Autumn 2009 Climate Report – Huntsville, AL

5 12 2009

I’ve once again compiled recorded temperature data to create this chart which plots both average and actual high/low temperatures during the months of October, November and the first week of December 2009. The data shows that, for the most part, October 2009 was below average for high temperatures – arriving at up to 19 degrees below normal at one point during the month. November, however, showed a rebound in temperatures – recording above average temperatures for the most part of the month. You may click on the graphic below to show a larger, more readily readable version of it.

Autumn 2009 Climate Report - Huntsville, AL

Data was recorded at the Huntsville International Airport in Huntsville, AL. Please comment and describe any additional details you would like to see on future climate reports. I will be posting a climate report every 3 months until further notice. Any comments or suggestions? Post them. I will get back to you as soon as possible. Also, you may feel free to send me an email with the aforementioned suggestions if you want. My email can be accessed by clicking here.

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Summer 2009 Climate Report – Huntsville, AL

19 08 2009

This post is a personal research project that I am evaluating. Over the course of 2 months, I have recorded the high and low temperatures at the weather station at the Huntsville International Airport in Huntsville, AL. Along with the temperatures, I have also recorded the amount of rain which fell on which day – a visual aid in analyzing the temperature departures from normal (why was so and so day colder than the rest….look, it rained over an inch that day!).

Rainfall Amounts Per Day at Huntsville International Airport, Huntsville, AL - Summer 2009
Rainfall Amounts Per Day at the Huntsville International Airport in Huntsville, AL (Summer 2009)

The summer seems to be a typical one – temperatures only straying from normal by a margin of more than 10 degrees only twice during the recorded dates. One was a heat wave which swept through the valley during Mid-to-Late June whereas we had a cold spell (or cool spell) during Late July. Rainfall during this period wasn’t spread out over the course of the period but rather came in bursts which left many reports of flash flooding in the area.

Recorded and Average Temperatures at Huntsville International Airport, Huntsville, AL - Summer2009
Recorded and Average Temperatures at the Huntsville International Airport in Huntsville, AL (Summer 2009)





The Deadly Cycle – How Global Warming Causes Global Warming

16 08 2009

The Deadliest Cycle – How Global Warming Causes Global Warming

It is a process known as “feedback”. This process involves some sort of action or event which triggers another event which worsens the first event leading to another secondary event which worsens the first event even more. Confusing? I’ll explain.

A good example of feedback is the melting of the polar ice caps and it’s involvement with global warming. The ice naturally reflects heat energy in the form of radiation back into space. As the ice melts, it covers less area and reveals more water coverage. Less ice enhances the atmospheres heat energy (ice cools air just like it cools your summer drinks). With less ice, the remaining ice melts faster revealing yet more water. Water absorbs heat energy instead of reflecting it. This causes the ice to melt even faster.

There are several types of natural “feedback”: Ice Albedo feedback, water vapor feed back, arctic methane feedback, lapse rate feedback and more. These feedback types enhance global warming and are also, simultaneously, caused by global warming to some extent.

Ice Albedo Feedback

As discussed earlier, Ice Albedo Feedback involves the fact ice reflects more radiation than it absorbs. When ice melts it is replaced by land or water which absorbs more than it reflects. This causes more heat absorption which causes more ice melting which causes yet more absorption. This cycle is never-ending unless affected by an outside source.
Northern Hemisphere Glacial Regression

Water Vapor Feedback
Water Vapor is a Greenhouse Gas. As the earth warms, more water is evaporated leading to more water vapor. More water vapor leads to more warming which leads to more evaporation thus more water vapor. This cycle is never-ending unless affected by an outside source.

Lapse Rate Feedback
Temperature differences between the lower atmosphere and upper atmosphere is called the Lapse Rate. The higher the temperature of the upper atmosphere, the more radiation is emitted. Thus, if the upper atmosphere (which is supposed to be cold) is heated, it emits much more radiation than if it were cold. This cycle is never-ending unless affected by an outside source.

