Science Debate 2008

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 7:06 PM GMT on February 11, 2008

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The issues of global warming and climate change are important to many voters, yet the media has done a poor job asking the U.S. presidential candidates about these topics. In a study quoted by The Boston Globe, in 2007 the major TV networks asked presidential candidates 2,679 questions. Of those questions, only three were about global warming--the same number of questions that were asked about UFOs. With the presidential race narrowed down to four main candidates--Hillary Clinton, Mike Huckabee, John McCain, and Barack Obama--it's time that the candidates' views on climate change be given more attention. To address this need, the four major candidates have been invited to participate in Science Debate 2008, a verbal debate to be held on April 18, 2008, at Philadelphia's Franklin Institute. The debate is cosponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Council on Competitiveness, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. Nearly 100 leading American universities and other organizations have signed on to promote the effort, along with many prominent scientists, writers, and members of Congress. The debate is designed to discover the candidates' views on many science-related topics, such as climate change, clean energy, health care, science education and technology in schools, scientific integrity, GM agriculture, transportation infrastructure, the genome, data privacy, intellectual property, pandemic diseases, the health of the oceans, water resources, stem cells, conservation and species loss, population, and the space program.

We need your help to make this debate happen! Contact the campaigns of the candidates to ask them to participate in the debate, sign a petition to approve of the debate, or write a letter to the editor of your local paper. Chris Mooney, who authored the excellent 2007 book, Storm World: Hurricanes, Politics, and the Battle Over Global Warming, is one of the leaders of the initiative, and has posted links one can use to help with these tasks, in his blog, The Intersection. Thanks for helping out!

Jeff Masters

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184. cchsweatherman
4:52 PM GMT on February 12, 2008
Just completed my analysis of this system. Based upon satellite imagery, it appears the front has begun to have some effect on the tropical low in the GOM as a slight northward tilt has been shown on satellite imagery. Dew points have been steadily increasing over mainland South Florida within the past several hours indicating tropical moisture from the warm front has begun to infiltrate the area. Something that should be highly noted is that wind shear has become much stronger over the system and has become undirectional. this will allow for a higher wind damage and tornado threat, primarily for Southern Florida from late this evening into tomorrow early afternoon. The convection in asscoiation with this system has shown some signs of waning, but it is normal for storms over tropical waters. The front now has developed an obvious bow-echo effect as a strong squall line has been rapidly developing as indicated on radar. I have witnessed what appears to be upper-level rotation with these cells imbedded in the line mainly in northern Louisiana. Upper level convergence has increased to a level that easily supports supercell development and I have seen the wind fields expand with this front.

Based upon my analysis, I can conclude that South Florida (and the entire state for that matter) will experience a severe weather outbreak primarily lasting from around 6PM this evening to around 2PM tomorrow afternoon as two separate storms will impact the area. I have predicted the worst weather and highest tornado and wind damage threat to be located over South Florida and especially Southeast Florida where the sea breeze will add significant fuel to these storms.

I would advise all Floridians to activate their NOAA Weather Radios and leave a television on during the night so that you can receive any warnings that may come overnight. I anticipate Tornado Watches to be posted for central and southern Florida tonight.
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183. MacLorry
4:59 PM GMT on February 12, 2008
Dr Gray's objection is sound. The IPCC’s position is base primarily on surface temperature records and on computer models. The surface temperature records have now been shown to be corrupt in a peer reviewed study, and the computer models are just guesswork done at high speed. This is not a sound bases for hobbling the U.S. economy.
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179. dearmas
11:38 AM EST on February 12, 2008
so anyone what to guess what the weather here in Tampa will look like
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178. cchsweatherman
4:32 PM GMT on February 12, 2008
Good morning all! Just getting ready for what will be a very active afternoon and night. Here in Davie, I have noticed a huge moisture surge as humidity levels have jumped substantially in the last few hours. I do agree that the low in the GOM has not moved north and appears to be tracking near due east indicating the South Florida will get the worst weather. In my forecast, I have included isolated tornadoes for South Florida for this evening through tomorrow morning as the cold front will produce a strong squall line that will clear by the afternoon. Please stay on alert and be smart if you live in Florida.
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177. weathers4me
4:31 PM GMT on February 12, 2008
Am I missing something? On GOM vis sat it looks like the mess will be on West FL sooner than late this evening or tomorrow in the AM. Is the mess they are talking about and severe storm threat to FL the one that is getting set to enter LA?
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176. MacLorry
4:31 PM GMT on February 12, 2008
Yes global warming is an important issue, but unfortunately all the current presidential candidates have drank the IPCC kool-aid. The IPCC is fundamentally corrupt according to Dr. Vincent Gray who shares in the Nobel Prize awarded to the UN IPCC.

