Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Gulf Stream, the Psychrometric Chart and Megastorms.

First the story about the abrupt changes now being observed in the Gulf Stream, the prevailing ocean current that has traditionally moved surface water from the tropical areas in the Atlantic ocean northward along the eastern coast of the USA, and into the North Atlantic ocean where it helps heat Northern Europe.   

Abrupt Change and the Decades-Long Time Frame: Greenland and the Gulf Stream
"...The theory is that freshwater melt from ice floats on salty sea water and creates a blockage in the warm northward flowing waters of the Gulf Stream. When the Gulf Stream shuts down, winter cold freezes the north Atlantic allowing cold air to penetrate much farther south, which has a reverberating cooling effect around the globe."
This point is backed up in the blue area shown in the North Atlantic.  The blue area is where ice is melting, leaving the surface water cooler as a result from the loss of ocean water circulation.
Source:  http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/34152-climate-change-2015-the-latest-science 

 Next, the Psychrometric Chart showing the relationships between air temperature, relative humidity, amount of water vapor absorbed, and total energy of air under the full range of variation.


What brings these two together?  If the prevailing Atlantic ocean current commonly known as the Gulf Stream is truly being disrupted as recent evidence suggests than it would mean that more of the sun's energy that lands in equatorial regions of the Atlantic area would have to migrate toward cooler areas away from the equator as heat energy stored in molecules of air traveling in the wind instead of as heat energy stored in water molecules within the ocean currents.

When heat travels in the ocean currents, the warmed water delivers heat in a northerly direction along the coastline. Regional wind patterns pick up the heat from the oceans and distribute the energy.

When the heat energy travels in the wind, the energy exists as a combination of an elevated temperature of the air and the amount of water vapor absorbed into the air. Hot humid air transfers more energy than cold dry air.  And according to the Psychrometric chart, we can make two basic predictions about the future weather patterns we will see if the Gulf Stream is indeed disrupted.  I am not proposing a theory as much as simply interpreting what the chart shows in plain sight.

1) Warmer air can absorb exponentially more water vapor than cooler air.
2) Warm humid air has a lower density than cold dry air. As air cools, it shrinks.

This means that in the seemingly random locations where  warm humid air masses collide with cold air masses, there will be relatively larger amounts of snow or rain. and the resulting drop in barometric pressure will continue to pull in more surrounding air and source of precipitation.

It's a double-whammy. Higher average temperatures resulting from increased human activity not only lead to an increase in the amount of water vapor carried away from the equator region in the wind, the disruption in the Gulf Stream further increases the amount of water vapor carried away from the equator region in the wind.  And all that extra absorbed water vapor has to fall out of the sky eventually.

So the megastorms are the new normal.  


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Climate Change and Megastorms. I told you so.

This is a misleading headline because the cold blob shouldn't be puzzling to scientists.

Cold Atlantic "Blob" Puzzles Scientists 

(CNN)At first glance, it stands out like a sore thumb. That blob of blue and purple on the map. One of the only places on the globe that is abnormally cold in a year that will likely shatter records as the warmest globally.
It's being called the Atlantic "blob." It's a large area in the North Atlantic that is seeing a pronounced cooling trend. The ocean surface is much cooler than normal and in fact record cold in some locations.
The mysterious cold blob is evidence that the traditional prevailing ocean current formerly known as the Great Ocean Conveyor Belt has been disrupted by the effects of our warming climate.  Just like NASA scientists predicted back in 2004 and others before that. 

A Chilling Possibility: By disturbing a massive ocean current, melting Arctic sea ice might trigger colder weather in Europe and North America.

March 5, 2004: Global warming could plunge North America and Western Europe into a deep freeze, possibly within only a few decades.
That's the paradoxical scenario gaining credibility among many climate scientists. The thawing of sea ice covering the Arctic could disturb or even halt large currents in the Atlantic Ocean. Without the vast heat that these ocean currents deliver--comparable to the power generation of a million nuclear power plants--Europe's average temperature would likely drop 5 to 10°C (9 to 18°F), and parts of eastern North America would be chilled somewhat less. Such a dip in temperature would be similar to global average temperatures toward the end of the last ice age roughly 20,000 years ago.

More heat energy from the sun lands at the earth's equatorial regions than lands at the earth's poles. The heat energy has to somehow migrate away from the equator toward the poles either within ocean currents or through air currents.  So assume that the Great Ocean Conveyor Belt has been disrupted just like the cold blob indicates and that the excess heat from the equatorial region is being forced to migrate away from the equator toward the poles through currents in the atmosphere, or wind instead of through ocean currents.

