Conservation Minnesota

September-Like Start to Holiday Weekend – Teen Activism on Climate Change in St. Louis Park

77 F. high temperature in the Twin Cities Tuesday.
82 F. average high on June 28.
82 F. high on June 28, 2015.

June 29, 1969: Worthington picks up over 6 inches of rain in 24 hours.
June 29, 1930: Extreme heat develops in Minnesota. Canby got up to a sizzling 110 degrees.

September Breeze – Promising Holiday Outlook

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just soft people” said Bill Bowerman.

True, Bill wasn’t around on June 28, 1876: the latest ice breakup in history for Duluth on Lake Superior. He was a no-show in Canby, Minnesota back on June 29, 1930, when the air temperature reached 110F.

Only Siberia sees more wild swings in temperature and moisture than Minnesota and the Upper Midwest. Statistics that would make the local Chamber of Commerce proud.

I’m cautiously optimistic about the holiday weekend weather. After Thursday showers Friday looks sunny and comfortable as a fair-weather bubble of high pressure drifts over Minnesota. A return southeasterly wind on the backside of that retreating fair-weather-maker warms us up over the weekend. Models print out a few T-showers over the Red River Valley, but most towns (and lakes) stay dry Friday and Saturday, with crisp dew points typical of mid-September. Nights will be cool – take a sweatshirt. Low 80s return Sunday, maybe mid-80s for the 4th of July with a few atmospheric fireworks up north.

Not too shabby for summer’s biggest bash!


September Breeze Into Saturday – Then Warming Up. ECMWF guidance keeps metro highs in the mid 70s Thursday into Saturday with wake-up temperatures in the mid 50s the next few mornings; typical for mid-September. As winds swing around to the southeast temperatures mellow above 80F on Sunday; mid-80s predicted for the 4th of July with more noticeable humidity levels. Graphic: WeatherBell.


Few Showers Tonight into Thursday. The approach of a reinforcing cool front sparks a few showers and T-showers tonight into Thursday; a few heavy cells may sprout, but conditions aren’t ripe for significant severe weather. Future radar product: 4 km NAM courtesy of NOAA and AerisWeather.


The Science Behind This Crazy Heat Wave. The southwest continues to sizzle; here’s an excerpt from The Los Angeles Times: “…Things are definitely out of whack here,” said Bill Patzert, a climatologist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “This heat wave is not only unusual in its intensity, it is potentially deadly.” Angelenos know that a few days of punishing heat each year are part of the bargain of living in this usually temperate city. But we generally expect that heat to come in August and September, traditionally the two hottest months of the year in the Southland...” (Image credit: Climate Reanalyzer).



West  Virginia Flood Was “One In A Thousand Year Event”, According to NOAA. Greenbrier County saw 10″ of rain, 7″ of that fell over a 3-hour span. Tropical monsoon rains. Jason Samenow has more details at Capital Weather Gang: “The torrential rain that inundated parts of southern and central West Virginia on Thursday was truly an exceptional meteorological event that has had devastating consequences. In Greenbrier County, W.Va., where some of the worst flooding occurred, the National Weather Service described the responsible rainfall as “historic” and “extremely rare.” “Return period data suggest this would be nearly a one in a thousand year event,” it said…”


Tech Savvy: Crowd-Sourcing Weather Reports. The Brainerd Dispatch has an interesting article; here’s an excerpt: “…An app, launched in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Oklahoma, aims to help forecasters by involving citizen weather reporters across the nation and now the globe. A database is being created containing information from users. People can use their smartphones to report hail, rain, snow, ice. It’s all part of the Meteorological Phenomena Identification Near the Ground app or mPING. It’s a resource that came up during the annual weather spotter training this spring in Brainerd presented by National Weather Service meteorologists from Duluth…”

* more details on the mPing project here.


