Cold and Snowy and Warm and Wet

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 10:58 PM GMT on February 24, 2011

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Cold and Snowy and Warm and Wet

Yes it is, again, a cold and snowy winter in the eastern parts of the U.S. (Master’s Wunderblog) You might recall that it was very cold and snowy in Europe at Christmas time. In the middle of Asia, January was very cold. Of course those whose opinions on global warming are anchored in the political arguments use the cold and snowy winter to substantiate their position that global warming is not real. I do not write to convince you.

Others become sensitized to the weather and start to think about climate and changing climate and what such a cold and snowy winter means.

A lot of scientists start out explaining the cold and snowy winter by making the statement that there are certain weather patterns, for example, the Arctic Oscillation. (see this blog in Washington Post for a different take) These patterns are part of dynamical or internal variability, and when the Arctic oscillation is in one phase of the pattern it is cold and snowy in the eastern U.S. and northern Europe. It should also be warm in Greenland. It’s been cold in central Asia and warm in northern Siberia. (Master’s Wunderblog: Near Record Warmth in Canada and Siberia) Hot-Cold-Hot-Cold = natural variability. It's just part of what we have to live with. All of this is true, accurately stated, but it does not strike me as a terribly intuitive explanation for those who just lost their crops in northern Mexico or central Florida. I am going to try to develop a more broadly intuitive framework to think about a cold and snowy winter in a warming world. I have written a number of previous blogs on this, one of which is reproduced at the end of this one. Also, I just finished lecturing on dynamical variability in class, and I have put those lectures on line - Lecture 11 and Lecture 12. There are a lot of links in these lectures.

An Intuitive Approach to the Cold and Snowy Winter: I will write from the point of view of the gardener or someone who likes to be outdoors and pays attention to the season and the weather.

In the winter the Sun becomes low in the sky because of the tilt of the Earth’s orbit. At polar latitudes, the Sun is below the horizon. There is no solar heating. It is dark at the pole.

During winter at the pole, the Earth continues to emit energy to space. This energy is emitted as infrared radiation. It gets cold.

It is worth remembering that if there is no solar energy to heat the Earth, the Earth will get very, very cold. It would start to approach the background temperature of outer space. At the pole, in the winter, it gets cold, say, – 40 degrees below zero. (The cool thing about 40 degrees below zero is that this is where Fahrenheit and Celsius are equal.)

Here in the U.S. it is intuitive to the gardener that the winter is cold, and dark, and it gets colder and darker the farther north you go. It’s right there on the back of the seed packet.

The atmosphere responds to this cooling at the pole; whenever and wherever there is a hot-cold contrast, a temperature gradient, there is motion. The wind blows.

A fact of the Earth is that it rotates. That rotation strongly determines the winds; the motion of the air aligns with the rotation of the Earth. (Here are two neat movies from MIT’s Climate Modeling Initiative Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory: .mpg format (large ones) non-rotating fluid, … rotating fluid )

Something of a river of air, the polar jet stream, forms around the pole. (perhaps a home boy’s figure) Most outdoor people have gotten pretty familiar with the jet stream, and that the jet stream is sometimes wavier than at other times and that that influences the weather – a lot.

Now here is something that is important, that is not quite as intuitive. The jet stream that forms around the pole largely isolates the air in the polar region from air outside the polar region. Here is how I would develop some intuition, imagine you are next to a rapidly flowing stream and you put a leaf in the stream. Does it flow across the stream to the other side, or is it rapidly carried downstream? It is carried downstream, and therefore, one side of the stream is effectively isolated from the other. The jet stream around the pole, this river of air, effectively isolates the pole. Therefore, not a whole lot of heat is carried to the pole; the sun is down; it gets cold at the pole.

This isolation of the pole during the winter occurs, whether or not there is global warming. The Sun goes down for a long period of time. Without transport of heat to the pole, the pole can get as cold now as it did 50 years. It might take a few days longer, but if it is isolated long enough then it gets just as cold. So we have a store of cold air at high latitudes.

Here is another, perhaps less intuitive fact. For the rotating atmosphere of the Earth, the hot-cold contrast, the temperature gradient, represents a source of energy for atmospheric motion. The atmosphere does not like these gradients. It wants to mix them up. If it as cold at the pole as it used to be, and warmer outside of the pole, then there is MORE energy for that mixing. So when the mixing occurs it is, likely, more vigorous, more energetic.

With this more energetic mixing, then it is possible that when the jet stream is wavy, it is very wavy compared to history. It is possible that the cold polar air goes farther south than it used to go. And more warm middle latitude air finds itself at the pole. Previously isolated polar air is pushed off the pole. It sits over Asia, Europe – North America. For a time in the middle of the winter, it can stay cold for a long time. And up at the pole it is warm. And if that cold polar air is pushed just a little bit farther south than historical, it can be damaging record cold.

