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Archive for the ‘Weather’ Category

Rogue Weathergirl

In Humour, Polytricks, Weather on May 27, 2013 at 8:20 am

Somehow I missed the Rogue Weathergirl’s weather report last summer.. ;o)

Thanks to Kai Nagata for this series.

 

Shock Doctrine and Climate Change

In Weather on April 10, 2013 at 9:47 am

Naomi Klein is calling out the multinational corporations behind both the climate change deniers and products that are causing climate change.

She makes a good point that ‘intellectual property rights’ are playing their usual role stalling change and innovation just when we need it most to deal with climate change.

The ‘shock doctrine’ part of climate change is ramming fracking and nuclear power plants down our throats instead of using available carbon-neutral technology.

I feel we are suffering the multiple manipulations and ‘shocks’… climate change.. financial meltdown.. bogus wars on drugs and terror..

All designed to maximize profits in the hands of the 1% and and undermine democracy and civil society at home..

We are up against a well-oiled corporate propaganda machine that is systematically undermining the public interest.

Here is Bill Maher slaggin’ climate change deniers..

 

 

 

Frankenyear 2012, Hottest on record

In Weather on January 9, 2013 at 8:49 am

The stats are in and they show that 2012 marked the warmest year on record for the contiguous United States.  The average temperature for 2012 was 3.2°F above the 20th century average, and 1.0°F above 1998, the previous warmest year.  As far as the real costs of ignoring climate change, 2012 was 2nd most destructive on record, lashing the US with 11 catastrophes that reached at least $1 bn. in losses.  In the last two years the estimated price tag is $126 billion in direct costs just from extreme weather events.

So if extreme weather is the ‘new normal’  how well are we coping with the costs of climate change?  Firstly the costs are being deliberately under-estimated.  Secondly the cost are staggering and this at a time that the whole world economy is lurching into an abyss.  Thirdly there is zero political will as the last ‘climate conference’ showed, hell the Kyoto (Zombie) Agreement is deader than a dodo.  In fact the USG is actively undermining the whole process and has been for years, (not the least by refusing signing up to Kyoto).

I feel its important yet again to remember who is behind the Climate Change deniers.  In order to deal with this crisis the political corruption that is paralysing the public discourse has to be exposed and dealt with.  The significant players remain the oil corporations manipulating the political process and muddying the waters in the media.  These kind of people and corporations are the enemies of humanity.  They must be stopped.

 

The Great Arctic Cyclone of 2012

In Weather on January 1, 2013 at 11:02 am

Last summer an unusually large and fierce storm broke out in the Arctic.  What is memorable about it was its unusual intensity for a summer storm.  It also pounded what little was left of the polar ice cap up.  Sea level pressure reached about 964 millibars on August 6, 2012—a number more typical of a winter storm.

Fierce storms like this are usually caused by a clash of air masses differentiated by large temperature differences.  The Arctic his drastically heating up in the summer, melting the ice cap, generating huge storms and knocking the jet stream off course.  This results in bad summer and/or bad winter weather in Europe for example.  As the Arctic heats up the jet stream ‘wobbles’ into large amplitude waves creating ‘blocking weather patterns’ that stall extreme heat or cold, drought or floods over a particular area.

The blocking weather event was critical in Super Storm Sandy making its notorious ‘left hook’ right into New York City instead of heading out to sea.  So the ripple-effect of Arctic melting are creating more extreme and long-lasting weather events all around the world.  Here is a very interesting video that explains how the jet stream is wobbling off course due to Arctic melting.

 

 

 

European weather forecast models predicted Hurricane Sandy first

In Weather on December 27, 2012 at 8:13 am

While the US weather models were predicting Hurricane Sandy was going to move out to sea the European model showed a bullseye on New York.  This happened because the Europeans have more accurate forecast models.  They have the funding and larger computers.  Another crucial factor affecting accuracy of the forecast models is delays in launching a new pole to pole weather satellite. The ECMWF predicted the storm would hit New York 8 days before it did.

The ECMWF (European model) is considered the gold standard in weather forecasting but its proprietary and expensive.  The US model (GFS) is lagging badly behind other national weather prediction models.  With the anticipated increase in destructive weather ‘events’ nobody can afford to fall behind in this area.  Here is a humorous video about weather prediction models.. ;o)

 

 

Climate change is estimated to cost the world economy $1.2 trillion annually

In Polytricks, Weather on December 26, 2012 at 10:28 am

This large fact should help the climate change deniers re-evaluate their objections to passing treaties and laws to drastically reduce CO2 emissions.  Insurance corporations are suffering huge losses.  Insurance claims have doubled each decade since 1980.  So in order to save their industry it seems reasonable to predict that the cost of insuring climate change will become prohibitive quite soon.  In other words oil corporations fighting climate change regulation are guaranteeing that individuals will pay all the real costs of climate change.

