Cirrus "Blow-Off". Cirrus clouds (25,000 feet above the ground) from T-storms over Iowa will dim the sun from time to time this morning, but sunshine should be the rule midday and PM hours, allowing the mercury to reach 90 as hot air surges north once again. 4: 30 pm visible loop courtesy of WeatherTap.
88 F. high in the Twin Cities Thursday.
82 F. average high for June 28.
79 F. high on June 28, 2011.
+ 3.2 F. June temperatures are running over 3 F. warmer than average, to date.
7-10 days/row above 90 F. in the metro area? It's looking that way.
9 times more record highs than record lows, nationwide, since January 1. Details below.
115 F. at Hill City, Kansas Wednesday - hottest reading on Earth (at any regular reporting mesonet station or airport).
Anatomy Of A Heatwave. I suspect we'll top 90 every day for the next week to 10 days. At the rate we're going I wouldn't be surprised to see 30 days above 90 this year (44 back in 1988, to the best of my recollection). It's too early to panic, but the ECMWF solution (above) predicts the hottest weather (and the best chance of random T-storms) the latter half of next week. A few storms for the 4th - are you really surprised?
Today: SW 5-10. Dew point: 63
Saturday: Light winds. Dew point: 62
Sunday: S/SE 8-15. Dew point: 68
Mostly-Dry Weekend? The best chance of a few T-storms will come over far southern Minnesota - the ECMWF keeps the metro dry; Sunday probably the hotter, breezier, more humid day of the weekend.
First 100+ F. June day in Chicago in 24 years (since 1988)
Thursday Record Highs:
*St. Louis, MO—108 (Previous record 104 in 1952)
*Indianapolis, IN—104 (101 in 1934) All-time record high for the month of June
*Fort Wayne, IN—106 (102 in 1934) Ties Fort Wayne’s all-time record high set in 1988
*Evansville, IN—106 (102 in 1936) All-time June record
*Russell, KS—110 (108 in 1968)
*Dodge City, KS—108 (Ties record from 1998, 1990, 1930)
*Toledo, OH—103 (101 in 1934)
*Nashville, TN—105 (104 in 1952)
*Louisville, KY—103 (Record high for June)
* thanks to Seth Carrier from Earth Networks for passing these along.
Over 1,000 Record Highs In One Week. The heat wave is growing more intense, expanding east, and will be a fixture for at least the next 7-10 days. Map above courtesy of NOAA and Ham Weather. Details:
|Low Max Temp:||221|
|High Min Temp:||649|
"Sea ice in the Arctic has melted faster this year than ever recorded before, according to the US government's National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC)." - excerpt from a story at The Guardian - details below.
"Some would say there is a pattern, because we have had several years with exceptionally large fires over western states, particularly the Southwestern states, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Colorado in particular," Doesken said. "Others would say, no, not enough data points yet to show that." - from an article at Live Science below.
“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four,” Winston Smith, the hero of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eight-Four, writes in his secret journal. “If that is granted, all else follows.” - from a post about climate change and the recent EPA ruling from The American Prospect; details below the 7-Day.
What Is The UV Index? I know - one more thing to worry about, but all of us should pay attention to the UV (ultraviolet) Index, to lower the risk of not only sunburn, but melanoma. More from NOAA's CPC: "The UV Index is a next day forecast of the amount of skin damaging UV radiation expected to reach the earth's surface at the time when the sun is highest in the sky (solar noon). The amount of UV radiation reaching the surface is primarily related to the elevation of the sun in the sky, the amount of ozone in the stratosphere, and the amount of clouds present. The UV Index can range from 0 (when it is night time) to 15 or 16 (in the tropics at high elevations under clear skies). UV radiation is greatest when the sun is highest in the sky and rapidly decreases as the sun approaches the horizon. The higher the UV Index, the greater the DOSE RATE of skin damaging (and eye damaging) UV radiation.....There are two prices to pay for overexposure to UV radiation: a severe sun burn following an intense short term overexposure, and the more serious skin cancers developing after long term overexposure. MELANOMA, the more deadly of the two types of skin cancer, occurs when the patient has been subjected to several intense short term overexposures.
