RTSplayer's Blog

Sea Ice Melt facts and predictions

By: RTSplayer, 9:20 PM GMT on September 20, 2012

twenty years from now from now in August you might be able to take a ship right across the Arctic Ocean."

Using the 5 year running average of net melt rate, August 1 will be ice free in about (ten to fifteen years).

using the updated models being run for the 2014 IPCC report, found that "a seasonally ice-free Arctic Ocean within the next few decades is a distinct possibility

The 5 year running average net sea ice minimum volume loss is now 602cu km/yr, the same as this years net loss.

If this rate is linear and there is no further acceleration, then the volume minimum will be zero for at least one day in September in 6 years or less, assuming no more "giant drops" like 2007 or 2010. If the rate is exponentional with a growth factor of the 5th root of 2 per year, as it appears to be, then there will be at least one ice-free day in September in 4 or 5 years.

There will be at least one ice free day in both August and October in 10 years or less, and more likely 7 or 8 years, with September being totally ice free by then.

August will be totally ice free, for the ENTIRE MONTH, some time between 10 and 15 years, at the present 5 year average LINEAR rate of net loss.

As I said on another board, Volume is what melts, not extent or area. Extent and Area simply describe how the Volume is distributed.

Since most of the volume loss is coming from the thinning of ice in the past 5 years, it will eventually start coming more and more from loss of area and extent as average thickness reaches 1 meter or less, because all three values: volume, area, and extent, are squeezed to zero simultaneously for the real world value, not our estimates.

See below:


Notice the VERY rapid decline in annual minimum Area and Extent in the past year or two? This happened because THICKNESS has become so little that it is very easy for area to be lost.

This trend in loss of area will now grow exponentially at a rate of ~15% per year, roughly matching the exponential rate of volume loss, rather than 10 to 15% per decade as in the past, because the thickness is approaching 1 meter.

In the past, the area was partially maintained as thickness decreased, now that is no longer possible, and the graphs are beginning to show the evidence, though it will take another year or two for the data to convince any legitimate skeptics.

Further, winter maximum volume will be below the 1979 September minimum volume in about another 6 to 9 years, representing a complete seasonal bifurcation.

Now remember, warming does not stop when the ice melts. In fact, it greatly accelerates as I've pointed out many times. Remember, the Heat of Fusion of water is around 80 times the Specific Heat Capacity of water, so the "heating" of water will be far greater in terms of temperature than anything we have yet seen once this ice melts completely.

Now that I've come to have a better understanding of these trends, I am convinced that not only is AGW real, it is significantly worse than the IPCC has ever predicted.

It should be noted that the "linear" rate would remain approximately the same even if we magically quit producing net gains in CO2 and Methane tomorrow and never looked back.

Climate Change Pollution

Further thoughts on prosecution of terrorists and massacre perpetrators

By: RTSplayer, 3:46 PM GMT on September 11, 2012

Quoting floridafisherman:

just curious, but do you only advocate assassinations against radical muslims?


1, Domestic and International crimes that would otherwise be considered war crimes:

Anyone directly involved in terrorism, piracy, gang, or mob massacres or other killings related to their activities and other militia or para-militia criminal organizations; Organized crimes or terror attacks or mass shootings not involving any state's military.

2, Evil dictators who commit war crimes or atrocities against their own people or neighboring nations.

We should kill such organizations or rogue governments from the top down, rather than the bottom up as we have done in the past. Aim for heads of state, cabinet members, officers and other "appointed" officials first.

A tomahawk missile should have been up Ghaddafi's rear end decades ago, IMO.

Assad in Syria?

His entire government should be executed. We already know they are guilty war crimes and massacres against their own people, which started even before the two-way violence happened. They opened fire on unarmed protestors in some cases. It's public, world wide knowledge, so a "trial" is a joke and unnecessary.

If we're going to baby-sit the MIddle East then let's go ahead and do it, and off these guys immediately every time they do something like this, instead of letting it go on for decades.

