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Image courtesy Intelliweather.com Click image for loop.

Hurricane Joaquin – Visible satellite image

Hurricane Joaquin Aviation false colour display

BULLETIN
HURRICANE JOAQUIN INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 27A
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL112015
800 AM AST SUN OCT 04 2015

…OUTER RAINBANDS AFFECTING BERMUDA…
…DAMAGING WINDS EXPECTED ON BERMUDA LATER TODAY…

SUMMARY OF 800 AM AST…1200 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————-
LOCATION…30.4N 67.1W
ABOUT 210 MI…340 KM SW OF BERMUDA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…115 MPH…185 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…NE OR 35 DEGREES AT 21 MPH…33 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…956 MB…28.23 INCHES

WATCHES AND WARNINGS
——————–
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:

None.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…
* Bermuda

A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected
somewhere within the warning area.

For storm information specific to your area, please monitor
products issued by your national meteorological service.

DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
——————————
At 800 AM AST (1200 UTC), the center of Hurricane Joaquin was
located near latitude 30.4 North, longitude 67.1 West. Joaquin is
moving toward the northeast near 21 mph (33 km/h). A turn toward
the north-northeast is expected later this morning, with this motion
continuing through Monday. On the forecast track, the center of
Joaquin will pass near Bermuda this afternoon.

Reports from an Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft indicate
that maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 115 mph (185
km/h) with higher gusts. Joaquin is still a category 3 hurricane on
the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Additional weakening is
forecast during the next 48 hours.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles (110 km) from
the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 205
miles (335 km).

The minimum central pressure recently measured by reconnaissance
aircraft was 956 mb (28.23 inches).

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
———————-
WIND: Tropical storm conditions are first expected to reach Bermuda
later this morning, with hurricane conditions expected by this
afternoon.

STORM SURGE: A dangerous and life-threatening storm surge is
expected to produce significant coastal flooding in Bermuda. Near
the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive
waves.

RAINFALL: Joaquin is expected to produce total rainfall
accumulations of 3 to 5 inches across Bermuda through tonight.

SURF: Swells generated by Joaquin will continue to affect portions
of the Bahamas during the next few days. Swells are affecting much
of the southeastern and mid-Atlantic coasts of the United States and
will spread northward along the east coast of the United States
through Monday. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening
surf and rip current conditions. Even though Joaquin is expected to
pass well east of the coast of the United States, a prolonged period
of elevated water levels and large waves will affect the
mid-Atlantic region, causing significant beach and dune erosion with
moderate coastal flooding likely. Please consult products from your
local weather office.

HURRICANE JOAQUIN DISCUSSION NUMBER 27
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL112015
500 AM AST SUN OCT 04 2015

The cloud pattern of Joaquin has continued to gradually deteriorate
overnight with most of the deep convection now located over the
eastern and southeastern portions of the circulation. The earlier
reconnaissance aircraft mission reported peak 700-mb flight-level
winds of 125 kt, and SFMR surface winds of 94 kt during its last
pass through the southeastern portion of eyewall just before 0500
UTC. Dropsonde and SFMR data suggest that the flight-level winds
are not mixing down as efficiently as before, and the initial
intensity is lowered to 105 kt, which is a blend of the various
reconnaissance wind data. Another Air Force Reserve Hurricane
Hunter aircraft is currently en route to the storm and should
provide a better assessment of Joaquin’s intensity this morning.

Recent center fixes indicate that the motion of Joaquin has started
to bend toward the north-northeast, but the longer term motion is
still northeastward or 040/17 kt. The hurricane should turn
north-northeastward this morning, and pass near Bermuda this
afternoon as it moves between a large mid- to upper-level low to
its west and a mid-level ridge over the central Atlantic. After
passing the Bermuda Joaquin is expected to turn northeastward, then
east-northeastward after 48 hours when it reaches the mid-latitude
westerlies. The updated NHC track is similar to the previous
advisory and it remains near the center of the tightly cluster
guidance models.

Moderate to strong southwesterly shear is expected to cause some
weakening during the next 12 to 24 hours, but Joaquin is forecast to
remain a strong hurricane while it passes near or over Bermuda later
today. Gradual weakening should continue after 24 hours, as the
hurricane encounters cooler waters and remains within an environment
of moderate shear. Joaquin is expected to become an extratropical
cyclone over the North Atlantic in a little more than 72 hours.
The official intensity forecast is close to the model consensus
through 72 hours, and is based on guidance from the Ocean Prediction
Center at 96 and 120 h when the cyclone will be post-tropical.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 04/0900Z 29.7N 67.7W 105 KT 120 MPH
12H 04/1800Z 31.6N 66.4W 90 KT 105 MPH
24H 05/0600Z 33.7N 65.5W 85 KT 100 MPH
36H 05/1800Z 35.5N 64.1W 80 KT 90 MPH
48H 06/0600Z 37.6N 61.0W 75 KT 85 MPH
72H 07/0600Z 41.8N 49.0W 65 KT 75 MPH
96H 08/0600Z 45.0N 33.0W 60 KT 70 MPH…POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
120H 09/0600Z 50.0N 21.0W 55 KT 65 MPH…POST-TROP/EXTRATROP

Oops, EWR is offline for a bit due to an expired domain – will be back on the DNS servers shortly.

Roads and trains were shut down across the New York area Monday night and into Tuesday, and for what? It snowed in New York, but only 9.8 inches fell in Central Park after predictions of a foot and a half or more. What went wrong? Forecasters, including yours truly, decided to go all-in on one weather model: the European model (or Euro).

And the Euro was way off. Other models had this storm pegged.1

Update after update, the Euro (produced by the European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasting) kept predicting very high snow totals in New York. As of Monday morning’s run, the Euro was still projecting a foot and a half in the city. This consistency was too great for forecasters to ignore, especially because the Euro had been the first to jump on events such as the blizzard of 1996 and Hurricane Sandy. It also was one of the first to predict that a March 2001 storm was going to, like this one, be a bust. The Euro had a good track record.

That consistency, though, hid a great sense of uncertainty. The SREF (or Short-Range Ensemble Forecast), produced by the National Weather Service, collects 21 models (shown below). And Sunday night, the SREF indicated that the storm could be very different. Five of the 21 models in the SREF had (on a 10:1 snow-to-liquid ratio) less than 10 inches of snow falling. Nine of the 21 predicted a foot or less. Only eight could have been said to support 18 or more inches of snow in New York City.

screen-shot-2015-01-27-at-12-55-57-pm

In other words, 57 percent of the SREF members Sunday night suggested the forecasts were far too gung-ho. By Monday afternoon, 11 of the 21 members were on the 10-inches-or-less train. Eight of the 21 still supported big-time snow, but they were a minority.

The SREF members were not alone in being suspicious of so much snow. In Sunday’s 7 p.m. run, all of the other major models were against the Euro.

