West Coast Fires

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Orca
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West Coast Fires

Post by Orca » Fri Sep 11, 2020 5:00 pm

Morning folks. Thought I would check in and talk about the fires happening on the West Coast right now. Things are pretty rough right now; we normally have a "fire season" but I don't remember anything quite like this in my life. 500,000 Oregonians have already evacuated (10% of our population). The air quality is terrible for most of the Portland metro area. Looking out my window, there is an eerie yellow glow; the sun is about as bright as you'd expect the moon on a clear day.

I have family that has been evacuated; my folks and sister's family are at Evac Level 2, and they are one county away. The school district I work for is in that same area. A few days ago when this began, the horizon from my house was still blue looking north but like Mordor looking south. The pictures my team members sent yesterday looked less like Mordor and more like Total Recall - deep orange-red skies. It's very surreal.

Aside from a very dry season, part of what has created this dangerous situation was an unusual storm system a few days ago. We had sustained winds of 20 mph wind and gusts up to 60 mph. Not terribly unusual for October/November; but such storms usually come with a lot of precipitation. Also, the winds lasted longer than the meteorologists had originally estimated.

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orin stepanek
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Re: West Coast Fires

Post by orin stepanek » Fri Sep 11, 2020 5:43 pm

I hope the west coast gets a little help from God! Too many fires already! :shock:
Orin

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Re: West Coast Fires

Post by BDanielMayfield » Fri Sep 11, 2020 6:32 pm

Hi Orca. I was appalled to read earlier this morning that 10% of Oregon's population is under evacuation orders, and that towns have been lost. Hope you and yours stay safe.
Just as zero is not equal to infinity, everything coming from nothing is illogical.

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Ann
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Re: West Coast Fires

Post by Ann » Sat Sep 12, 2020 5:07 am

I'm sorry to hear about your terrible situation, Orca, and I can only hope that things get better in Oregon soon.

It is all too obvious that climate change is happening everywhere. We see it very clearly here in Sweden, too, and we have also had unusual fires, but not this year, nowhere near as big as yours, and not round where I live.

We have to take climate change seriously, is all I can say right now.

Ann
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Re: West Coast Fires

Post by BDanielMayfield » Sat Sep 12, 2020 1:59 pm

Ann wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 5:07 am
I'm sorry to hear about your terrible situation, Orca, and I can only hope that things get better in Oregon soon.

It is all too obvious that climate change is happening everywhere. We see it very clearly here in Sweden, too, and we have also had unusual fires, but not this year, nowhere near as big as yours, and not round where I live.

We have to take climate change seriously, is all I can say right now.

Ann


That’s right Ann. Every year now we are seeing worsening effects globally. I can’t see how this can be denied any longer.

The scary thing is though, it looks to me like we’ve already passed a tipping point and that nothing we do to reduce CO2 emissions can reverse this trend.

Bruce
Just as zero is not equal to infinity, everything coming from nothing is illogical.

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Chris Peterson
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Re: West Coast Fires

Post by Chris Peterson » Sat Sep 12, 2020 4:03 pm

BDanielMayfield wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 1:59 pm
Ann wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 5:07 am
I'm sorry to hear about your terrible situation, Orca, and I can only hope that things get better in Oregon soon.

It is all too obvious that climate change is happening everywhere. We see it very clearly here in Sweden, too, and we have also had unusual fires, but not this year, nowhere near as big as yours, and not round where I live.

We have to take climate change seriously, is all I can say right now.

Ann


That’s right Ann. Every year now we are seeing worsening effects globally. I can’t see how this can be denied any longer.

The scary thing is though, it looks to me like we’ve already passed a tipping point and that nothing we do to reduce CO2 emissions can reverse this trend.
I don't think we've passed a tipping point yet. But we absolutely need to be at zero CO2 emissions in the next decade, and we may need to implement complex and expensive systems to actually sequester CO2 from the atmosphere.
Chris

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Re: West Coast Fires

Post by BDanielMayfield » Sat Sep 12, 2020 5:04 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 4:03 pm
BDanielMayfield wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 1:59 pm
Ann wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 5:07 am
I'm sorry to hear about your terrible situation, Orca, and I can only hope that things get better in Oregon soon.

