Saturday, June 25, 2011

Another Possible Explanation for Our Increasing Suckiness

This study dates back four years, but I wasn't aware of it until it was posted by a friend today on Facebook:

A study from Texas A&M University reports that air pollution from Asia is making the Pacific region cloudier and stormier, disrupting winter weather patterns along the US West Coast and the Arctic. The study, led by Renyi Zheng, was reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (LA Times, 2007).

The Arctic has been freakishly warm this spring -- on any given day, Fairbanks, AK tends to be warmer than Bend, OR -- while Hawaii and the whole West Coast have been unusually wet and cool.

Oh well, guess it's just another way that the Chinese are fucking us over.


Marshall_Will said...

Fun With Data! Give us more $$$'s for 'research' ( I think we've FOUND something!? )

I suppose anything is possible, but having lived a number of years in the Orient, I can tell you first hand, pollution control is getting better, not worse.

They've learned that in order to attract foreign investment ( the damned place has to be at livable? ) Other than Hong Kong in the 80's, everything else was a vitual hell HOLE!

China has dirty industries, they try to keep them as far away from the foreign press as possible. Did our runaway pollution for the 60's and 70's create wetter, cooler weather for Western Europe? Don't think there's any data to support that? And we WERE f'd up in the 70's.

Besides, back around... 2004? much of Malaysia burned, millions of acres for almost 6 mos. People as far as New Guinea and Australia, certainly Manila were choking in forest fire smoke. Other than bloodshot eyes, no weather effects noted.

Sorry, but I've grown more than just a little cautious when extended credibility ( or credit LINES ) to 'researchers' ) They've yet to find an issue that didn't "merit further investigation". Read Blank Check.

Certainly we'll look into this, and there may WELL be validity. In terms of practicality.., I mean if your spouse is cheating on you in front of God and everyone ( does the 'reason' they are doing so really matter? ) Make that call!

H. Bruce Miller said...

I don't think it's unreasonable to think that massive amounts of pollution spewed into the atmosphere, whether man-made or natural (forest fires, volcanoes) could have some effect on weather. As for always needing more research ... well, that's the nature of science, isn't it?

We're in a cool phase of the PDO now, supposedly, and that could account for much of our sucky weather -- but this has been the coldest, wettest spring/summer on the West Coast for 116 years! That's well outside the parameters of the PDO.

Carl said...

La Nina phase of the PDO is possibly getting some help from the lack of solar activity (e.g. sunspots) which in the past has led to things like the little ice age and the Maunder minimum.It appears that we are in the start of an extended solar minimum. Better get some warmer coats.

H. Bruce Miller said...

I wasn't aware of the solar activity angle and the "Maunder minimum." My God, are we really in for another "Little Ice Age"??? All the more reason to head for the Equator.

Carl said...

Yes, in fact there are many, including myself (PhD in hydrology) who think that the solar activity angle is the predominant, but not solo, forcing causing temperature shifts in the world's temperature regime.

Marshall_Will said...

"All the more reason to head for the Equator."

Now you're talking! Again, I'm not dismissing the report off handedly. There's plenty of blogs where the AGW debate rages 24/7. I say let them have at it.

So while researchers go begging/demanding grant money to study shrimp on treadmills and delve into minutiae SO trivial even their students are disenrolling.., we're stuck with a head-on problem.

It's quite simple really. This has boiled down to a binary situation. Do you believe the PNW will ( at least in the short to intermediate term ) continue to have colder/wetter winters (or) B) do you NOT!

Time to place your bets. Are we going to stick around to see which camp has it right, or are we going to pull up our tent stakes and seek greener pastures elsewhere?

You fellas continue on with your very important 'work'. I've seen rather enough. When you need hip waders to check your mail, forward the report to me. In Cabo!

H. Bruce Miller said...

"Do you believe the PNW will ( at least in the short to intermediate term ) continue to have colder/wetter winters (or) B) do you NOT!"

I believe it will -- but even if it doesn't, the "normal" Bend climate is too sucky for me.

Marshall_Will said...

"I believe it will -- but even if it doesn't, "

While we had a wonderful Saturday, Sunday was more or less a disappointment. Started clear, clouded over quickly and was primarily in the upper 60's. Very muggy.

Unfortunately, Sat. was HOA Maint. Day and we spent the better portion of it pulling weeds and spreading bark mulch. Fun stuff.

Not that I'm whining about having to do 1/20th of what a reg. homeowner would be expected to do, but here we are again, picking your poison? Flip a coin, you'll be wrong 100% of the time here in OR. And I Guarantee that 100%!

