Friday, December 21, 2012

Exchange w/ noted Chicago area Meteorologists...

...on Global warming/climate change: 1656 words (but shorter than my 22 August 2007 Contract for America's 1900 words):

Chicago area TV outlet transcript Thursday 13 December 2012 1100am
SCIENCE/TECHNOLOGY  The Year’s Extreme Weather  

"Chicago residents hoping for a white Christmas may be out of luck this year, according to projections by local meteorologists. This week, the city officially broke the record for the longest stretch of time between measurable snowfalls, a record that stood at 281 days. As the days without any real snow continue, the record is extended further.

“'This is a climatological anomaly,” said meteorologist #1, a professor at a local  College. 'We’re seeing a pattern that’s not conducive at all to snowfall.'

This lack of snowfall isn’t the only anomaly for Illinois this year. This past winter was the warmest on record. The spring – in particular the month of March – had unusually high temperatures. A crippling summer drought left farmers with their hands tied, and few healthy crops to harvest. Northern Illinois was hit by a tornado. Major thunderstorms knocked out power, shutting down the music festival Lollapalooza. Not to mention the Midwest impact felt by Hurricane Sandy, which provoked strong winds and dangerous waves as far west as Lake Michigan as the storm ravaged whole communities on the East Coast.

Taken together, what do this year’s strange weather patterns mean for the future of Illinois’ economy and environment? Meteorologists are trying to wrap their heads around this very question.

"meteorologist #1: studies changes in thunderstorm patterns, using historical records and numerical models to forecast the future of storms. He admits the field of meteorology sometimes does a poor job of connecting the dots between unusual weather events and concrete, actionable insight for the public.

“As meteorologists, we’re good at saying, ‘Hey, this is anomalous,’” he said. “But it comes down to the vulnerability of the public. Can we relay our information to the public to make them better decision-makers?”

This year, small and large scale farmers were among the worst hit by the state’s extreme weather.

“Agriculture is a very vulnerable sector,” meteorologist #1 said, adding that Illinois farmers need to start thinking creatively to adapt to a shifting climate. Innovations like genetically modified crops – i.e. hybrid, drought-resistant breeds of corns – can help get farmers through a dry summer, at least to an extent.

But after last summer, some meteorologists say another year of dryness may exacerbate the industry’s problems in a dangerous way. Ninety percent of Illinois is currently considered abnormally dry due to the summer drought.

“If we have another drought and don’t get some moisture, farmers will have a tough time,” said meteorologist #2, a warning coordination meteorologist…. in Chicago. “I think another dry year would be very serious.”

Beyond agriculture, Illinois residents are vulnerable to extreme weather in other ways as well. It’s a reality, meteorologist #1 said, that resonates stronger than ever in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. In the case of Sandy, warning residents eight days in advance was still not enough to convince the most at-risk to evacuate.

“We lost 125 people because people chose not to evacuate,” meteorologist #1 said. “You can warn people eight days in a row, but ultimately it comes down to personal responsibility.”  meteorologist #1 says federal and state governments need to be more proactive in their approach to disasters like Sandy. That may involve distributing generators en masse to areas where power lines are expected to fall, as well as basics like bottled water, flashlights and batteries.

“Some of that was being done,” he said. “But not on a big enough scale.”
New technologies may help fill gaps in disaster preparedness. For meteorologist #1, cell phones may prove a crucial tool for future weather emergencies. He says he hopes that, one day, individuals can get automatic emergency notifications on their phones based on their GPS location. For those who don’t have cell phones, alerts can go out through more traditional mediums: commercial radio, television, and organized word-of-mouth campaigns.

For meteorologist #1, preemptive planning is key.

“These events are rare events," he said. “But when they happen, it’s chaos. In Sandy, we had eight days with the right information. [But] people didn’t leave. We could have prevented those deaths.”

For many cities, meteorologists say what’s missing is a sense of urgency.
“Recognize that there’s potential for a major disaster,” meteorologist #2 said. “It doesn’t always happen to someone else – it can happen to you.”

And the perennial question posed to meteorologists: to what extent are these local events linked to climate change? For many in this field, this becomes a tricky question. For meteorologist #2, it’s problematic to draw sweeping conclusions from individual events.  “We don’t always understand these events, even as meteorologists,” he said.

“Climate change is about long-term, global patterns,” meteorologist #1 said. “You can’t relate one single event in one area in one year to climate change.”  Still, he said, the dots are there for others to connect.

“I know [what we’re seeing now] is consistent with what published literature says climate change would look like,” meteorologist #1. “We’re seeing this year after year.”

