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Table of Contents
Interview with Jeff Masters 3
Volunteer Spotlight 5
Theories of Our Changing Climate 7
Conferences and Events 9
2010 AMS Forum 11
20th Century Reanalysis Project 13
Strip Chart Recorders 14
The Weather Research & Forecasting Model 15
AMS Conference Summary 16
Historic Climate Data Helps Wildfire Managers 17
The Effects of the Oceans Warming 18
Getting to the Source of Greenhouse Gases 19
IEDRO News 22
Managing Editors Writing Staff
Pennell Paugh Andrea Kobeszko
Andrea Kobeszko Pennell Paugh
IEDRO Managing Officers Gavin Roy
Janet Sansone, Chair, Board of Directors Carmen Lee
Dr. Richard Crouthamel (D.Sc.), Executive Kevin Tsai
Director Woo Yun
Larry Nicodemus, Manager, Technology Teddy Allen
Pennell Paugh, Manager, Public Relations Virginie Noel
Susan Callis, Manager, Operations Anita Dotson
Interpreters Graphic Designers
Andrea Fudge Pennell Paugh
Carolina Meza Tejaswini Lakkundi
Jeff Brodinski Judy Harter
Miriam Munoz Scientific Reviewers
Monica Vilpors Antonia Rosati
Shane Abeare James Avery
Virginie Noel Kristin Nicole
Tejaswini Lakkundi Teddy Allen
HTML Email Design and Mailing
With Jeff Masters
By Andrea Kobeszko
Director of Meteorology and Co-founder/Manager of The Weather Underground,
found at: www.wunderground.com. Jeff Master has taught weather forecasting to
undergraduates in New York, joined the Hurricane Hunters as a flight meteorologist
for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Aircraft Operations
Center, and was awarded the 2006 Merit Award as the Alumnus of the year from the
University of Michigan’s Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences Department. He
currently resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan with his wife and daughter.
Q: Tell us about the Weather Underground website, what led you to co-found it in
1995, and how it evolved into the nation's first online weather service.
A: In 1991, while working under the direction of my Ph.D. advisor Perry Samson at
the University of Michigan, I wrote a menu-based telnet interface as a class project
that displayed real-time weather information around the world. By 1992, the two
servers my system used were rattling off their desks as "um-weather" became the
most popular service on the Internet.
In 1993, Perry and I recruited Jeff Ferguson and Alan Steremberg to help build a
system to bring Internet weather into K-12 classrooms. Chris Schwerzler joined Alan
in his work on the Mac gopher client, "Blue Skies," which won numerous awards for
its interactive imagery and text information. In the interest of expanding "Blue Skies"
to other platforms, Dave Brooks, author of the Windows "WS Gopher" client,
developed "Blue Skies for Windows" in 1994. The growing Internet weather program
was given the name Weather Underground, a reference to the 1960's radical group
that also originated at the University of Michigan, which had taken its name from the
lyrics to Bob Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues, "You don't need a weather man
to know which way the wind blows."
In late spring of 1995, the World Wide Web went commercial, and we were
encouraged by both the National Science Foundation and the University of Michigan
to make our educational project self-sustaining. The Weather Underground, Inc. was
born. We began developing custom weather sites for TV stations and Internet portals,
and began paying ourselves from our revenues a year after incorporating.
Q: You previously participated in field programs studying acid rain in Northeast U.S.
and air pollution in Detroit. Did your findings influence your decision to found
A: No, founding the company was not something I was pushing for; I wanted to stay a
research scientist and just do Internet weather as a hobby. My business partners were
the ones who pushed formation of the company. (Cont'd. on p. 4)
www.IEDRO.org 3 Mar/Apr 2010
Q: You co-wrote much of the software for Weather beautiful or relevant weather
Underground, which incorporates and formats raw phenomena, and we now have a
National Weather Service data used on the website. database of over 1 million user-
The company's technology has been called state-of- uploaded "wunderphotos." There
the-art. Do you feel largely responsible for Weather are also several hundred user
Underground's innovative program? blogs, over 1,000 webcams
showing the weather, and about
A: No, I give credit to Alan Steremberg and Chris 10,000 personal weather stations
Schwerzler, our University of Michigan-trained that send us data. I write a daily
computer science graduates, for our innovative weather/climate change blog that
software. They are both incredible programmers. is probably the most widely-read
They wrote the zip code search and "weather sticker" weather blog on the Internet.
software that were huge innovations which our major
competitors then copied. Q: Care to weigh in on the
Q: Thousands of international users contribute local controversial climate change or
observations from personal weather stations to global warming theories?
Weather Underground. How did you amass such a A: I support the conclusions of the
following? U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel
A: Our "weather stickers" helped do that. By giving on Climate Change (IPCC).
away a free little widget anyone can put on a However, I believe they did not
webpage that gives the current time and temperature, go far enough in emphasizing the
but takes users to our website when clicked on, we dangers of sea level rise, which
quickly built up a large audience. We're now the 65th could be far greater than they
largest site on the Internet in terms of U.S. audience, acknowledged in their 2007
according to Quancast.com, with 15 million unique report.
users per month and 10 million page views per day.
