Hot and Smelly

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 6:00 AM GMT on June 27, 2012

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Hot and Smelly


For the second time in two weeks I have witnessed the explosive development of a wildfire here in Colorado. I wrote to Jeff Masters about the High Park Fire outside of Fort Collins, which was, say, 40 or 50 miles away from where I saw it start. Today’s fire in Boulder is just outside of the National Center for Atmospheric Research’s (NCAR) Mesa Laboratory. I was out in a field about 6 miles away and there had just been a small thunderstorm where rain almost fell to the ground. In less than 30 minutes the fire covered almost 300 acres; this is an explosion. So far all of the firefighting has been from the air because it has been too furious to fight from the ground.

Here is an amazing picture that I saw in the Boulder Daily Camera, that was taken by Chad Baudoin and posted on Twitter




Figure 1: Eruption of Boulder County, Colorado fire near NCAR taken from Denver. Credit: Chad Baudoin posted on Twitter. (larger)

There are galleries of pictures and videos from the Boulder Daily Camera.

The fires in Colorado right now are overwhelming. 100s of houses have been lost in the state, and the pictures of the Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs are simply frightening. (sorry about the advert) (Denver Post Story).

The past few days have been relentless. Denver has seen temperatures above 100 F for 5 straight days, and it was 105 F today. At the weather station closest to where I live, the thunderstorm that started today’s fire stopped the temperature rise at 97.5 F. The dew point was in the high 30s. The ground temperature in the garden about 110 F.

Tonight it all smells of smoke again. It is hard to sleep when the house is 88 degrees and the air smells of smoke. You constantly think of fire. And, in the grand scheme of things, I just linger as an observer on the edge of fire surrounded by still wet fields.

For the last two nights, the moon has set behind the Rockies as a glowing red crescent in the smoky sky. The sunset tonight had a rainbow in the smoke. Sadly, no Wunderphotos from me.

I will get back to my normal form with my next entry.

r

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76. BobWallace
6:19 PM GMT on July 02, 2012
Texas is now less than 50% non-Hispanic white.

Texas's Hispanics are not Cubans, they are mostly going to vote Democratic. As are Texas's African-Americans.

Minority birthrates are higher than non-Hispanic white birthrates.

Younger people in every state generally have different opinions than older people. Many have grown up with the internet part of their lives, they've been exposed to different ideas than the older folks. They've grown up in an integrated national culture and certainly with an integrated popular culture. They've been exposed to climate change information for larger portions of their lives.

Change is underway. I don't know if it's possible to flip the state "quickly", but I think it's possible to start flipping the state.

"After the 2008 election, Democrats locally and statewide were ecstatic. At that time we were within 2 seats of having the majority in the State House of Representatives."

This tells us that the flip is close.

eta: The flip is close if the Democratic Party of Texas will register and turn out their voters.
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
75. Some1Has2BtheRookie
3:07 PM GMT on July 02, 2012
Quoting spbloom:


Well, what Bob refers to is an urban-oriented trend, and one that isn't expected even by the most optimistic to "flip" the state in the short term.

As for the Hill Country folks and accepting the facts about climate change, I expect they will eventually, but only after a fair amount of adaptation by suffering.


I know the Texas Hill Country that OldLeatherNeck speaks of. San Marcos, Wimberly, Dripping Springs, Canyon Lake, Johnson City and the rest of the Edwards Plateau region. My parents bought land in Wimberly ( Flite Acres ) back in the 60's and sold it to buy other land just north of Wimberly, off of Golds Road. They retired there in the 80's. I have a brother that still lives in Wimberly. These are some of the friendliest people you ever will meet while you are on the road. They wave at strangers and will strike up a conversation with anyone that wants to have one. Trespassing is something they have very little patience with and trying to change their opinion on something is akin to trespassing on their thoughts. They show very little tolerance for an opposing opinion. More likely the opinions they hold now are the opinions they will take to their grave.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4737
74. cyclonebuster
4:34 AM GMT on July 02, 2012
Quoting BobWallace:


And natural ones.

A few years back we had more than 2,000 forest fires started here in NoCal on one day. Some of them burned from June until it started raining in November.


I bet we can tell what particulate matter came from fossil fuels and which ones came from forest fires?????????? I would like to know the percentages between the two..
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20393
73. spbloom
3:47 AM GMT on July 02, 2012
Quoting OldLeatherneck:


Let me give you a perspective of current Texas politics. I retired, in the Hill Country, almost 5 years ago. My wife is a native Texan and a retired Director from a major university in Texas. I am currently the fundraising chairman for the Democratic Party, and a Precinct Chair in my county, which votes 75% Republican.

After the 2008 election, Democrats locally and statewide were ecstatic. At that time we were within 2 seats of having the majority in the State House of Representatives. After the 2010 election, we lost so many seats that we are within 1 seat of preventing the Republicans of having a quorum without inviting the Democrats.

The Democrats are fractured, beset with petty infighting and are doing little to energize the minority populations.

Meanwhile, the Republican county clubbers, with ties to Big Oil, are happily strolling along. The majority of the Republican base consists of Tea Baggers, Libertarians, Secessionists and outright racists.

Since my wife cares so much about education, she occasionally substitute teaches at a local high school. Among the many painful moments she has experienced, here are a few:

1. On the day President Obama was innaugurated, one student took the day off so that he and his father could hide their guns, in fear that Obama would have them confiscated.

