Showing posts with label hurricane. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hurricane. Show all posts

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Hurricane Moderation


Hurricane Moderation

By Stephen Salter

The formation of a hurricane depends on many factors, including atmospheric water vapour, distance from the equator and the recent history of wind patterns. But an essential requirement is a high sea surface temperature. To get from a tropical storm to the lowest category of hurricane requires a temperature of 26.5°C. We can moderate hurricanes, or even prevent them, by reducing water temperature.

A useful start to any engineering project is the estimation of all the energy flows. One cubic metre of air at a temperature of 30°C can hold about 30 grams of water vapour. The energy to evaporate this is about the same as in 13 grams of TNT, enough for a nasty anti-personnel mine. A cubic kilometre of such air contains the same energy as the Hiroshima bomb. Hurricanes can be hundreds of kilometres in diameter and so contain tens of thousands of Hiroshimas. If you have read this far you will know about the billions of lost dollars and thousands of deaths from this amount of energy.

Most of the hurricanes that reach America (with the exception of Harvey), start on the African side of the Atlantic near Cape Verde and grow as they move west. We can use Google Earth to measure the hurricane breeding area. The US National Weather Service gives a warm water depth of 45 metres. To cool this volume by 2°C in 200 days needs more than 600 times the mean US electricity power generation. If you want to moderate a hurricane tomorrow, today is much too late. You should have started last November.

All this heat has come from the sun. Some could be reflected back out to space by clouds. The reflectivity of clouds was studied by Sean Twomey. He flew over many clouds, scooped samples and measured the solar energy reflected from their tops. He showed that reflectivity depends on the size distribution of drops. Lots of small drops reflect more than the same amount of liquid water in fewer, larger ones. In typical conditions, doubling the cloud drop number increases reflectivity by a bit over 0.05.

Making cloud drops needs a high humidity but also some kind of ‘seed’ called a condensation nucleus on which to start growth. There are thousands of condensation nuclei per cubic centimetre of air over land but fewer in air over mid ocean, often less than 50. John Latham suggested that the salt residues left from the evaporation of a spray of sub-micron drops of sea water would be excellent condensation nuclei. They would be moved from the sea surface by turbulence to produce a fairly even distribution upwards through the marine boundary layer to where clouds form.


The condensation nuclei could be produced by wind-driven sailing vessels cruising along the hurricane breeding areas getting energy from their motion through the water. We can make spray by pumping water through very small nozzles etched in the silicon wafers used for making microchips. The main technical problem is that sea water is full of plankton much larger than nozzles. This can be filtered using ultra-filtration technology with back-flushing, originally developed for removing polio viruses from drinking water. Each vessel would produce 0.8 micron diameter drops at 1017 a second.

[ part-image from larger Wikipedia map ]
Spray operations would depend on the pattern of sea surface temperatures as measured by satellites. We want the trajectory of temperature rises through the year from November to the following July to be those that an international panel of meteorologists think will give a desirable rainfall pattern from ‘gentle’ tropical storms.

Most ships are made in quite small numbers. An exception was the Flower class corvettes built for the Royal Navy during World War II. If we index-link the 1940 cost to today we can predict that in mass production each spray vessel would cost $4 million. With assumptions which have not yet been rejected by hurricane experts, we think that controlling the Atlantic hurricane breeding paths would need about 100 vessels. With typical ship lifetime the annual ownership and maintenance cost would be about $40 million. If these figures and recent estimates of the cost of hurricane damage are correct the benefit-to-cost ratio is quite attractive.

Because of official UK Government policy updated in May 2018 the project is privately funded.


Marine cloud brightening | Prof. Stephen Salter | TEDx Talks Published 15 Nov 2016


Rising temperatures are increasing the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere at a rate of 7% more water vapor for every 1°C warming. This is further speeding up warming, since water vapor is a potent greenhouse gas. Over the coming years, a huge amount of additional water vapor threatens to enter the atmosphere, due to the warming caused by albedo changes in the Arctic, methane releases from the seafloor, etc., as described at this page.

The situation is dire and calls for comprehensive and effective action, as described at the Climate Plan.

Added below is a box from an earlier post with hurricane damage mitigation proposals.


Hurricane Damage Mitigation

A 2014 study by scientists led by Mark Jacobson calculates that large turbine arrays (300+ GW installed capacity) could diminish peak near-surface hurricane wind speeds by 25–41 m/s−1 (56–92 mph) and storm surge by 6–79% AND provide year-round clean and renewable electricity.

How many electric cars will be ready to move into Miami to provide emergency support in the wake of Hurricane Irma?

Storms can cause power outages, electricity poles can get damaged. Electricity poles can also be a traffic hazard (i.e. collisions can occur even if the pole hasn't fallen down, especially when streetlights fail). When damaged, power lines hanging off poles constitute electrical shock hazards and they can cause fires to ignite and wildfires to start.

Storms can also cause damage to backup generators and to fuel storage tanks, making it hard for emergency services to give the necessary support. Electric cars can supply electricity where needed, e.g. to power necessary air conditioning, autoclave and emergency equipment, such as in hospitals. After a tsunami hit Japan in 2011, electric cars moved in to provide electricity from their batteries, as described in many articles such as this one.

