Super Typhoon Haiyan's Intensification and Unusually Warm Sub-Surface Waters

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 6:25 PM GMT on November 13, 2013

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A remarkable warming of the sub-surface Pacific waters east of the Philippines in recent decades, due to a shift in atmospheric circulation patterns and ocean currents that began in the early 1990s, could be responsible for the rapid intensification of Super Typhoon Haiyan. Hurricanes are heat engines, which means they take heat energy out of the ocean, and convert it to kinetic energy in the form of wind. It's well-known that tropical cyclones need surface water temperatures of at least 26.5°C (80°F) to maintain themselves, and that the warmer the water, and the deeper the warm water is, the stronger the storm can get. Deep warm water is important, since as a tropical cyclone tracks over the ocean, it stirs up cooler water from the depths, potentially reducing the intensity of the storm. When both Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita exploded into Category 5 hurricanes as they crossed over a warm eddy in the Gulf of Mexico with a lot of deep, warm water, the concept of the total heat energy available to fuel a hurricane--the Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential (TCHP)--became one that gained wide recognition. The Pacific Ocean east of the Philippines has the largest area of deep, warm water of anywhere on Earth, and these waters have historically fueled the highest incidence of Category 5 storms of anywhere on the planet. Super Typhoon Haiyan tracked over surface waters that were of near-average warmth, 29.5 - 30.5°C (85 - 87°F.) However, the waters at a depth of 100 meters (328 feet) beneath Haiyan during its rapid intensification phase were a huge 3°C above average, according to Professor I-I Lin of the Department of Atmospheric Science at the National Taiwan University. An analysis by the Japan Meteorological Agency for October showed ocean temperatures 4 - 5°C (7 - 9°F) above average during October (Figure 1). This analysis was from a model. When looking at actual measurements made by the Argo float data in early November, the temperatures in the layer 100 meters below the surface under Haiyan were about 3°C above average, not 4 - 5°C, according to Dr. Lin. As the typhoon stirred this unusually warm water to the surface, the storm was likely able to feed off the heat, allowing Haiyan to intensify into one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever observed.


Figure 1. Modeled departure of temperature from average at a depth of 100 meters in the West Pacific Ocean during October 2013, compared to a 1986 - 2008 average. The track and intensity of Super Typhoon Haiyan are overlaid. Haiyan passed directly over large areas of sub-surface water that were much above average in temperature, which likely contributed to the storm's explosive deepening. While this model showed 4 - 5°C departures from average in October, the actual values were closer to 3°C in early November, according to Argo float data. Image credit: Japan Meteorological Agency.

Why was there such unusually warm sub-surface water?
The sub-surface waters east of the Philippines have warmed dramatically over the past twenty years. According to Pun et al. (2013), "Recent increase in high tropical cyclone heat potential area in the Western North Pacific Ocean", the depth to where ocean temperatures of at least 26°C (79°F) penetrates has increased by 17% since the early 1990s, and the Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential has increased by 13%. The warm-up is due to an increase in the surface winds blowing across the region--the trade winds--which have caused a southward migration and strengthening of the North Equatorial Current (NEC) and the North Equatorial Counter Current (NECC). The strong trade winds have pushed a large amount of water up against the east coast of the Philippines in the past twenty years, resulting in a rate of sea level rise of 10 mm per year--more than triple the global average of 3.1 mm/yr (Figure 2.) This extra sea level rise contributed to the storm surge damage from Super Typhoon Haiyan. Sea level rise data from Legaspi in the Eastern Philippines shows a rise of about 305 mm (12 inches) since 1949. For comparison, global average sea level rose 7.5" (190 mm) since 1901. Part of the rise along the eastern Philippine coast is from tectonic processes--the subsidence of the Philippine plate under the Eurasian plate--but most of it is due to the stronger trade winds piling up warm water along the coast, and the fact that warmer waters expand, raising sea level.


Figure 2. Trend in sea level from satellite altimeter measurements in 1993 - 2010. Black lines are the Sea Surface Height (SSH) in cm from Rio et al. (2009.) Image credit: Qiu, B., and S. Chen, 2012, "Multidecadal sea level and gyre circulation variability in the northwestern tropical Pacific Ocean", Journal of Physical Oceanography 42.1 (2012): 193-206.

