49 F. high in the Twin Cities Tuesday.
56 F. average high on April 12.
75 F. high on April 12, 2015.
Trace of rain yesterday at KMSP.
Trace of snow reported.
April 13, 1949: A late-season snowstorm dumps over 9 inches in parts of the Twin Cities metro area.
“The history of storytelling isn’t one of simply entertaining the masses but of also advising, instructing, challenging the status quo” wrote Therese Fowler. It’s in our collective DNA to respond to stories.
10-Day Rainfall Prediction. NOAA’s GFS model keeps the bulk of the rain to our west across the Dakotas; ECMWF brings a rainy swirl into southern Minnesota Monday and Tuesday. Confidence levels are low, but dry weather should prevail into Saturday, possibly Sunday. There’s at least a chance of significant rain early next week.
Credit: NASA/Goddard – See more at: http://www.space.com/32471-nasa-3d-pics-weather-from-space-gpm.html#sthash.5bk6w3qI.dpuf
Thanks to a research effort by NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, researchers have taken the first 3-D snapshots of precipitation — both raindrops and snowflakes — from the vantage point of space.
The pictures were taken from the GPM Core Observatory, a satellite launched in 2014 that’s a collaboration between the two nations. GPM’s mission is to gain a better understanding of Earth’s water and energy cycles and provide better forecasting of extreme events that cause natural disasters.
– See more at: http://www.space.com/32471-nasa-3d-pics-weather-from-space-gpm.html#sthash.5bk6w3qI.dpuf
201 Years Ago This Volcano Caused a Climate Catastrophe. And there hasn’t been anything quite on this scale since, explains National Geographic; here’s a clip: “On April 10, 1815, Indonesia’s island of Sumbawa became ground zero for the worst volcanic eruption in modern times—and a chilling example of a widespread climate catastrophe. The Tambora event was the largest volcanic eruption in the last millennium. On the U.S. Geological Survey’s Volcano Explosivity Index, Tambora scores a seven out of eight. That’s ten times bigger than the 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption and a hundred times more powerful than the 1981 Mount St. Helens blast…”
Image credit above: “This detailed astronaut photograph depicts the summit caldera of the Tambora volcano.” Photograph: NASA Earth Observatory.
Wind and Solar are Crushing Fossil Fuels. You can thank Moore’s Law for that – and the fact that every mature industry gets disrupted. Here’s the intro to a story at Bloomberg: “Wind and solar have grown seemingly unstoppable. While two years of crashing prices for oil, natural gas, and coal triggered dramatic downsizing in those industries, renewables have been thriving. Clean energy investment broke new records in 2015 and is now seeing twice as much global funding as fossil fuels. One reason is that renewable energy is becoming ever cheaper to produce…”
Graphic credit above: “Investment in Power Capacity, 2008-2015” Source: BNEF, UNEP.
Researchers Fly Over 8,000 Well Pads and Find Hundreds of Methane Leaks. Over a 20-year time horizon methane has 84 times the warming effect of CO2. Here’s an excerpt from PublicSource: “As Pennsylvania’s natural gas production continues to expand, so does the possibility of potentially harmful methane emissions. A new study from scientists in the Environmental Defense Fund’s Oil and Gas program examined the most common sites for methane leaks at oil and gas pads nationwide. A team of researchers partnered with Gas Leaks Inc., a company that uses infrared technology to inspect well pads, to fly a helicopter over thousands of pads in seven regions in the United States. In total, the researchers flew over 8,000 pads in areas saturated by drilling, including North Dakota’s Bakken Shale and the Marcellus Shale in Southwestern Pennsylvania...”
Image credit: WCN 24/7 / Flickr.
Zika “Scarier Than We Initially Thought”, U.S. Officials Say. No kidding. Here’s the intro to an update at TIME: “The situation surrounding the Zika virus appears more complex and difficult the more experts learn about it, federal health authorities reported on Monday. During a White House press briefing, Dr. Anne Schuchat, Principal Deputy Director of the CDC told reporters, “Everything we look at with this virus seems to be a bit scarier than we initially thought…”
A Zika Catastrophe Could Rival Hurricane Katrina. Alarmist hype? I sure hope so. Here’s an excerpt of a story at The Atlantic: “…Hotez also points to the poorest urban areas of coastal Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and South Florida as particularly at-risk. “This could be a catastrophe to rival Hurricane Katrina or other recent miseries that disproportionately affect the poor,” he wrote in an essay for The New York Times on Friday. Which means that scientists and doctors shouldn’t be the only officials scrambling to plan for a potential public-health crisis. Because a vaccine for Zika won’t be developed in time for this year’s mosquito season—if ever—Hotez says aggressive mosquito-control and environmental cleanup is urgently needed, especially in poor urban areas...”
Map credit above: “The estimated range for two species of mosquitoes that could spread Zika in the United States.” (CDC)
Map credit above: “Life expectancy of 40-year-olds with household incomes below $28,000, adjusted for race“.
An Antiquated Business Model. A Horde of Upstart Competitors. Does NPR Have a Future? I sure hope so, but even the Mother Ship of public radio, quality radio, is feeling waves of digital disruption. Here’s an excerpt at Slate: “…The debate also raised an even thornier and as-yet-unanswered question: What is the value of NPR’s core journalistic offerings—the brief, sober dispatches that air every day on its flagship shows Morning Edition and All Things Considered—in an age when its terrestrial audience is growing older and younger listeners seem to prefer addictive, irreverent, and entertaining podcasts over the news? The critics say NPR has been standing with its toes in the ocean for too long, curbing its digital ambitions in order to appease legacy radio stations. As its competitors dash into the waves, the question of whether NPR can ever catch up, and what will become of it if it doesn’t, has become increasingly urgent...”