Wind turbines and solar panels are pretty robust. Hurricane Harvey hit the Papalote Creek Wind Farm near Corpus Christi, Texas. The wind farm had little or no damage, there was just a short delay in restarting, mostly due to damage to power lines. The Tesla roof that doubles as solar panels is much stronger than standard roofs. Have a look at this video.

Join the Renewables group at facebook!
Clean and renewable energy can provide more stable, robust and safe electricity in many ways. Centralized power plants are vulnerable, in that all eggs are in one basket, while there can be long supply and delivery lines. Many of the benefits of clean and renewable energy are mentioned on above image.

Furthermore, there are ways to lower sea surface temperatures. The image on the right shows the very high sea surface temperature anomalies on August 28, 2017.

Note the colder area (blue) in the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane Harvey cooled the sea surface as water evaporated and warm moisture was added to the atmosphere. The cyclonic force also mixed colder water below the surface with warmer water at the surface, resulting in colder water at the surface. The combination image below shows the difference between August 20, 2017, and August 30, 2017.

[ click on images to enlarge ]

A number of geoengineering methods can be used to reduce sea surface temperatures and thus reduce the intensity of hurricanes. Methods include upwelling associated with ocean fertilization and with ocean tunnels, marine cloud brightening and increasing and brightening bubbles in the wake of vessels, as discussed at the geoengineering group at facebook.

Besides cooling the sea surface, there's also the upwelling of nutrients that can help combat ocean stratification. Warm water holds less oxygen than cold water. As the water warms, it also tends to form a layer at the surface that does not mix well with cooler, nutrient-rich water below, depriving phytoplankton of some of the nutrients needed in order for phytoplankton to grow (and take up carbon).

Some of these methods are also discussed at this 2011 page, which also mentions that more research is needed into the impact of such methods. Of course, possible application should go hand in hand with dramatic reductions in emissions including a rapid shift to 100% clean and renewable energy.

thesolutionsproject.org
Similarly, the necessary shift to clean and renewable energy in itself will not be enough to avoid catastrophic warming, and it should go hand in hand with further lines of action to remove pollution and to cool the Arctic Ocean, as described at the Climate Plan.


Links

• Climate Plan
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/climateplan.html

• How much warming did and could people cause?
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/how-much-warming-did.html

• AccuWeather predicts economic cost of Harvey, Irma to be $290 billion
https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/accuweather-predicts-economic-cost-of-harvey-irma-to-be-290-billion/70002686

• After Disaster Hit Japan, Electric Cars Stepped Up
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/08/automobiles/08JAPAN.html

• In Big Test of Wind Farm Durability, Texas Facility Quickly Restarts After Harvey
https://www.wsj.com/articles/texas-wind-farm-back-online-1504294083

• Tesla Unveils Powerwall 2 & Solar Roof
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=802&v=4sfwDyiPTdU&fref=gc&dti=2372679678

• Taming hurricanes with arrays of offshore wind turbines, by Mark Z. Jacobson et al. (2014)
https://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v4/n3/full/nclimate2120.html

• The Solutions Project
http://thesolutionsproject.org

• Weakening of hurricanes via marine cloud brightening (MCB), by John Latham, Ben Parkes, Alan Gadian, Stephen Salter (2012)
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/asl.402/abstract

• Engineering Ideas for Brighter Clouds, by Stephen H. Salter, Thomas Stevenson and Andreas Tsiamis  (2014)
https://pubs.rsc.org/en/Content/Chapter/9781782621225-00131/978-1-78262-122-5

• Multiple Benefits Of Ocean Tunnels
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2015/02/multiple-benefits-of-ocean-tunnels.html

• Oxygenating the Arctic
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/oxygenating-arctic.html

• Reducing hurricane intensity using arrays of Atmocean Inc.'s wave-driven upwelling pumps
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlnR_GMNIGA

• Could bright, foamy wakes from ocean ships combat global warming?
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/01/could-bright-foamy-wakes-ocean-ships-combat-global-warming


Saturday, October 7, 2017

Hurricane Nate Threatens New Orleans

The image below, a forecast for October 8, 2017, run on October 7, shows Hurricane Nate near New Orleans, with winds as fast as 83 mph or 134 km/h (at 850 mb) and up to 5.33 in or 135.4 mm (3-hour precipitation accumulation) of rain (at the green circle).


Early forecast also showed as much as 6.1 in or 154.9 mm of rain (3-hour precipitation accumulation) hitting the Mississippi coast.

The NOAA image below also shows the track over North America as forecast over the next few days.


Nate, the fourth major storm to strike the United States in less than two months, killed at least 30 people in Central America before entering the warm waters of the Gulf and bearing down on the U.S. South (Reuters report).


One of the biggest dangers is storm surge flooding, as illustrated by above image and the tweet below.


As the world keeps warming, hurricanes are increasingly causing damage, as also discussed in a recent post.

The situation is dire a calls for comprehensive and effective action, as described at the Climate Plan.


Links

• Climate Plan
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/climateplan.html

• NOAA National Hurricane Center
https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

• The Arctic is Changing the Jet Stream - Why This Is Important
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2017/10/the-arctic-is-changing-the-jet-stream-why-this-is-important.html

• Extreme weather is upon us
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2017/09/extreme-weather-is-upon-us.html



Monday, October 2, 2017

The Arctic is Changing the Jet Stream - Why This Is Important

By Sam Carana, with contributions by Jennifer Francis

Global warming is increasing the strength of hurricanes. A warmer atmosphere holds more water vapor and sea surface temperatures are rising. Both of these changes strengthen hurricanes. Steering winds may also be changing, causing unusual hurricane tracks such as Sandy's left turn into the mid-Atlantic seaboard and Harvey's stagnation over Houston. Is rapid Arctic warming playing a role?