It is all too obvious that climate change is happening everywhere. We see it very clearly here in Sweden, too, and we have also had unusual fires, but not this year, nowhere near as big as yours, and not round where I live.

We have to take climate change seriously, is all I can say right now.

Ann


That’s right Ann. Every year now we are seeing worsening effects globally. I can’t see how this can be denied any longer.

The scary thing is though, it looks to me like we’ve already passed a tipping point and that nothing we do to reduce CO2 emissions can reverse this trend.
I don't think we've passed a tipping point yet. But we absolutely need to be at zero CO2 emissions in the next decade, and we may need to implement complex and expensive systems to actually sequester CO2 from the atmosphere.
I hope you're right Chris. But the reason for my pessimism is the still worsening conditions this year in spite of the forced reduction in CO2 from human activities due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We humans slowed our emissions for a while, but the wildfire rate of CO2 release is probably swamping man's unintentional temporary reductions. It's just my gut feeling, but it seems to me that the Earth itself has already been heated to the point where the natural releases of greenhouse gasses (CO2 and, worse CH4) are in a runaway feedback mode. It might already be too late for any human actions to even slow the planet's shift into a much hotter state.

Perhaps I'm wrong. Maybe someone (Art?) can show me the math showing that zero human CO2 emissions and sequestration programs could work to halt the trend. I'm not saying that such efforts aren't worthwhile, just that all they could do at this point is possibly delay somewhat the inevitable warmup.

Bruce
Just as zero is not equal to infinity, everything coming from nothing is illogical.

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Chris Peterson
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Re: West Coast Fires

Post by Chris Peterson » Sat Sep 12, 2020 5:54 pm

BDanielMayfield wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 5:04 pm
Chris Peterson wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 4:03 pm
BDanielMayfield wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 1:59 pm


That’s right Ann. Every year now we are seeing worsening effects globally. I can’t see how this can be denied any longer.

The scary thing is though, it looks to me like we’ve already passed a tipping point and that nothing we do to reduce CO2 emissions can reverse this trend.
I don't think we've passed a tipping point yet. But we absolutely need to be at zero CO2 emissions in the next decade, and we may need to implement complex and expensive systems to actually sequester CO2 from the atmosphere.
I hope you're right Chris. But the reason for my pessimism is the still worsening conditions this year in spite of the forced reduction in CO2 from human activities due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We humans slowed our emissions for a while, but the wildfire rate of CO2 release is probably swamping man's unintentional temporary reductions. It's just my gut feeling, but it seems to me that the Earth itself has already been heated to the point where the natural releases of greenhouse gasses (CO2 and, worse CH4) are in a runaway feedback mode. It might already be too late for any human actions to even slow the planet's shift into a much hotter state.

Perhaps I'm wrong. Maybe someone (Art?) can show me the math showing that zero human CO2 emissions and sequestration programs could work to halt the trend. I'm not saying that such efforts aren't worthwhile, just that all they could do at this point is possibly delay somewhat the inevitable warmup.

Bruce
The CO2 released in all the fires together is barely above the noise floor compared with anthropogenic emissions. Not an issue.
Chris

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Orca
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Re: West Coast Fires

Post by Orca » Sat Sep 12, 2020 9:48 pm

Thanks for the kind words, folks! Fortunately the variables affecting the fires are improving - increased humidity, winds are light and from the west (bringing moist air from the Pacific and moving away from populated areas), and every day more firefighters and equipment arrive.

Here's a composite as the days have progressed, taken from Portland, just to give you a sense of what we are experiencing.

