A cautionary tale--the PETM

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:53 PM GMT on April 29, 2009

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One frequently hears comments like, "Earth has had many periods of warmth far exceeding the warmth of today's climate, so we should not be surprised if the current warming of the globe is a natural phenomena". This view is especially prevalent among geologists, who take a very long view of history and are among the most skeptical scientists regarding the reality of human-caused climate change. It is true that Earth's past has had many episodes of natural global warming that we can learn from. But the greatest natural global warming episode of the past 65 million years, the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) event of 55 million years ago, presents us with a cautionary tale of how massive releases of greenhouse gases--similar in scale to what humans are now producing--may cause extreme warming of the climate.

Earth's orbital variations--the most common form of natural global warming
The most common cause of natural global warming over time has been changes in Earth's orbit. Three oscillations in Earth's orbit with periods of 26,000, 41,000, and 100,000 years (called Milankovitch cycles) cause ice ages to be triggered when summer sunshine at 65°N reaches a minimum. The reduced sunlight over Canada, Siberia, and Scandinavia allows winter snowfall to persist through the summer, and thus accumulate and build Northern Hemisphere ice sheets. There isn't enough land in the Southern Hemisphere to allow large, land-based ice sheets to build there, so it is the growth and decay of Northern Hemisphere ice sheets that has controlled the timing of ice ages and warm inter-glacial periods over the past three million years. Earth's orbit is currently in a phase where the amount of sunlight falling at 65°N is changing very little. Thus, the primary mechanism for past natural global warming events is not to blame for the current warming. According to the "official" word on climate, the 2007 report of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the amount of sunlight falling at 65°N is expected to change little over the next 30,000 years, and "it is very unlikely that the Earth would naturally enter into another ice age for at least 30,000 years".

Pumping huge amounts of carbon into the atmosphere coincided with extreme climate warming during the PETM
Natural global warming has also occurred in the past due to changes in solar brightness, and natural emissions of natural carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (methane is the primary component of the natural gas we use to heat our homes, is a potent greenhouse gas 20 - 25 more effective at heating the Earth than than CO2, with a lifetime of about 9 years in the atmosphere before reacting with the OH radical to form CO2). I discussed one example of natural global warming in my previous post--volcanoes have emitted enough CO2 over time to account for a large portion of Earth's natural greenhouse effect. However, volcanoes only put about 1 - 3% as much CO2 per year into the atmosphere as human activities do. What, then, does Earth's past tell us about what might happen if we dump 100 times more carbon than volcanoes do into the atmosphere, over a period of a few centuries?

The end of Earth's Paleocene era, 55 million years ago, was a time of great warmth on planet Earth. Subtropical vegetation grew in Greenland and Patagonia, and crocodiles swam off the coast of Greenland. Sea surface temperatures at the North Pole were a toasty 64°F (18°C). Tropical palm forests in northern Wyoming played host to early primates. Despite the fact that the sun put out 0.5% less energy than today (equivalent to a global temperature that would be 0.5°C cooler), there was no polar ice cap or Greenland Ice Sheet. The higher temperatures of that era were probably due to high carbon dioxide levels of 560 - 600 ppm. This is far higher than the 280 ppm seen in the 1800s, and the 383 ppm as of 2009. The continents had a different configuration due to continental drift, and this may have kept the world warmer as well.


Figure 1. Global temperature change (right scale) as inferred from oxygen-18 isotope measurements (left scale) from fossil ocean microorganisms (Zachos et al., 2001). Oxygen-18 levels in these fossils are proportional to the temperatures of the era when the fossils were formed. The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (labeled PETM) shows a sharp upward spike in temperatures occurred. This spike is likely to be understated by a factor of 2 - 4 due to coarse sampling and averaging in this data set. For more detail, see the Wikipedia entry for the PETM.

