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Archive for September 10th, 2008

Hurricane Ike Update 9/10

Posted by feww on September 10, 2008

Ike Update 9/12: Who Rubbed the Oil Lamp?

Ike Loves Open Waters!

Ike has strengthened to a Category 2A on FEWW Hurricane Scale, and is expected to become a major hurricane (category 3A or above with winds of at least 178km/hr) before making landfall in the northern Gulf of Mexico (Southern Texas).

FEWW Comment: Ike left behind up to 200 people dead in Haiti and Cuba (the death toll could still rise) as it churned through the Caribbeans and is now bringing much wind and rain to the US.

Having previously strengthened to a Category 4 hurricane, Ike struck eastern Cuba as a category 3 hurricane, and there’s a significant probability that it might strengthen again to a category 3 hurricane, possibly stronger, as it moves over the warm waters of Gulf of Mexico.

Hurricane Ike has shown a remarkable ability to self organize since almost immediately after birth. The hurricane previously strengthened steadily, but rapidly, as it moved west on the open waters of the Atlantic ocean. Ike loves open waters and with its nascent ability to strengthen rapidly he could prove to be the strongest and most dangerous hurricane of the season to date; however, it’s still too early to forecast with high certainty the hurricane’s wind forces at landfall.


Ike on his way out of Cuba. GOES East Unenhanced Image Frozen for the purpose of comparison. Date and Time: Sept 11, 2008 at 00:15UTC – Credit: NOAA/NHC/NWS


GOES East Floater (Updated Image) Unenhanced – IR CH 4 – Date and Time: Updated  (see foot of image). Credit: NOAA/NHC/NWS

IKE CONTINUES NORTHWESTWARD TOWARD THE CENTRAL GULF

  • Source: NHC
  • Forecaster: Knabb/Berg
  • Date and Time: Sept 10, 2008 at 00:00UTC
  • Hurricane Watch Area: From Cameron westward to port Mansfield, Texas.  Hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area by Friday.
  • Tropical Storm Warning Area: From the mouth of the Mississippi River westward to east of Cameron Louisiana.  AND from west of Key West to the Dry Tortugas.
  • Location: At 00:00UTC the center of hurricane Ike was located near latitude 24.7 north, longitude 86.3 west or about 1,125 km east of Brownsville Texas and about 555 km south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River.
  • Category and Wind Speed: At 160 km/hr, with higher
    Gusts, Ike is a Category 2A hurricane on the FEWW Hurricane Scale.  Ike is expected to become a major hurricane by Thursday.
  • Direction: Ike is moving toward the northwest near 13 km/hr.  A turn back toward the west-northwestward is expected tonight or early on Thursday and a general west-northwestward motion over the central and western Gulf of Mexico is expected on Thursday and Friday.
  • Breadth: Ike is a large tropical cyclone.  Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 185 km from the center and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 335 km. 
  • Estimated minimum central pressure: 947 mb (27.96 inches).
  • Storm surge flooding: Coastal storm surge flooding along the coasts of Cuba and in the Florida Keys should continue to subside tonight.  coastal storm surge flooding of 3 to 5 feet above normal tide levels, along with large and dangerous waves, can be expected within the tropical storm warning area.  Above normal tides of 2 to 4 feet are expected elsewhere along much of the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico during the next day or so, but will be increasing along the western gulf coast as Ike approaches.
  • Rainfall: Ike is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 15 to 30 centimeters (cm) over western Cuba, with isolated maximum amounts of up to
    50cm possible.  These rains are likely to cause life-threatening flash floods and mud slides over mountainous terrain.  Rainfall amounts of 2 to 5cm are possible over extreme southern Louisiana and over the extreme northern Yucatan Peninsula.

Ike’s Forecast Path


Latest
NCEP/Tropical Prediction Center (TPC) Forecast Positions. Credit: CIMSS – Space Science and Engineering CenterUniversity of Wisconsin- Madison

Coastal Watches/Warnings and 5-Day Track Forecast Cone


Credit: NOAA/NHC/NWS

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Another Major Fishery Bites the Dust

Posted by feww on September 10, 2008

World’s biggest wild abalone fishery attacked by killer virus

The world’s biggest wild abalone fishery, off Australian coast of Tasmania, which accounts for a quarter of the global annual harvest, may be under threat from the destructive ganglioneuritis virus, Australian officials said.


