Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Trump is simply too stupid to understand the science

Trump likes to boast that he's "like, really smart." He goes even further, stating, "I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius." I've been reading his statements for many years, going back to the time I first saw him on 60 Minutes in 1985, and my conclusion, based on his own words, is that he's not very smart at all. Based on what I've seen, I would peg his IQ at about average - right around 100.

But worse than that, he's not well educated. I think this goes to his ego. When he comes across a topic he can't understand, he simply ignores it and makes up something to satisfy his need to feel superior. In short, he's not smart enough to understand science, so he rejects it. And, this is why he isn't just a climate change denier, he's a climate change hater and is bent on a war on science. Science makes him feel inferior, so he's going to do all he can to destroy it.

His most recent statements, in a British ITV interview, is a perfect example of his complete lack of understanding of science. In this interview, he stated, "There is a cooling, and there’s a heating." Really, Mr. President? Which one is it? Cooling? Or, heating? You can't have both. The planet is either heating up, or it isn't.

Doubling down on that lack of understanding, he simultaneously appeared to refer to the the false claim about global warming and climate change phraseology when he stated, "I mean, look, it used to not be climate change, it used to be global warming. Right? That wasn’t working too well because it was getting too cold all over the place.”

Actually, it still is global warming. Back in the W. Bush administration, there was concern about how the public was getting concerned about 'global warming,' and it was decided to start referring to it by another name that sounded less dire. So, the Republicans began referring to it as 'climate change.' This is known as the Luntz memo. Anti-science people like to claim scientists changed the name because there was no warming. In fact, it was the deniers who changed the name because there was too much warming. Scientists have adopted this extra term because it covers more than global warming - ocean acidification, for example.

And, no, it isn't getting too cold 'all over the place,' as Trump stated. In fact, according to NASA and NOAA, 2017 was the second or third hottest year on record. According to NOAA, the five hottest years ever recorded have occurred since 2006. What is alarming about that figure is that there was no El Nino in 2017 to boost the atmospheric temperature. This is the new normal, as they say. 

Not having been satisfied displaying his ignorance, he went even further and stated “polar ice caps were supposed to be gone by now,” but instead they’re “breaking records.”

No, and no.

While some individuals made claims ice caps were supposed to be gone by now, the vast majority have been stating we should expect an ice-free Arctic Ocean during the summer sometime around the 2040 - 2050 time frame. I happen to think it will first occur in the 2030s. Which illustrates the point I'm making - even the pessimistic scientists haven't been predicting an ice free Arctic Ocean by now.

And, as for the 'breaking records,' he's not only wrong, he's very wrong. The minimum extent for 2017 was the eight-lowest minimum in the satellite record and was 1.58 million square kilometers below the long-term average. Even Antarctica is below average and experienced it's fifth lowest maximum extent this past September (summer time in Antarctica). Arctic sea ice extent is declining at a rate of 13.2% per decade.

It's bad enough when your neighbor, or coworker, or someone in the bar isn't smart enough to understand the science. But, when the President of the United States isn't, it's a serious problem. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Anti-Bodhisattva Gets It Wrong

There is a clear trend where the anti-science climate change deniers are becoming increasingly irrelevant. The science and reality have both long shown the deniers to be living in an alternative reality. Now, polls show the public is increasingly aware of it. One poll showed 70% of the public believes climate change is real versus 13% who don't. And, 55% believe we are causing it, versus 30% who don't. The battle is definitely swinging in the direction of science. Unfortunately, it isn’t yet over and there is still a lot of work that needs to be done. This is not the time to let our guard down.

Debunking deniers is fun and easy, but is also time-consuming. They exhibit the ability to constantly and repeatedly spew the same litany of lies, deception and false logic. No matter how many times they get debunked, they simply ignore the science and data and reappear, like some kind of evil Phoenix, ready to deceive yet another audience.

I recently encountered one such person, going by the handle “Bodhisattva,” on the PBS website interview of climate scientist Dr. Katherine Hayhoe. Bodhisattva appeared, along with the Heartland Institute’s foo-foo dog Russell Cook, in a very silly attempt to discredit Dr. Hayhoe and anyone supporting the science. They failed. Let’s take a look at some of their comments to see just how miserably they failed.