Insurance corporations make detailed risk assessments.  They have to.  They know that climate change is real and they have mostly got out of flood insurance because of the risks involved leaving it to governments to bear the brunt of these increasing costs.  So the next time you hear a climate change denying corporate talking head blathering on about the ‘costs’ of dealing with climate change remember that this means that tax payers are going to foot all the bills.

Classic corporate scam, privatize the profits and socialize the costs.  But in the end the tax payer will be on the hook for such great losses that social funding will collapse.  So really our civil society is at risk due to government and corporate intransigence over climate change.

 

 

IEA spins US CO2 emissions ‘drop’

In Polytricks, Weather on December 14, 2012 at 12:19 pm

The corporate media is trumpeting the ‘remarkable’ drop in US CO2 emissions due to fracked ‘shale gas’ (natural gas).  Apparently the US CO2 emissions dropped by 450 metric tonnes, due to using natural gas instead of coal to produce electricity.  The IEA had to also admit that this drop would also be caused by the economic depression and warmer winters.  Of course it doesn’t help that despite switching to natural gas, US CO2 emission are still going up.

I’m suspicious about the lack reports on global CO2 emission since 2010.  What is the hold-up if these figures are so crucial?  For example the 2012 IEA CO2 report uses data from 2010.  Frankly I don’t think the IEA has any credibility anyway.   The energy corporations and their media and government sock-puppets have completely muddied and distorted the whole CO2 emissions issue.

Drought and ethanol wipes out US cattle herd

In Weather on December 2, 2012 at 7:09 am

Last summer’s drought has cut the US cattle herd by almost a third.  The drought affected 80% of agricultural land this summer.   This meant that there was a 13% drop in the grain harvest.  The shortage of grain was bizarrely intensified by EPA ethanol rules.  This meant that ethanol production for gasoline ate up 42% of the corn crop.

The governors of eight drought-hit states asked the EPA to waive requirements for blending corn-based ethanol into gasoline.  The EPA rejected the request, stating it “found no evidence of “severe economic harm”.   Converting food into gasoline for SUV’s to drive around with the air conditioners blasting, seems to me to be disconnected to the reality of economic collapse and climate change.

Climate change is affecting all regions in Europe, warns agency

In Weather on November 21, 2012 at 4:56 pm

The European Environment Agency has today warned that climate change is impacting all regions in Europe.  the last decade (2002-2011) being the warmest on record, with land temperatures 1.3°C warmer than the pre-industrial average.  The data shows that rainfall is increasing in Northern Europe and falling in Southern Europe.  Of course these climatic changes not only affect health but also the economy of Europe.  This has investor groups alarmed that the economy will be slowly but steadily destroyed by the rising costs of climate change. Here is a prescient video warning from Climate Scientist Stephen Schneider in 1979.

So its not like we haven’t had plenty of warning about what is going on.  The unprecedented weather events of the last few short years have chastened many deniers.  But like the cigarette lobby fighting to keep their cancer-sticks in the marketplace, we have the nauseating spectacle of the climate change denier industry buying enough political muscle to stop even talk of another Kyoto Deal… pfffttt!!.. Here is Bill Maher’s take on the climate change deniers.

Global Warming nails New York

In Polytricks, Weather on November 3, 2012 at 8:00 am

Its the elephant in the room.  The corporate media is desperately trying  to spin climate change out of Hurricane Sandy reportage.  Yet clearly global warming this very year produced the record high temperatures in the Gulf Stream that engorged Sandy.  Global warming also  resulted in massive polar melting that produced a ‘blocking weather pattern‘ that knocked the jet stream off course this summer and produced one of the worst droughts in continental North America.  The polar melt continued to knocked the jet stream off course again this fall and produced a rare Greenland high pressure system that kicked the fully developed hurricane abruptly to the left and right into NYC.

Hurricane Sandy packed a low pressure centre of 940 mb, (which is the depth that Category 4 hurricanes develop).  It was huge, only one other Atlantic hurricane has been bigger, (so far).  And it was very ‘late’ in the season, it should have headed out into the Atlantic and dissipated.  What more information could possibly be needed to show how anomalous and unprecedented this hurricane was?

 

 

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