Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Ridiculously Resilient Ridge Loses Grip!

Rock  Dock
Pillar Point Harbor 12/12/14

It’s been about a year since I’ve blogged about the local climate here in Moss Beach, on the California coast, see Perpetual Summer
In that post I commented on the weather changes I've experience Coastside and I stated the weather patterns have changed during the 2013 year based on my observation over 16 years of being a Coastside resident. So far it’s not been easy to quantify these changes thru temperature variation, rain fall, historical humidity data and other variables. Recently we’ve had a nice change to our weather pattern where the persistent high pressure ridge that has blocked much of Northern California’s rain has dissipated allowing more normal winter weather for much of December. At this point I’m going to do a re-cap of the recent past with respect to weather, ecology, the local environment, human and animal habitat and the effects on our coastal habitat wellbeing!

Ridiculously Resilient Ridge (RRR):
There has been much talk and speculation about the high pressure ridge that has been parked over California now for 2-3 years, deflecting storms to the north. In the past high pressure ridges come and go as normal weather patterns; however this unprecedented ridge seems to be self-reinforcing with a positive feedback loop that maintains itself.  Its persistence is unheard of in the normal meteorology realm and has been christened the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge RRR by David Swain, a Stanford University Doctoral Candidate who blogs at weatherwest.com. As mentioned before, this RRR has appeared to have dissipated at least temporarily as evidence by our nice December rain fall. Nobody knows why this high pressure ridge has been so tenacious and persistent; there are many factors in play here, ocean temperature, current and wind patterns, increased carbon distribution, pollution, solar flares. Again, the problem cannot be understood on a local level, it’s the entire earth universe interconnected system that needs understanding, no easy task and not likely in the near future.

Pescadero Creek Flow to Ocean

Let’s look at ocean temperatures: 
Higher than normal temperatures have been observed along the Northern California coast. This amounts to a 5-6 ° F temperatures increase over historic averages, ranking among the warmest recorded in the last 30 years. In October, it was 65 degrees off the Farallon Islands and in Monterey Bay, and 69 degrees off Point Conception near Santa Barbara. Normally these temperatures would be I the upper 50’s to low 60’s! The last time the ocean off California was this warm was in 1983 and 1997, both strong El Niño years that brought drenching winter rains to the West Coast. Recently, the water temperature at the Scripps pier in La Jolla was 71 degrees. The historic average back to 1916 for late October is 65 degrees.
I’m not exactly sure of how El Niño conditions are predicted, looks like it’s based on ocean temperatures and winds especially around the equator. Winds blowing from the north at the equator move warm water closer to the equator. This wind has apparently slackened somewhat allowing warmer water to move north.

What's happening are winds that normally blow from the north, trapping warm water closer to the equator, have slackened since the summer. That's allowed the warm water to move north. However, the water at the equator has only warmed slightly making an El Niño event predicted to be mild. The warmer ocean temperatures have negatively affected upwelling a critical food chain event where churning cold water from down below pushes up ocean nutrients such as plankton and krill. More warm water southern species of birds and marine mammals and turtles have been observed recently in Northern California. Other common species such as Cassin’s Auklets have been gravely impacted by mediocre upwelling and scarcity of krill in the northern ocean. 

Pumpkins Moss Beach, California 

Personal Observations and Comments:
I would also like to point out; I’ve lived in the Bay Area for 46 years and have been a frequent visitor to the coast before I actually moved to the coast. As we are all aware of the devastating drought that continues into its third year, it should be noted the last 3 years has the least precipitation in a 3 year stretch in recorded California History.  It’s now becoming apparent to me that the ground level effects of the drought are now visible in plain sight. We’ve all seen the dramatic pictures of lakes and reservoirs drying up, boat docks sitting on dry ground, the water receding, at Folsom Lake, San Luis Reservoir, Shasta Lake and many more. Shasta Lake is at 35% capacity as of July 2014. Here locally vegetation is dying all around, trees, shrubs, native and non-native plants. My yard Ceanothus, normally a hardy native plant when mature now requires frequent watering or it starts to turn yellow and die. Fires are raging all around the state, the air is often dirty or smoggy and Spare the Air Days are frequent. Blue Oaks, the most widely distributed oak trees in California are in bad shape, soil moisture levels are at 2.5%, and normally they are 12-18%.
All year, scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have been forecasting an El Niño, conditions in which warm ocean water at the equator near South America can affect the weather in dramatic ways. But now the water is only slightly warmer than normal at the equator, leading scientists to declare a mild El Niño is on the way. And although strong El Niños often have brought wet winters to California, mild ones have just as often resulted in moderate or dry winters.

