What Can I Say about Heat Waves? Heat Waves (5)

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 6:27 AM GMT on November 28, 2013

What Can I Say about Heat Waves? Heat Waves (5)

This blog is about a paper on extreme heat written by my student Evan Oswald and myself. I don’t usually write about my own research, but this paper poses some interesting challenges to think about heat, heat waves, climate change and public health. Or I might say, how do I explain this to my epidemiologist friends?

What we set out to do with this research was to quantify how observations from surface weather stations represent extreme heat events that are threats to human health. We started with the station observations because most often those responsible for heat warnings and those undertaking planning for climate change start with station observations in their locality. There are a lot of reasons for this choice. An important one is that these observations and any of their local peculiarities are usually well known. Hence, there is experience and the knowledge and trust that come from that experience. Once we described the behavior of all of the station observations, we had two planned paths. The first path was to see if the gridded datasets used in climate-change planning had the same behavior as the station observations. The second path was to compare the station observations to a high-resolution network of observations in a city and see how well, for example, the measurements at the airport or weather office represented the details of the city.

Of course, many researchers have looked at the station data and documented trends in heat. To earn a Ph.D., a student has to do original and independent research. There are a number of attributes that distinguish this research. Most notably, we have been working with a team of public health experts (meet Marie O’Neill), and we had a desire to use measures of environmental heat that have been found to be important in public health studies. To a meteorologist, heat might seem simple, but the human health impacts of heat are complicated. For example there is the impact of very high temperatures on those working or training outside. Another example is the threat of persistent heat, day and night, on the chronically ill who might be housebound. There is a link between heat and humidity, with many of us Southerners knowing that “it’s not the heat, but the humidity,” and not thinking about the effects of dehydration that are important in the desert Southwest. For this reason we started by looking only at temperature and not some measure of comfort such as a heat index. Then there’s a sort of obvious one, public health experts are most interested in heat effects during and around summertime, whereas to a climate scientist a “heat wave” in the winter can be as interesting and as important as a summer heat wave. There are many other complications, but I hope I have made my point, there is meaningful research to be done.

In the research reported in “A trend analysis of the1930-2010 extreme heat events in the continental U.S.”, we focused on the warm season, end of spring to the beginning of fall. We also focused on different types and characteristics of heat waves. We defined heat waves for daytime maxima and for nighttime minima. We looked at, for example, duration of heat waves, how many days did they last? Here I am going to only write about the trends that we reported in duration for three different time periods, 1930-1970, 1970-2010, and the combined time period of 1930-2010. Our study area was the continental United States.

Why these three time periods? Lot of reasons, we wanted to include the well known hot times during the 1930s, otherwise we would be accused of cheating. We did not go earlier than 1930, because we felt that the quality of the observations decreased substantially. When I was a student in the late 1970s, I remember getting excited when, say, the data for 1976 was released. Then 1977. I’d write papers about what the future would hold. Now low and behold, I have been fortunate enough to live long enough to have more than my own 30-year period. Thirty years of average temperatures is the traditional definition of “climate.” Hence, splitting things at 1970 we have two equal 40-year records, which allows us to investigate the sensitivity to which 30-year period, which “climate,” is chosen.

Lot of introduction here, so let’s get to a result. In Figure 1, I show the decadal trends at each station in the mean duration of EHEs during the 1930-1970 period. The top map shows heat events based on nighttime minimum temperatures. The bottom map shows heat events based on daytime maximum temperatures. The middle map shows events when both the maximum and minimum were elevated; that is, it did not cool off very much at night.

Figure 1: The decadal trends at each station in the mean duration of EHEs during the 1930-1970 period. The trend significance (alpha=0.10) is indicated by symbol shading. The graduated symbol groupings are based on standard deviations away from the zero value, and are different for each map. The trends in Tmin-based EHEs (top), Tmnx-based EHEs (middle) and Tmax-based EHEs (bottom) are all shown. Tmin is based on nighttime lows, Tmax on daytime highs and Tmnx require both highs and lows to be elevated.

The trends in the minimum temperature are generally positive. The exception is in the northern part of the Great Plains, right in the east-west center of the country. The largest red squares in the figure tell us that for every 2 decades we are seeing about 1 additional day of duration of very warm nighttime temperature. The bottom map for daytime minimum tells a different story. In the West there is, mostly, a warming trend in the daytime maximums. In the center of the country there is a pretty strong cooling trend. Some of my more skeptical readers and friends will go, “see there is no global warming.” In class, I would then make the assignment to describe what this figure does or does not tell us about global warming. Perhaps, I will distract a few people to carry on their arguments in the comments. It would be terribly pedantic for me to make such an assignment here, and pure hubris to expect responses.

In any case, we do see this big area of cooling of daytime maximums in the middle of the country. This was not a surprise to us, because there is growing documentation of the “Midwest Warming Hole.” This does, however, offer a challenge when discussing heat waves with my epidemiologist friends. It also might stand a little in conflict with reports such as “Heat in the Heartland,” a widely used document, for which I provided some review comments. In the next blog, I will breakdown the information in the figure a little bit, and then I will start to buildup a description that might be more usable by the public health planner.


