Drought relief?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12. tammikuuta 2006 klo 15:04 (GMT)

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Computer forecast models are pointing to a change in the jet stream pattern over the coming week that could provide some drought relief to the southern half of the U.S., including eastern Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. The jet stream so far in January has been blowing in a somewhat "zonal" fashion--straight across the U.S., from about Oregon to New England. The jet has had only modest dips to the south (troughs), associated with rain storms that have tracked rapidly across the northern tier of states. Beginning Saturday, however, the jet stream is expected to take on a more bowed pattern, bringing a sharp trough of low pressure all the way down to Mexico. This trough will bring cold air and moisture with it, giving southern California needed rains, and the first snows of winter to Flagstaff, AZ. Amazingly, Flagstaff had over 83 inches of snow fall by this time last year, but so far this winter has had none!

By Monday, as the trough moves across the country, the drought-ravaged areas of eastern Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas have a chance of up to .5 inches of rain. This would be the first significant rains in nearly 100 days in some areas. Another major trough is expected to follow about a week later, and indications are that this trough will also swing far enough south to bring rain and snow to portions of the southern U.S. in need of moisture. However, since there is no cold Arctic air in Canada for these troughs to tap into, only short periods of winter-like conditions are expected in the U.S. over the next ten days. The country remains on track to record our warmest-ever January.


Figure 1. Number of days since the last .25 inch rain for each county in Oklahoma.

Jeff Masters

Smoke 2 Counties away (kentrosaurus)
This cloud of smoke is from a wildfire in Irion county, as seen from Tom Green county, near San Angelo.
Smoke 2 Counties away
danger: low water (hogwild)
notice how far this marker is away from the water's current level
danger: low water

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349. Inyo
16. tammikuuta 2006 klo 17:34 (GMT)
theres a large upwelling area off the California coast which is one of the reasons the area doesn't generally get hurricans.


it's also the reason the area often goes 5 or 6 months out of the year with no rain (in the summer). It seems that even destructive hurricanes are a small price to pay in exchange for the summer rains that sustain 4/5ths of our country (even the Southwest Monsoon has been linked to Atlantic hurricanes)
Member Since: 3.09.2002 Posts: 42 Comments: 867
348. KatrinaRitaWilmaZeta
16. tammikuuta 2006 klo 16:43 (GMT)
new blog up!
347. HurricaneMyles
16. tammikuuta 2006 klo 16:41 (GMT)
Cape Verde season? No, not yet. It's just some normal ITCZ flare ups. Shear is way too high in the Atltantic right now.
Member Since: 12.01.2006 Posts: 5 Comments: 827
345. HurricaneMyles
16. tammikuuta 2006 klo 16:32 (GMT)
Interesting Cregnebaa. The GFS is showing a cut-off low near the Azores is about 96 hours. We'll see if either of these scanarios pan out.
Member Since: 12.01.2006 Posts: 5 Comments: 827
344. lightning10
16. tammikuuta 2006 klo 16:29 (GMT)
Hi everyone hope everyone is haveing a good day. I beleave Gobal Warming is very real. The weather is going to get very interesting over the next 10 years. I remember when I was young it was only a few people in the science world who thought it was real. Know a good majority do.
Member Since: 24.11.2005 Posts: 41 Comments: 630
343. Cregnebaa
16. tammikuuta 2006 klo 16:26 (GMT)
Has any one seen the Canadian model today, look at the Leewards at 78 hours and beyond
Link
Member Since: 19.10.2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 322
342. HurricaneMyles
16. tammikuuta 2006 klo 16:24 (GMT)
And this guy did model it with an industry standard program. ARG!! Just go here and read what this guy said. He knows way more then any of us about the properties and what not that effect this. he is the interloper guy.

LINK.
Member Since: 12.01.2006 Posts: 5 Comments: 827
341. timchgo9
16. tammikuuta 2006 klo 16:23 (GMT)
You know... I am just a weather "fan" here, but my input on this whole "global warming" (and I have just spent the better part of the last hour or so reading the whole thread) is this: Back in the early 70's when I was in grade school, I remember that "The New Ice Age" was the hot topic, I remember my Weekly Reader even having a story on how the "the world is getting colder". Just one question? How did we switch from the "coming ice age" to "global warming"?