Jennifer Francis has long been warning that global warming is increasing the likelihood of wavier jet stream patterns and more frequent blocking events, both of which have been observed. The Arctic is warming more rapidly than the rest of the world. The narrowing temperature difference between the Arctic and lower latitudes is weakening the speed at which the jet stream circumnavigates Earth and may be making the jet stream more wavy. In a 2012 study, Jennifer Francis and Stephen Vavrus warned that this makes atmospheric blocking events in the Northern Hemisphere more likely, aggravating extreme weather events related to stagnant weather conditions, such as drought, flooding, cold spells, and heat waves.

The danger was highlighted later that year, when a strong block associated with a deep jet stream trough helped steered Hurricane Sandy toward New York. In 2017, Hurricane Harvey hovered over Houston and dumped record-breaking rains (over 50 inches in some locations!), again highlighting this danger.

The jet stream separates cold air in the Arctic from warmer air farther south. A wavier jet stream transports more heat and moisture into the Arctic. This speeds up warming of the Arctic in a number of ways. In addition to warming caused by the extra heat, the added water vapor is a potent greenhouse gas, trapping more heat in the atmosphere over the Arctic, while it also causes more clouds to form that also are effective heat trappers.

As the Arctic keeps warming, the jet stream is expected to become more distorted, bringing ever more heat and moisture into the Arctic. This constitutes a self-reinforcing feedback loop that keeps making the situation worse. In conclusion, it's high time for more comprehensive and effective action to reduce the underlying culprit: global warming.


Jennifer Francis is Research Professor at the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University, where she studies Arctic climate change and the link between the Arctic and global climates.

Jennifer has received funding from the National Science Foundation and NASA. She is a member of the American Meteorological Society, American Geophysical Union, Association for Women in Science and the Union of Concerned Scientists.


Links

• Evidence Linking Arctic Amplification to Extreme Weather in Mid-Latitudes, by Jennifer Francis and Stephen Vavrus (March 17, 2012)
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2012GL051000/full

• Why Are Arctic Linkages to Extreme Weather Still Up in the Air? By Jennifer Francis (July 7, 2017)
http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/BAMS-D-17-0006.1

• Amplified Arctic warming and mid‐latitude weather: new perspectives on emerging connections, by Jennifer Francis, Stephen Vavrus, Judah Cohen (May 16, 2017)
http://wires.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WiresArticle/wisId-WCC474.html

• Jennifer Francis: A New Arctic Feedback - Dec 2016 interview with Peter Sinclair (Jan 16, 2017)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_EzF4k9_QY

• Precipitation over the Arctic - by Sam Carana (27 Jan 2017)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_q3uWQR8Mw

• Jennifer Francis - Understanding the jet stream (26 Feb 2013)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nzwJg4Ebzo



Friday, September 8, 2017

Extreme weather is upon us


Extreme weather is upon us. Global warming is increasing the intensity, occurrence, size, duration and impact of many catastrophic events, including wildfires, droughts, heat waves, cold snaps, storms, lightning, flooding and seismic events such as earthquakes and associated tsunamis.

Ever larger numbers of people are getting hit directly by such events, as well as indirectly due to lack of fresh water, food, shelter, medicine, health care and emergency services.

Many lives were lost and many further lives are at stake. In a September 11, 2017, statement, AccuWeather predicts the joint economic costs of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma to be $290 billion, or 1.5% of the U.S. GDP.

The following three images show Hurricane Irma (left) and Hurricane Jose (right), and are forecasts for September 10, 2017. The image directly below shows that waves are forecast to be as high as 48 ft (or 14.63 m).

Waves for September 10, 2017, 15:00 UTC (at green circle, 26°N, 80°W) are forecast as high as 48 ft or 14.63 m
The image below shows that winds are forecasts to be as fast as 163 mph (or 263 km/h).

Winds for Sept. 10, 2017, 12:00 UTC (green circle, 25.5°N, 80.5°W, 850 hPa) forecast as fast as 163 mph or 263 km/h
The image below shows that as much as 6.59 in (or 167.4 mm) of rain is forecast.

As much as 6.59 in (or 167.4 mm) of rain is forecast for Sept. 10, 2017, 6:00 UTC (3-hour accumulation, green circle)
Forecasts were posted widely, such as the image below that was posted at facebook.


Earlier, Hurricane Harvey hit Houston. Again, warnings were posted widely, such as the forecast below, posted at facebook.

[ click on images to enlarge ]
There is no doubt that people's emissions are causing global warming and that this is causing more extreme weather to occur across the world.

Extreme weather is amplified by changes to the Jet Streams. As the Arctic is warming more rapidly than the rest of the world, the temperature difference between the Arctic and the Equator is narrowing, which is slowing down the speed at which the Jet Streams circumnavigate the globe.

The Coriolis Effect makes Jet Streams circumnavigate the globe horizontally, and this used to keep cold air inside the Arctic and warmer air outside of the Arctic.

