Saturday, May 17, 2014

Superstorm Sandy

Jim Kossin, a NOAA National Climatic Data Center scientist assigned to the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies, and his colleagues discovered a poleward migration of storm intensity in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres after a thorough examination of three-decades worth of global historical tropical cyclone data.

May 14, 2014
Contact: Jim Kossin
University of Wisconsin-Madison

MADISON, Wis. — The latitude at which tropical cyclones reach their greatest intensity is gradually shifting from the tropics toward the poles at rates of about 33 to 39 miles per decade, according to a study published today (May 14, 2014) in the journal Nature.

The new study was led by Jim Kossin, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center scientist stationed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies. The research documents a poleward migration of storm intensity in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres through an analysis of 30 years of global historical tropical cyclone data. The term "tropical cyclone" describes a broad category of storms that includes hurricanes and typhoons, large and damaging storms that draw their energy from warm ocean waters.

The findings are important, says Kossin, because they suggest that some areas, including densely populated coastal cities, could experience changes in risk due to large storms and associated floods and storm surges. Regions closer to the equator, he notes, could experience a reduced risk, and places more distant from the equator could experience an increased risk. The trend observed by Kossin and his colleagues is particularly important given the devastating loss of life and property that can follow in the wake of a tropical cyclone....

How is the northeast USA doing? A little soggy? 

Why would storms being migrating northward? It is an interesting study which records the data, but, why would storms be migrating northward?

Melting ice caps provide water vapor to fuel storms.

To all aliens and natives alike, this is what it takes to continue to live in Earth.

Jane Kleeb on the farm in Ayr, Neb., that she is restoring with her husband. Credit Michael Friberg for The New York Times 

May 16, 2014
By Saul Elbein

...“Can we put [those cows] (click here) on trucks and send them to Canada?” suggested Max Nelson, a stooped retired rancher who raised his hand every 10 minutes to pose other hypothetical disasters: a spill polluting the water supply of West Omaha, say, or compromising the hydroelectric dams on the Platte River....

Hypothetical? You mean it has never happened?

May 15, 2014
By Steven Gorman and Selam Gebrekidan

(Reuters) - A faulty valve at a petroleum pipeline pump station ruptured (click here) early on Thursday in an industrial corner of Los Angeles, spewing crude oil 40 feet into the air, onto the roof of a strip club next door, and leaving four people sick from the fumes.

An estimated 10,000 gallons of oil gushed from the pipeline before it was shut down and the spill was halted, soaking an area about a half-block long, Los Angeles Fire Department Captain Jaime Moore said.

The company that runs the pipeline, Plains All American Pipeline LP, a unit of Plains Pipeline LP, put the volume of the spill at "less than 450 barrels (18,900 gallons)" based on current field inspections....

Well, that was an interesting hypothetical. The great thing about hypotheticals is that no one gets sick, there is no risk of cancer and it doesn't cost homeland security or insurance companies any money.

How much surface area is covered by one gallon of spilled oil?

How thick is an oil spill? From top to bottom, what is the depth of an oil spill on land? One millimeter? Two? A quarter of an inch? 

A standard-size barrel filled with the most common oils (petroleum oil, crude oil or diesel fuel oils) weighs between 125 and 140 pounds. However, the weight of a barrel of oil varies based on the type of oil in the barrel and the size of the barrel. 

The bitumen mixture with naphtha would not weigh anything similar to oil. Bitumen weighs 156.5 kilograms or 345 pounds per barrel. But, in order to travel through a pipeline without rupturing it, there needs to be a 50/50 mixture with naphtha.

A standard-size barrel holds 42 U.S. gallons. If one fills a standard-size barrel with petroleum oil that has a density of 881 kg/m3, then that barrel weighs about 140 kilograms. If one fills the same barrel with crude oil with a density of 790 kg/m3, that barrel weighs about 125 kg. In order to get a metric tonne of oil, one would need about 7.33 barrels of oil.

Volume and Capacity Conversion Tables for Petroleum Products (click here)

Taking one barrel of bitumen (345.6 pounds) and one barrel of naphtha (252 pounds = 42 US gallons X 6 US pounds) and mixing them creates two barrels. The two barrels would weigh 597.6  pounds total or 298.8 pounds each. 

