“The Weather Amplifier”

Screen Shot 2019-10-02 at 8.29.17 AMThe Weather Amplifier By Michael E. Mann, Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science, Penn State University. 

Scientific American – 2019MAR

When I first encountered this article by Michael E. Mann, The Weather Amplifier, in Scientific American, I had never heard of him, nor really understood anything about the science of climate change and global warming.  I was a simple modeler of one aspect of that science, that of Sea-Ice.

The model I used wasn’t even mine, but formulated by real climatologists, Jin-Ho Yoon, et.al., at Battelle-PNNL the USDOE National Laboratory in Richland, WA USA.  It was based on one paper.

Yoon’s assertion was straightforward.  When looking at the thinning and melting of Arctic Sea-Ice as bellwethers of meteorologic phenomena in North American weather patterns, we need to look at specific regions in that melting. It was learned, at that time in 2013-2014, that Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) above the already warm Barents-Kara Sea Region was followed immediately by arctic vortex oscillations, destabilization, and collapse.  So the tell-tale sign of Global Warming was clearly implicated.

All this to say, that I was no climatologist, but what I modeled gave me a deeper insight into Global Warming and on what the next Winter would look like in broad strokes.  And in the few years I did this for myself, it never skipped a beat.  It was always spot-on. Wow?

I had just heard about Greta Thunberg, in October-November, 2018 through the series of student strikes for climate action in of all places…Australia.*  My interaction with the subject was limited to parallel modeling on my iMac cluster.

Yet, this one article from February of 2019, in the March edition of Scientific American made me stop and question some of my own assumptions on publicly describing vortex oscillations in terms of the Schrödinger wave equation and quantum mechanical arguments. Using Yee cells with unit vectors in a Maxwell-Boltzmann-type approximation is what I did.  But he…was…right!  Michael E. Mann was NO cargo-cultist (just made that word up).  This was true science and he described it well.

Screen Shot 2019-10-02 at 8.19.14 AM

Screen Shot 2019-10-02 at 9.36.51 AMWe will sometimes find the same forms, the same equations in physics in other areas of  inquiry. True, but weird. 

In fact, we find that even putting boundary conditions on the resonant wave made sense the way he proposed it. He did not take the tried and untrue way of describing resonance with springs and weights, but the way it is with waves and “walls”. And the Rossby waves in weather were well-represented that way.

The PDF of that article at the link, above. Read it and then sign up for his course, as over 7,000 people have.  Learn the science of Climate Change and then unite behind the science in climate action, as Greta Thunberg has insisted, among others.

SDGAcademyX/edX course: sign up for free ($49 for verified certification)

*I still laugh with those students, and to imagine today President Trump appealed to that PM for help? The same PM who vowed to stop Climate actions in Australia, only to see them double, and double again on his own words?


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