Super Warming, Super Typhoon


The exponentially increasing CO2 causes ever accelerating warming. In the last decade, the oceans got in gear, and much of the excess heat in the lower atmosphere went there. Hence the stalling of temperature in the air. That’s what happens when ice melts and water around it stays at zero Celsius; the added energy puts frozen H2O into motion rather than warm up the material.

At the UN climate talks in Warsaw, the head of the Philippines delegation said he will stop eating until “meaningful” progress is made. Interesting idea, CO2 talks in Warsaw: Poland is completely coal dependent.

5 GW Belchatów Coal Thermal Plant Belching Poison

5 GW Belchatów Coal Thermal Plant Belching Poison

To give an idea of the scale of that monster, the towers are 300 meter tall. Built by (French) Alstom, the station makes as much electricity as 5 nuclear power reactors, and generates 20% of Poland’s electricity. It emits 30 million tons of CO2 a year. According to pseudo-ecologists, paid by fossil fuel magnates, that’s much better than 30 millionth of a gram of radioactivity.

There is a giant coal strip mine next to Belchatow. The International Energy Association just announced today that the production of oil, worldwide, will go up 20% in the next 15 years, thanks mostly to fracking. Between fracking and coal, an austere struggle is engaged.

Poland generates 90% of its electricity from coal. And is very happy that way, because coal is so cheap.

Held in parallel in Warsaw: an international coal conference whose goal is “to highlight the role of coal and clean coal technologies”. “Running a coal summit in parallel to UN climate negotiations is beyond absurd. It is like having [Mafia Godfather] Vito Corleone chair a committee on legal reform,” said Mark Breddy of Greenpeace.

Even more weirdly, Poland has actually cut its CO2 emissions by 32 per cent while almost doubling the size of its economy. That’s because the “communist” plutocracy before that was so incredibly dirty. Thus Poland easily respected the Kyoto accord.

This is fun. Reality always beats fiction.

Hurricanes/Typhoons/Cyclones are Carnot engines which use a heat source: warm oceanic water. To generate the effect, one needs, in the tropic, a water temperature of 26 degrees Celsius. In the case of Super Typhoon Haiyan, the temperature was at 27 degrees Celsius in the first 60 meters. An enormous mass of elevated temp water.

The preceding record holder Super Hurricane was Camille, which struck Louisiana in 1969. It had sustained winds just above 300km/h. Haiyan achieved sustained winds just above 312 km/h. Large jets take off between 240 and 285 km/h. So they could have been flown like kites, thanks to Haiyan.

As the power deployed by a fluid passing at speed V is proportional to the cube of V, namely VVV, that means Haiyan’s power was 10% greater than Camille’s.

Haiyan’s peak winds reach the mystical, the Jupiterian. Based on satellite imagery, the U.S.A. military’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center estimated that Haiyan’s gusts rose to 376 km/h (235 mph). The USA pays close attention to hurricanes ever since the entire Pacific fleet led by admiral Halsey got nearly sunk by one, during World War Two.

It is the third time that a devastating typhoon struck the Philippines in less than 12 months. In August, typhoon Trami brought massive flooding to the island of Luzon. In December 2012, typhoon Bopha killed thousands.

The death toll from Haiyan would have been much bigger had storm warnings not been heeded (although Haiyan built its strength quickly). One million people evacuated. From the wind and the pressure effect that accompany a cyclone, a tidal wave develops. It’s exactly of the same shape and character as a tsunami. Haiyan developed one that was at least 6 meters high, and caused most of the deaths.

Why would such storms get worse in a warming world?

There is no scientific consensus on how to answer this question yet. However some things are clear.

As the cyclones get their energy from the ocean, it would seem logical that they would get stronger, and perhaps also more frequent, as the upper layers of the tropical oceans warm.

Indeed, the intensity of tropical storms does increase with warmer sea-surface temperatures, and one can predict if a hurricane is going to get worse by looking at the temperature of the waters it will pass over. However, there is a general equipartition of energy theorem. As I pointed out:

So warming increases the energy of atmosphere, and some of this goes into sheer winds, namely, shear winds. There is, indeed, an apparent increase in the strength of shear winds, as expected. Those winds blow in different directions and strengths at different altitudes. Shear winds tend to tear apart hurricanes.

However, warmer air carries more water and energy. Thus more and bigger storms, as observed.

Conclusion: in warming tropics, there will be more tropical depressions (predecessors to hurricanes). However, given a depression, it will be less likely to form  into a hurricane. Yet, if they escape destruction from the shear winds, hurricanes will be able to reach much greater power. This is exactly what is observed.

