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Acidifying the oceans

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 7:38 PM GMT on March 03, 2006

It is well known that CO2 in the atmosphere has risen from about 275 ppm (.0275%) to 375 ppm (.0375%) since the Industrial Revolution began in the 1800s. This extra CO2, added to the atmosphere by the burning of fossil fuels, has contributed to the observed rise in global temperatures of 0.6 degrees C via the greenhouse effect. What is less well known, and is discussed in detail in a March 2006 article in Scientific American called "The Dangers of Ocean Acidification", is that a tremendous amount of the CO2 emitted by fossil fuel burning winds up in the oceans. The oceans have absorbed 48% of all the CO2 emitted since 1800, according to a study published by Sabine et al. in 2004 in Science. Without the action of the oceans to absorb so much of our waste gases we've pumped into the atmosphere, Earth would be a seriously toasty planet right now.

The price paid
The oceans are paying a price for this service, though. When CO2 dissolves into the ocean, it creates carbonic acid--the same acid found in soda pop. The oceans have dissolved so much CO2 during the past 150 years that the acidity of the oceans' surface waters has substantially increased. The pH, which decreases as acidity increases, used to range from 8.0 to 8.3 for the oceans' surface waters before the Industrial Revolution. This has now dropped a full 0.1 units to the 7.9 to 8.2 range. Unless significant cuts in CO2 emissions are realized in the next few decades, the pH will fall another 0.3 units by the year 2100 as the oceans continue to acidify. A 2005 report by the Royal Society of the UK projects the decrease by 2100 will be 0.5 pH units, and notes that it will take more than 10,000 years for the ocean to return to its pre-1800s acidity level.

Losers
Higher acidity in the ocean creates problems for a number of organisms. Corals and other creatures that build shells out of calcium carbonate are particularly vulnerable, since they cannot form their shells if the acidity passes a critical level--their shells will dissolve. Several shell-building planktonic organisms, such as coccolithophorids, pteropods, and foraminifera, form an important basis of the food chain in the cold waters surrounding Antarctica. The effect of ocean acidification is more pronounced at colder temperatures, and it is believed that these important micro-organisms will die out or be forced to move to warmer waters in order to survive in the coming decades. What this will mean to the birds, fish, marine mammals, and humans that depend on the oceans for their livelihood is unknown. Major die-offs of many species are quite possible, which would have serious impacts for nations such as Chile, where marine-related activities provide more jobs than any other sector of the economy. The effects on the Atlantic are expected to be delayed several decades compared to the Southern Hemisphere oceans, but are still expected to be significant by the end of the century.

Corals in tropical and subtropical waters will not dissolve in the more acidic waters, but the increased acidity will cause them to grow more slowly. When this added stress is added to the already significant impacts of coral bleaching from global warming, pollution, and destruction due to dynamiting of reefs to harvest fish, the outlook for coral reefs this century is exceedingly bleak. About one-third of the world's coral reefs have already been damaged or destroyed in the past century, with another one-third at serious risk of destruction by 2030.

The effect of higher oceanic acidity and CO2 levels on higher organisms such as fish, birds, and sea mammals is largely unknown. These effects are unlikely to be beneficial to fish, though--high levels of CO2 are sometimes used by researchers to euthanize fish.

Winners
Higher dissolved CO2 in the oceans will benefit a number of species. For example, many higher plants such as sea grasses use dissolved CO2 directly to help them grow, and should prosper from higher CO2 levels in the ocean, just as many plants on land are expected to benefit from higher atmospheric CO2 levels. Some types of phytoplankton will probably benefit as well, although laboratory studies on this are not conclusive. Other species of phytoplankton will likely be unaffected. The Royal Society of the UK report concluded, "the increase of CO2 in the surface oceans expected by 2100 is unlikely to have any significant direct effect on photosynthesis or growth of most micro-organisms in the oceans."

What the future holds
Ocean life can adapt to higher acidity. One study (Spivack et al., 1993) found that pH levels in the ocean 7.5 million years ago were about 7.4, well below today's pH. The big concern with the current increase in acidity and drop of ocean pH levels is that it is being compressed into such a short period of time. Past changes in oceanic acidity have presumably occurred over tens of thousands of years, giving time for life to adapt. The current change may occur so fast that a partial collapse of the food chain in some regions may occur. One note of optimism: similar concerns were voiced when the Antarctic ozone hole opened up, exposing phytoplankton in the Southern Hemisphere oceans to a rapid and unprecedented increase in levels of damaging ultraviolet radiation. It was widely feared that this increase in UV light would destroy enough phytoplankton to trigger a collapse of the food chain in the waters off of Antarctica. This has not happened. One study (Smith et. al., 1992) found a 6-12% decrease in phytoplankton during the time the ozone hole opens up, typically about 10-12 weeks of the year. So, at least in this one case, the marine ecosystem was able to adapt to a rapid, unprecedented change and not collapse.