2. Several months ago, my wife met a new substitute teacher who told her that "Jesus sent the Tea Party to save America".

In this part of Texas, the locals have a visceral hatred of Barack Obama. Being a Democrat here is akin to being a Jehovah's witness in Mecca. Hell, I was probably safer in Vietnam 40 years ago than I am here in my own community.

These folks believe everything they hear from FAUX News, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck.

Now you expect me to educate them, with scientific facts, about climate change???





Well, what Bob refers to is an urban-oriented trend, and one that isn't expected even by the most optimistic to "flip" the state in the short term.

As for the Hill Country folks and accepting the facts about climate change, I expect they will eventually, but only after a fair amount of adaptation by suffering.
Member Since: May 12, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 427
72. BobWallace
3:41 AM GMT on July 02, 2012
Quoting cyclonebuster:


Arsonists forest fires?


And natural ones.

A few years back we had more than 2,000 forest fires started here in NoCal on one day. Some of them burned from June until it started raining in November.
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
71. cyclonebuster
3:09 AM GMT on July 02, 2012
Quoting BobWallace:


It's not just from fossil fuels. Forest and cooking fires add to the blackness.


Arsonists forest fires?
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20393
70. BobWallace
2:26 AM GMT on July 02, 2012
Quoting cyclonebuster:


That snow should be pure white like "Snow White" is and not black and polluted with soot from fossil fuels........


It's not just from fossil fuels. Forest and cooking fires add to the blackness.
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
69. cyclonebuster
12:58 AM GMT on July 02, 2012
Quoting BobWallace:
When I think of the Greenland ice cap I envision white, sparkling ice. Winter wonderland stuff.

Here's a picture of what it looks like once the winter snow topping has begun to melt....




Folks might want to scroll back up and take another look at comment #47.


That snow should be pure white like "Snow White" is and not black and polluted with soot from fossil fuels........
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20393
68. OldLeatherneck
10:54 PM GMT on July 01, 2012
Quoting BobWallace:


I don't think it's the 'new normal'.

It's more likely a transitional phase we're passing through on the way to worst stuff.

We need to be engaging in some discussion of what we what the new normal to be and how hard we're willing to work to stop warming enough to create a new normal.


In past years normal, regarding climate, could be defined in terms of centuries. Recently normal has been defined in decades. Now, we are seeing annual changes occurring at rates faster than we previously saw occurring in decades.

Normal will continue to be in a state of flux until GHG levels in the atmosphere are stabilized and the earth's climate system, and biosphere, are given time (decades/centuries) to react accordingly.
Member Since: May 2, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 180
67. BobWallace
10:06 PM GMT on July 01, 2012
Quoting RevElvis:
Are Colorado Fires Caused by Climate Change & Is This The New Normal?

Mother Jones News


I don't think it's the 'new normal'.

It's more likely a transitional phase we're passing through on the way to worst stuff.

We need to be engaging in some discussion of what we what the new normal to be and how hard we're willing to work to stop warming enough to create a new normal.

Seems like if we let "nature" set the new normal we're going to be some unhappy puppies....
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
66. RevElvis
9:02 PM GMT on July 01, 2012
Are Colorado Fires Caused by Climate Change & Is This The New Normal?

Mother Jones News
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
65. RevElvis
7:41 PM GMT on July 01, 2012
Rise in sea level can't be stopped: scientists

Reuters Link

(but steps could be taken to slow it down - )
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
64. OldLeatherneck
5:35 PM GMT on July 01, 2012
Greenland Ice Albedo Monitoring
From Byrd Polar Research Center


An updated compilation of NASA MODIS observations of Greenland ice sheet albedo through 25 June, 2012 indicate that now, well into into the 2012 melt season, the ice sheet remains in a darkened state as in 2011 and 2010.




If remaining in this condition, the ice sheet will continue to absorb more solar energy in a self-reinforcing feedback loop that amplifies the effect of warming or black carbon loading on snowpack heating and melt. A record setting melt season is likely if this pattern keeps up this year.

Link



For more detailed information about Greenland ice melt and the albedo effect, I've found that Dr. Jason Box, from OSU has a very informative website. Dr. Box works with the Byrd Polar Research Center. His work is quite easy to read for a layman. He also has some strong thoughts about the denialists.

About MeltFactor

This site contains my stream of consciousness on current ice and climate science…

My profession is the scientific enterprise to understand and predict the cryosphere and its climate sensitivity.

Glaciers were once used to refer to something slow. You know the old saying that something is ‘proceeding at a glacial pace’? The saying is today illogical, because the conventional though is changed. Glaciers respond very quickly, in some cases, as fast as it takes water to fall.


In response to warming, many of the planet’s largest glaciers have accelerated 50%, 100% 200% 300%, even 800%. Several of the largest Greenland glaciers have accelerated by a factor of 2 or more, in response to changes at their fronts ultimately linkable to enhanced melting during a warming period. Antarctic glaciers, once dammed by shelf ice, have decanted, accelerating several times their formerly buttressed speed because melt water cut through the ice like acid, opened the flood gates.

In the mid 1990s, conventional science held the reaction time of ice sheets to be tens of thousands of years, even longer. Further science led us to recognition, that melt is a key factor that allows ice masses (large and small) to react quickly (in hours) to abrupt climate warming.

Melt [water] is the core factor in a scale-independent sensitivity of ice to climate warming.