Then, 55 million years ago, the fossil record shows that an extraordinary drop in the ratio of carbon-13 to carbon-12 occurred, indicating that a massive amount of "light" carbon with low levels of the carbon-13 isotope was emitted into the atmosphere in a very short amount of time--just 500 - 20,000 years. The most likely source of carbon-13 depleted carbon would have been methane from ocean sediments or land vegetation. If it was methane, about 1,000 - 2,000 gigatons of carbon would have had to be injected into the atmosphere, in order to account for the observed fossil deposits. For comparison, the total amount of carbon in today's atmosphere, primarily as CO2, is a factor of two or three less--about 810 gigatons. The fossil record shows that extreme climatic warming occurred nearly simultaneously with this massive release of carbon into the atmosphere. Global average temperatures rose 9°F (5°C) in a geological instant--1,000 - 10,000 years (Sluijs et al., 2007). Average sea surface temperatures at the North Pole reached 74°F (23°C). The warmth lasted 120,000 - 220,000 years before weathering of silicate rocks was able to remove the CO2 from the atmosphere and return the climate to its former state. This was the largest global warming event since the time of the dinosaurs, 65 million year ago (Moran et al., 2006). The resulting impact on Earth's climate was so severe that a new geological era was born--the Eocene. The warming event has been dubbed the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), since it occurred at the boundary of these two eras. Ocean circulation patterns changed radically during the first 5,000 years of the PETM (Nunes and Norris, 2006), and the deep oceans became 11°F (6°C) warmer, severely depleted in oxygen, and more acidic. A mass extinction of deep ocean microorganisms resulted, though the exact reasons remain unclear. The PETM did not cause mass extinctions on land of plants and animals, but a major turnover in mammalian life occurred at that time. Many of today's major mammalian orders emerged in the wake of the PETM. The new geological era it ushered in, the Eocene, is named for the Greek goddess of the dawn (Eos), since this was the dawn of the era of large mammals.

It is extremely difficult to explain the warmth of the PETM without assuming that the huge amount of "light" carbon pumped into the atmosphere created intense warming due to the greenhouse effect. The controversial question is, how did this carbon get into the atmosphere? Did PETM happen because of the greenhouse effect from all the carbon added to the atmosphere, or did the carbon get released into the atmosphere in response to climatic warming from another cause (and boosting the warming that was already occurring?) The mystery is a difficult one to unravel, since our vision of what happened so long ago is very fuzzy. A recent high-resolution study of ocean sediments laid down in New Jersey during the PETM (Sluijs et al., 2007) argued that about half of the PETM warming occurred 1,000 - 1,500 years before the 1,000 - 2,000 gigatons of "light" carbon got injected into the atmosphere. The authors theorize that global warming due to some other cause heated up the deep oceans enough to release methane stored in the form of methane hydrate, a form of methane 'ice' that forms in cold bottom water under great pressures and is widely distributed and plentiful in sediments on the outer edges of continental margins. The methane released was the huge pulse of "light" carbon seen in the fossil record, and this methane warmed the planet even further via the greenhouse effect. The authors argued that the warming that triggered the PETM could have been due to a variation in Earth's orbit, or due to a pulse of greenhouse gases that didn't happen to be enriched in light carbon. A wide variety of other theories abound. Dickens (2004) theorizes that a volcano in the North Atlantic erupted through a huge fossil fuel deposit in overlying ocean sediments, releasing massive amounts of the stored carbon into the atmosphere. Pancost et al. 2006 found evidence that the warming of the PETM significantly increased as carbon stored on land in wetlands was released in the form of methane. Huber (2008) argued that temperatures got so hot during the PETM that a huge die-off of tropical vegetation resulted, creating vast deserts and putting thousands of gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, further increasing temperatures.


Figure 2. Photographs of methane hydrate as nodules, veins, and laminae in sediment. Intense warming of the deep oceans during the PETM may have released huge quantities of methane gas from ocean sediments with methane hydrates in them. Image credit: United States Geological Survey.

