Why Water is Weird

Why Water is Weird

Water molecule

Most people understand certain physical concepts well enough to be permanently confused by them. This is especially true when the subject involves the inter-molecular dynamics of the H2O molecules to other H2O molecules.  In two previous posts on this website I discussed the molecular basis for non-Newtonian fluids.  If you had read these posts and spent some time studying them you would understand the quirkiness of the H2O molecule that underlies non-Newtonian fluids and other quirky characteristics of water.  Did anybody do this?  Of course not.  That is because, like I said, most people understand certain physical concepts well enough to be permanently confused by them. And when people become confused their minds fog over and they lose interest.  Here is your second chance.

images

As discussed therein, the reason the hammer blow on the surface of the corn starch and water mixture caused the first of the two hydrogen bonds to be broken was because the high granularity of corn starch was able to apply force between water molecules that separated the very weak hydrogen bond that existed between the water molecules.  And, the reason the corn starch mixture instantly became strong (hard) is because of the strength of the hydrogen bonds that existed between the water molecules.  Did you notice anything contradictory about these last two sentences?  If not, read them again.  In the first sentence I said the hydrogen bond is weak in the second I said the hydrogen bond is strong.  How is that possible, you might be wondering.  How can a hydrogen bond be weak in one instance and strong in another?  Did I, maybe, make a mistake?

images (1)

I did not make a mistake.   Water’s hydrogen bond is both weak and strong.  How is that possible?  There are two peculiarities about the water molecules’s hydrogen bond that you need to understand. Firstly, the oxygen side of each water molecule comprises the negatively charged end of its polarity. On this negatively charged, oxygen location there are two attachment points at which a positive, hydrogen atom of two other water molecules can form a hydrogen bond.  It’s important to be cognizant of the fact that, in sharp contrast to the positive, hydrogen side of the water molecule which are far apart from each other, on this negative side the two attachment points are very close to each other.  As I will explain shortly, understanding the implications of the fact that these two negative locations are close to each other is THE MOST IMPORTANT CONCEPT to understand if you want to understand the collective quirkiness of H2O molecules.

images (3)

But before we get to that there is another concept that you have to understand.  Unlike either a covalent bond or an ionic bond the forces that underlie a hydrogen bonds are neutralized with the completion of a hydrogen bond.  This is because the force that underlies a hydrogen bond is an implication of the polarity of the H2O molecule itself–the fact that it is geometrically out of balance.  With the completion of both hydrogen bonds that balance is restored and the force is neutralized.

You should now have a firm grasp of these two concepts: 1) the fact that the the two negatively charged hydrogen bonding attachment points on each water molecule are close together on its oxygen molecule and, 2) the fact that the completion of the hydrogen bond neutralizes (consumes) the force that established the hydrogen bonds.

(At this point in time it might be a good idea to get out a piece of paper and draw a rough sketch of a water molecule and put a dot at each of the four attachment points.  Use the picture of the H2O molecule at the top of the page as your model.  Be sure to maintain its orientation. Put one dot on each of the two hydrogen molecules and put two dots, close to each other, at the far end of the oxygen molecule. Enumerate these dots, starting at the top left, going left to right, ending with the last dot on the bottom.  Take note of the fact that the distance between #1 and #2 is about 4 times that between #3 and #4.  In accordance with the nomenclature indicated in the video indicated below write +1∂ on each of the two hydrogen atoms and -2∂ near the bottom of the Oxygen atom.)

Now you have all the elements you need to complete the final step, which involves asking yourself some rhetorical questions about the implications of 1 or 2 hydrogen bonds having been completed.  What it comes down to is this: when two of the hydrogen bonds are completed (on the negative end of a water molecule) the bonds are extremely weak.  It’s polarity is neutralized and the resulting force of the bond disappears (2∂ – 2∂ = 0∂).  This is a result of having its balance restored by the presence of four bonds around its perimeter (two covalent bonds and two hydrogen bonds).  Consequently the two hydrogen bonded atoms (the ones associated with the adjacent water molecules) just kind of float.  They maintain a very weak, ephemeral presence.  The only thing holding them is the partial return of the polarity whenever they move away.

images (2)

Now ask yourself what happens when you pull one of them away completely. When only one hydrogen bond is complete the bond strength is relatively high.  This is because, unlike when there are two, when there is only one hydrogen bond on the negative, oxygen location the polarity has not been fully consumed.  Its force has not been fully neutralized (2∂ – 1∂ = 1∂).

This results in a bond that is structurally very strong.  This is the molecular basis for the collective quirkiness of the H2O molecule.  It is structurally stronger (higher viscosity) when it is less interconnected (less self attached) and less dense (as in ice) and structurally weaker (lower viscosity) when it is more interconnected (more self attached) and more dense (as in liquid water).

At this juncture it might be a good idea to re-examine two posts that I pointed you at previously:

What is the molecular mechanism underlying non-Newtonian fluids?
http://wp.me/p4JijN-46Z

Solution to the molecular mechanism underlying non-Newtonian fluids?
http://wp.me/p4JijN-48z

Take your time with these.  It’s very important that you fully comprehend what is going on here.

More concisely, this mechanism dictates that the first of the two bonds (associated with the negatively charged, oxygen side of a water molecule) can be separated very easily, the second cannot. Consequently, there is a structural strength hidden from us in water molecules that only becomes evident the more they are detached from each other.  One of several counter intuitive implications of this mechanism is that clusters/droplets of H2O can be separated from each other using relatively low energy, as in evaporation, but relatively high energy levels are required to achieve total separation, as in gaseous H2O (steam).  (Also, the widespread, mistaken perception that evaporation produces gaseous H2O [steam] is further bolstered by the fact that the small clusters of H2O evaporate [vapor] is, often, equally as invisible as is steam.)

There is another gigantic implications associated with the hidden strength of water’s hydrogen bond.  It involves water droplets/clusters at wind-shear boundaries being bombarded with side-glancing impacts from N2 and O2 and beginning to spin and elongate into chains (polymers of H2O joined by strong hydrogen bonds [2∂ – 1∂ = 1∂]) as a result of the centrifugal force produced by the spinning.  This is the basis of the plasma that comprises the structure of vortices.   (Its a plasma because the forces pulling the H2O molecules apart from each other [the centrifugal force that is a result of the spinning caused by wind shear] are opposed by the forces pulling it back together again (electro-magnetic forces of polar molecules [2∂ – 1∂ = 1∂]).  These vortices are the conduits of low pressure energy in our atmosphere (as in jet streams, storms, tornadoes, and hurricanes). When you understand this you will understand something extremely profound about the nature of atmospheric flow.

Vortex Phase: The Discovery of the Spin that Underlies the Twist
http://wp.me/p4JijN-aE

Solving-Tornadoes-design_03

Response to Pat Obar

http://www.principia-scientific.org/arctic-explorers-or-buccaneers.html#comment-11224

PO:
Water vapor or (technical) steam especially superheated steam is the monomolecular gas phase of H20, nothing else!

Jim:
In common parlance the word vapor is used interchangeably to indicate steam or evaporate. Thus there is a lot of ambiguity in the word. I really don’t care what word is used, as long as it is consistent. If you want to convince the rest of the world that vapor equates to steam I will gladly follow along. Until then, however, I’m going to continue to consider it an evaporate/condensate.

PO:
Such “gas” has low molecular density but specific heat, twice that of gas N2 or O2!

Jim:
It depends, and IDK. I’m not sure how this is relevant.

PO:
Water condensate is the colloid between liquid or solid H2O and the gas phase.

Jim:
So, you’re proposing a new phase of water that is between gas and liquid–and that requires it be mixed in with air molecules? Wouldn’t it be less confusing (and not less accurate) to refer to it as liquid droplets/clusters that are suspended between air molecules (by electro-static forces [more on electro-static forces below])?

PO:
In the atmosphere this condensate is called an aerosol with a higher density than the gas, . . .

Jim:
Well, yes, if it contains liquid droplets/clusters rather than individual molecules of H2O (which is what meteorologists erroneously assume) then it would have to have a higher density than if it was 100% gas–according to gas laws (ie. Avogadro’s Law). And, consequently, it would have to have a higher WEIGHT PER VOLUME than does dry air. So, it can only have negative buoyancy. And, therefore, convection of moist air at ambient temps is impossible. It’s a myth. And it’s a myth that meteorologists refuse to abandon or even to discuss abandoning (The notion is sacred–it’s taboo–in some universities students have been failed or denied employment opportunities if they didn’t recant any statements they made disputing convection/latent heat.) because all of their models depend on its existence (Note: not all of their models involve convection. Some involve the equally ludicrous notion of “latent heat,” which also depends on the fictional existence of “cold steam.”)

PO:
but no one knows by how much, or why

Jim:
I suppose that’s true. And it is highly variable because the size of the droplets/clusters changes as they combine and/or re-separate with changes in pressure, temperature and static electricity (see below for more on static electricity).

PO:
And, no one knows why it remains suspended under the complex fluid dynamics of this compressible fluid called atmosphere, that is within a strong gravitational field.

Jim:
Speak for yourself. I know. What follows is an excerpt from my book entitled Vortex Phase: The Discovery of the Spin that Underlies the Twist: (See link below)
“Being heavier than dry air, moist air, therefore, is assumed to have negative buoyancy. This presents a conceptual challenge: if moist air is heavier and not lighter than dry air then how/why does it not just fall out of the atmosphere? My response is that moisture in our atmosphere is dictated by two processes (neither of which has anything to do with convection/buoyancy): 1) Electrostatic forces: air has a residual negative charge, water droplets have a residual positive charge, together these cause water droplets/clusters to remain suspended in air; and 2) As explained in the first paragraph of this chapter, the jet stream, in the context of creating storms, constantly pulls moist air up into its flow at the top of the troposphere 7 to 12 kilometers above us. Thunderstorms (which have nothing whatsoever to do with convection) are a particularly dramatic example of jet streams–acting as conduits of low pressure–growing down into the lower troposphere to create rapid uplift.”
Source: http://wp.me/p4JijN-aE

Have you ever noticed that atmospheric discharge of electricity (lightning) is highly correlated with rain? Why do you think that is?

More recently I’ve come to the conclusion that the origin of this atmospheric static electricity is, most likely, the solar winds. The northern lights, according to this theory, are visual evidence of this static electricity entering Earth’s atmosphere.

It’s good to see that you are smart enough and skeptical enough to not just take meteorologists word on this. They would have us believe that the only solution to this conundrum is to assume that evaporate is gaseous H2O (to produce buoyancy/convection/latent heat).

PO:
Please be extremely suspicious of anyone that claims they know, especially of yourself!  Anything visible is never steam, only the condensate!

Jim:
Steam is invisible. Always. Evaporate is also, usually, invisible. Evaporate only becomes visible when the diameter of it’s droplets/clusters are greater than the length of a photon.

It’s especially important to be aware that moisture that is invisible is not always gaseous H2O. In fact, most of the evaporate that is in Earth’s atmosphere is just as invisible as gaseous H2O.

PO:
The meteorologists can only lie, as they also have not a clue

Jim:
Don’t assume that all meteorologists believe this nonsense. They have to go along with it if they want to keep their jobs. The upper echelons in meteorology is not that different from that of the Mafia. Except they won’t kill you. They’ll just prevent you from becoming employed or getting research grants–more like the IPCC or Al Gore. And they are much better at suppressing debate and evading challenges from outside the discipline.

The Semantics of Science Are My Area of Expertise

Jim:
Let me take one more shot at explaining the error that I think you slayers are making.

There are three things:
1) Energy, a thing;
2) Heat, heated, or heating (flux), a process in which energy changes its location; and
3) Relative temperature (up, down), the result of the process of heat, heating, and being heated (or the result of flux).

You slayers have, IMO, erroneously assumed that the LoTs (Laws of Thermodynamics) refer to #2, a process. In actuality the LoTs refer to #3, the result of the process of heat/heating, relative temperature (up, down). And this involves the net gain or loss of energy, which, BTW, is not directly measured or measurable but is inferred from the temperature measurements.  In short, you have made the common mistake of conflating the concept of heat (flux) with the concept of temperature measurement.

Anonymous:
I understand perfectly what the 2nd LoT refers to, and you are correct, it refers to “heat”, which is the “result” of the energy.

Jim:
The word heat is ambiguous. This ambiguity lies at the heart of your misconception. If you clear up the ambiguity you will eventually also clear up your misconception. But that is going to take a lot longer than you think. (Trust me, I know.) You need to be extremely deliberate about clearing up any ambiguity then, and only then, you need to rethink your argument.

Anonymous:
You keep speaking of this “ambiguity” … There is no ambiguity here. Temperature has nothing to do with what I am talking about. Temperature is an arbitrary measurement and has nothing to do with the exchange of energy nor the heat as the result of that energy. This is simply “energy” and “heat” .. period.

Jim:
That you believe temperature has nothing to do with it is the problem. The laws of thermodynamics were developed to explain (interpret) the data — and that data was, you guessed it, temperature measurements.

You slayers have conflated the concept of flux with the concept of relative temperature measurement. In casual parlance these two different concepts can be referred to as “heat, heating, an/or heated.” This is the source of the ambiguity. Only if you stop using the ambiguous words, (“heat, heating, and/or heated”) and you employ more scientifically concise terminology (such as “flux” or “temperature measurement”) is there any chance for you to overcome this misconception.

Like I said, it’s going to take you a long time to get over this. The problem is deeper than you realize. Ambiguity is what created the misconception. But ambiguity is not itself the misconception. The misconception involves a false belief about the nature of flux that you formed when you were under the spell of the ambiguous terminology. Flux (notice I didn’t use the ambiguous word heat) does go in all directions (up, back, down, sideways, etc.). A relative increase in temperature (notice, once again, I didn’t use the ambiguous words heat or warmth) only takes place in the cooler object (as an implication of its proximity to the hotter object). And a relative decrease in the rate of cooling does take place in the hotter object (as an implication of its proximity to the cooler object). The hot to cold only stipulation of the LoTs is in reference to the measurable change in temperature in the two objects. That’s it. The LoTs do not say that the flux only goes one way. They say that the relative increase in temperature only goes one way.

IOW, as a result of the ambiguous terminology you formed a false belief that flux only travels from hot to cold. But avoiding the ambiguous terminology is not going to kill the belief. Beliefs do not die easy. It’s going to take time.

The semantics of science are my expertise. Many people carry some form of scientific misconception that has its origins in semantics. (It’s especially common in evolutionary theory, for example. And climastrology. And, to a lesser degree, in meteorology.) Once these beliefs are formed they are almost impossible to refute. The intellectual mechanism that is involved is the same intellectual mechanism that underlies the human tendency to form strong religious beliefs.

Additionally, once beliefs are formed people tend to collectivize with those to whom with which they share the same beliefs and the same semantics. The internet has exacerbated the problem by making it really easy for people of similar scientific beliefs and similar semantic assumptions to find each other, allowing them to reinforce each other’s misconceptions and providing them moral support for stubbornly adhering to their semantic assumptions. (Sound familiar?)

First get the facts straight

http://climateofsophistry.com/2015/06/08/ontological-mathematics-boundary-conditions-physics-empiricism/#comment-23735

Durango Dan:
When molecular kinetic energy, commonly known as heat (and measured as temperature), is transferred from the Earth’s surface to the atmosphere by a process of molecular contact commonly known as conduction of heat, the atmosphere which is a gaseous fluid responds by expanding at the immediate surface / atmosphere interface. This bit of atmosphere now being less dense than the air above it, rises and allows cooler denser air to contact the surface initiating a very efficient heat transfer process commonly known as convection. This convection feeds back on itself carrying the air and heat higher and higher above the surface. In dealing with conductive heating it is easy to visualize by the bicycle wheel analogy why heat only flows from warmer to cooler. If warmists had to explain the greenhouse effect in the context of conductive heat transfer I don’t see how they could do it effectively. This is why the graphics most commonly used to display the greenhouse effect show radiative heat from the surface to the atmosphere and back again. Since radiative heating is not the predominant process by which the Earth’s surface sheds heat to the atmosphere, the very use of radiative heating in this diagram is fraudulent. Radiative heat transfer by photons makes for a much easier magic trick when it comes to creating the illusion that cold can heat hotter. Going along with the radiative mechanism facilitates the deception.

ST:
I think you guys need to be less obsessed with the deception and exposing the deception (of climate alarmism) and more obsessed about getting the facts right about the atmosphere and how it actually functions. Postma’s long diatribes about mathematics don’t mean anything unless they are applied to the atmosphere to some useful end. And, Dan, your meanderings about the atmosphere and convection are extremely sketchy and amateurish. In some instances, as I will expand upon below, your thinking leads us to blatantly false conclusions.

Dan:
. . . the atmosphere which is a gaseous fluid responds by expanding at the immediate surface / atmosphere interface.

ST:
Well, of course it does. Anything that heats up will expand. But here is the thing you aren’t getting. The warmer air becomes the greater becomes its capacity to absorb and suspend microdroplets of liquid H2O (see chart). (Keep in mind, there is no steam in Earth’s atmosphere, it is much too cool.) Then consider the fact that 70% of the earth’s surface is water. Add up all of these factors and you arrive at the realization that vast majority of warmer air on this planet is heavier, not lighter, than cooler air. The only places where this is not true is in desert environments (including the polar regions) where there is little moisture.

So, remember, warmer air is almost always heavier because it, almost always, is holding a higher capacity of liquid water micro droplets.

Dan:
This bit of atmosphere now being less dense than the air above it, rises

ST:
As I stated, this happens only in the driest of dry desert environments. Most of warmer air is heavier than drier air because it contains so many more microdroplets of moisture.

Dan:
. . . and allows cooler denser air to contact the surface initiating a very efficient heat transfer process commonly known as convection.

ST:
This is wrong. Since warm, moist air is heavier than dry air convection is almost non-existent on this planet, except in driest of deserts.

Dan:
This convection feeds back on itself carrying the air and heat higher and higher above the surface.

ST:
This is nonsense. There is no convection and no convection feedback. (Convection feedback employs perpetual motion machine logic.)

ST:
The fact that you are wrong about the mechanism does not mean you are wrong about the effect. There is a tremendous amount of mixing that takes place on our planet. This mixing is, most directly, the result of the jet streams, the winds that are generated by jet streams, and the storms that too are generated by the jet streams.