Image credit: Animations by Lisa Larson-Walker. Images via Flickr CC.
Have Fun Trying to Reach the Poles of Inaccessibility. ‘Wanna get away? I mean REALLY get away? Then check out this article at Atlas Obscura; here’s the intro: “Everyone wants to get away, but how far can you actually get? Geography has the answer in the world’s poles of inaccessibility. These remote points are said to be the hardest points to reach on the globe, based on the fact that they are furthest from a point of access—that is, a coast. There is one on nearly every continent (Europe and Asia are considered together), and even a couple out at sea for those who want to get as far away from land as possible. Here is the location of each major point of inaccessibility on Earth for those looking to truly get out there…”
The Most Out of Touch Places in America. We all live in our bubbles, but who’s bubble is biggest? Here’s an excerpt of an interesting read at The Washington Post: “…Last week, Murray revealed he calls the “bubbliest” places in America — where children grow up the most isolated from mainstream white culture. Most of the 75 zipcodes that Murray identifies as top incubators of fancy people are located in major cities or wealthy suburbs of major cities. These places tend to have high median incomes and high rates of college attainment. The upper-crustiest place was the Upper East Side. People who grew up there scored a median 12.5 out of 100 on the working-class empathy quiz. Zipcodes in New York, Washington, D.C., and the Bay Area were particularly well-represented on the list…” (File photo: NASA ISS).
Watch This Video of a Dog Flying a Plane. Does this guy know that the FAA has access to the internet? Now I’ve officially seen everything – here’s a clip from one of my favorite sites: Atlas Obscura: “You might be thinking at this very moment that you’ve reached a certain age and that you’ve, you know, seen things. Maybe you’re also thinking, perhaps a bit smugly, that you’ve seen everything. The above video is here to prove you wrong. Have you, for example, ever seen a dog fly a small plane in the shape of a figure eight? I’m going to gently propose that you probably haven’t...”
TODAY: Partly sunny, balmy. Winds: S 8-13. High: 67
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Clear to partly cloudy. Low: 50
THURSDAY: Blue sky, feels like May. Winds: S 10-20. High: 71
FRIDAY: Gusty with fading sun, punching out early. Winds: S 15-25. Wake-up: 53. High: 72
SATURDAY: Lukewarm sun, the nicer day of the weekend. Winds: S 10-20. Wake-up: 56. High: 72
SUNDAY: Peeks of sun, stray T-shower? Winds: SE 8-13. Wake-up: 55. High: 71
MONDAY: Better chance of showers, T-storms. Winds: E 10-20. Wake-up: 57. High: 68
TUESDAY: Periods of rain, a bit cooler. Winds: E 10-15. Wake-up: 50. High: 59
This Is What Climate Change Means for You. Here’s an excerpt from Popular Science: “…As climate changes, pests carrying diseases are likely to be on the move, expanding their territory or migrating to more favorable conditions. Lyme disease is already spreading far beyond New England as temperatures in the Midwest become more welcoming for ticks. Pollen and allergens are also likely to increase dramatically if air pollution isn’t curbed, and warmer temperatures lead to longer growing seasons for flowering plants like ragweed. With warmer winters, we’re all sneezing through longer pollen seasons, and researchers think that hospitalizations due to allergies and asthma could increase by 2030...”
File image of noctilucent clouds: NASA.
NASA: Global Warming Is Now Changing How Earth Wobbles. Nothing to worry about here folks – please move along! Here’s an excerpt from AP and Sci-Tech Today: “Global warming is shifting the way the Earth wobbles on its polar axis, a new NASA study finds. Melting ice sheets — especially in Greenland — are changing the distribution of weight on Earth. And that has caused both the North Pole and the wobble, which is called polar motion, to change course, according to a study published Friday in the journal Science Advances. Scientists and navigators have been accurately measuring the true pole and polar motion since 1899 and for almost the entire 20th century they migrated a bit toward Canada. But that has changed with this century and now it’s moving toward England, said study lead author Surendra Adhikari at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab...”
Wildfires, Once Confined to a Season, Burn Earlier and Longer. Here’s a snippet from The New York Times: “…Fires, once largely confined to a single season, have become a constant threat in some places, burning earlier and later in the year, in the United States and abroad. They have ignited in the West during the winter and well into the fall, have arrived earlier than ever in Canada and have burned without interruption in Australia for almost 12 months. A leading culprit is climate change. Drier winters mean less moisture on the land, and warmer springs are pulling the moisture into the air more quickly, turning shrub, brush and grass into kindling. Decades of aggressive policies that called for fires to be put out as quickly as they started have also aggravated the problem. Today’s forests are not just parched; they are overgrown…”
Photo credit above: “ Credit Heber-Overgaard Fire District
21 American Kids are Suing the Government For Not Doing Enough about Global Warming. When the lawyers get involved watch out – just ask tobacco industry executives. Andrew Freedman explains at Mashable; here’s his intro: “A precedent-setting global warming lawsuit will advance to a District Court judge in Oregon, thanks to 21 young Americans, ages 8 to 19. The unconventional group of plaintiffs want to hold the federal government accountable for failing to act swiftly and effectively to curb the emissions of greenhouse gases causing human-caused global warming. Magistrate Judge Thomas Coffin found that the plaintiff’s case is “unprecedented” but that it has merit and should proceed, rather than being tossed out of court like many other climate-related lawsuits have been…”
Photo credit above: “Students from Edison Elementary School joining climate change activists in front of the Wayne Morse Federal Courthouse in Eugene, Oregon on March 9, 2016.” Image: Brian Davies/The Register-Guard via AP.