Some earlier Hot Blogs

Russian Heat Wave

Heat Wave Series

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Why don't cha dispute the Illinois post point by point. Chicago is a wreck. Would you live there?
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Snopes bears out the Charlie Reese piece. Thanx for verifying it Nea.
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Quoting 116. PensacolaDoug:
[Moe debunked nonsense.]
Let research ever be your guide. And please take your ideological nonsense somewhere else. Thanks!
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Quoting 114. PensacolaDoug:
[More debunked nonsense]
Let research be your guide. And, please, take your ideological nonsense somewhere else. Thanks!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 115. Neapolitan:
Yeah, just the other day he deleted a cogent, well-worded comment of mine that contained a bit too much truth for him. It's funny: he and others of his ilk take full advantage of the fact that Dr. Masters and Dr. Rood allow them to post pretty much whatever ideological nonsense they wish in their forums (and they'd be the first to cry "foul!" if their comments were censored or deleted), yet they won't hesitate to banish from their own blogs things with which they disagree. Well, as I wrote him in a follow-up comment--which he also deleted very quickly in an apparent fit of cowardice--if his forum isn't a good fit for me to post in, it's obviously not a good fit for me to read. So I haven't been back since. After all, if I want to be subjected to a one-sided screed of illogical, radical conservatism (see comment #114 here for an excellent example), I'll tune into Fox. ;-)

Good riddance.
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Charley Reese's final column for the Orlando Sentinel...
He has been a journalist for 49 years.
He is retiring and this is HIS LAST COLUMN.

Be sure to read the Tax List at the end.

This is about as clear and easy to understand as it can be. The article below is completely neutral,

neither anti-republican or democrat. Charlie Reese, a retired reporter for the Orlando Sentinel,

has hit the nail directly on the head, defining clearly who it is that in the final analysis

must assume responsibility for the judgments made that impact each one of us every day.

It's a short but good read. Worth the time. Worth remembering!

545 vs. 300,000,000 People
-By Charlie Reese

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don't propose a federal budget. The President does.

You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.

You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does.

You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does.

You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits. The President can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House? John Boehner. He is the leader of the majority party. He and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts -- of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair.

If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red.

If the Army & Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it's because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan ...

If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way.

There are no insoluble government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish;

to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators,

to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power.

Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like

"the economy," "inflation," or "politics" that prevent them from

doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.

They, and they alone, have the power.

They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses.

Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees...

We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!

Charlie Reese is a former columnist of the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper.

What you do with this article now that you have read it... is up to you.
This might be funny if it weren't so true.
Be sure to read all the way to the end:

Tax his land,
Tax his bed,
Tax the table,
At which he's fed.

Tax his tractor,
Tax his mule,
Teach him taxes
Are the rule.

Tax his work,
Tax his pay,
He works for
peanuts anyway!

Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.

Tax his ties,
Tax his shirt,
Tax his work,
Tax his dirt.

Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he
Tries to think.

Tax his cigars,
Tax his beers,
If he cries
Tax his tears.

Tax his car,
Tax his gas,
Find other ways
To tax his ass.

Tax all he has
Then let him know
That you won't be done
Till he has no dough.

When he screams and hollers;
Then tax him some more,
Tax him till
He's good and sore.

Then tax his coffin,
Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in
Which he's laid...

Put these words
Upon his tomb,
'Taxes drove me
to my doom...'

When he's gone,
Do not relax,
Its time to apply
The inheritance tax.

Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL license Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Excise Taxes
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax (currently 44.75 cents per gallon)
Gross Receipts Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Luxury Taxes
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Personal Property Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service Charge Tax
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
Sales Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Nonrecurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Utility Taxes
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax

Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, & our nation was the most prosperous in the world.
We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.

What in the heck happened? Can you spell 'politicians?'

I hope this goes around THE USA at least 545 times!!! YOU can help it get there!!!

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Quoting 111. Patrap:

Someone called this propaganda and removed it from their comment section when posted it.

Who'd a thunk ?
Yeah, just the other day he deleted a cogent, well-worded comment of mine that contained a bit too much truth for him. It's funny: he and others of his ilk take full advantage of the fact that Dr. Masters and Dr. Rood allow them to post pretty much whatever ideological nonsense they wish in their forums (and they'd be the first to cry "foul!" if their comments were censored or deleted), yet they won't hesitate to banish from their own blogs things with which they disagree. Well, as I wrote him in a follow-up comment--which he also deleted very quickly in an apparent fit of cowardice--if his forum isn't a good fit for me to post in, it's obviously not a good fit for me to read. So I haven't been back since. After all, if I want to be subjected to a one-sided screed of illogical, radical conservatism (see comment #114 here for an excellent example), I'll tune into Fox. ;-)
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A State with No
Republicans, Very interesting...

A wonderful state
with zero Republicans ...The State of Illinois.