…this is the MeltFactor.

Your friend,

Jason Box, PhD
Member Since: May 2, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 180
63. BobWallace
4:43 PM GMT on July 01, 2012
When I think of the Greenland ice cap I envision white, sparkling ice. Winter wonderland stuff.

Here's a picture of what it looks like once the winter snow topping has begun to melt....




Folks might want to scroll back up and take another look at comment #47.
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
62. greentortuloni
12:06 PM GMT on July 01, 2012
absolutly no time, link, but interesting article (maybe, haven't read it) on 3D ice modeling.

Member Since: June 5, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1220
61. BobWallace
5:41 AM GMT on July 01, 2012
Quoting greentortuloni:
I wonder if putting the Republicans on record as disbelieving global warming would help?

Given that people tend to believe whatever theories meet their value system (i.e. if we destroy this world, God will make a new world because we are the chosen ones), if the Republican leadership was looking at a Democratic put-up or shut-up debate about climate change in a year of wildfires, melting ice and so on, would the Republicans try to cover their bases and support action on climate change?

I guess probably not, at least in Texas that is so Oil enthused (enfused?). But then again, even in Texas it seems like global warming is hitting the poor worst as farming gets hit by draught, energy prices rise and so on.


Places like Texas and Oklahoma are going to be most influenced by the money that can be made (and saved) with renewable energy. Right now both states are seeing the benefit of wind generation. Soon they will be installing a lot of solar as they realize it helps cut their utility bills.

The other thing that will get their attention is a bunch more terrible weather. Wouldn't wish that on anyone, but more extreme heat and drought would seem to be in the pipelines.

I can see Texas become a leading state in wind and solar while many loudmouths still deny climate change.

Give them affordable EVs with decent range and they'll move off oil while still denying climate change.

And, you know, that's fine. As long as they keep cutting their carbon footprint we win. Their hot air bull isn't bringing any new carbon to the surface.
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
60. greentortuloni
5:17 AM GMT on July 01, 2012
I wonder if putting the Republicans on record as disbelieving global warming would help?

Given that people tend to believe whatever theories meet their value system (i.e. if we destroy this world, God will make a new world because we are the chosen ones), if the Republican leadership was looking at a Democratic put-up or shut-up debate about climate change in a year of wildfires, melting ice and so on, would the Republicans try to cover their bases and support action on climate change?

I guess probably not, at least in Texas that is so Oil enthused (enfused?). But then again, even in Texas it seems like global warming is hitting the poor worst as farming gets hit by draught, energy prices rise and so on.
Member Since: June 5, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1220
59. BobWallace
3:41 AM GMT on July 01, 2012

Now you expect me to educate them, with scientific facts, about climate change???


No. I expect you need to get busy organizing the >50% of Texans that aren't white. You've got sizable Hispanic and black populations.

Get 'em registered. Get 'em to the polls.

Put those two groups together with the white Texans who aren't batshit crazy and take over the state.

Might take a few years, but the numbers are in your favor.

Might happen sooner if you strongly remind Democratic registered voters that "we were within 2 seats of having the majority in the State House of Representatives" the last time they showed up to vote.

eta: In the four years since 2008 you've had a bunch of old folks die off and four years worth of new voters come of age. I'd sure bet that you gained ground with that exchange.

eta: Didn't mean "you" in the OLN sense, but the Texas Democratic Party. Sounds to me that the votes are there to start making change if they're rounded up and herded to market.
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
58. OldLeatherneck
1:31 AM GMT on July 01, 2012
Quoting BobWallace:
I've heard people say that Texas is close to flipping from a Red to a Blue state as younger Texans enter the voting ranks and minorities become majorities.

I'm certainly hoping that's true. And that it happens soon.


Let me give you a perspective of current Texas politics. I retired, in the Hill Country, almost 5 years ago. My wife is a native Texan and a retired Director from a major university in Texas. I am currently the fundraising chairman for the Democratic Party, and a Precinct Chair in my county, which votes 75% Republican.

After the 2008 election, Democrats locally and statewide were ecstatic. At that time we were within 2 seats of having the majority in the State House of Representatives. After the 2010 election, we lost so many seats that we are within 1 seat of preventing the Republicans of having a quorum without inviting the Democrats.

The Democrats are fractured, beset with petty infighting and are doing little to energize the minority populations.

Meanwhile, the Republican county clubbers, with ties to Big Oil, are happily strolling along. The majority of the Republican base consists of Tea Baggers, Libertarians, Secessionists and outright racists.

Since my wife cares so much about education, she occasionally substitute teaches at a local high school. Among the many painful moments she has experienced, here are a few:

1. On the day President Obama was innaugurated, one student took the day off so that he and his father could hide their guns, in fear that Obama would have them confiscated.

2. Several months ago, my wife met a new substitute teacher who told her that "Jesus sent the Tea Party to save America".

In this part of Texas, the locals have a visceral hatred of Barack Obama. Being a Democrat here is akin to being a Jehovah's witness in Mecca. Hell, I was probably safer in Vietnam 40 years ago than I am here in my own community.

These folks believe everything they hear from FAUX News, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck.

Now you expect me to educate them, with scientific facts, about climate change???



Member Since: May 2, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 180
57. Some1Has2BtheRookie
9:26 PM GMT on June 30, 2012
Quoting BobWallace:
I've heard people say that Texas is close to flipping from a Red to a Blue state as younger Texans enter the voting ranks and minorities become majorities.