Why have the trade winds sped up?
The surface trade winds in the equatorial Pacific are part of the Walker Circulation--a pattern of rising and sinking air along the Equator that the El Nino/La Nina cycle influences. A strong Walker circulation means there is lower pressure over Indonesia, which pulls in more air at the surface along the Equator from the east, increasing the easterly trade winds. As these trade winds strengthen, they pull surface ocean waters away from South America, allowing cold water to upwell to the surface. This is a La Niña-like situation, which takes heat energy out of the atmosphere, putting it into the ocean, keeping global surface temperatures cooler than they would otherwise be. A weakened Walker circulation is the reverse, resulting in weaker trade winds, and a more El Niño-like situation with higher global surface temperatures. As long as the stronger Walker circulation that has been in place since the early 1990s holds, global surface temperatures should stay cooler than they otherwise would be, prolonging the slow-down in global surface warming that has received much attention this year. There may also be a greater chance of super typhoons and higher storm surges affecting the Philippines, due to the warmer sub-surface waters and re-arranged ocean currents. A 2013 paper by L’Heureux et al. notes that the climate models predict that the Walker circulation should weaken (a more El Niño-like situation)--the reverse of what has been observed the past twenty years. The researchers took the observed pressure patterns over the Pacific in recent decades and removed the atmospheric response to the El Niño/La Niña cycle. The resulting pattern they found showed a steady strengthening of the Walker circulation, in concert with global rising temperatures. So, are we seeing a failure of the climate models? Or is the recent speed-up of the Walker circulation a decades-long temporary "speed bump" in the climate system? Time will tell. It is worth pointing out that a just-released paper by British and Canadian researchers shows that the global surface temperature rise of the past 15 years has been greatly underestimated. As discussed at realclimate.org, "The reason is the data gaps in the weather station network, especially in the Arctic. If you fill these data gaps using satellite measurements, the warming trend is more than doubled in the widely-used HadCRUT4 data, and the much-discussed “warming pause” has virtually disappeared."

I appeared on PBS Newshour last night to discuss the linkages between stronger tropical cyclones and climate change, video here.

References
L’Heureux, Michelle L., Sukyoung Lee, and Bradfield Lyon, 2013, "Recent multidecadal strengthening of the Walker circulation across the tropical Pacific", Nature Climate Change 3.6 (2013): 571-576.

Pun, Iam‐Fei, I‐I. Lin, and Min‐Hui Lo, 2013, "Recent increase in high tropical cyclone heat potential area in the Western North Pacific Ocean", Geophysical Research Letters (2013).

Qiu, B., and S. Chen, 2012, "Multidecadal sea level and gyre circulation variability in the northwestern tropical Pacific Ocean", Journal of Physical Oceanography 42.1 (2012): 193-206.

Jeff Masters

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Post #130. Hmm, what is CCKW? Got very strange answers when I googled it.
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spin=sw.carib.
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Time to change it up a bit.



NASA's Cassini spacecraft has taken pictures of Saturn and Earth before. In this 2006 image, Earth is a tiny dot on the left, just to the inside of the second outer ring.



This view of Saturn's rings in ultraviolet light indicates ice toward the outer part of the rings.


Link

This mosaic of Saturn's rings was taken by Cassini in September 2006, while the spacecraft was in the shadow of the planet looking back toward the rings from a distance of 1.34 million miles (2.16 million kilometers).
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Quoting 121. LargoFl:
indeed..so we humans adapt to the changes or perish..its that simple..humans over the last thousands of years have ruled because we think,we adapt very well to changes, and IF this so called warming indeed gets worse,the oceans rise, the storms become more severe..we adapt to this new condition...plain and simple isnt it?..the oceans rise..we move our cities inhland,the storms become more severe, we tighten and strengthen building codes...nothing more to be said.

But what do we do about the crops and the drinking water? I have little doubt that humans will survive. How many and under what conditions are the real questions.
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Quoting 117. StormTrackerScott:




It always amazes me how more than one model can show a heavy rain over Florida but if you look at the WPC maps you wouldn't know that's the case. I know its the dry season but there have been plenty of heavy rain events during drier months as well historically, this isn't southern California.

It seems the WPC and the SPC sometimes forget we exist lol. That's why I just focus more on the local NWS offices that have a better handle on their local weather situation.
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Quoting 118. PensacolaDoug:



Hadn't been stirred by a typhoon traversing within a hundred miles is not the same as saying the current stopped moving.