Some interesting
data on the 'state' of Illinois:

There are more
people on welfare in Illinois than there are people working.

Chicago pays the
highest wages to teachers than anywhere else in the US, averaging $110,000/year.

Their pensions
average 80-90% of their income.

Wow, are Illinois
and Chicago great or what?

Be sure to read
till the end. I've never heard it
explained better.

Perhaps the US
should pull out of Chicago ?

Body count: In the last six months, 292 killed
(murdered) in Chicago.

221 killed in
Iraq, AND Chicago has one of the
strictest gun laws in the entire US.

Here's the Chicago
chain of command:

President: Barack Obama

Senator: Dick Durbin

Representative: Jesse Jackson Jr.

Governor: Pat Quinn

House leader: Mike Madigan

Atty. Gen.: Lisa Madigan (daughter of Mike)

Mayor: Rahm Emanuel

The leadership
in Illinois - all Democrats.

Thank you for the
combat zone in Chicago.

Of course, they're
all blaming each other.
Can't blame
Republicans; there aren't any!

Chicago school
system rated one of the worst in the country. From CNN report: Nearly 80% of eighth-graders in Chicago
public schools are not proficient in reading or math, according to the US
Department of Education. The
Chicago school system was a failure.
Half of Chicago's 64 public high schools scored in the bottom 1% of
schools on the ACT, an old metric used by many colleges for admissions. ''Forty-six percent of Chicago
teachers send their children to private schools,'' I noted then, too. ''The
people who know the product best,
send their children elsewhere.''

Can't blame
Republicans; there aren't any!

State pension fund
$78 Billion in debt, worst in country.

Can't blame
Republicans; there aren't any!

Cook County (
Chicago ) sales tax 10.25% highest in country. Can't blame Republicans; there
aren't any!

This is the
political culture that Obama comes from in Illinois. And he is going to 'fix' Washington
politics for us?

George Ryan is no
longer Governor, he is in prison.

He was replaced by
Rob Blagojevitch who is, that's right, also in the prison.

And Representative
Jesse Jackson Jr. resigned a couple of weeks ago, because he is fighting to not
be sent to...that's right, to prison.

The Land of Lincoln, where our governors make our license plates.

But you know what?

As long as they
keep providing entitlements to the population of Chicago, nothing is going to
change, except the state will go broke before the country does.

"Anybody who thinks he can be happy and
prosperous by letting the Government taking care of him; better take a closer look
at the American Indian."
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Quoting 111. Patrap:

Someone called this propaganda and removed it from their comment section when posted it.

Who'd a thunk ?

Someone who won't accept the hard sciences involved in study of CC certainly isn't going to accept a conclusion reached by a "soft" science like psychology -- unless of course they agreed with it!
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Running time 1:10

A pattern of unusually warm and cold spots alternated around high northern latitudes in 2010—a classic sign of the negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation.

Arctic Oscillation Left Its Mark on N. Hemisphere 2010 Temps


This movie shows maps of monthly temperature anomalies (differences from normal) from January through December 2010 for the Northern Hemisphere. Places where temperatures were up to 7 degrees Celsius warmer than average (1971-2000) are red, while places where temperatures were up to 7 degrees cooler than average are blue. Locations where temperatures were near the long-term average are white.

The pattern of alternating warm and cool temperature anomalies around the Northern Hemisphere high latitudes at the beginning and end of the year is a classic sign of the negative phase of a natural climate pattern known as the Arctic Oscillation. The pattern has the strongest influence on temperatures in the winter.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 449 Comments: 140209

Someone called this propaganda and removed it from their comment section when posted it.

Who'd a thunk ?


Two psychologists Brittany Liu and Peter Ditto from the University of California-Irvine conducted a study to evaluate how liberals and conservatives dealt with so called hard truths in areas that they may not be prone to believing because of their ideologies. The study looked at four areas – two of these areas are supported by liberals and detested by conservatives and two are supported by conservatives and detested by liberals:

#1 – Educating kids on condoms

#2 – Embryonic stem cell research

#3 – The death penalty

#4 – Water boarding captives

Even though both liberals and conservatives alike had a tendency to rationalize their views … conservatives created a new reality essentially in all four of these areas in order to square their thought process. The conservative movement by and large suffers from this; another term for this is cognitive dissonance. For whatever reason – the brains of conservatives just make stuff up in order to justify their support for two conflicting beliefs.

Conservatives are against “socialism” but love Medicare. They hate Obamacare but nominated a guy who created the model for Obamacare. They’re against abortion but don’t want to teach kids about condoms. They don’t like Wall Street but want fewer regulations. The list goes on. And that’s why people search for the news that reassures them that they are correct instead of simply searching for the truth; cognitive dissonance is the reason that Fox News is profitable.

The state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, esp. as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change.
Alternet has an explanation of the study HERE:

In the study, Liu and Ditto report, conservatives tilted their views of the facts to favor their moral convictions more than liberals did, on every single issue. And that was true whether it was a topic that liberals oppose (the death penalty) or that conservatives oppose (embryonic stem cell research). “Conservatives are doing this to a larger degree across four different issues,” Liu explained in an interview. “Including two that are leaning to the liberal side, not the conservative side.”

