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midtskogen
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11 May 2017 03:08

This last winter season has just got weirder and weirder here in Oslo.  The skiing season got an early start with a decent (25 - 30 cm) snowfall 4th November, but after that, hardly no new snow fell until the middle of April when most snow below 400 m elevation had melted.  Most of the snow has fallen after that, by far, and today we woke up to 30 - 40 cm fresh snow at 350 m elevation and 50 - 60 cm at 500 m elevation, which I believe is the largest snowfall ever recorded in May in Oslo.  April and May are usually the driest months of the year.

I had switched to summer tyres, so I'm working from home today, but went out for some skiing in a slightly extended lunch, and was busted by one of the major newspapers  :)

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11 May 2017 14:57

Wow! Even Northern Italy had some snow last week, which is also pretty uncommon this period. They mainly cried out loud after they calculated costs of artificial snow they had to use last winter.
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midtskogen
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31 Aug 2017 00:05

An interesting article on the forecast skills for hurricane Harvey.  It's pretty impressive that it was known so much in advance that this could become something serious, though in this case, in hindsight, perhaps the early focus should have been not so much on the wind, but the stalling which caused the incredible rainfall.
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31 Aug 2017 12:13

midtskogen wrote:
An interesting article on the forecast skills for hurricane Harvey.  It's pretty impressive that it was known so much in advance that this could become something serious, though in this case, in hindsight, perhaps the early focus should have been not so much on the wind, but the stalling which caused the incredible rainfall.

I will be really impressed when we achieve the ability to modify the weather to prevent these storms from occurring.  Maybe some kind of artificial wind shear to prevent them from forming in the first place will do it.

I believe the exceptional rainfall totals of this storm and these kinds of storms occurring more often now is linked to climate change.  On top of that I see we have another monster hurricane coming in about 10 days.
 
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midtskogen
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31 Aug 2017 13:13

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post I believe the exceptional rainfall totals of this storm and these kinds of storms occurring more often now is linked to climate change

The main reason for this heavy rainfall was that the storm stalled, so the same areas got all the rain, and this was also near the Gulf enabling more moisture to be fed to the storm.  I think it will extremely difficult to prove a link between anthropogenic warming and an increase in such hurricane paths.  If there is an increase in hurricane frequency, then also more such paths, but claims of an increased frequency are controversial.
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31 Aug 2017 13:31

midtskogen wrote:
A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post I believe the exceptional rainfall totals of this storm and these kinds of storms occurring more often now is linked to climate change

The main reason for this heavy rainfall was that the storm stalled, so the same areas got all the rain, and this was also near the Gulf enabling more moisture to be fed to the storm.  I think it will extremely difficult to prove a link between anthropogenic warming and an increase in such hurricane paths.  If there is an increase in hurricane frequency, then also more such paths, but claims of an increased frequency are controversial.

Yes this is all true but the issue is that blocking systems that make these storms stall are occurring more often because of climate change.  Also, storms now have more precip associated with them.  I saw research linking both to climate change and explaining the mechanism with how it works- more blocking systems and more precip systems.  As an example, for my local area, we have had extremely high single snowfall totals going back to the early 2000 it's getting ridiculous.  The records at NYC go back to the 1800s and most of the top ten snowfall totals have occurred in the last 20 years!  We even had a 30 inch snowstorm a couple of years ago, something that has never before happened on an island at this latitude before.
 
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31 Aug 2017 13:35

the research involved showed that increased blocking that makes storms stall is the result of rapid warming in the arctic.  It applies to both summer and winter weather and explains why we have had so many record precip events (both rain and snow) since about 2000.

Hurricane Sandy's unusual path was also linked to increased blocking that is now occurring that forced the storm in the opposite direction that these storms usually go in at our latitude.

We've seen a palpable increase in our rainfall totals.  During the 1950-80 period, NYC averaged 41 inches of precip, for the 1980-2010, that average is now close to 50 inches.  Massive increase in 3+ inch rainfalls and 10+ inch snowfalls.  We used to average about 1 10" snowfall per decade, now we average one a year.
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midtskogen
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31 Aug 2017 14:40

There is no rapid warming in the summer in the Arctic.  Winters, however, warmed rapidly in the 1990-2010 period.

