The Climate Change Storm

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 9:14 PM GMT on April 06, 2007

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Significant climate change is already occurring, will grow dramatically, and will cause serious disruptions to natural ecosystems and the lives of billions of people world-wide over the coming century. We need to better prepare for the inevitable changes--and attempt to lessen the magnitude of the these changes by reducing greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible. That's the take-home message from today's latest report from the United Nations-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Every six years, the IPCC releases a huge, influential study detailing the state of Earth's climate. Part 1 of the 2007 report, summarizing the science of climate change, was released in February. Today's summary, titled "Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability" addressed the likely impacts of climate change on Earth's ecosystems and people. Not all of the expected changes will be harmful--the IPCC emphasizes that "impacts of future climate change will be mixed across regions" for temperature rises of 1 to 3 �C above 1990 levels, with the big losers being the poor developing countries. However, if global warming exceeds 2 to 3 �C, the IPCC states it is very likely that all regions of the globe will suffer increased costs or declining benefits. I believe it is the responsibility of every citizen of the planet to take the 30 minutes needed to read the IPCC summary and familiarize themselves with what the world's top scientists say about the likely impacts of climate change. The scope and severity of the Earth-shaking changes that lie ahead present a breathtakingly formidable challenge for humanity.


Figure 1. Locations of significant changes in physical systems (snow, ice and frozen ground, hydrology, coastal processes) and biological systems (land, ocean, and freshwater) from 1970 to 2004. Between 90% and 100% of these changes are consistent with warming global temperatures, due in large part to human-emitted greenhouse gases. White areas are where not enough data existed to determine a temperature change. Figure 1 is a simplified form of Figure SPM-1 of the 2007 IPCC document, "Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability--Summary for Policy Makers."

Observed impacts of climate change to date
The IPCC report begins by summarizing observed changes in physical systems (snow, ice and frozen ground, hydrology, coastal processes) and biological systems (land, ocean, and freshwater) reported in 577 papers in the scientific literature between 1990 and 2004 (Figure 1). They conclude, "Observational evidence from all continents and most oceans shows that many natural systems are being affected by regional climate changes, particularly temperature increases." Examples for which they are highly (80% chance) or very highly confident (>90% chance) of include:

Earlier bird migrations and leaf unfolding
Poleward shifts in the ranges of various plant and animal species
Shifts in the ranges and numbers of ocean species near the poles
Earlier migrations of fish in rivers
Earlier and increased peaks in spring run-off from glacier- and snow-fed rivers
Warming of lakes and rivers
More and bigger glacial lakes
Melting permafrost

Medium confidence effects (50% chance of being true) observed in the Northern Hemisphere include:

Earlier spring planting of crops
Increases in forest fires and pest damage to forests
Heat-related deaths in Europe, spread of disease in some areas, and changes in allergenic pollen
Hunting and travel by humans over Arctic snow and ice

Future impacts
This is where the IPCC report gets very sobering. Keep in mind that the predicted future impacts may be understated, given the cautious nature of scientists--and the fact that the final version was edited by government officials, who changed the original conclusions of the scientists. I'll present just of few of the more mind-boggling impacts (in blue, with my comments in black), and leave the rest for the interested reader to discover:

The resilience of many ecosystems is likely to be exceeded this century by an unprecedented combination of climate change, associated disturbances (e.g., flooding, drought, wildfire, insects, ocean acidification), and other global change drivers (e.g., land use change, pollution, over-exploitation of resources) (high confidence).
In other words, some ecosystems will collapse, putting the people who depend on these ecosystems in grave peril.
Many millions more people are projected to be flooded every year due to sea-level rise by the 2080s. Those densely-populated and low-lying areas where adaptive capacity is relatively low, and which already face other challenges such as tropical storms or local coastal subsidence, are especially at risk. The numbers affected will be largest in the mega-deltas of Asia and Africa while small islands are especially vulnerable (very high confidence).
Expect damage and human suffering from hurricanes to greatly increase in coming decades, thanks to higher seas levels.
There is medium confidence that at least partial deglaciation of the Greenland ice sheet, and possibly the West Antarctic ice sheet, would occur over a period of time ranging from centuries to millennia for a global average temperature increase of 1-4 �C (relative to 1990-2000), causing a contribution to sea level rise of 4-6 m or more.
Along with drought and ecosystem collapse, sea level rise is my big concern. Sea level before the most recent ice age was about 4-6 meters (13-20 feet) higher than today, at global temperatures that we expect to match by 2100. The IPCC states that a sea level rise of 0.6-1.9 feet (0.18-0.58 meters) is expected by 2100, and a 4-6 meter rise is not likely for centuries. However, our understanding of the response of glaciers to climate warming is poor. An unexpected rapid partial disintegration of the Greenland or West Antarctic ice sheets later this century raising sea levels by 2 meters (6 feet) has at least a 1% chance of occurring, in my opinion.

