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Hurricane Katrina

Postby smartin4 on Sun Aug 28, 2005 10:37 pm

What a terrible thing the people along the Gulf Coast are about to endure. :(

This storm is going to be devastating, regardless of where it hits, it's already been blamed for 7 deaths in Fla., and that is when it was nowhere near as strong as it is now.

I won't pretend to know what it is like to go through something like this (living in NJ, we usually see a few rainstorms and a little wind from the remnants of hurricanes. I honestly can't remember the last time we had even an indirect hit here), but my thoughts are with the people in the South as they brace for this monster.
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Postby JamieW on Mon Aug 29, 2005 3:04 am

Good game, nawlins. You were a great city, but you're about to get owned. Glad I saw mardi gras already.
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Postby code65536 on Mon Aug 29, 2005 4:31 am

It's a bit of an irony, I think that a fairly recent issue of the National Geographic (Oct. 2004) was talking about the eroding wetlands of Southern Louisiana and how this make New Orleans more vulnerable. And then it goes and talks about New Orleans in general, it's precarious location, and how it has simply been a very lucky city in that it hasn't been hit by anything huge yet. The article then cites that the worst thing would be for a category 5 storm to hit directly, and that New Orleans' luck won't continue forever, but that the chances of such a direct hit are "slight".

So it's fairly ironic that in the hurricane season immediately following that article, we see at cat. 5 storm heading on what looks like a fairly direct course for the city. When I first read that the story was c5 and on that course, it was eerie because that article was the very first thing that came to mind.

C'est la vie.
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Postby MediumRare on Mon Aug 29, 2005 7:42 am

Scientific American had a similar article last year (I think) that sharpened my sensitivity for N.O. I've been watching for a storm like this since then too, but also didn't expect this soon :o.

I sure hope that nobody gets killed in this...

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Postby dolphinius_rex on Mon Aug 29, 2005 10:42 am

Everytime something like this happens, I keep thinking about the movie "the day after tomorrow".... which I thought was incredibly stupid when I watched it, but seems to become more and more believable all the time :o
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Postby Boba_Fett on Mon Aug 29, 2005 11:12 am

dolphinius_rex wrote:Everytime something like this happens, I keep thinking about the movie "the day after tomorrow".... which I thought was incredibly stupid when I watched it, but seems to become more and more believable all the time :o

Oh no... don't tell me you think this hurricane is a factor of global warming :x
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Postby code65536 on Mon Aug 29, 2005 11:43 am

A mere rise of about 1 degree F in the average sea surface temperature will cause the number of hurricanes to rise several fold. There has been correlation established for this, and looking at the 1985-1994 period vs. 1995-2004 period, it's strikingly clear. So rising sea temperatures are PROVEN to cause a significant increase in hurricane activity.

What is not proven is the cause of this temperature rise. Indeed, this pattern seems to be cyclical with a period of multiple decades. There were several decades when the temperatures were high, and then several decades when it dropped, and starting in the mid-90's, the temperatures rose again. And yes, hurricane activity is correlated with these historical trends.

So it's hard to say if the current rise in sea temperatures is just a part of the natural cycle, if it is man-made, or if it is a combination of both. I would venture a guess that it's a combination of both, but it's hard to say how significant (or insignificant) man's role in that combination is. What we do know is that the global weather system is extremely sensitive, and that a minor change of just one degree F can increase hurricane activity by several-fold, so although we don't know how much man's role in this is, it certainly won't hurt to try to minimize our impact, just in case. Better safe than sorry, as one would say.

I'm usually not one to go around screaming about how the sky is falling down, but if it's possible to be careful when playing with fire, why not do so, just to be on the safe side? There's a certain unnecessary wanton recklessness that I am reminded of every day when I drive past huge SUVs and Hummers with just one person inside.

dolphinius_rex wrote:the movie "the day after tomorrow"

Didn't quite like the movie because it is so cheesy and because it exaggerates things sooooo much (well, it's Hollywood). I think that the exaggeration probably hurt its message a lot because I would imagine that are probably a number of people who come out of the theatre thinking that their suspicion that environmentalists are full of shit have just been confirmed, which I think is very unfortunate. The upside is that a certain actress is... well, worth looking at. ;)
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Postby code65536 on Thu Sep 01, 2005 12:17 pm

I just noticed that NG has changed the online version of their 2004 Louisiana article from "subscribe to see the whole article" to making the entire article publicly available.

If anyone hasn't read it, it's very interesting:

And a similar article in the Scientific American:
http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articl ... 414B7F0000
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