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Messages - Archimid

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Consequences / Re: Health Effects of Climate Change
« on: Today at 05:54:10 PM »
'It’s going to hit the poorest people': Zika outbreak feared on the Texas border

It is real enough, if not widespread: according to state health department statistics, 10 Zika cases have been documented in Texas this year and 320 in 2016 and 2015. About 250 women and children have shown evidence of infection reported to the federal Zika Pregnancy Registry.

Zika, and climate change driven mutations of both the mosquito and the virus scare the heck out of me.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2017 melting season
« on: Today at 04:49:11 PM »
I made the following animation to illustrate the event that I am talking about.

To reproduce it start in the following link and and move forward in 3 hours step:,70.59,1082

The event began the 13th and kept going for a few days. Then there was another smaller event around the end of the 17th. The humidity of theses events still lingers in the Arctic.

I do not know the cause-effect relationship of this warm air intrusion with water currents. I wouldn't be surprised if both the water and the atmosphere are playing a part in this.

The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: Today at 03:03:31 PM »
Or stop dividing in terms of the left and right entirely, and just focus on science based policy


Can you imagine a world where policy is based on the best science and policy changes to meet new data?  Too bad we are prisoners of the lawyers and their cognitive dissonance based system.

The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: Today at 02:30:45 PM »
Neven, I understand the reason for your title and it is indeed the best title since that is the coined term. I just mention that because it is important to note that our enemy is not the people of Russia, but the dictator in charge of Russia, who has expansionist intentions, who suppresses dissent in his own country and is attempting gaslight the world.

The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: Today at 02:22:06 PM »
I am not a democrat, liberal or progressive. I believe in small government, gun rights and personal freedom.  I also did not favor Clinton for the election. She voted for the Iraq war and the patriot act. In my book that can not be forgiven.

SO to all of you trying to paint me as a sore loser, sorry your argument is way off. As a matter of fact I knew Trump was going to win the elections as soon as he announced his candidacy, regardless of outside help. We had a black president.  That hurt many xenophobes deeply and drove their fear through the roof. Trump was the natural reaction.

No. Putingate is not about elections anymore. It is about policies. Donald Trump policies are highly influenced by the best interests of Putin  and they work against the best interest of the US and in the case of climate change denial, all citizens of the world.

The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: Today at 04:19:00 AM »
TerryM I think your argument is naive. Putin had the Means, Motive and Opportunity to shift the world to a more favorable state and he took it. This state is highly unfavorable for most people of the WORLD, but it is favorable to Putin's expansionist desires.

Means:  Propaganda has survived all of human history and even thrived in the modern day? Because it works. It works so well that you can get groups of people to do almost anything you want. Governments use it, private organizations use it, religions use it. You name it, it works.

That's what Putin (not the Russians) used to manipulate the election. They moved illegally obtained information through dark channels in a way that Trump "advisors" would see it.

Motive: Among the policies that are highly favorable to Putin's expansionist interest are climate change denial, increased fossil fuel consumption and breaking the EU and NATO. Climate change denial gives future Russia a more favorable weather(they think) and thousands of miles of new coast because of the ice less Arctic. It also may raise average temperatures over what is today mostly frozen tundra. Increase fossil fuel consumption favors Putin personally. He just wants more money. Breaking the current world order gives him space to expand.

Opportunity: 1st Donald Trump is vulnerable to his greed. Show him the money and he will do anything. 2nd Donald Trump is a fool.  By using proxies like Michael Flynn (who was taking money from Turkey and didn't disclose it) and Carter Page (who was monitored by order of a FISA court) they introduced ideas and policy that sounded great for greedy Trump but in reality they benefit Putin's plans.

Among the policies that are highly favorable to Putin's expansionist interest are climate change denial, increased fossil fuel consumption and breaking the EU and NATO. Climate change denial gives future Russia a more favorable weather(they think) and thousands of miles of new coast because of the ice less Arctic. It also may raise average temperatures over what is today mostly frozen tundra. Increase fossil fuel consumption favors Putin personally. He just wants more money. Breaking the current world order gives him space to expand.