Portland.jpg
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Re: West Coast Fires

Post by BDanielMayfield » Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:08 pm

Orca wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 9:48 pm
Thanks for the kind words, folks! Fortunately the variables affecting the fires are improving - increased humidity, winds are light and from the west (bringing moist air from the Pacific and moving away from populated areas), and every day more firefighters and equipment arrive.

Here's a composite as the days have progressed, taken from Portland, just to give you a sense of what we are experiencing.


Portland.jpg
Hopefully the weather will continue to improve Orca. This morning I woke up with lung discomfort due to walking our dog last night. Smoke from these west coast fires have lead to air quality advisories here in Eastern Idaho.

Thanks for that progression of photos of what it's been like in Portland. I know that this is just a small area of the Earth, but the impression that series gave me was 'there's Earth becoming Mars-like on its way to becoming Venus-like’. :cry:

Bruce
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neufer
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Re: West Coast Fires

Post by neufer » Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:04 pm

https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2020/09/13/noaa-hires-david-legates-climate/ wrote:
Click to play embedded YouTube video.
NOAA taps David Legates, professor who questions the seriousness and severity of global warming, for top role
By Andrew Freedman and Jason Samenow
September 13, 2020 at 9:11 p.m. EDT

<<The Trump administration has tapped David Legates, an academic who has long questioned the scientific consensus that human activity is causing global warming, to help run the agency that produces much of the climate research funded by the U.S. government.

Legates, a University of Delaware professor who was forced out of his role as that state’s climatologist because of his controversial views, has taken a senior leadership role at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).>>
Art Neuendorffer

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Re: West Coast Fires

Post by BDanielMayfield » Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:19 am

neufer wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:04 pm
https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2020/09/13/noaa-hires-david-legates-climate/ wrote:
Click to play embedded YouTube video.
NOAA taps David Legates, professor who questions the seriousness and severity of global warming, for top role
By Andrew Freedman and Jason Samenow
September 13, 2020 at 9:11 p.m. EDT

<<The Trump administration has tapped David Legates, an academic who has long questioned the scientific consensus that human activity is causing global warming, to help run the agency that produces much of the climate research funded by the U.S. government.

Legates, a University of Delaware professor who was forced out of his role as that state’s climatologist because of his controversial views, has taken a senior leadership role at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).>>
You used to work for NOAA, right Art?

It's good to be retired ...
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neufer
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Re: West Coast Fires

Post by neufer » Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:56 am

BDanielMayfield wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:19 am

You used to work for NOAA, right Art?

It's good to be retired ...
Absolutely!

There was always anti-science push back from Reagan & congressional Republicans... but it never got this bad.
Art Neuendorffer

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geckzilla
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Re: West Coast Fires

Post by geckzilla » Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:23 am

Smoke haze is by far the worst weather I've had to endure. Here in Modesto it's been a solid few weeks with little relief. I used to think that constant cold, wet, grey weather was the worst, but I'd take that in a heartbeat right now.
Just call me "geck" because "zilla" is like a last name.

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neufer
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Re: West Coast Fires

Post by neufer » Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:39 pm

Click to play embedded YouTube video.
geckzilla wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:23 am

Smoke haze is by far the worst weather I've had to endure. Here in Modesto it's been a solid few weeks with little relief. I used to think that constant cold, wet, grey weather was the worst, but I'd take that in a heartbeat right now.
It'll start getting cooler...you just watch.
Art Neuendorffer

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geckzilla
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Re: West Coast Fires

Post by geckzilla » Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:23 pm

Art, I need you to know that I have to put on my headphones to hear anything, and I am not going to needlessly expend such energy for a video that clearly contains the current potus in it. lol
Just call me "geck" because "zilla" is like a last name.

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Re: West Coast Fires

Post by BDanielMayfield » Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:44 pm

The New York Times has a story out today reporting that Portland has the world's worst air quality.

Sorry, wasn't able to post a link.
Just as zero is not equal to infinity, everything coming from nothing is illogical.