Headlining Again: Flirting with Insufferable

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 10:22 PM GMT on February 09, 2015

Headlining Again: Flirting with Insufferable

Two weeks ago, on January 25, a public affairs representative asked me if I wanted to make a statement in advance of the historic blizzard predicted for the Northeast. After that conversation, a little write up was released offering me up as an expert for the press. My comment was that I didn’t think the storm should be conflated with climate change, and I had doubts about it being “historic.” This, of course, assured that no one would call me in advance of the blizzard. My more pithy comment, that it would be historic in the sense that it was consistent with history, did not carry the day either. Given the way the forecast and the reporting unfolded, I have been given an opportunity to be completely insufferable.

Here’s a little record of the news cycle on my Tumblr site.

Given that my last blog was on the role that we scientists sometimes play in fueling climate-science controversies, the blizzard seems like a natural follow on. In fact, the 2011 piece with Christine Shearer, “Changing the Media Discussion on Climate and Extreme Weather,” used the example of event attribution as a place where scientists fuel headlines that are not always productive.

Here are the three reasons that I declined to conflate the storm with climate change and to talk about a potential “historic” event.

1. The practice of trying to attribute some portion of a storm to climate change is a no-win practice. I understand the curiosity that leads to public interest. I understand the curiosity of the scientific investigation of event attribution. I am not convinced that there is any policy relevance of event attribution.

We have one climate, the Earth’s climate. We have one atmosphere. If we focus on the atmosphere, then we have weather that occurs in the atmosphere, and we have the climate of that atmosphere. Weather and climate are both ways that humans describe temperature, moisture, winds, etc., in this case, associated with the atmosphere. Weather and climate are not separate and independent things; they are different descriptions of the same measures of the atmosphere. If climate changes, weather changes. If weather changes, climate changes. Therefore, every weather event occurs in our changing climate on our warming Earth. Since our understanding and description of weather relies on temperature, moisture, wind, and how they vary, it is unrealistic to imagine that weather events are not influenced by the changing climate.

The questions of how an event differs, today, in our warmer climate from a similar event in the past, can be addressed, but such a determination relies upon statistics and statements of probability and likelihood. Conclusions are never definitively verifiable. Probability and likelihood are notoriously difficult ways to communicate in quiet consultation, and even more difficult in newspapers, on the radio, television and online. Probability and risk are just made for conflicting headlines. The conclusions are, therefore, by definition, uncertain, and uncertainty can always fuel both sides of a rhetorical or a political argument. Therefore, as with marking one temperature record after another, attribution headlines obscure what is important about climate change.

2. As in my series on the not so “super El Nino,” predicting an extreme event as super, historic or unprecedented mostly sets the predictor up as a foil to those interested in maintaining the turmoil of conflicting headlines. Extreme events are rare, and an event that is more extreme than any previous extreme event is rarer. Therefore, many things have to come together to justify such a prediction. I count on the dispassionate language of science-based organizations to describe model forecasts. The appearance of imprecise adjectives of extremes should be expected to fuel an extreme-fascinated society into its next exercise of false urgency and compulsion for crisis management. When I was asked to comment on whether or not a historic storm was likely for a particular place at a particular time, the forecast was far too distant in the future; too many things had to come together, perfectly, to justify such a prediction.

3. I am not a weather forecaster. I have worked with outstanding forecasters. I have managed the building and verification of weather-forecasting systems and climate models. There were a number of attributes of the model prediction that raised yellow flags. This included the fact that weather-forecast reporting, now, has the gamesmanship of Euro versus U.S.

What were the yellow flags? The forecast was for a fast moving disturbance to move across the continent, to interact with a front off of the East Coast, to grow, and to move to the north and east. The first yellow flags were a lot of moving parts and growing. Then, there is a set of aspects that put up more warning flags. There is the need to get water from the warmer-than-normal ocean, transport that water, and convert it to rain and snow. These are aspects of modeling that are difficult to represent and more different to link together.

Within the model, there are events occurring on different measures (scales) of space and time. The evaporation of water is represented in the models in areas on the Earth’s surface that are a few kilometers on their sides. The actual evaporation occurs in much smaller representative areas and depends on many unrepresented details of the Earth’s surface. The evaporation, the transport, and the conversion of water from liquid to vapor, from vapor to water, ice and snow, must be organized into moving and growing storms whose geographical extent is from 10 to 100 times larger. We want to know the transition line between rain, sleet and snow. Then, after all of these elements of a storm are collected together and forecast into the future, we ask the model to give us an answer that distinguishes Manhattan from Queens from Hauppauge. We want answers separated by smaller distances than the smallest distances that the models represent. The expectations are not in realistic alignment with possibility. There are too many things that have to come together in the 24-48 hours of the forecast to justify the hyperbole of super, historic and unprecedented.

Weather and climate models are amazing and powerful tools. They help us think about what the weather and climate will do. They help us think about how to prepare. They also have intrinsic, sometime irreducible limitations. With regard to this weather forecast, if a model represents the surface of the Earth with patches of surface than are 10 km on the side, then the uncertainty associated with a particular weather event is more like 50 to 100 km (Recent effective resolution paper). Within that range of uncertainty, the forecast of the 2015 Northeast blizzard was spot on.

Weather and climate models are powerful and dispassionate tools. They have no control over how we take that information, determine knowledge content, describe that knowledge, react to that knowledge and use that knowledge. There are those trained in interpretation of forecasts and the prediction of weather events. There are those trained in the identification of vulnerabilities and assessment of risk. There are those trained in response to perceived risk and in response to realized risk. There are those trained in communication, and those trained in capturing audience. Increasingly, we allow our communication to be framed by those experts in capturing audience; we watch stories flame in news cycles that are rife with inaccuracy and incompleteness. We allow the foibles of communication to damage the chain of expertise for making and using forecasts.