Computer climate models fail to reproduce the PETM
A big concern about the climate models that we are using to forecast climate for the coming century is that they do a poor job of reproducing the climate of the Eocene, and, in particular, the PETM. These models fail to reproduce the high temperatures observed in the polar regions relative to the tropics during the PETM. However, in the words of climate scientists Daniel Schrag and Richard Alley in a 2004 article in Nature, "It would be a grave mistake to take these lessons from ancient climates as a reason to disregard the projections from climate models." If the observations of the climate in this far-ago era are correct, the reason that the climate models fail to correctly simulate this past climate is because the climate is more sensitive to CO2 than believed. There is a missing "feedback" causing increased warming near the pole that the models are missing. Sluijs et al. (2006) theorize that the models may be missing how hurricanes transport heat to the poles, or how polar stratospheric clouds may act to trap heat over the poles. In short, the failure of the models to correctly simulate the PETM may mean that our current estimates of the amount of global warming likely over the coming century (1.1°C - 6.4°C) are far too low. The other possibility, mentioned by Huber (2008) is that the models are correct, but the temperatures inferred for the tropics from the fossil record are in error. This wouldn't be the first time that measurements were found to be in error and the models vindicated.

Comparison with today
Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, humans have pumped about 500 gigatons of carbon into the atmosphere. There are about 5,000 gigatons in the planet's coal reserves, while oil and traditional natural gas deposits are hundreds of gigatons each (Rogner, 1997). Given that humans are now adding about 10 gigatons of carbon to the atmosphere each year (Global Carbon Project, 2007), we will surpass the 1,000 gigaton mark 50 years from now at current emission rates. This is at the lower end of the 1,000 - 2,000 gigatons of carbon that are estimated to have been added to the atmosphere during the PETM--the most extreme natural global warming event of the past 65 million years. Though our view of events so long ago is very fuzzy, the PETM should serve as a cautionary tale. We cannot rule out the possibility that continuation of our current rates of fossil fuel burning will lead to an extreme climatic warming event like the PETM. In particular, we need to keep a careful eye on the huge reservoirs of methane hydrate stored in marine sediments (500 - 10,000 gigatons of carbon) and stored in permafrost (7.5 - 400 gigatons). Continued warming of the planet could trigger substantial releases of these massive reservoirs of greenhouse gases, leading to a repeat of the PETM event. However, a 2008 study by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP, 2008) concludes that there is currently no evidence that a sudden catastrophic release of methane stored in ocean sediments or in permafrost will happen over the next century. It should take at least a century for global warming to penetrate the deep oceans and permafrost regions containing these significant reservoirs of methane hydrates. The study concludes, "Catastrophic release of methane to the atmosphere appears very unlikely in the near term (e.g., this century)...Although the prospect of a catastrophic release of methane to the atmosphere as a result of anthropogenic climate change over the next century appears very unlikely based on current knowledge, many of the processes involved are still poorly understood, and developing a better predictive capability requires further work. On a longer time scale, methane release from hydrate reservoir is likely to be a major influence in global warming over the next 1,000 to 100,000 years". So, the bottom line is: don't expect global warming to be able to cause huge releases of methane hydrates in the coming century, such as may have occurred during PETM. But it is wise to ponder that a release of greenhouse gases similar in magnitude to what we are doing now coincided with the most extreme global warming event of the last 65 million years. We should not be surprised if our human greenhouse gas emissions cause a similar massive climate perturbation over the next 1,000 years, leading the dawn of a new geological era--the Anthropocene.

For more information
The best resource I found while researching this was a December 2008 report from the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP), titled, Abrupt Climate Change. Chapter 5, "Potential for Abrupt Changes in Atmospheric Methane" [1.3 Mb] was the relevant chapter.

References
Archer, D., 2007, "Methane hydrate stability and anthropogenic climate change", Biogeosciences, 4, 521544,.

Dickens, G.R., 2004, "Hydrocarbon-driven warming", Nature 42, 429, pp513-515, 3 June 2004.

