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August 2012: Earth's 4th warmest August on record

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 3:07 PM GMT on September 18, 2012

August 2012 was the globe's 4th warmest August on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). NASA rated August 2012 the 6th warmest on record. August 2012 global land temperatures were the 2nd warmest on record, and global ocean temperatures were the 5th warmest on record. August 2012 was the 330th consecutive month with global temperatures warmer than the 20th century average; the last time global temperatures were below average was February 1985. Global satellite-measured temperatures in August for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were 3rd warmest in the 34-year record, according to the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH). Wunderground's weather historian, Christopher C. Burt, has a comprehensive post on the notable weather events of August in his August 2012 Global Weather Extremes Summary.



Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for August 2012. Most areas of the world experienced much higher-than-average monthly temperatures, including much of Canada, Southeast Europe, and Western Asia. Central Russia was much cooler than average. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) .

El Niño watch continues
Sea surface temperatures were at 0.5°C above average as of September 17 in the equatorial Pacific off the coast of South America, and have been near or above the 0.5°C above average--the threshold needed for a weak El Niño event--since the beginning of July. However, winds, pressures, and cloud cover over the region have not responded in the fashion typically associated with an El Niño, and NOAA's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) classified conditions as being neutral in their September 6 El Niño discussion. They continued their El Niño watch, and gave a 69% chance that an El Niño event will be in place by the end of September. El Niño conditions tend to decrease Atlantic hurricane activity, by increasing wind shear over the tropical Atlantic. Wind shear has been close to average over the tropical Atlantic since the beginning of hurricane season in June. However, the past few runs of the GFS model have predicted a significant rise in wind shear over the Caribbean and tropical Atlantic by early October, which may represent El Niño finally beginning to kick in and affect the atmospheric circulation over the Atlantic.


Figure 2. Arctic sea ice extent as of September 18, 2012 (black line) compared to the previous record low years, in millions of square kilometers. This year's extent is far below any previous year, and is close to its minimum for the year. Satellite measurements of ice extent began in 1979. Image credit: Danish Meteorological Institute.

Arctic sea ice falls to all-time record low during August
August 2012 Arctic sea ice extent reached its lowest August extent in the 35-year satellite record, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). The new sea ice record was set on August 26, a full three weeks before the usual end of the melting season. Every major scientific institution that tracks Arctic sea ice agrees that new records for low ice area, extent, and volume have been set (see the comprehensive collection of sea ice graphs here.) Satellite records of sea ice extent date back to 1979, though a 2011 study by Kinnard et al. shows that the Arctic hasn't seen a melt like this for at least 1,450 years (see a more detailed article on this over at skepticalscience.com.) The latest September 18, 2012 extent of 3.5 million square kilometers is approximately a 50% reduction in the area of Arctic covered by sea ice, compared to the average from 1979 - 2000. The amount of open ocean exposed this September compared to September 1980 is about 43% of the size of the contiguous United States. The ice extent is close to its minimum for the year, and should start in increase within the next week or two, but that open water over the Arctic will provide a significant amount of heat and moisture to the atmosphere over the next few months that will significantly alter weather patterns. One possible impact may be an increase in the intensity and duration of extreme weather events during fall and winter.


Video 1. This animation shows the 2012 time-series of ice extent using sea ice concentration data from the DMSP SSMI/S satellite sensor. The black area represents the daily average (median) sea ice extent over the 1979-2000 time period. Layered over top of that are the daily satellite measurements from January 1 – September 14, 2012. A rapid melt begins in July, whereby the 2012 ice extents fall far below the historical average. Source: NOAA's Environmental Visualization Laboratory.

Nadine approaching the Azores
Long-lived Tropical Storm Nadine is headed northeastwards on a track that will bring the storm close to the Azores Islands on Wednesday and Thursday. A tropical storm watch has been posted for the islands of Flores and Corvo in the northwestern Azores. Steering currents for Nadine are expected to weaken on Wednesday, and the storm will move slowly and erratically for many days in the Central Atlantic late this week and early next week. On Friday, Nadine will become tangled up with an upper-level low pressure system, and the storm may partially or fully convert to an extratropical storm. By this weekend, the GFS and ECMWF models predict Nadine will move southwestward over warmer waters, and it could become fully tropical again.

Elsewhere in the Atlantic, thunderstorm activity associated with a tropical wave that moved through the Lesser Antilles Islands yesterday (92L) has diminished, and this wave is no longer a threat to develop. None of the reliable computers models is showing development of a new tropical cyclone in the Atlantic through September 24.

Jeff Masters

Climate Summaries

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

Quoting Bobbyweather:

What does MSLP stand for?


Mean sea level pressure.
Quoting Bobbyweather:

What does MSLP stand for?


Mean sea level pressure. In a typical El Nino, we would expect to see lower pressures in the mid-latitudes, with higher pressures in the tropics. The higher pressure produce strong trade winds over the MDR breeding grounds, which generates shear and sinking air. The stronger Bermuda-Azores ridge over the central Atlantic is one of the key reasons why many disturbances/cyclones failed to significantly develop in the MDR, some notable examples being Ernesto, Helene, and Isaac.
Quoting KoritheMan:


Mean sea level pressure. In a typical El Nino, we would expect to see lower pressures in the mid-latitudes, with higher pressures in the tropics. The higher pressure produce strong trade winds over the MDR breeding grounds, which generates shear and sinking air.

Thanks for your explanation! I don't know about tropical cyclones that well. I hope you explain other things about TCs if I don't know.
Quoting Bobbyweather:

Thanks for your explanation! I don't know about tropical cyclones that well. I hope you explain other things about TCs if I don't know.