This weekend Dean Smith died. Dean Smith has a larger-than-life iconography in sport, society and life. Smith was notorious for causing chaos at the end of basketball games when Carolina was trailing. In that chaos was opportunity. Weather, climate and the relationship of weather and climate play out in public, where there are many chattering voices looking for attention and audience – mine included. The desire to predict, for rightness and for attention motivates us to take distinguishing positions that differentiate us from others. This is chaotic. Then there are those in the climate-change conversation who are deliberately chaotic. As scientists claiming to advocate knowledge-based decisions, we must understand that we step into this world of natural and manufactured chaos. There are things we do repeatedly, record marking and event attribution amongst them, which help fuel the chaos, and obscure what is important about climate change.

r


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

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94. JohnLonergan
9:27 PM GMT on February 14, 2015
Global sea ice diminishing, despite Antarctic gains

Summary: Sea ice increases in Antarctica do not make up for the accelerated Arctic sea ice loss of the last decades, a new study finds. As a whole, the planet has been shedding sea ice at an average annual rate of 13,500 square miles (35,000 square kilometers) since 1979, the equivalent of losing an area of sea ice larger than the state of Maryland every year.



Comparing Arctic sea ice loss to Antarctic sea ice gain shows that the planet has-been shedding sea ice at an average annual rate of 13,500 square miles since 1979, the equivalent of losing an area of sea ice larger than the state of Maryland every year.
Credit: NASA's Earth Observatory/Joshua Stevens and Jesse Allen


Read more ...

Journal Reference:
Claire L. Parkinson. Global Sea Ice Coverage from Satellite Data: Annual Cycle and 35-Yr Trends. Journal of Climate, 2014; 27 (24): 9377 DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00605.1
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
93. JohnLonergan
6:30 PM GMT on February 14, 2015
Denier predictions vs IPCC projections



This animation compares the observed global temperature change since 1990 (black curve) to projections of global temperature change from the first four Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports (red, pink, orange, green) and from various "climate contrarians" (blue, purple, green, gray dashed). The observations are given by the average of 3 primary global temperature datasets (NASA GISS, NOAA NCDC, and HadCRUT4). All of the IPCC projections have proven to be quite accurate, suggesting high reliability. The contrarian projections all underestimate the global warming substantially, and in fact they erroneously predict global cooling and are quite unreliable. Details of the projections are described here, and additional comparisons can be found in the Lessons from Past Predictions series.

Read more ...
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92. riverat544
6:22 PM GMT on February 14, 2015
Quoting 72. iceagecoming:

Down comes the Arctic hammer with record cold ...


Meanwhile here on the west coast it's been so warm that the mountain snowpack is practically nonexistent this year so far.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
91. Naga5000
6:07 PM GMT on February 14, 2015
#90

That paper is pure junk. No journal worth it's salt will accept it. They created the parameters for a statistical test and cherry picked numbers that would guarantee they got the results they wanted and did not justify the usage of those values. In other words, it's a giant curve fitting exercise.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
89. Xyrus2000
4:44 PM GMT on February 14, 2015
Quoting 85. Xulonn:

Naga - here's one for you - about a "new paper" from Yale "supporting" the denialista. Yale University. If you have the time, I would be very interested in your analysis and opinion - you can start HERE at a right-wing online rag where the the denialist are gloating - and then probably find the actual paper somewhere. I have a feeling this is going to used as major artillery by the denialists, and it would be good to be prepared to counter it.

The comment at Rolling Stone: "A study just came out from a Yale researcher stating that climate skeptics--yes Rolling Stoned the term is skeptic not denier--have a better grasp of the science involved in climate science than the anthropogenic crowd. I guess that is because skeptics actually take the time and trouble to look beyond the mindless headlines like the one above and investigate the issue for themselves whereas the anthropogenic crowd like to be spoon fed propaganda. "

That quote is a classic example of turning an attacker's words - e.g., "AGW/CC realists fighting denialists" back on them.





Let's see. We have well known crank Roy Spencer, the president of the Flat Earth Society Daniel Shenton, lots of links to debunked garbage from various denial sites and Faux News.

That link is concentrating stupid into a vial and injecting it into the corner of your eyeballs.

But the actual study seems to be here, and it doesn't really say what Captain Jackass Jeff Dunetz think it says.

The study is about the perceived growing anti-science sentiment in the country. It surveyed Americans to get their views on science in general, then specifically on topics of global warming, evolution, and vaccines.

The results of the study show what we've talked about here on a number of occasions. While clearly there are some ignorant individuals when it comes to climate science (we have our fair share on here), most deniers do so for reasons of ideology rather than science. The results of the study showed that on average there wasn't much difference in the level of scientific knowledge between those accepting the science on controversial/divisive science topics and those who do not.

This is both encouraging and depressing at the same time. It's encouraging from the stand point that those that deny the science on these topics aren't complete idiots. It's depressing from the standpoint that deniers are WILLFULLY ignoring the science because it of their ideology. They're basically sticking their fingers in their collective ears and screaming "LA LA LA WE CAN'T HEAR YOU LA LA LA!"

If it was merely ignorance, then that would indicate that perhaps we need to do a better job when it comes to disseminating scientific research and results. But what can you do with someone who absolutely refuses to learn? What do you do when cognitive dissonance isn't enough to shake people out of their backwards beliefs?

A choice quote from Kahan:
"Everyone has gotten the memo on what 'climate scientists believe,'" he writes. It's just that there are certain questions, and certain ways of phrasing them, that lead conservatives to trumpet their political identities, rather than express their knowledge, in response to survey questions

Unfortunately, the study doesn't provide an answer on how to deal with this issue.