Huber, M., 2008, "A Hotter Greenhouse?", Science 321, no. 5887, pp. 353-354, DOI: 10.1126/science.1161170

Moran, et al., 2006, "The Cenozoic palaeoenvironment of the Arctic Ocean", Nature 441, 601-605 (1 June 2006) | doi:10.1038/nature04800.

Nunes, F. and R.D. Norris, 2006, "Abrupt reversal in ocean overturning during the Paleocene/Eocene warm period", Nature 439 (7072): 603. doi:10.1038/nature04386

Pancost, R.D., et al., 2006, "Increased terrestrial methane cycling at the Palaeocene-Eocene thermal maximum", Nature 449, 332-335 (20 September 2007) | doi:10.1038/nature06012

Rogner, H.-H, 1997, "An assessment of world hydrocarbon resources", Annu. Rev. Energy Environ., 22, 217-262.

Sluijs, A., et al., 2006, "Subtropical Arctic Ocean temperatures during the Palaeocene/Eocene thermal maximum", Nature 441, 610-613 (1 June 2006) | doi:10.1038/nature04668

U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP), 2008: Abrupt Climate Change. A report by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research [Clark, P.U., A.J. Weaver (coordinating lead authors), E. Brook, E.R. Cook, T.L. Delworth, and K. Steffen (chapter lead authors)]. U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA, 459 pp.

Zachos, J. C., U. Rohl, S.A. Schellenberg, A. Sluijs, D.A. Hodell, D.C. Kelly, E. Thomas, M. Nicolo, I. Raffi, L.J. Lourens, H. McCarren, and D. Kroon, 2005, "Rapid Acidification of the Ocean During the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum", Science, 308, 1611-1615

Portlight.org relief walk in Destin, FL a big success
Over the weekend, the portlight.org disaster relief charity ran a highly successful relief walk in Destin, FL, to raise money for the disaster relief. The theme of this walk was to raise relief money not only for people, but for pets as well, with 25% of the money raised intended for taking care of pets injured or abandoned during disasters. As detailed in the portlight.org blog, the pet theme was a great way to raise money, and about $5000 was raised. The other relief walks this year raised $1500 in New Orleans and $542 in Kissimmee. Many more walks are planned this year, with the next one being this weekend (May 2) in Summerville, SC. Portlight also helped out with disaster relief operations for the South Carolina fires yesterday.



Jeff Masters

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1144. Ossqss
The traditional criteria that distinguish a derecho from a severe thunderstorm are sustained winds of 58 mph/92 km/h during the storm as opposed to gusts, high and/or rapidly increasing forward speed, and geographic extent (typically 250 nautical miles (460 km) in length. [1]) In addition, they have a distinctive appearance on radar (bow echo); several unique features, such as the rear inflow notch and bookend vortex, and usually manifest two or more downbursts.

From Wiki

Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8185
1143. beell
Not too small, not too slow if you live in AL.

A single well-defined bow echo traveling at 60 knots that is a couple of hundred miles long would be a Derecho-Yes?

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1142. bappit
The following comment from the SPC page about derechos is worth emphasizing.

Another reason that derechos can be very risky to people involved in outdoor activities is their very rapid movement. Typically, derecho producing bow echo systems move at a speed of 50 mph or greater and a few have been clocked at 70 mph! For someone involved in outdoor activities the rapid movement means that the darkening of the sky and other visual clues that would alert them to the approaching danger occur extremely fast. Therefore, the visual clues of the approaching derecho gust front typically don't offer much time to take protective action.

I was out playing golf when the Lake Livingston derecho went through. Visibility was poor. People were caught by surprise. One foursome putting ona green reported a small tornado over their heads. There were a lot of comments made in the press afterwards that people should have taken cover. In fact, they did not have time, and there was no warning.
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1139. beell
I'm not sure that text in an SPC message qualifies as a formal declaration

I am!
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1138. bappit
I hereby formally call it a derecho, The May 3rd Texas to Alabama Derecho Event. (I'm not sure that text in an SPC message qualifies as a formal declaration.)

