Saturday, February 15, 2014

Weathering Physics

.
And now for something...  Completely different.
.
Today I'd like to spend just a few moments speaking of Quantum Mechanics.  And specifically - the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.  (I only wish I were on TV doing it.)
.
As everyone knows, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle is any of a variety of mathematical inequalities asserting a fundamental limit to the precision with which certain pairs of physical properties of a particle known as complementary variables, such as position x and momentum p, can be known simultaneously.
.
That formula, as you are well aware, is:
.

.
Werner Heisenberg stated that the more precisely the position of some particle is determined, the less precisely its momentum can be known, and vice versa. The formal inequality relating the standard deviation of position σx and the standard deviation of momentum σp was derived by Earle Hesse Kennard later that year and by Hermann Weyl in 1928, where ħ is the reduced Planck constant.
.
The original heuristic argument that such a limit should exist was given by Heisenberg, after whom it is sometimes named the Heisenberg principle. This ascribes the uncertainty in the measurable quantities to the jolt-like disturbance triggered by the act of observation. Though widely repeated in textbooks, this physical argument is now known to be fundamentally misleading.  [Credit:  Wikipedia] 
.
Okay, everyone 'got that'?
.
Great.  We will speak of Quantum Physics no more.  
.
Why?  
.
Because OBVIOUSLY, I am not a Physicist.  And, if I'm being honest with you (as I almost-always am) I don't know what any of the above references mean.  To my extensive 'Non-Physics-Laden-Mind', the above looks like a formula for figuring out how to get the Eight Ball in the corner pocket while playing pool as it has something to do with speed, distance, and someone used the phrase 'mathematical inequalities' which probably means 'Tommy lost money on the bet in the pool room'...   
.
My extensive relationship with Physics begins (and ends) after Googling 'Quantum Physics' and scanning for 'deep' sounding topics to copy and paste into the section above.  
.
Boom.  Done.
.
So why do I speak of something of which I know nothing about?  
.
  • Because I can.  
  • Because you are reading it, aren't you? 
  • Because it sounds complex, and you're probably just 'going with it' - most likely giving me the benefit of the doubt?
  • And lastly, I want to make a point. 
.
Hey, don't get mad at me because I was pulling your leg by using 'Big Words' and droning on about stuff I don't understand.  It happens all the time on your Alphabet Soup of morning news broadcasts.  
.
Please do not hold me to a higher standard than you hold the folks at CBS...
.

.  
February 13, 2014, 'CBS This Morning':  
.
Guest Michio Kaku, a physics professor from New York City College [Yes, a physics professor, neither a 'Meteorologist' nor a 'Climatologist', but rather a 'Physics Professor' is now the CBS News Climate Change Expert?].  
.
Hmm, if his Weather Gig doesn't work out, I wonder how he'd do as a professional pool shark?  Since he appears to do extremely well working all the angles, momentum calculations, etc.???
.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Professor Michio Kaku and the cracker jack roundtable of 'CBS This Morning's Talking Heads', Live and Without a Net (they do, however, mention a bucket)...
 .
.
CHARLIE ROSE: Well, and California just got about twenty inches of rain from a pineapple express, but that state is far from ending its drought emergency. CBS News contributor Michio Kaku is a physics professor at the City College of New York. Good morning.

MICHIO KAKU: Good morning.

ROSE: So what's causing all this?

KAKU: Well, the wacky weather could get even wackier. What we're seeing is that the jet stream and the polar vortex are becoming unstable. Instability of historic proportions. Now think of the polar vortex as a bucket, a swirling bucket of cold air. However, the walls are weakening. Cold air is spilling out, spilling out over the walls of the bucket. And the question is, why? Why is this polar vortex weakening? We think it's because of the gradual heating up of the North Pole. The North Pole is melting.

ROSE: Global warming.