My response to meteorologist #1 and meteorologist #2:

Global warming, climate change? Sunday 16 December 2012 10:51 AM
From: "Arnold Nelson" To: Meteorologist #1 and meteorologist #2:
Chicago Sunday AM 16 December 2012

Mssrs. Meteorologist #1 and Meteorologist #2

Gentlemen Your Thursday 13 December WTTW Science/Technology show on the current and potential weather situation was well organized and interesting to hear. Your closing line “I know [what we’re seeing now] is consistent with what published literature says climate change would look like, We’re seeing this year after year” suggests questions:

Your reference to 'numerical models'  suggests another numerical model that may help clear things up.  Projecting the 4.5 billion year age of the planet on an 80-year human lifetime results in one earth year equaling 0.562 seconds of the lifetime.  This leads to some interesting conclusions:

In this model humans first appeared on earth 39 days ago. They had no idea of measuring temperature before Galileo's 1593 thermometer invention, 4 minutes ago to our geezer. Discovery of carbon dioxide in 1630? 3 minutes 30 seconds ago.

If a doctor took an 80-year-ld's blood pressure and got 120 over 80, took another reading 5 minutes later and got 123 over 82, would she call an ambulance?

Arnold H Nelson

5056 North Marine Drive  Chicago 60640  773-677-3010

Response from Meteorologist #1

RE: Global warming, climate change?Monday, December 17, 2012 10:16 AM
From: Meteoroligost #1 "Arnold Nelson"


Thanks for taking the time to watch our interview on Chiarea TV outlet Arnold,

I think you have some misconceptions on the way climate models actually work.  Many of them are not "projecting" meteorological variables at given times in the future.  Rather, they are testing responses to things like increasing carbon emissions and changing land-use.

If you would like more information about climate change, please consider enrolling in a section of my "Climate and Global Change" course next semester.

Best, Meteorologist #1

Response from Meteorologist #2:

Re: Global warming, climate change?Monday, December 17, 2012 12:44 PM
Mr. Arnold,

Paleoclimatic data are critical for enabling us to extend our knowledge of climatic variability beyond what is measured by modern instruments. Many natural phenomena are climate dependent (such as the growth rate of a tree for example), and as such, provide natural 'archives' of climate information. Some useful paleoclimate data can be found in sources as diverse as tree rings, ice cores, corals, lake sediments (including fossil insects and pollen data), speleothems (stalactites etc), and ocean sediments. Some of these, including ice cores and tree rings provide us also with a chronology due to the nature of how they are formed, and so high resolution climate reconstruction is possible in these cases. However, there is not a comprehensive 'network' of paleoclimate data as there is with instrumental coverage, so global climate reconstructions are often difficult to obtain. Nevertheless, combining different types of paleoclimate records enables us to gain a near-global picture of climate changes in the distant past.

Meteoroligist #2

My response to responses of Meteorologist #1 and Meteorologist #2:

Global warming and climate change? (Mark II) Monday, December 17, 2012 7:06 PM
From: "Arnold Nelson" To: Meteorologist #1 and Meteorologist #2

Chicago Monday PM 17 December 2012

Mssrs. Meteorologist #1 and Meteorologist #2

RE: Global warming, climate change?Monday 17 December 2012 10:16 AM

Gentlemen, thanks so much for your prompt responses to my email.  I write letters to a lot of people, but rarely get such well thot out responses from people who are as well versed in their professions as you two.

Meteorologist #1, you say you think I “have some misconceptions on the way climate models actually work.”  I was not referring to “climate models” in general, I was referring to your show transcript that says you study “changes in thunderstorm patterns, using historical records and numerical models to forecast the future of storms.”   That sounds to me a lot more like using models, climate and/or numerical, to project  “meteorological variables at given times in the future” than “testing responses to things like increasing carbon emissions and changing land-use.”

Meteorologist #2, you say “Paleoclimatic data are critical for enabling us to extend our knowledge of climatic variability beyond what is measured by modern instruments,” then refer to “many natural phenomena...” such as “tree rings and ice cores.”

Some fast googling found “Old Tjikko, a 9,550 year old Norway Spruce, is the oldest known living individual clonal tree"  ((9,550 years works out to 90 minutes in my model) and  “Oldest Antarctic Ice Core Reveals Climate History...” that “... contains snowfall from the last 740,000 years....”   740,000 years is 118 hours in my model.  Both figures minuscule compared to the 4.5 billion year age of the planet.

Arnold  Nelson

Sunday, December 9, 2012

New York Times on 'global warming'

Chicago Saturday 27 October 2012

Editors, The New York Times


The first paragraph of your Thursday 25 October article 
“Both Romney and Obama Avoid Talk of Climate 
Change” refers to “... a year of record-smashing 
temperatures, drought and Arctic ice melt....”

