Weather Channel:

  • Sandra became the latest Category 4 hurricane of record early Thursday morning in either the eastern Pacific or Atlantic basins.
  • In other words, Sandra is the strongest hurricane so late in the season. Only three other eastern Pacific storms have formed later in the calendar than Sandra in records dating to 1949.
  • Hurricane Sandra became the second latest forming hurricane on record, behind Hurricane Winnie in 1983.
  • There is no record of an intact depression or named storm making a landfall on either Baja California or Mexico’s Pacific coast so late in the season. According to hurricane specialist Michael Lowry, the latest eastern Pacific landfall on record was Tara on November 12, 1961. So, Sandra is likely to shatter this record by over two weeks.
  • The previous latest major hurricane in either the central-eastern Pacific or Atlantic was an unnamed storm in 1934, that remained a major hurricane into Nov. 23.
  • The previous latest Category 4+ tropical cyclone in either the eastern Pacific or Atlantic basins was Hurricane Kenneth on Nov. 22, 2011.
  • Sandra is the 30th Category 3+ tropical cyclone of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, far exceeded the previous record of 23 such storms in 1997 and 2004.

Pope Urges Real Deal in Paris

November 27, 2015


Pope Francis has said failure to strike a climate-rescue pact next month in France would be “catastrophic” for the planet.

The Catholic leader whose unprecedented encyclical in June gave a moral dimension to the climate movement, said countries had a “political and economic obligation” to overhaul fossil fuels for cleaner forms of energy.

“In a few days, an important meeting on climate change will be held in Paris … It would be sad, and I dare say even catastrophic, were particular interests to prevail over the common good,” the pontiff said in a speech in Kenya on Thursday.

“COP21 [the climate meeting] represents an important stage in the process of developing a new energy system which depends on a minimal use of fossil fuels, aims at energy efficiency and makes use of energy sources with little or no carbon content.”

More on the Pope’s view of climate action below. Read the rest of this entry »

Take a breath. Imagine there really could be solutions.
This video may give you courage and even hope.

Presidential candidate Jeb “the smart one” Bush trashed the idea of a connection between climate change, food shortages, and terror, in a radio interview.

By implication, the down-in-the-polls Presidential candidate followed the conservative Republican line, belittling the critical importance of this week’s international meeting in Paris.
Bush, who has stumbled as a candidate in not being able to answer whether he would have invaded Iraq 12 years ago, “knowing what we know now”,  states the US needs to “unleash the military” on the Daesh terrorists, a group that many say was formed as a result of his brother doing exactly that, on the wrong target.


During his interview with Hugh Hewitt, Jeb Bush mocked President Obama‘s idea that an international conference on climate change would be the “powerful rebuke” to ISIS he said it would be.

Obama gave a speech yesterday alongside President Francois Hollande, where he said that the best way to spite ISIS after the Paris attacks was by maintaining a sense of normalcy in day-to-day life. When he brought up the United Nation’s upcoming conference, Obama said, “what a powerful rebuke to the terrorists it will be when the world stands as one and shows that we will not be deterred from building a better future for our children.”

Bush, on the other hand, wasn’t so sure that the president’s thoughts — which he described as “breathtaking in its naiveté,” — were the best way to one-up terrorists.



Jeff Masters in WeatherUnderground:

Remarkable Hurricane Sandra exploded into a Category 4 storm with 145 mph winds overnight, making it the latest major hurricane ever observed in the Western Hemisphere (November 26.) The previous record was held by an unnamed Atlantic hurricane in 1934 that held on to Category 3 status until 00 UTC November 24. Sandra is also now the latest Category 4 storm ever observed in either the Eastern Pacific (previous record: Hurricane Kenneth on November 22, 2011) or the Atlantic (previous record: “Wrong Way” Lenny on November 18, 1999.) Prior to Sandra, the strongest East Pacific hurricane so late in the year was 1983’s Winnie, which topped out on December 6 at 90 mph winds. Sandra is the first major hurricane in the Western Hemisphere that has ever been observed on Thanksgiving Day. According to WU contributor Phil Klotzbach (Colorado State University), Sandra is on track to become the latest landfalling tropical cyclone on record for Mexico, beating out Tara (Nov. 12, 1961). An Air Force Hurricane Hunter mission is scheduled for Sandra on Friday afternoon.

These are “season’s greetings” animations from the coal industry, circa 2008.
Maybe its a sign of progress that not even the coal industry would be stupid enough to put out productions like this in 2015.

Worth celebrating the small things.


I’m going to have to watch and rewatch this to really grasp – hypnotic and revealing.

Popular Science:

We tend to think of the ocean as a vast bowl, filled with salty water. But it might be more appropriate to think of that water as a particularly salty layer dip in an uneven baking dish.

The very bottom layer of this “dip” is unevenly concentrated at one end of the ocean basin, near Antarctica. This layer of water is known, fittingly, as bottom water. It forms near the surface, as Antarctica’s ice shelves freeze in the winter. The water that freezes pushes out many salt particles, shoving them deeper into the ocean, making the water below the ice shelf denser and saltier. This cold, salty water sinks to the bottom of the Southern Ocean, falling into the abyss in underwater waterfalls.

The formation and movement of Antarctic bottom water is hugely important for ocean circulation, but because Antarctica is a difficult place to work, scientists have a hard time observing it directly.

Thankfully, they have computers to help. Researchers at the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science used a supercomputer called Raijin to create simulations of how bottom water behaves using data collected in the field. Even with a supercomputer, it took 7 hours to produce one second of the above footage.



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