If you look at stations with long records, you can certainly find many showing a trend of increasing precipitation over the last decades.  While there may be more than one explanation for that, the increases are rarely that dramatic to match the increase in flood damage in seriously hit areas.  A greater problem is urbanisation.  Not only is absorbing landscape paved, but more property is located in harm's way.

In general, more heat tend to give more precipitation, but it's something that should be manageable. And it still takes a perfect storm to drop 1000-1500 mm of rain in a few days.
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31 Aug 2017 14:58

midtskogen wrote:
There is no rapid warming in the summer in the Arctic.  Winters, however, warmed rapidly in the 1990-2010 period.

If you look at stations with long records, you can certainly find many showing a trend of increasing precipitation over the last decades.  While there may be more than one explanation for that, the increases are rarely that dramatic to match the increase in flood damage in seriously hit areas.  A greater problem is urbanisation.  Not only is absorbing landscape paved, but more property is located in harm's way.

In general, more heat tend to give more precipitation, but it's something that should be manageable. And it still takes a perfect storm to drop 1000-1500 mm of rain in a few days.

Hurricane Sandy's unusual path was also linked to increased blocking that is now occurring that forced the storm in the opposite direction that these storms usually go in at our latitude.

We've seen a palpable increase in our rainfall totals.  During the 1950-80 period, NYC averaged 41 inches of precip, for the 1980-2010, that average is now close to 50 inches.  Massive increase in 3+ inch rainfalls and 10+ inch snowfalls.  We used to average about 1 10" snowfall per decade, now we average one a year.

Personally, I would like to see more research being done into climate and weather modification, I think that's where we are headed in the future.  And stop all usage of fossil fuels by 2050.  We already have a ban on fracking here and much more emphasis on solar, wind and hydroelectric

I also agree with you about urbanization as being a problem not just for flooding, but pollution.  We are way over where we should be in terms of population and I find the air much healthier in my mountain home where I go to in the summer.
 
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03 Sep 2017 11:13

The key to deal with so many problems with the environment, poverty and population is abundant, cheap energy. And none of today's technolgies can offer that. Certsinly not the stone age technology that is fossile fuel. I find it hard to see anything other than fusion capable of that. It's still a long way, but the greater problem is that this road has become a taboo even among most scientists.
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03 Sep 2017 11:29

midtskogen wrote:
The key to deal with so many problems with the environment, poverty and population is abundant, cheap energy. And none of today's technolgies can offer that. Certsinly not the stone age technology that is fossile fuel. I find it hard to see anything other than fusion capable of that. It's still a long way, but the greater problem is that this road has become a taboo even among most scientists.

Yes, it is the major obstacle- this taboo thing- it mutes research with its chilling effect on progress.  The other taboo is overpopulation (and high pop density).  I hope to see controllable fusion energy in my lifetime, but we'll see I guess.  50 years at the outside.......
 
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03 Sep 2017 13:11

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post  The other taboo is overpopulation (and high pop density).  

Well, it's linked to poverty, which is linked to economic growth and ultimately the availability of cheap energy.
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03 Sep 2017 13:14

midtskogen wrote:
A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post  The other taboo is overpopulation (and high pop density).  

Well, it's linked to poverty, which is linked to economic growth and ultimately the availability of cheap energy.

With controllable fusion we would solve many of these problems :)
 
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03 Sep 2017 14:47

A-L-E-X, you won't see poor people building fusion reactors and you definitely won't see nations capable of building them giving them away. 
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03 Sep 2017 18:11

DoctorOfSpace wrote:
A-L-E-X, you won't see poor people building fusion reactors and you definitely won't see nations capable of building them giving them away. 

Doc, do you think it's possible that the technology for controllable fusion reactors is already out there but not being shared?  From time to time we hear about these possibilities (like the E-Cat, but that was proven not to be a feasible design.)
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