I'd be happy to oblige anytime, so feel free to ask.
You can start to see some circulation with the central Atlantic low towards the end:

Quoting Slamguitar:
You can start to see some circulation with the central Atlantic low towards the end:



Aye. Satellite imagery suggests that it is well-defined.
Quoting sar2401:

We should have switched to natural gas for vehicles and power plants a long time ago. The issue with solar is battery banks. The large, deep cycle batteries needed for solar systems to store power are mostly manufactured in China or Korea under some of the most polluting conditions in the world. They have to be changed out and disposed of every 2-3 years. Even with recycling, a mass switch to solar power will create a huge hazardous waste problem. Until we improve battery types and prices, solar is dead in the water.

That's the dirty little secret that the carbon fear mongers hope you don't notice.
It would be cool if Nadine became extratropical, then tropical again. That's a possibility, right?

Also, recent typhoons are maintaining strong wind speeds in the mid-latitudes. Are Western Pacific MSLP patterns similar to those of the Atlantic?
Quoting KoritheMan:


Aye. Satellite imagery suggests that it is well-defined.


Well, it's not in the MDR and the Gulf like 92/93L were/are, so I say it becomes a category 5 in about a week. It's such a slave to trends; and Michael hit a sweet spot around there.
Quoting Bobbyweather:
It would be cool if Nadine became extratropical, then tropical again. That's a possibility, right?

Also, recent typhoons are maintaining strong wind speeds in the mid-latitudes. Are Western Pacific MSLP patterns similar to those of the Atlantic?


The western Pacific tends to be similar, following the same thematic pattern of a persistent ridge over the central portion of the basin. However, because of the vast reservoir of warm water that portion of the world has to offer, tropical cyclones forming in the region have the tendency to be much larger (often labeled "monsoon depressions" because of the large nature of their circulations)" than an Atlantic tropical cyclone. The pressure gradient also tends to be greater with western Pacific storms (again due to the warm water), so the typical wind/pressure relationship found in the Atlantic may not apply.
from the 2am.....................DISCUSSION...

GULF OF MEXICO...
WATER VAPOR IMAGERY INDICATES A MIDDLE TO UPPER LEVEL TROUGH
EXTENDS FROM THE UPPER GREAT LAKES REGION S-SW TO THE LOWER
MISSISSIPPI RIVER VALLEY AND OVER PORTIONS OF THE NW GULF. THE
TROUGHING SUPPORTS A COLD FRONT ANALYZED AT 19/0300 UTC FROM
NORTHERN FLORIDA NEAR 31N83W TO 25N88W BECOMING STATIONARY INTO
THE SW GULF TO NEAR 19N93W. LOW-LEVEL MOISTURE CONVERGENCE IN
THE VICINITY OF THE FRONT ALONG WITH MIDDLE TO UPPER LEVEL
DIFFLUENCE EAST OF THE TROUGH AXIS IS GENERATING SCATTERED
SHOWERS AND TSTMS ALONG AND EAST OF THE FRONT WITH THE MOST
INTENSE CONVECTION OCCURRING OVER THE FLORIDA STRAITS...YUCATAN
CHANNEL...AND PORTIONS OF THE YUCATAN PENINSULA. THE FRONT IS
FORECAST TO BECOME STATIONARY DRAPED FROM NORTHERN FLORIDA TO
25N90W WEDNESDAY INTO THURSDAY AND EVENTUALLY BECOME ABSORBED
INTO A SECONDARY COLD FRONT CURRENTLY EXTENDING FROM THE WESTERN
FLORIDA PANHANDLE TO THE TEXAS AND LOUISIANA BORDER. THE FRONT
IS EXPECTED TO GRADUALLY DISSIPATE OVER THE EASTERN GULF WATERS
AND LINGER ACROSS THE FLORIDA PENINSULA THURSDAY INTO FRIDAY.
7-Day forecast for Tampa Bay area..........
Mornin' Largo!

I am glad that reblob moved across the state south of Okeechobee Lake last night, it is already overfull. Army Corps will open the locks and start dumping water out the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Rivers.The St.Lucie is already in its final death throes, this new bigger dump will seal the deal. Damn shame that we actually pay sugar to kill off these estuaries.
I have a question about ACE values for storms, when the systems become extratropical but still have wind speeds greater than 39 mph are these wind speeds still used when calculating the ACE value of the storm?

I know when the systems are subtropical the wind speeds are not included in the ACE calculation so I'm guessing this is also true for when/if the storms are extratropical, but I'm not sure.....
Quoting vince1:

That's the dirty little secret that the carbon fear mongers hope you don't notice.


True, this is one of the main issues for solar power currently. However, in the long term it is hoped that car batteries can be utilised to store the power in a 'smart-grid' system and the manufacturing will obviously have to be done closer to home.

However, this idea is a long way off being practical and is indeed one of the main issues of solar power. I think I've read somewhere that solar power is the third most 'dirty' fuel if the emissions from making batteries are taken into account, but I'm not sure if that also included the emissions for building new fossil fuel plants and maintaining them etc.

But that is why you can't have a direct replacement with one renewable energy to a fossil fuel - they are too reliant on other conditions (e.g. weather/time of day), so you need to have a range of renewable energies in order for them to deliver reliable power output.
Quoting stevsh89:
I have a question about ACE values for storms, when the systems become extratropical but still have wind speeds greater than 39 mph are these wind speeds still used when calculating the ACE value of the storm?

I know when the systems are subtropical the wind speeds are not included in the ACE calculation so I'm guessing this is also true for when/if the storms are extratropical, but I'm not sure.....