As the Jet Streams circumnavigate the globe at lower speeds, they increasingly move more vertically, allowing cold air from the Arctic to move down south more easily, and warm air to move up north more easily. This can make it easier for cyclones to move land-inward, where they previously would have kept following a path over the sea. This can also make it easier for weather conditions to stay the same for many days in an area, allowing huge amounts of rain water to accumulate in such an area.

This is illustrated by the image on the right, showing Jet Streams crossing the Equator at speeds as fast as 82 km/h or 51 mph (at the location marked by the green circle, at 250 mb) on August 27, 2017, 21:00 UTC. The image also shows Jet Streams crossing the Arctic at multiple locations.

Furthermore, numerous cyclones are visible on the image. As Earth retains more energy, winds and currents are getting stronger, waves are getting higher, etc., while higher temperatures are also causing winds to carry more moisture. This is especially the case for cyclones that are also stronger due to high sea surface temperatures.

The image below shows Hurricanes Jose, Irma and Katia lining up over the Atlantic Ocean on September 7, 2017.


The image below shows the hurricanes lining up over the Atlantic Ocean on September 8, 2017.


The image below shows Hurricane Jose off the coast of North America and Hurricane Maria underneath, with winds as fast as 149 mph or 241 km/h (at 850 hPa) and as much as 7.92 inch or 201.1 mm of rain (3-hour precipitation accumulation) at the location marked by the green circle.


In the video below, Paul Beckwith discusses the situation.


There can be many interactions between such events. Seismic events such as earthquakes, landslides and associated tsunamis, can be triggered by human activities in several ways.

Seismic events triggered by human activities

• Earthquakes can be triggered by fracking and by pools associated with fracking.
• Warming caused by people makes snow and ice melt, removing weight off the land and dumping it into the sea. This change in weight can trigger earthquakes.
• The Earth's crust can be flexed by storms. Large cyclones first suck up water, making sea level retreat and lifting up the crust. Then, a surge follows, while huge amounts of rainwater can add further weight, pushing the crust down again. This change can be felt over longer distances, triggering earthquakes across continents.
• Wild weather swings can be the result of changes in the jet streams caused by global warming. Huge sudden swings in temperature and in air pressure can make soils and ice go abruptly from expansion to compression and back again, which can cause cracks and landslides, and associated shockwaves, which can in turn trigger larger seismic events and open up methane craters with can come with large releases of methane.

After Sandy hit New York, in 2012, earthquakes hit the coast off Vancouver and links between the two events were discussed in this post.

Hurricane Harvey caused massive flooding in several States. The weight of the torrential rains brought by Hurricane Harvey caused Houston to sink by 2 centimeters. Water weighs about a ton per cubic meter and the flooding was so widespread that it "flexed Earth's crust", NASA scientist Chris Milliner said. 

An earthquake with a magnitude of 8.1 on the Richter scale hit at 69.7 km depth, off the coast of Mexico, 87km SW of Pijijiapan, on September 8, 2017 at 04:49:21 UTC, at 15.068°N 93.715°W.


Numerous aftershocks are visible on the map below (screenshot taken September 13, 2017).



Rising temperatures are increasing the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere at a rate of 7% more water vapor for every 1°C warming. This is further speeding up warming, since water vapor is a potent greenhouse gas. Over the coming years, a huge amount of additional water vapor threatens to enter the atmosphere, due to the warming caused by albedo changes in the Arctic, methane releases from the seafloor, etc., as described at this page.

The situation is dire and calls for comprehensive and effective action, as described at the Climate Plan.

Hurricane Damage Mitigation

A 2014 study by scientists led by Mark Jacobson calculates that large turbine arrays (300+ GW installed capacity) could diminish peak near-surface hurricane wind speeds by 25–41 m/s−1 (56–92 mph) and storm surge by 6–79% AND provide year-round clean and renewable electricity.

How many electric cars will be ready to move into Miami to provide emergency support in the wake of Hurricane Irma?

Storms can cause power outages, electricity poles can get damaged. Electricity poles can also be a traffic hazard (i.e. collisions can occur even if the pole hasn't fallen down, especially when streetlights fail). When damaged, power lines hanging off poles constitute electrical shock hazards and they can cause fires to ignite and wildfires to start.

Storms can also cause damage to backup generators and to fuel storage tanks, making it hard for emergency services to give the necessary support. Electric cars can supply electricity where needed, e.g. to power necessary air conditioning, autoclave and emergency equipment, such as in hospitals. After a tsunami hit Japan in 2011, electric cars moved in to provide electricity from their batteries, as described in many articles such as this one.

Wind turbines and solar panels are pretty robust. Hurricane Harvey hit the Papalote Creek Wind Farm near Corpus Christi, Texas. The wind farm had little or no damage, there was just a short delay in restarting, mostly due to damage to power lines. The Tesla roof that doubles as solar panels is much stronger than standard roofs. Have a look at this video.

Join the Renewables group at facebook!
Clean and renewable energy can provide more stable, robust and safe electricity in many ways. Centralized power plants are vulnerable, in that all eggs are in one basket, while there can be long supply and delivery lines. Many of the benefits of clean and renewable energy are mentioned on above image.

Furthermore, there are ways to lower sea surface temperatures. The image on the right shows the very high sea surface temperature anomalies on August 28, 2017.