Heating Up Again. The American model ensemble suggests low to mid 90s today, a slight dip in temperature Saturday, before bouncing back into the mid-90s Sunday.
Best Chance Of Puddles: next Tuesday. The upper atmosphere will probably be "capped" - too hot/dry aloft for widespread storms for the next 4 days. The GFS suggests next Tuesday may bring the best chance of T-storms.
Close Call. The 84 hour NAM precipitation forecast shows the best chance of some .25 to .5" rains over far southern Minnesota, near Mankato and Albert Lea.
QPF. The 5-Day rainfall prediction from NOAA shows heavy rain for south Texas, and a band of potentially moderate showers and T-storms stretching from Des Moines and Chicago to Washington D.C. and Philadelphia. The Central Plains and much of the west stay dry, and stinking hot.
Sizzling Bullseye. NOAA's CPC (Climate Prediction Center) shows a (very) significant bias toward much warmer than average weather across the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest through July 8. Map: NOAA and Ham Weather.
Troubling Trends. Here is some additional information from the scientists and journalists at Climate Communication: "As a heat wave sweeps across much of the country and wildfires rage in the West, many are wondering about the connection between these types of extreme weather events and climate change. Climate Communication has put together "Heat Waves and Climate Change", a summary of the latest peer-reviewed literature on climate change and the recent increase in temperatures - a contributing factor to wildfires.
Some facts from "Heat Waves and Climate Change":
- Since 1950 the number of heat waves worldwide has increased, and heat waves have become longer.
- In the past several years, the global area hit by extremely unusual hot temperatures has increased 50-fold.
- In the U.S., new record high temperatures now regularly outnumber new record lows by a ration of 2:1; in 2012, the ratio for the year (through June 26) stands at more than 9:1.
- In the U.S., the rise in heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere has increased the probability of record-breaking temperatures 15-fold.
- If we continue business as usual, the same summertime temperatures that ranked among the top 5% in 1950-1979 will occur at least 70% of the time by 2035-2064 in the U.S.
- By the end of this century, a once-every-20 year heat wave is projected to occur every other year.
Waldo Canyon (Colorado Springs) Blow-Up. Here's a remarkable YouTube clip, showing the scale of the blaze, courtesy of bburtt1: "Waldo Canyon blow up Tuesday 6/26/2012 - Colorado Springs. Video from our bedroom window 60+ miles to the north of the fire in Lakewood Colorado. I have been on a few hot fires like this in Calif. and Montana but this one was really gobbling with 60+ mph winds behind it. Tough year here in Colorado!!"
Fiery Aftermath. As destructive as an (unimaginable) 10-20 mile wide EF-5 tornado, a wall of flames consumed the Mountain Shadows neighborhood, just northwest of downtown Colorado Springs - details and a YouTube video from AP: "Firefighters in Colorado Springs are struggled to gain control after a forest fire that started west of the city. An AP aerial tour of one neighborhood showed hundreds of heavily damaged or destroyed homes as well as charred forests."
Pineridge Fire. Here's a photo and description from the Grand Junction, Colorado office of The National Weather Service, via Facebook: "Pineridge Fire, taken just west of the WFO Grand Junction parking lot at 630 pm, 6/28."
Western Wildfire Plumes From Space. Here is a YouTube video clip captured by astronauts onboard the ISS, the International Space Station: "A video camera aboard the International Space Station captured this footage of the wildfires burning in the Western U.S., including Colorado."
Another Duststorm Blows Through Phoenix Area. AZFamily.com has the story, and some amazing video: "Another dust storm blew through the Phoenix metropolitan area and parts of southern Arizona on Wednesday evening. The massive wall of dust was more than 3,000 feet high and 10 to 15 miles wide. The storm did cause flight delays of 15 to 30 minutes at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. National Weather Service meteorologists said the latest dust storm limited visibility on some areas of Interstate 10 to less than 1 mile."