It's not included. Accumulated Cyclone Energy is calculated for only tropical storms at 6-hour intervals.
Good morning. The promised fifty degrees never materialized here in Louisiana, but the sixty-five is still cooler than the seventies we've had.
Quoting mitthbevnuruodo:


Coldest I have knowingly been in was -30 wind chill in Colorado Springs...no idea what the 'actual' temp was...don't think it mattered when it was THAT cold! LOL My ex had a 64' Mustang, and the heater didn't work...so I sat with a squeegie soaked in anti-freeze and kept wiping the windshield with it when it got iced up every 5 min or so! LOL


I was on an Ice Breaker. It was -45. When it is that cold you are

A deresed for it, or
B DEAD

Now 35 years latter even 45 above feels cold!
Good morning everyone, it has got down to 40F on my PWS so the cool night verified. Also a new AOI in the Atlantic.
Quoting Autistic2:


I was on an Ice Breaker. It was -45. When it is that cold you are

A deresed for it, or
B DEAD

Now 35 years latter even 45 above feels cold!


Kansas hit -60 for several days when I lived there in the 80s. School was not cancelled the first two days and there were no school buses, kids walked or parents dropped their kids off. Car batteries died in that cold temp, died as in you needed a new battery. There were warnings about how fast frostbite could happen and not to be outside for more than a few minutes at most. A man picked up a kindergartner who was walking and brought her into the principal's office. He told them to go ahead and call the police because he wanted the story to go international about a school that had kids walking blocks in temps where such severe warnings were. School was closed the next two days until it warmed up to acceptable degrees.
Post 526

I can't imagine sending anyone, less kids out at -60. At -45 we were dersed in coats with built in heaters and air warmers. We were outside for hours on the ice but still. -60 is Deadly
new system looks as if its a screaming eagle
Quoting Autistic2:
Post 526

I can't imagine sending anyone, less kids out at -60. At -45 we were dersed in coats with built in heaters and air warmers. We were outside for hours on the ice but still. -60 is Deadly


It was deadly. I was teaching and all the teachers were furious as we tried to warm up kids, furious at parents who still had their children walking to school in temperatures they wouldn't walk in. I had to call in the second day because my van's battery had died. My husband refused to buy a new one until it was over because it would only have died the next night. Many teachers were out for the same reason, couldn't get to work. And yet parents sent their kids out to walk to school. The little girl the man picked up was dressed in a skirt! The man threatened to sue the school for endangerment of children and to send it over the AP news.
Good morning. We may see the large area of disturbed weather highlighted in the TWO become 94L today.



I'm not sold on any development with this system but we'll see.
Post 529

Wont a battery freeze solid at that temp? We went for three months and never turned the engines off. We also used them for heat, generating electricity etc. Big fuel tanks!

Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Good morning. We may see the large area of disturbed weather highlighted in the TWO become 94L today.



I'm not sold on any development with this system but we'll see.

It could be an invest today, but I don't know if it would be subtropical or tropical or if it even develops. Good morning MA.

Name:

USCGC Polar Star

Builder:
Lockheed Shipbuilding and Construction Company, Seattle, Washington.

Commissioned:
1976.
Out of service:

Placed into caretaker status, 30 June 2006, reactivated, 11 March 2010.

Nickname:
Building 10. Polar Spare. Brand X. Wide Ass Government Building. Red tub
Range:

28,275 nmi (52,365 km; 32,538 mi).

Big Fuel tanks

Quoting Autistic2:
Post 529

Wont a battery freeze solid at that temp? We went for three months and never turned the engines off. We also used them for heat, generating electricity etc. Big fuel tanks!



Alaska gets temps like -60, but they take their batteries out and plug them into a battery wrap. Needless to say, we didn't have anything like that in Kansas.
Nadine is hangin' in there like a hair in a biscuit!
Seems to be two area of interest forming in the SW Caribbean and in the Bay of Campeche. Might be interesting to watch today. I guess we will see when the visible gets a few frames into the loop.
area 47w 15n almost the same setup as nadine ex 92
Everyone have a great Wednesday!!
92W is beginning to come together. The JTWC has upped its chances of tropical cyclone development within 24 hours to Medium.



ABPW10 PGTW 190800
MSGID/GENADMIN/JOINT TYPHOON WRNCEN PEARL HARBOR HI//
SUBJ/SIGNIFICANT TROPICAL WEATHER ADVISORY FOR THE WESTERN AND
/SOUTH PACIFIC OCEANS/REISSUED/190800Z-200600ZSEP2012//
RMKS/
1. WESTERN NORTH PACIFIC AREA (180 TO MALAY PENINSULA):
A. TROPICAL CYCLONE SUMMARY: NONE.
B. TROPICAL DISTURBANCE SUMMARY:
(1) THE AREA OF CONVECTION PREVIOUSLY LOCATED NEAR 14.4N
139.3E IS NOW LOCATED NEAR 14.7N 138.7E, APPROXIMATELY 360 NM WEST
OF ANDERSEN AFB, GUAM. ANIMATED MULTISPECTRAL SATELLITE IMAGERY
DEPICTS A CONSOLIDATING LOW-LEVEL CIRCULATION CENTER (LLCC) WITH
IMPROVED CONVECTIVE BANDING WRAPPING INTO THE CENTER. A 190605Z SSMI
37GHZ IMAGE ALSO SHOWS IMPROVED BANDING OVER THE WESTERN SEMI-CIRCLE
WRAPPING INTO THE EAST QUADRANT OF A DEFINED LLCC. RECENT TOTAL
PRECIPITABLE WATER IMAGERY SUGGESTS A SLOWLY CONSOLIDATING MOISTURE
ENVELOPE AND MAY SIGNAL DEVELOPMENT OF A STRONGER LLCC. UPPER-LEVEL
ANALYSIS SHOWS A FAVORABLE ENVIRONMENT WITH AN ANTICYCLONE
POSITIONED OVER THE LLCC AND GOOD DIFFLUENCE ENHANCED BY THE TUTT
POSITIONED TO THE NORTHEAST. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED SURFACE WINDS ARE
ESTIMATED AT 12 TO 18 KNOTS. MINIMUM SEA LEVEL PRESSURE IS ESTIMATED
TO BE NEAR 1007 MB. THE POTENTIAL FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF A
SIGNIFICANT TROPICAL CYCLONE WITHIN THE NEXT 24 HOURS IS UPGRADED TO
MEDIUM.
(2) NO OTHER SUSPECT AREAS.
2. SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (WEST COAST OF SOUTH AMERICA TO 135 EAST):
A. TROPICAL CYCLONE SUMMARY: NONE.
B. TROPICAL DISTURBANCE SUMMARY: NONE.//
3. JUSTIFICATION FOR REISSUE: UPGRADED AREA IN PARAGRAPH 1.B.(1) TO
MEDIUM.
Quoting aislinnpaps:
Everyone have a great Wednesday!!

