# Barriers in the Atmosphere: Arctic Oscillation (3)

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 12:50 AM GMT on October 03, 2013

Barriers in the Atmosphere: Arctic Oscillation (3)

I want to continue with the Arctic Oscillation / North Atlantic Oscillation. First, however, here is the link to my August presentation. Also here is a link to the GLISAclimate.org project workspace where I collected together the materials I used in the presentation - Arctic Oscillation: Climate variability in the Great Lakes.

Here are the previous entries in the series:
Behavior
Definitions and Some Background

This blog is mostly a setup for the next one. (And yes I did notice that the IPCC AR-5 report was released, but I don’t have anything different to say about it than many of my more able colleagues. I’ll get to it.)

In the talk that I linked to above, I used a couple of diagrams that the audience told me worked very well. I am going to try them out in this blog. In the previous blogs I used the CPC Climate Glossary to give the definition of the Arctic Oscillation. “The Arctic Oscillation is a pattern in which atmospheric pressure at polar and middle latitudes fluctuates between negative and positive phases.” This definition does not really do much for me. It’s one of those definitions that I imagine if I ask 10 atmospheric scientists to tell me what it means, I will get 12 answers. Therefore, I will draw a picture.

Figure 1: Adapted from Jim Hurrell – This picture is a schematic representation of the positive and negative phases of the Arctic Oscillation. In the positive phase the pressure is low at the pole and high at middle latitudes. This is the positive phase because if you calculate the difference between middle and high latitudes it is large. In the negative phase the pressure is not as low at the pole and not as high at middle latitudes. This is the negative phase because if you calculate the difference between middle and high latitudes it is small. The refrigerator suggests that this is like opening and closing the refrigerator door (see Behavior).

This figure helps me with the definition. I want to focus on the low pressure at high latitudes, which in this figure is drawn idealistically at the pole. In reality, it is likely to wander off the pole, a fact that will be important in the next blog. When the pressure is low at the pole, then there is a stronger vortex of air circulating around the pole. When the pressure at the pole is not as low, then there is a weaker vortex. In both cases, strong or weak vortex, the air generally moves from west to east.

For clarity, vorticity is a parameter that describes rotation in a fluid. A vortex is a feature in a fluid dominated by vorticity – that is it is rotationally dominated. Tornadoes and hurricanes are weather features that we often call vortices; there is an obvious circulation of air in these features. In the Earth’s atmosphere at middle and high latitudes rotation is an important characteristic of the flow, due to the rotation of the Earth. The reason air moves in the west to east direction for both the weak and strong vortex cases of Figure 1 is that the rotation of the Earth is important to the flow.

In Figure 2 I have set up an even more idealized figure. I also provide this link to a Powerpoint animation, that I am not smart enough to incorporate into the blog. In the animation I have five slides that clarify the point that I make in Figure 2.

Figure 2: A vortex and a ball. In the center of the figure is low pressure, meant to be an analogue to the vortex over the pole in Figure 1. Parcels of air move around the low pressure system. If it takes the same amount of time for a parcel farther away from the low pressure center to go around the vortex as a parcel nearer the center, then the parcel farther away has to go faster because the distance it has to go is longer. That is why I drew that arrow, saying that air moves “faster” at the outside edge of the vortex.

To set my point a little more, imagine you are on a bridge overlooking a running stream. If you drop a stick in the water near the edge where the water is moving slowly, then if the stick drifts towards the more rapidly flowing water, it is carried downstream at the edge of the fast moving water. It does not cross the core of fast moving water – this jet of water. In fact the jet is something of a barrier that keeps material from crossing the stream. Material is transported downstream.

Back to Figure 2: Imagine that you want to roll a ball into the center of a vortex. As the ball gets to the edge it gets caught up in the flow and pulled around the edge. It does not roll into the center. Look at the this link to a Powerpoint animation to get a better idea of what’s going on.