He had the means, motive and opportunity to set the world in a position that is much more favorable to him. What if he got caught? He knew that what is happening now would happen. The Republicans will chose the power Trump  offers them over preserving the US. Even if they don't, the US can't go to war over this. That is MAD.

So worst case scenario for Putin, Trumps realizes he is being played. But that is covered by condition 2. The man is a fool.


I think the Thread is not appropriately named. Russia, the people of Russia or the land of Russia  had nothing to do with this. This was executed by a dictator who kills opposition and is expanding through the use of the military. I would call the thread Putingate. Personally I love Russians. Every single one I've met are excellent people.

What's With The Weird Weather? Dr Kevin Trenberth (April 2017)

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2017 melting season
« on: Today at 03:26:21 AM »
I thought it was caused by warm and humid wind intrusion that started the 13th of april. The warmth of that event is still lingering in the Arctic.,64.59,1548

If you follow that heat you'll notice how it gets in the arctic and then head north. I think that wind had the effect of pushing (melting and compression?) the ice and raising the temperatures in the Arctic. If you keep following it probably helped export a bit.

The problem with self-driving cars, software quality:

“Nobody has a software engineering methodology today that can ensure systems perform safely in complex applications, particularly in systems with a really low tolerance for faults, such as driving,”

Being a retired software executive, I can attest to this. If google messes up your search request it doesn't get you (and others possibly) killed. The possible interactions of millions of cars, using many different software suppliers and interacting with human-driven cars, will be an incredibly complex problem to manage. Extensive use will be many, many years away and also a gift for the lawyers.

The AI does not have to be perfect. That is impossible. It only has to be better than human drivers and that is most certainly posible.

Consequences / Re: Sea Level Rise and Social Cost of Carbon
« on: April 21, 2017, 03:21:49 PM »
State of emergency declared for Louisiana coast by Gov. John Bel Edwards

Gov. John Bel Edwards on Wednesday (April 19) officially declared Louisiana's coastal land loss an emergency, a move he hopes will expedite a host of restoration projects mired in federal permitting. "The Louisiana coast is in a state of crisis that demands immediate and urgent action to avert further damage to one of our most vital resources," he said.

Consequences / Re: Effects of Climate Change on the biosphere
« on: April 21, 2017, 03:46:33 AM »


Microorganisms have been changing the climate, and have been changed by the climate, throughout Earth’s history. As we experience unprecedented environmental impacts from climate change, microorganisms will respond, adapt, and evolve in their surroundings. Because they have generation times as short as a few hours, they will do so at higher rates than most other organisms. This makes microbes ideal sentinels for understanding the effects of climate change on biological systems and the global biogeochemical cycles that microbes mediate. Scientists
can study the effects of climate change on microbes to both understand and hopefully predict the future effects of climate change on all forms of life.

This colloquium brought together members of the American Society for Microbiology and the American Geophysical Union because understanding climate change impacts requires experts from
many scientific disciplines. The collaboration between these two societies intermingled scientists knowledgeable about microbial contributions and responses to climate change across global settings (terrestrial polar regions; soil, agriculture, and freshwater; oceans) and able to think broadly about the functions of microbiomes.

Although scientists have been studying microbial ecosystems for many years, we realize we have much more to learn and understand about complex and interconnected microbial functions. The information in this report reflects the current understanding of microbes and our changing climate, as well as gaps and priorities for future study.

Consequences / Re: 2017 ENSO
« on: April 21, 2017, 12:50:48 AM »
Nice graph.

Ok then. I'll assume most nuclear weapons test were not done on the surface near forests or cities so no firestorm formed, except at Hiroshima. There a firestorm formed. It's effect on global temperatures is unknown but probably small. Just one more negative force. Curiosity satisfied. Thanks.

In the simulation they run 100 nuclear detonations and obtain the first image attached. If 100 nuclear weapons can lower the global temperature 1.2C for almost a decade then a naive calculation results that 1 nuclear weapon would lower the temps for .012 for probably much less time.