Have a great day.

Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
92W is beginning to come together. The JTWC has upped its chances of tropical cyclone development within 24 hours to Medium.



ABPW10 PGTW 190800
MSGID/GENADMIN/JOINT TYPHOON WRNCEN PEARL HARBOR HI//
SUBJ/SIGNIFICANT TROPICAL WEATHER ADVISORY FOR THE WESTERN AND
/SOUTH PACIFIC OCEANS/REISSUED/190800Z-200600ZSEP2012//
RMKS/
1. WESTERN NORTH PACIFIC AREA (180 TO MALAY PENINSULA):
A. TROPICAL CYCLONE SUMMARY: NONE.
B. TROPICAL DISTURBANCE SUMMARY:
(1) THE AREA OF CONVECTION PREVIOUSLY LOCATED NEAR 14.4N
139.3E IS NOW LOCATED NEAR 14.7N 138.7E, APPROXIMATELY 360 NM WEST
OF ANDERSEN AFB, GUAM. ANIMATED MULTISPECTRAL SATELLITE IMAGERY
DEPICTS A CONSOLIDATING LOW-LEVEL CIRCULATION CENTER (LLCC) WITH
IMPROVED CONVECTIVE BANDING WRAPPING INTO THE CENTER. A 190605Z SSMI
37GHZ IMAGE ALSO SHOWS IMPROVED BANDING OVER THE WESTERN SEMI-CIRCLE
WRAPPING INTO THE EAST QUADRANT OF A DEFINED LLCC. RECENT TOTAL
PRECIPITABLE WATER IMAGERY SUGGESTS A SLOWLY CONSOLIDATING MOISTURE
ENVELOPE AND MAY SIGNAL DEVELOPMENT OF A STRONGER LLCC. UPPER-LEVEL
ANALYSIS SHOWS A FAVORABLE ENVIRONMENT WITH AN ANTICYCLONE
POSITIONED OVER THE LLCC AND GOOD DIFFLUENCE ENHANCED BY THE TUTT
POSITIONED TO THE NORTHEAST. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED SURFACE WINDS ARE
ESTIMATED AT 12 TO 18 KNOTS. MINIMUM SEA LEVEL PRESSURE IS ESTIMATED
TO BE NEAR 1007 MB. THE POTENTIAL FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF A
SIGNIFICANT TROPICAL CYCLONE WITHIN THE NEXT 24 HOURS IS UPGRADED TO
MEDIUM.
(2) NO OTHER SUSPECT AREAS.
2. SOUTH PACIFIC AREA (WEST COAST OF SOUTH AMERICA TO 135 EAST):
A. TROPICAL CYCLONE SUMMARY: NONE.
B. TROPICAL DISTURBANCE SUMMARY: NONE.//
3. JUSTIFICATION FOR REISSUE: UPGRADED AREA IN PARAGRAPH 1.B.(1) TO
MEDIUM.

It looks like it should develop into a good sized/strength storm.
From 'The Price of Oil':

Fracking ... Its Not Actually About Sex

By Andy Rowell on Sep 18, 2012

Fracking may be causing protests from America to Europe, but in South Africa, the latest country to lift a ban on the activity, many of the locals don’t even know what the practice entails.



Earlier this month, South Africa lifted a 2011 ban on shale gas exploration and fracking in its semi-arid ecologically-sensitive Karoo region, known for its rugged, rural beauty.

In April last year the country stopped accepting exploration applications over environmental concerns regarding fracking, especially in relation to drinking water.

But the country has buckled to industry lobbying led by oil giant Shell and overturned the moratorium. The lifting of the drilling ban is expected to result in a scramble by the oil majors for reserves seen as the fifth largest in the world.

The government has also announced that it would “hold a series of public consultation with interested and affected stakeholders to provide further details.”

It also needs to inform people what fracking actually is.

Despite the media coverage of the lifting of the moratorium, in a recent poll in South Africa almost 2 in 3 (62 per cent) said they had not heard of the technique before.

Of those who claimed they had heard of fracking, only 25 per cent thought it referred to a method of extracting natural gas.

Some 34 per cent thought it was a way to protect against sunburn.

And a further 26 per cent believed it was a type of sexual activity.

However, when people were explained what fracking actually was, some 84 per cent of the respondents were against it.

Continue reading 'Fracking ... Its Not Actually About Sex'


About Fracking

Fracking, technically known as hydraulic fracturing, is a highly water-intensive and relatively new process that injects millions of gallons of water mixed with sand and chemicals thousands of feet beneath the ground to obtain previously hard-to-reach oil and gas deposits. This polluting process is:

• Endangering our drinking water supplies
• Polluting our air
• Releasing dangerous levels of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that can migrate into nearby wells, causing home explosions
• Negatively impacting agricultural communities
• Perpetuating our addiction to fossil fuels

Learn more about the risks fracking imposes on our water, air and communities.