See more on this here:
http://wp.me/p4JijN-45v
http://wp.me/p4JijN-aE

Paranoia Induced Stubborn Stupidity of Joe Postma

Allow me to help you. First let’s delineate the two different meanings of the concept of heat associated with radiant transfer between objects:

1) To absorb energy and have the molecules of the entity excited as a result

2) To have the measurable temperature of an entity increased as a result of an influx of energy.

Only the second of these two has any relevance to the laws of thermodynamics. The first does not.

Using #1 heating goes both ways, because energy goes both ways.
Using #2 heating only goes one way, from hotter to cooler.

You misunderstood something and you’ve been trying to force the square peg of #1 into the round hole of the second law of thermodynamics. Try putting the round peg of #2 into the round hole of the second law and you will find it works much better. And then you won’t have to embarrass yourself pretending to understand something you don’t.

Don’t waste too much time beating yourself up about this, Joe. You made an honest mistake. Apologize and forget about it. It doesn’t change the fact that global warming is still nonsense. Nor does any of this substantiate concerns that CO2 increases back radiation.

Jim McGinn
Solving Tornadoes

Where do severe storms get their energy from?
http://wp.me/p4JijN-ck

Doswellian Lunacy Prevails in the Cult of Meteorology/Tornadogenesis
http://wp.me/p4JijN-6G

Why are Jet Streams So Fast? Can you explain?

The air speed within jet streams can be as much as 300 miles an hour.  Why?  How?  What causes this?

Do you have an explanation?

 Plasma

Spin That Underlies the Twist

Meteorology as a System of Belief

 

Solution to the molecular mechanism underlying non-Newtonian fluids?

In a previous post I presented a challenge: What is the mechanism underlying non-Newtonian fluids?  In this post I provide the solution.

In the previous post I provided a link to another video that contained a hint.  We will get to that further along.  First I would like to discusss another concept/conjecture for which I provided no hint but for which I had previously discussed in a prior post on this website entitled: Polarity Neutralization Implication of Hydrogen Bonds Between Water Molecules and Groups Thereof.  Therein I asserted that unlike other types of bonds the force associated with a hydrogen bond is consumed (neutralized) by the completion of a bond between two water molecules.  Consequently when a water molecule has two bonds on its negative oxygen molecule the polarity is neutralized and the resulting force of the bond disappears (2∂ – 2∂ = 0∂). So, when there are two hydrogen bonds completed the positively charged hydrogen atoms just kind of float.  The only thing holding them is that if they move away the charge returns pulling them back.

However, and most significantly, when there is only one hydrogen bond completed then there is a considerable amount of the polarity induced bond strength remaining (2∂ – 1∂ = 1∂).  This remaining bond strength creates a very hard bond.  This is the same hard bond associated with ice.  Through this we can understand why ice expands as it hardens since the hardening has to do with excluding one of the two bonds, forcing it away.

Through this understanding we can also, I contend, understand the strange behavior of non-Newtonian fluids: when force is applied the starch molecules, being very small, exert inter-molecular force on the water molecules.  By tearing off the first of the two molecules (which comes off fairly easily) the starch leaves behind one hard connection.  So, essentially, what is happening is that the starch is forcing the water to become ice for a fraction of a second.  This explains the mechanism underlying non-Newtonian fluids.

Jim McGinn (AKA Claudius Denk)
Solving Tornadoes

What is the molecular mechanism underlying non-Newtonian fluids?

Consider a mixture of corn starch and water, which is said to be a non-Newtonian fluid:

What is actually happening at the molecular level to cause the associated behavior?  Here is a hint:
 
This second video does not provide the answer to this question but it steps you right up to the precipice.  The hint comes between 2:00 and 2:30.  I hope you will take this as a challenge and attempt to answer the question.  (Remember, we’re looking for a molecular mechanism.)
I will give you one more hint.  When you understand this mechanism you will also have the basis for understanding how this same mechanism underlies many of the other quirky characteristics of the H2O molecule, including: the high boiling point of water, the fact that it expands when it freezes, the Mbasa effect, super chilled water, cavitation, Gerald Pollack’s EZ water, and my own theoretical thinking regarding a plasma phase of water being instrumental in the emergence of vortices (jet streams) that facilitate atmospheric flow.

Good luck.  I hope somebody gets the right answer.  I will be providing the correct answer by May 11th, 2015.

Follow this link for the solution: Solution

Open Letter to Senator James Inhofe from Solving Tornadoes

To Senator James Inhofe

Dear Senator,

H.L. Mencken said, “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple…and wrong.”

The purpose of this letter is to convince you to sanction a very simple and inexpensive experiment. The experiment will show something that is counter intuitive to you and to everybody: there is no such thing as cold steam.

All meteorologists believe in cold steam and, frankly, so does just about everybody else, including yourself most likely. For most of us this belief is inconsequential but for meteorologists this belief renders them feckless in their efforts to understand and mitigate large, destructive tornadoes. I am contacting you (and only you) because I believe you are the one person who can both understand this issue and do something about it.

More precisely, all meteorologists believe in one or both of two notions: 1) that moist air is lighter than dry air and is, therefore, more buoyant, causing it to convect up through dry air, like a hot air balloon, to power storms and tornadoes and/or 2) that as moist air rises it goes through a phase change as it condenses, producing latent heat and, somehow, this latent heat provides the power of storms.

The more one looks at the details of these notions the more these details, seemingly, evaporate. The first of these two notions is known as convection or buoyant convection.  It is based on the known fact that the molecular weight of H2O, 18, is lighter than that of dry air, 29.  Consequently (and in congruence with ideal gas laws, most notably Avogadro’s law) parcels of air that contain cold steam would be lighter. However, due to the fact that H2O only makes up about 2% of such parcels of clear, humid air, the difference in calculated weight between a parcel of dry vs clear, humid air is much less dramatic, between 0.6% to 1%. As you can imagine, this fact is not something that meteorologists emphasize to the public.

For the second of these two notions, latent heat, the substantive aspect of their argument is even more obscure.  Beyond the description provided above, how latent heat supposedly powers uplift is never explained. Moreover, try as you might, you will not find a meteorologist that can explain how or if latent heat has ever been detected in our atmosphere.

Not having access to laboratory equipment, there are aspects to the proposed experiment that make it difficult for an individual like myself.  But these difficulties are not the reason I would not attempt this experiment myself. The reason I would not attempt this experiment myself is because even if I did nobody would care or even notice, most notably yourself. It is for this reason I want to convince you to sanction somebody you trust to do this experiment.

Like yourself, I have been a long time critic of the global warming hypothesis. For me it started on an internet discussion forum (alt.gobal-warming) in 2006.  I asked what I thought was a straightforward question regarding how CO2 Forcing was measured/calculated. In response a link was posted to a webpage on the IPCC website.  The information on the webpage that was so obscure it was almost indecipherable. Eventually I realized that it indicated that CO2 Forcing was not measured/calculated at all. CO2 Forcing was (and still is) nothing but an arbitrarily chosen variable that gets plugged into a GCM (General Circulation Model). I revealed this on the discussion group and made a fuss about it that drew considerable attention from the other participants. I never did get any resolution of the matter from the person that posted the link but apparently my effort did not go unnoticed because a few days later the webpage in question disappeared from the IPCC website.

I consider the concept of cold steam in meteorology to be equivalent of CO2 Forcing in climatology.  Both of them have only anecdotal support. In this respect, however, there is one difference. The fact that CO2 Forcing has never been tested and probably never will be tested is because it will never be concisely defined by the people that maintain its scientific validity.  In contrast, cold steam’s denotation does not depend on cooperation from meteorologists and it is in no need of being more concisely defined than it already is. Moreover, the actual testing does not necessarily have to involve meteorologists whatsoever.

All I’m asking for is fair consideration of my hypothesis on tornadogenesis and tornado mitigation.  I now realize that this will never happen as long as the belief in cold steam persists. The public won’t stop believing in cold steam as long as the assigned experts, meteorologists, refuse to acknowledge the issue and meteorologists aren’t going to do anything to upset the status quo.

Senator, you are the only person that has both the technical expertise to understand the issue and the power to do something about it.

Kindest Regards,

Jim McGinn
Solving Tornadoes

Where Do Winds Come From?

Are your ready for a non-conventional explanation? Other explanations (advection in this instance) are not wrong as much as they are incomplete and lacking in details (sometimes important details) that are necessary to properly conceptualize atmospheric flow.

First some basic facts:

1) Our atmosphere is a big sponge for energy. This is the result of the friction of gases.

2) Consequently there is a large amount of energy in our atmosphere. The molecules are moving very fast, 900 miles an hour. We generally refer to this energy as air pressure. Believe it or not this energy (air pressure) is the source of the energy that powers winds–but maybe not in the way you might first assume:

3) The means or mechanism by which the energy in air (air pressure) is converted to wind involves aerodynamics.

4) Aerodynamics requires a surface that can reflect energy and/or isolate a flow from the friction of gases.

5) Due to the friction of gases, streams, like jet streams, could not exist in our atmosphere unless there was some way to isolate the stream-flow from the friction of gases. Again this involves the existence of a surface that can reflect energy into a stream flow–aerodynamics.

6) At and along boundary layers between moist air and dry air, with the inclusion of energy (wind shear) a plasma phase of H2O emerges. This plasma provides the surface that reflects energy into a stream flow.

(BTW: this “plasma” is plainly observable as the “thick air” that comprises the cone/vortex of tornadoes.)

7) This plasma tends to spin around the central axis of flow producing a tubular structure (a vortex) that further isolates a stream flow (the jet streams) from the friction of gases. This isolation and the above mentioned reflection of energy into a stream flow is the reason for the high winds of the jet stream.

8) The jet stream is located at the boundary between the stratosphere and the troposphere. The reason it is located here is because, as explained in #6 above, the plasma must have a boundary between moist air and dry air and that is what exist between the very dry stratosphere and the relatively moist troposphere.

9) This is not a perfect system in that eventually the moisture falls out and the structure of the jet stream breaks down, this causes winds (advection) that generally track the same direction as the jet stream.  So, in a sense, the jet stream, being a leaky pipe of directed, focused energy, drags the rest of the atmosphere along.  And this explains why prevailing winds are prevailing.

10) Additionally,  the jet stream itself will tend to track down producing storms. Storms pull more moisture up higher (sometimes all the way up into the lower stratosphere) and this functions to re-establishes the moisture content in the upper troposphere.

11) Sometimes these, above mentioned, down tracking jet streams will encounter a moist/dry boundary layer in the lower atmosphere. This can result in the re-invigoration of a jet stream, supplying it the resource (moist/dry boundary layer) it needs to grow.  And this can, sometimes, allow it to grow all the way to the ground to produce a tornado.

12) Mitigating tornadoes can be achieved by interrupting the smoothness, length and integrity of moist/dry boundary layers in the lower troposphere.

It is important to note that without the H2O-based plasma that I mentioned above jet streams (and tornadoes) couldn’t possibly exist because friction of gases would prevent the conservation of energy (wind speed) that makes them possible. And since the jet streams are what powers the prevailing winds, the prevailing winds too would not exist without this H2O-based plasma. And this is all a good thing because the (usually) relatively calm weather conditions that we experience on this planet also would not exist (theoretically).

The general misconception is that prevailing winds are produced by differential air pressure. As I explained above, although this is not completely mistaken in reality this type of flow is generally not able to overcome the sponge effect of the friction of gases.

For more, follow this link:
http://wp.me/p4JijN-4y

 

Why Wind Farms Cause Drought

Wind farms destroy the pathways in the atmosphere that storms employ to become established:

Storms (all storms) involve the emergence of conduit-like structures (ie. jet streams, tornadoes) that transport energy from high (in the form of low pressure) and lift moist air up, one result of which being rainstorms. Starting from the jet streams that run along the top of the troposphere, these conduits grow downward to initiate storms. But they can only do this if the prerequisite factors underlying their growth are present. There are, basically, two prerequisites: 1) Long smooth distinct boundary layers between dry and moist bodies of air, and 2) Energy.

Here’s the problem. Wind farms introduce turbulence that destroys the smoothness, length, and distinctness of boundary layers between bodies of moist air and bodies of dry air and they remove (harvest) energy.

Are you convinced? No. I don’t expect you to be. Meteorologists have made such a mess of the science that there is little chance anybody can filter out the nonsense. Don’t take my word on it. Instead I suggest you take a look at the maps that show an unusually high degree of correspondence between the location and timing of the drought with construction of wind farms, especially in Texas and California.

https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=zTIeYRjrjN4w.kyKJj0fnc0Dc&usp=sharing
droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Home.aspx

en.openei.org/wiki/Map_of_Wind_Farms?&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social-media&utm_campaign=addtoany
http://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=zTIeYRjrjN4w.kyKJj0fnc0Dc&msa=0&z=6

https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=zTIeYRjrjN4w.kyKJj0fnc0Dc&usp=sharing

What is the difference between a Meteorologist and a climatologists? Just scale. Climatologists lie about things on a long term scale. Meteorologists lie about things on a short term basis. Beyond that they are identical.

You will never get anybody that has been paid to pretend they understand something they don’t understand to admit they don’t understand it.

Submission to Reader Comment Section of Ideas and Discoveries Magazine

Discover Something New

Ideas and Discoveries Magazine
http://www.ideasanddiscoveries.com/

My submission to Reader Comment Section:

(Post note: this submission was accepted and appears in the April issue.)

A river that has no banks is not a river, it is a flood.  Might the same be true for jet streams?  If so, might this suggest an undiscovered plasma that facilitates the structural integrity that, like the banks of a river, makes the focused flow of jet streams possible? Your article on jet streams, entitled How Sick is the Jet Stream? February 2015, goes a long way to opening people’s minds to the possibility that there is more to the atmosphere than just wind and water. On my own website, solvingtornadoes.com, I attempt to breath some life into these questions by drawing parallels between jet streams and tornadoes, going so far as to suggest that the plainly observable cone or vortex of a tornado is evidence that substantiates the existence of this theoretical plasma. In my book entitled, Vortex Phase: The Discovery of the Spin That Underlies the Twist, I take it a step further suggesting a simple solution to large, violent tornadoes. Thank you for providing graphic evidence that jet streams play a much greater role in our everyday lives than was previously even imagined.
James McGinn (aka Claudius Denk)
Pres. Solving Tornadoes

For more on this theme follow this link:
The Fourth Phase of Water

Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence

Initial Question

Everybody has seen it. Everybody knows exactly what I’m talking about. Yet there is nothing on it anywhere. It doesn’t matter where you look, internet, books, science journals, there is zero insight and/or discussion of the molecular dynamics of the very distinctive and highly observable cone or vortex of tornadoes.  You may have done the same thing I’ve done. After viewing video of a tornado you get on your computer and do a number of searches using combinations of the following words: tornado, vortex, molecular, dynamics, composition, expecting to find some kind of explanation. You might even have ended up at this site which does a fairly good job of encapsulating the attitude of meteorologists who, it seems, would have us believe that observation of tornadic vortices has more to do with our perception than it does physical reality:

“It is not a “thing” in the sense that a table or a book (neglecting atomic or molecular fluctuations) is the same from one moment to the next. Much confusion about tornadoes comes from thinking of tornadoes as objects rather than as the kinematic manifestation of dynamic processes.”

Obviously this is just doublespeak intended to minimize the issue. Nobody disputes that a vortex is more than just a listing of molecular composition and percentages thereof. Nobody disputes that energy is involved, such as that associated with its rotation and that associated with air moving up and through its conduit-like structure. And nobody disputes that situational factors are instrumental. It is, for example, commonly observed that factors associated with wind-shear between two bodies of air moving at cross angles—one being relatively moist and the other relatively dry—and other factors such as general instability and high winds aloft are also associated with the observation of these vortices. But none of this answers the question: what specifically is going on with the molecules that comprise the cone or vortex?

I had been entertaining this question in my mind casually for fifteen or twenty years. Every once in a while I would read something or see something on TV that would trigger my thinking. One of these triggers was the concept that water is a non-Newtonian fluid.   Newtonian fluids are fluids in which, “shear strain is directly proportional to shear stress.” Non-Newtonian fluids, therefore, are fluids in which shear strain is indirectly or even inversely proportional to shear stress. What this means is that whereas Newtonian fluids get weaker under stress non-Newtonian fluids get stronger under stress (in particular ways). After further investigation I came to the conclusion that water’s non-Newtonian attributes are an implication of the H2O molecule’s polarity and associated hydrogen bonding. In my book, entitled Solving Tornadoes: Mastering the Mystery of the Vortex, I provide details as to how these cumulative factors, starting with clusters/droplets of water suspended in the atmosphere, produce a plasma (or plasma-like substance), an heretofore unspecified phase of water, as being the answer to the question asked in the above paragraph. (If you are interested in a brief overview of the underlying physical principles and forces involved with this theorized plasma phase of water follow this link.)

Greater Realization

As is explained in more detail in my book, the role of atmospheric water, in the form of this newly discovered plasma is much more centrally involved with the general circulation than anybody had previously imagined. And this is true despite the fact that the role previously imagined for water, as the source of the force of storms and upward movement by way of convection, is completely refuted by the realization (a realization that is arrived at through this new understanding) that, in contrast to what everybody has believed for a very long time, moist air is heavier and not lighter than dry air and therefore cannot provide any kind of up-welling force whatsoever.   Instead—made possible by the structural capabilities of this newly discovered plasma phase of water—the jet stream takes center stage as the source of energy for storms and general circulation, including both updrafts and downdrafts. The larger picture that emerges implicates the jet stream as being more structurally significant, more active, and more multi-faceted than we are generally aware; most of its activities taking place very high, all along the extensive boundary between the relatively moist troposphere and the very dry stratosphere.  Additionally, the jet stream is revealed as a thermodynamic entity that maximizes entropy, conserves energy, and does work (storms). At one and the same time the jet stream is a river with many tributaries most of which are invisible to us. Energy gets distributed, by way of vacuum effect, along these tributaries based on a relatively straightforward, working principle (which I will not describe here, because it will only cause confusion; suffice it to say that boundaries between dry air and moist air are essential) in which the structural capabilities of this plasma are pivotal in regards to their role in the manifestation of the conduits of this distribution. Storms and tornadoes, being at the far-reaching ends of these conduits of distribution and not the independent entities that some (including most meteorologists) have imagined them to be, can now be correctly considered from the perspective of the factors that underlie the growth of said structure in the lower part of the atmosphere, providing us insight that opens the door to methods of tornado mitigation that previously had not been considered. (More on mitigation below.)