Idiotic question? Perhaps. To the point? Yes... Why? because while it seems there are some global temperature anamolies in progress as we speak, it seems like there are way too many people on "the earth is doomed" bandwagon. Should we be responsible with the environment? Of course... that's not my point. Should this issue, like any other, be approached with common sense? Of course. From some sides of this debate, common sense is lacking.

339. KatrinaRitaWilmaZeta
16. tammikuuta 2006 klo 16:18 (GMT)
Posted By: ForecasterColby at 7:39 AM PST on January 12, 2006.
The new ENSO report is out, and it's official - La Nina is coming.

O_O 2006 is going to be *insane*

whats up! ForecasterColby 2006 is going to be *insane* what do you mean?this is going to be a bad hurricane year this year and more storm then we had last year
338. HurricaneMyles
16. tammikuuta 2006 klo 16:17 (GMT)
We already discussed this cyclonebuster. He didnt say it was impossible, just that it takes lots on energy because its not a process that naturally wants to occur. It takes some external source of energy like a hurricane to cause upwelling. And we all know that a hurricane can provide lots of energy.
Member Since: 12.01.2006 Posts: 5 Comments: 827
337. ForecasterColby
16. tammikuuta 2006 klo 16:15 (GMT)
Upwelling USES energy from a hurricane. A hurricane creates more energy than all the worlds nuclear arsenals in a day.

STOP DISCUSSING THIS! ARGH! Can we get back to *real* weather?!?!
335. Cregnebaa
16. tammikuuta 2006 klo 15:44 (GMT)
Sorry Palmetto

The tunnels are Busters idea to reduce the SSTs around the Gulf and Eastern Seaboard by using tunnels to bring cold water up from the sea bed to mix with the Gulf stream to cool it down. This in turn stop major hurricanes hit the US, while the upwelling tin the tunnels will create clean electricity.

The bones of contention are:
1) Would the tunnels even work.
2) The effect on the gulf stream and Western Europes climate.
3) If your preventing hurricanes and heat being removed thro the gulf stream isnt the Caribbean just going to get warmer and warmer. Where is the ocean heat going to go?
Member Since: 19.10.2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 322
333. Cregnebaa
16. tammikuuta 2006 klo 15:35 (GMT)
to repeat the earlier post- and if your so sure they work why don't you model them yourself?

Sorry for the long post, but this is hilarious. While looking for information I found another message board where cyclonebuster has been and he found even more resistance there then he did here. Also a person named interloper seems to know much about the principles that cyclonebuster proposes plus more. He claims to be a mechanical engineer very well versed in the area of fluid mechanics. I'd like everyone to read his post about all the flaws in the basic principles of this design. Also, with all these questions about modeling the design, this guy did, and apparently it wasnt to cyclonebuster's approval since he hasnt mentioned it once here. Once again, sorry for the long post. I just felt that this information is incredibly important and really gives us a true engineering view on the plausibility of this idea.


After reading your post again, there's a few things I wanted to clear up.

In reply to:

Understand that pascal's principle applies at the base of the tunnel and Bernoulli's principle applies at the top of the tunnels.


Both principles, if they do indeed apply, will apply everywhere inside and outside the tunnel.

In reply to:

This is what creates the pressure differential within the tunnels.
As long as there is a pressure differential flow occurs.


Flow occurs in the presence of a pressure differential if the driving pressure is enough to overcome the inertia of the fluid, viscous friction effects, and other losses in the tube. Adding heavier cold water to the tunnel will bring the pressure differential back to zero.

In reply to:

It is the current that changes these pressures at both ends and therefore you have flow. Remember what pascal tell us.

Pascal's principle states that the pressure exerted on a fluid is distributed equally throughout the fluid.


...remember that Pascal's principle isn't an absolute law. It's only an observation that can be made in fluids at quasi-equilibrium...

In reply to:

This is what happens at the base of the tunnel. That force (KINETIC ENERGY) is transferred through the whole leangth of the tunnel it does not care about density.



Kinetic energy and force are two very, very different things. Force, as you said, IS transfered through the whole length of the tunnel. Force does not depend on density.

Kinetic energy, however, depends on density very much. Kinetic energy is esseintally the energy stored in an object because of motion. The equation for kinetic energy is 1/2 * mass * velocity * velocity, or, simply, 0.5*m*v^2

The mass of a fluid is it's density multiplied by its volume. The equation for the kinetic energy of a fluid is 1/2*density*volume* velocity^2. Like I said, kinetic energy is very dependant on density.

In reply to:

Kinetic energy is transferred instantly to the top.


