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August 28, 2017


Very well thought through; thanks.

In addition to saying overall to the state of Texas, how is that climate change denial going for ya, this is the same dominant culture that also extols "small government" - but not for them, of course. Look at the voting record of Texas Congressional Republicans on their funding, including their voting against aid to victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Ahem. True buuut... most coastal subsidence has nothing to do with oil extraction. About ninety-nine percent of it is due to groundwater extraction. Which also accounts for the infiltration of sea water into those same coastal areas. They don't drill for oil in most of the places this happens like Florida. What Mann had to say about atmospheric water is also true. But he neglected to observe that the same models that predict that also predict that far fewer hurricanes will form. Increased upper atmospheric winds will produce the wind shear that knocks hurricanes down. The fact that there haven't been many hurricanes recently is compelling evidence that this is also true. On the whole I would rather people not use particular weather events to provide examples that argue in favor of global warning. It is too damn easy to provide counter examples.

A small plea - there are many people in Texas, including the majority of those in Houston (and me), who do NOT vote for climate change deniers. Vast swaths of rural voters and rising partisanship, coupled with blatant gerrymandering, have led the state's politics to where it is today. Let's not paint all Texans with the same brush.

Except that global warming is affecting the upper atmospheric winds as well:

"Most stationary jet stream disturbances, however, will dissipate over time," said Mann. "Under certain circumstances the wave disturbance is effectively constrained by an atmospheric wave guide, something similar to the way a coaxial cable guides a television signal. Disturbances then cannot easily dissipate, and very large amplitude swings in the jet stream north and south can remain in place as it rounds the globe."

This constrained configuration of the jet stream is like a rollercoaster with high peaks and valleys, but only forms when there are six, seven or eight pairs of peaks and valleys surrounding the globe. The jet stream can then behave as if there is a waveguide -- uncrossable barriers in the north and south -- and a wave with large peaks and valleys can occur.

"If the same weather persists for weeks on end in one region, then sunny days can turn into a serious heat wave and drought, and lasting rains can lead to flooding," said Stefan Rahmstorf, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Germany.

The structure of the jet stream relates to its latitude and the temperature gradient from north to south.

Temperatures typically have the steepest gradients in mid-latitudes and a strong circumpolar jet stream arises. However, when these temperature gradients decrease in just the right way, a weakened "double peak" jet stream arises with the strongest jet stream winds located to the north and south of the mid-latitudes.

The researchers looked at real-world observations and confirmed that this temperature pattern does correspond with the double-peaked jet stream and waveguide patter associated with persistent extreme weather events in the late spring and summer such as droughts, floods and heat waves. They found the pattern has become more prominent in both observations and climate model simulations.

"Using the simulations, we demonstrate that rising greenhouse gases are responsible for the increase," said Mann. The researchers noted in today's (Mar. 27) issue of Scientific Reports that "Both the models and observations suggest this signal has only recently emerged from the background noise of natural variability."

"We are now able to connect the dots when it comes to human-caused global warming and an array of extreme recent weather events," said Mann.

While the models do not reliably track individual extreme weather events, they do reproduce the jet stream patterns and temperature scenarios that in the real world lead to torrential rain for days, weeks of broiling sun and absence of precipitation.

"Currently we have only looked at historical simulations," said Mann. "What's up next is to examine the model projections of the future and see what they imply about what might be in store as far as further increases in extreme weather are concerned."

Point taken. May your voice get amplified.

So our heatwave in California is preventing Harvey from moving out of Texas? Great. While we're drying up and blowing away, they're drowning. If only there was a way to save us all by transporting their excess water further west. We may have had one rainy winter, but it still didn't make up for five years kf drought.

Here in TX we are either in drought or flood. But heaven forbid anyone would invest in the infrastructure needed to store/transport water to areas that need it in TX or elsewhere in the country. They'd rather suck it out of the Ogallala aquifer and sell it.

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