Flood's Mud Clouds Lake Superior. I pointed this out a few days ago - looking at NASA's MODIS high-res imagery it was hard not to miss the muddy runoff from the recent historic rains in the Duluth area. Here's an update from The Star Tribune: "The rain that flooded Duluth last week also flushed an unprecedented quantity of dirt, pollution and bacteria into Lake Superior -- enough to make experts worry about the long-term environmental consequences on the largest and clearest of the Great Lakes. One day after the storm, sediment runoff made the lake opaque for miles along the shore, local researchers say. Satellite photos show a wide swath of mud streaming into the lake from the Duluth harbor almost all the way to the Apostle Islands. "We don't know what's going to happen because we've never seen this," said Elizabeth Austin-Minor, an associate professor of chemistry at the University of Minnesota Duluth's Large Lakes Observatory."
Debby Floods Neighborhoods In Northern Florida. As much as 25-30" of rain fell in the Tallahassee area - here's an excerpt from an AP summary of Debby's rainy wrath: "Debby destroyed homes and businesses, washed away roads and flooded neighborhoods in Florida before the once-large tropical storm drifted out to sea Wednesday, leaving behind a sopping mess. At least three people were killed in the storm. More than 100 homes and businesses were flooded and officials warned that the waters may not recede until next week in some places. The storm knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of customers, though most had electricity restored by the time Debby left the state. The tropical storm formed in the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday and gradually made its way across the Florida, drenching the state for several days before it weakened to a depression. The windy, rainy weather ruined vacations for some."
Photo credit above: "A man paddles through flood waters from Tropical Storm Debby in downtown Live Oak, Fla. on Tuesday, June 26, 2012. The National Hurricane Center says Debby has weakened to a tropical depression as it continues to move across Florida, bringing flooding to many areas." (AP Photo/The Gainesville Sun, Matt Stamey)
Post-Flood Health Risk Warning. Here's more on the aftermath of Debby's drenching rains, and lingering concerns for the Sunshine State, from winknews.com: "TALLAHASSEE, Fla.- The State Emergency Response Team (SERT), with the Florida Department of Health, encourages Floridians to use caution as flooding and standing water form as a result of the heavy rains from Tropical Storm Debby, now a post-tropical cyclone. “We urge residents and visitors in affected areas to take precautions to conserve water and protect themselves and their families from potential health risks presented by storm surge and floodwaters,” said State Coordinating Officer Bryan W. Koon. “As the SERT continues to respond to the impacts of Tropical Storm Debby, life safety is our first and foremost concern and Florida’s residents and visitors should continue to heed instructions from local officials.”
Weather Alerts Coming Soon To Smartphone Near You. More on free text alerts from NOAA at philly.com; here's an excerpt: "MINNEAPOLIS - Millions of smartphone users will soon begin receiving text messages about severe weather from a sophisticated government system that can send a blanket warning to mobile devices in the path of a dangerous storm.The National Weather Service's new Wireless Emergency Alerts system offers a new way to warn Americans about menacing weather, even if they are nowhere near a television, radio or storm sirens. Beginning Thursday, the system will notify people about approaching tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards and other threats. When a warning is issued for a specific county, a message of no more than 90 characters will cause late-model smartphones in that area to sound a special tone and vibrate."