Absolutely not. You have no guarentee that any kinetic energy will be transfered to the top. If you mean "force" instead of kinetic energy, then this is almost true, except that the process is nowhere near instant. Force is transfered to the top of the tunnel at the speed of sound, which is a far cry from instantaneous.

In reply to:

Once Bernoulli's principle is applied at the top it removes what pascal's principle forced up there and the cycle is on going untill you stop the current.


If you manage to get a pressure differential under the most ideal of circumstances, there will indeed be flow... in this case. The question is, how long will this pressure differential last until the excess weight of the cold water in the tube cancels out the small pressure difference from the current and the entire tube stagnates?

Its an intruiging problem, but a difficult one. I have some computational fluid dynamics software at my disposal, which might yield some insight as to how much pressure the current could generate, if you're really interested in pursuing this problem further. I don't suspect it will be very much.

cyclone,

I modeled a 50 foot (15 meter) duct inserted into a 2m/s uniform flow field, using the density of seawater as 1025 kg/m3. Given that you're talking about a rectangular tunnel with a wide aspect ratio, I modeled in in two dimensions using the narrow dimension as the cross section, figuring that most of the water that goes around the tunnel's mouth would do so by going over or under it.

Because this is a 2D approximation of a 3D problem, there is one major limitation. The solution assumes that the duct is infintely wide, and thus no water is escaping by going around the sides, only over or under. Because you've got an aspect ratio of 1/4, this is a fairly reasonable approximation. In reality, the pressure boost would be a little bit less.

To solve the problem, I used Fluent 6, which is an industry-standard CFD program. Assuming invicid flow (seems reasonable given our Reynolds numbers are on the order of 10^7), the software solves the governing equations in an iterative process. I ran the solution for about 1000 iterations, adapting the mesh twice to smooth out some of the rough spots. Other than that, it converged pretty nicely.

I modeled the duct as if it were sealed, which represents your tunnel just as you point the mouth into the current and none of the seawater has started moving. The pressures during startup will be the highest the tunnel sees, because (to explain it simply) once the water starts moving the current stops running into it so hard.

So the picture below shows the pressure contours around the tunnel mouth at startup. Each colored line is a line of equal pressure, and you can see the strength of the pressure on the colored scale on the left. As you can see, the highest pressure is inside the tunnel, starting right at the mouth, and it's about 2.09x10^3 N/m2.

That's 2090 Pascals, or about 0.3 psi, which isn't much. It would certainly be enough to start a really slow flow, but the temperature effect comes into play pretty quickly.

Just looking at some basic seawater density figures, a cubic meter of seawater at 60F weighs about 5.0kg (11 lbs) more than a cubic meter of seawater at 90F (I think 90F is a little unrealistic for the water's surface temperature, that's like a hot tub).

How far the 0.3psi will push the water column will depend on the actual temperatures, and the temperature gradient of the ocean between the surface and the depth you want the tunnel's mouth at.

If you could dig up some of that information... even something as basic as temperature measurements every 100ft of depth in the geographic area you want to put the tunnel, we could figure out exactly how much pressure you need to drive the flow.

If you're comparing an empty tube to one that's already filled with water, you're compairing apples to oranges.

But I will say this: if you stick an empty tube down through 500 feet warm water at 25C so that the tube's end is just inside a layer of cold water, the warm water above will be producing a gauge pressure of 1518 kPa at the bottom of the tube.

When you open that valve, the cold water rushes in. Let's say the cold water is at 5C. The difference in density is 4.2kg/m3. Because the cold water is heavier, the same amount of pressure will raise it a smaller distance. Based on some quick calculations, the cold water will rise just under 497 feet, which means that looking at the top of the tube sticking out of the water you will notice a three foot difference in water height.

Now, we're not talking about an empty tube. We're talking about one that's full of warm water, and instead of a 1518 kPa pressure difference, we're talking about a 5kPa pressure difference.

5kPa is not a lot of pressure. Atmospheric pressure, for example, is 101kPa. I figured out earlier that at the temperatures you gave me, the cold water weighs 50 Newtons more per cubic meter than warm water. 5kPa will hold up 5000 Newtons per square meter, which means you get 100 meters of additional cold water weight before everything stops.

You either need more pressure or a smaller temperature difference before you can show that this idea has a chance of being technically feasible... which is what a company will want to see before they spend money proving that it can be done.

