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Messages - kassy

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Science / Re: Carbon Cycle
« on: August 14, 2020, 05:42:32 PM »
“Rapid deep ocean deoxygenation and acidification threaten life on Northeast Pacific seamounts. “
“Anthropogenic climate change is causing our oceans to lose oxygen and become more acidic at an unprecedented rate, threatening marine ecosystems and their associated animals. In deep‐sea environments, where conditions have typically changed over geological time scales, the associated animals, adapted to these stable conditions, are expected to be highly vulnerable to any change or direct human impact. Our study coalesces one of the longest deep‐sea observational oceanographic timeseries, reaching back to the 1960s, with a modern visual survey that characterizes almost two vertical‐kilometers of benthic seamount ecosystems. Based on our new and rigorous analysis of the Line P oceanographic monitoring data, the upper 3000 m of the Northeast Pacific has lost 15% of its oxygen in the last 60 years. Over that time, the oxygen minimum zone (OMZ), ranging between approximately 480 and 1700 m has expanded at a rate of 3.0±0.7 m/year (due to deepening at the bottom). Additionally, carbonate saturation horizons above the OMZ have been shoaling at a rate of 1‐2 m/year since the 1980s. Based on our visual surveys of four Northeast Pacific seamounts, these deep‐sea features support ecologically important taxa typified by long lifespans, slow growth rates, and limited mobility, including habitat‐forming cold‐water corals and sponges, echinoderms, and fish. By examining the changing conditions within the narrow realized bathymetric niches for a subset of vulnerable populations, we resolve chemical trends that are rapid in comparison to the lifespan of the taxa and detrimental to their survival. If these trends continue as they have over the last 3‐6 decades, they threaten to diminish regional seamount ecosystem diversity and cause local extinctions. This study highlights the importance of mitigating direct human impacts as species continue to suffer environmental changes beyond our immediate control.”

One more time for emphasis.” The upper three thousand meters of the Northeastern Pacific has lost 15% of it’s oxygen in the last sixty years. “

Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: August 14, 2020, 06:16:13 AM »
Kassy: A significant portion of uranium is unused during the first pass through a reactor. This fuel can be reprocessed and reused. The major advantage of this is the elements with the longest half lives are removed leaving elements with half lives in the hundreds of years instead of thousands. The French are the only ones who currently do this. There is enough spent fuel to supply current reactors for their expected lifetime. Reprocessing fuel is a weapons proliferation concern. Thoriums major advantage is the reaction is hard to make self sustaining. Mechanical failures will lead to the reaction shutting down.

It may be cheaper than other reactors but costs are more speculative than nailed down. In July the only US nuclear plant under construction announced another billion in cost overruns. This happened even though costs were already several billion more than originally budgeted for. They also had to redo the completion schedule. Outside analysts suggest this new schedule is unlikely to be met. Missing the fuel loading deadline would require permitting changes that are far from automatic. Originally they were supposed to be in operation in the spring of 2016 and 2017.  Pulling out now would mean a multi billion dollar loss and local ratepayers will get hosed either way. I know this was not a thorium reactor but the billions of dollars in cost overruns are not related to the type of nuclear reactor. They had political and financial support from both the Obama administration and Trump with multi billion dollar loan guarantees from the US government designed in an attempt to revive the nuclear industry. After Fukoshima? and the extreme failure of the Vogtle reactors other US utilities have shelved their nuclear plans. Suggesting a U.S. utility build any nuclear reactors would likely but shut down at the first sentence. A thorium design would being different from what is currently being used would be an even harder sell.

last four completed US reactors.
2 in 1990
1 in 1993
1 in 2016

Arctic sea ice / Re: Freeform season chatter and light commentary
« on: August 14, 2020, 12:10:41 AM »
What an eventful day in barrow!! Two (2) unique spottings. Hopefully everyone is gearing up for the socially distant harvest festival and will do up to 15 shots of cognac each and then burn a scare crow to emulate the Swedish midsummer festivals.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Home brew AMSR2 extent & area calculation
« on: August 13, 2020, 10:52:36 PM »
Imagej can provide sorted palette capture from the geoTiff example of the new AMSR2 ice concentration file Lars supplied above, using Image -> Color -> Edit LUT.

That palette and its inverse are shown 3x enlarged as gapped and ungapped images. There are 100 colors for the 100 concentration percentages plus 1 for the land mask and 1 for the pole hole lacking satellite data.

The palette is quite pleasant but it's difficult for the eye to distinguish nearby color squares. Perhaps 20 colors would have sufficed in 5% blocks. It would require digging into the raw and processed satellite data to determine whether the instrument really could make such fine distinctions. A ramped palette might also work better.

Here various statistical properties of the data needs to be studied, not only the global palette use histogram (see uniq's data above) but also local variation (do the values vary wildly from the local mean in a 5x5 pixel block or tend to be related?).

That is easy to test in gimp via eyedropper radius settings. Most likely the local variance is minimal in the central CAB but varies a lot towards the edges or over isolated floes so an overlay map of the distribution is needed.

A palette is normally embedded into the image, over land or unused open water, often here probably best as a 10x100 rectangle. Once embedded, shift-clicking on a range allows a palette color or whole range to have its color changed throughout the data.

The gif below lumps rows of the palette into different colors. It shows that much of the palette is hardly used except in the actively melting periphery. Cloud minimization will be very important here to develop accurate images.

Rescaling to a smaller size is very problematic because it cannot be done without dithering of colors. The palette as it comes from ImageJ consists of 10x10 pixel squares so could be halved using 'none' as the interpolation method. However the data layer would dither unless forced to stay within its indexed color palette.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: August 13, 2020, 05:44:28 AM »
I have been following with interest the patch of persistent ice in the Kara sea next to Severnaya Zemlya. Intuitively it should have melted a while ago, with the Laptev cleared out and the rest of the Kara too. However it appears that the ice was quite thick, had a lot of cloudy days at the edge of the GAAC, and did not move around much. I would guess that the ice was originally pressured against the islands and strengthened in the process. In addition it is plausible that runoff from the SZ ice caps is making the water fresher and helps protect the sea ice. Nevertheless, my feeling that it's not melting is not substantiated by the reality - it turns out that it's shrinking steadily and has become quite mobile. Another two weeks should see its final demise, before the annual minimum.

The animation begins in early July but skips many cloud-covered images. The AMSR2 animation covers the same period. Click.

The forum / Re: Arctic Sea Ice Forum Humor
« on: August 13, 2020, 05:02:22 AM »
Whatever happened to Covid jokes?
Here is a Japanese mask joke from 2010:

Quoting ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ Judge Strikes Down Trump Administration Rollback of Historic Law Protecting Birds

A federal judge in New York has invalidated rule changes by the Trump administration that allowed individuals and corporations to kill scores of birds as long as they could prove they did not intentionally set out to do so.

In a blistering ruling that cited Harper Lee’s “To Kill A Mockingbird”, U.S. District Judge Valerie E. Caproni ripped the administration’s interpretation of “takings” and “killings” of birds under the century-old Migratory Bird Treaty Act as applying only if the animals are specifically targeted.

... “It is not only a sin to kill a mockingbird, it is also a crime,” Caproni wrote. “That has been the letter of the law for the past century. But if the Department of the Interior has its way, many mockingbirds and other migratory birds that delight people and support ecosystems throughout the country will be killed without legal consequence.”

... Tuesday’s ruling was the latest legal setback for the Trump administration as it has systematically tried to weaken or nullify scores of federal environmental protections. In her decision, Caproni said the administration had gone too far.

The changes made by the Trump administration largely benefited oil companies, which have paid most of the fines for violating the act, according to an analysis by the National Audubon Society.

In the administration’s view, even BP, the company responsible for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that led to the deaths of an estimated 1 million birds, would not be liable for punishment under the law.

... The 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act was enacted after several species of common birds became extinct. The administration’s action reversed decades of efforts by Republican and Democratic administrations to protect the animals as they navigate the globe. The law covers such disparate birds as eagles, red knots, Canada geese and vultures.