Note the colder area (blue) in the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane Harvey cooled the sea surface as water evaporated and warm moisture was added to the atmosphere. The cyclonic force also mixed colder water below the surface with warmer water at the surface, resulting in colder water at the surface. The combination image below shows the difference between August 20, 2017, and August 30, 2017.

[ click on images to enlarge ]

A number of geoengineering methods can be used to reduce sea surface temperatures and thus reduce the intensity of hurricanes. Methods include upwelling associated with ocean fertilization and with ocean tunnels, marine cloud brightening and increasing and brightening bubbles in the wake of vessels, as discussed at the geoengineering group at facebook.

Besides cooling the sea surface, there's also the upwelling of nutrients that can help combat ocean stratification. Warm water holds less oxygen than cold water. As the water warms, it also tends to form a layer at the surface that does not mix well with cooler, nutrient-rich water below, depriving phytoplankton of some of the nutrients needed in order for phytoplankton to grow (and take up carbon).

Some of these methods are also discussed at this 2011 page, which also mentions that more research is needed into the impact of such methods. Of course, possible application should go hand in hand with dramatic reductions in emissions including a rapid shift to 100% clean and renewable energy.

thesolutionsproject.org
Similarly, the necessary shift to clean and renewable energy in itself will not be enough to avoid catastrophic warming, and it should go hand in hand with further lines of action to remove pollution and to cool the Arctic Ocean, as described at the Climate Plan.


Links

• Climate Plan
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/climateplan.html

• How much warming did and could people cause?
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/how-much-warming-did.html

• Did Sandy trigger major earthquakes off Vancouver?
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2012/11/did-sandy-trigger-major-earthquakes-off-vancouver.html

• Geophysicist: Weight of Harvey rains caused Houston to sink
https://phys.org/news/2017-09-geophysicist-weight-harvey-houston.html

• As Harvey breaks rainfall record, Houston imposes a curfew and death toll climbs to 18
http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-texas-harvey-20170829-story.html

• Historic Hurricane Harvey's Recap
https://weather.com/storms/hurricane/news/tropical-storm-harvey-forecast-texas-louisiana-arkansas

• Hurricane Katia strikes Mexico, killing at least two, as the nation still reels from a massive earthquake
http://www.latimes.com/world/mexico-americas/la-fg-mexico-earthquake-20170909-story.html

• Deadly quake and Hurricane Katia a one-two punch for Mexico (September 8, 2017).
Updated: Death toll now at 90 as aftershocks rattle southern Mexico (September 11, 2017).
http://www.sfchronicle.com/news/world/article/Deadly-quake-Hurricane-Katia-a-one-two-punch-for-12184833.php

• AccuWeather predicts economic cost of Harvey, Irma to be $290 billion
https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/accuweather-predicts-economic-cost-of-harvey-irma-to-be-290-billion/70002686

• After Disaster Hit Japan, Electric Cars Stepped Up
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/08/automobiles/08JAPAN.html

• In Big Test of Wind Farm Durability, Texas Facility Quickly Restarts After Harvey
https://www.wsj.com/articles/texas-wind-farm-back-online-1504294083

• Tesla Unveils Powerwall 2 & Solar Roof
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=802&v=4sfwDyiPTdU&fref=gc&dti=2372679678

• Taming hurricanes with arrays of offshore wind turbines, by Mark Z. Jacobson et al. (2014)
https://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v4/n3/full/nclimate2120.html

• The Solutions Project
http://thesolutionsproject.org

• Weakening of hurricanes via marine cloud brightening (MCB), by John Latham, Ben Parkes, Alan Gadian, Stephen Salter (2012)
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/asl.402/abstract

• Multiple Benefits Of Ocean Tunnels
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2015/02/multiple-benefits-of-ocean-tunnels.html

• Oxygenating the Arctic
https://arctic-news.blogspot.com/p/oxygenating-arctic.html

• Reducing hurricane intensity using arrays of Atmocean Inc.'s wave-driven upwelling pumps
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlnR_GMNIGA

• Could bright, foamy wakes from ocean ships combat global warming?
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/01/could-bright-foamy-wakes-ocean-ships-combat-global-warming



Thursday, October 1, 2015

Cyclones continue to hit Northern Hemisphere

As the 2015 El Niño gets stronger, the Northern Hemisphere continues to get hit by strong winds and cyclones. The image below shows strong winds over the Arctic Ocean, as hurricane Joaquin approaches the coast of North America.



On above image, hurricane Joaquin is clocked at a speed of 79 mph (127 km/h) on October 1, 2015. NOAA warned that on that day the maximum sustained wind speed had increased to near 120 mph (195 km/h) with higher gusts.

For reference, NOAA uses four categories:
D: Tropical Depression – wind speed less than 39 mph (63 km/h)
S: Tropical Storm – wind speed between 39 mph and 73 mph (63 km/h - 118 km/h)
H: Hurricane – wind speed between 74 mph and 110 mph (118 km/h - 177 km/h)
M: Major Hurricane – wind speed greater than 110 mph (over 177 km/h)

NOAA issued the image below on September 30, 2015, warning that Hurricane Joaquin is likely to cause wind damage across a large part of the eastern coast of North America.


The NOAA animation below gives an idea of the strength of hurricane Joaquin.

[ click on image to enlarge, note that this is a 1.4 MB file that may take some time to fully load ]

Meanwhile, sea surface temperatures off the North American coast, as well as in the Arctic Ocean, are very high, as illustrated with the image on the right.