  • The American Global Forecasting System (GFS), which was recently upgraded, had only about 20 millimeters (or 8 inches of snow on a 10-to-1 ratio) falling for the storm. Although the GFS is considered inferior to the Euro by many meteorologists, the difference is probably overrated. Both models perform fairly well over the long term, as was pointed out in The New York Times this week. The GFS was showing the storm would stall too far northeast for New York to get the biggest snows. Instead, as we are seeing, those larger totals would be concentrated over Boston.
  • The GFS solution probably shouldn’t have been ignored given that it was joined by the Canadian’s global model, which had only 25 millimeters (or about 10 inches on a 10-to-1 ratio) falling as snow. The Canadian’s short-range model was slightly more pessimistic than the global. It predicted only about 20 to 25 millimeters (or 8 to 10 inches on a 10-to-1 ratio) of snow.
  • The United Kingdom’s model, which typically rates as the second-most accurate behind the Euro, was also on the little-snow train in New York. It had only 20 millimeters (or 8 inches on a 10-to-1 ratio) falling as snow.
  • Even the United States’ short-range North American Mesocale (NAM) model was on board with smaller accumulations, though it would change its tune in later runs and agree with the Euro for a time. On Sunday night, the NAM went with the 20 millimeters of snow.

Put it all together, and there was plenty of evidence this storm wouldn’t be record-setting in New York. Of course, forecasters are going to miss on occasion. Forecasting weather is very difficult. Models aren’t perfect, and forecasters should be practicing meteorology and not “modelology.”

That said, there are a few lessons to be learned:

  1. I’m not sure forecasters (including amateurs like myself) did a good enough job communicating to the public that there was great uncertainty in the forecast. This has been a problem for media forecasters who have historically been too confident in predicting precipitation events. A study of TV meteorologists in Kansas City found that when they predicted with 100 percent certainty that it would rain, it didn’t one-third of the time. Forecasters typically communicate margin of error by giving a range of outcomes (10 to 12 inches of snow, for example). In this instance, I don’t think the range adequately showed the disagreement among the models. Perhaps a probabilistic forecast is better.
  2. No model is infallible. Forecasters would have been better off averaging all the model data together, even the models that don’t have a stellar record. The Euro is king, but it’s not so good that we should ignore all other forecasts.
  3. There’s nothing wrong with changing a forecast. When the non-Euro models (except for the NAM) stayed consistent in showing about an inch or less of liquid precipitation (or 10 inches of snow on a 10-to-1 ratio) reaching New York and the Euro backed off its biggest predictions Monday afternoon, it was probably time for forecasters to change their stance. They waited too long; I’m not sure why.

Meteorology deals in probabilities and uncertainty. Models, and the forecasters who use those models, aren’t going to be perfect. In this case, there was a big storm. It just so happened to be confined to eastern Long Island and southern New England. But that’ll do little to satisfy New Yorkers who expected a historic blizzard.

2014-10-16: Hurricane Gonzalo has regained strength to a Category 4 storm, after risng to a 4 and dropping back to a 3 over the last 24 hours. Bermuda will take a direct hit from this storm by the look of it. Southeastern Newfoundland will likely see strong post-tropical storm conditions later this weekend.

“AVN” Aviation false colour enhancement.

“RGB” Combination vissible and Infared view with 3-colour red/green/blue false colour enhancement.

“Funktop” precipitation density enhancement

WTNT33 KNHC 160833
TCPAT3

BULLETIN
HURRICANE GONZALO ADVISORY NUMBER 16
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL082014
500 AM AST THU OCT 16 2014

…GONZALO REACHES CATEGORY FOUR STRENGTH AGAIN…
…CONDITIONS ON BERMUDA EXPECTED TO DETERIORATE TONIGHT…

SUMMARY OF 500 AM AST…0900 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————-
LOCATION…25.3N 68.7W
ABOUT 540 MI…865 KM SSW OF BERMUDA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…140 MPH…220 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…N OR 360 DEGREES AT 9 MPH…15 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…945 MB…27.91 INCHES

WATCHES AND WARNINGS
——————–
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY…

NONE

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT…

A HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR…
* BERMUDA

A HURRICANE WARNING MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED
WITHIN THE WARNING AREA. PREPARATIONS TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY
SHOULD BE RUSHED TO COMPLETION TODAY.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA…PLEASE MONITOR
PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR NATIONAL METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE.

DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
——————————
AT 500 AM AST…0900 UTC…THE EYE OF HURRICANE GONZALO WAS LOCATED
NEAR LATITUDE 25.3 NORTH…LONGITUDE 68.7 WEST. GONZALO IS MOVING
TOWARD THE NORTH NEAR 9 MPH…15 KM/H…AND THIS GENERAL MOTION IS
EXPECTED TO CONTINUE TODAY. A TURN TOWARD THE NORTH-NORTHEAST AND AN
INCREASE IN FORWARD SPEED ARE EXPECTED TONIGHT AND FRIDAY. ON THE
FORECAST TRACK…THE CENTER OF GONZALO IS EXPECTED TO PASS NEAR
BERMUDA ON FRIDAY.

SATELLITE IMAGERY INDICATES THAT MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE
INCREASED TO NEAR 140 MPH…220 KM/H…WITH HIGHER GUSTS. GONZALO IS
A CATEGORY FOUR HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRICANE WIND
SCALE. FLUCTUATIONS IN INTENSITY ARE COMMON IN MAJOR HURRICANES…
AND ARE LIKELY TO OCCUR WITH GONZALO TODAY. SLOW WEAKENING IS
FORECAST TONIGHT AND FRIDAY…BUT GONZALO IS EXPECTED TO BE A
DANGEROUS HURRICANE WHEN IT MOVES NEAR BERMUDA. STEADY WEAKENING
SHOULD BEGIN BY LATE FRIDAY.

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 40 MILES…65 KM…FROM
THE CENTER…AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 140
MILES…220 KM. NOAA BUOY 41046…LOCATED ABOUT 90 MILES…145 KM…
SOUTH OF THE CENTER OF GONZALO…RECENTLY REPORTED A SUSTAINED WIND
OF 42 MPH…68 KM/H…AND A GUST OF 51 MPH…83 KM/H.

THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 945 MB…27.91 INCHES.

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
———————-
WIND…HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO REACH BERMUDA ON
FRIDAY…WITH TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS BEGINNING LATE TONIGHT OR
EARLY FRIDAY MORNING. IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT WIND SPEEDS ATOP AND
ON THE WINDWARD SIDES OF HILLY TERRAIN ARE OFTEN UP TO 30 PERCENT
STRONGER THAN AT THE SURFACE…AND IN SOME ELEVATED LOCATIONS CAN BE
EVEN GREATER.

STORM SURGE…A DANGEROUS STORM SURGE IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE
SIGNIFICANT COASTAL FLOODING IN BERMUDA. NEAR THE COAST…THE SURGE
WILL BE ACCOMPANIED BY LARGE AND DESTRUCTIVE WAVES.

RAINFALL…GONZALO IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAIN ACCUMULATIONS
OF 3 TO 6 INCHES OVER BERMUDA.

SURF…LARGE SWELLS GENERATED BY GONZALO ARE AFFECTING PORTIONS OF
THE VIRGIN ISLANDS…THE NORTHERN COASTS OF PUERTO RICO AND THE
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC…AND PORTIONS OF THE BAHAMAS. SWELLS WILL REACH
MUCH OF THE EAST COAST OF THE UNITED STATES AND BERMUDA TODAY. THESE
SWELLS ARE LIKELY TO CAUSE LIFE-THREATENING SURF AND RIP CURRENT
CONDITIONS. FOR MORE INFORMATION…PLEASE CONSULT PRODUCTS FROM YOUR
LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.

NEXT ADVISORY
————-
NEXT INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY…800 AM AST.
NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY…1100 AM AST.

