Wednesday, April 25, 2012

More Global Weirding: Slush Saturday - 80s Next Week

73 F. high in the Twin Cities Wednesday.

63 F. average high in the Twin Cities for April 25
65 F. high temperature a year ago, on April 25, 2011.
.05" rain fell Wednesday morning in the metro area, accompanied by thunder & lightning in some neighborhoods.

.64" precipitation predicted by Saturday evening. The best chance of rain: Friday night into Saturday. Some of that "precipitation" may be wet, slushy, sloppy snow late Friday night into Saturday morning. Have a nice day.

Snow possible Saturday morning, even a couple of inches of slush for central Minnesota, possibly the MSP metro.

3.1" snow. Average April snowfall in the Twin Cities (1971-2000 MSP data, courtesy of The Minnesota Climatology Working Group).

80s likely the latter half of next week. We may see a 50 degree temperature rise in roughly 4-5 days.

"Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; this is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather." - John Ruskin

* note: it should be pointed out that Mr. Ruskin spent no time in Minnesota.

2,614 daily weather records from April 18-25 across the USA. Details below.

"Masters wrote: "Nearly every weather station in the Inter-mountain West has broken, tied, or come within 1- 2°F of their all-time record April heat record since Sunday." - from a Climate Central article; details below.

Wednesday Extremes:

106 F. at Childress, Texas
20 F. at Raco, Michigan

Expletives Encouraged. This isn't real (yet). It's just one solution, the most recent (00z) NAM model. Although precipitation late Friday into midday Saturday will probably fall as mostly rain, a period of slushy, wet snow can't be ruled out, especially Saturday morning. Yes, there is a (small, but growing) chance you'll wake up to a sloppy coating of white on your neon-green lawn Saturday morning. I hope the models are wrong...

More Evidence Of "Global Weirding"? There is a significant chance that the Twin Cities metro will go from slushy snow Saturday morning to 80-degree warmth just 4 days later. The ECMWF solution (above - in Celsius, thank God) shows highs in the 76-82 F. range from Wednesday through the first weekend of May. Just when you think you've seen everything....along comes 2012.

"Natural factors in climate change – solar variability, Milankovic cycles, volcanism, El Nino, even cosmic rays – have been investigated very thoroughly, and none of the natural factors are capable of generating the observed disruptions in the global climate."

"Not only have multiple independent researchers demonstrated that global temperatures are likely greater than at any period in the last 2000 years, but the data used by researchers are all independent too. Sources as varied as marine sediments, corals, tree rings, stalagmites, boreholes, the length of glacial tongues, ice cores, and lake sediments all independently confirm that modern global temperatures are anomalously high. Independent researchers using independent data and methodologies to reproduce the each other’s results is the ideal for how to conduct good science."  - from a post by climate scientist Brian Angliss at Scholars & Rogues; more details and links below.

"It's either the greatest threat civilisation has ever faced, or a hoax perpetrated by fraudulent scientists. Opinions on both sides of the debate are so strong that one side barely speaks with the other." - from a story at The Sydney Morning Herald; details below the 7-Day.

Why Is President Obama "Tiptoeing Around Climate Change?" Some theories from below.

Another Record Week. If you're keeping score: 2,614 daily weather records since April 18, according to NOAA and NCDC. From record rain (and snow) out east, record chill in the south, and hundreds of record highs out west, there's something for the entire family. Everything except "normal weather". Interactive map above courtesy of Ham Weather. Details:

Total Records: 2614
Rainfall: 540
Snowfall: 48
High Temp: 1039
Low Temp: 90
Low Max Temp: 296
High Min Temp: 601

Much-Needed Rain, Lousy Timing. Models suggest anywhere from .4 to .95" of "precipitation" late Friday into Saturday - most of that should fall as rain, but...

I'm Just The Messenger. O.K. The latest NAM is suggesting 6" of slush Saturday, which is just...crazy, right? Right? Although this year I've come to expect the unexpected. Odds favor a coating to (maybe) an inch or two of slushy snow Saturday morning. Too early to panic.

