APOD: Superstorm Sandy From Formation to... (2012 Nov 07)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
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Re: APOD: Superstorm Sandy From Formation to... (2012 Nov 07

Post by BDanielMayfield » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:51 pm

Anthony Barreiro wrote:"Awesome" is an over-used word, but this video is literally awesome. Seeing how big and powerful this storm was, and contemplating how much damage it did, I experience "overwhelming wonder, admiration, respect, [and] dread."

Now that such a huge and destructive storm has impacted New York and New Jersey, more of us here in the US are finally considering the reality and consequences of global warming and climate change. Less privileged people in the third world are already experiencing more frequent and more destructive storms, drought, disease, etc. Polar ice caps are at historic lows. The oceans are acidifying and the coral reefs are dying. Species all over the Earth are disappearing at rates that haven't occurred since the last global extinction that killed off the dinosaurs and 90 percent of all other species. But now that Snooky's porch was washed away, we're finally starting to take this seriously. I'm sorry to be so negative, but honestly that's how I'm feeling right now.
There’s no need to apologize Anthony. That was an excellent comment.

This apod effects me deeply too. I once lived for a few years in New York City were I was a frequent traveler on the subway system, 47 miles of which were flooded according to the New York Daily News article linked to in the Explanation. I wish the worker’s well in their monumental recovery efforts, as well as all those suffering up and down the east coast due to the effects of Sandy.

I also liked Qweenie’s comment. (My mother was born in Queens New York. Her parents had immigrated from The Netherlands, another lowland place that’s waging an epic battle with the threat of rising seas.) Qweenie is right to “really hate to think how much damage a category 5 could do …” On a less ominous note I must point out that the winds of these storms weaken as they move north, and they almost always turn east out to sea. Sandy was the rare exception to the rule, although that’s little comfort to those who’ve lost homes because of her.

A further reason I can relate to this story is that for most of my life I have lived near the gulf coast of Texas. I was a 12 year old living in Corpus Christi Texas when Hurricane Celia hit in 1970. The stats on this storm call her a strong Cat 3, but no one who actually lived through it agrees with that assessment, because it’s based on a recorded wind gust of more than 160 MPH that was recorded prior to the peak of the storm. Then the wind gauge blew away, as well as many structures that engineers say were designed to withstand 200 MPH winds.

You’ve no doubt heard the wind howl, maybe even shriek, but I remember from the interior of a well built brick house hearing the wind scream, not occasionally, but continually. We didn’t experience the very strongest winds, since the eye pasted north of our location. The home we were in was on the west side of Corpus, about 35 miles inland from were Celia first made landfall on Padre Island. The storm hit at night, but when we immerged the next morning there were many similar, well built brick homes that had been totally destroyed.

In the years since there have been many near misses, and I happened to have been in Houston when tropical storm Allison looped around and dumped an incredible amount of rainfall. (The peak total was 40.68 inches!) Therefore, it’s not wise to take tropical cyclones for granted, believe me.

Anthony’s second paragraph includes a litany of harmful changes that mankind is inflicting upon the earth, to which others could be added, like deforestation. These are evidences that man is ruining the earth. Solving these problems is beyond man’s abilities. (Not technically, but practically, since man is so disunited and prone to greed and selfishness.) Therefore SOS I pray, and please help the victims of Sandy.

Bruce
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Re: APOD: Superstorm Sandy From Formation to... (2012 Nov 07

Post by Anthony Barreiro » Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:38 pm

BDanielMayfield wrote:This apod effects me deeply too. ...

A further reason I can relate to this story is that for most of my life I have lived near the gulf coast of Texas. I was a 12 year old living in Corpus Christi Texas when Hurricane Celia hit in 1970. ...

... .

Anthony’s second paragraph includes a litany of harmful changes that mankind is inflicting upon the earth, to which others could be added, like deforestation. These are evidences that man is ruining the earth. Solving these problems is beyond man’s abilities. (Not technically, but practically, since man is so disunited and prone to greed and selfishness.) Therefore SOS I pray, and please help the victims of Sandy.

