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Messages - Sebastian Jones

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Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: November 22, 2020, 04:58:09 AM »

I want to see an Armada of enormous flywheels - bigger than the London Eye stretched across the urban landscape.

Great idea! All those weirdo birders would not have anything to complain about because if a bird hits a flywheel rotating at barely subsonic speeds, it simply vanishes!

The politics / Re: The Alt Right
« on: November 09, 2020, 04:49:00 AM »
Good old Wikipedia:

The alt-right had various ideological forebears.[39] The idea of white supremacy had been dominant across U.S. political discourse throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries. After World War II, it was increasingly repudiated and relegated to the far-right of the country's political spectrum.[40] Far-right groups retaining such ideas—such as George Lincoln Rockwell's American Nazi Party and William Luther Pierce's National Alliance—remained marginal.[41] By the 1990s, white supremacism was largely confined to neo-Nazi and Ku Klux Klan (KKK) groups, although its ideologues wanted to return it to the mainstream.[40] That decade, several white supremacists reformulated their ideas as white nationalism, through which they presented themselves not as seeking to dominate non-white racial groups but rather as lobbying for the interests of European Americans in a similar way to how civil rights groups lobbied for the rights of African Americans and Hispanic Americans.[42] Although white nationalists often officially distanced themselves from white supremacism, white supremacist sentiment remained prevalent in white nationalist writings.

It also gives 2008 as the date the term was invented.

Consequences / Re: Hurricane Season 2020
« on: November 09, 2020, 04:41:44 AM »
Unless that sinner in NOLA that Tor mentioned has mended their ways, I imagine ETA will soon settle on a course for the Louisiana coast.

The politics / Re: Elections 2020 USA
« on: November 09, 2020, 03:54:18 AM »
BTW, now that the election is over, will this thread be closed? There may be postmortems for weeks or even months, so I would think it should stay up awhile at least.
Ideally it will simply fade away, die a natural death. If it still needs to be open come Jan 20th, America will be in real trouble.

Consequences / Re: Forests: An Endangered Resource
« on: November 08, 2020, 06:39:23 AM »
The study does say this "Once the trees attain a specific size, every new incremental increase in their diameter causes a significant additional increase in their overall carbon storage capacity."  Again, this is trivial, but the real question is how much new carbon a big tree actually sequesters every year versus smaller trees.

Not arguing for cutting down big trees, but this study isn't saying much.

Big trees sequester significantly more carbon than small trees.
There have been plenty of studies demonstrating this somewhat counterintuitive fact.
There is a Nature per from 2014, but I cannot find it just now, but at least one of these articles refers to it.

Of course as trees senesce their ability to uptake carbon falls and in stands full of old and dying large trees, carbon sequestration is slower than a newer stand.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: November 08, 2020, 05:49:32 AM »
Went to the Vigil Mass, just got back.
A member of the staff came down with covid. There had been a meeting shortly before. Masses will be held with additional precautions for two weeks, and all other activities are back online again.
Can you do Mass over Zoom?

The politics / Re: Biden’s Presidency
« on: November 08, 2020, 05:00:55 AM »
In reply to your opening question Tom, I'd say not. He can walk and chew gum at the same time; he can form a competent COVID team and bring America back into Paris both.
Ironically, in America, Covid is so out of control that nothing short of a Melbourne style lockdown will work now, and there are too many Covid deniers in America for that to work (how weird is it that the country with far and away the worst epidemic has any deniers at all?), so Trump's waiting for a vaccine to miraculously heal it may be the best strategy now.

The politics / Re: Elections 2020 USA
« on: October 31, 2020, 09:00:09 PM »
You could be right, but I hope you're wrong. In any case I wonder if you will revisit these predictions after the election?
BBR's Trump blow out win predictions are, I hope, as accurate as his predictions of an impending glaciation centred in Quebec/Labrador.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: October 30, 2020, 05:51:49 AM »
You gotta watch it

It's not as if I have not followed this story for 15 years almost daily, but this little video really brings it home.
3/4 of the ice in the Arctic has melted away.

