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Messages - The Walrus

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1
Consequences / Re: Drought 2021
« on: April 16, 2021, 08:54:53 PM »
Yes, you could almost draw a line extending from the western Minnesota border down to Louisiana between wet and dry.

2
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 16, 2021, 04:00:29 PM »
Worldometers now posts exactly the statistics I've been posting for the last 2 months: Cases in the last 7 days compared to cases in the previous 7 days and the % change (and the same for deaths). Maybe the folks from Worldometers are reading this thread  ;D . So thanks guys, this saves me quite some time...

Way to go zufall.  I will give you credit, even if woldometer does not.

3
The politics / Re: The Alt Right
« on: April 16, 2021, 03:56:44 PM »
People With Extremist Views Less Able to Do Complex Mental Tasks, Research Suggests

Does this include the typical super-woke liberal idiot? Not strictly alt-right to find people with poor cognitive disposition and ideological dogmatic beliefs.

Umm, if they are typical, they are not extreme....
But of course, people with poor cognitive disposition and ideological dogmatic beliefs are not confined to the extreme right, and nobody said so.

By definition, anyone who is typical is not extreme.  Everyone has some cognitive bias.  Those on the extreme, simply cannot accept anything that conflicts remotely with their preconceived notions or ideals.  The cognitive conflict causes them to snap, and try to restore order (in their own mind).

4
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2021 melting season
« on: April 16, 2021, 03:49:55 PM »
When I see a temperature anomaly map I feel like I have to know what the temperatures are to get a sense of what is happening.
I'm the same way. I do like the anomaly map since it shows how "out of whack" things may be - but it doesn't really tell you much about the actual effect it's having unless you also have the temperature map to go with it. I also always check the min & max.

Same here.  Select areas tend to have rather wide temperature swings during the equinoxes. 
For example, the high temperature in mid-April in Barrow can range from -12 to 29F (-24 to -2C), and the low can range from -24 to 21F (-31 to -6C).  With an average range of about 24C (+/- 12C), a forecast anomaly of +8C, based on the previous image reposted from climate reanalyzer, is not out of the ordinary.   

Looking at the anomaly map, there appears (to my eye) to be similar areas experiencing above and below average temperatures.

5
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 15, 2021, 05:51:47 PM »

Rising infections have also put strain on the healthcare system in Manila and Bangkok.

--------------------------------------------------

--------------------------------------------------

In Spain, a Fourth Wave of COVID-19 is Taking Hold
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/4/15/in-spain-a-fourth-wave-of-covid-19-is-taking-hold

A fourth wave of coronavirus infections appears to be emerging in Spain, where case numbers have risen to their highest levels since late February.

Spain’s Health Ministry reported 10,474 new infections on Wednesday, bringing the overall tally to 3.39 million in one of Europe’s hardest-hit countries.

The rise in cases also coincided with an uptick in Spain’s death toll, which climbed by 131 on Wednesday to 76,756 overall, according to the health ministry’s figures.

In the central region of Madrid, which houses Spain’s capital, the 14-day cumulative case rate now stands at 347 per 100,000 people, according to El Pais.

-------------------------------------------------------

New Coronavirus Cases are Rising In Half the Country
https://www.axios.com/coronavirus-cases-infections-vaccines-variants-e3e14f79-7fe4-4bbe-a6ca-8ef2c3cd0940.html



The number of new coronavirus infections in the U.S continues to rise, making a quick, clean end to the pandemic less and less likely.

Much of the U.S. is relying almost exclusively on vaccines to control the virus, abandoning social distancing and other safety measures. And that’s helping the virus to steadily gain ground even as vaccinations barrel ahead.

The U.S. averaged roughly 71,000 new cases per day over the past week. That’s about a 9% jump over the daily average from the week before.

Why it matters: Another surge in cases is likely to be a lot less deadly than previous waves, because so many vulnerable Americans have been vaccinated. But it will provide fertile conditions for the virus to continue mutating into new variants, keeping the coronavirus in our lives even longer.

Whether a fourth waves emerges in Spain or not is yet to be determined.  While cases have increased over the past month, the weekly totals are still more than 70% below the third wave peak. 

Regarding the U.S., that appears to be a glass half empty comment.  One could state the converse that cases are not rising in half the country.  The weekly increase was a mere 9%, which is not much considering that it is below one standard deviation from the mean, and occurred after the Easter holiday.