HURRICANE GONZALO DISCUSSION NUMBER 16
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL082014
500 AM AST THU OCT 16 2014

The satellite presentation of Gonzalo has improved during the past
few hours, with the eye warming and becoming more distinct since
the last advisory. The 0600 UTC Dvorak estimate from TAFB was
T6.0/115 kt and the 0715 UTC ADT was T6.2/120 kt. The initial
intensity is set to 120 kt for this advisory based on the improving satellite appearance. The next Hurricane Hunter aircraft will be investigating Gonzalo around 1200 UTC to provide more information on the storm’s intensity.

Given the recent satellite trends, it seems that Gonzalo has
completed the earlier eyewall replacement cycle. Some additional
fluctuations in intensity are possible during the next 12 hours
while Gonzalo remains over SSTs around 29C. Gradual weakening is
forecast through 36 hours while SSTs slowly cool along the
track and the shear begins to increase, and Gonzalo is expected to
remain a dangerous hurricane as it passes near Bermuda on Friday.
After 36 hours, faster weakening is shown as Gonzalo becomes
post-tropical and then gradually decays as an extratropical cyclone
late in the period. The new NHC intensity forecast is a little above
most of the guidance in the short term and then trends toward the
LGEM model while Gonzalo remains a tropical cyclone.

The initial motion estimate is 360/08, as Gonzalo is moving
northward to the west of a subtropical ridge. The model guidance is
in very good agreement on the track forecast scenario, with Gonzalo
expected to recurve ahead of a mid-latitude trough moving off the
east coast of North America. The guidance this cycle has trended a
little to the right through 48 hours and the NHC track has been
adjusted 20-30 miles in that direction. This forecast is now a
little to the left of the multi-model consensus and brings the
center of Gonzalo very close to Bermuda in about 36 hours. Late in
the period, post-tropical Gonzalo is expected to pass south of
Newfoundland and then accelerate northeastward and eastward across
the north Atlantic. At days 3 through 5, the new NHC forecast is
largely an update of the previous one.

The post-tropical portion of the forecast has been coordinated with
the NOAA Ocean Prediction Center.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 16/0900Z 25.3N 68.7W 120 KT 140 MPH
12H 16/1800Z 26.8N 68.4W 115 KT 130 MPH
24H 17/0600Z 29.2N 67.1W 110 KT 125 MPH
36H 17/1800Z 31.9N 65.4W 100 KT 115 MPH
48H 18/0600Z 35.3N 63.4W 90 KT 105 MPH
72H 19/0600Z 45.5N 53.5W 70 KT 80 MPH…POST-TROPICAL
96H 20/0600Z 52.0N 33.0W 45 KT 50 MPH…POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
120H 21/0600Z 55.0N 10.0W 40 KT 45 MPH…POST-TROP/EXTRATROP

[Editor’s note: there are embedded links in this post that did not reproduce. Please go to the original story for the rest of the context in this post. There are many good comments as well to this thread at WUWT.]

Real Science Debates Are Not Rare

From: Watts Up With That October 6, 2014

Guest Post by Dr. Robert G. Brown [WUWT]

The following is an “elevated comment” appearing originally in the comments to “A Rare Debate on the ‘Settled Science’ of Climate Change”, a guest essay by Steve Goreham. It is RG Brown’s reply to the Steven Mosher comment partially quoted at the beginning of the essay. This essay has been lightly edited by occasional WUWT contributor Kip Hansen with the author’s permission and subsequently slightly modified with a postscript by RGB.

October 3, 2014 at 8:41 am

“…debates are rare because science is not a debate, or more specifically, science does not proceed or advance by verbal debates in front of audiences. You can win a debate and be wrong about the science. Debates prove one thing. Folks who engage in them don’t get it, folks who demand them don’t get it and folks who attend them don’t get it”.

Steven Mosher – comment

Um, Steven [Steven Mosher], it is pretty clear that you’ve never been to a major physics meeting that had a section presenting some unsettled science where the organizers had set up two or more scientists with entirely opposing views to give invited talks and participate in a panel just like the one presented. This isn’t “rare”, it is very nearly standard operating procedure to avoid giving the impression that the organizers are favoring one side or the other of the debate. I have not only attended meetings of this sort, I’ve been one of the two parties directly on the firing line (the topic of discussion was a bit esoteric — whether or not a particular expansion of the Green’s function for the Helmholtz or time-independent Schrodinger equation, which comes with a restriction that one argument must be strictly greater than the other in order for the expansion to converge, could be used to integrate over cells that de facto required the expansion to be used out of order). Sounds a bit, err, “mathy”, right, but would you believe that the debate grew so heated that we were almost (most cordially 🙂 shouting at each other by the end? And not just the primary participants — members of the packed-room audience were up, gesticulating, making pithy observations, validating parts of the math.

You’re right that you can “win the debate and be wrong about the science”, however, for two reasons. One is that in science, we profoundly believe that there is an independent objective standard of truth, and that is nature itself, the world around us. We attempt to build a mathematical-conceptual map to describe the real terrain, but (as any general semantician would tell you) the map is not the terrain, it is at best a representation of the terrain, almost certainly an imperfect one. Many of the maps developed in physics are truly excellent. Others are perhaps flawed, but are “good enough” — they might not lead someone to your cufflinks in the upstairs left dresser drawer, but they can at least get someone to your house. Others simply lead you to the wrong house, in the wrong neighborhood, or lead you out into the middle of the desert to die horribly (metaphorically speaking). In the end, scientific truth is determined by correspondence with real-world data — indeed, real world future data — nothing more, nothing less. There’s a pithy Einstein quote somewhere that makes the point more ably than I can (now there was a debate — one totally unknown patent clerk against an entire scientific establishment vested in Newtonian-Galilean physics 🙂 but I am too lazy to look it up.

Second, human language is often the language of debates and comes with all of the emotionalism and opportunity for logical fallacy inherent in an imprecise, multivalued symbol set. Science, however, ultimately is usually about mathematics, logic and requires a kind of logical-mathematical consistency to be a candidate for a possible scientific truth in the sense of correspondence with data. It may be that somebody armed with a dowsing rod can show an extraordinary ability to find your house and your cufflinks when tested some limited number of times with no map at all, but unless they can explain how the dowsing rod works and unless others can replicate their results it doesn’t become anything more than an anecdotal footnote that might — or might not — one day lead to a startling discovery of cuff-linked ley lines with a sound physical basis that fit consistently into a larger schema than we have today. Or it could be that the dowser is a con artist who secretly memorizes a map and whose wife covertly learned where you keep your cufflinks at the hairdresser. Either way, for a theory to be a candidate truth, it cannot contain logical or mathematical contradictions. And even though you would think that this is not really a matter for debate, as mathematics is cut and dried pure (axiomatically contingent) truth — like I said, a room full of theoretical physicists almost shouting over whether or not the Green’s function expansion could converge out of order — even after I presented both the absolutely clear mathematical argument and direct numerical evidence from a trivial computation that it does not.

Humans become both emotionally and financially attached to their theories, in other words. Emotionally because scientists don’t like being proven wrong any more than anybody else, and are no more noble than the average Joe at admitting it when they are wrong, even after they come to realize in their heart of hearts that it is so. That is, some do and apologize handsomely and actively change their public point of view, but plenty do not — many scientists went to their graves never accepting either the relativistic or quantum revolutions in physics. Financially, we’ve created a world of short-term public funding of science that rewards the short-run winners and punishes — badly — the short-run losers. Grants are typically from 1 to 3 years, and then you have to write all over again. I quit research in physics primarily because I was sick and tired of participating in this rat race — spending almost a quarter of your grant-funded time writing your next grant proposal, with your ass hanging out over a hollow because if you lose your funding your career is likely enough to be over — you have a very few years (tenure or not) to find new funding in a new field before you get moved into a broom closet and end up teaching junk classes (if tenured) or have to leave to proverbially work at Walmart (without tenure).