In a paper entitled, A History of Prevailing Ideas about the General Circulation of the Atmosphere,   Edward N. Lorenz (1983) writes of these, “prevailing ideas,” occurring in steps, which is summed up in the final three paragraphs:

If our own most recent view of the general circulation (Lorenz, 1969) is accurate, we may be nearing the end of the fourth step. We have pictured a circulation that, if not easily explainable in simple sentences (except by calling it a baro-clinic-instability phenomenon), can at least be duplicated in its main features by numerical solutions of fairly realistic approximations to the governing dynamic equations. The statistics that have been evaluated from these solutions compare fairly well with those determined from real atmospheric data. There is a comfortable feeling that the problem is nearly solved.

We may therefore pause and ask ourselves whether this step will be completed in the manner of the last three. Will the next decade see new observational data that will disprove our present ideas? It would be difficult to show that this cannot happen.

Our current knowledge of the role of the various phases of water in the atmosphere is somewhat incomplete; eventually it must encompass both thermodynamic and radiational effects. We do not fully understand the interconnections between the tropics, which contain the bulk of water, and the remaining latitudes. Satellite observations have revealed various features, such as a frequent continuum of clouds extending northeastward from the tropical Pacific into the central United States, which were not previously recognized. Perhaps near the end of the 20th century we shall suddenly discover that we are beginning the fifth step.

I think it fairly certain that when Lorenz wrote of these, “various phases of water in the atmosphere,” back in 1983 the possibility of a plasma phase of water occurring naturally in our atmosphere was not even a remote consideration.  Moreover, the notion that such a phase of water could provide the structure, and thereby, the leverage necessary to enable the jet stream to be the dominant influence of atmospheric flow (and one that would simultaneously effectuate storms as the mechanism to replenish the water expended in the process) would have sounded perfectly audacious to his ears. It is now 2014, here I am and here it is. In consideration of the fact that this new understanding does a better job of explaining what is actually observed than does current thinking/theory my audacious sounding claims about the role of water in the atmosphere and implications thereof is, in my opinion, not audacious at all. Moreover, I am not hesitant to make the argument that truly audacious claims have been a part of meteorology’s mythology and catechism for longer than even its the most mature practitioners can remember:

  • That moist air is lighter and convects up through dry air to power storms. This assumption has remained untested and completely unchallenged over the full breadths of Meteorology’s 170 year history. It’s empirical verification is about 169 years overdue.
  • That a rising bubble of warm, moist air (or multiples thereof) can somehow explain (or be the trigger/cause of) widespread low pressure and the strong cold winds associated with storms. More specifically, these phenomena, (cold fronts) are just assumed in synoptic models and, therefore, have no logical connection to the notion that storms are caused and powered by convection of moist air (and/or warm air).
  • That the same seemingly benign process of warm, moist air rising can somehow cause the extremely concentrated and high magnitude of energy found in tornadoes (especially the larger, more destructive tornadoes).
  • Depending upon when it is argumentatively convenient to assume one or the other, that dry air serves as both the substrate through which “lighter” moist air convects and as the cap (inversion layer) that stops and/or opposes the up-welling force of convection. And that the latter of these two absurdities, the cap, explains both how storms and tornadoes can happen hundreds of miles away from the locations the moist air was created and, as if that is not crazy enough, how there can be a build up of upwelling energy that explains the high magnitude of energy in some storms and tornadoes. (More on this issue/theme can be found here.)
  • That one can observe the cone or vortex of a tornado and not notice, or at least suspect, its structural functionality or the underlying molecular distinctions that, seemingly, crying out for explanation and, somehow, dismiss it as, “not a thing.”

And the one that is most arrogantly audacious of all:

  • That researchers (meteorologists, especially those associated with tornadogenesis) can claim to know that tornadoes can never be prevented or mitigated and, therefore, the best we can ever expect is to better predict them.

There is a semi-informal rule of science that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.   As you can see in the above list, this is a rule that the discipline of meteorology has chosen to ignore. It would be nice to think that they would read this post, acknowledge the shortcomings indicated herein, take the bull by the horns, and begin to actually take the steps necessary to attempt to test these notions experimentally. But their attitude is that they have a consensus and, as such, they have nothing to prove to anybody.  Instead they expect that we should blindly accept what they profess.   Unfortunately this unprofessional attitude leaves us here at Solving Tornadoes with no choice but to take a hard stance. As far as we are concerned, unless and until they begin to change their attitude with respect to meeting the requirements for extraordinary evidence of their (above mentioned) extraordinary claims their input or advice will be looked at with the same scrutiny that one would invoke when presented with advice from members of a cult or religious belief. (The history of science has proven that taking a hard stance is the only viable option when dealing with science denialism, especially when such is ingrained in the long-standing traditions of a scientific discipline.)

Simple Solution

At this point in reading this blog post you may be not quite sure what all the fuss is about. If you take nothing else away from this reading experience take the following and please relay it to everybody you know: mitigating and/or preventing large, destructive tornadoes may well prove to be extremely easy, extremely inexpensive, and extremely effective! And the extraordinary evidence that we here at Solving Tornadoes intend to provide to substantiate this extraordinary claim is to begin to do just that: mitigate and/or prevent large destructive tornadoes!

To get a more in-depth understanding as to how we expect to do this I would direct you to my book, mentioned above. (Or, for a somewhat more vague and meandering exposition on this theme you can go to the website that I completed in June of 2013 (link). I suggest reading Parts One, Two and Three. But you could just skip ahead to Part Three to get a sense of what specific mitigation measures are being prescribed.) Or even, just read the following, which I hereby present as a series of talking points that you can commit to memory and relay to others:

  1. Made possible by the structural capabilities of a newly discovered plasma phase of water, the jet stream is the source of energy for storms and tornadoes.
  2. The energy of storms is distributed, by way of vacuum effect, through down-reaching tributaries which are themselves vortices (conduits) constructed from this plasma, tornadoes being the far-reaching end of these conduits of distribution.
  3. Boundaries between dry air and moist air, what are referred to as “layers of differentness” (or, more simply, “differentness”) are the resource that these vortices of plasma grow into.
  4. The higher the quality of this differentness with respect to being long, flat, straight, smooth and distinct the greater the potential for rapid growth and greater energy transfer and, consequently, the greater the potential for larger, higher energy vortices/tornadoes.
  5. More commonly referred to (erroneously) as “inversion” layers, the long (extensive) straight, high quality boundary layers that form naturally in the lower atmosphere during calm weather conditions are, essentially, the accidents waiting to happen in tornado alley (and other parts of the world that experience large, destructive tornadoes). Fortunately however, these sleeping giants of differentness are themselves rather delicate and easily destroyed. Relatively slight perturbations can/will greatly reduce/eliminate their qualitatively determined ability to facilitate the rapid growth and energy transfer associated with large, destructive tornadoes. Specifically, the threat of large, destructive tornadoes associated with inversion layers can be greatly reduced by any perturbation directed at the inversion layer that 1) compromises the distinctness of the its differentness; 2) interrupts the straight-line length of its differentness; and/or 3) compromises the flatness and/or smoothness of its differentness.

In a nutshell:

We can think of inversion layers that form in the lower atmosphere as sheets of fabric that can/will subsequently be rolled up to form a tube or vortex. If these sheets are of high quality (long, straight, smooth, and/or distinct) then the tubes that form from them will themselves be of high quality and will, thereby, be very proficient as conduits of energy, producing large destructive tornadoes. If, however, these sheets are of low quality (short, crooked, ragged (having holes), bumpy, and/or fuzzy) then the tubes that form from them will themselves be of low quality and will, thereby, be ineffective as conduits of energy, producing relatively benign, low energy storms and tornadoes (and more of them).

All in all, there are reasons for optimism with this new understanding of tornadogenesis. In addition to being relatively easy to locate and easy to get to, the layers of differentness that develop (during periods of calm weather) in the lower atmosphere are extremely fragile. The slightest perturbation destroys them. The downwash coming off the wings of an airplane, for example, is more than enough to destroy any differentness in its immediate vicinity. Moreover, the whole-scale destruction of these boundary layers of differentness may not be necessary to effectively mitigate tornadoes; in order to achieve rapid growth plasma vortices are dependent on finding a pathway of differentness that is long in addition to being distinct and smooth. By flying patterns with aircraft along these layers of differentness and allowing the downwash off the wings to divide these sleeping giants of differentness into segments, like cutting fabric, we may be able to interrupt the straight-line continuity of the differentness in these inversion layers. Theoretically, this will prevent the kind of runaway vortex plasma growth associated with large, high energy, storms and tornadoes.

Too Good to be True?

Does this all seem too simple? Can it really be this easy? Can the annual threat of large, destructive tornadoes actually be brought to an end with something so simple as deploying aircraft to fly directed patterns at designated altitudes during periods of high risk? It’s hard to imagine any reasonable person not being skeptical of such a claim. I myself am skeptical on this point. But just yesterday I came across something on Twitter that would suggest that, possibly, it is not as crazy as it sounds. I re-posted it yesterday (link). It is a chart indicating that, according to Steve Goddard, “The number of strong tornadoes has declined significantly since the 1950s.” As I mentioned in that post, this decline seems to correlate with the increase in commercial air traffic during the 1960s. Might this purported reduction in tornado strength be a result of the fact that we have, inadvertently, been mitigating (destroying) layers of differentness with commercial aircraft? In other words, might we have already been accidently mitigating large, destructive tornadoes?   Yes, I know, this is a stretch.   And, yes, I know, this reduction in tornado intensity is subtle. And, yes, I know it might be a measuring bias or have some other perfectly reasonable explanation. But, supposing it is true that we have inadvertently been mitigating against strong tornadoes with commercial aircraft just think what kind of reduction in tornado strength we might achieve if we were actually trying.

How You Can Help

As an organization Solving Tornadoes is in its infancy. If you would like to know more about how you can help bring an end to large, destructive tornadoes please follow this blog and follow us on twitter: @solvingtornadoe

Vortex Phase: The Discovery of the Spin that Underlies the Twist

http://www.amazon.com/Vortex-Phase-Discovery-Underlies-Atmosphere-ebook/dp/B00QRQ5DGW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1418336020&sr=8-1&keywords=vortex+phase

Chapter One:
Why the Quality of Differentness Makes a Difference

The Most Important Message First

In a continuous loop, all the air in the troposphere eventually gets pulled up, funneled through the jet streams and allowed to fall back into the general flow. Laying along the boundary of the dry stratosphere above and the moist troposphere below, seven to twelve kilometers above our heads, jet streams are thermodynamic entities (previously unrecognized as such) that conserve energy and that, therefore, have ‘spare’ energy, which is itself the energy that causes storms. Jet streams possess genuine structural integrity. They are a thing. More specifically, jet streams are naturally occurring conduits. Atmospheric pressure differentials accelerate wind down/through their tubular structures. Jet streams have the ability to grow both upstream and downstream. Sometimes, growing upstream, jet streams tunnel down to the lower part of the troposphere. When they do the resulting low pressure, atmospheric uplift, and condensation is what we observe as a storm. When a vortex grows all the way to the ground we call this a tornado. In this chapter I will tell you my solution to tornadoes. Specifically, I will tell you my prescription for how we can keep vortices up in the sky causing beneficial rainstorms and prevent them from growing all the way to the ground to cause death and destruction.

When I first mapped out the chapters in this book it was not my plan to provide this solution so soon. Rather it was my intention to, chapter by chapter, step you through the detailed arguments underlying such all-encompassing notions as, 1) how a flow along a common boundary of moist air (troposphere) and dry air (stratosphere) can come to possess genuine structural integrity, resulting in jet streams; 2) how recognition of jet streams as structural elements leads to a very simple, straightforward understanding of atmospheric flow, recasting the role of H2O to achieve a more complete and accurate conceptualization of the hydrologic cycle; and 3) how you yourself can verify the controversial sounding thinking being introduced herein, cutting through the well intended but superstitious rhetoric put forth by meteorologists and government paid tornado researchers. But then I realized that if I did all of this before the end or even the middle of the book I risked losing my audience before I had a chance to convey what I think is the most important message of this book that preventing large, destructive tornadoes will turn out to be unusually simple, inexpensive, and even mundane.

Tame Weather a Risk Factor

If you lived in an area that was prone to forest fires would you not take care to clear brush, bushes, trees and other inflammables from the vicinity of your property? If you lived in bear country would you not take care to be sure edible items were not left out to draw them in? Through understanding the conditional factors that draw them in we can, I assure you, keep vortices in the sky. More specifically, through understanding the mechanism underlying how and why the tributaries of the jet streams grow down into the lower troposphere, bringing energy with them as they grow, we can find and mitigate the one, highly accessible, element in our lower troposphere that draws them in just as you might clear brush to protect your home from forest fire or clear the table after a gathering on your deck.

You don’t need to read a book to comprehend why leaving food out or failing to clear brush from around your house are risk factors for wildfires and wild animals. The same is not the case when it comes to the wild weather associated with tornadoes. Unlike that associated with forest fires and bears the magnitude of the risk factor and, therefore, the potential effectiveness of the mitigation procedures that I will be proposing for tornadoes is not obvious. You, undoubtedly, will have been made aware or even have observed this risk factor directly and you will have thought nothing of it. And your complacency is even further justified considering that this risk factor forms during atmospheric conditions that are themselves innocuous. In fact, this risk factors forms during the calmest of calm weather conditions three to ten days before tornadoes are imminent. We might even say that there is a direct correlation between the calmness of the atmosphere and the risk created by this element during these periods that precede tornado outbreaks.

It might seem that I’m saying that the cause of severe weather is calm weather. And to some degree I am saying that. More specifically, I’m saying that a qualitative factor that is instrumental to the occurrence of tornadoes only forms during calm weather conditions. This factor involves evaporation and the creation of moist air. You might anticipate that I’m referring to the creation of moist bodies of air, like those associated with moist bodies of air created over the Gulf of Mexico that are implicated with the tornadoes in tornado alley on the plains west of the Rocky Mountains. Once again, you’d be right, in a sense. But don’t jump to conclusions. The mitigation I’m proposing has nothing to do with preventing the formation of these bodies of air or eliminating them altogether, which would be impossible. The factor is not quantitative, it is qualitative. More specifically, the mitigation I’m proposing involves altering a very small part thereof, and one that is highly mitigable. But there are a few things that need to be addressed before we get to that.

No Cold Steam

Here is something I didn’t know before I started this project: the exact nature of evaporation is surprisingly controversial and the evidence that underlies the opposing sides of the controversy is surprisingly obscure. On one side of the controversy are the traditionalists, which includes all meteorologists and anybody that implicitly trusts the opinions of meteorologists. On the other side is, well, just me. The traditional notion is that evaporation is monomolecular, what I refer to as, “cold steam.” Accordingly, the traditional notion is that evaporation results in cold steam mixing in with air to produce moist air and, somehow, remaining steam (monomolecular H2O) at temperatures far below the known boiling point of H2O. In my opinion this is impossible. The moisture in moist air couldn’t possibly be monomolecular. It must consist of clusters/droplets (often, too small to be seen). Water’s boiling point is a consequence of the water molecule’s polarity and associated hydrogen bonding of water molecules with each other. In my opinion these factors should not be ignored or casually dismissed.

My experiences attempting to engage people on the internet indicate that this belief is universal, even crossing into disciplines that you would think would know better, like Chemistry and Physics.  It seems that this is one of those things that everybody believes because everybody believe it. Strangely, there are many who maintain that since they believe in cold steam that, therefore, it is my responsibility to disprove it. When I’m confronted with this stubbornly dismissive attitude my response to them is that, in my opinion, the existence of cold steam and cold steam based buoyancy/convection is something that should have been tested by meteorologists a long, long time ago. It has been and continues to be their decision not to test the notion. As a scientific theorist I carry no obligation to maintain belief in something that they refuse to test. Furthermore, I have invited and even cajoled traditionalists to explain how the physical factors that underlie the boiling point of H2O (as mentioned above, these involve H2O’s polarity and hydrogen bonding) can be temporarily interrupted or turned off in cold steam. As of this writing, this invitation has been resoundingly ignored. (Also, there is a wealth of laboratory evidence that indicates/establishes the boiling point of H2O.  There is zero empirical evidence confirming the existence of cold steam. All of the evidence underlying the existence of cold steam is anecdotal.)

Whatever the case, in this exposition I will be assuming that evaporation involves the creation of small droplets/clusters of H2O, not cold steam. Consequently, we are assuming that moist air is heavier and not lighter than dry air.  (The thinking that underlies this assumption involves application of Avogadro’s law. Multimers of H2O [at least 10 molecules per droplet/cluster] being heavier [at least 180; 10 x 18] than is assumed by meteorologists [18].) Being heavier than dry air, moist air, therefore, is assumed to have negative buoyancy. This presents a conceptual challenge: if moist air is heavier and not lighter than dry air then how/why does it not just fall out of the atmosphere? My response is that moisture in our atmosphere is dictated by two processes (neither of which has anything to do with convection/buoyancy): 1) Electrostatic forces: air has a residual negative charge, water droplets have a residual positive charge, together these cause water droplets/clusters to remain suspended in air; and 2) As explained in the first paragraph of this chapter, the jet stream, in the context of creating storms, constantly pulls moist air up into its flow at the top of the troposphere 7 to 12 kilometers above us. Thunderstorms (which have nothing whatsoever to do with convection) are a particularly dramatic example of jet streams growing down into the lower troposphere to create uplift. (Also, parts of jet streams break off and become oriented vertically, this results in moist air being shot up vertically at high speeds, sometimes breaching the tropopause into the lower part of the stratosphere.)

All in all we can think of the troposphere as being in a constant juggling act with parcels of moist air except that the parcels are very light, like juggling feathers.  With microdroplets of water suspended therein (by electrostatic forces) making them slightly heavier than dry air, these parcels are constantly being thrown up (or just pulled up by ensuing low pressure from above) higher in the troposphere and then slowly begin to descend.  If not for the fact that they keep getting thrown up (or pulled up) again, these parcels of moist air would settle out into layers (“inversion” layers) of fog (maybe 1000 meters thick) all over the planet.