After a few years of that policy, I think any potential Saddams, Ghadafi's, and Asads would think twice before doing this any more.

what about the radical conservative christians? pat robertson and his like? they are pretty radical in alot of aspects. so should we start assassinating them as well? or do you only hate muslims?

The majority of radical christians haven't bombed or shot anyone, and would never do unprovoked physical violence to anyone.

Comparing Pat Robertson to a terrorist or pirate, regardless of religion or non-religion, is completely absurd as they have nothing at all in common.

The reason I hate muslims is because radicals want me and all other "infidels" dead for no reason whatsoever, and make unprovoked terror attacks and massacres of innocents. meanwhile, the so-called "moderates" almost never confront the radicals or do anything about it at all.

Many of the so-called "moderates" were mad and complained that we killed Bin Laden.

He got better than what he deserved.

He should have been paraded around on a pike in the capital city of every nation that has been hit by an Al Quaeda terrorist attack, and let everyone, especially Muslims, watch while the birds picked out his eyes.

And anyone who wanted to should be given the opportunity to take a piss on his corpse.

That's more in line with what the crime was. Teh punishment should fit the crime, and his secret burial at sea was not fitting the crime.

As for non-muslims like this most recent guy who did the booby trap and distraction for police, while doing the mass shooting in the theatre, the punishment should fit the crime.

It was a para-military style attack with at least 3 layers of pre-planning: distraction, booby trap, massacre the unarmed.

That is not insanity, that is a calculated, rationally planned murderous attack.

He should get the same fate as any other "war criminal" type perpetrator, in a military tribunal, NOT a civilian court. They should not have the benefit of a plea bargain or insanity plea, as this is a deliberately calculated attack with multi-layers of planning, intended to maximized civilian casualties. In that case by distracting or attempted murdering the police with his booby traps, almost like "Jigsaw" from the "Saw" horror/thriller movies.

In cases like this where the guilt is already know and is not in any contestation, I think it needs to go farther even. The law should give the police officers the right and responsibility of executing the perpetrator on sight.

It's ridiculous that millions of dollars will be spent on a "trial" for somebody everyone already knows is absolutely guilty, and then the bastard will probably get away with it somehow on an "insanity" plea. It's a mockery to even the most basic concepts of justice.

It absolutely makes me sick the way our judicial system works for the majority of cases. We actually have another mass murderer, who killed 4 people and maimed a few others by driving over them in a car back in 2001, and he plead insanity (but was found guilty of the crime,) so they put him in a mental hospital, and now after 10 years he's been declared "cured" and is going to be released!!! If the SoB is "cured" then he can serve his 4 life sentences in prison, or take the death sentence, just like every other "sane" murderer or mass murderer.


Some of my thoughts on 9-11 and prosecution of terrorists, etc.

By: RTSplayer, 1:14 PM GMT on September 11, 2012

I would say the response was right, but the tactics employed after the conventional aspects of war were incorrect.

Was it right to go to war with Iraq even though technically most of the terrorists were not from Iraq? Yes. Saddam should have been taken out of power a decade earlier anyway.

We should have gone to war with Saudi Arabia, though, and bombed them just as hard as Iraq. Instead, what we did was sort of like arresting or killing the accomplices, while letting the masterminds and source of the problem go free.

Unfortunately, Osama Bin Laden was just one man and one mastermind/charismatic terrorist leader. Sadly, he will be replaced in time by another, and the cycle will start all over again. Until the west grinds radical Islam to non-existence, this problem will continue to resurface.

The difference between them and us is we only do it because we were provoked by many terrorist attacks, not just 9/11, that just put it over the top, and we said "Enough. Time to pay for your crimes." On the other hand, they do this allegedly in the name of their false god, or at least certainly a false interpretation of "God," for no good reason really.

Yes war is justified, and assassinations of all radical muslims, not just Al-Quaeda members, whenever and where ever possible, is more than justified.

