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Strongest Central Atlantic Hurricane on Record — Dangerous 185 MPH Irma Defies Intensity Projections

As of the 8 PM advisory from the National Hurricane Center (NHC), Hurricane Irma was located 85 miles east of Antigua moving west at 15 mph. The storm hosted maximum sustained winds of 185 mph and a minimum central pressure of 916 mb.

This is an intensity considerably stronger than that previously projected or even expected as an outlier possibility for today. One that has heightened concern over an already powerful storm. A storm that is drawing extra energy from an atmosphere and ocean warmed by climate change.

Though moving west at this time, Irma is expected to turn toward the west-northwest. On its present and predicted path, the NHC expects severe hurricane conditions including hurricane force winds, very tall and destructive breaking waves, and life-threatening 7-11 foot storm surges to start impacting the extreme northern Leeward Islands by late Tuesday afternoon and early evening.

A Worrisome Set of Forecasts 

The storm is expected to continue on a west and then west-northwest track bringing it close to Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic and over the Turks and Caicos and southeastern Bahamas by Thursday. After which time, the storm is expected to skirt the northern coast of Cuba before turning toward the Florida Keys on Saturday.

(National Hurricane Center’s official path brings Irma to the Florida Keys by Sunday. Image source: NHC.)

The current official National Hurricane Center forecast has the storm maintaining major hurricane status all along its projected path. Category 5 intensity is expected to be maintained for much of the next three days after which time the NHC projects Irma to weaken a bit — remaining in the very dangerous, strong category 4, range.

Meanwhile, various models, including GFS and SHIPS produce a very severe Category 5 storm featuring intensities from 895 to 910 mb in the vicinity of U.S. southeast by Saturday through Monday. This storm is, therefore, very dangerous and is likely to stay that way for some time — barring a close interaction with the mountains of Puerto Rico or Hispaniola or a prolonged landfall over Cuba.

(The present GFS model run shows a nightmare scenario for the Carolinas with an 890 mb hurricane on approach by Monday. It’s worth noting that the official NHC projected track is more to the south with a weaker — but still very dangerous — category 4 storm in the region of Florida by late Saturday. Image source: Tropical Tidbits.)

Strongest Central Atlantic Storm on Record

The storm’s present intensity is now among the strongest storms ever to form in the Atlantic, Gulf or Caribbean. An earlier report from Weather Underground found that Irma, at 180 mph maximum sustained winds, was already the 5th strongest Atlantic storm as measured by wind speed. Irma has since strengthened to 185 mph —  tying it with Wilma, Gilbert and the Labor Day Hurricane as second strongest Atlantic storm as measured by maximum winds. The strongest was Allen at 190 mph.

It’s worth noting that the Carribean and Gulf of Mexico are included in Atlantic hurricane listings. However, most of the top intensity storms have formed in these typically warmer seas. Irma, on the other hand, has reached such extreme strength over the typically cooler waters of the Central Tropical Atlantic. Though these waters, as with everything else that has been altered by human-caused climate change, are today warmer than they were in the past. As a result, the storm is now the strongest hurricane ever to form in that open water region.

NHC official forecast projections keep the storm quite strong as it moves into the warmer Carribean, though eventually weakening to CAT 4, as it moves west. Meanwhile, some models (GFS and SHIPS) show potential for an even more intense storm as Irma approaches Florida, the Gulf or the SE U.S. (strong CAT 5 that may dip into the 890 mb range).

Evacuation Orders Posted as Storm Defies Intensity Models

Officials appear to be very worried. Already evacuation orders and closings have been listed for Florida as interests across the Southeast take notice. This caution is wise. Irma has the potential to produce worse impacts than Harvey. So all interests should remain vigilant.

Irma is presently exceeding both its predicted and its top predicted storm intensities — defying traditional storm prediction models like SHIPS. This is another concerning development for a powerful storm in a warming climate. That said, if the storm tracks further west (and some models show the storm tilting in this direction), interaction with large Caribbean islands will tend to reduce the storm’s intensity as it approaches the U.S.

This storm appears to be very efficiently tapping warmer than normal sea surfaces and a moister than normal atmosphere in order to spike its peak intensity. Two conditions set in play by human-caused climate change that are now helping to make storms like Irma both more intense and more dangerous. And it’s a condition that we need to take into account as we follow the track of Irma toward U.S. shores.

(UPDATED — UPDATES TO FOLLOW)

RELATED STATEMENTS AND INFORMATION:

Links:

National Hurricane Center

Tropical Tidbits

Irma — 5th Strongest Atlantic Hurricane on Record

Hat tip to eleggua

Hat tip to wili

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123 Comments

  1. wili

     /  September 5, 2017

    Thanks for following up on this. I can’t seem to tear myself away from the coverage.