There is a longstanding (if controversial) body of research on liberal-conservative psychological differences that may provide an answer for why this occurs. Conservatives, Liu notes, score higher on a trait called the need for cognitive closure [7], which describes a feeling of discomfort with uncertainty and the need to hold a firm belief, a firm conviction, unwaveringly. Insofar as a need for closure pushes one to want to hold coherent, consistent beliefs–and makes one intolerant of ambiguity–it makes sense that wanting to achieve “moral coherence” between one’s factual and moral views would also go along with it. Conservatives, in this interpretation, would naturally have more conviction that the facts of the world, and their moral systems, are perfectly aligned. Liberals, in contrast, might be more conflicted–supportive of embryonic stem cell research, for instance, but nourishing doubts about whether the scientific promise we heard so much about a decade ago is being realized.

You can download the study HERE.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 449 Comments: 140209
A warmer Pacific,

Who could of seen dat a coming?

; )
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 449 Comments: 140209
Nice post JL.


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 449 Comments: 140209
Quoting 106. cyclonebuster:

Yes they have happened before..

Is a "Hypercane" Mega-Katrina Possible? MIT Scientist Says "Yes"

Yeah,I read that. It would need some other component to happen. Asteroid hitting the Antarctic for example would make for a great Sci-fi movie! ha ha!
Member Since: June 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1498
Quoting 104. cyclonebuster:

Can we? We already have world wide... Barometric pressure proves it.....
Well,I would bet the whole pot that there have been cyclones just as intense or higher in the past. Things just have to come together perfectly for them to happen. Plain and simple.
Member Since: June 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1498
So,we can expect more of these intense cyclones because of climate change? They better start building better in the Philippines then.
Member Since: June 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1498
Here's another one on Typhoon Haiyan, this time from Quark Soup:

Clues to Typhoon Haiyan’s Ferocity

An article in this week's Science magazine suggests that one factor behind Typhoon Haiyan's immense strength was warmer ocean waters underneath the surface.

In "Clues to Supertyphoon’s Ferocity Found in the Western Pacific" (sub req'd), Denis Normile writes:

Tropical storm watchers agree that Haiyan was probably the strongest typhoon to make landfall when it slammed into the Philippines on 8 November, packing winds of up to 314 kilometers per hour. What gave Haiyan, which killed thousands and displaced millions, its deadly wallop?

Researchers think they have at least a partial answer to that question: unusually warm subsurface Pacific waters east of the Philippines. A related phenomenon—rising sea levels in the western Pacific—likely abetted Haiyan's devastating storm surge, which caused more deaths than the winds themselves.

Typhoons draw heat from the ocean for the energy that generates their winds. Typically, as a storm's winds increase, they stir up deeper, cooler ocean waters that temper its strength. This cooling effect "is nature's brake to stop typhoons from intensifying," says I-I Lin, a specialist in typhoon-ocean interactions at National Taiwan University in Taipei.

Drawing on data from satellite observations and Argo floats—thousands of instrumented, subsurface probes that measure ocean temperature, salinity, and current speeds—Lin and others have documented a steady 2-decade rise in subsurface temperatures in the western North Pacific and a bulging warm water layer. The warmer and thicker that subsurface layer, the more heat is available to feed a storm. Oceanographers use a measure called the Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential (TCHP) to quantify the heat reservoir. Lin and colleague Iam-Fei Pun reported online on 3 September in Geophysical Research Letters that the TCHP where most cyclones develop in the western North Pacific has increased 10% since the early 1990s.... While surface waters along Haiyan's path were only slightly warmer than normal, waters down to 100 meters were 3° warmer than the historical average. So as Haiyan churned up western Pacific waters, it drew more wind-intensifying heat, Lin says.

But it's not nearly as simple, these researchers say, as "global warming means a warmer ocean":

The warm bulge in the western North Pacific is the result of stronger easterly trade winds. This phenomenon also aggravated Haiyan's storm surge. In addition to blowing heat westward, the winds are literally piling up water in the western Pacific, where the cumulative sea-level rise over the past 20 years exceeds 20 centimeters, says Bo Qiu, an oceanographer at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. "It is likely that the elevated sea level contributed to the flood and inundation problems" in the Philippines, he says.

While many observers blame Haiyan's destructive power on climate change, tropical storm experts say there is little hard evidence of a link. "It is possibly natural variability," Lin says. Nor is it certain that the western Pacific has become a supertyphoon breeding ground. Although warmer subsurface waters might raise the risk, Lin says, atmospheric conditions may not always cooperate.
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4589
Quoting 99. Patrap:
Well dat should rattle da dwindling contrarian's to Foam at da mouth a tad.

; )

The linkie no workie JL.

Thanks, let's try this one.
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4589
Well dat should rattle da dwindling contrarian's to Foam at da mouth a tad.

