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Messages - wehappyfew

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Science / Re: Solar cycle
« on: July 13, 2020, 02:31:55 PM »

Your comments do not address the errors I pointed out.

The amount of solar energy impinging upon each square meter of the Earth is ~1360 W/m^2 divided by 4, since the Earth is a sphere.

Until you acknowledge this fact, you will continue to calculate the impact of a Maunder Minimum incorrectly.

Science / Re: Solar cycle
« on: July 12, 2020, 05:10:32 PM »
1360.2 vs 1361 (annual average and that is only TOA).

As the Earth Energy Imbalance at TOA is less than 1 W/sq.m. this effect is quite substantial.


You've made two simple errors in this statement.

1. TOA irradiance of ~1360 must be applied to the surface of the Earth, reducing the difference between Maunder Minimum and normal irradiance by a factor of 4. 1360 is the amount received on the sunlit side of a flat plate, the amount received by a sphere is 1/4 of that.

2. Albedo reduces the effect further.

The net reduction is therefore not 1361 - 1360.2 = 0.8

It is more like 240.5 - 240.35 = 0.15 W/m^2

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: June 13, 2020, 09:00:12 PM »
I would like to call attention to the data from Qatar. We may see the end game there first - the virus burning through the entire population with little effective controls.

Qatar now has the most cases per capita in the world at 2.8%. They haven't done a lot of testing relative to the total number of cases - 4 tests/confirmed case. CFR is low... 70 deaths/78k cases = ~0.1%... due to the very youthful demographic distribution?

I think this will put some upper bounds on the number of asymptomatic cases. If there are really 10 hidden cases for every confirmed case, then herd immunity will soon dampen the effective R value. Cases have been falling slowly for 2 weeks, but today's number is a leap up from previous days.

The whole Middle East is looking really bad. So much for heat and summer helping us out here.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 29, 2020, 12:12:18 AM »
Looks like the key datum in reading the axes labels is " annual death rate per 1000 living"

So it is the annualized death rate per week?

Confusing, a poor way to express it, but makes sense compared to the second graph.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 03, 2020, 11:14:44 PM »
Daily testing update, beware a change in reporting methodology, previous charts showed completed plus pending tests, this chart is for completed tests only.

There is a nice increase in total tests, and a small drop in positive results percentage.

The rest / Re: Masks
« on: April 03, 2020, 08:49:52 PM »
I've read that washing degrades the filtration efficiency by clumping the fibers together, leaving bigger pores between clumps.

A better disinfection process might be baking, dry, at 150F (65C) for an hour or two. Maybe in a covered glass baking dish to even out the temps and block IR from localized melting or charring.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 03, 2020, 12:08:45 AM »
Daily testing report from

We need a massive increase in testing, not getting it.

The percentage of tests that are positive is still trending higher, strongly suggesting the recent deceleration in the growth rate of new cases is not real.

On our current trajectory, i project 2 to 12 million deaths in the US. Fortunately, even without federal leadership, I think we will recoil from that trajectory, and institute far stronger isolation, quarantines, etc on a state, local and even individual level. People will be shocked when deaths pass 10,000/day in a few weeks or less and they will retreat into their self-isolation, but really seriously mean it once they are frightened enough.

The tragedy will be the tardiness of this collective recoiling from the horror of the death toll. With any kind of preparation, education and stockpiling, we could have gotten serious about clamping down weeks ago, and avoided millions of deaths.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 02, 2020, 05:49:06 AM »
The interactive graphs on this site are good:

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 02, 2020, 12:59:21 AM »
Testing limitations...

Since the positive rate is steadily climbing while total number of tests has benn flat to falling slightly for several days, the bend in the curve in new cases is illusory.

Look at deaths until testing capacity is exanded (assumes competence not in evidence by the Trump admin).

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 31, 2020, 10:30:45 PM »
We happy few wrote: "The lag between infection and case resolution is 23 days (death or recovery)"


What I've seen is: "...for those who eventually died, the time from symptom onset to death ranged from 2 to 8 weeks..."

Let's not try to spread mis-information about this horrific disease, when possible. If you have sources supporting your assertions, please cite them.

