47 F. average high on March 27.
43 F. high on March 27, 2016.
March 28, 1924: A drought is broken with style in southern Minnesota as up to 25 inches of snow falls.
Psychiatrists tell us that people often deny there's a problem until and unless there's an obvious solution. I'm getting past the gloom and doom and chronic hand-wringing by focusing on solutions.
How Has Solar Improved the Local Area? I asked Pat Collins to address the ROI for solar: "I think the economics of our solar panels will be staggering... saving 6 million dollars over 30 years is great with always tight school budgets.... and then the question becomes... what programs can the extra money be put into? Fine arts? Academics? Bricks and Mortar? And the thought that we will prevent 56 million pounds of Carbon Dioxide from being emitted is priceless.... Perhaps the best benefit is that the solar energy and the news that it brings keeps environmental concerns in the spotlight and family conversations and the cost benefit of that is presses.
Photo credit: "The March 6 storm that did some heavy damage to the county’s Pihl’s Park, including flipping this camper over, was designated as a tornado that first touched down near Bricelyn and traveled nearly 10 miles to near the Wells area. It was designated by the National Weather Service last week as the earliest-in-the-season tornado ever reported in Minnesota."
Image credit: "When a tornado is fully formed, the simulation reveals several structures that make up the tornado, including the streamwise vorticity current (SVC), thought to be a main driver of the tornadic activity (seen in yellow)." (Photo: University of Wisconsin-Madison).
Great American Eclipse. Check out this amazing web site for everything you need to know for the total solar eclipse coming up on August 21: "On August 21, 2017, millions of people across the United States will see nature's most wondrous spectacle — a total eclipse of the Sun. It is a scene of unimaginable beauty; the Moon completely blocks the Sun, daytime becomes a deep twilight, and the Sun’s corona shimmers in the darkened sky. This is your guide to understand, prepare for, and view this rare celestial event. A total solar eclipse is unlike anything you've seen in your life. As totality approaches, you will see the astonishing sight of day turning to night and the Sun's corona blazing in the sky. This is truly a great American eclipse because totality will sweep the nation from the Pacific to the Atlantic. Nearly everyone in the US can reach this total solar eclipse within one day's drive. An eclipse is a cosmic billiard shot — the Sun, Moon, and Earth line up to reveal the Sun's atmosphere, it's corona. Eclipses on Earth occur only because of an amazing celestial coincidence..."
Don't Let Knuckle-Draggers on Ohio's Energy Future Win, Leaving the People with Zero. Entrenched (fossil fuel) monopolies are doing whatever they can to avoid disruption by an inevitable clean energy economy. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed from the Editorial Board at cleveland.com: "...In his Dec. 22 veto message, Kasich said that, from 2009 to 2012, energy efficiency standards had produced $1.03 billion in savings and would produce an estimated $4.15 billion in lifetime savings. The response: an even more draconian attempt this year in HB 114, a bill goosed by utility lobbies, to dump the standards in favor of "goals and incentives" that the bill's sponsor, Cincinnati-area Republican Rep. Louis Blessing, said would work just fine. Is it any wonder that among the groups testifying in favor of HB 114 have been the Ohio Coal Association and the American Petroleum Institute of Ohio...?"
Photo credit: "Cleveland's first privately owned, large-scale wind turbine, pictured in 2009 atop a 140-foot tower at the Pearl Road Auto Parts and Wrecking Co. at 5000 Pearl Road. The turbine is still there but Ohio energy policy is yo-yoing in a way that's cost the state jobs and investment, writes the editorial board." (Expedite Renewable Energy, File, 2009).
Photo credit: " " Photograph by Grant Cornett for The New Yorker.
Photo credit: "The beginning of the Sullivan line." Americasroof/CC BY-SA 2.5
“Money is the root of every mess you can think of. Anyone who lives for money is surely missing the best things in life.” – Sadie and Bessie Delany
TODAY: Lots of sun, quite pleasant. Winds: E 5-10. High: 61
TUESDAY NIGHT: Clear to partly cloudy. Low: 39
WEDNESDAY: Clouds increase, late showers southern MN. Winds: E 8-13. High: 54
THURSDAY: Damp start, then clearing. Winds: NE 8-13. Wake-up: 40. High: 51
FRIDAY: Plenty of sun, no complaints. Winds: NW 5-10. Wake-up: 34. High: 56
SATURDAY: Mix of clouds and sun, drama-free. Winds: NW 5-10. Wake-up: 38. High: 55
SUNDAY: Partly sunny and pleasant. Winds: SE 5-10. Wake-up: 40. High: 59
MONDAY: More clouds, few showers. Winds: E 5-10. Wake-up: 42. High: near 53
20 Common Myths That Climate Scientists Often Hear. Dr. Marshall Shepherd has done a public service by organizing the 20 biggest (whoppers). Here's an excerpt of a recent post at Forbes:
1. The climate always changes naturally, and we always had extreme weather. This is an accurate statement but misses the point that natural cycles can be altered by anthropogenic processes (Natural growing grass+fertilizer and Major League Baseball-home runs in the steroid era). Natural processes have always and will continue to affect climate. We just have to figure out how this relatively new anthropogenic "ingredient" is modifying the recipe.
2. Ok, the climate is changing but how do we know humans are contributing? There are a couple of good public-focused resources to answer this. One, from Bloomberg, provides a visual graphic to explain relative contributors to climate warming, and the other, from The Economist, explains it with text. For science background, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report is a good source....
Image credit: NASA.
The new research on planetary waves and climate change referenced above is here.
Image credit: "This animation shows changes in the polar jet stream from June 1, 2015 to July 31, 2015. The jet stream is approximated by crosses. The northerly shift of the jet stream may be linked to a warming arctic, and record melt of the Greenland ice sheet in 2015." (Marco Tedesco/Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory)
More Warm Spring Days. Not every day, but the trend is more warmth earlier in the warm season, according to Climate Central: "...Spring is getting warmer, on average, as the globe heats up from the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. As a result, the number of spring days with above-normal temperatures is increasing in many places in the U.S. In an unchanging climate, the number of days above normal and below normal should be relatively balanced and constant through the years. For meteorological spring, that number would be 46 out of the 92 days. In the majority of these cites, the number of days above normal has risen sharply. In some cases, there are more than 10 additional above-normal days than there were a few decades ago..."
What You Can Do About Climate Change. There are lots of things you can do, including voting for pro-science politicians running for local, state and national offices. An article at The New York Times argues that the most important thing you can do is drive a more fuel-efficient vehicle: "...The simple fact is that American drivers are a significant contributor to greenhouse gas pollution, so having a vehicle fleet that burns less fuel can have an outsize impact on total emissions. Though the United States has just 4 percent of the world's population, it is responsible for 14 percent of man-made greenhouse gases that end up in the atmosphere. Transportation accounts for 27 percent of those emissions. And 60 percent result from driving personal vehicles..."