Consequences / Re: Global Dimming - The aerosol masking effect
« on: August 12, 2020, 11:00:26 PM »
... Why would you use model reanalysis numbers to base the discussion on when real world physical temperature measurements are available (if you can wait a few days for the collation for monthly figures to be published)?

You obviously want to use data of the highest quality in different respects. Satellite data are considered to be higher quality than 'physical' data.

First, because you cover the entire globe in a more or less equally weighted grid. Physical data is only measured at certain spots, often near populated areas. We have very good coverage where many people live, but very little coverage where no people live. SH has e.g. very few measuring points compared to NH. Oceans in SH have very few points.

Secondly, also physical data has issues. Measuring points are moved. The urban heat island is a persistent issue that is not easily resolved. Measuring points are influenced by urban crawl.

Thirdly, if you want to track aerosol masking effects, the more relevant data are those that relate to the amount of heat energy in the atmosphere, i.e. sat data.

All reanalyses are built to a higher or lesser degree on sat data.

As regards the quality issue with NCEP it seems to be a model related temporary problem. Moyhu writes: "Although I noted doubts about NCEP/NCAR's recent results, the pattern of anomalies was qualitatively similar to that of TempLS."

You can check for yourself that this was a temporary issue on the page provided by Karsten Hausten,
If you scroll to the very bottom of that page, you can compare the monthly means (CFSR-GFS, NCEP reanalysis, GISS temperature). You can follow the issues with NCEP , they are clearly noticeable since April of 2020.

And, finally, to come back on topic, there is still no signal at all to be seen from the diminished aerosols due to corona lockdowns. My conclusion is that there might be such signals on a regional level, but we will have to wait for the researchers to dig it out.

Moyhu btw provides a really nice zoomable trackball Earth temperature presentation, built on a mix of physical data and sat data:

Example: If you zoom in on China you would expect to be able to see some lockdown effect on temperatures in e.g. April and May this year, but April was actually a cold month in China. May was warm, but not exceptionally so.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: August 12, 2020, 01:55:31 AM »
Neven, we know, you didn’t need to go there. Most elderly over 80 or 85 are alive because of the bag of pills. Don’t be insensitive, please.

Seriously, this thread is starting to make me sick reading, and several people here need to review their hearts because something is broken in them.

You are argue from the point of view of how bad the virus is or isn't, but to be so blatantly uncaring is just outright wrong. Is it really surprising that the West has created climate change and allows environmental destruction to happen when we cant even care about people who need help in our own backyard?

Well, look at the profile of the victims. The old, the sick, the obese. If you are kept alive by a "bag of pills" you are somehow not worthy of life. Since they aren't worthy of life, they shouldn't be counted, thus the IFR is less than 0.1%.

You guys breeze past the point I'm trying to make, twisting my words along the way to safely put me into the cultivated enemy category of the populist, covidiot, dumb, stupid, conspiracy theorist, nazi, anti-vaxxer, Trump-voting 'unwashed masses'. I know that is stimulated by the media and authoritarian bullies on social media, but in this case it's unfair, and highly irrational to boot.

My point wasn't at all that old people deserve to die, that it doesn't matter, that they have it coming to them, that old people shouldn't be given pills, etc.

My point is - and I've tried to make it repeatedly in the Lessons thread - that when you have a system that for decades makes people unhealthy and sick (for profit), to then prop them up with all kinds of medications (for profit), you basically have a house of cards that apparently tumbles down when a minor, novel virus comes along.

So, the question is: Is that virus the great culprit, or is it the house of cards?

If it's the former, do you solve that by trying to make the house of cards stronger (via even more meds/vaccines)? Or do you dismantle the house of cards and learn from this experience to make society more resilient to this kind of crisis, and changing the system so that people's health isn't compromised by profit?

I think everyone would agree that the answer is 'both', with emphasis on the latter.

The problem is that the latter gets zero attention, and everything is about the virus, the virus, the virus. And that's because the system is already finding ways to profit from the crisis, which explains the inordinate amount of media attention and the fact that TPTB are fully on board.

The problem with that is that it leads to totalitarianism, killing any hope left that something like the direst consequences of AGW be averted.

Don't you see this? This hysterical response to a minor virus can lead to nothing good. All sense of proportion and rationality is lost.


I'm posting something in the Lessons thread that explains why this leads to totalitarianism. The bullies of the techno-meritocratic superiority complex fanclub are not going to like it (Martin Gisser, Blumi, Arch).

Science / Re: The Father Of Global Warming?
« on: August 10, 2020, 07:39:13 PM »
I think that the idea behind a title like, "the father of global warming" is that a paper has to include the anthropogenic effects of adding carbon dioxide to atmosphere.  A lot of the papers sited above from the 1850s are dealing with the temperature effects of increasing pressure and determining which gases in the atmosphere are greenhouse gases, but don't look into the impact of burning coal (too early for oil and natural gas at that time). Arrhenius  is usually credited with that idea in the 1890s.  (Thanks for the info on Högbom Kassy, I didn't realize that Arrhenius had help with his paper).

After Arrhenius and Högbom in the 1890s, there was back and forth as to whether carbon dioxide would be saturated after a low initial amount and not lead to additional warming, and whether the oceans would absorb the extra carbon dioxide so it would accumulate in the atmosphere.  Revelle and Keeling answered the question about the oceans and the accumulation in the atmosphere in the late 1950s.  Gilbert Plass addressed the saturation of absorption bands in 1955.

The Carbon Dioxide Theory of Climatic  Change
 By GlLBERT N. PLASS The Johns Hopkins  University, Baltimore,  Md.
(Manuscript received  August g 1955)
The most  recent  calculations of the infra-red flux in the  region of the 15 micron CO2 band show that the average surface temperature of the earth increases 3.6” C if  the C02 concentration in the atmosphere is  doubled  and decreases 3.8’ C if  the CO2 amount is halved,  provided  that no other factors  change  which  influence the radiation  balance. Variations in CO2 amount of this magnitude must have occurred during geological history; the resulting temperature changes were sufficiently large to influence the climate. The CO2 balance is discussed. The CO equilibrium between   atmosphere   and  oceans is calculated with and without CaCO3  equilibrium, assuming  that  the  average temperature changes with the CO2 concentration by  the amount predicted by the CO2 theory. When the total CO2 is  reduced below a critical value, it is found that the climate continuously oscillates between a glacial and an inter-glacial stage with a period of tens of thousands of years; there is  no possible stable state for the climate. Simple explanations are provided by the CO2 theory for the increased precipitation at the  onset of a glacial period, the time lag of millions of years between  periods of mountain building  and  the ensuing glaciation, and the severe glaciation at the end of the Carboniferous. The extra CO2 released into the atmosphere by  industrial processes and other  human activities may have caused the temperature rise during  the present  century. In contrast with other  theories of climate,  the CO2 theory predicts that  this warming trend  will continue, at least for several centuries.

I would argue that the title should go to Plass.

Science / Re: The Father Of Global Warming?
« on: August 10, 2020, 05:07:59 AM »
Father Mother.
 Eunice Foote at "the 1856 AAAS annual meeting in Albany, New York."
"Prof. Henry then read a paper by Mrs. Eunice Foote, prefacing it with a few words, to the effect that science was of no country and of no sex. The sphere of woman embraces not only the beautiful and the useful, but the true. Mrs. Foote had determined, first, that the action of the rays increases with the density of the air. She has taken two glass cylinders of the same size, containing thermometers. Into one the air was condensed, and from the other air was exhausted. When they were of the same temperature the cylinders were placed side by side in the sun, and the thermometers in the condensed air rose more than twenty degrees higher than those in the rarified air. This effect of rarefaction must contribute to produce the feebleness of heating power in the sun's rays on the summits of lofty mountains. Secondly, the effect of the sun's rays is greater in moist than in dry air. In one cylinder the air was saturated with moisture, in the other dried with chloride of lime; both were placed in the sun, and a difference of about twelve degrees was observed. This high temperature of sunshine in moist air is frequently noticed; for instance, in the intervals between summer showers. The isothermal lines on the earth's surface are doubtless affected by the moisture of the air giving power to the sun, as well as by the temperature of the ocean yielding the moisture. Thirdly, a high effect of the sun's rays is produced in carbonic acid gas. One receiver being filled with carbonic acid, the other with common air, the temperature of the gas in the sun was raised twenty degrees above that of the air. The receiver containing the gas became very sensibly hotter than the other, and was much longer in cooling. An atmosphere of that gas would give to our earth a much higher temperature; and if there once was, as some suppose, a larger proportion of that gas in the air, an increased temperature must have accompanied it, both from the nature of the gas and the increased density of the atmosphere..."[/s]
Thanks for finding  this gem go to Eli Rabett.
Barry at SK SC.