If you don't believe me, find another mechanical engineer competent in this area of fluid mechanics. I'll even send you the spreadsheet I did my calculations on.




Member Since: 19.10.2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 322
331. Cregnebaa
16. tammikuuta 2006 klo 14:59 (GMT)
Hang on, wasn't it mentioned earlier, that the tunnels would not work, as the force waould not be enought to bring the water up even if it was pushing against just air.
You then suggested pumping the water to the surface.
Generally pumping water uses electricity not creates it.
You would be adding to Global warming as you put it, by needing further power to pump the water.

as you put it

the bottom line is these Tunnels don't work!

Can we stop flogging a dead cat please.
Member Since: 19.10.2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 322
330. palmettobug53
16. tammikuuta 2006 klo 14:57 (GMT)
Sorry if I seem a bit dense, here, but what are these tunnels, of which you speak? I've backtracked some, but can't find an explanation. Can someone provide a link to something for me?
Member Since: 7.10.2005 Posts: 229 Comments: 24593
329. cyclonebusted
16. tammikuuta 2006 klo 14:46 (GMT)
"In fact Hydroelectric power has the least amount of maintenance associated with it of all the ways we generate power"

with fresh water may be, but sea water????

And what about other nations affected by hurricanes in the carribean?

What about the effect this would have on western europe? Even France would go to war if it effected their farmers.
328. ProgressivePulse
16. tammikuuta 2006 klo 06:08 (GMT)
Ok Cyclone so now that you have an overall lower surface and midlevel temperature, what happens to the lower sea temps? And now that the natural balance between the lower mid and upper levels are out of wack, seems to me that you have effectivly slowed the current becuase the temperature difference was not adjusted at the lower levels. Yes the cooler water eventually falls but not as quickly as you are removing it. And again what replaces the water you are removing and what is the reprocussions at the source? Just a thought but it seems to me that you would eventually warm the gulf stream even more becuase you are bringing cooled waters that were on thier way down, back up to be heated again.
Member Since: 19.08.2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 4863
325. ProgressivePulse
16. tammikuuta 2006 klo 05:29 (GMT)
And what happens when you create a larger temperature diffence between the Gulf Stream and surrounding waters?
Member Since: 19.08.2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 4863
324. ProgressivePulse
16. tammikuuta 2006 klo 05:21 (GMT)
Maybe 10 billion to build, but what about the manpower and maintenience, yearly?
Member Since: 19.08.2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 4863
323. ProgressivePulse
16. tammikuuta 2006 klo 05:18 (GMT)
And now that you are pulling cool waters out of the depths in it's natural cycle, what replaces it and how will that affect the source?
Member Since: 19.08.2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 4863
321. ProgressivePulse
16. tammikuuta 2006 klo 05:13 (GMT)
Seems to me that a certain temperature balance is maintained in the upper and lower sea surfaces to create currents. If you cool the upper waters logically you would have to cool the lower waters equally to maintain that balance. You say that it would return the sea surface temperatures in the Gulf Sream to what they were before but what about the balance of lower temperatures at that same time period?
Member Since: 19.08.2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 4863
320. HurricaneMyles
16. tammikuuta 2006 klo 04:44 (GMT)
I think if he wants to put a bunch all over the gulf stream and other places, which is where cost becomes a huge issue. It would be billions, probably trillions, to build and maintain these.
Member Since: 12.01.2006 Posts: 5 Comments: 827
319. phillyfan909
16. tammikuuta 2006 klo 04:28 (GMT)
Cyclonebuster your tunnel is 200 feet wide at the most, and the Gulf Stream is 50 miles wide or more. It'll be just a drop in the bucket, a (short-lived) narrow plume of cool water, kind of like a narrow chalk line on a wide sidewalk. It'll have zero effect on a passing hurricane.

317. TampaSteve
16. tammikuuta 2006 klo 03:04 (GMT)
Damn...100+ days of drought...they need some rain...badly...
316. TampaSteve
16. tammikuuta 2006 klo 03:01 (GMT)
BBC??? NYT??? Nope, no liberal bias there...
315. Skyepony (Mod)
16. tammikuuta 2006 klo 00:59 (GMT)
The GFS certainly looks promising for some tropical activity. I'd take at least a TD to end this debate, at least in this blog:) Looks like some bad weather could be heading for the drought area too.
Member Since: 10.08.2005 Posts: 156 Comments: 36167
314. Inyo
16. tammikuuta 2006 klo 00:15 (GMT)
Posted By: cyclonebuster at 9:34 PM GMT on January 15, 2006.
Inyo,
How can warming it slow it down and retuning back to normal slow it down, also? That doesn't make sense.