I'm certainly hoping that's true. And that it happens soon.


Perhaps this is true. Evidently the Republican party seems to think this and this has pushed them to try to control what can be taught now. ... Control, or the lack of, comes from how knowledgeable the citizens are and what they allowed to use as knowledge.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4737
56. BobWallace
9:12 PM GMT on June 30, 2012
I've heard people say that Texas is close to flipping from a Red to a Blue state as younger Texans enter the voting ranks and minorities become majorities.

I'm certainly hoping that's true. And that it happens soon.
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
55. Some1Has2BtheRookie
8:57 PM GMT on June 30, 2012
Quoting OldLeatherneck:
Texas GOP’s 2012 Platform Opposes Teaching Of ‘Critical Thinking Skills’

We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.


Link

As a resident of Texas, I'm embarassed to post this. It is becoming clear that the intentions of the current GOP Leadership is to keep the masses ignorant.

No wonder so many gullible people still deny AGW and Climate Change, in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.


"“I think the intent is that the Republican Party is opposed to the values clarification method that serves the purpose of challenging students beliefs and undermine parental authority,” he said."

... WOOOOOOOOOOOOOW! Let me see if I have correctly read this. What this is saying is that if a student believes that Earth is the center of our universe, that everything in our universe revolves around Earth and that our moon is made of cheese then any teacher would be restricted from educating them with the facts? Also, and even more frightening, if the parents want their children to believe any of this then they cannot be taught differently, even if the student wants to know more? Will the teachers be imprisoned if they actually try to educate their students? This is insane!

The conservative Republicans say that they want the government of out of their way and yet they want to censure, dictate exactly what can and cannot be taught, take complete control of your life from the moment of conception and then abandon you when you are born and to have any laws, rules or regulations, that they do not favor, immediately scrapped. UNBELIEVABLE!!! Do they look for people that are brain dead or do they just seek people to join them that wish to become brain dead? .... This has convinced me to NEVER vote for another Republican until the old style GOP has once again shown that it has regained control of the Republican party.

As I have said, I have picked a bad day to quit smoking!
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4737
54. Some1Has2BtheRookie
7:47 PM GMT on June 30, 2012
Quoting OldLeatherneck:
Texas GOP’s 2012 Platform Opposes Teaching Of ‘Critical Thinking Skills’

We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.


Link

As a resident of Texas, I'm embarassed to post this. It is becoming clear that the intentions of the current GOP Leadership is to keep the masses ignorant.

No wonder so many gullible people still deny AGW and Climate Change, in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.


sigh .... I picked a bad day to quit smoking.

This was the thinking of the Communist U.S.S.R. leadership. The best way to control the minds of the citizens was to keep them uneducated in all the things that they did not want them to know and to teach them only what they did want them to know. The GOP has long feared and abhorred the idea that communism would one day consume the U.S.. Yet, the current GOP leadership is beginning to behave in the exact same manner as the Communist leadership behaved. What the GOP most fears happening will be a result of their own behavior. ... Those that suffer from insanity rarely actually know that they are INSANE! I do not know when this all began to come about, but the current GOP leadership does not suffer from any insanity. Rather, they seem to grow and prosper from their insanity!
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53. OldLeatherneck
7:28 PM GMT on June 30, 2012
Quoting renewableguy:
This assumes linear acceleration for a century. Increasing acceleration would take us into the higher projections similar to MIT


Having brought this up in conversation I was told that I was scaring myself.


Earth's Two Ice Sheets Melting Faster Than Expected, Surprising Study Finds

The massive Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets that sit near Earth's two poles are melting at an increasingly faster pace, a new study finds.

The study, based on measurements covering nearly 20 years, suggests the melting ice sheets are becoming the dominant contributor to global sea level rise, overtaking the loss of ice from Earth's mountain glaciers and ice caps, much sooner than climate models had predicted.

Link

Since this study was published, other facts have come to light. Among those that I remember are such things as:

1. In 2010, Greenland lost ~100,000 gigatonnes of ice more than normal.

2. Human pumping of fossil water from ancient aquifers faster than they can be replenished is also a contributing factor to rising sea levels.

3. Thermal expansion of the oceans is currently being modelled as a constant. With additional heating of the oceans, that term will need to include some acceleration.

4. Certain coastal areas, on earth, such as Louisiana, are subsiding at rates greater than the current rate of sea-level rise. For these areas the net rise will be catastrophic in the very near term.

I'm sure that the folks much smarter than I am can provide even more things that will accelerate sea-level rise even more than we now anticipate.

When measurements of rising sea-levels begin to look like a hockey stick, the world is in serious trouble!
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52. renewableguy
6:15 PM GMT on June 30, 2012
s = displacement
u = initial velocity
v = final velocity
a = uniform acceleration
t = time
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acceleration
v = u at
solving for a=uniform acceleration
How fast will sea level rise have to accelerate reach 5 meters change in height. I will
Start back in 1870 and we have risen 20cm since then or about 8 inches.
Solving for acceleration = a I get
A= (S-ut)/(1/2t*2)
We have 480 cm to go to reach 5 meters sea level rise 500cm %u2013 20cm = 480cm
S = 480 cm
U = 3mm/yr. = .3cm/yr
T = 2100-2012=88yr

A= (S-ut)/(1/2t*2)
A = (480cm-(.3cm/yr x 88yr)) / (.5(88x88)) = .117cm/yr*2 = 1.17 mm/yr



Some rapid rate similar to this. Melt water pulse 1A


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meltwater_pulse_1A
20m somewhere between 500yrs or 200yrs. So it appears that 5m/century is possible.