To the left is what a metric ton of CO2 looks like. A metric ton is the 'cubed' size of the weight of the substance. So, in the case of CO2 this is what a metric ton looks like. 

Visualizing a Metric Ton of Carbon Dioxide

A cube of CO2 would be nearly 30 feet tall and weigh over 2,000 pounds. As a point of reference, the average height for Americans age 20 and over is about 5' 8" for males and 5' 3" for females, according to a 2008 source.

There is one other illustration that will help put it into perspective. Now, the standard for a ton is 2000 pounds. A metric ton is actually a little bigger than a standard ton. A metric ton is 1.102 tons. That is 2204 pounds. But, for demonstration purposes it is best not to confuse the issue and I'll use 2000 pounds for metric ton.

Any cubic measurement is always ^3. So a meter cubed is 1 meter ^3. That is what the illustrations seek to portray. They are a measurement cubed or ^3. Six sided with three dimensions. So, it takes a weight measurement and turns it into a three dimensional object of length X width X depth.

So, we want to know the surface area a gallon of spilled oil, actually bitumen mixture.

I have already determined a barrel of the mixture weighs 298.8 pounds. And we know a barrel is 42 gallons. So, the weight of the bitumen mixture per gallon is 7.09 pounds. We know that a metric ton is 2000 pounds which means there are 282 gallons per metric ton of the bitumen mixture.

But, to keep it simple what is the surface area of one gallon of spilled bitumen mixture? Basically, meter^3 per gallon. 

The legal measurement of a US gallon is 231 cubic inches (231 in^3).

One (1) cubic inch = 16,387 cubic millimeters

231 cubic inches is equal to 3,785,397 millimeters cubed (mm^3) or one gallon or 7.09 pounds of bitumen.

One meter cubed is one meter (1000 millimeters (mm) wide by one meter high (1000 millimeters (mm) by one meter (1000 millimeters (mm) thick. If a bitumen oil spill is 10 millimeters thick how large is the spill of one gallon of the bitumen mixture?

1000 mm X 1000 mm = 1,000,000 mm^2 (one million millimeters squared)

1,000,000 mm^2 X 1000 mm = 1,000,000,000 mm^3 (one billion millimeters cubed)

1 inch by 1 inch = 1 inch ^2 (one inch squared)

1 inch = 25.4 millimeters 

25.4 mm X 25.4 mm = 645.16 mm^2 

3,785,397 mm^3 = 10 mm x 378,539.7 mm^2

The square root of 378,539.7 mm^2 = 615.255 or 615.26 mm

Therefore, a gallon of oil spilled with a thickness of 10 mm is 615.26 mm by 615.26 mm.

1 mm = 0.0393701 inch or 0.0394 inch 

To convert 615.26 mm to inches it is multiplied by 0.0394 and results in a product of 24.24 inches.

So, one gallon of spilled oil is 24.24 inch by 24.24 inches by 0.4 inch. 

Surface area is expressed in a cubed measurement, but, to look down at one gallon of spilled oil, it would cover over 2 feet by 2 feet of area.

In the spill yesterday in Los Angeles was 18,900 gallons. Get the picture?

2 feet X 2 feet is 4 square feet (ft^2).

4 ft.^2 X 18,900 gallons is 75,600 square feet, but with a depth of 4/10 inches (0.03 foot) the width and length would be slightly less.

The building to the left is the new elementary school for Clarkson, Kentucky. It is 75,600 square feet.

Not cubic feet, but, square feet. Length and width. 

The oil spill in Los Angeles yesterday would have covered the footprint of this elementary school.

Now take this elementary school and put it on the Kleeb farm and realize the entirely unusable land a ruptured oil pipe could deliver. How many of those ruptures could the Kleebs occur before they would have no agricultural land? How are the Kleebs going to eat when the lawsuit to the oil company is paid, but, there is still no land to grow food?

Below is a laughing baby supervised by the person taking the picture. The toddler takes a three dimensional glass of water (pipeline) and turns it into a two dimensional spill. 

Americans never liked being told what to do socially.

The Black Eyed Susan, the Maryland state flower.