This brings us back again to the issue with which we left off, what is the seemingly innocuous tornadic risk factor that emerges in the lower troposphere during calm weather conditions? Well, during calm and relatively warm atmospheric conditions the process of evaporation begins to produce large volumes of moist air. As it does, and as long as the weather stays calm, these bodies of warm, moist air, being heavier, tend to settle out into flat layers, similar to the way the surface of a lake becomes flat and waveless in the morning after windless nights. This produces a large, discrete layers of relatively moist air sitting below a layer of relatively dry air above. This layer is sometimes referred to by meteorologists as an inversion layer. I refer to this phenomena as moist air/dry air differentness, or, more briefly, as layers of differentness. Layers of differentness generally form only about a thousand meters, one kilometer, above sea level. They can be qualitatively categorized based on objective criteria: 1) relative moisture of the moist layer to the dry layer; 2) temperature of the moist layer to the dry layer; and 3) flatness or straightness of the dry/moist boundary. Generally, for reasons that will be better explained further along, the more distinct is the moisture between the two levels (one moist the other dry) and the flatter, longer, and straighter is the layer of differentness the more high quality is the layer of differentness. And the higher is the quality of the layer of differentness the more of a risk factor it is for tornadoes.

Jet Streams Grow Upstream and, Sometimes, Down

As you probably realize, if the quality of differentness in these inversion layers determines the level of tornadic risk associated with the them then an obvious method for reducing or mitigating this risk is to reduce or destroy the quality of the differentness of the inversion layer: make it less discreet, make it lumpier, and/or segment it to shorten the lengths of any straight lines of its high quality differentness. I believe this—destroying or reducing the quality of the differentness—can be done relatively inexpensively. There are any number of methods or procedures that may be effective in this regard. As I will explain in more detail at the end of this chapter, I believe using aircraft and flying them along these layers of differentness may be the most practical means of destroying or reducing the quality of the differentness in the lower troposphere to mitigate tornadoes.

The quality of differentness (the flatness of inversion layers) is not the only risk factor for tornadoes.  In fact, there are places on our planet in which the formation of high quality differentness is fairly common and yet they have no tornadoes. Tornadoes happen at times and places where the quality of differentness in the lower troposphere is unusually high and the quality of differentness in the upper troposphere, along the boundary of the troposphere and the stratosphere, is unusually low. A more detailed understanding of how and why these two conditional factor are associated with tornadoes has to do with understanding certain aspects of jet streams and how they grow: 1) Jet streams possess genuine structural integrity, a conduit-like tubular structure (details of this will be discussed more in depth shortly); 2) an implication of jet stream’s structural integrity is the ability to conserve energy, which is manifested in winds moving at high speed down/through jet stream’s conduit-like tubular structures; 3) jet streams have the ability to grow upstream (and, possibly, downstream also) and a resource they require for this growth is high quality differentness; 4) jet streams bring energy with them as they grow.

Normally there is an abundance of high quality differentness at and along the extensive boundary between the troposphere and the stratosphere, at about 7 to 12 kilometers above us. Sometimes, however, there is a shortage of the moisture needed to maintain the high quality differentness along this boundary. Jet streams always grow into the path of highest quality differentness, regardless of where it leads. Storms happen when the path of highest quality differentness leads down into the middle altitudes of the troposphere and a jet stream or segment thereof grows down into that path.  Often a down trending jet stream will break off from the main jet stream. The energy it brings with it causes the updrafts and resulting precipitation that are observed as thunderstorms or regular rain storms.  If the down trending differentness that a jet stream (or segment thereof) encounters is high quality then the growth will be rapid and the amount of energy (wind) that moves to the lower elevations will also be large. If the elevation of this growth is low enough and the amount of energy that is delivered is large enough the result will be a violent tornado. A violent tornado, therefore, is literally a piece of jet stream that has grown from (or broken off from) a jet stream above, bringing energy with it as it grows; it is an extension of a jet stream (or it’s a child that has broken off from a parent jet stream).

Jet Streams Can Create Their Own Path

To what was stated above we can now make an addendum. Tornadoes happen at places where the quality of differentness at the top of the troposphere is unusually low and the quality of differentness at the bottom of the troposphere, the inversion layer, is unusually high AND when there is a pathway of high quality differentness from the top of the troposphere to the bottom of the troposphere. But if a pathway does not exist that does not mean that tornadoes will not occur. Because a jet stream can create its own pathway of high quality differentness: as the quality of the differentness at the top of the troposphere gets low the growth of a jet stream will begin to follow the path of higher quality differentness to lower elevations in the troposphere.  This will result in low pressure, high energy winds (these winds are, sometimes, referred to by meteorologists as, “winds aloft”) that, essentially, begin to pull the inversion layer of high quality differentness at the bottom of the troposphere up into its flow. It, essentially, sucks it up and, thereby, creates a pathway of high quality differentness. In other words, the high quality differentness of an inversion layer at the bottom of the troposphere starts to become more of an imminent risk of a large, violent tornado as the jet stream, encountering low quality differentness in the upper regions of the troposphere, begins creating high energy winds aloft that track down lower and lower and begin to pull the high quality differentness of the inversion layer up into the flow of the jet stream. (What will be observed from the ground is thunderclouds, wall clouds, and related phenomena.)

Geography of Tornadoes

From more of a meteorological perspective, storms are the mechanism that rehydrates the upper troposphere. (As discussed previously, there is no such thing as moist air convection. Moist air has negative buoyancy.) Storms are the reason moisture gets above 1,000 meters (inversion layers) up to 7,000 to 12,000 meters at the top of the troposphere. However, storms don’t happen for the specific purpose of rehydrating the upper troposphere. In other words, the jet stream doesn’t have the ability to sense that the moisture in the upper troposphere is low and the moisture in the lower troposphere is high and then act on this information. A jet stream just naturally grows into the path of highest quality differentness which trends downward when moisture is low at the top of the troposphere. Often this will involve sections of a jet stream literally breaking off and, being vertically oriented, tracking down along the path of highest quality differentness and jetting moist air up toward the top of the troposphere (as mentioned previously, sometimes this even results in moist air punching through the tropopause pushing [moist air] clouds into the lower part of the stratosphere). It also results in the creation of widespread low pressure that will generally pull moist air from ground level up higher in the troposphere, creating visible clouds.

This understanding (that tornadoes happen at places where and when the quality of differentness at the top of the troposphere is low and that at the bottom of the troposphere, the inversion layer, is high) provides us some insight on the geography of tornadoes. Tornadoes always happen on the leeward side of mountains due to the fact that as the eastward flow of air is forced to gain altitude as it travels over mountains adiabatic factors (water condenses and falls out of the sky [rain] at the lower pressure and lower temperature of higher altitudes) depletes these locations of the moisture needed to maintain the quality of differentness. Tornadoes happen in the vicinity of warm bodies of water since these provide an abundance of warm, moist air to form inversion layers. And tornadoes happen in the Spring and Fall because these are the times when there are generally periods of atmospheric calmness that will allow these inversion layers in the lower troposphere to form into flat layers of high quality differentness, and also because the atmosphere is still cold enough to cause the adiabatic processes, as mentioned above, to produce low quality differentness on the leeward side of mountains at the top of the troposphere.

Existence of Streams Prove Structure

If you have read this straight through up to this point I want to thank you for your patience. I have foisted upon you a notion and you have been patient enough to keep reading and trust that I would eventually get around to explaining it. And that notion is structure in the atmosphere. It is a difficult subject that I would like nothing better than to just skip over it. But, of course, I can’t. As I stated above, 1) jet streams possess genuine structural integrity, a conduit-like tubular structure; 2) an implication of jet stream’s structural integrity is the ability to conserve energy, which is manifested in winds moving at high speed down/through jet stream’s conduit-like tubular structures; 3) jet streams have the ability to grow upstream (and, possibly, downstream also) and a resource they require for this growth is high quality differentness; 4) jet streams bring energy with them as they grow. From this point on in this chapter my main goal will be to fill in the details underlying atmospheric structure and why high quality differentness is so essential to its existence.

A gas, by definition, is incapable of structure. A gas, by definition, does not have a surface.  It does not have resilience to external perturbation, by definition. So, if the atmosphere were only comprised of gases and other entities/substances that were themselves incapable of achieving large scale structure, like liquid water and snowflakes, then any observation that was consistent with and/or could only be explained by the existence of large scale structure—such as the fast, directed winds we attribute to the jet streams—would indicate/prove that there must be something other than just gases (and structurally ineffectual liquid water, and snowflakes) operational in Earth’s atmosphere. Is that confusing enough for you? Let me see if I can simplify that a bit. Specifically, it can be argued that if the atmosphere is only comprised of gases (and structurally ineffectual liquid water and snowflakes) then the high winds that we associate with the jet streams couldn’t possibly exist because there would be no mechanism by which to isolate a stream from the friction of gases. For example, suppose you tried to blow a candle out from across a room. You would find that no matter how much energy you expended or how carefully you aimed you couldn’t blow the candle out. The friction of gases would cause the energy to diffuse and you would not be able to blow out the candle. If, however, you were to set up a tube or a hose pointing directly at the flame and only a few inches away you could then, with minimal effort, blow out the candle from across the room. The difference is that the walls of the tube will have both isolated your breath from the friction of gases and reflected the energy of your breath back into the flow down the length of the tube. Therefore, the observation that high energy, directed winds (of jet streams) exist in Earth’s atmosphere suggests that tubular structures (vortices, to draw a distinction between the [here theorized] structural part of a jet stream and the air moving down/through it) with resilient, smooth inner walls must exist in our atmosphere because if they did not then the high energy, directed winds attributable to jet streams would not and could not escape the friction of gases and, therefore, would not and could not exist. Whew!

Suspended State of Activation

This creates a quandary or mystery. Why is it—atmospheric structure—not plainly observable? Is it invisible? Is it subtle? Is it temporary? My answer is, yes, yes, and yes. It is invisible because the primary component of its composition is H2O, which is usually clear. And it is temporary and subtle because it only comes into existence under conditions of high energy wind shear. Also, its existence is usually obstructed by clouds. Additionally, there are many, myself included, that contend that atmospheric structure is plainly observable as the cone or vortex of a tornado; simply put, there appears to be something structural and molecularly distinct about the observed cone and behavior of a tornado vortex.

And then there is the biggest question of all, what is it? My answer is that it is a plasma. If you go out looking for research on a plasma phase of water you won’t find much of anything. Moreover, if you do research on the concept of a plasma in general you will find that it is usually defined as consisting of high energy particles called ions, some positive and some negative, that have a source of incoming energy. The incoming energy drives the particles apart, separating (creating) the positive ions from the negative ions and sends them flying. However, the ions don’t fly off independently as do the particles in a gas because the net effect of the positive and negative charges of these particles is to effectuate an internal force that is greater than the force pushing them apart. They remain in a suspended state of activation, not a solid, not a liquid, not a gas, a plasma. I wondered, is it possible that wind shear at boundaries of large bodies of air is the corollary of incoming energy of a plasma.  And, if so, is there some way in which H2O molecules can be activated such that they achieved a suspended state of activation in which the forces pulling each molecule back into the mix was greater than the forces pushing them out?

Non-Newtonian Aspects of Water

Unlike either a gas or a liquid, plasma shares one attribute with solids, internal cohesiveness. In other words, like a solid, plasma has resistance to external perturbation  (resilience—though usually much weaker [ephemeral] than that of most solids).  It has a surface and, therefore, the ability to reflect energy back into a stream flow.  Also, its resilience provides it the ability to take a form and maintain that form without having to be contained. In short, plasma has structural integrity. Additionally, with wind shear as the source of its incoming energy, it seemed I could envision it taking whatever shape wind shear is capable of taking including a tubular shape, which (as mentioned above) is essential to a streamflow being isolated from the friction of gases. Additionally, plasma can be as light as air. So, being a phase of matter that provides structural integrity and being light enough that it won’t fall out of the sky, plasma makes sense as an explanation for atmospheric structure. But is there any such thing as an undiscovered plasma phase of water? I knew enough about water to know that I didn’t know enough and otherwise had a hunch that if there was some kind of plasma phase of water that I would most likely find it by doing research on the polarity, hydrogen bonding, and non-Newtonian aspects of water. What I found was fascinating in and of itself.

On a molecular level water is very aggressive about getting together with other water molecules to become decidedly unaggressive. We mostly notice the result of the water molecule’s aggression, its complete lack of aggression, and we are, therefore, mostly unaware of how incredibly aggressive it, the H2O molecule, can be to become unaggressive. More specifically, the H2O molecule’s aggression is a result of its inherent polarity and the electromagnet implications thereof: as water, on the molecular level, aggressively seeks out connections with other water molecules, the strength and persistence of these forces cause it to collectively become (in the form of liquid water) more interconnected molecularly, more entangled, denser. And that’s where things get strange. Because the more entangled and denser it (water) becomes (the more bonds are achieved between molecules of H2O) the more the forces that caused it to become entangled are neutralized, turned off, resulting in the high fluidity (low viscosity) of water. In a sense, H2O molecules are in a great big hurry to surround themselves with other H2O molecules (by way of hydrogen bond connections at all four locations of their tetrahedral structure, each with a different H2O molecule) so that they can treat each other with (almost) complete indifference.

Discovery of the Spin

The mechanism that underlies this strange passive-aggressive behavior of the water molecule—this individual tendency to aggressively seek to become collectively unaggressive—can be better understood with respect to the fact that the bond that takes place between water molecules is a hydrogen bond. Unlike covalent bonds, water’s hydrogen bond is the result of (a function of) the polarity of the two H2O molecules that are participants in the bond. However—and in complete contrast to a covalent bond—when a hydrogen bond is achieved a fraction of the polarity is neutralized, turned off, in both of the two H2O molecules that participate in the hydrogen bond. So, ironically, the achievement of a hydrogen bond (and each H2O molecule can participate in up to four bonds, each with a different H2O molecule) is at one and the same time the result of the water molecule’s polarity and the (partial) neutralization thereof.

This tendency to become entangled, to aggressively fold in on itself, and to, thereby, neutralize its polarity as it becomes entangled is so effective and so instantaneous (and happening on such a such a microscopic scale) that we are mostly unaware of the H2O molecule’s underlying ability to produce some fairly significant electromagnetic forces (surface tension) and bond strength (tensile strength). (Note: liquid water’s hydrogen bond offer’s no compressive strength whatsoever.) All in all, what it really comes down to is this: H2O molecules are so effective at getting together with other H2O molecules and neutralizing the polarity that brought them together, we (us humans) generally are unaware of the possibility that if a mechanism can be theorized (or experimentally revealed) that will defeat the H2O molecule’s aggressive and insidious tendency to collectively fold in on itself and, thereby, neutralize its polarity, then its structural capabilities can emerge. (As mentioned above, there are two structural capabilities: [a.] bond strength [tensile strength only] and [b.] surface tension.)

My attempts to envision how liquid water could be agitated to thereby release it’s underlying surface tension were very frustrating.  At first the only thing I could envision was direct agitation: vibration and heat.  I could find nothing sustainable about either, the only exception being when water is heated above its boiling point to produce steam. Obviously there is nothing about wind shear that would allow for the high temperature needed to produce steam and even if it did the result is a gas and, therefore, it would lack the resilience, surface and structural capabilities that I had envisioned as a plasma. I decided to take a step back and try to conceptualize what was happening at the wind shear boundary. I drew a simple diagram depicting two bodies of air moving in opposite directions.  At the boundary it depicted air molecules colliding in a side-long trajectory along a plane. In keeping with the concept of differentness, one of the bodies of air was dry, it contained only N2 and O2 molecules. The other also contained clusters/droplets of H2O. And that is when I found the answer. I realized that as the H2O droplets/clusters were continually bombarded by side-glancing impacts they would start to spin. As they spun faster and faster they would, eventually, begin to elongate into chains. As they elongated hydrogen bonds would be broken, activating the polarity of the molecules in the chain—activating them electromagnetically. Specifically, the H2O molecules would go from having four and three bonds with the other H2O molecules in their droplet/cluster to having two and one in the elongated chain/cluster. (Two for each molecule in the midsection [non-ends] of each chain and one for each molecule at the ends of each chain.)

Vortex Plasma

It seemed that I now had a mechanism to describe the origins of the surface tension that I envisioned. The centrifugal force of spinning defeated the H2O molecule’s aggressive and insidious tendency to fold in on itself. And since folding in on itself is what neutralizes H2O’s polarity (and polarity is what underlies the H2O molecules tensile strength and surface tension) the spinning, essentially, activated its polarity, activating H2O’s hidden tensile strength and surface tensions. Also it was immediately apparent that this is a different situation than is the case with heat as the source of agitation and the resulting steam. Now I had a way to express the H2O molecule’s surface tensions that didn’t involve the individual molecules flying off independently because the force that prevented them from flying off (the hydrogen bonds shared between each H2O molecule in the chain) is greater than the force that is pulling them apart (the centrifugal force of the spinning).  Most significantly, as with the more standard notion of a plasma, this H2O plasma seemed to be capable of achieving a suspended state of activation.  I could even envision the unbonded aspects of each H2O molecule (the oxygen side of each water molecule being negatively charged and the hydrogen side being positively charged) as being corollaries to the positive and negative ions of a standard plasma. This seemed to explain how/why chains that had broken (especially after colliding with other chains) would be pulled back into the mix rather than just being flung off.

Of course this notion brought to mind all kinds of questions that don’t have obvious or easy answers. Could something like this be stable? Sustainable? Chains of molecules (10 to 60 molecules in length) spinning end over end conserves momentum as a consequence of the spinning. Might this be what allows this plasma (or plasma-like) phase of H2O the constancy and persistence that is necessary for any state of matter, especially one that we would want to describe as having structural integrity? Additionally, the gyroscopic effect of these spinning chains of H2O in concert with the law of conservation of angular momentum seemed to offer an explanation for how/why a substance (H2O) that has zero compressive strength (resistance to external perturbation—resilience) when in the liquid state can manifest compressive strength in the plasma state. And, of course, having compressive strength I now had a theoretical explanation for how tubes comprised of this plasma would possess the structural resilience to reflect energy back into a stream flow, and be capable of delivering energy over long distances as well.