Methane Release
Warming of the earth has effects both on land and in the ocean in the form of methane release. As the earth’s temperature increases, certain areas of permafrost on the earth melt releasing long frozen and stored methane gas, which in turn, causes more warming since it’s considered a greenhouse gas. This cycle is never-ending unless affected by an outside source.

Cloud Feedback
Some types of clouds, particularly cumulus, are expected to increase in frequency and coverage in the future due to warming and higher, faster evaporation rates. Clouds of this type tend to reflect radiation back down to the ground thus enhancing the lower atmosphere’s ability to retain heat. This increases the earth’s temperature even more causing more cumulus clouds and more back-to-earth radiation reflection. This cycle is never-ending unless affected by an outside source.

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A Synopsis on Climate Change

15 08 2009

There has been skepticism during the entire lifetime of the theoretical atmospheric anomaly called “Global Warming”. Global Warming is a term coined to describe the unnatural rise of the mean low-level atmosphere temperature over a period of time called climate. Global Warming has also been described as Climate Change although it is not a deserved alias as the earth’s climate often changes in temperature over long periods of time (see ice ages and medieval warming). As such, Global Warming should have been coined as the 21st century Global Warming Trend instead of its current names.

Cycle of Greenhouse Gases

The evidence of Global Warming has seemed to pile-up over the time span of its coined existence. This could be due to the fact that more investigations into the global climate heating has resulted in both expected and unexpected evidence and it could be a result of ongoing changes that take place in real time such as the breaking off and thinning of glaciers. Some of the evidence already observed include a research study by various scientists and reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) include a global mean temperature increase of 0.74 ± 0.18 °C (1.33 ± 0.32 °F) over the period of the last century although it seems variations in solar radiation and volcanic activity was the primary contributors before the pre-industrial times before 1950.

Temperature Changes
It is forecasted by the IPCC that the global mean temperature could increase yet another 1.1 to 6.4 °C (2.0 to 11.5 °F) by 2100. The uncertainty in the predicted temperature increases is partially due to the fact that different models have forecasted different amounts of chemicals such as Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere during varying spans of time. The prediction of 2 °F is a conservative guess but the 11.5 °F increase is also quite possible and would be, of course, the worst case scenario.

Temperature History

The NASA Goddard Space Institute estimated that 2005 was the warmest year globally since dependable and accurate modern satellite temperature monitoring began, exceeding the previous record established in 1998 by only a few hundredths of a degree. The high temperatures recorded in 1998 is thought to be a result of an unusually strong El Niño event – the strongest in over a century.

Since global temperatures have been monitored and recorded, various global locations seem to heat faster than others such as the difference in ocean temperatures relative to land-based atmosphere temperatures. Ocean temperatures rise approximately 0.13 °C relative to land-based atmosphere temperatures which rise an average of 0.25 °C during the course of a decade. Many factors contribute to the difference in temperature increases including the ocean having a vast depth and spread in which temperature is required to increase as well as the effect of evaporation on the air above the ocean. Liquids warm and cool much slower than the air, being more dense, thus the difference in temperature fluctuations. Also, the north hemisphere would warm much faster than the southern hemisphere mainly due to the fact that the northern hemisphere has more land area than does the south. With upper air currents in combination with the difference in temperature, the polar regions would heat much faster than regions closer to the equator, thus the rapid warming and thinning of the polar ice caps in the Arctic and Antarctic Circles. Due to the heat-retaining capacity of the oceans as well as the lifespan of Carbon Dioxide, even if all emissions were to cease the global temperature would continue to rise well after 2100.

