Week in review – science, technology, policy research

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.

Science

Garbage isn’t destined to swirl in the ocean forever; new models show it eventually washes up on shore. [link]

Will climate change release abandoned hazardous waste in the Arctic?
#AGUnews from #AGUpubs [link]

Matt Briggs’ new book:  Uncertainty: The soul of modeling, probability and statistics [link]

#JClimate study demonstrates importance of correctly representing aerosols & #aerosol–#cloud feedbacks in ensembles. [link]

New wetlands are being created in weird ways—and that’s good for birds: [link]

Earlier snowmelt carries drastic consequences for forests. [link]

New NOAA technical memorandum on climatology of Arizona dust events. [link]

Observed and simulated full-depth ocean heat-content changes for 1970–2005 [link]

New paper finds a decrease of relative humidity with increased temperature in SW China [link]

Trop Pacific SSTs affect development & track of cyclones that form over Gulf Stream region. [link]

New paper finds increasing trend of winter snow cover extent in Northern Hemisphere 1982-2013 [link] …

Inland water carbon dioxide emissions ‘underestimated’, may emit 40% more than previously believed.  [link]

The lonely, thirsty, final days of the doomed Alaskan mammoths  [link]

Michael Mann: Global climate models do not easily downscale for regional predictions [link]

New paper finds increased CO2 increased water use efficiency for woody plants in US Southwest.[link]

New research from @MIT offers valuable climate adaptation insights for U.S. farmers [link]

“remarkable change is happening: tree cover on agricultural land has increased across the globe”  [link]

On the sensitivity of global warming experiments to the parametrisation of sub-grid scale ocean mixing [link]

Do You Know How #Hail Forms? Well, You’re Probably Wrong. [link]

Anthrax Outbreak Linked to Climate Change, Kills 12-Year-Old Boy, 71 Nomadic Herders Hospitalized [link]

All Natural… Four New Peer-reviewed Scientific Publications Show No Detectable Sea Level Rise Signal [link]

New #BulletinAMS article discusses database expected to improve understanding of subseasonal-to-seasonal time range. [link]

Earth’s ability to absorb CO2 reduced by global warming, arctic study finds  [link]

NASA: First map of thawed areas under Greenland ice sheet [link]

Technology

A breakthrough in blue energy? [link]

Floatovoltaics produce clean energy and prevent evaporation in major man-made reservoirs. [link]

An artificial leaf could convert carbon dioxide emissions [link]

How sun, salt and glass could help solve our energy needs [link]

Here’s the annual State of the Climate report from the American Meteorological Society. [link] …

Policy etc.

Forensics or Fauxrensics? Ascertaining Accuracy in the Forensic Sciences [link]

Paper’s authors conclude that if EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standards are completely met, greenhouse gases increase. [link]

How political idealism leads us astray.  pluralism & disagreement improve our odds of stumbling on the truth about the good society. [link]

Scientific curiosity changes minds; scientific knowledge doesn’t. Can we train for curiosity? [link]

Insight yields better solutions than analytical approach [link]

Ambiguity: A new way of thinking about responses to climate change [link]

Political affiliation affects adaptation to climate risks: Evidence from New York City [link]

California’s climate policy crisis [link]

National Climatic Data Center /NCEI director Tom Karl resigns [link] …

Academia and storytelling are not incompatible – how to reduce the risks and gain control of your research narrative. [link]

Activism – or how to turn people off and stall progress [link]

What to believe? Science is a red herring and a wild goose chase [link]

Quote of the week

Ryan Maue: Global warming reduces pole-equator T gradient. That’s a climate on laxatives — not steroids.

226 responses to “Week in review – science, technology, policy research

  1. Pingback: Week in review – science, technology, policy research – Enjeux énergies et environnement

  2. “Engineering student designs revolutionary energy storage solution”
    http://phys.org/news/2016-08-student-revolutionary-energy-storage-solution.html

    This is interesting. 144,000 RPM, size of a football, potential for up to 1 MWH storage per device, fast response times in both charging and discharging.
    If this flywheel design is feasible it would solve a lot of problems with renewable energy.

    • There’s a pretty much inescapable relationship between overall weight (mass) of a flywheel-type energy storage system, and the amount of energy it can store. Obviously, the stronger the structural materials, the more energy it can store. But the relationship remains the same whether you use heavy, self-supporting flywheels, or light, high-velocity, levitated flywheels.

      Which isn’t to deny the fact that using light, high-velocity, levitated flywheels can solve several ancillary problems. And, for grid storage, weight isn’t really a factor anyway. The most important factor is manufacturing cost.