Snowy Possibilities. Nothing is etched in stone. It never is, come to think of it. But 1000-850 mb thicknesses (a measure of average temperature in the lowest 3,000 feet of the atmosphere) suggests temperatures cold enough for snow. A surface temperature of 34.3 F. is predicted for MSP Saturday morning at 7 am. Snow may melt on contact, but if it snows hard enough I could see a quick inch or two of slush. If anything does fall on your nice, manicured lawn it'll be gone by Saturday afternoon. Deep breaths.

Rain, Slush, 80s - Just Another Week In Paradise. The latest GFS model still shows 80s the end of next week into the first full weekend of May, followed by a cooler surge the second week of May. We seem to be pinwheeling into a wetter pattern, the GFS hinting at over 1" of rain around May 9-10. I hope we're not speculating about drought this summer - I'm seeing some encouraging trends in the long-range maps.

Hottest April Day On Record For Texas Panhandle. From the Lubbock office of The National Weather Service: "A summary of maximum temperatures for Wednesday April 25, 2012. Many of these temperatures were the highest all-time for the month of April including Lubbock and Childress."

Frosty New England. While much of the south and southwest bakes, folks in New England are doing a little shivering this morning. Details from the Boston office of The National Weather Service, via Mark Zuckerberg: "A frost advisory and a freeze warning is in effect for tonight across areas where the growing season is in full swing the growing season for Southern New Hampshire begins early May. A frost advisory occurs when temperatures will drop between 33-36 degrees. A freeze warning is issued when temperatures will drop to 32 degrees or below. These freezing and sub-freezing temperatures which are anticipated could kill crops and other sensitive vegetation. Should you have any outdoor plants, be prepared to cover them, or if possible, bring them indoors."

Mysterious "Heat Burst". Sometimes temperatures can spike 10-30 degrees in a matter of minutes, usually the result of a violent thunderstorm downdraft nearby, rapid downward motion that can warm up the air almost instantly. More from the Springfield office of The National Weather Service: "So did anyone hear or feel the strange "Hot" winds last night about 3:00 am to 3:30 am across the Springfield metro area? Well...that was a rare phenomenon called a "Heat Burst".  Heat bursts are interesting, relatively rare, atmospheric nighttime events characterized by gusty winds, a rapid increase in surface temperature, and a decrease in surface dewpoint associated with a dissipating thunderstorm. We had temperatures generally in the upper 50s to low 60s before the heat burst occurred and then in a matter of a few minutes the temperature rapidly climbed to the upper 70s to around 80 at some locations in the middle of the night. There was a 20 to 25 degree jump in temperature and winds gusting to around 40 and 50 mph. A few limbs were broken and things like trash cans and patio furniture were blown around. This graphic shows one of the weather stations in the area from Rogersville with the rapid rise in temperature around 3:00 am. Just another interesting phenomenon of the weather here in the Ozarks."

Serious Snow Removal. I'll never ever complain about MnDOT again. Check out the snow removal efforts on the part of WSdot at the Cayuse Pass, Washington State, courtesy of YouTube: "It's a delicate dance of machinery on Cayuse Pass. Every spring, WSDOT crews clear banks for snow where SR 410 meets SR 123. Due to the high costs of maintenance, and avalanche danger, the pass is closed during the winter. Parts of the roadway have accumulated 30 feet of snow. Still lots of work to do, should be open by Memorial Day."

"This preseason forecast calls for 11 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 2 major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale). These forecast numbers are below the long-term average from 1950-2011 and well below the averages for the current active era from 1995-2011." - more details from

Best Free Weather App? I received a question about apps from Rob (see "Ask Paul" below). Full disclosure: I have an equity stake in the company that created "Victory Rides" for Polaris, which has Doppler radar and watch/warning information for the USA, in addition to forecast information for any town in the nation. It's free - I don't make a penny when it's downloaded for iPhones or Android smartphones. Details below.