Global Warming Projections

Another area which affects the global mean temperature is the effects of “Greenhouse Gases” originally discovered and coined by Joseph Fourier in 1824 and was first investigated quantitatively by Svante Arrhenius in 1896. “Greenhouse Gases” are gases which emit and absorb infrared radiation in the planets atmosphere and enhance the atmosphere’s ability to withhold heat energy. “Greenhouse Gases” include but are not limited to: Water Vapor, Methane, Carbon Dioxide, Nitrous Oxide and Tropospheric Ozone. Higher concentrations of these gases lead to the planet’s atmosphere retaining more heat than it exerts thus raising the global mean temperature. Since the industrial revolution, global carbon dioxide levels have increased by 36% – ¾ of the increase is suspected to be a direct result of the burning of fossil fuels. Evidence extracted from deep ice pockets suggest that carbon dioxide levels are higher than they have been in the last 650,000 years – additional evidence is believed to indicate that levels are actually higher than they have been in the last 20 million years. Although most of the gases mentioned enhance the planets ability to retain heat, some chemicals known as aerosols which are either released naturally, as is the case with volcanoes, or by human sowing as is the case with some CFCs. These chemicals reflect radiation back into space from the upper atmosphere countering the effects of “Greenhouse Gases”. Although this may have been the case up until now, it seems as if the amount of “Greenhouse Gases” such as carbon dioxide and methane are well exceeding the amount of aerosol in the atmosphere. This may have been the reason that extreme global mean temperature increase was delayed during the latter half of the 20th century and only become urgent from the beginning of the new millennium onward. Methods have also been used by scientists to combat global warming indirectly and directly including the use of Biochar, Geoengineering and the like.

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Debunking 2012 Doomsday

10 08 2009

2012 – that’s probably the most famous date in history of conspiracies and doomsday dates. We’ve got sources all over predicting cataclysmic events including the “ending” of the Mayan calendar, the predictions of “prophets” such as Nostradomus and Hopi, the chinese and the I Ching as well as others. Oh, let’s not forget the abominable Planet X, Nibiru. Seriously? Thats a lot of evidence. Even Hollywood has become fortune tellers: Armageddon? Knowing? Doomsday? The Day the Earth Stood Still? They’ve gotta be telling the truth, I mean, it’s Hollywood.

Climate change – ugh, we can’t forget Climate Change. Global warming is a warning to us all. Not really a warning – more like a heads up…”enjoy it while you can” I guess. So, with all this evidence, I believe it should be posted scientifically. If it’s not analyzed thoroughly, then it’s not scientific. If it’s not scientific, then it’s just a belief (and we know where unfactuated beliefs get us).

The Mayan Calendar
First off, the Mayans did not come up with that calendar – they adopted it from their ancestors of the region as did the other like cultures of their time. Secondly, the Mayan calendar was one of the most “off” calendars in history. It wasn’t even as accurate as the Julius calendar (and that’s saying something). The Mayan months were 20 days long (sometimes called 20 day weeks) and a “solar” year consisted of 18 of them. Yes, solar is in quotations. It’s not really a solar year – their calendar days were integers. As we know, nothing on earth ticks in exact integers for the same reason there is never a perfect circle no where in existance. So, for this, a year to them was 365 days (seems right….right?). The day, in fact, is not 365 days (and if you know what a leap year is, you’ll know why it’s not 365. It’s more like 365.25 (approx). So in other words, with their days as long as they are, doomsday has already passed. But, lets say that their calendar WAS accurate and their calendar “ends” in 2012 – what “ends” is not their calendar. The Mayan calendar DOES NOT END IN 2012. Only a cycle of the calendar, the 13th cycle to be exact, ends. What happens when it does? Destruction? Calamity? 2013? Yep, 2013 will come around just like 2012 did, just like 2009 did and so on. Not quite proving it? The 14th Mayan cycle starts as soon as the 13th ends on December 21st, 2012.

Nostradamus
What a name. Perhaps one of the most famous “prophets” of all time (except for maybe Matthew, Mark, Luke and John…and eh, we’ll throw Muhammed in there too). Nostradamus 1) was a severe drug addict, 2) practiced visioning with “demons” and admitting himself and in his writings that we was surely going to hell for what he was doing, 3) wrote so damned funny that anything he said could be interpreted to mean anything and lastly, 4) predicting events that take place AFTER 2012. Now why the hell would he predict things that happen TO MANKIND if he predicted the world would end in 2012? I’ll let you talk to yourself about that one…..