There where 520 atmospheric nuclear weapons test in the time period in question. Lets say that only 10% of those were in simulated cities, forests or other environments were enough particulates were present. Then that's 52 tests at .012 degrees each that's .624 degrees. Of course they didn't happen at the same time but that very back of the envelope calculation gives a good idea of the total forcing.

Might be getting OT :)

Yeah. To try bring it back on topic and tie it with coal emissions, 1930's warming and the natural or anthropogenic nature of the loses in sea ice, humans are a force of nature. Our impact on the planet is very significant. We are probably the main driver of variability of the climate system. Human impact on the climate system was insignificant more than 10k years ago. Our impact was similar to any other invasive species. It was slight but significant during the past 10k years. Mass agriculture and deforestation started to become global. About 200 years ago, with the dawn of the industrial revolution, our impact on the planet increased  to the point that we are the primary drivers of the variability of the climate system.

Attributing any cycle to "natural variation" requires very clear evidence of the forcings causing the variation. Random variation, internal variation, unknown variations, noise, sure that exists but is almost impossible that they have not been affected by human interference.

We are driving the climate, except we are driving blind.


Their most recent paper, a December 2008 study titled, "Environmental Consequences of Nuclear War", concludes that "1980s predictions of nuclear winter effects were, if anything, underestimates". Furthermore, they assert that even a limited nuclear war poses a significant threat to Earth's climate. The scientists used a sophisticated atmospheric/oceanic climate model that had a good track record simulating the cooling effects of past major volcanic eruptions, such as the Philippines' Mt. Pinatubo in 1991. The scientists injected five terragrams (Tg) of soot particles into the model atmosphere over Pakistan in May of 2006. This amount of smoke, they argued, would be the likely result of the cities burned up by a limited nuclear war involving 100 Hiroshima-sized bombs in the region. India and Pakistan are thought to have 109 to 172 nuclear weapons of unknown yield.

The intense heat generated by the burning cities in the models' simulations lofted black smoke high into the stratosphere, where there is no rain to rain out the particles. The black smoke absorbed far more solar radiation than the brighter sulfuric acid aerosol particles emitted by volcanic eruptions. This caused the smoke to heat the surrounding stratospheric air by 30°C, resulting in stronger upward motion of the smoke particles higher into the stratosphere. As a result, the smoke stayed at significant levels for over a decade (by contrast, highly reflective volcanic aerosol particles do not absorb solar radiation and create such circulations, and only stay in the stratosphere 1-2 years). The black soot blocked sunlight, resulting in global cooling of over 1.2°C (2.2°F) at the surface for two years, and 0.5°C (0.9°F) for more than a decade (Figures 1 and 2). Precipitation fell up to 9% globally, and was reduced by 40% in the Asian monsoon regions. 

The scenario is different because it is talking about 100 nuclear weapon over a very small time and local frame . Nuclear testing were staggered over a few decades, but maybe each testing was a blip, and the accumulation of blips, had a measurable impact on global temps.

From wikipedia:

As of 1993, worldwide, 520 atmospheric nuclear explosions (including 8 underwater) have been conducted with a total yield of 545 megaton (Mt): 217 Mt from fission and 328 Mt from fusion, while the estimated number of underground nuclear tests conducted in the period from 1957 to 1992 is 1,352 explosions with a total yield of 90 Mt.[4]

Then on the Nuclear weapons testing page they say this about atmospheric weapons testing (my emphasis)

Atmospheric testing designates explosions that take place in the atmosphere. Generally these have occurred as devices detonated on towers, balloons, barges, islands, or dropped from airplanes, and also those only buried far enough to intentionally create a surface-breaking crater. Nuclear explosions close enough to the ground to draw dirt and debris into their mushroom cloud can generate large amounts of nuclear fallout due to irradiation of the debris. This definition of atmospheric is used in the Limited Test Ban Treaty, which banned this class of testing along with exoatmospheric and underwater.