They want to use "God" as a standard of judgement, here is the commandment of the allegedly the same "God" they claim to be serving:

"Who ever sheds man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed..."

It's one of the oldest commandments in the Bible and Abrahamic faiths.

But anyway, for the urban warfare aspects, we should have kept infantry use to a minimum, and rely on more special forces type stealth kill missions and assassinations for top terror organization members.

Also, I think Gangs and organized "mob" crime in the U.S. should be considered illegal militias or pirates, which the constitution addresses, and they should be prosecuted via war and the laws of war. The only technicality that distinguishes a gang from a pirate is the fact that the traditional definition of piracy requires members of one boat raiding another by violence, or members of a boat raiding land by violence. Gangs often do the exact same thing to one another, or to bystanders on land, just without boats. Some mob violence and other mob activities meets both the definition of illegal militias and the definition of piracy.

People who commit mass shootings or bombings should be prosecuted under the laws of war, not the civilian laws. Terrorism in general including any mass shooting or mass bombing of purely civilian targets, should be considered an act of war, whether or not the perpetrator was a member of any state's military. The perpetrator should be tried as a war criminal under military tribunal.

People who intentionally massacre unarmed civilians deserve no mercy, nor do they deserve the priviledge of plea bargains or other such measures found in a civilian court system.

I know it's off topic, so if the admins want to delete this, fine, I'll put it in my blog instead.

But it IS 9/11 rememberance day after all.

My take on Neven's Arctic Climate Change Article

By: RTSplayer, 2:38 PM GMT on September 08, 2012

On Neven's site there is a new post and discussion about an arctic high pressure development over Greenland that has been happening more frequently since 2007. They compared data for 5 year averages and it beats all 5 consecutive year groups on record.

It seems that low pressure systems form on the boundary of this high.

Neven's Arctic Sea Ice Blog: "Signs of Arctic Climate Change"

He links to another article and quotes it, but I have not yet read the entire link.

Anyway, while it's true you can't blame everything on GW, there seems to be no doubt that it is in fact rapidly changing ridge and trough features, as well as other steering features, and the storms that form on their boundaries.

Now this could be a 5 year "active" period for this pattern, or it could be a major change passing it's "tipping point," so that this becomes the new "normal". It would probably take another 5 to 10 years of data to really establish that.

What this means to my mind is faster melting in Greenland, since High Pressure corresponds to warmer temperatures.

I expect that a full meltdown of Winter Arctic Sea Ice will take at least several decades, but in the mean time, once the Summer Meltdown grows to an ice-free August and September (probably by 10 to 15 years from now,) Greenland will take up roughly half of the slack from the existing forcing and increased forcing from Albedo feedbacks, while the remaining excess heat will go into raising the ocean temperatures and atmospheric temperatures further still. This will continue to shrink the Winter Sea Ice Maximum, but I've noticed the Maximum shrinks at only about half to 3/4 the rate of the Summer minimum, so it will still be around for some time.

Enough for now.

Climate Change Hurricane Nor'Easter

Modified HSI better reflecting IKE values, but easy enough for forecasting

By: RTSplayer, 3:33 PM GMT on September 06, 2012

I played around with HSI and developed a modified system for ranking, which more closely reflects IKE on a linear scale of 1 to N, with no limit, ( so far, comparing ratios of this system closely resembles comparing ratios for IKE values.) This is a multiplicative index, so both AREA and intensity are accounted for.

These numbers do NOT reflect rainfall or additional surge or wave setup due to variations in movement speed, because that is too complicated to put in an index that would be useful for "generalized" forecasting.

How this works:


Follow the guidelines for the HSI on Impact Weather.

Impact Weather HSI page

Since HSI calculate "size" as the RADIUS of winds at each category, I found this to be lacking, and it shows in some of the damage calculations.

I found that RELATIVE AREA is what we need. Therefore the "size" score should be squared.