Now go back to Figure 1. The vortex in Figure 1 is also a barrier. The southern edge of vortex is a jet stream. Air on the two sides of the vortex often has different characteristics. Intuitively, there is colder air on the poleward side. If you look at trace gases, like ozone, they are different across the edge of the vortex. The takeaway idea is that the edge of the vortex is a barrier. It’s not a perfect barrier, but air on one side is largely separated from the air on the other side. In the next blog, I will describe the difference between the strong and the weak case and its relevance to weather, climate and, perhaps, climate change.

r

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##### 320. cyclonebuster
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Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 135 Comments: 20852
##### 319. JohnLonergan
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4341
##### 318. cyclonebuster
 .
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 135 Comments: 20852
##### 317. Neapolitan
 Quoting 315. iceagecoming:[snip]TL;DR
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 14560
##### 316. Neapolitan
 Quoting 310. iceagecoming:[snip]Here, I condensed the text for sake of brevity:Small: Self-destructive Tea Party shutdown irks small business owner, just one of millions of victims of the Crybaby Faction.Medium: Paranoid right-wing kook criticizes Obama for doing something Obama didn't say he would do, failing to mention in dozens of online articles he's written about the SBA demolition that the only source he gives for any of those articles is the dozens of online articles he's written about the SBA demolition.Large: Right-wing hack and NYT columnist pens fiftieth consecutive opinion piece article about the horrors that await the country due to the implementation of the ACA. Also, Obama is a Kenyan socialist terrorist liar, and the Ryan budget would have saved us all.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 14560
##### 314. RevElvis
 Financial Big Guns Aim at Fossil FuelsHeavyweights of world finance have fired warning shots at the fossil fuel industry by calling for cutbacks in its subsidies, and by stressing that sustainable energy and tackling the causes of climate change are their key prioritiesThe multi-billion-dollar global fossil fuel industry might be getting just a little bit worried.In recent days, some of the biggest guns in the world of finance have all had the industry in their sights, calling for a cut back on fossil fuel subsidies and the fast-tracking of carbon trading schemes, or for the wider application of taxes on carbon.Jim Yong Kim, head of the World Bank, and Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), held a joint news conference in which they stressed that climate change must be the main priority of both institutions.“It is important that our two institutions always have climate change, environmental issues and price setting at the forefront of our agenda,” Lagarde said. “We have got to think about it every day.”Establishing a proper price for carbon and removing energy subsidies were the IMF’s priorities, Lagarde said. “If you do it the right way, you can put subsidies where they are needed.”ClimateNewsNetwork.netTruthDig.org
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 30 Comments: 1085
 Quoting 308 & 309. FLwolverine:Thank you, interesting analysis.
##### 311. BaltimoreBrian
 Denier trolls quoting the racist 'steve goddard'? Imagine them in the picture here. Drag cursor back and forth across picture. Keep moving cursor back and forth until you feel better.
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 26 Comments: 11075
##### 309. FLwolverine
 One of the papers referenced in the above article, concerning the least unconstitutional option:How to Choose the Least Unconstitutional Option: Lessons for the President (and Others) from the 2011 Debt Ceiling StandoffBuchanan, Neil H. and Dorf, Michael C., (March 16, 2012). Cornell Legal Studies Research Paper No. 12-25. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2025178 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2025178(Part f Abstract:). This Article analyzes the choice the President nearly faced in summer 2011, and which he or a successor may face again, as a “trilemma” in which he had three unconstitutional options: Ignore the debt ceiling and unilaterally issue new bonds, thus usurping congressional power to borrow money; unilaterally raise taxes, thus usurping congressional power to tax; or unilaterally cut spending, thus usurping congressional power to make spending decisions and arguably violating Section 4 of the Fourteenth Amendment as well. We argue that faced with this choice among unconstitutional options, the President should choose the “least unconstitutional” course - here, ignoring the debt ceiling. We argue further, though more tentatively, that if the bond markets would render such debt inadequate to close the gap, the President should unilaterally raise taxes rather than unilaterally cut spending. We then use the debt ceiling impasse to develop general criteria for political actors to choose among unconstitutional options. Although we offer no algorithm, we emphasize three guiding principles: 1) Minimize the unconstitutional assumption of power; 2) minimize sub-constitutional harm; and 3) preserve, to the extent possible, the ability of other actors to undo or remedy constitutional violations.
Member Since: January 6, 2013 Posts: 3 Comments: 2668
