19 December, 2014
What most people don't realize, however, is that there's a different side to the 1861-62 California flood story, and it lies to the east of the Cascades, Sierra Nevada, and Peninsular Ranges. While the precipitation in California fell as rain, in northern Nevada, northern Utah, and what is now Idaho, that precipitation fell as snow combined with subzero temperatures. Snow levels dropped to near sea level in the northern half of this... and, briefly, the entire Great Basin was covered in snow. Remarkably, the Sierra Nevada didn't block it either... rather, the snow level east of the SN was far lower (from sea level to, at most, 2000 feet) than it was to the west of the range, while the storm energy had free reign to simply ride atop the cold air and dump copious amounts of precipitation into that cold layer.
Meteorologists have a name for this: cold air damming. It's an important clue as to why this storm, responsible for both the California floods and the Great Basin blizzard, was able to persist for so long and keep "hosing down" California for such a long period: Wherever there's extremely cold air, there's a very large dip in the jet stream. When mountains block that cold air, they, in turn, lock that trough in place, allowing a very large blocking ridge (omega block) to form to the east of it, over the Heartland. The result? The Pineapple Express was locked in place, and had no choice but to "park" over the western US and continue deluging us Californians for weeks.
This phenomenon is precisely the same mechanism that drove last year's Ridiculously Resilient Ridge, to be fair: Last year, the piece of the polar vortex that happened to be responsible for the "Chiberia" cold wave was more or less centered over the Central US. The Rockies blocked it to the west, and the Appalachian Mountains blocked it to the east. Consequently, the cold air, and, likewise, the warm air (and water) to the west had nowhere to go. They were locked in place. Fast-forward to December 2014, however, and, thanks in part to Canadian Rocky Mountain snow albedo feedback, the coldest polar vortex air on the entire North American continent is centered over an entirely different place: British Columbia. Consequently, the piece of the polar vortex capable of causing the most impacts only has one way to spill: into the Great Basin.
At the same time, there's a mammoth Pineapple Express setup (wait, make that a Sushi Express with a Pineapple Express tributary) that's currently pounding NorCal and southern Oregon at the moment. Washington is, for the most part, free from this ― on radar, that is, and on the water vapor imagery, one can see not only it but also the associated wind maximum, not to mention the cold Alaskan/Canadian air sneaking in from behind to keep it on this track:
Although there are a few scattered showers near Seattle, most of the atmospheric river energy is more or less straight across the Pacific, aimed at ― you guessed it ― northern California and southern Oregon. Accompanying that AR is a powerful wind maximum (jet streak) in the upper atmosphere, which is being forced to curve around a negative MJO bubble over the central Pacific near Hawaii. Precisely that same setup occurred in late November-early December 1861: during those early days of that ARkStorm event, it was northern California and Oregon that felt the brunt of it. Then, in January 1862, SoCal began getting it... with a bang, of course, and it didn't leave until late-February 1862.
What's more, there's also a developing storm on the other side of the country that New Yorkers and eastern Canadians are dubiously dubbing "Santabomb" due to the fact that it's set to undergo explosive "bombogenesis" over Quebec (if the ECMWF models are any guide) on Christmas Eve, deepening to an impressive 965mb. Meanwhile, this storm that's currently lashing Oregon is also deepening rapidly. When you have two powerful storms on either side of the country forcing the jet stream to dip (and intensify) around them, there's only one way the jet stream can go in the middle: up. The result is something over the heartland (and also the Canadian plains, perhaps extending all the way up into the Hudson Bay and/or Arctic Ocean) called an omega block: a very large, intense area of high pressure that acts as just one more means to lock this atmospheric river storm in place. Not only that, but this blocking high can also use its pressure gradient to spin the atmospheric river slinger up even faster (and, thus, intensify it) to the point where that cold Polar Vortex air, looming, again, over British Columbia, gets sucked into it. The result is a true worst-case scenario: an almost-exact repeat of the 1861-62 winter, merely shifted one month later.
Don't let the 'k' ARkStorm fool you. The whole reason why the USGS team called it a 1000-year event in the first place is because they had no sediment or soil core evidence to determine how often events like the 1861-62 event happen. Their readings were indeed frightening: According to USGS geologists, the mud core evidence determined that events like that happen, on average, every 100-200 years, with 200 years being the bare maximum. So, at that rate, when will the next ARkStorm event occur? Well, the GFS-modeled isobar patterns associated with this year's Western winter event that's currently affecting the Pacific Northwest add even more to this already ominous picture. Over the next several days to weeks, guess what the models are suggesting? Precisely that same phenomenon that, when combined with a Pineapple Express, raises the ARkStorm fears: a piece of the Polar Vortex over the Great Basin and Four Corners, capable of blocking that Pineapple Express in place for months, and, most significantly, forcing it to move southward into California.
We currently are in a 1200-year drought right now, however, so an ARkStorm may be necessary to bring us out of it... but at the same time, the drought does present an ARkStorm-related flood threat of its own. Over the drought-stricken summer, drilling for deep groundwater has caused the ground beneath the Central Valley to sink by as much as 30 feet. If the ARkStorm then goes on to breach the Sacramento and San Joaquin levee systems and the water cascades into the depression created by well-induced ground subsidence, guess what? That depression is going to fill with water and become one big lake. One that then depresses the surface and causes even more ground subsidence, making the depression (and lake) even deeper, so more and more water can collect in it. So, it's kind of ironic: the drought has actually primed the region to have another mega-flood. All we need to do now is prepare...