Importance of Maintaining Side-Glancing Impacts

I also noticed other aspects of this thinking that seemed complimentary. Water droplets/clusters are remarkably well suited to absorbing kinetic energy from molecular impact. This is an implication of them being, as described above, very aggressive about getting together with other water molecules to become decidedly unaggressive. They are like bowling pins or pool balls that set themselves up again the instant after they are struck, re-establishing close proximity with one another, seemingly preparing for the next impact. Any net spin would be conserved, increasing the velocity of their spin, like an ice skater pulling in her arms. Moreover, as the molecules in the cluster began to absorb more and more energy from side glancing impacts, spinning faster and faster, it seemed the cluster would naturally unravel into a chain. And the hydrogen bonds that held the chain together would literally get stronger as the chain unraveled: as side bonds are broken each water molecule in a chain goes from having four or three bonds to two and (at the ends of each chain) one, reactivating the polarity that underlies their tensional strength (bond strength) and surface tension. All in all, water droplets are nature’s perfect spinners. When they are compact they are weakest (liquid) and, therefore, good absorbers of energy from collisions with other molecules. And as they spin and unravel (plasma) they get stronger. Just think if it was the other way around (as is the case for most substances). If these droplets/clusters were strong when compact they wouldn’t absorb energy they would reflect it. Secondly, if they got weaker as they got more elongated they would tend to be fragile and break apart rather than continue to absorb energy from side glancing impacts (and simultaneously reflect energy [from more direct impacts] back into a stream flow).

Quality of Differentness Matters

The understanding that developed also solved another question: why did it matter that one body of air was moist and the other was dry?  Or, more specifically, why were tornadoes associated with dry/moist wind shear and not also wind shear that involved dry/dry or moist/moist wind shear? Obviously, with dry/dry there would be no clusters/droplets of H2O and, therefore, no H2O plasma.  With moist/moist, however, the answer is less obvious: the droplets would collide with each other, stick to each other, and, since they would be spinning in opposite directions, cancel each other’s spin. And so, only when one body of air was moist and the other dry would the spinning of clusters/droplets produce the plasma that underlies atmospheric structure.

Along the same lines, this understanding helps us understand why the quality of differentness makes a big difference.  It all comes down to what will cause/maintain spin and that is mostly determined by what factors will cause/maintain side glancing impacts on the water droplets/clusters. Interruptions in the flatness, straightness, and linear continuity of the layer of differentness makes side glancing impacts less likely.  Additionally, lack of straightness and flatness of the layer of differentness makes it more likely that the droplets/clusters will infiltrate the dry layer, begin to flow in the opposite direction, begin to spin in the opposite direction, and collide with other droplets and cancel each other’s spin, as explained in the paragraph above. Only if the differentness is very distinct and straight for long distances will it facilitate rapid (and energetically high magnitude) vortex growth.  That’s not to say that there isn’t some leeway in all of this; to some degree a vortex does have the ability to create it’s own high quality differentness (also, there are hydrophobic aspects of H2O plasma that may play a role facilitating moist air traveling down the length of a plasma tube) but it is energetically expensive and it takes longer to achieve the spin that underlies the structural growth. Again, only if it encounters high quality differentness can vortex growth maintain the side glancing impacts that underlie it achieving rapid, uninterrupted and high energy growth.

Lastly, there is the spin or “twist” of the vortex itself.  In the same sense that a rifle barrel will cause a bullet to fly straighter by imparting a twist on the bullet, the rotation of a vortex around a central axis will cause it to grow straighter.  Consequently we would not expect vortex growth to be good at making turns. Accordingly, as with the factors above, the twist of a vortex would, it seems, necessitate straighter (higher quality) differentness in order to facilitate rapid (and energetically high magnitude) vortex growth. All in all, we can think of inversion layers that form in the lower troposphere as sheets of fabric that can/will subsequently be rolled up to form a tube or vortex. If these sheets are high quality (long, straight, smooth [distinctly dry/moist]) then the tubes that form from them will themselves be high quality and will, thereby, be very proficient as conduits of energy, producing large destructive tornadoes. If, however, these sheets are low quality (short, crooked, ragged [having holes], bumpy, and/or fuzzy [not distinctly dry/moist]) then the tubes that form from them will themselves be low quality and will, thereby, be ineffective as conduits of energy, producing relatively benign, low energy storms and tornadoes (and more of them).

Differentness is Fragile

With respect to the greater question as to what we can do to prevent large, destructive tornadoes there are reasons for optimism with this new understanding of tornadogenesis. In addition to being relatively easy to locate and easy to get to, the layers of differentness that develop (during periods of calm weather) in the lower troposphere are extremely fragile. The slightest perturbation destroys them. The downwash coming off the wings of an airplane, for example, is more than enough to destroy any differentness in its immediate vicinity. Moreover, the whole-scale destruction of these boundary layers of differentness may not be necessary to effectively mitigate tornadoes; in order to achieve rapid growth plasma vortices are dependent on finding a pathway of differentness that is long in addition to being distinct and smooth. By flying patterns with aircraft along these layers of differentness and allowing the downwash off the wings to divide these sleeping giants of differentness into segments, like cutting fabric, we may be able to interrupt the straight-line continuity of the differentness in these inversion layers. Theoretically, this will prevent the kind of runaway vortex plasma growth associated with large, high energy, storms and tornadoes.

Too Easy to be True

Does this all seem too simple? Can it really be this easy? Can the annual threat of large, destructive tornadoes actually be brought to an end with something so simple as deploying aircraft to fly directed patterns at designated altitudes during periods of high risk? It’s hard to imagine any reasonable person not being skeptical of such a claim. I myself am skeptical on this point. But considering that the cost of one large, destructive EF5 or EF4 tornado can easily surpass a billion dollars, even if the annual cost of the aircraft, fuel and personnel of this suggested mitigation method are in the 10 million dollar range then it is money well spent.  My guess as to what it might actually cost probably isn’t much better than anybody elses. But it is conceivable, in my opinion, that these cost might even be less than a million annually.

Of course, this is all dependent on whether or not the scientific thinking herein is valid. As you would expect from anybody that is putting forth a book on a theory that they themselves had developed, I myself have a lot of confidence that it is valid.  I wish I could say that I had a lot of confidence in the opinion of others on this subject.  Unfortunately, my experience so far is that everybody else employed in severe weather research is, it seems, so ensconced in the paranoia, superstition and politics of pretending not to notice that their own theory doesn’t make sense that they don’t have the time or the will to consider new theoretical thinking. The chapters that follow are intended to help the average reader cut through the rhetoric to verify the claim being made herein that mitigating large, violent tornadoes will prove to be extremely easy, inexpensive and even mundane.

If you liked this please tweet about it

Polarity Neutralization Implication of Hydrogen Bonds Between Water Molecules and Groups Thereof

General Confusion Surrounding Hydrogen Bonds and Polarity in Water Molecules

(Retraction: The mechanism that I indicate in this is wrong. But the basic concept is correct. The actual mechanism is much simpler and much more basic than that that I indicate in this post.)

There is a lot of confusion about implications of hydrogen bonds that are shared between water molecules in water. There seems to be contradictory messages.  Some have described the bonds that exists between H2O molecules in liquid water as very weak, thus allowing for the fluidity and gentle character of water.  Others draw attention to the high boiling point of H2O, it being much higher than that of its two constituents hydrogen and oxygen.  Moreover, this dichotomy is not only evident in the strength of the hydrogen bonds between H2O molecules, it is also reflected in the surface tension (the residual electromagnetic energy) that is produced by H2O molecules.  In liquid water this surface tension is very slight, almost nonexistent.  In the gaseous phase of water, steam, the surface tension emitted by each H2O molecule is high.

So then, which is it?  Are the hydrogen bonds that exist between water molecules weak and is their surface tension slight or are the hydrogen bonds strong and the surface tension they emit strong?  It can’t be both, can it?  Well, actually, yes, it can be both and in fact it is both.  To understand why it is both you first have to understand a concept I refer to as the Polarity Neutralization Implication of Hydrogen Bonds Between Water Molecules and Groups Thereof. To understand how this works you first have to understand that both the strength of the bond an H2O molecule contributes to any shared hydrogen bond it has with another H2O molecule and the strength of the surface tension produced by that same H2O molecule is a result (is a function of) the polarity of the H2O molecule.  This is a simple enough concept.  Most people have no trouble grasping this.  Where it gets confusing is that people assume that polarity is a constant and it’s not.

Polarity is a Variable 

Retracted:

Polarity is a variable.  And the mechanism that alters (reduces) the polarity of H2O molecules is the completion of hydrogen bonds with adjoining water molecules. Consequently the strength (polarity) of the H2O molecule is neutralized in liquid water since most (not all) hydrogen bonds have been completed in most (not all) of the water molecules in the liquid.  The strongest (most electro-magnetically active) form of an H2O molecule is when it is by itself, as in steam, because none of its polarity has been neutralized by hydrogen bonds. (Note: the H2O molecules in steam, having their full polarity, have 20 to 80 times* the magnitude of electro-magnetic energy than does the H2O molecules in liquid water.) And therefore the strongest hydrogen bond that can exist between any two water molecules is one in which both of the water molecules share no other hydrogen bonds with any other water molecule.  And the weakest hydrogen bond any two can share is when both water molecules also share hydrogen bonds with three other water molecules. Likewise, the H2O molecule produces 20 to 80 times* the surface tension when it is by itself (as in steam) as it does when it is in liquid water.

This is hereby retracted.  This is not the correct mechanism.  Hydrogen bonds DO NOT have an effect on polarity.  Polarity is a constant.

* Why do I say “20 to 80 times?” Because I don’t know the correct amount. It is a guesstimate.  The reasoning that underlies this guesstimate is something I may present in another post. Frankly, the whole subject of hydrogen bonding and polarity is obscure—at least to me. I scoured various physics papers on the subject—most having been written by Chinese graduate students—and these have, I admit, left me somewhat confused. I highly encourage anybody to do  their own research and, hopefully, improve upon my limited ability to explain what I don’t fully understand.

So, H2O molecules are strong (high bond strength and high surface tension) individually (when at full polarity) and weak (polarity neutralized by hydrogen bonds) collectively.  Polarity is not a constant.  It is a variable.  Hydrogen bonds are the mechanism that neutralize polarity and the breaking of hydrogen bonds (ie. heating, agitation and/or spinning [see my blog post entitled Conservation of Energy in Earth’s Atmosphere]) is the mechanism that activates (reactivates) polarity.

Impossibility of Cold Steam in Earth’s Atmosphere

One of the implications that results from this phenomena (Polarity Neutralization Implication of Hydrogen Bonds Between Water Molecules and Groups Thereof) is to dictate the impossibility of there being any steam (mono-molecular H2O) in the atmosphere.  Our atmosphere is far too cold and the individual H2O molecules are far too electro-magnetically active (as mentioned above, they are as much as 80 times more electromagnetically active than in liquid water) for this to be possible. Nevertheless people continue to assume that the moisture in moist air is mono-molecular H2O (steam) when in actuality that is physically impossible. There are many reasons that people make the mistake of assuming that water can remain mono-molecular at the ambient temperatures:

1) They are unaware of  the Polarity Neutralization Implication of Hydrogen Bonds Between Water Molecules and Groups Thereof.  Specifically, they observe the benign nature of liquid water and extrapolate this observed weakness to molecular H2O, not realizing that individually and in very small clusters (under 10) the H2O molecule produces high electro-magnetic energy that makes staying singular or small virtually impossible.

2) They assume that since steam is clear that air that is clear must also contain steam (mono-molecular H2O).  They fail to consider the possibility that miniature droplets/clusters (10 to 25 molecules per cluster/droplet) might also be invisible when mixed in with air.

3) They are uneducated in chemistry and physics and, therefore, do not realize that concepts like the temperature at which a substance boils is not flexible/transitory. (The thing that is especially perplexing to me about this one is how physicists and chemists didn’t notice this absurdity being put forth by meteorologists.)

4) They are confused about the concepts of partial pressure and/or vapor pressure.

5) They get on the internet and go to Wikipedia which completely fails to draw any kind of distinction between steam (mono-molecular H2O) and vapor which sometimes denotes steam and other times denotes a mixture of dry air with unspecified (either or both mono-molecular or multi-molecular) H2O.

6) They graduated from a meteorology program and, therefore, the distinction between mono-molecular H2O and multi-molecular H2O was never delineated or discussed and, consequently, they graduated with the false confidence that the distinction is irrelevant.

(Note: meteorology has built a cult understanding around the concept of convection.  The dirty little secret hidden inside the notion of convection is the assumption that “cold steam” (mono-molecular H2O) persists in our atmosphere. This is not something that is ever discussed by meteorologists. It’s a taboo subject.  A student or graduate of a meteorology program that does not honor this taboo might, for example, find themselves at odds with faculty or even denied opportunities for employment.)

7) They are unaware that the notion has never been tested or measured.  (Many falsely believe the notion has been tested and measured. One might even say that it is somewhat of an urban legend in that there are some that claim to have seen confirmatory tests and measurements in high school and college textbooks. However, like sightings of bigfoot, these reports have thus far failed to be confirmed.)

8) Despite the availability of terminology that is perfectly descriptive and that carries no ambiguity, they stubbornly insist on using ambiguous terminology.  This confounds their ability to fully grasp the complexities of the subject and, consequently, they lose patience and resign themselves to a less accurate but simpler understanding.  (The biggest culprit is the phrase, “water vapor,” See #5 above for details.)

9) They haven’t thought about it. (I suspect this may be the most prevalent of all.)

Spinning of Chains of H2O to Create Structural Plasma That Conserves Energy in a Stream Flow

In my post entitled Conservation of Energy in Earth’s Atmosphere I describe how the spinning of water droplets/clusters—a direct result of wind shear—causes these droplets to elongate into chains of partially reactivated H2O molecules, effectuating a plasma with structural integrity. It is important to note that without the concept that is the subject of this post (the Polarity Neutralization Implication of Hydrogen Bonds Between Water Molecules and Groups Thereof) this would not be possible. Specifically, without the increase in polarity that results from the breaking of two of each H2O molecules four bonds (breaking of three of four bonds on the H2O molecules at the ends of each chain) as the chains lengthen, the remaining bonds within the chain would (theoretically) not have the strength to maintain a bond when subjected to the centrifugal force of the spinning.  Likewise, without the increased polarity and the ensuing increase in surface tension that results from two of its four bonds having been broken in the context of the chain, the molecules within the chains would not produce enough surface tension (electro-magnetic energy) so that these chains can collectively maintain structural cohesiveness as a plasma and the plasma would, therefore, not have the resilience to be effective at reflecting energy back into the flow of a jet stream to achieve conservation of energy in earth’s atmosphere, as explained therein. (Note: I highly recommend that you read Conservation of Energy in Earth’s Atmosphere).

Conservation of Energy in Earth’s Atmosphere

There is not a more important (and poorly understood) concept in tornadogenesis than how the atmosphere stores and delivers energy to cause storms.  Specifically, if the atmosphere did not have both the ability to store energy and transport that stored energy then severe weather could not and would not exist. Despite its absurdities (most notably, “cold steam“) and absence of supporting evidence, as discussed on other posts on this blog, meteorologists continue to pretend that they believe that the origins of the energy associated with severe weather comes from convection.  Wanting only to conceal its shortcomings and maintain the subterfuge that keeps the grant money rolling in so that they can continue to go to conferences and give each other awards, meteorologists are very careful to sidestep the whole discussion.

Taking a cue from them, I am going to pretend that they are real scientists and, in the spirit of scientific discourse, they have presented me with a challenge: If convection is wrong then what is right? More explicitly, if my claim that the energy of storms does not come from convection then from where does it come, in my estimation?  I see this issue being split up into two issues that can be addressed independently: 1) How and why is energy conserved (stored) in our atmosphere; 2) How and why is the conserved (stored) energy transported to certain locations on our planet to create storms, tornadoes, and hurricanes. In this post I will be discussing the first.  The second will be presented in a post that follows this post.

For most people when they hear the concept conservation of energy their minds fog over.  The phrase tends to be used in the context of thermodynamics and fluid dynamics and, otherwise, it sounds technical and sciencey.  But actually it is a simple concept to comprehend.  If you understand the concept of reflection you understand the concept of conservation of energy in gasses. For example, when a balloon is blown up the energy used to inflate the balloon is reflected back into the body of the balloon by the structure of the balloon.  Thus, it is said to be conserved, saved.  In this case the structure of the balloon completely encapsulates its contents.  There are other forms of conservation of energy in gasses that don’t involve complete encapsulation.  Stream flow down a tube, for instance, is a form of conservation of energy in which the energy of the flow is reflected back into the flow by the structure of the tube.  Additionally, if there is a difference in pressure between the entrance and exit of the tube and the walls of the tube are smooth the air within the tube can accelerate. In the context of a large body of gas the tube can be said to isolate the contents of the tube from the friction (energy absorbency and molecular dispersion) that is otherwise associated with the flow of gasses through gasses.

As suggested above, structure is essential to conservation of energy in a gaseous body like the atmosphere.  Without structure there can be no encapsulation. And only if that structure is resilient (non-absorbent) can it be reflective. Therefore, if a stream is observed in the context of a gaseous body, like the atmosphere, there must be structure and the structure must be resilient. The jet stream, therefore, could not exist if it did not have tubular walls with genuine structural integrity and resilience. In other words, a jet stream in our atmosphere could not exist if it did not have the ability to isolate its contents from the friction that all gasses experience when flowing through gasses. Likewise, high wind speeds that are observed in our atmosphere would not be possible if the walls were not smooth enough to allow the air therein to accelerate unobstructed. Therefore, tubular structures with resilient, smooth inner walls must exist in our atmosphere. This creates a quandary or mystery. Where is it? Why is it not plainly observable? Is it invisible?  Is it subtle? Is it temporary? My answer is, yes, yes, and yes.  It is invisible because its primary component of composition is H2O, which is clear.  And it is temporary and subtle because it only comes into existence under conditions of high energy wind shear. (Also, its existence is usually obstructed by clouds—the cone of a tornado being the rare exception when structure is plainly observable.)

Being a non-Newtonian fluid (link) water’s molecules actually become stronger when they are structurally detached from other water molecules. This seems strange to us because we normally think of a substance becoming stronger when it becomes attached to other molecules.  We refer to these other substances as solids.  The strength of a solid becomes more apparent to us the more its molecules become inter-attached because the more its molecules become inter-attached the larger and, therefore, more apparent they are to us. In actuality these molecules don’t become stronger when their molecules become inter-attached to each other. The strength of a silica molecule, for example, does not increase when it becomes attached through covalent bonds to other silica molecules. The strength—the electromagnet force that each molecule emits—stays the same. The same is not the case with water.  Water molecules do not form covalent bonds with each other.  The bonds H2O molecules form with one another are hydrogen bonds.  The strength of these hydrogen bonds is a function of the residual polarity of each of the water molecules that share a bond.  Strangely, one quarter fraction of this polarity is neutralized with each of four potential hydrogen bonds a water molecule might share with up to four other water molecules.  Consequently, the strongest bond that can exist between any two water molecules is one in which both of the water molecules share no other hydrogen bonds with any other water molecule.  And the weakest hydrogen bond any two can share is when both water molecules also share hydrogen bonds with three other water molecules.  This is the reason, then, that liquid water actually becomes weakest (its molecules becomes electromagnetically neutral) and most fluid when it becomes most dense. And it is strongest (its molecules become most electromagnetically active) when it is least dense. H2O molecules are, therefore, strongest—have the greatest electromagnetic force—when they are completely unattached, singular, as in steam.