Conclusion
The language of the 2007 IPCC climate report is couched in uncertainly, but the broad picture is clear: future climate change may rival or exceed a World War in its effect on society. Steps to lessen its impact and adapt to it need to be made as soon as possible. The cost in lives, dollars, and human suffering will be far greater if we do not.

In his 2006 book, The Revenge of Gaia, philosopher-scientist James Lovelock writes, "I am old enough to notice a remarkable similarity between attitudes over sixty years ago towards the threat of war and those now towards the threat of global heating. Most of us think that something unpleasant may soon happen, but we are as confused as we were in 1938 over what form it will take and what to do about it. Our response so far is just like that before the Second World War, and attempt to appease. The Kyoto agreement was uncannily like that of Munich, with politicians out to show they do respond but in reality playing for time...Battle will soon be joined, and what we face now is far more deadly than any blitzkrieg."

The climate change storm is coming, and the wind is already starting to rise.

Next blog
My next blog will be Monday afternoon or Tuesday. I've got several topics in mind--tornadoes in Chicago, Greenland glaciers, or hurricane model improvements.

Jeff Masters

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390. pottery
11:52 AM AST on April 07, 2007
A climber ? Like a ladder ? Come off it .........
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389. ryang
11:52 AM AST on April 07, 2007
Morning Pottery and CB.
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388. pottery
11:48 AM AST on April 07, 2007
But we semm to be building these sats toobig anyway. If a Blackberry or whatever its called can do all the things my daughter is explaining to me, a satelite doesnt need to be bigger than a petit-pois..........
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385. pottery
11:44 AM AST on April 07, 2007
You'll never get a satelite up a tube the thickness of a drinking straw. Your idea has a fundamental defect.........
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383. pottery
11:41 AM AST on April 07, 2007
Realy ?? My IDEA (tm ) is already in the realm of probable ? I thought I had found financial Nirvana. Oh well.........
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380. pottery
11:36 AM AST on April 07, 2007
I've sent my grandson to the top of a coconut tree, with the garden hose, to check my IDEA (tm)
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379. pottery
11:31 AM AST on April 07, 2007
Hey CB, I just had an incredible IDEA ( tm ).
we can errect a tunnel type thingy over the Sahara, straight up into space. The heat rising up the flue would create enough lift to carry all our satelites, garbage, nuclear waste, etc etc, into the firmament.
Gets rid of the SAL too, so we get more and better hurricanes !
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376. pottery
11:28 AM AST on April 07, 2007
Any idea what it cost to repair Hubble on-site ?
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375. pottery
11:26 AM AST on April 07, 2007
Morning STL. Have a good Easter weekend. Sunny sky and cooling breezes to you .........
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373. pottery
11:22 AM AST on April 07, 2007
I thought that was the whole idea behind the Shuttle..........
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372. pottery
11:20 AM AST on April 07, 2007
Why cant we get the Shuttle to pick it up, bring it back to the store, revamp it, and take it back up there ?
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371. pottery
11:18 AM AST on April 07, 2007
Good point CB.
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370. pottery
11:12 AM AST on April 07, 2007
Let me qualify this, I'm not saying the science of forcasting is not vital, I'm talking about this satelite in particular. A 10 % fall in a 20 % accuracy isnt a problem.........
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368. pottery
11:01 AM AST on April 07, 2007
I posted a comment on here the other day and got no response. Here I go again. Comments welcomed :

Re the appeal by Mr. Proenza for funding to replace the satelite that may fail at any time. He says that when it fails, we will suffer a 10%- 16% reduction in forecast accuracy. The cost of a new sat. is put at 400 mil.$$

Seems to me a huge amount of money , to prevent a 10 % fall - off in a science that has not displayed any meaningful benefits to anyone.

What say you ?