Why Thunder and Fireworks Make Dogs Anxious. My dog, Leo, is not a fan of thunder (or fireworks) so I found this article at The New York Times: “…By some estimates, at least 40 percent of dogs experience noise anxiety, which is most pronounced in the summer. Animal shelters report that their busiest day for taking in runaway dogs is July 5. Veterinarians tell of dogs who took refuge in hiding places so tight that they got stuck, who gnawed on door handles, who crashed through windows or raced into traffic — all desperate efforts to escape inexplicable collisions of noise and flashing light. Ernie, a wired-hair pointer, was so terrified by thunderstorms that he would vault fences at his Maryland farm and run in a straight line for miles…”



Thunderstorm Phobia in Dogs. Psychology Today has more perspective: “...I do not believe that static shocks account for all the terrors of storm phobic dogs, but they do contribute. The sound of thunder is disturbing enough to some dogs on its own. Pure noise phobias do exist. Interestingly, noise phobias do not track precisely with storm phobia, though there is considerable overlap. Some dogs terrified of thunderstorms can tolerate the booming sounds of fireworks. For others, the sound of fireworks is their nemesis but they remain indifferent to thunder. Treatment of thunderstorm phobia in dogs entails training them to go to a safe place where they will be spared the full brunt of the sight and sounds of storms...”

Heat Waves Make for Less Friendly Skies. More heat = less lift, which has implications for your next flight. Here’s an excerpt of an interview at Science Friday: “Last week, a United Airlines flight to Phoenix was forced to turn back to Houston just before landing. The culprit? Extreme heat, which affects an airplane’s lift during takeoff and landing due to reduced air pressure. Other factors, such as the amount of oxygen available to engines, the altitude of the airport, and runway length also play a role, says Marilyn Smith, an aviation expert at Georgia Tech. And as global temperatures rise, some experts say climate change could hit the aviation industry, flooding runways, increasing turbulence, and changing trans-Atlantic flight times…”


A Stormy History of Weather Reporting. Mental Floss and Neatorama have an information-packed look back at the history of weather forecasting and presenting; here’s a clip: “…By the mid-1800s, thanks to the telegraph, the first government meteorology chiefs could share weather information at lightning speed, helping citizens and ship captains prepare for disasters. In Victorian England, the idea of “forecasting” was controversial. Some considered it akin to voodoo. But Americans had no such qualms: By 1860, 500 weather stations were telegraphing weather reports to Washington. When that network crumbled during the Civil War, a frustrated astronomer named Cleveland Abbe established a private system of daily weather bulletins. Culling reports from volunteers across the country, Abbe and a team of telegraph clerks transferred the data onto maps. They added special symbols, showing wind direction, areas of high and low pressure, and marking “R” for rain. With the publication of their first bulletin on September 1, 1869, the daily weather report was born...”


Air Pollution Seen Costing Trillions To Save Millions, IEA Says. Bloomberg has the story; here’s a clip: “…Poor air quality is affecting the entire planet, with 80 percent of cities that monitor levels failing to meet standards set by the World Health Organization. Public pressure is mounting in countries such as China, prompting ambitious renewable energy agendas. The developed West also has its fair share of smog, with London surpassing the EU’s annual limits on air pollution just eight days into 2016. The energy industry is the single largest man-made contributor to poor air quality, the IEA report said. Most of it comes from unregulated and inefficient fuels. The agency sees air pollution as the fourth-largest threat to human health, after high blood pressure, poor diet and smoking…”


Study Links 6.5 Million Deaths Each Year to Air Pollution. The New York Times reports: “A sobering report released on Monday by the International Energy Agency says air pollution has become a major public health crisis leading to around 6.5 million deaths each year, with “many of its root causes and cures” found in the energy industry. The air pollution study is the first for the agency, an energy security group based in Paris, which is expanding its mission under its executive director, Fatih Birol...”


We Are At Risk of Loving Our National Parks To Death. Here’s an excerpt of an Op-Ed from The Seattle Times Editorial Board: “…The parks have inspired a century of poetry and prose — including writer Wallace Stegner’s succinct comment that national parks are “the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst.” Amid record attendance, the parks system is, conversely, also at peril for being taken for granted. The challenge of underfunding threatens the parks’ present while climate change threatens the parks’ future. Both demand attention and collaborative action at the local and federal level to ensure the wilderness gifts are multigenerational…”

Photo credit: “Lenticular or cap clouds form around Mount Rainier in February 2015.” (Alan Berner/The Seattle Times).