-sea temperature warming isnt what may be weakening the gulf stream. what may be weakening the gulf stream is changes in salinity caused by melting glaciers and ice fields in northern Canada and especially Greenland.

-it isnt heat itself but heat gradients (it is colder in the north Atlantic than in the Gulf and Caribbean, as you know) which drive the gulf stream. Cold water is heavy, so it sinks in northern latitudes and warm water flows north to take its place... it is very similar to how convection in the atmosphere works, only it is much more stable. (think of the Gulf Stream as a jet stream that doesnt migrate as much due to land masses constricting its flow.) Now, if the southern portion cools while the northern portion stays the same or warms, the temperature difference may weaken the 'convection', and this combined with the changing salinity could cause the jet stream to weaken significantly.

i'm not saying that using those tunnels WOULD do this, i'm saying it MIGHT. Using ocean temperature gradients to generate electricity might be a good idea at some point, but using them to try to tamper with hurricanes or other storms is a reicpe for disaster.
Member Since: 3.09.2002 Posts: 42 Comments: 867
313. KatrinaRitaWilmaZeta
16. tammikuuta 2006 klo 00:14 (GMT)
atmosweather mail for you next time you come on
312. ProgressivePulse
15. tammikuuta 2006 klo 23:03 (GMT)
NHC mentions another cutoff extrotropical low, any thoughts?
Member Since: 19.08.2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 4863
311. ProgressivePulse
15. tammikuuta 2006 klo 22:47 (GMT)
Not to mention maintaining structural integrity in the rough gulf stream currents at only a 500 to 700 ft depth.
Member Since: 19.08.2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 4863
310. ProgressivePulse
15. tammikuuta 2006 klo 22:44 (GMT)
Throw in maintenence and all of the other intangebles and it seems you have an extreme task to maintain. As on any machine, the ocean has an extreme adverse action on it's reliability.
Member Since: 19.08.2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 4863
309. ProgressivePulse
15. tammikuuta 2006 klo 22:41 (GMT)
Cyclone, givin the activity of the past hurricane season and the anticipated steadfast season next year. Would you not have to keep these tunnels running constantly or near to during hurricane season? Seems that preperations for and activation would take an extreme amount of time.
Member Since: 19.08.2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 4863
308. snowboy
15. tammikuuta 2006 klo 22:23 (GMT)
Hi Chaser,

Just got caught up on your earlier lengthy posts. You're kind of stuck on this issue aren't you, and on somehow proving you're view is correct. I respect your solid experience in the field of meteorology (esp. with respect to hurricanes), but on this issue (climatology and global warming) I just have to disagree with your position.

As for my position, I'm not saying human activity is causing the currently observed global warming but that it's my view that human activity is contributing to it. I have no problem with others having other views. Time will tell on this issue, and with each passing year the effects are becoming harder to ignore.

I was taking climatology courses in the late 1970s, and they pointed to the strong possibility of human activity causing global warming. The argument then was "but there's no sign of global warming occurring". Now that the signs are unmistakeable (just think about the "winter" we're having), the argument is "well, you can't prove human activity is contributing to the observed warming". The problem with this (your) argument is that by the time it can be proven that human activity is contributing to the observed warming (if it is occurring) it will be too late.

So in the meantime (while we're all debating the issue), why wouldn't we at least do what we reasonably can to reduce emissions, improve fuel efficiency, insulate homes better, etc. In the rest of the civilized world these measures are being pursued because they're good things to do anyways, and because if humans are contributing to global warming then these measures will help.

For some bizarre ideological reason, the US administration is however insisting on Americans' rights to drive gas-guzzling cars, live in shoddily built and poorly insulated houses, allow their factories to pollute like crazy (eg. up here in Canada your emissions have killed all aquatic life in thousands of our lakes through acid rain... ), and generally trash the US environment.

The rest of the civilized world is sincerely hoping that Americans will someday wake up to the mess you're making (and which we're also making, though to a lesser extent) and try to join us in reversing the damage... if for no other reason than to give our children a better future and a more liveable planet.
Member Since: 21.09.2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 2547
305. snowboy
15. tammikuuta 2006 klo 21:32 (GMT)
Hi Chaser and thanks for the belated response to my post. Good article you provided in your link. Note that the authors do not rule out the possibility of global warming occurring (man-induced or otherwise), just say that it will be very hard to link any increases in hurricane intensity to that warming. I do not disagree. It is very hard to prove ANYTHING scientifically. Think of how long the smoking causing lung cancer debate took.