06 December, 2014
Fast-forward to 2014, and the patterns are looking eerily similar. Back in August, of course, the monstrosity that was Hurricane Marie managed to, even from thousands of miles away, pound SoCal with waves between 15 and 25 feet tall, coinciding with astronomical high tide. The resulting coastal flood event was our worst in years, and damages reached into the tens of millions of dollars. One month later, Hurricane Odile managed to regenerate as a strong tropical storm over the Gulf of California and sling moisture around its circulation at us. Thunderstorms embedded in those rainbands created damaging winds in excess of 60 to as much as 70mph in some areas, pounding them with torrential rains and even (in some cases) dime- and nickel-sized hail. 6000 San Diegans were left without power, and damages also reached as high as $50 million. Around that time, sea surface temperatures, even from what is supposed to be a weak to moderate El Niño, managed to break that 1997 record, reaching the upper-70's (as high as 77°F-78°F in some areas) and, perhaps most alarmingly, resulting in tropical fish such as yellowfin tuna and (gasp!) wahoos swimming up the coast. And finally, just a couple of days ago, the first Pineapple Express storm of what could very well be another entire season of nothing but Pineapple Express events managed to dump more rain on California than the entire 2013 season. Rainfall totals from just that one storm alone managed to reach as much as a foot of rain in some areas to the north. Mudslides in places such as Camarillo, Glendora, and Silverado Canyon resulted in mandatory evacuations of people's homes. Flood waters washing down the Los Angeles and Santa Ana Rivers resulted in countless swift water rescues. Even now, in December 2014, however, it's only the beginning.
If this El Niño persists into the 2015 and even 2016 hurricane seasons ― which some similar El Niños that coincided with PDO shifts, like the 1992-95 El Niño and the 1939-42 El Niño, managed to do in similar cases ― then there's a chief worry in place here. Because not only El Niño but also anthropogenic climate change is at work here, the combination of those two phenomena could, if the El Niño gets strong enough two or three years down the road, push the sea surface temperatures past the tropical convective threshold of 80°F. That's good because you can more easily swim in it, you say? Not so fast: Where there's tropical convection, there's also tropical cyclogenesis. Tropical cyclogenesis off SoCal, of course, wouldn't be a good thing at all... and according to my research of the current system off SoCal, once it gets to that point, a positive feedback loop ensues, making it a point of no return.
It starts with a lesser-known countercurrent to the California Current. Called the Davidson Current, it's normally buried beneath the cold California waters during the summer months, when prevailing northwesterly winds push water from Alaska toward California, where the Ekman Effect makes it want to curve to the right and flow down the coast. Once the patterns shift in the winter, however, and the winds start blowing out of the southeast, the warm Davidson Current surfaces. That's because the Ekman Effect acts on those southeasterlies to actually pull water up the coast. Because the Ekman Effect also constricts the current by forcing it to hug the coast, it also creates a funnel effect that makes the Davidson Current more powerful than the relatively weak CC. Should 80-degree waters infiltrate this pattern, the results could be disastrous.
Why, you say? Because air needs to flow in to replace that convection. On the western side is a vast expanse of ocean, so the winds on that side are relatively light. On the eastern side of this hypothetical convective band, however, are mountains and hills, dotted with passes and canyons. Those act like inflow funnels, forcing the wind that rushes in to replace that convection to accelerate. As a result of the Ekman Effect's atmospheric counterpart ― the Coriolis Effect ― that mountain-gap inflow wants to curve, where? To the right, which means, from what direction? Out of the southeast! The result is that the inflow only pushes more warm water into California. Hello, feedback!
Talk about a recipe for disaster. Should the Davidson Current enter this runaway state, there would be no more California Current, that's for sure. Say goodbye to salmon and steelhead and hello to yellowfins, wahoos, and tilapia. And, yes, say hello to a West Coast hurricane threat, from the same general region that brought us Guillermo, Linda, Rick, Nora, Marie, and Odile. If you think this mountain gap inflow would keep hurricanes away, think again: The trade winds blow in that same general relative direction, that is, northeast to southwest, but guess what? Hurricanes seem to have enough power to almost cross them, like an X, and track from southeast to northwest. In this case, that would mean hooking directly toward SoCal, with devastating results.
At the rate we're burning fossil fuels and inducing Arctic methane leaks, it's not a question of if this happens. It's a question of when. All I can say is, when it does happen, I hope we're prepared... because if not, and those Category 5 monsters start getting that Davidson Current induced free reign to blast their way up the coast, the results wouldn't just be disastrous. They would be catastrophic.
25 November, 2014
The first clue that I managed to dig up suggesting that the Gulf could pose a hurricane threat, at least to the Inland Empire, came from looking up the elevation of the surface of the Salton Sea. The reading? 237 feet below sea level. That alone raises a bright red flag: Even New Orleans was only about 10 feet below sea level when Katrina hit. What's more, the entire Coachella Valley, more or less, is a bowl, and it's the site of an ancient lake bed that once filled the entire region... the ancient lake, if I'm not mistaken, stretched from what is now Mexicali all the way to what is now Palm Springs. That's one massive lake... and the fact that its floor is now the site of a major population center should be enough to freak out anyone.