Cassin’s Auklet Die-off:
Hundreds of HY hatch year Cassin’s Auklets have been found dead on northern California beaches recently due to starvation. Cassin’s Auklets are krill eaters solely and that source of food has diminished greatly and is believed responsible for the current Cassin’s Auklet die-off!

Warm Water and Southern Ocean Observations:
Folks at Point Blue Science, a nonprofit group from Petaluma, Ca have documented more than 100 Common Dolphins off the Farallon Islands, a species normally found off of Southern California.  
The Point Blue scientists have scooped up a tiny species of ocean snail called the tropical sea butterfly, normally found far to the south. They have documented a Guadalupe fur seal, normally found off Baja California in Mexico; blue buoy barnacles and purple-striped jellyfish, which usually drift off Southern California; and a Guadalupe murrelet, a tiny seabird that frequents Mexico. Other observations noted by Point Blue are as follows quoted directly from Point Blue:
In September, a fisherman off San Francisco caught an endangered green sea turtle, an extremely rare find for Northern California, since the species usually lives off Mexico and the Galapagos Islands. He returned it to the sea unharmed.
Similar tales are turning up in Southern California, where fishermen and scientists have found Hawaiian ono, along with tripletail, a fish species commonly found between Costa Rica and Peru, and other warm-water species.
In August and September there were even sightings of skipjack tuna and giant sunfish, or mola mola, off Alaska.

From a local standpoint, I’ve continued to make an effort to identify a smoking gun so that we have a starting point in which to begin turn around action. I’ve not been able up to now to identify that gun on a local level but it’s apparent there are many smoking guns and it’s surprising that many people want to suppress evidence of those smoking guns. It’s surprising in that some deniers will accept the possibility of climate change, but not the notion it’s caused by human beings? If not human beings….WHO OR WHAT? We are aiding and abetting corporations in their incessant sledge hammering our planet into oblivion. Want smoking guns; just follow the money and the corporations that wield large piles of money around buying countries, and their natural resources and politicians in an insane effort to sustain unbridled growth that can only destroy our economic system along with the planet that sustains it!

While about 97% of climate scientist are agreeing that human activity is affecting our climate, there is a smaller number and growing number of scientist that insist we have already passed the tipping points of self-re-enforcing climate feedback loops and in essence the human population is doomed!  The term Near Term Human Extinction is being bandied around by some people and may well be a common term in the near future. I don’t know if we have reached a tipping point somewhere in our bio system, but a tipping point we have not reached is our ambivalence and indifference to what the powerful greed heads of our population are doing to this small planet! There should be a worldwide outcry and unprecedented action to stop the destruction and rape of planet earth. What we get instead is SILENCE!

We need a tipping point of indignation and disgust at what we are allowing to happen to our habitat and the future habitat of our children. We cannot depend on the bought and sold politicians we have elected, not only are they driven by stupidity and greed, they are shallow inferior people that have no credentials to be leaders and yet they dominate and control all decisions that affect the world population. Let’s look at some of the people we have chosen to represent us and make decisions for us. We have a Supreme Court justice that is a publically admitted homophobe and racist. A large portion of our Republican politicians not only deny climate change but insist evolution is bunk and the earth is 6000 years old! These people make decisions that impinge our lives and those of our children. Look at the class of morons that the Republican Party paraded before us in the last two presidential primaries. The pizza salesman was probably the most innocuous, but how low can you go with Sara Palin, Michelle Bachman, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Mike Huckabee! How can anybody consider electing these religious zealots and war mongers to run the most powerful country in the world? There is a name for this kind of government it’s called a Kakistocracy, a system of rule by the worst men!  I don’t hold out a lot of hope for the future of mankind on this planet; we even seem to want to strengthen our Kakistocracy as evident by our recent elections. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Crimes Against Humanity

