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Geoengineering: should we pump sulfur into the stratosphere?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 3:43 PM GMT on February 13, 2008

Professor Paul Crutzen, winner of the 1995 Nobel Prize for his work on the Antarctic ozone hole, has proposed an emergency geoengineering solution to cool off the planet: dump huge quantities of sulfur particles into the stratosphere to reflect sunlight. His paper, "Albedo Enhancement by Stratospheric Sulfur Injections: A Contribution to Resolve a Policy Dilemma?" was published in the August 2006 issue of the journal Climatic Change. A recent editorial in the New York Times by Ken Caldeira called for more research into geoengineering schemes like this to cool the planet, proposing that 1% of the $3 billion federal Climate Change Technology Program should be spent thusly.

Dr. Crutzen proposes that balloons or artillery guns could propel burning sulfur into the stratosphere, where chemical reactions would convert the sulfur to highly reflective sulfate aerosol particles. This is the same process that occurs when a major volcanic eruption throws sulfur high into the atmosphere, cooling the planet. The 1992 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines cooled the Earth by about 0.5° C the following year. Crutzen estimates that a lesser amount of sulfur would be required to compensate for a doubling of carbon dioxide, and that the cost of lofting the required sulfur into the stratosphere would be about $132 billion. These costs would be per year, since the sulfur only stays in the stratosphere about a year.

Could it work? Sure it could. Volcanos periodically pump huge quantities of sulfur into the stratosphere, cooling the planet. Wunderblogger Dr. Ricky Rood shows a nice plot in his blog this week showing how three major volcanic eruptions in the past 50 years have cooled off the planet. Are there problems with the scheme? Yes, many:

1) The climate might undergo substantial and disruptive changes. Evaporation from the oceans would lessen, changing precipitation patterns. The sulfate aerosols would warm the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere, changing the stability of the atmosphere. This would affect thunderstorm activity and large-scale weather patterns. Increased warming of Europe and Asia in winter has been noted after volcanic eruptions, for example. A 2005 study tied an increase in greenhouse gases and sulfur particles to drought in the Sahel region of Africa. Increasing greenhouse gases and sulfur particles even further might intensify drought conditions there.

2) The small sulfur particles might settle into the upper troposphere, where they might act as condensation nuclei for the formation of cirrus clouds. An increase in these high cirrus clouds may warm the planet, since they keep heat from escaping to space.

3)Stratospheric sulfur causes destruction of the protective ozone layer. The 1982 eruption of the El Chichon volcano reduced ozone by 16% at 20 km altitude at mid-latitudes. Decreased ozone would result in an increase in ultraviolet light at the surface, potentially increasing skin cancer rates.

4) Acid rain would increase.

5) The scheme would do nothing to reduce CO2, and the oceans would continue to acidify. The rate of acidification of the Earth's oceans is causing concern that regional collapses of the food chain may occur later this century.

6) A sudden collapse of the effort to keep firing sulfur into the stratosphere, due to the lack of political will to continue to fund this expensive effort, would result in a sudden transition of the climate to a radically warmer state. The resulting shock to the world's weather might cause dramatic changes that would be difficult to adapt to.

7) What do you do if the scheme causes serious climate problems in a country that then threatens war unless the effort is stopped?

Conclusion
As climate scientist Ray Pierrehumbert wrote in a 2007 blog on RealClimate.org, "It's not really insurance. It's more like building a lifeboat, but a lifeboat based on a design that has never been used before which has to work more or less perfectly the first time the panicked passengers are loaded into it." Pierrehumbert thought that the proposal to spend $30 million of the annual $3 billion climate change research budget was far too much money.

I'm not a big fan of geoengineering schemes. It makes far more sense to spend this kind of money of reducing carbon emissions, since the cure may be worse than the disease. Still, research into geoengineering should continue. We need to keep all of options open for the very uncertain future of our climate. When you're team's down two touchdowns late in the game, sometime you have to take risks you ordinarily would not take. But how much money should be spent on geoengineering research? If you're a wunderground member, take the wunderpoll at the right.

Jeff Masters

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

dr m sould this say wunderpoll at the right.
No insulted intended - this sounds loopy.
One of the choices in the poll should read $0. That's the figure I would have picked.

All money going to the global warming cause should be directly funneled into developing clean energy technologies, preferrably harnessing tidal forces and coriolis currents. There's enough energy flowing through those systems to provide enough electricity for the planet many times over.
'Substantial and disruptive changes' should be the operative expression concerning the possible sulphur solution to global warming. However, after a certain number of global warming induced calamities occur, it will probably be tried. If it works man would be able heat the planet like an oven, and just throw up some sulphur clouds to counter it. Sounds great.
Ice melts, & the water gets colder... Like in an ice cream freezer. Are we salting the poles?
Link
I wonder how much Professor Paul Crutzen was paid to come up with this ridicules idea!
Good morning people,

Got lucky yesterday when there was a tornado warning within a couple miles of my house. No damage but did get some video of a rotating wall cloud. Looked very threating on my way home.....I did not have my camcorder at work so i did not get the drive in which would been great footage. The darn thing was winding down when i got back into my truck to begin filming just down the street. It began moving away so it was all i could do to keep up. The lightning which was bad on my way home, almost had stop when i started filming. I will put it on here when it becomes available....Still may get in one more shot in the next couple of hours but not counting on it........ I live west of Orlando about 25 miles near a little town called Mascotte........
Hope South Florida has not yet let their guard down. Look at the weather on the way. Flooding highly likely with these storms.
since the cure may be worse than the disease

That's the phrase to keep in mind. We should be working to eliminate causes of change, not to counteract them with opposite causes.
10. Inyo
Yeah as much as I support controlling greenhouse warming, this sulfur scheme sounds like a really bad idea. I mean, if we get really desperate it might be an option but it seems like more trouble than even converting to other fuels.
Yea I think Dude had one too many 420's if you get my drift
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH in effect for Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe, and Collier counties until 6:00PM EST. Looks like the location I'm at right now in Davie is about to experience another round.
Professor Paul Crutzen, winner of the 1995 Nobel Prize for his work on the Antarctic ozone hole, has proposed an emergency geoengineering solution to cool off the planet: dump huge quantities of sulfur particles into the stratosphere to reflect sunlight.

