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View Diary: The Angry Atlantic - It's So Going to Get Worse (122 comments)

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  •  Hurricanes South of the Equator (4.00)
    In addition to hurricanes occuring farther north, they are also occuring farther south.  Last year, for the first time on record, on March 28th to be exact, a nameless hurricane crashed into Brazil. The storm made landfall near Torres, a small town in the state of Santa Catarina about 500 miles south of Rio de Janeiro. Weather satellites have been circling Earth for more than 40 years. During that time they've spotted hurricanes or in the northern Atlantic Ocean, and on both sides of the equator in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, but never before in the south Atlantic.
    This is because vertical wind shears in the south Atlantic are too strong for hurricanes. Winds in the upper troposphere (about 10 km high) are 20+ mph faster than winds at the ocean surface. This difference, or shear, rips storms apart before they intensify too much.  But I guess things are changing...

    The Brazilian hurricane on March 26, 2004, as seen by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite.

    •  Very cool picture (none)
      I had forgotten about that hurricane.

      It looks so funky, on account it spins the wrong way. :)

      It's only Nero-esque if the city is burning. :)

      by cskendrick on Wed Sep 21, 2005 at 04:02:51 PM PDT

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      •  Coriolis Force (none)
        makes it spin clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere, just like Brazilian toilets spin their water clockwise, and ours counter-clockwise.

        Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practise to deceive! Sir Walter Scott.

        by tomathawl on Wed Sep 21, 2005 at 06:58:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Ooops... (none)
        Since this excellent work is your diary, you obviously already knew that.  I should have looked at the signature before I made a comment.  Sorry...

        Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practise to deceive! Sir Walter Scott.

        by tomathawl on Wed Sep 21, 2005 at 07:00:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  an interesting effect of global warming... (none)
      is that the temperature difference between the poles and the equator will decrease (this will likely be less so for the Southern Hemisphere, since Antarctica will take a lot longer to warm up).  This reduces the speed of the jet stream which is driven by temperature contrast (at least averaged over the full globe, may not be true in specific regions).  This in turn would reduce wind shear, which is mentioned as the reason the S Atlantic doesn't have tropical systems, at least for the last 40 years, until this past S Hemisphere fall.

      Be a patriot...Buy a hybrid vehicle!

      by billlaurelMD on Wed Sep 21, 2005 at 05:37:46 PM PDT

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      •  Something I've been mulling over (4.00)
        Is what happens to ocean currents once convection over the miles-deep abyssal plains kicks in. They are the last-ditch heat sinks -- hundreds of millions of cubic kilometers of nearly-freezing water.

        I think they'll kick start a brief cooling period until fully saturated, but once the oceans are uniformly subtropical in temperature, that's when the environment truly goes pear-shaped.

        It's only Nero-esque if the city is burning. :)

        by cskendrick on Wed Sep 21, 2005 at 05:47:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Awsome photo (none)
      via the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer.  

      Is there an Extreme Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer? (I'd like so see an ex-girlfriend stuck on an obscenely large wave.)

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