Thursday 21 April 2016

"Storms of my grandchildren" NOW

Suggested strategies for dealing with the coming shit storm.

Love the ones you love. Cast off the dead wood. Put your head between you legs in the " Brace for Impact" position and kiss your arse good bye.

The coming storms will hurtle 1000 tonne boulders across the planet as they have done before and the damage won't be able to be quantified in Money as money won't matter anymore.”

---Kevin Hester
Record warm oceans have spawned scary slate of monster tropical cyclones
By Jason Samenow

20 April, 2016

In the past six months, the Earth has witnessed several of the freakiest, most intense storms in recorded history.

Spurred by the highest ocean temperatures observed to date, record-breaking tropical cyclones — the class of storms that includes hurricanes and typhoons — have explosively developed in three regions: the northeast Pacific Ocean, the south Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean.
These storms may be a harbinger of increasingly severe tropical cyclones in future decades as the Earth continues warming.
The most recent vicious storm, Tropical Cyclone Fantala, attained peak winds of 173 mph north of Madagascar this past weekend. According to meteorologist Bob Henson at Weather Underground, it became the most intense tropical cyclone on record in the Indian Ocean. Fantala has since lost some steam andis forecast to weaken to a tropical storm over the southern Indian Ocean by early next week.  Fortunately, it has avoided any land areas.
Just two months before Fantala, Tropical Cyclone Winston became the fiercest storm on record in the South Pacific, with peak winds of 185 mph. This storm devastated parts of Fiji.

The eye of Tropical Cyclone Winston as it approached Fiji, Feb. 20, 2016. (NOAA)
And four months before Winston, Hurricane Patricia (October 2015) became the strongest storm measured to date by the National Hurricane Center in the Northeast Pacific. Its peak winds reached 215 mph before it slammed into Mexico’s west coast.

Patricia, the strongest hurricane recorded to date, near maximum intensity, Oct. 23, 2015. (NOAA)
Patricia was just one of 25 Category 4 or 5 tropical cyclones in 2015 in the Northern Hemisphere, the most on record by far.
This is not to mention November 2013’s Super Typhoon Haiyan, which became the strongest tropical cyclone in the northwest Pacific (and the Eastern Hemisphere) based on wind speed.  Its 195 mph maximum sustained winds devastated parts of the Philippines.

View of Super Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013 before it struck the Philippines. (Dan Lindsey at CIRA/RAMMB at Colorado State via Brian McNoldy)
To be sure, because the intensity of these storms was not observed by aircraft, except for Patricia, there is some uncertainty in their exact measurements. And, the period of record in the Indian Ocean, where Fantala developed, only dates to 1990.
But all of these storms formed in areas where ocean temperatures were much warmer than normal and during an era in which ocean temperatures are warming.
The recent ocean heating provided by El Niño, particularly in the Pacific, has certainly played a role in this flare-up of intense storms. But the longer-term ocean warming trend, related to growing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, is very likely to be playing an important role as well.
Published studies have documented an increase in the intensity of the strongest storms in several ocean basins in recent decades, although an unambiguous global warming signal in tropical cyclone activity hasn’t emerged. Such a signal is expected to become clearer in the future.
A NOAA-led study published in September projects increases in “the number and occurrence days of very intense category 4 and 5 storms” by the end of the century, and, more generally, NOAA projects an increase in the average intensity of tropical cyclones.
Fantala, Winston, Patricia and Haiyan may portend more frequent and intense severe tropical cyclones, especially during El Niño episodes in the Pacific (in the Atlantic, more intense storms would occur during La Niñas).

Climate-change warnings include rising seas and wild weather shifts. But giant flying boulders?

Standing atop a 60-foot cliff overlooking the Atlantic, James Hansen — the retired NASA scientist sometimes dubbed the “father of global warming” — examines two small rocks through a magnifying glass. Towering above him is the source of one of the shards: a huge boulder from a pair locals call “the Cow and the Bull,” the largest of which is estimated to weigh more than 1,000 tons.

The two giants have long been tourist attractions along this rocky coast. Perched not far from the edge of a steep cliff that plunges down into blue water, they raise an obvious question: How did they get up here?

A matter of degrees: Diplomats are heading to Paris to come up with a plan for averting the worst effects of climate change. Their goal: Keep global temperatures from rising more than two degrees Celsius over preindustrial levels. But are they too late?

Compounding the mystery, these two are among a series of giant boulders arranged in an almost perfect line across a narrow part of this 110-mile-long, wishbone-shaped island.

Hansen and Paul Hearty — a wiry, hammer-slinging geologist from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington who has joined him here as a guide — have a theory about these rocks. It’s so provocative — and, frankly, terrifying — that some critics wonder whether the man who helped spawn the whole debate about the dangers of climate change has finally gone too far.

The idea is that Earth’s climate went through a warming period just over 100,000 years ago that was similar in many ways to the warming now attributed to the actions of man. And the changes during that period were so catastrophic, they spawned massively powerful superstorms, causing violent ocean waves that simply lifted the boulders from below and deposited them atop this cliff.

If this is true, the effort kicking off in Paris this week to hold the world’s nations to strict climate targets may be even more urgent than most people realize.

Hearty, an expert on Bahamas geology, first published in 1997 the idea that Cow and Bull were hurled to their perch by the sea. Since then, Hansen has given the work much added attention by framing the boulders as Exhibit A for his dire view of climate change — which has drawn doubters in the scientific community. But as Hansen examines the rocks on a recent morning, Hearty explains some of the evidence. In particular, Hearty points out that the tiny grains that constitute the boulder rocks are more strongly cemented together and less likely to crumble than other rocks nearby, a sign that the boulders are older than what’s beneath them.

Yeah,” Hansen says with a nod, rubbing the younger rock and watching it crumble a little. He sees the difference. It’s a key point the two use to argue that the placement of these boulders indicates a dramatic hurling of the rocks by the sea. Even on a calm day, the deep blue waters of the Atlantic slam against the cliffs below with audible force and huge plumes of spray. But could waves have lifted these massive stones?

While there is a suggestion in the scientific literature that the boulders were simply left behind after surrounding rocks eroded away, Hearty and another leading Bahamas geology expert, Pascal Kindler of the University of Geneva in Switzerland, agree that the boulders are older than the surface upon which they rest and, thus, probably were moved by the sea. Even the tourist placard near here takes their side, saying the ocean “lifted them atop the ridge.” But exactly how it could have done that is another matter.

Scientists have tended to attribute odd boulders such as these to tsunamis — there’s little doubt they have the power to move large rocks. One recent study found that in the Cape Verde islands, 73,000 years ago, a 300-foot-high mega-tsunami carried boulders as large as 700 tons atop a cliff almost as high as the Eiffel Tower.

But more recent studies have also attributed large boulder movements to storms. And now into the fray has stepped Hansen, who, in 1988 testimony before Congress, put the climate issue on the map by contending — correctly, as it turned out — that global warming had already begun. If he is also right about the boulders, Earth could be in for a rough ride.

And even if not, one thing is clear: Cow and Bull present a scientific mystery whose solution may serve as a reminder of just how violent and dynamic a planet we live on...[ ]

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