Much better idea: Keep the tropical Pacific cool (i.e. La Nina) - much more natural and effective:







As you can see, global temperatures dropped all the way to the 40th warmest on record, from the warmest last year (for January) and almost half a degree colder than the warmest decade on record.
Anyone else besides me watching this squall line moving into South Florida? Hasn't lost much strength. Been letting people around me know that severe weather is on the way. Anyone want to comment on this squall line?
Much better idea: Keep the tropical Pacific cool (i.e. La Nina) - much more natural and effective:
As you can see, global temperatures dropped all the way to the 40th warmest on record, from the warmest last year (for January) and almost half a degree colder than the warmest decade on record.


STL, is that the egg, the chicken, or an omlette?
STL would profer your suggestion for cooling the planet over sulfur!!!!
cch...I am watching it from work very closely.I am in downtown West Palm Beach...I guess we are the only 2 people that the aquall line will effect now
132 billion dollars to throw sulfur into our atmosphere,these geniuses keep coming up with wonderful ideas on how to spend my tax dollars
14. cchsweatherman 11:47 AM CST on February 13, 2008
Anyone else besides me watching this squall line moving into South Florida? Hasn't lost much strength. Been letting people around me know that severe weather is on the way. Anyone want to comment on this squall line?


It doesnt look nearly as intense as the one that came through our area yesterday.

Somewhat broken up from what I can see on radar. I think ya'll will get some heavy rain, and like you said earlier flooding. Though any flooding will most likely be localized street flooding.

Arent you guys still in a drought situation?
20. 0741
i going be affect by it too i near miami airport it getting dark here
should we pump sulfur into the stratosphere?

Good Lord. Are you kidding me?
Could the experiment be limited to the area above Professor Crutzen's house? Or say DC?

Btw, I'm in SW Miami, it's dark, raining and have had several unusual "howling wind" spells since last night.
Much better idea: Keep the tropical Pacific cool (i.e. La Nina) - much more natural and effective:

Sounds good. How do we do this - tunnels? (Sorry, couldn't resist.)
19. hondaguy 6:11 PM GMT on February 13, 2008
14. cchsweatherman 11:47 AM CST on February 13, 2008
Anyone else besides me watching this squall line moving into South Florida? Hasn't lost much strength. Been letting people around me know that severe weather is on the way. Anyone want to comment on this squall line?

It doesnt look nearly as intense as the one that came through our area yesterday.

Somewhat broken up from what I can see on radar. I think ya'll will get some heavy rain, and like you said earlier flooding. Though any flooding will most likely be localized street flooding.

Arent you guys still in a drought situation?


Doppler Radar just indicated a Tornado over Cooper City where I live. I'm going to be making some calls to see if a tornado touched down there. I'm worried right now.

To answer your question, we are still in a deep drought here in Florida, but not so much Miami-Dade county. Lake Okeechobee has received over 6 inches of rainfall throughout the past 24 hours.
23. tornadofan 6:51 PM GMT on February 13, 2008
Much better idea: Keep the tropical Pacific cool (i.e. La Nina) - much more natural and effective:

Sounds good. How do we do this - tunnels? (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

Throw buckets of ice cubes into the tropical Pacific
Throw buckets of ice cubes into the tropical Pacific

I'll fire up the ice maker!
I'll fire up the ice maker!

Sounds more reasonable that purposely firing sulfur into the Stratosphere.
cchs...Let us know something once it's all over. The whole torando thing worries me for you guys down there.

Yesterday they had nearly 4 (that the news reported) sightings of funnel clouds here in the Baton Rouge area alone. I believe 2 tornados touched down in our area too.

I've never in my life seen the sky so dark.
Kind of a crazy idea to put additional sulfur in the air. I thought the World was spending money trying to reduce the sulfur input into the atmosphere.

28. hondaguy 7:22 PM GMT on February 13, 2008
cchs...Let us know something once it's all over. The whole torando thing worries me for you guys down there.

Yesterday they had nearly 4 (that the news reported) sightings of funnel clouds here in the Baton Rouge area alone. I believe 2 tornados touched down in our area too.

I've never in my life seen the sky so dark.


Just finished making calls to people I know who are in Cooper City and they have told me that they did not see a tornado, although there is some wind damage from this line. I'll see soon enough in about two hours what occurred at my house. Hopefully, I won't have much to clean up, but I know that I will have some cleanup to come; mainly sweeping up and raking branches and leaves.
Here in South Florida, the weather has finally begun to calm as the trough has departed off the coast and the cold front makes its approach on the area. All in all, this could have been far worse than it was throughout the entire state. Now, I could use some sunshine. Lake Okeechobee got somewhere around 6" rainfall from this storm system. It needs much more, but this was a great blessing since we never usually get storms like this during February.
11. oriondarkwood 5:10 PM GMT on February 13, 2008
Yea I think Dude had one too many 420's if you get my drift

I agree
I kinda like the idea of cutting down any emissions, and leaving Mother Nature alone. This old earth has taken care of itself for BILLIONS of years.

Ahhh...the voice of sanity. Thanks StormW. Lets indeed spend the money cutting emissions, creating a new, green economy and let Mother Nature heal.
32. StormW 8:22 PM GMT on February 13, 2008
I kinda like the idea of cutting down any emissions, and leaving Mother Nature alone. This old earth has taken care of itself for BILLIONS of years.




Well said Storm! I agree fully. Don't mess with Mother Nature!
Hhhmmm, I think we've got some scientists
who've been smoking crack, or something
stronger even!

Are you kidding? Mother Nature corrects itself,
or the sun will blow up and that'll be it! The
IPCC has no proven data to support their
conclusions anyway as surface temperatures are
biased and non-scientific.

Geoengineering is a joke! Like many other
things, we need to throw more money down the
crapper because it's just the way we are and
how our system works(or doesn't)!