    Reply
  2. Such extreme barometric lows can have geological effects as well.

    Reply
  3. Keith Antonysen

     /  September 5, 2017

    The bad news is that Tropical Storm Jose is following Irma, hopefully it will veer off into the Atlantic. What a terrible year 2017 has been for natural disasters intensified by climate change.

    https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/will-katia-join-hurricane-irma-and-tropical-storm-jose-in-the-atlantic/70002649

    Reply
    • wili

       /  September 5, 2017

      And then there’s Tropical Depression 13…

      http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

      Reply
      • The big barrel of that pumped up ITCZ is making those of us here on the U.S. East Coast feel like we’re targets in a gigantic atmospheric shooting gallery.

        Reply
        • wili

           /  September 5, 2017

          I bet!

          And now they say the pressure in the center has dropped to 914 mb. What kinds of winds does _that_ imply? I sure feel bad for the folks on Barbuda right now.

        • Where are you getting the 914 mb reading? In any case, Irma is starting to show some really fearsome symmetry. Central dense overcast is red in the IR in all sectors now.

        • wili

           /  September 5, 2017

          Chatter at Cat6.

          And yeah, it is amazingly perfect.

          “What immortal hand or eye. Could frame thy fearful symmetry?”

        • Pressure dropped to 916 in recent update.

        • Wind speed the same.

        • wili

           /  September 6, 2017

          NHC now has it at 916, but winds still at 185 mph. That doesn’t jibe with the chart you just posted. Does it take time for the winds to ‘catch up’?

        • eleggua

           /  September 6, 2017

          When the stars threw down their spears,
          And water’d heaven with their tears,
          Did He smile His work to see?
          Did He who made the lamb make thee?

        • wpNSAlito

           /  September 6, 2017

          For the record, the pressure measured in the storm (e.g., 929 mb) is an *absolute* pressure, and the wind is generated from the difference between the storm (low) and the surroundings (higher pressure). Irma was surrounded with relatively high pressure, and so can produce high winds even at more modestly low pressure.

          That’s why there’s no direct correlation between absolute pressure and wind speed.

        • Good points all.

      • Shawn Redmond

         /  September 6, 2017

        Wili the pressure gradient is depended, to a point, on how quickly the changes occur over a geographical distance. The closer the drops are together the stronger the winds, literally the number of kilometres/meters between 915 and 914. Think of it like a river the steeper the terrain the faster it goes.

        Reply
  4. wili

     /  September 5, 2017

    Now GFS has it missing FLA and hitting the Carolinas as a Cat 5! That’s pretty far out from the other models. Are they seeing something that others aren’t?

    And at some point the any two of the three storms now in the region could start to interact if they happen to come close enough together.

    Reply
  5. wharf rat

     /  September 5, 2017

    Reply
  6. Greg

     /  September 6, 2017

    Not hyperbole:

    Reply
  7. I just tagged Irma at 175 knots which is 201 mph via Earth Null School.

    Reply
  8. eleggua

     /  September 6, 2017

    Thanks for the hat tip, Robert.

    Reply
  9. eleggua

     /  September 6, 2017
    Reply
  10. eleggua

     /  September 6, 2017

    ‘Hurricane Irma: What Florida, the Caribbean look like ahead of big storm’
    Sept. 5, 2017 5.50pm

    http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/opinion/the-conversation/sd-hurricane-irma-florida-20170905-htmlstory.html

    “Hurricane Irma, a dangerous Category 5 storm containing the most powerful winds ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean, is already ravaging the Caribbean and could be headed for Florida, forecasters say.

    The small islands of the northern Leewards, including Antigua and Barbuda, as well as the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispañola, the Bahamas and Cuba were all directly threatened by maximum sustained winds that reached 185 miles per hour on Tuesday….

    Tolls roads open for free

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced on Tuesday that starting at 5 p.m. local time, toll roads in the state would be free to allow for evacuations and the transfer of supplies.

    “Ensuring the safety of Florida families and visitors is our top priority and suspending tolls statewide will help people quickly evacuate and make it easier for all Floridians to access important hurricane supplies to ensure they are fully prepared,” Scott said….

    Schools are closing

    Miami-Dade public schools were scheduled to shut down after class on Wednesday. Broward and Palm Beach public schools planned to close down Thursday….
    A race for supplies

    Across Florida and the Caribbean, reports of long lines and empty shelves were coming from stores where people were stalking up on food, water, gasoline and other emergency supplies on Tuesday.

    “We ordered water off Amazon because the stores were out and also ordered food,” said Eastin, a 43-year-old lawyer in Florida told The Associated Press. “Seeing the devastation in Texas is a sad reminder that you have to take the events very seriously.”