The United Nations’ own IPCC claims the record is not clear. Really? Learn how philosophers establish truth. In 2011, there were two category 5 (maximal) hurricanes. In 2012, there three category 5 hurricanes. In 2013, so far, there has been four  (4!) category 5 hurricanes. What we need is a category 5 hurricane on the Washington mall, for understanding to deepen among the clueless. Coming soon.

Hurricane researcher Kerry Emanuel of the MIT applying to scenarios of historical and future climate six state-of-the-art climate models, forecasts that both the frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones will increase during the 21st century in all tropical oceans regions (except the south-western Pacific!). His study was not included in the mushy 2013 IPCC report.

Can we say more? Yes. Most of the warming is at the poles. Warming in the tropics will only be a few degrees Celsius, whereas the poles are heating up, and will completely melt. Hence there will be much more energy in the polar oceans. Thus the storms there, including hurricanes, ought to become much more severe. As observed. Yes, there are Arctic hurricanes (an engine depends only upon temperature differences, not temperatures’ absolute values).

Arctic Hurricane, Eye SW Iceland

Arctic Hurricane, Eye SW Iceland

[Notice that the hurricane is sucking Arctic air from above the polar circle, passing over the north coast of Iceland. There are plenty of pictures of these beasts, but generally there are around sea ice, so, white on white, hard to see; during WWII waves from one of these tore the deck of a British aircraft carrier.]

In August 2012 a giant storm destroyed much of the Arctic icepack, by bringing heat and sheer mechanical destruction. Arctic hurricanes were historically called “Arctic lows“. Nobody had observed their spiral structures from above and they had few (surviving) witnesses. Arctic hurricanes are longer lasting than the tropical kind (because of fewer shear winds), although they get furious much faster, in a few hours (because the temperature gradients are much greater in the Arctic).

This brings another question: if there are tropical hurricanes, and frequent, Arctic hurricanes, all year long, how come there are no temperate hurricanes? (Forget tropical storms that penetrate the temperate zone: there will be more of these.)

The reason is simple: the powerful westerlies which rotate around the planet often at hurricane force, tend to shear any hurricane in formation. When the westerlies go north (as they will), so will hurricanes (let me suggest Washington).

There is geological evidence that, long ago, during a strong greenhouse phase of the world, hyper hurricanes irrigated the interior of a supercontinent. A greenhouse world has warm poles and weaker winds, overall, because of a weaker temperature gradient from equator to poles. Ideal conditions for hyper hurricanes.

Who sows the poison, harvest the fire.


Patrice Ayme


Plea of the Philippines’ delegate at the UN in Warsaw: “To anyone who continues to deny the reality that is climate change, I dare you to get off your ivory tower and away from the comfort of your armchair. I dare you to go to the islands of the Pacific, the islands of the Caribbean and the islands of the Indian Ocean and see the impacts of rising sea levels … to the hills of Central America that confront similar monstrous hurricanes, to the vast savannas of Africa where climate change has likewise become a matter of life and death as food and water becomes scarce … And if that is not enough, you may want to pay a visit to the Philippines right now.”

If the problem is not treated pacifically, soon, it will treated horrifically, by war.


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17 Responses to “Super Warming, Super Typhoon”

  1. Alex Jones Says:

    Thanks for an interesting blog post, never knew arctic hurricanes existed.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Well Alex, nor did most meteorologists, until very recently. It’s only by looking at the satellite imagery that the truth became inescapable.
      An interesting consequence of what I said is that they should augment in power, as the Arctic heat builds up.

  2. de Foucaud Paul Says:

    For how long do we have statistics about hurricanes during the life of Earth ?
    So, as human beeing is just able now to compute them, is it right for him to make too much fast assertions ?
    Have a look on Henry de Lumley book about : ” La Grande Histoire des premiers hommes européens”
    You’ill see there that charts are showing carbone dioxyde piks with sea level and hot climates associated.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Mon cher Paul: We have plenty of extreme details on lots of things pertaining climate and CO2. I have essays on the subject. Go back read my:
      Basically, it’s all sorted out in extreme detail. Why, how, whatever.
      The present heating is unprecedented for 120,000 years. The global CO2 and other greenhouse gases levels are incompatible with Antarctica staying frozen. Worse: the acid will kill the sea.

      Unfortunately the justly world famous Institut de Geophysique de Paris is mostly paid by the fossil fuel guys (Courtillot and the other clown before him).