Northern Elephant Seals Jostling
There is one thing we can say about the obscenity going on in the Middle East and that is war crimes are being committed on both sides, the Palestinians launching rockets into Israel and Israel targeting civilians. Who is responsible and culpable, that’s easy, the leaders of Israel and Palestine, and these crimes have been going on for years with the blessing of these so called leaders! If we lived in a sane and just world, these people would be rounded up and charged with Crimes Against Humanity! Since the world we created does not work that way, empathetic people are relegated to sitting on the sidelines and weeping! 

We can expect no help from our elected leaders and the corporate news mouth pieces that obsequiously report the propaganda without question.  The good news recently is that social media reporting is countering the government propaganda that these news channels constantly mouth! I've seen a slight shift in the Gaza reporting because eye witness reporting and smart phone videos are making cable channels seem silly, biased, and unbelievable; They should be embarrassed. 

Benjamin Netanyahu constantly reminds people that Israel does not target civilians. When you launch massive bombs into a densely populated city, civilians are going to die, that’s a given. So Israel is most definitely targeting civilians, actions not words prove this true! It’s ironic that over 1000 civilians not targeted have been killed. Further evidence demonstrating Israel’s disdain for civilians occurred at the end of the 2006 Israeli Lebanon conflict. After the UN Security Council called for an immediate halt to hostilities, Israel dropped 4 million cluster bombs during the last days of the conflict.    These are the most indiscriminate weapons of modern warfare; 95 percent of all victims of cluster munitions are civilians, according to the organization Handicap International. So much for Israel not targeting civilians!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Thoughts on Time, Consciousness, Philosophers and Physics

Since the dual attack on my very existence, (as described in the following blog post:)(http://wildbayarea.blogspot.com/2014/06/the-sword-of-dontdropplease.html) I've been mulling over the experience of having an extremely unpleasant episode and not remembering it so that in my experience, it never happened?

This experience has awakened in me a renewed interest in life and death, time and consciousness. My wife Lynn was at my bedside for much of the time I was unconscious, hallucinating, and semi-conscious, and related my behavior during these times. I have no memory of most of this and from her descriptions of the pain I suffered during some procedures I’m thankful I don’t have a memory of it. 

Mt Shasta Lenticular Moment
When we are asleep it seems we still have a consciousness at work albeit on a minimal power. We are aware of dreams and noises and some actual noises we incorporate into our dreams. What I’m saying is even in a sleep state we are aware or so it seems. While in ICU, my body shut down completely for a time. Also, my body was shut down via drugs so I was in an induced coma. During these times Jack Sutton seemed to have disappeared out of existence.  I say this because I am told that there were times I was in excruciating pain, such as caused by medical procedures, twice I was subjected to spinal taps. Most of the time I spent in ICU I have absolutely no memory, that includes two separate times.  Having no memory of past events can be a good thing, especially when those events were traumatic, painful or unpleasant. If you don’t have a memory, then you cannot suffer further from a traumatic event by re-living it again. Why do we continually suffer from past events, it’s through memory and re-living these events that are brought back into consciousness through memory. Perhaps Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a good example of this. So the question is, can we erase memories that are unpleasant so that we only suffer once and never again by nasty experiences? I will return to this later.

When I was a young man, I spent a lot of time in thought experiments. One such experiment, involved imagining myself floating in outer space. I would travel to the far reaches of the universe but could never get to the end. I would contemplate questions like what’s beyond the end, what was there before the beginning, question I could not grasp or answer. When I asked myself these question, a brick wall went up stifling the thought. Years later after I had explored Buddhism and Hinduism, taken the EST Warner Earhart seminars, participated in the Avatar course, read the Course in Miracles, many books by Eastern Spiritual Gurus and New Age wannabes, some dim light appeared!  