    Troops to be deployed

    On Tuesday, Gov. Scott announced the deployment of 100 Florida National Guard members to help with preparations and also called for all 7,000 members to be on duty on Friday.

    Puerto Rico’s Gov. Ricardo Rossello also activated its National Guard.

    For ongoing coverage, the Miami Herald is offering unlimited digital access throughout the storm here, and so is the Sun Sentinel here.”

    Reply
    • This is from a comment on Cat6 blog:
      Avatar
      “Trying to find a flight out of South Florida to Atlanta and everything is sold out or 4 times the regular price. Looks like the turnpike and i95 congestion is in my future. Heading North”….. I have a friend in Hollywood Fla I have been trying to get her to leave,but she cares for her invalid Mother and her Mother wants to stay,so now I know

      Reply
      • Maybe take the train?

        Reply
        • eleggua

           /  September 6, 2017

          “All aboard!”

          “The Florida Keys 1935 Hurricane Brutalized The Area On Labor Day

          The 1935 Hurricane was a disaster of incredible magnitude. It had sustained winds of 185 mph and a storm surge of 18′ to 20′. To this day it’s referred to as the Great Hurricane….

          …As soon as it was determined that the area was going to take a direct hit, help was sent to evacuate the veterans and other employees. However, the plan was executed too late to be effective. The train sent to bring them to safety, reached the area about the same time as the 1935 hurricane made landfall.

          Except for the engine, all of the train’s 10 cars were forced off the tracks and flipped when the surge hit. Some of the people on board were killed outright when the train overturned. Others were killed by the devastating storm surge.

          The brute force of the Florida hurricane was so strong that it proved to be the kiss of death for the Flagler Overseas Railroad. The Overseas Railway he’d successively completed just 23 years earlier was so severely damaged, repair was no longer a viable option. Flagler’s Folly ceased it’s operations in the Florida Keys forever.”

  11. eleggua

     /  September 6, 2017

    For ongoing coverage, the Miami Herald is offering unlimited digital access throughout the storm here

    http://www.miamiherald.com/news/weather/hurricane/

    Reply
  12. eleggua

     /  September 6, 2017
    Reply
  13. wili

     /  September 6, 2017

    Reply
  14. Loni

     /  September 6, 2017

    Take care, Robert.

    Reply
    • Thanks Loni. I should be good. My fam usually goes to the Carolinas this time of year for a reunion. That’s been put on hold ’til further notice. Present GFS track looks bad for all interests from FL through the Carolinas.

      Reply
  15. Greg

     /  September 6, 2017

    From Henson’s latest post the warm waters off of Florida provide even greater potential intensity:

    Reply
  16. Vic

     /  September 6, 2017

    Reply
  17. wili

     /  September 6, 2017

    About to hit the small island of Barbuda (not to be confused either with Bermuda or Barbados). I’m not sure what kind of shelters they have on the island that might withstand this thing. Caves maybe? If they don’t get flooded by surge or rains.

    Reply
    • wili

       /  September 6, 2017

      And now, apparently, they are in the eye.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  September 6, 2017

        Reportedly (seemingly reliable poster at cat6), recon just got a 911 mb reading.

        Reply
    • eleggua

       /  September 6, 2017

      Cannot locate any working cams on any of the islands in the path and none at all on Barbuda.

      Reply
    • About 1,800 people reside on Barbuda. Comms to the island have been completely knocked out. A reporting station recorded a 155 mph wind gust before comms were lost. St. Martin is reporting that all of the three strongest buildings on the island have been leveled. Shelters in leeward locations are apparently still standing. But it’s expected that most buildings on the island will have suffered major damage. Anguila went through the northern eye wall. So far, we’ve had no reports out from that island yet. But damage there is likely to be catastrophic.

      Reply
  18. eleggua

     /  September 6, 2017

    “…Late Tuesday, wind gusts around 50 miles per hour arrived in Antigua and Barbuda but picked up significant strength as the center of the storm swirled several dozen miles off its shores. The authorities cut off power on those islands before midnight, forcing residents to listen to the latest forecasts on transistor radios in the darkness.

    …Every storm, though, has its rebels. Jose Fonseca, 52, a Coral Gables resident who works at the Mandarin Oriental on Brickell Key, said he had not done or bought anything to prepare for the storm.

    “I think people are panicking because of the news from Texas day after day,” he said. “I will buy some water.” Then, he added, “And some beer of course.””

    Reply
  19. eleggua

     /  September 6, 2017

    “…two new storms that formed today; Tropical Depression 13, that formed in the Gulf of Mexico, primarily a threat to Mexico…heavy rain…the primary threat….
    Jose in the Atlantic…”

    “Irma…remarkable storm…strongest storm ever to threaten the Western Antilles…”

    “this hurricane…stronger than we feared…”

    He’s still calling it quite possibly hitting the Carolinas.