Then, I managed to Google " 'sea level rise' 'Coachella Valley' " (inside quotes included, as double quotes). I noticed a KCET article that was rather disturbing, depicting what would happen if climate change raised the level of the Gulf by only a few feet. Then, I switched over to the images tab. That's when I noticed something very disturbing, in regards to the Coachella Valley's only lifeline:
Ironically enough, a repeat of the 1858 San Diego hurricane isn't the worst case California hurricane scenario. That title belongs to this recipe for disaster... which, given that the Salton Sea is 237 feet *below sea level*, would be like Katrina times 10...A photo posted by Kenny Strawn (@strawn_04) on
As you can see, the only high ground between the Salton Sea and the Gulf of California is, at most, only about 7 or 8 feet above sea level. What's more, the 20-foot line ― the height of a typical major hurricane storm surge, especially in a warm, shallow environment like the Gulf of California ― is almost the entire width of the Gulf itself. A storm surge of that size eroding a path into a depression like the Salton Sink? Yeah, it's almost impossible to fathom such a catastrophe. You're looking at a region from Mexicali all the way to Palm Springs being completely submerged.
What's more, as previously mentioned, SSTs in the upper-80's to near 90 degrees are well within rapid deepening territory. When Odile managed to traverse the northern Gulf as a tropical storm back in September 2014, guess what happened? The storm grew from a weak to a strong one, with, at their peak, about 60mph winds, before making a second landfall on the northeastern shore of the Gulf. Thankfully, however, Odile had weakened to a tropical storm from, at the first landfall, a Category 4 hurricane, prior to even entering the Gulf... and what's more, this storm could have been much worse.
Remember, what was steering Odile away was an area of high pressure, whose western edge (and clockwise rotation) was moving slightly eastward... but only after the storm had already made lanfdall. Had that high pressure system moved slightly to the east beforehand, so that Odile made its first clipper landfall in Puerto Vallarta before moving up the Gulf, I guarantee you Hurricane Odile would have been a 5 by the time it reached the northern Gulf... and if that high ended up making the monsoonal thermal low over the Colorado and Mojave Deserts strong enough, well, that would have resulted in the storm hooking to the west instead of the east. That makes Odile our closest call so far to this.
In fact, those warm Gulf of Mexico waters in the notorious Loop Current that intensified Katrina were also around the same temperature: near 90°F. The difference, however, is that those extreme SSTs, while incredibly anomalous in the Gulf of Mexico, are commonplace in the Gulf of California. So then why haven't there been rapidly intensifying hurricanes in the Gulf of California before? There's a simple explanation for that: it's got a lot more land in the way. Most of the storms that have managed to go up the Gulf have first run into either the Baja Peninsula (mountainous terrain) or mainland Mexico (more mountainous terrain). You need the steering patterns to be near-perfect for this to happen: a strong, blocking high over the western Gulf of Mexico to the east, and, most importantly, a clockwise flow around the high that pushes moisture directly over the Mojave Desert, where the thermal low then grabs it, intensifies due to convection, and rotates, locking that blocking high in place. Then, you need a hurricane that takes a near-perfect path, so that it could get caught up in that, clipping the headland near Puerto Vallarta, entering the Gulf of California, rapidly intensifying, and making its second landfall just to the west of the Colorado River Delta. Yeah, it's not a question of if, it's a question of when... and when it does happen, the results would be disastrous indeed.
Not only would such a storm be disastrous for the Coachella Valley, but, if it is caught by that thermal low and takes that left turn as an intense hurricane, it could also remain a category 3 or higher monster even as it exits the region, provided it misses the San Jacinto and/or San Bernardino mountains, and enters the Los Angeles Basin. The resulting wind (and even tornado) damage, not to mention torrential rainfall, could pose even more problems. Remember, if that basin fills, that water is going to come in contact with not only the hot Salton Sea but also the hot ground. That will in turn add more heat to the incoming storm surge water, moving over a region that is, mind you, 237 feet below sea level, and that heat could then continue to sustain the hurricane as it passes through that inland sea that it creates. So, it would end up continuing to rapidly intensify as it makes that westward hook. Yeah, you can see where this is going: a recipe for disaster indeed.
29 October, 2014
19 October, 2014
October 19, 2014. I must admit, this post is a few days late... but this past Wednesday, Google unveiled not just the two rumored Nexus devices (the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9), but three — if you count the Nexus Player, that is. Since I've got a Chromecast and a cable box, along with only two HDMI ports, well, they're all in use... but the fact that the Nexus Player is Google Cast Ready AND supports Android TV apps as well should be a good selling point. Anyhow, in 2012, we had the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10. In 2013, the Nexus 5 replaced the Nexus 4... ah, but the Nexus 7 was simply replaced with another Nexus 7, and the Nexus 5 came on board, replacing the Nexus 4. Now, in 2014, the Nexus line-up got a total makeover, with the Nexus 6 replacing the Nexus 5 and the Nexus 9 replacing both the Nexus 7 and the Nexus 10, respectively.
For 2015, however, this poses a bit of a dilemma. If Google decides to simply replace the Nexus 6 with another Nexus 6 the way they did with the Nexus 7, then there won't be any problems... but if they decide to actually increment the number once again, they would end up reusing the Nexus 7 name... for a phone!
This presents a myriad of problems. For starters, just like the title states, it would confuse customers a whole lot... and confused customers hurt business. Beyond that, however, there's also the size factor: sure, a tablet with a 7-inch screen is fine, but a phone with a 7-inch screen?!?! Talk about something that just can't be handled. You couldn't put a phone that big in your front pockets at all (only your back ones), and what's more, you can't pick up a phone that big to make phone calls without using two hands either, which means, nope, if you're in a dire emergency and need to make a phone call quickly with one hand, good luck.
