Conservation Minnesota

"June-tember 30th" (how 2012 resembled a 2090 time machine)

82 F. high in the Twin Cities Saturday, 7 degrees shy of the all-time record of 89 F. set in 1897.
80 F. high predicted again today for KMSP. The last 80-degree high of 2012? Probably.
66 F. average high for September 29.
66 F. high on September 29, 2011.

Frost/freeze possible over the Twin Cities suburbs next Saturday morning.
Snow flurries possible over northern Minnesota a week from today. Enjoy the warmth.

“A Dry Heat”.  My friends in Scottsdale, Arizona love to remind me that “Paul, it’s a dry heat!” So is my oven, but I still wouldn’t stick my head inside. Walt Kruhoeffer snapped this pic of Lake Calhoun Saturday as the mercury was topping 80. Is it me or does everything look extra-dry out there?

Drought – And Peak Color From Space. NASA’s high-resolution MODIS satellite image from Saturday shows tinges of orange and red from low orbit. From 200 miles up you can see how dry much of Minnesota is right now.

Unseasonable Warmth Sweeps Across Canada. From Calgary to Winnipeg, Canadians are rubbing their eyes, wondering what month it is. The map above shows temperatures as of 9 pm Saturday evening. Colder air will push southward by midweek, setting the stage for a little wind chill, even flurries up north within a week. Yep…flurries. Map above: Ham Weather.

Flurry Potential By Next Sunday?. With 850 mb temperatures (about 4,000 feet above the ground) forecast to be in the 23-28 F range a week from today I wouldn’t be surprised to see flurries, even a few heavier snow showers over central and northern Minnesota. With surface temperatures falling thru the 30s up north I wouldn’t even be surprised to see a little slush north of Brainerd Sunday night. Lovely. Map above: WSI Corporation.

Looks Like October. The GFS 500 mb (18,000 foot) forecast valid next Sunday at 1 pm shows a cold, deep trough of low pressure centered over Hudson Bay, reinforcing “spokes” of energy rotating around this cold whirlpool of Canadian air. By next Sunday temperatures aloft may be marginally cold enough for a few wet flakes to reach the ground up north. Map above courtesy of Larry Cosgrove’s WeatherAmerica Newsletter.

In Case You Were Wondering….

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN
1045 AM CDT SAT SEP 29 2012

...FROST AND FREEZE HEADLINES HAVE CEASED FOR THE FALL SEASON...

IN COORDINATION WITH SURROUNDING OFFICES AND LOCAL AGRICULTURAL
SPECIALISTS...IT HAS BEEN DETERMINED THE GROWING SEASON HAS ENDED
ACROSS MUCH OF THE AREA DUE TO EARLIER FROSTS AND FREEZES.
THUS...FROST ADVISORIES AND FREEZE WARNINGS WILL NO LONGER BE ISSUED
UNTIL THE GROWING SEASON BEGINS AGAIN IN SPRING 2013.

Frost/Freeze possible Saturday morning, even for the close-in suburbs.

October 4. Mean date of the first 32-degree temperature in the Twin Cities. Source: MN Climate Office.

The Amazing, Shrinking White Bear Lake. What happened to White Bear Lake? The photos are a stark reminder of what’s happening statewide: lake water levels are down 2-5 feet, but the problem is much worse on White Bear: “White Bear Lake is plummeting to a record low water level due to the current drought and large amount of groundwater pumping. Some lakeshore property owners have had to constantly expand their docks to reach water’s edge.” (MARLIN LEVISON/STARTRIBUNE).

Rainfall Necessary To End The Drought. Based on NOAA’s Palmer Index, the values above are the rainfall amounts necessary to end the drought. Those amounts range from 5-6″ in the Twin Cities metro to 8-11″ over southern counties, to as much as 11-13″ over the Red River Valley. A couple of storms won’t do the trick – it may take many months to dig ourselves out of this dry, dusty hole. Map: NOAA, USDA and Ham Weather.