    Reply
  20. eleggua

     /  September 6, 2017

    “One of the biggest wildfires in Los Angeles history.
    Record high temperatures at dozens of locations around California.
    And a bizarre “microburst” in Santa Barbara.

    It was a wild weather weekend in California….

    But climate models predict that California will see increasing amounts of extreme heat each year. Indeed, this summer has been the state’s hottest on record.

    “It makes more sense to ask whether global warming made an event more likely,” Dr. (Daniel) Swain (U.C.L.A. climate scientist, also runs the California Weather Blog) said. “And in the case of an unprecedented extreme heat wave, the answer these days is usually yes.”

    Reply
  21. eleggua

     /  September 6, 2017

    San Francisco, not ready for climate change, ill-prepared for its effects and probably not even ready for “the Big One”.

    ‘SF ambulances arrive late to life-threatening calls during sweltering weekend heat
    September 5, 2017

    http://www.sfexaminer.com/sf-ambulances-arrive-late-life-threatening-calls-sweltering-weekend-heat/

    “an Francisco was so short on ambulances during the record-setting heat last weekend that it took about an hour for them to respond to some life-threatening calls, the San Francisco Examiner has learned.

    San Francisco Fire Department records obtained by the Examiner show that fire engines waited more than 20 minutes for an ambulance to arrive at the scene of 28 life-threatening calls. The goal is for an ambulance to arrive at a life-threatening emergency within 10 minutes 90 percent of the time….

    But Supervisor Aaron Peskin called the response times “entirely unacceptable.”
    “The city and county of San Francisco was caught flat-footed,” he said.
    ‘…“If we can’t get a heat wave right, we are in big trouble,” Peskin said, alluding to the potential for a major earthquake shaking The City….

    On Aug. 25 emergency services responded to 570 calls. But on Friday during the heat wave, they responded to 1,342 emergencies.

    That number crept up to 1,413 emergency medical service responses on Saturday, and slipped down to 994 by Sunday as The City’s temperatures cooled.

    Wilson compared the heat wave to New Year’s Eve and said that emergency officials were not prepared.

    The Department of Emergency Management activated its Emergency Operations Center to coordinate various city agencies during times of need by 5 p.m. on Friday, hours after the temperature broke 100 degrees.

    “You’re supposed to be preparing for this,” Wilson said. “Our department doesn’t prepare for anything because they’re so short staffed.”

    The department has struggled to retain and hire dispatchers in recent years as emergency call volume has surged in San Francisco. The City is failing to meet the national standard for answering 911 calls within 10 seconds.

    “What happens if we have an earthquake and we’re so short staffed? What happens if there’s an active shooter? Better yet, what happens if someone takes a car and drives through Union Square?” Wilson said. “How fast do we get dispatchers in?”

    Wilson said ambulances responded to San Francisco from the cities or counties of Solano, Napa, Alameda, Sacramento, Santa Clara and San Jose.

    On Friday, an additional 8-9 ambulances from other counties aided San Francisco, and on Saturday that number rose to 11, Kagan said….”

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  September 6, 2017

      Comment on ^that article.

      Duende • 4 hours ago

      “As a person who a) works on an ambulance in SF and b) worked this entire wknd/heatwave, I am grateful that this critical issue is being discussed, but VERY MUCH RESENT the tone of your article, which implies the ambulances to have been at fault for these response times.
      I worked from Wednesday afternoon, got off (late by a couple hours) on Sunday morning, and am STILL in physical pain from working as hard as I could. I know I speak for my colleagues when I say that we all did the very best we could. We were hot, too. Some of us started IV’s on ourselves so we didn’t pass out and could keep working.
      My advice: you want the real scoop? Talk to the people who were there and can explain the intricacies of a 911 system such as ours to you.
      Ever heard of “First Due” areas? An Engine responds to a finite area – ambulances do not. i.e. Imagine responding from 12th x Geary to the Cliff House, to Sloat x Great Highway for a critical call. You think that’s a 10-minute ride on a 100+ degree Labour Day weekend?
      Check your facts straight and get the whole picture before you write another article like this.”

      Reply
    • eleggua

       /  September 6, 2017

      ‘Wildfires and Heat Waves Could Be the New Normal in the Bay Area’

      http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Wildfires-and-Heat-Waves-Could-Be-the-New-Normal-in-Bay-Area-442715943.html

      “Alison Bridger, professor of meteorology at San Jose State University, said the Bay Area hasn’t quite arrived at the new normal yet. She said the more carbon dioxide we continue pumping into the atmosphere, the more extreme weather we will experience.

