Is it even possible to have air this bad?

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Sac Arrow, Sep 10, 2020.

  1. wanttaja

    wanttaja En-Route

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    We've lived in the southern suburbs of Seattle for 40 years. This is first time I've seen fires that weren't put out in a couple of hours; this is the first time they've put up long-duration fire TFRs that can actually affect flying from my home airport. This photo was taken from our kitchen window right after one of the fires started a few days back.
    enumclaw2.jpg
    It's about 20 miles from our house, the other one is ten miles but our sight of it is blocked by terrain. We can't see the smoke from it, since bad haze moved in a few days ago. The trees in the foreground (about 1/4 mile away) weren't visible when I got up this morning. It's lifted a bit; I can see the trees in silhouette and some sun glint of buildings in the valley.

    When the close fire started, we got a very strong smoke smell (the wind was in our direction) and the police had to tell people to NOT call 911 about smoke...they knew. The smell is gone now, but the haze has been pretty constant since. They say it's from the California and Oregon fires.

    Air-quality wise, it's awkward here in Western Washington. This is (normally) a mild climate; typically, the temperature (normally) goes into the 90s only six times a year. What this means is that most homes and apartments DON'T have air conditioning. So, lately, we've had high temperatures with warnings to NOT have the windows open.

    So people are a bit uncomfortable....

    Ron Wanttaja
     
  2. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Why did a 1542 Spanish Voyage refer to San Pedro Bay (now Los Angeles Harbor) as The Bay of the Smoke? | KCET

    https://www.kcet.org/shows/lost-la/...efer-to-san-pedro-bay-as-the-bay-of-the-smoke

    The L.A. basin has a long history of poor quality air.

     
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  3. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

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    Jokes on you. We all died a decade ago due to climate change.
     
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  4. Matthew Rogers

    Matthew Rogers Line Up and Wait

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    Totally false reports and you know it. Probably just as likely it was someone doing Second Amendment target practice in the woods.

    Unless you are referring to gender reveal parties.
     
  5. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    True.. and the whole issue with disposal of the spent fuel. It's unfortunately not perfect, and there's no real panacea out there for this. At some point SolarCity had visions of all homes being solar powered with battery storage and them being able to share the overall grid to balance loads, etc.

    We're making the right steps.. slowly. But nuclear in general shouldn't be entirely abandoned, imho
     
  6. austin757

    austin757 Pre-Flight

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    No I am really not familiar with the fires at all. I'm not trying to be a conspiracy nut or anything. I was just curious if those reports had any substance. Sorry if it came off that way.
     
  7. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    [​IMG]
     
  8. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Nuclear ought to be one of the primary sources. There are a lot of advancements in nuclear tech that allow for old, spent fuel to be used or other sources like Thorium/Salt. Most of the newer tech is expensive, for sure, but carries much lower risk of catastrophic meltdown. Sure it's more expensive, but if you want a pretty "green" source of electricity that is stable and doesn't fluctuate much with commodity prices or weather, nuclear is it. Windmills, solar, ocean current, hydroelectric, etc. are all subject to mother nature. They are good for supplemental needs, but none are good for baseline power like nuclear or coal/gas. Nuclear facilities just need to be put in areas not prone to earthquakes and tsunamis. They will fight an uphill battle because the EPA regulations are extremely burdensome and expensive to get a nuclear facility approved/built, not to mention all of the NIMBY citizens who don't want the nuclear threat anywhere within 500 miles of them.
     
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  9. CharlieD3

    CharlieD3 Pattern Altitude

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    The climate is changing. Ask any waterfowl hunter in the midwest. If we all started, right now, walking scrapping our cars, AND our aircraft, and quit running ac and quit using voc aerosols...

    I
    Don't
    Think
    It
    Would
    Change
    Anything
    Significantly
    For
    Many
    Decades.
    Possibly
    Centuries.
     
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  10. Greenhead

    Greenhead Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Truth! But remember that the governing is voted for by the people...... so what does that make them (us) ?



    Sent from my SM-G955U1 using Tapatalk
     
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  11. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Oh....a political scientist. Lol :D
     
  12. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    Well since no one I have voted for it in 20 years has been elected office I guess I'm exempt.
     
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  13. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Bro do you even lift
    I get that part of it. Historically, there have probably been huge wildfires. But, much less people displaced by fire and smoke. Maybe that is why California didn't have a huge indigent population prior to the Spanish arrival.