I imagine the bolded type of testing had the potential for the most cooling because it ejects the most particles.

How does a nuclear weapons test compares to large volcano eruptions? If they are similar on matter ejected and height of ejection then Nuclear weapons might have played a significant role.

do you mean above ground nuclear testing? the purpose of below ground is to prevent atmospheric impacts.  I would have to look at it but my sense is that the amount is insignificant compared to global coal emissions at that time.

My thinking is that if  many nuclear weapons cause nuclear winter, a few may slow down global warming. I get the feeling that nuclear weapons had at least at small part in the cooling after 1945.

I wonder if the proliferation of underground nuclear weapons testing after ww2 produced enough aerosols to make a difference in global temperatures.

Consequences / Re: Places becoming less livable
« on: April 18, 2017, 04:18:39 PM »
No relief in sight as heat wave continues to build across northern India

Dangerous heat will continue to build across much of India this week, and there is no relief in sight.
The most intense heat will be found across northern India, stretching from West Bengal and Odisha to Rajasthan, the National Capital Region and Punjab.
Daily high temperatures will approach or exceed 43 C (110 F) in these areas with the warmest locations recording temperatures exceeding 46 C (115 F).

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« on: April 18, 2017, 03:57:39 AM »
Demand Energy Breaks Ground on Groundbreaking Solar-Storage Microgrid in New York City

Comprising a 400-kW solar PV system, 400-kW fuel cell and 300-kW/1.2-MWh lithium ion (Li-ion) battery-based energy storage system (BESS), the renewable energy storage microgrid is also the first to be built for an affordable housing development. Once completed, it will serve the power and energy needs of residents and businesses at Marcus Garvey Village, a “mixed-income apartment complex” in Brooklyn’s Brownsville section owned by L+M Development Partners.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2017 melting season
« on: April 18, 2017, 02:13:35 AM »
If the average temperature is still well below freezing, does it matter about winter anomaly in the short term? Obviously not a good indication for summer or long-term, but freezing is freezing, so does it make a big difference? Yet?

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it does. The ice can get much colder than the freezing point. I imagine -30C ice would resist the melting season longer than -10C ice. Also I imagine that warmer ice have different physical characteristics as colder ice.

I'm convinced the first year with Sept SIE less than 1m will also be the last. However, when will that be is much harder to answer. Before I emit my vote I want some time to see how this thin first year ice reacts to the melting season. It could very well be that the first and last <1m SIE happen this year.

However if it doesn't happen this year, maybe the Pacific and the Atlantic end their warm cycle, lowering atmospheric temperature and humidity. Maybe then that Arctic makes a recovery. If so, then the Arctic might be safe for maybe a decade or two.

I'll vote after I see more. So far it is not looking good.

Greenland and Arctic Circle / Re: Meltwater & Run-off
« on: April 16, 2017, 04:22:38 PM »
I don't know about that. I prefer the biosphere as it is. Increasing temperature, CO2 and nutrients will most likely result in a favorable environment for algae. BUt what happens when any one organism gets an evolutionary advantage? It overwhelms others, like humans are doing to the planet. In algae it is best seen as harmful algae blooms.

The optimal algae rate of growth is the rate of growth that support the current ecosystem. An increase or decrease in algae will probably change the food chain in ways that might not be favorable to humans.

jai mitchell  +1

I've been meaning to say this for a while, and this is offtopic, but your coal/aerosols/sst argument is a courageous one. You are saying that shutting down Coal plants causes short term global warming.  I bet you get a lot of flak for that.

When you first started to state that point, I was suspicious of you because it sounded like a very convenient argument for a climate change denier to take advantage of. But then as you refined the argument and presented more and more evidence I realized that my suspicions of your argument  were nothing but my own personal bias. You are probably right and your argument is very important if coal is going to be phased out.

For example phasing out coal plants during warm cycles of the planet will compound the problems of the warming. Closing them during cool earth cycles will reduce the impact of the short term warming at the cost of maintaining the Earth at a higher temperatures for longer.