A different tact on this and lets pick an acceleration for the next 100 years.
A=.1mm/yr*2 = .01cm/yr*2
T= 100
S = ut 1/2at*2 how far will sea level rise at this constant acceleration rate.

S = (.3cm/yr x 100yr) (.5 x .01cm/yr*2 x 100*2)
S= 30cm 50cm = 80cm x (1m/100cm) = .8m
.1mm/yr acceleration would equal about 1mm acceleration per decade.
I have only chosen linear acceleration because that is what is easiest for me to work
with. But I see .1mm/yr average acceleration of sea level rise as highly possible in this century.

v = final velocity at 2112
u = initial velocity = .3cm/yr
a = .01cm/yr**2
t = 100 yrs

V = u at

= .3cm/yr .01cm/yr*2(100yr) = .3 1cm = 1.3 cm/yr
13cm/decade= 5.1 in/decade. This is a significant velocity after 100 years.

This assumes linear acceleration for a century. Increasing acceleration would take us into the higher projections similar to MIT


Having brought this up in conversation I was told that I was scaring myself.
Member Since: June 20, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4
51. greentortuloni
4:57 PM GMT on June 30, 2012
Quoting BobWallace:
I think it would have to be more technical - or maybe I don't understand temperature records: if a high population area or any highly dense area of records has a minor heat wave, a larger number of records might be broken than say in an area with a small population.

How about a ratio of Broken records:Total area records kept?



Not sure I understand it: total area records kept is the Voronoi area of each record. then a weighted average is used?

What area do you use? I mean do yo use the entire US? Or like in my idea do you use any subset that works? The problem with a ratio is that it is scale-free, meaning it could be as small as possible. Mine had an absolute built in - though maybe that is a problem in other areas like places where records are sparse.

but i guess so
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50. OldLeatherneck
4:51 PM GMT on June 30, 2012
Quoting BobWallace:
I think it would have to be more technical - or maybe I don't understand temperature records: if a high population area or any highly dense area of records has a minor heat wave, a larger number of records might be broken than say in an area with a small population.

How about a ratio of Broken records:Total area records kept?



That's what I was referring to in Post #46

To be truly effective we might need to develop a rating system, similar to hurricanes and tornadoes, as well as standard definitions for Heat Waves. Among the factors that could be included to rate the severity of Heat Waves are:

1. Duration of Heat Wave
2. Geographic area of Heat Wave
3. Number of individual temperature records broken
4. Standard Deviation of temperatures from average
5. Population density of affected areas
Member Since: May 2, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 180
49. BobWallace
4:18 PM GMT on June 30, 2012
I think it would have to be more technical - or maybe I don't understand temperature records: if a high population area or any highly dense area of records has a minor heat wave, a larger number of records might be broken than say in an area with a small population.

How about a ratio of Broken records:Total area records kept?

Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
48. BobWallace
3:38 PM GMT on June 30, 2012
Quoting greentortuloni:


I agree for the most part. Almost everything in the house can be done for very little energy except heating water. LEDs, high R value insulation, etc and it is possible to run a house for a relatively low amount of energy. Washing machines and cooking are probably the most wasteful. (It's been years since I looked at this stuff though.) Local transportation can be bikes or something like the renault Twizzy.

Much harder to solve is how to grow and distribute the food to a house, how to manufacture the material, etc. But I agree there is a lot that can be done in the way of solutions in the future.

Personally i don't find the Amish lifestyle (based on the surface knowledge that i have of it which is close to nothing) that bad. Amish plus internet and a workshop = happy me. (plus good health care and schools)

I'm just worried that it is too little too late. I think PIOMASS is running high for this year and that this year will be the tipping point - probably not the main inflection point but the second or third derivative tipping point at least.


Solar water heating is pretty low tech and widely used in many parts of the world. Why it hasn't caught on in the US is a good question. (I haven't gotten around to installing it yet.)

In parts of the world where it is dark and cold in the winter we need to be installing a lot of ground effect heat pumps. Warm the house and preheat the water.

Washing and cooking can be done with renewable energy. Washing machines, especially the front loaders, have become quite efficient.

Food distribution is not a problem. Electric trucks (we already have electric 18 wheelers) from farm to rail terminal, electric powered HSR to distribution points, electric delivery vans to stores and markets.

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47. OldLeatherneck
1:33 PM GMT on June 30, 2012
Greenland Ice Sheet Melt Nearing Critical ‘Tipping Point’

The Greenland ice sheet is poised for another record melt this year, and is approaching a "tipping point" into a new and more dangerous melt regime in which the summer melt area covers the entire land mass, according to new findings from polar researchers.


Link

Member Since: May 2, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 180
46. OldLeatherneck
1:11 PM GMT on June 30, 2012
Quoting greentortuloni:


I think it would have to be more technical - or maybe I don't understand temperature records: if a high population area or any highly dense area of records has a minor heat wave, a larger number of records might be broken than say in an area with a small population.