And that is what January looked like. Here it is:




Figure 1: Observations of temperature in December of 2010. The temperatures are represented as a difference (anomaly) from a 30 year average. See more from (Master’s Wunderblog: Near Record Warmth in Canada and Siberia)


I don’t know if that helps. I apologize not being able to draw some new figures. There are some things that are worth thinking about for the sake of consistency.

Do we see these episodic record cold temperatures in unusual places in the middle of the winter, when we would have stronger temperature gradients, perhaps more vigorous mixing?

Do we see it taking a little longer for the pole to get cold in the transition from fall to winter?

Does the temperature at the pole bottom out at about the same temperature as it always has, but the temperature in middle latitudes gets a little warmer?

Is spring coming earlier?

Is it possible that midwinter risk to crops at southern middle latitudes increases, at the same time the spring growing season starts earlier?

Is it snowier in the middle of winter, but less snowy in the spring?

What does it mean when the United States is as cold as it has ever been for a month in the middle of winter, but the planet as a whole is still the 17th warmest on record?

r


Relevant Blog from 2010 linked here and repeated below.

Warm Cold Warm Cold

You may remember that early last winter it was cold in the eastern half of the United States. There was a lot of press about what the cold weather implied about global warming. I wrote a series of blogs last year that are:


Cold in a Warm World
Cold in the East
Last Year and This Year
Last Year and This Year – and the Next Big Story?


I have started teaching again. One of things we do in the beginning of the class we talk about what people already know about global warming. Two of the students raised the issue of “what’s in name?” That is, if it is called “global warming,” then people are confused when it is not, always, uniformly warmer all the time. (Might remember this discussion as well.)

As I stand in front of these students prattling on, I am always thinking of ways to explore, challenge, and expose ideas. Early on, we talk about the role of greenhouse gases in the natural climate of the Earth. We have known since, at least, 1800 that water vapor and carbon dioxide are greenhouse gases that make the Earth “warm.” That is, if you take away these gases which act like blankets and hold the Sun’s energy near the surface of the Earth for a while, then the Earth would be MUCH colder – say, about zero degrees Fahrenheit. Restating this, without the atmosphere the surface of the Earth would be cold. (Spencer Weart’s great history) Water is about two thirds of the greenhouse warming.

One could take from this fact, and it is not often I use the word “fact,” – one could take from this fact, that there is a strong physical reason that works to take the Earth towards this “equilibrium” temperature. Think of it this way, suppose you have a pot of boiling fresh organic chicken broth on the stove. Once you get the pot boiling, if you want to keep it boiling then you have to keep adding a little heat to the bottom of the pot. If you turn off the heat, then the pot stops boiling. This loss of energy which works to stop the boiling is always occurring, and you are always adding energy through the burner to counter this loss. For the Earth, the Sun is the burner, the source of energy, and the Earth is always cooling to get rid of this energy. It’s a little like a spring trying to pull the Earth’s temperature to, on the average, about zero degrees Fahrenheit. (A question for the reader: what is the impact of putting a top on the pot?)


If you were to turn off the Sun, then the Earth would get cold fast. That is what happens when winter comes to the poles. In the north, throughout October and November, the North Pole starts to cool. The Earth emits radiation to space. Since the heating from the Sun is totally absent at this time, it can get far colder than that equilibrium temperature of zero degrees Fahrenheit. The atmosphere and the oceans continue to transport heat to the north, but they can’t keep up. This process of cooling at the poles in the winter is a fact of the planet that will continue even as greenhouse gases build up.

This is where weather comes into play. We have this cold air up towards the North Pole. The atmosphere and the ocean have many different types of - I will call them features - features that have characteristic types of motion associated with them. An example of such a feature is a hurricane, which has closed circulation around an eye. The hurricane then moves around, but pretty much no matter how it bounces around for a week or two, after a while the hurricane heads out to the north. Really they head off to the pole, and north or south depends on which hemisphere. What the hurricane does is transport heat from the tropics to the pole, and that is what the atmosphere and oceans do all the time. They are trying to reduce the contrast between warm and cold.

The hurricane is an example of a dynamical feature. There are many more dynamical features and many of them behave like waves. A hurricane behaves more like a spinning top; it’s a vortex. The atmosphere is full of waves, and professors like me torment students of meteorology with mathematical descriptions of these waves. There are many ways that waves come into being, but one way is because of air flowing over mountain ranges. You can imagine, more intuitively, a stream of water flowing over a rock. I have tried to convey this idea of a wave in the figure below.





Figure 1: A schematic picture that represents a wave in temperature. There are hot and cold parts of the wave. Do other climate bloggers draw such compelling figures?


What I have drawn with the dashed line is a “small” wave, perhaps a wave that would form in October. Then I draw, with the solid line, a bigger wave, perhaps a wave of December or January. These waves are always growing and decaying, sometimes moving a little bit to the east and the west. If we label the graph so that the bottom is the south, the top is the north, the left hand side is west and the right hand side is east, then we can imagine North America siting under this wave. If the left hand side is the Pacific Ocean and the right hand side is the Atlantic Ocean, then it sets up the story. If the wave grows in the west, the warm air pushes up to the north towards the pole, and the cold air is displaced south into the United States. This is not some random, made up thing, because 1) there are the Rocky Mountains that help make the wave, 2) the way the Earth rotates makes the air flow from west to east, 3) northern part of North America, we call it Canada here in the South, gets cold because the Sun is down, and 4) the Pacific Ocean starts to look warm as the continent starts to get cold.