One of the things that immediately jumped out to me was Bodhisattva’s comment referring to science advocates as “your side,” making it sound as if this is a sports game. Or, a war. To be clear, there is no ‘side’ among scientists. You accept the science or you don’t. It isn’t a competition or warfare. Climate scientists are working to figure out the science and work for the public good. His comment makes me wonder, if people like Bodhisattva are on ‘the other side,’ just what is their goal? This isn’t a trivial question, but something that needs to be considered seriously. Interestingly, according to Wikipedia, “In Buddhism, Bodhisattva is the Sanskrit term for anyone who, motivated by great compassion, has generated Bodhicitta, which is a spontaneous wish and a compassionate mind to attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings.” Clearly, this individual needs to change his handle because he has no compassion and is not working for the benefit of anyone. He doesn’t’ exhibit Bodhisattva. Instead, he’s the anti-Bodhisattva. This should be taken into account when considering his credibility.

Now that anti-Bod, by his own statement, has established he stands against science, let’s continue. I have copied his comments below (with my comments he responded to prior to his) for your perusal. You can also go to the PBS website and see these, and many more, comments from him. If you look, you’ll notice that he made some very lengthy comments. I’m not going to bother responding to all of them. I have better things to do with my time and I don’t think you, the reader, would be all that interested in reading a long, detailed, rebuttal. Let’s stick to couple of highlights. That will suffice to illustrate this person doesn’t accept science, is incorrect in his claims, and has zero credibility. If you see something in his comments you are particularly curious about, contact me via the comments section or email (dogw.email@gmail.com) and I'll address it.

In the first comment group below, I referred to the accuracy of climate models and provided a reference for him to read. His response was, “Your chosen source, one of the few that your side tends to always reference, is easily debunked. Their graph of sea level change does not include the claimed "acceleration" of sea level increase your side always claims is ongoing - thus already proving itself to be bogus, according, at least, to everything else your side claims.”

Take a look for yourself. Here is the plot from the reference showing sea level rise measurements and model predictions:

Source: Skeptical Science

Draw an average line for the measurements prior to 1990 and then do the same for the period after 1990. You get two lines with dramatically different slopes. The best-fit line for post-1990 has a much steeper slope. Clearly, the graph shows an acceleration in sea level rise. Anti-Bod is not just wrong on this point, but he is way wrong. Yes, the data shows an acceleration in sea level rise. So, why did he misrepresent the facts? What was his motive in this?

Later, he states, “The graph from the IPCC report cited by THEIR SOURCE is this one, not the one they present, and it looks NOTHING like what they presented:
https://www.ipcc.ch/report/...” This is pretty important, if correct. Fortunately, it isn’t. Another false claim by the anti-Bod. Take a look at the IPCC graph for yourself and see if you can find the deception. Sea level is depicted in the middle graph.

Source: IPCC AR4

The IPCC graph covers the timespan of 1850 to around 2005. The graph in Skeptical Science is for the period of 1970 to about 2008. Of course those two graphs will look different. That's because they ARE different. In fact, if you examine only the same periods in both graphs, they are the same. Anti-Bod is incorrect in his claim. Again, what was his motive for misrepresenting the facts?

Let’s skip ahead to his comment “basis of the debunked "ho ckey schtick".” I always love this claim by the anti-science crowd. It is so mesmerizing to watch the way they start frothing at the mouth about the hockey stick and then insist that it has been ‘debunked.’ Nothing can be further from the truth. Not only has the hockey stick been found to be correct, it has been shown so by dozens of independent studies. There is no credible way anyone can refute this science. When someone, such as anti-Bod, claims it isn’t valid, they have firmly demonstrated that they simply are not interested in the science. They have formed a preconceived conclusion based on some rationale that is important to them and they irrationally reject anything that challenges it.

And, this is really the conclusion we have already seen with anti-Bod. No amount of science, data, or logic will ever persuade him of just how wrong he is. And, contrary to his claims, this isn’t a your side/my side issue. We are all in this together.

Anti-Bod's lack of credibility is established. What isn't established is his motives for spreading this disinformation. You're welcome to go through his comments below and see how consistently invalid his reasoning is. If not for the seriousness of the situation, it would be rather comical.