In the Arctic Ocean, the sea ice in many places is now less thick than it was in 2012, as illustrated by the image further below, showing sea ice thickness on October 7, 2012 (panel left) and a forecast for October 7, 2015 (panel right).

The water in the Arctic Ocean was already very warm this year. The main factor causing both these strong winds and the dramatic decrease in thickness of the multi-year sea ice is ocean heat, as also illustrated by the image below, showing high sea surface temperature anomalies in the Arctic as at September 30, 2015.


As the image below shows, nearly all the thick (over 3 m) multi-year sea ice has now disappeared, setting up a dangerous situation for the future that is much more dangerous than the situation was back in 2012. The thicker sea ice used to act as a buffer, consuming ocean heat in the melting process. Without thicker sea ice, ocean heat threatens to melt the sea ice from below right up to the surface, causing the entire sea ice to collapse as more open water will go hand in hand with stronger winds and waves. In case of such a collapse, sunlight that was previously reflected back into space will instead be absorbed by the water, causing rapid rise of the temperature of the water. In places such as the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, the water is on a average only 50 m deep, so warmer water is able to reach the seafloor more easily there.


The water of the Arctic Ocean is very warm, not only at the surface, but even more so underneath the surface. The danger is that strong winds will mix warm water all the way down to the seafloor, where it could destabilize sediments that can contain huge amounts of methane in the form of hydrates and free gas.

[ click on image to enlarge ]
The image on the right illustrates the impact of winds over the East Siberian Arctic Shelf on September 26, 2015.

NSIDC specialist Julienne Stroeve recently warned"In 2007 more than 3m of bottom melt was recorded by [an] ice mass balance buoy in the region, which was primarily attributed to earlier development of open water that allowed for warming of the ocean mixed layer. But perhaps some of this is also a result of ocean mixing."

As discussed in an earlier post, sea surface anomalies of over 5°C were recorded in August 2007 in the Arctic Ocean. Strong polynya activity caused more summertime open water in the Laptev Sea, in turn causing more vertical mixing of the water column during storms in late 2007 and bottom water temperatures on the mid-shelf increased by more than 3 degrees Celsius compared to the long-term mean.

The situation is dire and calls for comprehensive and effective action, as discussed at the Climate Plan.



As the 2015 El Niño gets stronger, the Northern Hemisphere continues to get hit by strong winds and cyclones. The image...
Posted by Sam Carana on Thursday, October 1, 2015

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Arctic Sea Ice Collapse Threatens - Update 7

The image below shows Arctic sea ice extent, with the blue dot indicating that extent for August 30, 2015, was 4.804 million square kilometers. Satellite records shows that, at this time of the year, extent was only lower in 2007, 2011 and 2012.


There are a number of reasons why sea ice looks set to decrease dramatically over the next few weeks. On above image, extent for 2015 looks set to soon cross the lines for the years 2007 and 2011, while the sea ice today is in an even worse condition than one might conclude when looking at extent alone.

Thick sea ice is virtually absent compared to the situation in the year 2012 around this time of year, as illustrated by the image below that compares sea ice thickness on August 30, 2012 (left) with August 30, 2015 (right).


Furthermore, sea surface temperatures are very high. The North Pacific, on August 31, 2015, was about 1°C (1.8°F) warmer than it was compared to the period from 1971 to 2000, as illustrated by the Climate Reanalyzer image on the right.

As the image below shows, sea surface temperature anomalies are very high around North America, both in the Pacific Ocean and in the Atlantic Ocean.

The image below shows sea surface temperatures on August 30, 2015, indicating that a huge amount of ocean heat has accumulated in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of North America.


The Gulf Stream is carrying much of this warm water toward the Arctic Ocean. Additionally, warm water from the Pacific Ocean is entering the Arctic Ocean through the Bering Strait.


Above image below shows sea surface temperature anomalies in the Arctic as at August 31, 2015.




There still are a few weeks to go before sea ice can be expected to reach its minimum, at around half September 2015, while sea currents will continue to carry warmer water into the Arctic Ocean for months to come.

There is a strengthening El Niño, while more open water increases the chance that storms will develop that will push the last remnants of the sea ice out of the Arctic Ocean, as discussed in earlier posts such as this one. Storms can also mix warm surface waters all the way down to the seafloor, as discussed in this earlier post. Typhoons increase this danger. The above image show three typhoons in the Pacific Ocean on 30 August, 2015, and the Climate Reanalyzer image on the right shows them on September 1, 2015.

These typhoons are headed in the direction of the Arctic. The Climate Reanalyzer forecast for September 8, 2015, below shows typhoons in the Pacific Ocean close to the Arctic Ocean, as well as strong wind over the Arctic Ocean.


The situation is dire and calls for comprehensive and effective action, as discussed in the Climate Plan.

Thick sea ice is virtually absent compared to the situation in the year 2012 around this time of year....
Posted by Sam Carana on Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Did Sandy trigger major earthquakes off Vancouver?

The NASA image below gives an impression of the strengtrh of hurricane Sandy, as it approached the U.S. coast on October 28, 2012. 

Image produced with data from a radar scatterometer on the Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) Oceansat-2,
showing the strength and direction of Sandy’s ocean surface winds on October 28, 2012.
The animation below was created by Alex Hutko, a seismologist at the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) in Seattle. It shows how seismic stations lit up as hurricane Sandy continued its path.

