Hughesair (Inflection Point)

Retired physician and air taxi operator, science writer and part time assistant professor, these editorials cover a wide range of topics. Mostly non political, mostly true, I write more from experience than from research and more from science than convention. Subjects cover medicine, Alaska aviation, economics, technology and an occasional book review. The Floatplane book is out there. I am currently working on Hippocrates a History of Medicine and Globalism. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hybrid Storm Sandy


The storms on the East Coast are getting worse. Has anyone not noticed? Planning any mitigation against a likely recurrence needs to account for the fact that this is a progressive problem, not a static shift in the weather. Why is it that the weather people and the oceanography people say little about the enormous kinetic energy that is building up in the atmosphere?

When I treated young adults with early signs of lipidemia, heart disease, gall stones and type-two-diabetes, I told them, and it is true, that a small amount of life style change even a low dose medicine followed through, over the fifty or more years that lay ahead, would result in major improvement in the outcome. Is this an allegory? I think so.

A small increase in global temperature, throughout the world over an unlimited time frame causes enormous buildup of kinetic energy. The energy is stored in the atmosphere in the form of a change in state of water to water vapor. It would be interesting to calculate the increase in global water vapor, steam if you will, that results from each degree of global warming. Running the enthalpy on that change of state on a global basis over time might yield us a staggering result.

Any planning for the future of low lying cities might take this frightening consideration to heart and plan for future storms, tsunamis, snow falls and rains of double or more what we have seen to date. Sorry, but I think this should be obvious. Equally obviously is the planners penchant to call this a once in a hundred year event thus passing off the threat or beefing up only a little.

 

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