This seems to be derecho season for the Gulf States. I remember a derecho starting near Lake Livingston, Texas May 17, 1986.

Derecho info
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Quoting Drakoen:


Looks at the satellite animation, there is very little evidence of cyclonic turning turning. I think the upper level high is enhancing the area within the ITCZ.


Not all waves have cyclonic turning. The first wave of 2008 was identify by the use of an inverted V pattern within the cloud patterns. Mid-level cyclonic turning is a feature of well define, high amplitude tropical waves. This feature maynot be a wave but not becuz of the lack of cyclonic turning. It's not present in all waves.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1136. Drakoen
Quoting Weather456:
Dont know if it's a tropical wave yet.


Looks at the satellite animation, there is very little evidence of cyclonic turning turning. I think the upper level high is enhancing the area within the ITCZ.
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1135. beell
Quoting Ossqss:
Have they actually called that a Derecho event formally ?


Forward speed down to around 40 knots at present.

MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 0687
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
1056 AM CDT SUN MAY 03 2009

AREAS AFFECTED...SERN MS...AL...GA

CONCERNING...SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH 232...

VALID 031556Z - 031700Z

THE SEVERE WEATHER THREAT FOR SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH 232
CONTINUES.

...SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH WILL BE ISSUED SOON ACROSS MUCH OF AL
AND GA...INCLUDING A SMALL PORTION OF SERN MS...

VERY WELL ORGANIZED DERECHO CONTINUES ITS EWD MOVEMENT ACROSS WW232
AT ROUGHLY 60KT
. AT THIS RATE THE LEADING EDGE OF THE APEX OF THE
BOW WILL BE IN WRN AL BY 20Z. WITH A WELL DEFINED BOUNDARY DRAPED
FROM WRN AL INTO ECNTRL MS THIS APPEARS TO BE THE CORRIDOR OF
GREATEST WIND DAMAGE POTENTIAL.
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Quoting Ossqss:
Have they actually called that a Derecho event formally ?


Ossgss... Side note... go see post 204 in my blog :)
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From the Storm Prediction Center:

WITH A WARM/MODERATELY UNSTABLE AIRMASS DOWNSTREAM...WELL-ORGANIZED
FAST MOVING DERECHO /WITH A LONG LIVED HISTORY OF WIND DAMAGE/
SHOULD CONTINUE TO POSE A WIDESPREAD DAMAGING WIND/ISOLATED TORNADO
THREAT AS IT PROGRESSES EAST-NORTHEASTWARD ACROSS THE REMAINDER OF
EAST-CENTRAL/SOUTHEAST AL INTO WESTERN/NORTH GA THROUGH EARLY
EVENING. SEE LATEST WATCHES/MESOSCALE DISCUSSIONS FOR THE MOST
CONTEMPORARY SHORT TERM DETAILS. ASIDE FROM WIDESPREAD DAMAGING
WINDS...PRIMARY TORNADO THREAT OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL HOURS SHOULD
REMAIN WITH LEADING QUASI-DISCRETE SUPERCELLS AND/OR NEAR THE
INTERSECTION OF THE BOW ECHO AND A MODIFYING/NORTHWARD LIFTING
SOUTHWEST-NORTHEAST ORIENTED OUTFLOW BOUNDARY FROM CENTRAL AL INTO
WEST CENTRAL/NORTHERN GA. BUT...RELATIVELY MODEST 0-1 KM SRH PER
BIRMINGHAM WSR-88D VWP/18Z SPECIAL OBSERVED RAOB...AMPLE DRY AIR
ALOFT PER 18Z BMX RAOB...AND AN OBSERVED TREND OF A GRADUALLY DRYING
BOUNDARY LAYER DOWNSTREAM OF THE BOW SUGGESTS DAMAGING WIND GUSTS
WILL REMAIN THE PRIMARY RISK...WITH ONLY AN ISOLATED/BRIEF TORNADO
THREAT OVER THE NEXT FEW HOURS.
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Quoting CaneAddict:
Like 456 said..if your mature enough you should not have to use the ignore user function....I have no one on my list. I just ignore them and overlook their comments.
During the season last year, I had a hard time keeping up with the blog, and I was not using ignore. I think it will be much easier, cleaner reading with ignore. Will probably only use it for the obvious trolls. Differing opinions do not bother me, but sometimes there are folks who purposely clog the blog. The ignore feature allows me to use SHOW ALL, without the blog becoming frustratingly tedious to read.