Overall, I am not much concerned with these small deviations.  When they become a larger trend, then my antennae start to rise.

6
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 14, 2021, 02:52:37 AM »
I'm outta here. folks.

Cheerio Thomas.

It is funny how often people leave a discussion just as the evidence begins to overwhelm their point of view.

When people think the IFR is very low compared to the facts. It is shown that even if countries have 100% of the population have had Covid the IFR from recorded deaths (unestimated usually) is still higher than their low number.... and I seriously doubt enough people have had Covid twice to skew those estimates.

And now we have the Brazil variant hitting under 39 year olds, the argument of it only affects old and unhealthy people is being pushed aside as well.

And then these people leave rather than acknowledge there is a problem with their thinking... and I would bet they leave thinking they have "won".

Actually, I think he is leaving for a different reason.  In this case, the overwhelming evidence supports his view, including publications from the CDC and WHO (and a post from neven).  I think he is leaving, because he is tired or arguing with posters who are stuck in their own beliefs, and refuse to see beyond their own noses.  Not to mention those that have thrown in a few ad hominem attacks.  It is clear to see what has been happening.

7
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 14, 2021, 12:13:48 AM »
From worldometer...

In the United States, the seven day moving average for daily new cases continues to rise from the low of 55,556 achieved on March 16. The moving average is now 69,926.

The seven day moving average for daily deaths continues to decline and now sits at 747 although the rate of decline has slowed.

There are now 576,298 confirmed deaths from COVID. If the true IFR is 0.15%, then 384 million Americans have been infected. Quite amazing given our population is 328 million.

You math is a little off.  You need to subdivide the population by its individual IFR as determined by the CDC.  Using the worldometer stats of 32 millions cases in the U.S., that is an infection rate of just under 10%.  Using a 10% infection rate for all age brackets and the CDC IFR values for the corresponding age brackets, the following table can be calculated:

Age          Population         Infected          IFR           Deaths
  0-17          88.5 M             8.85 M          .002%           177
18-49         134.5 M           13.45 M         .17%         22,865
50-64           62.5 M             6.25 M         .6%          37,500
65+             42.8 M             4.28 M         9%          385,200

TOTAL        328.3 M           32.83 M                        445,742

This is lower than the worldometer reported total of 576,298.  However, that number is assuming that the 10% infection rate is accurate and that all cases have been accounted for.  All it would take is an actual infection rate of 13%, for the calculated deaths from the IFR values to match the worldometer numbers.   When you assume that the IFR is constant throughout all age brackets, you can get some rather funny results.

8
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 13, 2021, 12:46:46 PM »
Jim, that may help solve some of the confusion between Thomas' posts and the ensuing attacks.  The Ioannidis paper is attempting to determine the IFR (infection fatality ratio), while many poster are conflating that with the CFR (case fatality ratio).  The IFR estimates the total number in a population that is infection, while the CFR uses confirmed cases.  The other issue is that the IFR for COVID varies dramatically with age, such that calculating a single IFR value for an entire population can be highly debatable.  It is more variable than calculating a single value for the climate sensitivity.

https://www.who.int/news-room/commentaries/detail/estimating-mortality-from-covid-19

9
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 13, 2021, 12:34:00 AM »
Well said Neven.

10
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 12, 2021, 08:23:59 PM »
A group of microbiologists and epidemiologists from New Zealand appear to agree with an IFR of ~0.23%

https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m3883/rr

The CDC lists their best estimate of the IFR per age group:

  0-17:  0.002%
18-49:  0.17%
50-64:  0.6%
   65+:  9.0%

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/planning-scenarios.html

For comparison, the CDC lists the IFR for influenza (2018) per age group:

  0-17:  0.001%
18-49:  0.002%
50-64:  0.011%
   65+:  0.1%

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/2017-2018.htm

COVID is 90x more deadly than the flu for the elderly (over 65), but only about twice as deadly for children.

11
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 12, 2021, 02:03:43 PM »
John Ioannidis is to Medical science the same thing John Christy is to Climate Science. A charlatan with credentials cherry-picking the science to advance their lies. His lies were cruel but perfectly in line with the message people like Elon Musk were trying to jam through the masses.

That message was as clear then as it is now. Old people and sick people shouldn't count.
.
Millions of people died unnecessary deaths because of the lies of John Ionaddis.

Of course, that's baby genocide relative to the climate genocide liars like John Christy will cause.

The power of the word.