With a large audience like that, we naturally attract Q: Have you heard of IEDRO and
many personal weather station owners that want to what we do? What do you think
contribute their data. of our mission?
A: Yes, you have a great mission,
Q: Weather Underground delivers custom-designed and I've been a donor for a
weather page solutions to business and media clients, number of years.
yet you continue to serve free online weather
information to millions of web users. Why continue Q: Why do you feel rescuing and
this free service? digitizing old weather records are
A: Weather data is important enough to society that it important?
should be free. Plus, we attract more people that way, A: It's very important to
and end up making about as much money as if we understand what the climate of the
made it a paid service. past has been to understand what
portion of today's weather is
Q: Would you give our readers an overview of the natural variability, and what
website's features? portion may be due to climate
A: What is unique about wunderground.com is our change. With this knowledge, we
community of users. The users of the site are active can better prepare for the climate
participants in making the site better. For example, of the future.
users upload over 600 digital photos per day of
Mar/Apr 2010 4 www.IEDRO.org
By Pennell Paugh
Q: You joined IEDRO awareness of life in other countries.
last summer. How did
you hear about our My interests are travelling, computing, genealogy, reading and photography. I am
organization? working in the English Language Unit in the Faculty of Science, Kuwait
University, and teach English and low-level computing to the students there.
A: I heard about
IEDRO through a friend A: When I first started teaching, I lived in Iran and then moved to Qatar. I have
who met Dr. been in Kuwait for nearly 15 years and it feels like a second home. People say that
Crouthamel and the idea once you have lived in a Gulf country, you have sand in your shoes and that even
of IEDRO caught my if you leave, you will always want to come back. This is definitely true for me.
imagination. I thought The Kuwaitis are warm and hospitable, and there is such a mix of other
that perhaps I could nationalities here that it has its own small United Nations. I love the desert,
volunteer in one of the camels, palm trees and the colors of the Arabian Gulf. There is always something
countries that IEDRO interesting to see here.
works in. I have long Q: Are you finding your students in Kuwait to be environmentally concerned and
summer holidays and aware?
would like to do
something useful in A: The Kuwaitis are very environmentally concerned, especially the younger ones.
them. Nearly every day I find out about new organizations that have been set up to
protect coral, dolphins, turtles, domestic animals and the environment. Young and
Q: Tell us a little about not so young people go out to clean up reefs, pick up litter off the beaches, and
yourself, your help endangered or injured animals.
profession and your
interests. Q: Since you joined us, you have been a constant source of ideas and networking
opportunities. You seem to be passionate about the environment and education.
A: I am a Scot and was Tell us a little about your goals and ambitions in this area.
born near Loch Ness in
Scotland. I started A: I am a member of a group called “Webheads;” a group of teachers from around
teaching English as a the world. The organization provides a constant source of new ideas about
Foreign Language in the programs and international projects. Every day, someone somewhere comes up
70s and have lived and with new ideas for the rest of the group to explore. Since I am connected to all of
worked all over the them, it makes the world feel much smaller. If one person asks for help or
world as a teacher, information, the others chip in with ideas.
including Japan, I have travelled a lot and know that we are all interconnected. The concerns of
Malaysia, Iran, and the someone in Mali, for example, are similar to those in Kuwait, e.g. having
Gulf countries. As part somewhere to live, having enough money to live on and being able to look after
of my first degree, I his or her family. Climate change affects us all. I find it very strange that the
studied languages, outside temperature at home in Scotland can change by about 5 degrees in a few
geography and geology hours, and that Kuwait has terrible dust storms that it didn’t have a few years ago.
and emigrated to
(Cont'd on p. 6)
of the world, so I have
had a very early
www.IEDRO.org 5 Mar/Apr 2010
(Cont'd from p. 5)
We must educate the young so that they learn to look after our fragile planet. My
students travel a lot too, are computer savvy, and some of them are concerned enough to
do something to help other people, animals and the environment. Sometimes they just
need to be pointed in the right direction to encourage them to make a difference.
Q: Is there a way that IEDRO could connect with your environmentally passionate
A: The people who are volunteers with IEDRO are obviously concerned about the
environment too. I’d be happy to ask my students to help with IEDRO’s work.
Q: You are planning to showcase IEDRO at a Carnival in May. Tell us about the
Carnival and how you came to be involved.
A: We are holding an English Carnival on the May 3, 2010 for our students in the
Faculty of Science in Kuwait University. The students will have various activities and
IEDRO to Appear
at English competitions, including the best PowerPoint presentation, the best short story and the
Carnival, Kuwait best acrostic poem about the environment. Last year we had about 40 booths with guests
University from various organizations in Kuwait, including the Red Crescent (the Arab equivalent
of the Red Cross), Dar Al-Athar Al-Islamiyaah, an organization that showcases Arabic
IEDRO is pleased art and philosophy, organizations teaching English, and ones that sent the students
to announce our abroad to study. Our guest speaker was a Kuwaiti who had climbed Mount Everest and
participation at a some of the highest peaks in the world. This year we have invited two Kuwaitis, one
carnival event, recently completed a trip around the world on a motorbike and a volunteer who is going
to kayak around Iceland to draw the world’s attention to environmental issues.
other We are trying to make the students aware of voluntary opportunities with charity
organizations, organizations or ones that are interested in the environment, as well as educating them
Monday, May 3, about art and the museums in Kuwait.
