Saturday, February 09, 2013

Atmospheric Rivers

Andre Willers

9 Feb 2013

"A River runs over it" with apologies to Norman Maclean .


Water just won't behave . Now it clumps up in Atmospheric Rivers , dumping biblical floods at semi-random .

Discussion :

1.Described in Hammerstein II folklore :

"Ol' man river,
Dat ol' man river
He mus'know sumpin'
But don't say nuthin',
He jes'keeps rollin'
He keeps on rollin' along."


Atmospheric river

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


An atmospheric river is a narrow corridor or filament of concentrated moisture in the atmosphere. Atmospheric rivers consist of narrow bands of enhanced water vapor transport, typically along the boundaries between large areas of divergent surface air flow, including some frontal zones in association with extratropical cyclones that form over the oceans.[1][2][3][4]

The term was originally coined by researchers Reginald Newell and Yong Zhu of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the early 1990s, to reflect the narrowness of the moisture plumes involved.[1][3][5] Atmospheric rivers are typically several thousand kilometers long and only a few hundred kilometers wide, and a single one can carry a greater flux of water than the Earth's largest river, the Amazon River.[2] There are typically 3-5 of these narrow plumes present within a hemisphere at any given time.

Atmospheric rivers have a central role in the global water cycle. On any given day, atmospheric rivers account for over 90% of the global meridional (north-south) water vapor transport, yet they cover less than 10% of the Earth's circumference.[2]

They also are the major cause of extreme precipitation events which cause severe flooding in many mid-latitude, westerly coastal regions of the world, including the West Coast of North America,[6][7][8][9] western Europe,[10][11][12] and the west coast of North Africa.[3]


3.Satellite Storms :

One is reminded of the Rings of Saturn , where satellite moons smooth out cyclone-type perturbations .

Satellite cyclones similarly shape and steer atmospheric rivers .

4.That is why the atmospheric river is so narrow and has such an incredible amount of water .

5. The satellite storms both steer it and feed it (the same process ,actually)


6.Steering the Atmospheric River :

At present moment , the satellite storms are allowed to occur at random . This gives catastrophic storms in California every 200 years (measured over the last 2 000 years) . See or

7.Humans have both the technology and the knowledge to steer satellite storms so that Atmospheric Rivers are diverted into Atmospheric Deltas . (Which is where they normally are . Your normal rainfall) .

All they have to do is to prevent a certain class of randomness in the satellite storms .

A disruption , in other words , not even having to know what you are doing .

Any disruption is better than none . The odds favour you .

8. You are fairly safe on an East Coast , unless you have a large island offshore . This disrupts the satellite steering storms and leads to the Atmospheric River veering from east to west . Like Mozambique (Madagascar) , China(Japan) , etc .


9.Global Warming :

The contraption is driven by evaporation of water . Heat . The rule of thumb is that any 10 degrees centigrade rise doubles the chemical activity . ie 100% . A simple linear extrapolation gives a 1 C increase an increase of 1% in moisture in the atmosphere . Not too bad if it is spread evenly .

But it is concentrated among the atmospheric rivers . You are talking about billions of tons of water . Right over your head . Looking for an excuse to drop in .

10. West African Coast :

Angola , Namibia and Western Cape .

These are western coasts . As the tropics heat up , and especially the mouth of the Amazon also heats up due to deforestation , expect major dumping of water-loads on north-south mountain ranges . Expect the Makgadigadi sea to refill . Some tectonic shifts might close the Victoria Falls again .


11. Methane release in the Arctic .

The heat is in the vapour . Atmospheric Rivers mean only parts (10%-33%) of the arctic tundra gets heated . The rest remains frozen . But the heated part gets the publicity .

This goes for all the so-called human measurement systems . The real warming is about 1/3 of what is reported , because they do not take the heat-transport in atmospheric rivers into account .


12. What can humans do about it ?

You just have to watch and see if an Atmospheric River is forming , then disrupt some of it's satellite storms .

There are many ways to do this. The easiest and cheapest is simply to dump thousands of tons of pig offal to the north of the atmospheric river . Remember , you only have to disrupt the system .

It's default is an atmospheric delta . The organic material will change the satellite storms .

Get Astronomers to help you . This is exactly like shepherd moons of rings . The maths will help you .

13 . I never expected them in a ecological role .


14. You are talking about another rainstorm , or a $725 Bn flood damage .

15 . Your choice .

16 . ARKstorm

An ARkStorm (for Atmospheric River 1000 Storm) is a hypothetical but scientifically realistic "superstorm" scenario developed and published by theUnited States Geological Survey, Multi Hazards Demonstration Project (MHDP). It describes an extreme storm that may impact much of Californiacausing up to $725 billion in damages and repair (most caused by flooding), and affect a quarter of California's homes. The event would be similar to intense California storms which occurred in 1861 and 1862.[1] The name "ARkStorm" means "Atmospheric River (AR) 1000 (k)." The name was created as a way of quantifying the magnitude of west coast storms. It also meant to be drawn as a parallel to the biblical Noah's Ark story.


17. Yakkity-yak .

Don't rely on yaks in global warming .





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