Bruce
Thanks Bruce. I generally try to use gender-inclusive language, e.g. "humanity" rather than "man," but in this case I would agree with you that men share most of the responsibility for environmental devastation. I join you in prayer for the planet, and for the people whose lives have been affected by this storm.
May all beings be happy, peaceful, and free.

quigley

Re: APOD: Superstorm Sandy From Formation to... (2012 Nov 07

Post by quigley » Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:55 pm

Check out the APOD's of May 5, 2006 and May 23, 2008. Can someone tell me how it is that "climate change" on Jupiter occurs without humans present? Or are there Jovian SUV's floating around in that hostile atmosphere?

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Re: APOD: Superstorm Sandy From Formation to... (2012 Nov 07

Post by DavidLeodis » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:37 pm

In the information brought up through the "Pictured above" link in the explanation it refers to the "storm surget". Though I have assumed what it means I have tried to find a defintion of "surget" but have not been readily able to find one. It's almost as if it's a made up word :!:

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Re: APOD: Superstorm Sandy From Formation to... (2012 Nov 07

Post by BDanielMayfield » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:45 pm

quigley wrote:Check out the APOD's of May 5, 2006 and May 23, 2008. Can someone tell me how it is that "climate change" on Jupiter occurs without humans present? Or are there Jovian SUV's floating around in that hostile atmosphere?
Of course not all climate change is due to human causes. However, when the carbon that has been locked up in the crust of this planet over many thousands of years is quickly returned to the atmosphere over a short period of time there are bound to be consequences. A lot of this extra CO2 is being absorbed into the global ocean, but that is changing its ph, harming sensitive reef environments. I used to be very skeptical about global warming too, but seeing what’s happening to glaciers almost everywhere they are found (or, used to be found) convinced me that it’s real.

I know that no one storm like Sandy can be pointed to as proof, but the increase in the numbers and severity of weather disasters is telling. But, are we listening?

Bruce
Last edited by BDanielMayfield on Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: APOD: Superstorm Sandy From Formation to... (2012 Nov 07

Post by flash » Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:27 am

BDanielMayfield wrote:
quigley wrote:Check out the APOD's of May 5, 2006 and May 23, 2008. Can someone tell me how it is that "climate change" on Jupiter occurs without humans present? Or are there Jovian SUV's floating around in that hostile atmosphere?
Of course not all climate change is due to human causes. However, when the carbon that has been locked up in the crust of this planet over many thousands of years is quickly returned to the atmosphere over a short period of time there are bound to be consequences. A lot of this extra CO2 is being absorbed into the global ocean, but that is changing its ph, harming sensitive reef environments. I used to be very skeptical about global warming too, but seeing what’s happening to glaciers almost everywhere they are found (or, used to be found) convinced me that it’s real.

I know that no one storm like Sandy can be pointed too as proof, but the increase in the numbers and severity of weather disasters is telling. But, are we listening?

Bruce
Correlation does not imply causation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlatio ... _causation

We can measure and we know that:
It's getting warmer.
CO2 emissions and atmospheric concentration is rising.

Where's the causal relationship? Belief is not proof. It's a hypothesis. Is there proof? I'm willing to listen.

Stir in the knowlege that humans are not required for such warming and the argument that humans are the cause of this round of warming becomes less than convincing to me.

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Re: APOD: Superstorm Sandy From Formation to... (2012 Nov 07

Post by Anthony Barreiro » Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:44 am

flash wrote:Correlation does not imply causation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlatio ... _causation

We can measure and we know that:
It's getting warmer.
CO2 emissions and atmospheric concentration is rising.

Where's the causal relationship? Belief is not proof. It's a hypothesis. Is there proof? I'm willing to listen.