      “We haven’t finished changing yet,” Bridger said. “We have a ridge of high pressure that sat over us, giving us these very warm temperatures. It’s been stronger than average and more importantly it hasn’t moved.”

      “I don’t know how bad things have to get before we realize we have to make some radical changes,” Bridger said.

      Those radical changes, according to Bridger, may include switching to solar and wind for power.”

      Reply
      • Genomik

         /  September 6, 2017

        SF is supposed to be cool most of the time. If we get weather like this all the trees in California will incinerate.

        Reply
        • eleggua

           /  September 6, 2017

          “All the leaves are brown and the sky is grey.” – California Nightmare

        • eleggua

           /  September 6, 2017

          ^^^17-year old Karen on drums!

  22. eleggua

     /  September 6, 2017

    (resposting this one from a couple of daze ago)

    “The disaster would be so extreme that no one Cutter is aware of has ever run a computer model disaster scenario like it.”

    ‘If a Hurricane Harvey hit South Carolina it ‘would be like the 2015 flood on steroids’ ‘
    Aug 28, 2017 Updated Aug 29, 2017

    http://www.postandcourier.com/news/if-a-hurricane-harvey-hit-south-carolina-it-would-be/article_cb2c10ea-8c1a-11e7-88ea-6f4dc9acea9c.html

    “…..”It would be a major catastrophic event,” said Susan Cutter, the director of the Hazards and Vulnerabilities Research Center at the University of South Carolina. “It would overwhelm what Hurricane Hugo did. In some respects it’s beyond our ability to imagine.”

    Flooding alone “would be like the 2015 flood on steroids,” she said.

    To put it in perspective, Hugo in 1989 was a Category 4 hurricane at landfall, just like Harvey. It killed 35 people, left more than 50,000 homeless and stranded half the state without electrical power. It caused $6.5 billion in damage — at the time the costliest hurricane in U.S. history — without serious flooding away from the coast.

    By comparison, Hurricane Harvey wracked the Texas coast with 130 mph winds at landfall Friday night. The difference is it has stalled there as a tropical storm, dropping around 24 inches of rain by Monday with the potential to reach 50 inches in the coming days.

    If Harvey happened here, the depth of the flooding prospects are horrifying, smothering large swaths of homes, woods and farmland deep into the state’s interior, just like what Houston is facing now some 40 miles inland.

    It would begin with winds ripping up the coastal communities. Folly Beach likely would be cut in half by 20 feet of storm surge. The Charleston peninsula and most of the low-lying islands largely would be underwater. Inland areas would be wracked by the storm then watch their rivers rise to swamp them deeper than they have ever seen.

    “Oh, that would be absolutely terrifying,” said Carolyn Ganis, who lives in the Crichton Parish in the Oakbrook community outside Summerville near the Ashley River…..

    “How much worse could it be? The simple answer is, that’s impossible to answer,” said meteorologist James Carpenter with the National Weather Service in Charleston.

    “It’s possible the county could be split in half at Four Holes Swamp,” said Mario Formisano, the Dorchester County emergency management director. “We experienced this for a period of time during the 2015 floods.”

    Flooding would engulf low-lying places like Oakbrook or Goose Creek.

    “It would keep getting deeper and deeper. It would start washing away homes that just got wet in 2015,” said Lee Lindner, College of Charleston environmental studies professor.

    Entire towns could be swamped, particularly near rivers, like what happened to Andrews in the 2015 flood and to the Marion County town of Nichols after Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

    Even larger, higher-ground towns such as Mullins, near Nichols, could go under. Mullins saw some swamping during Matthew.

    Wanda Pittman, who lives in Mullins, had her apartment flooded out. A deeper flood, “it would just tear us down,” she said.

    Roads would be impassable for miles. For example, in the 2015 flood, 13 miles of Interstate 95 were closed. Shelters and emergency facilities such as hospitals — designed and selected based on storm surge or potential flood models rather than a combination — might be left in crisis.

    The disaster would be so extreme that no one Cutter is aware of has ever run a computer model disaster scenario like it.

    “I don’t think we’ve ever really thought about that kind of multi-hazard, multi-impact, multi-day event,” she said. “But clearly we should be thinking about these kinds of events because we know they happen.”

    While the flooding would be the worst deeper in the state, the coast might not fare as poorly. Mark Wilbert, the city of Charleston’s director of Emergency Management and Resilience, said 4 feet of rain here would produce problems similar to what the region saw during the October 2015 floods.

    “What the Charleston region has going in its advantage, at least along the coast, is when we get low tide, we do drain, which is good,” Wilbert said. “And we drain fairly quickly. The problem is there’s another high tide around the corner.”

