Tracking a Potentially Significant (Hybrid) Nor’Easter For Early Next Week
Orange Cone Alert
All this road construction almost makes me look forward to winter.
I know – our highways don’t repair themselves. MnDOT crews have a job to do, and they do it very well. Yesterday a quick 15 minute drive turned into an epic, 2-hour scavenger hunt. At least the sun was out.
When it comes to all things atmospheric I take NOTHING for granted. On September 24, 1985 half an inch of snow cheered up Twin Cities residents. Nearly 2 inches fell on September 26, 1942. No, I don’t take 70s and low 80s in late September for granted.
NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a milder than average October for much of the USA. Spring was chilly, snowy and wet – maybe autumn will balance things out.
The same tropical swirl responsible for flooding rains over Florida may spin up into a formidable Nor’easter, soaking New England early next week.
While we enjoy the best week of autumn.
Flood Insurance: Costs Rising, Claims “Confusing”. Many Americans are discovering, for the first time, that they now live in a flood zone. An apparent uptick in historic, 1 in 500 and 1 in 1,000 year floods is causing many to reexamine their coverage. CNBC has the story – here’s a clip: “More homes and businesses In the U.S. are feeling the devastating impact of flooding, as was dramatically demonstrated in Colorado. But most households remain without flood insurance—and obtaining it may become more difficult. Only 18 percent of Americans have any kind of flood insurance coverage. For those who might want it, the price is about to go up. That’s because subsidies to policyholders for the federal government’s flood insurance program—the National Flood Insurance Program, which is nearly the sole provider of flood insurance—are to end Oct. 1...” (Image above: NOAA).
* Record June flooding in Alberta, Canada damage toll reaches $6 billion (Canadian). Details from Bloomberg.
Survivors Recount Horror Of Twin Storms In Mexico; Death Toll Rises To 97. Here’s an update on the two tropical systems that moved slowly enough to drop excessive rainfall amounts, capable of producing historic flooding. AP and The Dallas Morning News have the story – here’s a clip: “With a low, rumbling roar, an arc of dirt, rock and mud tumbled down the hillside in the remote mountain village of La Pintada, sweeping houses in its path, burying half the hamlet and leaving 68 people missing in its mad race to the river bed below. It was the biggest known tragedy caused by twin weekend storms that struck Mexico, creating floods and landslides across the nation and killing at least 97 people as of Thursday — not counting those missing in La Pintada…”
Photo credit above: Alejandrino Gonzalez/The Associated Press. “A car lays buried in mud after flooding triggered by Tropical Storm Manuel as residents try to clean up their neighborhood in Chilpancingo, Mexico, on Thursday. Manuel, the same storm that devastated Acapulco, gained hurricane force and rolled into the northern state of Sinaloa on Thursday before starting to weaken.”
Nasty Weather Plaguing NFL. Suddenly those domed stadiums are looking like a pretty good return on investment, as reported by NPR; here’s an excerpt: “…Already, three games, including two in prime time, have been disrupted by weather issues, mostly lightning. Kickoff for the Ravens-Broncos opener to the season on Sept. 5 in Denver was delayed for 33 minutes. On Sunday, New Orleans’ visit to Tampa Bay was interrupted for 69 minutes. And the showcase matchup of San Francisco at Seattle went through a one-hour delay in the first quarter Sunday night. Hardly ideal — for the teams, the fans, or the folks watching on TV. But necessary…”
Settled Science. Here’s the intro to a story from Jeff Nesbit at U.S. News: “The debate is over. On Friday, an international panel of hundreds of scientists will issue its fifth (and perhaps final) comprehensive scientific assessment of what we now know about climate change. Its central conclusion will be certain and unequivocal – human beings are altering the climate, with impacts starting to occur now. Yes, there are still a handful of scientists who like to take slightly contrarian positions, which allows them to be quoted in media stories. And, yes, scientists are still trying to determine how much things like La Nina, excess water vapor and ocean sinks (the ability of the oceans to store carbon dioxide and warming) mask the extent of how rapidly the planet is warming from greenhouse gases…”
Photo credit: “A new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, its first in six years, will be released Friday with the unequivocal conclusion that human beings are altering the climate.”
Study Sees A Higher Risk Of Storms On The Horizon. The New York Times has a good overview; here’s the introduction: “The eastern and central United States likely will see a greater risk of severe weather by the middle of this century as rising temperatures trigger atmospheric changes that favor storms, a new study by climate scientists from Stanford and Purdue universities concludes. By the century’s final 30 years, the study forecasts, the eastern United States could experience severe thunderstorms an average of nearly 7.5 spring days, an increase of almost 42 percent. A 15 percent increase is forecast during June, July and August…”
Photo credit above: Gene Blevins/Reuters. “Thunderstorms are forecast to increase in the eastern and central United States.”
What Is The Climate Change Context Behind The Colorado Floods? Scientific American has the article – here’s a clip: “…The science of linking extreme events to climate change is relatively young. Practitioners in this field, called attribution science, work to understand whether any part of an event like a flood, drought or heat wave can be attributed to climate change. Martin Hoerling, a research meteorologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, has been one of the leaders in the field of attribution research. Asked how the Boulder flood could be put into a climate change context, Hoerling first listed some statistics highlighting the extreme nature of the event…”
Photo credit above: “Is Climate Change to Blame? Although it is still relatively young, practitioners in the field of attribution science are looking at the relationship between climate change and extreme weather events such as the recent Colorado flooding.”Image: Nurpu/Flickr.