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367. pottery
10:59 AM AST on April 07, 2007
Good Morning.

Happy Easter Saturday.

Whats up ?
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365. Patrap
9:15 AM CDT on April 07, 2007


Atlantic Tropical Weather Discussion

000
AXNT20 KNHC 071037
TWDAT

TROPICAL WEATHER DISCUSSION
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
805 AM EDT SAT APR 07 2007

TROPICAL WEATHER DISCUSSION FOR NORTH AMERICA...CENTRAL
AMERICA...THE GULF OF MEXICO...THE CARIBBEAN SEA...NORTHEASTERN
SECTIONS OF SOUTH AMERICA...AND THE ATLANTIC OCEAN TO THE
AFRICAN COAST FROM THE EQUATOR TO 32N. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION
IS BASED ON SATELLITE IMAGERY...METEOROLOGICAL ANALYSIS...
WEATHER OBSERVATIONS...AND RADAR.

BASED ON 0600 UTC SURFACE ANALYSIS AND SATELLITE IMAGERY THROUGH
1015 UTC.

...THE ITCZ...
ITCZ AXIS IS CENTERED ALONG 10N10W 4N20W 3N37W 3N46W 2N52W.
SCATTERED MODERATE/STRONG CONVECTION IS WITHIN 90 NM OF THE AXIS
FROM 22W-28W. CLUSTERS OF SCATTERED MODERATE/ISOLATED STRONG
CONVECTION ARE WITHIN 150/180 NM OF THE AXIS FROM 17W-22W AND
WITHIN 75/90 NM OF THE AXIS FROM 28W-34W.

...DISCUSSION...

GULF OF MEXICO...
BROAD UPPER TROUGH MOVING INTO THE W ATLC FROM THE US COVERS THE
ENTIRE GULF OF MEXICO. SKIES REMAIN CLEAR SKIES OVER FLORIDA AND
THE SW GULF. AN UPPER LEVEL RIDGE EXTENDS FROM THE W BAY OF
CAMPECHE NW OVER MEXICO INTO THE CENTRAL PLAIN STATES BRINGING
UPPER LEVEL MOISTURE FROM THE E PACIFIC ACROSS MEXICO TO THE W
GULF BUT AS YET HAS PRODUCED ANY SHOWER ACTIVITY. SURFACE RIDGE
FROM THE CENTRAL PLAIN STATES CONTINUES TO BUILD OVER THE GULF
AND WILL REMAIN THROUGH THE WEEKEND. MODERATE/STRONG NORTHERLY
WINDS ALSO REMAIN ACROSS THE GULF WITH RETURN FLOW BEGINNING TO
BUILD LOW LEVEL CLOUDS ALONG THE COAST OF MEXICO AND TEXAS.
BROKEN/OVERCAST COLD AIR STRATOCUMULUS CLOUDS DOMINATE THE
CENTRAL GULF. MODERATE/STRONG SUBSIDENCE AND DRY AIR ARE OVER
THE FAR E GULF.

CARIBBEAN SEA...
BROAD UPPER TROUGH OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO DIPS S OVER THE NW
CARIBBEAN N OF 17N W OF 75W WITH THE ASSOCIATED STATIONARY FRONT
EXTENDING FROM ACROSS CENTRAL CUBA NEAR 22N79W TO THE YUCATAN
PENINSULA NEAR 17N89W WITH PATCHES OF LOW CLOUDS AND ISOLATED
SHOWERS ARE WITHIN 60 NM EITHER SIDE OF THE FRONT. A PRE-FRONTAL
TROUGH EXTENDS FROM THE S BAHAMAS ACROSS E CUBA NEAR 20N75W TO
18N79W. A BROAD UPPER RIDGE EXTENDS FROM AN UPPER HIGH OVER
SOUTH AMERICA NEAR 8N60W ACROSS JUST E OF THE LESSER ANTILLES
INTO THE CENTRAL ATLC COVERING THE REMAINDER CARIBBEAN WITH SW
TO W UPPER WINDS ADVECTING UPPER LEVEL MOISTURE OVER THE SE
CARIBBEAN. LOW LEVEL CONVERGENCE IS GENERATING SCATTERED
SHOWERS/ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS INLAND AND WITHIN 90 NM ALONG THE
COAST OF PANAMA TO S NICARAGUA. MODERATE/STRONG NORTHERLY WINDS
ARE W OF THE FRONT WITH LIGHT/MODERATE EASTERLY TRADE WINDS
ACROSS THE REMAINDER OF THE CARIBBEAN.