Knowing
It was a movie. It was Hollywood and special effects. First off, if our Sun was going to explode or erupt with this gigantic solar flare, we would be seeing the same event in stars which are approximately the same size as our sun and around the same age. We don’t. And there are thousands of them. The chances? Do the math. 5 Billion Years, Thousands of Sun-like stars, 0 events like that in Knowing.

Pole Shift
So you think the poles are all of a sudden going to flip or shift or whatever? Get over yourself, this isn’t science fiction. Do you realize how much energy it would take to shift our poles? If a source of that much energy was upon us 1) we would already know and 2) we’d be gone long before the poles shifted. We’re talking enough energy to permanently warp our magnetosphere. That’s like having enough energy to shove the Earth into Mars. Anything with that much force would kill us all LONG before our poles moved. Yes, the poles move naturally – but slowly. It may take thousands if not hundreds of thousands of years for our poles to move, but they do move, only slowly.

Nibiru
And finally, we come to Nibiru, the tenth planet coined, Planet X. First off, Nibiru isn’t the tenth planet. Nibiru isn’t a star. Nibiru…..doesn’t exist. If anything were close enough to be able to collide with earth in 3 years (as Nibiru is supposably forecasted to do) and is massive enough to completely wipe the planet clean of life, then we would most definately know about it by now. Think the government is covering it up? Well, there’s one aspect of life the government CANT cover up and that’s astronomy. Some of the best astronomers in the world with some of the best equipment in the world are amateur astronomers, people like you and me sitting at home looking through a telescope. If there was something out there, with over a million amateur astronomers out there all over the world, we’d already know about it.

Climate Change
Climate change. Yeah, it’s bad. Most likely, it’ll kill 30% or so of all species on earth. Nothing will be the same. Humans will survive it though. As will the planet. Period.





Shared Beliefs

9 08 2009

I was just browsing around and came across a good post by a well known, albeit local, personality. Dan Satterfield is but a television meteorologist to some but an inspiration for others. Since 1995, I’ve been watching his forecasts and enjoying severe weather coverage with his excitable antics. The post I am mentioning here came from his blog, Wild Wild Weather Journal. It’s a good and startling read when you contrast today with tomorrow (figuratively).

Dan’s Wild Wild Weather Blog
Dan’s “Climate Change In Your Backyard” Blogpost





Climate Change – An Intraverted Ideology

9 08 2009

Climate change. Global Warming. Armageddon. Those are words often used interchangibly nowadays. From political lobbyists to dream-stricken scientists to megaconglomerate petroleum manufacturing corporations feeding on a constant stream of both product revenue and government grants, everyone seems to have their own opinion on what those words are, what they mean for this planet and what they mean for themselves. It seems to be a get-rich-quick card for some, unplausible and unthinkable to others – religiously cultivated God-weilding destruction for some and just another fleeting “hearsay” for the rest. What is the reality of it all? After so many debates, arguments, scientific counter-intuitive research and contradictions, who should we really believe? Everyone needs to just shut up, some might say. This may just be the answer. If one was to make a rational look at things, some parts of the planet are warming (if not every part of the world). So what if your area was colder this year, on average, than it has been in the past five decades? Does that mean your area’s particular temperature is a reflection of the world’s mean temperature? Nope. It’s called weather. Weather changes dramatically over short periods of time – it’s in the definition. Our global predicament isn’t called “Global Weather Warming” or “Weather Change” – that would be an absurd observation to attempt to raise a clamour about weather changing over a period of 5 decades. What we are faced with is a global climate change – a rapid (at least in a celestial point of view) change in the environment as a whole.

