Save the Keeling Curve!

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:13 PM GMT on March 11, 2014

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Climate change's most iconic research project is in danger--a victim of budget cuts in an era of increased government belt-tightening. The Keeling Curve is a measurement of the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere made atop Hawaii’s Mauna Loa, begun in 1958 by Dr. Charles Keeling. It is the longest-running such measurement in the world. The curve was instrumental in showing how human emissions of carbon dioxide were steadily accumulating in Earth's atmosphere, and raised awareness that human-caused climate change was an ever-increasing threat to the stability of our climate. After Keeling's death in 2005, the measurements were continued by his son, Ralph F. Keeling. Support from NSF, NOAA and NASA is being diminished or withdrawn, and Keeling has turned to crowd-funding to help raise funds to continue these important measurements. I hope you can join me in making a donation.


Figure 1. The Keeling Curve: climate change's most iconic image. The curve's steady year-by-year increase in CO2 due to burning of coal, oil, and natural gas has wriggles on top of it, due to the natural seasonal cycle in CO2--plants suck in CO2 during the Northern Hemisphere growing season, then release it during the winter. Image credit: Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USCD.


Figure 2. Dr. Charles Keeling posing at the entrance to the Charles Keeling Building at Mauna Loa, Hawaii. Image credit: NOAA/ESRL.

CO2 Levels Hit 401 ppm
The latest data from the Keeling curve website shows that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are surging upwards in their usual late winter push, as plants return CO2 to the atmosphere before the Northern Hemisphere spring growing season hits. CO2 levels reached 401 ppm (parts per million) last week on top of Mauna Loa, setting a new record. CO2 levels were at 280 ppm in 1870, increased less than 1 ppm per year in the 1960s, then accelerated to 2 ppm per year during the 2000s. Less than 1% of the increase since 1870 has been due to natural sources, such as volcanoes. The last time carbon dioxide levels reached 400 ppm—between 2.5 and 5 million years ago during the Pliocene Era—the Earth was 3.5 to 9° F warmer (2 to 5° C), and sea levels were 65 to 80 feet higher.

Links
There is a hashtag #savetheKeelingCurve
Eli Rabett's post, Shaking the Cup for Science
What Does 400 ppm Look Like? December 2013 blog post by Robert Monroe of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.




Senate holds all-nighter on climate change
A group of 31 U.S. Senators pulled an all-nighter last night on the floor of the U.S. Senate, taking turns from 9 pm Monday night until 9 am Tuesday morning to promote policy actions on climate change. Many of the Senators involved issued tweets using the hashtag #Up4Climate. The all-nighter was another indication that politicians are becoming increasingly bold about speaking up on climate change.

Latest Version of our WunderMap App Now Includes WunderPhotos
Weather Underground has released today a new version of our WunderMap app for iPhone and iPad. The main new feature that we'd like to highlight is the WunderPhotos layer--now users can view, share, and submit photos all from within the app. Here are a few of the features of the new version of the WunderMap app:

◦ Improved Weather Station display, and both station size and station spacing are now adjustable (Weather Stations Layer ⇒ Settings).
◦ New WunderPhotos layer! View, share, and submit beautiful weather photos.
◦ Fixed incorrect elevation for some Personal Weather Stations.
◦ Swipe-to-delete search history items.
◦ "Terrain/Satellite” and other map options made more prominent.
◦ Bug fixes (crashes, visual glitches, and usability enhancements).
◦ Optimized performance across all devices.


The latest version is available to download for iPhone and iPad at https://itunes.apple.com/app/wundermap/id364884105?mt=8.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting FunnelVortex:


We don't know what the motives were.

A plane way off course like that smells like a hijack to me.

We don't know that the plane was off course. The head of the Malaysian Air Force is now denying that he ever said his radars tracked it off course. There are so many leaked and anonymous statements, distortions, and rumors floating about I have no idea what's true now, except my own experience in missing aircraft searches.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 15345
Could have been a known failure mode for that airplane model:

Malaysia Airlines has confirmed it received a warning from the Federal Aviation Administration in November, urging airlines to look out for corrosion under the skin of the fuselage of Boeing 777s.


Link


Link
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Quoting 652. yonzabam:


Or why no wreckage has been found. The cockpit had its own dedicated oxygen supply.


No wreckage has been found because they are probably not searching hard enough.
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Quoting FunnelVortex:


We don't know what the motives were.

A plane way off course like that smells like a hijack to me.