ATLANTIC OCEAN...
UPPER TROUGH FROM THE E US AND GULF OF MEXICO IS MOVING ACROSS
THE W ATLC W OF 62W WITH A COLD FRONT EXTENDING INTO THE AREA
FROM A 1002 MB LOW NEAR 34N67W SW ACROSS THE CENTRAL BAHAMAS TO
OVER CENTRAL CUBA NEAR NEAR 22N79W WHERE IT PULLS UP STATIONARY
INTO THE CARIBBEAN. PRE-FRONTAL TROUGH EXTENDS FROM E CUBA NEAR
20N75W ACROSS THE S BAHAMAS ALONG 25N68W TO NEAR BERMUDA.
SCATTERED SHOWERS/ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS ARE WELL E OF THE
TROUGH WITHIN 200 NM OF E OF THE TROUGH N OF 25N WITH SCATTERED
SHOWERS ARE WITHIN 150 NM E OF THE TROUGH S OF 25N. THE BROAD
UPPER RIDGE EXTENDS FROM AN UPPER HIGH OVER SOUTH AMERICA NEAR
8N60W JUST E OF THE LESSER ANTILLES INTO THE CENTRAL ATLC ALONG
22N56W TO BEYOND 32N54W. A SURFACE RIDGE COVERS THE CENTRAL ATLC
WITH 1024 MB HIGH LOCATED NEAR 31N46W. A DEEP LAYERED TROUGH IS
OVER THE E/CENTRAL ATLC N OF 10N FROM 20W-42W WITH ASSOCIATED
SURFACE TROUGH EXTENDING THROUGH 32N23W SW TO 27N27W. MODERATE
SUBSIDENCE AND DRY UPPER AIR COVERS THE BULK OF THE ATLC E OF E
OF 50W...THUS LIMITING ANY SHOWER ACTIVITY OVER THE AREA. UPPER
RIDGE OVER THE FAR E ATLC EXTENDS FROM A UPPER HIGH INLAND OVER
AFRICA N INLAND OVER AFRICA TO E OF THE CANARY ISLANDS COVERING
THE AREA E OF 20W AND CONTINUING TO LIMIT THE ITCZ AXIS
CONVECTION.

$$
WALLACE




Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
364. DocBen
2:08 PM GMT on April 07, 2007
Has anyone looked at that blob off the African coast about 25W 5N?
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362. Patrap
8:53 AM CDT on April 07, 2007
G morning Kris.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
361. weatherboykris
1:52 PM GMT on April 07, 2007
morning Patrap.
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359. Patrap
8:47 AM CDT on April 07, 2007
In addition to the effects of global warming, we'll be facing increased human population, air pollution and land degradation," Mearns said during a telephone news conference Friday.

And the effects are already evident, she said, in changes in the migratory patterns of birds, the earlier greening of plants in the spring, changes in ocean biological systems and the life ranges of individual species such as butterflies.

Rainfall patterns across North America are likely to change the quality and availability of drinking water and the health of natural ecosystems and may increase the risk of flooding, said Kathleen Miller, an economist at the center whose research focuses on socioeconomic effects of climate variability and climate change.






More From The Times-Picayune | Subscribe To The Times-Picayune
Climate forecast grim for N.O.
New report predicts flooding, disease

Saturday, April 07, 2007
By Mark Schleifstein

A new international report on the potential effects of global warming uses Hurricane Katrina's devastation of New Orleans and its surrounding natural environment as an example of what coastal communities around the world may be facing during the next 100 years.

For Louisiana, the report promises major changes in weather patterns that could result in increased periods of drought interspersed with intense rainfall events that could cause flooding; an increased risk of diseases spread by mosquitoes, including West Nile virus and Dengue fever; more heat waves that are likely to kill members of an increasingly elderly population; and rising sea levels that will threaten to inundate the state's fragile wetlands and could eventually drown a number of coastal communities.

The report does not conclude that Katrina's devastation was the result of global warming, although it predicts the future may see hurricane seasons that are more active and hurricanes that are more intense, which could affect the Gulf Coast and many other low-lying coastal areas.