And so, any activity or energy that separates water molecules from one another actually activates their strength (it activates the polarity that underlies their electromagnetic activity). There are two ways to break these bonds and, thereby, re-activate the polarity in water molecules.  One way—the most obvious way—is to heat it above the boiling point of water.  When this happens the force (kinetic heat, inter-molecular agitation) associated with driving the H2O molecules apart is greater than the force of the polarity that is trying to pull them back together to re-establish hydrogen bonds (and, thereby, neutralize their polarity again).  And, since the force associated with pulling them apart is greater than the force associated with pulling them back together each water molecule acts as a separate entity.  It, therefore, is a gas.  We call this gas steam.

There is no steam in our atmosphere and even if there was it wouldn’t make any difference to the premise of this post in that being a gas steam has no surface and, therefore, is not able to make a contribution to the conservation of energy in our atmosphere.  (This is true for all gasses.) As indicated above, in order to conserve energy in a flow a substance must have both a surface, the surface must have some resilience to reflect energy back into the flow, and it must have the ability to take a tubular shape that contains or isolates the flow from the friction that gasses normally experience when moving through gasses. Liquid water has a surface but it does not have the ability to take a tubular shape. Additionally, the liquid form of water has had its polarity neutralized by the formation of hydrogen bonds between adjoining H2O molecules, so it is structurally very weak and will absorb energy rather than reflect the energy back into the flow. Ice, the solid phase of water, does exist in our atmosphere.  It tends for form into snow flakes or hail.  Ice does have a surface and it does have high amounts of resilience (strength) to reflect energy back into a flow.  But even though it is conceivable that it could be shaped into a tube the fact is that it just doesn’t take that form.  And if it did there would be another problem, ice is rigid, inflexible, and fragile (or, otherwise, so thick and heavy it falls out of the air), all qualities that make it ineffective for conserving energy in a flow.

It would seem at this point that our investigation is done.  We have examined water in its different phases (gas, liquid and solid) and it has failed.  We, therefore, have no way of explaining the origins of structure and, therefore, no way of explaining the existence of streams that run through gasses, like jet streams, and no way of explaining the mechanism of conservation of energy in our atmosphere.  Right?  Well, wait a minute.  There is just one thing.  Above we mentioned that there are, “. . . two ways to break these bonds and, thereby, re-activate the polarity in water molecules.”  But so far we have only discussed one way, heating.  What is the second of the two ways to break these bonds and, thereby, re-activate the polarity in water molecules?  And what other implications might we find with this second method? The second way involves centrifugal force—spinning.  As miniature water droplets/clusters spin they start to elongate into chains.  As they elongate hydrogen bonds are being broken, activating the polarity of the molecules in the chain—activating them electromagnetically.  Specifically, the H2O molecules will go from having three and four bonds with the other H2O molecules in their droplet/cluster to having two and one in the elongated chain/cluster.  (Two for each molecule in the midsection [non-ends] of each chain and one for each molecule at each end of the chain.) Immediately it is apparent that this is a different situation than was the case for gaseous phase of H2O.  As mentioned above, with the gaseous phase of H2O the amount of force (kinetic heat, inter-molecular agitation) that is driving them apart is greater than that (the reactivated electromagnetic forces of its polarity) pulling them together, resulting in it being a gas that is incapable of having a surface (structural resilience) and/or conserving (reflecting) energy. But this is different.  Now, with centrifugal force (spinning) the force that is pulling them together—the hydrogen bonds shared between each H2O molecule in the chain—is greater than the force that is driving them apart. This produces a substance that is similar to a gas but is not a gas.  The word that best describes this type of substance is the word plasma.

If you look up the word plasma you will see that a plasma is said to involve very hot, highly charged particles (some positive and some negative) that have a source of incoming energy that drives the particles apart. The charged particles exert an internal force that is greater than the force pushing them apart. Likewise, with this newly theorized form of H2O plasma each water molecule is itself both a negative (oxygen side of the water molecule) and a positive (hydrogen side of the water molecule) and as long as the spinning is maintained their polarity will remain activated since hydrogen bonds will not have been completed—so these will be highly charged particles.  (Note: although the molecules in these spinning chains are not as highly charged as the H2O molecules in steam they are highly charged compared to the relatively inert N2, O2 molecules that comprise the bulk of the atmosphere.) If we imagine billions and billions of these spinning chains of water molecules what results is a substance with some unique properties in regards to conservation of energy. Unlike a gas and like a solid, an H2O plasma has the ability to form a surface.  And unlike a liquid, the surface has resilience and, therefore, will not absorb energy but will reflect it back into a flow to, thereby, conserve it. Additionally, unlike ice, the plasma form of H2O is very flexible, pliable, and is, therefore, not fragile.  And it is as light as gas, so we don’t have to be concerned about it falling out of the sky.

This leaves two other requirements.  Firstly, how can we envision this having a constant (or somewhat constant) source of incoming energy so that the spinning can be sustained over extended periods of time and, secondly, how can we envision this plasma taking a tubular shape so that it continues to reflect energy back into a stream flow, as is seen in jet streams?  The answer to both of these questions is wind shear, specifically wind shear between bodies of air in which one body of air is dry and the other is moist. Why wind shear and why does it matter that one body of air is dry and the other is moist? Moist air is necessary as a source of the miniature droplets that can begin spinning and elongating into chains of polarity activated H2O molecules.  Wind shear along a relatively smooth and long surface is necessary as a source of the energy that will, essentially, bombard the droplets with side-glancing impacts from air molecules (N2 and O2) so that the spinning can be initiated and sustained.  And the other body of air must be dry because if it is not then any clusters/droplets of moisture that it contains will, firstly, have a tendency to begin spinning in the opposite direction from the clusters/droplets in the original body of air and, secondly, upon impact combine with them and, thereby, neutralize each other’s spin, cancelling out the effect. Lastly, (for reasons that are not completely clear to me) a smooth surface of wind shear will, as a result of flow dynamics (possibly the Bernoulli effect and/or corrialis effect are involved), begin to fold over and around itself, eventually producing a very stable and energetically efficient tube, that will tend to grow—partly as a result of it having a surplus of energy with which to grow—along the length of a moist/dry wind shear boundary.

The jet streams, therefore, are the entities in our atmosphere that conserve energy. All that is needed for a jet stream to come into existence is a moist/dry boundary layer and a pressure differential as the source of energy. Pressure differentials on our planet are created by differential heating by the sun.  And the boundary between the bottom of the very dry stratosphere and the top of the relatively moist troposphere (which varies between 7,000 meters in height and 12,000 meters, depending on latitude and underlying atmospheric conditions) presents us with a vast moist/dry boundary that encircles out planet. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that the jet stream is found here.

This explains the origins of the energy (high wind speeds) associated with severe weather.  In the next post we will discuss how and why the conserved (stored) energy is transported to certain locations on our planet to create storms, tornadoes, and hurricanes.

The Fourth Phase of Water

We make assumptions, and believe we are right about the assumptions; then we defend our assumptions and try to make someone else wrong.
Don Miguel Ruiz, Author

Sometimes people believe things that are nonsense because they have painted themselves into a corner with their assumptions and believing in nonsense is the only option that remains to save them from appearing to be complete fools.  The most stupefying myth in all of meteorology is the myth that steam can persist in our atmosphere. It is universally believed by all meteorologists yet, strangely, not one of them would claim knowledge of a test or experiment to demonstrate its validity. Stranger still, what little empirical evidence we do have decidedly indicates that the notion fails (also see this for discussion). This notion has evolved into a taboo within the disciplines that study the atmosphere, the primary champions and enforcers of this taboo being meteorologists, most of whom for which the issue is a mute point in that they exclusively work with synoptic charts (cold fronts, warm fronts and such, usually displayed on computer screens) and, therefore, the notion is never applied in the context of their daily duties. Only for a very small subset of meteorologists—those that deal with the severe weather and, even then, only those that deal with the theoretical aspects thereof—does this notion have any real significance. But for these few the effect is intellectually devastating, rendering them feckless, incapable of making any kind of real progress in the discipline. One consequence of this being that the theoretical aspects of the study of severe weather have come to epitomize academic vapidity. And there really isn’t much any of them can do about it in that belief in the concept is a prerequisite for being taken seriously by any of the various stakeholders in the discipline. But at least they don’t look like complete fools.

Meteorologists don’t refer to steam in the atmosphere they refer to convection. It is only when forced to explain the assumptions underlying convection (which involves application of Avogadro’s law) that they reluctantly reveal that they are assuming mono-molecular H2O (steam) in their models of convection. But if you attempt to get them to explain how they, supposedly, know that water can stay mono-molecular at temperatures below the boiling point of water, well, that’s when the game playing begins. Emotions run deep on this issue. So deep, in fact, that when one states facts that demonstrate the impossibility of steam playing a role (or even existing) in our atmosphere one can generally expect to be accused of being a fool and a liar. In this respect it is not unlike the concept of CO2 Forcing in climatology. It’s lack of empirical support is completely disregarded due to overwhelming political support. There is not, however, the ideological aspect to the notion that we find with the notion that CO2 causes global warming. There are not, for example, liberals telling us it is true and conservatives telling us it is false. And there is no greater agenda tied to it. Nobody believes that there are any catastrophic eventualities if anybody does or does not believe it. This too is strange in that unlike the highly speculative science associated with global warming, nobody disputes the more limited but very real catastrophic eventualities of severe weather.

Steam-based Convection Myth Fails to Predict

The story underlying the steam-based convection myth becomes stranger still when one considers how incredibly resilient this notion has been despite its failure to predict or anticipate new discoveries. Basically there have been three waves of new evidence (most of which being due to advances in aviation) that the steam-based convection model failed to predict.

The earliest of these three discoveries was the discovery of extreme turbulence at the top of thunderstorms.   This was surprising because up until then it had been assumed that as water molecules within a parcel of air combined with other water molecules in the colder air at the top of the troposphere the air parcel would become more dense.  And, consequently, it’s buoyancy–the assumed source of its power–would be neutralized. Additionally, when observed from the ground the tops of thunderstorms appeared to be benign, fluffy, and harmless. However, as explained in this article in Plane and Pilot Magazine, in reality there is nothing harmless about the activity at the top of thunderstorms:

Deep, moist convection, better known as thunderstorms, are the nemesis of all aircraft, big or small. Avoidance is mandatory. Many pilots, however, continue to find themselves tangled up in these giants, and very few live to tell about it.

From one that did live to tell about it, the following, entitled Science Inside and Out, involves the first hand testimony of a then new pilot, Joe Olsen, encountering thunderstorms on a solo flight in a small plane over Texas:

Entering the cloud felt like hitting a wall. Suddenly everything was white, it was raining from every direction and the wind was howling. There were massive vertical wind shears that rendered the instruments useless. The altitude, air speed, rate of climb and artificial horizon gauges were all bouncing peg to peg. “Flying by the seat of your pants” quickly becomes the over-riding instinct. You are now in vertigo and your butt thinks it knows where the Earth is. You are fooled by the changing gravity of the rapid up and down wind shear. You are surrounded by glowing white light and cannot see further than ten feet in any direction. The wings are shaking at beyond maximum design loading and the LAST thing you want is your BUTT flying the plane. The propeller is used to 110 mph wind from the nose, but is disturbed by the 200 mph up and down winds.

And from the online journal Physics Dot Org comes and excerpt from an article entitled Flying Into a Thunderstorm:

Some thunderstorms are so violent they pump air more than 60,000 feet above Earth’s surface, punching through a layer of atmosphere called the tropopause all the way into the stratosphere.

In the least one might expect that the failure of the steam-based convection model to predict the magnitude of this activity at the top of thunderclouds might have served to inspire them to open their minds to the possibility that processes other than just convection might be involved. But that appears to not be the case.

The second of the three waves of new evidence involved the discovery of jet streams during and after WWII.

According to Wikipedia:

Jet streams are fast flowing, narrow air currents found in the atmospheres of some planets, including Earth.[1] The main jet streams are located near the altitude of the tropopause, the transition between the troposphere and the stratosphere (where temperature increases with altitude).[2] The major jet streams on Earth are westerly winds (flowing west to east). Their paths typically have a meandering shape; jet streams may start, stop, split into two or more parts, combine into one stream, or flow in various directions including the opposite direction of most of the jet.

As with the activity observed at the top of thunderstorms, there is nothing about the discovery of the jet stream that was predicted or anticipated by the steam-based convection model of meteorology’s storm theory.  Again, one might think that this failure to predict might bring meteorologists to look at the steam-based convection model of storm theory with more scrutiny.  Or, even, that it might inspire them to look for alternative models.  But, once again, this seems to not have happened.

Lastly, and once again completely unpredicted by the steam-powered convection notions, was the discovery of clear air turbulence. Clear-air turbulence, as the name suggests, is turbulence that happens without any visual cues (clouds) whatsoever. According to the website How Stuff Works:

Even though pilots are taught to avoid turbulent air by looking for cumulus clouds, turbulence can strike even in the absence of clouds. This type of turbulence—especially dangerous because of its invisibility—is known as clear-air turbulence. It accounts for most turbulence-related injuries, mainly because pilots have no time to warn passengers and flight attendants to get strapped into their seats. Nearly 7 out of 10 turbulence incidents are the result of encounters with the clear-air variety.

According to Wikipedia:

The atmospheric region most susceptible to CAT is the high troposphere at altitudes of around 7,000–12,000 metres (23,000–39,000 ft) as it meets the tropopause. Here CAT is most frequently encountered in the regions of jet streams. At lower altitudes it may also occur near mountain ranges. Thin cirrus cloud can also indicate high probability of CAT.

Lines of cirrus perpendicular to the jet stream indicate possible CAT, especially if the ends of the cirrus are dispersed in which case the direction of dispersal can indicate if the CAT is stronger at the left or at the right of the jet stream.

64% of the non-light turbulences (not only CAT) are observed less than 150 nautical miles (280 km) away from the core of a jet stream.[9]

CAT is never produced in the stratosphere.

Forced to Choose Between Wrong and Ridiculously Wrong

As with the other shortcomings of the steam-based convection model that I delineated at the beginning of this post, this failure to predict the discovery of these three meteorological phenomena is not something for which meteorologists are remotely concerned or even generally aware.  All in all, they demonstrate an amazing ability to pretend not to notice the shortcomings of their theory and even to conceal it by, as I indicated, hiding the notion of steam within the less plainly absurd notion of convection.  And then, of course, there is the evasiveness and name calling directed at anybody that doesn’t play along with their desire to pretend not to notice. And yet, as mentioned previously, there appears to not be any kind of larger political agenda.  This leaves one scratching their head wondering what is at the root of these behaviors.

I think I can answer this question.  And my answer does not in any way involve accusations that meteorologists are in collusion, lacking in intelligence, or cynical.  Rather, I suggest, they are mistaken on one point of fact that has resulted in them making an omission.  And in that omission they have closed themselves off to to an element in their explanations without which it is impossible to make sense of what is actually observed in the atmosphere, leaving them to choose between explanatory approaches that are wrong and ridiculously wrong.  And it all has to do with how we envision water getting up high into the sky.

Here’s the thing.  The pervasiveness of H2O in all parts of the troposphere (from the surface all the way up to the stratosphere) is undeniable. Likewise, the pervasiveness of H2O in all weather events is equally undeniable.  Moreover, H2O is constantly falling out of the sky.  Thus, the number one job of a theoretical meteorologists is to explain how water, H2O, gets up into the sky. The explanatory elements that meteorologists must use to achieve this explanation are the following: dry air (N2 and O2, and other trace inert gasses) and the three phases of water, ice, liquid water, and gaseous water (steam). Obviously ice is not viable.  Ice only falls out of the sky.  Liquid water water is more viable in that it is commonly observed in the form of fog or clouds, visible droplets.  And, starting from evaporation, these can stay suspended in the air due to electrostatic forces, which are implications of N2 and O2.  However, electrostatic forces in and of themselves can only explain, at best, how liquid droplets of water (some so small they are invisible). what we commonly refer to as humidity, can get up to about 1,000 meters, 1,500 meters at most.  It is plainly observable what does the remainder of the work to get moisture up above 7,000 meters–storms.  And storms do this in a relatively rapid and dramatic manner, producing the sometimes violent updrafts that are such a hazard to aircraft.  So the issue can be reduced to the question as to what powers storms?  It would seem the answer must be obvious, buoyancy induced by steam, the gaseous phase of water, powers storms because there is nothing else that can possibly explain why moist air would begin to rise up through the drier surrounding air.  Moreover, there is nothing else that can explain why storms themselves tend to be so wet, selectively occurring in moist air.  Therefore, only steam can possibly explain how storms cause water–moist air–to rapidly get up above 7,000 meters.  Right?

Actually, no.  That is wrong.  There is something else that can/will explain the uplift of moist air observed in storms.  And it doesn’t involve steam whatsoever.  In fact, the assertion that steam cannot exist in our atmosphere is, in fact, true.  So the notion that steam provides the buoyancy of storms and/or the notion that buoyancy is the only force that can describe the uplift in storms and/or the notion that the only way water can provide uplift is through buoyancy are all false statements.  There is another force involved.  There is another way in which water can provide uplift in storms.  And the three atmospheric phenomena that I mentions above, 1) the turbulence at the top of thunderstorms, 2) the jet stream, and 3) clear-air turbulence, are big clues as to this other force.  In a follow-up post to this post I will demonstrate how one can start from the observation of CAT and track back through the jet stream, through to the tops of thunderclouds all the way down to the moist air (humidity) at lower altitudes and perfectly explain how this moist air begins to rapidly rise up into the upper troposphere (over 7.000 meters).  And at no time will this explanation require the existence of steam or buoyancy. (Note: It might be a while until I will have time for this follow-up post.  In the meantime there are two other posts on this blog that will give you a sense of where I am going with this: Tornado Solution Too Easy . . . and What You Never Suspected . . ., also there is my book, Solving Tornadoes, see link on sidebar.)

