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Messages - The Walrus

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Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 10, 2021, 04:33:09 PM »
This method of containing the spread by very targeted testing and isolation has worked well.
In total South Korea has carried out 8,106,630 COVID-19 tests, including 47,517 yesterday.
Much less than many comparable countries.

Quite amazing really. The gold standard as to how to control a deadly virus.

Screw anybody in the U.S. who says nothing more could have been done.

Little more could have been done with our western culture. In some places, maybe a lot more (Fla), in many others, not much more (Skandinavian countries).

We are no equipped with the mindset to shut down several schools due to *a single case*, get everyone directly involved tested in 24h, quarantine children *and* parents then reopen schools free of cases in 48h.

Discipline, teamwork, submission to society, obedience,... oh and they used masks *before* the pandemic, many had them at home just in case.

Not saying I envy Korean mindset though... just admitting we follow other principles.

I quite agree.  Those claiming that bad policies or worse, intentional spread, seem to believe that we could just shut everything down, lock people in their homes, and wait this out.  That might work in places like China, but not most places in the rest of the globe.  The ideals that lead to freedom and independence have prevented most of the Western world from incorporating these draconian measures.  It was not the fault of the leaders.  Whoever was in power would have encountered similar roadblocks. 

The politics / Re: Economic Inequality
« on: April 10, 2021, 04:53:49 AM »
Extremes are not healthy. We have gotten to a point where the wealthy pay too small of a percentage of their income. While some want extreme change most would be content with a restoration of historical norms. Tax rates on wealthy individuals should be double what the middle class pay. That should be based on what they pay not before deductions.

Double is about right.  A married couple with an adjusted gross income of 100k would pay 8.63% in federal income tax.  Those with an AGI of 1M would pay 29.8%.  That is more than double, but with all the deductions, it would probably wind up being double the effective rate.

The politics / Re: Supreme Court
« on: April 10, 2021, 04:46:05 AM »
I agree.  This would set a very bad precedent.

Glaciers / Re: Alaska Glaciers
« on: April 09, 2021, 09:24:08 PM »
This one is definitely about a glacier.
The Muldrow Glacier flows from Denali and is mostly very quiet, but about every half century, it undergoes a surge event.
The last one was in 1956/57.
"The 1956/57 surge caused dramatic changes to Muldrow Glacier and its tributaries. About 3.3 km3 of Ice was redistributed from the upper and middle portions of the glacier to the toe (Post 1960). This caused lowering of the ice surface by 170 m in the upper parts of the glacier; lateral moraines were stranded and the lowering of the main trunk left some of the smaller glacier tributaries hanging by as much as 61 m (Post 1960). In contrast, the toe of the glacier gained ice, causing the surface to rise and the toe to advance forward forming a wall of ice 200 feet tall (Millett 1960)."
A local pilot recently noticed that it is beginning its next surge and Denali Park and USGS scientists have deployed numerous sensors and cameras to monitor the event.
I expect that this data will give us fascinating views of this spectacular event. Covid permitting, it will be worth a visit this summer.
Peak advances of 10-20m/day will be easily visible (and audible).

Yes, this has gotten quite a few glaciologists very excited, as this is happening for the first time during their lifetime.

Consequences / Re: Drought 2021
« on: April 09, 2021, 08:33:07 PM »
Yes, the desert southwest has experienced increased temperatures and decreased precipitation.  This would make an already inhospitable region more so.  Over the rest of the continent, this is not the case. 

You chose to ignore the other points I made.

Yes, because we were discussing the desert southwest specifically.  I live around the Great Lakes.  The current situation is not unprecedented.  Similar lake levels occurred during the 1980s, when lakes Michigan, Huron, and Superior set their high water marks.  This was accompanied by beach erosion.  Fifteen years ago, the lake levels were very low (near record); in some cases too low to launch boats.  Such is the case in an area that relies heavily on the annual rain- and snowfall.  See the graph from the U.S. army corps of engineers.

I cannot speak to the situation in Houston, except to state that the city is prone to flooding. 