Copied Comments

Christopher Keating
Too bad you didn't bother with the science. What the study showed was the BOTH extremes are unlikely. While it is true their study shows the worst case scenario is unlikely, it also shows the best case scenario is equally unlikely. There is nothing in this study to indicate that global warming and climate change are not real and as big a problem was believed. And, counter to your claims, the climate has been changing right down the middle of the model forecasts.
Why aren't you interested in the facts? How does it hurt you to admit that hundreds of thousands of climate scientists know what they're doing?

Your chosen source, one of the few that your side tends to always reference, is easily debunked. Their graph of sea level change does not include the claimed "acceleration" of sea level increase your side always claims is ongoing - thus already proving itself to be bogus, according, at least, to everything else your side claims.
Your propaganda source shows sea level measurements falling on the top end of predictions - and yet your side keeps claiming that the top end predictions are basically that most of today's coastal cities should already be partially under wat er and soon will be completely inundated. I happened upon one such "expert" while hiking in Torrey Pines, he claimed to be a top expert in that field, who said the effects on San Diego were already somewhat catastrophic, based on the increases that had happened in the last decade alone. Little did he know I had just been reviewing historic photos from the 1800s that showed no sign of any detectable sea level increases. Sea level trends have been exaggerated by your side.
Your side claims it got the data for the chart from THE COPENHAGEN DIAGNOSIS and further claims they got it from the 3rd IPCC report. The page they give for the former already proves them wrong - it claims the data came from the 4th IPCC report, not the 3rd.
The graph from the IPCC report cited by THEIR SOURCE is this one, not the one they present, and it looks NOTHING like what they presented:
Nor does the graph from the 5th report, found here:
Nor does the graph produced by your source match the graph in the third report, the one they claim it was from:
Plus it does not show, on the same scale as any of those graphs, the actual sea level change observed. It was carefully "fitted" to that graph, adjusted to make one come to a false conclusion.
Now let's deal with their wild predictions of future warming. Note how the actual observed warming compares to predicted warming... much less than predictions:
Note both that the predicted sharp upswing (basis of the debunked "ho ckey schtick") of surface temperatures and the predicted acceleration of sea level increase has not occurred, and in fact as the SCIENCE presented to you earlier shows, the rate of increase actually DECREASED, both with regards to global surface temperature and sea level.
All this while atmospheric CO2 levels continued a STEADY increase and while human CO2 levels made a dramatic INCREASE, which, were it driving atmospheric levels, you would think an increase there would have been detected as well, but it wasn't.
the climate has been changing right down the middle of the model forecasts.
Now THIS should put your concerns about catastrophic sea level increases to rest - they already happened. The rise we're seeing to day is NOTHING compared to what nature (that is nature - other than humans, who are part of nature) is capable of producing, contrary to alarmist claims:
And this graph (scroll down a bit) shows how not only has the IPCC dropped the "hockey schtick", it's still concerned about things that won't even reach known past levels and didn't cause catastrophe then, either. In fact, the truth, as I've presented in other posts here, is that GLOBAL WARMING IS GOOD - it is global warming we might be right to fear - and that is exactly what REAL scientists, using REAL data, not predictions based on computer programs deliberately written to over-emphasize the impact of CO2, say is likely coming now.

Yes, I DID "bother with the science". I am well aware they contradicted WHAT HAS ACTUALLY BEEN OBSERVED - that being that observation has proven even the low end prediction of climate alarmists was too high. You can see this too - it's easy - if you just bother to put WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED on any graph of what the IPCC predicted in their "best case" scenario.
I am glad you pointed out that the study, by climate alarmists, admitted the worst case scenario was way overblown and impossible.
I am also glad you pointed out, in fact I was hoping you WOULD point out, the study claims the best case scenario is too low - for as I said, we have OBSERVATION to PROVE that the best case scenario was actually too high, so you have once again shown how climate alarmists are DESPERATE to save their tattered reputations by admitting how wrong they were on the high end, but still attempting to use fear and doubt to get people to ignore WHAT IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING.
There is nothing in this study to indicate that global warming and climate change are not real
There you go with that tired old straw man argument again. You do realize you and your ilk are the only ones who keep using those words in that order to claim that "global warming and climate change are not real". You really should stop doing that - you only make fools of yourselves each time you say such absurd things. And when you lie and attribute those claims to people like me who never said them you only prove how you can't be trusted.
the climate has been changing right down the middle of the model forecasts.
I was wondering when you would get around to proving your primary source is one of the biggest - and arguably one of the worst, since it's claims are so easily debunked - sites full of lies, propaganda and talking points provided so drones like you can go out and regurgitate them on command, making fools of yourself in the process.


