Wednesday, June 29, 2016

UPDATED:The News Keeps Gettting Worse

In a column on Tuesday, environmental blogger Robert Scribbler noted that the Northern Hemisphere Jet Stream had merged with the Southern Hemisphere Jet Stream.

“It’s the very picture of weather weirding due to climate change. Something that would absolutely not happen in a normal world,” he wrote. “Something, that if it continues, basically threatens seasonal integrity.”

“Historically, the Tropics — which produce the tallest and thickest air mass in the world — have served as a mostly impenetrable barrier to upper level winds moving from one Hemisphere to another. But as the Poles have warmed due to human-forced climate change, the Hemispherical Jet Streams have moved out of the Middle Latitudes more and more. ”

“That’s bad news for seasonality,” he continued. “You get this weather-destabilizing and extreme weather generating mixing of seasons that is all part of a very difficult to deal with ‘Death of Winter’ type scenario.”
If you watch the accompanying video, you will be struck by the interconnectedness of climate systems. Changes in those system thanks to climate change threaten to become catastrophic.

In the following YouTube video, Beckwith says
that the jet stream behavior signaled “massive hits to the food supply” and “massive geopolitical unrest.”


UPDATE: Thanks to the dogged determination of The Mound to find out more about the above-described situation, I am happy (though a bit chastened) to report that the dire news presented above is based on poor science. The Washington Post offers this rebuttal:
The claims are unsupported and unscientific, and they demonstrate the danger of wild assertions made by non-experts reaching and misleading the masses.
The Post reporter
reached out to several atmospheric scientists, who have graduate degrees and are trusted sources in the profession, for their reaction to these claims. Without exception, they said air flow between the hemispheres is not at all uncommon.

“This is total nonsense,” said Cliff Mass, a professor of meteorology at the University of Washington. “Flow often crosses the equator.”

Mass added that the cross-equator flow identified by Scribbler and Beckwith is not between mid-latitude jet streams, as claimed. “The analysis is making mistakes that even one of my junior undergrads would not make,” Mass said.

Ryan Maue, a senior meteorologist with a doctoral degree who works at WeatherBell Analytics, agreed with Mass that the cross-equator flow is totally normal and not evidence of a joint hemispheric jet stream. “Cross-equatorial flow at both upper and lower levels is part of the seasonal transition of the Western Pacific monsoon through boreal summer,” he said.

“Sometimes the flows connect up with each other and make it look like a larger flow structure is causing the jet stream to flow from one hemisphere to the other, but it’s in no way unprecedented,” Roy Spencer, a professor of atmospheric science at University of Alabama-Huntsville, explained on his blog.
My apologies for so readily accepting Beckworth's claims. It was an obvious failure in critical thinking.

16 comments:

  1. I'm pretty sure the Brexit did not cause the jet stream to cross the equator. But given the hysteria the establishment is drumming up over a nation opting out of one of their beloved free-money free-trade schemes, I wouldn't be surprised if talking heads began propagating about it: "Does 'protectionism' cause global warming? Tonight on 20/20!"

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    1. No doubt, Anon, that all of the political 'hot air' is contributing to the havoc in our climate systems.

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  2. .. hate to use the term 'protectionism' .. or see myself as anti immigration .. (or old snot old stock) .. but I truly believe Canada ie Canadians.. need to begin dictating to our elected public servants (MPP's & MP's & Bureaucracy's) exactly what we want them to enact or uphold.

    And that should (in my view) be extreme attention to what keeps life in balance as the rest of the planet goes to hell in a handbasket ..

    .. That being OUR Environment.. land - air - waters .. our 'habitat' & that of the living species inhabiting Canada and our maritime perimeters.. Our 'economy' should be based on OUR sustainability & reality, not on feeding the Chinese or India's economy. Our communities, cultures need to discover balance.. and growing megacities fueled by taxes & real estate is not 'balance' its shortsighted greed.. just like the stock markets have become - legalized gambling.. We need to shrink our economy, not pretend that we must 'grow the economy' .. As always, I remind people to aquire 'The Upside of Down' and read it.. especially the early chapter about the fall of the Roman Empire ..

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    1. It would seem that what the people may want or need, Salamander, is of little concern to our political 'leaders,' except perhaps when an election is pending.

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  3. What can anyone say about this? I like Beckwith although he can be a bit quirky. Scribbler, I've not heard of before. How did you find him, Lorne?

    If what Beckwith has shown is not just a function of a major El Nino followed quite quickly by what is expected to be a major La Nina then we have plenty of cause to worry. Yet we've heard nothing as yet from NASA, NOAA, or the Hadley Centre. It would be a good idea to keep tabs on them for the next couple of weeks.

    The idea of losing seasonality is nightmarish. That being said, it would also be consistent with Lovelock's Gaia theory in which the Earth mimics a living organism, in this case developing a fever that rids it of its contagion.

    Think I'll head out to the rifle range next week.

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    1. I found Scribbler on my Raw Story feed, Mound. It is striking, isn't it, that only through alternative media that such news is brought into the public forum. He may be a bit alarmist in calling for a climate emergency declaration, but then again, he might not be, if this is indeed the shape of things to come and not simply an El Nino anomaly.

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  4. Yet there is no mechanism from declaring a climate emergency. What would it do but to incite panic? What could any government possibly do to avert this? Governments can today do things that will come to fruition at least 20, often 30 years down the road but there is no switch that can be flipped. Jeebus, we're still locked into perpetual GDP growth and continued overpopulation. We're still rapaciously over-exploiting our natural resources by a factor of 1.7 and that continues to worsen. Like a civilizational heroin junkie we've developed an irresistible addiction to the very thing that will ensure our premature demise.

    We know about climate tipping points but we have failed to address civilization in the same context. Where are the tipping points in human resilience? What happens when they're crossed?

    BTW, I've seem some references to the Potsdam Institute, Schellnhuber's outfit, pronouncing on this jet stream business but I've not managed to track that down online.

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    1. I shake my head, Mound, when politicians pull out platitudes like 'sustainable growth' and assert that oil extraction can be done in environmentally responsible ways. The biggest lie is that pipeline expansion and climate change mitigation are not mutually exclusive.
      Yet we, the people, seem to eagerly embrace these fictions since they don't seem to demand anything from us and our bloated and ruinous lifestyles.

      We are all to blame for the mess we are in.

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  5. I've emailed Potsdam, Hadley, NOAA and NASA for information on this, Lorne. I'll send any responses along to you privately.

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    1. Thanks, Mound. I look forward to learning what you uncover.

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  6. A world without seasons? One long, hot summer? That's no holiday.

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    1. Our descent into climate hell is accelerating, Owen.

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  7. Well, Lorne, I'm relieved to tell you that I heard back from the Potsdam Institute. The writer referred me to this article in the Washington Post that refutes Scribbler's and Beckwith's claims.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2016/06/30/claim-that-jet-stream-crossing-equator-is-climate-emergency-is-utter-nonsense/?postshare=1321467366441821&tid=ss_tw

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    1. Many thanks, Mound. I shall do an update based on this information.

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  8. Ha ha ha no wonder you were such a bad teacher. Mound made you look like idiot.

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    1. You left out an indefinite article before 'idiot,' Anon. As well, I would suggest some end punctuation after the third 'ha, followed by a capital 'y.'

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