It still has to land somewhere, and there was presumably a reason to hijack it. That scenario doesn't make a lot sense to me.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 15345
Quoting ricderr:
The more likely possibility is a passenger took out a large and recent policy. This has happened many times in the history of commercial aviation. Blow up the plane over water, so the plan goes, and no one will know.

I really believe that Malaysia has this search so bollixed up that no one really knows what's going on. Search the pilot's home just makes it looks like they're doing something.



ok mr sar...for me...speculation about this flight ranks right there with hurricane numbers guessing :-)...but why do you claim there search is botched?

Just one example...Malaysia has yet to set up a coordinated command center. The Police , Military, and Civil Aviation Authority all have separate command centers, which is one reason why we read so many conflicting so many conflicting statements. I've been involved in many of these types of searches, and the number one job is to set up a coordinated command center. It's even more vital when you're running a multinational search. Just search on MH370 and you'll see lots of criticism of the search effort so far.
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Quoting 648. FunnelVortex:


That still doesn't explain why it was off-course.


Or why no wreckage has been found. The cockpit had its own dedicated oxygen supply.
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Cuz he aint derr,ric'..of course.



took awhile to figure it out...but finally...it deserves a ta da da boom!!!
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Quoting 649. Torito:


But what would the motive be?... No one knew what happened, so a hijack would have been pointless...


We don't know what the motives were.

A plane way off course like that smells like a hijack to me.
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Quoting 646. FunnelVortex:


As someone else said, they took it over the ocean to blow it up there so no one would notice.


But what would the motive be?... No one knew what happened, so a hijack would have been pointless...
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Quoting 645. Torito:


I think the door fell off like some papers claim and the cabin depressurized.


That still doesn't explain why it was off-course.
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Quoting 641. ricderr:
The more likely possibility is a passenger took out a large and recent policy. This has happened many times in the history of commercial aviation. Blow up the plane over water, so the plan goes, and no one will know.

I really believe that Malaysia has this search so bollixed up that no one really knows what's going on. Search the pilot's home just makes it looks like they're doing something.



ok mr sar...for me...speculation about this flight ranks right there with hurricane numbers guessing :-)...but why do you claim there search is botched?


Cuz he aint derr,ric'..of course.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128347
Quoting 642. sar2401:

And where would this hijacked plane be now? A 777 can't land on any any old airport.


As someone else said, they took it over the ocean to blow it up there so no one would notice.
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Quoting 643. FunnelVortex:


I think the plane was blown up by terrorists. Why, I have no clue.


I think the door fell off like some papers claim and the cabin depressurized.
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How does this program work?


At night a temperature inversion forms near the ground, trapping volcanic emissions coming from Mauna Loa summit fumarloes in a layer tens of meters thick.

Down slope winds sometimes transport these emissions to the observatory, where they are detected as a "noisy" increase above smooth baseline levels for some gases. A volcanic component can be estimated by taking the difference in concentration between periods when the plume is present and periods immediately before and after that exhibit baseline conditions.

The most significant volcanic gas is CO2, which has been monitored since 1958 through three eruption cycles Volcanic CO2 is greatest shortly after an eruption and then decreases exponentially over the subsequent years. Right after the 1984 eruption, Mauna Loa emitted as much CO2 as an American city of 40,000 people.

By 2005, these emissions had fallen by a factor of about 100. This suggests that a reservoir deep beneath the summit is recharged with fresh, CO2 rich magma during and immediately following an eruption which is then quiescently outgassed at an inverse-exponential rate. There were substantial emissions of SO2 and aerosols following the 1975 eruption and much lower levels were seen after the 1984 eruption. By 2000, SO2 and aerosol emissions from Mauna Loa had fallen below detection limits. The CO2 and SO2 data is examined weekly for any significant events which may signal renewed activity in the volcano. The long-term records are updated yearly.




ESRL Global Monitoring

Mauna Loa Volcanic Emissions 1958-Present


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL)

What does this program measure?
Every continuous atmospheric trace gas and aerosol measurement made at MLO can be monitored for a Mauna Loa volcanic emissions component. Significant amounts of volcanic CO2, SO2, condensation nuclei, light-scattering aerosols, and sulfate have been measured and their emission rates estimated. All other trace gases such as CO, H2, H20, CH4, O3, and Radon do not have detectable volcanic components and upper limit emission rates have been estimated for each of these.