I'm building on the paper found by KiwiGriff in post #4899 that found mean time from diagnosis to death was 17.8 days, plus 5 days from infection to symptoms allowing diagnosis.

I agree the wide range for 2-8 weeks makes this calculation a bit simplistic, but the average should suffice.

I am less sure about the time from infection to positive test in SKorea under their aggressive tracing regime. I am purely guessing at 3 days.

The good news is that SKorea's numbers have been growing so slowly that different assumptions about these time spans have little effect on the calculated mortality rate using this method.

The bad news is that 2% mortality is the very best case possible, with the most extensive testing, aggressive tracing, very high compliance with quarantine, etc, etc....   The opposite of Trump's efforts, in other words.


The rest / Re: Masks
« on: March 31, 2020, 10:06:13 PM »
I have not been to China, but I have been to Japan and Korea.

Air pollution in those two countries might be somewhat less than in Hubei, but it was quite noticeable when the wind blew from the West. Pollution in Beijing and the industrial provinces nearby were responsible.

I am basing my logic on media and video reports from Wuhan, not direct experience.

Off-topic anecdote:
I lived in coastal Oregon for a few years. It was the cleanest air I had ever experienced, being from the east coast. I moved away for a few decades, China became a coal burning industrial powerhouse, and then I returned to Washington and Oregon for a vacation. The air is no longer the cleanest in the lower 48, it smells exactly like the pollution wafting across the Yellow Sea to Korea from coal burning in China. I was a bit miffed.

The rest / Re: Masks
« on: March 31, 2020, 09:29:33 PM »

Wuhanites who wore masks pre-covid to reduce pollution wore then outside, where the pollution is. And not every location in Hubei was polluted every day, so there must have been plenty of times when public mask wearing was limited to those who felt ill.

Inside, around family, friends , neighbors, coworkers, etc, they did not wear masks unless feeling ill.

No one wore masks while eating in public.

After covid, everyone wears masks outside, same as before , but even more so, even if pollution is low. No one eats in public anymore, and no one works at the remaining essential jobs without a mask, gloves and plentiful hand sanitizer.

Does that answer your question?

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 31, 2020, 06:03:26 PM »
Let's look at some data.

Iceland and South Korea with most comprehensive testing regimes are most useful, but Iceland has too few deaths to analyze with any statistical confidence, and is still growing exponentially so it has many recent unresolved cases (current doubling time is about 9 days).

South Korea numbers today 31-3-2020:

Deaths: 162 (+4 from yesterday)

Total recovered: 5408 (+180)

Tot conf cases: 9786 (+125)


SK numbers from 20 days previous 11-3-2020:

Deaths: 60

Tot conf cases :7755


This gives us several ways to calculate a mortality rate, based on assumptions informed by the studies and data presented in previous posts.


1. Given SKorea's aggressive and comprehensive testing and tracing, they have caught and recorded most cases as soon as viral loads are high enough to register.

2. The lag between infection and a positive test is 3 days. (Needs confirmation?)

3. The lag between infection and case resolution is 23 days (death or recovery).

4. This gives us 20 days from case confirmed to cases resolved ( thus my choice of data from 20 days prior


Naive mortality rate 20 days ago = 60/7755 = 0.8%

Naive mortality rate today = 162/9786 = 1.66%

Clearly, the earlier rate was biased low by a flood of new cases during the exponential growth phase that had not yet resolved.

Deaths/(deaths + recovered) = 162/(162+5408) = 2.908%

Same rate from yesterday's numbers = 158/(158+5228) = 2.933%

Pretty stable, but does not reflect the fact that recovery takes longer than death on average, so is probably too high.

Mortality rate calculated from today's total deaths/total cases 20 days ago:

162/7755 = 2.089%

This is my preferered number, for now. I'll update it in a few days, and maybe apply it to other countries.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 05, 2020, 05:36:21 PM »
Scenario 3:

There's a chance that warmer weather, plus social distancing, canceling large gatherings, etc will knock down the R0 below 1 temporarily.

Then it comes roaring back in the fall from thousands of loci instead of one single market in China.

Worst case, it doesn't get bad until after the election Nov 3, Trump gets re-elected (I think I threw up a little in my mouth).

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: February 27, 2020, 11:08:50 PM »
Let's do China - Hubei:

Total Chinese cases (78631) Minus Hubei cases  (65596)  =  13035 non-Hubei cases

Total Chinese deaths (2747) Minus Hubei deaths  (2641) =  106 non-Hubei deaths

Case1: deaths to confirmed cases = 0.8%


Total Chinese recoveries (32916) Minus Hubei recoveries  (23383)  =  9533 non-Hubei recoveries

Case2:  deaths/(deaths+recoveries) = 106/(106+9533) = 1.1%

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: February 27, 2020, 04:48:17 PM »

All things being equal, the infected transient workers would start transmitting the virus to vulnerable relatives, and death rates would rise in other provinces to equal Hubei's.

But people respond to new information. Sick people modify their behavior as they learn about the severity of this new virus. It is common for sick people in Asia to wear a mask to protect others, now I am sure this behavior is extra desirable.

So maybe the spread in other provinces was halted before the elderly, cancer patients, etc became exposed to the same extent as in Hubei.


Here's a 2nd idea...

In Hubei, before public awareness of the new virus became widespread, sick people went to the hospital for treatment, shedding virus particles to all the other people in the hospital. Even if medical personnel were wearing PPE, I suspect the other patients were not.

Hospitals are full of old, sick people with pre-existing co-morbidities. The death rate for these people is very high - like 20+%

As better isolation practices were implemented, other provinces avoided this problem, benefitting from knowledge gained in Hubei.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: February 27, 2020, 04:15:43 PM »

Setting aside the Hubei data isn't reasonable.

Thank you, Steve, Sam and others for discussion of this very important point.

I would like to propose a selection effect to account for part of the difference in mortality rate...

- Hubei province is an industrial center, with many transient workers from other provinces.
- COVID19 infection spreads unnoticed a few weeks before Chinese New Year vacation.
- many infected people in Hubei are transient workers who return home for CNY with a cough and a slight fever.
- these workers are primarily younger and healthier than average, whose death rate has been shown to about 0.2%
- the remaining population in Hubei shares the virus among an older, less healthy population who suffer a much higher death rate.

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: September 08, 2019, 02:05:56 AM »
Upside down balance sheet? No worries, we will shrink our way out of the problem.

The upper chart presented, purportedly showing 2018 and 2019 total deliveries, actually shows total US only deliveries, excluding non-US deliveries.

The attribution is sparse, but the title of the jpg is "auto shrink", implying that total auto deliveries are shrinking in 2019 compared to 2018.

In reality, non-US deliveries in 2018 were limited. Tesla concentrated deliveries to the US market to maximize the number of customers qualifying for the full US EV tax credit which halved after Dec 31, 2018.

Overseas and Canadian deliveries greatly increased in 2019, adding significantly to the total, so the chart is misleading, deceptive, and dishonestly labelled.

Worldwide total deliveries are undoubtedly available from numerous sources, but GSY chose to use this dishonest chart instead. I wonder why?

Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: August 30, 2019, 10:52:35 PM »
ICE vs EV during hurricane evac:

It's a collective action problem. There is not enough gasoline in the Florida peninsula to simultaneously:
1. Fuel up all the cars for evacuation
2. Supply extra for emergency services
3. Fill extra cans for generators and the trunk of Terry's VW
4. Burn extra gas idling in traffic jams

The result is long lines at the pumps and some people get less than they need. Then cars are stranded without fuel, and generators run out.

There may be long lines at superchargers on the way out of town, but they will not run out of electrons.

Meanwhile, the EV owner with solar and grid-tied batteries also has no shortage of electrons before the panic crunch, and (assuming her system survives the storm) has plenty of electrons to keep the power on and the EV fueled during the subsequent power failures.

In the future, 2-way EV2grid will greatly increase the usefulness and flexibility of her EV during and after hurricanes.

EVs and solar are more resilient. Ask Archimid if he'd rather have PV powered EVs and houses, or extra gasoline storage and generators while being dependent of external suppliers of fuel.

Consequences / Re: Laurentide II
« on: August 16, 2019, 03:05:19 PM »
Science requires consilience. If you can show that rain gauges, river flows, soil moisture, etc are all increasing, then you have a good case.