Heat Wave Bakes West, Sets Marks And Hits High Note Of 113. Here's a clip from a good summary of record heat out west from Climate Central's meteorologist Andrew Freedman: "While the East has been dealing with a powerful Nor’easter that dumped several inches of windswept rain along the coast, and up to 2 feet of snow in the interior, the West has been baking in record heat. The heat is spreading eastward into the Plains states, but it will be short-lived there, eventually settling in the southern tier of the U.S. later this week. West Texas, which was ground zero for scorching weather last summer, is likely to see temperatures approach or eclipse the century mark this week. During the past seven days, 746 daily record-high temperatures were set or tied, along with 400 daily record-high minimum temperatures, according to the National Climatic Data Center. According to Jeff Masters of Weather Underground, the 113°F measured at Furnace Creek in Death Valley, Calif., on April 22 was tied for the hottest April temperature ever recorded in the U.S."

* More details from The Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang here.

Fewer Storms Forecast For 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season. An update from Reuters and The Chicago Tribune: "The 2012 Atlantic hurricane season is projected to be less active than in recent years with 11 tropical storms, six of which will intensify into hurricanes, U.S. private forecaster Weather Services International said on Wednesday. Two of the six hurricanes will be major with winds of at least 111 miles per hour, the Andover, Maryland-based forecaster said."

* Hurricane Katia photo courtesy of NASA.

Britain On Flood Alert As Environment Agency Warns Of Torrential Downpours In Eight Areas. Details from the U.K. Telegraph: "Officials issued eight new flood warnings in the region urging local residents to take “sensible precautions” against the continued bad weather. Around 20mm (0.7in) of rain is expected to fall in the area today with downpours increasing in the north of England and eastern Scotland as tomorrow progresses. The storms come as parts of England – including the South West – suffer one of the worst droughts since records began. The South East, East Anglia, Midlands and parts of Yorkshire have also been given official drought status." Satellite image courtesy of

  State Of The Air 2012: American Lung Association Reports Improvements, Challenges. Here's a clip of a story at The Huffington Post: "More than 127 million Americans -- about 41 percent of the country -- still suffer from pollution levels that can make breathing dangerous, according to a new report. The American Lung Association State of the Air 2012, released Wednesday, shows signs of air-quality improvement, but also indicates struggles in many regions nationwide. The volunteer health organization examined 2008-2010 ozone levels, the main ingredient of smog air pollution, and air-particle pollution at official measuring sites across the U.S. Out of the 25 cities with the most ozone pollution, 22 saw improvements in air quality over last year's report. Similar advancements were seen among cities with the most year-round particle pollution." (note: the Twin Cities did not make the Top 10 list for metro areas with the most particulant pollution).

"Ask Paul". Weather-related Q&A.

"Paul, can you recommend a good weather radar app? In other words, what's the best value for the app? I see a lot of very expensive radar apps that I have no idea about whether they would serve me or not. So what's the best in your opinion for what a person who wants to quickly access weather radar nationwide needs? Also, I read in the New York Times about a "Dark Sky" weather app in development that is very specific and accurate. Do  you know anything about this app's developmental status, when it might be available?"

Thanks! - Rob McManus

Rob, thanks for a good question. First, I don't have any more details on the "Dark Sky" app in development, but it sounds intriguing. We're just seeing the tip of the iceberg in terms of useful apps that can help you plan your day (and stay out of severe weather trouble). In terms of weather radar apps, you're right: there are a lot of fairly expensive apps out there. I personally like RadarScope and My-Cast Weather Radar (created by my old company, Digital Cyclone, based in Chanhassen - I have no more involvement with DCI). If you're looking for a free app with a lot of utility consider "Victory Rides" from Polaris, available on the iTunes store. It's free (I don't make a penny when people download this to their smartphones) and it has not only radar updates but watches/warnings, for the metro, the state of Minnesota, and the entire nation. It's a good place to start. More details on "Victory Rides": "Created by the devoted motorcycle enthusiasts at Victory Motorcycles, Victory Rides is a must-have app for the true American biker. With this app, everything you need for adventures on the open road is only the touch of your finger away."