Good News For Dock Companies. Good grief – look at the collection of extendable docks on White Bear Lake. Details: “White Bear Lake is plummeting to a record low water level due to the current drought and large amount of groundwater pumping. Docks along the shoreline need to be constantly extended.” (MARLIN LEVISON/STARTRIBUNE).

Groundwater Blamed In White Bear Lake Drop. The Freshwater Society has a comprehensive article focused on some of the possible triggers of water loss in White Bear Lake; here’s an excerpt: “The research, funded by the USGS, the state and a number of local governmental units, reinforced some old theories and produced some new evidence about the causes of the lake’s decline. The findings so far:

  • White Bear drains a very small watershed and has always had big decreases in area and volume during extended dry periods when rainfall and melting snow do not keep up with evaporation.
  • Chemical testing of water from wells around the lakes confirms that lake water is flowing out the bottom of the lake into groundwater aquifers that feed those wells.
  • Pumping from high-capacity wells in suburban communities that mostly draw their water from those aquifers more than doubled over the last 30 years.

Statistical modeling suggests that the increased pumping is the biggest cause, by far, of the lake’s decline, according to Perry Jones, the USGS hydrologist who led the research. Other modeling predicts the lake will drop further if there is no significant and sustained increase in precipitation.”

331 months. Setpember is the 331st month in a row where the global temperature exceeded the 20th century average. Source: NASA GISS.

“…In total over 35 percent of Minnesota’s landscape was designated to be in severe or extreme drought, the largest fraction of the state since the fall of 2006. The only Minnesota county not designated to be drier than normal is Cook in the far northeast.” - from Dr. Mark Seeley’s WeatherTalk blog; details and links below.

Noted sea ice geophysicist and climatologist Professor John Yackel from the University of Calgary has delivered a bombshell: He recently declared after the latest Arctic ice melt that, “This is the smallest minimum ice extent we’ve ever had, and not just in the satellite record, but probably in the last million years.” – excerpt from a San Francisco examiner.com article; details and links below. Photo above: NOAA.

“…Up to 80 per cent of the global warming of the planet has been to warm the world’s oceans. The Southern Ocean is warming much more rapidly than other oceans. Warm ocean currents undermine ice shelves and can speed up glaciers and ice streams, having a far reaching effect at thinning glacier catchments of the est Antarctic and East Antarctic Ice sheets far inland.” – from a post at Indybay.com; details and links below.

One Of The Driest Septembers On Record. Actually, it’s the second driest September in modern-day records dating back to 1891, the driest since 1882 for MSP. Here’s an excerpt of this week’s WeatherTalk blog post from Dr. Mark Seeley: “…The real story for September was the dryness due to absence of rainfall. Many observers reported measurable rainfall amounts on only 2-3 days, resulting in one of the driest Septembers in history on a statewide basis. The driest September was 1952 when the statewide average rainfall was just 0.57 inches. This year’s statewide value will be close to that one. Many observers clearly reported their driest September in history, including Windom (0.30″), Moorhead (0.19″), Willmar (0.14″), Collegeville (0.08″), and Morris (0.03″). For Morris and Collegeville it was one of their driest months in history as well.….As of the end of September the U.S. Drought Monitor placed all or parts of 45 Minnesota counties in severe to extreme drought, most notably in southwestern, south-central and northwestern Minnesota.

Photo credit above: “White Bear Lake is plummeting to a record low water level due to the current drought and large amount of groundwater pumping. Some lakeshore property owners have had to constantly expand their docks to reach water’s edge.” (MARLIN LEVISON/STARTRIBUNE).

More Sinkhole Than Waterfall. That’s a photo of Minnehaha “Falls” taken by WeatherNation TV meteorologist Addison Green on Thursday. Not even a trickle of water. Not good.