The rest / Re: The off topic off topic thread
« on: October 18, 2020, 08:34:59 PM »
Sebastian, I am no expert in any academic field. I am no academic although I have a Bsc physics background (without a title, without 'honours' which is my goal, see R.P.Feynman's interviews with whom I deeply agree about almost everything).

The things you state are interesting and some I have read before but never with links. Could you please provide some links?

kassy, indeed. Cats in living nature just catch and eat their prey. There is an enormous difference between domesticated animals and living nature animals. More than people assume. Animals in nature have some kind of culture; an upbringing in living nature by their living nature mother cat; not born in captivity; not fed by humans; not learned to live with this large prey animal and are part of ecosystems. Perhaps I can think of more later :).

Here is a quick link, with references, to infanticide in animals. A good place to start.

The rest / Re: The off topic off topic thread
« on: October 17, 2020, 06:16:26 PM »
Thank you very much SimonF92, I'll read those links. Nice.

kassy, if you mean domesticated cats, those are not living nature. That's exactly the bias I mentioned above.

Weasels are notorious for going on killing sprees, even when there is no possibility of getting to eat everything they killed. Wolves are also known to high grade the best bits from Caribou when the killing is easy. Typically, predators do eat what they kill because it is so difficult and dangerous to kill something. However, when circumstances allow, killing to excess is very common.
Lions and bears and several other species regularly commit infanticide, they do so not for food but to eliminate genetic competition or to stimulate oestrus.
In fact there are so many examples of wildlife killing for purposes other than for sustenance, that I was not serious in my initial response.
I did not know you were an expert in the field.
I admit I am not.

The rest / Re: The off topic off topic thread
« on: October 16, 2020, 06:11:50 AM »
What do you mean by that?
I do not like your response to a major discovery of mine. Perhaps you don't understand it but then you shouldn' react like this.
Is this because you think you are 'higher' than me? Or a better scientist?

Are you a bully perchance?
Oh, I'm terribly sorry Nanning, I really meant no offence. I could perhaps have inserted a wink emoji to indicate I was not being very serious.
Perhaps I did not really understand your post, in which case I should have said so.
As it happens, I think the rule you describe is more aspirational than fundamental.

The politics / Re: The Media: Examples of Good AND Bad Journalism
« on: October 15, 2020, 06:22:49 AM »
Climate change is responsible for half of the Great Barrier Reef being lost, study warns
...... the rest of the article could have been printed in the Guardian. Is this normal for Fox News?

Hmmm. Not abnormal. Fox is divided between Opinion, which tends to be seriously right wing and often unhinged, and hard news, staffed by people that take journalism seriously.

Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: October 15, 2020, 06:08:26 AM »
"We did this"

Ummm, didn't we 'do' climate change as well. much do you know about the deep history of the Great Plains? Are  you familiar with the Sand Hills, for example? And with what happened the last time the earth was at it's current 1C above ~19th century temperatures?
I'm not familiar with the term 'deep history', let alone the deep history of the Great  Plains. I thought the Sand Hills were formed during the last glaciation. But, apparently, they are related to warm periods. Please educate us.

The rest / Re: The off topic off topic thread
« on: October 15, 2020, 05:46:11 AM »
I have discovered a fundamental rule of living nature:

           If you kill a lifeform on purpose, you have to eat it.
'Discovered' or invented?

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: October 08, 2020, 01:14:15 AM »
The physician who led the successful war against Smallpox has written a scorching five page letter to the head of the CDC laying out how the CDC has plummeted from the pinnacle of global health to a scattered and ignored and marginalized creature of an incoherent government.
He concludes by calling for the resignation of the CDC head as the best way to begin the healing process.

Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: October 08, 2020, 01:04:47 AM »
Poland has been a notable laggard among its E.U. peers when it comes to carbon emission reductions.
It has finally concluded that action is required but has chosen a particularly dumb and expensive route to getting off coal.
It plans to spend $40B in building the first of a series of 1-1.6GW nuclear plants.
It will also spend slightly less on 8-11GW of offshore wind.
The least expensive, easiest, quickest sources of renewable energy- onshore wind and PV are not included in the plan.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: October 05, 2020, 06:08:24 AM »
That Hitoshi piece is interesting, thanks!
Hear hear!
This article explores the same theme (of course) and provides some strategies for managing the virus.