##### 308. FLwolverine
 Some analysis of the imminent constitutional crisis:Only Congress has the power to avert the coming constitutional crises - FierceGovernment LinkAs a result, President Obama now faces the real question of what to do should House Republicans fail to act.He could cave into their demands, but in doing so, he would tip the balance of power between the branches irreversibly to Congress. And worse than that, he would ensure that a minority within Congress, whether the House or the Senate, could permanently use the debt ceiling as a hostage for policy demands that don't have majority support. It would empower a sliver of lawmakers at the expense of consensus. It would lead to a period of semi-permanent crisis, and inevitably to a debt ceiling breach. Doing so now prolongs the constitutional crisis, it doesn't end it. Even apart from the advisability of the demands issued by Republicans for a debt ceiling increase, Obama cannot agree to any of them; no president could agree to such a gutting of the power of the executive. Republicans cheering on the House should consider how they would react were the parties reversed--as one day, they will be.Obama could unilaterally raise the debt ceiling by citing powers available under the Fourteenth Amendment. Princeton historian Sean Wilentz argues this situation is exactly what amendment authors wanted to prevent when they wrote it. But the Obama administration has concluded otherwise, as it's repeatedly said.Even should Obama were to raise the debt ceiling unilaterally – taking what two other law academics call the "least unconstitutional option" – it's likely that financial markets would react badly to debt issued under a cloud, meaning the financial crisis would only be partially averted. And, of course, a majority of the House would likely vote to initiative impeachment proceedings, compounding the constitutional crisis.Given no good options and hazy legal options, it's likely that the Obama administration has concluded that no action is the best option, at least from a long term perspective. And it's right. The debt ceiling is a pressure point of American democracy. It's possible to press so far down on it so hard that American democracy breaks. Congress has within it the power to destroy, if it wants. Only by making that power starkly clear, now, at a time when too many in Congress incline toward destruction rather than governance, can hopefully Congress chose not to do so. For our nation's sake, let's hope they do.
Member Since: January 6, 2013 Posts: 3 Comments: 2668
##### 307. Neapolitan
 Quoting 288. Cochise111:A climate model that actually works:LinkYou know you're dealing with inveterate liars when they feel the need to edit the wording of the abstract of an article they're citing in hopes that it'll "bolster" their claims. In case you missed it in #291, here it is again:From the actual abstract:From Hockeyshtick:How badly does it suck to be constantly made out to be a fool, eh, Cochise?
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 14560
 Quoting 289. Birthmark:I don't think that the picture is quite so bleak, pintada.First, it should be remembered that the overwhelming majority of elected officials are elected by somewhat below 30% of those eligible to vote. So even "very safe seats" seats can be put in play very if the official does something outrageously stupid --like cutting off mom's SS check.Second, he or she who gets the most money in donations is very likely to win, though that's not guaranteed. Business makes a LOT of BIG donations to candidates. (Thanks, Supreme Court!) Business likes stability. Economic crashes are detrimental to business. Therefore those that cause a crash are going to find themselves with the corporate donations that are the life's blood of contemporary elections. Add to that, that if the economy *really* crashes business may not have money to waste on pet politicians. Third, there is little doubt in my mind that Obama will avert a crash. It is unlikely that he will avert it through negotiations. There are several large principles involved here that cannot be compromised by giving into extortion. (Remember, Boehner has already ignored a previous compromise.) Plus, there are many other avenues open to the President, many of which haven't been discussed in the media. (For instance, it's highly likely that a team of attorneys, by request of the White House, are preparing an emergency case to be brought before the US Supreme Court should a collapse look imminent. This USSC is virtually owned by big business and will probably issue a ruling that allows the President to unilaterally raise or ignore the debt ceiling, or rule that Congressional authorization of spending makes the debt ceiling moot, or some other legal artifice that avoids collapse.There are several other issues I could raise, but my fingers are tired. :)The chances of a collapse due to a failure to raise the debt ceiling are very near zero. The chances of a compromise only slightly greater. In my opinion, anyway.OK, I'll give you most of what you have said, especially the debt ceiling part since i gave you the debt ceiling in #281. But ...1. Your first and second points relate to future elections. While i grant your logic, the argument and recent poling make me think that Cruz et al know that it is now or never. They must win because they might not get another chance for a decade or more.2. To your third point: I'm not a constitutional scholar like Yoboi, (i crack myself up ICMU) but it is my