So far, you have one reanalysis model in conflict with several observations. Refer to Feynman's quip about "beautiful theory" disagreeing with experiment.

Consequences / Re: Laurentide II
« on: August 16, 2019, 02:38:39 PM »
Reanalyses do not equal observations

The model used by NCEP reanalysis may be reproducing an increase in precipitation that is not reaching the ground (virga).

An increase in virga is not unreasonable in a warmer drier atmosphere.

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla Future
« on: February 23, 2019, 02:17:33 AM »
Curious for everyone who is voting for "just another EV company" (or for "bailout w/out restructure") what they think a fair share price would be. Trillion dollar answer implies $6000 a share. 7 and 11 obviously equal ZERO.


For those of you who think it is option 1, you should take on as much leverage as possible to load up on TSLA and cash in on this 20 bagger! Enjoy.

Both indicate an unwarranted assumption:
... Constant number of shares.

The history of Tesla disproves this assumption, and there is little or nothing to stop Musk, Tesla, and SpaceX from making any number of  further "interesting" financial moves that would and could greatly increase the number of shares outstanding.

For example, buying a major automotive player who gets in trouble with their battery supplier and can no longer make ANY battery powered vehicles...  can no longer meet increasingly stringent govt emissions standards, and therefore faces bankruptcy or bailout.

Tesla offers an all-stock deal worth pennies on the dollar, gains a huge manufacturing capacity, combines it with their Panasonic battery supply, and is instantly 20 times larger. On paper, at least.

Point being, the number of shares is maybe 20 times bigger after such a deal. Stock price is about the same, maybe lower due to the enormous risk. A good time for shorts like yourself to get out.

Science / Re: ECS is 2.5
« on: October 19, 2018, 03:22:48 AM »


OK, that is a good idea.  However, there are some constraints:


Tamino's temperature data start in 1950, but the early years are noisy and I'm reluctant to go back much more than 50 years (1967-ish)


So let's split the 1967-2018 period in half, and have two non-overlapping, 25-year periods (1967-1992 and 1993-2018).


That gives ECS of 2.3 (early) and 2.8 (late).  Not too surprising, since the full period was 2.5.

Now for the million-dollar question: is the increase due to just random noise, or is it the non-stationarity that ASLR alluded to? 


This is back-of-the-napkin stuff, here, people.  But that's what napkins are for, right?

Right, my napkins are practically unreadable by now.

Thanks for the new calculation and graph.

Here are my reactions:

A) The period from the late 1930's to the late 1950's is a rather unique, interesting, and potentially valuable time for consideration in this debate about ECS. Total anthro forcing paused and did not increase at all for 20ish years (1937 to 1958 for example).

B) The formal definition of TCS used in modeling climate requires a very fast rate of increase in CO2 forcing - 1% per year for 72 years to achieve a doubling.

Synthesizing these points, while the forcings paused for 20 years we were not at all observing anything related to TCS, but were slowly evolving towards equilibrium (ECS) for few decades. When forcings resumed their increase, the rate of change in CO2 forcing was far less than 1% per year at the beginning, and is still barely above 1/2% per year now.

So the temperature increased more than it would in a strict TCS model at the beginning of your time period - it was able to get slightly closer to equilibrium. For the second half, the forcing increased faster, and therefore closer to the TCS condition.

So the scatter plot graph of CO2 forcing vs temp has a bias towards higher temps at the left side than it would if TCS were calculated at the full rate of CO2 increase. This means your slope shows a bias towards flatter on the left, and steeper on the right.


If we are foolish enough to continue accelerating our CO2 emission, or if natural sinks break down, and thereby we see CO2 forcings increase at a rate close to 1% per year ...
... Then the ECS calculated by your method would be even higher on the next 25 year segment, as the true TCS conditions are felt.

Next calculation discussion:

Tamino's method of removing non-anthro effects is useful for shorter time spans, and a valuable refinement for your calculation, but over much longer time spans the natural forcings are mostly constant.

Therefore I think it would be interesting to repeat your method on longer time spans, and include pre-1950 data to get a longer term view.

The limitation I discussed above still apply... but it still may be useful to see how it has evolved over longer time spans.

Science / Re: ECS is 2.5
« on: October 18, 2018, 10:41:58 PM »
Indeed, we all make mistakes, and it was my turn to demonstrate the cliche, apparently!

While you've got the spreadsheet fired up, can I suggest another graph?

How about graphing the ECS calculated from your method (ratio of delta forcings) over time, just as you did above to show the changing ratio of RF(CO2)/RF(total anthro)?

And maybe try varying time period from 30 years rolling windows to larger timespans, too.

Science / Re: ECS is 2.5
« on: October 18, 2018, 09:46:51 PM »

I absolutely applaud your efforts to highlight the relationship between CO2 and temp, instead of time vs temp. The scatter plot is spot on. I have used the same graph many times when putting denier trolls in their place.

That said, your data do not support your calculation. Specifically, the RCP forcing data you linked to show that the ratio between CO2 forcing and total anthro forcing is not now and has not ever been as low as 0.74.

I believe the error comes from failing to account for non-GHG anthro forcings like aerosols, land-use albedo, cloud albedo due to particulate pollution, etc.

From your data source:

Year 1967
Total anthro forcing (col 4) = 0.6985 W/m^2
CO2 forcing (column 8 )    =   0.7989 W/m^2

Ratio = 1.14

Year 2017
Anthro = 2.398
CO2 = 2.061

Ratio = 0.859

A simple average of the ratios at these 2 end points is almost exactly 1.00, not 0.74

Updating your final conclusion with these corrected values gives us an ECS of 3.37

This is a number fully in line with many other estimates, and even more alarming than the already dangerous value of 2.5.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: October 08, 2018, 02:02:13 AM »
The goal should be reversing the increase in the CO2 level, turning it into a decrease.

Will eliminating 50% of fossil fuels be enough to halt the increase? (since natural sinks currently absorb half of emissions)... I'm not sure, I think it won't quite be enough, as the natural sinks will slow down once emissions do.

Do we need to eliminate 100% of FF emissions in order to see a decline in atmospheric CO2? No... Some amount of reduction between 50 and 100% should do it.

If we can still afford a bit of FF emissions for the darkest cloudiest winter days with little wind, then very little battery backup is required.

There's no need to wring our hands over the last few percent of FF emissions, especially since won't get there for many years. Technology will advance in the meantime, so let's allow the next generation of renewable energy engineers to figure that out.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: October 07, 2018, 02:28:41 AM »
For instance there are approximately 26m residential homes in the UK.  If we were to put 2Mw/h capacity in each home that is 52 Tw/h of capacity.


Erm, just one little problem.  at $100 per kw/h that's 10 quadrillion and 400 trillion dollars to deploy.  Even at $1 per Kw/h that it $100Trillion

Now let's do that figure for the US.....

Just to inject a little reality into the scale of things...

Nuclear decommissioning looking so expensive now??


I have great respect for your contributions here and in other threads to inject some real calculations to help us grasp the scale of efforts required to wean our civilization from fossil fuels (or die trying, as we seem to be aiming for).

I hope to be able to return the favor and point out that your math seems to be off here.

52 trillion watt hours, 52 TWh, at $100/kWh (or $0.10/Wh) = $5.2 trillion, not $10.4 quadrillion.

Somehow, you are off by a factor of 2,000.  Not sure how, exactly, but British vs American usage of trillions may be part of it.

Another way to look at it - if every household had a car with a 100 kWh battery pack, plugged into the grid with Jim Hunt's bi-directional charging equipment, that would be a similar scale of investment in storage capacity. We already replace the auto fleet every decade or two, so we should expect BEV to start taking up some of the storage duties at no additional cost as they replace FF ICEs.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: September 15, 2018, 07:19:56 PM »
Terry, you're off by a factor of 1000 again.

8 GWh = 8,000,000 kWh ... not 8,000 kWh

Therefore 8 GWh is enough for one Tesla semi to travel 4 million miles.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: August 28, 2018, 02:41:03 PM »

... I'm still struggling to coming to terms with a 36 ton truck using almost half the power of a Model S, per mile.


...but the hype is beginning to grate.
So when someone tells me that they are going to use less power than that required to move a half ton car, I want some really good proof on that.

Getting the facts straight will reduce your struggles.

1. Model S weight is 3 (three) tons, not 1/2 (a half) ton.

2. Model S uses about 1/6th (one sixth) of the energy per mile compared to the Semi. (3 miles/kWhr vs 2 kWhrs/mile)

Policy and solutions / Re: Trains, Trams, Subways and Buses
« on: February 28, 2018, 06:29:07 PM »
That's a big cat!

Nice work on the plan from me, too.

Consequences / Re: Hurricane season 2017
« on: September 01, 2017, 12:04:14 AM »
Fallout from Harvey - closed refineries:

In driving around the DFW area running errands today, only two gas stations had any fuel, and lines were very long, with angry drivers. Prices up about $0.50.

Every auto parts store, walmart, etc is out of gas cans.

Traffic seemed heavier than usual, maybe more people desperately using up their remaining fuel to drive around looking for an open gas station.

I avoided looking in the rear-view mirror - my smug face must have been unbearable, as I scooted along on battery power in my 500e.

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: July 15, 2017, 07:39:49 PM »
Managers and executives make LESS?  Completely non-feasible. Sorry, we will keep supporting the coal industry. Must keep the lobbyist money and kickbacks flowing to the very important legislators and congressmen. Executives who aren't making obscene profits can't maintain the bribe contribution levels.

Consequences / Re: Sea Level Rise and Social Cost of Carbon
« on: June 21, 2017, 03:48:01 PM »
El Nino changes precipitation patterns. Less rain over South America, more over the ocean. Sea level rises.

Neutral/weak La Nina since mid 2016 = more rain over land, sea level rise is temporarily paused.

I think another factor in the equation is the way utilities bill the Supercharger location. Some utilities have tiered rates that depend on the maximum power draw for each billing location. Higher max power = higher rate per kWh for ALL electricity consumed for the month, plus a higher base rate (in addition to the usage).

So batteries can dampen the peaks, reducing the max power penalties. Going off-grid completely avoids the base monthly charges as well. It might mean wasting some power, but the marginal cost of the wasted power is very low.

There may be a few times a year when several cloudy days reduce output beyond the ability of the batteries to compensate. The Supercharger could just reduce the charging rate allowed.

Permafrost / Re: Negative Feedback of Positive Snowfall Anomalies
« on: June 09, 2017, 08:49:25 PM »

Time to re-examine your priors. You seem to be stuck in a loop of self-delusion. Very little of your last post makes any sense, very little is factually correct, and the conclusions you have drawn are unsurprisingly detached from current reality as the rest of us experience it.

Sorry to be so harsh, but you must work much harder to incorporate Feynman's maxim for doing good science...

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool."

You have fooled yourself. That is plain to see. Until you see it yourself, there is no hope.

Example 1st:

...recent lack of spring snowcover... which 2017 proved is *not* an absolute, even with temps at the warmest levels they have ever been (or very close).

May snow cover was indeed anomalously high compared to recent years, but temperatures were NOT at the "warmest levels" ever. Not even close. May 2017 was the 2nd COLDEST in the last 15 years north of 60degN.


Example B:

The Himalayan anomalies could also further the deterioration of the Arctic as we see the Siberian anomalies continue to erode (and unlike the Himalayas, parts of which continue to see massive snowfalls, snow is mostly finished/only falling in relatively token amounts along the Siberian coast). As Siberia loses its snowpack, I suspect that the jet stream will be able to waft enormous amounts of heat up and over the Himalayas (with the snowpack there encouraging +500MB height anomalies to the north), and that air is going to head directly into the heart of the Arctic.

The jetstream flowing away from the Himalayas heads towards Japan and the Pacific Ocean, almost never towards the Arctic.


The negative feedback due to above average snow cover in May is rapidly dissipating. The first week of June saw a huge shift in the Rutgers maps:

Now the positive feedbacks will kick in. Will the Siberian and Canadian tundra warm faster due to the extra insulation of thicker winter snow cover?