ADDED :1118. Ossqss - Not talking about the type of comments you post. Talking about someone who makes a hateful remark and repeats it every other post.
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1131. bappit
Bad news about the derecho.

While on the subject of natural disasters (hmmm, actually I think that is always the subject) here's a little variety about a tsunami in New York City in 300 BC. Of course, it wasn't New York City then. I found the associated comments on the SlashDot blog an interesting parallel of ones made on various topics on here. SlashDot has different ways of treating general smartass-ness than Wunderground. Anyway, the article referenced mentions a New Foundland tsunami that killed some people, too.
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1130. Ossqss
Have they actually called that a Derecho event formally ?
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8185
Quoting Ossqss:
I offer an open appology if any of my posts have offended anyone in any way. This is all very new to me, blogging. It is my understanding to follow the topic, but that does not last forever.

I understand during season things should be different.

Do only certain individuals get to provide their take ?

Again, I would ask - tell me if I am out of line, I certainly don't want to be an impediment to anyone. I am an admitted rookie :)
Look at the community standards policy and the rules of the road. They tend to be more "in effect" during the busy part of the season than they are now. The thing about the OT posting is that it can cause u to be banned, which is no fun when a storm is on the move. Other than that I don't suppose u've been any more offensive than the next person . . . lol
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Blog Refresh
Mirror Site

Daily Area of Interest
Click to enlarge

It sure looks like the weather has is out for RTLSNK
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1127. hahaguy
From what I'm seeing it might be a tropical wave.
Member Since: August 12, 2007 Posts: 2 Comments: 2838
I am becoming increasingly confident it's a tropical wave...Let's see what the coming days prove.
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I myself plan on updating my website and doing some re-designing to it...I am hoping to come out with my forecast for the hurricane season some time tonight.
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Dont know if it's a tropical wave yet.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Same here...I am ready, maybe we can get some sort of preseason development this month something to get us warmed-up.
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No...everybody, regardless of how knowledgeable they are on the subject, everyone is entitled to express their own opinion.
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Quoting CaneAddict:


Yeahh just a point I had to make..How are you man?


Been doing pretty well. About to end yet another semester at college. Just one more semester until I earn my AA. Also been starting work on making big changes to my CCHS Weather Center website and getting prepared for hurricane season. Can't wait to work with you during the coming hurricane season and hope all has been well with you.
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1120. beell
Quoting tornadofan:


Report you links showed "thousands of trees down" in Perry county Alabama.


Is that more than eleventy?
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Nice update 456.
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1118. Ossqss
I offer an open appology if any of my posts have offended anyone in any way. This is all very new to me, blogging. It is my understanding to follow the topic, but that does not last forever.

I understand during season things should be different.

Do only certain individuals get to provide their take ?

Again, I would ask - tell me if I am out of line, I certainly don't want to be an impediment to anyone. I am an admitted rookie :)
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8185
Understanding the Atlantic Hurricane Season: Vertical Wind Shear
Tropical Update
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting cchsweatherman:


You make a good point.


Yeahh just a point I had to make..How are you man?
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Quoting CaneAddict:
Like 456 said..if your mature enough you should not have to use the ignore user function....I have no one on my list. I just ignore them and overlook their comments.