understanding that If the president unilaterally begins to spend money (eg for head start) that would be a HUGE legal problem (i.e. Constitutional Crisis huge).3. What does big business want? Stability, and the status quo, as you say. They also want no regulation, and do not want hear about AGW. No EPA. No NOAA. A NASA budget that does not allow study of Earth.I'm thinking that they might crash the economy by accident, that would be the only "good" (see #282) outcome that i see, but the Tea Party is not stupid. Sick, psychopathic and twisted yes, stupid no. There are a multitude of federal programs/agencies that they can go after. The 1% would love to see most of those programs gutted (so long as they don't need to take "credit"). Before this thing is finished, the (slim) hope of averting at a 4 degree world may be completely gone.
##### 305. Xulonn
 Quoting 292. Cochise111:Can it really be called "global warming" when the entire globe hasn't warmed (combined with the fact that the world hasn't warmed in almost two decades)? Talk about denial:LinkYou are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts, and the above post is b.s. The hockeyschtick is a denialist funded disinformation site useful only to the climate change denial and disinformation community - and ignorant fools.OTOH, SkepticalScience.com, RealClimate.org and the WeatherUnderground.com Climate Change pages (except for the misleading information and lies in the comments sections of the blogs) are based on accurate and proper analysis and reporting on peer-reviewed science.I find it amusing yet sad that people who read denialist claptrap and post it here think that they are smarter and understand science better than Dr. Masters, Dr. Rood, Angela Fritz, and the rest of the WU staff. In reality, it makes people look quite foolish when they come here and post such bogus information, but they don't care, because they are either on a mission of denialism or a fools journey.
Member Since: June 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 1775
##### 304. Naga5000
 Quoting 302. Xulonn:Fighting Climate Denialism ((McFadden, NYT, 2012 - Original, full-size image HERE) Quoting 303. Birthmark:Love the Ed Begley Jr "weapon."Not too sure Ed would enjoy it...not too sure he wouldn't, either. :)I will only respond to denialist nonsense with this from now on:
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 5417
##### 302. Xulonn
 Quoting 291. Naga5000:Wow...a new paper that your buddies at Hockeyschtick once again misrepresent. Besides only going off the abstract which isn't good analysis, let's look at what was posted on the website versus the actual abstract, shall we?Fighting Climate Denialism ((McFadden, NYT, 2012 - Original, full-size image HERE)
Member Since: June 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 1775
##### 300. Xulonn
 .
Member Since: June 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 1775
##### 299. JohnLonergan
 Quoting 297. indianrivguy:Its for sale... and the bad guys have all the dough.I hate you say it, but you just won the internet.
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4341
##### 298. JohnLonergan
 Quoting 293. Birthmark:They aren't interpreting, though it's nice of you to give them the benefit of the doubt. That's shows you have a good heart and are a kind person and reflects well on you.I don't suffer from those virtues. :)Denialist are attempting to misinform. They are, in essence, shaking their tiny, massless fists in impotent rage at the body of science. The only difference among them is their individual motivations. Their words have nothing to do with science and everything to do with their personal feelings. Denialists should be embarrassed and ridiculed at every possible opportunity.Neither do I, the whole piece, as is everything else cited by our resident DT's, is nothing but ultracrepidarian nonsense.Adjective: noting or pertaining to a person who criticizes, judges, or gives advice outside the area of his or her expertise.
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4341
##### 297. indianrivguy
 Quoting 284. Patrap:Death of the DreamBarry LevinsonAcademy Award-winning director, screenwriter and producerPosted: 10/11/2013 5:54 pmWith the recent calamity of the Government Shutdown and the looming debt ceiling fight, one thing has become crystal clear: we are witnessing the Death of the American Dream.In the past we believed all things were possible, there was absolutely nothing that Americans couldn't accomplish. In the '60s, President Kennedy said we would put a man on the moon by the end of the decade and few doubted the possibilities. After all, America was always capable of great and glorious accomplishments.We were the Dreamers. It was instilled in the American psyche, American ingenuity. We led the world in research, medical or scientific, our engineering feats astounding the world. We had a government that participated, encouraged, and supported this mighty economic engine. We had a middle class that was the envy of the world. Things were good, but they would even be better in the future. Our education system supported all economic classes, and we had fluid upward mobility. We made the impossible possible.When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, the Naval Marshal General Yamamoto is rumored to have said, "I fear all we have done is awaken a sleeping giant." And he was right. Within three years we built the strongest, most advanced military on the face of the earth.We believed in Democracy, in