Tesla’s Quiet Talks With This Company Could Help Redefine The Gas Station As We Know It. Here’s more information from The Washington Post: “…Tesla declined to comment on the negotiations with Sheetz, but acknowledged in a statement that it is actively courting gas stations, hotels and restaurants in its bid to install high-speed electric chargers across the country. Lorenz declined to say how many Sheetz stations may ultimately be outfitted with Tesla chargers. The potential partnership between Sheetz and Tesla reflects the beginning of a wider awakening in the gas station and convenience store industry. While EVs currently account for less than half a percent of new car sales, that figure is expected to grow; Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates that within six years electric cars will be as affordable as traditional gasoline-powered vehicles…”



Tesla and Solar City? Yes, It Makes Sense. Or At Least It Will. Here’s a story excerpt from Dave Roberts at Vox: “…The batteries of individual EVs can also be aggregated together with thousands of others, via software, to serve as one big virtual mega-battery, providing a range of energy services to the grid. (The aggregator pays the owners of the individual batteries for their participation.) Now imagine a city-sized microgrid, connected to the larger regional grid but able to island itself if necessary. Imagine the role a fleet of self-driving electric vehicles could play in that grid, wirelessly exchanging power with the grid according to its minute-by-minute or second-by-second needs. The point of all this is, EVs will be connected to the grid...” (Photo credit: NY REV).

Solar Power to Grow Sixfold as Sun Becoming Cheapest Resource. Here’s an excerpt from Bloomberg Technology: “The amount of electricity generated using solar panels stands to expand as much as sixfold by 2030 as the cost of production falls below competing natural gas and coal-fired plants, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. Solar plants using photovoltaic technology could account for 8 percent to 13 percent of global electricity produced in 2030, compared with 1.2 percent at the end of last year, the Abu Dhabi-based industry group said in a report Wednesday. The average cost of electricity from a photovoltaic system is forecast to plunge as much as 59 percent by 2025, making solar the cheapest form of power generation “in an increasing number of cases,” it said..”


The World’s Losers are Revolting, and Brexit Is Only The Beginning. Here’s a clip from a Washington Post story: “…A British exit, or Brexit, will make the country poorer in the short run, perhaps in the long run too, and might drag the rest of Europe down with it. That’s because Britain is essentially ripping up its free trade deal with the rest of Europe. But of far greater concern than just dollars and cents is that this is the most significant setback in Europe’s 60-year quest for “ever closer union,” and the most shocking success for the new nationalism sweeping the Western world. Brexit, in other words, is the end of the end of history…”

Did NASA Fake the Moon Landing? Yes, you have the right to believe whatever nonsense you care to believe, but that doesn’t make it credible, factual or accurate. Here’s an excerpt of a gentle debunking of a favorite conspiracy theory (the moon landings were faked!) at Quora: “…The MLDs (Moon Landing Deniers) are not taking into account one very important human tendency: the tendency to blab. The “moon landings” happened nearly 50 years ago. Yet no one has come foward to collect a million dollars from Oprah or whoever to blab the inside story of Apollo. And show covert photos of Neil and Buzz sharing a laugh with their helmets off on the “lunar surface” set. Is this conceivable? In 50 years!..”
File photo: NASA.

The Surprisingly Dark, Twisted History of Presidential Impersonators in America. The Washington Post has the video and story: “When you think of presidential impersonators, you think funny, ha-ha, frivolous. But the little-known history of presidential impersonation in America is surprisingly dark and twisted. It’s filled with fascinating instances in which the zany world of comedy collides in unpredictable ways with the dead-serious power corridors of Washington. And if you peer close enough into that past, you can see the history of us as a country, and our complicated, often fraught relationship with the person we choose every four years to rule over us as our leader..”
Image credit: “From Vaughn Meader’s President Kennedy to Jay Pharoah’s President Obama, the history of presidential impersonations is long and not all were success stories.” (Nicki DeMarco,William Wan/The Washington Post).

A Food Truck For Dogs? Yep, it’s already happening in the hipster town of Seattle, Washington. Here’s an excerpt of a story at Life With Dogs: “…The Seattle Barkery is a new mobile café for dogs.  Everything they make and serve is aimed towards giving dogs a similar freedom of choice like we as humans have.  For their furry, four legged customers, they have everything from bacon cupcakes and peanut butter pumpkin pretzels, to chicken feet and duck necks...”