Included features:

- display your current location
- weather conditions, forecasts and advisories for any location
- find and contact Victory dealers
- local services search with integrated direct dialing, including gas stations, restaurants, and lodging
- save waypoints along your route
- track and save multiple rides
- automatic map caching so maps can still be viewed while on the trail and outside of data coverage areas
- multitasking on iOS4 for route tracking in the background
- share saved routes to Twitter or Facebook
- export route data in GPX or CSV format


"Both the NOAA CPC 6-10 and 8-14 day forecasts are predicting anomalously high temperatures overlapping with high precipitation consistently for the last several days. I've been watching these graphs for years and don't remember seeing this before (in my observatoin, areas with higher temps than ordinary are usually dryer than ordinary and vice versa). Does this indicate "can't miss" severe weather is coming? The hazardous weather maps don't indicate this. 

Your blog is great. We moved away from Minnesota two years ago (Rochester, on the edge of the high temp/high precip overlap), and I still follow your blog. I appreciate all you are doing

Spokane, WA

         6-10 Day Temps/Precip.              8-14 Day Temps/Precip.

Jeff - you're right. I can't honestly remember the last time I saw both 6-10 and 8-14 day extended (CPC) predictions of both temperature and moisture levels well above average. Lately it seems summer warmth: 70s, 80s and beyond are on more of an on-off switch than a dimmer switch, and (increasingly) it's starting to look like an old fashioned hot front the latter half of next week into the second week of May, perhaps a streak of 80s, even a few early 90s. I hope the Climate Prediction Center precipitation outlook is correct in terms of above average, but here's my concern: if we do have heat + moisture (and sufficient instability and wind shear aloft) we could have a very ripe environment for severe thunderstorms. Which would you prefer: widespread statewide drought, or a tornado risk every other day? Tough one.

* maps above courtesy of NOAA CPC and Ham Weather.

Photo Of The Day: "I Want My Mamma". OK. Sorry - they don't pay enough to come up with clever captions. Best I can do. This photo was taken at the National Weather Service office in Morristown, Tennessee, via Facebook.

999 Bottle Tracks Your Unmitigated Environmental Impact, One Bottle At A Time. Details from "We all know that using a stainless steel or polycarbonate water bottle is much more eco than using (and tossing) a disposable water bottle. It's kind of the trendy thing right now. But do you really know just how much garbage and energy that you're saving the Earth from? With the 999Bottle, it's easy to find out."

The Creative Monopoly. Here's an excerpt of a timely Op-Ed from David Brooks at The New York Times: "As a young man, Peter Thiel competed to get into Stanford. Then he competed to get into Stanford Law School. Then he competed to become a clerk for a federal judge. Thiel won all those competitions. But then he competed to get a Supreme Court clerkship. Thiel lost that one. So instead of being a clerk, he went out and founded PayPal. Then he became an early investor in Facebook and many other celebrated technology firms. Somebody later asked him. “So, aren’t you glad you didn’t get that Supreme Court clerkship?” The question got Thiel thinking. His thoughts are now incorporated into a course he is teaching in the Stanford Computer Science Department. (A student named Blake Masters posted outstanding notes online, and Thiel has confirmed their accuracy.)"

Kahuna Production's "Bombora" Is Designed For Street Surfing. And who among us doesn't want to street surf? As long as you're not street surfing and texting, right? Here's a clip from one of my favorite sites to geek out on new tech: "Several years ago, Utah-based Kahuna Creations innovated a sport it calls "land paddling." With the simple addition of a balled paddle, longboard skaters have been able to paddle their way around asphalt and concrete, bringing the burgeoning sport of stand-up paddleboarding onto dry land. Kahuna is now updating its land paddling line with a purpose-built longboard modeled after one of its surfboards. The new Bombora Longboard uses a big, surf-style design to make for what is reportedly a smooth, intuitive ride."

"Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existance." - Eric Fromm

"Kodacolor Sunset." Thanks to WeatherNation TV's Justin Miller for sending this one in: "Here's the view from Mount Tom at Sibley State Park near New London, MN (north of Willmar). It is the highest point within a 50 mile radius."

Paul's Conservation Minnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:

TODAY: Blue sky, a cool breeze. Winds: NE 10-20. High: 57

THURSDAY NIGHT: Clear and comfortably cool. Low: 39

FRIDAY: Sunny start - clouds increase during the afternoon. High: 56

FRIDAY NIGHT: Cloud with a few periods of rain, possibly mixing with snow late. Low: 34

SATURDAY: Rain/snow mix possible, a light, slushy coating early?. Cool and damp in the metro. Winds: E 10. High: 44

SATURDAY NIGHT: Showers taper off. Low: 36

SUNDAY: Partly sunny, nicer day of the weekend. Winds: SE 10. High: 56

MONDAY: Some sun, feels like spring again. Rain arrives Monday night. Low: 47. High: 64

TUESDAY: Rain tapers, slow clearing PM hours. Low: 49. High: 63

WEDNESDAY: Warmer. T-storms possible. Low: 51. High: 72

Getting "Stuck"

One of the trends we're seeing on the weather maps in recent years: weather systems are moving slower, with a greater tendency for the pattern to become "stuck". Heat waves are hotter; storms move slower, increasing the potential for flooding. Why? Recent research shows the Arctic has warmed twice as fast as the rest of North America. This "Arctic Amplification" has caused the north-south temperature/pressure gradient to weaken by 10 percent since the late 80s; jet stream winds have weakened by 14 percent.

Who cares? The jet elongates, crazy dips and bulges, making drought worse and prolonging storms. The weather, increasingly, is getting "stuck". That may be one reason why the models we use have become even more unreliable. Predicting weather has never been more challenging.
Alibis and excuses aside, I'm still worried about a dry pattern getting stuck over Minnesota this summer. We just haven't seen enough southern storms to make up for a 3-7 inch rainfall deficit since last fall.

Rain brushes southern Minnesota early Saturday - the latest NAM model hinting at a slushy inch or two of snow across parts of central Minnesota Saturday morning, possibly in the metro area. I know - a rude reminder that it can snow in April. Let's hope those 'dang-blasted models are dead-wrong. Sunday will be the nicer day of the weekend, blue sky and highs in the 50s. 70s return late next week, a streak of 80s possible late next week into the first weekend of May.

From slush to 80s in 4 days? Welcome to Minnesota. Like turning on a light switch: instant summer!

"Be loyal to what you love, be true to the earth, fight your enemies with passion and laughter." - Edward Abbey

"Climate denialism is less about refuting the science than creating the perception of uncertainty in the science in order to manipulate public perception." Human footprints graphic above courtesy of Skeptical Science.

Climate Stories....

  Climate Change Is Based Only On Fact. Here's an excerpt of an important post at Climate Change: The Next Generation: "In his recent column: "Global Warming Is Just Propaganda", Lewis Green asserts that there is no global warming. His conclusion is based on his master's degreee in mechanical engineering and a few years "reading up on climate change." But despite his professed science background (engineers are required to take some science courses), his column is riddled with factual errors about science. I have respect for engineers. Even after earning a Ph.D. in physics and taking graduate-level courses in mechanical engineering, I do not consider myself competent to challenge established engineering facts. Appeals to supposed authority are dangerous. In science, the ultimate authority is the list of acts, so here are a few.

Fact: Global warming is real. The first decade of the 21st century was the hottest decade since records have been kept. The climatological temperature, the average over both space and time, is continuing to increase."