fairness. We believed in our Government. We disagreed, argued, but we never doubted our form of Government, or the Government itself. Now a harsh reality sweeps the land. Our precious form of government is dying. Democracy is dying. A minority can now control the majority. Fanaticism that we thought applied to less progressive countries is now homegrown. In the past we didn't always agree, but we accepted laws that were passed as the law of the land. We might fight to overturn some legislation within the halls of Congress, but a minority never took it upon themselves to deprive millions of Americans their jobs, stopping their ability to earn a wage. Never were we this destructive because a minority was opposed to a piece of legislation. And so our Democracy grinds to a halt.We might get past the debt ceiling crisis, the government shutdown, but the future of America is clear. We are no longer the wonder of the world. We exposed our ignorance, our ugly insensitivity. We are a petty people with a government that has ceased to function. The great achievements are part of yesterday. The future is a dark place.We have proven a Democracy is a fragile form of government. And we have shown the world how easy it is to kill it.Its for sale... and the bad guys have all the dough.
Member Since: September 23, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 2860
##### 295. Xandra
 Science Fair Nightmare
Member Since: November 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1871
##### 291. Naga5000
 Quoting 288. Cochise111:A climate model that actually works:Wow...a new paper that your buddies at Hockeyschtick once again misrepresent. Besides only going off the abstract which isn't good analysis, let's look at what was posted on the website versus the actual abstract, shall we?Hockeyschtick: "NHT in 2012%u20132027 is predicted to fall slightly over the next decades, due to the recent NAO weakening that temporarily offsets the [theoretical] anthropogenically induced warming."Actual Abstract: "NHT in 2012%u20132027 is predicted to fall slightly over the next decades, due to the recent NAO weakening that temporarily offsets the anthropogenically induced warming."Wow, so the Hockeyschtick actually put a word into the researchers mouth to change the meaning.The paper is simply explaining natural regional variation in the context of climate change. People with no scientific literacy should not interpret papers!
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 5417
##### 286. Patrap
 Steve Goddard, yeah, a Ghost Post dosen't really enforce my World view on da subject.But feel free to enjoy his comedy I say.
##### 285. schwankmoe
 at this rate the whole earth will be covered in ice in 20 years! run for your lives!Quoting 270. Cochise111:52% increase in Arctic ice in a year. Ouch!Link
##### 284. Patrap
 Death of the DreamBarry LevinsonAcademy Award-winning director, screenwriter and producerPosted: 10/11/2013 5:54 pmWith the recent calamity of the Government Shutdown and the looming debt ceiling fight, one thing has become crystal clear: we are witnessing the Death of the American Dream.In the past we believed all things were possible, there was absolutely nothing that Americans couldn't accomplish. In the '60s, President Kennedy said we would put a man on the moon by the end of the decade and few doubted the possibilities. After all, America was always capable of great and glorious accomplishments.We were the Dreamers. It was instilled in the American psyche, American ingenuity. We led the world in research, medical or scientific, our engineering feats astounding the world. We had a government that participated, encouraged, and supported this mighty economic engine. We had a middle class that was the envy of the world. Things were good, but they would even be better in the future. Our education system supported all economic classes, and we had fluid upward mobility. We made the impossible possible.When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, the Naval Marshal General Yamamoto is rumored to have said, "I fear all we have done is awaken a sleeping giant." And he was right. Within three years we built the strongest, most advanced military on the face of the earth.We believed in Democracy, in fairness. We believed in our Government. We disagreed, argued, but we never doubted our form of Government, or the Government itself. Now a harsh reality sweeps the land. Our precious form of government is dying. Democracy is dying. A minority can now control the majority. Fanaticism that we thought applied to less progressive countries is now homegrown. In the past we didn't always agree, but we accepted laws that were passed as the law of the land. We might fight to overturn some legislation within the halls of Congress, but a minority never took it upon themselves to deprive millions of Americans their jobs, stopping their ability to earn a wage. Never were we this destructive because a minority was opposed to a piece of legislation. And so our Democracy grinds to a halt.We might get past the debt ceiling crisis, the government shutdown, but the future of America is clear. We are no longer the wonder of the world. We exposed our ignorance, our ugly insensitivity. We are a petty people with a government that has ceased to function. The great achievements are part of yesterday. The future is a dark place.We have proven a Democracy is a fragile form of government. And we have shown the world how easy it is to kill it.