Consequences / Re: Drought 2021
« on: April 09, 2021, 06:19:34 PM »
This is not a surprise.  As a whole, the U.S. has become drier after a prolonged wet spell.  The NOAA SPI index shows that beginning in 2013, the contiguous 48 states were wetter that unusual, culminating in an extremely wet 2019.  The wetness showed up in the drought monitor also, as the extreme and exceptional drought categories covered 0.1% of the land during the summer months.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 09, 2021, 04:20:11 PM »

In case anyone thought this pandemic was more or less dealt with, here is the world data

click images to enlarge

The recent rise in caseload is due primarily to increases in select areas.  While the total number of cases as grown 7% over the past three weeks, a few regions of the globe have experienced double digit rises. 

These include several European countries:   Hungary (+30%), Poland (+26%), Turkey (+25%), Greece (+25%), Bulgaria (+24%), Estonia (+23%), Norway (+21%), Ukraine (+20%), Serbia (+18%), France (+18%), Finland (+16%), Sweden (+15%), Germany (+12%), and Italy (+12%). 

Significant rises occurred in a cluster in South America:  Argentina (+11%), Brazil (+13%), Chile (+15%), Paraguay (+22%), and Uruguay (+70%)! 

Other areas experiencing an increase in outbreaks include regions in Asia; the Middle East:  Iraq (+16%) and Iran (+13%); the subcontinent:  Bangladesh (+18%), Pakistan (+15%), and India (+13%); and the far east:  The Philippines (+29%), South Korea (+11%), and Japan (+10%).

Many of the countries with higher vaccination rates have seen a slow down in cases:  The United States (+4%), The United Kingdom (+2%), and Israel (+1%).  Other countries in which the caseload has slowed include Mexico (+4%), Spain (+4%), Morocco (+2%), and South Africa (+1%).

The politics / Re: Empire - America and the future
« on: April 09, 2021, 02:24:32 PM »
  are 'people gravitating to like minded groups ' or forced there by logarithms ? b.c.

I would tend to think the former.  Historically this has happened, resulting in large followings.  Think Nazi Germany and radical Islam.  People tend to resist being forced, and while they may appear to do so on the surface, are actually fighting against.  This occurred in France during WWII and the Eastern Bloc afterwards.

Globalization has led to more unrest, as those in need have seen what those in power have.  The pandemic has shut that down; no trade, no talk, no travel.  This is likely just a blip in that trend, and will again rear its ugly head as global economies soar.  Possibly with more furor, if some areas fail to match others.

Consequences / Re: Drought 2021
« on: April 08, 2021, 05:22:58 PM »
Yes, the desert southwest has experienced increased temperatures and decreased precipitation.  This would make an already inhospitable region more so.  Over the rest of the continent, this is not the case. 

Another graph in the link by kassy shows the change in the number of unusually hot temperature.  Overall there were 15 locations with an increase of more than 25 days of hot temperatures above the 95th percentile and 17 locations with a decrease.  The locations that experienced an increase were largely in the southwest and Florida, with one each in the New York and Philadelphia areas.  The location with a decrease covered the area from the Atlantic ocean to the Great Plains, with one area in Utah.  It should be noted that these graphs only cover the latter half of the 20th century, omitting the hotter temperatures from prior years.  Still, the change is noticeable.

This areas that experienced a decrease in unusually hot temperatures were the same areas that had a significant increase in precipitation, and vice versa.  No real surprise, as cloud cover and rainfall tend to keep temperatures more moderate.  Fortunately for the U.S., this bodes well for the agricultural regions, which saw an increase in rainfall and a decrease in high temperatures. 

Arctic sea ice / Re: Casual 2021 melting season predictions
« on: April 08, 2021, 02:32:19 PM »
The next ten days should kick start the season with a boost.

The dangers of making predictions. Now 15 days later, things are just trundling along as usual. No kick in the boost or anything.

"It's tough to make predictions - especially about the future" - Yogi Berra

Consequences / Re: Drought 2021
« on: April 08, 2021, 02:27:40 PM »
Even before the dust bowl.  The recent heat wave index is comparable to 1900.  The cherry-picked low in the 1960s is evident.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 07, 2021, 08:18:04 PM »
Over the past two months, these are the increases in total covid cases in selected regions (per worldometer):

