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You are browsing the archive for 2009 July.

31 July 2009

Measuring The Age of The Universe- An Example of How We Know

I love Astronomy, and many times I write something about it here to teach MYSELF something. Atmospheric Science is my field, but I thoroughly enjoyed the two undergrad astronomy courses, and the graduate course I took. This means I know just enough about Astronomy to be dangerous! Pilots are taught just enough Meteorology to be dangerous! Frequently, I hear someone say something along the lines of “how do we possibly …

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29 July 2009

The Hottest Skies You've Ever Seen in Seattle…

Back in the 1970’s there was a popular TV show called “Here Come the Brides”. I never watched it much, but I loved the theme song “Seattle” by Bobby Sherman. seattleclip Seattle is one of my favourite places. I even went there on my honeymoon! (Yeah, I know, only a weather geek would go to a city renowned for rain and drizzle, on their honeymoon.  It’s a weather thing.) Today …

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28 July 2009

Confused About El Nino- Taichiro Sakagami can fix that.

Taichiro has put together a series of videos on El Nino that are superb! I learned some new things and I suspect most Meteorologists who are not active in researching ENSO science will too. You can see them by clicking on the image below! Taichiro is working on his Phd. at Duke.

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26 July 2009

Clouds & Ice Make Climate News

This last week brought an update on the Arctic sea ice from the NSIDC folks. It also saw the publication of a paper in SCIENCE that made almost all of us who follow climate science, sit up and notice. Neither is particularly good news, and that may be an understatement. First the ice- or lack of same. 2007 saw the lowest amount of Arctic Ocean ice on record. I happened …

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23 July 2009

Breakthrough in Hurricane Predictions?? Maybe!

There was an intriguing paper in Science this month about tropical cyclone predictions. Every spring, there is considerable media attention to the forecasts from Colorado State and NOAA, on how many hurricanes we can expect.  Every  spring, I remind my viewers that these forecasts have little skill. Nonetheless, you cannot learn to forecast something unless you try and trying brings new knowledge and insight. So have at it, but tell the …

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21 July 2009

Is The Planet Getting Warmer??- Here's NASA's Version

NASA has produced a very visual display of the warming of the planet over the past 125 years. One thing that is important to realize that almost all of the climate models run with increasing CO2 show that the warming is greatest in the high northern latitudes. In case you are thinking it’s the Sun- see Another Climate Myth is Finally Buried. See the animation: GCMyearly.m4v1.mp4

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20 July 2009

Something Smacked Jupiter! (Updated with Hubble Image)

An astronomer (Anthony Wesley) in OZ first noticed it Sunday. On the eve of the 40th anniversary if the Moon landing. An Earth sized black spot near the South polar regions of Jupiter. It looked remarkably like the images seen when the Shoemaker Levy comet hit Jupiter in 1994. This image started a mad rush in the astronomical world! Observations from the giant telescopes of the world began and NASA …

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18 July 2009

Another Good Read

I have found another  good book that I can highly recommend for Summer consumption. The book is a bit depressing actually, because it hits home so hard. Unscientific America- by Chris Mooney He discusses the horrible state of science education in America. (Ever seen Jay Leno’s jaywalking segment?) Without doubt this ignorance of basic science is sowing the seeds of catastrophe. I can hardly believe some of the emails I …

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15 July 2009

Watts Wrong With That- PLENTY

Hundreds of TV weatherman (and Meteorologists who work in TV) around the country received a slick booklet a couple of months back. It was printed by the Heartland Institute, a libertarian think tank funded in part by Exxon and others. They recently held what they called a “Climate Conference” that itself was funded not by the NSF but by an interesting group of energy companies and right wing foundations. DeSmog …

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14 July 2009

The Cirrus are Near Us

There are few things that calm my soul like a cerulean blue sky full of Cirrus clouds. I cannot remember a time when I walked outside without noticing the sky and being a real lover of sunsets (And sunset photography) the cirrus clouds rarely disappoint. I just finished reading the best book on cloud I have ever come across and if you have always wondered what those cloud names we …

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