##### 283. Patrap
 Good luck wit dat bunch.Insanity usually runs in circles till they find a cliff and go, weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee."Splat"
 So, now the good part:If they crash the economy as they appear hell bent on doing, isn't that a good thing?Anything that slows the production of greenhouse gasses will increase the odds that humanity and a few other extant animals will survive AGW.Crash the economy. Leave the rest of the carbon in the ground where it belongs. Buy and get to know a nice horse.If we do those things, the warming might not exceed 4 degrees, and some part of the ecosystem we know might survive, so hey ... the Tea Partiers are my friends!
 Quoting 278. RevElvis:5 Reasons Why Prioritizing Growth Is Bad PolicyOne of the few things on which left, right, and center agree is that growth is good and more of it is needed. Here's why that is so problematic.Not much in our society is more faithfully followed than economic growth. Its movements are constantly monitored, measured to the decimal place, deplored or praised, diagnosed as weak or judged healthy and vigorous. Newspapers, magazines, and cable channels report regularly on it. It is examined at all levels -- global, national, and corporate. Indeed, one of the few things on which left, right, and center agree is that growth is good and more of it is needed. There are only five problems with America's growth imperative: 1. Growth doesn't work. It doesn't deliver the claimed social and economic benefits. 2. Our measure of growth -- gross domestic product or GDP -- is fundamentally flawed. 3. The focus on growing GDP deflects us away from growing the many things that do need to grow. 4. The over-riding imperative to grow gives over-riding power to those, mainly the corporations, which have the capital and technology to deliver that growth, and, much the same thing, it undermines the case for a long list of public policies that would improve national well-being but are said to "slow growth" and to "hurt the economy." 5. Economic activity and its growth are the principal drivers of massive environmental decline.Alternet.orgI've been sitting on this for a while, and i just need to tell someone, plus, we all know anthropogenic climate change is a political issue, and has been since the 1980s when the science became obvious. Why am i the only one who sees that the Tea Party has already won this budget fight? How?Frank Herbert summed it up best in "Dune" when Maud%u2019Dib realized: "The power to destroy a thing is the absolute control over it."We have groups of old white people in old white person enclaves that vote for old white men. The old white men do as they are told both by the old white voters (and the corporations that have bribed them). And they are committed to making the gommnt small enough to drown in a bathtub.SO:What will they agree to fund?Anything military.Social Security.DEA!They will raise the debt ceiling in good time. - Perhaps in exchange for the dismantling of ObamaCare? Perhaps in exchange for dismantling the EPA?What might they fund?The NSA - there are a lot of libertarians with the teaparty so i dunnoFBIWhat will they never agree to fund?AFDCFood StampsObama CareEPANOAAAll the corporate news clowns have the same headline, "Who will get blamed ...". Please. That is not the point. It doesn't matter who gets blamed, because the constituents of the people doing it want it to happen! Regardless how it finally shakes out, they have reduced the size of the Federal Government already. And may have created a successful coup. AND regardless what happens (short of the end of our democratic experiment), they will get reelected.We have seen it time after time on this forum, spouted by people with 100 different virtual names. Those people do not care about the people that are suffering, the species going extinct, or the horrific future they will cause. They DO care about their guns, their superstitions, and their local shopping center. They will retain two out of three ... not bad.I met a woman Friday who is trying to set up a place to survive (through at least the easy stuff). Problem is, she started this year. The poor dear is renting an apartment and working on her permanent house part time which would have been great had she started at (or before) the turn of the century. Now, its pretty clear that it is too late for her and her family. You?
##### 280. JohnLonergan
 Musings on Various Interesting Things by David Appell at Quark Soup...The coastal exodus begins (as it should):Sharp increases in federal flood insurance rates are distressing coastal homeowners from Hawaii to New England and are starting to hurt property values and housing sales in areas just beginning to recover from the recession, according to residents and legislators.Oh sure, the affluent love their government subsidies (read the whole article).... Look, this will be going on for the next thousand years or so. You can't fight physics, and you can't tell it where to put its coastlines.... There is not going to be a trustworthy coastline for the next several centuries. Just imagine how society's psychology is going to be affected for the next N-hundred years as the seas keep rising and inundating coastal cities across the planet. You think Venice has troubles? You ain't seen a thing yet.... There will, in the not so far future, be drowned cities everywhere, half-submerged, sad pathetic places ruined by ignorance and greed, and trying to figure out what to do -- import gondolas, or move to the mountains?
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4341