One day I got the answer or at least a direction to the next step. The concepts of what was before the beginning or what’s after the end are thought limitations! We live and communicate in the world of thought, nothing outside that world can exist as long as we remain and communicate in the realm of thought. The Eastern philosophers grappled with this dilemma and believed the way out is through meditation. I always thought when asked, what is meditation, the best answer is It’s not what you think?  Most spiritual paths, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist and most others, emphasize meditation heavily. So in my present state of spiritual development, I’m over the thought restricted question and concentrating on where meditation might take me. I can’t make any super spiritual claims, it’s a difficult path and may not yield any results, but to me it’s worth pursuing.  
Look at time; it cannot exist outside of consciousness. How do we experience time, pretty much through consciousness? If I don’t see you for a while, then see you, my mind immediately brings up an image of you, a memory (not necessarily accurate) to compare with the present you. Since the two images are not the same, I infer you have changed (time), you look older, and thus time must have passed. Older/younger are thought restrictions that we have adapted as true. Imagine floating in space, the only objects we encounter are celestial bodies, through consciousness we calculate our relative position which is stored as a memory. Then later we check the celestial bodies, then compare to our memory of those bodies and determine the positions have changed and thus re-enforce the time concept. Without consciousness, the bodies remain the same or are always in the present moment, no time, no beginning no end!

Scientist creates models of phenomenon that they can test against their theories of exactly what is happening in any given system. If the results support the model, then the model is a good frame of reference to go further. The model however may not be construed as representing the actual thing being studied. We now have models for black holes, quarks, gravity and the Higgs boson particle; they don’t really represent the actuality, but are a good reference in that experiments are predicted by the models. Gravity is well understood and most of the advances in our world came able through the gravity mathematical model. However if you ask most scientist what gravity is, they cannot answer, the model works, but it is not gravity! As soon as experiments move away from the model, the model is discarded and a new model created. Recently the Higgs boson experiments have not behaved as predicted, so I suspect there are some scientist madly working up new theories and models.

I think some of the ancient eastern scholars where in tune with quantum mechanics without knowing it.
So what would the model of the known universe as we know it look like? Hmmm, I thought about this and what pops up a lot for me is the world as we know it is an illusion! Wow, we have really fooled ourselves and created an illusionary world. Even some physicist after studying quantum mechanics have said in deeply studying the universe, it eventually appears that we are studying our own consciousness!  This is where thought ends and the unknown begins! 

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Sword Of Don'tDropPlease

Jack Sutton Seton Hospital ICU
On March 26th 2014 after several days of feeling ill, I was rushed to Seton Hospital’s emergency room and teetered on the brink of death with a 104 temperature for several days. The hospital staff likened the illness to some sort of meningitis as fluid had formed on my brain. I underwent a spinal tap, MRI, and every possible test to ascertain what the problem was.  I was pumped full of antibiotics and eventually after about 5 days in ICU, I started to respond. After 12 days in the hospital and 4 days in rehab, I returned home.

My recovery seemed to be going well, when again I got sick and was once again in the Seton Hospital’s emergency room on May 2nd 2014. I became totally unresponsive and was put on a respirator for several days.   This time my hospital stay was 14 days, ICU and recovery, then another 14 days in Linda Mar Rehab in Pacifica, California. This inactivity resulted in several blood clots forming in my lungs and in my leg. Currently, I’m on Coumadin (Warfarin) and need blood test about once per week that is monitored by the Anticoagulation clinic at the Veterans Administration hospital in San Francisco, CA. Again, a battery of tests and procedures could not isolate what caused me so much agony. The head neurologist at Seton put it to me this way; we ended up on your case with no name, no pathogen, and no idea what happened. He also said I had a remarkable recovery.

So right now I feel like Damocles with a sword hanging above my head held by a human hair, so the story of the Sword of Damocles becomes for me the Sword of Don’tDropPlease.  Sure could use a Dionysius to trade back places with.  I guess we all eventually have to deal with the Sword of Damocles!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Califronia King Tides Needs To Expand!