    • Curious George

      Insufficient data. The article does not specify how the storage would work – only that “the rotor, which can be made from composites such as carbon fibre, is permanently levitated as opposed to electromagnetically, not requiring additional control mechanisms and so does not need maintenance or user input.” How to charge/discharge it? Probably a patent is pending. It levitates permanently, not electromagnetically… It does not feel good at all.

      • Remember this has been filtered through a reporter. So many details are probably inaccurate.

        Permanently” may refer to using permanent magnets rather than electrically powered coils. (Or perhaps superconducting coils with permanent currents?) I did some calculations with levitated permanent magnets a while back, and IIRC came up with storage velocities of 3-10 Km/sec.

        The fact that they’re reporting in “rpm” is enough to demonstrate that they’re not really up to speed in how flywheel storage works.

      • I think she uses the same trick used by Randi the Magician to levitate his elephant?

    • blueice2hotsea

      IF 1000 footballs could provide 1 GWh backup for renewable power, then GREAT!

      But, working the sanity-check math (mentally, not wasting a napkin) it looks closer to 1 kWh energy storage capacity . Weird.

      And 144,000 rpm looks like approx. mach 2 for tangential surface velocity of the flywheel. Again no napkin, ymmv.

      And what might happen if a football spontaneously self-destructed in a room of 1000 (or 1 million) too closely packed footballs? yowzers

      • johnvonderlin

        I’m guessing with slow motion photography you’d have a YouTube video that would go viral instantly. I’m thinking the old fission demonstration utilizing a room full of mousetraps loaded with ping pong balls couldn’t hold a candle to your scenario. Yowzers indeed.

    • JackSmith,

      The most important figure is the cost of energy storage per kWh. It would need to be about -$100/MWh (i.e. negative cost) to make weather dependent renewables fully dispatchable and economically viable without subsidies.

      • Peter,
        Cost is the most important issue after you prove the design works. As others have noted the details are missing. It would be nice if it works out for this young lady. She could be a wonderful role model.

    • Today is the seventy-first anniversary of the use of nuclear energy to destroy Hiroshima:

      https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2016/08/05/omg-what-an-epic-rant/#comment-70587

    • How do you convert something starting at 144,000 rpm which immediately starts spinning slower as you take energy out into ~120 Volts 60 cycle Electricity? Generate DC and convert to AC? What are the losses associated with this? Does it require DC to spin it up?

      • Jeff Norman,

        You just surround it with CO2.

        As Steven Mosher will tell you, the insulation traps LWOWIR (Long Wave Outward Welling Infra Red, and returns it to the rotor as LWIWIR. This energy is absorbed by the flywheel on account of thermalisation, and the conversion of photonic momentum from the zero rest mass wave/particle duality into kinetic energy.

        The ELWOWRFE (Even Longer Wave Outwelling Radio Frequency Energy) will be unimpeded by the CO2 due to resonant frequency mismatch.

        It is well known that the conservation of energy and equilibrium must apply, and energy out = energy in. Due to the energy accumulation properties of CO2, the heat generated by the flywheel as internal losses caused by generating electron flow is exactly balanced by the back radiation from the CO2.

        The levitation is also maintained by the pressure of the upward back radiation from the CO2. This is a quantum electrodynamic force, and only acts on a rotor spinning in excess of 100,000 rpm, which is sufficient to excite the rotational energy state of the CO2 linear centrosymmetric molecule.

        More funding is required, to create more models (experiments). The eventual aim is to convert heat generated by CO2 (also called global warming) directly into electricity.

        This will provide endless renewable energy, and cool the Earth at the same time. Any climatologist (or Steven Mosher) can explain this very simple thermodynamical concept.

        Cheers.

    • I’d like to know more about this novel new flywheel “levitation”, but I can’t figure out how to search UK patent applications.

      • I could care less about how this guy floats in the air. I would rather know how he keeps his garage so neat. Alas, some of life’s mysteries may never be revealed.

    • Hunh. I also designed a rotor energy storage device when I was in engineering school. Yet I didn’t get a newspaper article about me back then. How odd. Of course, that’s before I understood anything about fatigue stress limits, frequency converters, transient reactances, shaft oscillations/vibrations, and the thousand other pitfalls of real-world applications. However, I did know how to calculate the energy in a rotating body. For a football-sized wheel, your energy at 144krpm will be very close to 1kWh, not 1000kWh. Oops.

