From the truth is waaaayyy stranger than fiction department, we all remember this parody graph of global warming:
Note: not THAT James Hansen, but somebody with the same name. I’m sure he gets mistaken for the famous climate modeler James Hansen all the time.
As 3,500 meteorologists meet, one man’s forecast: Chance of pirates
By Sandi Doughton Seattle Times science reporter
Of the 3,500 scientists attending the American Meteorological Society meeting in Seattle this week, only one had a good reason to say: “Arrrrgh.”
While his colleagues swapped probabilistic equations, James Hansen came to talk about pirates.
Hansen rolled out some math of his own Monday as he explained his work to estimate the likelihood of attacks off the Horn of Africa and other hot spots, using weather data and an understanding of pirate behavior.
“Usually, I’m doing theoretical stuff down in the weeds,” said Hansen, a Seattle-area native and applied mathematician at the Naval Research Laboratory in Monterey, Calif. “This is the only project where I can actually show pictures of the impact,” he said, projecting images of Somali boatmen armed with missile-launchers and automatic weapons.
Though news coverage of pirate attacks has waned, the problem has worsened, Hansen said. Last year, there were nearly 450 attacks, with 53 ships captured and 1,181 crew members taken hostage. The estimated economic impact of the raids is $10 billion a year.
Even knowing the general location of pirate bases and their favored target areas, it’s challenging for Navy and other patrol vessels to be in the right place at the right time, Hansen said.
“The Indian Ocean is really big.”
The project combines data on wind, waves and currents with intelligence gathered by informants, surveillance and other means on pirate habits: how far their small skiffs can travel; their assault tactics; the timing of forays.
Running the model yields maps that show the highest-risk areas. Adding real-time information on ship traffic can identify possible pirate targets.
“It’s sort of like tornado warnings,” Hansen said. Everyone may know the probability of tornadoes spikes during the spring in Oklahoma. But what residents want to know is whether a twister is likely headed their way today.
Full story here
Arrghcasting is the new modeling challenge. On the plus side, this may actually be something useful.
h/t to WUWT reader Cris Streetzel