Since roughly six people in the room where I was presenting were actively using a broken theory to do computations of crystal band structure, my assertion that the theory they were using was broken was not met with the joy one might expect even though the theory I had developed permitted them to do almost the same computation and end up with a systematically and properly convergent result. I was threatening to pull the bread from the mouths of their children, metaphorically speaking (and vice versa!).

At this point, the forces that give rise to this sort of defensive science are thoroughly entrenched. The tenure system that was intended to prevent this sort of thing has been transformed into a money pump for Universities that can no longer survive without the constant influx of soft and indirect cost money farmed every year by their current tenured faculty, especially those in the sciences. Because in most cases that support comes from the federal government, that is to say our taxes, there is constant pressure to keep the research “relevant” to public interests. There is little money to fund research into (say) the formation of fractal crystal patterns by matter that is slowly condensing into a solid (like a snowflake) unless you can argue that your research will result in improved catalysis, or a way of building new nano-materials, or that condensed matter of this sort might form the basis for a new drug, or…

Or today, of course, that by studying this, you will help promote the understanding of the tiny ice crystals that make up clouds, and thereby promote our understanding of a critical part of the water cycle and albedo feedback in Climate Science and thereby do your bit to stave off the coming Climate Apocalypse.

I mean, seriously. Just go to any of the major search engines and enter “climate” along with anything you like as part of the search string. You would be literally amazed at how many disparate branches of utterly disconnected research manage to sneak some sort of climate connection into their proposals, and then (by necessity) into their abstracts and/or paper text. One cannot study poison dart frogs in the Amazon rainforest any more just because they are pretty, or pretty cool, or even because we might find therapeutically useful substances mixed into the chemical poisons that they generate (medical therapy being a Public Good even more powerful that Climate Science, quite frankly, and everything I say here goes double for dubious connections between biology research and medicine) — one has to argue somewhere that Climate Change might be dooming the poor frogs to extinction before we even have a chance to properly explore them for the next cure to cancer. Studying the frogs just because they are damn interesting, knowledge for its own sake? Forget it. Nobody’s buying.

In this sense, Climate Science is the ultimate save. Let’s face it, lots of poison dart frogs probably don’t produce anything we don’t already know about (if only from studying the first few species decades ago) and the odds of finding a really valuable therapy are slender, however much of a patent-producing home run it might be to succeed. The poor biologists who have made frogs their life work need a Plan B. And here Climate is absolutely perfect! Anybody can do an old fashioned data dredge and find some population of frogs that they are studying that is changing, because ecology and the environment is not static. One subpopulation of frogs is thriving — boo, hiss, cannot use you — but another is decreasing! Oh My Gosh! We’ve discovered a subpopulation of frogs that is succumbing to Climate Change! Their next grant is now a sure thing. They are socially relevant. Their grant reviewers will feel ennobled by renewing them, as they will be protecting Poison Dart Frogs from the ravages of a human-caused changing climate by funding further research into precisely how it is human activity that is causing this subpopulation to diminish.

This isn’t in any sense a metaphor, nor is it only poison dart frogs. Think polar bears — the total population is if anything rapidly rising, but one can always find some part of the Arctic where it is diminishing and blame it on the climate. Think coral reefs — many of them are thriving, some of them are not, those that are not may not be thriving for many reasons, some of those reasons may well be human (e.g. dumping vast amounts of sewage into the water that feeds them, agricultural silt overwashing them, or sure — maybe even climate change. But scientists seeking to write grants to study coral reefs have to have some reason in the public interest to be funded to travel all over the world to really amazing locations and spend their workdays doing what many a tourist pays big money to do once in a lifetime — scuba or snorkel over a tropical coral reef. Since there is literally no change to a coral reef that cannot somehow be attributed to a changing environment (because we refuse to believe that things can just change in and of themselves in a chaotic evolution too complex to linearize and reduce to simple causes), climate change is once again the ultimate save, one where they don’t even have to state that it is occurring now, they can just claim to be studying what will happen when eventually it does because everybody knows that the models have long since proven that climate change is inevitable. And Oh My! If they discover that a coral reef is bleaching, that some patch of coral, growing somewhere in a marginal environment somewhere in the world (as opposed to on one of the near infinity of perfectly healthy coral reefs) then their funding is once again ensured for decades, baby-sitting that particular reef and trying to find more like it so that they can assert that the danger to our reefs is growing.

I do not intend to imply by the above that all science is corrupt, or that scientists are in any sense ill-intentioned or evil. Not at all. Most scientists are quite honest, and most of them are reasonably fair in their assessment of facts and doubt. But scientists have to eat, and for better or worse we have created a world where they are in thrall to their funding. The human brain is a tricky thing, and it is not at all difficult to find a perfectly honest way to present one’s work that nevertheless contains nearly obligatory references to at least the possibility that it is relevant, and the more publicly important that relevance is, the better. I’ve been there myself, and done it myself. You have to. Otherwise you simply won’t get funded, unless you are a lucky recipient of a grant to do e.g. pure mathematics or win a no-strings fellowship or the Nobel Prize and are hence nearly guaranteed a lifetime of renewed grants no matter how they are written.

This is the really sad thing, Steve [Steven Mosher]. Science is supposed to be a debate. What many don’t realize is that peer review is not about the debate. When I review a paper, I’m not passing a judgment as a participant on whether or not its conclusion is correct politically or otherwise (or I shouldn’t be — that is gatekeeping, unless my opinion is directly solicited by an editor as the paper is e.g. critical of my own previous work). I am supposed to be determining whether or not the paper is clear, whether its arguments contain any logical or mathematical inconsistencies, whether it is well enough done to pass muster as “reasonable”, if it is worthy of publication, now not whether or not it is right or even convincing beyond not being obviously wrong or in direct contradiction of known facts. I might even judge the writing and English to some extent, at least to the point where I make suggestions for the authors to fix.

In climate science, however, the ClimateGate letters openly revealed that it has long since become covertly corrupted, with most of the refereeing being done by a small, closed, cabal of researchers who accept one another’s papers and reject as referees (well, technically only “recommend” rejection as referees) any paper that seriously challenges their conclusions. Furthermore, they revealed that this group of researchers was perfectly willing to ruin academic careers and pressure journals to fire any editor that dared to cross them. They corrupted the peer review process itself — articles are no longer judged on the basis of whether or not the science is well presented and moderately sound, they have twisted it so that the very science being challenged by those papers is used as the basis for asserting that they are unsound.

Here’s the logic:

a) We know that human caused climate change is a fact. (We heard this repeatedly asserted in the “debate” above, did we not? It is a fact that CO2 is a radiatively coupled gas, completely ignoring the actual logarithmic curve Goreham presented, it is a fact that our models show that that more CO2 must lead to more warming, it is a fact that all sorts of climate changes are soundly observed, occurred when CO2 was rising so it is a fact that CO2 is the cause, count the logical and scientific fallacies at your leisure).

b) This paper that I’m reviewing asserts that human caused climate change is not a fact. It therefore contradicts “known science”, because human caused climate change is a fact. Indeed, I can cite hundreds of peer reviewed publications that conclude that it is a fact, so it must be so.

c) Therefore, I recommend rejecting this paper.