Ah yes, the old sGoebbels propaganda technique.  You do not like his result, so you try to defame the writer himself, and do so repeatedly.  Other agencies have reported similar results. 

https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2020/coronavirus-deaths-older-adults.html

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33289900/

This last publication show a strong correlation between the IFR in a particular country and the average age of its population, and states, "the overall IFR for COVID-19 should not be viewed as a fixed parameter but as intrinsically linked to the age-specific pattern of infections."  Indeed, for an individual in the median age bracket, the IFR appears to be about 0.2 or less.

12
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 11, 2021, 08:45:31 PM »
I'll take the...W.H.O. (0.23% - Ioannides - https://www.who.int/bulletin/online_first/BLT.20.265892.pdf) over those guys.

The U.S. has had 575,612 confirmed COVID deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. Excess mortality suggests this is an undercount of around 80,000 but let's assume every COVID death has been properly attributed.

An IFR of 0.23% would mean that 250 million Americans have contracted COVID, 76% of 328 million Americans. This is quite simply not the case.

The study is flawed.

The study is not flawed at all.  However, your reading of said study appears to be.  First, the study determined the IFR for people under 70 years of age.  The reduces the death in the U.S. by ~75%.  Secondly, the study was a global average, and not restricted to the U.S.  Many other countries have lower IFRs than the U.S. 

13
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2021 melting season
« on: April 11, 2021, 07:21:37 PM »
A negative AO winter tends to favour ice thickness due to compaction in the Siberian regions especially. A positive AO tends to favour more ice thickness along the CAA but thinner ice elsewhere and that was certainly the case last year.

Are these claims based on research or intuition? And if the former, do you have any links to relevant papers?

Just going on basic meteorology gy really, negative AOs bring more high pressure into play and this helps winds head towards the siberian regions hence a build up of compaction here whilst positives AO does the opposite.

So you are just guessing based on intuition. You have no evidence that negative AO causes high pressure to form in such a way that it causes compaction against the Siberian coast.

Unfounded guesswork should be indicated as such by the author.

Does not appear to be guesswork.

https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-variability-arctic-oscillation

14
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 11, 2021, 01:45:34 PM »
Draconian means over the top... basically.

And it interests me that you find reducing economic activity, mask-wearing, and testing and tracing for short periods of time as draconian compared to the hundreds of thousands of deaths such measures would have prevented if such measures had been taken.

I do not find those measures draconian.  In fact, those measures were taken early on during the pandemic, and may have saved hundreds of thousands of lives (who knows how many would have died, if we let this virus run rampant).  No, the draconian measures to which I referred, were those taken in Wuhan, China.  Read what I wrote previously, "shut everything down, lock people in their homes, and wait this out."  Those measures would be considered draconian, and would be unacceptable in the Western world.

15
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 10, 2021, 11:55:18 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.

I disagree.  On 9/11, the US shut down all air travel for days, just because two NYC buildings collapsed.  Schools and workplaces shut down.

So why is it that in this same United States, that individual schools couldn't be shut down for 48 hours in the confirmed presence of a lethal microbe?

Shoot, we *already* do this for heavy snowfalls.  Of course the S. Korea model is workable here.

You obviously are unaware of what occurred last year.  Schools closed.  Those that reopened, did so remotely.  This occurred from elementary through the university level.  Everything was virtual, including graduation.  Some closed again this fall and winter.  It was not just schools, but businesses and services shut down also, and some have still not reopened.

16
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. 

17
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.

18
The politics / Re: Supreme Court
« on: April 10, 2021, 04:46:05 AM »
I agree.  This would set a very bad precedent.

19
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).
https://www.nps.gov/articles/dena-muldrow.htm

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

20
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. 

21
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.

https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/news/us-drought-monitor-update-august-6-2019

22
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 09, 2021, 04:20:11 PM »
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries

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%).

23
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.

24
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. 

25
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

26
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.

27
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.

28
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.

29
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?

30
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.

31
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%?

32
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.

33
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.


34
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.

35
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.

https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/international-agricultural-productivity/


36
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.

37
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 06, 2021, 03:06:53 PM »
Rodius,

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 direction....to 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."

https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/03/1087712

38
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

U.S.
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.

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

Czechia:
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.

39
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? 

41
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.

42
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.

43
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.

44
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.


45
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.

46
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 27, 2021, 08:45:28 PM »
Well said Archimid.

47
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.

48
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. 

49
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.

50
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%.

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