    The height of hurricane activity usually occurs in September.”

    Reply
  23. eleggua

     /  September 6, 2017

    Comment on South Carolina article.

    “Lee Anne Leland
    Its called the Lowcountry. Basically one big flood plain. And we have developed it as if it was not. Many will pay the price for living here. It is not a question of if, but when.
    Aug 29, 2017 2:41am”

    Reply
  24. eleggua

     /  September 6, 2017

    ‘Paul Ehrlich reviews Tobias and Morrison’s most recent book –“Anthrozoology: Embracing Co-Existence in the Anthropocene”’
    January 31, 2017

    https://mahb.stanford.edu/blog/review-anthrozoology/

    “Most thoughtful people understand that very fundamental changes in the global culture of Homo sapiens are required if civilization is to persist. That means ending the wrecking of its life-support systems, of which the microorganisms, plants, and other animals of our planet are critical parts, and becoming a civilization not focused on money, competition, consumption, efficiency, and colonialism.

    Following work summarized in this brilliant book, in Carl Safina’s superb volume Beyond Words, in David Montgomery’s excellent Other Half of Nature, many of us are already altering our views of the living world. We are realizing that people are basically cooperative assemblages of human and microbial cells, that other organisms (the “Others” in Anthrozoology) are often more “sentient,” “conscious,” “intelligent,” or “feeling” than usually assumed, and that humanity’s insane growthmania, combined with its uncaring annihilation of other life forms, is leading civilization directly toward collapse.

    Tobias and Morrison, the authors of Anthrozoology, are both leading ecological philosophers and friends of mine (full disclosure), and I share many of their attitudes and conclusions. Nonetheless, I found this a tough but entrancing book – forcing me to reexamine many of my own feelings, even while agreeing with its general thrust. More and more people are recognizing that there is a crying need for reexaminations of humanity’s ethical duties to other human beings and (if any) to the other organisms with which people share Earth. Anthrozoology is a reexamination of the latter – basically a long poem to the Others, and a long indictment of Homo sapiens for its ignoring of the Others’ needs and wants in service to humanity’s culturally-evolved wants. And at the moment the most obvious of those wants is also lethal to civilization and to most of the visible Others (what will happen to Earth’s microbes is a more complex issue). That lethal want, the perpetual expansion of human numbers and per capita consumption, also turns out to be impossible, as a horrific collapse will sooner or later amply demonstrate….

    …questions are examined in Anthrozoology from a stunningly broad array of perspectives, including, literature, philosophy, religion, psychology, ecology, and evolution. It deals with topics as diverse as Dunbar numbers and pyromaniac hawks to the art of Albrecht Dürer….

    Science certainly gives little guidance in answering many of the questions Anthrozoology raises, but its poetry may be helpful….

    There are a few places where I thought I detected mistakes in Anthrozoology, and then I thought: “There really can’t be mistakes in a poem.” All would be trivial, even in an essay. At one place, though, Michael and Jane jabbed me right in the ego. They write (loc. 781) of the “famed Paul Ehrlich, John Holdren, Barry Commoner I=PAT equation.” The equation was actually developed by Holdren and Ehrlich to show how ridiculous was Commoner’s continuous claim that population growth and increasing consumption were not important in causing environmental problems, only faulty technologies were to blame. With that claim, widely believed by non-scientists, he was probably the scientist who did the most to block solving humanity’s environmental crisis. The details of his ideology and gross dishonesty need not concern us here, but John Holdren, just retired as head of the Government Office of Science and Technology Policy and President Obama’s science advisor, has permitted MAHB to publish his 1993 memo, “A brief history of IPAT” below.

    I find myself uncertain or ambiguous on many of the themes of Anthrozoology, but of its most basic themes I’m convinced. The human enterprise – a product of numbers of people and how much on average each consumes – is much too large, and our treatment of the Others is much too cruel and unthinking. What to do? Read Anthrozoology and then discuss it with your friends.”

    Reply
    • Paul

       /  September 6, 2017

      Not only do we share the planet with countless species, countless species inhabit us. Our gut, as but one example, contains many species of microorganisms that enable us to digest and absorb nutrients, help our immune system function and directly protect us from infection by pathogens. They are even involved in our decision making process.
      Every living organism is part of a continuum of one symbiotic cooperative system.
      This is also one of the many reasons why we will never colonise Mars. We are part of Earth and need it to exist more than we realise.

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  September 6, 2017

        “We are part of Earth and need it to exist more than we realise.”

        Indeed. I’m with you on that one… planet.

