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

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

Share this Blog
48
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 898 - 848

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19Blog Index

Quoting 895. yoboi:


Wonder who he will be for halloween....


Probably a co2 molecule.
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2873
Quoting 889. PensacolaDoug:





Finish the thought JL!


That would be........GW!
You still haven't become knowledgeable the dynamics of the rather unpredictable Arctic Oscillation? And how it causes weather extremes? And how it is influenced by AGW/CC.

A good place to start learning about this very fundamental element of northern hemisphere weather is via Dr. Rood's current series of blogs.

Take off your blinders!

Expand your horizons!

Become scientifically literate in meteorology and climate science.

WU has so much to offer for all of us - it's right there in front of us for the taking.!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 894. VR46L:



Hiya

Must remember to Imgur after capture CMISS products doh!!!

Doing grand , very busy these days and how are ya ?


Been busy myself - mostly with repairing the comp. So, been absent lately.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
895. yoboi
Quoting 889. PensacolaDoug:





Finish the thought JL!


That would be........GW!


Wonder who he will be for halloween....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
894. VR46L
Quoting 882. daddyjames:


LOL - nice pic of the ocean bottom, where's the spitting going on? How ya doin' across the pond?



Hiya

Must remember to Imgur after capture CMISS products doh!!!

Doing grand , very busy these days and how are ya ?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 884. sts100launch:
While I have always respected Dr. Masters it worries me, no matter your side in GW, when he is promoting a TV program that is produced and present by the company that's paying the bills. Just how can his view be totally scientific?


I am sure that TWC was well aware of Dr. Master's position on AGW and CC prior to purchasing WU. As his presentation and position on these subjects has remained consistent, and is supported by a scientific research conducted over the past 150 years, it it unfair to question Dr. M's scientific credibility.

He provides thoughtful analyses of weather events, and the ongoing impact we have on the environment, with clarity and without over-hyping of the facts.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 891. TropicalAnalystwx13:
Wilma looping around with 160kt winds..



One of the most exciting days on the blog. I think that was the only time when people were allowed to slip out swear words when the recon data started pouring in and weren't banned, because no words could better describe what we were seeing, other than "HOLY ****."
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23627
Wilma looping around with 160kt winds..

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 880. Neapolitan:
Snow into Southern Arkansas by the 29th of October? That would tie the state's earliest record measurable snowfall ever, which would bookend nicely with this past May's snowfall event, which was the state's latest (and only May) snowfall ever.

That would be record-breaking. That would be unprecedented. That would be, well, extreme...
Reported!!

Sorry, Nea, but scientific accuracy combined with sarcasm if against the WU rulez. It is offensive to denialists, and they are a species on the verge of extinction - who therefore must be protected from criticism.

/snark
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 880. Neapolitan:
Snow into Southern Arkansas by the 29th of October? That would tie the state's earliest record measurable snowfall ever, which would bookend nicely with this past May's snowfall event, which was the state's latest (and only May) snowfall ever.

That would be record-breaking. That would be unprecedented. That would be, well, extreme...





Finish the thought JL!


That would be........GW!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 885. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Not sure if that is TD 27 or a new system Funnel, but the GFS is planning on keeping things active in the WPAC.



Here is the forecast advisory on TD 27, not expected to last long, so that leads me to believe a new system showing up on the GFS:



Sometimes I wonder how the people living on those islands deal with constant typhoon hits.
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2873
Quoting 874. Xulonn:
Ah, yes - Xandra's cartoon is indeed "Literally True"

Good observation, Doug!





Lol!
But no....try again?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 874. Xulonn:
Ah, yes - Xandra's cartoon is indeed "Literally True"

Good observation, Doug!
Oh, that's what it means? I thought Dougie was talking about either past NFL players (Ladanian Tomlinson; Lawrence Taylor) or the Larentz Transformation, though to be honest I assumed the latter was maybe a bit to science-y a title to lay upon us... ;-)
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13470
Quoting 877. FunnelVortex:


Francisco is killing 27.
Not sure if that is TD 27 or a new system Funnel, but the GFS is planning on keeping things active in the WPAC.



Here is the forecast advisory on TD 27, not expected to last long, so that leads me to believe a new system showing up on the GFS:

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
While I have always respected Dr. Masters it worries me, no matter your side in GW, when he is promoting a TV program that is produced and present by the company that's paying the bills. Just how can his view be totally scientific?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 878. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Have fun ours is in 2 weeks, just in time for the start of basketball season, the weather is looking nice then.