Hey,Storm,if only we could get our presidential candidates to make that much sense.You better be careful people are leery of people who talk common sense.
I think mother nature can handle it just fine. Lets just fix what we are doing wrong instead of applying a band aid. 2 wrongs don't make a right.
That would just smell soooo bad.
Sulphur in the atmosphere? That must be a bad joke... Just wait for natural regulations of too warm years such as La Nina or an volcanic eruption, Mother Nature does that all by herself. If sulphure were blown up into the atmosphere and just a couple of months later a major eruption occured, it might be too much and we end up having another ice age.

Thanks MichaelSTL for posting the anomaly graphics of past years in comparison with this year. What strikes me most is the drastic drop in average temperatures in Central Asia (-8°F) compared to the more than 11°F over average in Siberia and North Europe.These areas just remain outside the current cooling trend. Seems like everybody is getting a decent winter except the Europeans and the Russians. *lol*

As I posted in one of the previous blog entries (right before the Doc posted another entry so probably noone read it), the Baltic Sea has currently the smallest areal ice cover in recorded history (over 300 years). This blog in English sums it up quite nicely. Normally about 45 % of the entire Baltic Sea are frozen in winter, in severe winters up to 96 % (record-breaking ice cover in 1987 when it went down to South Sweden and Germany).
What a bust here in Northern Pinallas County. Only .3in of rain. I was hoping for a good 1-3 total out of this one.
I'd vote for you, StormW.
40. StormW 9:04 PM GMT on February 13, 2008
I hear ya! Maybe I should run...probably wouldn't get elected though.



Storm, You are a smart man so you would not fit in. Besides why would you put yourself and family through that mess?
Hey Doc,
did you see were Shell Oil will be outfitting 7 of their rigs with equipment to measure weather data and wave data. Heard it today in the news.
The level of human hubris knows no bounds.
Unpredicted snow over the northern foothills of North Carolina.It was just suspose to be flurries over the western slopes of the Blue Ridge,"Above 3500f.t".

We in Orlando only got a quarter of an inch of rain.
More than 6 inches locally in Lake Worth / Palm Springs, Fl. area.
Dr. M:

Agree with most of the folks on this launching large quatities of sulfur into the Stratospere as a really bad idea right now (sorry Mr. Nobel).......Let's wait a few more decades to see what Mother Nature has in store (and if things truly worsen)......Given all of the recent, and sometimes locally catastropic, natural events around the world (floods/earthquakes/tsunamis/tropical storms/drought) in recent years, I would not count out some type of massive volcanic eruption somewhere on the planet in the next several years which would "naturally" take care of the problem without having to spend billions..........
Sounds very similar to the idea of covering the Arctic with soot back in the 70's to forestall global cooling. I believe these AGW folks need to figure out what the earths temperature really is, since they can't agree on that, before we start giving ourselves ice baths to cool down.

My goodness can you imagine if they did that and then we had a strong La Nina and a couple volcano eruptions neither of which can be predicted, you'd have mass murder on your hands, ridiculous. Are these people totally nuts

JER

Will it ever stop??? Like we need to dump anything else into our already over burdened atmosphere...Go figure
Dune..Desert Sulfur Spice Planet,..

Sandworms..Whoa!
Evening everybody.

We had quite a heavy downpour here in Nassau this morning between 8 and 9:30 a.m. We probably picked up upwards of an inch in that short time. This is very unusual weather for February. Whatever showers we do get are usually light pre-frontal showers. This morning's rain was more like what we see in October - heavy, tropical rainfall.

However by 10 a.m. it had cleared our area. The rest of the day has been beautiful.
I noticed on the FL news that some parts of SW Florida (notably some parts of Munroe County) got up to 10 inches of rain in a very short period (maybe 5 hours?)

Anybody experienced that firsthand?
Yes Baha.

My son parked his canoe in the backyard on Sunday evening and forgot all about it. That is until this morning.

It went from dry as a bone yesterday afternoon... to full to the brim this morning. By full to the brim, I mean right up to and over the edge. Some of the lightning, even though at least four seconds away...sounded more like a violent explosion than a thunderclap. Quite a night. It was starting to let up around 2:30 and thats when I turned off the computer.

Where do I live? Halfway between Corkscrew Swamp and I-75, 18 miles from the coast.
Hey, lin.

That must have been a doozy of a storm. We got what amounts to the "remnants", and we still picked up quite a lot of rain over New Providence. At least we didn't have the massive thunder and lightning.

Were you living there when Wilma came through? THAT must have been . . . interesting, to say the least.
Let's spend several million on geoengineering! And, while we're at it, too, let's just see how much we can really screw up the environment! Hey, it doesn't matter that we've got emissions - no, we can just shoot some chemical up in the air and ignite it!

It doesn't matter that we've got hungry people that need feeding. Let's just add something else to the budget that we can't pay for now or anytime in the near future! Not to mention, how important is it that while all this is going on, we've actually got Congress questioning Clemens over drug use in baseball - talk about a waste of taxpayer dollars! Why don't they hold hearings on Congressional accountability instead - seems that would make much more sense(cents=trillions)!

Let's double or triple a budget for that geo experiment! Let's just leave science uninhibited to do as they wish while scaring the hell out of us at the same time!

Rant over!!!
Yes, geoengineering should be on the table.

Shooting burning sulfur into the stratosphere with cannons? I can't even type that without laughing.

How about putting CO2 back where the carbon came from? I'm sure this would make oil companies happy. They control the places to put it, it's an additional income stream from their primary product and forcing CO2 back into the ground might even force more petroleum out.

Ahh, but best of all it's something they won't use their considerable financial resources to oppose!
yah.. lets put sulfur in the atomsphere so we can speed up the coming ice age..
Good Morning to all

....SYNOPSIS....

GULF OF MEXICO/NORTHWEST ATLANTIC OCEAN WEST OF 50W....