What does this program measure?
Every continuous atmospheric trace gas and aerosol measurement made at MLO can be monitored for a Mauna Loa volcanic emissions component. Significant amounts of volcanic CO2, SO2, condensation nuclei, light-scattering aerosols, and sulfate have been measured and their emission rates estimated. All other trace gases such as CO, H2, H20, CH4, O3, and Radon do not have detectable volcanic components and upper limit emission rates have been estimated for each of these.
How does this program work?
At night a temperature inversion forms near the ground, trapping volcanic emissions coming from Mauna Loa summit fumarloes in a layer tens of meters thick. Down slope winds sometimes transport these emissions to the observatory, where they are detected as a "noisy" increase above smooth baseline levels for some gases. A volcanic component can be estimated by taking the difference in concentration between periods when the plume is present and periods immediately before and after that exhibit baseline conditions. The most significant volcanic gas is CO2, which has been monitored since 1958 through three eruption cycles Volcanic CO2 is greatest shortly after an eruption and then decreases exponentially over the subsequent years. Right after the 1984 eruption, Mauna Loa emitted as much CO2 as an American city of 40,000 people. By 2005, these emissions had fallen by a factor of about 100. This suggests that a reservoir deep beneath the summit is recharged with fresh, CO2 rich magma during and immediately following an eruption which is then quiescently outgassed at an inverse-exponential rate. There were substantial emissions of SO2 and aerosols following the 1975 eruption and much lower levels were seen after the 1984 eruption. By 2000, SO2 and aerosol emissions from Mauna Loa had fallen below detection limits. The CO2 and SO2 data is examined weekly for any significant events which may signal renewed activity in the volcano. The long-term records are updated yearly.

Lead Investigator Steve Ryan of NOAA published papers on this subject in 1995, 2001, and 2006. The data used in these studies came from the SIO (pre-1974) and ESRL (post-1974) Carbon Dioxide analyzers, ESRL Meteorology system, ESRL Condensation Nuclei Counter, ESRL Aerosol Nephelometer , ESRL Sulfur Dioxide analyzer , ESRL Surface Ozone analyzer , ESRL Methane analyzer , ANSTO Radon counter, and ESRL Carbon Cycle flask program. Click here to read the 1995 paper...
Why is this research important?
Our measurements comprise the world's longest and most detailed continuous record of volcanic CO2 emissions. Measurements of volcanic gas emissions complement other geolophysical measurements (earthquake, surface deformation, gravity, petrology, and geochemistry) in providing a description of the structure and workings of Mauna Loa volcano through several eruption cycles. This knowledge may help in predicting future eruptions.
Are there any trends in the data?
The CO2 emission rate follows a very predictable exponentially decreasing trend which is established after each eruption. The slope of these trends have been different for each eruption. Current concentrations of volcanic CO2 (2006) are at their lowest levels since the record began in 1958.
How does this program fit into the big picture?
What is it's role in global climate change?
Mauna Loa volcanic CO2 was used as a tracer to constrain the flow of air around the mountain (1997 paper). The MLO CO2 emissions record (1995 and 2001 papers) is an important component in the "geophysical picture" of how Mauna Loa volcano works. The lack of significant methane emissions from Mauna Loa volcano (2006 paper) helps our understanding of the "life on Mars picture" by suggesting that Martian volcanoes are unlikely to be the source of methane in the atmosphere of Mars.

CO2 emissions from Mauna Loa volcano are an insignificantly small part of the global carbon cycle and do not play a role in climate change.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128347
Quoting 641. ricderr:
The more likely possibility is a passenger took out a large and recent policy. This has happened many times in the history of commercial aviation. Blow up the plane over water, so the plan goes, and no one will know.

I really believe that Malaysia has this search so bollixed up that no one really knows what's going on. Search the pilot's home just makes it looks like they're doing something.



ok mr sar...for me...speculation about this flight ranks right there with hurricane numbers guessing :-)...but why do you claim there search is botched?


I think the plane was blown up by terrorists. Why, I have no clue.
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Quoting FunnelVortex:


I personally think the plane got hijacked.

And where would this hijacked plane be now? A 777 can't land on any any old airport.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 15345
The more likely possibility is a passenger took out a large and recent policy. This has happened many times in the history of commercial aviation. Blow up the plane over water, so the plan goes, and no one will know.

I really believe that Malaysia has this search so bollixed up that no one really knows what's going on. Search the pilot's home just makes it looks like they're doing something.



ok mr sar...for me...speculation about this flight ranks right there with hurricane numbers guessing :-)...but why do you claim there search is botched?
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We over this yesterday my friend, its all on page 8 and 9 in this entry, remember?