Thanks! We will. makes sense that FL would perfer to do it a little later. Here, I think they need to bump it up a little . . .:)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 796. VR46L:
W-PAC keeps on spitting them out



LOL - nice pic of the ocean bottom, where's the spitting going on? How ya doin' across the pond?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 879. wxchaser97:

Here's to hoping the 00z ECMWF verifies!


For both the hurricane and the snow!
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2873
Quoting 851. hydrus:
I dont even have words.....none that I can post..

Many folks will be gathering winter apparel with this coming our way..

120 hours..


240 hours..This could break records..

Snow into Southern Arkansas by the 29th of October? That would tie the state's earliest record measurable snowfall ever, which would bookend nicely with this past May's snowfall event, which was the state's latest (and only May) snowfall ever.

That would be record-breaking. That would be unprecedented. That would be, well, extreme...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13470
Quoting 870. TropicalAnalystwx13:
The Great Lakes and Northeast region will get their first taste of winter this upcoming week as temperatures plummet. With a warm Great Lakes, this is a good setup for lake-effect snowfall as a clipper moves across the region. The 0z ECMWF paints the aforementioned area in blue and purple over the next 10 days:



Meanwhile, the 0z ECMWF also develops Invest 96E into a major hurricane, but not until later in the run this time.



The 6z GFS trended weaker with Invest 96E, though the primary cause seems to be land interaction.


Here's to hoping the 00z ECMWF verifies!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 876. daddyjames:
G'morning from Central OK,

Well, it is a wee bit cold outside - we actually dipped below freezing last night for a number of hours. Although early for the first freeze, not necessarily unusual. Reflective of the pattern we have been stuck in the last couple of years.

Although we saw some rain, not a lot. Especially for those in the SW and panhandle - were the drought continues - in some instances entering its third year severely impacting ranchers and farmers in those regions.

All in all, the upcoming week will be cooler than average with highs in the mid-60's and lows in the 30's/40's.

Have a good day. Catch you all later. Homecoming here, so a cool, but beautiful day for the activities on-going. Cheers!



Have fun ours is in 2 weeks, just in time for the start of basketball season, the weather is looking nice then.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 875. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Super Typhoon Francisco and newly formed TD Twenty Seven:





Francisco is killing 27.
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2873
G'morning from Central OK,

Well, it is a wee bit cold outside - we actually dipped below freezing last night for a number of hours. Although early for the first freeze, not necessarily unusual. Reflective of the pattern we have been stuck in the last couple of years.

Although we saw some rain, not a lot. Especially for those in the SW and panhandle - where the drought continues - in some instances entering its third year severely impacting ranchers and farmers in those regions.

All in all, the upcoming week will be cooler than average with highs in the mid-60's and lows in the 30's/40's.

Have a good day. Catch you all later. Homecoming here, so a cool, but beautiful day for the activities on-going. Cheers!



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Super Typhoon Francisco and newly formed TD Twenty Seven:



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 819. PensacolaDoug:
Re: 802
Typical LT post.
Ah, yes - Xandra's cartoon is indeed "Literally True"

Good observation, Doug!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 801. MarkMatis:

Can't let the facts get in the way of the story. Surely you realize that from all those TV programs by now? Why would you think Global Warming/Climate Change would be any different, since it is sold by the same folks?

Yep. They're the folks that know the difference between the US and the entire Earth --unlike Morano...and his fellow travelers.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Waiting for my first winter storm. And I may not have to wait for long. I'm hoping the clipper system coming down will be bigger and more southward than thought, but we will see.
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2873
Quoting 856. Patrap:


http://iceagenow.info/2013/10/life-climate-catacl ysm-box



Ice age now?

Really ?

; 0


From Hotwhopper:

"An ice age isn't due for at least 50,000 years, even without AGW

If Willis had bothered to read any science he might have come across this paper from Berger and Loutre in Science. They calculate that even without global warming, Earth wouldn't start getting cold for at least another 50,000 years. That's because of the calculated insolation in future years. Here is a diagram from their paper:"

Long-term variations of eccentricity (top), June insolation at 65°N (middle), and simulated Northern Hemisphere ice volume (increasing downward) (bottom) for 200,000 years before the present to 130,000 from now. Time is negative in the past and positive in the future. For the future, three CO2 scenarios were used: last glacial-interglacial values (solid line), a human-induced concentration of 750 ppmv (dashed line), and a constant concentration of 210 ppmv (dotted line). Simulation results from (13, 15); eccentricity and insolation from (19).