"If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants."
Letter from Sir Isaac Newton to Robert Hooke

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: August 09, 2020, 09:33:10 PM »
This remarkable freeze/melt cycle has been unfortunate but perhaps inevitable, putting us literally in uncharted waters with regards to massive climate change impacts.

It’s easy to forget, as the post-BOE forum properly notes, that once upon a time the Barents, Baltic, Bering, Baffin. Chukchi, and Kara hosted millions of sq km of year-round ice. (And that not so long ago, 1000 m thick ice gouged the Lomonosov ridgetop.) On 08 Aug 2020, 38% of the remaining ice (the Arctic Ocean basin, was open water. Vast areas of tundra are free of reflecting snow as well. We’re already well into BOE in most respects.

What’s going on at the moment is baffling, notably between Greenland and the north pole. It’s clear we don’t really understand the current physical state of the ice. Thus even if surface weather were predictable three days out, where things will end up by mid-October still remains up in the air.

However we do have a good grip on some of the pre-conditioning events that have brought the ice to its current state:

-1- The melt season really began in the previous freeze season, even earlier. Vast areas of surprisingly thin 0.3m ice remained in the Laptev when the Polarstern moored on Oct 4th. That and a slow start to freeze-up are documented by thousands of km of ship thickness transects with no graduating SYI floes thick enough to stand on for Mosaic. (T Krumpen

-2- The TransPolar Drift over winter, as accurately imaged in Ascat time series, bore little resemblance to recent years in two key respects: months of very rapid Fram-ward displacement and extensional engagement of ice to the pole and beyond. Often the ice drift is just circumpolar.

-3- The whole icepack does not rotate CW with the TPD but rather participation is demarcated by immense  curvilinear leads, newly visualized in a dockside posting by L Kaleschke and enhanced on the Mosaic forum by directional convolution. These fracture lines, coincidentally or causally, approximately delimit the puzzling openings to the pole above Morris Jesup. A lot of MYI ice between Greenland and the pole was fractured by lead formation.

-4- Missing this year was any significant CW rotational movement of thick ice out of the western CAB. While this ice has never moved further than a half gyre in the last ten years of tracking, commonly a strip of CAB ice moves to inevitable melt in the warmer open seas of the Chukchi (which might be called internal export).

-5- Export out the Fram was robust during the TPD, pushing everything ahead of a 500 km east-west line through the initial position of the PS to oblivion in the Greenland Sea. Behind this line, newly formed Laptev ice filled the growing open water gap to shore. However, since mid-May, export out the Fram, SV-FJL gap, Bering Strait, CAA garlic press and Nares have all been inconsequential (and will remain so, too little time is left).

-6- A record heat wave off Ellesmere in mid July coupled with persistent easterly winds melted vulnerable matrix ice joining floes, enabling churning of offshore ice into residual rubble. The observed movement to the west is not unusual but it was far more narrowly restricted to the CAA coast in past events. The main CAB ice pack, being no longer attached to coastal land or ocean bottom, might be set adrift to elsewhere by persistent winds from the south. We’ve not yet seen that game-changer.

-7- The Pacific-side cyclone centered on July 27th hit like a tornado at 75º/-160º decimating the ice, on Sentinel-1 and WorldView, making clear that error-prone thickness and area/extent whole-ocean numbers don’t capture key issues such as ice mechanical strength, internal pressure or response to stress.

Both the Chukchi and slow-melting Beaufort were pre-conditioned by dispersion for flash lateral and bottom melt after the storm; note insolation today at 75º surprisingly is still 64% the strength the week centered on solstice (4th image below) but has to get through clouds and escape low angle surface reflection.

Are these independent events or somehow consequent to a single master change (such as breakdown trend of equatorial heat gradient as manifested in the jet stream)? Yes to a certain extent but this view has to be distinguished from the slot machine model put forward by Csnavywx in #4662.

That is, the multi-decadal downward trend of ice has created a set-up for which a coincidental confluence of bad weather events over a single freeze/melt cycle sequentially sum to an ice disaster. Even bland weather from here to October may suffice for a seriously below-trend outcome. Regardless of how the season turns out, as @Zlabe notes, fractional BOE has gone on all summer.

The files below expand or animate with a click. File names explain the topic addressed. I thank uniquorn for valuable discussions. Clouds are removed by setting a sequential five day AMR2 stack to 'darken only' in gimp.

The politics / Re: Elections 2020 USA
« on: August 09, 2020, 04:38:26 PM »
I neither agree or disagree, because it's silly.

Trump and Biden both serve concentrated wealth, and this inevitably leads to forms of fascism. Trump is just the ugly face of it. Replacing him with a pretty face, will change absolutely nothing.

It's all a scam and a charade.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: August 08, 2020, 08:06:20 PM »

Thanks for posting these representative charts.

It's fascinating that during spring - early summer we had a near constant airflow from Bering to Brussels. This was a consistent advection of clean, cold air from the largest ocean on earth ( the Pacific ) to the largest continent ( Eurasia ).

Now, in the late summer - early autumn, we have the complete opposite general flow of air from Brussels to Bering. Nearly all the forecast models have had a tendency for some time to build up a high pressure bridge from northern Europe to the Pacific.

Since this seasonal change of winds have only manifested itself over the past couple of years, it may be too early to give it some kind of large scale monsoon name, but nonetheless, it is about time to figure out if this pattern of seasonal wind change has come to stay for a number of years or not.

Science / Re: The Father Of Global Warming?
« on: August 08, 2020, 05:31:53 PM »
Alexander von Humboldt
(14 September 1769 – 6 May 1859) was a Prussian polymath, geographer, naturalist, explorer, and proponent of Romantic philosophy and science. ...

He was the first person to describe the phenomenon and cause of human-induced climate change, in 1800 and again in 1831, based on observations generated during his travels.
[emphasis added]

The rest / Re: Arctic Café
« on: August 07, 2020, 10:59:03 PM »
Where I was the previous couple of days. Keeping my eye on the ice situation in my neck of the woods. (I'm no photog, but here ya go anyway)

Mount Robson, from Snowbird Pass. (about 34km from where I started walking, elevation 2452 meters for a total gain of 1619 meters)

link to haphazard-ly put together panorama: Reef Icefield

Arctic sea ice / Re: Home brew AMSR2 extent & area calculation
« on: August 07, 2020, 07:56:46 PM »
Please check this out:  8)

Should be based on latest 24 hour AMSR2 swath data if the automated processing works.

This is still under development. Feedback about the data format is appreciated.


Is the colorscale fine?
Do you need NetCDF?
Does the GeoTiff projection work with your GIS as it should? I tried QGIS only.

New land mask: Danmark and Hagen Fjord north of Greenland are now visible. This is a bug in most other data products!

After some testing I will provide the reprocessed data and updates through AWI ftp site. UHH product will cease.

Science / Re: Trends in Atmospheric N2O
« on: August 06, 2020, 07:31:35 PM »
It is the fifth of the new month and so the average values of the "NOAA gases" are available.
Here is the value of N2O:

April 2020:     332.7 ppb
April 2019:     331.6 ppb
Last updated: August 05, 2020

The annual increase of 1.1 ppb is identical to March 2020.