 
The images below are screenshots from the animation, showing how three eathquakes hit the coast off British Columbia in Canada, coinciding with large tremors caused by Sandy. A 7.7 magnitude earthquake (image below) hit the coast off Vancouver on October 28, 2012, at around 2:00 EDT. The USGS later upgraded the earthuake to magnitude 7.8 and gave the time as 3:04 UTC.
 
 
A 6.3 earthquake below hit the area the same day (October 28, 2012) at 17:00 EDT (USGS: 18:54 UTC).
 
 
A 6.2 earthquake (image below) followed on October 30, 2012.
 
 
The USGS image below gives further time and location details of these earthquakes using UTC time. 
 
 
There were more earthquakes than that. At the USGS site, I counted 90 further earthquakes in the area with a magnitude of at least 4 that occurred within days of the first earthquake.
 
Paul Beckwith, regular contributor to this blog, gives the following comments on the question whether Sandy was the trigger for major earthquakes off Vancouver.
“Sandy was a massive storm, packing an enormous amount of energy. According to Jeff Master's Wunderground blog, she carried the energy equivalent of five Hiroshima sized nuclear bombs.
 
As she approached the eastern seaboard of the United States she was detected on the seismic stations in the U.S. As she moved her large size (tropical storm winds within a 900 mile diameter) and extremely low pressure center (940 mb usually indicative of Category 3 or even 4 magnitude hurricanes), she sucked enormous quantities of ocean water upward.
 
Clearly, this adds tremendous stresses onto the earths crust and pushes it downward; this was reflected in the seismic stations. The animation of her progress shows the ground stresses across North America between October 14th and November 1st. On her northward jaunt up the eastern coast the seismic strain lit up to a peak and there was a 7.8 magnitude earthquake (Oct 28th, 3:04 UTC) off Vancouver, as shown in the first image.
 
As she continued northward and just before her extremely unusual left turn (due to extreme waviness of Rossby wave jet streams leading to continental low and northward tilted blocking high), there was another maximum of red seismic activity and a 6.3 magnitude aftershock (October 28, 18:54 UTC).
 
Then she turned left and as she crossed the coastline just south of NYC there was a second large aftershock of 6.2 magnitude (October 30, 2:38 UTC). Again, this aftershock coincided with large seismic activity indicated in red on the east coast.
 
Coincidence? I think not. Stress on one side of a continental plate (North American plate in this case) can deflect the plate downward locally and cause it to bow up or down afar, i.e. on the other side of the plate of the west coast). The precise coincidence of the timing for the main quake and the 2 aftershocks with peaks of seismic activity on the eastern coast seems to match too closely to be a mere coincidence, but more study is required.”

In conclusion, there is a danger that storms and cyclones trigger submarine earthquakes, which can in turn cause shockwaves and landslides over a wide area, destabilizing hydrates and triggering massive releases of methane in the process. As the sea ice disappears, the Arctic Ocean increasingly features open waters which are more prone to cyclones.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Hurricane Sandy intensifies climate change debate

By Dorsi Diaz

Flooded Avenue C at East 6th Street in Manhattan's East Village neighborhood of Loisaida, October 30, 2012, moments before an explosion at the power substation took out power to the neighborhood. Credit: David Shankbone
Although recent polls show that 70% of people now believe in climate change, recent extreme weather events are sure to drive that number even higher. With the East Coast of the U.S. reeling from the extreme devastation of Hurricane Sandy, attention has been brought back to what caused the Superstorm and why.

Many in the scientific community point to climate change as being a major contributing factor in the unprecedented storm.

Paul Beckwith, climate scientist at The University of Ottawa and member of the Sierra Club Canada, goes into detail in explaining how Hurricane Sandy was fueled by climate change:
“Rising greenhouse gases are rapidly warming our climate with Arctic amplification by 5x due to darkening from sea ice and snow cover collapse. The resulting decrease in temperature gradient between the equator and Arctic slows the jet stream winds which increases their waviness in the north/south direction. Combined with 4% higher water vapor in warmer atmosphere, this waviness makes storms more intense and frequent and larger in size and occur in different places. It made Sandy enormous in size and made her turn left onto the U.S. coast instead of turn right like every other hurricane in history.”

In a comment to Dorsi Diaz, reporter for the Examiner, Beckwith goes on to explain what would have happened had Sandy not been influenced by the climate anomalies that fed into the storm:
“Without the blocking high pressure northward and low pressure trough pulling her to the coastline (from the jet stream waviness) she would have headed harmlessly out to sea. Without the huge waviness of the jets the massive and ongoing drought in the U.S. would not be occurring. As sea ice further declines these storms and drought and all extreme weather events are certain to explode in magnitude, size, and frequency.”

According to Sam Carana, AMEG member (Arctic Methane Emergency Group) and editor of the Arctic-News blog:
“Warming in the Arctic is accelerating at a pace several times that of the rest of the world. This is changing the jet stream, which is what forced Sandy to move inland, to spread out and to hang around for such a long time. Without more effective action on climate change, weather events like this can be expected to hit the U.S. more often and with increasing force in future.”

Although some die-hard climate skeptics say that Hurricane Sandy was not caused or fueled by climate change, that minority seems to be losing ground as evidence piles up in favor of those that believe that extreme weather events are being caused by a warming climate.