8 would become 64.
13 would become 169.
15 would become 225.

Because this is a large number, I want to re-normalize it to a value between 0 and 1, you'll see why later. so divide the result above by 25^2.

225/625 = 0.36

This becomes a normalized, linear value representing "area" with a maximum score of "1" if the HSI "size" value was 25.

Remove the "top cap" from the intensity part of HSI (this only effects a few storms), and recalculate the value if needed.

90kts has a rank of 9, for example.
180kts has a rank of 36.

Multiply The intensity value from HSI by the result of step 3.

All decimals should be kept until the final step.

0.36 * 9 = 3.24


Set value to 1 if less than 1.

0.2 -> 1

round UP to nearest tenth otherwise.

3.24 -> 3.3

That is your new "Absolute Severity Index" value.

Shorthand formula:

ASI = ((HSI Size^2)/625) * (HSI Intensity)

Here are some example values for classic storms:

Leslie(now): 1 (rounded up from 0.2)
Michael(now): 1.2


Dennis(05): 1 (rounded up from 0.69)

Gustav(LA): 1.8
Isaac: 2
Andrew(Fl): 2.4

Andrew(LA): 3.1 (Yes, hit low population area here.)
Gustav(Cu): 3.7
Rita(LA/TX): 4.1
Ike(TX): 4.7

Camille(LA/MS): 9.5
Katrina(LA/MS): 11.1
Wilma(Fl): 12

Hugo: 14.8
Betsy: 15
Carla: 17

Wilma(Mx): 19

Katrina: 21.2 - peak over water

Wilma: 28.8 - Official peak over water

Wilma: >= 36 - theoretical Peak over water
Typhoon Tip: >= 36

These values give the "real" linear relative damage potential, given the exact same track and movement speed. The relative ratios are not identical to IKE in all cases, but are very close for most storm vs storm comparisons...

Michael actually has larger wind fields at important benchmarks than does Leslie, in spite of appearances on satellite alone.

In general, if Katrina, Wilma, and Camille all hit the same place under the same conditions, you'd expect them to do about the same damage, with Wilma and Katrina being marginally more powerful than Camille.

Katrina would be expected to do about 3.6 times as much damage as Andrew if it hits the exact same location at their respective landfall intensities, and this is close to reality.

The Levee failures amplified Katrina's dollar value somewhat, and the death toll significantly compared to these storms.

Because I save decimals at every step (and redo intensity calculations using the nearest 1kt,) I can get this value very close.

Cat: Min/Avg/Max value by category:

TS: 1/ 1.0/ 1
c1: 1/ 1.0/ 2.8
c2: 1/ 2.9/ 10.2
c3: 1/ 4.1/ 14.2
c4: 1/ 5.9/ 20.2
c5: 1/ 8.0/ 36 or more

You can easily see now why some "low category" storms are actually more destructive than storms significantly higher than them.

Over all, Andrew ranks less than the maximum category 1 storm, or even the average category 2 storm, it just happened to hit a more populated area with higher land values.

I am not intendeding to plagiarize the HSI.

I simply recognized an "easy" fix to some flaws with it, and have presented this as an alternative, or "fix" for those flaws.


My suggested system "Absolute Instantaneous Intensity"

By: RTSplayer, 3:54 PM GMT on September 04, 2012

Here's an easy system.

Absolute Instantaneous Intensity

1, Start with 1015mb.

2, Find the approximate area covered by each full Millibar of pressure in square kilometers, but not overlapping stronger(lower) pressure values. i.e. the area of each amorphous "donut" of pressure lines around the CoC.

3, For each partition, subtract forecasted landfall intensity in pressure from 1015.

4, Square the result of the pressure subtraction for each partition and multiply by that partition's size.

5, Add all of the partitions.

6, Do the same for historical storms.

7, Compare the results of the forecast to actual values of other real hurricanes.

This would solve both the size and intensity issues by combining them in a multiplicative index directly related to size and pressure.