As a cold front continues to exit the Gulf Region, high pressure is building across the Southern United States producing fair weather and 10-20 knot surface north winds. Meanwhile, southwesterly upper level flow is advecting widespread showers and possible thunderstorms from the Eastern Pacific across Southern Mexico. These showers should spread across the Bay of Campeche in the next 6 hrs and then into the Southern Gulf of Mexico. Currently, seas across the Gulf are 7-8 ft due to surface high pressure but should relax to below 5 ft in the next day or so as a second cold front approaches and the pressure gradient slackens.

A well define cold front continues to push its way across the Western Atlantic from an extratropical low over the Northwest Atlantic through 30N/75W 23N/80W through the Straits of Florida and the Yucatan Channel before reaching the Yucatan Peninsula. South of the Bahamas, the front clearly lies within a dry confluent zone and thus shower activity is non-existent. North of the islands, the front is accompanied by moderate to strong showers and thunderstorms. This area lies within the favorable left entrance region of an upper ridge along 60W. Meanwhile, a very strong 1036 mb high is analyzed near 38N/55W...anticyclonic flow covers entire Central Subtropical Atlantic with the leading edge of a stratocumulus cloud deck embedded within the flow entering the Southwest Atlantic to 65W south of 30N.

CENTRAL AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN REGION....

The Caribbean region has become a little more interesting to talk about. Firstly, an inactive cold front lies across the Northwest corner...only low clouds are seen. Meanwhile, an upper ridge axis lies along 63W. The anticyclonic flow around the ridge is drawing moisture from the monsoon trough/ITCZ/NECZ and advecting it across Panama/Costa Rica and into the Southwest Caribbean west of 75W and south of 15N. The trades have really increased in response to the strong high-pressure system in the North Atlantic, with most stations/buoys/ships reporting 10-30 knot winds, with the strongest trades across the Southwest Caribbean where the pressure gradient is normally sharpest. Seas will be 7-8 ft increasing to 14 ft west of 70W and south of 15N. The trades are also advecting patches of shallow cloudiness and moisture mainly across the Eastern Caribbean. Expect periods of passing showers across the islands.

by W456
North Carolina Valentines Surprise Snowstorm

An upperlevel low produced a hail stones around Charlote,N.C.The storms changed to a area of showers north-west of Hickory.The showers expanded and changed to snow.

The piedmont of North Carolina got around 2-4inches of snow today.Schools were closed.
First, scientists only make proposals like this because they, like the politicians, realize that as long as the "undeveloped" countries are allowed to pump as much CO2 as they want into the air (so they can "catch up to the west"), CO2 won't go down.

Second: "Let's just leave science uninhibited to do as they wish while scaring the hell out of us at the same time!"

Isn't that what they're doing now?
Why worry about Global Warming perhaps will starve first


The Associated Press

Cereal stockpiles are expected to hit their lowest level in over two decades, contributing to keeping their prices high, a U.N. food agency said.

The low stocks combined with continuously strong demand - also driven by the growing biofuels industry - to keep prices elevated, the Food and Agriculture Organization said in a report on the global food situation, which was being released Wednesday.

By the close of the current season, stocks are expected to fall to 405 million tons - down 22 million tons, or 5 percent, from the start of the season, the Rome-based agency said. It would be the lowest level since 1982.

The food-and-supply demand remains tight, despite an increase in cereal production in 2007 and favorable prospects in 2008, the agency said.

"We do not anticipate a major downturn in prices even if production rises, because the increase would have to take into account the lower stocks," said Abdolreza Abbassian, an agency official who was part of a team working on the report.

The report said that "it may require significant increases in production of more than one season's cereal crop for markets to regain their stability and for prices to decline significantly below the recent highs."

In recent years, food prices have soared amid rising oil prices - which have increased food shipping prices - and growing demands for biofuels.

Biofuels, made from corn, palm oil, sugar cane and other agricultural products, are seen by many as a cleaner and cheaper way to meet the world's soaring energy needs compared to greenhouse gas-emitting fossil fuels.

It is estimated that some 100 million tons of cereals are currently used for the production of biofuels, making this sector a leading source of demand, the report said. Of this figure, maize accounts for 95 million tons, representing 12 percent of its total world utilization.

In 2007-08, the United States is expected to put at least 81 million tons of maize into the production of ethanol, which would be up 32 million tons, or 37 percent, from the previous season.

World cereal trade is expected to hit a new record in the current 2007-08 season, approaching 258 million tons, mainly due to a surge in imports in maize and other cereals by the European Union, the report said.


source


Well then again while we are starving the poorest people in the world and causing the world's economy unnecessary inflation, let's also make the perceived problem worse



Converting native ecosystems for production of biofuel feed stocks is worsening the greenhouse gas emissions they are intended to mitigate, reports a pair of studies published in the journal Science. The studies follow a series of reports that have linked ethanol and biodiesel production to increased carbon dioxide emissions, destruction of biodiverse forest and savanna habitats, and air and water pollution.

Analyzing the lifecycle emissions from biofuels, the first study found that carbon released by converting rainforests, peatlands, savannas, or grasslands often far outweighs the carbon savings from biofuels. Conversion of peatland rainforests for oil palm plantations for example, incurs a "carbon debt" of 423 years in Indonesia and Malaysia, while the carbon emission from clearing Amazon rainforest for soybeans takes 319 years of renewable soy biodiesel before the land can begin to lower greenhouse gas levels and mitigate global warming.


and

While a number of studies have shown that conversion of tropical ecosystems, including peat swamps in Southeast Asia and rainforests and grasslands in South America, for energy crops result in net emissions, the second study shows that when assessed at a global level, U.S. corn ethanol is also a major CO2 source — not a CO2 sink as usually claimed by the farm industry.

"Using a worldwide agricultural model to estimate emissions from land use change, we found that corn-based ethanol, instead of producing a 20% savings, nearly doubles greenhouse emissions over 30 years and increases greenhouse gasses for 167 years," write the authors.

Their assessment is based on the additional land that needs to be converted abroad as a result of increased corn acreage planted for ethanol production in the United States.


entire article

So let's get this straight. Not only are we driving up the price of food around the world, which hurts the poorest the worst, we are making it more profitable for people, both mega corporations and poor farmers in third world countries to destroy known carbon sinks to produce bio-fuel crops. In addition we are taking more food crops out of the supply line causing not only food shortages and increased food prices, but an increase in green house gas emissions.


