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Daily Archives: August 26, 2011


As Hurricane Irene heads north, the Hurricane Hunters are tracking her

As the east coast prepares for Hurricane Irene’s arrival, the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron out of Keesler AFB in Biloxi MS, better known as the “Hurricane Hunters”, is tracking her.

I had the good fortune to ride along with them into Hurricane Alex a couple of years ago.  You can read about it here.

We’d be flying in a WC130J. These “Super Hercules” are equipped with both the power and the equipment to weather the storms they fly through. They contain palletized meteorological data-gathering instruments which are used to gather real-time information as the aircraft penetrate the storm. The information is then sent by burst transmission to the National Hurricane Center where it is compiled and used to both track and predict the storm’s path and intensity.

At about 10am we went wheels up on the mission, 3 full crews serve the flight because of its duration and the intensity of the activity they are subjected too. Each crew has a pilot, copilot, navigator, weather officer and load master. The load master is responsible for dropping the parachute-borne sensor known as the dropsonde. It measures and encodes the weather data down to the ocean surface and transmits it to the weather officer’s station.

As soon as a tropical storm develops and heads toward the US, the Hurricane Hunters are usually tasked with tracking it by the National Hurricane Center.  That means one of their specially equipped C130Js is constantly on station within the storm sending back information to the NHC and giving it the data it needs to accurately track the storm and issue warnings about landfall.  It is estimated that the this information helps narrow the warning area and that precision saves $1,000,000 a mile for every mile that doesn’t have to be evacuated.

The unit is also an all reserve unit.   All the pilots are reservists with civilian jobs such as a commercial pilot.  Flying a FedEx jet into Memphis one day and a C130J Hercules into a hurricane the next.  The 53rd is also the only military weather recon squadron in existence.   You can read more about them here.

Good luck to those in Irene’s path.  Batten down the hatches and follow her progress closely.  And remember, it is the Hurricane Hunters out there flying through her eye and sending back all that data that allow you to know so precisely where she is.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


CERN: ‘Climate models will need to be substantially revised’

The findings by CERN which have finally been published in Nature magazine, are fairly explicit about the validity of current AGW models. They will need to be “substantially revised”.

Why?

Because the findings substantiate the fact that the sun plays the major role in changes in our climate and not the human factors claimed by warmists. It’s all about the sun, clouds, cosmic rays and nucleation.

CERN conducted a CLOUD ("Cosmics Leaving OUtdoor Droplets") experiment to test a theory at odds with current warmist theories about cloud origins. As it turns out, the findings provide:

… support for a "heliocentric" rather than "anthropogenic" approach to climate change: the sun plays a large role in modulating the quantity of cosmic rays reaching the upper atmosphere of the Earth.

Who knew that big yellow hot thing that hangs in the sky each day would play a major role in our climate?

Prior to publication of the Nature article, it had been assumed the findings were negative to warmist theories when the head of CERN (director-general Rolf-Dieter Heuer) warned his scientists to just provide the facts and not interpret them.

Here’s how CERN presented the data via lead physicist Jasper Kirkby:

"Ion-induced nucleation will manifest itself as a steady production of new particles that is difficult to isolate in atmospheric observations because of other sources of variability but is nevertheless taking place and could be quite large when averaged globally over the troposphere."

Kirkby is quoted in the accompanying CERN press release:

"We’ve found that cosmic rays significantly enhance the formation of aerosol particles in the mid troposphere and above. These aerosols can eventually grow into the seeds for clouds. However, we’ve found that the vapours previously thought to account for all aerosol formation in the lower atmosphere can only account for a small fraction of the observations – even with the enhancement of cosmic rays."

[…]

"[I]t is clear that the treatment of aerosol formation in climate models will need to be substantially revised, since all models assume that nucleation is caused by these vapours [sulphuric acid and ammonia] and water alone.

Here is another unknown finally known. Yet the scientists on the warmist side tried to claim they had all the information they needed to build their models and make their wild claims. However, as more and more real science comes it, it becomes clearer and clearer that their science falls at best in the “junk science” category and their claims are unsubstantiated assertions. As we’re finding out, they’re certainly not backed by science.

So, what should be taken from this? A) the climate models are junk. Most observers have known this for quite some time. They are incomplete, their forcing data are all out of whack, and they not only can’t forecast the future, they can’t reproduce the past. B) We’re really just now beginning to understand the climate and its dynamics. And, unsurprisingly for most, despite the warmists attempts to ignore it, the sun plays a major role in determining temperature on earth.

Seems like common sense to me. So why has it taken so long to finally surface?

As with all such things, follow the money.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


How much exercise do I have to do to live longer?

In this era of sedentary living (video games and Blu-ray) and working (office), couch potatoes know they should be doing some exercise, but many are loath to commit to more than necessary to be healthy and extend their lives.  So for those among us who know they should do more but aren’t sure what the “minimum” of “more” should be, a study out of Taiwan may help:

On the basis of the amount of weekly exercise indicated in a self-administered questionnaire, participants were placed into one of five categories of exercise volumes: inactive, or low, medium, high, or very high activity. We calculated hazard ratios (HR) for mortality risks for every group compared with the inactive group, and calculated life expectancy for every group.

Findings

Compared with individuals in the inactive group, those in the low-volume activity group, who exercised for an average of 92 min per week (95% CI 71—112) or 15 min a day (SD 1·8), had a 14% reduced risk of all-cause mortality (0·86, 0·81—0·91), and had a 3 year longer life expectancy. Every additional 15 min of daily exercise beyond the minimum amount of 15 min a day further reduced all-cause mortality by 4% (95% CI 2·5—7·0) and all-cancer mortality by 1% (0·3—4·5). These benefits were applicable to all age groups and both sexes, and to those with cardiovascular disease risks. Individuals who were inactive had a 17% (HR 1·17, 95% CI 1·10—1·24) increased risk of mortality compared with individuals in the low-volume group.

So take heart, couch potatoes, the minimums are in.  15 minutes is all that’s asked to tack on another 3 years of the good life.  About the same amount of time it takes to fast charge your smart phone.   Or think of it as 8 trips to get beer and potato chips.  You can do it.  Join the low-volume exercise group now and 3 more golden years are yours for the taking.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO