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Topics - sidd

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Science / Paleo modelling
« on: April 03, 2019, 11:37:11 PM »
Willeit et al. have a nice paper out on modelling the quaternary. They use CLIMBER-2 and SICOPOLIS for the ice. They even get the Mid Pleistocene transition (41KYr to 100Kyr periodicity for glacial cycle) right. And they get remarkable agreement with other paleo data.

Two things leap out at me:

1)the key role of regolith
2)they can do all this with a static Antarctic ice sheet.

Realclimate has a writeup, i have asked about 2) there. What would happen if you made WAIS dynamic, for example ?

They find that T never rose above 2C over preindustrial over the last 3 odd million years, and present day CO2 levels exceed any in the Quaternary.

Very nice. Open access. Read all about it.


Science / Fall AGU 2018
« on: December 12, 2018, 05:23:56 AM »
Meeting begins 12th dec. Streaming video available. Chekitout:


The rest / Elections 2020 USA
« on: November 07, 2018, 08:51:12 PM »
Kick this off by noting the 2018 elections show republicans retaining rural strength, democrats increasing share of suburban vote, and holding the cities. Turnout up in both, people are voting.


Consequences / Ecosystem service collapse
« on: October 19, 2018, 07:06:57 AM »
In another thread I mentioned that global mean temperature rise and climate sensitivities were of peripheral interest to me. I stated:

" we subject Gaia to multiple stressors, CO2 being just one. We use around a third of NPP, we hugely increase runoff impermeable surface, we establish monoculture and GMO crop to exclusion of else, we suck underground aquifers dry and mighty rivers, and poison both and kill oceans to boot. And many more stressors will occur to you.
Doom looms nigh. The threat that will overtake us first is not direct temperature increase but habitat collapse. Our habitat.

There's probably a thread for that discussion, but it is not here, so i'll shutup."

So I started a thread.

The way models price in climate damage is thru integrated assessment models (IAMs).

Points that immediately strike me are:

1)Integrated assessment models (IAM) do not fairly price ecosystem services
2)IAM discount rate estimates do not price in near term ecosystem collapse


Science / Retrograde rotation
« on: October 18, 2018, 06:39:25 AM »
I just read a marvellous paper by Mikolajewicz et al. on the climate of an Earth rotating from east to west. AMOC stops, Sahara and Arabia green and many wondrous things happen.

Open access, read all about it.

doi: 10.5194/esd-9-1191-2018, 2018


Science / Irresponsible research
« on: October 05, 2018, 07:31:17 AM »
The research I discuss below might belong in several threads, but there are several avenues of irresponsible research and some geoengineering  schemes come to mind. But when i read this, chills ran up my spine.

The gist is:

There is research in progress in using insects to disperse modified viruses to plants they feed on. These viruses will, in turn, modify plant genomes. The modifications extend to affecting the chromosomal germline  so that the modified traits will be inherited.

The research is being touted as giving plants traits to resist stressors like drought, flood,frost,salinity or disease. In addition plants could get traits to resist herbicides.

The crops being targeted currently are maize and tomatoes. The insects are leafhoppers, whiteflies and aphids.

Most of this research could be done with sprays instead of insects.

Remember Roundup ... and how the genemod for resistance wasn't supposed to spread cross species. Well, here's your worst nightmare. Those insects will feed on everything in the neighbourhood, and the virus they transmit will attempt to modify everything they feed on. And the insects and the virus will mutate. And the gene editing tech they will probably use is CRISPR which has been to misfire or fire in unexpected direction.

This is one of the stupidest and most dangerous experiments i can think of. And very easily weaponized, to boot.

And it's my tax dollars at work. Funding agency is DARPA. I regret to say that two universities i have worked at are involved, ohio state and penn state. I still throw some money their way, so they still pick up the fone. And tomorrow i am on the fone with them explaining why the money will stop. And i intend to take this up with the Institutional Review Board at both universities. I go by both campuses frequently, i might wander in in person. And now that i think about it, my sister does the same for UC Davis, who is a participant. And she is a donor, and a biochemist, so this should get her dander up too.

Another avenue is the Farm Bureau and Farmers Union, i am a member of both. They will not like this either. They remember other experiments which weren't supposed to spread. None of my neighbours will like this either, and they include some noisy folk.

I encourage everyone to work with their local groups to shut this down.

Unfortunately, I am pessimistic. As the paper points out, research like this will motivate every nation in the world to run with it.

From the paper:

"an ongoing research program funded by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) aims to disperse infectious genetically modified viruses that have been engineered to edit crop chromosomes directly in fields."

"the Insect Allies program is reportedly backed by more than $27 million"

"a core part of all the consortia’s work programs likely includes plant chromosomal editing by means of virally encoded CRISPR proteins"

"the assumption that a plausible regulatory pathway exists by which possibly transgenic virus–infected (and potentially genetically altered) food crops could enter national or international markets"

"it is likely that all current regulatory systems across the globe would require profound changes"

"easy simplifications (and not elaborations) of the described work program could be used to generate a new class of biological weapon"

"we are unaware of any publicly available assessments of the ethical, trade, biosafety, or international biosecurity implications that would normally accompany such a globally important program of work"

doi: 10.1126/science.aat7664

i attach the figure.

coverage at


The rest / Elections 2018 USA
« on: August 22, 2018, 10:16:23 AM »
Kick it off with an article from the only news publication one needs to read, all the news you need to know, America's  finest news source:


It’s clear that the disgusting and disgraceful voters are going to try to influence the midterms ...


We’ve got voters with ulterior motives online, too, trying to influence people by spreading information about candidates on social media. We absolutely cannot as a society allow voters to meddle in our elections, and
if we don’t do something, voters will try to interfere with the 2020 presidential election, too.


 ... attempting to calm him down by reminding him that there was virtually no evidence to suggest that American voters were interested in influencing midterm elections.



The rest / Third Party in the USA
« on: June 23, 2018, 07:11:28 AM »
There have been many. Early USA was a free for all. Whigs die out, republican/democrat duopoly follows, with brief challenges by the Bull Moose, Perot, Forbes and such.

Why not ? just money, i suspect. But as we see with trump election, the duopoly is breaking. Both parties are losing credibility by the minute.

Greens ? Libertarians ? or perhaps (gasp!) socialists and communists ?


The rest / Poetry
« on: June 09, 2018, 08:46:40 AM »
I think we need some poems. Here is one from Housman.


The chestnut casts his flambeaux, and the flowers
    Stream from the hawthorn on the wind away,
The doors clap to, the pane is blind with showers.
    Pass me the can, lad; there's an end of May.

There's one spoilt spring to scant our mortal lot,
    One season ruined of your little store.
May will be fine next year as like as not:
    But ay, but then we shall be twenty-four.

We for a certainty are not the first
    Have sat in taverns while the tempest hurled
Their hopeful plans to emptiness, and cursed
    Whatever brute and blackguard made the world.

It is in truth iniquity on high
    To cheat our sentenced souls of aught they crave,
And mar the merriment as you and I
    Fare on our long fool's-errand to the grave.

Iniquity it is; but pass the can.
    My lad, no pair of kings our mothers bore;
Our only portion is the estate of man:
    We want the moon, but we shall get no more.

If here to-day the cloud of thunder lours
    To-morrow it will hie on far behests;
The flesh will grieve on other bones than ours
    Soon, and the soul will mourn in other breasts.

The troubles of our proud and angry dust
    Are from eternity, and shall not fail.
Bear them we can, and if we can we must.
    Shoulder the sky, my lad, and drink your ale.

A. E. Housman


The forum / onion address
« on: May 22, 2018, 07:59:35 AM »
Did  Dungeon Master ever set up an onion address ?

If so, i would like to know it. If not, might that be possible ?


The rest / Fake News and Society
« on: April 19, 2018, 06:40:56 AM »
I'll kick this off with two posts i made to the "RussiaGate And The Media: Examples of Good AND Bad Journalism " thread, since I think now they are too general for that topic.

An analysis of fake news from a broader viewpoint: Richard King on deeper societal issues:

" ... expertise has a centrality it didn’t have in an earlier ‘era’, or with the possibility that its frequent deployment in the name of everything from politics to diet may be a cause of increasing resentment amongst people whose knowledge and education is below the level required for success in a postindustrial, knowledge society."

"We need another heading, therefore, one stressing less the distrust of power than its unequal distribution in postindustrial societies – an inequality that turns increasingly on education, knowledge and cognitive ability "

"a category mistake – on a confusion between ‘objective facts’ and ‘personal feelings’ – is itself a reaction to a category mistake – to a confusion between politics as a site of conflict between different views of society and politics as a managerial enterprise on which experts should have the final say."

"politics is always about values, and that the liberal obsession with expertise is bound to instil resentment in those whose lives are neither materially improved nor morally relevant in the current liberal mix."

"rightwing populism is an illiberal but democratic response to an increasingly undemocratic liberalism"

"We’ve brought fact-checkers to a culture war."

Read the whole thing carefully. King has thought more deeply than many he cites. You may not agree, but i suggest you think about his argument.

The rest / US intervention in foreign lands
« on: November 23, 2017, 05:56:21 AM »
The Russiagate thread is getting offtopic, so I started this one.

Military intervention:

Covert election interference:

doi: 10.1177/0738894216661190

"Overall, 117 partisan electoral interventions were made by the US and the USSR/Russia between 1 January 1946 and 31 December 2000. Eighty-one (or 69%) of these interventions were done by the US while the other 36 cases (or 31%) were conducted by the USSR/ Russia. To put this number in the proper perspective, during the same period 937 competi- tive national-level executive elections, or plausible targets for an electoral intervention, were conducted within independent countries."


The forum / Trackers in iframes
« on: November 16, 2017, 09:37:28 AM »
I just discovered from Mr. Budmantis comment that you can inject an transparent iframe into a comment and tracking elements like facebook, twitter and G+.

See e.g the first post on the thread "Who should be the Democratic nominee for President in 2020?"

if you do a view source you see the iframe element with src from facebook
and visible link to twitter and G+, at least the latter two don't hide. Those are straight to twitter and G+ with script executing from those sources.

Is that a good idea ? All these guys  build a shadow profile of you _even if you don't use their platforms_

Do I have to resort to drastic measure on this site as well ? Well i guess so after seeing the transparent iframe


The rest / Is Degrowth necessary for Decarbonization ?
« on: October 23, 2017, 05:07:24 AM »
I'll kick this off with two observations:

1) How do we define growth ? If we use GDP or PPP or some such, then the question resolves to a tautology: that carbon intensity per marginal dollar(or yuan or ruble or rupee) must drop faster than GDP increase.

2) Using GDP a problem arises since externals such as fossil carbon emission and ecosystem service degradation are hardly priced at all in today's economy, an argument can be made that if we did price these fairly, we would realize that we are already in "degrowth," since we are degrading our eco-capital faster than we are increasing our dollar capital.


The forum / Backup
« on: September 19, 2017, 03:11:19 AM »
This site hosts an invaluable collection of links, commentary and original research. I would hate for it to disappear. So I ask if archival sites like the web archive have reasonably complete copies in event of disaster?

I dont know traffic volumes or disk usage for this site, but if disk is no more than a terabyte or so i might be willing to run a static mirror.


The rest / Russia in Ukraine
« on: September 18, 2017, 08:23:31 AM »
I created a thread about western support for nazis in ukraine and some commenters pointed out russia's role. Since I want to keep that discussion focusse, here is a different thread. I'll kick it off with my statement in the Russiagate thread that "Russia considers Ukraine central to Russian interest."

Have at it.


The rest / Economic Inequality
« on: August 23, 2017, 02:32:25 AM »
I start this thread to discuss economic inequality, and I shall kick it off a paper by Piketty et al.

1) Distributional National Accounts: Methods and Estimates for the United States, Piketty et al. 2017 available at

The paper concentrates on income inequality in the USA, both pre and post tax, including benefits through redistribution. I attach

a) the upper panel of figure 3 showing the share of national income for the bottom 50%
b) the lower panel of fig 3 showing showing real income for the botton 50% flattening in the late 80s and that it has not recovered from the 2008 recession
c) The lower panel of fig 5 share of the national income going to the top 1%, showing steady increase.


The rest / New political party in the USA
« on: May 03, 2017, 12:25:34 AM »

Science / Attribution of CO2 climate effects
« on: May 02, 2017, 06:44:00 PM »
I have written about Liang's approach to information flow, and here is an application of the technique to detect link between CO2 and global temperature. Nice paper.

DOI: 10.1038/srep21691

open access. very readable.


Science / ice sheet models
« on: April 25, 2017, 04:34:45 AM »
We don't seem to have a dedicated thread to ice sheet models. Here's one by Mikkelsen et al., I notice Grinsted amopng the authors, one models underestimating mass balance of icesheets since they do not account for variability.


The forum / Closed forum or mailing list
« on: April 17, 2017, 07:25:06 AM »
Prof. Ding is being abused in return for his generous participation on this forum. Is it possible to set up a mailing list here so that a more civilized discussion can continue ? I will do it if necessary, but it would be easier here since all of the (constructive) participants already have accounts here.


Developers Corner / Classifiers for surface imagery
« on: December 13, 2016, 08:18:38 PM »
Chapter by Satir and Berberoglu detail various machine learning techniques for classifying pixels from imagery. This can be applied to sea surface also, and to no imagery satellite products product. I see many applications to the cryosphere. Open access.


Greenland and Arctic Circle / Baffin Island, Barnes ice cap
« on: December 01, 2016, 02:05:21 AM »

Prof Pelto does his usual superlative job. The meltwater streams are quite amazing.

Science / Broadening of Agulhas and other western boundary currents
« on: November 09, 2016, 09:26:36 PM »
I think this is important, but i dont know why i think so. I do know that Agulhas affects AMOC, and perhaps vice versa. Kuroshio and East Australia current are broadening also.


"These results indicate that intensifying winds may be increasing the eddy kinetic energy of boundary currents, rather than their mean flow. This could act to decrease poleward heat transport and increase cross-frontal exchange of nutrients and pollutants between the coastal ocean and the deep ocean."

Below, EKE is eddy kinetic energy.

  "Our results, together with recent analyses in other western ­boundary currents, suggest that intensifying winds may act to increase the EKE of boundary currents, rather than their mean flow. This ­hypothesis draws parallels with the eddy compensation hypothesis for the Antarctic Circumpolar Current in the Southern Ocean, where eddies appear to dampen the effect of increased wind energy input on the mean flow [Ref. 30.] In essence, while winds tend to accelerate the flow and steepen ­isopycnals, eddies mix laterally across the current to slump the ­isopycnals. Coupling between eddies and the atmosphere has also been shown to influence this frontal balance [Ref. 31.] The implication of ­broadening boundary currents is a more porous divide between the continental shelves and the open ocean, leading to greater mixing and cross-frontal exchange. In the Agulhas Current, these changes could also enhance upwelling over the shelf, since the strongest upwelling events are driven by meanders. These implications are in contrast to those of an intensifying flow, which would tend to dampen cross-­frontal mixing and increase meridional heat transport.

  If western boundary currents are not strengthening, observed patterns of surface warming [Ref. 5,9,10] must be explained by a poleward shift of the ocean gyres."


Developers Corner / opportunistic image acquisition
« on: November 05, 2016, 04:27:36 AM »
This is a nice paper on what can be done with consumer grade hardware, and some nice software.
Go-pro camera, Garmin GPS attached to aircraft but I am thinking also of similar drone application.  Open access.



Science / AMOC slowdown
« on: October 06, 2016, 05:44:51 AM »
Kelly et al. trace AMOC slowdown to Agulhas leakage.


No role for salinity,  AMOC slowdown not due to freshening in the north, rather they see increased salinity from precipitation decrease. This is a new development, Ruth Curry saw the opposite earlier.

The forum / https broken [update: should be fixed, too]
« on: June 30, 2016, 06:10:20 AM »
i am having great difficulty accessing https versions of pages. some work, some dont until i try the http version. This reply page for example and many others. Please advise.


Science / Precipitation trends
« on: May 09, 2016, 11:59:27 PM »
We expect increase in precip intensity due to anthro climate change. An Australia-wide study sees storms shrinking in both area and duration together with increases in peak rainfall rate.

doi:  10.1002/2016GL068509

A previous study by some of the same authors is at

DOI: 10.1038/NGEO2456

This will stress stormwater systems leading to more frequent flooding, an especial concern to coastal and floodplain infrastructure. Weather models are not (yet ?) good enuf to model these effects, and i doubt they will improve very quickly.

Developers Corner / stop emojis
« on: April 01, 2016, 06:11:59 AM »
i discovered recently that an 8 followed by a closing brace was rendered as an emoji

thus with a space between the 8 and the )

Fig. 8 )

is fine, but with no space

Fig. 8)

wears sunglasses

how to not do this or is this unpossible ?

Consequences / Qué se ficieron ?
« on: February 19, 2016, 06:19:22 AM »
I just read the post in the "Coal" thread of yet another coal company ducking out on pension, healthcare and cleanup, while rewarding those most responsible. Those will escape justice for the most part, but ought not to be forgotten. I nominate Don Blakenship as someone to keep track of. Feel free to add others.

Their victims ought not be forgotten either

"Wo sind die Tränen von gestern abend?"

Someday, another Zinn will write a people's history of climate genocide.


Policy and solutions / Climate Debt and Credit
« on: September 10, 2015, 05:34:59 AM »
Matthews, 2015 DOI:10.1038/NCLIMATE2774 on national carbon debts and credits

“This Letter presents a new way to quantify historical inequalities among nations using carbon and climate debts, defined as the amount by which national climate contributions have exceeded a hypothetical equal per-capita share over time.”

The largest creditors are India (-75.6,-141.5), Indonesia(-14.2,-27.6), Bangladesh(-12.8,-21.4). The largest debtors are US(100.3,202.7), Russia(27,64.7) and Japan(15.9,25.3). The numbers are in gigatonne CO2 since 1990 and 1960.

In the supplementary, they look at consumption based estimate, which helps China quite a bit. Fig S3.

I attach part of Fig2 and fig S3


The forum / threading
« on: April 18, 2015, 08:17:46 PM »
Can replies be tagged with a reference to the post to which they are a reply ? this reference could be NULL if there is no parent post ? (I have, of course, Usenet threading in mind ...)


The forum / SSL vulnerability
« on: April 10, 2014, 05:38:20 AM »
I am sure the administrators have fixed this ? But it would be nice to have an assurance. Logs should show if it was exploited, perhaps ?


The forum / odd bug or feature on relogin
« on: November 23, 2013, 05:27:44 AM »
First let me say i really like the simplemachines software and will buy the developers a beer or a case if i am in their general vicinity.

as to the odd bug or feature

0)when having more than one browser tab open on this site,
1)having your login time expire before
2)you click on the links from a page that you accessed when already logged in
3)and open them in new tabs
4)and you relogin from one of the tabs

does Strange Stuff as in

5)the tab no longer displays the page you were viewing before you relogged in, but in my case went back to a copy of another open tab (i only had 2 tabs open at the time ...)

(but perhaps it is meant to, to guard against authentication information leaking into unauthenticated tabs ... a Feature, not a Bug ... mebbe like nethack, they thought of everything ...)


The forum / killfiles
« on: July 18, 2013, 07:59:41 PM »
Is the an "ignore poster" capability on this forum, which enables one to eliminate posts by one or more posters being displayed ? Sorta like the Usenet killfile idea.


Antarctica / West Antarctic Divide Core
« on: May 25, 2013, 08:30:33 AM »
Severinghaus at Byrd Polar Research

1 hour fourteen minute
worth the time.


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