All this and much more based upon projections of climate models. Is this what they mean when they say we don't have time to wait? We must do something now to stave off global disaster? Yes indeed let's shoot sulfur into the atmosphere while literally thousands are dieing of record cold weather. God forbid they should cut down a tree to burn to save their children's lives, it would increase their carbon footprint. ridiculous
It seems like warming Europe and Asia is just what we DON'T want. The southern hemisphere seems to be doing much better with is smaller land mass and population. This solution would exaserbate their problmes too, right?
Can we spend 1 million on geoengineering and 29 million on how to fix the problems geoengineering causes?
Once we leave the realm of natural and unintentional causes of the weather, we enter into a whole new moral and legal world. A worse one in my opinion.
come on people lets focus on the critical issues in the world today,its important that we find out whether Roger Clemens or McNamee are lying about steriod use or whether the Patriots are spying,our legislators are working very hard to solve these important issues.
70. P451
Sounds more reasonable that purposely firing sulfur into the Stratosphere.

We'd be better off dropping a nuke down a volcano forcing it to go off. ;)

Something tells me such a plan has probably been researched.

President Bush's proposed budget would include millions more in funding to improve hurricane forecasts and further research the storms, a federal official said at a regional discussion of the budget Tuesday.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's number two official, Mary Glackin, discussed her agency's proposed budget in Miami on Tuesday, though it was officially released Feb. 4. Hurricane-related money is only a fraction of NOAA's proposed $4.1 billion budget but closely watched.

The money would be used to improve hurricane forecast modeling, including predicting how rapidly storms intensify and dissipate, as well as upgrade and deploy ocean buoys that gather information about the storms. Approximately $5 million would go to improving forecast models and another $6 million to deploying and maintaining the buoys.

Separately, the budget also includes a request for $242 million to support the next generation of geostationary satellites which provide images of storms such as hurricanes but also carry instruments that collect other data.

National Hurricane Center director Bill Read called the proposed budget "very encouraging'' after the meeting, but said he and others would have to wait to see what actually gets enacted.

72. V26R
All I can say about the Patriots 2007 Season Record is

18 Victories
1 GIANT LOSS



Sorry Dude
72. V26R 2:37 PM GMT on February 14, 2008
All I can say about the Patriots 2007 Season Record is

18 Victories
1 GIANT LOSS

Thats ok V26,as a Patriots fan,I'm going to have to take a lot of abuse in the coming months,and I might add,I'm not particularly proud of my coach.
Thanks Storm,I've been expecting some kind of pattern change,and it looks like it might be happening toward the end of next week.
Major severe weather outbreak for SE TX on Saturday night. WRF 850 mb winds near 75 knots, with very strong hodographs.
BTW, Jan 2008 showed world-wide cooling from La Nina. temperature
79. V26R
Thanks Storm for the Update
Spring cannot arrive too soon for me up here in NYC
Thanks StormW didn't expect for another bad system having the possibility of arriving so soon. The model runs already look bad.
Oh and ANY global Warming "solution" that does not involve reducing the causes or removing added atmospheric pollutants is disturbing.

That sounds like a bigger mess.

Reducing emissions is not only environmentally more sound it is needed to conserve energy reserves now, so that future generations will have some chance of success.

America should lead in new technologies of energy conservation by mandating more progressive timetables in industry. We have seen the Japanese auto sector overtake ours, already SOLELY for their governments mandating of better fuel economy and quality.

Those that argue for Corporate "freedom" every time some limit is argued or suggest these hair brain "win-win solutions", ignore the fundamental role of society as an agreement for common good and completely miss the concept of freedom, with regard to the individual, that will suffer without more restraint in energy consumption.
Geoengineering: should we pump sulfur into the stratosphere?

Anyone with a brain and some sanity, should automatically know the answer to that one.
Can we shoot scientists into space where they will blow up and form a thin, oily layer that will protect us from the sun?
84. P451
America should lead in new technologies of energy conservation by mandating a more progressive timetables in industry.

Sadly this does not matter when Russia, China, and India freely pollute the atmosphere and water with seemingly hardly any emissions or hazardous waste programs in place at all.

We're what... 340M? Those three countries represent what, half the world population? That's a lot of people doing whatever the hell they please and in the long run it doesn't matter globally what we do only regionally in terms of our own water supply quality.
Precisely, P451, I totally agree with you. Russia, China and India are huge polluters of the globe. I have heard a lot about the environmental problems Finland faces due to the pollution coming from Russia. One example: when the wind blows from the East, the air pollution in heavy metals in Northern Finland is up to 4 times higher than it usually is. The reason: the heavy industry of Murmansk on the peninsula Kola in North West Russia. One has to admit, that it has dropped somewhat compared to the extreme pollution in the 1970s and 80s when it was impossible to fish in the border river Tenojoki due to the high levels in quicksilver in the salmons there. Finland together with Norway is trying to protect the nature of Lapland by launching projects with the local government of Murmansk. There is a long list of environmental projects around the Barent Sea on a Finnish website, unfortunately only in Finnish. At least for Russia I see a slow progress towards better environmental politics, but the change in attitude comes slow... hopefully not too slow before the surrounding oceans are dead.

It's five minutes to midnight:
A research project in 2001 led by the University of Turku and the nature conservation agency showed that already 30 % of the seafloor in the Baltic Sea is dead (due to lack of oxygen in the water, killing all life), 50 % is dying and only 20 % is in good shape. "Its a lot worse than we anticipated," says the assessment in the final report of the study which was conducted in the archipelago of South West Finland.
They cook up some science that they do not have a clue what they are talking about, or what any of it means.

Then, to try and convince people that they really do know what they are talking about, they come up with solutions to fix it.