More peer reviews studies have opposed the IPCC’s position since 2006 than support it. Growing evidence supports solar cycles being the cause of the current climate change, and if that link is correct, we are entering a period of cooling such as seen during the little ice age. We need to be burning more coal in hopes the additional CO2 will mitigate global cooling.
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175. dearmas
11:29 AM EST on February 12, 2008
good morning all.... I got my weather radio ready for today and tomorrow.
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174. Skyepony (Mod)
4:27 PM GMT on February 12, 2008
Dr Masters~ Would like to see this debate happen...will do what I can.


Been watching occationally recon flying some of these systems that are hitting the west coast. Hadn't in a few days but todays POD was interesting.

II. PACIFIC REQUIREMENTS
1. NEGATIVE RECONNAISSANCE REQUIREMENTS.
2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK.....NEGATIVE.
3. TODAY'S P-3 MISSION ON TRACK P60 WAS CANCELLED BY
AOC DUE TO NECESSARY REPAIRS TO THE AIRFRAME.

SMR

What's an airframe?? & how does it break?
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172. TheCaneWhisperer
3:55 PM GMT on February 12, 2008
Thanks for the input guys, looks like high awareness for the evening and tomorrow here in Palm Beach Gardens.
171. Hernando44
3:39 PM GMT on February 12, 2008
Thanks FLWeatherFreak91, Guess we'll just have to wait and see.
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169. FLWeatherFreak91
3:36 PM GMT on February 12, 2008
hernando, I know the question wasn't directed to me, but I expect the entire peninsula to be under the same amount of threat. No one really knows what's going to happen yet.
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168. Hernando44
3:32 PM GMT on February 12, 2008
StormW: One more question. What do you see for Hernando County. Worse weather south of us? Thanks in advance for all your help.
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167. FLWeatherFreak91
3:32 PM GMT on February 12, 2008
The shear levels look to be extreme- increasing the tornado and wind threat. What do you guys think?
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165. weathers4me
3:26 PM GMT on February 12, 2008
Sorry, I meant NE
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164. weathers4me
3:23 PM GMT on February 12, 2008
Thanks for the updates Storm. Do the coastal residents need to worry about the possibility of any type of storm surge on the W central coast given the SW winds or is this supposed to meve pretty fast once it gets pulled NW by the approaching front?
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163. TampaSpin
10:22 AM EST on February 12, 2008
Starting to look nasty.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
162. TampaSpin
10:20 AM EST on February 12, 2008
It appears on visible sat. that the low in the GOM is tracking further South IMO.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
160. TampaSpin
10:08 AM EST on February 12, 2008
Thank you StormW you are always on top of things for us...really appreciate your dedicated work.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
159. TampaSpin
10:01 AM EST on February 12, 2008
This looks like alot of energy.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
157. TampaSpin
10:00 AM EST on February 12, 2008
StormW, do you have any area of worst concern in florida at this time.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
156. weathermanwannabe
9:52 AM EST on February 12, 2008
While the pending South Florida weather will not be anything close to the Super Tuesday tornado outbreak, the folks down there need to keep an eye out (and NOAA radios on) as it does looks like most of the tornado potential may be in the evening/overnight hours....
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 9413
154. StormMan
2:49 PM GMT on February 12, 2008
Forget climate change, we need energy independence!

More use of Coal, you can make electricity and gasoline from it and we have a lot of coal. It's time to stop subsidizing plant-based fuel fantasies that will never ever come close to any meaningful supplementation of our fuel supply.

We have a solar minimum that will not quit and both hemispheres are feeling the effects and this will not be a 'one time' cold winter, many many more to come until ole Sol wakes up from his nap (some say that will not happen until the year 2040 or later).

Climate Change is real, (always has been always will be) ...try this one on for size:

from:
NASA Finds Glacial Sediments Adding to Louisiana Coast's Sinking

Living on the Gulf Coast just 50 miles east of New Orleans, this article is shocking in several ways: 1) the sinking of N.O. is not just a recent phenom, but related to the last Ice Age (!); 2) that Ice Age ended only 22,000 years ago, or only 10 times further back in time than Christ (and only 2.5 times further back than the invention of writing); and 3) the oceans were 427 feet lower then!

It is amazing how ego-centric we are! We'd come to believe our problems here were all man-made, with origins within the last century!