##### 279. Some1Has2BtheRookie
 Quoting 260. Doxienan:Fascinating issue in Boston right now. David Koch is a board member of the PBS station (WGBH) and also contributes HUGE amounts to produce NOVA science programs. 'Forecast the Facts' started a campaign to kick Koch off the WGBH board. They claim you cannot produce factual scientific programming when it's funded by one of the biggest climate change deniers in the country. Emily Rooney (daughter of Andy Rooney and Boston TV personality) did a show last night about the Forecast the Facts campaign and concluded that it's OK to accept Koch money since WGBH claims he does not have any editorial authority in their programming. What do you think? The Kochs give lots of money to various groups. They give hundreds of millions to MIT (including a cancer research center and a new day-care center). Would you accept their donations if you ran a large non-profit? Or would you tell them to shove it?I watch a lot of PBS shows, such as NOVA, and much of the funding is by the Koch brothers. I have yet to see this funding have an influence on the science presented. Even any shows on CC have shown what is known to science and with very little to none of the "equal time" for the psuedo-science. Fox, on the other hand, does just the opposite. Their "science" based shows, on the radio, are always heavily swayed towards the psuedo-science with a dash of real science thrown in to "keep it legit". I say take the Koch brother's money for as long as they have no say in the programming. I would rather see their money spent this way instead of trying to buy state and local elections.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4997
##### 278. RevElvis
 5 Reasons Why Prioritizing Growth Is Bad PolicyOne of the few things on which left, right, and center agree is that growth is good and more of it is needed. Here's why that is so problematic.Not much in our society is more faithfully followed than economic growth. Its movements are constantly monitored, measured to the decimal place, deplored or praised, diagnosed as weak or judged healthy and vigorous. Newspapers, magazines, and cable channels report regularly on it. It is examined at all levels -- global, national, and corporate. Indeed, one of the few things on which left, right, and center agree is that growth is good and more of it is needed. There are only five problems with America's growth imperative: 1. Growth doesn't work. It doesn't deliver the claimed social and economic benefits. 2. Our measure of growth -- gross domestic product or GDP -- is fundamentally flawed. 3. The focus on growing GDP deflects us away from growing the many things that do need to grow. 4. The over-riding imperative to grow gives over-riding power to those, mainly the corporations, which have the capital and technology to deliver that growth, and, much the same thing, it undermines the case for a long list of public policies that would improve national well-being but are said to "slow growth" and to "hurt the economy." 5. Economic activity and its growth are the principal drivers of massive environmental decline.Alternet.org
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 30 Comments: 1085
##### 277. RevElvis
 The Growing Environmental Costs of America's Transformation into an Energy SuperpowerThere are growing concerns over radiation risks and a new report finds widespread environmental damage on an unimaginable scale in the US.Fracking in America generated 280bn US gallons of toxic waste water last year – enough to flood all of Washington DC beneath a 22ft deep toxic lagoon, a new report out on Thursday found.The report from campaign group Environment America said America's transformation into an energy superpower was exacting growing costs on the environment. "Our analysis shows that damage from fracking is widespread and occurs on a scale unimagined just a few years ago," the report, Fracking by the Numbers, said.The full extent of the damage posed by fracking to air and water quality had yet to emerge, the report said.But it concluded: "Even the limited data that are currently available, however, paint an increasingly clear picture of the damage that fracking has done to our environment and health."A number of recent studies have highlighted the negative consequences of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, which have unlocked vast reservoirs of oil and natural gas from rock formations.There have been instances of contaminated wells and streams, as well as evidence of methane releases along the production chain.The Environment America report highlights another growing area of concern – the safe disposal of the billions of gallons of waste water that are returned to the surface along with oil and gas when walls are fracked.The authors said they relied on data from industry and state environmental regulators to compile their report.More than 80,000 wells have been drilled or permitted in 17 states since 2005.It can take 2m to 9m gallons of water mixed with sand and chemicals to frack a single well. The report said the drilling industry had used 250bn gallons of fresh water since 2005. Much of that returns to the surface, however, along with naturally occurring radium and bromides, and concerns are growing about those effects on the environment. Alternet.orgReport: Fracking By The Numbers / Environment America (pdf)
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 30 Comments: 1085