Minnesota’s Drought Deepens. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows 98.08% of the Gopher State is now “abnormally dry”, 77.45% of Minnesota in moderate drought – severe drought now pushing across central Minnesota into the northern suburbs of the Twin Cities. Extreme drought is expanding across far southern Minnesota and much of the Red River Valley. We started the year in serious drought – we will end 2012 in serious drought.

A Slow Motion Weather Disaster. No such thing as a Drought Warning – local meteorologists aren’t interrupting Dancing With The Stars for drought updates, but what’s happening over the central USA is nothing short of a disaster for many farmers. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor nearly 69% of the USA is “abnormally dry”. The area covered by moderate drought has increased from 42% in late June to 54%; extreme drought has expanded from 7% of the USA to nearly 18% of America as of September 25. Some relief is expected over the Southern Plains and Lower Misssissippi River Valley, but little sustained relief is anticipated from the Upper Midwest westward to the Rockies.

Evolution Of An Historic Drought. The time-lapse above shows 12 weeks worth of evolving drought conditions. The soggy remains of Hurricane Isaac provided some partial relief for the Mississippi and Ohio River Valleys in late August and early September. The driest conditions have been shifting westward in recent weeks; right now the worst conditions (extreme to exceptional drought) found over the Plains states. Map: NOAA and USDA.

Southern Soaker. NOAA HPC’s 5-Day rainfall outlook (QPF) shows a 5-6″ bullseye over the Lower Mississippi Valley, some 2-3″ amounts for south Florida, plenty of rain east of the Mississippi River. But the west remains dry through next week.

Expanding Drought – Exhibit A. There was a lake here the last time I checked. This photo sums up the problem, which has reached alarming levels at White Bear Lake: “White Bear Lake is plummeting to a record low water level due to the current drought and large amount of groundwater pumping. Stairways that formerly led to water’s edge now end at a grassy beach.” (MARLIN LEVISON/STARTRIBUNE).

Role Reversal. Last summer much of Texas was enduring an historic drought – the worst on record. It’s still dry over much of Texas, but yesterday Abilene experienced torrential rain and flash flooding. This photo courtesy of @emiliacakes.

16 months in a row of warmer than average temperatures in the Twin Cities metro. Temperatures have been consistently warmer than average since June, 2011.

“…The fact that outdoorsmen — 50 percent of whom identify as conservative — are firmly aware of the changes on our natural resources from global warming makes sense.  As Theodore Roosevelt IV put it:

“The nation’s fishermen and hunters are in the frontline of our field naturalists. Doing what they love best they see firsthand the impact of climate change on natural systems and our wildlife.  Their conclusions are based on observations made over years spent in the out of doors.” – from a post at Think Progress below.

“…For conservatives,” he says, “it’s seen as an attack on our lifestyle. You can’t live in the suburbs. You gotta give up that big car.” He knows people don’t like to be told what to do. But Inglis remembers his dad teaching him to save gas by letting up on the pedal and coasting. He says a party that once valued thrift now touts a philosophy of “burn it up.” “It’s not conservative to waste stuff,” Inglis says, “and to cause somebody else’s kids to go on the sands of the Middle East to fight for that stuff that we’re wasting.” At stake, he says, is the most basic of conservative principles: whether we leave our children a place that’s pleasant and livable.” – from a post describing a conservative approach to climate science at North Country Public Radio; details and links below.

4 More Days Of Warmth – Then Reality. After flirting with 80 again today temperatures fall (very slightly), but highs surge into the 70s Monday thru Wednesday, before tumbling Thursday and Friday. A few models are still hinting at a metro-wide frost or freeze by Saturday morning. Graph: Iowa State.

Moisture Imbalance. A slow-moving storm (the same one that produced flooding over Texas) will push soaking rains across the Gulf Coast and Mid South into Monday. Meanwhile a cold upper level low pressure swirl will spark clouds and mainly late-day instability showers over New England, while unseasonable warmth pushes across the Northern Plains and Midwest. Cold air pushes south out of Canada the latter half of the week.