To be truly effective we might need to develop a rating system, similar to hurricanes and tornadoes, as well as standard definitions for Heat Waves. Among the factors that could be included to rate the severity of Heat Waves are:

1. Duration of Heat Wave
2. Geographic area of Heat Wave
3. Number of individual temperature records broken
4. Standard Deviation of temperatures from average
5. Population density of affected areas
Member Since: May 2, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 180
45. Xandra
12:55 PM GMT on June 30, 2012
Bill McKibben of 350.org on Colorado Wildfires, Debby, Keystone XL, and Failure of Rio+20

DemocracyNow.org - With extreme weather fueling wildfires in Colorado and record rainfall in Florida, the Obama administration has moved closer to approving construction of the southern section of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. We're joined by environmentalist, educator and author Bill McKibben, founder of the grassroots climate campaign 350.org. "Today is one of those days when you understand what the early parts of the global warming era are going to look like," McKibben says. "For the first time in history, we managed to get the fourth tropical storm of the year before July ... These are the most destructive fires in Colorado history and they come after the warmest weather ever recorded there ... This is what it looks like as the planet begins to warm. Nothing that happened [at the United Nations Rio+20 summit] will even begin to slow down that trajectory."

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44. greentortuloni
12:50 PM GMT on June 30, 2012
Quoting OldLeatherneck:


Thanks for creating a definition for "heat waves" and "cold snaps". I would hope that your definition, or something very similar, could be offically adopted as a universal standard by meteorologists, climatologists and government agencies. It's probably too much to ask for the TV "Weather Critters" to conform to any standard definition.


I think it would have to be more technical - or maybe I don't understand temperature records: if a high population area or any highly dense area of records has a minor heat wave, a larger number of records might be broken than say in an area with a small population.

E.g. if a huge geographic portion of Alaska was having record heat, it should be a heat wave but if only 5 people lived there, it might break only one record.

I think a better definition would be to use the existing records to make a map of highs geographically (areas in between can be kridged). This would result in a 2.5 dimensional map. On any given day, the current temperature will also be a 2.5 dimensional map. Volume on this map would be in the units miles-squared * degrees, a unit I like to call the "GT". [Time-Volume might be the NeaOL-GT ;) - eg. 1 Neaol-GT = kiloGT-Days]

The volume between records and current temperatures can be determined by the difference in 2.5 dimensional surfaces. A heat wave could be classified as anything greater than 30 kilGTs. This captures geographic size, length and temperature. The geographic area has to be continguous but if the GT volume is negative, it would be subtracted and still leads to a consistent result.
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43. OldLeatherneck
12:44 PM GMT on June 30, 2012
Texas GOP’s 2012 Platform Opposes Teaching Of ‘Critical Thinking Skills’

We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.


Link

As a resident of Texas, I'm embarassed to post this. It is becoming clear that the intentions of the current GOP Leadership is to keep the masses ignorant.

No wonder so many gullible people still deny AGW and Climate Change, in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
Member Since: May 2, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 180
42. OldLeatherneck
11:51 AM GMT on June 30, 2012
Quoting Neapolitan:
There's no set definition of the terms "heat wave" or "cold snap" in the United States, so I'll define one for the purposes of this comment: a "heat wave" is three or more consecutive days wherein 150 or more high, or high minimum, temperature records were set on each of those three days. Conversely, a "cold snap" is three or more consecutive days wherein 150 or more low, or low maximum, temperature records were set on each of those three days.


Thanks for creating a definition for "heat waves" and "cold snaps". I would hope that your definition, or something very similar, could be offically adopted as a universal standard by meteorologists, climatologists and government agencies. It's probably too much to ask for the TV "Weather Critters" to conform to any standard definition.
Member Since: May 2, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 180
41. greentortuloni
8:43 AM GMT on June 30, 2012
Quoting BobWallace:


We don't need to go back to living off the land.

We just need to live more lightly on the land.

There's no reason to give up our cars, our entertainment gadgets, our cozy homes, or any of our other creature comforts.

We just need to switch to clean, renewable energy to power all our wants and to make our wants more efficient.

We can extend our comfortable lives to those who don't enjoy what we have as long as we turn to sustainable routes.


I agree for the most part. Almost everything in the house can be done for very little energy except heating water. LEDs, high R value insulation, etc and it is possible to run a house for a relatively low amount of energy. Washing machines and cooking are probably the most wasteful. (It's been years since I looked at this stuff though.) Local transportation can be bikes or something like the renault Twizzy.

Much harder to solve is how to grow and distribute the food to a house, how to manufacture the material, etc. But I agree there is a lot that can be done in the way of solutions in the future.

Personally i don't find the Amish lifestyle (based on the surface knowledge that i have of it which is close to nothing) that bad. Amish plus internet and a workshop = happy me. (plus good health care and schools)

I'm just worried that it is too little too late. I think PIOMASS is running high for this year and that this year will be the tipping point - probably not the main inflection point but the second or third derivative tipping point at least.
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40. Neapolitan
4:38 AM GMT on June 30, 2012
There's no set definition of the terms "heat wave" or "cold snap" in the United States, so I'll define one for the purposes of this comment: a "heat wave" is three or more consecutive days wherein 150 or more high, or high minimum, temperature records were set on each of those three days. Conversely, a "cold snap" is three or more consecutive days wherein 150 or more low, or low maximum, temperature records were set on each of those three days.