Maybe Thomas Dolby should have made the song "She Blinded Me With Political Ideology" instead of "She Blinded Me With Science", but it doesn't have the same ring to it.



Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
88. Xyrus2000
4:02 PM GMT on February 14, 2015
Quoting 84. Xulonn:

Superb, comprehensive and well written article, Xandra - thanks for posting the info and the link. I only had time to skim the article and comments this morning, but could barely find a sane comment. I will not have time to read the article carefully and all of the comments until this evening.

Actually, the whole thing struck me as a powerful, well-written and comprehensive article followed by a massive, coordinated denialist attack.

Like FLWolverine, i noticed the heavy denialista presence in the comments. I started out with the default "Newest First" comment sorting, and it was totally dominating by denialists. I then sorted by oldest first, and then most of the comments had a rational, science-aware focus.

Many of the denialist comments show signs of professional denialist writing, with excellent propaganda tools being used. I hate to sound like a conspiracist, but I truly believe that there must have been a coordinated attack by the pro denialista that was supported by the ignorati-type denialists seen at WUWT - after the word got out. (One commenter stated that he arrived after finding out about the RS article at ClimateDepot.)





Some of the work I've done has been for the Navy, which is very keenly interested in climate change, specifically sea level rise.

While the general view of the Pentagon is a slow bureaucratic behemoth, when it comes to science they're always looking a decade or more down the road. Climate change affects all their operations. Climate change affects "hotspots" around the globe. Climate change affects resources.

As I've said many times before, the DoD is one of the largest consumers of climate information, which makes claims of a massive left wing conspiracy look kind of idiotic.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
87. Xulonn
4:00 PM GMT on February 14, 2015
Quoting 86. Xyrus2000:


Using geoengineering as a solution for climate change is the equivalent of using cough syrup to treat stage 4 lung cancer.
Or perhaps more like using leeches or blood-letting to treat hemophilia.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
86. Xyrus2000
3:49 PM GMT on February 14, 2015
Quoting 79. Xandra:

...Denial of colon cancer could lead to a colostomy, denial of the dangers of smoking could lead to a tracheostomy and denial of global climate change could lead us to geoengineering.

Read more >>


Using geoengineering as a solution for climate change is the equivalent of using cough syrup to treat stage 4 lung cancer.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
85. Xulonn
3:17 PM GMT on February 14, 2015
Naga - here's one for you - about a "new paper" from Yale "supporting" the denialista. Yale University. If you have the time, I would be very interested in your analysis and opinion - you can start HERE at a right-wing online rag where the the denialist are gloating - and then probably find the actual paper somewhere. I have a feeling this is going to used as major artillery by the denialists, and it would be good to be prepared to counter it.

The comment at Rolling Stone: "A study just came out from a Yale researcher stating that climate skeptics--yes Rolling Stoned the term is skeptic not denier--have a better grasp of the science involved in climate science than the anthropogenic crowd. I guess that is because skeptics actually take the time and trouble to look beyond the mindless headlines like the one above and investigate the issue for themselves whereas the anthropogenic crowd like to be spoon fed propaganda. "

That quote is a classic example of turning an attacker's words - e.g., "AGW/CC realists fighting denialists" back on them.


Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
84. Xulonn
3:06 PM GMT on February 14, 2015
Quoting 81. Xandra:

The Pentagon & Climate Change: How Deniers Put National Security at Risk

The leaders of our armed forces know what's coming next – but deniers in Congress are ignoring the warnings...
Superb, comprehensive and well written article, Xandra - thanks for posting the info and the link. I only had time to skim the article and comments this morning, but could barely find a sane comment. I will not have time to read the article carefully and all of the comments until this evening.

Actually, the whole thing struck me as a powerful, well-written and comprehensive article followed by a massive, coordinated denialist attack.

Like FLWolverine, i noticed the heavy denialista presence in the comments. I started out with the default "Newest First" comment sorting, and it was totally dominating by denialists. I then sorted by oldest first, and then most of the comments had a rational, science-aware focus.

Many of the denialist comments show signs of professional denialist writing, with excellent propaganda tools being used. I hate to sound like a conspiracist, but I truly believe that there must have been a coordinated attack by the pro denialista that was supported by the ignorati-type denialists seen at WUWT - after the word got out. (One commenter stated that he arrived after finding out about the RS article at ClimateDepot.)


Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
83. Neapolitan
1:23 PM GMT on February 14, 2015
Quoting Xandra:
The Pentagon & Climate Change: How Deniers Put National Security at Risk

The leaders of our armed forces know what's coming next – but deniers in Congress are ignoring the warnings

... Rear Adm. Jonathan White, the Navy's chief oceanographer and head of its climate-change task force, is one of the most knowledgeable people in the military about what's actually happening on our rapidly heating planet. Whenever another officer or a congressperson corners White and presses him about why he spends so much time thinking about climate change, he doesn't even try to explain thermal expansion of the oceans or ice dynamics in the Arctic. "I just take them down to Norfolk," White says. "When you see what's going on down there, it gives you a sense of what climate change means to the Navy — and to America. And you can see why we're concerned." ...

Complete article >>
That is some well-written--and frightening--stuff. No 'alarmism'; just straightforward facts. One thing is clear: in the not-too-distant future, nonsensical deniers like Inhofe and McCain will be looked upon at as traitors every bit as damaging to the nation's security as anyone who's ever been accused of that heinous crime.

This passage particularly struck me: "Ashton Carter, Obama's pick for secretary of defense, is not known to Pentagon insiders for his focus on the threats of climate change. And the chances of any significant action in Congress before 2016 are close to zero. But as chaos rises, it is inevitable that we will ask our military to do more. At some point, climate denialism will flip into climate panic, and the demand for law and order and stability will prevail (as will the calls for quick and dangerous techno-fixes like geo-engineering to cool down the planet and stop the rising seas). As one military analyst has pointed out, the U.S. military is the only force on Earth with the ability to police, process, house, feed and move refugees on a mass scale. But you can see how this picture could turn dark fast — one of the biggest long-term threats climate change poses could be to civil liberties and freedom. "It's not a question of what the military can do for climate change," says one former Pentagon official. "It's what climate change will do to the military and its mission." It's a scary notion, but that's where we are headed. In the end, it doesn't matter how many climate-adaptation road maps the Pentagon puts out. We are now committed to a future of disorder and conflict — one in which today's emergencies will always interrupt tomorrow's plans."
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
82. FLwolverine
12:59 PM GMT on February 14, 2015
#81 - the second half of the Rolling Stone article Xandra cited is about the future of the Arctic as the ice melts. The arrogance of the commenters is astonishing. Apparently everyone in the world who sees the Arctic as a new source of oil and minerals is wrong, because as these few airhead commenters tell us : the ice is not going to melt because ..... no carbon tax, climate always changes, fraud.

Sigh.

"Navy scientists estimate that by 2025 the summer ice melt in the Arctic will be big enough to allow transpolar shipping to expand on the Northern Sea Route, which passes through the Barents Sea along the Russian coastline and cuts the transit time between Asia and Europe by a third. As the ice thaws, there will be more tourists sailing in the Northwest Passage along the Canadian coast. There will be more drilling in the Chukchi Sea west of Alaska. There will be more traffic to Greenland, where mining companies are already lining up to extract minerals that will be made accessible by the retreating ice sheets. With all this new maritime traffic, it's inevitable that the Navy will have to respond to more and more incidents up there, from search-and-rescue missions to possibly countering the aggressive actions of the Russian navy. Or, nearly as likely, from the Chinese, who are eager to tap into the rich oil and gas reserves in the Arctic. "The U.S. Navy doesn't cede an ocean to anybody," Titley argues. "We are a great power."

But the U.S. Navy is also, according to Roughead, "woefully unprepared" to operate in the icy, unforgiving Arctic. The Navy doesn't have good weather-forecasting ability there; satellite communications are unreliable; only about 10 percent of the seabed has been surveyed, so navigators are unaware of undersea obstacles. Submarine missions have also become more dangerous due to unpredictable sea ice-freezing patterns. Most important, because nobody in the Navy was prioritizing the need to operate in the Arctic, few Navy ships are prepared for cold weather. Their water and ventilation systems don't work properly in freezing temperatures, their hulls are not hardened against ice. As Titley puts it, "Every Navy commander's nightmare is that something happens in the Arctic — a ship full of tourists going down, a terrorist attack, an encounter with Russian military — and having to pick up the phone and say, 'I'm sorry, Mr. President. We'd like to do something about this, but we simply don't have the equipment to allow us to respond to the situation.' "

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-pent agon-climate-change-how-climate-deniers-put-nation al-security-at-risk-20150212#ixzz3Ritqbwtn
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81. Xandra
12:05 PM GMT on February 14, 2015
The Pentagon & Climate Change: How Deniers Put National Security at Risk

The leaders of our armed forces know what's coming next – but deniers in Congress are ignoring the warnings

... Rear Adm. Jonathan White, the Navy's chief oceanographer and head of its climate-change task force, is one of the most knowledgeable people in the military about what's actually happening on our rapidly heating planet. Whenever another officer or a congressperson corners White and presses him about why he spends so much time thinking about climate change, he doesn't even try to explain thermal expansion of the oceans or ice dynamics in the Arctic. "I just take them down to Norfolk," White says. "When you see what's going on down there, it gives you a sense of what climate change means to the Navy — and to America. And you can see why we're concerned." ...

Complete article >>
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
80. LAbonbon
4:24 AM GMT on February 14, 2015
A series of videos were uploaded to YouTube today, from the Smithsonian's Anthropocene Symposium held last October. These were supposed to be housed on their site, but they do not have all of these videos there. I'm not sure if more will be uploaded (hopefully there will be). Thought some folks on this blog might be interested in watching these. Most are 10 minutes, so not too long :)

Living in the Anthropocene: Prospects for Climate, Economics, Health, and Security
Smithsonian
October 9, 2014

Symposium Program (PDF)

2014 Living in the Anthropocene Conference - Highlights

2014 Living in the Anthropocene Conference - 01 Opening Remarks

2014 Living in the Anthropocene Conference - 02 Hack and Panel

2014 Living in the Anthropocene Conference - 03 Kyte and Panel

2014 Living in the Anthropocene Conference - 04 Drew Jones

2014 Living in the Anthropocene Conference - 05 George Luber and Panel

2014 Living in the Anthropocene Conference - 06 Allen and Panel

2014 Living in the Anthropocene Conference - 07 Thomas Friedman
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
79. Xandra
11:29 PM GMT on February 13, 2015
Doug Craig:

Why climate denial will bring us geoengineering

As I’ve mentioned a few times, I am a psychologist and I know what denial of the truth produces. For an alcoholic, it offers several unwanted costs including cirrhosis of the liver, pancreatitis, epilepsy, polyneuropathy, dementia, heart disease, nutritional deficiencies, peptic ulcers, sexual dysfunction, cardiovascular disease, cancer and among women increased risk of breast cancer. And death.