"Whereas an individual hurricane event cannot be attributed to climate change, it can serve to illustrate the consequences for ecosystem services if the intensity and/or frequency of such events were to increase in the future," says an excerpt from the report, which is to be released in a few days.

Katrina caused the loss of about 150 square miles of coastal wetlands, levees and islands around New Orleans, the report says, including the halving of the Chandeleur Islands just east of the city.

"Collectively, these natural systems serve as the first line of defense against storm surge in this highly populated region," the report says. The islands also serve as important wintering grounds for migratory waterfowl and neo-tropical birds, including a large population of North American redhead ducks that feed on the roots and shoots of sea grasses around the islands.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a summary of the report on climate change effects on humans and natural systems in Brussels, Belgium, on Friday.

The report confirms that the evidence of the effect of climate change is sharper and more reliable, said Patricia Romero-Lankao, a sociologist and assistant director of the Institute for the Study of Society and Environment at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, during a telephone news conference on the report.

"No one will escape the impacts of a warming climate, and in many cases that impact will combine with other problems and make them worse," said Romero-Lankao, who was a lead author on a report chapter on the effects of global warming on industry and human settlement. She called in to the news conference from Brussels, where she participated in final editing of the report.

The report says global warming must be considered for its potential to add to the effects of non-climate concerns already facing world governments, said Linda Mearns, director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research institute and a lead author of a chapter on future conditions in the new report. The U.S. Southwest, northern Mexico, northeastern Brazil, the Mediterranean basin and southern Africa are all very likely to see a 10 percent to 30 percent decline in water availability by the end of this century, Miller said.

In some areas, including Alaska, Canada and Scandinavia, increased rainfall could support the development of new hydropower energy sources. But in some Southeast Asian countries, the increased rainfall could exacerbate monsoon flooding.

The timing of water release, however, is expected to cause problems all over the United States, Miller said. In mountainous, forested areas, less rain but intense storms and reduced snowfall already are causing earlier spring runoffs and localized flooding, she said.

That's increasing the chances of forest fires followed by mudslides, including in populated areas.

For the Mississippi River watershed, the change in rainfall patterns could increase the amount of sediment and nutrients added to the river. While the added sediment may be a good thing as Louisiana begins efforts to rebuild coastal wetlands with river diversions, the nutrients could increase the size of the low-oxygen dead zone that forms along the state's Gulf Coast each spring and summer.

Indeed, Susanne Moser, a National Center for Atmospheric Research geographer specializing in the human dimensions of global change, warned that restoration planners will have to create a delicate balance between increased sediment and sea level rise to keep the state's wetlands from drowning.

"The efforts currently under way to restore those wetlands will have to be stepped up considerably to bring in the sediment necessary to keep up with sea level rise," she said. Like Louisiana, the rest of the nation's coastline, home to 53 percent of the population in 2003, is most at risk from the effects of sea level rise, Moser said.

"They're the areas likely to experience the worst impacts of increased storm and flood events, erosion and coastal retreat, and the increased loss of wetlands and mangroves where the coastline can't retreat due to human development on their landward side, and the lack of sediment to replenish them," Moser said.

She said millions of the world's poorest people live in areas vulnerable to flooding that will be exacerbated by sea level rise this century.






"In addition, coastal areas will experience these impacts not just for a couple of decades, but for centuries to come," she said.

Indeed, while the report estimates that sea level worldwide will rise 7 to 24 inches over the next century, increasing temperatures will eventually melt huge ice sheets that now cover Greenland and Antarctica, which will result in rises of several more feet in future centuries, the report warned.

Virginia Burkett, a U.S. Geological Survey biologist at the National Wetlands Research Center in Lafayette, said in a separate interview that New Orleans may soon share the spotlight on wetlands loss and coastal retreat with areas of northernmost Alaska that border the Bering Sea, thanks to warming temperatures.

There, subsidence like that experienced in the Barataria and Terrebonne estuaries is showing up where permafrost and adjacent sea ice are melting.

"The substrate is collapsing because ice-bound sediments are melting," she said. "As the permafrost melts, the surface collapses, and in some areas, the sediments are actually 70 percent ice."

The result, she said, is the creation of larger and larger inland lakes and salt water from the sea moving inland, killing vegetation.