Seldom can you "just blow things off because it hasn't been nice in forever" and not winding up regretting it. Things compound quickly here and "deferred maint." piles up fast. It wouldn't have been the first time our little Maint. Day was called for depression?

The other option is to "soldier on" ( work in the RAIN ) and run the risk of having pnuemonia when a decent day 'does' roll around? Your option.

Marshall_Will said...

Just a quick aside, and another fly in the ointment. In discussing Baja w/ the wife over the weekend ( and she's warming to the idea 'slightly' ) her points are vaild.

This isn't the 80's. You can't board the San Diego Trolley w/ $20, spend the whole DAY there and come back with a handmade leather gun holster, (2) fifths of Mezcal, a ridiculous sombrero and a hangover the size of TEXAS any more!?

In fact, and we'll do some checking but I'm willing to bet be it a loaf of bread, gallon of milk or half rack of Corona's, I don't think the total bill would be any different down there than it would be here. If not more?

Blackdog, you went there recently, what were consumer goods prices like? A gallon of gas? And yes, I would consider Corona as 'staples'. If it -isn't- any cheaper, even radically so ( what's the point? )

Assuming your house is paid off there or Vegas or... the Big Island?

H. Bruce Miller said...

We didn't buy gas in Cabo because we didn't drive -- more convenient (and less terrifying!) to take taxis. The booze and beer were cheap and plentiful, the wine expensive and of poor quality. Basic food items seemed to cost a bit less than in the US. But Cabo is a tourist town (not just for US tourists but also for affluent Mexicans who want to enjoy the beach) so that drives prices higher.

Marshall_Will said...

(and less terrifying!)

I've no doubt of that. Oddly, Baja is trying to re-cast itself as being home to several up and coming wine producers.

( Like are they kidding? )

A lot of what I found appealing in talking to (1) of the realtors down there is that at least 'he' got it? Gone are the days were retiring boomers mindlessly flocked to any area or development that offered "amenities OTA!"

There's a growing sense that all those shops, tennis courts, golf courses and rest's "baked in" come at a cost. A -substantial- cost!

Visiting the Running Y down in K' Falls, in just the course of a YEAR ( a 'year' people ) all that folded up. Gone. Now you're stuck w/ payments on a place that involves driving 20 mins. one way to town just for the basics. Total bust.

To his credit, the realtor noted that things like, the beach, breaking surf and nice WEATHER ( are not things that can be 'foreclosed' ) And I agree. Please keep your home owner's association ( just another layer of gov't ) your 'membership dues' and guard gated community.

Our clue came early in the Vegas Bust when sellers proudly boasted "No HOA's!" in their listing.

Marshall_Will said...

Suckation unabated. Mid-week collapse. Forecasts wildly optimistic. Send HELP!

Send Coronas!

(Yeah we'll 'see' if the OTT forecasts for The 4th ring true?)

Send Money, Guns & WEATHER.

Marshall_Will said...

More freakish developments in Bend:

The Bend/Bermuda Triangle!

Obviously can't say it's something in the 'water'?

Marshall_Will said...

It should be worth noting ( after hoping all had a wonderful 4th! ) that when we spoke of Oregon as "August and the Rainy Season" while generally 'true' that was never intended to imply UNINHABITABLE!!!

Sure, leaving the top down on your convertible during April, May & June was NEVER a bright idea.., but certainly it didn't mean you weren't going to be ABLE to take it down UNTIL the 4th!?

Like a frog in a petrie dish, the change has been so gradual the old saw has taken on new depths without our realizing it? I'm giving the 4th a C- overall, based on: Plunge Rate from High for the Day ( got chilly fast in the eve ) there was STILL a stinker of (1) day in there better suited for napping vice bikini watching!

For those unfamiliar with military jargon, there's a difference between a Weekend Pass and being Discharged! The Stinker inserted smack DAB in the middle of the weekend certainly doesn't leave one w/ that Party til you Drop!/run around the house naked feel.

C-, sorry.

How Did I Get Here? said...

The sound of one hand clapping.

Way to go Salem guy!

WTF Central Oregon said...

Wow man, you and I should get together for beers sometime! Seems we have a lot in common, lol

Jeremy Johnson
WTF Central Oregon

Marshall_Will said...

"The sound of one hand clapping.

Way to go Salem guy!"

( Please to see Blackdog's most excellent new post ) You know, when you come up w/ something factual, substantial beyond "rocking" or "digging it!" DO let us know!