You make a good point.
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Like 456 said..if your mature enough you should not have to use the ignore user function....I have no one on my list. I just ignore them and overlook their comments.
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Quoting beell:

SPC Storm Reports

63 High wind reports and one confirmed fatality from this on-going Derecho event.


Report you links showed "thousands of trees down" in Perry county Alabama.
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wow i be came post 1,111 for the 1st time heh heh heh
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114758
yup i love it soo march
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114758
Starting to sound and read so much like the blogs last hurricane season. All I have to say is thank goodness for the "Ignore User" function as that has made it so much easier to read through the blogs.
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Quoting Drakoen:


I have 40 lol




i have 212
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114758
1108. Ossqss
1098 - Respectfully Skyepony, the posts and information like 632 are part of the problem !

The intent of the letter was to tell us that warming is not natural.

It imploded itself with the last quote.

"The biggest shortcoming in climate models so far seems to be how to deal with clouds and this is why we are concentrating on them," he said.

To say the Sun's effect on our planet is <14% of the warming and then shoot yourself in the foot with a statement like that is not smart.

I did find this an interesting quote considering our current solar senario.

One model suggests that the magnetic activity associated with sunspots modulates the flux of cosmic rays that hits the atmosphere, and that this cosmic ray flux is significant in the nucleation events that promote low level cloud formation. If so, then decreased cosmic ray flux implies fewer clouds and therefore higher surface temperature.

I consider that natural and logical.

The only real fact is we have no adequete sample of empirical data to drive to any conclusion. Nor, and more importantly, any sufficient integration or capable modeling of the existing data sets to engage all possible causes effectively. Certainly not simultaneously as that which occurs in nature.

Hence why things remain theories.

Just my take as I sit on the GW fence.

Link
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8185
Quoting futuremet:
CO2 is the source of life, it is just as important as oxygen


And at it's current concentration, the limiting factor in some natural chemistry processes.
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1106. beell

SPC Storm Reports

63 High wind reports and one confirmed fatality from this on-going Derecho event.
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CO2 is the source of life, it is just as important as oxygen
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Good afternoon everyone...Nice to see that almost all the regulars are back. How are ya Baha?

Also..I will try to finally post my Hurricane Season forecast later tonight.
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I find this year's huge departure from recent warming in the Arctic amazing in that it could show us just how insignificant the CO2 chemistry really is. Admittedly, correlation is not causation and it is only one season, but the CO2 is still there without the lowered sea ice extent. We might actually have a higher than "normal" ice area (considering that we have no way to know if 1979-2000 is anything like a normal). Something far more important than CO2 is obviously flexing it's muscles.



Wonder if we will see that ice-free Arctic anytime soon...surrounded by palm trees full of polar bears harvesting coconuts.
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Keeper-


You heading up the Troll Prediction Center this season? ;) Like those warnings.lol.
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Wow, the server just ate my last post.

Well, I just wanted to remind people to

1. use the [-] and [!] buttons rather than getting into arguments with obvious "haters"

2. remember to keep the posting of non-weather pics to a minimum once the season gets going. Remember some people got banned for excessive fish-picture-posting last July or August? Some of the newer people might not realize that some activities that are OK during the off season for the ATL/EPAC will get them ejected once the season starts.
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Quoting stormpetrol:
Good Afternoon Everyone. Does anyone have any predictions on the upcoming season. I'll take my first shot at it by predicting 14-7-4.
Hey, petrol. Good to see u in the blog. I'm waiting to see what the doc will say as we get closer to the season, but I don't think we'll be as active as last year. OTOH, I don't think we'll fall into the average range either.
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Tell me Skyepony, is Earth the only planet in our solar system that is warming?
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1098. Skyepony (Mod)
futuremet~ You may not have said climate change isn't happening in your own words but you quoted words that did & was using the argument that the world isn't warming as part of his proof this is a fraud. You don't sound like your believing the words you quoted as proof anymore...

You have to source in a decent debate & once again you have not. My point that even though CO2 is a sliver, a small amount more can raise the temp as well as other greenhouse gasses such as water vapor that inturn raise temps higher. Such is the nature of Chemistry & feedback loops. College chem for science majors is enlightning if you've never had it. Atleast we agree we should stop burning natural resources, starting with the dirtier ones.