Even something like a Nexus 6.5 would be problematic. Why? Because the names in the line are often rounded down or up to the nearest whole number... which in that case is also 7. That leaves Google with only two options: Either go Apple-style and treat the generations of Nexus 6 like the generations of iPod Touch, releasing three, four, even 5 generations of phones with the same name (which is a good one IMHO) or simply replace the Nexus line altogether with a turnkey solution for OEMs and carriers in the US the way they already did with Android One in India — or, in other words, Project Silver redux, which would seriously increase the adoption rates of new Android releases on a prompt basis, which is the holy grail of fragmentation reduction.
Let's hope this worst case scenario doesn't happen, shall we? Of the two above options, however, I personally would love to see Project Silver manifest itself much more so than I would multiple generations of Nexus 6. Why? Because of the crushing impact it would have on Android fragmentation: by forcing all the phones on the market to stay on the latest version of Android and get updated on a prompt basis, version fragmentation would be, for the most part, a thing of the past. Then again, I need more opinions here. Would you rather want multiple versions of Nexus 6, or would you be fine with every Android phone on the market being updated on a prompt Nexus-like basis?
17 October, 2014
It's definitely human nature for some Christians to bring climate change down to the level of evolution or claim that they're studying it because they don't have anything else to study in an attempt to demonize the atheistic science community... but in all actuality, the amount of CO2 in Earth's atmosphere has increased to a 20-million-year high as a result of human activity. Which, of course, begs the question: What human activity? The fossil fuel industry is definitely one where greed is rampant and widespread, to say the least. By collaborating with the auto and power-generation industries to create dependence on itself, the oil industry is easily one of the wealthiest ― and greediest ― industries in the world, and up until very recently Exxon was #1 in the world in terms of market cap. Until, of course, Apple and Google managed to reach the top... but still, oil greed ― and oil dependence ― continues to persist. What do those oil companies use that vaguely robber-baron-like fortune to do? More often than not, it's to pay politicians to deny climate change, which is to say "I'm going to bribe someone in science/academia to deny the consequences of my sin so I can keep on sinning," and also to send politicians into office that give them tax breaks while going to great lengths to squash competition. Thanks to the fact that CO2 emissions have also gone on to trigger methane release, well, it may already be too late to avoid this particular consequence of greed, but if not, then it's time to let the world know that it's our own sin that's responsible. As for competition-squashing, well, that brings us to our next point.
The "least of these" wanting to rebel
While, I admit, envy is just as much of a sin as greed (will definitely be going over it at a later time), greed in one group of people often triggers envy in another. Remember what the initial cause of the American Revolution was? "Taxation without representation?" Yup, it's the British king's own greed that pissed us off. Think that's always good? Not so fast: The same thing happened in Russia. Tsar Nicholas was notorious for his endless pursuit of material possessions. So too were nearly all the tsars prior to him. The US and Russia were the last two countries in the world to end slavery. In the case of the US, it was the African-Americans who were the slaves. In the case of Russia, it was the common Russians who were the serfs — or, in other words, slaves ― for nearly three centuries. The common people suffered, while the tsars lived in outright luxury... until, of course, the Bolsheviks came along. Little did they realize, communism would be just as bad as tsardom/serfdom... and thanks to the rise of dictator after dictator after dictator that came with the communist regime, it wasn't until the 1990's that Russians began to enjoy the freedoms that us Americans have been enjoying since the 1700's. Think that can't happen in a democracy? Think again. When China's Qing emperors were ousted around the turn of the 20th century, a 50-year democracy ensued. At that time, those who ran for office began to, during the Roaring 20's and what not, amass huge amounts of wealth. The result was something not too dissimilar to the situation we Americans had during the 19th century: a situation where a select few held a large swath of China's wealth. People like Mao Zedong and the gang were obviously fed up with this, and revolted. The democracy was then banished to Taiwan, and now Taiwan is democratic while mainland China is just as communist and freedom-lacking as ever. Speaking of the massive economic inequality gap, that brings us to our third and last point.
Let's be honest: Would you rather hang out with only 1% of the population or with 99% of it? Hmmm? I don't know about you, but I'd definitely choose my time with other people ― and with fellow Christians ― over my time with material possessions hands-down. Unfortunately, greed is a sin that tends to cut off its victims from the rest of the world. Unless the greedy start using some of that money to help their friends and family out, they're going to find themselves in a pickle. That is, a pickle where everyone they used to love suddenly hates them for enjoying all the wealth in the world while letting their own friends and family suffer. Thankfully, most of us who aren't compulsive hoarders (or disposophobes) aren't that dumb... but for those who are, this consequence is clearly one that's bound to affect them.
Then again, as early Christian monk Evagrius Ponticus has clearly stated, it's disposophobia that often results in greed. Greed is a sin of fear. It's a sin that's born out of uncertainty, of not knowing what the future holds. Because the greedy are often disposophobic (or, technically, phtocheiophobic ― irrationally fearful of poverty) when it comes to the future, their response is to want all the money and possessions in the world. Little do they realize, when it comes to only wanting more and more, the risks clearly outweigh the benefits.