Cambodia - 518%
Uruguay   - 171%
Jamaica    - 139%
Estonia     - 131%
Barbados  - 116%
Bermuda  -  116%
Hungary   -   84%
Greece     -   73%
Finland     -   68%
Paraguay  -   62%
Bulgaria    -   62%
Poland      -   59%
Norway    -   55%
Serbia      -   54%
Philippines -  52%
Czechia    -   50%
Lativa      -   46%
France     -   45%
Malaysia  -    44%
Ukraine   -    43%
Sweden   -    43%
Iraq        -    42%
Turkey    -    41%
Italy       -    40%
Kuwait    -    39%
Brazil      -    37%
Kenya     -    37%
Madagascar  34%
Peru       -    34%
Iran       -     34%
Austria   -     33%
Indonesia -   33%
South Korea  32%
Netherlands  31%
Vietnam   -   29%
Thailand   -   27%
Germany  -   27%
Pakistan   -   26%
Canada     -  26%
Ireland     -   24%
Argentina  -  22%
Japan       -   21%
Egypt       -   21%
Israel       -   20%
Croatia     -   20%
Lithuania  -   19%
India        -   18%
Mexico     -   17%
Denmark  -   16%
Russia      -   16%
Colombia  -   14%
Switzerland   14%
U.S.A.      -   14%
Taiwan     -   13%
Spain       -   11%
U.K.         -   10%
New Zealand  9%
Panama    -    9%
Hong Kong -   8%
Zimbabwe  -   7%
Portugal     -   7%
Saudi Arabia   6%
South Africa   5%
Iceland     -    4%
Australia   -    2%
Singapore -    1%
Macao      -     0%

Many of these areas did not experience a large outbreak until recently.  Others have seen a resurgence.  Comparing South Korea to Belgium is interesting as their per capita deaths tolls were on opposite ends.  Belgium was 2.0 per thousand, while South Korea was 0.03.

Arctic sea ice / Re: 2021 Sea ice area and extent data
« on: April 07, 2021, 06:56:10 PM »
Nice graphs gerontocrat.  I would change your 365 day trailing average to include an S-shaped curve, as that is what appears to be occurring.  For the first decade, 1980-1989, the curve barely moved.  During the next 16 years or so, the curve sloped downward about 250,000 km2.  The big drop occurred between 2005 and 2012, when the average fell roughly 675,000 km2.  Since then, the average has wobbled around 7,500,000 km2.

Consequences / Re: Drought 2021
« on: April 07, 2021, 03:00:36 AM »
By the way, decreasing cold waves and heat waves lead to less seasonal temperature variability.  Increasing temperatures in northern states, combined with decreasing temperatures in the south leads to less geographical temperature variability.  Just what aspect of the temperature do you believe is increasing in variability?

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 07, 2021, 02:41:05 AM »

Yes, people knew enough about Covid back then to understand that it required action, and certainly enough to know it would be disruptive.
Trump is recorded saying Covid is bad, then ignored it.
New Zealand new it was bad, the politicians and health experts had a discussion about whether it was worth going for eradication. The experts recommended it, even though they thought it would be a long shot, then applied the processes required for eradication, and it essentially worked. Yes, islands have advantages, but the actions they took worked.
UK, an island about the same size as New Zealand so has equal opportunity to stop it, basically did nothing and they got into a mess. You could say the same thing about Ireland.

China understood the problem well enough to isolate entire cities in January.

So, in short, there was enough information in January to know Covid was worth stopping.
From mid Feb onwards, nobody can play the "the wasn't enough info" card.

And if short, sharp actions had be done, less people would be dead, economies (which is still a surprising common reason for not shutting down for short periods) would be better off now, and the situation would be better in total.

As for economies having recovered, maybe. Recessions might be over for now, but the standard of living is still at the bottom even if it is moving up. Although the wealthy have had a bumper year with the handout from tax payer money. How long will the artificial ups and increases last though?

Covid is only getting started because the response was substandard. Variants are becoming concerning, the economies of the world are not in as good a shape as they want us to believe. Anytime I see asset bubbles, I keep thinking about popping sounds.

China is an exception, because its government can do whatever it wants, and the people must fall in line or face the consequences. 

I am not arguing that China-like actions would not have stemmed the death toll from the virus.   Rather, that it was not feasible everywhere else.  Most countries tried to weigh short-term consequences (virus cases and death) against long-term consequences of shutting down the economy (poverty, misery, and death). 

Comparing the U.K. and New Zealand, cases in the U.K. started rising exponentially on March 4, but did not start rising in New Zealand until March 20.  New Zealand had a two-week warning to prepare.  On March 4, New Zealand had 3 cases. 