  3. The Anthrax claims are nonsense. The hide trade is one of the most common means of Anthrax spores making their way around. They do like hides in the arctic, even the CDC warm of this problem.

    The claim it came from AGW is absolute nonsense

    • Agreed. A report from Sputnik News suggests such claims arise during annual budgeting processes.
      https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2016/08/04/anthrax-russia-global-warming/

    • There is nothing in the story that is implausible.

      Disposal by incineration is preferred; however, deep burial is also an acceptable method. There may be some jurisdictional restrictions on incineration or deep burial.

      Note: It is important to record the land location (e.g. global positioning system [GPS] coordinates) for all burn and burial sites.

      Note: Research has shown that using lime or other calcium products on carcasses or contaminated ground is contraindicated. Calcium has been shown to protect, rather than destroy, anthrax spores. AVOID USING LIME or other calcium products on carcasses or contaminated ground.

      • Plausible is nonsense speak for clueless, likelihood or probability says hides. Desperation says AGW ROFL

      • Yes, a couple thousand reindeer died in a month or so in a specific geographic region where anthrax had not been diagnosed since 1941 because they worked with animal hides. LMAO.

      • Climate skeptics appear to be really bad at skepticism:

        Aug 4, 2005 (CIDRAP News) –Weather and soil conditions in several areas of the United States are leading to record livestock losses from anthrax. This summer, approximately 400 animals have died in North and South Dakota, Texas, and Minnesota.

        Anthrax is endemic in grazing animals in some regions where previous cases have occurred. If animals that die from anthrax are not properly buried or incinerated, the bacterium that causes anthrax, Bacillus anthracis, can contaminate the ground under and around the carcass. The spores formed by B anthracis survive in the soil for decades, and heavy rain or construction-related disturbance can bring them to the surface, where grazing animals inhale or ingest them. The disease can be rapidly fatal in infected animals even before significant signs of illness have been noticed.

        South Dakota State Veterinarian Sam Holland said his state’s outbreak began with a 660-head cattle and bison herd in Sully County. Since Jul 20, 155 animals from that herd have died, according to a Jul 29 press release. Anthrax has been confirmed in five additional herds, and laboratory test results are awaited for another four. Affected counties are located in the central and northeast parts of the state; Brown, Hyde, Marshall, Potter, and Sully counties all have confirmed or suspected infections. Nearly 200 animals have died in the state.

    • I found the comments at this ECO magazine to be remarkably skeptical, reflecting some of the comments here.

    • Interesting thing about the ruminant called reindeer… they eat meat.

  4. “MELTING ICE SHEET COULD RELEASE FROZEN COLD WAR-ERA WASTE” is a worthless piece of work, their model simulations used RCP8.5

    • Danny Thomas

      Fernando,

      Not about the waste, but an associated recent work: http://earthsky.org/earth/first-map-of-thawing-under-greenland-ice

      • Danny, that’s an interesting map. How do you associate it to an article about Greenland’s ice sheet releasing the carcass of an old USA military base? I’ve always assumed the bottom layer of the ice sheet could be partially melted over hot spots. That’s unrelated to global warming.

      • Danny Thomas

        Fernando,
        I can only associate it with the toxic waste issue due to a lack of clarity on my part. My intention was to indicate it was associated to Greenland and ice loss. Apologies for that. Of course it’s an interesting phenomena un-associated with G.W. and at least brings nature back in to the conversation where she (always) belongs.

  5. Works like this, people buy hides with spores on them from less than reputable sources, then they work with animals, then everyone working with the animals gets exposed as well as the animals.

    The claim is was “climate change” is the bogus claim of the year

    • I sometimes wonder if there is a group of professionals who do nothing all day but sit around and try to come up with scary things to attribute to climate change to and then they write these garbage articles. I haven’t decided if they have a climate change believers version of rose coloured glasses or if they are just well paid to this.

      • Funny you say that, Eric Holthaus the famous “I’ll get the snip and never fly again alarmist who now has a kid ans still flies” said he was “even more scared after talking to scientists” about this.

        ROFL

  6. NASA Greenland Ice Sheet- “……the bottom of the ice is often tens of degrees warmer than at the top, because the ice bottom is slowly warmed by heat coming from the Earth’s depths.”
    Sounds remarkably like recent studies on the West Antarctica Peninsula.

    • Curious George

      The bottom of a glacier is almost never “anchored to dry, frozen bedrock”. But then, “first, they examined results from eight recent computer models.” Their results are as good as eight models – why did not they use a single good one? Because they don’t have one.