As is the case with many aspects of human-caused climate change, the dangers are enormous, but poorly understood. In the words of the Dr. Doney's Scientific American article, "dramatic alterations in the marine environment appear to be inevitable." The Royal Society's article cautions, "research into the impacts of high concentrations of CO2 in the oceans is in its infancy and needs to be developed rapidly." The report goes on to state, "Ocean acidification is a powerful reason, in addition to that of climate change, for reducing global CO2 emissions. Action needs to be taken now to avoid the risk of irreversible damage to the oceans. We recommend that all possible approaches be considered of prevent CO2 reaching the atmosphere. No option that can make a significant contribution should be dismissed."

Jeff Masters

References

Sabine et al., "The Oceanic Sink for Anthropogenic CO2", Science, 305, 367-371, 16 July 2004.

Smith, R., B. Prezelin, K. Baker, R. Bidigare, N. Boucher, T. Coley, D. Karentz, S. MacIntyre, H. Matlick, D. Menzies, M. Ondrusek, Z. Wan, and K. Waters, "Ozone depletion: Ultraviolet radiation and phytoplankton biology in Antarctic waters", Science, 255, 952, 1992.

Spivack, A.J., You, C., and H.J. Smith, "Foraminiferal boron isotope ratios as a proxy for surface ocean pH over the past 21 Myr", Nature, 363, 149-151, 13 May 1993, doi:10.1038/363149a0.
coral garden
coral garden
My attempt at being artistic
Isla Farallon, Coral de Fuego
Isla Farallon, Coral de Fuego
View shooted 18 m f. deepth

Climate Change

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

Another reason why too much CO2 in the atmosphere is not good, besides warming. I do wonder how life thrived in the oceans back when the CO2 levels were around 7000 ppm (or at least several times higher than present). I am assuming that there were no organisims with shells (shellfish and coral) at the least.
Sorry Masters, but you're wrong on at least one point - Phosphoric acid in soda does a great deal more tooth damage than carbonic. Tonic water has carbonic acid, and it doesn't do much of anything to teeth. Cola has phosphoric, and it's pretty amazing what that does.

And Michael, excellent point, though we really can't know for certain what CO2 levels were or were not.
Good point about ancient sea life. Makes me wonder too.
Oh, by the way Dr. Masters, you seen anything about the low in the Gulf? A ship going through it is reporting 20kt winds which are changing direction as the ship passes, which seems a pretty good sign for it.

For those who didn't see in the previous blog, I updated mine a little while ago.
Been a while since I studied chemistry, but isn't neutral at pH7, which means even when the sea was at pH 7.4, the oceans were slightly Basic.
I would have thought shelled animals would only be getting in serious problems below 7. May be they just find it harder to get hold of the calcium needed.
On the bright side, all the melt off from greenland etc, from warming will help dilute the extra C02.(joke)
thats what I'm thinking--neutral is 7 and I thought the ocean was slightly acidic (which would be less than 7 on the pH scale)
few sat pics of the 'disturbence'--not to impressive

Visible

Infrared
It may be that calcium carbonate (the main component of seashells) dissolves in waters that are even slightly acidic or slightly basic, or that it is more difficult for animals to make shells in anything more acidic than 8.0 or so (because the pH is closer to the dissolution point for CaCO3). Water is also as close as you can get to a universal solvent - virtually every element found on earth is dissolved into the oceans.
"It may be that calcium carbonate (the main component of seashells) dissolves in waters that are even slightly acidic or slightly basic, or that it is more difficult for animals to make shells in anything more acidic than 8.0 or so (because the pH is closer to the dissolution point for CaCO3). Water is also as close as you can get to a universal solvent - virtually every element found on earth is dissolved into the oceans."
-------------------------------------------

wow, what a great chemistry mind
I posted about the Scientific American article two days ago :)
I remember also cold water also disolves more CO2, will a rise in Ocean temperatures effect the amount of CO2 dissolved and thus the pH.
Or is this variance simply negligible due to the quantites and weak solutions involved?
RL3Ao- the sat photo is not unimpressive either. There is substantial outflow, and only a little more than the northern half of the disturbance is shown in the image.
acctually, it looks better than it did 30 minutes ago, when I posted it
Posted By: Cregnebaa at 3:40 PM CST on March 03, 2006.
I remember also cold water also disolves more CO2, will a rise in Ocean temperatures effect the amount of CO2 dissolved and thus the pH.
Or is this variance simply negligible due to the quantites and weak solutions involved?


Water temperature does make a difference - because CO2 dissolves more readily in cold water, this means that the oceans in high latitudes will become more acidic (because they are colder); as CO2 rises, it will then affect warmer oceans near the equator. The fact that warmer water cannot dissolve CO2 as readily means that the oceans can't remove as much from the air when they warm up.

Link
Oceans May Soon Be More Corrosive Than When The Dinosaurs Died

"Increased carbon dioxide emissions are rapidly making the world's oceans more acidic and, if unabated, could cause a mass extinction of marine life similar to one that occurred 65 million years ago when the dinosaurs disappeared."
The JTWC has issued a Tropical Cyclone Formation Alert for the West Pacific.