No Significant Rain In Sight. The ECMWF (European) model keeps us fairly dry, prevailing west/northwest winds aloft preventing any substantial moisture from bubbling northward out of the Gulf of Mexico. Warm weather spills over into midweek, but jackets stage a comeback from Thursday into Monday of next week. Mercifully the predicted highs above (in red) are in Celsius. No worries…

 
 
USA Could See Record Quiet Year For Tornadoes. One silver lining to record heat and drought? No clouds, no wind shear, no boundaries to spin up tornadic “supercells”. Here’s a clip from a story at USA Today and firstcoastnews.com: “Following on the heels of a deadly 2011, when almost 1,700 tornadoes killed 553 Americans, 2012 has been a remarkably quiet year for tornadoes across the USA. “We may set an all-time record low for the year,” says meteorologist Harold Brooks of the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Okla. So far this year, about 750 tornadoes have been reported in the USA. At this time last year, about 1,500 had formed. An average year, to date, has about 1,200 tornadoes, says Greg Carbin, warning coordination meteorologist at the Storm Prediction Center in Norman.” Graphic: Greg Carbin, NOAA Storm Prediction Center.
 
 
Hurricane Isaac Damaged 59,000 Homes In Louisiana, Officials Estimate. Keep in mind Isaac was a Category 1 storm, but it stalled, prolonging storm surge waves and torrential rains. Here’s an excerpt from The Times-Picayne at nola.com: “Hurricane Isaac damaged nearly 59,000 homes as the slow-moving storm crawled across southeast Louisiana, according to the latest damage estimates released Friday. The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness said the most severe damage hit houses and rental units in St. John the Baptist and Plaquemines parishes, where flooding swamped some homes with several feet of water. The latest estimates — 46,663 owner-occupied houses and 12,289 rental units damaged by the storm — were more than four times the preliminary figures released a week after Isaac made landfall Aug. 28.”

Typhoon Jelawat Soaks Japan. Typhoon (same thing as a hurricane) Jelawat is forecast to weaken to tropical storm status today, but winds near Tokyo may still gust as high as 50-70 mph with torrential rains capable of significant flooding. Forecast map courtesy of the U.S. Navy.

Soaking Rains For Tokyo. Last night’s radar image from JMA, the Japan Meteorological Agency, showed heavy rains from a rapidly weakening Typhoon Jelawat approaching Tokyo, where winds may top 50-60 mph today. Expect flight delays and cancellations with severe flooding across much of Japan.

Putting The Eyes Of The Crowd Into The Eye Of Hurricanes. Crowd-sourcing hurricane wind information? Why not. Here’s an excerpt of another fascinating article from Climate Central: “Ordinarily, it takes an advanced degree and years of training to become a bona fide hurricane expert. But thanks to an innovative new project, ordinary citizens can make a real contribution to hurricane science armed with little more than an internet connection, a sharp eye and a bit of enthusiasm. The project is known as Cyclone Center, and it’s designed to crowdsource one of the most important questions facing scientists: how strong are the winds in the average hurricane or typhoon?

Storm Reports. September and October can bring a secondary spike of severe weather, as chilly Canadian air advances south. A persistent frontal boundary produced hail, straight-line winds, even a few tornadoes from Colorado and Texas into the Ohio Valley. The map above shows a week’s worth of severe storm reports; hail in blue, flash flooding in green, tornado reports show up as red dots. That’s one small consolation of a drought: no Gulf moisture capable of sustaining severe T-storms. Map: NOAA SPC and Ham Weather.

