Saturday, June 21, 2008

Rough Seas Ahead

By Larry Wheeler, Gannett News Service
WASHINGTON — If you think the weather is getting more extreme, you're right — and global warming caused by human activity probably is the reason, according to a report released Thursday by a panel of government scientists.

The report comes as the Midwest copes with record rainfall and catastrophic flooding.

There is strong evidence the increasing frequency of extreme rain, heat, drought and tropical storms is caused by global climate change, according to the report from the U.S. Climate Change Science Program.

"Changes in some weather and climate extremes are attributable to human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases," the study authors concluded.

The report is a synthesis of the latest research on extreme weather in the U.S. and comes after nearly six months that saw a record number of tornadoes, unusual winter warmth and record-setting precipitation in many regions.


According to the U.S. Climate Change Science Program's most recent 3.3 report, people can expect these environmental changes in the future:

Hot temperatures and heat waves will be more likely, as the number of cold nights and "frost days" will decrease.
Strong waves will erode Arctic coastlines in Alaska and Canada
The Atlantic and Pacific basins will be hit with harder cold-season storms, packed with stronger winds and taller waves.

Source: Weather and Climate Extremes in a Changing Climate brochure by CCSP.



Wild and woolly weather set to continue over much of the Midwest and East, while the West bakes in record heat.

How bad can it get? It's just a typical Earth cycle they say, even as such, the devastation is enormous. We are at the mercy of the wind, water, and fire.

Batten down the hatches and stow the mainsail, rough seas ahead.



DEN said...

HOT!! 100 bloody hot degrees expected here today, TGFAC! Unless the electricity quits.

Time to head up the hill to cooler air if there is any, upper 80's expected at Tahoe.

Dipping one's tootsies in a mountain stream helps.

Too hot for coffee, Iced tea in the corner and croissants on the side.

Dig in!


Jeanne said...

Oh for cripes sake looks like I have to start visiting the blogs and the senators' mailboxes again. This FISA thing is bugging me. Why is it that it's so important to pass now that the the generals and our friend Scottie are coming out and telling it like it is? Because Bush and his cronies are feeling the heat.

David B. Benson said...

Micki's leftover overcast arrived this morning.

About 78 F, heading for 90 F.

Alan said...

From the topic, I expected to see "Ty the Deny"--er posted here already. His latest argument is 'bout the funniest yet. That humans can't be the cause of climate change because weather was here before we got here. lol Also, humans can't cause forest fires because fire was here before humans too.

Carey said...

Yes, the heat. Perfect motivation to get up and do shit-work.

On FISA, Jeanne and Micki,

Yes, the decision is deeply disturbing.

I would offer two words: GENERAL ELECTION

The capitulation is mutually arrived at by Dems, I believe. To circumvent the incredibly nasty attack coming our way.

I would also compare it to Hillary's Iraq vote in 2002. In order to get Dems elected, and other reasons, she went with the going trend.

This compromise should probably be viewed through those lens.

Enjoy your weekend everyone. Stay cool.

Alan said...


Dept of Defense’s own data rebuts Justice Scalia’s claim that 30 former GTMO detainees ‘returned to the battlefield’
This is an article about the report. The actual report is a .pdf and is linked in the article.

micki said...

Go to Glenn Greenwald @ to get his perspective on the FISA capitulation.

I'm not buying Obama's "explanation." It's just politics as usual, and he promised to be different.

From Greenwald: Making matters worse still, what Obama did yesterday is in clear tension with an emphatic promise that he made just months ago.

As the extremely pro-Obama notes today, Obama's spokesman, Bill Burton, back in in September, vowed that Obama would "support a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies." MoveOn believes Obama should be held to his word and is thus conducting a campaign urging Obama to do what he promised -- support a filibuster to stop the enactment of telecom amnesty. You can email Burton here to demand that Obama comply with his commitment not just to vote against, but to filibuster, telecom amnesty:

micki said...


"...This bill has quite literally no public value for citizens or civil liberties. It is reverse engineering, though the type of thing the Bush Administration's famous for, and now the Democrats are doing--that is, to change the law to conform to past conduct."

"It's what any criminal would love to do," Turley continued. "You rob a bank, go to the legislature, and change the law to say that robbing banks is lawful."

"People need to be very, very much aware of this bill," he charged. "What you're seeing in this bill is an evisceration of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. It is something that allows the President and the government to go into law-abiding homes, on their word alone--their suspicion alone--and to engage in warrantless surveillance.

"That's what the framers who drafted the Fourth Amendment wanted to prevent."

David B. Benson said...

Army - Air Force fight?