##### 276. RevElvis
 Cashing In on Catastrophe: How to Stop the Climate Crisis ProfiteersThe fossil fuel industry is looking to half-baked and unproven technologies that will allow it to keep meddling with our atmosphere, regardless of the risks.The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, the most authoritative scientific study on our climate to date, confirmed what we all knew: that global warming is happening, yet we continue to pump carbon into the air regardless. For a short spell, the report prompted some hand-wringing over society's failure to heed scientists' warnings. Very few commentators, however, pointed to the dangerous possibility that the failure of political and business leaders may be due to calculation rather than cowardice. Could it be that rather than burying their heads in the sands, some of our leaders are maintaining the pretense of tackling climate change while actually focused on how to manage its impact in their own interests?The evidence that, behind the political platitudes, the policy focus is shifting from tackling the causes to controlling the impacts of climate change is becoming more visible. In fact, the final conclusions of the IPCC report ended up at the last minute including a paragraph that suggested geoengineering could offset temperature increases. While the report pointed to some potential “side effects,” it nevertheless opened a door to countries that want to avoid any action that constrain their extractive industries and that are seeking to further meddle with our atmosphere regardless of the risks and human and environmental costs. As Neth Daño of the watchdog group ETC noted, “The report doesn't discuss solar power or electric cars; it doesn't discuss public transport, carbon markets or any other actual or potential policy response to the climate crisis, so why have the authors chosen to devote the concluding paragraph to this highly speculative and dangerous technofix?”Corporations, particularly those with ties to the fossil fuel industry, have long looked to half-baked or unproven technologies, like carbon capture, in order to justify continued exploitation of gas and oil reserves. Increasingly, they are also seeking salvation in technological solutions for the climate crisis that will result from their criminal intransigence. Rex Tillerson, CEO of oil giant ExxonMobil famously dismissed the need to act to stop climate change saying in 2012 that, “Changes to weather patterns that move crop production areas around—we'll adapt to that. It's an engineering problem, and it has engineering solutions.”Alternet.org
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 30 Comments: 1085
##### 275. FLwolverine
 Quoting 274. JohnLonergan:Considering the number of Koch funded episodes like this:For the residents of Crossett, Arkansas living in daily fear of the toxic air and water pollution originating from a paper mill and chemical plant operated by Koch Industries subsidiary Georgia Pacific, the EPA staffers they’re depending on are anything but "nonessential." The government shutdown has life or death consequences for Crossett, and communities on the fencelines of polluting industry across America.I don't think I could take their money in good conscience.Ouch. You make a very good point.
Member Since: January 6, 2013 Posts: 3 Comments: 2668
##### 274. JohnLonergan
 Quoting 263. FLwolverine:I agree. I would take the money and enjoy the irony.Considering the number of Koch funded episodes like this:For the residents of Crossett, Arkansas living in daily fear of the toxic air and water pollution originating from a paper mill and chemical plant operated by Koch Industries subsidiary Georgia Pacific, the EPA staffers they’re depending on are anything but "nonessential." The government shutdown has life or death consequences for Crossett, and communities on the fencelines of polluting industry across America.I don't think I could take their money in good conscience.
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4341
##### 273. JohnLonergan
 Quoting 271. Naga5000:Wait, it was 60% just a little bit ago? Guilty of bad math? Check. Not understanding what a trend is? Check. Still trying even though you are discredited every time? Check. Ouch!The biggest mistake is citing Steve(It snows dry ice at the South Pole)Goddard.
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4341
##### 272. JohnLonergan
 Arctic Sea Ice Volume is way down still after this year's hiccup, note that in the linked graph the 1979-2001 average is the top gray line. It looks like a lot of thin ice here.More on Ice thickness and age Figure 4. These images show June to August sea level pressures compared to the 1981 to 2010 average, for 2012 (left) and 2013 (right). In 2013, low pressures prevailed over the central Arctic Ocean and Greenland. Blues and purples indicate low pressures, while greens, yellows, and reds indicate high pressures. Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center courtesy NOAA/ESRL Physical Sciences DivisionHigh-resolution image
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4341
##### 271. Naga5000
 Quoting 270. Cochise111:52% increase in Arctic ice in a year. Ouch!LinkWait, it was 60% just a little bit ago? Guilty of bad math? Check. Not understanding what a trend is? Check. Still trying even though you are discredited every time? Check. Ouch!
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 5417

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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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