I also am not arguing that the wealthy did much better than the poor, although I would not call it a bumper year (the wealthy did not receive stimulus checks).  The lockdowns negatively affected the poor much more than the wealthy, who could work remotely and still receive their salary, pay their rent, and purchase items from Amazon.  The substantial increase in home values (largely due to working remotely) tended to favor the wealthy also.  This looks to be more of a long-term situation than a bubble, as remote work appears to be here to stay.  Funny how the liberals in the U.S. advocated for policies that benefitted the wealthy, while the conservatives advocated for those that benefitted the poor.  Crazy world in which we live.

Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: April 07, 2021, 02:16:23 AM »
It is not an either/or thing.

The new paper calculates the missing part of how much it could have grown without current climate change. That does not factor into the paper you quote, just as sustainability is also often forgotten although it must be an important part of any food supply...

Are you saying that without climate change that agricultural productivity would've doubled, instead of only rising 73%?

Consequences / Re: Drought 2021
« on: April 07, 2021, 01:16:33 AM »
What you failed to note from the study is that while the heatwaves have become more frequent since 1960, they have not since the earlier part of the 20th century.  Selectively choosing the lowest point in the data to make a comparison, while ignoring the rest of the data seems to be cherry picking.  This is exemplified in the graph depicting summer temperatures, in which almost half the country has cooled, while the rest has warmed.  The annual increase has been driven almost exclusively by warming in the winter months, which is expected due to increased greenhouse gases.

Consequences / Re: Drought 2021
« on: April 06, 2021, 10:23:49 PM »
Although precipitation increased by ~4% over the past century, regional and seasonal differences exist.  The desert southwest has been drier, especially in spring.  The northern portion has been wetter in spring, while the south has been drier.  Overall, the country east of the Rockies has seen an increase in precipitation, with the exception of the far southeast.  Interestingly, Florida has seen reduced rainfall during hurricane season.

The ice thickness on the Tanana River was 45.2" yesterday.  The highest measurement since 2013.  That year, the ice moved the tripod on May 20, the latest ever, and only one of two years in which the ice lasted past May 16.  The ice is also covered by over three feet of snow, and forecasted temperatures are well below freezing over the next week.

Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: April 06, 2021, 06:09:25 PM »
… and yet, "over the past 50 years, productivity growth in agriculture has allowed food to become more abundant and cheaper even as world population more than doubled"

Total global agricultural productivity increased from an indexed value of 70 in 1961 to 121 in 2016 (the last year of available data), that is a 73% increase.  Considering the population increase since 1961 and the corresponding decrease in global hunger, I would tend to believe their data.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 06, 2021, 06:00:42 PM »

I feel that you are being too pessimistic.  It is neither genocide nor economic collapse.  A death toll of 0.02% is hardly genocide

Millions of unnecessary deaths. What do you call that? An accident?
The solution was obvious from the beginning and yet, they failed to implement it.

If you , in your line of work, act so stupidly that it leads to somebody dying, that is called negligent homicide.  If millions die because of the stupid way you do your job (and as an added bonus you create a huge recession) I don't know what that should be called.

Anyway, we can argue about nomenclature but it is sure as hell that our "leaders" did an extremely shitty job. As a minimum all of them should be rid of their political power

Do you really believe that anyone (healthcare, governmental, or otherwise) truly knew what the solution was back in the beginning?  Information was changing on a nearly daily basis that the U.N., CDC, and other agencies were scrambling to inform the medical profession and general public as to proper procedures.  The death toll is approaching 3 million.  Do you really believe that almost all of those were preventable?  The flu has killed half a million annually for decades, are we responsible for their deaths also? 

As far as nomenclature goes, your "huge recession" is certainly way off base.  IMO, the world could have closed down completely to minimize the death toll from the virus, but the economic consequences would've been so severe that future generations would've said we acted stupidly.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 06, 2021, 03:06:53 PM »

I agree with you. (Almost) all European politicians failed badly . The March-April lockdowns almost eradicated the virus here. All they should have been doing was extreme testing and contact tracing and selective lockdowns where and when needed and they could have kept the both the continent's economy humming and saving its population. Instead, the economy tanked and hundreds of thousands died needlessly: lose-lose. I say this is negligent genocide.