It is a good thing that Einstein’s results didn’t occur in Climate Science. He had a hard enough time getting published in physics journals, but physicists more often than not follow the rules and accept a properly written paper without judging whether or not its conclusions are true, with the clear understanding that debate in the literature is precisely where and how this sort of thing should be cleared up, and that if that debate is stifled by gatekeeping, one more or less guarantees that no great scientific revolutions can occur because radical new ideas even when correct are, well, radical. In one stroke they can render the conclusions of entire decades of learned publications by the world’s savants pointless and wrong. This means that physics is just a little bit tolerant of the (possible) crackpot. All too often the crackpot has proven not only to be right, but so right that their names are learned by each succeeding generation of physicist with great reverence.

Maybe that is what is missing in climate science — the lack of any sort of tradition of the maverick being righter than the entire body of established work, a tradition of big mistakes that work amazingly well — until they don’t and demand explanations that prove revolutionary. Once upon a time we celebrated this sort of thing throughout science, but now science itself is one vast bureaucracy, one that actively repels the very mavericks that we rely on to set things right when we go badly astray.

At the moment, I’m reading Gleick’s lovely book on Chaos [Chaos: The Making of a New Science], which outlines both the science and early history of the concept. In it, he repeatedly points out that all of the things above are part of a well-known flaw in science and the scientific method. We (as scientists) are all too often literally blinded by our knowledge. We teach physics by idealizing it from day one, linearizing it on day two, and forcing students to solve problem after problem of linearized, idealized, contrived stuff literally engineered to teach basic principles. In the process we end up with students that are very well trained and skilled and knowledgeable about those principles, but the price we pay is that they all too often find phenomena that fall outside of their linearized and idealized understanding literally inconceivable. This was the barrier that Chaos theory (one of the latest in the long line of revolutions in physics) had to overcome.

And it still hasn’t fully succeeded. The climate is a highly nonlinear chaotic system. Worse, chaos was discovered by Lorenz [Edward Norton Lorenz] in the very first computational climate models. Chaos, right down to apparent period doubling, is clearly visible (IMO) in the 5 million year climate record. Chaotic systems, in a chaotic regime, are nearly uncomputable even for very, simple, toy problems — that is the essence of Lorenz’s discovery as his first weather model was crude in the extreme, little more than a toy. What nobody is acknowledging is that current climate models, for all of their computational complexity and enormous size and expense, are still no more than toys, countless orders of magnitude away from the integration scale where we might have some reasonable hope of success. They are being used with gay abandon to generate countless climate trajectories, none of which particularly resemble the climate, and then they are averaged in ways that are an absolute statistical obscenity as if the linearized average of a Feigenbaum tree of chaotic behavior is somehow a good predictor of the behavior of a chaotic system!

This isn’t just dumb, it is beyond dumb. It is literally betraying the roots of the entire discipline for manna.

One of the most interesting papers I have to date looked at that was posted on WUWT was the one a year or three ago in which four prominent climate models were applied to a toy “water world” planet, one with no continents, no axial tilt, literally “nothing interesting” happening, with fixed atmospheric chemistry.

The four models — not at all unsurprisingly — converged to four completely different steady state descriptions of the planetary weather.

And — trust me! — there isn’t any good reason to think that if those models were run a million times each that any one of them would generate the same probability distribution of outcomes as any other, or that any of those distributions are in any sense “correct” representations of the actual probability distribution of “planetary climates” or their time evolution trajectories. There are wonderful reasons to think exactly the opposite, since the models are solving the problem at a scale that we know is orders of magnitude to [too] coarse to succeed in the general realm of integrating chaotic nonlinear coupled systems of PDEs in fluid dynamics.

Metaphor fails me. It’s not like we are ignorant (any more) about general properties of chaotic systems. There is a wealth of knowledge to draw on at this point. We know about period doubling, period three to chaos, we know about fractal dimension, we know about the dangers of projecting dynamics in a very high dimensional space into lower dimensions, linearizing it, and then solving it. It would be a miracle if climate models worked for even ten years, let alone thirty, or fifty, or a hundred.

Here’s the climate model argument in a nutshell. CO2 is a greenhouse gas. Increasing it will without any reasonable doubt cause some warming all things being equal (that is, linearizing the model in our minds before we even begin to write the computation!) The Earth’s climate is clearly at least locally pretty stable, so we’ll start by making this a fundamental principle (stated clearly in the talk above) — The Earth’s Climate is Stable By Default. This requires minimizing or blinding ourselves to any evidence to the contrary, hence the MWP and LIA must go away. Check. This also removes the pesky problem of multiple attractors and the disappearance and appearance of old/new attractors (Lorenz, along with Poincaré [Jules Henri Poincaré], coined the very notion of attractors). Hurst-Kolmogorov statistics, punctuated equilibrium, and all the rest is nonlinear and non-deterministic, it has to go away. Check. None of the models therefore exhibit it (but the climate does!). They have been carefully written so that they cannot exhibit it!

Fine, so now we’re down to a single attractor, and it has to both be stable when nothing changes and change, linearly, when underlying driving parameters change. This requires linearizing all of the forcings and trivially coupling all of the feedbacks and then searching hard — as pointed out in the talk, very hard indeed! — for some forlorn and non-robust combination of the forcing parameters, some balance of CO2forcing, aerosol anti-forcing, water vapor feedback, and luck that balances this teetering pen of a system on a metaphorical point and tracks a training set climate for at least some small but carefully selected reference period, naturally, the single period where the balance they discover actually works and one where the climate is actively warming. Since they know that CO2 is the cause, the parameter sets they search around are all centered on “CO2 is the cause” (fixed) plus tweaking the feedbacks until this sort of works.

Now they crank up CO2, and because CO2 is the cause of more warming, they have successfully built a linearized, single attractor system that does not easily admit nonlinear jumps or appearances and disappearances of attractors so that the attractor itself must move monotonically to warmer when CO2 is increasing. They run the model and — gasp! — increasing CO2 makes the whole system warmer!

Now, they haven’t really gotten rid of the pesky attractor problem. They discover when they run the models that in spite of their best efforts they are still chaotic! The models jump all over the place, started with only tiny changes in parametric settings or initial conditions. Sometimes a run just plain cools, in spite of all the additional CO2. Sometimes they heat up and boil over, making Venus Earth and melting the polar caps. The variance they obtain is utterly incorrect, because after all, they balanced the parameter space on a point with opposing forcings in order to reproduce the data in the reference period and one of many prices they have to pay is that the forcings in opposition have the wrong time constants and autocorrelation and the climate attractors are far too shallow, allowing for vast excursions around the old slowly varying attractor instead of selecting a new attractor from the near-infinity of possibilities (one that might well be more efficient at dissipating energy) and favoring its growth at the expense of a far narrower old attractor. But even so, new attractors appear and disappear and instead of getting a prediction of the Earth’s climate they get an irrelevantly wide shotgun blast of possible future climates (that is, as noted above, probably not even distributed correctly, or at least we haven’t the slightest reason to think that it would be). Anyone who looked at an actual computed trajectory would instantly reject it as being a reasonable approximation to the actual climate — variance as much as an order of magnitude too large, wrong time constants, oversensitive to small changes in forcings or discrete events like volcanoes.