2010. The English
Carnival will be English Day has been held for about 3 years in a row, with activities for the students.
organized by the Last year we enlarged the Carnival by inviting local organizations. It was a lot of fun. I
English Language got involved because I am working in the English Language Unit.
Unit, Faculty of
Science at Kuwait Q: Do you have any personal plans you’d like to share?
University. Dot A: My biggest plan is to visit as many countries as possible. So far I have reached about
McKenzie will be 100.
IEDRO. Thank you, Also, I hope that I can continue to be useful to IEDRO and would like to visit the
Dot. IEDRO office or one of your data rescue sites. The people I have met here have a lot of
connections and contacts around the world. I will continue to help you connect with
others who might be able to help you with whatever you need.
Thanks for talking with us. IEDRO is grateful for all you’ve done for our organization.
We hope you will continue with us far into the future.
Mar/Apr 2010 6 www.IEDRO.org
By Gina Connelly responsible for keeping Europe and the
northeastern coast of North America
relatively warm. The Gulf Stream is
part of a larger system of ocean
currents known as The Great
The Conveyor Belt brings warm
surface waters from the South Atlantic
into the northern Atlantic. Here, the
warm water evaporates and cools
leaving behind cold, salty water. The
cold dense water sinks to the bottom of
the ocean floor and flows south around
Africa and into the Indian Ocean. The
outflow of cold water causes the
Atlantic sea level to be lower than that
Amid talk of global warming and of the Indian Ocean and Pacific,
greenhouse gases, the Northern causing warm surface water from the
Hemisphere has been experiencing Pacific to flow back into the southern
record cold temperatures on a Atlantic and up towards Greenland
By: Gina widespread scale. The sudden again.
change in temperature has led If enough cold, fresh water from
scientists to question how we could melting glaciers and polar ice caps is
be experiencing abrupt cooling in introduced into the Conveyor Belt, it
the middle of a warm period. One of will disrupt and potentially shutdown
the contributors may very well be this naturally-occurring system. Once
global warming itself. While we are the Gulf Stream no longer brings warm
familiar with the highly publicized water into the northern Atlantic, it will
effects of global warming, such as take less than three years for any
increased sea levels and intensified residual heat in the ocean to dissipate.
storm systems, it is less known that
global warming could eventually Ice cores analyzed from Greenland
lead to a phase of severe cold in the have confirmed that weather variations
Northern Hemisphere. between ice-age-like weather and
warmer weather occurred over a
Record cold temperatures could be nominal 2-3 year period. The sudden
the result of the melting polar ice shift between climates correlates to the
caps and glaciers, which have been amount of time the effects would be
accelerated by global warming. The felt from a Great Conveyor Belt
introduction of large amounts of shutdown. Summer would disappear
cold, fresh water into the northern completely for Europe and
Atlantic Ocean could shutdown the northeastern North
Gulf Stream, which is partly
(Cont‘d on p. 8)
www.IEDRO.org 7 Mar/Apr 2010
Theories of Our Changing Climate
(Cont’d from p 7)
Volunteers Sought America. If summer ceases in the north, the Another contributor to cooling of
for New CCIC
rainy season along the equator could fail as well. the Northern Hemisphere is the
Drought and famine would then grip the tropics. phenomenon of global dimming, a
The American In all, nearly 2 billion people would be affected reduction in solar energy reaching
Meteorological Society and face death or relocation. the Earth’s surface. This
Commission on the Some scientists argue that a transition to colder phenomena is the result of particle
Weather and Climate pollution in the atmosphere that
temperatures may be the result of natural cycles
Enterprise (CWCE) and blocks sunlight and changes the
its Board on Enterprise
in sea surface temperatures, rather than man-
made influences. The cycles, known as multi- composition of the clouds. In a
Communication (BEC) clean environment, water vapor
are seeking volunteers decadal oscillations (MDOs), affect air
adheres to naturally occurring
to serve on a new temperatures and rainfall. Atlantic and Pacific
airborne particles, such as pollen
committee currently MDOs move together and have the ability to
being established: the switch the world’s climate between warming and and sea salt. The droplets of water
Committee on Climate cooling periods in 20-30 year cycles. form clouds that eventually fall to
Change-Improving the ground as rain. Polluted air, on
Communication Professor Mojib Latif of the United Nation’s the other hand, contains more
(CCIC). Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change particulate matter, including ash and
The CCIC com- believes that as much as 50% of the warming we soot, which offer ten times more
mittee’s mission will be saw from 1989 to 2000 was due to MDOs. The binding sites for water vapor. The
to foster greater cycles have now reversed, causing a cooling clouds that form from this mix are
understanding among mode where we are likely to experience cooler capable of holding more water and
members of the summers and colder winters. This period of reflecting more sunlight back into
weather, water, and
cooling is expected to last at least 20 years, in space. This in turn cools the oceans
climate community on
which time Latif says the glaciers will stop and affects global rainfall.
warming. The CCIC retreating.