This is pathetic.
Feb 13, 2008
The Snowy Areas This Season
By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM

La Ninas are usually snowy across the northern tier and in the north central states. This year has been an excellent example of that. Some areas have already set or are approaching new seasonal records. Some of the snowiest spots this year so far:


Photobucket


Read more on the situation in the Pacific Northwest here. This increase in snow is asociated with the flip of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and a moderate to strong La Nina. We had written that the lack of snow in the western North America the last few decades related not to global warming as Mote had speculated but to a PDO which since 1979 has favored El Ninos and a more southerly storm track. We warned when the Pacific returned cold, the snow would return with cold temperatures from Alaska to the Northwest and across the northern tier.

While these areas have seen incredible snowfall, other areas like New York City which a few years ago had a stretch of 4 straight years over 40 inches for the first time ever, has seen motly rain or snow changing to rain. Southeastern New England which over 100 inches in places a few years ago has seen mostly bare ground.

This came out in NOAA's news today concerning the overall human impact on the oceans.

More than 40 percent of the world%u2019s oceans are heavily impacted by human activities, including overfishing and pollution, according to a new study that will appear in tomorrow%u2019s peer-reviewed journal Science.

Here's the Atlantic map.

The colors indicate levels of human impact, with cooler shades representing lower levels of impact than warmer shades, which represent higher levels of impact.
Credit NOAA
Those staight lines must be shipping lanes?

%u201CThe extent of human influence was probably more than any of us expected,%u201D said Casey, explaining that red areas on the map indicate the most heavily impacted regions. He added the study and map %u2013 designed to visually highlight the trouble spots in the oceans %u2013 are tools for the world%u2019s decision-makers to assess the real impact of human activities on marine ecosystems and help identify ways to lessen the threats.
They mix up environmental issues(the REAL problem) with a man-made GW fairy tale....sigh
Tune in tonight for the BarometerBob Show live from Northeast,Fla. 8pm EST

The Barometer Bob Show for February 14, 2008!

Bob's guest this week will be Jim Belles the Meteorologist In Charge at the NWS Memphis, TN. We will talk about the Super Tuesday Tornado Outbreak, other tornado events in the area, and Tornado Safety, and what you can do in case Severe Weather affects your area.
The show starts at 8pm/et and you can listen live at WRBN.Net

Site Link Link
#81 America should lead in new technologies of energy conservation

... and cleaner energy production.

Making these technologies available to the "developing" nations may be the only way to prevent their population of billions from hugely magnifying the consequences of our own path to "development".

Accountants can argue about the balance sheet but from a practical viewpoint it may just be the only way.
19S.NICHOLAS







Non Tropical Low Southwest of the Azores Islands in the NE Subtropical ATL



Notice how the stratocumulus cloud decks are warped by the circulation.


Emusat Airmass Product

Just when I thought the GW crowd couldn't do or say anything else hysterical, we get the prescription to cure the fever. What's next drop a NUC-U-LAR bomb down the throat of a Volcano so the ash will block the sun?

P.S. For you GW'ers the bomb was a joke.
Here is some Feb.14 snow pictures in N.C.

Link



This Sunday, Weatherunderground is calling for freezing rain here.Local stations here said rain/snow mix for mountains only, rain below in elevation.


If anyone has spare time to look at new model runs for Saturday and Sunday for North-west N.C please send it to me. ill check my mailbox tomarow at 7:00p.m Eastern. thanks
GW is real - until you have been to to see the receding glaciers with your own eyes you shouldn't subscribe to the Deniers or Coolies moronic rants.

It needs to also be said Grey is irresponsible at best for his temperature rants. At worst well, he is incompetent, or at least grandstanding in the climatology field. He needs to go on record and affirm other methods of measurement exist and also confirm GW.
Coolies..LOL, I love dat one.
99. P451
Beautiful storm, 456.


Skyepony, while an interesting image, I must debate it's true value. To what depth are those values representing? The fact that as you point out you may be viewing shipping lanes would suggest it's a mere surface evaluation. While not good, all the same, not very solid research to draw a conclusion from.

Also, how could so many coastal regions be deemed clean by that image?

I will say I do recognize something that absolutely exists. Off of the coast of New Jersey that giant red blob, although most definitely at a minimum 50x larger representation than what exists, there is a very well known dumping ground of toxic soil (if I recall, dredged from the raritan bay shipping lanes - and also mixed with toxic waste) that absolutely gives a signature on particular satellite images.

Other than that, perhaps Boston Harbour, and the outlet from the MS River are potentially represented - the rest? Confusing at best. Such as: Why would Nova Scotia be lit up like a Christmas tree? While the western coasts of the Bahamas show so "clean"?
Ah what the hell...

Anyone who claims humans have no affect on global weather is foolish. Anyone who claims humans are the sole cause are foolish as well. It's all sorts of crazy out there and that's the way it's always been and always will be. I'm just here for the ride.
Isn't that what glaciers have been doing, say , forever?
I know pat its awesome, wish i thought of it but I heard it here from someone else.

Glacial receding is spectacular now because of its rapidness. I shouldn't be able to notice it over just a short part of my lifetime.
At 0:00 AM UTC, Tropical Cyclone Nicholas Category Two [974 hPa] located near 15.9S 119.7E or 355 kms northwest of Broome and 505 kms north-northeast of Port Hedland has 10 minute sustained winds of 50 knots with gusts up to 70 knots. The cyclone is reported moving west at 3 knots

Dvorak Intensity: 3.5

Storm Force Winds within 30 NM from the center.

Additional Information
------------------------
Nicholas has intensified to Category 2 overnight and further intensification is likely. Nicholas is currently moving in a westerly direction but is expected to
adopt a more southerly track towards the Pilbara coast over the next couple of days.

It is possible gales may affect coastal communities between Wallal and Whim Creek late on Saturday and extend to adjacent inland parts on Sunday. Gales are expected to develop in coastal areas between Whim Creek and Onslow on Sunday

Tropical Cyclone Watches/Warnings
-----------------------------------
A Cyclone WARNING is current for coastal areas from Wallal to Whim Creek.

A Cyclone WATCH is current for coastal areas from Whim Creek to Onslow and adjacent inland parts of both the Watch and Warning zones.