It is when you note that it's been years...as JB did. No other way to work it.
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Quoting 34. 1900hurricane:

Not sure I entirely agree with you. Yes there was a jet steak somewhat to the north of Haiyan and it did likely somewhat help ventilation, but the best outflow was continually to the south and west of the tropical cyclone while at its peak.





Also, with a tropical cyclone being in essence a thermodynamic engine, it is impossible to get one this strong without superior amounts of low level Theta-E. In a tropical cyclone, surface Theta-E is acquired by the evaporation of water from the ocean surface. Due to the laws of physics, this evaporation has a net cooling effect on the ocean surface. When the ocean cools enough to where there is insufficient Theta-E to sustain an updraft, the engine breaks down, which was observed in Hurricane Raymond this year in a rather spectacular fashion. In Haiyan's case, enormous amounts of Theta-E near 370 K were required just to maintain updrafts in the eyewall. With extreme amounts of evaporation required to supply that Theta-E, warm water depth is important. When the ocean surface becomes cool from evaporation, warmer water from below is able to rise and replace it (upwell), continuing to supply the required surface Theta-E.

Okay, home now. :P

I'm certainly not denying that a warm ocean was a crucial part of Haiyan's rapid intensification; it would not have otherwise happened. However, I still feel that the astounding upper-level environment was more likely a reason for the storm's crazy intensity. If we take a look at the November 7, 06z GFS initialization, we note Haiyan situated southeast (right entrance region) of a 100kt upper-level jet stream. You know the story...upper-level divergence associated with a tropical cyclone increases vertical motion, allowing for enhanced diabetic heating from the condensation of rising air parcels. Eventually, this allows for the central pressure to fall, leading to an increased pressure gradient surrounding the center. The magnitude of low-level winds around the center increases as the gradient strengthens, leading to an increase in winds. Conversely to what Patrap said, if you don't have a favorable upper-level environment...even over unusually warm and deep sea surface temperatures...you're not getting a rapidly intensifying cyclone, and certainly not a 195 mph tropical cyclones.

While on the topic of Raymond (just a side note), there's some research going on by a few college graduate students as to what exactly caused the phenomenal rapid deepening phase. For years now, a convectively coupled kelvin wave was thought to just allow for higher chances of development. However, and I regretfully didn't save the graphic, a very strong CCKW was moving through the East Pacific and over Raymond just as it began to rapidly intensify; it was very nearly simultaneous. Just something to think about.

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Quoting 115. LargoFl:
If you study earths history,NOT human history you come to find that these so called warm periods where life forms flourish are few and far between..we now live in one of inbetween warm periods,the cold will surely come..its a given,when is the million dollar question scientists are trying desperately to find out..until they know for sure..any hmmm warming of the earth is a good thing and the changes this warmth brings..humans will have to adapt to or perish as the dinosaurs did...its why, me myself am not so concerned about global warming..when i wake up and scientists say..the new ice age has begun Then I will start to worry

So, you're not concerned with human welfare, just "life forms?" That's a curious position, imo. As a human, I'm rather concerned with our well-being. It is well established that that well-being is challenged once global temperatures increase 2C above the pre-industrial. We are less than 1.4C from reaching that level with no reason to believe we won't eclipse 2C in the fairly near future.
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Quoting 124. SFLWeatherman:
Wow today Gusts NNE - 42 MPH !:)
going down into the 50's!:)


Been gusting to 35mph at times here near Orlando.
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well thats it for me..stay warm out there tonight folks..global warming hasnt stopped winter lol...good night everyone
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36855
CWG says warm winter , LOL
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I am getting really tired of these shootings :'(

On weather terms, its very cold. In the mid 30's right now. Coldest air since March, the last time it snowed was the last time it was this cold here.
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Wow today Gusts NNE - 42 MPH !:)
going down into the 50's!:)
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Quoting 118. PensacolaDoug:



Hadn't been stirred by a typhoon traversing within a hundred miles is not the same as saying the current stopped moving. What is your malfunction when it comes to honesty?


I post something from JB and some get crazy on here. JB actually makes a lot of sense on his video's heck he has been forecasting as long as I have been alive.
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Quoting 102. Walshy:
Sugar Mountain, NC this morning via Marshall Williams.