Source
Here is what TA13 mentioned last night.

TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
500 AM PDT WED SEP 19 2012

FOR THE EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC...EAST OF 140 DEGREES WEST LONGITUDE..

THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER IS ISSUING ADVISORIES ON RECENTLY
DOWNGRADED TROPICAL DEPRESSION LANE...LOCATED ABOUT 1355 MILES WEST
OF THE SOUTHERN TIP OF BAJA CALIFORNIA.

A BROAD LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM THAT HAS FORMED ABOUT 425 MILES
SOUTHEAST OF ACAPULCO MEXICO IS PRODUCING A LARGE AREA OF
CLOUDINESS AND SHOWERS FROM THE GULF OF TEHUANTEPEC AND EXTENDING
SOUTHWARD OVER THE EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC FOR SEVERAL HUNDRED MILES.
SOME GRADUAL DEVELOPMENT OF THIS DISTURBANCE IS POSSIBLE OVER THE
NEXT FEW DAYS AS IT MOVES WESTWARD AT 5 TO 10 MPH. THIS SYSTEM HAS
A LOW CHANCE...10 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING
THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER STEWART

Hopefully a more quiet weather day today...........
Quoting Xandra:
From 'The Price of Oil':

Fracking ... Its Not Actually About Sex

By Andy Rowell on Sep 18, 2012

Fracking may be causing protests from America to Europe, but in South Africa, the latest country to lift a ban on the activity, many of the locals don’t even know what the practice entails.



Earlier this month, South Africa lifted a 2011 ban on shale gas exploration and fracking in its semi-arid ecologically-sensitive Karoo region, known for its rugged, rural beauty.

In April last year the country stopped accepting exploration applications over environmental concerns regarding fracking, especially in relation to drinking water.

But the country has buckled to industry lobbying led by oil giant Shell and overturned the moratorium. The lifting of the drilling ban is expected to result in a scramble by the oil majors for reserves seen as the fifth largest in the world.

The government has also announced that it would “hold a series of public consultation with interested and affected stakeholders to provide further details.”

It also needs to inform people what fracking actually is.

Despite the media coverage of the lifting of the moratorium, in a recent poll in South Africa almost 2 in 3 (62 per cent) said they had not heard of the technique before.

Of those who claimed they had heard of fracking, only 25 per cent thought it referred to a method of extracting natural gas.

Some 34 per cent thought it was a way to protect against sunburn.

And a further 26 per cent believed it was a type of sexual activity.

However, when people were explained what fracking actually was, some 84 per cent of the respondents were against it.

Continue reading 'Fracking ... Its Not Actually About Sex'


About Fracking

Fracking, technically known as hydraulic fracturing, is a highly water-intensive and relatively new process that injects millions of gallons of water mixed with sand and chemicals thousands of feet beneath the ground to obtain previously hard-to-reach oil and gas deposits. This polluting process is:

• Endangering our drinking water supplies
• Polluting our air
• Releasing dangerous levels of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that can migrate into nearby wells, causing home explosions
• Negatively impacting agricultural communities
• Perpetuating our addiction to fossil fuels

Learn more about the risks fracking imposes on our water, air and communities.

Source
Yeah, I've seen a recent spate of articles (and forum comments) extolling the virtues of natural gas as a replacement for coal. It's true that natural gas only releases about half the CO2 of coal when it's burned--but that's still a substantial amount. Natural gas, too, comes with the very high risk of heavy methane leaks--and methane is far more powerful a greenhouse gas than is CO2. Also, as your article points out, there are the environmentally contaminating effects of fracking--and we won't even discuss the numerous earthquakes that have been proven to be related to the practice.

Almost all of the cheerleading for and celebrating of the wonders of natural gas I've seen has come from the natural gas industry. But gas isn't a panacea, and it surely won't get us out of this climate change mess in which we find ourselves. After all, we've not exchanged a non-renewable greenhouse gas-producing fossil fuel for a clean and safe alternative energy; we've merely traded in one non-renewable greenhouse gas-producing fossil fuel for another non-renewable greenhouse gas-producing fossil fuel.
Going Batty??..................A Manatee County family is battling a bat problem.

Leo and Joan Masucci, who live in Ellenton's Colony Cove, said hundreds of bats recently moved into their home, causing major problems for them.

"You can’t imagine how stressful this has been for us," Joan Masucci said.
The couple said that at first, they didn't even realize the bats were there. Then, after a few months, they started smelling a rotten odor.

"I thought there was a dead animal under the house," Leo Masucci said.

The bats were not visible to the homeowners because they were up above the ceiling. They were able to get into the home through a small hole in the back of the house.

The bats chewed through the drywall, shredded the duct work and left feces all over, which created the terrible odor.

Despite learning about the problem, the couple couldn’t do anything about it because of what time of the year it was.

"From April 15 to Aug. 15, bats here in Florida are protected," said Christy Norris, who works with Nuisance Wildlife Removal. "There’s a maternity season, and you can’t exclude them in any way shape or form during that time."

So the couple waited until after the protection date to move forward. However, now they're dealing with another problem.

To repair all of the damage done to their home, it's going to cost an estimated $15,000.

The couple thought their homeowner’s insurance would pay for it, but they’ve been told the repairs are not covered.

Bay News 9 contacted the homeowner's insurance company, American Traditions. A representative said the company is aware of the problem and is looking into it.

The homeowners fear for their health and said that because of that, along with the smell and damages, they've moved out.