16 October, 2014
It's no debate. It's a scientific fact: Sex spreads disease. It spreads chlamydia. It spreads Hep-C. It spreads HIV/AIDS. This is especially true if it goes unchecked. When people have sex, they exchange bodily fluids like saliva, breast milk, semen, feces (!), uterine fluid, and what not... and of course, those fluids all contain bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi, yes, and toxins to top it all off. Of those bodily fluids, the one that contains the most pathogens, by far, is obviously feces (which have something like 50 times the concentration and diversity of pathogens compared to that found in urine, semen, and vaginal discharge combined) ― that's why homosexual males tend to be 20 times more likely to contract, not to mention fall to, STDs than anyone else ― but that's another topic for another post. Anyhow, when you have sex out of wedlock, you're going to get sick, and, if that sickness is left untreated, you're likely to die. Then, of course, any offspring you may have may also get that disease... and if the disease you give them is something other than AIDS (which they build up natural immunity to in the womb), they're lucky if they live to be 5. Speaking of offspring, that brings us to our next section.
There are indeed plenty of birth control products out there. Everything from birth control pills to condoms to surgically implanted birth control devices have been put out there as means of keeping the possibility of having an illegitimate child to a minimum. However, there's a clear issue here: None of those methods are ever 100% accurate at preventing illegitimate pregnancies. The only way to be 100% sure you're never going to have a child out of wedlock is to not have sex until wedlock. Condoms can tear, and when they tear, yup, you've just given semen free reign to leak into the vaginal cavity and merge with an egg to form a child. Likewise, birth control pills can wear off... and they only really stop about 50% of the hormones responsible for ovulation anyway. Surgically implanted devices, although they are 99% accurate, are still costly and there's still a chance they can come loose, causing extreme pain, yes, and pregnancy. When that does happen, there's a financial burden: how is that child going to be fed? How many diapers are you going to need to buy? A whole lot... which can total thousands of dollars per child. You say you have a choice to abort that child? That's tantamount to saying that you have a choice to commit genocide: it's not a democratic choice, it's a totalitarian one, committed out of, yes, terminological hypocrisy all around. Don't have sex in the first place, and you won't feel a need to make that choice.
Ever wonder what makes stimulant drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine so addictive? They inhibit the enzymes that break dopamine down, resulting in excess dopamine being released throughout the nervous system. Well, guess what? Excess dopamine is also released during sexual arousal, according to a scientific study. Excess dopamine overwhelms ― and decreases the number of ― dopamine receptors. Regardless of what the source of that excess dopamine is, there's still excess dopamine. The result? You create a scenario that makes sex just as addictive as cocaine. Once you start, you can't stop. It becomes a habit... a habit that spreads STDs, gets people illegitimately pregnant, and, yes, kills.
So, that's it for the consequences of lust ― which is clearly the sin behind abortion/gay activism all around. The driving force is clearly the sin of lust, just lurking, waiting to corrupt the world and bring it to its doom. Treating it with activist mentality is treating it with the absolute wrong light, besides: instead of getting rid of the problem, they go and make the problem worse. Little do they realize, lust has a way of striking back, like a mousetrap with bait on it, just waiting to spring on them.
02 October, 2014
29 September, 2014
Original post commences below.
Normally I don't call out people's names, but this name is one of particular interest: As many of you have heard, I successfully got YouVersion's Android app working on my Chromebook... and, of course, posted about it. This morning. A full 8 hours ago. After the whole day was nearly spent and it was almost midnight, some atheist bigot by the name of Tanner Hoyt (possibly a college student from the UK ― go figure) commented on that post in an attempt to start a fight. Well, no surprise: He couldn't even say one sentence without using a profane word to describe my accomplishment. So, I responded with copied text from this post along with a link to it. Again, no dice: A second reply was made, and this time, the entire paragraph he posted was literally 50% profanity... and ironically enough, the last words of this comment, directed towards a person whose vocabulary is 10 times as educated as his, was "get an education." Get the hypocritical picture here?
That right there is probably the single worst example of atheist hypocrisy I can possibly use. Do educated people use profanity? EVER? No. Profanity is from the streets, not from science or academia. What scientists and professors use are large, complex words and acronyms like the ones I often, if not always, use. We're talking about some gang-banger here who has the nerve to call someone out, and seeing this guy's profanity, you can be darn sure I was laughing my head off at him the whole time. Had this guy been using the same common sense that academics and scientists actually use, well, this discussion would have never gotten to the point of blocking. Anyhow, that's just what happened: those atheists who call people fools and yet hypocritically act immaturely, using street language instead of academic language, are those who are, when they cross my path, most likely to get reported to Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and just about every other social network I have an account on as hate speech accounts. So, it's done. Problem solved.
Then again, even if this idiot is banned from every social network in the world, well, he's still the same person. He kept calling the Holy Spirit this "imaginary deity" in a circular fashion (ah, circular reasoning... another thing academic atheists call fallacious, and yet look at this idiocy) and of course lacing those statements with more profanity to make himself look even more immature. While the Judeo-Christian God certainly cannot be seen nor heard, you can be 100% sure, from personal experience, His presence can be felt. I had just such an experience with fellow believers on a church retreat this past summer.