Christopher Keating
Once again, you simply deny what you don't like. The facts have been well documented. I'm saying that not for your edification, but in case anyone ever reads your drivel. Even ExxonMobil admits it paid for years for organizations to undermine the science.

Once again, you simply deny what you don't like.
The facts have been well documented, by even the IPCC, who's reports prove, without any possible room to deny it, that the gloom and doom, worst case scenarios, were vastly overblown for decades. The facts prove that while they predicted a worst case outcome based on human activities during the time period covered, the actual outcome was less concerning than their best case scenarios - the ones where we basically abandoned all fossil fuels immediately. Instead our behaviors followed their worst case scenario, pretty much, while the outcome came in UNDER their best case scenario.
You mention Exxon Mobil - who have jumped whole hog onto the climate change alarmism bandwagon and have probably spent more promoting that then they admittedly spent promoting the real science that proves it's not true. This money was extorted from them by people who believe as you do, as tribute and a bribe to prevent an all out war against them, which is being launched anyway, it turns out, as your side never could be trusted to be honest, to tell the truth, to keep their word.
Exxon Mobil paid for REAL science to counter the lies, talking points, slander and propaganda your side produces in it's attempts to create fear and panic in people in order to prevent them from thinking things through, considering REALITY, in an attempt to make them believe your doomsday scenarios are actually possible, when observations prove they are not.


Christopher Keating
Russell! You're so funny. Let's - once again! - set the record straight. I provided documents, including court records, SEC filings, leaked documents and statements to shareholders and public releases that all show the complicity of the fossil fuel industry in funding the anti-science group such are Heartland Institute, NIPCC, and ICSC. You're tactic is always to say, since you don't like them, they therefore don't exist. I have to say, I really do laugh out loud every time you show up. "Ah, Russel Cook is here. I'm about to read something stupid."

anti-science group such are Heartland Institute, NIPCC, and ICSC
Normally one would use the plural "groups" in that phrase, but I digress.
The groups you mention are actually PRO-SCIENCE and that's why you hate them so much - since by using REAL SCIENCE, not FAKE NONSENSE that you and yours continually spew, they prove you wrong, easily.
Computer models, properly programmed and used, can be useful. However, in as complex a system as that which ultimately results in our weather and climate, computers don't exist that can produce accurate predictions over any but the very shortest time scales and certainly they cannot accurately predict what might happen in 50 or 100 years as you and yours claim you can do.
Climate models have consistently failed - as is documented in the IPCC reports, which provide a record of THE FACT that humans have tended to follow the IPCC "worst case" scenario, but surface warming ha s tended to fall BELOW the "best case" scenario they published. This is a documented fact - deny it all you want, you'll only prove who the real deniers are.
It is no secret that many people and groups have fought, often by providing funding, against the FAKE SCIENCE you climate alarmists spew constantly. Fortunately, around half of the people in the U.S. are not as gullible as you. They know that those who are constantly regurgitating Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change Alarmism are liars, uneducated, anti-science and people who think science is driven forward by fear, loathing, ad hominem, straw men and false predictions. They desperately try to make us ignore WHAT IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING IN THE REAL WORLD by attempting to scare us to death about what MIGHT happe n in the future, except experience already proves it won't.
It is true that every time Russel Cook appears something stupid is posted for us to read - by you and your ilk, in your replies to him.
I'm not sure if it was you, in another post, or someone else (or if you are the same person or group making posts here under several accounts, as your side has been prove to do because you think consensus makes a lie true, apparently) who claimed that all those documents you claim you presented (Where? I don't see them.) were obtained through legal means, through FOIA r equests and such, when you admit here no, they actually weren't.
YOUR tactic is to say, "Since we don't like them, they're evil and we don't have to care or listen to what they say."
That is about as anti-science as you can get - because true science welcomes all views, tests them rigorously and in a completely unbiased fashion and, with respect to Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change Alarmism, has proven beyond doubt or denial that while both global warming and global cooling, collectively known with other things as 'climate change' are real, they are not driven by humans and are not any more or less "catastrophic" due to anything humans are doing.
Your side does all it can to avoid, ignore and shut down true science and any debate because it knows it will lose every time.