The Masuccis said they have decided to pay for the repairs themselves so they can return home soon. However, they're still trying to convince their insurance company to cover the costs.

Nuisance Wildlife Removal and another team are now working on the home.

The couple says this is something they never thought was possible and now they're warning others.

"I’d like people to know to make sure their homes are checked and that holes are filled in," Joan Masucci said. "There are a lot of bats looking to nest. I don’t want anyone else to have this same problem."
..................Scientists have Found a way to make Liquids levitate!!...Scientists used two small speakers to generate sound waves, whose levels are above what we can hear.

Pressure from the sound waves cancel the effect of gravity, allowing light objects to levitate.

Researchers hope to use this technology to develop amorphous drugs that will allow patients to take smaller doses with fewer side effects.
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 AM EDT WED SEP 19 2012

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER IS ISSUING ADVISORIES ON TROPICAL
STORM NADINE...LOCATED ABOUT 185 MILES SOUTH OF THE ISLAND
OF FLORES IN THE AZORES.

DISORGANIZED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS LOCATED OVER THE CENTRAL
ATLANTIC ABOUT 850 MILES EAST OF BERMUDA ARE ASSOCIATED WITH A
DEVELOPING NON-TROPICAL LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM. THE LOW COULD BEGIN
TO ACQUIRE TROPICAL OR SUBTROPICAL CHARACTERISTICS AS IT MOVES
WESTWARD AT ABOUT 10 MPH DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS. THIS
SYSTEM HAS A LOW CHANCE...10 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL OR
SUBTROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER PASCH
Still at 10% chance of development.
BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM NADINE INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 32A
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL142012
800 AM AST WED SEP 19 2012

...TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS EXPECTED OVER PORTIONS OF THE AZORES
LATER TODAY AND TONIGHT...


SUMMARY OF 800 AM AST...1200 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...36.7N 31.7W
ABOUT 185 MI...300 KM S OF FLORES IN THE AZORES
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...50 MPH...85 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NE OR 50 DEGREES AT 5 MPH...7 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...993 MB...29.32 INCHES


WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY...

NONE.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* THE AZORES ISLANDS OF FLORES...CORVO...FAIAL...PICO...SAO JORGE...
GRACIOSA...AND TERCEIRA

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE
EXPECTED SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE WARNING AREA WITHIN 36 HOURS.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...PLEASE MONITOR
PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR NATIONAL METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE.


DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
AT 800 AM AST...1200 UTC...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM NADINE WAS
LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 36.7 NORTH...LONGITUDE 31.7 WEST. NADINE IS
MOVING TOWARD THE NORTHEAST NEAR 5 MPH...7 KM/H. NADINE SHOULD MOVE
ERRATICALLY TODAY...BUT IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN A SOUTHEASTWARD DRIFT
ON THURSDAY.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 50 MPH...85 KM/H...WITH HIGHER
GUSTS. LITTLE CHANGE IN STRENGTH IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT 48
HOURS.

TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 230 MILES...370 KM
FROM THE CENTER.

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 993 MB...29.32 INCHES.


HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
WIND...TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED WITHIN THE TROPICAL
STORM WARNING AREA BY LATER TODAY OR EARLY THURSDAY.

SURF...SWELLS GENERATED BY NADINE WILL AFFECT THE AZORES DURING THE
NEXT SEVERAL DAYS. THESE SWELLS ARE LIKELY TO CAUSE LIFE-THREATENING
SURF AND RIP CURRENT CONDITIONS. PLEASE CONSULT PRODUCTS FROM YOUR
LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.


NEXT ADVISORY
-------------
NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY...1100 AM AST.

$$
FORECASTER PASCH
Quoting KoritheMan:
Am I the only one who would like to see Nadine hit Morocco, Spain, or Portugal? Another Vince would be awesome, if only for its sheer enigmatic nature.
They probably need the rain as well.

Big MODIS images showing parched wheat crops in southern Spain earlier this year from NASA Earth Observatory page: Drought Hits Spain's Wheat Crop.
Also, from a few days ago, Drought in Spain severely reduces olive crop sending price of olive oil surging.

Nice cloudy morning here on the space coast with rain expected...the front is taking its time and will probably wash out before it gets here. Good time to get out and get something done, no job shortages at my house, but the pay is less than a dollar a day, captain.
Quoting guygee:
They probably need the rain as well.

Big MODIS images showing parched wheat crops in southern Spain earlier this year from NASA Earth Observatory page: Drought Hits Spain's Wheat Crop.
Also, from a few days ago, Drought in Spain severely reduces olive crop sending price of olive oil surging.

Nice cloudy morning here on the space coast with rain expected...the front is taking its and will probably wash out before it gets here. Good time to get out and get something done, no job shortages at my house, but the pay is less than a dollar a day, captain.

Surely they don't need rain on the plain?
Quoting PensacolaDoug:
Nadine is hangin' in there like a hair in a biscuit!
No, I think I'll pass on the hair biscuits this morning, thank you.
Morning all.. 44 degrees her in Mid Tn... no likey!
Quoting weatherh98:

Surely they don't need rain on the plain?
They need it so the hills can stay alive, too.
Quoting guygee:
They need it so the hills can stay alive, too.


Hahhahahahahaa
See you around Endeavour.
Relatively very quiet latter half of september. none of the computer models showing any significant development ,the rest of the month. as a matter of fact ,the main hurricane development areas are under hostile conditions.
Quoting weatherh98:

Surely they don't need rain on the plain?

Seems like a lot of places need rain lately, that or they have too much. Good morning Harrison, it got to 40F this morning.
Quoting stoormfury:
Relatively very quiet latter half of september. none of the computer models showing any significant development ,the rest of the month. as a matter of fact ,the main hurricane development areas are under hostile conditions.