In addition, she said, the melting of sea ice is allowing storm systems to wash away once-protected coastline, similar to the erosion caused by Katrina in south Louisiana. Among the biggest threats to health expected to result from global warming are heat waves, said Dr. Paul Epstein, associate director of the Harvard Medical School Center for Health and the Global Environment.

"Two parts will make them worse in the future," Epstein said. "First is just the increase in the prolonged high temperatures. But it's the nighttime temperatures that have gone up twice as fast as overall warming that will be unbearable."

It's the humidity, Epstein said, something very familiar to New Orleans, that will be the culprit, especially for the elderly.






Higher temperatures and extreme rainfall events also are likely to increase the spread of infectious diseases, said Jonathan Patz, a professor of environmental studies and population health sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

He said increased water temperatures could result in more cases of vibrio vulnificus, a disease caused by eating contaminated oysters. And increased rainfall could add stress on local water and sewer systems, which could lead to the outbreaks of other waterborne diseases.

In addition, Patz said, New Orleans' status as a major world port could result in the city becoming a center for the transmission of diseases exacerbated by global warming in other countries, such as cholera and malaria.

A summary of the climate change report is on the panel's Web site at http:www.ipcc.ch. The full report is expected to be posted there sometime next week.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
358. weatherboykris
1:46 PM GMT on April 07, 2007
Not to mention other things such as the stregnth of the Bermuda High,and the trade winds with higher SSTs.
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357. weatherboykris
1:44 PM GMT on April 07, 2007
Well,what effect will GW have on upper level winds?There are too many unanswered questions to answer with definition.
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355. weatherboykris
1:19 PM GMT on April 07, 2007
From a statistical standpoint,even though most storms in a season aren't major hurricanes,major hurricanes cause the vast majority of damage in any one season.So,you'd want more weak storms.
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354. rainmound
1:14 PM GMT on April 07, 2007
Thank you MichaelSTL!

Hey weatherboykris... I'm not sure if I'd rather have more weak storms or the same amount but stronger storms... my sisters both live in Florida so I'm always crazy when hurricane season comes around! The one in Ft. Lauderdale lost her car to Wilma last year.
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353. weatherboykris
1:13 PM GMT on April 07, 2007
It could,in theory,make them stronger though.
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352. weatherboykris
1:12 PM GMT on April 07, 2007
rainmound,there is NO evidence supporting that GW leads to more hurricanes.For one,I believe that GW is temporary and natural,but even if it's not,it hasn't been shown to increase the nubmers of storms.
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351. weatherboykris
1:09 PM GMT on April 07, 2007
brain fossilization.That's harsh.LOL
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349. weatherboykris
1:05 PM GMT on April 07, 2007
Saturday, April 07, 2007

NEW ORLEANS The National Hurricane Conference came to a heated conclusion Friday, as one of the nation's best-known storm prognosticators accused five rival scientists of spreading hysteria about global warming - possibly for money.

"You've heard a lot of foolishness over the last couple years," said William Gray, a Colorado State University scientist who traditionally gets the final word at the annual gathering of storm experts.





As he has done repeatedly in recent years, he used that pulpit to express his fierce skepticism about the notion that human-caused climate change is making hurricanes fiercer.

This time, in a 25-minute speech that drew bursts of applause and laughter, Gray came up with a mocking nickname for his rivals.

"You know, China had its Gang of Four," he said, referring to a quartet of Communist leaders who fell from power in the 1970s. "Well, we've got in the U.S. our Gang of Five.

"These are very prominent, talented meteorologists," Gray said. "But they've jumped in and played this game. ... I think they kind of want to see this because there's opportunity. If you can show hurricanes are getting worse with time, there's better opportunity to get grant money."

Gray didn't name the five. But he offered enough details - including where they work and when they've published their research - that he left no mystery about the targets of his criticism.

Gray also faulted the news media, saying the idea that people's actions are worsening storms such as Hurricane Katrina "makes a hell of a good story."

One of Gray's apparent targets, Georgia Tech researcher Judith Curry, responded that she and her colleagues have published their findings in leading journals such as Science and Nature. In contrast, she wrote via e-mail, "I have not seen any refereed publications written by Bill Gray on this topic during the last few years.

"Research scientists conduct their exchange of ideas in the peer reviewed literature and at professional conferences, not through the media," Curry wrote.

Another researcher, Kerry Emanuel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, wrote: "I am sorry to hear that Bill is still making below-the-belt comments."