    Most household HVAC systems are recirc systems (as previously mentioned) and also the act of the filter, plus the water condensate on the chillers, help to knock the smoke level down.

    Today is a bad day. The AQI was hovering around 200 this morning. I choked out a bike ride wearing my activated carbon mask. It didn't do a perfect job but it made the difference between me posting from home and posting from the hospital. Maybe that was an over dramatization, but right now it wouldn't be. Outside of my house is the equivalent of being trapped in a burning building where you might be overcome by smoke if you weren't able to exit. Even the garage is intolerable. And that is where I keep my vodka.

    Fortunately, the "numbers" and yes, I know numbers can lie, and we are "relatively" low. We have had our first day of "dangerous" air quality. And it is really bad. You can see the smoke outside the windows as if you were caught in a forest fire.

    I was a smoker. In my heaviest smoking days, which wasn't much because a pack would last me a week, I have never consumed so much smoke in a 24 hour period. And this is just incidental, going in to the garage, etc. I elected not to go to work today, or out for lunch because I normally would. I stayed indoors.

    The masks arrived. I mean the smoke masks. They were well received. But, if that AQI scale is linear, what is projected is pretty dire.
     
  14. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Pretty much nothing infrastructure related isn't built without public money - either direct investment or major tax breaks. Solar, wind, methanol, etc. all have either direct or tax-abated investment of public money. It's not politically correct to put more money into nucular, but oil is still OK. No different than transportation: ok to subsidize ain't travel, but there's a great push to eliminate Amtrak - and to not replace the Hudson tunnel on the NEC.

    Here in the DC area, a PPP was used to build a new mass transit line (Purple Line), but the private contractor is pulling out: the project is -get this- $800 Million over budget. How you go that far over budget is baffling, although some of that is the NIMBYs who have opposed it (yet they also oppose expansion of the Beltway that is overcrowded and would be relieved by the Purple Line).
     
  15. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Eat 4 or 5 hard boiled eggs then take a 2 hour flight with passengers. Then y'all will understand bad air....
     
  16. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

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    I don’t think tsunamis would have been an issue if the smart folks from the U.S. that helped design the plant had thought it might not be such a great idea to put all of the plants backup generators in the basement.
     
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  17. cgrab

    cgrab Pattern Altitude

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    I'm just a retired guy, no longer a scientist. I have a degree or two or three, in Aerospace engineering, and Physics and Systems Analysis. I designed and built Space shuttle micro-gravity experiments, as a rocket scientist, I designed ballistic missile targets and was chief engineer for top secret missile programs. I was the chief engineer and crew chief for a construction company. I retired as a Colonel from the Marines. I rebuild old cars and trucks as a hobby and oh yeah, I'm a pilot and former plane owner. I think I have a varied talent stack. I will try to contribute to the conversation.

    On climate change... the facts are the facts. Greenland used to be green. The climate changes.

    However, step back and look at the Earth. It is big and the inhabitable area is a tiny sliver at the very edge and humans are a tiny portion of what lives in that sliver. It is the utmost of arrogance to believe that the minuscule component of Earth that is humans and human activity can cause such change and has caused this change when humans have only been on this Earth for a fraction of it's existence.

    Now for the political stuff...for those who "believe in man made climate change" (M2C2) how are you honoring your beliefs. Those who profess a belief in a divine being do some pretty miraculous things, see India, the Muslim world, the Amish. When I see people living in mansions and flying to exotic places for conferences, I don't see people with a belief, I see people with an agenda. Those pushing M2C2 are the people who say climate change caused the fires but leave out the all important how can that happen part. They ask us to believe them when they scoff at their own beliefs.
     
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  18. Spring Ford

    Spring Ford Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Solar is pretty cheap now (depending on local sun/cloud) and will only get cheaper. This is due to fast increasing production. I don't see how fossil fuel can possibly compete. The price of oil will not be recovering any time soon.

    I would be supportive of nuclear replacing fossil fuel if there was no other source available but would not fancy it unless essential. It is not at all clear that nuclear is essential.

    The Saudis received a bid for a 0.5GW (ish) power station to deliver power at 1.6 cents a kWh. That is present value for the 25 year life.[1] - NOTE: The Saudis are putting in solar???