Stir in the knowlege that humans are not required for such warming and the argument that humans are the cause of this round of warming becomes less than convincing to me.
I am not a climate scientist, but I am willing to believe the overwhelming consensus of the world's climate scientists that the atmosphere is warming and human releases of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are significantly causing this change. If we wait for proof to convince every amateur skeptic, it will be too late to do anything about it. Are you familiar with the precautionary principle? The consequences of climate change are sufficiently dire that those who want to continue extracting and burning every last kilogram of fossil fuel need to prove that this would not be harmful.
May all beings be happy, peaceful, and free.

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Re: APOD: Superstorm Sandy From Formation to... (2012 Nov 07

Post by Chris Peterson » Fri Nov 09, 2012 5:39 am

flash wrote: Correlation does not imply causation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlatio ... _causation

We can measure and we know that:
It's getting warmer.
CO2 emissions and atmospheric concentration is rising.

Where's the causal relationship? Belief is not proof. It's a hypothesis. Is there proof? I'm willing to listen.
We know that the CO2 levels are rising at just what we expect given our detailed knowledge of the carbon cycle and the amount of carbon we are releasing. We know that the the CO2 is coming from our fossil fuels because its isotopic signature tells us that. We understand very well how carbon dioxide results in more heat being retained, and the actual global warming observed is consistent with theory. And there are no alternate explanations for the heating.

The evidence is extensive and damning. It is completely beyond reasonable doubt that the current global warming is caused by anything except human activity. And that's why it is accepted as fact by essentially the entire climate science community.
Chris

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Re: APOD: Superstorm Sandy From Formation to... (2012 Nov 07

Post by Chris Peterson » Fri Nov 09, 2012 5:42 am

quigley wrote:Check out the APOD's of May 5, 2006 and May 23, 2008. Can someone tell me how it is that "climate change" on Jupiter occurs without humans present? Or are there Jovian SUV's floating around in that hostile atmosphere?
A nice example of the straw man fallacy.

The fact that there are other mechanisms that can drive climate change tells us nothing about the degree to which humans are currently changing Earth's climate.
Chris

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Re: APOD: Superstorm Sandy From Formation to... (2012 Nov 07

Post by BDanielMayfield » Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:42 am

flash wrote:
BDanielMayfield wrote:
quigley wrote:Check out the APOD's of May 5, 2006 and May 23, 2008. Can someone tell me how it is that "climate change" on Jupiter occurs without humans present? Or are there Jovian SUV's floating around in that hostile atmosphere?
Of course not all climate change is due to human causes. However, when the carbon that has been locked up in the crust of this planet over many thousands of years is quickly returned to the atmosphere over a short period of time there are bound to be consequences. A lot of this extra CO2 is being absorbed into the global ocean, but that is changing its ph, harming sensitive reef environments. I used to be very skeptical about global warming too, but seeing what’s happening to glaciers almost everywhere they are found (or, used to be found) convinced me that it’s real.

I know that no one storm like Sandy can be pointed to as proof, but the increase in the numbers and severity of weather disasters is telling. But, are we listening?

Bruce
Correlation does not imply causation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlatio ... _causation

We can measure and we know that:
It's getting warmer.
CO2 emissions and atmospheric concentration is rising.

Where's the causal relationship? Belief is not proof. It's a hypothesis. Is there proof? I'm willing to listen.

Stir in the knowlege that humans are not required for such warming and the argument that humans are the cause of this round of warming becomes less than convincing to me.
Flash, Anthony and Chris have provided fine answers, but I wanted to also express that I understand where you are coming from with your thinking. A few years ago I would have been right along with you. And I thank you for providing the informative link. It’s true, correlation does not mean that there MUST be a casual link, but linking the two facts that you acknowledge IS a reasonable assumption that is now widely accepted, as Anthony and Chris state.

But I suspect that our rapid use of fossil fuels is not the only human activity that is warming the earth. Agricultural and building practices are also contributing to the problem, by replacing cooler vegetated land with heat retaining surfaces like bare ground and pavement. But 8 billion people need food and they need places to live and work …

I believe that there is a solution to this and other problems, but it would require a ‘change of heart’ on the part of the world’s population. People would have to be willing to put aside personal and even national self interest in behalf of the greater good. Do you see any evidence that this is likely (or even possible) in today’s world? This is why I stated in an earlier comment that solving these problems is beyond mankind’s (practical) abilities.