      • de Foucaud Paul Says:

        Deat Patrice,
        please have a look on that book : Troisième partie, Révolution de la culture, première page, vous y trouverez une table montrant les cycles des pics de dioxyde de carbone au cours des ages.
        Elle montre, effectivement que le dernier se trouve il y a 120 000 ans et que nous sommes actuellement dans la période de ce cycle élevé certes mais pas plus que les pics les plus élevés se situant ensuite à – 300 000, -580 000, -780 000 , -940 000 environ ans environ etc.
        Tout simplement ne nous sommes nous pas inscrits dans le cycle, de la nature Terre au même titre que d’autres facteurs dans le passé de son histoire ?
        Il me reste difficile à imaginer que nous soyons nous même capables de redresser une barre de 120 000 ans alors que nous avons une espérance de vie d’un siècle au mieux.
        De mon point de vue, nous devront faire face à cet état de fait pour que la race humaine puisse survivre.
        Il y aura de la casse pour elle, à n’en pas douter, en attendant le prochain pic dans 120 000 ans.

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          I don’t see the book’s title. I view me as an expert on the subject, and I have many articles on it, that preceded noisy publications now officially brandished by years.OK, let me restart the comment, bcs the nestling looks terrible on smart phones.

  3. Paul Handover Says:

    I read this essay, Patrice, next after reading on the BBC News website about the science report of the increasing acidification of the oceans, especially of the colder polar oceans.

    (I have been staring at my tablet screen fully for five minutes trying to find the correct words to express just how I feel. But the degree of anger, of incredulity, of blindness, of utter madness of our species, defeats me. I’ll just leave it at that!)

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Paul, please stay calm, and don’t fling the tablet across the room. I sometimes feel like that, but my main lap top is too heavy…

      I got totally exasperated about the New York Times recently, as they censored me on many subject, including France, Europe, climate, CO2. Apparently I got on black list because I prefer single payer public health care to the insurance industry’s Obamcrap.

      I even threatened them with diffamation, complete with sending a CC to a reputed law firm (for calling me a liar in electronic print, and blocking all and any answers of mine).

      In exchange they basically proposed me money (A quasi free subscription). But I am not interested by their money, but by the truth.

      Interesting times… I am glad that people are catching up with the acidification problem, which is way worse than the global heating at the poles. This is why, instead of talking about global warming (who can warm up against “warmth”?), I prefer to talk about CO2 POISONING, or, even better, ATMOSPHERIC POISONING. Noy just CO2, and the 10%++ of other greenhouse gases, but also gazeous Mercury, etc. Because that’s what it is. Poisoning.

  4. Patrice Ayme Says:

    Paul: The 120,000 years ago peak was due to orbital elements. In case like that the orbit precedes the CO2 (the opposite is written in publications before 2013, because of a methodoligical error0.

    Right now the sun is at the closest of Earth during January, so we are in a glaciating orbital disposition. Thus the present heating in the Arctic is completely CO2 and man-made.
    Actually humans clearly avoided, with their own industry, a re-glaciation in the last 5,000 years or so.

  5. Nuclear Salvation | Some of Patrice Ayme's Thoughts Says:

    […] need to sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions is becoming blatant, even to the clueless. The hurricane with the most powerful winds ever, by a long shot, just […]

  6. Marius Says:

    ”Built by (French) Alstom, the station makes as much electricity as 5 nuclear power reactors, and generates 20% of Poland’s electricity.”
    FALSE, only the newest block (1/5 of the power station) was built by Alstom.

    ”Poland generates 90% of its electricity from coal. ”
    TRUE. But, … so… what?

    ”And is very happy that way, because coal is so cheap.”
    FALSE What is your point? Russia is selling gas to Poland at HIGHEST prices in Europe. What is your solution? What is your source to say that Poland is happy about that?

    CO2 emission per capita in Poland is 2 times lower than in USA, Canada and Australia. And keep in mind, that in Australia they would not freeze to death during the winter.

    I will stop here, although there are many other mistakes or untruthful informations.

    I have just found your blog, it looked like you like scientific approach. Unfortunately, I was mistaken. Just politics and pseudo-ecology.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Heil Marius! Sorry about disappointing you. I still feel very “scientific”, though. Sufficient hair splitting always brings mistakes, such as cutting one’s own fingers.

      OK, I could have gone at length on the entangled relationship between PGE and Alstom. True, Alstom executed the last fifth of the power plant. But, among other things, Alstom carried out the modernization of the low pressure parts in all 12 turbines of the power plant. Alstom signed many different contracts with PGE, about many things.

      On 8 December 2008, PGE and Alstom signed a memorandum of understanding according to which Alstom would design and construct by mid-2011 a pilot carbon capture plant. That was partly EU financed, too, but apparently it will not happen.

      I personnally cannot imagine that carbon captur will work (with coal staying competitive). That Alstom could not make it work is pretty telling.

      The exact nature of the entanglement real, past, potential and future, signed or not, between Alstom and a power company was not my subject.