    There is a project in play to build a BIG (3GW) solar station and some batteries in sunny Australia and deliver the power to cloudy Singapore over a 3,000 mile submarine cable.[2]

    [1]
    https://www.pv-magazine.com/2020/04...d-bid-in-saudi-1-47-gw-tender-was-0-0161-kwh/

    [2]
    https://www.rechargenews.com/transi...roject-with-grid-link-to-singapore/2-1-849688
     
  19. wanttaja

    wanttaja En-Route

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    Picture on the right was taken from my second-story home office, so a bit of the roof shows. Picture on the left was taken a few years ago, so the treeline is a little different. Otherwise, camera pointed in the same direction.

    Air's in the "Hazardous" zone, now.
    smoke and rainier.jpg
    Ron Wanttaja
     
  20. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    You don't see how natural gas can compete with solar? It's not so much about the cost of the natural gas (natural gas stays pretty cheap for the most part). It's that, unlike solar, you don't have to worry about massively expensive energy storage banks and lack of sunlight. Natural gas power plants can be installed just about anywhere, solar not so much. Solar makes a lot of sense in Saudi/ middle east because it rarely rains, its mostly desert/flat and they get a high number of sunlight hours. The risks associated with poor weather are minimal there. Try the same thing in Washington State or much of the Northeast and the constant clouds and hilly terrain mean that you get low sunlight hours. Also, the solar and wind installations require lots of land space area, which means they are typically a long distance away from the cities they don't energy to. It also results in high transmission losses per kW produced compared to nuclear and gas/coal which can be built in the cities they support. Natural gas is currently the lowest cost energy source outside of nuclear and hydroelectric when looking at life cycle costs, no reason to get rid of it until enough storage and technology advancements have been made. Most estimates put that around year 2050 at current pace.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2020
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  21. 35 AoA

    35 AoA Pattern Altitude

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    Looks about the same up here too. Was pretty nice for a couple days last week after the first round of smoke rolled through, then worsened significantly on Thurs night/Fri AM. Flew yesterday afternoon and got a pretty good look. Still smoke as far as the eye can see offshore. Olympics were quite a bit better than they had been earlier in the week. Pretty solid "layer" below 5k ft. Ended up landing via PAR just slightly above mins (think I broke out the runway at a mile). Looks to be a bit worse this morning, though now combined with fog. There's your updated PIREP for the extreme NW WA area :)
     
  22. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    And that makes you in expert in those fields, but not climate science. If I needed to design an experiment for micro-gravity, I'd talk to you and not a climate scientist. Thank you for your service.

    I'm pretty sure the climate scientists know all that.

    I've seen a fair amount of the planet from the air and there are very few places where I haven't seen signs of human activity, even from 40,000 feet.

    You know politics are verboten here, right?
     
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  23. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    So how accurate was the forecast?
     
  24. chartbundle

    chartbundle Pattern Altitude

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    I got a cheap consumer grade pollution meter. Right now it still says here on the Oregon coast is 200-ish. Problem is it can't tell the difference between particulates and 100% humidity. Oh well. We dropped from 300-500 Wednesday to near normal on Thursday morning when the wind shifted and started blowing it all back inland to Portland.
     
  25. Everskyward

    Everskyward Experimenter

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    If Sac is either in SAC (above where is says 'Elk Grove') or the Bay Area, it's in the 200+- range. Nothing like 700.

    Screen Shot 2020-09-12 at 12.21.55.png
     

    Attached Files:

  26. Crashnburn

    Crashnburn Line Up and Wait

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    Not to mention how dangerous they are in an accident. They can rupture, catch fire, and explode, and often do.
     
  27. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Bro do you even lift
    The AQI has been in the "very unhealthy" range this morning for my bike ride. So, I rode with the mask a second day in a row. I saw an inordinate number of dead animals on the side
    Not very, but if that scale is linear, 500+ should be unsurvivable. There is a huge difference between 100 and 150, and 150 and 200. The worst we've seen so far is a little over 300. And that's like shut the door and don't go outside smoke, as if you were trapped inside a burning house, except the smoke is on the outside.
     
  28. cgrab

    cgrab Pattern Altitude

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  29. MtnMarcus

    MtnMarcus Pre-takeoff checklist

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    "Second Amendment target practice".......never heard that one before. Must have to do with PC or somethingo_O
     
  30. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    I've never paid any attention to AQI numbers before and have no idea how to grok them. There's not really any place to visit and escape until, say, Montana, so we're just doing our biz as usual.

