13 Matching Annotations
  1. Mar 2019
  2. Feb 2018
  3. May 2017
    1. But when it comes to weather prediction, America lags behind a European prediction model that does a better job at telling us how warm or cold it will be three to 10 days out.

      I wasn't aware of this. Curious!

    1. Mackenzie Highway
      The Mackenzie Highway is the longest in the Northwest Territories. It begins at the Northwest Territory and Alberta border and ends at Wrigley, Northwest Territory. It is approximately 690 kilometers or 429 miles long. About 280 kilometers are paved while the rest of the highway is covered with gravel (Government of Northwest Territories, n.d.). The construction of this highway was ongoing between the 1940s and 1970s. In 1945, the Canadian federal government and the government of Alberta signed an agreement to build an all-weather road that would replace the existing Caterpillar tractor trails from Grimshaw to the Great Slave Lake of Hay River (Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Center, n.d.). As time passed and focus shifted to fossil fuel collection, the motivation behind further construction of the Mackenzie Highway was in “anticipation of a major oil pipeline development along the Mackenzie River valley” (Pomeroy, 1985). The intended use of the highway was to enable the pipeline developers to haul construction materials throughout the area. During its construction, many chiefs of the Indian Brotherhood opposed the completion of the Mackenzie Highway. There was additional opposition voiced from the people of Wrigley who also did not support further construction of the Mackenzie Highway (Cox, 1975). 
      

      References

      Cox, B. (1975). Changing Perceptions of Industrial Development in the North. Human Organization, 27-33.

      Government of Northwest Territories. (n.d.). Transportation Highway 1. Retrieved from Government of Northwest Territories: http://www.dot.gov.nt.ca/Highways/Highway_System/NWTHwy1

      Pomeroy, J. (1985). An Identification of Environmental Disturbances from Road Developments in Subarctic Muskeg. Arctic, 104-111.

      Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Center. (n.d.). Historical Timeline of the Northwest Territories. Retrieved from Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Center: http://www.nwttimeline.ca/1925/1948_MackenzieHighway.htm

  4. Mar 2017
    1. Shell

      The decision to veto the proposed pipeline in accordance with Mr. Berger’s recommendation substantially slowed, but did not stop the search for oil in the Arctic. Over the next 40 years, oil companies such as Shell, Exxon, and Chevron would continue their search in a region expected to contain 13% of the world’s undiscovered oil and 30% of its natural gas.1 But in 2015, Shell, the last remaining company in the American Arctic, announced it would halt its exploratory drilling. This would mark the end of their $7 billion venture into Alaska’s Chuckchi Sea. The well, the Burger J, stretched to a depth of 6,800 feet and showed indications of oil and gas, but amid relatively low oil prices, less than $50 a barrel, and the expense necessary to drill in this section of the ocean they have decided to cease operations. The company originally planned on drill two wells to greater than 8,000 feet, but in the wake of Shell grounding its Kulluck drilling rig, this number was halved by President Obama’s administration.2 This grounding was found to be, in part, the result of Shell’s ill-fated attempt to avoid paying millions of dollars in tax liability. Fortune’s Jon Birger noted in his visit to the rig after it was grounded that it was well prepared to prevent the incident that destroyed BP’s Deepwater Horizon, but, startlingly, was less equipped to deal with the unique weather conditions posed by drilling in the Arctic.3 The Berger report may not have halted Shell’s Artic exploration but a combination of regulatory restrictions and low oil prices seem to have done just that.

      1. Lavelle, Marianne. "Coast Guard blames Shell risk-taking in Kulluk rig accident." National Geographic. April 4, 2014. Accessed March 7, 2017. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2014/04/140404-coast-guard-blames-shell-in-kulluk-rig-accident/.
      2. Koch, Wendy. "3 reasons why Shell halted drilling in the Arctic." National Geographic. September 28, 2015. Accessed March 7, 2017. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/energy/2015/09/150928-3-reasons-shell-halted-drilling-in-the-arctic/.
      3. Birger, Jon. "What I learned aboard Shell's grounded Alaskan oil rig." Fortune. January 3, 2013. Accessed March 7, 2017. http://fortune.com/2013/01/03/what-i-learned-aboard-shells-grounded-alaskan-oil-rig/.
  5. Nov 2016
  6. Jul 2016
    1. In April 1950, Charney’s group made a series of successful 24-hour forecasts over North America, and by the mid-1950s, numerical forecasts were being made on a regular basis.

      Roughly 50 years from initial efforts to first successful forecasts.

    2. Charney determined that the impracticality of Richardson’s methods could be overcome by using the new computers and a revised set of equations, filtering out sound and gravity waves in order to simplify the calculations and focus on the phenomena of most importance to predicting the evolution of continent-scale weather systems.

      The complexity of the forecasting problem was initially overcome in the 1940's both by an improved rate of calculation (using computers) and by simplifying the models to focus on the most important factors.

    3. Courageously, Richardson reported his results in his book Weather Prediction by Numerical Process, published in 1922.

      Despite failing to predict the weather accurately, Richardson posted his results publicly. This is an important step in allowing the improvement of forecasting because it makes it possible to learn what works and what doesn't more quickly. See also Brian McGill's 6th P of Good Prediction

    4. Despite the advances made by Richardson, it took him, working alone, several months to produce a wildly inaccurate six-hour forecast for an area near Munich, Germany. In fact, some of the changes predicted in Richardson’s forecast could never occur under any known terrestrial conditions.

      Nice concise description of the poor performance and impracticality of early weather forecasting.

  7. Mar 2016