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

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Re: APOD: Superstorm Sandy From Formation to... (2012 Nov 07

Post by geckzilla » Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:57 pm

It's not beyond man's practical ability. The simple solution is to have less children and reduce the human population to one with a minimal impact on the environment. The hard part is dealing with an economy of young persons burdened with taking care of a very large elderly population. Of course, everyone would have to agree with the solution or it wouldn't work. It's not magic.
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Re: APOD: Superstorm Sandy From Formation to... (2012 Nov 07

Post by Sam » Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:15 pm

Discussion reminds me of this: --
Sam
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Re: APOD: Superstorm Sandy From Formation to... (2012 Nov 07

Post by quigley » Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:16 pm

Nice to see some discussion going. When I was in grade school (eons ago) environmentalism was a very hot topic. Jacques Cousteau was warning that the oceans would be dead in 30 years and other "scientists" were stating that the earth's fossil fuel sources would be exhausted within 20-30 years. Well, hmmmmmmmmmm, the oceans should have been dead 20 years ago and we should be all riding horses again, if those statements were indeed the infallible truth. I'm afraid that politics DO play a huge role in topics such as "global warming"...er...I mean "climate change"...um...you know what I mean. I want scientific PROOF that this is human caused AND I want scientific answers to my questions as to why the planets are heating up AND why there have been many, many, many drastic climate changes in the earth's past without fossil fuels being burned, and I want to know why conditions are worsening despite auto, industrial, even propellent emissions being so much lower than they were not too long ago.

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Re: APOD: Superstorm Sandy From Formation to... (2012 Nov 07

Post by Chris Peterson » Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:34 pm

quigley wrote:Nice to see some discussion going. When I was in grade school (eons ago) environmentalism was a very hot topic. Jacques Cousteau was warning that the oceans would be dead in 30 years and other "scientists" were stating that the earth's fossil fuel sources would be exhausted within 20-30 years. Well, hmmmmmmmmmm, the oceans should have been dead 20 years ago and we should be all riding horses again, if those statements were indeed the infallible truth. I'm afraid that politics DO play a huge role in topics such as "global warming"...er...I mean "climate change"...um...you know what I mean. I want scientific PROOF that this is human caused AND I want scientific answers to my questions as to why the planets are heating up AND why there have been many, many, many drastic climate changes in the earth's past without fossil fuels being burned, and I want to know why conditions are worsening despite auto, industrial, even propellent emissions being so much lower than they were not too long ago.
The oceans are dying, and fossil fuel resources are being exhausted. Food and water are running out. All of these predictions were accurate, they simply couldn't allow for mitigating circumstances, and in some cases they depended on incomplete science. The timing was wrong, but the concepts were correct.

There is no such thing as scientific proof, so if that's what you demand, you'll wait forever. Science is bolstered by observational and theoretical evidence. The evidence for human caused global warming is largely beyond doubt. The questions you have are all well addressed in the literature, so if you're really interested, I'd suggest you spend some time reading it.
Chris

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Re: APOD: Superstorm Sandy From Formation to... (2012 Nov 07

Post by rstevenson » Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:53 am

Sam wrote:Discussion reminds me of this: --
Sam
Aye, therein lies the problem. How do we go forward -- we can't go back -- without bringing ourselves down to that low a level? There are good minds who say we likely can't, that we'll probably crash and burn no matter what we do. I'm not that pessimistic. Human beans can be extraordinarily creative when they're under pressure. It's just that too much of the world isn't feeling the pressure yet; they think they can just keep on keeping on without consequence.

At the moment the world reminds me a lot of the book "Exploring New Ethics for Survival: The Voyage of the Spaceship Beagle" by Garrett Hardin, which teaches a simple lesson about The Tragedy of the Commons. Most humans haven't yet realized that the Earth is a Commons. We may realize it before it's too late.

Rob