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Quoting 114. Birthmark:

And now the same Method that allows you to post the above with confidence is telling us that we are warming the planet. Further, that warming will be somewhere between detrimental to catastrophic for humanity.

What's going to happen in 80,000 years, imo, is less important than what is going to happen in the next few decades-to-centuries. If we don't make it through the latter, the former has no meaning for us.
indeed..so we humans adapt to the changes or perish..its that simple..humans over the last thousands of years have ruled because we think,we adapt very well to changes, and IF this so called warming indeed gets worse,the oceans rise, the storms become more severe..we adapt to this new condition...plain and simple isnt it?..the oceans rise..we move our cities inhland,the storms become more severe, we tighten and strengthen building codes...nothing more to be said.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36855
The cause and effect from CO2 rise due to the Burning Of Fossil Fuels 24/7/365 is not affected by what a single Human believes.

That is personal internal conflict.

The warming continues unabated as the input of CO2 and other pollutants increase.

See, its it what it iz.











Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127543
Gonna start to get warm late this week into early next week by late next week it should be cold again.
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Quoting 48. Neapolitan:
A few days ago, JB said that Haiyan grew as strong as it did because the ocean waters east of the Philippines hadn't moved in many years, so they'd had lots of time to sit and absorb solar heat. Did he happen to cover his nascent theory of "Solar Heat Amplification Due To The Mysterious And Somehow Entirely Undetected Until Now Cessation Of The Western Pacific North Equatorial Current" again in today's video?



Hadn't been stirred by a typhoon traversing within a hundred miles is not the same as saying the current stopped moving. What is your malfunction when it comes to honesty?
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Quoting 111. StormWx:
Not much rain from North to South FL the next 5 days. Enjoying the cool down and DRY weather!



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BTW, German "Spiegel" today provided some information about the desaster map of Haiyan in Philippines. Here is the pure link to the map (hope it works):

Link

And this is a link to a good article from BBC about recent disaster response:

Typhoon Haiyan: Philippines defends aid response
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If you study earths history,NOT human history you come to find that these so called warm periods where life forms flourish are few and far between..we now live in one of inbetween warm periods,the cold will surely come..its a given,when is the million dollar question scientists are trying desperately to find out..until they know for sure..any hmmm warming of the earth is a good thing and the changes this warmth brings..humans will have to adapt to or perish as the dinosaurs did...its why, me myself am not so concerned about global warming..when i wake up and scientists say..the new ice age has begun Then I will start to worry
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36855
Quoting 91. LargoFl:
The maxim ''what goes around comes around'' applies to few things more aptly than ice ages. In a rhythm attuned to regular wiggles in Earth's orbit and spin, 10 eras of spreading ice sheets and falling seas have come and gone over the last million years.

Through that span, in fact, the cold spells have so dominated that geophysicists regard warm periods like the present one, called the Holocene, as the oddities. Indeed, the scientific name for these periods -- interglacials -- reflects the exceptional nature of such times.

The next ice age almost certainly will reach its peak in about 80,000 years, but debate persists about how soon it will begin, with the latest theory being that the human influence on the atmosphere may substantially delay the transition.

This is no mere intellectual exercise. The equable conditions of the Holocene, which has lasted 10,000 years so far, have enabled the flowering of agriculture, technology, mobility and resulting explosive population growth that has made the human species a global force.

And now the same Method that allows you to post the above with confidence is telling us that we are warming the planet. Further, that warming will be somewhere between detrimental to catastrophic for humanity.

What's going to happen in 80,000 years, imo, is less important than what is going to happen in the next few decades-to-centuries. If we don't make it through the latter, the former has no meaning for us.
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RT @BigJoeBastardi: Earliest snow ever recorded at Wilmington North Carolina, beating by 2 days in infamous ice age winter of 76-77
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54.3F here.

Perfect
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127543
Not much rain from North to South FL the next 5 days. Enjoying the cool down and DRY weather!

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Quoting 93. luvtogolf:


Now that's golfing weather!


75C is above my comfort zone. 75F is golfing weather. At the moment
I'm in the mood for football weather (55F optimal). We don't often get decent hockey weather (25F) in DC.
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Pat, do you credit those song lyrics you post to the artist?