I've been shooting King Tide Photos since 2011 around the Half Moon Bay and Pacifica area. I've been submitting photos to the Bay Area King Tide and California King Tide Initiative thru their Flickr site.
Miramar Inn Tide 6.1, Swell 15-17 feet, Wind 15 mph
March 1, 2014

King Tides are generated due to the geometry and interaction of the earth, sun and moon during the months of December, January and February. In my area this can add about a foot of tide to the normal high tide. A common high tide is around 6.0 feet, a King Tide can push this up close to 7 feet. However King Tides do not necessarily represent the most extreme surf conditions. Several other conditions need to be present and coupled with a high tide, King or not for the most dramatic effect.
Surfer Beach Parking Area
March 1, 2014

Wind is a key factor, especially wind pushing the seas in a favorable direction. Next are high surf or swells generated by storms at sea and again the swell direction should match up closely to the direction the sea impacts the land. King Tide Days number about 9 for the entire year. I've found that getting wind and high surf on King Tide Days has a very low probability, which has frustrated me over the last two years. In the last two years, the SF Bay area has been experiencing drought conditions which translate to little storm activity, milder temperatures, and very little wind. So with just a few days of King Tides in a year and the anemic weather conditions, King Tides may not be the bellwether for the most extreme tidal condition as they relate to sea level rise. 

Surfers Beach Tide 6.1, Swell 15-17, Wind 15
March 1, 2014

Yesterday we had a high tide, 6.1 feet at 10:20 am coupled with a high surf advisory of 15-17 feet and a wind of 15 mph. The results were spectacular, better than the last two years of King Tides.
California King Tides needs to expand its activity for the entire year. I suggest King Tides be expanded to cover the entire year. Storms, storm surge, wind, and high surf advisories need to be monitored, along with day time tides of 5.5 feet and higher (I'm using my area for this number) and when the favorable conditions arise, word needs to be put out so photographers can get out and do their thing. This may only add a few days to the mix, but some of these days may prove valuable and dramatic and need to be documented.

Surfers Beach, tide 6.6, swell 0-5
November 12, 2012 

Surfers Beach, Tide 6.4, Swell 15, Wind 10
January 22, 2012

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Drought Emergency

January 2014 ends as the driest January ever with a total rainfall of .06 inches. In addition January's average daily high temperature was 62.71 degrees F. This is almost 7 degrees warmer than the January average of 56 degrees F. In addition there were 30 days in January where the high temperature exceeded the all-time January average of 56 degrees F. Note all the temperature data I'm using is from the San Francisco International Airport.

A weather modeling computer at the National Weather Service displays the high-pressure ridge that stretches from Mexico to Canada. (Photo by Liz Devitt)

A drought emergency has been declared for the state of California. With February approaching, no significant rain is predicted for the near term. A high pressure ridge has been parked over central California blocking all Pacific storms from California into Oregon. 

This looks bad and nobody really can explain it. Considering the earth's weather and ocean current patterns are interconnected, any abnormality anywhere on the planet will have an effect on the entire system. It may appear as localized as here in Northern California but it's a system wide phenomenon.
So one may ask about the abnormal phenomenon happing around the globe and its relationship to our local drought if any?   I can think of a few things that may seem unrelated, but who knows? Since March 2011 radiated water has been leaking and flowing into the Pacific from the Fukushima  Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. There is much misinformation on this and wild speculation, no reliable data seems readily available. I point this out because Japan and California are interconnected by the Pacific Ocean. There is a local disaster in Japan, how are we impacted, I don’t believe you can say not at all!
Next we have the Sea Star Wasting Syndrome affecting the entire west coast. This extent is troubling many scientist as it is unprecedented.  Also there is a drastic decline in sardines and an increase in anchovy’s. Some speculate this is part of a natural ocean cycle but again the interconnectedness of all things suggests there could be a link.  Related to that is the large influx of squid that happened around the Bay Area earlier this year.
So although these items may not be related or responsible for our dry weather, it’s worth asking questions and probing deeper.  As Bob Dylan sang years ago, “There’s something happening here but you don’t know what it is, do you Mister Jones?”  

Blogger Site is Awful to Use!

I would like to make a comment about this Blogger web site. The people who designed this site must be morons, this site is poorly designed, frustrating to use, and is full of bugs. I hate to be so negative, but this site is so frustrating and needs a total re-design! I'm not going into details, I've already wasted enough time and anybody that uses this site knows what I mean!