Global dimming was first
committee will provide Professor Anastasios Tsonis of the University of recognized by a team of researchers
forums, which will Wisconsin Atmospheric Sciences Group who were helping to develop a
believes that all the major changes in world national irrigation system in Israel
meetings, for open and
respectful discussion of
temperatures during the 20th and 21st centuries during the 1960s. The project
these diverging views. can be attributed to natural oscillations. Melting involved studying the amount of
If you would like to glaciers characterized the warm mode of the solar energy over the country.
volunteer to serve on 1920s while the cold mode era between 1940 When the study was reevaluated 20
the CCIC Committee, and 1970 saw cooling temperatures despite a years later, it was found that solar
please respond-all to steady increase in CO2 levels as industrialization energy over Israel had decreased by
this e-mail message grew. Tsonis also points out that 56% of the 22%. While the statistic seemed
with a brief statement United States was covered in snow at the start of drastic in an era of global warming,
describing your 2010, an occurrence that hasn’t happened since other independent studies conducted
interest in and
the last cold period. While Professors Latif and worldwide confirmed the trend.
thoughts about the
mission of this
Tsonis do not deny climate change is influenced Between the years of 1950-1990,
committee. by human activity, Latif estimates that as much solar energy had decreased by 9%
as 50% of the warming experienced in the later in Antarctica, 10% in the USA,
part of the 20th century can be attributed to 16% in the British Isles, and 30% in
MDOs; not CO2 levels. Russia. (Cont‘d on p. 12)
Mar/Apr 2010 8 www.IEDRO.org
Conferences and Events
4/12/10 to 4/14/10
BIOMET 7 Conference
Location: Freiburg, Germany
4/13/10 to 4/15/10
Principles and Development of Bio-Inspired
Location: Vienna, Austria
4/26/10 to 4/29/10
Effects on Fish and Fisheries: Forecasting Impacts,
Assessing Ecosystem Responses, and Evaluating
Location: Sendai, Japan
The Undulating Earth: Insights into Orographic
Location: University of Leeds, Leeds
www.IEDRO.org 9 Mar/Apr 2010
Conferences and Events
4/28/10 to 4/29/10
2010 CIWEM's Annual Conference, Water &
Location: Olympia Conference Centre, London
5/2/10 to 5/7/10
European Geosciences Union (EGU), General
Location: Vienna, Austria
5/10/10 to 5/19/10
Assessing Crop Production, Nutrient Management,
Climatic Risk & Environmental Sustainability with
Location: University of Georgia Campus in Griffin,
5/25/10 to 5/29/10
Fourth International Scientific Conference
BALWOIS 2010: Water Observation & Information
System for Decision Support
Location: Republic of Macedonia
Mar/Apr 2010 10 www.IEDRO.org
2010 American Meteorological Society
Public/Private Partnership Forum
April 6 & 7 at the University of California—
Release Washington Center, Washington DC
The Department of
Energy (DOE) and
(NOAA) have jointly
released a Request
(RFI) to gather The American Meteorological Society (AMS), its Commission on the
information from Weather and Climate Enterprise, and its Board on Enterprise Economic
the renewable Development are working with AMS members to advance the ability of the
energy industry Weather, Water, and Climate Enterprise to meet our nation's, and the world's
Weather Enterprise demand for products and services relating to weather, climate, and other
about interest in closely allied fields such as oceanography and hydrology.
participating in a
The agenda is packed with must-see speakers and panelists. Congressional
improve short-term staff will provide an outlook on the Federal Budget and pending legislation.
wind energy They will discuss issues associated with programs and initiatives that may
forecasting. The provide opportunities for attendees. A distinguished panel will provide
RFI can be found at perspectives from representatives of federal agencies. Panel members will
FedConnect at the
look ahead and provide updates on current weather, water, and climate
programs and provide insights on new science initiatives and directions.
nect.net/FedConne The luncheon speaker, Rear Admiral David Titley, is an Oceanographer and
ct/PublicPages/Publ Navigator of the United States Navy.
portunities.aspx Sessions will focus on topics including opportunities and challenges for
renewable energy, public and private sector aspects of climate services, and
regarding the implementation of recommendations regarding a Nationwide Network of
content of this RFI Networks.
must be submitted
through the The AMS Corporate Forum is an open meeting and all interested people are
FedConnect portal. welcome to register. Please note that seating is strictly limited and
Submission registration is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Register at:
included within the http://www.ametsoc.org/MEET/fainst/2010pubprivatepartnerforum.html
text of the RFI.
www.IEDRO.org 11 Mar/Apr 2010
(Cont’d from p. 6)
Dr. David Travis from A four-year study conducted in the Maldives
the University of also suggests that atmospheric pollution is
Wisconsin studied the responsible for global dimming. The North
impact of global Maldives are exposed to air coming from the
dimming on the United industrialized cities of India, while the South
States. In the three days Maldives receive clean air from Antarctica.