SUBJ/TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION ALERT 032051Z MAR 06//
WTXS21 PGTW 032100
RMKS/
1. FORMATION OF A SIGNIFICANT TROPICAL CYCLONE IS POSSIBLE WITHIN
130 NM EITHER SIDE OF A LINE FROM 16.2S 57.4E TO 19.4S 55.0E
WITHIN THE NEXT 12 TO 24 HOURS. AVAILABLE DATA DOES NOT JUSTIFY
ISSUANCE OF NUMBERED TROPICAL CYCLONE WARNINGS AT THIS TIME.
WINDS IN THE AREA ARE ESTIMATED TO BE 30 TO 35 KNOTS. METSAT IM
AGERY AT 032051Z INDICATES THAT A CIRCULATION CENTER IS LOCATED
NEAR 16.4S 57.2E. THE SYSTEM IS MOVING SOUTHWESTWARD AT 04
KNOTS.
2. REMARKS:
3. THIS ALERT WILL BE REISSUED, UPGRADED TO WARNING OR CANCELLED BY 042100Z.
//

"oceans may be more corrosive"??!

sorry, but that is a very poor choice of words. obviously trying to be sensational without being accurate. garbage, really.

by bringing the pH closer to 7, the oceans are actually becoming LESS corrosive, not more. of course it could be harmful, but the ecological effects of pH change don't have anything to do with corrosion! grrrr!
Colby, do you have access to a pH meter? Run a short experiment for us...

take a coke, pour it out, and measure the pH. then let the carbonation dissipate, and measure again. the pH will go up...not sure by how much. i think a coke has a pH around 3 when carbonated, probably goes up to 4 or 5 when the CO2 is gone.
there is a story (urban legend?) in the environmental biz about coke and pH. waste is classified as "hazardous" if it is corrosive, with a pH less than 2 or more than 10. I may be off on the exact numbers, haven't done a haz waste inspection in years.

But anyway, supposedly, EPA had to change the definition of corrosive so that waste coke (or other colas) would not be considered hazardous waste.....that's when they lowered the pH to 2.
21. MDI
Coke is great for freeing up rusted car parts!
It's ok to use coke to free up parts, just don't drink the WD-40....
LOL dobson.

And to the guy who posted earlier about 8 being more acidic - lower pH=more acid.
It rained so hard today just take a look at this. I saved the immage while I was at school.

Whoa! That's a lot of freaking rain!
Coral reefs are built from limestone by the reaction Ca(2+above) + CO(3below)(2-above) ==(double arrows) CaCO3, where Ca is calcium. Acidifying the ocean decreases the concentration of CO(3below)(2- ions above), which by le Chatliers principal shifts the equilibrium toward the left, tending to dissolve CaCO3. Note that this is a sort of counter-intuitive result, that adding CO2 should make reefs dissolve rather than pushing carbon into making more reefs. Its all because of those H+ ions.

Elevated CO2 levels also affect fish and other aquatic organisms, in part because of the decrease in pH, but also because CO2 is what heterotrophic organisms try to exhale. However, we should note that dissolved CO2 levels were substantially higher than today in the geologic past, and organisms were able to cope with this OK, so apparently there can be some acclimation of populations to higher CO2.

There are several feedbacks between decreasing the rate of calcification that organisms do in the ocean, and the carbon cycle. Removing CaCO3 from surface waters tends to raise the CO2 concentration of the waters (it should be possible for you to work that out for yourself based on the chemical reactions above). This is a negative feedback, tending to remove excess CO2 from the atmosphere, but it is a small effect. Decreasing the flux of CaCO3 to the sea floor tends to diminish the amount of CaCO3 that gets buried in sediments, which hastens the pH-recovery from the CaCO3 compensation mechanism. This may not be a small effect at all, but it is a slow effect: thousands of years.

Here's a good link explaining the chemistry of it all. If what above is confusing the start of the article has a little chemistry refresher in this area.
No lightning with it but there was some hail. I think more rain fell in that few minutes then the whole winter.
I'm not much of a chemist, but if we are changing the pH of the oceans, I don't think that's a good thing. Just another point in favor of reducing our CO2 emissions.

Colby - your one post about cola got a chuckle out of me. I drank a lot of Coke in my younger years and spent way too much time and money at the dentist!! My wife and I drink Canada Dry Seltzer - much less harmful :-)
Based on the track file, Invest 93W has been upgraded to a 35 kt tropical storm (01.NONAME).
We also have 16S (35 kt, 997 mb) now to the east of Madagascar:



You can also see 97S.INVEST to the northwest.
THE GULF OF MEXICO...
A BROAD MID-UPPER AMPLIFIED RIDGE EXTENDS FROM THE EPAC INTO THE
CENTRAL U.S WITH THE UPPER AXIS ROUGHLY ALONG 101W. MID/UPPER
LEVEL RIDGING EXTENDS EASTWARD INTO THE GULF OF MEXICO TO 90W.
A MID-UPPER LEVEL LOW EARLIER NEAR THE NE TIP OF THE YUCATAN
PENINSULA HAS PUSHED INTO THE YUCATAN CHANNEL IS NOW APPROACHING
THE WESTERN TIP OF CUBA NEAR 22N85W...AND APPEARS TO BE
SHEARING OUT INTO A TROUGH AS NOTED ON WATER VAPOR IMAGERY.
THE ASSOCIATED SURFACE TROUGH EXTENDS FROM 25N84W TO 23N86W TO
NE YUCATAN PENINSULA. BROKEN/OVERCAST MID/UPPER LEVEL CLOUDS
WITH WIDELY SCATTERED SHOWERS ARE NOTED S OF 26N AND E OF 86W.
ISOLATED SHOWERS ARE AND THUNDERSTORMS ARE ELSEWHERE S OF 26N E
OF 90W. LAST VISIBLE IMAGES INDICATE THAT THE SURFACE TROUGH
IS NOT GETTING ANY BETTER DEFINED...AND MODEL CONSENSUS DOES
NOT DEVELOP THIS FEATURE AS IT MOVES EASTWARD.

The chances for development do not look good anymore.

Posted By: ForecasterColby (70.124.148.146) at 7:53 PM GMT on March 03, 2006.
Sorry Masters, but you're wrong on at least one point - Phosphoric acid in soda does a great deal more tooth damage than carbonic. Tonic water has carbonic acid, and it doesn't do much of anything to teeth. Cola has phosphoric, and it's pretty amazing what that does.


Thanks, I stand corrected! I've modified my text accordingly.


Oh, by the way Dr. Masters, you seen anything about the low in the Gulf?


It looked like it was approaching subtropical storm status early this afternoon, but the shear increased rapidly and is now tearing it apart. I debated posting about it, and decided it wouldn't be around long enough to worry about.

Jeff Masters
No problem :)

By the way, I found another nice Avila quote:


REPORTS FROM AN AIR FORCE PLANE INDICATE THAT THE INTENSITY REMAINS
ABOUT 100 KNOTS...BUT THE WIND FIELD IS EXPANDING. THE MINIMUM
CENTRAL PRESSURE REPORTED THIS EVENING HAS BEEN 939 MB. THE
SATELLITE PRESENTATION HAS BEEN UP AND DOWN...AND HAS BEEN CHANGING
FROM A COIL TO A RING OF VERY DEEP CONVECTION THROUGHOUT THE
EVENING. T-NUMBERS CONTINUE AROUND 5.5 ON THE DVORAK SCALE WHICH
ALSO SUPPORTS 100 KNOTS. DATA FROM THE NOAA JET CURRENTLY SAMPLING
THE ENVIRONMENT...INDICATE THAT THE CYCLONIC CIRCULATION EXTENDS
UPWARD TO ABOUT 200 MB AND IT IS SURROUNDED BY A LARGE SCALE
UPPER-LEVEL ANTICYLONE. THIS PATTERN...IN COMBINATION WITH THE HIGH
OCEANIC HEAT CONTENT...FANCY WORDS FOR A WARM OCEAN
...ALONG THE PATH
OF KATRINA...CALLS FOR ADDITIONAL STRENGTHENING. THE STRENGTHENING
IS ALSO FORECAST BY THE SHIPS AND THE GFDL MODELS WHICH BRING
KATRINA TO 130 AND 123 KNOTS...RESPECTIVELY. CHANGES IN THE INNER
CORE STRUCTURE BEFORE LANDFALL MAY MODIFY THE INTENSITY OF KATRINA
UP OR DOWN...BUT UNFORTUNATELY...THESE CHANGES ARE NOT POSSIBLE TO
FORECAST NOWADAYS WITH OUR PRESENT KNOWLEDGE. WE CAN ONLY DESCRIBE
THEM AS THEY OCCUR. HOWEVER...DESPITE THESE CHANGES IN THE INNER
CORE...THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT KATRINA IS EXPECTED TO BE AN INTENSE
AND DANGEROUS HURRICANE HEADING TOWARD THE NORTH CENTRAL GULF
COAST...AND THIS HAS TO BE TAKEN VERY SERIOUSLY.

IT APPEARS THAT KATRINA HAS BEGUN TO MOVE TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST
OR 290 DEGREES AT 6 KNOTS AS THE HIGH TO THE NORTHWEST OF THE
HURRICANE BEGINS TO RETREAT WESTWARD AND LEAVES A WEAKNESS OVER THE
CENTRAL GULF OF MEXICO. THE COMBINATION OF BUILDING HIGH PRESSURE
OVER THE WESTERN NORTH ATLANTIC...AND A WEAK TROUGH APPROACHING THE
GULF OF MEXICO FROM THE NORTHWEST...SHOULD RESULT IN A PATTERN THAT
FORCES KATRINA TO TURN NORTHWESTWARD AND NORTHWARD TOWARD THE
CENTRAL GULF COAST. THIS IS ALSO THE SOLUTION PROVIDED BY THE
GLOBAL MODEL CONSENSUS WHICH THE OFFICIAL FORECAST FOLLOWS VERY
CLOSELY.
Speaking of Coca-Cola, the "Coca" part originally refered to the cocaine contained in it (and it still uses coca leaves, with the cocaine removed of course).