    I did a flight checkout at KUAO 2 days ago, and it was what I imagine flying on mars is like. Aurora is between 422 and 461 today, depending on which dot is closer. Guessing this qualifies me to be a Marlboro Man now. :dunno:

    My house is between 4 dots: 349, 344, 449, and 167. The 167 sensor is listed as "inside", so I'm guessing it's 400 out there.

    But I don't know what 400 really means. PurpleAir offers me this little bit of hysteria:

    Code:
    >401: Health warnings of emergency conditions if they are exposed for 24 hours. The entire population is more likely to be affected.
    So... it's apparently an emergency (what isn't these days) Now what? My voice is down an octave, but I'm drinking tons of water and no headaches or sign of respiratory distress. Guess I'll netflix and chill until my emergency goes away. :D
     
  31. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    No matter how smart you think you are, there is always someone smarter. Certainly other scientists can analyze the issues, and the vast majority of them don't agree with your conclusions.

    I dismissed you because of your statement about Greenland. The climate scientists do consider the past climate, and why the climate was different in those eras, yet somehow you feel they don't consider such information. They also consider solar cycles and other data.
    Climate science, and nearly all science is multidisciplinary now. Geologists, biologists, and chemists are all needed to collaborate to determine the climate in past ages. It was a chemist (Svante Arrhenius) who first posited a relationship between carbon dioxide and the earth's surface temperature. The climate scientists have a theory about global warming, and that theory makes various predictions in other fields which are collaborated or disproved by experts in those fields.

    I didn't know there was an "in crowd" in the sciences.

    To segue to your non sequitur below, creating a medicine now is very multidisciplined. Biologists, biochemists, synthetic chemists, medicinal chemists, statisticians, medical doctors, and others are all needed to create a useful and safe medicine. Each person an expert in a particular area, but are all are needed for a drug.

    This has nothing to do with the thread, but we do have medical journals from the 1918 flu pandemic that list what worked and didn't work. We do have people with recent experience with recent viruses and widespread epidemics, such as SARS, MERS and others, and the USA chose to ignore those experts, whether they were inside or outside the USA. The USA once had people working on the ebola outbreak in Africa both to keep it away from here, and also gain experience in disease transmission.
     
  32. Chip Sylverne

    Chip Sylverne Final Approach

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    Fear is the poison of our lives.
    Along those lines, folks in Lake Charles, LA still don't have water or power, but that was only an average hurricane. Hell, people in P.R. are still living under tarps 2 years later.
     
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  33. Boone

    Boone Ejection Handle Pulled

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    :sigh:
     
  34. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Bro do you even lift
    This is very interesting to me. Can you, without violating the MC's lockdown protocols, state your position? I mean if you can't, don't, otherwise PM me because I'm interested.
     
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  35. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Pattern Altitude

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    Those of us in your neighboring states feel it, too.

    The haze and smoke here in Phx is incredible.

    It almost seems IFR in some parts due to visibility.
     
  36. chartbundle

    chartbundle Pattern Altitude

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    For reference, this is what 400+ looked like on Tuesday here on the Oregon coast. We had a wind reversal that put everything that's now in Portland in our neighborhood instead.This is about an hour before sunset looking directly at where the sun was supposed to be:
    moo28.jpg

    tCzcmK9.png

    moo30.jpg
     
  37. Skywalker

    Skywalker Cleared for Takeoff

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    I wouldn’t go running, biking or just let’s say do any outside activity in the Seattle area right now... :eek2::eek2::eek2:

    On final approach into KSEA:

    77AABE02-EFDA-4447-A492-3BAF4ED14499.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2020
  38. Boone

    Boone Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Ask him if he flies for pleasure or personal interest.
     
  39. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    LOL.
    I've been in one aspect or another of the hydrocarbon energy business for 43 years (exploration, production, midstream international transport & trading, now CNG/LNG services). We're setting ourselves up right now for the next oil price spike. And it's going to happen a lot sooner than most realize.

    It's never different this time.

    BTW, there isn't a hope in hell that solar + wind + biomass + RNG combined can generate anywhere near enough power to meet the incremental future demand. Not. Even. Close. 5-G networks alone will consume enormous amounts of new power on a global scale.


    Natural gas is the only way we are going to be able to produce enough incremental power in this decade. Those who have it will have the opportunity to meet their rising power demand. Those who don't are going to be importing a lot of LNG.
     
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  40. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yes, air can be that bad. It causes mal-air-e-ah. They have shots for that.