Photo credit above: "Bob Burns holds his smartphone Wednesday, June 27, 2012 in Minnetonka, Minn. Millions of smartphone users wiil soon begin receiving text messages about severe weather from a sophisticated government system that can send a blanket warning to mobile devices in the path of a dangerous storm." (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
How To Get Rid Of Mosquitoes: Testing 11 Homeade Remedies. I thought this might be a useful nugget (for everyone). With the recent monsoon rains the bug situation is pretty bad out there. Here's an excerpt of a timely slide-show from stylelist.com: "Reach for the calamine lotion, it's mosquito season. Mosquitoes are out in full force right now because warm weather allows a mosquito egg to become an adult in less than a week. Mosquitoes can infect millions of people every year and this year may especially be a doozy due to the mild winter we had. And with over 150 species of mosquitoes in North America (over 3,000 in the world), these pesky critters can really put a damper on summer fun! The thing is, we're not always huge fans of conventional mosquito repellants on the market, which often irritate the skin. In the interest of seeing if there are chemical-free remedies, we've tested the following ways to get rid of mosquitoes. What worked and what should be left to the garden? Click through our slideshow to find out."
Lets Blow Up The News Story And Build New Forms Of Journalism. News was once defined as "anything that makes people say gee wiz". Of course it's a bit more complex than that, but the truth is daunting; consumers are willing to pay for financial information (that might give them an edge in the markets), but general-interest news relies on advertising to keep the lights on, and that only goes so far. How can a company monetize news and find a viable way forward. Here are a few ideas from the news pundits down at Poynter: "American journalism is suffering from a lack of imagination. We’re at a transformational moment in how we publish and broadcast our work — a time of great promise when we can reinvent how we tell stories. And yet, we are still doing things the same way we’ve done them for decades. Take a look at any newspaper’s website and you’ll see the same old story form — just in pixels. It’s the same for television stations. Their websites post the same video packages that were on the 6 o’clock news. We are stuck in the ’90s. I remember one of the first conferences on computer assisted reporting in the mid-’90s when they showed us this thing called “the Web” and demonstrated a website for the “Late Show with David Letterman.” It was very cool and very promising. It showed how the Web gave us a new canvas to create new forms of journalism."
What's Wrong With Almost Every Old Media-Inspired New Media Start-Up. Technology Review has an interesting article about legacy media's attempts to "reinvent the news" online, finding ways to add enough value to launch a sustainable business model that pays for itself. Easier said than done - but the real pioneering work (and necessary experimentation) is being done on mobile devices and tablets. Here's an excerpt: "In a perfect world, we would take every old media dinosaur turned new media pundit, every director of a center for entrepreneurial journalism who has never launched a successful online news venture, and every column about how we should "blow up the news story and build new forms of journalism" and toss them into the maw of hell, but not before driving stakes into their black hearts to make sure they can't come back from the dead. (Attention conservation notice for incoming comment trolls: hyperbole.)....Successful new media startups, on the other hand, tend do do the exact opposite of everything listed above. That is, they accept that "the story" is a cognitive convention rooted deep within the human brain, where narrative is, for most of us, the basic unit of both memory and understanding. Having accepted that, they think about the medium and the money."
Stay Away From Glenn. No idea where this came from - I just knew I had to post this. The extended outlook? Thermonuclear!
Brief Break. Kind of odd when 88 F. is considered a "cooler front". After morning clouds the sun came out, PM highs ranging from 82 at Hibbing to 88 St. Cloud and the Twin Cities.
Dog Days of June. This may be my favorite photo (in months). Yes, pets feel the heat too - keep that in mind in the coming days. Details and credits: "Bianca, owned by Victoria and Shawn Joe of Kansas City, Mo., uses the water in the JC Nichols Memorial Fountain on the Country Club Plaza to cool down Thursday evening, June 28, 2012, from the scorching summer temperatures." (AP Photo/The Kansas City Star, David Eulitt)
Paul's Star Tribune Outlook for the Twin Cities and The Rest of the Free World:
TODAY: Air Pollution Alert cancelled. Hot sun. Dew point: 63. Winds: SW 5-10. HIgh: 92
FRIDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy, more humid again. Low: 68
SATURDAY: Some hazy sun. Dew point: 62. Winds: E 5-10. High: near 90
SATURDAY NIGHT: Humid with an isolated T-storm. Low: 72
SUNDAY: Sticky sun. Few storms possible far southern MN. Dew point: 68. Winds: S 10. High: 95
MONDAY: Murky sun. Steamy. Dew point: 70. Low: 73. High: 94
TUESDAY: Few T-storms bubble up (locally heavy rain possible). Very humid. DP: 74. Low: 72. High: 92
WEDNESDAY: Sauna-like 4th. Lake-worthy! Dew point: 71. Low: 73. High: 95
THURSDAY: Sunny, even hotter. Low: 74. High: 96
"I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me." - Bonnie Ware, author of the 2011 book "The Top Five Regrets of the Dying."