TODAY: Warm sun as clouds slowly increase. Winds: SE 7-12. High: 81
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Chance of a shower or T-shower. Low: 63

THURSDAY: More numerous showers, cooler. Winds: NW 8-13. High: 77

FRIDAY: Bright sun, low humidity. Spectacular! Winds: NW 3-8. Wake-up: 57. High: 75

SATURDAY: Partly sunny and breezy, still comfortable. Winds: SE 8-13. Wake-up: 58. High: 78

SUNDAY: Sticky sunshine, a bit warmer. Winds: SE 10-15. Wake-up: 62. High: 82

4TH OF JULY: Some sun, PM T-storms up north. Winds: S 8-13. Wake-up: 67. High: 86

TUESDAY: Steamy sun, pop-up T-storms. Winds: S 10-20. Wake-up: 68. High: near 90


Climate Stories…

Teen Activism Moves Minneapolis Suburb To Pass Climate Initiative. Here’s the intro to a story at Midwest Energy News: “Officials in a Minneapolis suburb adopted an aggressive greenhouse-gas-reduction policy last month that was brought forth by a group of local high schoolers who are part of a national climate change movement. Drafted by iMatter, a national youth-led group, the resolution aims for net-zero emissions by 2040 in St. Louis Park, a suburb immediately west of Minneapolis with a population of roughly 47,000. The resolution also commits the city to working with youth activists on its future goals and planning…”

Photo credit: “Members of the group iMatter moved a Minneapolis suburb to adopt an aggressive climate change resolution.”


Nature Ravages as Weather Warms. Here’s an Op-Ed at The Charleston Gazette Mail, following up on the recent 1-in-1,000-year floods that swamped many communities across West Virginia: “…British climatologist Adam Scaife said 2016 temperatures are “obliterating” past records. “The numbers are completely unprecedented.” The Guardian added: “Another shattered record is the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which is on course to rise by a record amount this year.” It quoted a German scientist: “We know from Antarctic ice cores that go back almost a million years that CO2 was never even remotely as high as this.” The London paper added: “The rate at which humanity is emitting CO2 is the fastest for 66 million years...”

File photo: “Flooding in Richwood, in Nicholas County.”

British climatologist Adam Scaife said 2016 temperatures are “obliterating” past records. “The numbers are completely unprecedented.”
The Guardian added: “Another shattered record is the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which is on course to rise by a record amount this year.” It quoted a German scientist: “We know from Antarctic ice cores that go back almost a million years that CO2 was never even remotely as high as this.” The London paper added: “The rate at which humanity is emitting CO2 is the fastest for 66 million years.”
– See more at: http://www.wvgazettemail.com/gazette-editorials/20160628/gazette-mail-editorial-nature-ravages-as-weather-warms#sthash.4BxcoiuV.dpuf
British climatologist Adam Scaife said 2016 temperatures are “obliterating” past records. “The numbers are completely unprecedented.”
The Guardian added: “Another shattered record is the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which is on course to rise by a record amount this year.” It quoted a German scientist: “We know from Antarctic ice cores that go back almost a million years that CO2 was never even remotely as high as this.” The London paper added: “The rate at which humanity is emitting CO2 is the fastest for 66 million years.”
– See more at: http://www.wvgazettemail.com/gazette-editorials/20160628/gazette-mail-editorial-nature-ravages-as-weather-warms#sthash.4BxcoiuV.dpuf

If You’re Younger Than 31, You’ve Never Experienced This. Huffington Post reports: “Still not convinced the Earth is rapidly warming? Consider this: The last time the global monthly temperature was below average was February 1985. That means if you are 30 years old or younger, there has not been a single month in your entire life that was colder than average. “It’s a completely different world we’re already living in,” Mark Eakin, coordinator of NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch, told scientists gathered this week for the International Coral Reef Symposium in Honolulu…”


4 Infographics To Show The Climate Skeptic In Your Life. Here’s an excerpt from Co.Design: “…As family vacations and summer trips home loom near—and as hurricane season and volatile summertime weather approach—you may find yourself in the position of defending the claim you thought everyone had come around to by now: yes, climate change does exist. It’s best to be prepared. Luckily, data scientists and designers have done half the work for you by synthesizing overwhelming and often inaccessible data into easy-to-understand (and hard-to-deny) visualizations of the science behind global warming. Here are four of our favorites—keep them in your back pocket for your next baffling exchange about whether global warming is a hoax…”