Grow your own:)
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 161 Comments: 37413
1097. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
FKPQ30 RJTD 031800
TC ADVISORY
DTG: 20090503/1800Z
TCAC: TOKYO
TC: KUJIRA
NR: 5
PSN: N1500 E12625
MOV: ENE 08KT
C: 980HPA
MAX WIND: 55KT
FCST PSN +6HR: 04/0000Z N1525 E12710
FCST MAX WIND +6HR: 60KT
FCST PSN +12HR: 04/0600Z N1540 E12805
FCST MAX WIND +12HR: 60KT
FCST PSN +18HR: 04/1200Z N1605 E12905
FCST MAX WIND +18HR: 65KT

FCST PSN +24HR: 04/1800Z N1625 E13005
FCST MAX WIND +24HR: 65KT
RMK: NIL
NXT MSG: 20090504/0000Z =

-------------------------------------

FKPQ31 RJTD 031800
TC ADVISORY
DTG: 20090503/1800Z
TCAC: TOKYO
TC: CHAN-HOM
NR: 3
PSN: N1005 E11140
MOV: SLW
C: 996HPA
MAX WIND: 35KT
FCST PSN +6HR: 04/0000Z N1025 E11150
FCST MAX WIND +6HR: 40KT
FCST PSN +12HR: 04/0600Z N1040 E11200
FCST MAX WIND +12HR: 40KT
FCST PSN +18HR: 04/1200Z N1105 E11225
FCST MAX WIND +18HR: 45KT
FCST PSN +24HR: 04/1800Z N1130 E11250
FCST MAX WIND +24HR: 45KT
RMK: NIL
NXT MSG: 20090504/0000Z =
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 50 Comments: 44811
1096. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #5
TROPICAL STORM CHAN-HOM (CAT 1)
3:00 AM JST May 4 2009
================================

Subject: Category One Cyclone In The South China Sea

At 18:00 PM UTC, Tropical Storm Chan-Hom (996 hPa) located at 10.1N 111.7E has 10 minute sustained winds of 35 knots with gusts of 50 knots. The storm is reported as almost stationary

Dvorak Intensity: T2.5

Gale-Force Winds
===============
180 NM from the center in northwest quadrant
120 NM from the center in southeast quadrant

Forecast and Intensity
=======================
24 HRS: 11.5N 112.8E - 45 knots (CAT 1/Tropical Storm)
48 HRS: 12.8N 114.6E - 50 knots (CAT 2/Severe Tropical Storm)
72 HRS: 13.8N 117.0E - 55 knots (CAT 2/Severe Tropical Storm)
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 50 Comments: 44811
1095. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Subject: Category Two Cyclone In Sea East Of The Philippines

At 18:00 PM UTC, Severe Tropical Storm Kujira (980 hPa) located at 15.0N 126.4E has 10 minute sustained winds of 55 knots with gusts of 80 knots. The storm is reported as moving east-northeast at 8 knots.

Dvorak Intensity: T3.5

Storm Force Winds
=================
30 NM from the center

Gale Force Winds
===============
180 NM from the center

Forecast and Intensity
=======================
24 HRS: 16.4N 130.1E - 65 knots (CAT 3/Typhoon)
48 HRS: 17.9N 134.6E - 75 knots (CAT 3/Typhoon)
72 HRS: 22.3N 139.8E - 80 knots (CAT 3/Typhoon)
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 50 Comments: 44811
Quoting Weather456:
Don't have one. Don't need one. It is very easy to ignore someone when your focus and passionate about the matter on the table, that is, the tropics.
Indeed Weather, you are right. Unfortunately, I sometimes find myself getting sucked in. (Probably a sign that I do spend too much time on this board).
I have learned so much here on Dr. Master's blog, and many of the other WU blogs. I appreciate those of you who share your knowledge and your enthusiasm for the subject of tropical weather.
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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.