Coca-cola was introduced in 1886 as "a valuable brain-tonic and cure for all nervous afflictions". Coca-cola was promoted as a temperance drink "offering the virtues of coca without the vices of alcohol". The new beverage was invigorating and popular. Until 1903, a typical serving contained around 60mg of cocaine. Sold today, it still contains an extract of coca-leaves. The Coca-Cola Company imports eight tons from South America each year. Nowadays the leaves are used only for flavouring since the drug has been removed.

From here
Nice post palmetto - most of those claims are indeed false. But it still will rot your insides :)
Cool article! I never knew most of that.
Heh, who wants to guess which is the TS and which is the Invest? Look:

Actually, if anyone looked at my post on 16S at 7:28 PM CST, they can see that 16S is in the lower-right, with Invest 90S to the upper-left/northwest.
Perhaps they will undergo the Fujiwhara effect.
I wondered that looking at them & both developing. Which way are they moving?
16S Track
i have start up a stoplight blog
MichaelSTL to you have photo and track that you can post on my blog for me on td 16s?
MichaelSTL i off for the night and thanks of post the the of td 16s and any one on her i would love to her of what kind of stoplight you have in your town so come on by and drop me a post Please
Hey palmetto and Michael STL,
Enjoyed the articles about Coke. OK, it's a little hard to believe it can do all that stuff!

Now if I can stop drinking so much coffee...
hey : DenverMark drop on by my new blog tonight ok
Hey KRWZ,
Did you get a lot of snow today?
DenverMark drop on by my blog and see and mail for you
and yes DenverMark i did get a lot of snow
Is anyone else worried about the portent of all these potential systems so early on? This storm wasn't a 2005 straggler, this was a 2006 system. The insanity of last year isn't over yet, IMO.
Storms have trying to form all winter, just too much shear, fronts and so on. Once we get to about mid-May, I think we'll be looking at Alberto.
but we were watching something that could have formed in the Gulf of Mexico in March!
wow, TD 1W formed at around 5 degrees north
This one barely cared about the shear - give it a little moisture and we'd have had possibly hurricane Alberto.
Whoa there Colby! I think you're really jumping the gun there. Lets not feed the fanatics who are going crazy with this. I dont know what everyone else saw, but I never gave that thing a chance to transition. It hardly ever had convection wrapped even halfway around the center, and was completely frontal the whole time.

Dr Masters It didnt look to have any tropical characteristics to me, but Im not a met. So could you maybe explain briefly what made the system close to sub-tropical storm status?
I can explain what made it interesting to me - a closed surface circulation, winds near the center, and seemed to be drawing some energy from evaporation (there wasn't much temp difference around it). Generally the extratropical systems we're used to are attached to fronts, this one was not.
Oh, Myles - it wasn't frontal. There was a front near it, but not attached.
That front to its SE wasent part of the system? And where was the surface circulation?
The surface circ never fully closed off, but it looked about 75% closed to me at one point over whatever the straits between Cuba and the Yuatan are called.
But no, I don't think it really was subtropical at any point. I think, though, that given some better moisture and a little more time, it would have been able to get pretty strong (for March, that is :))
Severe flooding in Hawaii. Is La Nina a contributing factor?


Link
Ok, I thought I saw what might have been a surface circulation trying to form with a couple of puffs of convection near the NW side of the upper/mid circulation. Couldn't really see any low level cloud swirl, and then shear tore everything apart.
It might be La Nina related, I know increased rainfall for the WPAC is part of it.
I'm from south central Alabama. Due south five hundred miles is the center of the Gulf of Mexico. Historically, Hurricanes in the Gulf most often formed in the Gulf, not unlike the cutoff low which formed earlier in the week. The phenomenon of storms forming far to the east and crossing the straits into the Gulf of Mexico is a more recent thing.
Not totally, Globalize. Andrew's track was actually remarkably similar to Katrina's.
La Nina weather phenomenon is coming: World Meteorological Organization

some highlights:

"(...) It is unprecedented in the historical record for a La Nina of substantial intensity or duration to develop so early in the year."

La Nina usually lasts nine to 12 months, although "some episodes may persist for as long as two years," the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says on its website.

The WMO sounded a note of caution.

The buildup of this La Nina was so exceptionally swift and intense that it was impossible at the moment to infer what the impact would be, and how long the phenomenon would last, it warned.

"Most models and expert interpretations favour the event dissipating quite rapidly over the next three to six months," the UN's weather agency said.

"Nonetheless, neither a continuation of La Nina beyond mid-year, nor the development of El Nino in the second half of 2006, can be ruled out as possible outcomes from the current prevailing situation."