; )

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 449 Comments: 140209
Storm expert says climate change may have played a big role in Typhoon Haiyan after all

(L) Satellite image of Typhoon Haiyan, superimposed on the spot in the Gulf of Mexico where Hurricane Katrina reached its maximum strength in 2005, and (R) actual satellite image of Katrina. Colors correspond to temperatures in Celsius. Temperatures at the tops of tropical storms roughly correspond to storm intensity, with colder temperatures above generally indicating a more intense storm below.

We've heard that climate change likely played a very minor role in the havoc that typhoon Haiyan wrought on the Philippines.

Emanuel and his colleagues took a computer model they use to forecast the wind speeds in a storm like Haiyan and ran it with the thermodynamic conditions that were present 30 years ago, in the 1980s, before the warming of the last few decades. They compared it to the model using current conditions.

“And when we do that,” Emanuel tells The World, “we find that the wind speeds are about ten pecent larger now.”

That’s because warmer surface temperatures essentially provide more fuel for tropical storms.

Emanuel says the destructive potential of a windstorm goes up quickly with wind speed, “so that really corresponds to something like 30 to 40% more damage than the same exact event might've done had it occurred in the thermal environment of the 1980s.”

So does that mean climate change was responsible for this much greater damage?

Not necessarily, Emanuel says, but it’s suspect #1.

Audio of complete interview
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4589
From Climate Progress:

Science Textbooks Across the Country Will Teach Real Science Because of A Decision In Texas

By Ryan Koronowski on November 29, 2013

Because of a small meeting in Texas on Friday, science textbooks across the nation will teach high school students real climate science — and not the version of science advocated by the fossil fuel industry and conservative ideologues.

Last week, the Texas Board of Education voted to approve 14 textbooks used in biology and science classes. "These textbooks were recommended by the top scientists and teachers in Texas," said Joshua Rosenau of the National Center for Science Education.

Texas is the second-largest textbook market in the country, and because the State Board of Education decides which books to purchase (instead of local school districts), publishers pay serious attention to which books the Board buys. These choices become the basis upon which standard textbooks are written across the country. A publishing executive told Washington Monthly in 2010 that "publishers will do whatever it takes to get on the Texas list."

The fate of climate science was never certain. In September, some reviewers "insisted that there is no evidence for a human influence on the carbon cycle," and asked that textbooks include disclaimers saying this.

After giving preliminary approval to go along with a law unanimously passed by the Texas State Legislature to drop the mandate of passing Algebra II to graduate high school, the Texas Board of Education turned on Friday to the somehow-controversial question of science textbooks.

A majority of the Board members voted to adopt the books, thought there is one hitch. One environmental science textbook published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will be revised slightly before receiving final approval. The publisher agreed to revise material in the book that could be outdated, though according to the Texas Freedom Network, scientists reviewed the changes and none "compromised the integrity of the science." A spokeswoman for Houghton Mifflin told the New York Times in an email that "We stood by the integrity of our content, and made no material changes to instruction or point of view."

The book was attacked during the Friday hearing on the same grounds that Becky Berger, a Republican candidate for the Texas Railroad Commission, and self-identified oil and gas professional, attacked it two days earlier. While Berger focused on errors about the process of fracking, she also said schools shouldn’t have to teach environmental science classes.

One biology book will have to go through another round of review by outside experts because of the objections of a reviewer concerned that evolution is presented as fact, rather than theory.
Member Since: November 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2044
Earth: Life’s Only Known Home - Winslow Myers

New thinking about the universe asserts that there may be many planets with the potential for life but only one that is known to have overcome the extraordinary odds of life actually developing – and humans are threatening to destroy that.

Through the work of the eco-philosopher Thomas Berry and his protégés, a new way of looking at the universe and our human place in it has been established. While still not “mainstream,” this new story has given hope not only to hundreds of thousands of environmental activists around the world, but as well to thoughtful people in many fields, including economics, theology, education, politics, and science.

The new story of the universe goes something like this: we moderns, using tools like the Hubble Telescope, are the first generation that possesses the resource of the continuous 14 billion-year story of the unfurling from the original flaring forth, through the establishment of the galaxies, stars and planets, to the development of cellular life, to the expanding diversity of life here on earth, to the rise of a particular kind of self-reflective consciousness that is the hallmark of human beings.

The cosmologist Brian Swimme offers one of the most concise and beautiful retellings of this story in his prize-winning one hour DVD, “Journey of the Universe.” This life-changing account of our origins and creative potential ought to be seen by every student, every congressman, every pastor, rabbi, mullah, every businessman, in short, everyone.

What are the implications? First, this scientific story of the universe is the basis for all stories, all religions, all the mythic systems humans have devised to give meaning to our presence here — and further, this story is the basis not only for our religious myths and symbols, but also for our educational systems, our economics, and our political arrangements. We humans belong in this universe. We emerged from it. The elements in our bodies, carbon and oxygen and calcium, were forged in the furnace of the stars.