Ring Around The Doppler. What could produce such an artifact? If you guessed “melting snow” you would be correct. You win nothing, except the satisfaction of realizing that you’re an above-average weather geek (um…enthusiast). Details from the Lubbock, Texas National Weather Service: “A curious RADAR display this morning – perhaps you can guess what caused it. We call it a “bright band” and it typically shows up during cool season stratiform rain. A hint: the altitude of the band varies depending on how warm or cool the airmass is that the rain falls through. This mornings bright band is around 8500 to 9000 feet above the ground over the Texas South Plains – typical of an early fall tropical airmass. We are looking at an approximate 9.9 degree elevation cut, as opposed to the familiar 0.5 degree slice we normally look at. Could it be either birds/insects flying off? How about an earthquake? Well, if you guessed instead melting snow – then you are correct. As snowflakes melt they add a layer of water onto the snow flakes and become highly reflective within the melting layer (also very close to the freezing level), thus causing a concentric ring around the RADAR dome location.

“Ask Paul”. Weather-related Q&A:

Paul,
I’ve been trying to go up in a hot air balloon and it’s always too windy and called off. What’s the wind forecast for Sunday the 30th around 9 am? Thanks.

David Nelson

* file photo above taken in early March, 2011. That was the winter MSP picked up 86″ of snow.

David – I may not have caught you in time for a Sunday balloon ride (sounds like an inspired idea!) Here are two links that may be able to help with future wind forecast needs. The hour by hour forecast for MSP (above) is from the local NWS office in Chanhassen and goes out 48 hours into the future (be sure to refresh your browser to get the latest, greatest data). The GFS outlook (below) goes out 180 hours, with 10 meter wind forecasts every 6 hours.

Waterspout! The National Weather Service in Key West has details, via Facebook: “Waterspout report just in. Waterspout located at 120 yards South of Smathers Beach.

Autumnal Sunset. Thanks to Matt Crilley, who snapped this photo of the setting sun illuminating a mid-level altocumulus cloud deck over Waynesboro, Pennsylvania. Photo courtesy of WeatherNation TV.

Great Smoky Mountain Sunrise. I’m impressed with the quality of photography we’re receiving on a consistent basis. This pic is courtesy of Chris Higgins Photography and WeatherNation TV: “Sunrise from Cades Cove in The Great Smoky Mountain National Park this morning, before the rain moved in.

“Sunflower Shelf Cloud”. This (stunning) photo of an advancing severe thunderstorm, lit up from below by cloud to ground lightning, was taken by Scott Ackerman Photography, courtesy of WeatherNation TV. The smooth, laminar cloud formation was triggered by a temperature inversion, temperatures warming with altitude. Amazing.

A Sunrise To Remember. Here’s a panorama of The Apostle Islands and Lake Superior, taken by Migizi Gichigumi on Friday.

One Big Step For Tesla, One Giant Leap For E.V.’s. I’m a car nut, and I have to admit that I love this car. It’s the Tesla Model S, made in America, all electric, all the time. Will electric-powered vehicles catch on over time? Here’s an excerpt of a fairly glowing review from The New York Times: “AUTOMAKERS have a favored buzzword for promoting important new models: game-changer. Excuse me, but the game is not so easily changed. Put simply, the automobile has not undergone a fundamental change in design or use since Henry Ford rolled out the Model T more than a century ago. At least that’s what I thought until I spent a week with the Tesla Model S. The 2012 Model S, a versatile sedan that succeeds the company’s two-seat Roadster, is simultaneously stylish, efficient, roomy, crazy fast, high-tech and all electric. It defies the notion that electric cars are range-limited conveyances.” Photo credit: Wikipedia (which has more details on this EV).

Twitter is ‘gonna be HUGE!

Words of Wisdom. Thanks to someecards.com and my sister, Joan, who is German, so she can almost get away with sharing this. “Ich liebe dich!” How romantic.

Sweaty September. Were you in a stupor yesterday? A little autumn euphoria – a real Indian Summer for much of Minnesota that has already experienced a frost/freeze (a week ago to the day). Under a crystal-clear sky highs surged nearly 20 degrees above average, ranging from 76 at International Falls to 82 in the Twin Cities, 83 Alexandria and a toasty 84 at St. Cloud and Redwood Falls. Good timing.