This might be an important consideration that is impossible to talk about because of the nature of the debate.

Greenland and Arctic Circle / Re: The Bølling-Allerød warming
« on: April 14, 2017, 01:43:19 PM »
My bet is somewhere in between. The forcing to warmer temperatures is there but there are system with sufficient inertia to buffer the anthropogenic forcings for a long time, like the Arctic sea ice. As these systems degrade and break down, the systems lose their buffering capabilities and instead add to the forces of change.

Figure 2a. wow thanks Lennart van der Linde I've never seen that before. That paper looks like a must read.

Consequences / Re: Floods
« on: April 13, 2017, 05:49:39 PM »
Flooding Leaves Millions Without Water in Santiago, Chile

The mudslides and floods in turn contaminated the Maipo River, a main source of drinking water for much of Santiago and the surrounding metropolitan region. The water utility Aguas Andinas, whose plants draw from the river, suspended service on Sunday for about 1.5 million customers, affecting a total of about five million residents.

Consequences / Re: Floods
« on: April 13, 2017, 05:47:20 PM »
Colombia landslides: Over 200 die in Putumayo floods

Hours of heavy rains overnight caused rivers to burst their banks, flooding homes with mud in Putumayo province.

Consequences / Floods
« on: April 13, 2017, 05:44:09 PM »
I did a search and couldn't find a floods topic in the consequences section. If there is one, my apologies.

That said:

How can Peru prepare to withstand more devastating floods and landslides?

More than 100 people have died, nearly 158,000 are displaced and 210,000 homes are damaged, according to Peru’s emergency operations centre. The country’s infrastructure took a big hit: 260 bridges collapsed and nearly 3,000km of roads are unusable, cutting off hundreds of villages and towns.


No, this is NOT what scientists think.  They look for patterns that emerge in the model ensembles with and without AGW (CO2) forcing and compare to observations.  Those observations that do NOT emerge with AGW forcing either indicate a flaw in the model or natural variation.

I believe that what you said is exactly what they think. There is a good logic to it. Their elaborate and continuously updated and tested models can predict with very good accuracy certain aspect the climate system. They can be very insightful tools.  I can agree that withing the limits of the models, attributing up to 60% of Arctic sea ice loss to the natural variation of the models maybe acceptable.

However, when seen under other lines of evidence the claim that what they found is due to natural variability does not hold.

First, Arctic recent history. The evidence I have seen clearly indicate that the arctic was pretty much a constant size since 1850. See the first image , taken from what I think is the best article on Arctic Recent history here:

I see no 60 year / 100 year or any type of cycle visible that would account for 60% sea ice loss.

Then when I look at the 20,000 year temperature record, (second image) it is obvious that for the last 500 years the world was much colder than the 20th century, so it is not a stretch to assume that the Arctic was as nice and healthy as it was during the 20th century.

image URL:

Then there is the beginning of the Holocene which was about as warm as it is now but for thousands of years. That's the only time there could have been and ice free arctic that I would attribute to natural variation.

So the evidence points at something other than natural variation for the Arctic sea ice loss. The evidence clearly points at anthropogenic forces being responsible for not only the 40 % due to CO2 forcing and other modeled phenomena, but also for much of the 60% forcing that the random noise of the models point to.

That is the reason I attack the conclusion that up to 60% of Arctic sea ice loss is due to natural variability. It is 100% due to human influence. That the Atmosphere may be a bigger driver than other AGW attributable things, I don't doubt it for a second. That the atmospheric variations are due to natural variation? I don't believe it for a second.

In their study they make the following simplification:

CO2 forcing = AGW
Everything Else = Natural variation.

In reality  AGW is much more than just CO2 forcing. For example, AGW may be the culprit behind the cold blob to the south of Greenland. I don't need to be an expert to understand that cold blob must be having effect on the atmosphere above. In the study, the changes to the sst's to the south of Greenland and their effect on the atmosphere are counted as Natural Variation, but it was CO2 induced warming that melted the ice, that changed the sst, that changed the atmosphere.