Both El Nino and La Nina are naturally occurring cycles, although there is much speculation among climate scientists that man-made global warming may make them more frequent and more vicious and that this trend may have already started.
It just seems that everything these days comes out of the Caribbean or even off the coast of Africa. When I was a kid I worked Summers on the Gulf Coast, and it seemd every month or two during the Summer you would at least pack your things to come inland ahead of a storm. The storms were nothing in size or strength compared to the present day. But you had to get inland if they were approaching.
Now and then when a storm came in on the Panhandle, or around Mobile Bay, it would take out properties along a 5-10 mile stretch, nothing like what happens today.
Another breeding grounds is off the east coast of Fl to the leeward islands.
Unfortunetly, Globalize, when you and I were kids we weren't in an active season in the Atlantic. Hopefully the AMO switches back over soon. Until then, dont expect any lucky years like we had from the 70's-early 90's. Even then we had strong storms, they were just much fewer and farther inbetween; and the US seemed to aviod most of the deadly storms during that time. It always evens out in the end, and now that lull is being made up for.
70's - early 90's? What about Andrew (1992, previous most destructive hurricane in US history), or Hugo (1989, most destructive US hurricane until Andrew), and others.
Let's quote what I said before -

Even then we had strong storms, they were just much fewer and farther inbetween

That should be all I need to say.
BTW, most destructive storm is a completely arbitrary number. It depends completely on where the storm makes landfall and how densely populated the area is. Of course more destructive storms are going to occur as we move into the future, because we are going to have buildings on the coasts to be destroyed.
I got to agree with Myles. I've been a resident here all my life, but born after the active period of the '50's & '60's (Heard plenty from parents about it). I stood in the eye of David as a child, played in several tropical storms that were forming & moving off around then. The '80's a few storms hit here & there, but I don't even remember anything scary that came even close. Even the '90's we had to get prepared a few times, Floyd gave us a little wind. Andrew was bad~ for a small area. In east central fl that day you could have never guessed a hurricane was on a rampage in Homestead by looking at the clouds. Now it's different~ there is more of them, many are stonger, bigger & our high that sat off fl turning storms to NC or out to sea is gone.

yeah the higher population of fl combined with the shotty construction on the '80's is going to raise the damage, but most people didn't need new roofs due to hurricanes from the 70's - 90's in fl. We could probibily boast being the state with the most new roofs now.
I remember when Georges went by in '98...ah, what fun we had then.
i have some new photo on my blog so come on by when you all get a ch too
Yeah, Georges was worth keepin an eye on ~ luckily didn't hit fl~ Miss. took a cat 2 hit on that one. I went for a windy ,wet pony ride the day TS Mitch came through south of us that same year.

Never saw it rain like i did in '99. Some unnamed TD trained on south brevard~ 15 inches in 12 hours.
Next week, there may be several rounds of severe storms (more information on my blog; I have added a warnings map and radar). 6-10 and 8-14 day outlooks also show most of the US in above-normal precipitation. This means that the precipitation deficit since February 2005 may finally end (over 7 inches will have to fall, above the normal 3.6 inches in March for 10 inches of precipitation, likely to be all rain).
Skye - I'm pretty sure Frances or Jeanne beat that.


This is a somewhat reduced version of an absolutely stunning picture of the Whirlpool Galaxy taken by Hubble. The full version can be found here.
Looks like the galaxy is undergoing some northwesterly shear...LOL...
ForecasterColby

I dont understand the current flooding situation in Hawaii. I dont think it would have anything to do with the La Nina would keep the jet stream to the north. Hawaii should be a few hundered miles to the south of any stroms. Just like the South West they should be getting well below average for this time a year. If there is any good news it would be that the storms that do make it down there are slightly cooler then average (but are also moisture deprived) so at some of the highest peaks they might get more snow then average. (I beleave the highest peak on the main island gets one or two sotrms where they get a few inches of snow a year)
Just love those space hurricanes!



I can't make any sense out of these greenhouse gases warming things up and causing ice to melt arguments.

I'm told that about 20000 years ago that glaciers encroached as far south as my area of northeast PA. There are no glaciers here now so something must have also warmed things up a long time ago.

Obviously there were no fosil fuels being consumed then. So what would the alarmists contend we needed to do back then if they had our present science?

--- CHAS
85. Inyo
CaptChas, isnt it possible that more than one factor affects global climate?

i dont think the fact that it naturally changes means that we don't affect it.

Rivers shift naturally... does that mean that the California Aqueduct is a natural river?


Anyway.. about La Nina... for most of this winter southern California was having typical La Nina conditions - dry and warm with occasional cold, moisture starved storms. However, the pattern has shifted and it is very cold for march with the storm track dipping south (if it had stayed like this all winter we'd be well above average rains, as it stands we may catch up with 'normal' rainfall.) Clearly there are other factors at work besides La Nina.
Colby, that picture is absolutely amazing.
Yeah, I know. The full size image is so detailed, the size is 444 MEGABYTES.

That's one big friggin image.

I'll be issuing my early forecast for the 2006 Hurricane Season on March 15.
Prepare now for coming storms, hurricane center chief says~ a few highlights from the article~

Max Mayfield, director of the National Hurricane Center, is warning coastal residents to prepare right now for the hurricane season that begins June 1.