1 in 500 Year Flood
According to Mike Eilts, CEO of Weather Decision Technologies in Norman, Cloquet and Fond Du Lac experienced a 1-in-500 year flood last week.
Wet areas are getting wetter; dry regions in the west are getting drier (and hotter). More breaking news from Climate Communications: "In the past several years, the global area hit by extremely unusual hot temperatures has increased 50-fold." Highlights from the report include 9 times more record highs than record lows so far in 2012 - and a rise in heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere "has increased the probability of record-breaking temperatures 15-fold."
Yes, it's getting hotter out there.
The heat is bad enough, but imagine a 100 foot wall of flames racing toward your home at 40 mph. It puts our tornado risk into perspective. One of my severe storm alerting customers has closed offices in Colorado Springs; at least 1 employee has lost his home to an "unprecedented" 18,000 acre conflagration. Surreal.
T-storms may bubble up Sunday, again Tuesday, but most of the next week will be dry - and sizzling. I see an 8-day string of 90s ; 100-degree heat is possible close to home the latter half of next week.
Looks like a real summer this year!
Photo credit above: "As a part of a legislative delegation Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem, and Minority Leader Thomas Bakk survey the flood damage on Vermillion Street in Thomson, Minn. Wednesday June 27, 2011." (AP Photo/The Duluth News-Tribune, Clint Austin)
1 In 500 Year Flood. Here is the data referenced in the column above, courtesy of Mike Eilts, CEO of WDT, Weather Decision Technologies. The purple area just southwest of Duluth (right over Cloquet and Fond du Lac) received a 1-in-500 year flood, according to his company's algorithms. Here's how they work:
QPE - Quantitative Precipitation Estimation: WDT runs and maintains a highly sophisticated QPE algorithm to estimate rainfall based off of the NEXRAD radar network every hour for the previous 24 hours. Over 10,000 rain gauges are integrated to calibrate the radar-based estimates of rainfall using ground truth. This approach yields the best nationwide rainfall estimate possible, filling the gaps between rain gauges, which are few and far between.
EPI - Extreme Precipitation Index: WDT's EPI algorithm is a one-of-a-kind algorithm pioneering the combination of QPE data and climatological rainfall frequency across the country. EPI indicates how rare a rainfall event is by outputting the frequency of how often a rainfall event would be expected. For example, a particular area receives 5" of rainfall with an EPI of 100 years. This indicates that a rainfall of 5" would be expected for that location every 100 years, indicating that it is a very rare rainfall event.
Is Global Warming Fueling Colorado Wildfires. Here's an excerpt from a story at Live Science: "...Some studies do suggest that climate change is already affecting western wildfires. In 2006, researchers at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in California analyzed 1,166 fires between 1970 and 2003 and found a dramatic increase in fire potency in the late 1980s. Though wildfire is a natural part of the western landscape, the researchers concluded that a warming climate was ramping up warm winters and springs, exacerbating natural fire cycles. More recently, an analysis of 1,500 years of fire and tree-ring data revealed that a combination of climate change and human forest use could explain modern "megafires," the kind that destroy large swaths of forest."
Graphic credit above: "Graph shows the number of acres burned annually in U.S. wildfires." Credit: Karl Tate, LiveScience.com Contributor.