Christopher Keating
Keep in mind 'global warming' means the entire planet. 93% of all warming goes into the oceans. As we have seen these past 20 years, the oceans are warming at an alarming rate. Additionally, the Arctic is warming at a rate faster than any other region of the planet. Don't cherry pick the data, Atmospheric warming is only part of the story. BTW, 9 of the 10 hottest years ever measured have been in the last three 15 years. The hottest five have all occurred since 2010. Your statement amounts to the claim that since scientists disagree on the exact rate of warming over a short period, climate change is therefore, somehow, not real.

9 of the 10 hottest years
And you do know that by "hottest" they mean so slightly hotter than the previous record that the measurements making that claim were well within the admitted level of uncertainty - and when you take out the "adjustments" they've made to make the past colder and the present warmer, those records all vanish, right?
93% of all warming goes into the oceans
And the oceans, despite attempts to claim otherwise, show no appreciable long term warming - but you do seem to know that, contrary to "global warming dogma", it is the oceans that drive the atmospheric trends, not the other way around, so carbon dioxide is not the issue claimed as a result.
the Arctic is warming at a rate faster than any other region of the planet.
Yes, while the Antarctic set new records, year over year, for "coldest ever", but, curiously, none of them were ever made the "official" record. The Arctic is indeed warming faster - or at least it was, causing the difference between it and lower latitudes, which is what drives the frequency and intensity of storms, to be significantly reduced. Most of the "global warming" that occurred was either high latitude or resulted in earlier springs, later winters, less destructive nighttime temperatures (less killer frosts and freezes) and also has resulted in a verified "greening" of the Earth as hardiness zones crept northward and more of the Earth's surface became more hospitable to life, including the deserts, which have greened significantly, despite claims by climate alarmists the opposite would happen.
Your statement amounts to the claim that since scientists disagree on the exact rate of warming over a short period, climate change is therefore, somehow, not real.
Liar. You are the only one claiming climate change is "not real". Climate change is indeed real and, according to solar scientists, backed up by actual science and observation, not computer models that haven't been right about temperature trends in going on 40 years, we may well be looking at an extended period of global cooling and, in a worst case scenario, a little ice age. These are facts, REAL science, as I said based on REAL physics, REAL observations, the basis of true science, not flawed computer models that were deliberately written to overemphasize the effect of CO2, which now indicates an extended period of global cooling is likely.
Also, you can deny this all you want, but both the IPCC and usually alarmist climate scientists have admitted to a significant slowdown in surface warming. I mention and emphasize surface warming because, for the last almost 40 years, that is what climate alarmists claimed was going to increase catastrophically - and while they're admitting now it won't be catastrophic, they're still whipping that now confirmed deceased equine.
Here are just some of the more recent findings, starting with the confirmed FACT that surface warming, claimed to be on a path to catastrophic increases, actually decreased as the atmospheric carbon dioxide increased, which of course you now try to excuse by waving your hands and screaming "but... but... but... THE OCEANS!":
... the rate of warming over the past 15 years (1998–2012; 0.05 [–0.05 to 0.15] °C per decade) ... is smaller than the rate calculated since 1951 (1951–2012; 0.12 [0.08 to 0.14] °C per decade).
It has been claimed that the early-2000s global warming slowdown characterized by a reduced rate of global surface warming, has been overstated, lacks sound scientific basis, or is unsupported by observations. The evidence presented here contradicts these claims. A large body of scientific evidence — amassed before and since the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change indicates that the surface warming slowdown, also sometimes referred to in the literature as the hiatus, was due to the combined effects of internal decadal variability and natural forcing.
Making sense of the early-2000s warming slowdown (Abstract as originally published.)
John C. Fyfe,Gerald A. Meehl, Matthew H. England, Michael E. Mann, Benjamin D. Santer, Gregory M. Flato, Ed Hawkins, Nathan P. Gillett, Shang-Ping Xie, Yu Kosaka & Neil C. Swart
Nature Climate Change 6, 224–228 (2016) doi:10.1038/nclimate2938
And while you and yours predicted the deserts would get worse, they're actually getting better, as is the whole globe in general, and this has been known since as early as 1980 despite the continued gloom and doom "the end is near, repent" talk from your ilk.
Impact of CO2 fertilization on maximum foliage cover across the globe's warm, arid environments Authors Randall J. Donohue
A new study, based on satellite observations, CSIRO, in collaboration with the Australian National University (ANU) reported that the rising levels of carbon dioxide have caused deserts to start greening and increased foliage cover by 11 percent from 1982-2010 across parts of the arid areas studied in Australia, North America, the Middle East and Africa.
You and yours got your knickers in a twist over claims that, since the Larsen ice shelf was collapsing, all the ice and snow from Antarctica was about to slide into the sea and cause catastrophic sea level changes, drowning many now habitable areas. Of course none of you bothered to check where the Larsen Ice Shelves (there are 4 of them, actually, called A, B, C and D) actually are - on the Antarctic Peninsula. Had you done so you would have found they are holding nothing back - and had you been paying attention, they collapse every year, then re-grow, in fact the Antarctic was setting new records for maximum ice extent at the same time as the Arctic set, some years back, one record for minimum ice extent DURING SUMMER there. Anyway, the alarm is continually raised about how Antarctica is melting, but the truth is the opposite, as usual:
Antarctic ice and snow total are not only experiencing a massive positive trend, they're making up for all the loss of landed snow and ice globally.
And the claimed "acceleration" in sea level rise? Another lie.
But it's coming! They promise. Just wait, it will eventually show up!
Now you, personally, can go on barking at the moon, claiming we're doomed and the end is near if we don't repent, but more and more REAL SCIENTISTS are starting to admit what observations already tell us:
The gloom and doom scenarios you go on about never were anything close to credible and were never... are never... going to happen.
This was evident from a review of all 5 IPCC reports - each time one was issued the gloom and doom parts had to be modified because, despite humans following the worst case scenario with regards to CO2 output, the actual observed trends in "climate change" were below the best case predictions.