Nope..include yourself as well..
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Quoting 102. Walshy:
Sugar Mountain, NC this morning via Marshall Williams.

Love it! Makes it feel like the holidays.
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Post 80

This appears to me to be a "big brother" don't criticize us type of manoeuvre. If you tell us what we don't want to hear than we will find a way to silence you. In the end I believe you guys will win, but only because freedom of the speech will be severely limited. That is why God will cause the sun to flare up because he will give the alarmist the desires of their hearts imho.
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Quoting 79. daddyjames:


Only if you believe the current business model of generating electricity holds sway. Now, if perhaps we decentralized the generation of electricity from a (relatively) few corporate entities and instead allowed for incentives for solar generation, combined with resale of any excess electricity produced, to electricity companies - that could put a dent in things. Of course, that depends on which state you live in.
Or better yet. Homeowners lease solar panels. The company charges the homeowner a lower fee than they are currently paying for electricity, with the agreement that the company sells the excess electricity to the local power company. This business model is proving particularly attractive and effective.
Edit: Fixed link


And of course with advances in technology, such as storing energy on silicon chips, the very existence of power generation by companies may very well become a thing of the past.

PS - yes, I quoted myself to draw attention to my previous post :P
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Quoting 85. whatsup99037:
Post 62

First off that is your conclusion that the warming is caused by fossil fuels...it certainly isn't mine. I don't want to bring up "all" the old arguments, like the last 16 years, climate models&gate, ice at the poles etc. All I am saying is maybe you might have better reception for your theories if there was "fair" distribution of the money that they would garnish from a carbon tax...and they ( the people ) would benefit too.

I have the good luck to inform you that those "old arguments" are nonsense --every single one.

I will also point out that I am not qualified to make theories.

Quoting 85. whatsup99037:
The oil companies should be responsible for damages they cause.


I cannot think of another way besides taxes to extract the finances to cover those damages. I'm all ears to viable alternatives, though.
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Quoting 97. VR46L:


But he is posting the Euro which is hard to come by ... you are missing all those maps .... I find his take on storms heading for Florida all the time interesting !
I like Scott , he knows how to interpret weather charts and maps really well. I don't think it is necessary for one to attack someone for getting predictions wrong as we all have at one point in time and some more than others. Some of us just have more of an enthusiasm for weather that we just can't help.
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Quoting 94. luvtogolf:


Nice post...


In the style of Rand Paul indeed.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127543
Sugar Mountain, NC this morning via Marshall Williams.

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My gosh I am sitting here appalled byt the post of PlazaRed towards me and to think I liked the guy and what he post on here. Geesh!

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#91

If your going to "quote" something, at least give the authors credit.

When Will the Next Ice Age Begin?
By ANDREW C. REVKIN
Published: November 11, 2003


The maxim ''what goes around comes around'' applies to few things more aptly than ice ages. In a rhythm attuned to regular wiggles in Earth's orbit and spin, 10 eras of spreading ice sheets and falling seas have come and gone over the last million years.

Through that span, in fact, the cold spells have so dominated that geophysicists regard warm periods like the present one, called the Holocene, as the oddities. Indeed, the scientific name for these periods -- interglacials -- reflects the exceptional nature of such times.

The next ice age almost certainly will reach its peak in about 80,000 years, but debate persists about how soon it will begin, with the latest theory being that the human influence on the atmosphere may substantially delay the transition.

This is no mere intellectual exercise. The equable conditions of the Holocene, which has lasted 10,000 years so far, have enabled the flowering of agriculture, technology, mobility and resulting explosive population growth that has made the human species a global force.

_________________________________________________ _

You forgot the last paragraph as well,too.

But many climatologists note that the complex interplay of greenhouse gases, orbital shifts and other influences on climate remain poorly understood. In fact, some experts say, there is a chance that human-induced warming could shut down heat-toting ocean currents that keep northern latitudes warmer than they otherwise would be. The result could be a faster descent into glacial times instead of a delay.





Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127543
Quoting 75. PedleyCA:
Thanks for the update,

For anyone who is cold today, I must rub this in........

Riverside, California (Airport)
Updated: 11:53 AM PST on November 13, 2013
Clear
91 °F
Clear
Humidity: 8%
Dew Point: 23 °F


The reminder from LargoFL sank much deeper. 80s and 60s alternating with 70s and 50s for awhile is ideal weather for my gardening. 23F dewpoint with 90F temps.. not so attractive.

