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February 27 2014


February 19 2014

Tags: Weather
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Reposted bysirthomasbolton sirthomasbolton

February 12 2014


Green taxes aren't the answer to Britain's floods, just ask Australia

Britain's flood crisis will need a firm response from Government but David Cameron should resist the urge to follow Australia's example on green taxes

February 10 2014


Global warming is REAL!

I like to post cold weather events under the facetious title "Global warming my a$$," to point out the ludicrousness (word?) of using a single weather data point as counter-evidence of a trend.  Well, here's my equally facetious attempt to use a single data point as evidence of a trend.  Just in the interest of being balanced.

The halfpipe at the Sochi Games "is garbage," one prominent snowboarder told Yahoo Sports, and the across-the-board backlash against it from riders continued to build as the IOC postponed snowboarding practice Monday morning and tried to salvage the pipe's integrity amid warming temperatures.

American Danny Davis, one of the sport's most respected figures, said the pipe's flat bottom – the area that serves as a transition between the 22-foot-tall walls on each side – is bumpy and full of sugary snow, causing significant problems for riders. Two other sources confirmed Davis' concerns, with one calling the halfpipe "unsalvageable."

"It's the Olympics. It should be flawless," Davis told Yahoo Sports. "What a lame showcase of snowboarding, and what a lame way to treat the athletes."

Temperatures in the Sochi area climbed into the mid-50s on Monday, complicating efforts to reshape the pipe and address riders' concerns. Morning halfpipe practice was canceled and postponed until 7:20 p.m. local time, allowing cutters time to address the issues that are more related to performance – the bad flat bottoms slows down riders and throws off their lines – than safety.

via sports.yahoo.com

The money quote: "...what a lame way to treat the athletes..."

Like, totally.

Tags: Weather

February 05 2014


Storms batter Britain

Storms batter Britain, dragging part of the coastline into the sea


Diary of a wimpy school district

Eleanor Barkhorn:

... A new map from Reddit user Alexandr Trubetskoy (a.k.a. atrubetskoy) is sure to stoke this regional competition. Using data "taken from hundreds of various points from user responses...interpolated using NOAA's average annual snowfall days map," Trubetskoy made a map showing how much snow it typically takes to close schools in the U.S. and Canada. Notice that for much of the southern U.S., all it takes is "any snow" to shut schools down. For the Upper Midwest and Canada, two feet of snow are required for a closure. ...

Before this map gives Midwesterners a superiority complex, it's worth remembering: School closures say more about an area's infrastructure than the toughness of its citizens. Schools in the South close at the mere hint of snow not because the people who live there are wimps, but because snow is such a rare event—and most cities there don't have a fleet of snow plows the way Northern ones do.

If you click on the map to enlarge it you can see three wimpy counties in the northwest corner of North Carolina. I live in one of those. And we have plenty of snow infrastructure. 

Hat tip: MR

Tags: Weather

January 30 2014


Winter deluges may become the norm for Britain

Climate change projections show that the country will get warmer and wetter over the next 20 years


January 22 2014


My class was cancelled

From the inbox:

All classes that meet before 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22 have been cancelled.

Because road conditions may vary throughout the county, individuals should use their own judgment regarding travel to campus. Be alert for ice on sidewalks, stairs and parking lots.

I teach MWF 10-10:50 (Econ and Bus Stats II -- a new prep that I'm halfway excited about; who knew that the normal distribution was so interesting!).


An artistic look at the flooding on the Somerset levels

Floods affecting homes and businesses on the Somerset levels


January 10 2014


As I lay blogging

Lots of busted pipes around here:

Hunkering down at home rather than going to work, canceling thousands of flights and repairing burst pipes from the Midwest to the Southeast has its price. By one estimate, about $5 billion.

The country may be warming up from the polar vortex, but the bone-chilling cold, snow and ice that gripped much of the country – affecting about 200 million people – brought about the biggest economic disruption delivered by the weather since Superstorm Sandy in 2012, said Evan Gold, senior vice president at Planalytics, a business weather intelligence company in suburban Philadelphia.