Let's see if you're even a real person. Look near the end of this post for something you should post back to me if you're actually a person.
You obviously are convinced you're smarter than all of the climate scientists in the world combined.
This from a guy who admitted that not all climate scientists agree with him... who is now back to making an " appeal to authority/political (consensus) argument" since he has no scientific arguments.
I did not claim I was smarter than anyone - you're using a straw man of your own construction there.
I provided cutting edge science, actual observations, the last IPCC report - and your side claims they are the last word in climate science - and now you deny what they say? What's up with that?
The laws of physics don't mind that you reject them. They'll keep right on doing what they do.
Yes, and what they've done, as I pointed out - and I know you didn't read, since you replied almost immediately once I posted - what YOUR side has done, is admitted that:
- The changes we have experienced recently are not due to CO2, rather it's just "due to the combined effects of internal decadal variability and natural forcing" - that is straight from a peer-reviewed work by some of the recognized (by your side) experts in clima te science. A direct quote of their original abstract.
- Sea level increase has not accelerated - and in fact if you have been watching the actual science, it decreased for a year as atmospheric CO2 increased.
- As atmospheric CO2 increased, surface temperature actually decreased, proving a primary claim of your alarmist beliefs wrong - and of course now in a pitiful attempt to cover up the failure of your primary past claims, you claim the oceans are warming catastrophically, having seen your past claims the surface was warming catastrophically proven false. O nly once again the only evidence the oceans are showing any significant long term warming is manufactured or just theorized without any real evidence.
- The Antarctic is gaining ice and snow, not losing it as your side claims.
- The Arctic did experience an all time low in ice cover one summer - due not to CO2 but to wind and ocean currents that drove the ice loss.
- Polar bears, claimed to be headed for extinction due to "global warming", are actually showing mostly population rebounds due to restrictions on hunting, which was the real reason their populations collapsed. The only place their populations aren't recovering are those places where there are no such hunting restrictions.
In your reply, post "I am not a bot, silly human" to prove it.
You falsely claim I think I'm so smart, smarter than scientists - I quoted scientists and their science. You gave me opinions, I responded with science. Who thinks h e's smarter than science and scientists?
That would be you.
Not me.

