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.


Music Break: Adele – Hello

November 25, 2015

If you’ve live long enough, you know what this is about.

If you haven’t, well, you have something to look forward to.

The video has half a billion views on youtube, and is an instant classic. The song has inspired many, many internet cover versions, and clearly crosses cultures in its appeal. This suggests a much more elegant approach to the dilemma of hatred, misunderstanding, and terror.

It’s no accident that the first thing that happened in Berlin when the wall fell, was a rock concert.  Culture is the frame story that cuts thru and dissolves the most toxic and monolithic ideologies – and Western culture’s greatest weapon is not bombs, but the culture itself – the more creative, anarchic, humorous, irreverent, sex-positive, and sarcastic, the better.

Beats not bombs.

Below, see an indescribable version that is at once Arabic, auto-tuned, and Gay. Words fail. Read the rest of this entry »


Dana Nuccitelli in the Guardian:

Investigative journalism by Inside Climate News (ICN) into Exxon’s internal documents revealed that the company was at the forefront of climate research, warning of the dangers posed by human-caused global warming from the late-1970s to the late-1980s. As Harvard climate historian Naomi Oreskes noted,

But Exxon was sending a different message, even though its own evidence contradicted its public claim that the science was highly uncertain and no one really knew whether the climate was changing or, if it was changing, what was causing it … Journalists and scientists have identified more than 30 different organizations funded by the company that have worked to undermine the scientific message and prevent policy action to control greenhouse gas emissions.

Exxon has responded to the ICN allegations by pointing out that over the past three decades, the company’s scientists have continued to publish peer-reviewed climate research.

Our scientists have contributed climate research and related policy analysis to more than 50 papers in peer-reviewed publications – all out in the open. They’ve participated in the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change since its inception – in 1988 – and were involved in the National Academy of Sciences review of the third U.S. National Climate Assessment Report.

Finally, I’ll note that we have long – and publicly – supported a revenue-neutral carbon tax as the most effective, transparent, and efficient way for governments to send a signal to consumers and the economy to reduce the use of carbon-based fuels.

While the ICN investigation focused on Exxon’s internal reports, Exxon’s spokesman pointed to the peer-reviewed scientific research published by the company’s scientists between 1983 and 2014 – 53 papers in all.


Read the rest of this entry »

Yeah, I like Marvel movies.

Dude, Scarlet Witch can freakin’ fly!