While the impact came nowhere close to Sandy, which caused an estimated $65 billion in property damage alone, the deep freeze’s impact came from its breadth.

“There’s a lot of economic activity that didn’t happen,” Gold said. “Some of that will be made up, but some of it just gets lost.”

Still, Gold noted his $5 billion estimate pales in comparison with an annual gross domestic product of about $15 trillion – working out to maybe one-seventh to one-eighth of one day’s production for the entire country. ...

School closures took their own toll, keeping home parents who couldn’t find alternatives for their kids. Even if those parents worked from home, they might not have been as productive, said Tony Madden, regional economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

via www.newsobserver.com

Ah, school closures. Our school district pursues a zero margin for safety. My kids were home Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Schools were on a two hour delay Thursday and today (there was an ice warning called from 9 pm to 9 am but lifted before 5 am, I think). I tried to work from home, answering email and blogging (talk about unproductive!), but those papers I need to revise are waiting until next week. Kids are going to school on Saturday until noon, so maybe I'll get some work (or exercise!) done (other than blogging) then. 

Tags: Weather

January 07 2014


What does -10 look like?

John shows what -16 looks like on his thermometer.  Here's what -10 looks like on the inside of my front door:


Tags: Weather

November 12 2013


September 27 2013


Oh Sandy the aurora is rising behind us*

The ugly reality of Coasian bargaining:

With the anniversary of superstorm Sandy just a month away and the still-battered remains of homes visible on the beachfront, Gov. Chris Christie ordered the state to start legal action against holdout homeowners to get the dunes built.

Help is on the way for oceanfront municipalities in their ongoing battle with easement holdouts for the federally funded beach replenishment project.

On Wednesday, Christie signed an executive order that, among other things, directs the attorney general’s office to “coordinate legal action to acquire the necessary easements to build dunes” and creates a flood risk office to take steps toward acquiring property to build dunes along the coastline.

In addition to the order, the protracted legal battle between a Harvey Cedars couple and the borough over the rights to build a 22-foot dune on their beachfront property has been settled for less than a cup of coffee. The couple, Harvey and Phyllis Karan, will be compensated $1 in a property rights dispute that lasted over three years, two storms and one public rebuke by the governor. At one point, they had been awarded $375,000 for losing their ocean view to new protective dunes.

“As we rebuild from superstorm Sandy, we need to make sure we are stronger, more resilient and prepared for future storms, and dunes are a major component of this process,” Christie said in a statement. “We can no longer be held back from completing these critical projects by a small number of owners who are selfishly concerned about their view while putting large swaths of homes and businesses around them at risk.”

*I have no idea what the title has to do with this post other than anytime I see a story about Sandy and New Jersey I think of 4th of July, Asbury Park. One of my favorites.

August 15 2013


Citizen Science Projects Help Scientists Understand Past and Future Climate

Citizen science projects like OldWeather help climate scientists understand past environmental conditions and improve climate modelsWith the rise of computer and social networks, crowdsourcing is changing the way we fund ideas, raise awareness of important issues and motivate community action. Citizen science projects is also a growing trend that lends itself to the crowdsourcing  concept, providing opportunities for interested citizens to use their computers and/or time to help with scientific research.

The citizen-scientist

The basic idea isn’t necessarily new, for many years organizations like the Earthwatch Institute have engaged volunteers on the ground and around the world with scientists pursuing research of all types. In 2007 we participating in one such project with Dr. Peter Kershaw called Climate Change at the Arctic’s Edge.

But the citizen scientist doesn’t have to travel to the Canadian Arctic, or anywhere else, to help further scientific inquiry and improve our understanding of the world around us. OldWeather.org is a project that helps scientists recover Arctic and global weather observations made by U.S. ships since the mid-nineteenth century. Volunteers help transcribe and digitize these log records, improving our knowledge of past environmental conditions and contributing to future climate model projections. The better we understand our past, the more accurately we can project possible future scenarios.