        Reply
  25. eleggua

     /  September 6, 2017

    ‘Hurricane Irma hits the Caribbean
    5:56 AM ET, Wed September 6, 2017

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/06/us/hurricane-irma-puerto-rico-florida/index.html

    “…The massive eye stared down on the tiny island of Barbuda early Wednesday, thrashing it with howling winds before marching along its path on the Caribbean.

    Irma’s eye was bigger than Barbuda, CNN meteorologist Jenn Varian said. It packed winds of 185 mph, making it one of the most powerful Atlantic storms ever recorded….

    Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Jose is expected to become a hurricane by Wednesday night.
    “Interests in the Leeward Islands should monitor the progress of Jose,” the National Hurricane Center said.””

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  September 6, 2017

      ‘Editorial: What about Barbuda?’
      September 4, 2017

      https://antiguaobserver.com/editorial-what-about-barbuda/

      “At the time of writing, the forecasted track of Hurricane Irma brings it dangerously close to our sister isle, Barbuda. If it remains true to forecast, it will be a Category 3 or Category 4 hurricane and the eye will pass just north of Barbuda, sometime early Wednesday morning. For Barbudans, and anyone with a genuine interest in Barbuda, this must be terrifying.

      To state the obvious, Barbuda is flat. The ‘highlands’ are only approximately 125 feet above sea level, but most of the population lives in and around Codrington….

      Unfortunately, in Barbuda, there are few buffers if a significant storm surge is experienced. We are not even going to get into the whole issue of the sand mining at this point…”

      Reply
      • Barbuda, St Martin, and Anguila have all experienced the full wrath of the second strongest storm, by measure of maximum wind intensity, that the Atlantic has ever seen. Prayers and hopes for those on the ground are all we can send at this time. But the damage and devastation to three islands whose combined population is around 100,000 is likely to be immense. This storm was stronger than Andrew, stronger than Camille when it struck these islands.

        Reply
        • eleggua

           /  September 6, 2017

          viconsortium.com/featured/irma-pounds-st-martin-anguilla-slamming-usvi-now/

          The storm ravaged through St. Martin and Anguilla, leaving homes without roofs, vehicles destroyed, and the St. Martin airport with immense damage (see feature collage).

          Maximum sustained winds are near 185 mph (295 km/h) with higher gusts. Irma is a category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next day or two, but Irma is forecast to remain a powerful category 4 or 5 hurricane during the next couple of days.

          Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 50 miles (85 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 185 miles (295 km). The estimated minimum central pressure is 918 mb (27.11 inches).

          Hurricane Irma has been described as “potentially catastrophic,” with winds of 185 miles per hour, placing the storm among the strongest to ever develop in the Atlantic Ocean. The strongest hurricane on record is 2015’s Hurricane Patricia, with maximum sustained winds of 215 miles per hour.

          Caribbean residents hustled on Tuesday to get out of possible flood zones, stock up on essential foods, shutter their homes and brace for what is projected to remain a very powerful hurricane for days to come.

          A hurricane warning has been issued for the north coast of Haiti from the northern border with the Dominican Republic to Le Mole St. Nicholas. A tropical storm warning has been issued for for the coast of Haiti from south of Le Mole St. Nicholas to Port-Au-Prince. The government of France has discontinued all warnings for Guadeloupe.

          The government of Antigua has discontinued all warnings for Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat.

          A hurricane warning remains in effect for:

          * Anguilla
          * Saba, St. Eustatius, and Sint Maarten
          * Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy
          * British Virgin Islands
          * U.S. Virgin Islands
          * Puerto Rico, Vieques, and Culebra
          * Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to the northern border with
          Haiti
          * Haiti from the northern border with the Dominican Republic to Le
          Mole St. Nicholas
          * Southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
          * Cuba from Matanzas province eastward to Guantanamo province
          * Central Bahamas

          A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
          * Dominican Republic from south of Cabo Engano westward to the
          southern border with Haiti
          * Haiti from south of Le Mole St. Nicholas to Port-Au-Prince

        • eleggua

           /  September 6, 2017

        • eleggua

           /  September 6, 2017

          In case that embed didn’t work.

          ‘El huracán Irma llega a la isla de Barbuda’ video

          https://player.gfrvideo.com/primerahora/240677.html

        • eleggua

           /  September 6, 2017

          Whoa! Woe.

  26. eleggua

     /  September 6, 2017

    “The eye of Irma stands out clearly on full-disk satellite imagery tonight.”

    Jose, too, and is that something new forming to its east, off the coast of Africa?

    ^From Jeff Frame @VORTEXJeff

    Reply
  27. eleggua

     /  September 6, 2017

    Reply
  28. eleggua

     /  September 6, 2017

    Live from St. Maarten.

    alex woolfall
    “PR guy. Always chasing the sunshine. Views are my own, unless shamelessly plagiarised.”