West's Wildfires A Preview Of Changed Climate - Scientists. Reuters has the story; here's a snippet: "Scorching heat, high winds and bone-dry conditions are fueling catastrophic wildfires in the U.S. West that offer a preview of the kind of disasters that human-caused climate change could bring, a trio of scientists said on Thursday. "What we're seeing is a window into what global warming really looks like," Princeton University's Michael Oppenheimer said during a telephone press briefing. "It looks like heat, it looks like fires, it looks like this kind of environmental disaster ... This provides vivid images of what we can expect to see more of in the future." In Colorado, wildfires that have raged for weeks have killed four people, displaced thousands and destroyed hundreds of homes. Because winter snowpack was lighter than usual and melted sooner, fire season started earlier in the U.S. West, with wildfires out of control in Colorado, Montana and Utah."
Photo credit above: "This aerial photo shows the destructive path of the Waldo Canyon fire in the Mountain Shadows subdivision area of Colorado Springs, Colo., Thursday, June 28, 2012. Colorado Springs officials said Thursday that hundreds of homes have been destroyed by the raging wildfire." (AP Photo/Denver Post, RJ Sangosti)
Arctic Sea Ice At Record Lows For June. Some troubling news from the top of the world, courtesy of The Guardian: "Sea ice in the Arctic has melted faster this year than ever recorded before, according to the US government's National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC). Satellite observations show the extent of the floating ice that melts and refreezes every year was 318,000 square miles less last week than the same day period in 2007, the year of record low extent, and the lowest observed at this time of year since records began in 1979. Separate observations by University of Washington researchers suggest that the volume of Arctic sea ice is also the smallest ever calculated for this time of year."
Photo credit above: "Scientists say Arctic sea ice has plummeted to its lowest levels ever this year." Photgraph: Steven J Kazlowski/Alamy
A Court Rules For The Planet. Here's an excerpt from an Op-Ed at The New York Times: "A federal court decision on Tuesday upholding the Environmental Protection Agency’s landmark rulings to control greenhouse gases was a decisive victory for the Obama administration and a devastating blow to polluters. It vindicated the administration’s strategy of controlling emissions through regulation and showed good sense at a time when both the agency and the science of global warming are under relentless Congressional attack. The unanimous decision by a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia covered dozens of suits from industry groups and 14 states challenging four rules that are components of the administration’s effort to limit greenhouse gases."
Climate Change To Make Los Angeles 4-5 F. Hotter Over The Next 30 Years. Details from treehugger.com; here's an excerpt: "Mother Jones points out a new study trying to determine how much the greater Los Angeles area will warm because of climate change. The results are pretty dramatic. Under business-as-usual climate scenarios the region warms on average 4.6°F by 2041. There are some notable differences however, based on geography. Along the ocean temperatures will increase 3.5-4°F, mountains and deserts warm 4.5-5.5°F, and dense urban areas warm 4-4.5°F. More warming is expected to occur in summer and fall than in spring and winter. What that means for days above 95°F also varies by locality."
Rep. Sullivan's Vanquisher: Global Warming Needs "Clearer Evidence". Here's an excerpt from The Hill: "Jim Bridenstine, the Republican who beat sitting GOP Energy and Commerce Committee member John Sullivan (R-Okla.) in Tuesday’s primary, will join the ranks of House members who are skeptical of climate change. The Hill’s Emily Goodin has more on Sullivan’s loss here. Here’s what Bridenstine, a Navy pilot, has to say about climate change on his website:
"While the environment should be protected and global warming studied, global warming should not drive national energy policy without clearer evidence."
Bridenstine, who will be heavily favored in the general election, is poised to win a House seat at a time when Republicans are seeking to overturn EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases."
Europe's Cities Plan To Combat Mounting Climate Risk. Details from Reuters; here's an excerpt: "European cities are planning to adapt to climate change as the risks become more severe, a report by UK-based emissions measurement organization the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and consultancy Accenture showed on Thursday. Cities increasingly have to plan flood defenses, ways to manage water in times of drought, ensure new buildings provide natural cooling to occupants and adapt old buildings and infrastructure to become more energy efficient. The report surveyed 22 European cities - including Amsterdam, Berlin, Istanbul, London, Manchester, Moscow, Paris and Rome - about their greenhouse gas emissions and climate change strategies." (photo: NASA).