 
 

Paul’s Conservation Minnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:

SUNDAY: Warm sun, stunningly nice. Feels like late August. Winds: SE 5-10. High: near 80

SUNDAY NIGHT: Clear evening, clouds increase late. Low: 55

MONDAY: Alberta Clipper. Windy, cooler, isolated shower possible (better chance over Wisconsin). High: 71 (60s most of the day in the metro area).

TUESDAY: Sunny, breezy & lukewarm again. Low: 53. High: 75

WEDNESDAY: Temperatures peak, still balmy! Low: 53. High: 77

THURSDAY: Windy, chilly. A period of rain far south? Low: 48. High: 54

FRIDAY: Mostly cloudy windy and brisk; jacket weather. Low: 37. High: 51

SATURDAYEarly frost/freeze. Brisk sun. Low: 31. High: 53

* photo above from Peg Linge, who snapped this blog-worthy photo of a memorable sunrise from her yard in Prescott, Wisconsin Saturday morning.

Time Machine
A 6 month boating season…in Minnesota? It’s been quite a year. Thursday evening I participated in a town hall presentation on climate change at Champlin Park High School. University of St. Thomas climate scientist John Abraham spoke, along with Lee Frelich, Director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Forest Ecology.
I’m not easily shocked anymore, but Dr. Frelich showed a slide that left me a little wobbly: a photo of magnolia trees in full bloom on the St. Paul Campus. On March 27, 2012. “Early spring of 2012 was similar to projected temperatures for a “business as usual” climate change scenario for the year 2090″ he explained to a rapt audience of concerned citizens.
Alarmist? Warmist?
Yep.
Bottom line: the changes we’re seeing are happening much faster than those (alarmist!) climate scientists predicted 20-30 years ago.
I’m confident we’ll figure out solutions, but getting past denial is step 1.
Welcome to The Big Slide: near 80 again today under a flawless sky; a metro-wide freeze possible by next Saturday morning. Heavy rain spreads over Iowa and Wisconsin, but not here. Farmers are worried. So are residents of White Bear Lake. Evaporation and wells are taking a toll.
We need rain, but I don’t see any rapid reversals to our dry pattern looking out into mid-October.
Stay tuned.
* photo above courtesy of Jenna Williams and Dr. Lee Frelich, Director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Forest Ecology.

Climate Stories…

Climate Change Is Already Damaging World Economy. The story from The Guardian and Climate Central; here’s an excerpt: “Climate change is already contributing to the deaths of nearly 400,000 people a year and costing the world more than $1.2 trillion, wiping 1.6 percent annually from global GDP, according to a new study. The impacts are being felt most keenly in developing countries, according to the research, where damage to agricultural production from extreme weather linked to climate change is contributing to deaths from malnutrition, poverty, and their associated diseases. Air pollution caused by the use of fossil fuels is also separately contributing to the deaths of at least 4.5 million people a year, the report found.”

Photo credit above: “Impacts of climate change are mostly keenly felt in developing countries where damage to agricultural production from extreme weather is contributing to deaths from malnutrition, poverty and their associated diseases.” Credit: NEWSCOM.


When Will Candidates Address Climate Change? Here’s an excerpt of an Op-Ed at delawareonline.com: “…A study published last year by scientists at Stanford and MIT reported that chemically removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere would cost about $1,000 a ton. That means it would cost $600 trillion to remove 600 billion tons, and we’re increasing our “environmental debt” by more than $30 trillion a year! Those numbers can be compared to the 2011 world GDP of about $70 trillion.As Hansen said: “The era of doubts, delays and denial, of ineffectual half-measures, must end.…” Photo credit above: politico.com.