Archer and Grananopolski say:

"We predict that a carbon release from fossil fuels or methane hydrate deposits of 5000 Gton C could prevent glaciation for the next 500,000 years, until after not one but two 400 kyr cycle eccentricity minima. The duration and intensity of the projected interglacial period are longer than have been seen in the last 2.6 million years."


A movable trigger: Fossil fuel CO2 and the onset of the next glaciation-David Archer1, Andrey Ganopolski
DOI: 10.1029/2004GC000891


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The Great Lakes and Northeast region will get their first taste of winter this upcoming week as temperatures plummet. With a warm Great Lakes, this is a good setup for lake-effect snowfall as a clipper moves across the region. The 0z ECMWF paints the aforementioned area in blue and purple over the next 10 days:



Meanwhile, the 0z ECMWF also develops Invest 96E into a major hurricane, but not until later in the run this time.



The 6z GFS trended weaker with Invest 96E, though the primary cause seems to be land interaction.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 866. CybrTeddy:


More excited about the one in 124 hours. Please verify.

I hate cold...and for my area the prediction is temperatures in the high 40s to low 50s. No thank you.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The big three of 2008...anyone remember them? I was not into tracking hurricanes back then, but i did hear a lot about those "big three"...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Another Category 5.

I'm late to the party, I know.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 862. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Good morning everyone...I'm looking forward to this cold weather outbreak, don't let me down now.





More excited about the one in 124 hours. Please verify.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23627
Quoting 801. MarkMatis:

Can't let the facts get in the way of the story. Surely you realize that from all those TV programs by now? Why would you think Global Warming/Climate Change would be any different, since it is sold by the same folks?
Because it's backed by hard science - very strong peer-reviewed evidence and verifiable facts??

Scientists don't "sell" things, and in fact have been criticized for not being adamant and outspoken enough about the reality of the dangers to human civilization from AGW/CC.

I don't know the details of your stance on AGW/CC and the science that supports if, but if you are a conspiracy theorist, reality is irrelevant. And there cannot be a viable conversation with you on the subject.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 862. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Good morning everyone...I'm looking forward to this cold weather outbreak, don't let me down now.




You're kidding. I cannot see snow in Louisiana.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
TWC was this showing that we may be looking at a nor Ester some time next week or weekend i think the gfs was showing it
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114776
Good morning everyone...I'm looking forward to this cold weather outbreak, don't let me down now.



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 849. Neapolitan:
If Legates and Mitchell were simply ignorant where climate science is concerned, that would be bad enough. But at least one of the two is engaging in a deliberate misinformation campaign. Not cool, bro. Not cool at all...

(As an aside, did Anthony Watts post anything else today that you guys might be linking here? Or was the Legates/Mitchell piece the only thing?)


Climatology Professor, David Legates, fails Climatology 101 at WUWT

I copied a few images that Sou used to thoroughly destroy the WTFUWT post:


There is no "absence of warming" over the last 16 years. Take a look for yourself:




Fig 3.21 Source: IPCC AR5 WG1

Ocean heat content is increasing

Source: NOAA/NODC



Source: NOAA/NODC

I realized you had linked to Sou, but I think the images are worthwhile

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Aussie posted overnight---check post 792--
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 856. Patrap:


http://iceagenow.info/2013/10/life-climate-catacl ysm-box



Ice age now?

Really ?

; 0
I read about a sudden shift in the Gulf Stream could affect the climate drastically....I know the stream well, and is a huge player when it comes to weather. We were actually late with scheduled shipments because of the giant eddies that slowed our speed more than once. Edit...I do not believe a large shift in da stream would throw us into an Ice Age tho..
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20546
Quoting 792. AussieStorm:208 homes lost to the raging fires west of Sydney. Most were lost on Thursday.
My heart goes out to the Australian people caught in theses fires. I've lived in several fire-prone areas in California, but never had one directly impact me. Weather and climate play a big role in wildfires. In coastal California, rare hard freezes can kill the eucalyptus trees, presenting one type of fire hazard. OTOH, living eucalyptus trees can also make fires much worse than the native trees in these regions.