White Abalones (Haliotus sorenseni). The White Abalone are highly endangered species. In California, prohibitions on commercial and recreational harvest of this species have been in place since 1996. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License. Credit: Geographer

Australia has already experience its abalone industry in nearby Victoria state devastated by the same virus.

“Our current activities are aimed at trying to determine the location and extent of any disease in the wild so we can develop appropriate control measures,” Tasmania’s chief veterinary officer said.

A rare and expensive shellfish, abalone is regarded as a delicacy in many Southeast Asian countries. Tasmania’s abalone export industry is reportedly worth about US$420 million a year. More …

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Critically Endangered Species: Arctic Sea Ice

Posted by feww on September 10, 2008

Hell Hath No Fury Like Oceans Warming!

Record Arctic ice loss in August

Previously you read on this blog that the Arctic ice cover was the second-lowest on record. The National Snow and Ice Data Center has since reported that the rate of ice loss through the month of August set a new record, reinforcing conclusions that the Arctic sea ice cover is in a long-term state of decline. With more than a week left to the end of the melt season, the Arctic shrink could still hit a new record annual low in September.

See below for the stats:

  • Arctic sea ice extent on September 3, 2008 was 4.85 million square kilometers.
  • Extent decline since the beginning of August was 2.47 million square kilometers.
  • Extent is now within 370,000 square kilometers of 2007 value on the same date (about 2.08 million square kilometers below the 1979 to 2000 average).
  • The average daily ice loss rate for August 2008 was 78,000 square kilometers per day (the fastest rate of daily ice loss ever recorded for a month of August).
  • The average daily ice loss rate for August 2007 was 63,000 square kilometers per day.
  • The average daily ice loss rate for the month of August was 51,000 square kilometers per day.

It takes very little additional energy to melt what remains of a very thinned sea ice cover!


Monthly August ice extent for 1979 to 2008 shows 2008 as the second-lowest August on record. —Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center  – High-resolution image


The graph above shows daily sea ice extent.The solid light blue line indicates 2008; the dashed green line shows extent for 2007; the gray line indicates average extent from 1979 to 2000. Sea Ice Index data. —Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center – High-resolution image


Sea surface temperature anomalies for August 2008, expressed with respect to 1982 to 2006 mean, correspond closely with ice retreat. Blue line indicates ice edge; warm colors indicate positive sea surface temperature anomalies. —Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center courtesy Mike Steele and Wendy Ermold: Polar Science Center/Applied Physics Laboratory/University of Washington.

High-resolution image

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A Haiku for Earth

Posted by feww on September 10, 2008

Haiku submitted by a reader:

Behold the shrinking ice
Vanish from Earth
Broiling by lifestyle.

.

.

.

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LHC: What will it do after the bang?

Posted by msrb on September 10, 2008

Astronomical Cost of LHC Reminds You of ISS

When the Scientists take the taxpayers to the cleaners

LHC has so far cost an estimated $10billion to build, while its annual operating cost remains a “secret.” FEWW Moderators believe the philosophy, direction and reasons for creating this white [super] elephant are entirely misplaced.

On a planet whose ability to support life is eroding daily, caused by the human onslaught on her ecosystems, and where the probability of finding any named living individual being still alive in a few years time is truly minuscule, the $10billion could have been better invested to:

  • Conduct research into low-energy technology in air quality improvement, water purification, food production, clean energy, health and hygiene, learning and education, sustainable living … and communication sectors.
  • Create working blueprints for low-energy, low-impact intelligent communities, providing about 1,500,000 people with a realistic chance of crossing the precarious “life bridge” into a possible future.

Bang for the Buck [readers will excuse the unintended pun]

The LHC project is inappropriate, ill-timed, unnecessary and hideously expensive!

Never mind the Big Bang simulation. The LHC’s poorly conceived philosophy would provide the tiniest, one-time, damp squib for your buck. The minuscule return on the enormous investment, the amount of [useful] science received for the cost of building and operating the project, makes LHC stand out like a giant white European elephant on the France’s border with Switzerland. The scientific payoff of LHC will not come even close to that of its orbiting uncle, the multi-billion dollar public-financed space science project black hole, aka the International Space Station (ISS).

And what exactly has NASA got to show for the ISS since 1998 when its on-orbit assembly began?
To be precise, NOT much!