The Cyclone Warning for coastal areas from Cape Leveque to Bidyadanga and the Cyclone Watch from Bidyadanga to Wallal is cancelled

Forecast and Intensity
----------------------
12 HRS: 16.3S 119.0E - 55 knots [CAT 2]
24 HRS: 16.9S 118.6E - 65 knots [CAT 3]
48 HRS: 18.8S 118.2E - 85 knots [CAT 3]
104. P451
I know this is a little extra topic in this blog but I think it's something of interest.

Anyone see the new story about Lake Mead and eventually Powell potentially drying up? As usual those studying the situation are at odds as to when and how or even if they will dry up but it does remind me of a program I saw about a year ago about future wars and what they may be based around: WATER.

A number of inland lakes, particularly those once on the "five largest" such as Lake Chad - and another in Russia that escapes my memory - are being absolutely raped with no responsibility or care for what will happen - when they dry up. Believe me they are drying up rapidly!

There's also great ongoing debate between Egypt and Sudan over the control of the Nile.

Another problem was cited regarding Iran and Iraq and control of the major rivers in the region. Also of concern is the potential for less summer melt of glaciers - that would no longer exist - which could no longer feed such rivers.

A microcosm of what we might face as a nation ourselves - you saw it between Georgia and Florida over the control of a river (The name escapes me) during this past summer's drought, yet Florida was concerned for a coastal estuary (again, I forget the shellfish involved)) while Georgia was concerned over running out of drinking water --- and both states were fighting with the Army Core of Engineers over the flow of the river.


Now, I mention all these other situations because I think they tie into one theme of this present blog: Money and where it needs to be spent in regards to our future.
Read up on desalinisation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desalinisation

Water as a reason for war will really only come into play if civilization has already broken down. As long as that remains stable, the countries with the means to desalinate the ocean waters will do so.

However, that's based entirely on humans remaining rational. But I think we all know human do some very irrational things for no apparent reason...
84. P451 1:40 PM EST on February 14, 2008
America should lead in new technologies of energy conservation by mandating a more progressive timetables in industry.

Sadly this does not matter when Russia, China, and India freely pollute the atmosphere and water with seemingly hardly any emissions or hazardous waste programs in place at all.


I don't know if I agree with this, that it doesn't matter. I believe it matters a whole lot. I believe it is very hard to mandate that Russia, China and India clean up their emissions and pollutants when the mandating countries are still in the top five or ten polluters worldwide. It's hard to convince me to clean up my mess while you are standing in yours. Somebody has to seek the moral high ground and set an example.

Besides, if these three countries are polluting so heavily, SOMEBODY needs to be cutting back.

On top of that, population size doesn't automatically equal emissions and pollutants. For example, India's large population doesn't automatically mean India has more cars than the US does (I'm not saying I did the research to specify either way).

I'm just not a proponent of doing something wrong because "everybody else is doing it".
For those that missed 'Six degrees can change the world' on Sunday it is coming on in 5 minutes.
#106

On top of that, population size doesn't automatically equal emissions and pollutants. For example, India's large population doesn't automatically mean India has more cars than the US does (I'm not saying I did the research to specify either way).

I'm just not a proponent of doing something wrong because "everybody else is doing it".


Baha, the countries of India and China don't have the number of cars the US does ... yet. However they would like to be living the life that we in the US do. They have access to the coal and petroleum to make giant strides toward that by the exact methods the US did ... but there are a lot more of them.

The Most Populous Nations
1 China: 1.32 billion (about 20% of world population)
2 India: 1.12 billion (about 17%)
3 United States: 300 million (about 4.6%)

I don't advocate doing nothing either but it's futile for the US to act alone. We need to keep them from following our path even if means giving big discounts on technology we develop.
109. P451
Baha, I think you mis-read. I'm saying that in the large picture - regardless of what we do as a country of ~340M ---- we're insignificant if a body of ~3B is doing as they please.


LowerCal: Have you seen what China and India's road systems look like? Yes, they absolutely have the vehical emissions that well out-weigh our own. They have populations that exceed the US at nearly a total of 9X.


Yet, I'm talking more in terms of their power plants and industry (China is more than happy to put up 10MW coal plants every 20 miles to meet demands) and their "industrial revolution" has factories pouring out emissions unchecked all over the country.

Check Russian Satellites! A recent Cosmonaut was distraught over what he saw.... snow covered Siberia tainted with multiple huge "black smudges" of industrial cities just pouring out emissions which have stained the snow across the continent.


If they don't change their ways eventually it will never matter what the US does as a country to curb it's own emissions. The air and eventually oceans circulate the world. Their pollution will be shared by all.


Sullivan: That program can not possibly be based off of facts alone - and not only that but rationally interpreted facts (taking into consideration that only the past 10 years or so did we have reporting stations in otherwise inhabitable and unreachable areas which absolutely poison any long-term data sets with data that was never imported years past yet still factored into our global averages).

I believe we cannot trust our own data due to the fact that only in the past 10-15 years have we had not only reliable stations - but - a saturation of stations recording data from multiple regional positions. When you see graphs depicting changes from 1880 or prior - how could you possibly believe what you are seeing!?

Earth's Averages....is a misnomer...because I only trust that data going back maybe 10-15 years. Prior to that? Only major cities reported statistics. What if in the past 20 years we added 100 stations in desert regions? Then factored those into a "global average"??? Of course Temps would rise overall....seeing you add all these 120F+ readings to the overall data pool! Or the opposite - adding artic stations of -70F to the data set!

My point: You can't trust it - at all. "Averages". It's entirely tainted! We're just beginning to have a reliable data set to read - of which unfortunately will take some time to develop a time line that one can accept.


Piano: I will certainly check out the desalinaztion texts....in fact as I watch Dubai grow I wonder if that's exactly what they must rely on in the future.

As to wondering whether or not Man has a place in all of the changes in climate - I look at it this way: The Climate is certainly shifting towards a warming period, we were not the originators, but we absolutely are helping to accelerate it.


Just food for thought, fellas....
I believe it is very hard to mandate that Russia, China and India clean up their emissions and pollutants when the mandating countries are still in the top five or ten polluters worldwide.

