now according to wunderground.

91/73
88/72
to
82/61
77/63

Miami Beach
88/77
88/75
to
81/70
81/68
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Quoting 28. StormTrackerScott:
# it's 8:45am and it's already nearing 80 outside


Yep, 80.3 degress on my station with 84% humidity.
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6150
Effects of next week's cold front (as of right now according to wunderground).

Fort Myers
91/73
88/72
to
82/61
77/63

Miami Beach
88/77
88/75
to
81/70
81/68
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6150
Quoting 29. SFLWeatherman:
Day 5

Day 6

Day 7


We hope but if the Euro solution verifies then we may have to wait a few more weeks before we see fall like temps here in C & S FL. Enough with summer part 1 and summer part 2 per Naga5000. That guy said it best yesterday.
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Day 5

Day 6

Day 7
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# it's 8:45am and it's already nearing 80 outside
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Quoting 23. GeoffreyWPB:
Excerpt Miami NWS Disco on cold front...

A LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM, MOVING OVER THE GREAT LAKES NEXT WEEK, WILL
PUSH THE COLD FRONT SOUTH THROUGH THE PENINSULA SOMETIME MID NEXT
WEEK. THIS COULD BRING A COOLER, DRIER AIR MASS BEHIND IT. HOWEVER,
THERE IS A FAIR AMOUNT OF UNCERTAINTY DUE TO VARYING MODEL SOLUTIONS,
OF WHICH, SOME SHOW THE FRONT REMAIN STALLED OVER SOUTH FLORIDA.

SO, WILL CONTINUE TO SHOW THE FRONT PUSHING THROUGH SOUTH FLORIDA
LATE NEXT WEEK AT THIS TIME. HOWEVER, IF THE OTHER LONG RANGE
MODELS COME MORE IN LINE WITH THE FRONT STALLING OUT OVER SOUTH
FLORIDA LATE NEXT WEEK, THEN THE TEMPS AND POPS MAY NEED TO BE A
LITTLE HIGHER.


#the euro solution
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Quoting 21. IKE:
Next Wednesday....front racing for south Florida.....




Front could stall over South FL. The reason for this is the "Deep" trough that the models were showing yesterday isn't as impressive also tropical moisture at the sametime will likely be trying to move NE along the stalled front.

Euro has already begun to trend weaker and now stalls the front over S FL. Then moves the front back north as a warm front at 192hrs over C FL.
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Finit.
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Related to this topic. http://lasthours.org/
I think its time to share this site from my favorite author and radio/TV personality.
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Excerpt Miami NWS Disco on cold front...

A LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM, MOVING OVER THE GREAT LAKES NEXT WEEK, WILL
PUSH THE COLD FRONT SOUTH THROUGH THE PENINSULA SOMETIME MID NEXT
WEEK. THIS COULD BRING A COOLER, DRIER AIR MASS BEHIND IT. HOWEVER,
THERE IS A FAIR AMOUNT OF UNCERTAINTY DUE TO VARYING MODEL SOLUTIONS,
OF WHICH, SOME SHOW THE FRONT REMAIN STALLED OVER SOUTH FLORIDA.

SO, WILL CONTINUE TO SHOW THE FRONT PUSHING THROUGH SOUTH FLORIDA
LATE NEXT WEEK AT THIS TIME. HOWEVER, IF THE OTHER LONG RANGE
MODELS COME MORE IN LINE WITH THE FRONT STALLING OUT OVER SOUTH
FLORIDA LATE NEXT WEEK, THEN THE TEMPS AND POPS MAY NEED TO BE A
LITTLE HIGHER.
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12z Best Track for Typhoon Francisco at 125kts.

26W FRANCISCO 131018 1200 15.2N 141.8E WPAC 125 929
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21. IKE
Next Wednesday....front racing for south Florida.....


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Quoting 16. FunnelVortex:


Well, this one is a clipper system. It's far north. So I am not sure if it will bring you any cool air.


Looks like I'll have to wait until next week. Looks like temps should drop about 10 degrees on average across most of S. Fl.
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Information from Bernice's webpage (Host of the series)

Bernice Notenboom is climate journalist, and professional adventurer. In 2008 she became the first woman on ski’s to reach the North, South, and Cold Pole in Siberia and traversed Greenland’s icecap in one year. In 2009 she reached the top of the Mount Everest and this year she kayaked 1000 km on the Niger River in the Sahara. Her extreme expeditions focus on the world’s climate change tipping points.