Monday, January 22, 2018

History of Sea Ice

The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) had a very interesting posting concerning the history of sea ice extent since 1850. This is a rather nice piece of work involving historical records going back 130 years before the start of satellite monitoring. Researchers used "a compilation of maps, ship reports, and other records" to build the record. Then they plotted it and the story it tells is pretty graphic. Take a look:

Source: NSIDC

The extent is color-coded where extent greater than the 1850-2013 baseline is colored in shades of red and extent less than that baseline is colored in shades of blue. The calibration of the colors is displayed on the right-hand axis. The bottom axis is in years beginning in 1850 and going to 2013. The vertical axis is months of the year with January at the top and December at the bottom.

Before the 1970s, we can see the ice extent is displayed almost continuously in shades of red with an occasional block of blue here and there until an extensive blotch of blue extending from 1937 to 1943. The notable thing about that blue blotch is that it does not go into the winter months.

However, beginning in the 1970s we can see the extent becomes increasingly blue. At first, the deficit is limited to the summer months, but by the 1990s it's consistently blue even in the winter. By the 2000s, the graph shows a deficit in extent for all months. There has not been a red-shaded block since the mid-1980s. Recent years show a trend of increasingly darker shades of blue.

This is another graphic in the same article:

Source: NSIDC
In this graphic, they took 50-year periods and plotted the extent of the smallest minimum extent for each period. The periods are marked above each graphic while the specific year is displayed on the upper-left portion of each plot. You can see, even by the 1940s we were already beginning to see evidence of smaller extent. This is certainly clear by the third plot and the devastating 2012 extent is displayed in the last one.

There are a few more graphics, but I wanted to share one last one with you.

Source: NSIDC
These two graphs show the date the Beaufort Sea (top) and Chukchi Sea (bottom) ice-over for the period of 1979 - 2017.  In both cases, we can see these two seas are becoming ice-covered at a later and later date. Notice the data for the Chukchi Sea stops in 2016. That's because this sea did not ice-over before the end of 2017.

By the way, the Arctic sea ice extent is currently trending very close to the record low extent for this time of year.  The conclusion is very clear - Arctic sea ice is going away and will not be coming back.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Cold Weather and Climate Change

I frequently hear claims of how cold weather, such as the current system gripping the eastern US, is evidence climate change isn't real. The title of this posting sums up the reality - one is weather (what you get from moment to moment) and the other is climate (the long-term average of weather). That should really say it all. But, let's look closer, just for the fun of it.

Winter is caused by the tilt of the Earth's axis - 23.5 degrees relative to the plane of the ecliptic. That means the north pole is in daytime for six months and nighttime for another six. The entire polar cap has varying amounts of night and day with the Arctic Circle being the limit of locations experiencing any day of continuous daytime or nighttime. (The same is true for the south pole and the Antarctic Circle, with the seasons reversed.) Again, this is due to the tilt of the planet and will not change with any changing climate. In other words, there will always be a winter.

As a result, there is a huge mass of air that will be sitting in extended nights for months on end and will get cold. Even if it warms up (and the Arctic is warming faster than any other part of the planet), it will still be really cold - negative 40 is warmer than negative 50, but still cold. Given a stable system, that cold air mass would sit in the Arctic and we would never see it. But, the system isn't stable. Even without climate change, there are currents and systems that mix up the lower atmosphere (the troposphere) and move air around.  Put extra energy into the system and this mixing becomes more pronounced. It takes a lot of energy to move air around.

And, that brings up the point - how much energy does it take to move an Arctic air mass? We can do a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation to see it is an extreme amount. Take a look at the image below. This is a plot of the temperature anomaly. You can see the cold air mass over the eastern US in blue. You can also see the hotter than normal air mass over the Arctic, Europe and northern Asia in red. When that cold air moved out, something had to move in to take it's place.