The next season may be worse than the past two, which resulted in an increase in the number and intensity of hurricanes that hit U.S. shores. The reasons: a historic cycle, the advent of La Nia - unusually cold Pacific Ocean temperatures that spawn more hurricanes in the Atlantic - and, possibly, global warming or other environmental causes.

Hey, everyone, can I ask you to do me a HUGE favor?

I need to have in text form the named storms in each year from 1950 to the present. So like:

1950: 4
1951: 6
...
2005: 27
1950: 13
1951: 10
1952: 7
1953: 14
1954: 11
1955: 12 or 13 (depends if you include Alice)
1956: 8
1957: 8
1958: 10
1959: 11
1960: 7
1961: 11
1962: 5
1963: 9
1964: 12
1965: 6
1966: 11
1967: 8
1968: 8
1969: 18
1970: 10
1971: 13
1972: 7
1973: 8
1974: 11
1975: 9
1976: 10
1977: 6
1978: 12
1979: 9
1980: 11
1981: 12
1982: 6
1983: 4
1984: 13
1985: 11
1986: 6
1987: 7
1988: 12
1989: 11
1990: 14
1991: 8
1992: 7
1993: 8
1994: 7
1995: 19
1996: 13
1997: 8
1998: 14
1999: 12
2000: 14
2001: 15
2002: 12
2003: 16
2004: 15
2005: 27

you can definatly see a rise in storms since 1995, only one season with less than 10 storms
Forget the rise since 1995. Look at the rise since 2004.
you can definatly see a rise in storms since 1995, only one season with less than 10 storms
That was due to the strongest El Nino ever recorded; even then, it was only 2-3 storms below average. Seems like the AMO can't be the only reason why the number of storms is increasing (notice the abrupt rise from 1994 to 1995).
yep, I forgot about the 1997 El Nino
The AMO switched from the inactive to the active cycle in the 94/95 offseason. Every active cycle has started with a spike - it's the midcycle spike of '05 that's unprecidented.

What everyone should remember is that we really don't know about longer-term cycles. Hurricane data has only been semi-reliable for maybe a century, and solid for 30 years (since the advent of weather satellites). Good luck finding a cycle in that.
Thanks a lot, Rl3ao. I'll be posting a graph later this evening that shows the numbers of named storms on three lines - one for El Nino, one for La Nina, and one for neutral seasons.
atmosweather i have not yet got your e mail
i have mpore photo of stoplights if any one like to take a look go to your right in my blog and drop me a post why you are there too
Okay, maybe the backup list isn't so rumorish. WMO has something that implys it on their site: Link

Scroll down till you see an IR on the far right.
I have noticed that the Advanced Objective Dvorak Technique uses by CIMSS is often very inaccurate - a good case is Tropical Depression 01W (officialy 25 kts) - currently, it is said to be a typhoon. Is there a reason for this?

Link (also look at the History File Listing; link near the bottom).
Oh, it also greatly overestimates the intensity of Tropical Storm 16S.
The reason for the wrong intensity is that the ratings that are being applied are by a computer program and not a real human.
Also remember that the highest T-number by any Dvorak system for Wilma was 6.5.
Uh-oh... cyclonebuster is here again!
It's only your fault, buster. Be pissed off at yourself.
Because you lack the ability to pursuade people.
People, not just your wife. Since no one is listening to you, it's obvious that you aren't pursuading many people.
Thats not proof, thats one piece of evidence that really doesnt tell anyone something they dont already know. EVERYONE knows that lower SST will lower hurricane strength. Its everything else about your idea that is in question.
Sorry, that Max Mayfield ~Prepare Now~ Link didn't take back there try ~ HERE

Colby~ lookin forward to the graph~ & Frances & Jeanne's rain had nothing on that Tropical wave that hit (was a TD in gulf) back in '99~ 15 inch in less than 12 hours. Brevard had as much rain from Wilma as the other 2 canes around 8 inches (Jeanne it think was closer to 6). With Wilma it was more noticable, out of the canes, cause most of it fell in 4 hours. Frances & Jeanne it was over 2 1/2 - 3 days. Now the latter doesn't sound so bad except ya give the ground a good soaking over days & still have hurricane winds & alot of pine trees start uprooting.

Ya'll notice the eye wall temp on the Tropical Storm 16S link? -73.4C? lol~ it's like that movie...
*eye temp*
Yes, its proven that lower SST will most likely cause a weakening in hurricanes. What isnt proven is that your tunnels provide upwelling. So go ahead and try and persuade to everyone that your idea will work. I think it will only prove my original point.
Ahhh...what the hell are you talking about? Read my post again and ask yourself if you make any sense.
Thats pretty funny Skyepony! The tropical storm in the W Pac has a -66.8C eye temp! Wonder how they come up with those numbers?
That could be throwing the intensity off a little bit...
Ummm...just a note here, that's high in the atmosphere. -90C cloud tops are reasonably common.

Cyclone, you've been proven wrong time and time again. Just shut up, please.