    16 minutes ago
    Still thunderous sonic boom noises outside & boiling in stairwell. Can feel scream of things being hurled against building.

    24 minutes ago
    My God this noise! It’s like standing behind a jet engine!! Constant booms & bangs. At least concrete stairwell not moving

    32 minutes ago
    May be my last tweet as power out and noise now apocalyptic. This is like a movie I never want to see.

    35 minutes ago
    So what they don’t tell you in a hurricane is how HOT it is! Jeez. Am boiling!

    46m
    Okay I am now pretty terrified so can every non-believer, atheist & heretic please pray for me in #StMaarten as #Irma2017 is here now.

    1h
    Evacuated & everyone now hiding in concrete stairwell of building. Noise of wind insane. Pray this will end soon!

    2h
    0430 now in #StMaarten & building shaking and howling winds. Scary stuff but still have power.

    Reply
    • Dear God, I hope he made it.

      Reply
      • eleggua

         /  September 6, 2017

        “Still thunderous sonic boom noises outside & boiling in stairwell. Can feel scream of things being hurled against building.”

        That post was his last. Power and/or connectivity problem, my wish. Will keep checking his feed and update accordingly.

        Reply
  29. eleggua

     /  September 6, 2017

    Reply
  30. Vic

     /  September 6, 2017

    Reply
    • Bobinspain

       /  September 6, 2017

      OMG! I’ve just watched this on CNN. How can anyone or anything survive that. I hope they all made it to safety.

      Reply
    • That appears to be a camera near the airport at Simpson Bay.

      Reply
    • Greg

       /  September 6, 2017

      Plug a headset into your device and crank this to full volume against your ears. Close your eyes and imagine hours of this and tell anyone who will listen that that is the sound of a future we are now living into and breathing life to. Carbon must stay in the ground.

      Reply
  31. wharf rat

     /  September 6, 2017

    Trump wants to slash budgets of federal agencies at the forefront of disaster relief
    Budget cuts in the works as climate change intensifies storms.
    https://thinkprogress.org/trump-budget-cuts-disaster-relief-4a20c76c231c/

    Because,

    Reply
  32. Andy_in_SD

     /  September 6, 2017
    Reply
  33. Greg

     /  September 6, 2017

    Read that Sir Richard Branson stayed on Virgin Gorda and holed up in a wine cellar for this storm. If true I have serious doubts about his risk aversion methodology.

    Reply
  34. Greg

     /  September 6, 2017

    Roughly 18mph per degree C increase in intensity potential per degree of warmer water

    http://myweb.fsu.edu/jelsner/PDF/Research/ElsnerStrazzoJaggerLaRowZhao2013.pdf

    Reply
  35. eleggua

     /  September 6, 2017

    “A blast of particles from the sun has set a geomagnetic storm watch in place for this Wednesday night into Thursday, as announced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

    NOAA has issued a “strong” advisory for the storm. It’s caused by what’s known as a coronal mass ejection, in which the sun emits a cloud of plasma at speeds of hundreds or thousands of kilometers per second. This particular storm is the result of an ejection that took place on Monday, September 4.

    What you can expect is a visible aurora — beautiful colorful lights that swirl through the sky — in some parts of the northern continental U.S.

    According to most recent reports from NOAA, the aurora has the potential to be seen in parts of Washington, Wyoming, Iowa, Illinois, and New York, though a full moon could diminish some of its visual effects. Cloud cover can also dampen out the visible lights. To see if aurora will be visible from where you are, keep track using NOAA’s forecast, which automatically updates every 30 minutes.” – inverse dot com

    Reply
  36. Stephen

     /  September 6, 2017

    Just saw on the weather channel that (for now) the Euro and GFS are in close agreement of Irma making landfall very close to, or at Miami. A landfalling hurricane of cat 4 or 5 strength in Miami may cause damage totals upwards of $250 billion. After reading this blog and seeing the maps of water temps around Florida I’m not convinced Irma will weaken to a cat 4 storm. I have also read that the insurance indexes for Florida are dropping ahead of a potential Irma landfall in Florida. Additionally storm surge surge from more intense hurricanes on top of sea level rise may cause a coastal real-estate bubble to form and pop initiating a major economic recession. I wonder if Irma will be the hurricane to do that, particularly if it makes landfall in Miami. Thoughts?

    Just thought I should share these with you all…

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/08/22/hurricane-cost-florida/560846001/

    http://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/100-year-hurricane-could-cost-250-billion-if-it-hit-miami-7572520

    https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/05/hurricane-irma-is-already-causing-florida-insurance-stocks-to-plunge.html

    Reply
  1. Models Show Irma Tracking Toward 88 Degree (F) Waters Before Setting Sights on Florida, Georgia and South Carolina | robertscribbler

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