Saturday, June 28, 2014. Big Bear Lake, CA. Activity: Action Zipline. This was my first time being on any ziplining adventure... and of course, being a first-timer, I was indeed freaking out. There was a sway bridge at the top, with planks spaced 6 inches apart, draped 200 feet above the already 9000-foot-high mountain slope, that was indeed enough to freak anyone out... but of course, that was the least of my worries. The only brakes we had, for slowing down so we don't crash into the poles when we transitioned from one platform to the next, were a pair of thick leather gloves. Tap too lightly and you won't stop in time. Tap (or grab) too hard, and you come to an abrupt stop so quickly that your arm feels like it's coming off. It was risky business, and of course, it was enough to freak any first-timer out. So, wait, what went on? Instead of getting too agitated, I began to pray.
That's when everything changed: The minute, the MINUTE I started praying, a slight breeze began to blow. Hello! If this were only a "natural" breeze without any divine intervention, the wind would have free reign to blow whenever it felt like it. Instead, here's the key point: it was blowing as I was praying! The fact that I pray and as my prayer is being said, the wind happily dances to my prayer's tune cannot possibly be mere coincidence, not in the least bit. In the Pentecost story (Acts 2:1-4), before any "tongues of fire" appear, there's that very same phenomenon: a wind picks up. It's far more violent in that account, but it's still the same thing: that wind, that's the very presence of the Holy Spirit comforting me in that environment of fear as I was praying. If it weren't for that soft, gentle, divine whisper of encouragement, which motivated me to finish the job, it's likely I wouldn't have made it down without needing to be airlifted. Well, all I've got to say is, thank the Father, thank the Son, and thank the Holy Spirit that it didn't get that far.
As another example, during the winter of 2011-12, there was a time when I was in a similarly wild area: a two-lane road, which happened to pass right near the Serrano Creek wilderness trail in Lake Forest, CA. I was living in an apartment complex very close to the wildland-urban interface at the time (didn't move to Mission Viejo until the following fall), and to walk to the OCTA bus stop to go to school, I had to walk down a stretch of that two-lane road that runs right through a section of the protected wilderness area that Serrano Creek runs through. That winter, however, I was being given mixed messages about the educational situation I was in, and the only thing I could do at the time was pray about it as I walked. So I did.
As I was praying, I must admit, I tried my absolute hardest not to break down in tears, being a guy (and as the whole "philosophy of the world", as my pastor puts it, says, men never cry... ah, but then again, Jesus sure did, and that tends to throw that claim right out the window), yet still came dangerously close to doing so. Well, suddenly, those tears of sorrow were about to become tears of joy. Why? What I was praying for was guidance. I was praying out of gratitude, that because of Him, I wasn't that angry, emotional short-fuse I used to be... and as soon as those tears of joy came out, so too did the rain fall.
Again, there's a pattern here: if the God I was praying to wasn't real, would He be crying those same tears of joy that I was? No! Yet that's exactly what was happening. It was Romans 12:15 in action... from the divine perspective, of course. And as I continued to rejoice and those tears of joy continued to come out, the rain fell harder, and harder, and harder, until suddenly it became an outright downpour of this water from the heavens. Eventually, this downpour, which I was constantly rejoicing in, knowing that it was indeed divine intervention that was causing it, got so powerful that it caused some mud to slide down the hill behind me... at which point I was already high up the hill, almost at the bus stop, and of course, the rain let up as I got on the bus... so when I finally got back home, the mudslide failed to cross the road, and thus failed to cause any road hazards. It was a never-ending feedback of this awesome experience of feeling the presence of the God that the atheists would rather deny than experience for themselves. Talk about missing out on what true fun really is.
That brings us right back to the profanity. I can talk about these experiences, why? Because they are indeed ones I had first-hand. And notice how I don't use a single shred of profanity to describe the atheists the way they describe the God I worship? By abstaining from profanity use and resorting to the off-the-chart vocabulary, which was at college-level when I was a mere freshman in high school, I am not only claiming to be more educated than the person I'm arguing with, but also, here's the key, acting just as professional as I claim to be. I, along with nearly all truly moral Christians, clearly have an advantage over these immature bigots, by actually walking the walk in the argument and setting an example of how an educated person should act. That's something that someone who uses profanity-laced ad hominem attacking someone's perceived education level can absolutely never do. So, let's ignore, block, and report them, shall we? They're absolutely not worth the trouble... even if they end up rotting in hell because of the trouble they often put us through.
Speaking of hell, there was an atheist of the same type as Tanner ― you know, that immature, dirty-mouthed type ― who, according to a near-death experience that he claims he had, literally went to hell and back. His name? Howard Storm, a graduate art professor, and, yes, devout atheist. He was a man who was always willing to let his anger get the better of him instead of learn how to control it... and being an atheist, he thought he could make up whatever morals he wanted to. Then, he took a trip to Paris in 1985. He downed a bunch of alcohol and food, and what did he end up with? A gastrointestinal perforation, spilling stomach acid into his abdominal cavity, that ended up making him temporarily flatline. He claims he felt his spirit literally lifting away from his body, and, perhaps most significantly, he claims he saw the body that he was being pulled away from, along with his crying ex-wife next to his bed. Then, he claims to have heard voices calling his name. They kept calling him forth, and he thought they were surgeons... but there was no surgery; all they got to was a cold, damp space, and he refused. That's when he claims there was a hellishly multiplied version of an MS-13 initiation ritual: biting, kicking, punching, every possible attack from all sides that he could have imagined... until he thought back to his childhood, and prayed.