following the New York When the atmospheres of the two regions were
attack on 9/11 all air compared, it was found that a 3 kilometer thick
traffic over the United
States had ceased,
layer of particle pollution blanketed the
northern Maldives, causing a 10% reduction in
thereby eliminating the sunlight from reaching the ocean’s surface. Calvin, William H. (1998, January).
vapor trails or contrails The Great Climate Flip-Flop. The
As air pollution from coal burning, automobile Atlantic Monthly. Retrieved from
from aircraft. Travis took
exhaust and factory output continues to rise, so http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/9
advantage of a unique
will the effects of global dimming. Winters 8jan/climate.htm
opportunity and studied
will become longer and harsher. However,
the effect the absence of “Global Dimming.” Horizon. BBC.
visible pollution cannot be reduced without 5 December 2006. Retrieved from
contrails had on
addressing greenhouse gases as well. As http://www.informationclearinghou
observed in Dr. Travis’ study, the removal of se.info/article15809.htm
across the United States.
visible pollution alone will lead to a dramatic
As a form of air Hartmann, Thom (2004, January
temperature increase. While modern advances
30). “How Global Warming May
pollution, vapor trails in technology, such as catalytic converters, Cause the Next Ice Age.”
from aircraft contribute power station scrubbers, and low-sulfur fuels CommonDreams.Org. Retrieved
to blocking solar energy are a good start to confronting the problem, we from
from reaching the must simultaneously tackle the root of both http://www.commondreams.org/vie
planet’s surface. Dr. visible pollution and CO2 emission— the ws04/0130-11.htm
Travis found that the burning of fossil fuel. Rose, David (2010, January 10).
temperature range The Mini Ice Age Starts Here. Mail
Whether recent cold temperatures have been
increased by 1° C in Online. Retrieved January from
influenced by human activity or natural global
three aircraft-free days— http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencet
cycles, a shift in the weather patterns is evident
the largest temperature ech/article-1242011/DAVID-
and the consequences could be dramatic. Our
swing experienced in ROSE-The-mini-ice-age-starts-
preconceived notion of the term “climate here.html
over 30 years. If the
change” has broadened to now include drastic
removal of a single http://www.srh.noaa.gov/jetstream/
pollution source had ocean/images/conveyor.jpg
such a drastic impact in The collection and digitization of historic
such a short time, the weather data (data rescue) on a global scale
elimination of other would greatly help scientists to resolve the
pollution sources could controversy between climate change scenarios.
be catastrophic. The It also would help to piece together a more
Earth would get complete climate prognosis. Scientific leaders
considerably warmer if could then suggest to the world community
the effects of greenhouse what remedies, if any, are available and to
gases were not masked prepare for the future through more accurate www.srh.noaa.gov
by global dimming. long-range forecasts.
Mar/Apr 2010 12 www.IEDRO.org
Estimates by the 20th Century
By: Teddy Allen
Prior to airplanes and weather balloons, meteorologists were restricted to “classic”
methods of measuring surface observations: temperature, atmospheric pressure, as
well as wind speed and direction. Scientists hope to amass weather data back to 1871
(called a super-record). If successful, the super-record will provide insight into
possible long-term climate trends.
20th Century Reanalysis Project is headed by Gil Campo from the National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL)
and the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (which is a joint
project of NOAA and the University of Colorado). The Project hopes to assimilate
available historic meteorological observations with modern era observations to predict
historic events. This poses a daunting challenge, but if successful, the Project should
yield invaluable benefits.
Using only surface air-pressure data, Project scientists are attempting to predict
weather balloon recordings on specific days in the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s. With the help
of modern super-computers, the project’s scientists are analyzing daily atmospheric
highs and lows from a unique weather-reporting station in six-hour intervals. The
computer reduces the variances between actual daily weather observations and
weather readings indicated by surface pressure. It then compares the data and
calculates new values.
Earlier versions of the Project have performed analyses that showed an astonishing
+0.97 correlation between the predictions and that of the actual weather readings.
Scientists hope to improve this correlation by broadening the database to 150 years of
weather observations and surface pressure values.
The Project will enable scientists to test models used to predict accelerated global
warming in the coming decades. The researchers also hope to learn:
The cause of important 20th-century climate events
How today’s climate events compare to past events
The role of human industry in recent weather events
How the 1930’s drought compares with droughts in later years.
www.IEDRO.org 139 Mar/Apr 2010
Strip Chart Recorders
Strip chart recording is a very powerful tool for visualizing changes in a given variable
over a continuous time period, such as fluctuations in temperature. They have been in use
since the late 19th century, when William Henry Bristol first obtained a patent for the
“pressure indicator and recorder” in 1888. Today, strip chart recorders are still widely
UCAR Magazine has used by many companies for a variety of reasons, including monitoring the temperatures
published an article in refrigerators, storage rooms, goods-in-transit, biological materials, manufacturing plants
on IEDRO entitled, and, of course, for monitoring the weather.
