Hurricane Irene as seen from space

It may be a lumbering behemoth that’ll peter mostly out before it hits us here in Canuckistan, but it looks like there’s pretty much no avoiding this one. If you’re anywhere on the East Coast, you’re in this juggernaut’s way.

It’s very sunny and bright and cheery-looking here at the moment. Meanwhile, everyone on Twitter is exhorting that one another “stay strong” and wishing us all luck. It’s a bit disconcerting.

Via Time’s newsfeed.

Hurricane Irene as seen from space
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6 thoughts on “Hurricane Irene as seen from space

  1. 1

    It’s our standard August storm that we who live on the east coast of Canada look forward to every year. They come in August like clockwork, the media sells it every year to the poor saps in other parts of Canada like it has never happened before, or that these August storms have never been this powerful before. East coasters laugh at the rest of Canada for falling for this hype every year. We look forward to these storms because they bring big waves and excellent surfing. They also mean the climate has not changed, everything is normal.


  2. 2

    Until you can tell me what, exactly, would convince you that the scientific evidence for global warming is true, all you’re doing is repeating your religious mantra.

    The fact that hurricanes happen is not new. The fact that weather happens is not new. There will still be winter, there will still be summer, there will still be hurricanes and there will still be blizzards. The fact that the Earth has verifiably warmed, however, is new. And the fact that hurricanes happen because of warm water and warm air, means that there will be more and more powerful hurricanes. And this one is probably going to be a more powerful hurricane than the ones that hit last year or the year before that.

    The fact that water evaporates in warmer climates means that there will be more precipitation. More warmth means more energy in the system. Not “no winters” or “hurricanes are only caused by climate change”, or whatever other nonsensical lie you parrot. So how exactly does the fact that there have been hurricanes in the past indicate that “the climate has not changed, everything is normal”?

    Seriously, the numbers we’re talking about are small at the moment. The climate is probably only on average a degree or so warmer than it was a hundred years ago, and through those hundred years, we’ve been frogs in a pot so your personal lifetime of experience with regard to climate change contains far fewer data points than we have available to us. And the tiny incremental increase in climate due to anthropogenic CO2 forcing does create more violent and more frequent weather surges, demonstrably.

  3. 3

    Ok. How about proof that climate change today is not a continuation of climate change past, and by the past I mean only a mere few thousand years past. Evidence that today’s changes in climate are outside of normal climate variability. How about a climate paper which convincingly rules out natural climate change as the driver of todays climate change. One which debunks this “ “. That’s two only, they would be a start to returning me to being an alarmist again.

    So how exactly does the fact that there have been hurricanes in the past indicate that “the climate has not changed, everything is normal”?

    Good point, they don’t. You are correct. Stronger hurricanes today actually can be evidence of climate change, but not evidence that CO2 is the cause. I guess I should have said “the climate has not changed, its climate change as normal”

    “And the tiny incremental increase in climate due to anthropogenic CO2 forcing does create more violent and more frequent weather surges, demonstrably.”

    I think you’re suggesting that climate is highly sensitive to changing CO2 concentrations, yet climate sensitivity is a debate which is far from settled. I don’t think we can claim that Co2 increases are demonstrably responsible for weather surges. Coincidental, sure, but demonstrably, I don’t think so. Climate science is not there yet. You must realize that melting glaciers, increases in violent weather events and swimming polar bears are merely evidence that the climate changes, they are not evidence that CO2 is the cause. Its climate change as normal.


  4. 4

    Do you think there’s a difference between being an “alarmist” and being a realist? I do. I would say that people suggesting we revert to living in lean-tos and stone-age living conditions are alarmists. I’d say that people running around buying survival gear and building long-term self-sustaining underground structures out of abandoned schoolbusses (no seriously, there’s people doing that, though how successful I couldn’t tell you) are alarmists. I’d say people admitting that maybe we should stop relying on really old fossil fuel technology and consider future-tech power sources are realists.

    The cosmic-rays-driving-cloud-cover theory is worth pursuing, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it did act as a driver for cloud cover. I don’t see it as anything but a confound for studying global warming though. It certainly can’t account for everything we’re seeing.

    I checked Google Scholar for scholarly articles about the climate’s CO2 sensitivity, and there happens to be a good deal of info about it. It’s pretty well-studied, in fact. The only mitigating factors would be confounds like how much methane will affect the climate, or water vapor (which forms clouds, which means when more evaporation happens, more clouds are created, which should cool the planet but there’s still an upward trend despite this!), and other such issues.

    This is all far from settled science, you’re absolutely right, and I do appreciate that you’re now admitting that the climate is actually changing — most people denying AGW seem to also deny that the climate is any different from how it’s ever been. But like the theory of gravity, just because we don’t know WHY it’s happening, doesn’t mean we’re free to leave the bounds of this gravity well by sheer disbelief.

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