If I hear people talking about how cold it is in the east of the U.S., I ask them to, using Wunderground.com of course, to look at what is going on in California and Alaska. If it is cold in the East, then usually it is warm in the West. And if this wave gets big enough, then it pushes up towards to pole, and it looks warm in the north, and the air that is displaced to the South, off the pole, looks cold. And to weak-kneed academics from Florida State University, it might look VERY cold. (What’s going on at Florida State? Must be all of that money that goes to cushy climate scientists.)

Even if there is a lot of carbon dioxide it still gets cold when the Sun goes down at the poles, and that cold air can get pushed down away from the pole, and there is still winter. In fact, if that push of air towards the pole is especially vigorous, then the cold air can get pushed to new places, and we have a record cold. If you are going to play the “record game,” look for new highs that might be paired with the new lows. (Jerry Meehl and colleagues did this recently, many, many more new highs. They concluded that it’s getting warmer.)

OK …. Let’s look at last December. It’s from the usual place the National Climatic Data Center.




Figure 2: Observations of temperature in December of 2009. The temperatures are represented as a difference (anomaly) from a 30 year average.

I recall Boulder, Colorado being really cold in December, as well as a blizzard in Baltimore. The map shows two cold centers over North America and Siberia. It’s pretty warm in Greenland and Alaska, and you can study the map more. Here is a link to the excellent discussion at the National Climatic Data Center. In the northern hemisphere this map shows a distinctive wave pattern. (There are good reasons that these waves appear as 1, 2, or 3 , but I will make you take dynamics on your own.)

I deliberately did this without referring to the Arctic Oscillation. I was driving around this afternoon thinking about that. If the pole has spent the last few years with its cold phase at the pole, and that cold phase was, by historical standards, not so cold, does that mean something? Just thinking on the way to Sprayberry's.

I posed the question at the end of a recent blog about what a record December blizzard in Baltimore might or might not say about climate change. Since then there have been record snow storms all over the northern hemisphere. At a very real level, a set of storms in one winter says NOTHING about global warming. Nothing. It surely does not say that global warming is abated, or of no concern. In fact, as a couple of comments pointed out, if the atmosphere is warmer, and the air is moister, if it is cold enough to snow, then there is a lot of snow. Others say that cold is cold.

There is still cold weather. Fact is, when the entire surface of the globe is considered, December 2009 was a warm month, in a warm year, of the warmest decade we have measured. (see this write up) Prepare in the next week for a bunch of storms to hit California. (Of course, that’s just a model prediction.) I wonder how many people will attribute those storms to El Nino, based on the science, but at the same time dismiss the far more certain science of global warming. I’ll be at the American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting in Atlanta. Our group has eight talks, so there is student stress and faculty worry. More and more climate at the meeting as we start to think about a National Climate Service.




r

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281. cyclonebuster
6:41 PM GMT on March 11, 2011
Quoting Cochise000:
Greenland temps
It appears that Greenland's temperatures are relatively stable in the long-term as everyone suspected. Looking at a small segment of time, relatively speaking, is not an accurate indicator of long-term temperatures.



Incorrect this holds true for Greenland also!



Thanks NOAA! Great job!



Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 131 Comments: 20517
280. cyclonebuster
6:27 PM GMT on March 11, 2011
Insane I ask or just stating the obvious?

BTW now: Here is another thing that "Gulfstream Kinetic Energy" can reverse. Get you some!


Gas prices: Up 37 cents and counting



NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- If you think gasoline is expensive now, just wait. In the weeks to come, you'll be looking back at today's prices with a poignant sense of longing, if the forecasts become reality.

Gasoline prices just keep going up. Prices jumped for the 17th straight day Friday, increasing by 37 cents since Feb. 22 to a nationwide average of $3.542 per gallon, according to motorist group AAA.

And it's not over.

"Given what's going on, it could frankly go to $4," said Joseph Stanislaw, senior adviser at consulting company Deloitte.

The earthquake in Japan, for all its devastation and loss of human life, is not contributing to high fuel prices, according to experts. High gas prices are being driven by anxiety over the ongoing instability in the Middle East and North Africa, where regimes are being threatened and toppled. The civil war in Libya and discontent with the Saudi Arabian monarchy are the main drivers for oil price volatility, which is the main culprit behind the run-up in gas.

Stanislaw said that gas prices are rising in tandem with "the general psychology around what we will call the Arab spring. Will demonstrations actually take place in Saudi Arabia? That will have a major influence on the price of crude oil, which will have a major influence on the price of gas in the U.S."

http://money.cnn.com/2011/03/11/news/economy/gas_ prices/

Here is the proof they work Amy!