So they bring on the final trick. They average over all of these climates. Say what? Each climate is the result of a physics computation. One with horrible and probably wrong approximations galore in the “physics” determining (for example) what clouds do in a cell from one timestep to the next, but at least one can argue that the computation is in fact modeling an actual climate trajectory in a Universe where that physics and scale turned out to be adequate. The average of the many climates is nothing at all. In the short run, this trick is useful in weather forecasting as long as one doesn’t try to use it much longer than the time required for the set of possible trajectories to smear out and cover the phase space to where the mean is no longer meaningful. This is governed by e.g. the Lyupanov exponents of the chaotic processes. For a while, the trajectories form a predictive bundle, and then they diverge and don’t. Bigger better computers, finer grained computations, can extend the time before divergence slowly, but we’re talking at most weeks, even with the best of modern tools.

In the long run, there isn’t the slightest reason — no, not even a fond hope — that this averaging will in any way be predictive of the weather or climate. There is indeed a near certainty that it will not be, as it isn’t in any other chaotic system studied so why should it be so in this one? But hey! The overlarge variance goes away! Now the variance of the average of the trajectories looks to the eye like it isn’t insanely out of scale with the observed variance of the climate, neatly hiding the fact that the individual trajectories are obviously wrong and that you aren’t comparing the output of your model to the real climate at all, you are comparing the average of the output of your model to the real climate when the two are not the same thing!

Incidentally, at this point the assertion that the results of the climate models are determined by physics becomes laughable. If I average over the trajectories observed in a chaotic oscillator, does the result converge to the actual trajectory? Seriously dudes, get a grip!

Oh, sorry, it isn’t quite the final trick. They actually average internally over climate runs, which at least is sort of justifiable as an almost certainly non-convergent sort of Monte Carlo computation of the set of accessible/probable trajectories, even though averaging over the set when the set doesn’t have the right probability distribution of outcomes or variance or internal autocorrelation is a bit pointless, but they end up finding that some of the models actually come out, after all of this, far too close to the actual climate, which sadly is not warming and hence which then makes it all too easy for the public to enquire why, exactly, we’re dropping a few trillion dollars per decade solving a problem that doesn’t exist.

So they then average over all of the average trajectories! That’s right folks, they take some 36 climate models (not the “twenty” erroneously cited in the presentation, I mean come on, get your facts right even if the estimate for the number of independent models in CMIP5 is more like seven). Some of these run absurdly hot, so hot that if you saw even the average model trajectory by itself you would ask why it is being included at all. Others as noted are dangerously close to a reality that — if proven — means that you lose your funding (and then, Walmart looms). So they average them together, and present the resulting line as if that is a “physics based” “projection” of the future climate. Because they keep the absurdly hot, they balance the nearly realistically cool and hide them under a safely rapidly warming “central estimate”, and get the double bonus that by forming the envelope of all of the models they can create a lower bound (and completely, utterly unfounded) “error estimate” that is barely large enough to reach the actual climate trajectory, so far.

Meh. Just Meh. This is actively insulting, an open abuse of the principles of science, logic, and computer modeling all three. The average of failed models is not a successful model. The average of deterministic microtrajectories is not a deterministic microtrajectory. A microtrajectory numerically generated at a scale inadequate to solve a nonlinear chaotic problem is most unlikely to represent anything like the actual microtrajectory of the actual system. And finally, the system itself realizes at most one of the possible future trajectories available to it from initial conditions subject to the butterfly effect that we cannot even accurately measure at the granularity needed to initialize the computation at the inadequate computational scale we can afford to use.

That’s what Goreham didn’t point out in his talk this time — but should. The GCMs are the ultimate shell game, hiding the pea under an avalanche of misapplied statistical reasoning that nobody but some mathematicians and maverick physicists understand well enough to challenge, and they just don’t seem to give a, uh, “flip”. With a few very notable exceptions, of course.

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Postscript (from a related slashdot post):

1° C is what one expects from CO2 forcing at all, with no net feedbacks. It is what one expects as the null hypothesis from the very unbelievably simplest of linearized physical models — one where the current temperature is the result of a crossover in feedback so that any warming produces net cooling, any cooling produces net warming. This sort of crossover is key to stabilizing a linearized physical model (like a harmonic oscillator) — small perturbations have to push one back towards equilibrium, and the net displacement from equilibrium is strictly due to the linear response to the additional driving force. We use this all of the time in introductory physics to show how the only effect of solving a vertical harmonic oscillator in external, uniform gravitational field is to shift the equilibrium down by Δy = mg/k. Precisely the same sort of computation, applied to the climate, suggests that ΔT ≈ 1° C at 600 ppm relative to 300 ppm. The null hypothesis for the climate is that it is similarly locally linearly stable, so that perturbing the climate away from equilibrium either way causes negative feedbacks that push it back to equilibrium. We have no empirical foundation for assuming positive feedbacks in the vicinity of the local equilibrium — that’s what linearization is all about!

That’s right folks. Climate is what happens over 30+ years of weather, but Hansen and indeed the entire climate research establishment never bothered to falsify the null hypothesis of simple linear response before building enormously complex and unwieldy climate models, building strong positive feedback into those models from the beginning, working tirelessly to “explain” the single stretch of only 20 years in the second half of the 20th century, badly, by balancing the strong feedbacks with a term that was and remains poorly known (aerosols), and asserting that this would be a reliable predictor of future climate.

I personally would argue that historical climate data manifestly a) fail to falsify the null hypothesis; b) strongly support the assertion that the climate is highly naturally variable as a chaotic nonlinear highly multivariate system is expected to be; and c) that at this point, we have extremely excellent reason to believe that the climate problem is non-computable, quite probably non-computable with any reasonable allocation of computational resources the human species is likely to be able to engineer or afford, even with Moore’s Law, anytime in the next few decades, if Moore’s Law itself doesn’t fail in the meantime. 30 orders of magnitude is 100 doublings — at least half a century. Even then we will face the difficulty if initializing the computation as we are not going to be able to afford to measure the Earth’s microstate on this scale, and we will need theorems in the theory of nonlinear ODEs that I do not believe have yet been proven to have any good reason to think that we will succeed in the meantime with some sort of interpolatory approximation scheme.

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Author: Dr. Robert G. Brown is a Lecturer in Physics at Duke University where he teaches undergraduate introductory physics, undergraduate quantum theory, graduate classical electrodynamics, and graduate mathematical methods of physics. In addition Brown has taught independent study courses in computer science, programming, genetic algorithms, quantum mechanics, information theory, and neural network.

Moderation and Author’s Replies Note: This elevated comment has been posted at the request of several commenters here. It was edited by occasional WUWT contributor Kip Hansen with the author’s approval. Anything added to the comment was denoted in [square brackets]. There are only a few corrections of typos shown by strikeout [correction]. When in doubt, refer to the original comment here. RGB is currently teaching at Duke University with a very heavy teaching schedule and may not have time to interact or answer your questions.

Tropical Storm Dolly ramped up from a depression overnight to a full-fledged tropical storm. Located in the Bay of Campeche, Gulf of Mexico, Dolly is heading northwestward to impact Mexico just south of Brownsville, Texas.