Why Is President Obama Tiptoeing Around Climate Change? Good question. Too "controversial" in an election year? I'd love to see some leadership...from someone, on either side of the political aisle. I'm not holding my breath. More details from The Current: "There was one noticeable omission from President Barack Obama's 2012 Earth Day proclamation -- any mention of climate change. In the 2011 Earth Day proclamation, Obama declared that no person could "escape the impact of climate change," but did his best to avoid the topic this year. The only line that hints at the existence of global warming is about cutting "greenhouse gas emissions." Certainly the president is trying to avoid touching on controversial topics during an election year, but is climate change controversial anymore. Polls show a majority of Americans now believe in climate change, and ABC news reports that extreme weather, not campaigns by global warming denialists, is the only thing likely to change voters minds on the issue."

President Obama: "Those Who Have Looked At The Science Of Climate Change Are Scared." Alarmist? At first glance it looks that way - but if you take the time to really dig into the science if you're not concerned on some level you're not paying attention. Here's an excerpt of a story at "There are a number of true wedge issues — items that clearly differentiate between the parties. These include 99% - 1% & equity, belief in the value of government, women’s right to make choices about their bodies, … One of the starkest: attitudes toward science and most notably to climate science. The Obama Administration — including President Obama — has seemed (at best) reluctant to utter the words “climate change” and engage the anti-science mania dominating the Republican “elite” (and base) directly in a way to highlight to ‘independents’ (and others) the stark differences when it comes to science and the implications of those differences. The reality is, whether discussed or not, that 2012 is an election about science."

Discovery's Soggy Logic On "Frozen Planet". From Andy Revkin at The New York Times: "Here’s a question to ponder after reviewing the video of melting penguin ice sculptures above shot at the glitzy New York City celebration of the American production of “Frozen Planet.” How can Discovery Communications, the same giant media company that has brought the world the one-sided, and popular, “Whale Wars,” say it excluded any substantial mention of human-driven climate change in its wildly popular “Frozen Planet” series on the basis of objectivity? I’ve been in overload mode, so I just caught up with Brian Stelter’s remarkable piece in which the series producer, Vanessa Berlowitz, offers a contorted explanation for the lack of focus on this issue."

Serious Errors And Shortcomings Void Climate Letter By 49 Former NASA Employees. This is one of the best summaries of the evidence for AGW I've ever read - anywhere. Kudo's to NASA contractor Brian Angliss for taking the time to write this must-read piece. Here's an excerpt of his refutation of the 49 NASA astronauts at Scholars & Rogues: "On March 28, 2012, 49 former NASA astronauts, scientists, engineers, and administrators sent a letter to NASA administrator Charles Bolden Jr. The letter requested that NASA in general and the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in particular stop publishing the scientific conclusions about the human-driven causes of global climate disruption. The letter was filled with no less than six serious errors regarding the science, data, and facts of climate science. The errors, in turn, exposed that the signers had confused their fame and/or their expertise in unrelated fields with expertise in climate science. And in response, NASA’s chief scientist politely suggested that the letter’s authors and signers should publish any contrary hypotheses and data in peer-reviewed scientific journals instead of trying to censor the publication of scientific conclusions from NASA climate scientists."

Climate "Brightsiding". Here's an excerpt from a thought-provoking post from Climate Code Red: "Most climate advocacy and campaigning appears to assume that as long as you tell a positive story and move "in the right direction", it doesn't matter if people understand or agree about the problem. It's all about selling "good news" and not mentioning "bad news". This is how the Obama administration, Australia's Labor government, the Say Yes campaign and many national climate advocacy organizations worked in 2011."

Global Warming Has Driven Europe's Plants To Migrate 2.7 Meters Upwards In 7 Years. Science Codex has the story, here's a clip: "Researchers at the University of Granada Department of Botanic have participated in an international study that has confirmed that global warming is causing plants to migrate to higher altitudes. The study –recently published in Science– analyzed species diversity shifts in 66 summits of 17 European ranges between 2001 and 2008. In the Iberian Peninsula, two target regions were selected in the Pyrenees (Ordesa) and Sierra Nevada (Granada). Researchers found that the species under study had migrated an average of 2.7m upwards. "This finding confirms the hypothesis that a rise in temperatures drives Alpine flora to migrate upwards. As a result, rival species are threatened by competitors, which are migrating to higher altitudes. These changes pose a threat to high-mountain ecosystems in the long and medium term" the authors state."