Link

And here also:



GET YOU SOME!
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 131 Comments: 20517
278. NRAamy
3:54 PM GMT on March 11, 2011
he is not insane... he is optimistic.... and trying to help.... he sees an answer.... just because you do not agree with it does not make him insane....

I don't know that his tunnels would work... but I applaud his perserverance in the face of adversity....
Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 318 Comments: 31947
277. Patrap
2:03 PM GMT on March 11, 2011
Indeed, always a statement about what those stupid Tunnels could have done,never of the Human toll in the event.

Its stale as week old bread.

Thats very ugly, always
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 431 Comments: 131616
275. cyclonebuster
1:25 PM GMT on March 11, 2011
Gulfstream Kinetic energy could have prevented this again from happening!

Tsunami waves slam Hawaii after huge quake hits Japan
8.9-magnitude quake triggers 'enormous damage,' official says The latest headlines:

* At least 60 dead, dozens missing
* Hawaii on alert; first tsunami waves hit, sweep though islands
* 'Nuclear emergency' declared after problems at plant
* Evacuation order issued to thousands of residents near a nuclear power plant
* Japanese PM cites 'major damage'; calls for 'spirit of fraternity'

TOKYO — A magnitude 8.9 earthquake slammed Japan's northeastern coast Friday, unleashing a 13-foot tsunami that swept boats, cars, buildings and tons of debris miles inland and prompting a "nuclear emergency."

At least 60 people were killed and there were reports of several injuries in Tokyo, hundreds of miles away, where buildings shook violently through the main quake and the series of massive aftershocks that followed.

The earthquake — the biggest in modern Japanese history and — brought the bustling city to a standstill. Tens of thousands of stranded people are roaming the streets as the capital's usual traffic came to a standstill Friday after
Video: Live coverage of quake's aftermath (on this page)

A ship carrying 100 people was swept away by the tsunami, Kyodo news agency reported.

The quake triggered problems with a cooling system at a nuclear power plant , officials said, prompting the "emergency," but the officials maintained that no radiation had leaked. A fire was reportedly burning in a turbine building at the plant.
Video: Japan declares 'nuclear emergency' at plant (on this page)

Fires triggered by the quake burned out of control up and down the coast.

1.
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Get the latest updates on this story and others from @breakingnews.
2. Text NEWS to 67622 to receive mobile alerts

Prime Minister Naoto Kan said the quake caused "major damage" in northeastern Japan.

Officials were still trying to assess the extent of destruction. The government's top spokesman, Yukio Edano, said that the country was sending troops to the quake-hit area to join relief efforts.
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A tsunami warning was also issued for Hawaii and the coasts of Oregon and northern and central California and parts of Alaska. A tsunami advisory was in effect for southern California.

1.
Japan earthquake
1. Live Blog: Latest updates on aftermath of Japan quake
2. Updated 9 minutes ago 3/11/2011 1:10:19 PM +00:00 Evacuation ordered after Japan nuke plant rocked
3. Updated 32 minutes ago 3/11/2011 12:46:30 PM +00:00 Tsunami barrels toward Hawaii, U.S. West Coast
4. Massive earthquake hits Japan

"A tsunami has been generated that could cause damage along the coastlines of all islands in the state of Hawaii," the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center's bulletin said. "Urgent action should be taken to protect lives and property."

The first tsunami wave was expected to hit Hawaii at 2:59 a.m. local time (7:59 a.m. ET), officials said.

Among the other countries for which a tsunami warning is in effect are: Russia, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, Honduras, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia and Peru.

The tsunami is higher than some of the Pacific islands it could wash over, the Red Cross in Geneva said, warning that developing countries in the Asia Pacific region were particularly vulnerable to tsunami damage.

Horror in Japan
Even for a country used to earthquakes, this one was of horrific proportions.
Live Blog: Latest updates on aftermath of Japan quake

Large fishing boats and other sea vessels rode high waves into the cities, slamming against overpasses. Upturned and partially submerged vehicles were seen bobbing in the water.

Waves of muddy waters swept over farmland near the city of Sendai, carrying buildings, some on fire, inland as cars attempted to drive away. Sendai airport, north of Tokyo, was inundated with cars, trucks, buses and thick mud deposited over its runways. Fires spread through a section of the city, public broadcaster NHK reported.

A large fire erupted at the Cosmo oil refinery in Ichihara city in Chiba prefecture near Tokyo and was burning out of control.

The tsunami roared over embankments, washing cars, houses and farm equipment inland before reversing directions and carrying them out to sea. Flames shot from some of the houses, probably because of burst gas pipes.
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"Our initial assessment indicate that there has already been enormous damage," Edano added. "We will make maximum relief effort based on that assessment."
Slideshow: Massive earthquake hits Japan (on this page)

Tremors were felt as far away as Beijing, China, about 1,300 miles west of Tokyo.

The quake struck at 2:46 p.m. local time (12:46 a.m. ET) and was followed by five powerful aftershocks within about an hour, the strongest measuring 7.1. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) upgraded the strength of the first quake to a magnitude 8.9, while Japan's meteorological agency measured it at 8.4.