I think that the forcing they choose to call natural variation is just the "momentum" accumulated in the atmosphere after 200 years of AGW. This paper is really bad news because if we could magically reduce CO2 in the atmosphere to pre industrial times in a day,  the atmosphere will probably still melt the ice for some years.

Honestly, how can they call "natural variation" from a data set that is only 37 years old? DO they expect me to believe that the natural variation over the last 37 years was the same as 200 years ago or 10,000 years ago.

No, sorry. Their use of the term natural variation is wrong for an attribution study. 

Consequences / Re: Effects of Climate Change on the biosphere
« on: April 10, 2017, 01:54:05 PM »
Warming Bleaches Two-Thirds of Great Barrier Reef

A huge portion of the 1,400-mile structure has now suffered severe damage for the second straight year–and scientists blame climate change.

The rest / Re: The Trump Presidency (was "Presidential Poll")
« on: April 09, 2017, 04:49:50 PM »
I agree with the sentiment of Jim Pettit except that I think that al Assad needs to go the same way of Gaddafi.

The tipping point that started the conflict in Syria was the Arab spring. While Northern African "springs" were not met with atrocities, the small attempt at a spring in Syria was met with deadly force. Once deadly force is used certain boundaries are crossed that can not be walked back. The Syrian civil war will continue while Assad remains.

The Syrian war is asymmetric. There is one strong side, the Syrian government and multiple , unorganized small sides whose biggest thing in common is the enemy of their enemies, al Assad. In such case only one side can possibly bring peace, that is the strong unified side. But al Assad is not willing to give up power, he rather resorts to gassing people. Removing him brings new players into the process with higher chances for peace.

I only see one way the US can remove Assad ASAP. A big ole Missile. If Putin had any interest on peace, he could remove al Assad by less destructive means.

 but but but Putin.

Now, bombing an old airport and few fuel depot's was just a stupid warning, with no obvious strategic or tactical advantage. If they would have removed al Assad instead of wasting good ammo, we would have a way to peace. 

I want to make one thing clear. Donald Trump did not know he was working for Putin. It is impossible for a man of such ego to do such a thing. However, Trump is easily blinded by the prospect of profit, like a Ferengi.  His policies were given to him by Putin through his associates.  The policies were cleverly represented as potential profits for Trump. I think at some point he will realize he was duped.

The rest / Re: The Trump Presidency (was "Presidential Poll")
« on: April 07, 2017, 01:06:03 PM »
My feelings about Trump are clear. He is a fool, but destroying the airport from which the WMD's were launched was the right thing to do. My preference would have been to drop the tomahawks right on top of al Assad's residence and rid the world of that monster, but an airport and some of the jet fighters that actually dropped the WMD's  send a clear enough message.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Latest PIOMAS update (April)
« on: April 06, 2017, 08:03:58 PM »
Small, perhaps unfair question in bad English :

If we would see an icefree arctic in a few years, what do you think how much volume first year ice could be generate in one winter season? 10000, 15000 ?


My layman's answer to your question in even worse English :

Attached is what I call annual volume gain. It is just this year maximum volume minus last year minimum volume. The 2017 point is up to day 90, so unless max volume was reached on day 90 (very unlikely) it will grow a bit more until maximum volume.

The record growth was 19.659 in 2013. So if the Freezing season started at 0 ice volume, but by some miracle with no waves, the same salinity, the same air temperature the same sea temperature, the freezing time etc., the maximum volume will reach around 19.659, at least according to the record.

Of course an ice free arctic will be saltier, wavier, warmer and who know what the atmospheric currents will be up to.

Consequences / Re: Sea Level Rise and Social Cost of Carbon
« on: April 06, 2017, 03:05:49 AM »
Miami's fight against sea level rise

Just down the coast from Donald Trump's weekend retreat, the residents and businesses of south Florida are experiencing regular episodes of water in the streets. In the battle against rising seas, the region – which has more to lose than almost anywhere else in the world – is becoming ground zero.