I set an index = 100 to the average of 1980 [301.1 ppb]. April 2020 has a relative value of 110.5 compared to 1980.

Attached a graph of the development of atmospheric N2O since around 1980. Please not that prior to 2000 only two values per year exist - therefore the annual cycling is not visible in that part of the graph.
Slight exponential behaviour - please compare the values with the linear trend line.

Science / Re: Trends in Atmospheric SF6
« on: August 06, 2020, 07:24:23 PM »
It is the sixth of the new month and so the average values of the "NOAA gases" are available.
Here is the value of SF6:

April 2020:     10.20 ppt
April 2019:       9.88 ppt
Last updated: August 05, 2020

The annual increase is 0.32 ppt. It is about average of what has been observed in the last decade.

I set an index of 100 for the year 1980 [0.848 ppt]. April 2020 is at 1,202.

Attached a graph of the SF6 development. I added a linear trend line - not because I think the growth is linear, but more to show its exponential nature.

Arctic sea ice / Re: 2020 Sea ice area and extent data
« on: August 06, 2020, 05:38:40 AM »
I am surprised of how weak the Arctic sea ice looks, but at the end, the extent drops have been lower than average.
Sorry that I posted here. I thought that I was on "The 2020 melting season" thread.

[ADS NIPR VISHOP (JAXA)] Arctic Sea Ice Extent.

August 5th, 2020:
     5,502,068 km2, a drop of -52,097 km2.
     2020 is the lowest on record.
     Highlighted 2020 & the 4 years with a daily lowest min in Sept. (2012, 2019, 2016 & 2007).
     In the graph are today's 10 lowest years.

The forum / Re: Forum Decorum
« on: August 06, 2020, 02:05:28 AM »
What can I say except thankyou too much.
It is humbling to receive so much goodwill from so many.

Thankyou all again

Matt Greenwood.

Some time ago I posted regional snow extents, but the topic is kind of lost in the depth of the forum. After some minor improvements and adding two new regions in Asia I created a seperate webpage for the data. It makes it easier to analyse than several different forum posts.

On the snow-cover webpage, featuring snow maps I added the long term NOAA data since 1967. The low 200km resolution looks terrible compared to the new 24km, but the longer timespan is better to judge changes over time.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic Ocean salinity, temperature and waves
« on: August 06, 2020, 12:02:53 AM »
Delaunay triangulation of a selection of iabp buoys day90-218, ~2days/sec
will probably replace with a smaller version
Will have to check that dropout, Octave delaunay not happy with 3 buoys in a row perhaps.
Possible eddies in the Beaufort. Best viewed at 2x speed.
Only a couple of the buoys are mosaic.

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: August 05, 2020, 10:52:14 PM »
Global coal-fire power plant capacity dropped by 2.9 GW in the first half of 2020, for the first time on record!  It would've been even more, but for China.

China's new coal projects account for 90% of global total in first half - study
David Stanway

SHANGHAI, August 3 (Reuters) - China built more than half of the world’s new coal-fired power plants this year and accounted for 90% of new planned capacity, a study showed on Monday, with Beijing still commissioning new projects even as capacity worldwide declines.

Global coal-fired generation capacity saw a net decline of 2.9 gigawatts (GW) from January to June, the first drop on record for a six-month period, thanks to plant retirements in Europe and elsewhere, the U.S.-based think tank Global Energy Monitor (GEM) said in the study.

But China added 53.2 GW of capacity to its project pipeline in the first half of this year - 90% of the global total - even as the world’s second-largest economy seeks to boost its use of renewable energy as part of a broader anti-pollution drive.

China said that most of its new generation capacity would come from renewables this year but also set targets allowing another 60 GW of coal-fired projects to go into operation. It has more than 250 GW of new capacity either proposed or under construction.

But it remains unclear how much will be completed, with existing plants already facing losses as a result of overcapacity and low utilisation rates. China has issued investment warnings to 10 regions, saying returns from coal-fired power would fall below government bond yields.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: August 04, 2020, 11:23:06 PM »
There may be another contributing factor.
It's easy to forget how far clockwise the pack rotated during July. Kaleschke SIC-LEADS is the best tool I could think of to show it. jun29-jul22.
The PS originally parked, in October, a bit north of the edge of Laptev open water in a matrix too thin to stand on. As it TPD’ed, a huge swath of edge moved with it (along with the ice in front) and new ice formed behind. As the motion continued, even more new ice was formed behind in the southern Laptev.

At the beginning of July nearly all of the ice 'above' and to the ‘right’ of the Polarstern path(in blue) is FYI of varying monthly ages or SYI that was very thin in October.

Although ice thickens very fast at first, it does not mature in terms of brine pocket extrusion and thus does not gain material strength even though it might formally reach “2m” in nominal thickness.

This animation stops on July22, leaving another 13 days of drift. Is it possible that the open water north of Greenland is the edge of the first year ice from Laptev?

Unfortunately there is no buoy in a location that can verify the idea.

Found one and the answer is no.
Rotation north of Greenland during July was ~18deg. Something useful came out of it ;)
Guess I didn't have to do that in public

"Conspiracy Myths, Charlatans, Quacks"

Who defines if a topic fits one of those terms ? The moderators ? Neven ? Votes from the commentariat ?


The rest / Re: The off topic off topic thread
« on: August 04, 2020, 04:55:49 AM »
"The reliability of COVID-19 tests is uncertain due to the limited evidence base"

" The extent to which a positive PCR result correlates with the infectious state of an individual is still being determined"

That is correct. A PCR test being positive doesn't mean the patient is infectious. There are also false negatives. Has nothing to do with the message of this so-called doctor though.

So the tests used to determine the extent of restrictions and lockdowns that are affecting billions of people around the world are inaccurate and that doesn't bother you ?

Kary Mullis, who received the Nobel Prize for inventing the PCR test, said that the test was not suitable as a diagnostic tool because it does not quantify a virus load.

Kary Mullis died 7 August 2019.

Event 201
The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation hosted Event 201, a high-level pandemic exercise on October 18, 2019, in New York, NY. The exercise illustrated areas where public/private partnerships will be necessary during the response to a severe pandemic in order to diminish large-scale economic and societal consequences.

Also on October 18 2019 the opening ceremony of the World Military Games in Wuhan China

In July 2019, the citizens of Wuhan protested about the toxic air pollution that was making them sick

China tops WHO list for deadly outdoor air pollution
More than 1 million people died from dirty air in one year, according to World Health Organisation

Science / Re: Where are we now in CO2e , which pathway are we on?
« on: August 04, 2020, 12:41:45 AM »
'Worst-Case' CO2 Emissions Scenario Is Best for Assessing Climate Risk and Impacts to 2050

The RCP 8.5 CO2 emissions pathway, long considered a "worst case scenario" by the international science community, is the most appropriate for conducting assessments of climate change impacts by 2050, according to a new article published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Long dismissed as alarmist or misleading, the paper argues that is actually the closest approximation of both historical emissions and anticipated outcomes of current global climate policies, tracking within 1% of actual emissions.

"Not only are the emissions consistent with RCP 8.5 in close agreement with historical total cumulative CO2 emissions (within 1%), but RCP8.5 is also the best match out to mid-century under current and stated policies with still highly plausible levels of CO2 emissions in 2100," the authors wrote. "... Not using RCP8.5 to describe the previous 15 years assumes a level of mitigation that did not occur, thereby skewing subsequent assessments by lessening the severity of warming and associated physical climate risk."

The commentary also emphasizes that while there are signs of progress on bending the global emissions curve and that our emissions picture may change significantly by 2100, focusing on the unknowable, distant future may distort the current debate on these issues. "For purposes of informing societal decisions, shorter time horizons are highly relevant, and it is important to have scenarios which are useful on those horizons. Looking at mid-century and sooner, RCP8.5 is clearly the most useful choice," they wrote.