I'll be posting that graph tomorrow morning, should be very interesting.
I also noticed that the pressure in TD 01W is shown to be 992 mb, which is apparantly increased by 16 mb with "Latitude bias adjustment".
Did't realize that was measured so high up, so, unlike the eye temp on a recon?

Extremely High Horizon Refraction forecasts have been verifying pretty well~ their update~

Early spring temperature projection.

After about 15 observations, not a lot, but significant enough to see a trend, spring 2006 will be warmer than 2005. Supremely expanded sun disks were measured, on top of a large portion of them exceeding any similar observations taken at the same time between 2002-2005. No sign of significant cooling was perceived. Stand by, and wait until early April Summer 2006 NH temperature forecast, to be done after more than 100 observations or so...

WD February 22 2006

These storms do not have eyes, so the "Eye temp" is measuring the cloud tops at the center; if an eye develops, it will then measure the actual eye temperature. For example, the archive from Katrina shows eye temperatures in the +20 C range.
Hey Colby if u like the hubble shots, I got a few links.
http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/newsdesk/archive/releases/1998/14/

http://hubblesite.org/

http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/newsdesk/archive/releases/2004/32/image/c

The last link is of the Helix Nebula. It is also referred to as "the eye of God" I love the horizontal view!!
Had that as wallpaper for months!!!!

I said it in my blog... the Hubble telescope is THE greatest achievment by NASA hands down!!!!!!
BTW... I also said & still say when the black hole that roams our galaxy reaches it's closest point to our planet.
We should send a probe right down the throat of it!!!!!
All things said about black holes are just theory.
Hmmmmm Can you imagine the data that would come from that flight??? You never know maybe we would have contact with the probe "on the other side"!!!!!!!!!
130. Inyo
oh man i cant believe someone brought up the tunnels again. and now cyclonebuster has taken to cackling like a mad scientist!

and according to theory any probe sent into a black hole would be crushed long before it entered.. still definitely a worthwhile mission if we could pull it off but once its beyond the 'event horizon' radio waves, etc, can't escape the black hole anyway, so even if the probe survived, we'd never know
I just thought of a awesome sciencefic way to defeat hurricanes (snicker)

First we dumps billions of tons of soap into the oceans to break up the surface tension so hurricanes have problems getting moisture.

Then we tow icebergs from the poles into the path of the hurricanes (even better have unmanned ships tow it into the eye of the hurricane)

Finally we blow up the iceberg with a nuclear weapon..

Between those 3 steps we have no hurricanes and can warm the climate all we want

If anyone seriously believes this I go a sure fire get rich quick scheme by paying me $300 a month I will give you 1,000 acres of land per payment on "M" classed planet in the Zeta Quardant.
*rolls eyes massively at cyclone*
Also - anyone got the ENSO (thats El Nino/La Nina) data for 1999-2005? I just need to know whether it was El Nino, La Nina, or neutral.
cyclone,

Good idea but I like things that go BOOM. Besides you could have the ulitmate (admittly one time only) thrill ride of riding a nuclear weapom Slim Pickens style (ie Dr Strangelove) into the eye of a Cat 5

YEEHAWW!!!
Never mind, I got the data myself. I just finished the graph, take a look (click for larger image, then click on the larger one for a full size one)

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
oriondarkwood..Strangelove is my favorite!! George C., Sellers in three roles..magnificent!! The crippled, mad scientist with the slide rule who couldn't keep down the Nazi salute! George C. in his tirade against various weapons gaps.. "Mr. President, we must not alloowwww..."

And bomber pilot Slim, country boy smarter than all of 'em, sneakin' right under that Russkie radar. But they shouldn't have pulled him off the farm.

You know, the movie didn't show that part, but he did a half gainer off that nuke and dove straight into a lake. Swam underwater 31 miles, and made his way north across Russia where Finnish resistors picked him up. He died on his Texas ranch just a few years back.
globalize,

That why we have to drill them tunnels, so we not caught with a tunnel gap. Of course that would wouldn't that necessitate the abandonment of the so-called monogamous sexual relationship. But it is, you know, a sacrifice required for the future of the human race. I hasten to add that since each man will be required to do prodigious... service along these lines, the women will have to be selected for their sexual characteristics which will have to be of a highly stimulating nature.

(forgive me Kubrick for misquoting lines)

Its kinda funny along with the UPwelling tunnel idea

(I know I being a dirty birdie today - bounus points for knowing where dirty birdie pharse came from)
140. jeffB
cyclonebuster wrote:

How about this one? A giant solar collector at the L1 lagrange point that that can focus a 5 mile wide radius beam of light in the eye of the storm and boil the surface water which expands and raises the central pressure of the storm????

Except that the smallest possible "beam" you could produce from an assembly at L1 would be around 9000 miles across, substantially wider than our planet, when it hit the ground. Or, turning things around, if you're about to suggest blocking the sun with a big umbrella at L1, it would need to be at least 9000 miles across.

Even big-picture guys have to be aware of some details. If you don't understand the basic physics and geometry, the engineering isn't ever going to work out.