(and no, it is not the benefit of hindsight, it was obvious by last May that huge test-capacities and contact-tracing abilities need to be built during the summer (and testing everyone at the EU borders just like Iceland did) to avoid a fall/winter massacre...I tried to nudge my government into that no avail: no we have 22 000 dead out of a bit more than 9 million, 8 000 more will die in the next 2 months...and the economy collapsed of course).

I feel that you are being too pessimistic.  It is neither genocide nor economic collapse.  A death toll of 0.02% is hardly genocide (the Armenian, Rwandan, an Cambodian genocides killed more than 50% each).  Most economies have recovered substantially from their initial hits. 

"Although the global economic recovery began in the third quarter as countries started to lift restrictions, UNCTAD noted that a second wave of virus hit earlier than expected in the final quarter of 2020 which dampened the recovery, most notably in Western Europe.

Countering this downward pressure on growth were vaccine breakthroughs and improved management of lockdown measures, both of which offset COVID-19's overall economic impact, the UN report said.

Regionally, UNCTAD data indicates that East Asia and Latin America fared “a little better than expected” – likely shored up by Brazilian growth - but Europe, India and South Africa did worse.

'Positive surprises' were Brazil, Turkey and the United States, thanks to large relief measures that acted as a shock-absorber for recession, while rising commodity and asset prices spurred growth.

The rebound in raw materials prices also benefited “several” developing African economies, UNCTAD continued, while the region as a whole saw lower-than-expected pressure on public health systems from COVID-19, UNCTAD said."

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 06, 2021, 01:52:43 AM »
Borders have nothing to do with th disaster that is COVID in the U.S. It has to due with the criminal incompetence of the previous administration acting in concert with willing accomplices in the Republican Party and far right media.

and yet other countries suffered a similar fate, regardless of the actions of the administration.  I think it is time to realize that this virus defied all the pundits who thought they knew what they were doing.  A different administration likely would have had similar results.

South Korea
Total Cases: 105,752
Total Deaths: 1748

Total Cases: 31,429,560
Total Deaths: 568,856

Anyone other than Trump in the White House, Republican or Democrat, and hundreds of thousands of Americans would be alive today.

And yet, you have only your own belief system to support your claim.  It is easy to make unsubstantiated what ifs when no possible evidence can support or refute it.

Total Cases: 31,429,560
Total Deaths: 568,856
Total Population:  332,473,823
Deaths as a % of population:  0.17%

Total Cases: 1,551,909
Total Deaths: 27,715
Total Population:  10,724,008
Deaths as a % of population:  0.26%

One can easily pick the statistics they want to support their own beliefs, but to claim that the death toll would've been halved with anyone else at the helm seems like quite the stretch.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Latest PIOMAS update (April)
« on: April 06, 2021, 01:30:43 AM »
I attach the March Monthly Average Volume + deviations from the trend graph.

The March 21 average of 21,628 km3 is 5th lowest in the satellite record, 329 km3 less than March 2020, but 742 km3 above the linear trend value for March '21, and only 85 km3 below the 2010's March average.

click to enlarge

Will the 16-year deviation oscillation continue? 

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 05, 2021, 03:35:06 PM »
Borders have nothing to do with th disaster that is COVID in the U.S. It has to due with the criminal incompetence of the previous administration acting in concert with willing accomplices in the Republican Party and far right media.

and yet other countries suffered a similar fate, regardless of the actions of the administration.  I think it is time to realize that this virus defied all the pundits who thought they knew what they were doing.  A different administration likely would have had similar results.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 31, 2021, 06:01:38 PM »
From the same worldometer data, the 7-day rolling average for cases in the U.S. has fallen 1.2% over the past 4 weeks, 51% over the past 8 weeks, and 67% over the past 12 weeks.  The 7-day rolling average for deaths has fallen 30% over the past 2 weeks (not flat at all!), 60% over the past 4 weeks, and 76% over both the past 8 and 12 weeks.  I think that the strategy is working just fine.

Color me only somewhat reassured.  "Past returns are no guarantee of future performance."

1.  The core phenomenon, epidemic, is exponential in nature.  In a susceptible population, doubling every 2 weeks can happen, and has.

2.  Having much of the country's population immunized, with about 20% never to be immunized, means that there is intense selective pressure for circulating strains to evolve resistance to vaccine-induced immunity.