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Quoting 54. Birthmark:

What is bad is being right for the wrong reason(s). It is extremely useful to get a wrong answer doing the right thing and learning something in the process.



That is pretty good....
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2328
Quoting 84. StormWx:


I have Scott on ignore, its hard to watch forecast after forecast of hurricanes hitting florida on the 360 hour models and it never come true. Plus now the El Nino and coldest December ever forecast which will bust. SMH. :o)


But he is posting the Euro which is hard to come by ... you are missing all those maps .... I find his take on storms heading for Florida all the time interesting !
Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6822
Quoting 82. PlazaRed:


From the 2/C point of view, about 5/F for the USA.
There is no point in contemplating this as a base level of temp rises as it is eventually going to be surpassed.
The base line I would say but I might be in the firing line for it will be + 5/c or about 11/F.
The evidence points to a rapid and constant continuing increase in use of fossil fuels which result in more CO2.
So simply if I put myself hypothetically in a closed room with no air access, there is a car with the engine running in there with me!
Its a modern car with low emissions. This means I will live a few more minutes before I suffocate.
hell of a future as the chappie form the Philippine's, wept over at that conference.



I don't know what your deal is but I hope that last post wasn't directed at me and if it is then I am having this sent to the blog admins. What the heck did I do to you all I did was make a logical post about the depth of warmth across the enso regions which ignited Haiyen.


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Quoting 83. barbamz:


Hmm, Pat, nice try to speak german, although I had some struggles to figure out what you've meant. May I try to translate?

OMG, Grothar, where are you? I can tell you I can't neither confirm nor negate that Gro still is lurking. You may take this as an assessment of the present situation.

Edit: Of course I hope he's still around!


Been to Bremerhaven on the same trip with NATO where me and Grothar served together in 84. Tromso.

But we din't know we were both there then until we found out here.

So itsa small Planet, and the Translator does poorly.

I can tell you I can't neither confirm nor negate that Gro still is lurking.

Datz it,closely Barb'

: )
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127543
Quoting 91. LargoFl:
The maxim ''what goes around comes around'' applies to few things more aptly than ice ages. In a rhythm attuned to regular wiggles in Earth's orbit and spin, 10 eras of spreading ice sheets and falling seas have come and gone over the last million years.

Through that span, in fact, the cold spells have so dominated that geophysicists regard warm periods like the present one, called the Holocene, as the oddities. Indeed, the scientific name for these periods -- interglacials -- reflects the exceptional nature of such times.

The next ice age almost certainly will reach its peak in about 80,000 years, but debate persists about how soon it will begin, with the latest theory being that the human influence on the atmosphere may substantially delay the transition.

This is no mere intellectual exercise. The equable conditions of the Holocene, which has lasted 10,000 years so far, have enabled the flowering of agriculture, technology, mobility and resulting explosive population growth that has made the human species a global force.


Nice post...
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Quoting 70. Birthmark:

So, if the Earth's surface temperature increases to 75C we'll live like kings! Right?


Now that's golfing weather!
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Quoting 63. Patrap:
Mien Gott Donde esta Grother?

Ich kann das sagen, ich kann nicht bestätigen noch verneinen die Existenz eines Lauern Grothar. Sie haben das als aktuelle Bewertung der Situation bekannt.


German and Spanish? What a mix. ;)
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Quoting 89. Birthmark:

Okay, you've made the case that ice ages are bad for people. I agree which is why I didn't dispute it.

However, that doesn't support your claim that "any warming is good."
The maxim ''what goes around comes around'' applies to few things more aptly than ice ages. In a rhythm attuned to regular wiggles in Earth's orbit and spin, 10 eras of spreading ice sheets and falling seas have come and gone over the last million years.

Through that span, in fact, the cold spells have so dominated that geophysicists regard warm periods like the present one, called the Holocene, as the oddities. Indeed, the scientific name for these periods -- interglacials -- reflects the exceptional nature of such times.

The next ice age almost certainly will reach its peak in about 80,000 years, but debate persists about how soon it will begin, with the latest theory being that the human influence on the atmosphere may substantially delay the transition.