I actually took an upper division course titled "The Sociology of Natural Resources" at Berkeley in 1975, which was about how people and societies interact with - and react to - the natural environment and natural disasters. Among the readings was a study on how quickly people in Australia forget the big historic bush fires and go right back and build in the danger zones - just like they do in flood, tornado and hurricane zones, and on major earthquake areas like California San Andreas fault that runs from Los Angeles to San Francisco.

Quoting the "Berkeleyside" a local news website:
In 1973, [the year after a big freeze killed over 5 million eucalyptus trees in the Berkeley-Oakland hills] H.H. Biswell, professor of forestry and conservation at UC Berkeley, [one year before I transferred into Berkeley as a Conservation major] made this prophetic statement: %u201CWhen eucalyptus waste catches fire, an updraft is created and strong winds may blow flaming bark for a great distance. I think the eucalyptus is the worst tree anywhere as far as fire hazard is concerned. If some of that flaming bark should be blown on to shake roofs in the hills we might have a firestorm that would literally suck the roofs off the houses. People might be trapped.%u201D

Biswell was absolutely right. Eucalyptus, planted by land speculators, along with equally flammable Monterey pines, have been implicated in several disastrous conflagrations in the East Bay hills, especially the deadly 1991 firestorm that took 25 lives, destroyed more than 3,000 homes and cost $1.5 billion.]


Aussie, one of the things my former - and beloved - home of California shares with Australia is the danger of suburban firestorms. I was still living in the San Francisco Bay Area when the 1991 Oakland Firestorm occurred, but across the Bay in Marin County north of the famous Golden Gate Bridge. The Oakland hills, where I had lived in a couple of different rental houses over the years, had literally "millions" of easily ignited and fierce burning eucalyptus trees - mostly blue gum. The seeds had been brought to California and widely planted in the 19th century by greedy entrepreneurs who were unaware that the wood twists and cracks, and has little commercial value.

One of the rental houses in which I had lived, as well as the houses of several friends, were destroyed in that fire. These huge suburban fires are a horrible nightmare for many people.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 855. Patrap:
Anyone seen Aussie here?

He may be affected by the Fires down under.

Yeah, I've noticed he hasn't been around for a few days. I hope he's safe.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 834. JupiterKen:
As the blog climate debate is continuing, I will chime in with this:

Link



http://iceagenow.info/2013/10/life-climate-catacl ysm-box



Ice age now?

Really ?

; 0
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127664
Anyone seen Aussie here?

He may be affected by the Fires down under.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127664
854. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
27W being mentioned in first paragraph

Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Disturbance Summary
21:00 PM JST October 19 2013
======================================

Southwest of Minami torishima
At 12:00 PM UTC, Tropical Depression (1006 hPa) located at 19.8N 150.6E has 10 minute sustained winds of 30 knots. The depression is reported as moving northwest slowly.

At 12:00 PM UTC, Tropical Depression (1006 hPa) located at 10.0N 163.0E has 10 minute sustained winds of 25 knots. The depression is reported as moving west slowly.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
#849/834:
As Butch said to Sundance:
"WHO ARE THOSE GUYS?"
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Next week's surface map (day 6). High pressure taking over, front clearing the GOM.
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6201
Quoting 845. Neapolitan:
True that. (See: Koch Brothers. [Also here.])
I dont even have words.....none that I can post..

Many folks will be gathering winter apparel with this coming our way..

120 hours..


240 hours..This could break records..

Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20546
From Wiki (square miles info)

Japan - 145
Montana - 147
California - 164

Also, Japan's latitude is similar to the U.S.
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6201
Quoting 834. JupiterKen:
As the blog climate debate is continuing, I will chime in with this:

Link

If Legates and Mitchell were simply ignorant where climate science is concerned, that would be bad enough. But at least one of the two is engaging in a deliberate misinformation campaign. Not cool, bro. Not cool at all...

(As an aside, did Anthony Watts post anything else today that you guys might be linking here? Or was the Legates/Mitchell piece the only thing?)
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13470
These toughs reach farther each time. This could spell trouble for many growers..
120 hours..


240 hours...
oops.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20546

Viewing: 898 - 848

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.