A second obvious implication is that our economic systems must be based in the reality of the economics of the earth itself. As Berry said over and over, you cannot have healthy humans on a sick planet. We cannot extract more resources than the planet can naturally replace, or pollute its systems to the point where it is unable to heal itself. At present our world economic system is based on doing exactly that.

A third clear implication is that all humans are intimately related and connected in their collective story and their collective fate, and connected to all the living systems of the earth without which our lives would be impossible. All our divisions, in the context of the universe story, are artificial abstractions based upon fears, labels and projections: Arab and Jew, Shia and Sunni, Islam and “the West,” capitalist and socialist, Republican and Democrat.

The degree of this interdependence has taken on a fresh intensity of meaning in the light of our ecological awareness of global interdependence. We cannot save the earth in parts. If Brazil fails to preserve the rain forest, the very lungs of the earth, none of us will breathe oxygenated air. Among thoughtful citizens worldwide, such ideas are already well-worn clichés. But the cliché falls far behind the actions we need to undertake to actually address the problems.


Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 33 Comments: 1110
The Ideology of Ecocide By Lawrence Davidson

The U.S. Constitution mandates the federal government to provide for the country’s “general Welfare,” but the Right’s self-proclaimed “constitutionalists” object to any efforts to curb the catastrophic threat of global warming, as Lawrence Davidson notes.

On Sept. 12, I wrote a piece entitled “Crisis Today, Catastrophe Tomorrow,” in which I joined numerous others warning of the consequences of global warming. The evidence for the evolving dire effects of building CO2 and other greenhouse gases is getting increasingly conclusive. The question is what, if anything, will be done about it?

That question was recently addressed by Paul Krugman in an article, “Gamboling with Civilization,” in which he reviewed economist William Nordhaus’s new book on climate change, The Climate Casino. The article appears in the Nov. 7 issue of the New York Review of Books. Here are some of the points Krugman makes:

–The scientific consensus laid out in the most recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projects a global temperature increase of between 1.8 and 4.0 degrees Centigrade (3 and 7.5 degrees Fahrenheit) by the year 2100. According to Nordhaus, in the years following 2100 the temperature rise will continue upward perhaps to a maximum of 6.0 degrees Centigrade (10 degrees Fahrenheit). These increases can be directly tied to human activities.

If anyone doubts the negative consequences of the heat waves such rising averages will make more frequent, they should consider what happened in Europe a decade ago. In the summer of 2003, with prolonged temperatures hovering around 100 degrees Fahrenheit, an estimated “70,000 citizens of 12 countries died of heat-induced illnesses over a four month period.”

Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 33 Comments: 1110
Quoting 62. daddyjames:

Judith Curray could very well have evidence of a long term oscillation that naturally occurs.

This, in fact, could even be more concerning. If this is the case, and we are not observing any significant downward trend in temperatures (as we should be experiencing), then later on (when the oscillation returns in the "upwards" direction) we really could be fritos pescaditos.

As far as I can determine (which is not much) this only explains observations in the Northern hemisphere - not globally(?). I freely admit that my understanding of its influence may be incorrect.

Daddyjames: That is an astute observation.

There are many papers out there that work to study regional climate change phenomena, as well as the dynamics behind the triggers of many of Earth's past climate changes. In fact, the rise in global temperatures that ended the last ice age 11,000 years ago was found to be triggered by changes in the Earth's orbit around the Sun (called Milankovitch cycles) rather than an increase in carbon dioxide. However, in a paper published just last year, it was actually the slow rise in global atmospheric carbon dioxide occurring before Earth's orbital shift that was the "muscle" behind the meltdown (in a shameless plug, I wrote about it in my WU blog about a year and a half ago).

In summary, while a lot of these orbital oscillations have been extremely important in the climate changes of Earth's past, this current rise in CO2 is so powerful, that it's muting the natural cycling of global temperatures (both orbital AND solar-caused). That's the REAL cause for concern: We're in uncharted territory now.
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"The first impact of those voyages was the sense of wonder given to the astronauts and to us as we shared their experience vicariously through television, but at the same time the Earth was viewed from outside by the more objective gaze of scientific instruments. These devices were quite impervious to human emotion yet they also sent back the information that let us see the Earth as a strange and beautiful anomaly. They showed our planet is made of the same elements and in much the same proportions as are Mars and Venus, but they also revealed our sibling planets to be bare and barren and as different from the Earth as a robin from a rock.

We now see that the air, the ocean and the soil are much more than a mere environment for life; they are a part of life itself. Thus the air is to life just as is the fur to a cat or the nest for a bird. Not living but something made by living things to protect against an otherwise hostile world. For life on Earth the air is our protection against the cold depths and fierce radiations of space.

There is nothing unusual in the idea of life on Earth interacting with the air, sea and rocks, but it took a view from outside to glimpse the possibility that this combination might consist of a single giant living system and one with the capacity to keep the Earth always at a state most favorable for the life upon it.”

- James Lovelock
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Quoting 84. Skyepony:
This is called the methane tracker but it tracks so much more..