Greg Holland, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado, said he also hasn't received any grants for his work in the hurricanes-climate field.

The ruckus "just simply states that Bill doesn't have the scientific arguments, so he has to resort to personal attacks," said Holland, a former student of Gray's.

All three researchers published papers in 2005 concluding that tropical cyclones around the world had shown major surges in strength since the 1970s, at the same time that ocean temperatures were rising. Another of Gray's former students, National Hurricane Center researcher Chris Landsea, later co-wrote an article with other scientists questioning the reliability of the historical data they were using.

While that back-and-forth played out in dignified journal articles, the public debate has gotten nasty. Curry once accused Gray of suffering from "brain fossilization," according to The Wall Street Journal, while Gray told The Washington Post that Al Gore is as fanatical as Hitler. The former vice president has long warned that pollution is causing global warming.

Gray is best known for his predictions of hurricane seasons, a field he pioneered in the early 1980s. But lately he uses his time to discuss his belief that global warming is a "hoax."

As Friday's applause showed, Gray has his share of allies. At the very least, experts at the hurricane center and elsewhere have said the recent surge in storms can be explained by natural, decades-long fluctuations in Atlantic Ocean temperatures.

Gray said he has no apologies for using his time at the podium to take on his rivals.

"They're using their bully pulpit wherever they can get it," Gray said. "I'm only one guy. There are five of them, and they typically have more speaking engagements than me."
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348. rainmound
1:04 PM GMT on April 07, 2007
Hello,

I am new to the blog and this is my first comment! I want to respond to the people blaming the Sun for global warming. What do you think of this article? I think Dr. Master's post was really good, if very scary. It seems in terms of hurricanes and weather we may be looking at an all bets are off situation? What will happen to the models will they still work at all if the weather begins to change too fast?

Just wondering... R
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347. bbreaker
10:45 AM GMT on April 07, 2007
global warming is something that all mankind has to deal with. More people, MORE industry to feed the people, more cars to get people to work, and the continued burning off fossil fuels all contibute to GLOBING WARMING. What suffers ??? Our Climate !!!!
346. Fl30258713
10:35 AM GMT on April 07, 2007
Interesting problem with wind energy.

http://windstop.org/images/DOD_Wind_Farm_Report.pdf
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345. Caffinehog
8:08 AM GMT on April 07, 2007
Posted By: Tazmanian at 4:53 AM GMT on April 07, 2007.
i want to talk about a name storm like a hurricane and thing like that not this dam global warming thing


First storm of the season: Hurricaine Al Gore!

(Or in his case, maybe it's just a tropical depression.)
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344. Caffinehog
7:51 AM GMT on April 07, 2007
Great chart, StoryOfTheCane.

It shows at least a potential link between temperature and solar emission. This also explains current global warming on Mars.

Oceans, and even the land, (see articles on melting peat bogs releasing CO2,) emit more CO2 when the temperatures are warmer.

Keep in mind, though, that CO2 does absorb solar energy. It is still reasonable to suggest that human activities may be amplifying natural cycles, or could be triggering them at unnatural times, or could even be causing a fundamental change in them!

We know that warmer temperatures release more CO2, and we know a potential mechanism by which more CO2 could cause warming. While the former is proven, the latter is only theoretical, although based on some very sound science.

Remember, folks, we have not truly established a causative mechanism. Does CO2 cause warming? Does warming release CO2? Do they both amplify each other until we reach some fundamental limit of the system?

Personally, I believe in the last possiblilty, which means that it's too late to do anything, and it's going to get really warm, really fast.

And with the late snow we're getting here in Ohio, I say it's about time!
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343. Hu
6:36 AM GMT on April 07, 2007
I agree w/Dr. Masters'comments totally. The question is whether anyone is willing to do anything about it. Actions speak louder than words. Is anyone willing to live in a small house with fuel efficient autos? Is anyone willing to be smaller than anyone else? Is anyone willing to act poorer than anyone else? Is it our egocentricities that is making Earth a dying planet? Hu
341. ForecasterColby
5:38 AM GMT on April 07, 2007
"Colby, while I dont agree with the report, Dr. Masters current blog is taken from a report from the IPCC. He is recounting what is in that report. So why are you telling him to state the truth?"

Not quite. I am mostly referring to the last few paragraphs of the entry (primarily the Lovelock quote).
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About JeffMasters

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