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  • And once again to actual scientists. From last February:
    Storm surges are responsible for much of the damage and loss of life associated with landfalling hurricanes. Understanding how global warming will affect hurricane surges thus holds great interest. As general circulation models (GCMs) cannot simulate hurricane surges directly, we couple a GCM-driven hurricane model with hydrodynamic models to simulate large numbers of synthetic surge events under projected climates and assess surge threat, as an example, for New York City (NYC). Struck by many intense hurricanes in recorded history and prehistory, NYC is highly vulnerable to storm surges. We show that the change of storm climatology will probably increase the surge risk for NYC; results based on two GCMs show the distribution of surge levels shifting to higher values by a magnitude comparable to the projected sea-level rise (SLR). The combined effects of storm climatology change and a 1 m SLR may cause the present NYC 100-yr surge flooding to occur every 3–20 yr and the present 500-yr flooding to occur every 25–240 yr by the end of the century.
    Non-firewalled pdf can be found here.
  • And the Neocons were so hoping we'd all tremble in fear because the Obama administration won't play along with their desperate push to incite yet another disastrous war:
    Iran has suspended the enrichment of uranium stockpiles to the 20% purity needed to bring it a short step from building a nuclear device, news services in the region have reported.

    Mohammad Hossein Asfari, a member of parliament responsible for foreign policy and national security, was quoted as saying that the move was a "goodwill" gesture, aimed at softening Iran's position before a new round of scheduled talks with the United States after this week's presidential elections.

    UPDATE 1:15 PM PT From The Guardian:
    On Saturday night, Iranian MP Mohammad Hassan Asafari was misquoted by opposition websites and the Saudi-owned al-Arabiya as saying that Tehran had already stopped 20% enrichment. Asafari had only signalled in his comments to Iran's Isna news agency that Iran would be ready to temporarily stop enrichment to 20% if sanctions were lifted.
    Which still sounds like a willingness to negotiate.
  • David Dayen warns that rebuilding after the devastation from Hurricane Sandy could mean the latest iteration of the Shock Doctrine.
  • Act surprised:
    At least 32 Fox News hosts and contributors have campaigned for Republican candidates and organizations this election cycle. The campaigning has occurred nationally and in 42 states. Fox News figures helped raise and spend hundreds of millions of dollars this cycle in support of Republicans. They have also been featured in at least 105 fundraisers across the country.
  • Act surprised:
    In a bid to assert their influence on issues relating to climate change as well as environmental and labor regulations, fossil fuel companies are making an unprecedented election-season push. Documents obtained by The Nation reveal that oil, gas and coal companies are taking advantage of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision to not only blanket swing states with ads but also push their employees and contractors into voting GOP.
  • Only big government can do it:
    A 2009 seminar hosted at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University considered several options for major infrastructure upgrades to combat storm surges—a barrier at the south end of the Arthur Kill that divides Staten Island from New Jersey, an East River barrier to prevent surges up that narrow waterway, a barrier perpendicular to the Verrazano Narrows Bridge between Staten Island and Brooklyn, and most ambitiously a “Gateway Barrier System” stretching from Sandy Hook to the Rockaways. Engineers don’t believe it would be feasible for the Gateway system to entirely block storm surges, but it could weaken and deflect them—significantly reducing the flood risks to the entire New York Harbor.

    Even in full combination, this system would hardly eliminate storm-related problems. The Rockaways and the farther-east barrier islands off the coast of Long Island would still be subjected to potentially devastating impacts, as would the Jersey Shore communities. But this is an inherent risk of oceanside living. You can enjoy the waves and the view, but the geography won’t support robust anti-storm engineering. The system would, however, substantially reduce the exposure of southern Brooklyn, eastern Staten Island, and Raritan Bay communities in New Jersey. Better, it would essentially immunize Manhattan, Red Hook, Dumbo, Green Point, Long Island City, LaGuardia Airport, Hoboken, and other parts of Hudson County, N.J. from storm surges.