“We hope to unlock millions of weather, sea ice and other environmental observations which are recorded in these documents,” said NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D in a recent Weather.com interview.

OldWeather.org is a part of the Zooniverse Project, a collection of individual research projects ranging from space and cosmology, environment and biology, history and humanities, and climate. The Cyclone Center is another climate-focused project in the Zooniverse catalog. The project enlists volunteers to help record cyclone patterns of the past 30 years so climate scientists can better analyze the immense amount of data available to them in their reseaarch.

The dialog surrounding global warming, at least in certain politically motivated circles, has too often cast climate scientists as suspect, as “the other,” apart from the mainstream citizen going about their daily lives. In the process science, knowledge and inquiry itself is diminished. This does nobody any good.Working side-by-side with scientists in the field in an Earthwatch project, or assisting from the comfort of home with nothing more than your curiosity and a computer, helps to bridge this gap.

Citizen science is a vital piece in the puzzle of understanding our world and our future here on this planet. So check out Earthwatch of Zooniverse and join the ranks of citizen scientist!

What is Old Weather from National Maritime Museum on Vimeo.

Image credit: National Archives

The post Citizen Science Projects Help Scientists Understand Past and Future Climate appeared first on Global Warming is Real.

June 04 2013


Fight Entropy: Weather and Climate Data

Solomon Hsiang:

Now posted as an NBER working paper (it should be out in REEP this summer):

Using Weather Data and Climate Model Output in Economic Analyses of Climate Change
Maximilian Auffhammer, Solomon M. Hsiang, Wolfram Schlenker, Adam Sobel

Abstract: Economists are increasingly using weather data and climate model output in analyses of the economic impacts of climate change. This article introduces weather data sets and climate models that are frequently used, discusses the most common mistakes economists make in using these products, and identifies ways to avoid these pitfalls. We first provide an introduction to weather data, including a summary of the types of datasets available, and then discuss five common pitfalls that empirical researchers should be aware of when using historical weather data as explanatory variables in econometric applications. We then provide a brief overview of climate models and discuss two common and significant errors often made by economists when climate model output is used to simulate the future impacts of climate change on an economic outcome of interest.

via www.fight-entropy.com

May 15 2013


I'll take the over

From the inbox--AccuWeather.com has set the 2013 Over/Under on U.S. landfalls from Atlantic Basin Hurricanes at 3.  OK, they don't call it an Over/Under, but aren't most things more fun if gambling is involved? No? Is that just me?

2013 hurricane forecast


Tags: Weather

August 30 2012


When is bad news good news?

Tim, please explain:

The worst U.S. drought in more than five decades is forecast to raise farm profits to a record $122.2 billion this year as higher prices and insurance payments outweigh crop losses from the dry conditions.

Income will rise 3.7 percent from a revised $117.9 billion in 2011, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Tuesday in a report on its website. The forecast is up from $91.7 billion in February.

via www.newsobserver.com

In related news, I cancelled more classes this year due to bad weather (i.e., I don't like to walk around campus in the rain) and my income has gone up 3.7% as a result. I love the NC state university system!

August 27 2012


"Can we finally get the ethanol mandate monkey off of our backs?"

Lynne Kiesling:

This summer, corn prices are high. Drought, extreme weather, and other factors combine to increase corn prices, and one of those factors is the federal ethanol mandate/renewable fuels requirement implemented over 20 years ago (as an oxygenate requirement) and extended in 2005. Roger Pielke Jr. points to a Purdue research paper that suggests that a waiver or partial removal of the renewable fuel standard could reduce corn prices by 20% or more. ...

This year’s drought has been painful and costly, but if in the process it leads to the demise of ethanol subsidies, boutique fuels, and the renewable fuels standard, that’s what I call a silver lining.

via knowledgeproblem.com

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