They are quieting down, but it is not over. Really only the GOM is hostile right now and we could see some sort of development from the AOI near Bermuda.
Good morning all. Well I thought we would get some rain overnight but it seemed to pass us by. I saw flashes of lightening in the distance around midnight, but it skirted past us raining in the ocean. I am sure some of the lower keys must have gotten something but Key West seems to be situated so that the rain misses more than hits. I was disappointed to hear the weatherman say that the front will stall in central Florida, so no drying weather for us. So I guess another month before the Florida Keys feels any change in the weather. Typical weather for us. Around Oct 14th the Turkey buzzards return to the Keys from their migration and around the first of November we should be getting a change. It always blows when the Powerboat races are held here. Everyone have a good day and enjoy your first breath of fall. I am green with envy!
So many storms this year have so many things in common. Long lived storms that form and maintain strength in high latitudes
Why hasnt one of them turned annular
Quoting TheHurricaneDundee:
Why hasnt one of them turned annular

Annular hurricanes are rare.
Quoting JNCali:
Morning all.. 44 degrees her in Mid Tn... no likey!


I'm jealous. Warm and muggy here, for the 150th morning in a row. Here's hoping this next front makes it all the way through.

ha azors are like COME ON!
Quoting TheHurricaneDundee:
Why hasnt one of them turned annular

Annular hurricanes are very rare only 1-3% of storms meet all criteria
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Annular hurricanes are rare.
I know but hasnt some of the hurricanes this year been in the situation where they could have? cold temps., maintain strong cir.?
Quoting guygee:
No, I think I'll pass on the hair biscuits this morning, thank you.


LOL
ATCF says Nadine is still at 50 mph and Lane is now post-tropical.
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
ATCF says Nadine is still at 50 mph and Lane is now post-tropical.

Well, for now I agree. But I think Nadine is wrapping up her center again (or i'm just seeing things).
Thanks for the great updates Dr. M. (had the flu and was slow to the party)

Arctic Volume statistics go along with the area estimates of half way to an ice free summer minimum. The volume statistic shows more progression to this level over the last two years than area, with much less recovery.

I wondered what you could get “ de resed” for.
Now that we have infrasound antigravity. (Asimov) NASA has launched satellites looking for wormholes to the sun. (Star Trek) Propulsion researchers are relooking at warp technology. (trek and wars) Ground based LiDAR can scan a 3D crash scene into the computer for analysis. (tron) Things are getting interesting again.
To a Floridian, de resolution at -45F seems like a probable reaction. (tron/ grin)
Quoting mrslehnert:
I am doing a project for my college class and we are supposed to pick an event that changes the way we veiwed the natural world.



Identify a specific historical event that has changed our scientific understanding of an aspect of the natural world (e.g., the eruption of Mount St. Helens, the tsunami in Indonesia, the moon landing, Chernobyl disaster, Exxon Valdez oil spill, major floods, earthquakes, tornadoes).

a. Discuss the social and historical context in which the event occurred.

b. Discuss the impact that your chosen historical event has had upon our scientific understanding of an aspect of the natural world.

c. Include two specific examples that support your analysis of how this event added to or changed our understanding of science in the natural world.



I chose the Galveston 1900 hurricane. I know that Cline believed that since the waters of Galveston were shallow that it protected them from a storm surge that would do significant damage. Obviously, we know now that the shallow waters and the slow incline to the shore made the storm surge. Also I learned in my reading that Galveston cut down natural sand dunes in order to fill in low spots in the city ( which only made them more susecptible to a surge)

My question is what else did the Galveston Storm teach us about the Natural world ? I read one article that mentioned they were concerned with it because storms didnt come that far west and usually once past Florida made a turn to the North East.

I have been lurking for year but I know you guys are some of the brightest on Hurricanes and I have honestly searched and searched and can't find what I am looking for.

Thank You



Hmm, I'm not the brightest mind here, but I do remember that a few hours before the hurricane hit, the flag indicating the city would be by the northwest (better, if there is one) side of the storm were raised. Just as the winds began to hit the city, it was discovered that the the city would actually be hit with the "dirty" northeast side and the flags were changed, but torn down by the wind. So I suppose we learned to determine early which side of storm you are on, becasue it makes a huge difference in outcome. We at least learned not to underestimate the power of a hurricane :)
Quoting HurricaneDean07:

C. Surprisingly. And I live in Texas. Nothing surprises me...

I laugh at those who say 100 is hot, Well. Try living it ALL DAMN SUMMER... Though I cringe at temperatures under 32 Degrees. So. Just the culture here I guess ;)


Try living in the Great Lakes region... 90*+ all summer with high humidity... AND subzero wind chills all winter long...
Quoting Caner:
"globe's 4th warmest August on record"

Worlds heaviest concentration of antarctic sea ice on record for this early not worth mentioning i guess...

Doesn't fit the narrative, after all..


It's not a matter of narrative, it's a matter of cause and mechanism. The mechanism for reducing sea ice in the Antarctic basin is not the same as the mechanism for the Arctic.