This is no mere intellectual exercise. The equable conditions of the Holocene, which has lasted 10,000 years so far, have enabled the flowering of agriculture, technology, mobility and resulting explosive population growth that has made the human species a global force.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36855
Quoting 78. StormTrackerScott:


We are trending to a PNA tho.


Wasn't aware of that (I don't have access to the same resources you do, you have paid subscriptions :P).

Believe me Scott, I want an El Nino to form. I'm rooting for one, as I want to see global ACE to return to average levels and to have a nice cold winter in FL for once. However my gut tells me it isn't going to happen. Looking at the SST profiles, it almost seems to me everytime the ENSO wants to go positive, it crosses the line and then goes down -0.5C.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23565
Quoting 74. LargoFl:
if you know anything about geology,see what the last ice age did in north america,most of what we call north america was buried under several Thousand feet of ice..the rocks tell the story,so any ..hmmm warming of the earth preventing this return IS a good thing..perhaps we humans should be more concerned with the earths orbit and any changes to it in the years to come..either way warm or cold..we here today in our lifetimes,short as they are,wont see it happen..hopefully...then again we must remember Europe this past winter and spring..ask them how cold it was..rivers froze solid..people died...Im waiting to see how Europe fares this coming winter and spring.

Okay, you've made the case that ice ages are bad for people. I agree which is why I didn't dispute it.

However, that doesn't support your claim that "any warming is good."
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When we lose the Arctic summer Ice, we lose the Albedo effect for one Pole,

Google the warming increase modeled to occur when that tipping point is reached.


Thermodynamics : Albedo

Albedo is a non-dimensional, unitless quantity that indicates how well a surface reflects solar energy. Albedo (a) varies between 0 and 1. Albedo commonly refers to the "whiteness" of a surface, with 0 meaning black and 1 meaning white. A value of 0 means the surface is a "perfect absorber" that absorbs all incoming energy. Absorbed solar energy can be used to heat the surface or, when sea ice is present, melt the surface. A value of 1 means the surface is a "perfect reflector" that reflects all incoming energy.

Albedo generally applies to visible light, although it may involve some of the infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum. You understand the concept of low albedo intuitively when you avoid walking barefoot on blacktop on a hot summer day. Blacktop has a much lower albedo than concrete because the black surface absorbs more energy and reflects very little energy.

Sea ice has a much higher albedo compared to other earth surfaces, such as the surrounding ocean. A typical ocean albedo is approximately 0.06, while bare sea ice varies from approximately 0.5 to 0.7. This means that the ocean reflects only 6 percent of the incoming solar radiation and absorbs the rest, while sea ice reflects 50 to 70 percent of the incoming energy. The sea ice absorbs less solar energy and keeps the surface cooler.

Snow has an even higher albedo than sea ice, and so thick sea ice covered with snow reflects as much as 90 percent of the incoming solar radiation. This serves to insulate the sea ice, maintaining cold temperatures and delaying ice melt in the summer. After the snow does begin to melt, and because shallow melt ponds have an albedo of approximately 0.2 to 0.4, the surface albedo drops to about 0.75. As melt ponds grow and deepen, the surface albedo can drop to 0.15. As a result, melt ponds are associated with higher energy absorption and a more rapid ice melt.


Dr. Peppa?
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127543
Note all the pieces fit though the warm GOA pool favors blocking also on the west coast, consistent with a west QBO. That western ridge favors +PNA and building arctic highs. The Atlantic +AMO favors Atlantic side blocking.






-NAO looks like this


Beginnings of a +PNA?
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Quoting 73. washingtonian115:
"Why shouldn't they pay for that damage?" Because not everyone can afford it?.When I go out to shop they have already put taxes on plastic bags and when you have a big family I do it really adds up in the end...


Have you considered investing in a few reusable canvas bags? A good canvas bag will last pretty much forever. Keep a few in the car and you're always prepared to shop, bag-tax-free.

As for the "people" having to pay for the damage caused by the polluters... we will pay eventually no matter what. Either we tax them for it now and clean it up now, or we let them off the hook and we pay for it collectively later.

At least in the US, we don't like to leave big environmental messes lying around. So, either the company who did it pays... or, if that company decides to take the slimeball approach and "restructure" themselves out of liability, then we ALL pay via the Superfund program.

Either way, we pay.
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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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