Tropical Storm Dolly

Tropical Storm Dolly – visible image (night infared)

Tropical Storm Dolly – Aviation (AVN flase colour) image

BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM DOLLY ADVISORY NUMBER 7
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL052014
400 AM CDT WED SEP 03 2014

…CENTER OF DOLLY MOVING FARTHER INLAND OVER EASTERN MEXICO…

SUMMARY OF 400 AM CDT…0900 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————-
LOCATION…21.8N 98.4W
ABOUT 40 MI…70 KM SW OF TAMPICO MEXICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…40 MPH…65 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…W OR 265 DEGREES AT 8 MPH…13 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…1004 MB…29.65 INCHES

WATCHES AND WARNINGS
——————–
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY…

NONE

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT…

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR…
* THE GULF COAST OF MEXICO FROM CABO ROJO TO BOCA DE CATAN

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA…PLEASE MONITOR
PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR NATIONAL METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE.

DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
——————————
AT 400 AM CDT…0900 UTC…THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM DOLLY WAS
LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 21.8 NORTH…LONGITUDE 98.4 WEST. DOLLY IS
MOVING TOWARD THE WEST NEAR 8 MPH…13 KM/H…AND THIS GENERAL
MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE FOR THE NEXT DAY OR SO. ON THE
FORECAST TRACK…THE CENTER OF DOLLY WILL MOVE FARTHER INLAND OVER
EASTERN MEXICO TODAY.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE DECREASED TO NEAR 40 MPH…65 KM/H…
WITH HIGHER GUSTS. ADDITIONAL WEAKENING WILL OCCUR DURING THE NEXT
24 HOURS WHILE DOLLY MOVES INLAND. THE SYSTEM IS EXPECTED TO
DISSIPATE BY THURSDAY.

TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 140 MILES…220 KM
MAINLY OVER THE WATER TO THE NORTHEAST OF THE CENTER.

THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 1004 MB…29.65 INCHES.

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
———————-
RAINFALL…DOLLY IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 5 TO 10
INCHES WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 15 INCHES ACROSS MUCH OF
TAMAULIPAS AND NUEVO LEON…AS WELL AS NORTHERN VERACRUZ AND EASTERN
SAN LUIS POTOSI MEXICO THROUGH WEDNESDAY EVENING. THIS RAINFALL IS
EXPECTED TO CAUSE LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUD SLIDES IN
AREAS OF MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN.

WIND…TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED IN PORTIONS OF THE
WARNING AREA FOR THE NEXT FEW HOURS.

TROPICAL STORM DOLLY DISCUSSION NUMBER 7
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL052014
400 AM CDT WED SEP 03 2014

Satellite imagery, surface observations, and data from the Mexican
radar in Altamira indicate that Dolly has moved onshore between
Tampico and Cabo Rojo. The initial intensity is decreased to a
somewhat uncertain 35 kt, with these winds most likely occurring in
convective bands over water to the northeast of the center. Dolly
should continue to weaken as it moves farther inland, and the system
is expected to dissipate in 24-36 hours over the mountains of
central Mexico.

The initial motion is 265/7. Dolly is forecast to continue moving
generally westward to the south of a mid-level ridge until it
dissipates.

The primary threat from Dolly will come from heavy rainfall, with
precipitation totals possibly approaching 15 inches in a few
locations. These rains will likely cause flash flooding and
mud slides in regions of mountainous terrain. This threat will
continue during the next day or so.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 03/0900Z 21.8N 98.4W 35 KT 40 MPH…INLAND
12H 03/1800Z 21.8N 99.5W 25 KT 30 MPH…INLAND
24H 04/0600Z 21.8N 100.8W 20 KT 25 MPH…POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
36H 04/1800Z…DISSIPATED INLAND

http://vefmyndavelar.mogt.is/

Unfortunately, this link does not support continuous updating of images from within the page. Therefore the images (stale-dating) have been removed from this post and interested users are directed to the link above. The web cams are not video feeds, they are image feeds, and the link webcam page is rebuilt with each update. The link above has been added to the “Active Monitoring” group in the sidebar at left. Images on the link site are 1280×960 pixels.

Bardarbunga 1

Bardarbunga 2

Unfortunately, pt.2…, it appears the webcam servers can’t handle the load, so images may or may not be available consistently.

Please see the Icelandic Met Office for more recent information…
and some external related links…
http://baering.github.io/
This link is to a developmental visualization project of the creator of the link above – pretty spectacular…
earthquakes visualization in near real time
http://www.ruv.is/volcano
http://en.vedur.is/earthquakes-and-volcanism/articles/nr/2947


Bárðarbunga 2014 – recent earthquakes
Continually updated maps

In this article, the most recent earthquakes at Bárðarbunga are given by maps that are updated more or less continuously. Each earthquake is represented by a circle. The size of the circle indicates the magnitude. The timing is colour coded, see the bar to the right of each map. The first two maps show earthquakes counting hours since midnight but the third one shows earthquakes since the onset of this seismic event (counting days). The date and timing of each map is in the lower right hand corner (yyyymmdd 00:00).



Manually processed earthquakes since midnight:


Automatic recording of earthquakes since midnight:



Bárðarbunga earthquakes in 3D
Three dimensional video 16-20 August 2014

The Bárðarbunga seismic activity can now be explored in a three dimensional video (30 sec.) which shows earthquakes from 16th to 20th August 2014.

Location, depth and age of earthquakes in Bárðarbunga 16-20 August 2014.

The colour of the dots implies the date: First there are red dots, then orange, yellow, light-green and then green. Please note that height and depth are exaggerated five times in order to show the topography explicitly and to expand the space between the earthquakes at depth.

The magnitude of the earthquakes is not shown; all dots are of equal size in this video. The same dots are shown on the surface as at depth for better harmony between the two. The depth of the earthquakes is indicated by the horizontal planes which are set at 0 km, 5 km and 10 km depth below sea level.

IMO’s specialist, Bogi B. Björnsson, compiled this video from the available data.

Bárðarbunga – updated information

Overview of seismic events in August 2014

In this article, updated information on the Bárðarbunga seismic activity is given with daily status reports from the scientist of IMO and the University of Iceland. New material is added to the top of the article. The original information is at the end of the article. All in all, this article gives an overview of events. For additional material, check also the news list on our front page.
23rd August 2014 14:10 – a small eruption under Dyngjujökull

A small lava-eruption has been detected under the Dyngjujökull glacier.
The Icelandic Coast Guard airplane TF-SIF is flying over the area with representatives from the Civil Protection and experts from the Icelandic Met Office and the Institute of Earth Sciences. Data from the equipment on board is expected later today.
Data from radars and web-cameras is being received, showing no signs of changes at the surface.
The estimate is that 150-400 meters of ice is above the area.
The aviation color code for the Bárðarbunga volcano has been changed from orange to red.
Some minutes ago (14:04), an earthquake occurred, estimated 4.5 in magnitude.

23rd August 2014 12:20 – notes from the scientists’ meeting

Intense earthquake activity continues at the Bárðarbunga volcano – a situation that has persisted since 16 August.

During the last 6 hours the dyke has propagated ~5 km to the north. The rate of earthquakes has increased such that they are happening so quickly that it is difficult for the seismologist to discern individual events. Observed high frequency tremor is interpreted to be caused by the propagation of the dyke.

Some larger earthquakes of magnitude 3 – 4 have been measured in the Bárðarbunga caldera in the last days. These events in the Bárðarbunga caldera are interpreted as adjustments related to decompression in the caldera since the beginning of the unrest.

Most recent GPS data shows that magma flow is continuing.

The Coast Guard TF SIF aircraft is taking off by 13:00 to make observations with scientists from Icelandic Met Office, the Institute of Earth Sciences, and people from the Civil Protection.

A tourist plane called in at noon to report no visible changes at the surface.