What is the mistake meteorologists have been making?  What is the conceptual error.  What is the omission?  As explained above, meteorologists assumed three phases of H2O.  They assumed ice, liquid water, and gaseous water, steam.  They did not know about, and frankly, could not have known about a fourth phase of water, plasma.  Nor could they have known about the structural capabilities that this plasma phase of water brings to our understanding of atmospheric processes.  And, consequently, they could not have known how these structural capabilities are the key to explaining the uplift of moist air witnessed in storms. And, therefore, they could not have known that there is a way to explain the uplift witnessed in storms that doesn’t require them to surrender their dignity.

Tornado Solution Too Easy, Too Inexpensive, Too Effective

Initial Question

Everybody has seen it. Everybody knows exactly what I’m talking about. Yet there is nothing on it anywhere. It doesn’t matter where you look, internet, books, science journals, there is zero insight and/or discussion of the molecular dynamics of the very distinctive and highly observable cone or vortex of tornadoes.  You may have done the same thing I’ve done. After viewing video of a tornado you get on your computer and do a number of searches using combinations of the following words: tornado, vortex, molecular, dynamics, composition, expecting to find some kind of explanation. You might even have ended up at this site which does a fairly good job of encapsulating the attitude of meteorologists who, it seems, would have us believe that observation of tornadic vortices has more to do with our perception than it does physical reality:

“It is not a “thing” in the sense that a table or a book (neglecting atomic or molecular fluctuations) is the same from one moment to the next. Much confusion about tornadoes comes from thinking of tornadoes as objects rather than as the kinematic manifestation of dynamic processes.”

Obviously this is just doublespeak intended to minimize the issue. Nobody disputes that a vortex is more than just a listing of molecular composition and percentages thereof. Nobody disputes that energy is involved, such as that associated with its rotation and that associated with air moving up and through its conduit-like structure. And nobody disputes that situational factors are instrumental. It is, for example, commonly observed that factors associated with wind-shear between two bodies of air moving at cross angles—one being relatively moist and the other relatively dry—and other factors such as general instability and high winds aloft are also associated with the observation of these vortices. But none of this answers the question: what specifically is going on with the molecules that comprise the cone or vortex?

I had been entertaining this question in my mind casually for fifteen or twenty years. Every once in a while I would read something or see something on TV that would trigger my thinking. One of these triggers was the concept that water is a non-Newtonian fluid.   Newtonian fluids are fluids in which, “shear strain is directly proportional to shear stress.” Non-Newtonian fluids, therefore, are fluids in which shear strain is indirectly or even inversely proportional to shear stress. What this means is that whereas Newtonian fluids get weaker under stress non-Newtonian fluids get stronger under stress (in particular ways). After further investigation I came to the conclusion that water’s non-Newtonian attributes are an implication of the H2O molecule’s polarity and associated hydrogen bonding. In my book, entitled Solving Tornadoes: Mastering the Mystery of the Vortex, I provide details as to how these cumulative factors, starting with clusters/droplets of water suspended in the atmosphere, produce a plasma (or plasma-like substance), an heretofore unspecified phase of water, as being the answer to the question asked in the above paragraph. (If you are interested in a brief overview of the underlying physical principles and forces involved with this theorized plasma phase of water follow this link.)

Greater Realization

As is explained in more detail in my book, the role of atmospheric water, in the form of this newly discovered plasma is much more centrally involved with the general circulation than anybody had previously imagined. And this is true despite the fact that the role previously imagined for water, as the source of the force of storms and upward movement by way of convection, is completely refuted by the realization (a realization that is arrived at through this new understanding) that, in contrast to what everybody has believed for a very long time, moist air is heavier and not lighter than dry air and therefore cannot provide any kind of up-welling force whatsoever.   Instead—made possible by the structural capabilities of this newly discovered plasma phase of water—the jet stream takes center stage as the source of energy for storms and general circulation, including both updrafts and downdrafts. The larger picture that emerges implicates the jet stream as being more structurally significant, more active, and more multi-faceted than we are generally aware; most of its activities taking place very high, all along the extensive boundary between the relatively moist troposphere and the very dry stratosphere.  Additionally, the jet stream is revealed as a thermodynamic entity that maximizes entropy, conserves energy, and does work (storms). At one and the same time the jet stream is a river with many tributaries most of which are invisible to us. Energy gets distributed, by way of vacuum effect, along these tributaries based on a relatively straightforward, working principle (which I will not describe here, because it will only cause confusion; suffice it to say that boundaries between dry air and moist air are essential) in which the structural capabilities of this plasma are pivotal in regards to their role in the manifestation of the conduits of this distribution. Storms and tornadoes, being at the far-reaching ends of these conduits of distribution and not the independent entities that some (including most meteorologists) have imagined them to be, can now be correctly considered from the perspective of the factors that underlie the growth of said structure in the lower part of the atmosphere, providing us insight that opens the door to methods of tornado mitigation that previously had not been considered. (More on mitigation below.)

In a paper entitled, A History of Prevailing Ideas about the General Circulation of the Atmosphere,   Edward N. Lorenz (1983) writes of these, “prevailing ideas,” occurring in steps, which is summed up in the final three paragraphs:

If our own most recent view of the general circulation (Lorenz, 1969) is accurate, we may be nearing the end of the fourth step. We have pictured a circulation that, if not easily explainable in simple sentences (except by calling it a baro-clinic-instability phenomenon), can at least be duplicated in its main features by numerical solutions of fairly realistic approximations to the governing dynamic equations. The statistics that have been evaluated from these solutions compare fairly well with those determined from real atmospheric data. There is a comfortable feeling that the problem is nearly solved.

We may therefore pause and ask ourselves whether this step will be completed in the manner of the last three. Will the next decade see new observational data that will disprove our present ideas? It would be difficult to show that this cannot happen.

Our current knowledge of the role of the various phases of water in the atmosphere is somewhat incomplete; eventually it must encompass both thermodynamic and radiational effects. We do not fully understand the interconnections between the tropics, which contain the bulk of water, and the remaining latitudes. Satellite observations have revealed various features, such as a frequent continuum of clouds extending northeastward from the tropical Pacific into the central United States, which were not previously recognized. Perhaps near the end of the 20th century we shall suddenly discover that we are beginning the fifth step.

I think it fairly certain that when Lorenz wrote of these, “various phases of water in the atmosphere,” back in 1983 the possibility of a plasma phase of water occurring naturally in our atmosphere was not even a remote consideration.  Moreover, the notion that such a phase of water could provide the structure, and thereby, the leverage necessary to enable the jet stream to be the dominant influence of atmospheric flow (and one that would simultaneously effectuate storms as the mechanism to replenish the water expended in the process) would have sounded perfectly audacious to his ears. It is now 2014, here I am and here it is. In consideration of the fact that this new understanding does a better job of explaining what is actually observed than does current thinking/theory my audacious sounding claims about the role of water in the atmosphere and implications thereof is, in my opinion, not audacious at all. Moreover, I am not hesitant to make the argument that truly audacious claims have been a part of meteorology’s mythology and catechism for longer than even its the most mature practitioners can remember:

  • That moist air is lighter and convects up through dry air to power storms. This assumption has remained untested and completely unchallenged over the full breadths of Meteorology’s 170 year history. It’s empirical verification is about 169 years overdue.
  • That a rising bubble of warm, moist air (or multiples thereof) can somehow explain (or be the trigger/cause of) widespread low pressure and the strong cold winds associated with storms. More specifically, these phenomena, (cold fronts) are just assumed in synoptic models and, therefore, have no logical connection to the notion that storms are caused and powered by convection of moist air (and/or warm air).
  • That the same seemingly benign process of warm, moist air rising can somehow cause the extremely concentrated and high magnitude of energy found in tornadoes (especially the larger, more destructive tornadoes).
  • Depending upon when it is argumentatively convenient to assume one or the other, that dry air serves as both the substrate through which “lighter” moist air convects and as the cap (inversion layer) that stops and/or opposes the up-welling force of convection. And that the latter of these two absurdities, the cap, explains both how storms and tornadoes can happen hundreds of miles away from the locations the moist air was created and, as if that is not crazy enough, how there can be a build up of upwelling energy that explains the high magnitude of energy in some storms and tornadoes. (More on this issue/theme can be found here.)
  • That one can observe the cone or vortex of a tornado and not notice, or at least suspect, its structural functionality or the underlying molecular distinctions that, seemingly, crying out for explanation and, somehow, dismiss it as, “not a thing.”

And the one that is most arrogantly audacious of all:

  • That researchers (meteorologists, especially those associated with tornadogenesis) can claim to know that tornadoes can never be prevented or mitigated and, therefore, the best we can ever expect is to better predict them.

There is a semi-informal rule of science that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.   As you can see in the above list, this is a rule that the discipline of meteorology has chosen to ignore. It would be nice to think that they would read this post, acknowledge the shortcomings indicated herein, take the bull by the horns, and begin to actually take the steps necessary to attempt to test these notions experimentally. But their attitude is that they have a consensus and, as such, they have nothing to prove to anybody.  Instead they expect that we should blindly accept what they profess.   Unfortunately this unprofessional attitude leaves us here at Solving Tornadoes with no choice but to take a hard stance. As far as we are concerned, unless and until they begin to change their attitude with respect to meeting the requirements for extraordinary evidence of their (above mentioned) extraordinary claims their input or advice will be looked at with the same scrutiny that one would invoke when presented with advice from members of a cult or religious belief. (The history of science has proven that taking a hard stance is the only viable option when dealing with science denialism, especially when such is ingrained in the long-standing traditions of a scientific discipline.)

Simple Solution

At this point in reading this blog post you may be not quite sure what all the fuss is about. If you take nothing else away from this reading experience take the following and please relay it to everybody you know: mitigating and/or preventing large, destructive tornadoes may well prove to be extremely easy, extremely inexpensive, and extremely effective! And the extraordinary evidence that we here at Solving Tornadoes intend to provide to substantiate this extraordinary claim is to begin to do just that: mitigate and/or prevent large destructive tornadoes!

To get a more in-depth understanding as to how we expect to do this I would direct you to my book, mentioned above. (Or, for a somewhat more vague and meandering exposition on this theme you can go to the website that I completed in June of 2013 (link). I suggest reading Parts One, Two and Three. But you could just skip ahead to Part Three to get a sense of what specific mitigation measures are being prescribed.) Or even, just read the following, which I hereby present as a series of talking points that you can commit to memory and relay to others:

  1. Made possible by the structural capabilities of a newly discovered plasma phase of water, the jet stream is the source of energy for storms and tornadoes.
  2. The energy of storms is distributed, by way of vacuum effect, through down-reaching tributaries which are themselves vortices (conduits) constructed from this plasma, tornadoes being the far-reaching end of these conduits of distribution.
  3. Boundaries between dry air and moist air, what are referred to as “layers of differentness” (or, more simply, “differentness”) are the resource that these vortices of plasma grow into.
  4. The higher the quality of this differentness with respect to being long, flat, straight, smooth and distinct the greater the potential for rapid growth and greater energy transfer and, consequently, the greater the potential for larger, higher energy vortices/tornadoes.
  5. More commonly referred to (erroneously) as “inversion” layers, the long (extensive) straight, high quality boundary layers that form naturally in the lower atmosphere during calm weather conditions are, essentially, the accidents waiting to happen in tornado alley (and other parts of the world that experience large, destructive tornadoes). Fortunately however, these sleeping giants of differentness are themselves rather delicate and easily destroyed. Relatively slight perturbations can/will greatly reduce/eliminate their qualitatively determined ability to facilitate the rapid growth and energy transfer associated with large, destructive tornadoes. Specifically, the threat of large, destructive tornadoes associated with inversion layers can be greatly reduced by any perturbation directed at the inversion layer that 1) compromises the distinctness of the its differentness; 2) interrupts the straight-line length of its differentness; and/or 3) compromises the flatness and/or smoothness of its differentness.

In a nutshell:

We can think of inversion layers that form in the lower atmosphere as sheets of fabric that can/will subsequently be rolled up to form a tube or vortex. If these sheets are of high quality (long, straight, smooth, and/or distinct) then the tubes that form from them will themselves be of high quality and will, thereby, be very proficient as conduits of energy, producing large destructive tornadoes. If, however, these sheets are of low quality (short, crooked, ragged (having holes), bumpy, and/or fuzzy) then the tubes that form from them will themselves be of low quality and will, thereby, be ineffective as conduits of energy, producing relatively benign, low energy storms and tornadoes (and more of them).

All in all, there are reasons for optimism with this new understanding of tornadogenesis. In addition to being relatively easy to locate and easy to get to, the layers of differentness that develop (during periods of calm weather) in the lower atmosphere are extremely fragile. The slightest perturbation destroys them. The downwash coming off the wings of an airplane, for example, is more than enough to destroy any differentness in its immediate vicinity. Moreover, the whole-scale destruction of these boundary layers of differentness may not be necessary to effectively mitigate tornadoes; in order to achieve rapid growth plasma vortices are dependent on finding a pathway of differentness that is long in addition to being distinct and smooth. By flying patterns with aircraft along these layers of differentness and allowing the downwash off the wings to divide these sleeping giants of differentness into segments, like cutting fabric, we may be able to interrupt the straight-line continuity of the differentness in these inversion layers. Theoretically, this will prevent the kind of runaway vortex plasma growth associated with large, high energy, storms and tornadoes.

Too Good to be True?

Does this all seem too simple? Can it really be this easy? Can the annual threat of large, destructive tornadoes actually be brought to an end with something so simple as deploying aircraft to fly directed patterns at designated altitudes during periods of high risk? It’s hard to imagine any reasonable person not being skeptical of such a claim. I myself am skeptical on this point. But just yesterday I came across something on Twitter that would suggest that, possibly, it is not as crazy as it sounds. I re-posted it yesterday (link). It is a chart indicating that, according to Steve Goddard, “The number of strong tornadoes has declined significantly since the 1950s.” As I mentioned in that post, this decline seems to correlate with the increase in commercial air traffic during the 1960s. Might this purported reduction in tornado strength be a result of the fact that we have, inadvertently, been mitigating (destroying) layers of differentness with commercial aircraft? In other words, might we have already been accidently mitigating large, destructive tornadoes?   Yes, I know, this is a stretch.   And, yes, I know, this reduction in tornado intensity is subtle. And, yes, I know it might be a measuring bias or have some other perfectly reasonable explanation. But, supposing it is true that we have inadvertently been mitigating against strong tornadoes with commercial aircraft just think what kind of reduction in tornado strength we might achieve if we were actually trying.

How You Can Help

As an organization Solving Tornadoes is in its infancy. If you would like to know more about how you can help bring an end to large, destructive tornadoes please follow this blog and follow us on twitter: @solvingtornadoe

What You Never Suspected About Water in the Atmosphere

Are you aware of the H2O molecules structural capabilities in the atmosphere?

Have you ever wondered about the molecular dynamics of what is really going on in the cone or vortex of a tornado?

On a molecular level water is very aggressive about getting together with other water molecules to become decidedly unaggressive. We mostly notice the result of the water molecule’s aggression, its complete lack of aggression, and we are, therefore, mostly unaware of how incredibly aggressive it, the H2O molecule, can be to become unaggressive. More specifically, the H2O molecule’s aggression is a result of its inherit polarity and the electromagnet implications thereof: as water, on the molecular level, aggressively seeks out connections with other water molecules, The strength and persistence of these forces cause it to collectively (in the form of liquid water) to become more interconnected molecularly, more entangled, denser. And that’s where things get strange. Because the more entangled and denser it (water) becomes (the more bonds are achieved between molecules of H2O) the more the forces that caused it to become entangled are neutralized, turned off, resulting in the high fluidity (low viscosity) of water. In a sense, H2O molecules are in a great big hurry to surround themselves with other H2O molecules (by way of hydrogen bond connections at all four locations of their structure) so that they can treat other H2O molecules with (almost) complete indifference.

The mechanism that underlies this strange passive-aggressive behavior of the water molecule—this individual tendency to aggressively seek to become collectively unaggressive—might best be understood with respect to the fact that the bond that takes place between water molecules is a hydrogen bond. Unlike covalent bonds, water’s hydrogen bond is the result of (a function of) the polarity of the two H2O molecules that are participants in the bond. However, and in complete contrast to a covalent bond, when a hydrogen bond is achieved a fraction of the polarity is neutralized, turned off, in both of the two H2O molecules that participate in the hydrogen bond. So, ironically, the achievement of a hydrogen bond (and each H2O molecule can participate in up to four bonds, each with a different H2O molecule) is at one and the same time the result of the water molecule’s polarity and the (partial) neutralization thereof.

This tendency to become entangled, to aggressively fold in on itself, and to, thereby, neutralize its polarity as it becomes entangled is so effective and so instantaneous (and happening on such a such a microscopic scale) that we are mostly unaware of the H2O molecule’s underlying ability to produce some fairly significant electromagnetic forces (surface tension) and bond strength (tensile strength). (Note: liquid water’s hydrogen bond offer’s no compressive strength whatsoever.) All in all, what it really comes down to is this: H2O molecules are so effective at getting together with other H2O molecules and neutralizing the polarity that brought them together, we (us humans) generally are unaware of the possibility that if a mechanism can be theorized (or experimentally revealed) that will defeat the H2O molecule’s aggressive and insidious tendency to collectively fold in on itself and, thereby, neutralize its polarity, then these structural capabilities can emerge (there are two: [a.] bond strength [tensile strength only] and [b.] surface tension).

In a sense H2O is like a superhero. It’s superpowers are concealed from us by its ability to blend in with a crowd of other depolarized, mild mannered H2O molecules. Its true strength is only revealed when events tear it away from the crowd. Only when alone, when individual water molecules are detached (or relatively detached [this is important]) from other water molecules do water’s superpowers emerge.

Have you every wondered why it is that tornadoes are associated with wind shear in which one of the bodies of air is moist and the other is dry? Well, wonder no more. That mystery is solved. Follow the link on this blog to my book entitled, Vortex Phase: The Discovery of the Spin That Underlies the Twist. http://wp.me/p4JijN-aE

Did you hear the one about the guy that goes to buy a suit?

downloadbadsuit twi

A man goes to a tailor to try on a new custom-made suit. The first thing he notices is that the arms are too long.

“No problem,” says the tailor. “Just bend them at the elbow and hold them out in front of you. See, now it’s fine.”

“But the collar is up around my ears!”

“It’s nothing. Just hunch your back up a little… No, a little more… That’s it.”