For a smoker, denial could lead to COPD, which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis, stenosis, lung cancer, coronary heart disease, strokes, impotence, low birth weight of infants born to mothers who smoke, cancer of the bladder, blood, cervix, colon, rectum, esophagus, kidney, larynx, liver, pancreas and stomach. And death.

For a diabetic, denial could lead to cardiovascular disease, neuropathy, kidney disease, retinopathy, foot damage leading to amputation, skin diseases, hearing impairment, and Alzheimer’s disease. And death.

Denial of global climate change is a disease unique to Americans who are politically conservative, watch Fox News, listen to Rush Limbaugh and Dennis Miller, vote for Republicans and have a poor understanding of science.

The consequence of this virulent form of denial is political paralysis for Congress and therefore America and therefore the world. Ongoing denial leads to continued greenhouse gas emissions, rising temperatures, melting glaciers, rising sea levels, increased ocean acidification, increased weather extremes, increased droughts, desertification and water scarcity in some regions, floods in others, increased wildfires, decreased snowpack in mountain regions, decreased food production, increased resource wars, increased global conflict, increased species extinctions, and increased climate refugees. And increased death.

Denial of the truth is always bad and the longer it lasts, the more it limits our options. Avoid a problem long enough and it wins. Keep doing the wrong thing long enough while lying about it and denying it and it could eventually destroy all you value.

Denial of colon cancer could lead to a colostomy, denial of the dangers of smoking could lead to a tracheostomy and denial of global climate change could lead us to geoengineering.

Read more >>
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78. Xyrus2000
9:31 PM GMT on February 13, 2015
Quoting 72. iceagecoming:
Down comes the Arctic hammer with record cold...


Of course, you fail to mention that as a result of the weak polar jet allowing cold air to spill south, that it correspondingly allows warm air to push north. Hence why large segments of the Arctic are 20C+ warmer than normal and why it's warmer in Alaska than it is in New York.

This is the "new normal" that seems to have developed over the recent years, and has been attributed to the rapid warming of the Arctic and declining sea ice.

It's not magic. It's science. There's been several papers on this phenomena already.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
77. cynyc2
8:08 PM GMT on February 13, 2015
Quoting 72. iceagecoming
Meanwhile, in Tucson, we are going to hit the 80's for Valentine's Day!

Err.....what was your point?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
76. LowerCal
7:39 PM GMT on February 13, 2015
Quoting 74. FLwolverine:

#73 - the summary of the paper you reference is very interesting. Probably the paper is too, other than that, what's your point?

Also very interesting is this paragraph from the Link in #73.
The most recent IPCC(3) report, dating from 2007, indicates that the rise in sea levels by 2100 will be between 20 and 60cm, depending on the different greenhouse gas emission models being used. However, the models used until 2007 did not provide the realistic simulations of the dynamic response of the polar ice caps to global warming used by the present study. The 2007 predictions from the IPCC will no doubt be exceeded: more recent simulations suggest an increase in sea levels of between 60 and 180cm by 2100.
(Emphasis added by me.)
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75. FLwolverine
6:52 PM GMT on February 13, 2015
#72 - yeah, the weather is really nasty in some places.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
74. FLwolverine
6:51 PM GMT on February 13, 2015
#73 - the summary of the paper you reference is very interesting. Probably the paper is too, other than that, what's your point?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
73. iceagecoming
6:26 PM GMT on February 13, 2015
Quoting 47. whitewabit:

Ocean carbon release 'ended last Ice Age'



'Bølling oscillation'
ie a bunch of heat from somewhere?
Sol or Gaia core?

A spectacular rise

The research has primarily confirmed the existence of this exceptional event, which had been controversial in some regards. Its chronology, amplitude and duration have now been defined. It began precisely 14,650 years ago and coincides with the start of the warm period known as the 'Bølling oscillation', which marked the end of the ice age. The rise in sea levels at that time was an average of 14m worldwide, over less than 350 years. This corresponds to a rate of 40mm per year -- compared to the 3mm per year we are currently experiencing.

Coral: a climate archive

To describe this remarkable event, researchers analysed cores taken from the coral reef surrounding Tahiti, Polynesia, during the international IODP 310 'Tahiti Sea Level'(4) expedition. The corals that built these reefs and atolls are excellent indicators of sea level variation* and also provide a virtual archive of previous climates(5).

Using reconstructions of sea levels from the fossilised corals as well as geophysical simulations, scientists have been able to identify the source of this accelerated rise in sea levels. They have demonstrated that the Antarctic ice cap was responsible for up to 50% of these increases. Experts had previously believed that only melting ice from the Northern hemisphere had contributed to Melt-Water Pulse 1A, particularly the Laurentide ice cap that covered a large part of North America.

To demonstrate the mechanisms occurring, the research team compared the rise in water levels in Polynesia with those observed during a previous research expedition to Barbados, in the Caribbean. According to the previously accepted hypothesis, the amplitude of the increase in sea levels must have been twice as large in Tahiti than in Barbados, which was closer to the Laurentide ice cap. And yet, the study showed that the rise was equivalent in these two locations, implying a highly significant role played by the Antarctic ice cap.

Link

Melting in the South Pole?
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72. iceagecoming
6:16 PM GMT on February 13, 2015
Down comes the Arctic hammer with record cold

Following on the heels of this snowstorm may be another coastal storm on Thursday, which could swipe New York and Boston with still more snow, but it's what comes after this that will make national news. All the major computer models that forecasters use to alert them to major weather pattern shifts are showing that two chunks of extremely cold air will dislodge from their moorings near Greenland, and slide south into the Midwest and East Coast during the second and third weeks of February.

