What I can't yet wrap my tired brain around is this: why should conservatism apply to everything BUT the environment, the very thing that sustains us?
How do we keep the lights on and the economy humming along, using market forces to make greener, cleaner options more viable? When people realize they can save green by going green.
Get an energy audit on your home. Buy carbon offsets when you fly. Consider a more fuel-efficient vehicle.
I just traded 2 gas-powered cars on a Tesla Model S. It's a techno-geek's 4-wheel fantasy - gliding past the local BP gas station with a grin on my face; charging it in my garage at night, using cheaper, off-peak electricity.
There's no silver bullet, but there is silver buckshot that can make a difference long-term.
Lead, South Dakota is digging out from 43 inches of snow (not bad for the first week of October), while Sioux City cleans up from a rare swarm of October tornadoes. "Karen" is fizzling in the Gulf, more of a sloppy inconvenience than a huge threat.
Showers linger today, a raw breeze giving way to 4 days at/above 70F later this week.
We just picked up 1-2 inches of rain; a well-timed soaking. Drought is easing, and I still don't see a metro frost looking out 2 weeks.
* The NOAA.gov portal, which often serves as a hub for life-threatening storm information and resources; it is redirecting to weather.gov, which is fully functional
* NOAA’s Environmental Visualization Laboratory, which provides storm imagery on a daily basis
* NASA’s Hurricane Web site, which provides news and visuals about tropical weather systems
* NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s weather imagery..."
Major Storms Are Forming, And America's Meteorologists Are Stuck At Home. Well, some of them. Here's a clip from a story at Quartz: "...As potential natural disasters loom, the American government is shut down because of a budget dispute. As part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s mission to “protect life and property,” critical civil servants such as weather forecasters must remain at work—without pay —while support staff and other “non-essential” personnel are being sent home. Although essential personnel are still on the job (and others have been recalled in face of the impending weather disruptions), it’s impossible to think that the fragmentation of bureaucracy won’t have an impact in the context of a rapidly changing natural disaster..." (Map above: Ham Weather).
* Wind shear still interfering with circulation; all the indications suggest Karen weakening into a tropical depression overnight, brushing the Gulf Coast with heavy rain and isolated tornadoes Sunday into early Monday.
* As suggested late yesterday, Karen will probably wind up being more of a soggy nuisance than a facility-threatening event.
* Don't watch the storm center - all the convection and heaviest T-storms are taking place 50-100 miles east of the storm center, a trend which may spill over into Sunday.
* Tropical Storm Watch has been discontinued for metro New Orleans, Tropical Storm Warning posted Grand Isle to the mouth of the Pearl River.
* Some 4-5" rainfall amounts are possible over the Mississippi River Delta. Mobile and Pensacola will pick up closer to 1-2" rain, capable of (minor) flash flooding late Sunday into Monday morning, mainly poor drainage areas and streets that usually flood during heavy T-storms.
Summary: Once again the ECMWF (European) model outperformed U.S. models, including NAM and HWRF. Karen moved into a highly-sheared environment, winds aloft too strong and dry to sustain a significant storm. There will be minor flooding as the remains of Karen come ashore Sunday and Monday morning, and a few tornadoes can't be ruled out, but impacts on personnel and facilities will fall into the extreme-nuisance range, rather than a life-threatening storm capable of serious disruptions and risk to life and property. That said, every tropical system is unique and capable of last-minute surprises that weren't on our radar. Another update Sunday morning, but as the risk from Karen slowly diminishes we will ease off on briefings - to acknowledge and match the current threat level.
Graphic credit above: "In this 3-D map of potential temperature, relatively cool air wraps around Sandy's core near the surface (purple and blue colors), while air parcels gain heat from moisture condensing into clouds and precipitation as they ascend through the storm’s core." Credit: UCAR.
Photo credit above: "Bill O'Reilly of Fox News." (Reuters).
Why I'm Never Flying Again. Meteorologist Eric Holthaus got a lot of (crap) when he went public with an admission that the latest IPCC report triggered tears as he was boarding a flight - aviation being a big source of greenhouse gas emissions. It went viral, followed by snarky tweets and questioning his motives. Here's an excerpt of his story, excerpted at Quartz: "...The average American household, as you can see in the chart above, flies much less than I do, and should probably focus more effort on reducing emissions from car travel (or other things) rather than planes. But for a lot of us frequent fliers, the environmental harm is dramatic and adds up fast. A one-way flight from New York to San Francisco (2.23 tons of CO2) has nearly the same impact as driving a Hummer the same distance (2.81 tons). By vowing not to fly, I went from having more than double the carbon footprint as the average American to about 30% less than average...."
Our Response To Climate Change Will Seal The Future. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed at The Salt Lake Tribune: "...The key to making this connection was the vertical structure of the atmosphere. If warming is caused by the sun, you would expect the whole atmosphere to warm up. If climate change is caused by volcanic activity, you would expect dust from these eruptions to absorb sunlight and cause cooling in the lower atmosphere. But greenhouse gases are trapped in the lower atmosphere. If they are the culprit, the lower half of the atmosphere will warm up and the upper half will cool down. Santer’s research, replicated by many others, documents a telltale warming of the lower atmosphere and cooling of the upper atmosphere. End of story. That’s the balloons and thermometers part. Here’s the effect. Nearly all glaciers in the world are receding, and the summer Arctic polar ice cap is almost gone. The Northwest Passage over North America and the Northeast Passage over Asia are now realities. That’s not subtle..."
Climate Change: Skeptics, Deniers And Believers. Are we using the wrong language to communicate the threat? Piling on more facts and evidence doesn't always help. Here's an interesting read at Financial Times.
Photo credit above: "An ephemeral lake in California's Yosemite National Park where Pacific tree frogs breed." Credit: USGS.
Earth, 2100 AD. Four Futures Of Environment And Society. How quickly will we wean ourselves off fossil fuels will determine the Extended Outlook - for the planet. Here's an excerpt from New Scientist: "...Here, New Scientist explores four hypothetical futures for human society in 2100, using criteria set out by climate modellers – though we cannot reproduce the huge amount of data in their scenarios (see graph). We have selected some key points and sketched out an image of society in each scenario. To do this, we drew on descriptions published by the IPCC in 2000 and, in consultation with climate modellers, chose the ones that correspond to the concentrations of greenhouse gases published in last week's IPCC report (see "Climate report: Lull in warming doesn't mean we're safe")... (Image: NASA).
Politically biased media climate coverage is not a coincidenceThe scientific evidence is what it is, and it has no political bias. The same is not true of the media outlets that cover the topic. It's not a coincidence that politically conservative tabloids and newspapers like the Daily Mail, Telegraph, Australian, and Wall Street Journal spend a disproportionate amount of time amplifying the voices of the less than 3 percent of climate contrarian scientists, as well as many non-scientist contrarians..."
Image above: Clean Technica.