Arctic sea ice / Re: Latest PIOMAS update (May)
« on: May 04, 2017, 06:42:09 PM »
April update of PIOMAS volume versus Arctic NCEP reanalysis temp:

Anomalies are plotted to allow the partial year 2017 to be shown correctly - the last point at the lower right is Jan to Apr 2017.


Consequences / Re: Global Surface Air Temperatures
« on: April 23, 2017, 04:34:26 PM »
Unfortunately, CCI uses different baselines for SAT and SST, making the comparison more difficult.

SAT baseline = 1979-2000
SST baseline = 1971-2000

So we would expect the anomaly to be different, due to warming during the non-overlapping baseline period of 1971 to 1978... CCI SST anomaly should be slightly higher than SAT anomaly even if the absolute temps are the same.

Physics say the oceans are usually warmer than the air. Shortwave solar energy absorbed by the dark ocean, released to the atmosphere, then to space. Heat flows from warmer to colder.

As Bill F. points out, the monthly datasets and reanalyses like NCEP consistently show absolute SST are higher than SAT.

I think he meant to say 100 Amp service... common in older houses.

Permafrost / Re: Negative Feedback of Positive Snowfall Anomalies
« on: March 23, 2017, 06:39:16 AM »
More snow in late spring and summer would be a negative feedback due to albedo...

Warmer Arctic --> more evaporation --> more snow fall --> reflects SW radiation in the summer --> cooler Arctic.

But we don't see more snow surviving into summer, we see less and less snow cover in the summer - check the Rutgers data or the NOAA snow cover data. More extensive snow cover and thicker snow appears in the winter, when the sun is not shining... no albedo negative feedback.

Instead, we have a positive feedback...

Warmer Arctic with more open water --> more evaporation --> thicker snow on the ice  --> insulates the ice from bottom freeze --> thinner ice, melts sooner --> more open water in summer --> reduced albedo = warmer --> more evaporation... and more open water also makes more evaporation --> more snow.

Also, thicker snow on land insulates the permafrost, preventing it from radiating away the heat gained during melt season. The top surface of the snow is much colder, but the bottom is warmer, just like a blanket. When the snow melts in spring, the permafrost starts out warmer than usual.


Another effect of snow might be possible... consider this scenario, tell me if it makes sense:

Snow falling on open water makes slush, which soon solidifies into solid ice if it's cold enough. If the Arctic ocean surface is a little warmer, and if much heavier snow falls on the water forming a very thick slush layer, it might not be able to freeze solid.

Solid ice has a much higher thermal conductivity than water, so a thick slush layer would act as insulation on the bottom of the ice, trapping water in its voids, preventing heat from conducting upwards through the ice as quickly... in addition to the air/snow insulation effect on the top of the ice.

This would be consistent with the observations that Arctic ice seems "rotten" and weak. Maybe it has more slush within it than historically.


Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: March 09, 2017, 03:44:04 PM »
Dolt 45 may start a little war in the Middle East. That will keep the oil prices high enough to please his masters.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Latest PIOMAS update (March)
« on: March 07, 2017, 05:56:32 PM »

Interesting chart.  I thjnk the anomaly measure is a proxy for heat flow and to a lesser degree, total system enthalpy.


I agree the cumulative effect of temperatures is most important. FDD captures much of the same information.


I forgot to add... 2016 and 2017 are the last two points on the far lower right. 2017 is the rightest and lowest, but it only represents Jan and Feb so far. I can update it throughout the year if it is interesting to anybody.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Latest PIOMAS update (March)
« on: March 07, 2017, 05:37:37 PM »
I made another chart:

NCEP arctic temps, annual average anomaly
PIOMAS annual average volume anomaly


I think we are likely to hit -8 thousand km^3 for the annual anomaly, implying a record low Sept minimum around 2.5 thousand km^3.

I find it fascinating that the temperature anomaly hit a record high of about 1.3C on 2005, causing a slightly lower record volume low... then the temperature stayed near that plateau for 11 years while volume plummeted.

Now we have jumped to a new record high temp in 2016 and probably in 2017, too. Will the volume repeat the same pattern? Lower and lower volumes over the next decade even if temps plateau?


Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2017 melting season
« on: March 06, 2017, 10:57:48 PM »
Here's a chart I made. I like it when R^2 is above .90... don't like the implications for ice melting.