Arctic Sea Ice Minimum In 2013 Is Sixth Lowest On Record. More details fromTucson News Now; here’s an excerpt: “After an unusually cold summer in the northernmost latitudes, Arctic sea ice appears to have reached its annual minimum summer extent for 2013 on Sept. 13, the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado in Boulder has reported. Analysis of satellite data by NSIDC and NASA showed that the sea ice extent shrunk to 1.97 million square miles (5.10 million square kilometers). This year’s sea ice extent is substantially higher than last year’s record low minimum. On Sept.16, 2012, Arctic sea ice reached its smallest extent ever recorded by satellites at 1.32 million square miles (3.41 million square kilometers). That is about half the size of the average minimum extent from 1981 to 2010…”
Graph above: Arctic Sea-Ice Monitor.
Rising Oceans Set Off Alarms. Additional sea level rise is already in the pipeline – the question is: how much, and how quickly? Here’s a snippet of a story at The Daily Astorian: “…With a constant level of greenhouse gases, the upper ocean will warm 0.6 degree C by 2100 to balance between heat in and heat out, Thompson said. Sea levels will continue to rise for centuries because the entire ocean needs to warm up for the energy budget to balance. Ben Strauss, vice president for Climate Impacts and director of the Program on Sea Level Rise at Climate Central, has described the phenomenon as a “long-term commitment,” that rising sea levels have been locked in, whatever changes are made in emissions. “It appears that the amount of carbon pollution to date has already locked in more than 4 feet of sea level rise past today’s levels. That is enough, at high tide, to submerge more than half of today’s population in 316 coastal cities and towns, home to 3.6 million, in the lower 48 states…” (Image above: NASA).
Wind And Rain Belts To Shift North As Planet Warms, Research Says. Phy.org has the article – here’s an excerpt: “As humans continue to heat the planet, a northward shift of Earth’s wind and rain belts could make a broad swath of regions drier, including the Middle East, American West and Amazonia, while making Monsoon Asia and equatorial Africa wetter, says a new study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The story authors base their predictions on the warming that brought Earth out of the last ice age, some 15,000 years ago…”
Image credit above: “During boreal summer, Earth’s tropicla rain belt migrates north. A similar but prolonged shift could happen if the north continues to heat faster than the south, disrupting global rainfall patterns.” Credit: Mats Halldin.
Register Guard: Acidification Complicates Fishing. Much of the warming is going into the world’s oceans, which are becoming more acidic (higher PH levels) over time – which isn’t great news for fish or other aquatic life, as reported at OPB.org: “…Scientists — including many at Oregon State University — are beginning to define the cause of these events. They call it ocean acidification and hypoxia. Wind, currents and ocean chemistry conspire to create pools of corrosive waters that can be lethal to key commercial species in Northwest waters — and favorable to some nuisance species, such as jellyfish. The die-off of coral reefs has been publicized everywhere from Australia to the Indian Ocean to the Caribbean. But less well known are the problems surfacing on the West Coast of North America — where people may have more cause to worry. “Scientists are learning that ocean acidification is hitting waters off the West Coast earlier and harder than elsewhere on the planet,” Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber said recently…” (Image: NASA).
Methane Reserves: Does Size Really Matter? Will a slowly thawing permafrost and Arctic release vast quantities of methane, compounding future warming? The jury is still out, but the concern is valid. The Carbon Brief takes a look – here’s a clip: “Size isn’t everything when it comes to the stores of methane locked up in the earth. A recentpaper warns a sudden release of these resources could exact a terrible economic and humanitarian cost. But while vast stores of the potent greenhouse gas exist, scientists do not have sufficient evidence to believe they will be suddenly released into the atmosphere, methane expert Dr Vincent Gauci explains.”
A Quick ‘N Dirty Guide To Falsifying AGW. Here’s an excerpt from a post at Our Changing Climate: “Have you ever heard of Newton’s theory of gravity? Well, it’s all made-up nonsense. You’ve been fooled. The reasoning goes as follows:
- According to the theory of gravity, objects should fall to the Earth’ surface.
- That bird in the sky remains there, without falling.
- Theory of gravity is wrong.
This reasoning bears a lot of resemblance to the following, equally strong reasoning that falsifies the theory of anthropogenic global warming (AGW):
- According to AGW, CO2 controls the climate.
- For the past 10 years, global temperature remained more or less steady whereas CO2 levels went up.
- AGW theory is wrong…”
Major Fossil Fuel Reserves Must Be Left In The Ground, Senior Diplomat Warns. I’m pretty sure ExxonMobile will be OK with this. Here’s a clip from a story at The Guardian: “World governments must get used to the idea of leaving fossil fuel reserves in the ground unexploited and unburned, one of the world’s most senior diplomats has said, ahead of a landmark report on climate science to be unveiled this Friday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The former Irish president and UN high commissioner for human rights, Mary Robinson, is to spearhead a new international push aimed at breaking the climate talks deadlock and silencing sceptics, with a group of senior diplomats and politicians from around the world. Climate sceptics are “not based in reality” and parts of the business community are “trying to cloud and distort the science”, she said, adding that strong political leadership was needed to counter them…”
Photo credit above: “The former Irish president and UN high commissioner, Mary Robinson, is to spearhead a new international push aimed at breaking the climate talks deadlock and silencing sceptics.” Photograph: Martin Argles for the Guardian.
One Failed Project, Another Over Budget, Hint At Carbon-Capture Challenges Under EPA Rules. Grist has the story – here’s a snippet: “…Despite an abundance of underground storage space where CO2 could conceivably be stashed, only a dozen or so carbon-capture projects are operating or under construction worldwide. And in a bad sign for any coal barons who might still be optimistic about the future of coal burning in the U.S., one of the world’s most ambitious carbon-capture efforts has just been abandoned in Norway. That development coincides with news of nearly billion-dollar cost overruns at another CCS project in Mississippi…”