We humans are supposedly going to cause the oceans to rise 3 feet in 100 years because of man-made Global Warming, yet the climate change over the last 22,000 years is vastly greater! Apparently the oceans have risen over this time more than 1 foot per 100 years, and I suspect there has been ups and downs rather than a steady state rise.

Back then, we humans existed in only tiny numbers and were still hunter/gatherers! The land below my feet was hundreds of miles inland and 500 feet above sea level. I continue to marvel at the ability of science to remind us to be humble!

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152. NEwxguy
2:29 PM GMT on February 12, 2008
GM,Storm,warning people is always the way to go,so people can keep an eye to the sky.It only takes one touch down to destroy peoples lives.
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151. biff4ugo
1:58 PM GMT on February 12, 2008
P.S. Thanks StormW for a focus on Florida.
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150. biff4ugo
1:11 PM GMT on February 12, 2008
Those are great points.
I would very much like to know what the candidates plan to do to marshal our water resourses for people and the environment.
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149. TampaSpin
8:27 AM EST on February 12, 2008
The collision between the Cold front, warm front and the Low in the GOM is going to make an interesting event.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
148. TampaSpin
8:22 AM EST on February 12, 2008
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
145. TampaSpin
8:21 AM EST on February 12, 2008
Good morning StormW and JFV. Tampa looks like it could have an interesting evening.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
141. hcubed
7:07 AM CST on February 12, 2008
6. StSimonsIslandGAGuy said: (7:45 PM GMT on February 11, 2008)

"And we need to get Hillary and Obama on the record supporting freedom of research and freedom from censorship as well. There has always been (relatively mild) political pressure on government research, but before Bush 43 this was at a tolerable level."

We also neet to get the candidates to support public archiving of scientific data. So many of the studies being done are under the shadow of doubt, caused by refusal of scientists to let others check their data.
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138. FLWeatherFreak91
5:30 AM EST on February 12, 2008
...SLIGHT RISK OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH TONIGHT
ACROSS THE WEST CENTRAL AND SOUTHWEST FLORIDA PENINSULA....

.DAY ONE...TODAY AND TONIGHT.

...THUNDERSTORM IMPACT...

A SERIES OF POTENT UPPER LEVEL DISTURBANCES...A STRONG LOW-LEVEL JET
AND A SURFACE STORM SYSTEM WILL MOVE OVER THE REGION THIS
AFTERNOON THROUGH TONIGHT IN A MOIST AND UNSTABLE ENVIRONMENT
BRINGING WIDESPREAD CONVECTION PRODUCING MODERATE TO HEAVY
RAINFALL...DEADLY LIGHTNING...GUSTY WINDS...HAIL AND STRONG TO
SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS INTO THE AREA.

THE STORM PREDICTION CENTER IN NORMAN OKLAHOMA HAS INCLUDED ALL
OF WEST CENTRAL AND SOUTHWESTERN FLORIDA IN A SLIGHT RISK FOR
SEVERE WEATHER ZONE DURING THIS PERIOD. THE MAIN THREAT WITH THE
STORMS WILL BE STRONG WINDS...HOWEVER TORNADOES WILL BE A
POSSIBILITY...AS WELL...OUT AHEAD OF THE COLD FRONT. STAY TUNED
FOR THE LATEST DETAILS ON THIS DEVELOPING SITUATION.

...WIND AND SEA IMPACT...
BREEZY SOUTH TO SOUTHWEST WINDS WILL INCREASE AHEAD OF THE FRONT
LATER THIS AFTERNOON INTO TONIGHT ELEVATING SEAS. SMALL CRAFT
ADVISORY MAY BE REQUIRED TONIGHT INTO THURSDAY MORNING. BOATERS
SHOULD EXERCISE CAUTION IF VENTURING OUT ON THE WATER...OR PERHAPS
POSTPONE BOATING ACTIVITIES IN THESE WATERS.
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136. KoritheMan
4:58 AM GMT on February 12, 2008
Why is everyone so worried about the severe weather in Florida? I can understand because you live down there, but I mean, the SPC only has Florida under a Slight Risk. In addition to that, even if tornadoes occur within the severe storms, that does not mean you'll get the tornadoes. For most people, they have never seen a tornado in their life. And damaging winds and hail (especially the former) is what Florida deals with quite often, so I don't see what the big deal is.

Correct me if I said something wrong though. I'm always willing to accept those.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 602 Comments: 21330
134. dearmas
10:11 PM EST on February 11, 2008
so how bad do these storms look that are coming tomorrow, TS winds or is that being crazy, lol
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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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