With those definitions in mind, here's a comparative list of heat waves and cold snaps for 2012 to-date, along with the dates they took place:

2012 U.S. HEAT WAVES:
1) January 3 - 7 (1,670 records)
2) February 28 - March 3 (1,111)
3) March 11 - 28 (13,255)
4) March 31 - April 4 (2,461)
5) April 15 - 17 (652)
6) April 22 - 27 (2,816)
7) May 2 - 7 (2,447)
8) May 25 - 30 (2,328)
9) June 18 - 22 (1,237)
10) June 25 - 29 (1,601) [Ongoing]

2012 U.S. COLD SNAPS
NONE

2012 CALENDAR DAYS WITH 150 OR MORE HIGH, OR HIGH MINIMUM, TEMPERATURE RECORDS: 73

2012 CALENDAR DAYS WITH 150 OR MORE LOW, OR LOW MAXIMUM, TEMPERATURE RECORDS: 5

2012 CALENDAR WEEKS WITH MORE HIGH, OR HIGH MINIMUM, TEMPERATURE RECORDS THAN LOW, OR LOW MAXIMUM, TEMPERATURE RECORDS: 24

2012 CALENDAR WEEKS WITH MORE LOW, OR LOW MAXIMUM, TEMPERATURE RECORDS THAN HIGH, OR HIGH MINIMUM, TEMPERATURE RECORDS: 2

It has truly been a remarkable year--and it's only halfway over...
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39. BobWallace
6:48 PM GMT on June 29, 2012
Quoting OldLeatherneck:


During part of our recent vacation, my wife and I were driving across the Amish countryside in NW Pennsylvania. My wife remarked that someday the Amish are going to have to teach us how to live off of the land again.



We don't need to go back to living off the land.

We just need to live more lightly on the land.

There's no reason to give up our cars, our entertainment gadgets, our cozy homes, or any of our other creature comforts.

We just need to switch to clean, renewable energy to power all our wants and to make our wants more efficient.

We can extend our comfortable lives to those who don't enjoy what we have as long as we turn to sustainable routes.
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
38. OldLeatherneck
5:07 PM GMT on June 29, 2012
Quoting greentortuloni:


The Amish must be really pissed off. All those years of living right and the rest of us screw it up anyway.


During part of our recent vacation, my wife and I were driving across the Amish countryside in NW Pennsylvania. My wife remarked that someday the Amish are going to have to teach us how to live off of the land again.

Member Since: May 2, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 180
37. greentortuloni
5:00 PM GMT on June 29, 2012
Quoting BobWallace:
"What we're seeing is a window into what global warming really looks like," Princeton University's Michael Oppenheimer said during a telephone press briefing. "It looks like heat, it looks like fires, it looks like this kind of environmental disaster ... This provides vivid images of what we can expect to see more of in the future."

The fire season in the Southwest is now two months longer than previously.



The Amish must be really pissed off. All those years of living right and the rest of us screw it up anyway.
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36. BobWallace
4:28 PM GMT on June 29, 2012
"What we're seeing is a window into what global warming really looks like," Princeton University's Michael Oppenheimer said during a telephone press briefing. "It looks like heat, it looks like fires, it looks like this kind of environmental disaster ... This provides vivid images of what we can expect to see more of in the future."

The fire season in the Southwest is now two months longer than previously.

Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
35. OldLeatherneck
3:18 PM GMT on June 29, 2012
Quoting MrMixon:
The Boulder Daily Camera has an informative map and some gut-wrenching before/after pictures of the damage from the Waldo Canyon Fire in northwest Colorado Springs.

LINK HERE



Those photos of destroyed homes show the devastating impact of wildfires that are made more dangerous when extreme weather conditions (HOT & DRY) exist. In the past month, residents of Colorado have lost over 600 homes to the devastating wildfries. Our thoughts and prayers must go to those who have lost their homes and valued treasures. Our thanks must go the brave firefighters who are risking life and limb to squelch these monstrous fires. Our thoughts and concerns also go to the many business owners and workers in Colorado's tourism industry whose liveliehoods are being impacted.

The below article describes the scientific view of how the frequency and severity of wildfires are linked to AGW and Climate Change:

West's wildfires a preview of changed climate: scientists

(Reuters) - Scorching heat, high winds and bone-dry conditions are fueling catastrophic wildfires in the U.S. West that offer a preview of the kind of disasters that human-caused climate change could bring, a trio of scientists said on Thursday.

"What we're seeing is a window into what global warming really looks like," Princeton University's Michael Oppenheimer said during a telephone press briefing. "It looks like heat, it looks like fires, it looks like this kind of environmental disaster ... This provides vivid images of what we can expect to see more of in the future."


Link
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34. greentortuloni
2:21 PM GMT on June 29, 2012
Quoting overwash12:
Wasn't Thomas Edison home schooled?


Yes, he was. He went to a local school for three months but the teacher "Reverend Eagle" thought he was stupid and kicked him out. His mother was convinced he was in fact very smart and taught him herself, including reading the bible. His father taught him to read the classics and let him develop his tastes early on. He soon took his lessons at the local library without supervision. Eventually his parents hired a private tutor for Tom for the sciences.

that's all paraphrased badly and may have source errors... but that is why universities should consider home schoolers carefully.
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33. overwash12
1:35 PM GMT on June 29, 2012
Wasn't Thomas Edison home schooled?
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32. Some1Has2BtheRookie
12:28 AM GMT on June 29, 2012
Quoting JupiterKen:
I guess more than one of you disagrees with this?