Current winds: weak winds at low levels. At higher levels winds are northerly (towards the south).
Hydrological measurements at Jökulsá á Fjöllum, Upptypingar, do not indicate a contribution of geothermal/volcanic gases to the hydrological system that is outside of the typical range observed in the last decade.

The activity continues and an eruption can therefore not be ruled out.

The aviation colour-code for the Bárðarbunga volcano remains unchanged at ‘orange’, and we are continuously evaluating if this should be changed. The volcano is exhibiting heightened levels of unrest.
22nd August 2014 17:00 – status report

Overall assessment from the joint daily status report 220814 of the Icelandic Met Office and the University of Iceland, Institute of Earth Sciences:

There are no measurements to suggest that an eruption is imminent. Previous intrusion events in Iceland have lasted for several days or weeks, often not resulting in an eruption. However an eruption of Bárðarbunga cannot presently be excluded, hence the intense monitoring and preparation efforts. The ongoing monitoring and assessment effort is necessary in case a volcanic eruption occurs. Hazards in the event of an eruption are being assessed, including a glacial outburst flood and dispersal of volcanic ash. Additional seismic, GPS and hydrological stations have been installed in the Bárðarbunga region. Likewise, mobile radars capable of monitoring ash dispersal have been moved to the region. The aviation colour-code for the Bárðarbunga volcano remains unchanged at ‘orange’, signifying that the volcano is exhibiting heightened levels of unrest.
Bárðarbunga
“”
View to Bárðarbunga. Web camera M&T ehf.
22nd August 2014 13:00 – notes from the scientists’ meeting

Intense earthquake activity continues at the Bárðarbunga volcano – a situation that has persisted since 16 August. There are no signs that the seismicity is decreasing. A 25 km long dyke has formed in the crust under the Dyngjujökull glacier at 5-10 km depth. Interpretation of the latest data suggests that the magma continues to move along the dyke, possibly branching at the northeast end of the dyke.

One earthquake of magnitude 4.7 was measured in the Bárðarbunga caldera at 4 km depth yesterday evening at 23:50. This large event was at similar location as earthquakes of magnitude larger than three that were seen yesterday. Large events in Bárðarbunga are interpreted as adjustments of the caldera rim related to decompression in the caldera since the beginning of the unrest. The activity continues and an eruption can therefore not be ruled out.

There are no signs of increased conductivity through geothermal activity into the rivers.

From the beginning of the activity, measurements done with GPS have shown displacements on the surface of over 14 cm, 15 – 20 km from Dyngjuháls. In comparison, Iceland on the whole is spreading at the rate of about 2 cm pr. year.

A new GPS station in Kverkfjöll is now running and sending data. Similar seismic instruments were installed by Kverkfjöll yesterday, as well as close to the GPS station at Hamarinn, which was set up two days ago. In addition, two seismic stations set up in Dyngjujökull yesterday are collecting data on site. This work is done in collaboration between IMO, the Institute of Earth Sciences and collaborators in the European FutureVolc research project.

The aviation colour-code for the Bárðarbunga volcano remains unchanged at ‘orange’, signifying that the volcano is exhibiting heightened levels of unrest.
22nd August 2014 06:40 – from geoscientist on duty

Seismic activity in Bárðarbunga and Dyngjujökull is still great. It diminished somewhat after two o‘clock in the morning. Almost 400 quakes have been detected by the automatic network since midnight and, as in recent days, the majority of them is located east of Bárðarbunga, next to the intrusion. Most of the manually processed earthquakes turn out to be at great depth, 8-12 km, but a few at the very northeastern tip of the intrusion have been positioned at shallower depths, up to just under 4 km.

Just before midnight, 21st August at 23:50:22, an earthquake occurred at Bárðarbunga which measured 4.7-4.8 in magnitude. Another one reached M3. During the last days quite a number of quakes has been detected within the Bárðarbunga caldera, or on the rims, at a depth of 2-6 km. Probably these earthquakes derive from changes in pressure when magma is drawn eastward into the huge intrusion and away from the magma chamber under the caldera.
Jökulsá á Fjöllum
“”
This is where the cirle road around Iceland, road nr. 1, crosses river Jökulsá á Fjöllum, not far from farm Grímsstaðir á Fjöllum. This bridge might come under severe strain if the Bárðarbunga seismic phase leads to an eruption and a glacial outburst flood: A grave concern for the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration. Just south of this bridge is a closed area for safety reasons. Photo: Þorsteinn Þorsteinsson.
21st August 2014 17:00 – status report

Overall assessment from the joint daily status report 210814 of the Icelandic Met Office and the University of Iceland, Institute of Earth Sciences:

There are no measurements to suggest that an eruption is imminent. Previous intrusion events in Iceland have lasted for several days or weeks, often not resulting in an eruption. However an eruption of Bárðarbunga cannot presently be excluded, hence the intense monitoring and preparation efforts. The ongoing monitoring and assessment effort is necessary in case a volcanic eruption occurs. Hazards in the event of an eruption are being assessed, including a glacial outburst flood and dispersal of volcanic ash. Additional seismic, GPS and hydrological stations have been installed in the Bárðarbunga region. Likewise, mobile radars capable of monitoring ash dispersal have been moved to the region. The aviation colour-code for the Bárðarbunga volcano remains unchanged at ‘orange’, signifying that the volcano is exhibiting heightened levels of unrest.
21st August 2014 15:00 – a few facts

Today, three earthquakes exceeding 3 in magnitude have occurred on the caldera rim of Bárðarbunga (M 3.7 at 10:29, M 4.0 at 10:58 and M 3.4 at 13:02). These earthquakes were at depths around 2 – 5 km. They are interpreted as possible adjustments of the caldera due to changing magma pressure – they are not assumed to be the precursor to an imminent eruption.
21st August 2014 12:00 – notes from the scientists’ meeting

No signs of diminishing activity around Bárðarbunga
An intrusion, 25 km long, has formed beneath Dyngjujökull, at a depth of 5-10 km
The aircraft TF-SIF, from the Icelandic Coast Guard, is now available for scientists
The aviation colour code is still orange

The seismic activity in Bárðarbunga, first noticed 16th August, has maintained its strength and there are no signs of its retreat. Deformation measurements, GPS, indicate that a 25 km long intrusion is forming underneath Dyngjujökull. Earthquake measurements support the conclusion that the magma is still at 5-10 km depth. There are no signs of upward migration of the activity.

Collateral interpretation of the latest data suggests that the intrusion is expanding at its northeastern end, whereas its length has only increased a little in the last 24 hours.

In the Bárðarbunga caldera, where it all started, earthquakes still occur; probably because of slight subsidence due to the outward flow of magma from the magma-chamber under the caldera.

The measuring network in the area is being improved; just now technicians from the Icelandic Met Office, from the Institute of Earth Sciences and from foreign research institutions are mounting additional equipment on the ice-cap and at its margin. Already, many devices which have been implanted in recent years as part of the international FutureVolc project, are running and providing important information which has been useful in both monitoring and analysis of these events.

Yesterday, a reconnaissance flight was made over the area with the Icelandic Coast Guard. The aircraft TF-SIF, now dedicated to these events, has specialised equipment on board for monitoring changes in the surface of the ice-cap and monitoring outburst floods. No signs of change were detected during this flight. With open access to this aircraft, which was withdrawn from its current tasks at the Mediterranean, scientist are now in a much better position to monitor possible volcanic activity and flooding.

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