“Save the Data.”
Click the link to read Strip chart recorders offer data that digital readouts don't − instant access to trends. People
the article: can immediately see how quickly the data is changing. They can see if it is slowly
climbing or rapidly coming to a plateau. This is a major reason strip chart recorders, real
http://www2.ucar.e and virtual, are used in real-time data for space launch and submarine operation
Although many models of strip chart recorders are available commercially, they all
In April, Toni
function similarly—a long strip of paper is ejected from an opening on the recorder; data
entitled, “Public received from the recorder is relayed to multiple “pens” that draw out the data recordings
Perceptions of continuously on the paper strip—quite similar to how a polygraph machine or
Tsunamis and seismograph works.
Tsunami Warning In addition to their simplicity and low cost, for certain applications strip chart recorders
Signs in Los offer advantages over the more modern electronic data loggers. They provide an
Angeles,” is immediate permanent record of the recorded data that can be easily read and analyzed.
scheduled to debut Real-time analysis of strip chart recorder data allows for the monitoring of critical
in The Front Page,
processes that may require immediate action. For example, by observing spikes in the
Blog of the
output, one can see a particular disturbance caused a drastic change in temperature at a
certain point in time; therefore action must be taken because lives and property may be at
Society found at: stake.
http://blog.ametsoc. Long-Term Meteorological Estimates by
the 20th Century Reanalysis Project
(Cont’d from p. 9 )
A surface input reanalysis for climate applications will begin in 2011. The Project will
use 10 times the computer power to double the resolution. One goal is to quadruple the
resolution which will require thousands of additional processors. Thousands of
processors must be used. To test the higher-resolution project, the researchers will
analyze the destructive 1938 Great Long Island Hurricane. The analysis project is
projected to begin in 2012.
Mar/Apr 2010 14 www.IEDRO.org
By Virginie Noel
The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model is a next-generation,
mesoscale, numerical weather prediction system designed to serve both
operational forecasting and atmospheric research needs.
The WRF system is in the public domain and is freely available for
community use. It is designed to be a flexible, state-of-the-art atmospheric
simulation system that is portable and efficient on available parallel
WRF is suitable for a broad spectrum of applications across scales ranging
from meters to thousands of kilometers.
The effort to develop WRF has been a collaborative partnership among:
The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR),
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National
Centers for Environmental Prediction and the Forecast Systems
The Air Force Weather Agency,
The Naval Research Laboratory,
The University of Oklahoma, and
The Federal Aviation Administration.
WRF allows researchers to conduct simulations using either real data or
idealized configurations. The program has a rapidly growing community
of users and workshops and tutorials are held each year at NCAR.
To learn more about the WRF effort click on the following link:
www.IEDRO.org 15 Mar/Apr 2010
By: Gavin Roy
January 17, 2010 marked the start of the approaching the stand with
90th Annual Meeting of the American questions, or even loudly
Meteorological Society (AMS) in Atlanta, voicing their opinion from
Georgia. The meeting featured fourteen their seats. These dissenters
conferences, ten symposia, and numerous included those in
forums and meetings occurring agreement with the notion
simultaneously over a five-day period in of an anthropogenic (or
the Georgia World Congress Center. human-caused) increase in
Session topics included Air Pollution, global temperature as well
Aerospace Meteorology, Environmental as those in sharp
Satellite Observing Systems, disagreement. Many in
Meteorological Impacts on the New attendance offered views
Energy Economy and Space Weather. that fell somewhere in
between. In an age where
IEDRO’s Executive Director, Rick climate change remains a
Crouthamel, attended the meeting with hot topic, the interaction at
Dr. Ed Root and Larry Nicodemus. Larry the AMS meeting should
gave a presentation on the current not have been surprising,
progress of IEDRO’s strip chart rescue yet the often combative
and digitalization process in numerous conversation was quite an
countries. This presentation seemed well- eye-opener.
received by the audience, who requested
additional information on IEDRO. Larry’s The climate presentations,
presentation will be available on the AMS and their aftermath, served
website in a few weeks. as a reminder to IEDRO
members of the importance
The 22nd Conference on Climate of our ongoing historic data
Variability and Change gained the best rescue projects. Until we
attendance by meteorologists and the can build an accurate
press. Nearly every presentation packed climatological picture of
the conference rooms: every seat taken, our past, we still won’t be
people squeezed shoulder-to-shoulder able to truly understand the
against the side walls. A few unfortunate regional and global
latecomers peered in from outside the terrestrial mechanisms that
entrance doors. This conference also affect Earth's climate now
seemed the most controversial, with and in the future.
several presentations ending with skeptics
Mar/Apr 2010 16 www.IEDRO.org
Historic Climate Data Helps Wildfire
By: Carmen Lee
Larkin, et. al., “Utilizing Climate Information for Smoke Dispersion
Planning.” AMS Meeting of the Interior West Fire Council, Vol. 19, 2005.