The article also notes that RCP 8.5 would not be significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that "we note that the usefulness of RCP 8.5 is not changed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Assuming pandemic restrictions remain in place until the end of 2020 would entail a reduction in emissions of -4.7 Gt CO2. This represents less than 1% of total cumulative CO2 emissions since 2005 for all RCPs and observations."

Christopher R. Schwalm el al., "RCP8.5 tracks cumulative CO2 emissions," PNAS (2020)


Consequences / Re: Decline in insect populations
« on: August 03, 2020, 11:10:40 PM »
Bumblebees are tough, but not invincible.

A bumblebee queen does not overwinter in the nest. They overwinter in burrows beneath leaf litter or in brush piles. They will be several cm deep, near or below the frost line in dry soil. They may use abandoned mice/vole nests. Their metabolism is so slow during winter that ventalation is usually not a problem.

In spring, a mated queen emerges from her overwintering site, searches for a spot to nest, and works alone to raise a first cohort of worker daughters. The colony grows over several months, producing successive cohorts of workers before switching to produce males and new queens. In mid‐ to late summer, newly mated queens seek sheltered sites where they overwinter.

Rinse; repeat.

Habitat determines both location.

Nectar and pollen near the colony nest
Dry, unfrozen, leaf litter for overwinter site.

Bumblebees start their year early. I've seen them at flowers early march, anytime it's above 8-10°C.

Honeybees will be out earlier because they can return to the colony and warm up. I've seen honeybees on my Snowdrops on clear sunny days in January

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: August 02, 2020, 06:05:49 AM »
AMSR2 remote sensing instrument is showing a significant increase of sea ice area in the CAB.

I am expecting NSIDC sea ice area to follow suit in the next several days (especially the Central Arctic).

A lot of the ASI still qualifies as extent, but I wonder how much time can it be that way.
I am still waiting for large extent drops, even that they are not happening right now.
The melting season has not ended yet. Still around 45 days more.

[ADS NIPR VISHOP (JAXA)] Arctic Sea Ice Extent.

August 1st, 2020:
     5,717,878 km2, a drop of -38,506 km2.

Bremen graphics cut off at 15% iirc. So all of the ice it shows is counted as extent.

Extent drops will probably pick back up to around 50-60K a day for the next 4 days. 

Then the dipole pattern establishes and the Pacific ice South of 80N will quickly vanish. Thats the best chance for some century drops

Antarctica / Re: Ice Apocalypse - MULTIPLE METERS SEA LEVEL RISE
« on: August 01, 2020, 07:53:31 PM »
The linked reference cites that increased rainfall is already accelerating permafrost degradation in Alaska; which, means it is likely already happening in Siberia; which leads to more Arctic Amplification.

Thomas A. Douglas, Merritt R. Turetsky, Charles D. Koven. Increased rainfall stimulates permafrost thaw across a variety of Interior Alaskan boreal ecosystems. npj Climate and Atmospheric Science, 2020; 3 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41612-020-0130-4

Abstract: "Earth’s high latitudes are projected to experience warmer and wetter summers in the future but ramifications for soil thermal processes and permafrost thaw are poorly understood. Here we present 2750 end of summer thaw depths representing a range of vegetation characteristics in Interior Alaska measured over a 5 year period. This included the top and third wettest summers in the 91-year record and three summers with precipitation close to mean historical values. Increased rainfall led to deeper thaw across all sites with an increase of 0.7 ± 0.1 cm of thaw per cm of additional rain. Disturbed and wetland sites were the most vulnerable to rain-induced thaw with ~1 cm of surface thaw per additional 1 cm of rain. Permafrost in tussock tundra, mixed forest, and conifer forest was less sensitive to rain-induced thaw. A simple energy budget model yields seasonal thaw values smaller than the linear regression of our measurements but provides a first-order estimate of the role of rain-driven sensible heat fluxes in high-latitude terrestrial permafrost. This study demonstrates substantial permafrost thaw from the projected increasing summer precipitation across most of the Arctic region."

Greenland and Arctic Circle / Re: Greenland 2020 Melting Season
« on: August 01, 2020, 07:16:12 PM »
Please have a look at the sad state Freya Gletscher is in at the moment.
And please check the temperature (+ 8.6°C at an altitude of 1.053 m above sea level).
Never before on an August 1st since this webcam has been installed this glacier has looked so vulnerable and damaged.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: August 01, 2020, 01:44:12 PM »
And now for the quotes that offer context and perspective, as an antidote to the dismal, manipulative and fear-mongering reporting by mainstream media (links can be found on the page itself):

1. According to the latest immunological studies, the overall lethality of Covid-19 (IFR) is about 0.1% to 0.3% and thus in the range of a severe influenza (flu).

5. Up to 80% of all test-positive persons remain symptom-free. Even among 70-79 year olds, about 60% remain symptom-free. About 95% of all people develop at most moderate symptoms.

6. Up to 60% of all persons may already have a certain cellular background immunity to the new coronavirus due to contact with previous coronaviruses (i.e. cold viruses). The initial assumption that there was no immunity against the new coronavirus was not correct.

7. The median age of the deceased in most countries (including Italy) is over 80 years (e.g. 86 years in Sweden) and only about 4% of the deceased had no serious preconditions. The age and risk profile of deaths thus essentially corresponds to normal mortality.

8. In many countries, up to two thirds of all extra deaths occurred in nursing homes, which do not benefit from a general lockdown. Moreover, in many cases it is not clear whether these people really died from Covid-19 or from weeks of extreme stress and isolation.

9. Up to 30% of all additional deaths may have been caused not by Covid-19, but by the effects of the lockdown, panic and fear. For example, the treatment of heart attacks and strokes decreased by up to 60% because many patients no longer dared to go to hospital.

10. Even in so-called “Covid-19 deaths” it is often not clear whether they died from or with coronavirus (i.e. from underlying diseases) or if they were counted as “presumed cases” and not tested at all. However, official figures usually do not reflect this distinction.

14. In countries such as Italy and Spain, and to some extent the UK and the US, hospital overloads due to strong flu waves are not unusual. Moreover, this year up to 15% of health care workers were put into quarantine, even if they developed no symptoms.

15. The often shown exponential curves of “corona cases” are misleading, as the number of tests also increased exponentially. In most countries, the ratio of positive tests to tests overall (i.e. the positivity rate) remained constant at 5% to 20% or increased only slightly. In many countries, the peak of the spread was already reached well before the lockdown.

16. Countries without lockdowns, such as Japan, South Korea, Belarus and Sweden, have not experienced a more negative course of events than many other countries. Sweden was even praised by the WHO and now benefits from higher immunity compared to lockdown countries. 75% of Swedish deaths happened in nursing facilities that weren’t protected fast enough.

17. The fear of a shortage of ventilators was unjustified. According to lung specialists, the invasive ventilation (intubation) of Covid-19 patients, which is partly done out of fear of spreading the virus, is in fact often counterproductive and damaging to the lungs.

19. There is still little to no scientific evidence for the effectiveness of cloth face masks in healthy and asymptomatic individuals. Experts warn that such masks may interfere with normal breathing and may become “germ carriers” if used repeatedly.

24. At no time was there a medical reason for the closure of schools, as the risk of disease and transmission in children is extremely low. There is also no medical reason for small classes, masks or ‘social distancing’ rules in schools.

