Weather Porn

November 20, 2012

Howling weather again this early Tuesday morning on California’s northern coast as some big storms have pounded the region, though way-much-more up in Oregon and Washington states — what we’re getting here is most likely just flutters off them.
Still ain’t pretty — we’re forecast for heavy rain and wind for the rest of the day.

Up in Seattle, records broken for rainfall, records since 1962 with NWS meteorologist Chris Burke adding understatement: “That was a long standing record, so it obviously has rained quite a bit.”
And from the Capital Weather Gang: Through Wednesday, NWS is calling for 80-108 inches of snow, including 36-42 inches by this evening (I almost wonder if that’s a typo).

(Illustration found here).

Then again, maybe not as weather stories are the real news of the times — and weird, bad weather the ‘new normal.’
And along with 2012 being the hottest year on record, it’s also the most disastrous:

With about six weeks remaining in the year, there have already been 11 natural disasters that have cost $1 billion or more in damage, bringing 2012 to second place on the list of top billion-dollar disaster years.
The current record-holder is 2011, when there were 14 billion-dollar disasters.
The widespread and intense drought — which as of Nov. 6 still covered at least 60 percent of the lower 48 states — and Hurricane Sandy are expected to go down in history as two of the most costly weather-related disasters since 1980.

And it’s still worse than figured — from Skeptical Science:

As Figure 8 shows, the body of scientific literature is still very consistent in finding that grenhouse gases have most likely caused more warming than has been observed over the past half century, which means that the IPCC has been too conservative in attributing global warming to human greenhouse gas emissions.
In addition, without human influences on the climate, there would likely have been little change in the average global surface temperature over the past 50 years.
Instead, surface temperatures have warmed approximately 0.65°C since 1960.

And from Climate Central this morning on the World Meteorological Organization’s report that CO2 reached a record 390.9 parts per million (ppm) in 2011 (a 40 percent increase since 1750), along with methane, 1813 parts per billion, and nitrous oxide to 324.2 ppb.

These are sobering numbers, not because they come as any sort of surprise, but rather because they don’t.
Scientists have known about the heat-trapping properties of CO2 since the mid-1800s.
They’ve been documenting the steady rise of CO2 pumped largely out of smokestacks and exhaust pipes since the 1950s.
About half of the excess CO2 going into the atmosphere so far has been absorbed by plants and the oceans, but, said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud in a press release, “ . . . this will not necessarily continue in the future” as these natural “sinks” for CO2 reach their capacity.
The CO2 that remains in the atmosphere, meanwhile, takes centuries to dissipate, which is why the numbers continue to climb.
As a result of all the extra CO2 pumped into the air, worldwide average temperatures have already risen by 1.8°F since 1900.

The highest ‘safe level’ for CO2 is 350 ppm — 400 ppm already in the Arctic — and rising.

We’ll need weather condoms way-shortly.

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