Suddenly, he claims a bright beam of light dispersed those demonic attacking beings, and in an instant, he begins to get a lesson. He claims to have gone on to meet Him who he prayed to, and claims that guardian angels began to reveal to him that his achievements on Earth meant absolutely nothing. He was, according to his claims, commanded to go back and change people's lives and love them unconditionally. Suddenly, he ended up back in the hospital bed, alive and well... literally almost the equivalent of a modern-day resurrection story. Well, I've got news for those who direct anger at Christians: Do you want to end up in hell like Professor Storm? No? Then get your act together. Because dirty mouths directed against Christians in an ad hominem fashion deserve dirty punishment.
22 September, 2014
So, there you have it. Climate change is a warning. It's divine punishment for greed. Actually, wait, it's not even that, it's the very "self-imposed punishment" that our Eastern Orthodox brothers and sisters have been talking about all along. It's hard scientific evidence that without God, without moral order, without a law above all laws, without a king above all kings, we're nothing. Hopefully it's not too late for that, but even if it is too late, well, might as well brace yourselves for what kind of tribulation will follow this pursuit of materialism. These are the last days, my friends...
28 August, 2014
Hurricane Marie: The El-Niño-Amplifying, Trade-Wind-Disrupting, Monsoon-Trough-Diverting Wave Machine
I was watching those effects at Strands Beach in Dana Point yesterday, Wednesday, August 27, 2014. Even on Strands, a west-facing beach, mind you, the waves were STILL powerful enough to cause beach flooding, transforming a good 20-foot-by-10-foot section of sandy beach shelf into a swamp. I watched as wads of giant kelp drifted from south to north at 5, 10, even as fast as 15mph at times with the Marie-driven longshore current. At The Wedge, a famous surfing spot in Newport Beach that amplifies incoming surf, 35-foot waves were reported... and that was also a west-facing beach (well, technically, SW-facing). Thanks to the west-facing nature of both Newport and (especially) Huntington Beaches, another powerful longshore current stretched from there, past Huntington, and shoved water into the shallow Palos Verdes Bight. The powerful longshore current, combined with a rising tide, a broad continental shelf, and 20-plus-foot waves which in that south-facing area were straight on, created a far-field storm surge that inundated low-lying Seal Beach, up to several miles inland. Further north, Malibu Pier suffered extensive support pylon damage and still remains closed... and beyond that, in Point Mugu, a historic lifeguard headquarters building ― the Cove House ― was literally washed into the ocean by the massive waves.
The longshore current dragged north by those waves also dragged massive amounts of warm El Niño waters with it. Enough to easily increase the sea surface temperatures off SoCal by several degrees. On top of that, at peak intensity, Marie also did a lot to re-boost the El Niño development. Here, see if this picture is telling enough:
That's an atmospheric river, feeding into Marie from the west-southwest, when the storm was at peak intensity, on Sunday. One powerful enough to disrupt 2000+ miles of trade winds, allowing more warm El Niño waters to make their way eastward toward Mexico ― yes, and also California. On top of that, Marie also ― naturally ― strengthened the Tehuantepecer, but due to Marie's blocking mechanism, the convergence zone created by the Tehuantepecer couldn't flow due west the way it normally wants to. No, it was forced to curve north and shove even more warm water into southern California:
The evidence for that can be found in the way the convergence zone manifests itself: Note how instead of converging further to the south the way they normally do, the storms ― and, by extension, winds ― of the American Monsoon Trough are abnormally converging very close to land masses and squirting more warm water northward. The Monsoon Trough, let's be clear, is absolutely critical to the strength of the Pacific Trade Winds as they are normally. Now, however, it's being diverted up the coast, and we Californians are now directly in its path.
Not only can this prolong the El Niño to lengths never before seen, but it may end up completely changing the entire climate of the East Pacific basin on a permanent basis, by disrupting the already-weak California Current and even, in the worst case, completely circumnavigating the Pacific and reversing the equatorial currents entirely. It would be pretty disastrous if that actually happens, to say the least...
26 August, 2014
Then, on Sunday (go figure), August 24, 2014 at 3AM, the heart of wine country ― Napa ― experiences a magnitude-6.0 earthquake. The ground shaking lasts 20 seconds, mostly as a result of the deep soils that give Napa its awesome grape-growing ability. Scores of unreinforced masonry wineries collapse. Downtown Napa ― which happened to have hosted a wine festival the night before, in which I'm pretty darn sure a lot of people got drunk because of ― suffers extensive damage, since downtown Napa, with its historic buildings built in the 1920's and 1930's, is loaded with quake-prone unreinforced masonry construction practices. Grocery stores loaded with ― no surprise ― scores of fragile wine bottles have aisle collapses and become littered with alcoholic beverages all over the floor. Wine barrels fall onto floors and become crushed by collapsing URMs, at which point millions of gallons of wine spill. Fires break out at ruptured gas mains, and broken water mains hinder efforts to fight them. Governor Jerry Brown declares a state of emergency in Napa, and as of Tuesday, August 26, 2014, aftershocks continue to rattle the area.
Let's hope people realize what the stakes are here. They can deny God all they want, they can keep complaining that religion is the opium of the masses, that Christians, Jews, Muslims, etc. are responsible for all the violence in the world... but just as it came back to bite Howard Storm in the liver, kidneys, yes, and, temporarily, soul, you can be darn sure it's going to bite the rest of the atheist world in places they sure don't want it either. It happened in Indonesia. It's happening right now, right here in California. What's next?