Episcopalians Join Religious Voices At Climate Change Conference. Details from ENS, Episcopal News Service: "Climate activist and Episcopal priest the Rev. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas described the Episcopal Church’s response to climate change during a groundbreaking April 23 conference on the Scientific, Religious and Cultural Implications of Global Warming in Washington, D.C. The conference, which brought together religious, scientific, medical and military leaders to alert citizens across the nation to the seriousness of climate change, was hosted by the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sophia and sponsored by the National Religious Coalition on Creation Care, Interfaith Moral Action on Climate and the Presbyterian Synod of Southern California and Hawaii."

Photo credit above: "Climate activist and Episcopal priest the Rev. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas addresses an April 23 conference on the Scientific, Religious and Cultural Implications of Global Warming in Washington, D.C."

GE CEO Says Electric Car Disappointment Will Fade. An article from Reuters and The Chicago Tribune; here's an excerpt: "DETROIT (Reuters) - General Electric Co Chief Executive Jeff Immelt said people "may be disappointed in the adoption of the electric vehicle" but his company will continue investing in battery technology to reflect its confidence in an eventual uptick. Speaking during an automotive conference in Detroit on Tuesday, Immelt -- whose company is a key supplier to automakers producing electric cars -- said GE is "committed to long-term development" of alternative-fuel vehicles. The executive shrugged off the perception that electric cars are just novelties and said the industry needs to find solutions to cost and infrastructure challenges."

Photo credit above: "General Electric Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt speaks before a panel discussion in Washington (Gary Cameron Reuters, REUTERS / February 13, 2012)."

Balance In The Eye Of The Beholder In Climate Change Debate. Here's an excerpt from a story running in The Sydney Morning Herald: "It's either the greatest threat civilization has ever faced, or a hoax perpetrated by fraudulent scientists. Opinions on both sides of the debate are so strong that one side barely speaks with the other. The two groups read different newspapers and websites, and immerse themselves in information that reinforces their existing prejudices. So what would happen if you took two assertive people with diametrically opposed opinions on human-induced climate change, put them together for a month and filmed them attempting to change each other's mind?"

Photo credit above: "Politicians are at a significant disadvantage when trying to grasp the seriousness of climate change. Their instinct is to search for compromises and to negotiate outcomes. But nature doesn't compromise." Photo: Jonathan Carroll."

Maine Regulators Pave The Way For First Commercial Tidal Power On U.S. Grid. Here's an excerpt of a fascinating story from AP and The Washington Post: "PORTLAND, Maine — Maine regulators on Tuesday put three utilities on the path to distribute electricity harnessed from tides at the nation’s eastern tip, a key milestone in a bid to turn the natural rise and fall of ocean levels into power. The Maine Public Utilities Commission set terms for a contract that would be in place for 20 years. The regulators also directed the three utilities to negotiate with Ocean Renewable Power Co. to put electricity onto the grid this summer, the first long-term power purchase agreements for tidal energy in the United States."

Photo credit above: Robert F. Bukaty/file/Associated Press - FILE - "In this June 13, 2011 file photo, the Energy Tide 2, the largest tidal energy turbine ever deployed in the U.S., appears on a barge in Portland, Maine. The Maine Public Utilities Commission, on Tuesday, April 24, 2012, set contract terms and directed three utilities to negotiate with the company, Ocean Renewable Power Co., to put electricity onto the grid this summer."

Clergy Lobby Congress To Combat Global Warming. The story from WBNS-TV in Columbus, Ohio: "WASHINGTON (AP) — Clergy belonging to a group called Interfaith Moral Action on Climate are urging Congress to enact legislation to combat global warming. Native American, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Bahai, Jewish and Christian activists held a march, worship service and rally Tuesday before heading to Capitol Hill to lobby their elected representatives."


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