8 Solutions To Address Climate Change...In 3-D. Here's an interesting (and highly visual) story excerpt from National Geographic: "Whether it’s using a building rooftop to display solar panels or investing in cycling programs and infrastructure, cities are replete with smart solutions to climate change. A new C40 infographic – featuring cutting edge technology developed with our web partners the Barbarian group — brings to life a range of opportunities (and existing solutions) for cities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the quality of life for local communities. Our goal: to create the experience of surveying a “fully green” city by bringing together examples of best practices from global cities into a single city block."
Yes America, Global Warming Does Exist. More on the recent EPA ruling and the double-talk coming from the fossil fuel industry; here's an excerpt from The American Prospect: "....In the past ten years, industry and its shills have conducted a massive campaign to convince the public that global warming does not exist. The D.C. Circuit opinion harshly rejects that sort of half-crazy doublethink. The three-judge panel included Judge David Sentelle, one of the most conservative judges on the federal bench. But there was no dissent. That makes en banc review less likely, and the vote lineup on the Supreme Court looks to be about the same as it was in 2007, when Massachusetts v. EPA came down. A court ruling that two plus two equals four is a setback for climate denial. But the battle goes on."
Photo credit: "Mesospheric Clouds". I've heard of noctilucent clouds, but yesterday I discovered a new category of clouds - mesospheric clouds. Details: "In this image provided by NASA polar mesospheric clouds in the Northern Hemisphere are featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 31 crew member on the International Space Station June 13, 2012. In both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere, during their respective late spring and early summer seasons, polar mesospheric clouds are at the peak of their visibility. Visible from the ground during twilight, aircraft in flight, and the International Space Station, they typically appear as delicate shining threads against the darkness of space—hence their other name of noctilucent or "night-shining" clouds. Polar mesospheric clouds form between 76-85 kilometers above the Earth's surface, when there is sufficient water vapor at these high altitudes to freeze into ice crystals. The clouds are illuminated by the setting sun while the ground surface below is in darkness, lending them their night-shining properties. In addition to the illuminated tracery of polar mesospheric clouds trending across the center of the image, lower layers of the atmosphere are also illuminated; the lowest layer of the atmosphere, the stratosphere, is indicated by dim orange and red tones. While the exact cause of formation of polar mesospheric clouds is still debated—dust from meteors, global warming, and rocket exhaust have all been suggested as contributing factors—recent research suggests that changes in atmospheric gas composition or temperature has caused the clouds to become brighter over time." (AP Photo/NASA)
Study: Kardashians Get 40 Times More News Coverage Than Ocean Acidification. Yes, this sums up the challenge nicely. Here's an excerpt from a story at Media Matters: "Carbon dioxide emissions are not just warming up our atmosphere, they're also changing the chemistry of our oceans. This phenomenon is known as ocean acidification, or sometimes as global warming's "evil twin" or the "osteoporosis of the sea." Scientists have warned that it poses a serious threat to ocean life. Yet major American news outlets covered the Kardashians over 40 times more often than ocean acidification over the past year and a half. Rising carbon dioxide emissions have caused the oceans to become around 30% more acidic since the Industrial Revolution, and if we do now lower the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, the ocean surface could be up to 150 percent more acidic by 2100."
Exxon CEO: Fears About Climate Change, Drilling And Energy Security Are Overblown. Here's an excerpt from AP and The Washington Post: "In a speech Wednesday, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson addressed three major energy issues: Climate change, oil and gas drilling pollution, and energy dependence. He said the fears about all three are overblown. “Clearly there is going to be an impact,” he said, but society will adapt to changes. “We have spent our entire existence adapting. We’ll adapt,” he said. “It’s an engineering problem and there will be an engineering solution.” (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)