KAKU: That excess heat -- that excess heat generated by all this warm water is destabilizing this gigantic bucket of cold air, weakening this low pressure region, causing cold air to spill out over the United States. So that's the irony, that heating could cause gigantic storms of historic proportions.

O'DONNELL: We get this spilling out of the bucket, right? So but we see this snow in the Midwest and the south, why then has California been the driest on record? I mean, look at the snow pack in the Sierra's. Any skier knows out there they have so little snow pack. Huge drought.

KAKU: Because a lot of the weather, the warm -- the moisture-laden air which should go to California is being diverted into Canada, where it freezes, and it falls on your backyard. So in some sense there's the link between what's happening in California as the jet stream diverts, diverts the moisture-laden air over Canada and then it snows on the United States.

KING: I'm trying to follow you. I'm really trying to follow you. But does this explain why Niagra Falls is frozen and why it's warm in Sochi? It's all connected to the same thing, correct?

KAKU: It's connected. If you take a look at...

ROSE: Globally.

KING: Globally, yeah.

KAKU: ...at the jet stream, you see that England is flooding right now, Latin America is warm, while California has a drought. We're talking about instabilities caused by the eratic nature of the jet stream.


KING: What can be done about it, Professor? Anything we can actually do about it?

KAKU: Well, the bad news is that the north polar region continues to rise in temperature, it seems to be irreversible at a certain point, so we may have to get used to a new normal. That is, a north polar region that is melting, causing more instability in this bucket, causing more things to spill out, which means more extremes. Some winters could be very mild, other winters could be horrendous.

O'DONNELL: And you said 2014 is gonna be the hottest on record? 

KAKU: It's shaping up that this year could be one of the hottest years on record. The decade that just passed, it was the hottest decade ever recorded in the history of science.

ROSE: Michio, you know if this physics thing doesn't work out, you can be a weather man.

[LAUGHTER]

O'DONNELL: You could try it.

KING: Professor, thank you very much. I think he's speechless.

.
Summing up as concisely as possible...
.
  1. The North Pole is melting because 'heat rises', and north is 'up' right?,
  2. Our cold/hot/wet/dry weather bucket is overflowing (dependent upon where you are),
  3. Global Climate Change means that weather can get 'really really bad', or 'be really, really normal'
  4. 2014 WILL BE the hottest year on record, in the history of the world, and,
  5. If the Physics thing doesn't work out, Professor Kaku can be a weather man (all the while acknowledging that he IS NOT one today)
.
I heard about this segment from my boss who actually watched this show prior to driving through our 'most recent' snow event.  He was very concerned.  I know, because this is what he told me, "Mike, I am very concerned about our weather..."  
.
See, I told you that he was very concerned.  
.
Here you have a well-known (and 'interesting-looking') professor of Physics giving his take on Global Climate Change to unsuspecting Americans all across the Nation, and for that matter...  The World!
.
AND, topping off this poop-sandwich-of-a-weather-forecast is the dire prediction that...
.
"the bad news is that the north polar region continues to rise in temperature, it seems to be irreversible at a certain point..."
.
Notice that he never says if we are at this point or not (because he doesn't know), but also keep in mind that...  
.
He's a Physics guy.   
.
He is NOT an expert on Global Climate Change / Global Warming / or the Menapausal Mood Swings of Mother Nature in general.  He, as explained in great detail above, is basically a POOL SHARK.

.
End of lesson.
.
Go about and enjoy your life.
.
But do it as quickly as possible... 
.
Because there's nothing you can do!!!  You're going to die either a hot (yet possibly cold), or dry (yet possibly wet) and a necessarily & completely unavoidable meteorological-related death!!!   
.
So why all the fuss about health care for everyone???  We're all gonna burn (or freeze) anyway...
.
As for me, I'm heading out to shovel my driveway (for the 14th time this week) because frozen white heat is again accumulating where I park my car.


.
Predictable as ever, my 'Weather Bucket' overflows once more...
.

Post a Comment