A Saturday 19 August 2000 Times article by John 
Noble Wilford "The North Pole is melting" breathlessly 
declared: "An ice-free patch of ocean about a mile wide 
has opened at the very top of the world, ... more 
evidence that global warming may be real...."

That was followed only four days later by an equally 
bedazzled climate change enthusiast's Op-Ed "In the 
(Un)Frozen North" that started out: "The 19th century's 
dream of an open polar sea has become the 21st 
century's nightmare."

Six days later, Mr. Wilford wrote another article 
(Tuesday 29 August 2000) quoting another expert: 
"There's nothing to be necessarily alarmed about. 
There's been open water at the pole before."

And on the same day, the Times made honest 
journalists of themselves with this Correction:

"A front-page article in the August 19, 2000 edition ... 
about the sighting of open water at the North Pole 
misstated the normal conditions of the sea ice there...."

Arnold H Nelson

Obama's "firm and nuanced hand in foreign affairs"?

Chicago AM Saturday 27 October 2012

Voice of the People, Chicago Tribune

A letter in the  Voice of the People (Saturday 27
October)  says because of the President's "firm and
nuanced hand in foreign affairs" the writer sees "
reason to change horses and elect someone with zero
experience in such a sensitive, even crucial, policy
area."  Yes, even tho the President was able to firmly
order the assassination of the alleged instigator of the
9/11 attacks, we still had our embassy in Egypt
(a country we have been giving $3 billion a year to)
threatened, and its US Flag replaced by the black flag
of the Taliban, and our Ambassador to Libya
sodomized, tortured and, along with four other
Americans, murdered, lets vote for four more years
of 'nuanced' foreign policy. 

Arnold H Nelson



Wednesday 24 October  2012

To: WSJ, Best of the Web Today

In a 90 year life time, a famous American,  outstanding student,
writes 56 best selling books, makes enough money from them
to donate $100 million to top universities ( Texas, Swarthmore....) Soon after birth he was left on a church doorstep in Philadelphia in 1907, with a note attached
from the apparent mother: “I am unable to care for this baby.
Please find someone who can care for him properly”.  This
request was followed, and the individual was raised and
schooled by adoption.

Don't you think with such success and income, this man could
spend whatever necessary to find out who the woman who left
him on the doorstep was? Such a man did exist, but with no
success at all: Mr “Tales from the South Pacific himself” James
A Michener. For all his success and fame. He could have been
the result of rape or incest. No one will ever know.

No matter what the situation, abortion is always for the
convenience of the perpetrators - it's never the baby's fault.

Arnold H Nelson  in Chicago

More Bush vs Obama

Chicago Wednesday 24 October 2012   

Voice of the People, Chicago Tribune  


The Chicago Tribune prints a letter (Wednesday 24 
October "Obama's job) opening with "...Barack 
Obama ...came into office with a number of problems 
left by the previous administration and has done an 
admirable job.”  Yes, the previous administration did 
run an at the time unprecedented average monthly 
federal deficit of $20 billion per month.  President 
Obama's corresponding figure is a hardly admirable 
$120 billion.  

The letter continues that Obama was the “driving force 
in the killing of Osama bin Laden, who caused us so 
much misery....”  Had Obama captured him alive we 
might have waterboarded him into warning us of the 
misery we're still suffering from the Taliban.

The letter concludes: Obama “... put through a 
meaningful national health care bill that will take full 
effect in 2014.”  Could the writer point out where in 
the United States Constitution there is any reference 
at all to national health care?  It does contain a 'general 
welfare clause' which the Father of the Constitution,
 James Madison, explained in his Federalist paper 41 
that “...a specification of the objects alluded to by... 
'general welfare' ... immediately follows... not even
 separated by a longer pause than a semicolon."   
Following that semicolon is a list of 17 other 
congressional powers, from "borrow money on the 
credit of the United States" to "make all Laws which 
shall be necessary and proper for carrying into 
Execution the foregoing Powers," but not a word about 
health care.

Arnold H Nelson

Chicago IL 60640

Deficits: Bush vs Obama

Chicago Thursday PM 18 October 2012

Voice of the People Chicago Tribune

The Chicago Tribune prints a letter "Give it time" 
[Thursday 18 October] saying "The Bush administration 
had eight years to dig this country into a giant hole."  
Yes, who could forget those  48 months of $20 billion 
average monthly deficits.   Of course, who will ever 
forget the $120 billion average monthly deficits run 
up by the Obama Administration?  You can look it up.

Arnold H Nelson