Species Loss Creates More Climate Change Sensitivity. Here’s the intro to an interesting story at Sci-Tech Today: “Climate change can exacerbate the negative effects of losing sensitive species, researchers say. Biodiversity acts as an insurance policy as it increases the likelihood at least some species will be sufficiently resilient to sustain important functions such as water purification and crop pollination in a changing environment. Species loss and reduced biodiversity make nature more sensitive to climate change, Swedish researchers say. This is especially true for species that sustain important functions such as water purification and crop pollination in a changing environment, they said.

Southern Ocean Warming Impact On Antarctic Ice Sheet And Global Sea Level Rise. Indybay.com has an interesting article about warming oceans and possible impacts on Antarctic ice; here’s an excerpt: “Climate change is causing the southern ocean to warm and freshen which will melt ice shelves and glacier tongues affecting glacier discharge and producing Antarctic Ice Sheet mass loss and global sea level rise. A new study shows that small temperature changes of the Southern Ocean can contribute to far-reaching changes on the Antarctic ice sheet that could lead to substantial future sea-level rise.”

Politicians And Their Professors: The Discrepancy Between Climate Science And Climate Policy. This should be required reading for every politician, local, state and national, but why do I think that won’t happen anytime soon? Here is an overview of the (pdf) overview from The Better Future Project at Cambridge, Mass: “This report seeks to highlight the discrepancy between the overwhelming consensus on climate change that exists among the nation’s scientific community and the lack of action by federal leaders. Past studies have shown that 97-98% of climate scientists who publish in peer-reviewed journals agree with the consensus that climate change is real, happening now, and man-made. Since many politicians seem to disregard the views of such scientific “elites” as a whole, we decided to compare politicians’ views on climate change to those of the climate experts at their alma maters. These politicians clearly valued the expertise of the academics at their schools enough that they chose to (usually) spend tens of thousands of dollars and up to four years of their lives absorbing knowledge from these institutions’ experts. We thought that even if these politicians choose to disregard the consensus of national experts, they might be persuaded by the consensus of the higher education institutions in which they trusted enough to invest great amounts of their time and money.”

Extreme Weather: Arctic Ice At Lowest Point In A Million Years. It will be interesting to see if this statistic holds up – here’s an excerpt from the San Francisco Examiner: “…According to Frank J. Dinan, an emeritus professor of chemistry at Canisius College, “The GWP of methane gas combined with the rapid warming of the Arctic will give rise to a potentially disastrous positive feedback loop. As the Arctic’s permafrost regions warm, methane gas is released. Methane’s high GWP assures that the Earth will warm even more rapidly as the gas enters our atmosphere. This increased warming will result in methane being released even more rapidly, thereby establishing a snowballing feedback cycle leading to increasingly rapid climate change.” Research documents show that 48 million tons of methane are entering our atmosphere from eastern Siberian permafrost alone each year. That amount is sure to grow.” Photo above: NOAA.

New Guide For Scientists: Responding To Criticism And Personal Attacks. Yes, nasty out there – it seems the same climate-denial-trolls keep showing up, parroting the same talking points. The Union of Concerned Scientists has a post on responding to these tactics; here’s an excerpt: “Scientists find themselves under scrutiny now more than ever before, and that scrutiny intensifies when their research is at the center of a public policy debate. Sometimes, this scrutiny helps educate the public and clarify what we know; at other times, this scrutiny is designed to confuse the public and policymakers. Today, UCS is releasing a guide that helps scientists deal with harassment and other unwarranted attacks on their integrity and their work. Many people think of climate scientists when they think of harassment—and they’re not wrong. Climate scientists have faced subpoenas, intrusive open records requests, threatening phone calls, even dead rats on their doorsteps.”