Source: CCI

I'm going to estimate that blue area, the Arctic air mass, is about 3000 miles across. That's a radius of 1500 miles, about 8 million feet. The area of a circle is pi*r^2, giving us an area of about 2 x 10^18 square feet. There are 144 square inches per square foot, so this mass has an area of roughly 2.9 x 10^20 square inches. Standard atmospheric pressure is 14.7 pounds per square inch (you were wondering where I was going, weren't you?), meaning this cold air mass weighs about 4.2 x 10^21 pounds. That's a lot of weight.

Like I said, left to itself, it would just sit there. We need energy to move it. We're not going to consider all of the complications, such as friction with the ground, internal friction, changing pressure going over landforms, moving air in to replace it, etc. We're simple going to look at the kinetic energy of this mass when it moves. The equation for kinetic energy is one-half*m*v^2. To do this properly, let's change our weight to metric. There are 2.2 lbs per kilogram at the Earth's surface (we need that stipulation because we're going from weight to mass). Our calculated weight has a mass of about 1.9 x 10^21 kilograms. Let's use a standard velocity of 1 meter per second (2.2 mph). We can then multiply our result to get a value for different velocities.

Using those numbers, the kinetic energy of our air mass is about 10^21 joules. In comparison, a one megaton nuclear weapon has a yield of about 4 x 10^15 joules. That means this air mass would need the energy equivalent of around 250,000 one megaton nuclear weapons to move.

And, that is at a rate of only 2.2 mph (1 m/s).

Give the air mass a typical velocity of around 30 mph (13.6 m/s) and you need 1.3 x 10^22 joules of energy - about 3.4 million one megaton nuclear weapons. And, that's just the kinetic energy. Throw in all of those complications we didn't consider and you can the total energy involved is going to be much, much larger.

All of that energy MUST come from somewhere.

So, next time someone jokes about how we need more global warming on a cold day, you can point out how global warming makes it more likely we're going to see cold days like this.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Reality isn't helping climate change deniers

The anti-science climate change deniers have many problems. One of them is the fact that there is no science to support their claims. Another is the fact that reality doesn’t conform to what they claim - no matter how much they wish otherwise.

An example of the latter is a bet a climate scientist made with a couple of solar physicists in 2005.  British climate change modeler James Annan invited climate change deniers to put their money where their mouths are. Not surprisingly, he had difficulty finding any takers. In other words, the anti-science people didn’t have faith in their own claims. He finally found a couple of takers in Russian solar physicists Galina Mashnich and Vladimir Bashkirtsev and entered a bet with them for $10,000 that that the six years between 2012 and 2017 would be warmer than the six years between 1998 and 2003. The official numbers aren’t out yet, but the data indicates Annan has won the bet.  The solar physicists claimed that global warming is due to solar activity and not CO2concentrations. Since solar activity is declining, they reasoned the planet would be cooling over time. Too bad for them they didn’t study their physics better. While it is true the solar activity is declining (and a fatal flaw in the reasoning of people who claim warming is due to solar activity), the decline has been small and is dwarfed by the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Not to worry, though. They’ve had twelve years to save-up the money.

An interesting thing about this bet is that a well-known British denier, Piers Corbyn, claimed he would like to enter a bet like that. But, when Annan offered the bet to him, he merely claimed he never received the email. Of course, once he was told about it, he could easily have contacted Annan if he really was that confidant of his claims, but didn’t.

Of course, Marc Morano also failed to take a similar bet from Bill Nye. Richard Lindzen, the disgraced climate denier who was once a professor at MIT, agreed to the bet with Annan, but wanted 50-1 odds. He would collect $10,000 if he won, but would only have to pay $200 if he lost. Once again, it’s interesting these guys go around making claims, but don’t have enough faith to take a wager. I wonder why Lindzen didn't offer the odds in reverse since he claims he is so sure of himself. No, actually, I don't wonder at all.

But, there are those who have taken the wager. The results? Every single climate change denier who has taken a bet has lost.

All of them.

In fact, there are so many failed predictions by the deniers that Dana Nuccitelli wrote an entire book about them: Climatology vs.Pseudoscience. They don't have a very good track record on their claims. But, that really isn't surprising.

It’s interesting how reality simply isn’t helping the deniers with their claims. But, that’s the difference between being anti-science and accepting the science – reality doesn’t care which one you do.