Cumulative Cumulus

I enjoy using the NightCap app on my iPad. It has several time exposure settings for special night situations such as star trails, ISS passes, and meteors. It also has a light trails setting. One could set the iPad in a dark scene and move a flashlight around painting lines, figures, or words in the time exposure. I wondered if that setting would work in a bright blue sky scene with passing white cumulus clouds.

The iPad was propped up at about 45˚ and the exposure was started. This first photo was for 33 seconds. Notice the tree leaves at the left. They were moving with the breeze and were blurred. The clouds streaked during the exposure from lower left to upper right for a weird and pleasing effect.

NightCap | Light Trails mode | 33 sec

More clouds drifted by in this 323 sec exposure. I think this experiment deserves more trials to see what other interesting effects it can produce. What do you think?

NightCap | Light Trails mode | 323 sec

Climate Crisis Town Hall | 4 Sep 2019

A seven hour program about Climate was presented by CNN on 4 Sep 2019. Each of 10 Democratic presidential candidates was given 40 minutes to present their plans for addressing climate change and to answer questions from moderators and the audience. Finally there was substantive discussion on this topic in primetime TV hours.

Vox reporters watched it all and compared the policies and ideas proposed by the candidates. They published a story on 5 Sep giving 6 winners and 3 losers in the town hall. Their overall winner was Washington Gov. Jay Inslee who wasn’t even in the program that night. He dropped out in August. But, he has put out over 200 pages of policy very detailed and ambitious. The other candidates have been paying attention to him. Quoting Vox:

Inslee sat down with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) in Seattle last week as she was crafting her climate plan. He chatted with former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, former Vice President Joe Biden, and Sens. Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, and Amy Klobuchar. Former housing secretary Julián Castro has been “looking for me,” Inslee told Vox Wednesday, but they haven’t been able to connect yet.

Other winners were the audience questioners and CNN for hosting.

Click this image or this link to read the Vox story about all the winners and losers.

Edward M. PioRoda | CNN

Climate Change | Yale Opinion Study

Opinions of people in the United States about climate change range widely. Yale and George Mason Universities surveyed >22,000 people between 2008 and 2018 for the Climate Change in the American Mind project. The survey reveals a lot about beliefs, perceptions, support, and behavior across the country. You can compare your opinions with others in your state, congressional district, metro area, and county.

Funding for the study was provided by the Skoll Global Threats Fund, the Energy Foundation, the 11th Hour Project, the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment, the MacArthur Foundation, the Overlook Foundation and the Endeavor Foundation.

Sample Findings

70% of the respondents agree global warming is happening

49% agree that most scientists think it is happening

70% believe it will harm future generations

41% say it is now harming them personally

79% think schools should teach about climate change

70% say environmental protection is more important than economic growth

Interactive Map

The study presents the data in an interactive map of the U.S. Continue reading below where you will find a video tutorial I made showing how to easily use the interactive features of the map. If you prefer to explore on your own, click the map image below to go directly to the study.

Continue reading

Amazon River Sunglint

I looked at the GOES-17 full-disk view of Earth during sunrise across the Americas on the morning of 7 Oct 2018. It was a beautiful way to start the day. The video on the site looped repeatedly while I watched showing images taken every 15 min.

Something curious caught my eye in the Amazon Basin. I screen-captured this short video. Watch the Amazon region for movement of bright light up-river. It is sunglint. Reflection of sunlight off the water surface into the GOES satellite optics.

Using the tools on the site, I zoomed into the Amazon Basin for a better look. Here it is from the mouth at the Atlantic to the west toward the Andes. Not much of the river is visible.

Watch what happens when the same region is viewed at 15 min intervals in this video loop. I stepped the video forward over a 3 hour interval, rewound, and repeated.

Here is a close-up of the river and tributaries at the middle of the basin. Amazing what you can see with the new GOES weather satellites.

If you want to explore more from a GOES weather satellite. Here is a link to the image viewer. Note the tabs across the page. Try them out. The U.S. Regions tab offers closer views and animations. Go ahead and have some fun. You can’t break anything.

U.S. Climate | April and May 2018

Two contrasting headlines about recent climate in the U.S. this spring caught my attention. Both came from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. The headlines were from the assessments of climate in the U.S. for April and May of 2018.

The contiguous United States had its coldest April in more than 20 years.

The contiguous United States had its warmest May on record.


The part of the U.S. where you live might not have seemed unusual. However, we noticed these differences in the midwest. Before examining April and May specifically, we will look at the climate for the year-to-date in the next two graphics. Relative to the period from 1895-2018, the upper plains was below average in temperature for the first five months of the year. The west was above to much above normal with record setting temperatures in the southwest.

Not shown in the graphic, the Alaska year-to-date temperature was 20.7°F, or 4.9°F above average. It was the ninth warmest on record. Western and northern Alaska were much above normal. Record low amounts of sea ice in the Arctic likely contributed to the warming.

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