Nice link, SP. I've always been preferential to NOAA ESRL's Carbon Tracker, but this is a good alternative.
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Disappearing Permafrost

"We visit German climate researchers in the northern Siberian wilderness of the Lena Delta. They're studying how the thawing of permafrost is affecting climate change. Siberia's frozen soil contains large quantities of dead plant matter. The researchers have found that rising temperatures are facilitating the production and release of greenhouse gases by tiny organisms living in the ponds and lakes there."

There's an excellent 6min video.

Edit: one extremely important observation mentioned in the video is that their measurement stations have seen up to 1 degree C temperature rise since 1996... at 27 meters depth.
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Quoting 89. iceagecoming:
[It's cold somewhere]
Thanks for posting that unattributed citation to a three-day old newspaper article that reminds us of just how extreme the weather is becoming. While portions of the eastern third of the Continental US--a region that comprises considerably less than one-half-of once-percent of earth's total surface--have indeed been cold this past several days, most of the rest of the planet continues its warm ways. The earth hasn't experienced a cooler-than-normal month for closing in on 30 years now; this brief US cold snap isn't going to change that.
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Gulf Coast Readies for Record Cold
Posted: Nov 27, 2013 6:20 PM EST Updated: Nov 27, 2013 6:57 PM EST
By Jonathan Owens

With the weather forecast serving up a cold turkey for thanksgiving, we wanted see how people are getting ready for the long, cold night ahead. It could be the coldest thanksgiving in nearly 25 years in Chicago, and Freeze Warnings extend as far south as Central Florida.What are people doing to protect their home plumbing and home gardens?

Chilly sunshine lit up rows of colorful plants at Home Depot, but without any protection, these plants could have a rough night ahead.

We've known that freezing weather was coming for quite some time now. But are people actually ready for it? George Bolden, Jr. and his grandson were buying pipe insulation ahead of one of the biggest holidays of the year. Brandon Slade, assistant manager at Home Depot in Mobile told us pipe insulation and faucet covers are the hot sellers at home depot on this cold day. Brandon also told us, "Having a busted pipe is something you definitely don't want to experience on Thanksgiving or any other day."

But could pipe worries be a thing of the past thanks to new technology?

If you're tired of broken pipes, there is a new option for you. A home plumbing product that has been introduced in the last few years called PEX pipe doesn't burst like regular pipes. PEX pipe is now standard on a lot of new homes since it doesn't matter if it freezes or not.

We asked a master plumber to tell us about how different pipes react to freezing temperatures. Chip Hairston is a master plumber who runs C&C Plumbing and told us, "The copper pipes will just burst in between some areas that it froze, once it starts thawing out the PVC and CPVC pipes will shatter. If you've got the new PEX pipe, the new pipe that we run a lot in new homes, it will freeze but it won't bust."

Chip told us homes that are the most susceptible are the ones where air can circulate underneath. But even if you live in one of these homes, Chip offered us some good old fashioned advice that can save you a headache. He said, "As long as the water is flowing you should be okay."

And in addition to taking care of plants and pipes, if you have a pet who's sensitive to the cold weather, it's probably a good idea to make sure they have a warm place to sleep, too.

Lucky for us, a slow warming trend is coming up for the holiday weekend.

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State Dept. Keystone XL Contractor ERM Also Green-Lighted Explosive, Faulty Peruvian Pipeline Project

Steve Horn
Wed, 2013-04-03 05:00Steve Horn

DeSmog article Link

Environmental Resources Management (ERM), the State Department consulting firm that claims TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline proposal is safe and sound, previously provided a similarly rosy approval for the expansion of a Peruvian natural gas project that has since racked up a disastrous track record.
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Quoting 3. PensacolaDoug:

ANALYSIS AIR DATE: Nov. 27, 2013
Winter storm to bring record cold temperatures on Thanksgiving Day

GWEN IFILL: And by the time everybody sits down with the turkey tomorrow, most of this will be passed?

BERNIE RAYNO: It will be long gone. But you know what the big story is going to be is the cold. In fact, we're looking at record cold temperatures on our Wednesday night, Thursday morning, all the way down into parts of Florida and Texas.

In fact, we're looking at temperatures below freezing south of I-10 across the Florida Panhandle. So, it is certainly not going to feel like the end of November. It is going to feel more like January.

GWEN IFILL: Bernie, you're making me cold just thinking about it.

One of the few things Gwen is honest about, Stay warm if you can!
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NAEFS 8-14 day

Looks like all the red states will be offshored to the Bermuda Triangle and the North Pacific Trash Vortex.
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# 83

If you can't Master the LINK button, we sure ain't gonna look at a open HTML addy like dat un, my friend.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 449 Comments: 140209
84. Skyepony (Mod)
This is called the methane tracker but it tracks so much more..
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Expert assessment of sea-level rise by AD 2100 and AD 2300

We report the largest elicitation on future sea-level rise conducted from 90 experts from 18 countries.
The sea-level rise ranges provided by the experts are on average higher than those of the IPCC 5th assessment.
For the strong mitigation scenario (RCP 2.6), the likely range is 0.4%u20130.6 m by AD 2100 and 0.6%u20131.0 m by AD 2300.
For the unmitigated warming scenario (RCP 8.5), the likely ranges are 0.7%u20131.2 m by AD 2100 and 2%u20133 m by AD 2300.