Heat energy or enthalpy exists in the atmosphere in two forms.  One is the sensible heat, the temperature of the air that you could measure with a thermometer in degrees F or C.  The other form of energy in the atmosphere is the latent heat, the water vapor absorbed in the air, that you could measure with a hygrometer in % Relative Humidity.  The warmer air becomes the more water vapor it can absorb and the capacity to carry moisture increases exponentially as air warms.  See: Psychrometric Chart.  Hot humid air stores more energy than hot dry air but whatever amount of moisture is absorbed into the air in one location will eventually fall back to the ground as precipitation somewhere else.

Here is a Pathteacher post from the archives 2012 about the interaction of temperature and humidity in the atmosphere and how the Psychrometric Chart predicts the major weather trends we can expect in our warming climate.

Pathteacher: This chart explains why we can expect more extreme weather

I think it is reasonable to say the amount of precipitation will tend to decrease in areas where the atmosphere is typically the warmest and the amount of precipitation will tend to increase in areas where the air is the typically the coolest. We will see more persistent droughts, more intense wildfires and growing deserts in hotter areas and an increasing number of random Megastorms that dump huge amounts of precipitation causing flooding, property damage, crop losses and infrastructure failures in cooler areas. This doesn't bode well for the agriculture or property insurance industries, or for our prospects in general.       

Which brings me to an image of the storms currently pounding the Atlantic Coast in the Southern USA.  This is a massive storm being described as the largest storm in the area in 1,000 years and the rain that has fallen over a foot deep in many places is causing catastrophic damage over a wide area. Yes, there have been massive storms in the past, but as the global climate continues to warm, the rate of incidence and destructive power of the massive, catastrophic, Megastorms like this one will increase.  

Get used to it.  This is the future we have chosen, or at least ignored as a real threat.  A typical climate denier might say this is all just business as usual or point out how the climate changed before there were 7 billion people on Earth or recite end-times prophecy, or maybe even admit that climate denial is an easier alternative to admitting they don't give a shit about the world their children and grandchildren will inherit.  But none of that matters anymore because climate change is happening right now and I plan to keep reminding people I told you so.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Scrooge McTrump vs all the other ducks

If the GOP leadership really wants Donald Trump left out out of their 2016 Presidential primary elections then they are going to have to forcibly restrain him with Lilliputian tactics.  The GOP base is comprised of a million tiny people who post about conservative values anonymously of course in the reader comment sections and they are prepared to tie down the Donald and his hair to the ground while he sleeps. But the Donald doesn't actually sleep and if the Lilliputians try to tie him down he will just hire undocumented workers from nearby Islands to chop away at those tiny ropes and after becoming a free man again, Gulliver Trump will be inspired to run as a 3rd party candidate just to spite the GOP leaders and to show deference and respect to HRC in return for future business / banking / foreign policy considerations.  Assuming this is all true (which of course it will be or my name isn't Abernathy P. Duckling)  the biggest question left is:

1. What will Donald Trump call his 3rd party?

a)  American Eagle Party
b)  Liberty for All Party
c)  True Patriot Party
d)  Unity Party
e)  TRiUMPh! Party

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Spectacular photo from the Pacific coast of South Africa

I took this photo in 2012 during a work trip to Port Elizabeth on a Sunday side trip with my American host.  I have thought about this and other amazing sights along with the wonderful people I met while was there just about every day since.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Detroit Graffiti Art

Here are some examples of Detroit's world class graffiti artwork painted on buildings along Grand River near Canfield a couple miles from downtown.   In Detroit you can paint a whole building and people are like... Cool, do more!

And the taco truck of course..  

Monday, March 9, 2015

An easy to remember pattern for the digit sum of any multiple of 10.

If for whatever reason you ever need to know the sum of all the integers from 1 up any number at all, you can take the time to add them all up manually or figure out an easier way to arrive at the answer.  In the table below multiples of 10 are matched to the sum of all the numbers from 0 up to that multiple of 10.   Do you see the pattern?

   Multiple of 10         Sum of numbers from 0 up to X                      
          1                                      1
         10                                    55                                    
        100                                 5050                                  
       1000                              500500                              
      10000                            50005000                        
     100000                         5000050000                    
    1000000                      500000500000                  

This is a great example of why you need to think about a math problem before actually diving into the math.

If you were asked to add up all the numbers from 1+2+3+4 all the way to 10 you would likely either add it up in your head or maybe use a pen and paper and arrive at the answer 55.  That's easy enough, not too much thinking required, just plug and chug.