Back casting to identify super spreaders.
Learning to live with an endemic pandemic.
I still think that we could have eliminated it- maybe we still can, if we want to.
Some places, mostly isolated places, have avoided or eliminated it.

Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: September 16, 2020, 02:56:32 AM »
I really did not need to read that Vox, but I knew all along it was true. The evidence just keeps piling up. While still mourning the rapid deterioration of the Yukon River salmon runs, today we learn that a protected (federally listed as endangered), caribou herd in a national park in Canada has been extirpated because park managers value tourism revenue over preserving endangered species.
We do not deserve this beautiful planet.

The rest / Re: Astronomical news
« on: September 15, 2020, 12:55:47 AM »
Scientists Find Gas Linked to Life in Atmosphere of Venus

Phosphine, released by microbes in oxygen-starved environments, was present in quantities larger than expected

Astronomers detected phosphine 30 miles up in the planet’s atmosphere and have failed to identify a process other than life that could account for its presence.
The presence of even a few parts per billion of PH3 is completely unexpected for an oxidized atmosphere (where oxygen-containing compounds greatly dominate over hydrogen-containing ones).

Twitter, at least one corner of it, has been noting that penguin guano can emit phosphine, and that maybe penguins colonized Venus....
However, given the terribly hot conditions, it is more likely that Pernese dragons have been visiting, and leaving traces of Firestone.

Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: September 11, 2020, 08:55:27 PM »
Alaska's Salmon Are Getting Smaller

E. P. Palkovacs,, Recent declines in salmon body size impact ecosystems and fisheries, Nature Communications, 2020

As a commercial salmon fisher on the Yukon River (in Canada) since 1984, I, and all other fishers, have been acutely aware of this phenomenon since the 1980s.
Because we, both indigenous and non-indigenous fishers alike, typically had low levels of academic qualifications, our observations were resolutely discounted and disparaged by fisheries scientists for years and years.
We are still being ignored: It has always been obvious to us that the prime driver of the loss of the larger salmon has been size-selective fishing, undertaken of multiple salmon generations.
And yet, in this article, fishing is not identified as a driver because they had insufficient data.
They could have set a precedent and asked fishers.
Fishers selectively harvested the largest salmon for all the reasons that the largest salmon are identified as being important in the article.
This effect on salmon size is, in human life terms, permanent.
We have not only literally decimated the stocks, we have driven a permanent phenological change.
We could so easily have taken action, and fishers did, on multiple occasions, propose fishing methods to reverse the trend, before it was too late, but the proposals were not deemed sufficiently science based.
Unlike the scientific management that is driving the stocks to extinction.
We call it #ManagingToZero.

Pretty clear from that chart that Great Lakes ice cover is in a long steady decline.

What chart?
The chart in post 75 by Wdmn.

Judging from this summer's ice movement, the last of the arctic ice will be in the Beaufort.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: August 31, 2020, 08:15:29 AM »
(USA) Zalets and Padilla at usatoday: 90% of hospitalizations have preexisting health problems

"nearly 90% of adult patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in the US had one or more underlying diseases. "

"most common were hypertension (49.7%), obesity (48.3%), chronic lung disease (34.6%), diabetes (28.3%), and cardiovascular disease (27.8%). These conditions were even more prevalent in deceased COVID-19 patients, according to data released by Louisiana, New York and New Jersey."

94% of deaths have contributing conditions:

"he top conditions contributing to deaths involving coronavirus disease:

    Influenza and pneumonia
    Respiratory failure
    Hypertensive disease
    Vascular and unspecified dementia
    Cardiac Arrest
    Heart failure
    Renal failure
    Intentional and unintentional injury, poisoning and other adverse events
    Other medical conditions"


This is Fox News doing their propaganding thing to undermine the seriousness of Covid.

To me, 6% of the deaths happened to people who were perfectly healthy. That is troubling, not something to feel good about.
Yes, and the deniers-here is now trumpeting that 94% of Covid deaths reported were not in fact Covid deaths at all, and that the death  number in the U.S. should therefore be only 6% of the latest number (about 187K), i.e. only 9,000 or so. Of course, to believe that, you have to accept a massive conspiracy of thousands of MDs and epidemiologists....