Citing USGS data, NBC News reported that if the 8.9 reading is verified, it would be the fifth-strongest earthquake since 1900.

The quake struck at a depth of six miles, about 80 miles off the eastern coast. The area is 240 miles northeast of Tokyo.
Get updates on Japan quake at breakingnews.com

In downtown Tokyo, large buildings shook violently and workers poured into the streets for safety. TV footage showed a large building on fire and bellowing smoke in the Odaiba district of Tokyo.

Trains were stopped and passengers walked along the tracks to platforms. NHK said more than 4 million buildings without power in Tokyo and its suburbs.

The temblor brought the capital's train system to a halt, paralyzing the daily commuter flow of more than 10 million people.

Akira Tanaka, 54, a restaurant worker, was among those who just gave up and decided to walk home — to suburban Saitama, 12 miles (20 kilometers) north of Tokyo, an endeavor he has never tackled before.

"I've been walking an hour and 10 minutes, still have about three hours to go," he said. "This is the kind of earthquake that hits once every 100 years."

The ceiling of Kudan Kaikan, a large hall in Tokyo, collapsed, injuring an unknown number of people, NHK said.
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Osamu Akiya, 46, was working in Tokyo at his office in a trading company when the quake hit.

It sent bookshelves and computers crashing to the floor, and cracks appeared in the walls.

"I've been through many earthquakes, but I've never felt anything like this," he said.
Video: 'Tsunami waves travel as fast as a jet engine' (on this page)

Footage on NHK from their Sendai office showed employees stumbling around and books and papers crashing from desks.

Several quakes had hit the same region in recent days, including a 7.3 magnitude one on Wednesday.

Thirty minutes after the quake, tall buildings were still swaying in Tokyo and mobile phone networks were not working.
Video: Officials trying to assess damage (on this page)

Tokyo's main airport was closed. A large section of the ceiling at the 1-year-old airport at Ibaraki, about 50 miles northeast of Tokyo, fell to the floor with a powerful crash.

Japan's northeast Pacific coast, called Sanriku, has suffered from quakes and tsunamis in the past. In 1933, a magnitude 8.1 quake in the area killed more than 3,000 people. Last year fishing facilities were damaged after by a tsunami caused by a strong tremor in Chile.

Earthquakes are common in Japan, one of the world's most seismically active areas. The country accounts for about 20 percent of the world's earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater.

NBC News, msnbc.com staff, Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Link

Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 131 Comments: 20517
274. iceagecoming
6:00 AM GMT on March 11, 2011
In a way I hope we can bump the climate, it would seem
to me the expected trend on the graph below would be at
best a global distruption on a epic scale.



If all else fails, the OTHERS may feel sorry for us
and intercede once again.

Puma Punku is believed to have once contained a great wharf, and a massive four part structure. Yet all that remains today are megalithic ruins from some cataclysmic event in history. A great earthquake? A comet that came too close to the Earth? A worldwide flood? These are all possible causes to the destruction of the once great structure that is now the ruins of Puma Punku.

Not only is there evidence to support the claim of a cataclysmic flood, but there is even evidence to support the theory that people once lived there before such a flood even occurred. The suspected flood could have happened somewhere around 12,000 years ago, and there is scientific evidence of tools, bones, and other material within flood alluvia, which suggests that a civilized people were there prior to any flood. Other evidence, that being carvings of bearded people that are not Andean, have been recorded throughout the area.

Could the ruins of Puma Punku be evidence of a long lost civilization?
MU? Who knows for sure.
Member Since: January 27, 2009 Posts: 26 Comments: 1134
272. NRAamy
12:01 AM GMT on March 11, 2011
267. iceagecoming 2:56 PM GMT on March 10, 2011
NRA has it right

Ancient Aliens!



thank you!!!!!!

:)
Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 318 Comments: 31947
269. cyclonebuster
10:46 PM GMT on March 10, 2011
GULFSTREAM KINETIC energy prevents this!



ScienceDaily: Your source for the latest research news and science breakthroughs -- updated daily
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Insights from Oil Spill Air Pollution Study Have Applications Beyond Gulf

ScienceDaily (Mar. 10, 2011) — During a special airborne mission to study the air-quality impacts of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill last June, NOAA researchers discovered an important new mechanism by which air pollution particles form. Although predicted four years ago, this discovery now confirms the importance of this pollution mechanism and could change the way urban air quality is understood and predicted.


Link
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 131 Comments: 20517
268. atmoaggie
3:42 PM GMT on March 10, 2011
Quoting MichaelSTL:


Three years ago:

Meanwhile, the February 2008 Southern Hemisphere sea ice extent was much above the 1979-2000 mean. This was the second largest sea ice extent in February (27% above the 1979-2000 mean) over the 30-year historical period, behind 2003. Sea ice extent for February has increased at a rate of 3.4%/decade.