But the same problem is not so easy for adding up the numbers between 1 and 100.  Here is where the lazy and bright might figure out that to add up the numbers between 0 and 100 they could just add 0+100, 1+99, 2+98, 3+97, 4+96,.. etc,.. 49+51 and the answer would be 50 ways to add up to 100 with 50 in the middle leftover or 5,050.

So then the pattern is this, 50+50 is 100 and 5,050 is the sum of all the digits from 1 to 100. The same pattern predicts that the digit sum of 1,000 is 500,500.

This then leads to an easy way to calculate the sum of integers from 0 up the number itself.

The sum of all numbers from 1 to X = (X*X+X)/2

I hope you get to use that little math trick someday.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Epic Facebook comment from someone I barely know.

Jose Valargowitzkowski  I never surrender to libs jim. And you still havent answered my question about what you are going to do to save the planet. Liberals never address the points of others, only call them fools. You should be better than that. Let me tell you about poverty and third world living. My wife is from the philippines. When we me her mother was living in a one room hovel partially destroyed by fire. Her most valued possession was a thermos bottle. Thanks to tge good fortune weve enjoyed we were able to build her a home. She has running water so she doesnt have to go to the village pump and lug buckets uphill, which aint easy for an 80 year old 90 pound woman. Sge has a refrigerator. She has a fan. She has a two burner propane stove so she doesnt gave to cook over open charcoal. 
She can actually live like a human being and enjoy the basics of life you take for granted. Now you tell her and 100 million other filioinos, 100 million vietnamese, 500 million central and south anericans, 1.2 billion chicoms, 1 billion indians and 2 billion africabs who are finally veginning to enjoy basic creature comforts they cant because earths temp may rise half a degree in a century. Tell them please. How dare you! While you sit in 70 degree air conditioned comfirt in summer and 75 degree heat in winter. Liberals are always touting how much they love the poor but advocate policies to keep them in crushing poverty. Abd dont spout off about alternative fuels. Thats a luxury anerican livs prattle about. Fossil fuels power the third world.so when you ezoerience that kind of poverty please write about it in your blog. Tell me how comfortabke it is to live in 95 degree 100 percent humidity all the freaking time. It is amazing how white western libs enjoy telling nonwhite asians, africans and latinos how to live from the comfort of their modern american homes. I dont give a damn if the worlds temp goes up by 10 degrees if it means poor folks enjoy a measure of decent living. To deny them this confort is unchristian, unamerican and wrong. Pardon the tyoes. u use one finger to type. But as a smart and enlightened liveral i trust you will get the message. Peace. Out

Friday, February 13, 2015

Dave Grohl Alley in Warren Ohio.

Not everyone knows that there is a place called Dave Grohl Alley in Warren Ohio.  I took these pictures earlier today.

Update: 2/21/2016 More pictures I've taken since then

And in nearby Howland this guy made an appearance last August while my wife and I were visiting her Aunt's family who live down the street. We had a brief chat, Dave is cool but you already knew that.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Don't blame us, We ASS-U-ME 'd it was Bipartisan.

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzachi Hanegbi had this to say about the invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from John Boehner to address Congress. Reuters: Israeli official suggests Boehner misled Netanyahu on Congress speech
(Reuters) - A senior Israeli official suggested on Friday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been misled into thinking an invitation to address the U.S. Congress on Iran next month was fully supported by the Democrats.
Netanyahu was invited by the Republican speaker of the house, John Boehner, to address Congress on March 3, an invitation Boehner originally described as bipartisan.
The move angered the White House, which is upset about the event coming two weeks before Israeli elections and that Netanyahu, who has a testy relationship with Democratic President Barack Obama, is expected to be critical of U.S. policy on Iran.
"It appears that the speaker of Congress made a move, in which we trusted, but which it ultimately became clear was a one sided move and not a move by both sides," Deputy Israeli Foreign Minister Tzachi Hanegbi told 102 FM Tel Aviv Radio on Friday.

The interviewer asked if that meant Netanyahu had been "misled" into believing Boehner's invitation was bipartisan, a characterization Hanegbi did not contest.
Really? What in the history of the last 6 years of American history would indicate to anyone with either basic cable or AM radio that there would be bipartisan support for anything at all involving John Boehner?   But surely they must have believed Boehner at his word because they didn't even check with the State Department. So much for Israeli Intelligence. The dog ate their homework.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

MIT Professor invents way to illegally search thousands of homes for his business start-up.

