We continue to get new information about Sunday’s tornado outbreak and I am pleased to share it with you here. The NWS of Green Bay has issued a report on the tornadoes that happened in northeast and central Wisconsin. They have been very busy so it is probably not complete. Based on past reports, I suspect they will eventually add a few more pictures and radar images that explain the situation.
Also, we finally have some video of the tornado damage in Forest county (courtesy of WBAY in Green Bay). The NWS of Marquette surveyed the area and I suspect they will have some pictures to share soon. If we don’t see any thing in the next couple of days then I will contact them and ask about it. It would be interesting to see and ariel shot of the forest in that area because the tornado was on the ground for over 10 miles and had a damage path up to 600 yards wide.
A few weeks ago I gave a presenation about anthropogenic global warming (AGW) to a community group here in Wausau. I presented some history of the climate and a history of apocolyptic predictions about human influence on the planet. As you know, the end of human society as we know it is predicted every few years. Each time it is a different method of destruction and this time around the leading candidate is AGW. It is not that AGW does not have the potential to create significant problems in the future, just that some people take it to the extreme. If you read the blog, you know that some forecasters think that the human population will be less than a billion by 2100 and/or that the entire biosphere will be destroyed, and/or a runaway greenhouse effect is going to make the earth more like Venus - real quick like.
I mentioned that despite the recent and ongoing “great recession” in the country, technological progress continues. This progress helps us live more efficiently year after year. One fellow at the presentation was not so sure that we would escape calamity this time. He was particularly concerned about the increasing acidity of the oceans and depletion of resources. Looking at the human landscape you might wonder how are we going to feed all these people without more greatly affecting the oceans or the land? I wonder about this also and thus I was interested to read this story just yesterday. It is about growing plants in “artificial” environments. Just when you thought modern agriculture could not get any more efficient or productive, along comes LED lighting. Amazingly these Dutch researchers grow plants without sunlight, only red and blue light from LEDs. They also keep the temperature constant and turn the lights on-and-off to simulate night and day. They also use much less water than normal “outdoor” or greenhouse agriculture. The plants produce greater amounts of produce in shorter amounts of time. Why? Interestingly, plants do not need the full spectrum of visible light that comes from the sun in order to grow – only red and blue. Outdoor plants waste energy protecting themselves from the harsher rays of the sun and thus grow more slowly. The only problem with these methods so far is the high cost of the LED lighting. I also wonder about the taste of the veggies. It would seem to me that something growing outside in the soil would pick up an essential flavor – call it earthiness – that might not be replicated indoors.
Have a good Wednesday! Meteorologist Justin Loew.
This post was written by jloew on April 13, 2011