28. The number of people suffering from unemployment, depression and domestic violence as a result of the measures has reached historic record levels. Several experts predict that the measures will claim far more lives than the virus itself. According to the UN 1.6 billion people around the world are at immediate risk of losing their livelihood.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: August 01, 2020, 10:05:47 AM »
In physical reality, what matters most is thickness distribution (and volume), then area, then extent. If the ice is driven in a compacting transport, extent will plummet with not much physical impact, while the reverse is also true under a divergence regime. What we can see unfortunately with the satellites and models is the opposite, extent in high accuracy, area in medium accuracy, thickness distribution and volume with low accuracy and delays.
This allows both parties to have numbers and data on their side, which is fine, just has to be interpreted according to physics and not just visible numbers on a chart.
The sunny July did huge damage to the CAB in terms of volume, and the open Siberian seas are a disaster waiting for imports, while the Atlantic front has huge amounts of open water as in 2012 and 2016, very unlike 2019. OTOH the Beaufort is full of ice and the CAA and Greenland Sea are still holding up. The question we do not know is how much of the remaining ice is in marginal conditions - still whole for now but will melt out by mid-Sept. This is what will dictate the area numbers, and partially the volume numbers as well, as volume calculation is tied to measured area changes. The extent numbers will be dictated by area numbers, but very highly affected by compaction or divergence - very visible, much less important IMHO. 2016 was almost as low as 2012 in terms of area, but very high up in terms of extent.
My take on things is that the ice is thinner than appears, due to the impact of July insolation and due to very high movements in the last few weeks, which induced faster bottom melt. I have never seen so many days where the CAB was entirely visible, and this while the ice was doing a crazy dance around the basin. Then came the cyclone with movements induced in the other direction. The CAA has been sweltering in heat and the ice is all broken up. So I expect a some point a lot of the ice which originated with a standard FYI thickness will melt out, and so will some of the thinner MYI. This will probably leave us with a total area record or near-record, even though the Beaufort may not be in record territory at all. Oh yeah, I also expect a volume record. I can't say the same for extent, which might be far away from 2012's record, though surely below 2019. This depends on random September factors so can beat the seasoned forecasters easily.
August is upon us, the answers will be clear in a few weeks time, not much longer to wait.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: August 01, 2020, 07:02:21 AM »
July 1-31 (fast).

The rest / Re: Pareidolia
« on: August 01, 2020, 05:26:51 AM »
Giant ammonite impression discovered in Arctic.

Paleontologists now revising their views of these Mesozoic creatures.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: August 01, 2020, 04:59:42 AM »
2020 has no chance to finish above 2019.  August would have to be one of the coldest in the modern record.

It's very unlikely.  Melt momentum is way worse in 2020 because of the laws of physics.

It's what happens when your entire summer torches.

What did people expect to happen???  2020 to keep losing ice at breakneck speeds until the end??

Without a "slowdown" 2020 would have crushed even 2012 by a ton.  No one expects that because the science says that wasn't likely. That kind of energy just hasnt been available this summer or any summer so far.

2019 had a warm summer 2020 had an epic summer

But we all have different opinions that's the fun of it.

Arctic sea ice / Re: 2020 Sea ice area and extent data
« on: August 01, 2020, 02:48:32 AM »
Maybe I should add that Wipneus uses a somewhat different definition of the regions than on the NSIDC website.  In particular, the CAB region as defined in Wipneus' data is about 38% larger than on the NSIDC website.

In addition, he has a spreadsheet with the daily regional NSIDC data for all previous days and years:

I made 2 analysis with the data from NSIDC provided by Wipneus. The first analysis looks to the changes from July 21st to July 30th. The true is that I choose the 21st just randomly, without a reason. The second analysis is from July 25th to July 30th. I think that July 25th was the beginning of the storm that had an impact on the ASI.

At first, after looking at the numbers, I did not know what to think. There is a bigger lost on area that it is on extent. I was expecting that. But the drops, in both analyses, are concentrated on the Central Arctic Basin, not on Chukchi and Beaufort.

On a 2nd thought, the drops on Chukchi and Beaufort were important when they are measure on percentage (2nd analysis). So, what I think is that the CAB had a hit north of Chukchi and Beaufort. I need to analyze the frontier of both seas versus the CAB, to see is that is true. But that is beyond the analysis that I am looking to do now.

I include the numbers of both analyses.

Consequences / Re: Prepping for Collapse
« on: August 01, 2020, 01:23:44 AM »
That paper pins global collapse to the loss of global forests, which they claim will occur between 100 and 200 years.  Yet, over the entire course of human civilization, scientists have estimated that less than 50% of the trees have been cut down.
logic error.
non sequitur.
Ecological collapse is not the same thing as cutting down trees.

Consequences / Re: The Holocene Extinction
« on: July 31, 2020, 09:02:48 PM »
One obvious advantage of scientific studies vs opinion pieces is the former can discuss the subject comprehensively and with nuance. Pointing to vague predictions (made by whom, in what context, what timelines, with what criteria, etc?) about the imminent decline of Polar Bears and saying they haven't happened yet, therefore they are all wrong, strikes me as deliberately disingenuous.

Also of some note, the website "" and author Susan Crockford, has ties to The Heartland Institute and the Global Warming Policy Foundation, and was rebutted in a BioScience study "Internet Blogs, Polar Bears, and Climate-Change Denial by Proxy"

Pimm and Harvey (2000) provided three criteria with which to evaluate the credibility of scientific studies. First and most importantly, follow the data. They emphasized that the data trails of skeptics generally go cold very quickly. Second, follow the money. Some of the most prominent AGW deniers, including Crockford, are linked with or receive support from organizations that downplay AGW (e.g., Dr. Crockford has previously been paid for report writing by the Heartland Institute). Third, follow the credentials. As we have illustrated here, scientists such as Crockford who are described as “experts” on denier blogs in fact typically have little in the way of relevant expertise, and their expertise is often self-manufactured to serve alternative agendas.

The politics / Re: US intervention in foreign lands
« on: July 31, 2020, 01:06:28 AM »
Yet another excellent overview by Aaron Maté of the fake gas attack in Douma, The Nation:

Did Trump Bomb Syria on False Grounds?

The American media is ignoring leaks from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons that suggest a whitewash.

A series of leaked documents from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) raise the possibility that the Trump administration bombed Syria on false grounds and pressured officials at the world’s top chemical weapons watchdog to cover it up. Two OPCW officials, highly regarded scientists with more than 25 years of combined experience at the organization, challenged the whitewash from inside. Yet unlike many whistle-blowers of the Trump era, they have found no champion, or even an audience, within establishment circles in the United States.

The Trump administration’s April 13, 2018, bombing of Syria came days after it accused Syrian forces of killing nearly 50 people in a chemical weapons attack on Douma, a Damascus suburb. Widely circulated video footage showed scores of dead bodies inside an apartment complex and another group of alleged gas attack victims treated at a hospital. Although the White House did not provide evidence for its allegations against Syria, the harrowing images convinced Congress and the media to cheer on military strikes (as they did under similar circumstances the year prior).

Yet there were early grounds for skepticism. The Syrian government was on the verge of retaking the last Douma holdouts of Jaysh-al-Islam, a Saudi-backed militia that was relentlessly shelling the Syrian capital. To suddenly deploy chemical weapons would mean that Syrian forces knowingly crossed the “red line” that would trigger US military intervention. Subsequent reporting from British journalists Robert Fisk of The Independent, BBC producer Riam Dalati, and James Harkin’s investigation for The Intercept found evidence that the civilians filmed in the hospital were not exposed to toxic gas.

The US government narrative received a boost in March 2019 when the OPCW issued a long-awaited final report. It concluded that there are “reasonable grounds” to believe that a chemical weapons attack occurred in Douma and that “the toxic chemical was likely molecular chlorine.”

The report, however, was not the OPCW’s last word. Since May 2019, internal OPCW documents, including a trove published by WikiLeaks, reveal that the Douma investigators’ initial report reached different conclusions than their organization’s published version. They were overruled by senior officials who kept evidence from the public.