: P


Measuring CO2 levels from the volcano at Mauna Loa

Posted on 25 October 2010 by Andy Skuce
The observatory near the summit of the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii has been recording the amount of carbon dioxide in the air since 1958. This is the longest continuous record of direct measurements of CO2 and it shows a steadily increasing trend from year to year; combined with a saw-tooth effect that is caused by changes in the rate of plant growth through the seasons. This curve is commonly known as the Keeling Curve, named after Charles Keeling, the American scientist who started the project.

Why Mauna Loa? Early attempts to measure CO2 in the USA and Scandinavia found that the readings varied a lot due to the influence of growing plants and the exhaust from motors. Mauna Loa is ideal because it is so remote from big population centres. Also, on tropical islands at night, the prevailing winds blow from the land out to sea, which effect brings clean, well-mixed Central Pacific air from high in the atmosphere to the observatory. This removes any interference coming from the vegetation lower down on the island.

But how about gas from the volcano? It is true that volcanoes blow out CO2 from time to time and that this can interfere with the readings. Most of the time, though, the prevailing winds blow the volcanic gasses away from the observatory. But when the winds do sometimes blow from active vents towards the observatory, the influence from the volcano is obvious on the normally consistent records and any dubious readings can be easily spotted and edited out (Ryan, 1995).


Importantly, Mauna Loa is not the only atmospheric measuring station in the world. As the graph from NOAA shows, other stations show the same year-after-year increasing trend. The seasonal saw-tooth varies from place to place, of course, but the background trend remains steadily upwards. The Keeling Curve is one of the best-defined results in climatology and there really are no valid scientific reasons for doubting it.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128347
Riverside, California (Airport)
Updated: 9:53 AM PDT on March 12, 2014
Clear
67 °F
Clear
Humidity: 14%
Dew Point: 16 °F
Wind: 9 mph from the NNE
Wind Gust: 29 mph

Pressure: 30.03 in (Steady)
Visibility: 10.0 miles
UV: 4 out of 16
Pollen: 9.60 out of 12
Pollen Forecast new!
Clouds:
Clear -
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 817 ft



SoCal's other form of weather, sunny and windy, Santa Ana conditions.
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 5819
From the 'News' story on the Wunderground home page:

How sensitive the planet is to changes in GHG concentrations has been the subject of significant debate in recent years, especially as Earth's average surface temperatures have warmed by only about 0.05°C (0.09°F) per decade since about 2000, after rising by about 0.12°C (0.22°F) per decade since the 1950s.

The writer must live in an alternative universe from the people at NASA GISS. Here are their global decadal temperature anomalies, base period 1951-80:

1981-90 +0.20C
1991-00 +0.32C
2001-10 +0.55C
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Quoting PedleyCA:


Something I heard on the News that I thought was odd was they said that the had to dig up the ground in places to shut off some of the gas to the building.

Lot of those buildings are old and are way out of code when it comes to things like natural gas safety. I suspect the original shutoff valves were buried in the sub-foundation of a building that was there before this one was built. They are also trying to shut off gas to the area, and some of those valves are about 20 feet under the present streets.
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Quoting yonzabam:


Check on his finances, and whether he recently took out life insurance, too. A Silkair flight in 1987 crashed into an Indonesian river in a supersonic vertical dive. All were killed, obviously.

It transpired that the captain had lost about $1 million on the stock market, and had taken out a life insurance policy the previous week.

The more likely possibility is a passenger took out a large and recent policy. This has happened many times in the history of commercial aviation. Blow up the plane over water, so the plan goes, and no one will know.

I really believe that Malaysia has this search so bollixed up that no one really knows what's going on. Search the pilot's home just makes it looks like they're doing something.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 15345
Quoting 633. Torito:


Yes, but that isn't the point. The point is that he is being recognized by having a system after him. If I were 101 and were in the same scenario as him, I wouldn't complain if the system was tropical or not...


Eh....
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Quoting 629. sar2401:

Appears to be a natural gas leak, something that seems to happen with regularity in NYC.


Something I heard on the News that I thought was odd was they said that the had to dig up the ground in places to shut off some of the gas to the building.
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 5819
Quoting 630. FunnelVortex:


But it's just an average Winter Storm system. The NHC doesn't recognize or name them.



Yes, but that isn't the point. The point is that he is being recognized by having a system after him. If I were 101 and were in the same scenario as him, I wouldn't complain if the system was tropical or not...
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Quoting 629. sar2401:

Appears to be a natural gas leak, something that seems to happen with regularity in NYC.