I thought this article had great imagery.

Science / Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« on: April 05, 2017, 03:56:34 PM »
He is reducing regulatory burdens like mediocre administrators reduce cost. Just cut the budget and let lower employees figure out how to make it work.

When he was elected I though, hey maybe the guy actually has innovative ways to make policies that make the government more efficient. But no. Only mediocre middle management tactics to reduce cost. No innovative policies. No long term changes that make america great again.   

Arctic sea ice / Re: Latest PIOMAS update (April)
« on: April 05, 2017, 01:54:59 PM »
Whether a blue ocean event is reached or not, our civilization shouldn't have exposed itself to this risk.

Arctic Background / Re: Barneo 2017
« on: April 04, 2017, 09:21:09 PM »
Thank you.

Arctic Background / Re: Barneo 2017
« on: April 04, 2017, 06:58:23 PM »
Yea that's what I imagine but it is not clear to me what is the problem they are having. Their statement can be interpreted in different ways.

1. There is not enough snow so they need fresh water flown in. Ice doesn't matter because it has always been too salty to drink.

2. There is not enough snow so they need fresh water flown in. In the past they could melt ice to get the water they needed but not this year. This year the ice is too salty to drink.

I wonder which one they meant.

Arctic Background / Re: Barneo 2017
« on: April 04, 2017, 06:42:51 PM »
From their Facebook page:

As they report from the ice, the runway is ready. At 2-30 pm Moscow time the Il-76 loaded with fuel set off to the floe. The guys also asked to send them some regular fresh water. It’s
impossible to melt it from the snow since there is little snow and the ice is mostly salty.

I wonder about this water problem. Has the ice always been too salty to drink or is this a new thing?

A Message From the End of the World


Here in Chile, in the far south of the Southern Hemisphere, it has been the summer of our discontent. Never have so many natural catastrophes in a row hit this country at the end of the world. For once, it is not the earthquakes that have assailed us since time immemorial or the tsunamis that often follow, devastating land and coast, mountainscapes and ocean. This time, our unprecedented woes have all been man-made.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2017 melting season
« on: April 03, 2017, 02:06:11 PM »
Definitely colder .

First,  thanks romett1 for this helpful update. I find it very useful.

 A nit pick if I may. It is not necesarilly colder, only less anomalously warm.  The Arctic is just as  warm as it was in the middle of winter, but the mean temperatures are catching up this year's temperatures. Now that we approach the transition time from a winter arctic to a summer arctic, temperature anomalies are likely to be much closer to the mean.  Once the temperatures reach equilibrium with the ice, the temperature anomalies are also likely to stay close to the mean. At least while there is enough ice. If sufficient ice is lost then the anomalies will jump up significantly.

I still do not see how you can purport to distinguish signal from noise using models with no proven skill.

Within the limits of the models, signal from noise can be mathematically distinguished. But when the real world is taken into account, the models become wrong.

Let's think of a very basic model that is right so often that most people accept it as truth. Distance = Time x Speed. That model, D=ST is wrong if enough accuracy is required. To meet that accuracy other models are incorporated like friction, acceleration, wind speed, wind direction, air composition. Once these models are added accuracy increases but only to a point. If extreme accuracy is needed then more models must be added and sometimes completely replaced to meet the need.

Climate models are no different. They have been built with sweat and toil over time to account for more and more accuracy, more and more phenomena. Will they ever be complete? I mean will they ever predict the climatic condictions with 99.99% accuracy for every location of the world for decades even centuries ahead? I think they will, just like astronomists have the movements of the universe figured out to an extreme degree and particle physicists have the small scales figured out.

Are the models there yet, no. Regrettably not. Have they shown enough skill to take action? God yes. Specially with the preponderance of evidence from virtually all sciences.

Qinghua ding:

 But I have to say that we didn't consider aerosol in our work.


"Therefore, a substantial contribution of tropical Pacific variability on sea ice loss via this teleconnection is to be expected. A further examination of this question will require a modelling framework that reproduces the tropics high latitude linkage faithfully and efficiently."