What in the world are these people thinking?  The legality of their business model, which involves taking unsolicited drive-by heat scans of private residences is highly questionable. The US Supreme Court determined years ago that police departments taking infrared heat scans without a warrant constituted an illegal search so how could it be legal for a private company to do the same thing?  Danger-Danger all you day traders looking to catch a rising start-up at a bargain price. leave this one alone.
In 2007, Google unleashed a fleet of cars with roof-mounted cameras to provide street-level images of roads around the world. Now MIT spinout Essess is bringing similar “drive-by” innovations to energy efficiency in homes and businesses.
The startup deploys cars with thermal-imaging rooftop rigs that create heat maps of thousands of homes and buildings per hour, detecting fixable leaks in “building envelopes” — windows, doors, walls, and foundations — to help owners curb energy loss.
A heat map of a home captured by one of Essess' thermal-imaging cars
courtesy of Essess
It certainly is an interesting idea, infusing Google street-view maps with infrared scanning technology. This green innovation will clearly show the heat escaping through inadequate insulation in the walls or the attic and through leaking windows. The intent is to help motivate people to make the necessary home improvements that will lower their utility bills and reduce their carbon footprint.  What's not to love?

Well, it turns out that in 2001 in "Kyllo vs United States"  the Supreme Court ruled that because thermal images provided details that would previously been unknowable without physical intrusion they were a violation of 4th Amendment rights against illegal search.

 ABC News: Supreme Court Rules on Police Using Infrared
Federal agents could not see inside Danny Lee Kyllo's home. Nor did they have a search warrant to enter the premises.
But they did have an infrared camera that used thermal imaging technology, enabling them to identify suspected heat lamps growing 100 marijuana plants.
They used the images to get a warrant, leading to Kyllo's arrest and conviction.
The technology, originally designed for the military, displays objects by distinguishing differences in temperature of surrounding objects, so that a person, warmer than the surrounding air, appears a different color than the air.
The Supreme Court today, in Kyllo vs. U.S., ruled that authorities scanning a home with an infrared camera without a warrant constituted an unreasonable search barred by the Fourth Amendment.
It did so, the court said, because the device is not in general use by the public, so Kyllo had an expectation of privacy, and because the imaging provided by the camera revealed details about Kyllo's home "that would previously have been unknowable without physical intrusion."
I predict that the practice of taking unsolicited thermal images of all the homes in a neighborhood, while perhaps a noble venture, will be determined to be an invasion of privacy, and the Essess thermal imaging cars will have to be parked until the owners find a different way to employ their cool new technology.

Monday, January 19, 2015

From the "I told you so" file in the Pathteacher archives

A couple years ago in January 2013, I looked into the headlines of the day and saw the oil glut building.  I was off on how soon the glut would arrive and bring the steep drop in prices, but I was pretty sure it was coming. This is a good example of how underlying trends for supply and demand determine where a market is headed, not any special algorithms for deciphering the day to day up and down flocktuations of the market from the herd of traders trying to make money on the noise.  

First, here is a 5-year trend for the price of crude oil.  The article was written in January 2013 when oil was hovering around $110 per barrel.

From the Archives:    In 2013 economic growth will be fueled by lower oil prices. 

" There are many factors that affect economic growth and among them is the price of oil.  Like it or not oil and gasoline are still the lifeblood of our economy.  The price of oil and gasoline are baked into the price of every consumer product on the shelves. Further, the more disposable income that consumers spend on gasoline, the less they will have to spend on other things.  
Cheaper gasoline will help promote economic recovery in the USA.  Cheap gasoline is a free market induced stimulus package for everyone. 
Here are a few different articles that help paint the picture of where the prices of oil and gasoline are heading in the USA... 
After linking to a few news stories about change in the supply and demand for the oil I wrote..  
 ..It is important to note that we are not just producing more oil here in the USA, we are also using less of it as well.  A glut in the market is not out of the question and if and when that happens we will see a substantial drop in oil prices.  The fools who warned the world that oil was headed for $200 per barrel failed to acknowledge that before the price could climb that high, the world economy would collapse and Exxon would find it difficult to give oil away.
 Those pesky self-correction factors..
Someday I may have enough confidence in my predictions to actually invest in my own recommendations.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Pictures from Trip to NYC late December 2014

Just some random pictures from our quick jaunt to Manhattan late December 2014.  I would love to totally relocate there if there was a feasible way to make it happen.  Having grown up, lived and worked in and around Detroit my whole life, there is something about NY that makes me feel right at home the minute I wave farewell to the car after giving the keys to the valet at the hotel.

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