Climate scientists: Jet stream crossing equator not unprecedented

July 1, 2016 by  
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A story picked up by Inhabitat and other media outlets that the Northern Hemisphere jet stream crossing the equator and mixing with the Southern Hemisphere jet stream is “unprecedented” and signifies a “global climate emergency,” in the words of  Paul Beckwith, a geography professor at the University of Ottawa, has received some pushback. Interviewed by The Washington Post , Jennifer Francis, a professor of meteorology at Rutgers University who specializes in the relationship between global warming and jet stream patterns, said that “cross-equator flow cannot be unprecedented, maybe not even all that unusual.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nzwJg4Ebzo Beckwith was alerted to the development from a blog post by environmental writer Robert Scribbler, who updated his article following the Washington Post column. Scribbler’s statement said that his post had since been vetted to remove inaccuracies and that he wanted to make it clear that “we are not saying here with all certainty that a global climate emergency due to loss of seasonality is currently upon us. More that the situation appears to be worsening and that this particular global climate emergency may be something that we will have to deal with over the coming years and decades.” Related: Yes, the Polar Vortex May Be a Result of Global Warming It should be noted that Beckwith modified the word “unprecedented” in his blog post and YouTube video titles by adding a question mark. On early Friday morning, Beckwith wrote his first response to The Washington Post piece in the comments section of his YouTube video page, saying that “in good time I will mercilessly tear this article apart limb by limb.” So while there appears to be nothing unusual about air flow between the hemispheres, Francis has found evidence linking Arctic warming to jet stream movement. In a study published last year in the science journal, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society  and titled “Evidence Linking Rapid Arctic Warming to Mid-latitude Weather Patterns,” Francis and her colleague Natasa Skific concluded that wavy jet stream patterns are becoming more frequent, leading to extreme weather events. “As emissions of greenhouse gases continue unabated,” the paper said, “the continued amplification of Arctic warming should favor an increased occurrence of extreme events caused by prolonged weather conditions.” Via Washington Post  Lead image via YouTube

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Climate scientists: Jet stream crossing equator not unprecedented

Tesla responds to first ever death-by-autopilot crash in Florida

July 1, 2016 by  
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This week Tesla disclosed that the first known death caused by a self-driving car was due to one of its own. Joshua Brown was involved in a fatal accident on May 7, when his Model S sensor system failed to discriminate between a bright white sky and the bright white side of a large 18-wheel truck crossing the highway. A release by Tesla admits that the autopilot system is “not perfect and still requires the driver to remain alert.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=23&v=5TjbqVartjM Brown was a Navy veteran and avid enthusiast of the electric vehicle company, posting videos of his adventures in his Model S. Tesla acknowledged his commitment to their mission in a statement about the incident, yet also reminded the public that the autopilot system requires constant awareness from the driver and employs a variety of features to encourage drivers to stay attentive. Related: The Tesla Model S can now drive, park and brake without relying on a human driver The accident, which took place in Williston, Florida, is being investigated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which reported that Brown died at the scene from the impact of the semi tearing through the top of his car. Tesla’s statement explains that neither the autopilot nor Brown applied the brakes. Tesla has recently hinted that the affordable Model 3 will be equipped with self-driving  capabilities, so the technology isn’t going away anytime soon. Unfortunately, neither are people’s tendencies to push limits or succumb to human error. The benefits of autopilot assistance are abundant, as are the precautions drivers must take to use it safely. You can read Tesla’s full response to the accident here . Via  The Guardian Images via  Flickr

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Tesla responds to first ever death-by-autopilot crash in Florida

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