Nonetheless, we can do our best modelling and we can make empirical observations - and currently both point to the fact that global warming has been occurring since at least the early 1800s. The big question is whether human activity has contributed to that warming. The majority of climatologists think it has, but a vocal minority suggest it hasn't.

Either way, there are sensible measures we can hopefully agree are worth undertaking for their own sake, which would help address any human-induced contributions to the current warming:
- develop more fuel efficient cars and machines;
- develop alternative energy sources (eg. solar, wind, etc);
- insulate our homes better;
- reduce our air emissions of CO2 and methane and other greenhouse gases wherever possible;
- plant lots of trees;
- there's lots more but you get the drift.
Member Since: 21.09.2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 2547
304. Inyo
15. tammikuuta 2006 klo 21:00 (GMT)
i think cooling the southern part of the Gulf Stream would decrase the thermal gradient from south to north that powers it. This would weaken, not strengthen, the gulf stream.

but on the other hand, if we ever get in a war with Europe, it might be fun to try, to send drought and blizzards their way. If we did it in a time of peace we might end up at war with Europe anyway. which would not be a good thing.
Member Since: 3.09.2002 Posts: 42 Comments: 867
303. Inyo
15. tammikuuta 2006 klo 20:52 (GMT)
something else fun
Member Since: 3.09.2002 Posts: 42 Comments: 867
302. atmosweather
15. tammikuuta 2006 klo 19:34 (GMT)
Yeah very true SickofDumbQuestions. Its called climate homeostasis.
Member Since: 24.09.2005 Posts: 33 Comments: 9265
301. SickOfDumbQuestions
15. tammikuuta 2006 klo 19:11 (GMT)
cyclonebuster,

Did you see the chart on the right in regards to global warming? Did you see that its a natural process of the planet.

If you upwell and cool the Gulf Stream by 20 degrees, you are going to change the climate of the east coast and the UK.. etc.

It would probably take TRILLIONs of dollars to even move the water you want. Its just unrealistic, and thats why you are having a hard time getting people to support it.

And lets say it is feasible, and it is done. Not only will we control the hurricanes that hit our shores, but it would affect the entire earth, and we would have some control of the weather for the entire world.

Its just not natural, and it has huge repercussions on the environment and the ecosystems.

Its just not a good idea. I agree with HurricaneChaser that the earth natural warming is just that almost entirely natural. I don't think messing with mother nature is a good way to do much of anything. Hurricanes form for a reason, and release latent heat energy for a reason.

300. Inyo
15. tammikuuta 2006 klo 19:11 (GMT)
Hurricanechaser, i am glad you post even if i dont agree with you. You still articulate better than most people on this issue, so if i sound contentious, its just me being over-eager to debate things. but that's what makes it fun!

I still don't understand why you think the 15-20% increase in CO2 (which from an environmental standpoint is a HUGE increase) will have a significant effect on the climate. I think you are saying that natural fluxuations can be much greater, and this may be true, but it doesnt seem to negate the fact that human-caused changes could still be severe. Also, if we are on the verge of a rapid natural change, which seems inevitable at some point, doesnt it seem like a 20% increase in greenhouse gas could catylize the change earlier than expected, or make it more severe? We need to be ready as a species to deal with climate change, or ready to die off in large quantities, either way.

Also, i glanced over your blog briefly.. i do agree that a larger problem than just about anything else currently when it comes to hurricanes and floods is just people building in inappropriate areas which should be left as floodplains and swamps. for example, the russian river of California 'flooded' houses AGAIN early this month.. as it has about 50 times in the last 100 years! I don't think a 2-year high water event even QUALIFIES as a flood, just a natural river fluxuation, and these houses should NOT be rebuilt, i don't want to pay for it!

however, on a side note, i don't think the earth is 'slowly dying' as you stated. I think that over time the life on earth is becoming exponentially more complex and diverse, but simply punctuated with extinctions caused by climate, meteors, volcanos, or more recently humans. I think we got plenty of time to go with this planet, just that humans in their current form may not be part of it for that much longer.

Member Since: 3.09.2002 Posts: 42 Comments: 867

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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