19 August, 2014
2014-15 El Niño: 'Supermoon' + eclipses + 'King Tides' + unstable Pacific sea level imbalance = recipe for a big one
In 1997, the same thing happened: all the Atlantic hurricanes stopped forming in August. Nothing. Meanwhile, the East Pacific hurricane season continued well past that. It was in September when the most powerful product of the season occurred, one that was, so far, our closest modern call to a repeat of 1939: Hurricane Linda. At peak intensity, Hurricane Linda's sustained winds were clocked at a whopping 185mph ― the strongest hurricane in East Pacific history, and it too was fueled by warm El Niño waters. Most importantly, however, Linda, Rick, Amanda, Cristina, Norman, Kathleen, yes, and Marie all took similar paths through the same rapid deepening keyhole, one that puts the storms dangerously close to a jet that, if aimed at California the way it was with Norman (and again with Marie, by the looks of it), can easily turn near-misses into direct hits.
08 August, 2014
2014-15 (and possibly beyond) El Niño: Eddies of Superheated Water Are Evidence of Weakening California Current
Looking at the SST anomaly map (that is, the departure from average SST), we find that these swirling masses of storm food start to get progressively more striking the closer to this side of the Pacific they get:
Those whirling vortices of superheated seawater, should I say it again, are by far the biggest piece of evidence I can possibly find and throw out there that can possibly support my explanation of why the scientists think the El Niño is weakening when it really isn't: that the El Niño waters have simply found a back door around the trade winds, instead of being forced to bore into them the way they normally would. Wait, there's got to be a reason why the waters have found this back door, right? In fact, there is: That back door for the El Niño is even more evidence to add to that which I found back in February that seemed to suggest the unthinkable: a weakening California Current due to none other than climate change.
So, wait, how can climate change do that? The ocean currents are all technically density currents. Warm water floats, less-saline water floats, cold water sinks, more saline water sinks, and the Coriolis effect does a profound job at affecting the oceans just as much as it does the air, thus making the currents stronger. That effect is called the thermohaline circulation. Some currents ― for example, the Gulf Stream, the Kuroshio Current, the Mediterranean density current, and the Gulf of California density outflow — are comprised of warm water that is, thanks to evaporation, more saline ― and, thus, denser ― than the surrounding water. This causes it to downwell when it reaches its target, sucking more warm water in from behind.
Cold currents, like the California and Labrador Currents, have the exact opposite effect: icebergs break off Alaskan and Greenlandic glaciers, supercooling and, most importantly, desalinating the water. By desalinating the water, you make it less dense and more buoyant. This coaxes the water to upwell toward the surface, and, by extension, forces it to flow southward towards the saltier, denser, and warmer tropical waters, dragging more cold, buoyant, less-saline subsurface water toward the surface as it flows southward. Recently, however, the glaciers that once broke apart as icebergs off Alaska, the heart of the California Current's cold, buoyant water, have retreated to almost nothing. Remember, those pics are from over a year ago. Since then, we saw even more evidence that seems to suggest that it may already be too late to stop the inevitable. It definitely seems a critical point has been reached.
What is that critical point, exactly? If all that Alaskan ice disappears (most of it already has, which is likely why the RRR became so well-defined), the warm, highly saline waters of the Kuroshio Current would have free reign to invade Alaska. When that superheated, highly saline water hits land, it gets coaxed to downwell from the surface to the abyss. Since it also flows right past the Gulf of Alaska prior to striking land, when that water flows back around the Gulf of Alaska as it downwells, the cyclonic rotation in the downwelling ends up creating a whirlpool effect that sucks water toward it from the south. Since it is in the Northern Hemisphere and rotates counter-clockwise, this massive whirlpool of warm water begins to actually suck more warm water right up the California coast toward it. The result? You've just created a scenario where the Davidson Current completely replaces the California Current ― a truly perpetual El Niño.
The equatorial currents, meanwhile, are kind of anomalous in the fact that they're pretty much independent of the thermohaline circulation, because they're not driven by salinity or by water temperature. No, they're wind-driven. The Trade Winds (which, ironically enough, are a phenomenon that is also likely to keep weakening as the planet warms: since greenhouse gases superheat the polar regions 6 times faster than they do the equator, they reduce the pressure gradient from the poles to the mid latitudes to the equator, weakening the trade winds) create a kind of setdown effect that shoves all that water westward. Normally, the upwelling outflow associated with the California and Humboldt Currents would be strong enough to help the Trade Winds out and contribute to that shoving, piling up the sea level to unusual highs near Asia and unusual lows near the Americas, until finally, gravity takes over, and all that water rushes back as a Kelvin wave.
That's not what's happening however. By contributing enough to climate change, in the form of CO2 emissions (thanks, oil companies: this is your own sinful, greedy, avaricious, hubristic desire to out-rich everyone that brought us into this climatic hell on earth) that have since gone on to trigger the release of Arctic methane, to allow the California Current to weaken, mankind has inadvertently created a back door for those El Niño waters to simply flow around the Trade Winds and find a more northerly route back across the Pacific. With less upwelling to hold the water back (especially to the north), the water now has free reign to flow towards Mexico and fuel major East Pacific hurricanes like Marie that go on to disrupt the already weak Trade Winds. The result? A double whammy: catastrophic suppression of Alaskan glacial melt-induced upwelling + catastrophic weakening of the trade winds due to global warming (and, by extension, global deepening) = recipe for disaster as far as prolonging El Niño is concerned.