The Arctic is all ocean, the Antarctic is a continent surrounded by water. Sea ice in the Antarctic can increase both from freezing on the water and from land ice calving off into the ocean. Of course this is a far oversimplified description, a better explanation should be left to scientists studying the cryosphere. Such scientists have stated that the two poles cannot be compared directly, and that sea ice increases in the Antarctic are still consistent with planetary warming (and to be expected).
581. denni
Quoting CybrTeddy:
See you around Endeavour.
Are you in Florida? or is this the Houston area?
Quoting goosegirl1:


Hmm, I'm not the brightest mind here, but I do remember that a few hours before the hurricane hit, the flag indicating the city would be by the northwest (better, if there is one) side of the storm were raised. Just as the winds began to hit the city, it was discovered that the the city would actually be hit with the "dirty" northeast side and the flags were changed, but torn down by the wind. So I suppose we learned to determine early which side of storm you are on, becasue it makes a huge difference in outcome. We at least learned not to underestimate the power of a hurricane :)


Isaac's Storm is the definitive reference for this Hurricane. What does it tell us about our understanding of the Natural world? Perhaps that it is essential to understand the risk posed by natural phenomena, like hurricanes, and to better plan for their impact, either through better mitigative measures, or by recognizing that some locations are so prone to risk that avoidance is the best of all options. Unfortunately, given the boom in building along exposed ocean coastlines during the last 50 years, we haven't learned that one yet.
It also proved with out a doubt that what we think we know can be  damaging  to preparation for a storm and that sharing  weather information with other countries is a very good thing.
Quoting Progster:


Isaac's Storm is the definitive reference for this Hurricane. What does it tell us about our understanding of the Natural world? Perhaps that it is essential to understand the risk posed by natural phenomena, like hurricanes, and to better plan for their impact, either through better mitigative measures, or by recognizing that some locations are so prone to risk that avoidance is the best of all options. Unfortunately, given the boom in building along exposed ocean coastlines during the last 50 years, we haven't learned that one yet.

Quoting fireflymom:
It also proved with out a doubt that what we think we know can be  damaging  to preparation for a storm and that sharing  weather information with other countries is a very good thing.



That's a great point. Storms have served as catalysts too for not only sharing weather data internationally, but expanding observing networks.
Quoting CybrTeddy:
See you around Endeavour.


Ellington, where it will land, is just north of me. I may take my daughter and go view.

I'm still a bit miffed that Houston didn't get a shuttle. We received a mockup. I refused to attend that big show when the fake was brought to Houston. Many others did too.
Endeavor made her NOLA,Michoud, Stennis pass and was a sight to behold.

file image:


Quoting Eng1n3rd:


Try living in the Great Lakes region... 90*+ all summer with high humidity... AND subzero wind chills all winter long...


I could put up with that. Here, in the UK, we've had the wettest summer for 100 years. Where I live (Scotland), we've probably had less than a dozen days when the temperature reached 70.

The wet summer has been caused by unusually southerly jet stream loops. It's believed these loops are a consequence of the record Arctic Ocean ice melt. If that's the case, wet summers will become the norm, here.
Post 578, Goosegirl1, in your statement, about the NW part of the storm, are you referring to the 1900 Hurricane? Back then I don't know if they even realized that the NW part of the storm was weaker. And, they had no satellites to help them track it's movement. They really didn't even realize it was coming(except for one forecaster) You are talking over 112 years ago, the science was very primitive back then, compared to today.
Quoting Patrap:
Endeavor made her NOLA,Michoud, Stennis pass and was a sight to behold.

file image:




I'll get my camera ready. I live near the jsc and it's planned to do a 1,500' fly over in about an hour. I'll also have on my ear protection. (or just remove the hearing aids).
I'm also doing a project on the Galveston Hurricane, but I'm focusing on it's political impacts
Quoting all4hurricanes:
I'm also doing a project on the Galveston Hurricane, but I'm focusing on it's political impacts


If either of you are near Galveston, there is a very impressive slide/movie show on the hurricane as well as a small museum.
I live in League City, I was planning on driving down to the pier 21 theater this afternoon:) I heard the show was amazing.

I was watching a documentary from the history channel on it last night...it just so deeply impacts you what they went through.
Quoting Patrap:
Endeavor made her NOLA,Michoud, Stennis pass and was a sight to behold.

file image:




My wife is at Bush airport. She just sent me, via mms, a great pic of the shuttle over the airport.
Quoting Pirate999:


My wife is at Bush airport. She just sent me, via mms, a great pic of the shuttle over the airport.



Very cool..and awesome.
I'm in New York but if I am ever in the Galveston area I will check that out. Are there warnings or watches up for the Azores I didn't see any on the NHC cite but TS winds are basically on top of one of the islands
Quoting mrslehnert:
I live in League City, I was planning on driving down to the pier 21 theater this afternoon:) I heard the show was amazing.

I was watching a documentary from the history channel on it last night...it just so deeply impacts you what they went through.


It is impressive and very informative. A real eye opener. This is also a book by Gary cartwright on the history of Galveston. Highly recommended. At one point, before the hurricane, Galveston rivaled NYC in economic and political dominance. And there were the fair share of gangsters and gambling etc. the hurricane ans resulting Houston ship channel ended its reign.
Scott Dimmich8:26 AM - Public
We had near record cold this morning; we were 1° away from tying the record low temperature of 39° in Cincinnati. Big Oaks appears to be Tri-State cold spot at 34°.
JeffMasters has created a new entry.
Quoting Patrap:
Endeavor made her NOLA,Michoud, Stennis pass and was a sight to behold.

file image:


It must be interesting how they attach the shuttle to the aircraft. Could make for difficult flying if not set just right.
Quoting originalLT:
Post 578, Goosegirl1, in your statement, about the NW part of the storm, are you referring to the 1900 Hurricane? Back then I don't know if they even realized that the NW part of the storm was weaker. And, they had no satellites to help them track it's movement. They really didn't even realize it was coming(except for one forecaster) You are talking over 112 years ago, the science was very primitive back then, compared to today.



Actually, they did know, hence the changing of the flags. Hurricanes were tracked by ships offshore, wind direction, barometer readings, and on-the-ground reports. It was realized that the city was about to hit with the wrong side of the storm by observing the wind direction and changes.