Global Warming Is Solved: Just Make Snow Out Of Sewage. Here’s a snippet from an article at Gawker.com: “Yes, sure, global warming is leading us inexorably down the path to all-out global war due to massive human displacement and destruction of resources. But let’s focus on the real problem: what about ski resorts? What if people were forced to go skiing later in the season? Absolutely unacceptable. Fortunately, America is ready to tackle this problem head-on. Problem: warmer weather means less good snow for rich people to go skiing. Solution, at the Arizona Snowbowl ski resort: “use 100 percent sewage effluent to make artificial snow.” Now all of the rich people will be able to ski on sewage! Sewage full of “hormones, antibiotics, antidepressants, pharmaceuticals and steroids.” But on the upside: skiing in November, in Arizona. The NYT quotes an official from the US Forest Service offering this bulletproof rationale: “Snow-making has become necessary because of climate change.”

Poll: 69% of Hunters and Anglers Say We Should Reduce Carbon Emissions That Contribute To Global Warming. I run into many fishing and hunting enthusiasts who tell me that they’ve seen significant changes in Minnesota’s lakes and fields. Here’s an excerpt of a post at Think Progress: “The National Wildlife Federation has issued a new poll outlining the priorities and opinions of America’s sportsmen (and women).  Conducted by a Republican polling firm, the poll asked hunters and anglers who vote questions about conservation, public lands, energy, and climate change. One of the most important findings is that 59% of sportsmen agree that “global warming is occurring,” while 69 percent say that we should reduce carbon emissions that are contributing to the problem. The fact that outdoorsmen — 50 percent of whom identify as conservative — are firmly aware of the changes on our natural resources from global warming makes sense.”

Climate Change Kills 400,000 A Year, New Report Reveals. The Daily Beast has the story; here’s an excerpt: “Nearly 1,000 children a day are now dying because of climate change, according to a path-breaking study published Wednesday (PDF), and the annual death toll stands at 400,000 people worldwide. Climate change also is costing the world economy $1.2 trillion a year, the equivalent of 1.6 percent of economic output, reports the Climate Vulnerability Monitor, a study commissioned by 20 of the world’s governments whose nations are most threatened by climate change and released on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York.” Photo above: NASA.


New Groups Make  A Conservative Argument On Climate Change. I think Bob Inglis, former Congressional Representative from South Carolina, is onto something. An interview he gave to NPR’s All Things Considered resonated; here’s an excerpt from North Country Public Radio: “…These days, Inglis heads the Energy and Enterprise Initiative at George Mason University, making a free market case for tackling global warming. “We think free enterprise has the answer to energy and climate,” Inglis said at a recent meeting of students with the Wharton Energy Club at the University of Pennsylvania. “There’s an incredible opportunity in energy, if we just get the economics right.” Inglis proposes eliminating government incentives: no more tax breaks for solar panels or electric cars; no more subsidies for oil companies. Then, he says he would impose a carbon tax on fossil fuels. We already pay more, he says, just in hidden ways, like detrimental health impacts from coal-fired power plants or higher insurance costs from extreme weather linked to greenhouse gases. This “market distortion,” he says, leaves fossil fuel companies unaccountable.”

Photo credit above: “Former South Carolina Republican Rep. Bob Inglis now runs the Energy and Enterprise Initiative.” (Energy and Enterprise Initiative)

Young Conservatives for Energy Reform. I almost fell off my chair when I clicked on this site. It would appear there are a growing number of conservatives who see climate change as a threat, and an opportunity to reinvent America.

Environmentalists Get Vocal On Obama, Romney Silence On Climate Change. The Hill has the story; here’s a clip: “A handful of environmental groups are amplifying calls Thursday for President Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney to speak up on climate change after a summer of devastating drought, fires, storms and heat. Friends of the Earth and Forecast the Facts debuted a website Thursday called ClimateSilence.org that asks visitors to sign a petition asking Obama and Romney how they would address climate change if elected. The website, which features photos of Obama and Romney with their mouths duct taped, tracks the candidates’ climate change mentions on a timeline.”

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About Paul Douglas

Paul Douglas
Paul Douglas is a meteorologist, author, entrepreneur, and software expert in Minneapolis-St.Paul, Minnesota. He is a nationally recognized meteorologist with over 30 years of broadcast television and radio experience.
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