3.  What's happening in any particular well-immunized country is almost irrelevant here.  If such a "super-virus" evolves anywhere on the planet, it has a very good chance of reaching everyplace on the planet within a few months.  Then we're back to square one, as we were a year ago.

Hopefulness is warranted.  Complacency is not.  Intense vigilance globally is still essential.

I think Darwinism may affect the non-vaccinated population also, leading to greater immunity.  According to the CDC, 74% of the elderly population has been vaccinated.  Combine that with the 6% infection rate, and immunity is close to 80% in the population above 65.  The numbers for the 30-65 age group are close to 40%, while the 17-30 age group is about 20%, and those under 17 are about 5%. 

The potential for doubling every two weeks has long ended.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 31, 2021, 03:21:01 PM »
From the same worldometer data, the 7-day rolling average for cases in the U.S. has fallen 1.2% over the past 4 weeks, 51% over the past 8 weeks, and 67% over the past 12 weeks.  The 7-day rolling average for deaths has fallen 30% over the past 2 weeks (not flat at all!), 60% over the past 4 weeks, and 76% over both the past 8 and 12 weeks.  I think that the strategy is working just fine.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 30, 2021, 05:37:06 PM »
Despite a 9 day trend of daily new cases rising in the U.S., daily deaths remain flat, hovering around 1000 per day. 15.5% of Americans have been fully vaccinated and the number vaccinated each day continues to climb.

(If someone sees TB, could you explain to him this is an appropriate use of a times series bar chart?)

Not true.  Cases have been relatively flat over the very short term (9 days), and have declined by 7,500 (~12%) over the past 5 weeks.  Deaths have declined over the past 9 days, extending their five week drop from over 2,000 to 800, a 60% decrease.  I would expect these trends to continue as more and more are being vaccinated and the weather warms.

The great housing boom which is occurring during covid has resulted in a 15-20% rise in the price of family homes over the past year.  This is a double-edged sword.  While 65% of families own their own home, and have seen a huge increase in equity, the remaining 35% are being priced out (although many had no intention of ever buying).  Overall, I call this a positive economic sign during an otherwise bleak time.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 27, 2021, 08:45:28 PM »
Well said Archimid.

The politics / Re: Biden’s Presidency
« on: March 27, 2021, 02:20:46 PM »
Please define Voter suppression.

my experience is , that usually means following existing election laws.

Your experience is very recent, and rather biased by the right-wing propaganda you use.  Existing laws aren't the problem though, are they?   

The laws that the Republicans are proposing in the various states they control would reduce the opportunities that people have to vote.   If you're working all of the time, you're not going to show up at the polls.   Is that what you want?   To have hard working citizens denied the right to exercise their franchise?    Why does anyone need an excuse to vote by mail?   As long as you're only voting once.   BTW in my experience it seems to be Republicans who get caught voting multiple times lately.

The USA already has a very uneven balance between rural and urban power; with the rural (and more conservative areas) having an effective majority in power in spite of having far fewer numbers and a lower level of economic activity.   If you guys had the same proportion of people in the House of Representatives that your ancestors did there'd be over 10k of them...   

Representation by population.  How does it work again?

The basic premise is one person, one vote. The issue is how to ensure that.  It starts with how long should we allow the voting process to take.  Different states have different lengths.  There is no right length of time to vote.  Different rules exist for voting by mail or absentee.  Many ballots are “spoiled” because people do not follow the rules.  Yet, some people claim that enforcing these rules amounts to suppression, because their votes no longer count.  Voting at the polls increases the probability that their vote will count.

To ensure someone is voting in the correct district, they must register there.  One problem is keeping these lists up to date.  No one checks if someone moves or dies.  They can be on the list indefinitely, and some have casts votes long afterwards.  Congress has mandated that states keep these lists up to date, but whenever a state tries to purge non voters from their lists, someone cries “suppression.”  Voter ID is one way to help ensure that these lists are up to date, but it cannot prevent people with multiple residences from voting in both places, if they vote in person in one and absentee in the other.  Even the registration process is ripe for fraud.  Past campaigns to register non voters by party supporters have allowed those supporters to “help” cast their vote.  There is no perfect system, and those in power will always use the current system to enhance their power, whether legally or otherwise.