We Can’t Count on Geoengineering To Save Us From Climate Change, Scientists Warn. Motherboard has the story; here’s a clip that caught my eye: “…Even wilder ideas for cooling the planet down, like reflecting the sun’s radiation back into space by seeding clouds, or even by zapping them with lasers, are waiting at the fringes of the climate debate. “[Scientists] were scared that if you started to say you could remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, that was like offering liposuction for the climate. We wouldn’t be able to help ourselves,” said Jack Stilgoe, a lecturer in the department of Science and Technology Studies at University College London, who has written a book about the politics of geoengineering…”

Photo credit: Paul Pival/Flickr


Chasing Survival: Many Species Face Climate Change’s Ultimate Test. Here’s an excerpt from InsideClimate News: “Roughly half of the world’s species are currently on the move. As global warming drives ocean and air temperatures higher, they are chasing the habitats they are accustomed toheading further north or to higher elevations or following the trail of their food sources. Those that can’t keep up with the pace of change face extinction, and if warming continues at its current pace, one in six species is projected to go extinct. That number falls to one in 20 if the rise is constrained to 2 degrees Celsius, the global climate goal— still a catastrophic number…”

It’s Official: Humans Are Making The Earth Much Greener. Chris Mooney explains at The Washington Post: “Earlier this month, NASA scientists provided a visualization of a startling climate change trend — the Earth is getting greener, as viewed from space, especially in its rapidly warming northern regions. And this is presumably occurring as more carbon dioxide in the air, along with warmer temperatures and longer growing seasons, makes plants very, very happy. Now, new research in Nature Climate Change not only reinforces the reality of this trend — which is already provoking debate about the overall climate consequences of a warming Arctic — but statistically attributes it to human causes, which largely means greenhouse gas emissions (albeit with a mix of other elements as well)…”

Image credit: “Using 29 years of data from Landsat satellites, researchers at NASA have found extensive greening in the vegetation across Alaska and Canada. Rapidly increasing temperatures in the Arctic have led to longer growing seasons and changing soil for plants.” (Cindy Starr/NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center).


Climate Change Forcing Builders to Rethink How They Design Structures, Expert Says. Resilience isn’t a passing fad, it’s a trend. Here’s an excerpt from a story at CBC News: “…It’s becoming more accelerated with the extreme weather events we’re experiencing, whether it’s a snow event or a fire event in Fort McMurray or even the flooding that occurred a few years ago in Toronto,” Schroeder says. “People are now asking questions like, ‘How do I design my building to be more resilient?’ It’s becoming more difficult to put these things out of your mind when they’re happening with more frequency. It’s much more forefront in people’s minds…”
Photo credit: “After a wildfire destroyed parts of Fort McMurray, one expert says cities should begin rejecting proposed developments located near fire-prone forests or on flood plains in order to mitigate the damage from future natural disasters.” (Terry Reith/CBC).


U.S. States, Rockefellers Clash with U.S House Panel on Exxon Climate Probes. Here’s the intro to a story at Reuters: “With a number of U.S. states proceeding with investigations of Exxon Mobil Corp’s (XOM.N) record on climate change, the attorney general of Massachusetts and investment funds of the Rockefeller family on Friday told a Congressional committee it lacked powers to oversee those probes. The pushback is the latest chapter in a high-stakes fight between the world’s largest publicly traded oil company and a coalition of state attorneys general who have said they would go after Exxon to try and force action to tackle climate change…”

Photo credit: “Storage tanks are seen inside the Exxonmobil Baton Rouge Refinery in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, November 6, 2015.” Reuters/Lee Celano.


Attorneys General Are Right to Pursue Exxon Mobil. Here’s an excerpt of an Op-Ed from the Attorney General of the U.S. Virgin Islands at The Wall Street Journal: “…The Virgin Islands, along with other attorneys general, is seeking information to determine whether Exxon Mobil misrepresented what the company privately knew and publicly said about climate change. If it did, that could constitute fraud and violate our laws and the laws of other jurisdictions. Exxon Mobil and CEI are attempting to argue that the First Amendment protects them from producing the information that can shed light on whether they broke the law—a proposition the courts have routinely rejected…”

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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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