Maryland (click here) designated the black-eyed susan as the official state floral emblem in 1918. The black-eyed susan is a daisy-like wildflower with yellow petals and a dark brown center that grows in dry places. A member of the sunflower family and native to the United States east of the Rocky Mountains, black-eyed susans are common in Maryland fields and roadsides

...Pimlico (click here) even survived the anti-gambling movement of the early 1900s. While horse racing was banned throughout most of the nation, Maryland (and Kentucky) escaped the restriction....

May 16, 2014
Tim Wilkin

...He has gotten the best food money can buy (click here) ... for a horse. He has been given the softest straw to stand and sleep on. His water bucket is always full. Someone is watching him 24/7.
California Chrome's support staff will take some time off early Saturday evening. That's when Pimlico Race Course presents the 139th running of the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes. It's California Chrome's second date with thoroughbred history in two weeks. A win at Pimlico would vault the colt to the June 7 Belmont Stakes with the chance to become the sport's first Triple Crown winner since 1978.
Saturday, it's all on him.

Everything is Obamacare's fault.

Did you know that everything that goes wrong with anyone's health care is Obamacare's fault? I didn't know that until this morning.

Went to a local coffee house this morning. There was a woman next to me and I looked in her direction and wished her a good morning. I said, "So, how are things today?" She said, "Not so great, but, should be better in a week." 

I said, "A week? Why a week?"

She said, "That is when I finally get my gall bladder out." 

So, she went on to tell me the war stories about how she was misdiagnosed at a medi-emerg center with an intestinal flu and how she called her own MD in the AM and was then referred to a surgeon. Then the surgeon stated he would perform the needed removal of the diseased organ in a week and if he had an opening sooner she would be taken care of.

I empathized and told her the nightmare story of my 19 year old when he had a severely diseased gall bladder and his pain and how two emergency rooms on Christmas Day stated, "See your GI specialist in the morning." Then I told her once we were home how EMTs showed up after my son called 911 while I was in the shower. I stated when I heard the noise I threw on a bathrobe to find my son on a stretcher headed to the ER and one EMT stated, "What kind of mother are you!"

I told her I went to the ER to see my son on a normal saline drip while nurses administered demerol and phenergan and was told he was going to surgery as soon as possible, probably within the hour. I was grateful finally a physician made the correct call and at the same time worried because surgery was no minor matter even for a 19 year old. 

I told her my son was in surgery for three hours and when the surgeon came to me in the waiting room he looked like he just saw a ghost. See, my son was so healthy his serum tests never showed what was happening in his gut. He had peritonitis and could have died without emergent surgery. He then spent the next three days taking pain medication with IV antibiotics on a medical floor in the hospital. When he was discharged he still was sore and pale, but, he was going to be alright. 

So I stated, "Will you please tell me what the heck it is with gall bladders that the medical profession just doesn't get?"

She stated, "Well it is Obamacare that is the problem. The receptionist in the surgeon's office told me all about it. She said the government is watching the insurance companies very closely and they are afraid to even approve surgery. So, we are all in danger because of stupid Obamacare."

I just smiled and went back to reading my paper. What I didn't tell her is that incident with a gall bladder happened 14 years ago as my son is now 33. But, what the heck, let's just blame it on Obamacare anyway. 

Everyone is an arsonist.

California is caught in a weather system spanning more than a decade. There is no reason to believe there was a particular arsonist intent on burning down cities. There are such people as arsonists, but, the conditions in California today can be the only reason fires ignite. 

Throwing cigarettes or used matches out a car window. Dumping burning embers from a charcoal grill at the back of the yard can blow them into a dry area and begin a fire. Basically, there are reasons for every citizen to be vigilant to prevent fires.  

May 15, 2014
Doyle Rice
USA Today

Today, (click here) for the first time this century, the entire state of California is in a severe drought -- or worse.
That's according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, a federal website that has tracked drought across the country since 2000.
The level of drought in California is "unprecedented" during the 14-year-history of the monitor, according to climatologist Mark Svoboda of the National Drought Mitigation Center in Lincoln, Neb.
The three worst levels of drought are severe, extreme and exceptional: 100% of the state is now in one of those three categories: (23.31% severe, 51.92.% extreme and 24.77% exceptional.)
Exceptional drought encompasses central parts of the state, including the entire San Francisco Bay Area. San Diego and Los Angeles -- where wildfires have scorched 14 square miles this week -- are both under "extreme" drought conditions.