The leaks’ key revelations include:

- Senior OPCW officials reedited the Douma investigators’ initial report to produce a version that sharply deviated from the original. Key facts were removed or misrepresented and conclusions were rewritten to support the allegation that a chlorine gas attack had occurred in Douma. Yet the team’s initial report did not conclude that a chemical attack occurred, and left open the possibility that victims were killed in a “non-chemical related” incident.
- Four experts from a OPCW and NATO-member state conducted a toxicology review at the OPCW team’s request. They concluded that observed symptoms of the civilians in Douma, particularly the rapid onset of excessive frothing, as well as the concentration of victims filmed in the apartment building so close to fresh air, “were inconsistent with exposure to chlorine, and no other obvious candidate chemical causing the symptoms could be identified.”
- Chemical tests of the samples collected in Douma showed that chlorine compounds were, in most cases, detected at what amounted to trace quantities in the parts-per-billion range. Yet this finding was not disclosed publicly. Furthermore, it later emerged that the chemicals themselves did not stand out as unique: According to the author of the initial report, the OPCW’s top expert in chemical weapons chemistry, they could have resulted from contact with household products such as bleach or come from chlorinated water or wood preservatives.
- The author of the initial report protested the revisions in an e-mail expressing his “gravest concern.” The altered version “misrepresents the facts,” he wrote, thereby “undermining its credibility.”
- Following the e-mail of protest over the manipulation of the team’s findings, the OPCW published a watered-down interim report in July 2018. Around that time, OPCW executives decreed that the probe would be handled by a so-called “core team,” which excluded all of the Douma investigators who had traveled to Syria, except for one paramedic. It was this core team—not the inspectors who had been deployed to Douma and signed off on the original document—that produced the final report of March 2019.
- After the e-mail of protest, and just days before the interim report was published on July 6, a US government delegation met with members of the investigation team to try to convince them that the Syrian government had committed a chemical attack with chlorine. According to veteran reporter Jonathan Steele, who interviewed one of the whistle-blowers, the Douma team saw the meeting as “unacceptable pressure and a violation of the OPCW’s declared principles of independence and impartiality.” Interference by state parties is explicitly prohibited under the Chemical Weapons Convention.
- The inference drawn from the OPCW’s final report—widely disseminated, including by the Trump administration—was that gas cylinders found in Douma likely came from Syrian military aircraft. An unpublished engineering study reached the opposite conclusion. The study evaluated competing hypotheses: Either the cylinders were dropped from the sky or they were manually placed. There is “a higher probability,” it concluded, “that both cylinders were manually placed…rather than being delivered from aircraft.” At “Location 4,” where a cylinder was found on a bed, the study determined that the cylinder was too large to have penetrated the hole in the roof above; at the other site, “Location 2,” the observed damage to the cylinder and to the roof it allegedly penetrated were incompatible with an aircraft bombing. Ballistics experts also said it was more likely that the crater had been made by an explosion, probably from an artillery round, a rocket, or a mortar. With both cylinders, the study concluded, “the alternative hypothesis”—that the cylinders were manually placed and that the craters were caused by other means—”produced the only plausible explanation for observations at the scene.”

The OPCW leadership has yet to offer a substantive explanation for why they excluded critical findings and radically altered the original report. Instead, it has denigrated the two members of the Douma fact-finding mission team who challenged the manipulation of their investigation.

The first dissenting inspector is known only as Inspector B (his identity is publicly unconfirmed). B was the Douma mission’s scientific coordinator, the primary author of the draft report, and subsequent author of the e-mail of protest about the unwelcome editing.

The second inspector, described by the OPCW as Inspector A, is Ian Henderson, a chemical engineering and ballistics expert who authored the study that concluded that the cylinders were likely manually placed. Henderson went to Douma and took detailed measurements at one of the cylinder locations.

In public comments, OPCW Director General Fernando Arias has claimed that the pair committed “deliberate and premeditated breaches of confidentiality,” but has not accused them of leaking the OPCW material. Arias maintains that Inspector B’s “concerns were taken seriously,” without meaningfully accounting for why findings in B’s original report were left out of the final version. He has also dismissed the pair as minor players who refused to accept that their conclusions were “erroneous, uninformed, and wrong.”

Yet the two inspectors are unlikely candidates to go rogue. Henderson and Inspector B had served with the OPCW for 11 and 16 years, respectively. Internal OPCW appraisals of their job performance offer effusive praise. In 2005, a senior OPCW official wrote that Henderson has consistently received “the highest rating possible.… I consider [him] one of the best of our Inspection Team Leaders.” Inspector B, an OPCW superior wrote in 2018, “has contributed the most to the knowledge and understanding of CW [Chemical Weapons] chemistry applied to inspections.” In a different evaluation, another manager described B as “one of the most well regarded” team leaders, whose “experience of the organisation, its verification regime, and judgment are unmatched.”

The internal praise for the inspectors contrasts with what the OPCW leadership now says about them in public. This includes making untrue statements. Arias has said that Henderson “was not a member of the FFM [fact-finding mission]” in Douma, but leaks that I obtained show that claim to be false. Contemporaneous OPCW documents describe Henderson as an FFM member and list him among the “Mission Personnel” and the group of inspectors on the Douma mission.

The two inspectors are also not the only ones to raise concerns. Earlier this year, another OPCW official told me, on the condition of anonymity, that they were “horrified” by the “abhorrent…mistreatment” of the pair. “I fully support their endeavours,” the official wrote. “They are in fact trying to protect the integrity of the organisation which has been hijacked and brought into shameful disrepute.”

The treatment of the whistle-blowers by Western media is also due for criticism. Despite the story’s explosive nature, it has elicited a collective yawn. Whereas previous WikiLeaks disclosures fueled entire news cycles, no major US media outlets have reported on the organization’s Douma archive. CNN and MSNBC, which both supported Trump’s decision to bomb Syria, have ignored the OPCW story. The only time a New York Times reporter has mentioned the Douma scandal was in passing. The Times downgraded the extensive OPCW leaks into a mere “email from an investigator.” (It also deferred to assurances of Syria’s culpability from Bellingcat, an open source investigative outlet, without mentioning its Western government funding, including from the United States via the National Endowment for Democracy.) Even progressive, adversarial outlets that have traditionally defended whistle-blowers and challenged US wars have shunned this story. The Guardian described the whistle-blowers’ claims as “a Russia-led campaign,” rather than as an effort by two veteran inspectors to defend their investigation.

What explains the prevailing silence? It is certainly true that the Syrian government and its Russian ally have vigorously denied allegations of chemical weapons use, including in Douma. But just as was the case when Iraq was falsely accused of possessing weapons of mass destruction, skepticism of Western claims should not be equated with support for the targeted regime. If anything, the Iraq case reminds us that such allegations should not be politicized and are worthy of scrutiny, especially if used to justify military action and other aggressive measures, including crippling sanctions.

The possibility that the United States may have bombed Syria based on falsehoods—and pressured a global investigative body to grant that intervention legitimacy after the fact—should break the media blockade. So too should the fact that it was exposed by whistle-blowers who face risk for speaking out.

The US government’s own recent past with the OPCW offers a stark reminder. In 2002, the Bush administration forced out the organization’s first director general, José Bustani. The veteran Brazilian diplomat was negotiating weapons inspections with Baghdad that potentially impeded the Bush administration’s drive to launch a war. Bustani has since revealed that John Bolton, then serving as an undersecretary of state, personally threatened him and his family to force him to resign.

Bustani once again finds himself on Bolton’s opposing side. In his new memoir about his tenure as Trump’s national security adviser, Bolton recounts that he oversaw the US strikes on Syria over the Douma allegations, lamenting only that Trump did not authorize a larger attack. Bustani, meanwhile, took part in an October 2019 panel that heard an extensive presentation from one of the Douma whistle-blowers.

“The convincing evidence of irregular behaviour in the OPCW investigation of the alleged Douma chemical attack confirms doubts and suspicions I already had,” Bustani wrote. “The picture is certainly clearer now, although very disturbing.” His hope, he added, is that the outcry over the Douma leaks “will catalyse a process by which the [OPCW] can be resurrected to become the independent and non-discriminatory body it used to be.”