Nathan Currier, senior climate advisor for Public Policy Virginia, who also writes about climate change, had this to say about it in a recent article:
“All major components of this super storm show the signature of human-induced climate change to varying degrees, and without global warming the chance of the three occurring together like this would have a probability of about zero. So, let's make it simple, and just say climate change caused this storm.”

In a sampling of Americans, there are some interesting views and comments being made about climate change and its effects on the globe.

Writer Julia Hanna was amazed at Hurricane Sandy’s strength and ferocity,
“I heard about the hurricane from people posting about how the replica ship Bounty went down, and it seemed surreal to hear about a hurricane taking down a ship. I am not a climatologist, but I have never heard of a hurricane of such severity.”

Although losing ships in a hurricane is not a new phenomena, evidence is piling up that devastating hurricanes are on the rise due to global warming. In a report by the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), hurricanes are expected to become more frequent in the coming decades:
“Anthropogenic warming by the end of the 21st century will likely cause hurricanes globally to be more intense on average (by 2 to 11% according to model projections for an IPCC A1B scenario). This change would imply an even larger percentage increase in the destructive potential per storm, assuming no reduction in storm size.”

As the clean-up from Hurricane Sandy continues, more people are starting to wonder why we are having such extreme weather events around the globe. Doug Harry, West Coast resident, comments:
“Too many people dismiss climate change. You don’t make mother nature angry.”

Many that Diaz interviewed agree with Doug, that the Earth is now showing us the consequences of not tackling climate change earlier on.

Patrick McNulty, another AMEG member, has some ideas for tackling the problem that climate change is bringing us.
“Not allowing solar radiation to re-radiate back out to space because of fossil fuel GHG's trapping that energy in the atmosphere/oceans raises Earths total energy budget closer to the surface. You can now expect once in a lifetime storms to occur every decade. BTW, my tunnel idea reverses this trend.”

Patrick McNulty proposes tunnels
Patrick’s tunnel idea for dealing with the effects of Arctic ice melting are one of the many “solutions” that are being examined in the response to battling the effects of climate change.

Changing the way we consume fossil fuels is being tackled by other inventive people including an idea that includes the use of “bio-fuel”. One manufacturer of this bio-fuel cites that there would be less impact on our environment, one way to slow down human’s contribution to the problem of our warming climate.

In a opening statement on their website, the makers of the new bio-fuel Envirolene say it's:
“the world’s strongest, cleanest alcohol fuel. It’s a new, more powerful class of ”oxygenate” fuel. It’s stronger and cleaner than ethanol, more profitable to produce, and this new clean fuel powers any gas or diesel engine from a ship to a small engine with no modifications.”

Jay Toups, CEO and managing partner of BioRoot Energy, the makers of Envirolene, comments,
“There are 1 billion plus tailpipes and smokestacks spewing emissions every day. That's the real threat because it never stops.”

Mead Rose, who has also been following the climate change debate for several years, closely follows the melting of the Arctic ice and it’s ramifications.

In one of the articles that Mead submitted, the evidence of climate suppression is exposed. In an 2009 article named, “Group Promoting Climate Skepticism has Extensive Ties to Exxon-Mobil”, evidence makes it clear that there has been an ongoing battle by Big Oil companies to discredit scientific evidence about climate change.

In his blunt statement in the article, Joseph Romm, lauded climate expert and author of the blog Climate Progress, said:
“Exxon-Mobil essentially funds people to lie. It’s important for people to understand that they pay off the overwhelming majority of groups in the area of junk science.”

Joe Romm also makes the connection between Superstorm Sandy and climate change when he stated today at Climate Progress:
“Scientists worst-case scenarios are already happening - latest findings deserve attention so that Sandy doesn't become just another Cassandra whose warnings are ignored. Now climate scientists project that we risk up to 10 times as much warming this century as in the last 50 years — with many devastating consequences from dramatic sea level rise to Dust-Bowlification.”

With the battle over climate change continuing, climate skeptics and disinformation concerns climate scientists who have been trying to warn of catastrophic consequences if we don’t address it now.

One well know climate scientist, Michael Mann, a Penn State University scientist who has been studying the climate for decades, said that ocean waters were about 1 degree warmer thanks to man-made climate change, one factor that clearly caused Sandy to swell. Mann, author of “The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars”, has been an outspoken critic on the debate over climate change.

Politicians, who used to shy away from the discussion of climate change, are even starting to “come clean” about what’s happening to our climate. With an estimated 3 foot rise in California’s sea level expected by 2100, California Governor Jerry Brown is pulling no punches in dealing with climate change deniers.

In a dire warning the California governor recently said:
Humanity is getting close to the point of no return.

EQECAT, a consultancy based in Oakland, California, estimates the economic losses from Hurricane Sandy at between $30 billion and $50 billion in economic losses, including property damage, lost business and extra living expenses.

The question is now, how much longer can we afford to debate about climate change?


From an article posted earlier at Examiner.com - posted with the author's permission

Related

Read other eye-opening reports by Dorsi Diaz on what happens next if unchecked climate change continues:
Climate Change: Extreme Weather, Storms and Hurricane Sandy
The Tipping Point - a Global Climate Change Warming Point of No Return
The Arctic Sea Ice is Melting: What Does This Mean For Us?