    It would, of course, be expensive. The estimates presented at the seminar suggest a ballpark figure of $15 billion. But even if that turns out to be a substantial underestimate, it’s a bargain compared to the cost of widespread flooding. A 2011 study of a catastrophic hurricane scenario suggested the tab for rebuilding transportation infrastructure alone could run as high as $55 billion. That’s to say nothing of the indirect economic cost of having the New York City Subway, three commuter rail networks, and the PATH train under the Hudson out of commission for days. And while power outages due to downed power lines are a constant of any storm anywhere, downtown Manhattan is currently blacked out despite buried lines because flooding destroyed a power station located right by the East River. The direct and indirect costs of this would, again, be enormous. And that’s all before considering the damage to private property.

  • Graciously provided by echidne, here are three extra reasons why Romney should not be president. I provide the bullet points, click through to read her full explanations:
    1. Mitt Romney believes that he has a right to privacy but that women do not.

    2. Mitt Romney's tax cut proposal is a mirage.

    3. Mitt Romney's ideal disaster operation consists of you with your bucket and flashlight after a hurricane

  • The staggering stupidity of Romney's supporters.

    Their point being that science is Un-American? That mindless jingoistic chanting can make reality disappear? Trying to figure it out could break a previously functioning brain.

  • Paul Douglas is Chief Meteorologist of WeatherNation TV, and Minneapolis Star Tribune On Weather columnist:
    It’s all part of a pattern, a discernible trend. According to a Yale University study, 4 out of 5 Americans was personally impacted by extreme weather or natural disasters in 2011; 1 in 3 was injured by severe weather last year. An October report from reinsurance giant Munich Re shows over a trillion dollars in damage from 1980 to 2011, a five-fold increase in disasters over 3 decades, with North America Ground Zero for weather extremes.

    Turn on the TV or pick up a newspaper. Wall Street was just shut down for the first time since 1888. Submerged subways in Lower Manhattan. The Navy has come to New Jersey’s rescue. Damage may top the previous record, Katrina’s $146 billion in 2005. How much more evidence do we need?

  • Autumn Sandeen:
    According to Vice President Joe Biden, transgender issues are “the civil rights issue of our time.

    There is a reason Trans United For Obama exists. The Obama administration has been a pro-trans issue administration.

    This is in stark contrast to when Mitt Romney was the governor of Massachusetts when he was notably transphobic and biphobic, as well as not being  pro-LGBT regarding school bullying and marriage equality.

  • It's worse:
    Sea levels are rising faster than expected from global warming, and University of Colorado geologist Bill Hay has a good idea why. The last official IPCC report in 2007 projected a global sea level rise between 0.2 and 0.5 meters by the year 2100. But current sea-level rise measurements meet or exceed the high end of that range and suggest a rise of one meter or more by the end of the century.

    "What's missing from the models used to forecast sea-level rise are critical feedbacks that speed everything up," says Hay. He will be presenting some of these feedbacks in a talk on  Nov. 4, at the meeting of The Geological Society of America in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA.

    One of those feedbacks involves Arctic sea ice, another the Greenland ice cap, and another soil moisture and groundwater mining.

  • She may not be a poet, but emptywheel writes great headlines:
    NYT Kisses David Petraeus’ Boo Boos To Make Them Better
  • Scared and hiding:
    State officials' frantic efforts to identify the last-minute donors of $11 million to the campaign to defeat Gov. Jerry Brown's tax initiative and pass an anti-union measure are an unconstitutional attempt to "intimidate and silence" Brown's opponents, the Arizona nonprofit that contributed the funds told the California Supreme Court Saturday.

    The court has ordered written arguments this weekend on the state Fair Political Practices Commission's request to examine records of the nonprofit Americans for Responsible Leadership, and determine whether its contributors can be publicly named before Tuesday's election.

  • If you haven't seen it, see it. And read it.

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