Related Links:


A simulated event at the CMS particle detector of the LHC, CERN, Switzerland. The simulation depicts the decay of a Higgs particle following a collision of two protons.

LHC
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world’s largest particle accelerator complex, intended to collide opposing beams of 7 TeV protons. Its main purpose is to explore the validity and limitations of the Standard Model, the current theoretical picture for particle physics. The LHC was built by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), and lies under the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva, Switzerland. More …

When activated, it is theorized that the collider will produce the elusive Higgs boson, the observation of which could confirm the predictions and missing links in the Standard Model of physics and could explain how other elementary particles acquire properties such as mass. More …

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Hurricane Ike Update 9/9

Posted by feww on September 10, 2008

Ike Update 9/12: Who Rubbed the Oil Lamp?

2009: A New Climate

What if each time a storm struck your area it turned out to be a major hurricane?

Based on MSRB/CASF dynamic energy models and FEWW climate model there’s a high probability that:

1. The duration of Atlantic Hurricane season may be longer in 2009. It could start earlier than June 1, and end later than November 30. The FEWW model forecasts an 11-18 day increase in the season.

2. The storms could get stronger throughout the season. Our model indicates average increases in the maximum wind speeds of tropical storms as follows

  • Category 5 hurricanes [Saffir-Simpson scale] : 16 to 19 percent increase
  • Category 4 hurricanes : 14 to 17 percent
  • Category 3 hurricanes : 8 to 11 percent
  • Category 2 hurricanes : 4 to 6 percent
  • Category 1 hurricanes : 2 to 4 percent

Now, back to Ike

Latest Headlines:

  • More than 1 million are evacuated but there are four deaths as 20 inches of rain and 100-mph winds pound Cuba. Reports mount of earlier deaths and destruction in Haiti. Texas could be next. (LA Times)
  • Oil and natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico remained at a trickle on Tuesday as Hurricane Ike moved toward the region, triggering the second storm-related wave of offshore platform evacuations and production shutdowns in less than two weeks. (Reuters).
  • Some two million Cubans had been driven from their homes by the storm’s winds topping 130 km/h (80 mph) more than 24 hours after it first made landfall on Sunday. (AFP)
  • Ike earlier caused 66 deaths in Haiti and reportedly damaged 80% of the homes in the Turks and Caicos Islands. (BBC)


Latest
NCEP/Tropical Prediction Center (TPC) Forecast Positions. Credit: CIMSS – Space Science and Engineering CenterUniversity of Wisconsin- Madison:

CENTER OF IKE APPROACHING WESTERN CUBA

  • Source: NHC
  • Forecaster: Franklin
  • Date and Time: Sept 9, 2008 at 12:00UTC
  • Location: At 12:00UTC the center of hurricane Ike was located near latitude 22.4 north, longitude 82.4 west, or about 65 Km south of Havana, Cuba.
  • Category and Wind Speed: At 130 km/hr, Ike is a Category one hurricane  on FEWW Hurricane Scale.  Some strengthening may occur this morning before Ike moves over Western Cuba.  Additional strengthening is forecast to occur once Ike reaches the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Direction: Ike is moving toward the west-northwest at 20 km/hr and  is expected to continue in that direction in the next 48 hrs.  The center of Ike should reach the south coast of western Cuba in the next few hours, and emerge into the Gulf of Mexico by this evening.
  • Breadth: Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 355 km from the center, and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 315 km. 
  • Estimated minimum central pressure: 965mb (28.50 inches).
  • Storm surge flooding: Coastal storm surge flooding of 4 to 7 feet above normal tide levels, along with large and dangerous battering waves, can be expected in areas of onshore winds east of Ike along the southern coast of  Cuba.
  • Storm surge flooding of up to 90cm, along with Large and dangerous waves, are possible in the Florida Keys.
  • Large swells generated by Ike will continue to affect portions of the southeast United States coast during the next couple of days. These waves could generate dangerous and life-threatening rip
    currents.
  • Rainfall: Ike is expected to produce rainfall accumulations of 25cm over Cuba, with isolated maximum amounts of up to 50cm possible. These rains are likely to cause life-threatening flash
    floods and mud slides over mountainous terrain. Rainfall accumulations of 5 to 10cm are possible over the Cayman Islands. Rainfall accumulations of 2.5 to 8cm are possible over the Florida Keys.
  • Isolated tornadoes and waterspouts are possible over the Florida Keys and extreme south Florida today.

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