“But I’m stepping on my cuffs!” the man cries in desperation.

“Just bend you knees a little to take up the slack. There you go. Look in the mirror–the suit fits perfectly.”

So, twisted like a pretzel, the man lurches out onto the street. Reba and Florence see him go by.

“Oh, look,” says Reba, “that poor man!”

“Yes,” says Florence, “but what a beautiful suit.”

It started with James Pollard Espy, the Storm King, who, around the 1840s, proposed an explanation for the power and vertical uplift witnessed in thunderstorms: moist air is lighter and, therefore, more buoyant than dry air.  He accompanied his claim with an argument based on ideal gas laws that, it seemed, substantiated the claim that “gaseous vapor” was lighter and, therefore, convected up through drier air. However, the notion stood in sharp contrast to the people’s basic senses. Everybody, it seemed, felt that warm, moist air was heavier than dry air, not lighter.  Additionally ideal gas laws are only applicable to–you guessed it–ideal gasses.  It was well-known that H2O is not an ideal gas and, in fact, only becomes a gas above 212 degrees F, and the atmosphere rarely got above 100 degrees.  Some suggested that maybe we should measure, just to be sure.  But scales with the high degree of precision necessary to measure the weight of such small traces of gas were not as common back then as they are now.  Espy dissuaded them from these concerns by pointing out that without this explanation we don’t have any other way to explain how moisture travels up high in the sky to produce clouds.  With that everybody’s objections were overcome.  The notion just made too much sense to not be correct, they assured themselves.

Then people started noticing a long flat layer no more than a thousand feet above the ground.  This layer was prominent during calm weather conditions and was especially evident on the mornings of windless nights.  There was no denying that the section below was the more moist, seemingly a direct contradiction to the previously agreed upon notion that moist air was lighter and would, therefore, convect up through dry air.  By this time there was a whole collective of people that had followed in Espy’s footsteps.  They had long since begun referring to themselves as meteorologists. Knowing their status as predictors of future weather was in jeopardy if they didn’t find a resolution to this discrepancy they conferred among themselves.  One of them mentioned that the layer that sat atop the moist layer was often (not always) warmer than the layer below, itself being a contradiction to the normal tendency of air to get cooler with height.  “That’s it,” one of them declared.  The warmer layer must act as a cap, presenting a surface that defies the upward movement of more buoyant moist air.  Others objected. Even then it was known that of the four states of matter (solid, liquid, gas, and plasma) one property that distinguished a gas from all others was that it did not have a surface and/or surface tension. However, by this time the methods of consensus were well established among meteorologists, having no other option they ignored these objections and decreed the discovery of inversion layers and ordained them as the agents of atmospheric stability.

There were, of course, grumblings with the emplacement of such an artificial notion into the working principles of the young scientific discipline.  But these gradually subsided as they began to realize its residual benefits.  Another observation that had been problematic for the notion of up-welling, moist air as the cause of the power and vertical uplift witnessed in thunderstorms was the observation that very often the thunderstorms happened hundreds of miles away from the warm bodies of water that produced the moist air.  With its inclusion as an addendum to the greater body of meteorological theory this notion that inversion layers formed a cap or widespread barrier to up-welling, moist air provided an explanatory avenue of escape, allowing these kinds of observations to be considerably less bothersome.  But some were concerned that, possibly, the greater theory was evolving into a comedy of contradictions.  If the dry air that exists in abundance in the upper altitudes is both the agent of stability and the substrate through which moist air convects to cause storms then how do we convince the public–a public increasingly aware of the death and destruction associated with large tornadoes–that our understanding of storms is rooted in sound theory.

The solution kind of presented itself.  It is called parcel theory.  Parcel Theory is a set of abstract rules purported to indicate when and why certain “parcels” of the atmosphere remain stable or become unstable.  From the perspective of any kind of practical applications, however, parcel theory has severe limitations, ” . . . since it is difficult to define how large or small a parcel really is and what mechanisms exist that selectively lift the small parcel and not the entire atmospheric layer. In addition, parcel theory fails to accommodate the fact that considerable entrainment of surrounding air occurs as buoyant plumes develop.” Ultimately what this all means is that since parcel theory is based on phenomena that is immeasurable and un-testable and since it has no practical applications to predicting or preventing storms or tornadoes it usefulness is solely diversionary.  And it is most useful in this respect when directed at outsiders to meteorology who start poking around, asking too many questions, especially when it involves questions about the previously mentioned contradictions.

So, if you do come across a meteorologists, especially one focused on the sub-disciplines of Storm Theory or Tornadogenesis and they appear to be somewhat bumbling, take pity on them.  Keep in mind the unseen, underlying contortions they are doing to keep their twisted suit of a theory looking presentable.

It’s Not What You Know That Will Hurt You . . .

downloadquizzical

.  .  . it’s What You Think You Know That Just Ain’t So.

Group-think is a big part of how the human brain functions. Typically, when somebody relays information to you and that information carries an assumption you will also carry the same assumption. And this happens on a subconscious level such that you are hardly aware of it. For example, examine the following response to a Quora question.  See if you notice the hidden assumption in the response:

Question: What causes tornadoes? – Quora

http://www.quora.com/What-causes-tornadoes

Answered by Gabriel Garfield: “There are many theories for what causes tornadoes, but they are untested. As a matter-of-fact, the VORTEX-2 field project — of which I am a part — is seeking to surround tornadoes with different weather instruments to try to understand why tornadoes form. We know that the parent thunderstorm that causes a tornado to form — i.e., a supercell — forms because of a combination of buoyancy and wind shear. Something similar likely happens with a tornado, but the exact mechanisms are still unknown.”

Did you see it?  Did you see the hidden assumption in Gabriel’s statement?  What about this: “We know that the parent thunderstorm that causes a tornado to form — i.e., a supercell — forms because of a combination of buoyancy and wind shear.”  Do we KNOW that thunderstorms are the parent of tornadoes?  Do we KNOW that buoyancy is a factor?  (Do we even KNOW that moist air is more buoyant than dry air?)  No, we don’t.  In fact all of these things are as equally untested as are the points that he refers to as being untested.

This problem is, of course, not new to science.  And, of course, we all know what the solution to this problem is supposed to be: professionals trained in the scientific method constantly attempting to disprove and test assumptions.  Unfortunately what happens in many scientific disciplines is that a hidden assumption is maintained and generation after generation of practitioners fail to test it. Eventually people stop asking questions and the assumptions is raised to the status of being sacred–beyond question.  And the professionals become really good at discouraging (and sometimes shouting down) anybody that has the temerity to express doubt about these sacred notions.  The professionals, essentially, evolve into being priest of a religion–gatekeepers of “truth.”  And all of their effort go not into developing methods of examination but more sciencey-sounding terminology to further obscure their sacred beliefs.

For example.  The following is an attempt by professional meteorologists to admonish journalists for using the phrase “clash of air masses,” in regard to journalists’ attempts to explain the origins of tornadoes to the public:

http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/BAMS-D-13-00252.1
Tornadoes in the Central United States and the “Clash of Air Masses”
by DAVID M. SCHULTZ, YVETTE P. RICHARDSON, PAUL M. MARKOWSKI, CHARLES A. DOSWELL III

Therein you will find statements that purportedly delineates the current state of knowledge about what causes storms and tornadoes (edited slightly to improve readabilty):

“. . . storms occurred when warm humid air near the surface lay under drier air aloft with temperature decreasing rapidly with height [originating from higher terrain to the west or southwest], providing energy for the storms through the production of instability. Large changes in wind with height (“wind shear”) over both shallow (lowest 1 km) and deep (lowest 6 km) layers—combined with the instability and high humidity near the surface—created a situation favorable for tornadoes to form.”

And:

“. . . all convective storms are initiated when air parcels with convective available potential energy (CAPE) reach their level of free convection (LFC), with one of the most common mechanisms for storm initiation being ascent associated with airmass boundaries . . . ”

Ultimately there is a lot of circular reasoning and tautological rhetoric in all of this: updrafts are caused by up-moving air; instability is the result of air being unstable; winds get higher with height. Is any of this genuinely explanatory? No, not in my opinion. These are just observations repackaged to sound sciencey. All that is being achieved in these explanations is to add another layer of abstraction between the reader and the realization that–frankly–they don’t have it all figured out yet.

We can’t blame professionals for wanting to appear professional. And the purpose of this post is not to ‘out’ them for being less than the scientific ideal. But it is, in my opinion, important to point out what they themselves are incapable of seeing: at no time do any of them draw any attention to the fact that the notion that moist air is lighter (more buoyant) than dry air has never been tested/measured, this being the sacred notion that nobody in meteorology dare challenge, the consequence being excommunication.

Would you like to participate in an actual test and/or measurement of moist air vs. dry air notion to get to the actual truth therof? If so, please complete the following contact information.

Kindest regard to all!

Tom of Oregon City

So, Tom, you seem to think of yourself as a pretty smart guy. Can you tell us why/how it’s possible for moist air to contain steam when it is physically impossible for steam to exist below its boiling point. Let’s see how you deal with a problem that can’t be looked up in a text book.
Sunday 10:48pm

Since temperature is an average of diverse energy states of many molecules, and since kinetic energy varies from molecule to molecule on a collision by collision basis, and since part of the freedom to have those divergent energy states is the absence of binding to other molecules, why can’t you have steam, water vapor, liquid water, ice… coexisting? Homogeneity is an imagined condition in a chaotic atmosphere.
Monday 12:44am
Waters properties prevent it, Wishful thinking isn’t scientifically concise thinking. Base your reasoning on facts, not on your imagination.
Monday 2:31pm

Water’s properties prevent what, Jim? Having different molecules in different states in the same — what? — cubic km? cubic meter? cubic centimeter? And how is what I wrote “wishful thinking”? Care to identify the property of a water molecule that forces some sort of homogeneity? You complain that I am not basing my reasoning on facts. If you disagree with my assessment, then you are forced to show how my information is incorrect. Let’s start with the energy level of water molecules in a free atmosphere. Show me how you find them constrained.
For me the boiling point of water is a function of temperature and pressure (as indicated in steam tables). For you the boiling point of water is a function of temperature and pressure and some unspecified factor that sounds like imagination to me that you described above. And it is this unspecified, imaginative factor that brings you to the conclusion that the moisture in ambient air is steam despite the fact that you and exactly nobody has ever provided any positive evidence of–just your collective imaginations. You might as well refer to it in spiritual terms, because that is all it really is. It’s just something you choose to believe.
Monday 6:02pm

Jim, I think this is not going to go where you would like. Not all molecules of water vapor need to be at the energy state that makes them “HOT”. Latent heat is a function of binding and unbinding, to liquid or to vapor. Steam is unbound — vapor — but also sensibly “hot”. No added thing, unless you call latent heat “imaginary”. It is measurable, you know. I’ve done that myself, decades ago. Evaporation requires energy be transferred to a molecule of water, and that energy transfer causes the surface to cool, because it’s taken from kinetic energy in other molecules. But to escape the surface, and become vapor, the molecule does not have to increase in temperature (though that may also happen), but captures that energy in the motion of the molecule. State changes are not imaginary. They are evidenced by energy measurements, the fact of the conservation of energy, and the observable mass of the solid, liquid and gas under test. As I said, this is observable and measurable, and taught in even high school physics. One should be careful before stating such a thing as “nobody has ever provided any positive evidence” of state change energy. Now, if you’d like to continue, let me see if I have your thinking correctly: you believe that latent heat — the energy of state change — is imaginary?
I never mentioned and am not discussing latent heat. Leave me out of your imagination.
Your belief in steam existing at ambient temperatures is a belief for which you and nobody has presented any evidence. That you choose to pretend otherwise is your imagination.
It’s incredible the imaginative things people come up with when things they believe are challenged. Belief in steam at ambient temperatures is a fairy tale.
“Latent heat” is the new catch-all phrase that science pretenders use when their nonsense is exposed.
Monday 10:11pm

(sigh) Not about “latent heat”, because it’s a pretender’s dodge? OK, Jim, (1) what is “steam”? (2) if the temperature of the air, taken by ordinary thermometer, is 70F, what is the temperature of individual molecules in that location? (3) identify the work being done on a molecule during a collision (specifically, can its temperature change)? (4) describe the meaning of the triple-point temperature for water. And no, you are quite mistaken: “latent heat” is thermal energy which does not manifest itself as kinetic energy. Another example of energy that does not manifest itself with temperature: chemical potential. Like, coal or gasoline. If you knew your molecular physics, you would know that electron energy states, sub-atomic binding energies, rotational energy, vibrational energy, electron sharing… all can hold “energy” without it being seen as temperature. Somewhere, you have taken a left turn off the road, because the state of matter is observable and measurable, and one of the marvels of the organization of matter into collections or structure. Have you studied Physics at a level required to have this discussion? If not, may I suggest you acquire a college level Physics overview (I prefer Halliday / Resnick Fundamentals of Physics, personally. The versions go all the way back into the 60s, with updates through recent publications) If you care to be convincing rather than dogmatic, about a property of matter that is pretty well understood, and a subject of Physics and Chemistry education for as long as I’ve been studying, demonstrate your hypothesis with molecular fundamentals and proper energy flow equations. And please: if this is about climate, drop the discussion. Get back to fundamental molecular understanding, and build up from the ground floor. If you argue that thus and so must be true because the climate does this or the other, you will get nowhere with me: that’s circular reasoning. I get enough of that with the slayers (last, with Pierre Latour, who I sort of “chased off the field” with his ideas on the “temperature of radiation” — another slayer specialty — and he complained about my critique of one of his “papers”).
Tuesday 12:53pm
OK, Jim, (1) what is “steam”? Look it up. (2) if the temperature of the air, taken by ordinary thermometer, is 70F, what is the temperature of individual molecules in that location? 70F, obviously. (3) identify the work being done on a molecule during a collision (specifically, can its temperature change)? Ludicrous. That’s a plainly retarded argument you are pretending to present. (4) describe the meaning of the triple-point temperature for water. You are so desperate. You are grabbing for straws. Triple point is perfectly irrlevant to this discussion. And no, you are quite mistaken: “latent heat” is thermal energy which does not manifest itself as kinetic energy. Do you have a relevant point? Another example of energy that does not manifest itself with temperature: chemical potential. Like, coal or gasoline. If you knew your molecular physics, you would know that electron energy states, sub-atomic binding energies, rotational energy, vibrational energy, electron sharing… all can hold “energy” without it being seen as temperature. Uh, yeah, this is common knowledge. Do you have a point? Somewhere, you have taken a left turn off the road, because the state of matter is observable and measurable, and one of the marvels of the organization of matter into collections or structure. Have you studied Physics at a level required to have this discussion? If not, may I suggest you acquire a college level Physics overview (I prefer Halliday / Resnick Fundamentals of Physics, personally. The versions go all the way back into the 60s, with updates through recent publications) You blabber on pointlessly like an idiot. Are you incapable of arguing a specific point? If you care to be convincing rather than dogmatic, about a property of matter that is pretty well understood, Is it well understood? Then, by all means, go ahead explain to us the physics that underlie your claim that steam can exist at temperatures below its 100C at 1 ATM? IOW, address the issue you evasive twit. Answer the question, powderpuff. Go ahead, make my day. and a subject of Physics and Chemistry education for as long as I’ve been studying, demonstrate your hypothesis with molecular fundamentals and proper energy flow equations. Who cares. Other than the one on your head, do you have a point? And please: if this is about climate, drop the discussion. Get back to fundamental molecular understanding, and build up from the ground floor. If you argue that thus and so must be true because the climate does this or the other, you will get nowhere with me: that’s circular reasoning. I get enough of that with the slayers (last, with Pierre Latour, who I sort of “chased off the field” with his ideas on the “temperature of radiation” — another slayer specialty — and he complained about my critique of one of his “papers”). Well, I saw what you did with Postma. (Not that I hadn’t already done the same many times before.) His notion of one-way flow of EMG was plainly absurd. I pointed this out to Postma about September of 2013. And I did it in PSI. But on this issue you are out of your league. The H2O molecule is EXTREMELY counterintuitive. It has to do with the hydrogen bond, which is distinctly different that the covalent and ionic bonds that you are used to studying. A hydrogen bond is a function of the H2O molecule’s polarity. What this means collectively for H2O is extremely confusing. I am the only person I have ever come across that understands it completely and it is so confusing that I wouldn’t pretend to try to explain this to you over the internet. For you to state that the H2O molecule is well understood is a lie. You are a fool to pretend you understand what you obviously do not. Stop being a fool and I will stop calling you a fool. Fair enough? Jim BTW, there is no steam in our atmosphere. The fact that there are a lot more people that believe such siliness just demonstrates how sheepishly gullible and intellectually dishonest people become when presented with facts that contradict their beliefs.
There are two types of people in science. There are believers in science and there are scientists. Believers in science use science as a means to continue believing, as you demonstrate. Scientists (myself) look to reality for evidence that contradicts what everybody believes.
Scientists have completely different attitude to contradictory observations than do science believer. Science believers always look for somekind of excuse to dismiss contradictory observations. Scientist–real scientists–realize that contradictory observations demarcate the pathway to discoveries.
Tom,
You won’t be able to answer the question I asked you. So, don’t even bother. I can explain it to you in person. But only if you allow me to film me explaining it to you, which I will put on YouTube. If you are interfested you would have to travel to
Sacramento, at your own expense.
If that sounds interesting let me know. It might take place as kind of a group event, through meetups dot com.
Tuesday 4:35pm

OK, this ends with your delusional statement: “I am the only person I have ever come across that understands it completely.” You are even farther off the edge than the slayers, just in a different direction. “So, don’t even bother.” Right. Advice taken. No wonder you haven’t gotten anywhere. Further contact is not productive, and this is notice to you that any attempt to contact me in person will be construed as a willful act of trespass. Put more bluntly: don’t appear on my property.

Why Meteorology isn’t Really Scientific

Observation is an important PART of the scientific method, but it is not the whole thing. Meteorologists have built a whole paradigm, complete with their own somewhat idiosyncratic terminology, based on this one PART of the scientific method. Consequently much of their terminology doesn’t parse with paradigms like physics and chemistry that are based on genuine empirical methods. No chemist or physicist would base an assumption or a conclusion on lack of evidence to the contrary or on something being unseen. But in meteorology that is perfectly normal.

They’ve been able to avoid scrutiny from other disciplines using methods similar to those of climatologists–politics. In fact, climatology learned their political methods by following meteorology’s lead.