Jet Stream Wobbles

An article by Mike Mann in the latest issue of Scientific American has a fascinating look at the jet stream, and how it might affect flood, drought, and heat waves.

17 responses to “Jet Stream Wobbles

  1. Off Topic but – Has Scientific American Changed its policies?

    They want $11 NZ for me to read it. Perhaps this is just timing.

  2. Robert Wallace

    By putting important information behind paywalls our scientists are doing the world no favor.

    How many of these people are paid with taxpayer money? Haven’t we already paid them for their research, thinking, and writing?

    • Way off topic for the blog posting, but relevant to the comments:

      Few scientists would complain if all science journals had open access for all accepted articles. Unfortunately, the system in place is that publishing is controlled by publishing houses and societies which expect a solid return on investment (BTW, societies usually require less of a markup but that may not help if the circulation is small). These sources already charge authors article processing fees even to be published under closed access which must be paid by authors/institution/granting agency.

      Other models have been evolving. For example, the authors can pay an extra open access fee in addition to the normal article processing fees even in prominent journals. However that can cost several thousand and that money has to come from somewhere. Open access journals are evolving but reputation–and therefore promotion and tenure–is often an issue with them, That said, some have been known to waive all or part of the fees in specific cases.

      I examined budgets for library materials while serving on the faculty senate library committee a over a decade ago now. Some publishing houses do offer access to their entire catalogs to an institution–as opposed to the subset an institution may get faculty requests for–at a significant discount. But then you still need to be a student/faculty/staff or go physically to a research library if allowed (my institution allows physical access to the public at large, but not e-access).

      Many authors will provide reprints if asked. But that takes time. As well, using will often indicate if a source has a public e-access avenue.

      Finally, of course, there are many ways of accessing work less than legally. But those ways tend to operate with delays.

      Anyway, you are looking at a huge can of worms that all academic disciplines have to deal with every day. Here’s an open access article (!) on the subject from a few years ago:

      • The firefox/chrome plugin ‘unpaywall’ is very useful for finding open-access versions of papers where they exist (and they quite often do).
        It will show a little locked or unlocked padlock symbol when you are looking at a paper (It shows a locked one for this SciAm article, but then I don’t think SciAm is actually a science journal – it’s a magazine isn’t it? so I wouldn’t expect to see see an alternative). Unpaywall shows you kosher unpaywalled papers. There are other tools for non-legal sources.

    • Ralph Feltens

      As a scientist who is forced to publish (or perish), you have basically two options: either your article gets published – free of cost – in the “regular” way by a journal that demands a license or pay-per-view, or you have to pay the journal for publishing your article for open access. In the latter case, the cost for this has to be covered by the budget proposal you wrote.

      • I would also add that publishing organs have to pay the bills as well. Science publishing is a particularly low-margin business. Nobody gets rich off of this stuff. Stick a crowbar in your wallet and shell out for a subscription to Nature.

      • Robert Wallace

        I’ve been out of the publishing research business for a long time but when I was an active researcher we always had a line item in grants for publishing costs. It used to be that one had to purchase a large number of reprints to hand out. Almost no one ever requested a reprint because everyone in the sub-field either subscribed to the common journals or found it quicker to make a copy in the library. Snail mail days.

  3. Jacob Lageschulte

    sofar the article is behind a paywall

  4. Mary potter

    Seems to be wanting $6.99 here in ‘straya.

  5. It’s is $6.99 in the Netherlands. A vry nice animation for free of windpatterns and jetstreams on:,22.55,514

  6. I used to be able to go to a university library and read all the journals. Now everything’s on line and behind a paywall. It cuts people off from science.

  7. For learned commentary on jet stream wobbles perhaps also check out the extensive list of papers by Jennifer Francis et. al?

  8. About paywalls–a journal needs a cash flow to put out the journal. This is true for scientific societies as well as for-profit journals. To make an article open source costs about $2-3k. Universities do not pay this but expect the researcher to find it out of their grant budgets. Often times the choice is to cover a graduate student or make the article open source.

    The problem could be fixed for the US if governments or universities would pay. Don’t blame the researchers too much.

  9. brettschmidt

    Thank you. I thought it looked very interesting, but was thinking I couldn’t read it because of the paywall.