To control and reduce wildfire damage, fire managers are sometimes
required to carry out planned burns. Although necessary, the smoke
produced by these fires creates air pollution. To better control harmful
smoke dispersion, an “Air Quality Impacts Planning Tool” (AQUIPT) has
been developed, using historical climate information to determine likely
AQUIPT applies historical climate information to determine likely smoke
hmbeynon.wordpress.com impacts resulting from planned fires. AQUIPT allows users to submit burn
locations from any U.S. region. The tool provides statistical summaries of
past smoke travel patterns from such controlled fires, divided by month or
AQUIPT relies on the BlueSky smoke modeling framework, which
combines emissions, fuel loading models and the CALPUFF dispersion
www.meted.ucar.edu model (an advanced, integrated puff modeling system for the simulation of
atmospheric pollution) with nearly 30 years of weather data across the
U.S. By running the same burn daily throughout a 30-year period,
statistical impact maps are generated that include average and max
concentrations and percent-time impacted.
The AQUIPT tool provides a climatology of dispersion and supports
studies of inter-annual variability in dispersion patterns. By using
BACKPUFF, a reverse-time version of CALPUFF, the climatologically
likely source areas of impacts to various sensitive receptors can be
determined. By studying these dispersion patterns, researchers can better
understand and reduce the impact of controlled burns in specific
www.IEDRO.org 17 Mar/Apr 2010
By Kevin Tsai
Decades of increasing ocean marine food web, a decrease in
temperatures, which reached new its population could cause
record highs in June 2009, is likely to quakes in marine food chains
drive changes to marine life that will be worldwide, causing depleted
hard to ignore. fish stocks in some regions. 
Phytoplankton, microscopic plants that As the oceans continue to
live on the surface of oceans and other warm, people who live in
bodies of water, make up the foundation coastal nations, if they have not
of the marine chain web and process already, are certain to see
over 100 million tons of carbon dioxide changes in the marine life
a day. When ocean currents mix which is relied on for food and
nutrient-rich cold water from below export. While it is impossible
with warmer water on the surface, to know exactly how climate
phytoplankton flourishes. change might affect biological
Unfortunately, rising surface water life, a more global collection of
temperatures reduce the amount of weather data would help us to
mixing that occurs in tropical and sub- better understand changes in
tropical oceans, decreasing climate, and may help us better
phytoplankton production in affected predict and prepare for the
waters by 30% or more.  future. Learn more about
IEDRO’s data rescue efforts at
An experiment conducted by
researchers at the University of
California, Santa Barbara, and the
University of North Carolina at Chapel
Hill suggests that ocean warming could
have severe consequences for all kinds 
of marine life. By exposing http://www.guardian.co.uk/scie
miniaturized ocean ecosystems to warm nce/2006/dec/07/frontpagenew
temperatures, researchers find that s.conservationandendangeredsp
warmer temperatures initially increase ecies
phytoplankton growth, bacteria and
zooplankton; however microscopic
animals that eat phytoplankton spend 
more time feeding, thereby significantly http://www.scientificamerican.
reducing phytoplankton. Since com/article.cfm?id=how-will-
phytoplankton is the foundation of the warmer-oceans-affect-sea-life
Mar/Apr 2010 18 www.IEDRO.org
By: Andrea Kobeszko, Woo Yun & Anita and other bodies of water, water vapor
Dotson also has increased due to human
influence. As levels of other greenhouse
Crucial to life and commonly
gases rise, such as CO2 and methane, the
misunderstood, “Greenhouse gases” are
earth warms, causing further evaporation,
often regarded as a nasty byproduct of the
thus generating large quantities of this
industrial revolution. In truth, greenhouse
gases can and do occur naturally. They
behave much like a blanket over the Earth, Made-Made Sources: Other prevalent
absorbing the infrared radiation emitted greenhouse gases that lack natural
from its surface and keeping us warm. sources include perfluorocarbons (PFCs),
Without greenhouse gases, the earth would sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) and
be 33°C cooler and far less hospitable. chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). These gases
Since the onset of the industrial revolution didn’t exist in 1750, however, 533 parts
in 1750, this effect has skyrocketed. per trillion (ppt) of chlorofluorocarbons
Primarily, human activity has caused high currently reside in the atmosphere. When
concentrations of certain gas emissions to CFC compounds break up in the upper
enter our atmosphere, ultimately giving atmosphere, they cause significant ozone
birth to the “enhanced greenhouse effect.” depletion. Now largely phased out, it will
take many decades for existing CFCs to
Methane, nitrous oxide and water vapor,
completely break down.
are examples of greenhouse gases
occurring via natural processes. Carbon Dioxide: Perhaps the most
infamous, and one of the most significant
Methane: Bacteria which feeds on
of the greenhouse gases, is carbon
organic material, produces methane.
dioxide (CO2). Animals exhale it. The
Artificial sources also generate this gas,
ocean-atmospheric exchange releases
such as landfills, increased irrigation and
CO2 from the ocean surface.
natural gas pipelines, and in much greater
Anthropogenic sources of CO2, mostly
quantities. In 1750, the amount of methane
from burning fossil fuels such as coal and
recorded in the atmosphere was 700 parts
petroleum, have generated a whopping
per billion (ppb). By 1998, that amount
280 ppm increase from 1750 to present.
had risen to 1745 ppb.