I look forward to your next work.

First, thanks to Dr. Ding for writing this paper and taking the time to post here.

Thanks AndrewB for your detailed response. You are very much right when you say:

"I now see that what you mean by that expression is the sum of natural variability + anthropogenic forcing signal".

Actually if the dice is weighted the bias will quickly show, and you can mathematically separate it from the inherent randomness of the dice. In climate science where you have essentially "noisy" data, you can extract a "signal" of anthropogenic warming by various techniques (and in some cases by simply plotting a trend line), same as you can extract seasonality effects, leaving just the "natural climate variability".

I understand that is what they did. I think they removed any known variation relevant to their experiment and the remaining noise they call "natural variation" for the 1979-2014 time period. I think they would have been right in call it random variation or climate variability, noise or any other word that didn't imply lack of human interference.

But when they call the noise "natural variation" they imply that the noise is free of human interference. Given the shortness of the experiment and given knowledge of how sensitive sst's are to human forcings and given current events(which are outside their experiment), I find it very highly unlikely that the noise has no anthropogenic signature. Specially if they refer to AGW as just CO2 warming. If they disregard other anthropogenic forcings like aerosols and deforestation, or if they disregard feedback effects of CO2 forcing like albedo changes and changes in the hydrologic cycle, all of which have temporal and spatial effects on natural variability, then the use of "natural variability" becomes even worse.

My argument is that their semantics are wrong, not their methods. I admit, the semantic may seem trivial because calling the noise "natural variation" may be correctly interpreted by many scientist as just noise. So calling the noise "natural variation" may be very convenient. But in a politically charged, life and death argument like the climate change argument, utmost precision is required.

 When they say that atmospheric currents may be up to 60% responsible for Arctic sea ice reduction I agree with them because it makes sense. But if they say natural variation  may be up to 60% responsible for Arctic sea ice reduction that flies in the face with everything else I know. Climatologically speaking, pure natural variation dictates that the earth should be well underway to the next ice age. According to the most pure signal of natural variation, Arctic sea ice should be growing. Instead we are seeing a flash melt (in climatological terms).

I fear that I may be speaking over you and others and that is certainly not my intention. I hope I made my point more clear.


I'd quite like to know what Archimid meant by "anthropogenicaly altered random variability".

A fair six sided dice has a natural variability. If you change the weight of one of the sides of the dice it will still have random variability but it will be a different variability. The variability of the weighted dice is "anthropogenicaly altered random variability"


No, I don't think they conflate anything such, whatever you may mean by "anthropogenicaly altered random variability".  ??? (I'll politely decline your explanation of what you mean by that)

I like epiphyte's analogy:

"Kind of like hitting the curb too hard when parking? Once you knock it out of balance the steering shakes, and if you ignore it for long enough then eventually the lugs shear and the wheel falls off."

The physical attributes of the wheel and the car dictate the way the wheel should spin. Small forcings from wear and tear caused by regular use and misuse slightly alter the way the wheel should spin. Over time these "forcings" increase in magnitude. At some point a tipping point is reached and the wheel falls off.

In this analogy a brand new car with intact suspension system dictate the natural variability of the wheels. Use and misuse of the car is antropogenic forcings. In this analogy Ding et al measures the variability of the wheel of an old car and claims the variations in wobbles and angles of the wheel is the intended natural variability of the car. But it is not. The variation he is measuring has already changed due to use and misuse.

Hi Archimid,
Sorry, but I don't think they proved that at all, and not even their conclusion states that.

Hi AndrewB,
They don't reach that conclusion because they conflate natural variability with anthropogenicaly altered random variability.  In a way the math is right, but the interpretation of it is wrong.

Dragging unwilling scientists into a discussion on a comments section of a blog is a useless exercise, and the worst way to get any real debate going.

It is not a useless exercise. It is just that the results of this exercise gets lost in the noise. But if only a few people gained a better understanding of models, the scientific process, the climate or variability the discussion was not useless.

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