Army Is Starting Its Own Air Unit

and not on the football field, either...

micki said...

Army v. AF

Gee whiz, I think it was only a month or so ago when I read that the DoD was really serious about saving money and achieving better efficiency by eliminating redundancies among the various military services.

I have an idea. Why not just dissolve the Air Force and reincorporate it into Army, Marines, and Navy? The AF is all about pet projects, with a huge appetite for bloated appropriations' budgets.

Of course, if I had my way, and we lived in a more perfect world, we wouldn't have any standing military. But, I guess that's a pipedream.

Saladin said...

Well DAMN! THIS was certainly here before the EVIL humans left their bloody mark!

Temperatures spiked 22 degrees F in just 50 years....

http://www. eurekalert. org/pub_releases/2008-06/uoca-gic061808. php

Greenland ice core analysis shows drastic climate change near end of last ice age
Temperatures spiked 22 degrees F in just 50 years, researchers say
The North Greenland Ice Core Project camp.

Information gleaned from a Greenland ice core by an international science team shows that two huge Northern Hemisphere temperature spikes prior to the close of the last ice age some 11,500 years ago were tied to fundamental shifts in atmospheric circulation.

The ice core showed the Northern Hemisphere briefly emerged from the last ice age some 14,700 years ago with a 22-degree-Fahrenheit spike in just 50 years, then plunged back into icy conditions before abruptly warming again about 11,700 years ago. Startlingly, the Greenland ice core evidence showed that a massive "reorganization" of atmospheric circulation in the Northern Hemisphere coincided with each temperature spurt, with each reorganization taking just one or two years, said the study authors.

The new findings are expected to help scientists improve existing computer models for predicting future climate change as increasing anthropogenic greenhouse gases in the atmosphere drive up Earth's temperatures globally.

The team used changes in dust levels and stable water isotopes in the annual ice layers of the two-mile-long Greenland ice core, which was hauled from the massive ice sheet between 1998 to 2004, to chart past temperature and precipitation swings. Their paper was published in the June 19 issue of Science Express, the online version of Science.

The ice cores -- analyzed with powerful microscopes -- were drilled as part of the North Greenland Ice Core Project led by project leader Dorthe Dahl-Jensen of the Centre for Ice and Climate at the Neils Bohr Institute of the University of Copenhagen. The study included 17 co-investigators from Europe, one from Japan and two from the United States -- Jim White and Trevor Popp from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

"We have analyzed the transition from the last glacial period until our present warm interglacial period, and the climate shifts are happening suddenly, as if someone had pushed a button," said Dahl-Jenson.

According to the researchers, the first abrupt warming period beginning at 14,700 years ago lasted until about 12,900 years ago, when deep-freeze conditions returned for about 1,200 years before the onset of the second sharp warming event. The two events indicate a speed in the natural climate change process never before seen in ice cores, said White, director of CU-Boulder's Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research.

"We are beginning to tease apart the sequence of abrupt climate change," said White, whose work was funded by the National Science Foundation's Office of Polar Programs. "Since such rapid climate change would challenge even the most modern societies to successfully adapt, knowing how these massive events start and evolve is one of the most pressing climate questions we need to answer."

Both dramatic warming events were preceded by decreasing Greenland dust deposition, indicating higher tropical temperatures and significantly more rain falling on the deserts of Asia at the time, said White. The team believes the ancient tropical warming caused large, rapid atmospheric changes at the equator, the intensification of the Pacific monsoon, sea-ice loss in the north Atlantic Ocean and more atmospheric heat and moisture over Greenland and much of the rest of the Northern Hemisphere.

"Here we propose a series of events beginning in the lower latitudes and leading to changes in the ocean and atmosphere that reveal for the first time the anatomy of abrupt climate change," the authors wrote. White likened the abrupt shift in the Northern Hemisphere circulation pattern to shifts in the North American jet stream as it steers storms around the continent.

"We know such events are in Earth's future, but we don't know when," said White. "One question is whether we can see the symptoms before big problems occur. Until we answer these questions, we are speeding blindly down a narrow road, hoping there are no curves ahead."

Each yearly record of ice can reveal past temperatures and precipitation levels, the content of ancient atmospheres and even evidence for the timing and magnitude of distant storms, fires and volcanic eruptions, said White. The cores from the site -- located roughly in the middle of Greenland at an elevation of about 9,850 feet -- are four-inch-diameter cylinders brought to the surface in 11.5-foot lengths, said White.
Must have been all those nasty mouth breathing humans messing up the earth's perfectly balanced climate and weather patterns! Improve existing models? They couldn't make them worse, that's for sure.