So there you have it. Your weather may be colder but 95% of the world is warmer. That doesn’t mean the planet is cooling. We hear bickering constantly on mass media headlines and in conflicting science laboratories around the world – are we heating up or are we cooling down? The truth is, we’re heating up. Rapidly. Even at a slow pace, the glaciers are melting and receding faster than at any time in our history. CO2 levels are on the increase in our upper atmosphere – you might not be able to see a noticable difference in ground-level haze because that’s not what’s causing all the problems – it’s miles up in the ozone layer.

As used in the title of my blog post, climate change is an intraverted ideology. It was once a fact, now it’s a belief. How can a fact become a belief? Mankind has bickered and found ways around every excuse or reasoning for being beside or opposed to climate change actions and information, even fact. We have found more ways to say it’s not true or it’s true or we’re all going to die that even Hollywood has cashed in. Climate change has become a mass media staple of our society and is largely becoming just another myth like Ragnarok or Armageddon, Roman gods and goddesses or Loch Ness. What everyone needs to do is sit down, analyse facts and think for themselves. Look at what’s really happening, look at what you can see, touch and taste. Take a peek at sea levels – they’ve risen. The polar caps are receding. Arctic wildlife is going extinct. And here we are, still arguing.

So what does it mean for us? We continue bickering, not really taking much of a substantial stand against it and we end up at point A. Don’t we usually start from point A and progress from there? Not end there? If we continue doing what we’re doing, we are going to damage everything on this planet including ourselves and the planet itself. We’ll be back where we started.

Sea levels will rise, sinking low-lying islands forever, Florida will disappear, California will disappear, DC will be a new Atlantis, Katrina would be commonplace and as jet streams and ocean currents shift, most of the Earth will have a dramatic and sharp weather change. The nation’s midwest will be a dustbowl, the Sahara would become a flood-stricken rainforest, the Pyramids of Egypt would be a monumental man-made island. Famine would spread all over the Earth as the strongest of nations warred with one another over what resources were left. Plague and disease would consume the large percent of the world that perished in the famine and the rest would kill each other over food, weapons, land and other resources. Most of the species on the planet would perish to unevolvable differences with their environment. Plantlife wouldn’t have it quite as bad but most too would also perish. Various aquatic wildlife would perish – most which are accustomed to a certain mean yearly temperature especially. National borders would vanish – there would be no nations, only city-states. No armies to really be had, everyone who wishes to live would have to fend for themselves.

So is all this really worth arguing about – letting time slip by while we try to boast about who’s right and who’s wrong? In the end, does it really matter? If we do nothing and it is true, we’ll all perish anyways (or live one miserable life). Why not do something about it, even if it’s not true? We can always recover from an economic slump. We can always rebuild what may have been sacrificed due to financial strain. We can survive without gas-guzzling 70’s model muscle cars and pick-ups. We can live without mass manufactured plastics and aerosols. Even if the government says do it, even if every scientist in the world all of a sudden agreed that it was real and we’re all going to perish if we don’t do something about it – even if that was the case, it won’t change anything at all! What we all need to do is look inside ourselves, find our own ideas and thoughts, brainstorming on what you can do as an individual to help – bring a though-provoking, epiphany inducing intraverted ideology to the table. If everyone would just do a little bit – bike to work one day a week, recycle at least cans only or plastics only, or carpool once a week, stop smoking, drink tap water instead of bottled water, drive a hybrid instead of a monster – find something, even small, and do it – if we can all do it, we can make an impact, regardless of who says what. It’s not the governments planet, no one owns the planet, no one owns the climate but it’s every single person on this planet’s responsibility to take care of it. It’s a birth right (or birth curse, depending on your viewpoint) to do this. As a human being, it is our responsibility to do something about climate change, even if you think it’s not real.

Why doesn’t everyone play Russian Roulette? Only a select few want to take the risk of being the odd man out. So why play it now when there are six billion people’s lives at stake?

Thank you sincerely for reading my blog post. It means a lot to me. I have put forth my ideas and philosophy on the conflict (and a certain bit influenced by Greg Craven whose own ideology on the conflict inspired me to take action myself). I would enjoy seeing your feedback on the post, hearing your thoughts on the situation.