      90% of electricity produced by coal, and you say: “so what?” Well, all right, what part of “CO2” you don’t understand?

      A VERY valid point you have, however, is that, indeed, Poland pollutes not even half, per capita, than the trio USA Canada, Australia it’s just pointing in the wrong direction.

      It seems to me that your rage is not commensurate with the points you made, so it’s not clear what’s ailing you.

      When one writes, or say, something, whatever thing it is, one has to simplify. That’s the essence of the Incompleteness Theorems.PA

      • Marius Says:

        Hello Patrice,
        you have published my comment – my regards. I am sorry for my confrontational attitude there.

        now Ad Rem.

        About Poland.
        You have portrayed Poland as a ”bad CO2 boy”. As I have pointed out Australia, USA and many others are at least twice worse. It should be mentioned to gain some perspective. Another thing – using coal is not about liking it or not. What is an alternative at the moment for Poland?

        About CO2
        I am not very convinced about blaming CO2.
        1) Earth is much greener (thanks to higher CO2 levels) than it was 40 years ago.
        Interesting article about global warming benefits:

        2) Global warming. It is popular to blame CO2 levels as the cause of global warming, but saying so may be very far from the truth. According to Qing-Bin Lu, a professor of physics and astronomy, biology and chemistry in Waterloo’s Faculty of Science, the greenhouse effect we observe is caused by CFCs, not CO2.

        There is so much talk about global warming, which may be a fact of the past. We may already live in Global Cooling period!

        “Most conventional theories expect that global temperatures will continue to increase as CO2 levels continue to rise, as they have done since 1850. What’s striking is that since 2002, global temperatures have actually declined — matching a decline in CFCs in the atmosphere,” Professor Lu said. “My calculations of CFC greenhouse effect show that there was global warming by about 0.6 °C from 1950 to 2002, but the earth has actually cooled since 2002. The cooling trend is set to continue for the next 50-70 years as the amount of CFCs in the atmosphere continues to decline.”

        Q.-B. Lu. Cosmic-Ray-Driven Reaction and Greenhouse Effect of Halogenated Molecules: Culprits for Atmospheric Ozone Depletion and Global Climate Change. International Journal of Modern Physics B, 2013; 1350073 DOI: 10.1142/S0217979213500732

  7. Patrice Ayme Says:

    Dear Marius and CO2 skeptic: True CO2 has lots of positives: plants are growing much faster than they used to, say, 20 years ago. Also plants full of CO2 need less water. etc.

    It’s true CFCs contribute, around 15% to the greenhouse. And they should be cracked down upon (a treaty was just signed). But to say CO2 dos not cause a greenhouse is silly.

    I am sorry once again that Poland has such a photogenic coal (lignite) plant. It’s true that Poland is immensely virtuous in CO2 per capita, relative to the Anglo-Saxon imperial exploiters (meaning USA, Canada (excluding Quebec), and Australia; the latter two having no excuse, but greed.)

    With CO2 we are at 400 ppm greenhouse. With the CFC and other gases, we are above 460 ppm, beyond Antarctica stability, as I have explained, for years.

  8. Marius Says:

    Dear Patrice,
    Yes, CO2 is a greenhouse gas.
    What I have pointed out is that, according to the paper I have cited, not 15% (where is this number coming from?), but most of the warming effect in 20th century was caused by CFCs, not CO2.

    But the most important question is: is CO2 bad at all? Your assumption is ‘yes’, while there is a lot of evidence, that it might be opposite. Apart of facts you can find in Ridley’s article, I have myself the following strong argument. The climate on Earth changes according to Milankovitch cycles:
    The theory has a strong evidence in Vostock core:

    My thesis is: human-activity-CO2-emissions have saved us from another ice age.

    Another important fact: in 21st century we are experiencing global cooling, not warming. Even anti-CO2 movements prefer to use the term ‘weather changes’ instead of ‘global warming’.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      hello Marius: I read the paper you linked to from Matt Riddley. I read Riddley decades ago, as soon as he came with his “Red Queen” book. Whatever that book says (it’s now clearly obsolete, bcs of the return of Lamarckism/epigenetics).
      Now he is clearly paid by the fossil fuelists. Sad.

      The points he makes are true, or sort of true, but not really, considering the risks. Basically we will for sure equal the warming of 120,000 years ago. That cannot be stopped. Already. The question is to avoid, desperately, the conditions of 35 million years ago or so. The thorough melting of Antarctica and Greenland.

      I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but that human activity would have avoided a glacial return is not new, you can actually find it here and there in my various essays (and professional climate researchers have presented it too). The causes?
      1) we are in a glacial orbital position.
      2) human activity (herding) augmented CH4 significantly.

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