So not only was the minimum Antarctic ice extent far lower than the last La Nina, the trend has drastically reduced by almost half (not that it was statistically significant even then, 3.4 +/- 5% per decade, and that is only for the data since 1979 - it was far higher before then).
Amazing what weather can do. In other words: "So?"
Or do you think someone should start posting every low temperature record on the planet in the climate blog when it happens?

Who is it that starts calling names and is very derisive whenever anyone posts non-warming weather events? Even if they don't say it's a sign of global cooling?

Right. This guy. I wonder what his point is concerning one season of Antarctic sea ice in opposition to the trend...
Hmm.
Couldn't be.
That would be hypocritical and simply dead wrong, climatologically.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
267. iceagecoming
2:56 PM GMT on March 10, 2011
NRA has it right

Ancient Aliens!
Member Since: January 27, 2009 Posts: 26 Comments: 1134
265. iceagecoming
2:05 AM GMT on March 10, 2011



Link

"There are no signs of oils or chemicals or anything else in the water that shouldn't be," said Andrew Hughan of the state Department of Fish and Game.

Millions were seen dead in the harbor, but millions were still alive and being fed on by sea lions and birds.

"The water content is good," Keenan said. "There are other fish still living. It's just the sardines that died off."

Officials initially said a red tide may have been the cause of the oxygen deprivation, but Keenan said that was not the issue. Red tide is a naturally occurring bloom of toxic algae that can poison fish or starve them of oxygen, according to Staci Gabrielli, a marine coordinator for King Harbor Marina.

"What we're operating under is that there were so many sardines, and sardines consume a lot of oxygen, and there was not enough oxygen in the confined area that they were, so they died of oxygen deprivation," Keenan said. "It's like putting too many fish in a small aquarium."

Working hear in Santa Barbara, the ocean is fine,
check your undies, unbunched.

Member Since: January 27, 2009 Posts: 26 Comments: 1134
264. cyclonebuster
2:50 PM GMT on March 09, 2011
Tunnels can stop this in all dead zones!


Redondo Beach fish die-off: Tests show oxygen levels at 'almost zero'

Researchers have measured critically low oxygen levels in King Harbor after a massive die-off in the Redondo Beach marina.

Brent Scheiwe, program director at the SEA Lab in Redondo Beach, said he took dissolved oxygen level readings in the harbor after the first reports of the dead fish came in Tuesday morning and found them at almost zero.

“The levels were critically low," he said. "There was pretty much no oxygen in the water."

Photos: Massive fish die-off in King Harbor Marina

Scientists are working to determine what caused oxygen levels to drop so steeply that fish estimated to be in the millions suffocated and deposited a silver sheen of carcasses, many of them sardines, among the rows of docked boats. It may be days before the precise cause is known.

Marine biologists at USC installed oxygen sensors in King Harbor after an algal bloom caused a mass fish die-off in 2005. They are now probing the harbor for clues about the cause of the latest kill, said biological sciences professor David Caron.

“What we're trying to tease apart is whether it's a consequence of algal buildup, a fish buildup or something toxic in the water,” Caron said.

Massive, stinking fish kills also struck King Harbor in 2003 and 2005. Both times, algae blooms robbed the harbor waters of life-enriching oxygen, causing fish to suffocate and die.

Despite efforts by boat owners to scoop up the dead fish, the rafts of decomposing flesh unleashed a powerful stench that plagued the harbor for weeks after each episode. Some boat owners complained of feeling sick from the smell. Others were driven off their boats to seek refuge inland. Waterfront restaurants suffered steep declines in customers, unable to compete with the unsavory odor that hugged the harbor.

Such fish kills have been popping up around the world in what one Louisiana scientist calls “dead zones.” She has spent a career studying America’s largest one, which strikes nearly ever year in an expanse of the Gulf of Mexico about the size of the state of New Jersey.

The cause of the die-off is nearly always decaying algae. Although the oceans are awash in algae, these microscopic organisms bloom when fed by nutrients such as fertilizers and human and animal waste washing off the land. Stoked by such nutrients and exposed to sunlight, algae flourish and then die and sink to the bottom. Bacteria then take over, breaking down the plant matter and sucking the oxygen out of seawater. That leaves little or none for fish and other marine life.

Robert Diaz, a professor at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, and other scientists have identified hundreds of these around the world, choking the life out of harbors, bays and estuaries.

Writing up a report to Congress last September, Diaz found that nearly half of U.S. bays, estuaries and other waterways surveyed have suffered from low-oxygen dead zones. These episodes do not necessarily happen ever year. They strike when the conditions are just right.

The episode in King Harbor follows unusually heavy rainfall in Southern California, which washed lawn fertilizer, dog droppings and similar nutrients into coastal waters. Algae have begun to bloom along the coast as the days grow longer, providing needed sunlight. Recent winds have further enriched waters by stirring up nutrients that these tiny plants need from deeper waters.

Scientists believe such dead zones will increase as ocean waters continue a warming trend in a changing climate. Warmer waters prompt faster biological growth, just like molds and bacteria will more quickly devour food left out of the refrigerator.