The first round of near-record cold is likely to affect the Boston area, as well as New York, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia by Friday, when temperatures may be 30 degrees Fahrenheit below average, with the next one arriving a few days after that. The second round of cold may be even harsher than the first, with records put in jeopardy from Minneapolis to New York on Sunday and Monday.

Link
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71. RevElvis
5:26 PM GMT on February 13, 2015
Study Finds Rising Levels of Plastics in Oceans

Some eight million metric tons of plastic waste makes its way into the world’s oceans each year, and the amount of the debris is likely to increase greatly over the next decade unless nations take strong measures to dispose of their trash responsibly, new research suggests.

The report, which appeared in the journal Science on Thursday, is the most ambitious effort yet to estimate how much plastic debris ends up in the sea.

The paper’s middle figure of eight million, she said, is the equivalent of “five plastic grocery bags filled with plastic for every foot of coastline in the world” — a visualization that, she said, “sort of blew my mind.”

By 2025, she said, the amount of plastic projected to be entering the oceans would constitute the equivalent of 10 bags per foot of coastline.

NYTimes Article
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
70. etxwx
4:00 PM GMT on February 13, 2015
Some midmorning reading:
This is from a recent Marketplace segment and it's an easy to understand explanation of how "adapting" to rising sea levels in Florida will be very difficult:
Rising seas threaten South Florida's drinking water

Water, water everywhere...
The market doesn't charge for Florida's climate risk

(Hays County TX) Water Fight Portends Battles to Come

Texas Justices Skirt Underground Trespassing Question

And a little sunshine...
Texas solar jobs increasing
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
68. ColoradoBob1
4:58 AM GMT on February 13, 2015
" Get ready little lady , hell is coming breakfast"

Lone Wati
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67. ColoradoBob1
4:56 AM GMT on February 13, 2015
The research says the drying would surpass in severity any of the decades-long "megadroughts" that occurred much earlier during the past 1,000 years -- one of which has been tied by some researchers to the decline of the Anasazi or Ancient Pueblo Peoples in the Colorado Plateau in the late 13th century. Many studies have already predicted that the Southwest could dry due to global warming, but this is the first to say that such drying could exceed the worst conditions of the distant past. The impacts today would be devastating, given the region's much larger population and use of resources.

Link
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66. ColoradoBob1
4:41 AM GMT on February 13, 2015
BaltimoreBrian:

The rich drove the working people from Santa Fe. That was the template for the Rockies, all the way to the Canadian border.

Their "second homes" infest the entire range of mountains. Their servants drive drive 60 to 100 miles a day to serve them.

If one is driving 70 miles a day to serve food to bunch rich bozos, one's "boat" is not really floating.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
65. BaltimoreBrian
4:38 AM GMT on February 13, 2015
Today's selection of articles about science, climate change, energy and the environment.



*** Climate Is Big Issue for Hispanics, and Personal

Rice serves up double measure of biofuel and fodder


*** A Biofuel Debate: Will Cutting Trees Cut Carbon?

!!! Warming pushes Western U.S. toward driest period in 1,000 years: Unprecedented risk of drought in 21st century



*** Magnitude of plastic waste going into the ocean calculated: 8 million metric tons of plastic enter the oceans per year

* Earliest-known arboreal and subterranean ancestral mammals discovered



Unexpected 'storm' at galaxy's core: Supermassive black hole blasting gas, transforming galaxy

!!! Reality is distorted in brain's maps



!!! First glimpse of a chemical bond being born



Exotic states materialize with supercomputers

*** Explaining 30-year-old 'hidden order' physics mystery



*** Switching superconductivity by light



* Astronomers discover rare planet: Kepler-432b is a dense, massive celestial body with extreme seasons




* The Arctic Ocean: Awakening

Oceanography: An acid test for the high seas

Toxic orange cloud spreads after chemical blast near Barcelona



Want to save money on your energy bill? There's a game for that.

What to Call a Doubter of Climate Change?

New Video Shows Discovery of Richard III's Death Blow



************************************************* *********************************************

The following article is courtesy of LAbonbon:

*** Brazil climate change plan backfires, doubling steel emissions
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
64. ColoradoBob1
4:18 AM GMT on February 13, 2015
BaltimoreBrian:

My point , you live in some county , a guy with a billion dollars builds a house. Your life goes down hill from there. No one profits from this tiny group of people. I mean a tiny group of people , and they are at it 24/7 . "You'll all get rich. the future is bright, all boats rise. "

You can't pay your property taxes after they come. You lose your land The friends of the first guy buy you out , ......... at cents on the dollar. Your county is now solid Republican.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
63. ColoradoBob1
3:55 AM GMT on February 13, 2015
Quoting 60. BaltimoreBrian:


That NOVA program from 1974 I linked about the Colorado River talked about the potential very high water demand from oil shale operations.


Oil, always demands water. More, and more , and more.

That has always been in place. And it has to be fresh water .

BaltimoreBrian

They were talking about crushing coal from Colorado , and building pipelines to the Southwest, to fuel huge new power plants in the 1970's, all of it was greased with water off the Rockies. All of it to fuel the growth in the desert.

Can you image if we had built that ?

I was in Colorado at the time, we had no idea how little water we really at the time. It was the new best thing , it would make us all rich, it was to give everyone jobs.

Colorado killed it. We killed the Olympics at the same time . Now that idea , is completely owned by people that have billions of dollars.
Billionaires ruin everywhere they go. Santa Fe, Jackson Hole, the entire state of Colorado, every island that once sat alone.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
62. ColoradoBob1
3:05 AM GMT on February 13, 2015
My point -
This shell of gas that shields us from cold dead space is really very thin, it is not a garage dump.
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61. ColoradoBob1
2:58 AM GMT on February 13, 2015
At the Climate Reanalyzer, today is 0.85 degrees C above the 1979-2000 average.