It's the annual average of temperatures north of the Arctic circle, compared to the annual average sea ice. Temps from NCEP reanalysis, ice area from NSIDC. Both temps and ice area are shown as their anomalies from the 1979 to 2016 average.

2017 has only two months data, it is the last point to the far lower right, slightly above the trend line.

To get ice free summers... considering that summers have been declining faster than winter... I'm going to guess about 3-4 more degreesC of Arctic warming will give us ice free Aug, Sept and Oct.

With Arctic amplification running about 6 times the global average (using the same NCEP reanalysis data), we need only about 0.5 to 0.7C more globally averaged warming to get us there. Maybe 20 years at the current accelerating rate.

The first ice free minimum would happen much earlier... and that's important as a warning signal... but I see albedo feedback as the real killer here. The regular appearance of blue Arctic Ocean in August when the sun is still shining 24 hours per day... that's going to be awful to see.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic temperature layers and inversions
« on: February 22, 2017, 06:14:05 PM »
The answer is in aslan's spreadsheet attached to the OP.

aslan downloaded the 1000 mb temperatures (in degrees C), shown in the second tab, rows 177 to 213.

He then calculated a blackbody emissivity for each month's temperature with the formula...
... in columns O to Z

He took the average for the 3 months Nov, Dec, and Jan in column AB

Finally, he copied that average over to tab3 in cells D3 to D38, but called it "Temperature in Kelvins" when it is clearly not a temperature at all, but is an emissivity (possibly in units of Watts).

The difference in emissivity from the 80's to today is about 20 Watts, not 20 Kelvins.

The temperature increase from the 80's to today is actually about 5 Kelvins.

His main point that the temperature inversion has disappeared still stands. The temperature difference between 850 mb and 1000 mb has changed from about -2K to +1K (the near-surface is now warmer than 850 mb).

Consequences / Re: Places becoming less livable
« on: February 08, 2017, 10:16:10 PM »
Sea Level in the Cretaceous:

Temperature and ice volume are not the only factors controlling sea level.

During the Cretaceous, more vigorous subduction and creation of ocean crust is thought to have raised the average level of the seafloor. Younger seafloor is warmer, less dense, and so floats higher on the mantle.

Therefore the volume of the ocean basins was physically smaller, forcing water up onto the continents.

It's true that climate change - man-made or otherwise - will not duplicate the Cretaceous high sea levels... the level of plate tectonic activity is different now and unlikely to change rapidly.


Palm trees at the poles:

Polar amplification and different atmospheric circulation patterns kept the poles much warmer relative to the tropics. "Equable Climate" is the search term to look into.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« on: February 04, 2017, 07:28:45 PM »

You are reading that chart incorrectly.

About 2/3rds of the total energy input into the electric generating industry is lost as waste heat in thermal power plants due to Carnot efficiency limits. Very little is lost in transmission.


"How much electricity is lost in transmission and distribution in the United States?

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that electricity transmission and distribution losses average about 6% of the electricity that is transmitted and distributed annually in the United States."

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season
« on: February 02, 2017, 03:08:50 AM »
Ice Shieldz,

It's certainly been hot in the Arctic lately, but unfortunately, your chart is not showing us Jan 2017. The NCEP Reanalysis has not updated yet. Your chart shows Jan 2016 as the last data point.

I'm waiting impatiently as well for the next update.

Walking the walk / Re: Zero-Carbon Farming and Living via the Acorn Path
« on: February 01, 2017, 08:38:14 PM »
What a great experiment... well done you two!

I've read a bit about gut biomes, and I wonder if the change in appetite and desire for natural vs commercial foods is due to your gut biome having changed, and it is now responding with bacterial "distaste" to the now unfamiliar foods.

They send a chemical signal to your brain saying "we don't appreciate that strange stuff".

Those of us still addicted to simple carbs get the opposite signal from our gut biome... "don't stop eating those carbs... or else we will flood your system with nasty chemical signals... and go eat some corn chips and sugary drinks, pronto!"

Policy and solutions / Re: But, but, but, China....
« on: January 24, 2017, 11:31:45 PM »
China will need some cannon-fodder to take on TrumPutin. They're planning ahead.

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