Some scientists, such as Jeremy Jackson at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, have suggested the oceans are reverting back to primeval seas of millions of years ago, when algae, bacteria and jellyfish ruled the oceans. He playfully dubs this the “rise of slime.”

Link

Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 131 Comments: 20517
263. cyclonebuster
2:41 PM GMT on March 09, 2011
Quoting cat5hurricane:
CB - Would you like a refill of the dark roast blend I made this morning? Cream or Sugar?


Only if the power came from the kinetic energy in the Gulfstream that brewed it. Also, it has to be Caffeine Free as my heart will beat over 175 times per min for untold how many hours and put me into A fib.,then I have to be hit with the paddle to reconvert me to regular rhythm. Doctors orders!

Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 131 Comments: 20517
262. cyclonebuster
2:31 PM GMT on March 09, 2011
Quoting MichaelSTL:


Again, NO - it can and does snow in the summer in the Arctic, and summer snowcover is otherwise determined by melting. After all, an ice age occurs not when it snows more in the summer, but when it doesn't melt - which results in more snowcover overall. Again, please look at the graphs I posted and see the obvious difference between them.

Also, look at this:



What you think? As I said: "obviously not as much snow falls during the SUMMER" ?

Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 131 Comments: 20517
259. cyclonebuster
1:02 PM GMT on March 09, 2011
Quoting MichaelSTL:


Wow... since when did a discussion about WINTER snow cover become a discussion about annual snow cover?! Obviously another tactic used by those who don't want to believe otherwise - I clearly pointed out that WINTER snow cover was increasing over the past decade and showed a very apparent cycle (whether it is a real cycle or not remains to be seen, given that the period shows only one up and down), but the same didn't hold true for spring and summer snow cover, thus an overall decline.


Don't you think they are both the same since obviously not as much snow falls during the SUMMER?
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 131 Comments: 20517
258. iceagecoming
11:15 AM GMT on March 09, 2011
Quoting Obamabinladen:
Have yall ever considered using the Almanac to predict the weather. It's 80% accurate better than most weather men.


Nay, all that real data gets in the way of the theory.
Hockey anyone?

Link

LAST WATER DUMP: At the end of the day on March 8th, a strange curlicue-shaped comet appeared in the twilight skies of Europe. It was space shuttle Discovery performing a dump of waste water. Crystals of flash-frozen urine and other substances glistened in the sunlight, putting on an impressive show. Click on the image to view of a movie of the event recorded by Jens Hackmann of Weikersheim, Germany:




Upper atmospheric pollution by the last of the
Right Stuff?
Member Since: January 27, 2009 Posts: 26 Comments: 1134
257. Obamabinladen
7:46 AM GMT on March 09, 2011
Have yall ever considered using the Almanac to predict the weather. It's 80% accurate better than most weather men.
Member Since: February 15, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 13
252. cyclonebuster
9:56 PM GMT on March 08, 2011
BTW FOR THOSE WHO HATE IT! Those graphs were from NOAA! THANK YOU very much!
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 131 Comments: 20517
251. cyclonebuster
1:47 PM GMT on March 08, 2011
You see Michael I am on your side about all this. Problem is nobody on either side has come up with a plan to reverse the current warming trend. Except for me of course.
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 131 Comments: 20517
250. cyclonebuster
1:39 PM GMT on March 08, 2011
Quoting MichaelSTL:


Umm, no; it is clear that there is a multi-decadal cycle in winter snow cover; the closest fit to a known natural cycle is the PDO (although not exact):



However, there is no such cycle apparent in spring or summer snow cover, when the effects of warming are the greatest:



(you can see other months here)

Note also that the summer decline is MUCH greater than the decline in ice extent (area); thus, the decline in snowcover has had a much bigger effect than ice so far (plus, there is more insolation at lower latitudes).


Um,yes; it is looky here:
Northern Hemisphere average annual snow cover has declined in recent decades. This pattern is consistent with warmer global temperatures. Some of the largest declines have been observed in the spring and summer months.



And the same is true for glaciers also here: Warming temperatures lead to the melting of glaciers and ice sheets. The total volume of glaciers on Earth is declining sharply. Glaciers have been retreating worldwide for at least the last century; the rate of retreat has increased in the past decade. Only a few glaciers are actually advancing (in locations that were well below freezing, and where increased precipitation has outpaced melting). The progressive disappearance of glaciers has implications not only for a rising global sea level, but also for water supplies in certain regions of Asia and South America.



Deplorable isn't it Michael? I can show you many many more indicators if you would like me too!
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 131 Comments: 20517
249. cyclonebuster
1:25 PM GMT on March 08, 2011
Quoting WeatherWx:
CB, when are you going to fund your project. What does Ricky think of it?


I don't know but I wish he and I could computer model it together! It would be great if Bill Gates would fund us both to accomplish it!
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 131 Comments: 20517
246. iceagecoming
4:21 AM GMT on March 08, 2011
I say, Voltswagen, the choice of the common socialist.