The initial values would be very large, but could be scaled down and formatted to manageable numbers by simply dropping the last N digits.

Then you would compare analog landfalls in the public broadcast.

This would give an exact, scientific value to the instantaneous severity of the forecast landfall, rather than "guesswork" on vague notions of size and wind speed.

In this system, a 940mb ring would be given 33% more points than a 950mb ring of the same size.

The score would be expressed in "scientific" units of (mb^2)*(km^2), which has an absolute meaning, rather than vague concepts, and is similar to the IKE value, except it represents an instantaneous severity.

ACE is truly useless for forecasting, and is only useful for ranking a storm after the fact.

Systems like HSI or the one I just made up on the spot, would be excellent as forecasting tools, because they can be predicted within certain margins of error, and they can be related to instantaneous destructive potential, rather than cumulative effects over long times (which truly are meaningless in most cases since most ACE is aquired out over the open water where it effects almost nothing..)


Examining HSI usefulness

By: RTSplayer, 2:36 PM GMT on September 04, 2012

Interesting facts I came up with on the Hurricane Severity Index.

SS cat - Min HSI - Max HSI

TS - 2.36* - 11.55 (*used 35kts and 64kts)
1 - 7.69 - 22.65 (65 and 83kts)
2 - 11.84 - 30.24 (84 and 96kts)
3 - 14.45 - 39.19 (97 and 113kts)
4 - 18.44 - 44.65 (114 and 133kts)
5 - 23.90 - 50 (134 and 150kts Max is flawed)

The minimum on Cat 2 through 5 may need to be adjusted upward by 4 points, as it's inconceivable that such a storm would not score maximum in the 35kt's size range and at least half in the next range.

Still, the scale DOES reflect that notion that "weaker" SS scale storms can in fact be more destructive.

On this scale, the weakest possible category 4 (think Charley, but one-sided,) is actually weaker than the strongest possible category 1.

Meanwhile cat 5 Andrew definitely ranks weaker than the maximum severity category 3 storm, explaining very well why Katrina was so much worse than any of Andrew's landfalls. Again, Andrew's Florida landfall ranks somewhere between 29 and 33, on the bottom end of Category 5, and less than the top end of cat 3. This also makes sense because the two storms had similar central pressures at landfall.


Alternative Severity or Intensity scales for better communication

By: RTSplayer, 2:33 PM GMT on September 04, 2012

I decided to copy these posts for future reference.

So as you can see, I'm interested in alternative ranking systems for the severity of storms, which are easy enough to calculate so that meteorologists can communicate the destructive potential to the audience, so that they can make better decisions.

Current practices are to pick 2 or 3 analog SS scale rated storms and compare them to the expected landfall. With the occasional mentioning of "well this one is bigger in area, so it might be a little worse".

I think that doesn't go far enough.

I think they should pick 2 or 3 analogs from each of 3 rating systems for expected landfall rating:

Predicted SS category to maintain continuity.
Predicted IKE value at landfall.
Predicted HSI value at landfall.

Pick 2 or 3 analogs from each ranking system, with a maximum of 1 overlapping storm across ranking systems.

Example, since Katrina is a classic example of where no one ranking system is sufficient, you could use Katrina's landfall as an analog in all 3 ranking systems during a forecast, but you can't use any more overlaps. This would allow 2 additional analogs from each ranking system, which cannot overlap.

The benefits of this would be the ability to better select analog storms, the public does not necessarily need to know how they were selected, but it would help to go ahead and tell them.

For example, if you tell somebody Katrina landfall was a 36, Andrew landfall was no higher than 33, and "Storm X" is forecast to make landfall as approximately a 32, then everybody knows to evacuate, regardless of it's exact SS ranking.

Whereas if you say, "Well, it'll make landfall as a 115mph cat 3," lots of people will just ride it out, as was even the case with Rita and Katrina (ironically).


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

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