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: August 30, 2020, 01:51:42 AM »
I mostly go to Worldometer for daily Covid stats.
I recently noticed that (to use today's figures) they have recorded 18,323,793 cases with an out come, i.e. patients either recovered or died. Of these 18 odd million people, 17,478,273 recovered and 845,520 died. In other words, 5% of casualties died. Is this the Case Fatality Rate that many have spoken of up thread? Or the Infection Fatality Rate? or something else entirely? 5% fatality seems to be much more deadly than most statistics I have heard.
Ummm, maybe this should go into the Stupid/Smart Questions thread...

Permafrost / Re: Permafrost general science thread
« on: August 28, 2020, 12:22:59 AM »
I've read a tiny bit about "retrogressive thaw slumps"  and was aware of how fast a multi-meter thick area (volume) of recent permafrost can mobilize, flowing into streams or the sea ("mud flows," we used to call them). 

The one on Peninsula Point formed as the Laurentide ice sheet was retreating, so the ground was freezing but there was loads of subsurface meltwater flowing and freezing too. it may have been up to 20 m thick at one stage.

The number and growth of thaw slumps are crazy. This study from the nearby Banks Island, showing a 60 fold increase in their numbers since the mid 80s

I have some cool pics and animation of the slumps too. I'll post them up tomorrow if I get the time. You can literally watch them developing just standing there.

We have a community science thaw slump monitoring project on the Dempster Highway- the road that leads (most of the way) to BFTV's study area.
I'd love to read the entire paper, is there a way to get it out from behind the paywall? SciHub does not have it yet.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: August 27, 2020, 11:43:24 PM »
I attended an annual US hydro conference a few years back. 4 years ago? ........One thing they all agreed on was building new dams in the US was a nonstarter. ........

Just in case we need an example of new large hydro that is not needed, not viable, not affordable, and, it appears, not even possible, we have Site C on the Peace River in British Columbia, Canada. Yet nonetheless, it proceeds. At least for now.

Thanks FreeGrass, for drawing our (mine anyway) attention to this really interesting idea. I am one of the CCS sceptics, simply because I don't think most Carbon capture and storage schemes will really permanently store carbon- pumping CO2 into oil fields to wring the last drops of petroleum out is the most common method touted, with zero guarantee that the CO2 will stay down there.
So, a method that locks carbon into a solid stable form is far superior.
Will it work? Maybe!
What could go wrong? Haha! Lots, of course- I can just imagine getting the sums wrong and over achieving and sucking CO2 levels down to 180ppm.....BBR's vision of re-glaciation could even come true!

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: August 27, 2020, 02:28:58 AM »
I'd like to commend BornFromTheVoid on their stunning 3 day slow gif upthread. It is mesmerizing to watch the ice drift and fade, almost like being there in real (but sped up) time. Clearly you have taken a tremendous amount of time and considerable skill and talent to produce this. I don't want to be greedy, but this is exactly how I'd like to view retrospectives of melting seasons.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: August 22, 2020, 07:37:17 AM »
Pearscott: I really appreciated the GIF of the Nares and N. Greenland. The fast ice breaking off in N. Greenland and floating off- down the Nares?- was particularly compelling.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: August 21, 2020, 09:43:55 PM »
Adding to the illustrations of just how infectious this virus can be is the report contained within this article about Alaska, where a 99 out of 135 employees of a fish processing plant are infected.

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: August 21, 2020, 07:09:49 AM »
Firefighters are in short supply in California as the state continues to face hundreds of fast-spreading blazes.

The difficult job is made even harder this year by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Many of the incarcerated laborers relied upon to fight fires are out of commission due to outbreaks in prisons across the state. Prisoners are crucial in the state’s fire response plan, fighting fires in exchange for wages as low as $2 per hour and reduced sentences.


Really? Americans have penal labour battalions fighting fires? Do they work in chain gangs? Or individual ball and chain set ups? Are most Americans OK with this?