Link

This number has gone up 0.06 degrees in the last week. Click through the views , it's 20C degrees above average over Siberia. That's over 36F degrees . This past week in in Jackson Hole, Wyoming they set a new over night low that was 31F degrees above the old record for the date. ..................

The high in Jackson on Thursday, 47 degrees, didn’t climb into record territory, but the day’s low reading of 37 degrees was 31 degrees warmer than average and set a record high for the day’s low temperature.

Link

When Jackson Hole Wyoming has a over night low that is 31F degrees above average on the 5th of February . That may be called "weather", but when it occurs in a world of rapid climate change it is "proof". And the bears woke up , as well .

Bears leaving their dens in early February are not a sign of "weather". They are a sign of climate change.

What drives me crazy about this whole debate is that one event is seen as a one off thing.
Believe me the grizzly bears leaving their dens in first week of February in Wyoming, and the idea that water trucks in Brazil will be highjacked are part of the same pattern. I would add that New Zealand is aiding their dairy framers on the south island , because of drought.

Drought in New Zealand and Brazil at the same time ? Grizzly Bears leaving their dens in Yellowstone?

Next up watch the Iditarod . Oh, wait news came yesterday -

For only the second time in 42 years, the famed Iditarod Sled Dog Race has been forced to shift its route due to lack of snow, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.

The start of the race, which begins March 7, has been moved from its traditional location in Willow to Fairbanks; this happened once before, in 2003.


Link

Boston breaks it's snow record OK. Montpelier , France got it's brains rained out last fall OK. Britain had the wettest winter ever last year OK. ( I could go on for several paragraphs with this.) All of this related, to see them as one piece here, and one piece there is really really being blind. And rather stupid when comes to climate change.

Research needs years to measure events. I am reminded of Dr. Alley , we came out of the Younger Dryas in just maybe 10 years , and rose over 11F degrees. He has never found an answer for this .

But he did prove, the average temperature can move very fast Which should give us all pause in our thinking. This shell of gas that shields us from cold dead space is really very thin, it is not a garage dump.


Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
60. BaltimoreBrian
2:18 AM GMT on February 13, 2015
Quoting 59. ColoradoBob1:

Re:
The 50 year fusion comments , I was reminded of the oil shale comments I heard when I was at Rifle, Colorado. 35 years ago.

"Oil Shale the Fuel of the Future, Always as Been Always Will Be".

That NOVA program from 1974 I linked about the Colorado River talked about the potential very high water demand from oil shale operations.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
59. ColoradoBob1
1:34 AM GMT on February 13, 2015
Re:
The 50 year fusion comments , I was reminded of the oil shale comments I heard when I was at Rifle, Colorado. 35 years ago.

"Oil Shale the Fuel of the Future, Always as Been Always Will Be".
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
58. ColoradoBob1
1:20 AM GMT on February 13, 2015
New BBC 3 part series Planet Oil – Our addiction to crude –

Link

This is really well done. And it reminds one of just how powerful the oil business is . Only they could hire a bunch of stooges, and a tall leggy blonde to attack some grad student sampling ditch water, as a greedy opportunist seeking the fabulous wealth that grant money can provide.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
57. ColoradoBob1
1:06 AM GMT on February 13, 2015
Highjacking water trucks is just around the corner.

Brazilians hoard water, prepare for possible drastic rationing

(Reuters) – Brazilians are hoarding water in their apartments, drilling homemade wells and taking other emergency measures to prepare for forced rationing that appears likely and could leave taps dry for up to five days a week because of a drought.

In São Paulo, the country’s largest city with a metropolitan area of 20 million people, the main reservoir is at just 6 percent of capacity with the peak of the rainy season now past.

Other cities in Brazil’s heavily populated southeast such as Rio de Janeiro face less dire shortages but could also see rationing.

Link
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56. BaltimoreBrian
12:59 AM GMT on February 13, 2015
Fudging the data? Butterscotching the data would make it even more digestible :)
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55. ColoradoBob1
12:57 AM GMT on February 13, 2015
Now we know. The old reliable “fudging the data” canard still plays well on the reality-challenged circuit. The latest incarnation is splashed all over the usual toxic vectors – in fact, it’s the “Biggest Science Scandal Ever”

I would add, that the pattern always begins in the British press, usually the ones with bare breasted women on about page 4. Their source for the article, is always some blogger. God, how I wish someone would hack this toxic ring .
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
54. no1der
12:54 AM GMT on February 13, 2015
Quoting 53. LowerCal:

Nothing False About Temperature - SciCheck The Wire

Posted on February 12, 2015

Rep. Gary Palmer falsely claimed on a radio show that temperature data used to measure global climate change have been %u201Cfalsified%u201D and manipulated.

Palmer, a Republican from Alabama, cited the so-called Climategate episode of five years ago, in which emails written by climate scientists purportedly showed evidence of data manipulation, and a more recent accusation of climate scientists tampering with data from temperature monitoring stations. The Climategate scandal has been subject to several separate investigations, all of which exonerated all scientists involved from any wrongdoing, and the latest data manipulation charges are a mischaracterization of standard and well-validated methods for adjusting temperature records to eliminate factors that could produce inaccurate readings.

....(snip)

"And all this science I don't understand
 It's just my job 5 days a week.
 Rocket man! Rocket man!"
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
53. LowerCal
11:49 PM GMT on February 12, 2015
Nothing False About Temperature - SciCheck · The Wire

Posted on February 12, 2015

Rep. Gary Palmer falsely claimed on a radio show that temperature data used to measure global climate change have been “falsified” and manipulated.