And Danish wind mills, they are much more pictureque.

Member Since: January 27, 2009 Posts: 26 Comments: 1134
244. crucilandia
7:37 PM GMT on March 07, 2011
216


SST does not control El Nino

The atmospheric diabatic forcing over the tropics and the position of the principal atmospheric centers of action at 500 hPa

do.
Member Since: March 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 2212
243. cyclonebuster
12:40 PM GMT on March 07, 2011
Quoting martinitony:


Florida, should we read this part carefully, also?

January and February Northern Hemisphere snow cover
Sea ice extent is only one of a number of data sets scientists use to understand how climate is changing. Rutgers University and NOAA have compiled a 45-year record of Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent from NOAA snow charts. These data show that much of northern North America, Scandinavia and northern Eurasia are snow covered between 90 and 100 percent of the time in January and February. High elevation plains and mountains at lower latitudes, such as the southern Rocky Mountains in the U.S. and Hindu Kush in Asia, also have extensive snow cover.
Over this record, in January, Northern Hemisphere snow cover averages 47 million square kilometers (18.1 million square miles), and in February it averages 46 million square kilometers (17.8 square miles)—approximately 45 to 46 percent of the land area in the region. While sea ice extent was below average for January 2011, this month had the sixth-largest snow cover extent since the record started in 1966, at 49 million square kilometers (18.9 million square miles). Snow was unusually widespread over the mid-western and eastern United States, eastern Europe, and western China. Snow cover in February remained above average at 47.4 million square kilometers (18.3 million square miles), with more snow than usual in the western and central U.S., eastern Europe, Tibet and northeastern China.
Reduced sea ice extent and extensive snow cover are not contradictory, and are both linked to a strong negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation (see our January 5, 2011 post). A strongly negative AO favors outbreaks of cold Arctic air over northern Europe and the U.S., as many people experienced first-hand these last two winters. Whether this is a trend, or in any way linked to ongoing climate warming in the Arctic, remains to be seen.

The emphasis is mine. I'm sure you and Michael believe that sentence is unnecessary since all is known and agreed to by clear thinking scientists.




It has been a trend since the start of the industrial revolution and we can reverse it if we want to.
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 131 Comments: 20517
242. martinitony
10:09 AM GMT on March 07, 2011
Quoting JFLORIDA:
Uncharted territory.

February Arctic ice extent ties 2005 for record low; extensive snow cover persists


Florida, should we read this part carefully, also?

January and February Northern Hemisphere snow cover
Sea ice extent is only one of a number of data sets scientists use to understand how climate is changing. Rutgers University and NOAA have compiled a 45-year record of Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent from NOAA snow charts. These data show that much of northern North America, Scandinavia and northern Eurasia are snow covered between 90 and 100 percent of the time in January and February. High elevation plains and mountains at lower latitudes, such as the southern Rocky Mountains in the U.S. and Hindu Kush in Asia, also have extensive snow cover.
Over this record, in January, Northern Hemisphere snow cover averages 47 million square kilometers (18.1 million square miles), and in February it averages 46 million square kilometers (17.8 square miles)—approximately 45 to 46 percent of the land area in the region. While sea ice extent was below average for January 2011, this month had the sixth-largest snow cover extent since the record started in 1966, at 49 million square kilometers (18.9 million square miles). Snow was unusually widespread over the mid-western and eastern United States, eastern Europe, and western China. Snow cover in February remained above average at 47.4 million square kilometers (18.3 million square miles), with more snow than usual in the western and central U.S., eastern Europe, Tibet and northeastern China.
Reduced sea ice extent and extensive snow cover are not contradictory, and are both linked to a strong negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation (see our January 5, 2011 post). A strongly negative AO favors outbreaks of cold Arctic air over northern Europe and the U.S., as many people experienced first-hand these last two winters. Whether this is a trend, or in any way linked to ongoing climate warming in the Arctic, remains to be seen.

The emphasis is mine. I'm sure you and Michael believe that sentence is unnecessary since all is known and agreed to by clear thinking scientists.


Member Since: July 29, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 970
234. cyclonebuster
2:29 AM GMT on March 07, 2011
Quoting MichaelSTL:
How high will it go?



That is pretty significant, about 0.2°C warmer than 2008 now, and equal to the warmest day in all of 2009; another day or two at the current rate of increase and it will be second to only 2010 (probably 1998 too, but it isn't included, only since 2003). That leads to another question: how warm would it be without La Nina?

Speaking of rising, so much for a record early(?) and/or record low(?) Arctic sea ice maximum:



Of course, even if it repeats last year, it will all be thin ice that quickly melts away.


Of course!
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 131 Comments: 20517

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About RickyRood

I'm a professor at U Michigan and lead a course on climate change problem solving. These articles often come from and contribute to the course.

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Clouds in the lee of the Rockies at sunset.
Clouds in the lee of the Rockies at sunset.
Clouds in the lee of the Rockies at sunset.
Clouds in the lee of the Rockies at sunset.