Bernice is on a mission: she is a climate chaser to the world’s extreme regions, bringing our climate crisis to the attention of world political leaders, business executives, but also to school children. She wants to show you that everyone can make a change. Why not lead that change?
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The heat isn't the problem it's these dewpoints in the upper 60's and low 70's that are making feel oppressive during the day.

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Quoting 15. Sfloridacat5:


Winter storms up north bring us some nice cool air down here in Southern Fl. It's been a long time coming.
The other morning I actually felt cool walking outside with temps in the high 60s.


Well, this one is a clipper system. It's far north. So I am not sure if it will bring you any cool air.
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2873
Quoting 13. FunnelVortex:
The track of our next winter storm



Winter storms up north bring us some nice cool air down here in Southern Fl. It's been a long time coming.
The other morning I actually felt cool walking outside with temps in the high 60s.
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6150
Very interested in watching the series.
I really hope it stays true to the science, along with showing the great images.

Some of the current programs on cable are a little wild. I'd be hiding in a bunker down in Mexico at this moment (maybe I am already?) based on their predictions.
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The track of our next winter storm

Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2873
12. IKE

Quoting IvanJackinogh:

For now. But just wait until next week when those series of troughs come digging down bringing in the Autumn Chill. The GOM will then be officially closed for business. I give that 9 days. Sorry Scott. Gotta wait until next year Buddy!!
Yep...it's over in the GOM.

From Mobile,AL. discussion.....

.LONG TERM (MONDAY THROUGH THURSDAY)...RAIN CHANCES RETURN AGAIN
MONDAY AND TUESDAY AS ANOTHER SERIES OF UPPER LEVEL DISTURBANCES IN
THE TROF ALOFT PULL ANOTHER COLD FRONT TOWARD AND THROUGH THE FCST
AREA. DEEPER MID/UPPER LEVEL TROF IN THE WAKE OF THIS FRONT WILL PUSH
THIS FRONT WELL SOUTH AND EAST OF THE FCST AREA...USHERING IN DRIER
CONDITIONS AND COOLER TEMPS WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY. HIGHS MONDAY
THROUGH THURSDAY RANGING FROM THE LOWER 70S NORTHWEST TO UPPER 70S
COASTAL AND SOUTHEAST. MONDAY NIGHT LOWS RANGING FROM THE LOWER 50S
NORTHWEST TO UPPER 50S SOUTHEAST (AROUND 60 ALONG THE COAST) AND THEN
EXPECTED TO BE IN THE LOW TO MID 40S INTERIOR AND LOWER 50S COASTAL
TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY NIGHTS.
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TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
500 AM PDT FRI OCT 18 2013

FOR THE EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC...EAST OF 140 DEGREES WEST LONGITUDE..

1. A BROAD AREA OF LOW PRESSURE LOCATED ABOUT 425 MILES SOUTH OF THE
GULF OF TEHUANTEPEC IS PRODUCING NUMEROUS...THOUGH DISORGANIZED...
SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS. CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO BE CONDUCIVE
FOR SOME SLOW DEVELOPMENT OF THIS SYSTEM DURING THE NEXT SEVERAL
DAYS. THIS SYSTEM HAS A LOW CHANCE...20 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A
TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS...AND A MEDIUM
CHANCE...40 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE
NEXT 5 DAYS WHILE IT MOVES WESTWARD TO WEST-NORTHWESTWARD AT 5 TO
10 MPH.
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View from the TradeWinds in Clearwater. Stayed here many times and that slide is massive up close. Don Cesar is just a short distance down the beach.

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Gulf temps are slowly coming down. I mean very slowly.

These temps are much above average for this late in October.
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Thanks Doc
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OVER!

TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 AM EDT FRI OCT 18 2013

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED THROUGH FIVE DAYS.

&&

FIVE-DAY FORMATION PROBABILITIES ARE EXPERIMENTAL IN 2013. COMMENTS
ON THE EXPERIMENTAL FORECASTS CAN BE PROVIDED AT...

WWW.NWS.NOAA.GOV/SURVEY/NWS-SURVEY.PHP?CODE=ETWO

$$
FORECASTER BEVEN
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Hey
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Thanks Doc
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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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