Probably true, however there is a difference when a country is making a significant attempt to curb there pollutants and co2 emissions (debatable if they are the same thing) while the other countries do nothing and are asked to do nothing.

The US spends more on pollution control as percent of our GDP than any countries in the world except for Austria and The Netherlands. We are tied with Switzerland for third in that category. Russia, China and India are not even on a list of the top 20. In addition none of those countries are required by the Kyoto Treaty, which only covers CO2, to reduce CO2 at all. It's easy to sign a treaty when you don't have to do anything. China's fossil CO2 emissions increased in 2006 by 8.7%, while in the USA, comparable CO2 emissions decreased in 2006 by 1.4%. Although this may just be a one year deal it shows that the US is far better equipped and able to reduce emissions.

The idea that the US just goes maryly along without regards to the environment is a handy myth that is not born out by the facts. The US citizenry, government and industries are amongst the most environmentally conscious and regulated in the world. China, Russia and India are not even in the ball park, literally and figuratively.

Can we do more, yes, should we do more yes, will we do more, we always do. Will China, Russia and India do more? Not in the foreseeable future, if at all.


source

Other Sources
Link
Link
I remember some years back when cloud seeding experiments were being done to produce rain in areas of the USA that were having drought. One of those area was in the Dakota's. The cloud seeding worked in that it produced rain. The problem was that it produced so much rain that it caused major flooding.

I see GeoEngineering as a dangerous thing to play with until will know exactly what the out come will be so that we don't have any unexpected surprises. We can't afford anymore surprises at this point. There is too much at stake.
99. P451 8:17 PM EST on February 14, 2008

Other than that, perhaps Boston Harbour, and the outlet from the MS River are potentially represented - the rest? Confusing at best. Such as: Why would Nova Scotia be lit up like a Christmas tree? While the western coasts of the Bahamas show so "clean"?


I'm not sure that the map is supposed to represent "clean" vs "dirty", though I'm sure there is some correlation. I interpreted it to mean "heavily used" vs "lightly used" by humans. In that context the map makes lots of sense to me. I've already commented on the correspondence between the Bahama Banks and the blue areas in the Bahamas. [Well, I don't see the comment, so to basically recap: The blue areas in the Bahamas and off the Belizean coast correspond with shallow, reef and shoal filled waters. Hence the lower utilization.] (Compare that map with any relief map of the Bahamas, and the similarities will immediately strike you.)

In the case of Nova Scotia, that area of the N. Atlantic is one of the most heavily fished in the world, and I seem to recall increasing concerns being expressed about how much longer the Grand Banks area will be able to sustain the level of overfishing it has experienced over the years.

Back to the Bahamas for a second: the blue may in one sense be construed as "clean", at least here. A combination of a relatively small population and an underlying consciousness that those crystal clear waters are a key component of our tourism industry has so far limited the overfishing and overpollution of the western waters. How long we'll be able to sustain this, however, with encroachments by Dominican, Haitian and other nationalities' fishermen, is yet to be determined.

108. LowerCal 11:09 PM EST on February 14, 2008

I don't advocate doing nothing either but it's futile for the US to act alone. We need to keep them from following our path even if means giving big discounts on technology we develop.


I think you have a good point. There's no point saying "do as I say, not as I do". The technology and lifestyle millions in China, India and Russia are seeking is largely fashioned after the American "dream" that has been pitched to them very successfully over the years by American big business. I think America still has enough clout in the world community to reshape public opinion about what it's "necessary" to have. Of course, as you say, a "green" lifestyle also has to be made both accessible and affordable.
104. P451 8:38 PM EST on February 14, 2008

Very thought provoking, that.

Actually I don't think your points are that far away from the topic at all. The drying up of water sources worldwide is a key reason why all kinds of ideas are being bruited about, even "crazy" ones like that suggested in the blog topic.

I don't want to believe we as a race can't find solutions to our problem before the war of the waters breaks out or we find we need to take up the intrepid professor's suggestion.

Good morning all! So, what's on tap for today?
GM all,interesting weather ahead,unusual weather pattern,not your usual February weather pattern.

oh my
txag91met, could you provide a link to the site that contains those graphics and how to decipher them? I have never been able to figure out how those sounding charts work. Thanks.
I apologize.......I should have commented on my graphics post #119.
I left the one from the 13th up so that everyone would realize that this event for Texas will start with some heavy rains.
The SPC does have the area under a Moderate listing now for severe weather also.

The graphic dated 2-14 shows severe for the eastern Gulf coast and the SE.
We'll see what the CPC says later today.


StormW is right....Texas is looking like a powder keg coming up here for tomorrow.

I hope our Texas friends are paying close attention to this.



97. JFLORIDA
GW is real - until you have been to to see the receding glaciers with your own eyes you shouldn't subscribe to the Deniers or Coolies moronic rants.



GW and GC are real because climates do change. What is hard for people to understand is that they can change fast. Take Greenland for example. Prior to the little ice age of the 1700's, Greenland was that, green. The Vikings were raising sheep on pasture land. In a matter of a few short years Greenland went from pasture land to snow fields. Because they did not adapt, the Vikings largely left.

With regard to China and their power plants, it is the law that these coal-fired plants they are building have scrubber systems. However, it is not the law that they be used. As long as the rest of the world can pollute at will, why would we promote crippling a cleaner economy.
QPF for tomorrow (Saturday).


Photobucket

Prof. Paul Crutzen is mad to suggest such a stupid idea. Another case of an aged Nobel Prize winner pronouncing on a subject outside his narrow area of expertise. The facts are that temperatures are nowhere near any known maximum and with a possible Maunder Minimum of solar output probably on its way we need to keep as much heat as possible. Climatologists are ignoring the Medieval Warm Period because it does not fit with the models, so throw the models away! They also ignore satellite data because this does not show the heating that we are told is happening. Throughout geological history climate has changed through warm/cold periods and these oscillate with solar output NOT CO2 levels. None of the data derived from oceanic sediments or ice cores show what the alarmists are frightened about! They shout wolf and the peoples of Africa and the rest of the third world have to survive on water that you and I would not consider clean enough to wash the car!