I think they need to replace the city's lines.
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Quoting 628. Torito:


On Simpson day, there is. :P


But it's just an average Winter Storm system. The NHC doesn't recognize or name them.

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Quoting FunnelVortex:


Death toll doesn't seem to be too high ATM, it seems like most survived.

Appears to be a natural gas leak, something that seems to happen with regularity in NYC.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 15345
Quoting 626. FunnelVortex:


There's no reason an average gulf-originated low/nor'easter should be on the floaters page.


On Simpson day, there is. :P
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Quoting FunnelVortex:
Did they screw something up? Because there is something in the Atlantic on the floaters page even though there is nothing in the Atlantic. I'm sure it's an error.

This is a fictional hurricane honoring Robert Simpson, a pioneer of hurricane forecasting. He turned 101 yesterday. Believe it or nor, his real middle name is Homer. :-)
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 15345
Quoting 625. Torito:


It isn't a glitch.. its a system named in honor of Herbert Simpson, the guy who made the hurricane category scale.

AKA This guy.





There's no reason an average gulf-originated low/nor'easter should be on the floaters page.
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Quoting 615. FunnelVortex:


AKA, the glitch on the floaters page.


It isn't a glitch.. its a system named in honor of Herbert Simpson, the guy who made the hurricane category scale.

AKA This guy.



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Quoting 623. ncstorm:
Is anyone following the story in NY about the 2 collapse buildings..

from CNN..
BREAKING NEWS
'Tragedy of the worst kind'
Watch this video
NYC mayor: 'A number of missing individuals'


Death toll doesn't seem to be too high ATM, it seems like most survived.
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Is anyone following the story in NY about the 2 collapse buildings..

from CNN..
BREAKING NEWS
'Tragedy of the worst kind'
Watch this video
NYC mayor: 'A number of missing individuals'
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Global pattern
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Quoting 616. jpsb:
If you are looking for CO2 then placing a CO2 monitor on an active volcano surrounded by other active volcanoes is probably the thing to do.

From wiki
The concentrations of different volcanic gases can vary considerably from one volcano to the next. Water vapor is typically the most abundant volcanic gas, followed by carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide.

Just an observation :)

but it is very clear there is more CO2 in the atmosphere now than in our recent past. (100,000 years or so). And no doubt burning fossil fuels is adding to the total.



1. The CO2 monitor is located where it can sample well-mixed atmosphere away from anthropogenic point-sources.

2. The CO2 monitor is located on Mauna Loa in a position where prevailing winds would carry any volcanic CO2 away from the station. In cases where winds shift, the change in signal is obvious and is dealt with.

3. The isotopic signature of mantle-derived CO2 is different from the isotopic signature of atmospheric and anthropogenic CO2.

4. Don't label speculation as observation.
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The west coast still seems to be getting a lack of sufficient moisture.

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A powerful front moving across the atlantic. Air is dry and sheared and moisture is locked to the south. But moisture from the gulf is being sucked up into a large storm system and is heading up the coast.

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Presentations from last week's Interdepartmental Hurricane Conference are now online:


2014 Tropical Cyclone Research Forum (TCRF)/68th IHC
Tropical Cyclone Research: Assessing the Past—Planning for the Future
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616. jpsb
Quoting 536. rjsenterp:
This is exactly why climate scientists have no credibility. The Keeling curve does NOT demonstrate the rise in global CO2 levels due to humans. It ONLY shows the rise in global CO2. There's a distinct difference.

Global CO2 levels can rise for a variety of reasons unrelated to humans. Volcanoes and fires come to mind as two. Before you can pin it on humans you have to subtract out naturally occuring sources.

Geez!
If you are looking for CO2 then placing a CO2 monitor on an active volcano surrounded by other active volcanoes is probably the thing to do.

From wiki
The concentrations of different volcanic gases can vary considerably from one volcano to the next. Water vapor is typically the most abundant volcanic gas, followed by carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide.

Just an observation :)

but it is very clear there is more CO2 in the atmosphere now than in our recent past. (100,000 years or so). And no doubt burning fossil fuels is adding to the total.

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Quoting 614. ZacWeatherKidUK:
"Simpson"



AKA, the glitch on the floaters page.
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"Simpson"

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94W

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Remnants of Tropical Cyclone Gillian

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Quoting 609. ZacWeatherKidUK:
Tropical Cyclone Hadi



Eh. Not much.
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Tropical Cyclone Hadi

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Quoting 606. ZacWeatherKidUK:
Afternoon everyone!

Severe Tropical Cyclone Lusi


It seems to be experiencing some slight shear.
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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.