The rest / Re: Astronomical news
« on: August 19, 2020, 07:55:16 AM »
Oops.  :o

A car-size asteroid flew within 1,830 miles of Earth over the weekend — the closest pass ever — and we didn't see it coming
A car-size asteroid flew within about 1,830 miles (2,950 kilometers) of Earth on Sunday.

That's a remarkably close shave — the closest ever recorded, in fact, according to asteroid trackers and a catalog compiled by Sormano Astronomical Observatory in Italy.

Because of its size, the space rock most likely wouldn't have posed any danger to people on the ground had it struck our planet. But the close call is worrisome nonetheless, since astronomers had no idea the asteroid existed until after it passed by. ...

To place how close this is into some context, Low Earth Orbit, where most man-made objects orbit, is anywhere below 1,200mi. So, had it's approach path and speed been different, it could have been captured by Earth's gravity and become a new moon!

The post-solstice weather pattern shows that this year the snowfalls have been occurring more thoroughly through summertime across highest elevations, and the map is supported by the Canucks and EOSDIS. There are likely substantial areas at highest elevations in NE Eurasia, the Himalayas, and the NW Rockies that retained snowcover through summer 2020.
OTOH, it appears we dodged the impending glaciation centred in Labrador/Quebec again; all the snow there seems to have melted. Phew!

Arctic sea ice / Re: When will the Northwest Passage "open" in 2020?
« on: August 14, 2020, 03:27:53 AM »
Would the closure of the passage be related to the garlic press sending ice down the channel between Victoria and Prince of Wales islands? I think this ice flow was what trapped Franklin's ships, but I  suppose we shall never know that for sure.

Greenland and Arctic Circle / Re: Greenland 2020 Melting Season
« on: August 12, 2020, 04:42:33 PM »
What is the large black splotches on the webcam ice? Rock/dirt on the bottom of the glacier? In that case I didn't realize the valley was so shallow. Or is it just a dirty ice layer of the glacier?
I would say this is dirty old ice and not the bedrock beneath it.
You can zoom into the photograph by clicking on it:
This is almost certainly dirt (silt) left behind by water that had pooled on the glacier until it suddenly drained away.

The rest / Re: Pareidolia
« on: August 09, 2020, 08:14:49 AM »;topic=382.0;attach=279778;image

Nellie the icelephant , anyone ?
Yes...especially with the N. polar eye!
However, judging by the modest ears, it is probably a mammoth.
Perhaps the ice cap is signalling a looming extinction.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: August 09, 2020, 08:00:34 AM »
Is this projection right? Tune in next winter:
A Second Wave of Covid-19 Cases and Deaths This Winter
... And I’ve come to a conclusion: Covid-19 is seasonal. It is like the human coronaviruses that cause colds, in which the number of cases in winter is much higher than in summer. And this means that the number of Covid-19 cases in the U.S. in winter will be much higher than July.

I came to the same conclusion. We are likely going to have a dreadful winter in the US and Europe with an uphill struggle Sisyphus would envy
Yes, we are struggling with distancing in summer when we are outside a lot. It will be tough to keep the bug from spreading when people are indoors most of the time. Perhaps the South of the U.S. will do better, given its mild winters.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: August 09, 2020, 07:57:56 AM »
Tracking the Real Coronavirus Death Toll in the United States

Nationwide, 200,700 more people have died than usual from March 15 to July 25, according to C.D.C. estimates, which adjust current death records to account for typical reporting lags. That number is 54,000 higher than the official count of coronavirus deaths for that period. Higher-than-normal death rates are now widespread across the country; only Alaska, Hawaii, Maine and West Virginia show numbers that look similar to recent years.
Alaska, Hawaii, Maine are all in the bottom 5 states for number of infections, W. Virginia is 9th least.
I suspect that is affecting the stats in the short term. While I'm not sure about the rest, my neighbour state of Alaska has an out of control epidemic of community transmission, so it would not surprise me if the death rate jumps soon.

The rest / Re: Astronomical news
« on: August 06, 2020, 07:59:02 PM »
Early Mars was covered in ice sheets, not flowing rivers, researchers say


Hmmm. Eskers? If Mars were once covered in an ice sheet, and rivers flowed under the ice, one would think there would be other evidence of this ice- moraines probably and eskers for sure. The article did not rule this out. Maybe nobody looked yet....