Bustani is among the prominent signatories of a letter urging the OPCW to let the Douma inspectors discuss their investigation freely. Henderson delivered a statement at a UN session in January, but the United States has thwarted other attempts. (According to Russia’s envoy to the OPCW, a US representative objected on the grounds that a Douma hearing “would encourage the Russian [side] to replicate Stalinist trials, with cross-examinations and intimidations of witnesses.”)

The inspectors just want to be heard. In statements this year to Arias, both whistle-blowers requested an opportunity to air the Douma evidence in a transparent, scientific manner. “Our sole duty is to be true to the facts and the science, and once that has been achieved, we will gladly accept the proven and agreed scientific outcomes,” Henderson wrote.

“Something had gone wrong inside the OPCW sir,” B told Arias. “And we wanted you to know. It’s that simple.”

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: July 30, 2020, 06:44:29 PM »
Beaufort and Central Arctic Sea

With 47 days to go to mid-September  my money is still on "where area leads extent will follow" even if by not so much, certainly in the Central Arctic Sea..

Extent & Area Graphs attached (NSIDC 5-day trailing average)

The rest / Re: Good music
« on: July 30, 2020, 10:23:58 AM »
Old favorite, Glorified G by Pearl Jam.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: July 29, 2020, 08:30:59 PM »
This thread becomes completely unreadable since quoting is done incorrectly all over the place.

The things YOU say must be AFTER the closing quote tag (i.e. [ /quote ]).

For EVERY opening quote tag (i.e.[ quote ]) there must be a corresponding closing quote tag (i.e.[ /quote ]).

Everything you are not responding to should be deleted.

It's not too hard folks.

Arctic sea ice / Re: 2020 Sea ice area and extent data
« on: July 29, 2020, 03:30:00 PM »
NSIDC Total Area as at 28-Jul-2020 (5 day trailing average) 4,106,162 KM2         
Total Area         
 4,106,162    km2      
-614,542    km2   <   2010's average.
-314,845    km2   <   2019
-1,429,637    km2   <   2000's average.
Total Change   -100    k   loss
Peripheral Seas   -13    k   loss
Central Seas___   -87    k   loss
Peripheral Seas         
Okhotsk______    0    k   gain
Bering _______   -0    k   loss
Hudson Bay___   -0    k   loss
Baffin  Bay____   -0    k   loss
St Lawrence___    1    k   gain
Greenland____   -12    k   loss
Barents ______   -1    k   loss
Central Arctic  Ocean Seas         
Chukchi______   -4    k   loss
Beaufort_____   -9    k   loss
CAA_________   -17    k   loss
East Siberian__   -2    k   loss
Central Arctic_   -54    k   loss
Laptev_______    3    k   gain
Kara_________   -2    k   loss
Sea ice area loss on this day 100 k, 47 k more than the 2010's average loss of 53 k         
- 2020 area is at position #1 in the satellite record.         
- 2020 Area is 615 k less than the 2010's average         
- 2020 Area is 1,430 k less than the 2000's average         
- 2020 Area is 456 k less than 2016         
- 2020 Area is 315 k less than 2019          
- 2020 Area is 237 k less than 2012         
NSIDC Total EXTENT as at 28-Jul-2020 (5 day trailing average) 6,219,589 KM2         
NSIDC Sea ice EXTENT loss on this day 16 k, 59 k less than the 2010's average loss of 75k         
- 2020 EXTENT is at position #1 in the satellite record.         
- 2020 EXTENT is 860 k less than the 2010's average         
- 2020 EXTENT is 1,744 k less than the 2000's average         
- 2020 EXTENT is 913 k less than 2016         
- 2020 EXTENT is 345 k less than 2019          
- 2020 EXTENT is 591 k less than 2012

Daily sea ice extent increased by 92k. But the Arctic is not freezing, sea ice is melting.
The gif by aluminium and the University of Bremen concentration images show the massive rearrangement of the ice in the central seas of the Arctic Ocean.

I suggest we are seeing not so much a ridiculously early halt to sea ice loss, but more of a rearranging of the deckchairs on the Titanic.   

Note: Click once on each image to see it full-size         

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: July 29, 2020, 10:45:07 AM »
I have just looked at the data again, odd things popped up in the pre 2000 era data (including 2000) for certain but nothing like it in the last 20 years so see it how you will, it is a pattern break to me.

Image attached for comparison.  It certainly looks to me like it's the highest it's been, but there are similar excursions above the mean at this time of year in 2016 and 2008, as I think others have mentioned upthread.

Edit: replaced image with version with arrows indicating other excursions

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: July 28, 2020, 01:48:47 AM »
While BBR is correct in that fires are a natural part of Australia, the scale of the 2020 fires is not natural.

14% is a huge percentage, and fires are only going to get worse on average as the climate warms.

A lot of animals died in the fires. Animals are an important part of recovery and they are not there. Research is still being conducted concerning regrowth, but that will take time, obviously.

The Blue Mountains were hit so hard that 293 threatened animals (with the koala effectively extinct in the region) and 680 threatened plants.

I wish it was a case of this being normal and recovery will be normal, but it wont be. The fires we massive, hot, fast moving and destroyed everything in their path. While recovery will happen, it is unlikely to return to the old normal.

And rainforests.... well, they have never burned. Tasmania lost a lot of rainforest that has never burned before, so that wont be recovering like other regions where plants and animals require fire to survive. The predictions are for more rainforest to burn as the years go by.

While the 2020 fire season has been the worst one to date, the expectation is they will get worse. And since 14% was burned this time, and the frequency of the fire events is increasing, the natural environment isn't going to get a chance to recover like before.

There is no good news about this years fires, and it is going to get worse. And it isn't helped when the Govt refuses to acknowledge climate change further than it is a natural change and there is nothing we can do about it.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic Image of the Day
« on: July 28, 2020, 12:15:50 AM »

Plus moonsoon like torrental rainfall as it seams.

The rainfall is certainly very important! But, they never get monsoon like torrential rains in the arctic. When we start seeing that, it is time to kiss our asses goodby because the Hadley and Ferrell cells have fallen apart.

The latest forecast is a big one, but small by standards that we are familiar with in the mid and tropical latitudes.

Antarctica / Re: Sea Ice Extent around Antarctica
« on: July 27, 2020, 10:06:41 AM »
Putting this info in this thread hoping it will get some attention. A possibly concerning feature that has shown up again this year is the polynya at East Antarctica. It appeared back in 2016-2017 but in the Weddell Sea. According to a scientific study these polynyas might have an impact on the global temperature prompting warming in the years after their appearance.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: July 27, 2020, 08:54:24 AM »
Thankfully these crazy predictions of 2.5million are now gone. Looks like a stall will mean we finish in the pack. Though probably whether we come 2nd or 3rd will be the only question. Think 2019 and 2020 will be very close at the end despite everything. Hopefully August will be a boring month for the ice.

So you expect the endless torching over the CAA and Eastern CAB to not keep melting the ice??  Which is already showing up on modis when the clouds clear out filled with holes...

What do you think this 972MB vortex puking out rain all over the Beaufort, Chuckchi, and Western CAB in concert with 20-30KT winds over 36-48 hours is going to do to ice that is truly 50-60 percent Concentration with MILES of OPEN WATER between the DECIMATED CHUNKS of ice?

And when that system winds down we still have another 40 days of ice loss to go.

You literally call predictions for new record lows crazy while giving no evidence to back up your new prediction of 2nd or 3rd lowest. I assume you are talking about extent.

Well you did cite a few days of slower losses while winds are in the reverse dipole position.  Which hasn't stopped melting.  Just compaction.

I'm not trying to be a dick but people post here putting huge effort and time backing there opinions and thoughts with great depth and thoughtfulnes and you dismiss that as crazy while offering no empirical evidence. 

I guess you have historical precidence on your side.  It would be nice if you would back up why you think 2020 is probably going to end up tied with or below 2019.

You may be right.  But it's pretty cheap to call the incredible analysis that dozens of members here contribute as crazy and then not actually offer any substance to back youe position.  Please no hard feelings.  Have a good night/day


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