A large number of scientists believe this
Nitrous Oxide: Also known as “laughing
CO2 increase, responsible for trapping
gas,” nitrous oxide remains the top ozone
heat from the sun in our atmosphere, has
depleting gas. Natural sources come from
played a significant role in the alleged
soil, however, human use of nitrogen-
global warming phenomena.
based fertilizers, coupled with emissions
from nylon production and the burning of Plants use carbon dioxide during
fossil fuels over the past 150 years, have photosynthesis. A major way to reduce
caused a 15% increase, from 270 ppb to this gas would be to increase plant life;
approximately 315 ppb. however we are depleting our tropical
forests at an unprecedented rate.
Water Vapor: Produced by a natural
process of evaporation from oceans, lakes (Cont on p 20)
www.IEDRO.org 19 Mar/Apr 2010
Getting to the Source of
(Cont from p 19)
Ways to Stomp on Our Carbon
In recent years, experts have coined the term, “carbon footprint,” the measure of
the amount of carbon dioxide released, to loosely describe how individuals create
direct and indirect carbon emissions. Almost everything we do affects this
footprint: turning on a coffee maker, driving a car, buying food or riding on a
passenger jet. Fortunately, individuals can reduce their share of this greenhouse
gas emission by taking simple steps at home, such as:
reusing canvas shopping bags
using recycled products whenever possible
taking shorter showers
buying local products
walking or riding a bicycle for short trips around town.
(Cont on p. 21)
Mar/Apr 2010 20 www.IEDRO.org
Getting to the Source of
(Cont. from p. 20)
Energy efficiency goes hand-in-hand with Sources:
carbon footprint reduction. Web sites like http://lwf.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/clima
www.stopglobalwarming.org offer carbon te/gases.html
calculators that provide dozens of http://environment.nationalgeogra
suggestions for cutting emissions around phic.com/environment/global-
your home. Turning a thermostat down two warming/gw-causes.html
degrees in winter and up two degrees in “Chlorofluorocarbons,”
summer, for example, can save Encyclopedia of the Atmospheric
approximately 2,000 pounds of carbon Environment, 2000,
dioxide and $98 a year. http://www.ace.mmu.ac.uk/eae/G
Click these links to discover additional ways (accessed February 2010)
to reduce your carbon footprint: Wikipedia contributors,
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/TenWay "Greenhouse gas," Wikipedia,
s/story?id=2049304&page=1 The Free Encyclopedia,
to-tech/how-to-reduce-technology-carbon- 341618837 (accessed
http://www.hippygreen.com/2007/05/06/20- “Nitrous Oxide Now Top Ozone-
tips-to-reduce-your-homes-carbon-footprint/ Depleting Emission,” Science
Daily, 28 August 2009,
(accessed February 2010)
“Natural Sources and Sinks of
Carbon Dioxide”, U.S.
http://www.carbonfootprint.com/greywater. Environmental Protection Agency
html website, November 30, 2009,
Long before the birth of mankind,
greenhouse gases have kept the Earth warm.
(accessed February 2010).
There is little dispute, however, that human
activity has greatly increased concentrations
of these gasses in our atmosphere. Scientists
continue to study greenhouse emissions in
an attempt to fully understand their effects.
By making simple lifestyle changes, each of
us can reduce our share of carbon emissions,
and collectively, take a huge step toward
making a smaller footprint.
www.IEDRO.org 21 Mar/Apr 2010
By Richard Crouthamel
Paraguay Inventory Update
IEDRO recently received a complete inventory of historic weather
observations from 31 observation sites in Paraguay dating back as far
as 1954. This inventory represents tens of thousands of observations.
Rick Crouthamel, Executive Director, Larry Nicodemus, Manager of
Technology, and Susan Callis, Manager of Operations, will be
developing a project plan for Paraguay. Our first IEDRO Team visit is
planned for April.
Dominican Republic Equipment Request
Dominican Republic’s national meteorologic service sent IEDRO an
equipment request. This equipment will enable them to restart their
data rescue and digitization (DR&D) project; an effort that started in
2003. IEDRO will send a team to the Dominican Republic to assess
their needs, replace equipment as needed, and train new employees.
Senegal to Restart Their Data Rescue
IEDRO received a query from Senegal via our Malawi volunteer,
Martin Munkhondya, to restart their DR&D efforts. The project stalled
six months ago when Senegal sent IEDRO over 20,000 images that
were out of focus and unusable. If funds permit, Martin Munkhondya
will return to Senegal to retrain staff and restart the rescue project.
New Zambia Observations
IEDRO received a sample of monthly weather observations from
Zambia, along with an Excel spreadsheet of their recorded images.
Larry Nicodemus suggested spreadsheet revisions. Overall, we are
pleased to see Zambia’s renewed enthusiasm for its DR&D efforts.
Mar/Apr 2010 22 www.IEDRO.org
International Data Rescue News
International Environmental Data Rescue
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