Palmer, a Republican from Alabama, cited the so-called Climategate episode of five years ago, in which emails written by climate scientists purportedly showed evidence of data manipulation, and a more recent accusation of climate scientists tampering with data from temperature monitoring stations. The Climategate scandal has been subject to several separate investigations, all of which exonerated all scientists involved from any wrongdoing, and the latest data manipulation charges are a mischaracterization of standard and well-validated methods for adjusting temperature records to eliminate factors that could produce inaccurate readings.

....(snip)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
52. LowerCal
11:25 PM GMT on February 12, 2015
Quoting 50. Xandra:

Clive Hamilton:

"If there is such a thing as a right-wing technology, geoengineering is it." My op ed in the New York Times: The Risks of Climate Engineering


Clive Hamilton is a professor of public ethics at Charles Sturt University in Australia and the author, most recently, of "Earthmasters: The Dawn of the Age of Climate Engineering."

Interesting but isn't one of the tenants tenets of AGW denial, "Humans are too puny to affect Earth's climate."?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
51. Creideiki
10:27 PM GMT on February 12, 2015
Quoting 49. JohnLonergan:

Unprecedented 21st century drought risk in the American Southwest and Central Plains




Think how much more profound a Central Plains drought will be after the Ogalalla gets destroyed by the inevitable Keystone XL Oil Spill? (Assuming that disaster in waiting happens to get built.)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Clive Hamilton:

"If there is such a thing as a right-wing technology, geoengineering is it." My op ed in the New York Times: The Risks of Climate Engineering


Clive Hamilton is a professor of public ethics at Charles Sturt University in Australia and the author, most recently, of “Earthmasters: The Dawn of the Age of Climate Engineering.”
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Unprecedented 21st century drought risk in the American Southwest and Central Plains

Abstract
In the Southwest and Central Plains of Western North America, climate change is expected to increase drought severity in the coming decades. These regions nevertheless experienced extended Medieval-era droughts that were more persistent than any historical event, providing crucial targets in the paleoclimate record for benchmarking the severity of future drought risks. We use an empirical drought reconstruction and three soil moisture metrics from 17 state-of-the-art general circulation models to show that these models project significantly drier conditions in the later half of the 21st century compared to the 20th century and earlier paleoclimatic intervals. This desiccation is consistent across most of the models and moisture balance variables, indicating a coherent and robust drying response to warming despite the diversity of models and metrics analyzed. Notably, future drought risk will likely exceed even the driest centuries of the Medieval Climate Anomaly (1100–1300 CE) in both moderate (RCP 4.5) and high (RCP 8.5) future emissions scenarios, leading to unprecedented drought conditions during the last millennium.

Read more ...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
LOL!!

I know that yoboi is hanging out here when I see a "plus" on an iceagecoming post.
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Ocean carbon release 'ended last Ice Age'
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Quoting 44.


Just curious, have you ever played any sport involving moving a ball? I'm only curious because you do not seem to grasp forces and vectors. I recommend a beginning Physics class. Does your local community college have some variant of Physics for Poets?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting 42. schwankmoe:


it is pretty encouraging. they even talk of getting the design to eventually fit in something the size of a shipping container which would be insane.
The evolution of science and technology often takes unexpected twists and turns, and futurists are often wrong. I would love to find a good read (book or on-line) that traces the history of predictions about science and technology - including the ones I used to see in magazines such as Popular Science and Popular Mechanics. I would also be interested in an overview and analysis - with photos - of the portrayal of the future in film and on television.

One technology I am aware of as not predicted was the invention and popularization the photo-copy machine by Xerox Corporation. It's influence in the mid-20th century was remarkable, and it even facilitated the distribution of revolutionary material and propaganda with far less risk than being caught with a printing press and it's lead type in place as damning evidence. And of course, the internet, wireless technology and social media took that concept to an even higher level of convenience and speed of distribution.

However, technology doesn't make everything easier - and certainly not simpler, but rather more complex - beyond the capabilities of humans to do without computers. Satellite temperature readings (actually emission detection and then mathematical manipulation of the data by complex computer models) adds to the repertoire of global temperature measurement methods. Computers - from laptops to super-computers - assist with data-gathering and analysis of paleo- and current temperatures and climate patterns and trends.

Yet, for all of this technology, humans as collective societies have obvious flaws in perception and reasoning that is preventing required action to limit global CO2 emissions, manage mineral and biological resources sustainably, or control global population.

Here's my take on the future of humanity: When nature finally takes down modern civilization, what follows will be quite different from today's civilization. The natural collections of mineral resources will be gone, but there will be much to salvage and recycle from cities and garbage dumps. However, in reality, a form of entropy and dispersion will make mineral resources more diffuse and difficult to concentrate again in large quantities. Easy to extract fossil fuels will no longer be available.

And while local container-sized fusion generating plants would be a tremendous boon to current civilization - even eliminating the huge and vulnerable large-scale long-distance electrical distribution network (the interties), it may arrive too late.

I don't know if some of the remaining humans after the eventual population crash will be able to retain significant technology and energy, or evolve into a form and society that is completely different, or perhaps devolve into small bands of barbarians.

Now that I have temporarily wandered into the abyss of dystopian thought, here is a LINK to a website with excellent writing and illustrations that delves deeply into the subject. At least if we take an occasional journey into dystopian thought, we might as well do it with style and intelligence.

Sometimes I wish that there was an afterlife where I could watch the future. But alas, all I can do is speculate - and share the speculations of others.
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Dr. Ricky Rood's Climate Change Blog

About RickyRood

I'm a professor at U Michigan and lead a course on climate change problem solving. These articles often come from and contribute to the course.