Large uncertainty surrounds projections of global sea-level rise, resulting from uncertainty about future warming and an incomplete understanding of the complex processes and feedback mechanisms that cause sea level to rise. Consequently, existing models produce widely differing predictions of sea-level rise even for the same temperature scenario. Here we present results of a broad survey of 90 experts who were amongst the most active scientific publishers on the topic of sea level in recent years. They provided a probabilistic assessment of sea-level rise by AD 2100 and AD 2300 under two contrasting temperature scenarios. For the low scenario, which limits warming to <2 C above pre-industrial temperature and has slowly falling temperature after AD 2050, the median %u2018likely%u2019 range provided by the experts is 0.4%u20130.6 m by AD 2100 and 0.6%u20131.0 m by AD 2300, suggesting a good chance to limit future sea-level rise to <1.0 m if climate mitigation measures are successfully implemented. In contrast, for the high warming scenario (4.5 C by AD 2100 and 8 C in AD 2300) the median likely ranges are 0.7%u20131.2 m by AD 2100 and 2.0%u20133.0 m by AD 2300, calling into question the future survival of some coastal cities and low-lying island nations.

Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4589
White House releases agenda for hundreds of new environmental rules

Hundreds of planned new regulations were outlined by the White House just before Thanksgiving, including many proposed environmental rules that could help the country clean up its act and fight climate change.

No fewer than seven reporters for E&E Publishing scoured the latest biannual Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, published Wednesday, and here is a sampling of the environmental regulatory efforts that they say are in the works:


U.S. EPA has a full plate with more than 140 items on the docket, including its high-profile regulations tightening carbon dioxide emissions from both new and existing power plants. The rule for future power plants — proposed earlier this fall — does not have a finalization date listed but is expected to be done next year. …


The agency, which oversees energy development, wildlife protections and recreation on roughly one-fifth of the nation’s land and nearly all of its oceans, is still working on rules governing hydraulic fracturing, Arctic drilling, oil shale management and endangered species, among hundreds of others.

High-profile actions include the finalization of the Bureau of Land Management’s sweeping hydraulic fracturing regulations, targeted for May 2014. …


The Department of Energy will maintain its renewed focus on energy efficiency requirements for various consumer and industrial appliances, according to its agenda. Among the 82 activities listed on the agenda are new or updated rulemakings covering a variety of products, including residential boilers, vending machines and commercial ice makers. …


The agenda also lists a series of forthcoming hazardous material regulations required by the surface transportation bill signed into law in 2012. MAP-21 requires the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to set new benchmarks for the evaluation and approval of special permits for the transportation of chemicals and other hazardous materials.

The agency will also consider stricter safety rules for the transportation of hazardous material by rail and regulatory changes that cover liquids transported in onshore pipelines.


eenews.net (summary)
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 33 Comments: 1110
Why Climate Change Skeptics and Evolution Deniers Joined Forces

All across the country—most recently, in the state of Texas—local battles over the teaching of evolution are taking on a new complexion. More and more, it isn't just evolution under attack, it's also the teaching of climate science. The National Center for Science Education, the leading group defending the teaching of evolution across the country, has even broadened its portfolio: Now, it protects climate education too.

How did these issues get wrapped up together? On its face, there isn't a clear reason—other than a marriage of convenience—why attacks on evolution and attacks on climate change ought to travel side by side. After all, we know why people deny evolution: Religion, especially the fundamentalist kind. And we know why people deny global warming: Free market ideology and libertarianism. These are not, last I checked, the same thing. (If anything, libertarians may be the most religiously skeptical group on the political right.)

And yet clearly there's a relationship between the two issue stances. If you're in doubt, watch this Climate Desk video of a number of members of Congress citing religion in the context of questioning global warming:

Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 33 Comments: 1110
Quoting 73. yoboi:

Well with solar 25 we will be heading to cooler temps like we had during the little ice age

Peer-reviewed research, physics, and math all tell us that a grand solar minimum would have no more than a 0.3°C cooling effect, barely enough to put a dent in human-caused global warming.

The global mean temperature difference is shown for the time period 1900 to 2100 for the IPCC A2 emissions scenario (relative to zero for the average temperature during the years 1961 to 1990). The red line shows predicted temperature change for the current level of solar activity, the blue line shows predicted temperature change for solar activity at the much lower level of the Maunder Minimum, and the black line shows observed temperatures from the NASA GISS dataset through 2010. Adapted from Feulner & Rahmstorf (2010).
Member Since: November 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2044
Quoting 73. yoboi:

Well with solar 25 we will be heading to cooler temps like we had during the little ice age...NASA agrees....

Your link doesn't support your statement.

Are we surprised?
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I'm a professor at U Michigan and lead a course on climate change problem solving. These articles often come from and contribute to the course.

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