The politics / Re: The Collapse Of America
« on: March 26, 2021, 02:16:09 AM »
No argument that all politics is corrupt and Trump was one of the (if not the) worst.  However to say that he deliberately allowed the virus to spread and kill thousands of people is a stretch. 

Arctic sea ice / Re: When will the Arctic Go Ice Free?
« on: March 25, 2021, 03:41:15 PM »
      Mathematically the trend lines must meet at zero.  So one trend line has to bend to meet the other.  One mathematical option is for the Volume line to bend upwards so that it does not hit zero before the Area line.  And as noted above, to some degree that may happen.  But I don't think it will happen very much.  Thus, while Volume in September is not likely to reach 0.000 in September, I think it is likely to get so close that it might as well be zero in terms of the effects of ASI on albedo and weather, ecosystem function, ship passage etc.

      So if the Volume line does not bend up to meet the Area line, then the Area line must bend down to meet the Volume line as they both near zero.

False dichotomy: They can both bend up (or down)

And the models tend to show they do both bend up as zero is approached.

Yes, the models do show that.  I think it is less of a false dichotomy than one has to (mathematically) bend [more] to meet the other.  I feel that it is more likely that volume will bend further to meet area.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020/2021 freezing season
« on: March 22, 2021, 10:35:25 PM »
The freezing season refuses to end.  NSIDC set a new maximum extent yesterday.
Moral of the story for me is that when extend is low. there's more potential for extra growth later on in March, as the ice edge is in regions that should have a lot more ice left this time of year.

Agreed.  Based on NSIDC data, for every million square kilometer decrease in the Arctic sea ice minimum extent, the ice gain through the winter solstice increases by 55%.

It may have been the "deepest" recession, but it was also the shortest. 

Coal is in terminal decline but before declaring peak let's see what happens when economy picks up post-Covid.

Agreed.  Before we declare it dead, it may make one last push.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020/2021 freezing season
« on: March 22, 2021, 03:43:50 PM »
The freezing season refuses to end.  NSIDC set a new maximum extent yesterday.

Greenland and Arctic Circle / Re: What's new in Greenland?
« on: March 21, 2021, 09:30:56 PM »
Yes, 1912 was a famous year for icebergs.

Consequences / Re: The Climatic Effects of a Blue Ocean Event
« on: March 21, 2021, 08:58:09 PM »
Any weather influences, based on open water, is unaffected by the depth of the ice, only the spread.

This is wrong. Very thin ice is mobile and can be effected easily by waves.
Thicker connected ice is much more resistant to that.
Then it needs to be a little over 1m thick to actually isolated and you might also want to have a lot of that 1-2m thick ice getting pushed together to make the real thick multiyear ice.

And there are details like spread. Imagine a square area.
Lets assume it has 80% sea ice area.
Now we fill two squares.
Square A has water at the top 20% And all ice below (feel free to rotate).
Square B has the ice scattered with the 20% open water between the pieces.

And then the sun comes up over the arctic. The results will not be the same and the same argument can be made for wave action.

All this does precious little to show why you believe that thickness is more important to energy transfer than area.  In fact your wave action does more to support my claim on energy transfer in open water, than in ice-covered.  Radiative energy transfer is much less efficient than convection.  Heat transfer through the ice is very slow, while transfer between open water and air is relatively fast.  The thickness of the ice matters to some degree, but it is much less compared to energy transfer in the absence of ice altogether. 

Consequences / Re: The Climatic Effects of a Blue Ocean Event
« on: March 20, 2021, 04:02:41 PM »
El cid sea ice volume continues to shrink. sea ice area and extent are important to controlling energy flows but do not represent the condition of Arctic ice only volume truly represents the condition of Arctic ice. Area and extent are to affected by wind and timing to demonstrate sea ice conditions.

Extent and area represents the a arctic just as well.  Regarding energy flow, it is more important as an ice-covered Arctic inhibit energy flow in both directions.  Any weather influences, based on open water, is unaffected by the depth of the ice, only the spread.

Consequences / Re: The Climatic Effects of a Blue Ocean Event
« on: March 19, 2021, 02:05:55 PM »
My point was (as we are discussing the climatic effects of BOE in this thread) that just because we lose most of the Arcic Ice (=BOE) no runaway processes develop. I think the above research supports that. BOE does not CAUSE a sort of climatic collapse.