As the climate-change theory crumbles, expect its supporters to be more vocal in its defence, more insistent that the science is ironclad. Like the cultish followers of any faddish religion when it nears the end of its fashionableness, they will proclaim their views even more vociferously and denounce more forcefully all those who disagree. But increasingly, their warnings of impending doom and their character attacks on their opponents will be performed before empty houses, as in Rio. –Lorne Gunter, Toronto Sun, 27 June 2012



How prophetic Gunter has become. He knows that the final straw has been grasped at and that the final cherry has been picked by those that have denied the climate is warming. He knows that those that denied the science by using any evidence that was less than science will now be called out and shown for what they are. Not deniers, but liars. ... See, Gunter probably saw that coming. How prophetic of him? Not really. He should have seen along that sooner or later the deniers would be found to be liars. The truth always discovers the lies and will never conceal them.
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31. BobWallace
11:15 PM GMT on June 28, 2012
Look forward to this sort of stuff if Joe the Plumber is appointed head the Department of Education by President Mittens....


A biology textbook used by a Christian school in Louisiana that will be accepting students with publicly funded vouchers in the fall says that the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland is real. And it isn’t just any monster but a dinosaur — an effort to debunk evolution and bolster creationist theory.

The story, reported in the Scotsman newspaper in Scotland, says that Eternity Christian Academy in Westlake is one of the many Christian schools in the United States that uses these books published by Accelerated Christian Education.

The Biology 1099 edition includes a passage about the Loch Ness Monster that says, in part, according to the newspaper:

“Are dinosaurs alive today? Scientists are becoming more convinced of their existence. Have you heard of the ‘Loch Ness Monster’ in Scotland? ‘Nessie’ for short has been recorded on sonar from a small submarine, described by eyewitnesses, and photographed by others. Nessie appears to be a plesiosaur.”


http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/ post/loch-ness-monster-real-in-biology-textbook/20 12/06/26/gJQAPhwr4V_blog.html

I grew up in Tennessee. Our schools didn't teach us evolution, but at least they just avoided the issue and didn't teach us junk.

These kids are going to have to unlearn stuff.

That's why universities are asking admittance committees to take a close look at home schooled students to see what they've been taught. There's enough good students to choose among, no need to take those handicapped by their parents and teachers.
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30. BobWallace
11:08 PM GMT on June 28, 2012
Quoting JupiterKen:
I guess more than one of you disagrees with this?

As the climate-change theory crumbles, expect its supporters to be more vocal in its defence, more insistent that the science is ironclad. Like the cultish followers of any faddish religion when it nears the end of its fashionableness, they will proclaim their views even more vociferously and denounce more forcefully all those who disagree. But increasingly, their warnings of impending doom and their character attacks on their opponents will be performed before empty houses, as in Rio. –Lorne Gunter, Toronto Sun, 27 June 2012



Funny.

If anyone comes up with any data that proves that the planet isn't warming and that the major (if not sole) driver is humans burning fossil fuels then get back to us.

Since climate change data just gets stronger and stronger Gunter's "stuff" is kind of Alice in Wonderland silly.

Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
29. JupiterKen
11:05 PM GMT on June 28, 2012
I guess more than one of you disagrees with this?

As the climate-change theory crumbles, expect its supporters to be more vocal in its defence, more insistent that the science is ironclad. Like the cultish followers of any faddish religion when it nears the end of its fashionableness, they will proclaim their views even more vociferously and denounce more forcefully all those who disagree. But increasingly, their warnings of impending doom and their character attacks on their opponents will be performed before empty houses, as in Rio. –Lorne Gunter, Toronto Sun, 27 June 2012

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28. Some1Has2BtheRookie
9:35 PM GMT on June 28, 2012
Quoting BobWallace:


It's the end of June. In about three months the country makes the big decision.

Each of us should ask ourselves what we can do to help put officials in office who will work to constrain climate change.



I have never been a single issue voter, but this is one issue that by far trumps all others.
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27. BobWallace
7:51 PM GMT on June 28, 2012
Quoting OldLeatherneck:


Only if we re-elect President Obama. If Mittens is elected, he will be forced by the Tea Party and Grover Norquist to appoint judicial candidates from the far right fringe.

I fear that this country might elect a Republican President coupled with maintaining control of the House of Representatives and reclaiming control of the Senate. In this scenario, I can see Senator Inhofe proposing legislation that makes the teaching of true Climate Science in our public schools illegal.
And that, my friends, is scary.


It's the end of June. In about three months the country makes the big decision.

Each of us should ask ourselves what we can do to help put officials in office who will work to constrain climate change.

Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
26. OldLeatherneck
7:47 PM GMT on June 28, 2012
Quoting BobWallace:


Hopefully the two worst Justices (IMO) will somehow leave the Court soon and be replaced with judges who operate as honest referees and not as political hatchet-men.


Only if we re-elect President Obama. If Mittens is elected, he will be forced by the Tea Party and Grover Norquist to appoint judicial candidates from the far right fringe.

I fear that this country might elect a Republican President coupled with maintaining control of the House of Representatives and reclaiming control of the Senate. In this scenario, I can see Senator Inhofe proposing legislation that makes the teaching of true Climate Science in our public schools illegal.
And that, my friends, is scary.
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About RickyRood

I'm a professor at U Michigan and lead a course on climate change problem solving. These articles often come from and contribute to the course.