Arctic sea ice / Re: "Smart" and "Stupid" Questions - Feel Free To Ask
« on: August 06, 2020, 07:02:52 AM »
What will happen to Northern Hemispheric weather when the Arctic Sea ice melts completely?
As Oren indicated, nobody knows for sure, but, stick around and you'll be among the first to know.

Obviously conspiracy theories, forms of denialism and pseudo-science do show up on the Forum from time to time.

If a thread gets too wacky, I ignore it for a while until it settles down, or the contributor gets banned.

I've not used the ignore button that I've heard suggested as a tool, but if our excellent moderators should prove unable to control a wild poster, I'm prepared to do so.

I voted NO, I don't want to see crazy stuff on here. The story of the ice is crazy enough for anyone.

The rest / Re: Port of Beirut Explosion
« on: August 05, 2020, 01:44:05 AM »
Bellingcat has some additional details, disagrees with the quantity of Ammonium nitrate by a factor of ten.

Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: July 30, 2020, 07:39:43 PM »
Agreed Walrus. I just noticed that this discussion morphed into something perhaps better taken place in the Wildlife thread....,434.0.html

Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: July 30, 2020, 07:07:33 PM »
It appears that Walking Hibernation was a hypothesis found to not exist.
"Using the body core temperature as a measure of metabolic activity (the more the bear was eating, the higher the active metabolism and the higher the temperature), the research team found no sudden temperature changes, which would have otherwise hinted at a bear entering the suggested state of “walking hibernation.” "
"ll evidence points to the fact that polar bears possess no special trick to help them survive lengthy periods without food. Instead, they lose weight just like any other starving mammal. To survive long-term, polar bears need a good platform of sea ice from which to hunt seals. In short: no sea ice = no polar bears."

Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: July 30, 2020, 06:49:46 PM »
I was responding to this bolded sentence from your post
The seal issues always seems to rear its ugly head, whenever the polar bear discussion arises.  Yet, polar bears do much worse when there is more sea ice, as there is no place to hunt for seals.  When the polar bears awaken earlier, the sea ice has already begun to break up, making for optimal hunting.  The article makes numerous assumptions that are not support by the data.
I admit that I'm not a Polar bear biologist, so that I've never heard of "walking hibernation" is perhaps not surprising. Gonna have to do some research! Fortunately I do know some top Polar bear bios.

You indicate that too much ice is tough on bears. Do you know what is the optimal amount of ice, and when? Knowing this we should be able to predict where Polar bears are doing well, and to project where they will thrive into the future.

Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: July 30, 2020, 05:33:53 AM »
Dear Walrus,
I'm not sure where you get your Polar bear biology.
Polar bears don't hibernate.
They actually fatten up in winter when they hunt seals through the ice.
They lose weight in summer because they cannot catch seals.
The longer the ice free season, the fewer calories they can get.
This is why there are no polar bears in California, despite there being an abundance of seals and sea lions.

Consequences / Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« on: July 30, 2020, 02:42:13 AM »
It appears that the growth-at-all-costs folk at Bloomberg are concerned that too few social supports is affecting the reproduction rate of Americans. Many of us are probably of the opinion that we already have sufficient Americans.However, if this viewpoint gets some traction, Americans might start to get some of the things that all other developed countries take for granted.

Consequences / Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« on: July 26, 2020, 06:32:14 PM »
If the thinking of this young adult author is as mainstream as they indicate, the population of humans may start to decrease sooner rather than later.  But I agree with Oren, the per won't come next year. Regular denizens of this forum are aware of the phenomenon of momentum. What we are seeing now is massive pre-conditioning....

Right now Hurricane Hanna is at around 973 mb and 80 kts. The Beaufort low is predicted to bottom out around the same central pressure but the predictions I see are for perhaps 40 or 45 kts.

Why the difference?
Wind velocity is a factor of the pressure gradient rather than the absolute pressure. Crudely, the closer the isobars, the faster the potential wind. Meteorologists will likely jump all over me....

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