But that is looking at geologic long time. And as remarked before none of them represent a BOE scenario.

The first two are about an interesting ice age pattern mostly focusing on the worst case that occurred there which merely illustrates changes quite a bit bigger then we see so far can happen.

The third you can take as a sort of max cap for expected temperatures BUT the caveats are that this was a northern hemisphere pattern and it arrived slowly.

Looking at the short term.

When do we expect that BOE?
Depends on who you ask. End of this decade or early 30ies according to many scientists in the field. I think it might well be earlier this decade but we will see.

Another question is what it will look like. I think that big areas of open water will allow storms to mix up heat from below thus creating areas which will resist refreeze for a long while (or in the worst case all through winter). This will mean that the hole will be back the next year and it will be relatively quick.

So what happens then?
If the polar seas are not covered by ice in summer they will warm up a lot.

The first years will probably see the polar vortex disrupted with a warming hole near it. Then there will be none when enough ice fails. Or it will be in a different location(s).

There will be accelerated Greenland melt and the melt water from that can change the local circulation. Not sure what to expect on the global scale but i would not expect things to stay the same.

Many other scientists in the field say it will not occur until the 50s. 

The sea will warm up rapidly until the autumnal equinox.  Then they commence cooling rapidly, as there is no ice cover to retain the heat.  The major question is which process dominates, if any. 

A BOE will have little effect on Greenland.  Changes occurring on the island have already started, and a BOE will not change them any.

Presenting one side of an argument does not tell the whole story.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Latest PIOMAS update (March, mid-monthly update)
« on: March 18, 2021, 07:28:19 PM »
What is intrigue with the volume anomaly graph is that 19 out of 20 years over the past two decades show a fairly even anomaly from Jan. through May.  2021 was the exception, starting with a higher anomaly in Jan. and decreasing significantly until March.  Any thoughts?

Arctic sea ice / Re: Casual 2021 melting season predictions
« on: March 18, 2021, 06:43:11 PM »
Now that the melting season has officially begun (if I jinxed it, sorry), I will make my completely unprofessional WAG as to this seasons minimum:  4.0 million sq. km.  I am going for a nice round number, which is higher than last year, but lower than the preceding seven.

As the cost of solar, wind and batteries continue to fall, more US utilities announce coal plant retirements or move retirement dates that were previously in the 2030s or 2040s into the 2020s.  The chief impediment to retiring coal plants now is that there isn't enough wind or solar built yet.

I'm guessing that the agencies expecting coal use to grow, or even plateau, haven't taken those factors into account.  They usually ignore what has happened in the energy markets in the previous few years until the trends are overwhelmingly obvious, and then they still make forecasts favorable to the obsolete technologies.

That is not the reason.  The link does not report that far into the future.  Hence, coal is expected to grow this year (and next) because no alternative is currently available.  As you state, there is not currently enough.

That is a nice summary.  I wonder how recent snow melt compares to earlier years.  I am not surprised that levels have not returned to the cold times of the 1970s.

Arctic background / Re: Arctic evolution
« on: March 18, 2021, 06:29:47 PM »
Small wings isn't the biggest problem. What muscles is he going to use to flap them? And that's why angels can't be real either... It has always bothered me. Glad I got that out of my system... 

Angels only have wings in our artistic impressions of them.  Ancient writings never describe them with wings.

Arctic background / Re: Arctic evolution
« on: March 18, 2021, 06:28:33 PM »
Something I've always wondered about is why evolution hasn't given us real flying fish. Why has no fish taken to the sky yet?

Maybe it is not the wing issue.  Perhaps it is the whole breathing oxygen with lungs rather than sequestering it through gills.

Science / Re: Where are we now in CO2e , which pathway are we on?
« on: March 18, 2021, 01:51:21 PM »
Many nations have adopted net zero goals that range from 2050 to 2060.  So emissions related to fossil fuel production will be dropping quickly in the next decade.
I wish I could share your optimism, especially the derivation of sentence B from sentence A.

Sentence B demands on how quickly sentence A is implemented.  Perhaps adding an "s" to decade would make the logical equation a tad truer.

The year-on-year increase appears to be partial due to reduced demand during the pandemic, but also to the cold snap this winter.

"recent extreme cold weather in much of the country contributed to an increase in coal use for power generation."

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