    • They’ve known for some years about what’s going on in W Antarctica and in the vicinity of PIG. It’s just that it’s not polite (or progressive) to mention it. A fact that should not be obscure is being made obscure. You can now read whole articles on W Antarctica and not once do they mention…
      http://www.livescience.com/2242-buried-volcano-discovered-antarctica.html
      If it looks like a cordillera, and walks like a cordillera, and quacks like a cordillera…

      It’s a bit like John Cleese telling the waiter not to mention the war in front of German customers. But I guess the whole climate scam is a bit like that: “For God’s sake don’t mention the Holocene in front of the hockey team!”

  7. In addition to the 4 studies regarding SLR in the link, the comments section provides links to studies from 2015 identifying a strong natural variability component.

    A good day for natural variability.

    • Yeah, a big zero day for natural variability: east to west; west to east; nets zero:

      Jason 1, La Niña dominance/negative phase of the PDO:

      Jason 2, El Niño – positive phase of the PDO:

      Sea level rises throughout:

  8. Ryan Maue: Global warming reduces pole-equator T gradient. That’s a climate on laxatives — not steroids.


    Figure 12. Pole-to-Pole Temperature Gradients for Hothouse and Icehouse Worlds (climatic designations from Kidder and Worsley, 2012)
    Source: https://www.academia.edu/12082909/Some_thoughts_on_Global_Climate_Change_The_Transition_from_Icehouse_to_Hothouse

    This chart shows that, if the global average temperature increases by 3C from the current ~15C to ~18C, the temperature at the poles would increase from -36C to -7C, and the temperature gradient from tropics to poles would decrease from 0.82C to 0.44C per degree latitude. That’s likely to be a significant benefit for the mid and higher latitudes.

  9. Record high sea ice extent in Antarctica now and Arctic sea ice extent is well within normal levels… not bad for the earth’s “warmest year ever in recorded history.”

  10. Judith or anyone, Help please:

    About the past month or six weeks I saw a paper or article that included a table with a list of damage functions (expressions) from about six (more or less) authors and IAM models. Unfortunately, my computer crashed and I lost all the links I’d saved. I think I got it from one of the links posted on CE. I’ve been looking for over a week to try and find it. Does anyone recall seeing the paper with the table listing the damage functions? If so, could you please provide the link.

  11. http://dandebat.dk/eng-klima7.htm

    The data which shows clearly that the so called warming associated with AGW theory is not unique, and support the next post I will be sending.

  12. The bottom line is this period of time in the climate is in no way unique or different from previous warm spikes the climate has had since the Holocene Optimum. This period of time is not only not as warm as previous spikes of warmth in the climate such as the Roman and Medieval warm periods to name a few but does nothing to alter the fact that the climate since the Holocene Optimum some 8000 years ago has been in a gradual cooling trend with spikes of warmth within this gradual cooling trend.

    If one evaluates the climate since the Holocene Optimum until today and takes into consideration Milankovitch Cycles and superimposes solar activity upon this and further refines this with volcanic activity and more recently more reliable ENSO data a very good correlation will be shown to be established between these factors versus the resultant climate. Further if CO2 is put into this mix one will find a zero correlation between the climate and CO2 concentrations.

    So all this talk about this period of time in the climate being unique is a bunch of BS.

    Further now it looks likely very low solar conditions should prevail for many years going forward and this should end this current warm spike, which has probably most likely already ended and a down trend in temperatures should be the rule for the foreseeable future from here on out.

    If one applies the past climate data since the Holocene Optimum through the present and tries to link it to CO2 it is not going to work.

  13. This whole climate subject and the micro managing of what makes the climate work has reach ridiculous heights . This is why many of the studies that are presented go in one ear and out the other .

    The justification to prove ones point in the climate arena has reached absurdity.

    As I have said we now have a simple climate test going on which is the one that matters which is will prolonged very low solar conditions cause the climate to cool from this point in time or is AGW going to continue?

    That should be the focus and that is my focus.. Not these countless studies that try to micro manage the climate to fit the point or points they try to make depending on the part of the climate system they are trying to justify to their way of thinking.

  14. It appears that a record July cold temp (-30.7 degree C) was set in Greenland on August 1 (apparently measurement day ends at 6:00).

    http://realclimatescience.com/2016/08/greenland-shatters-its-record-for-july-cold/

  15. Mann & Zhang:
    “Climate models can meaningfully project the overall global increase in warmth, rises in sea level and very large-scale changes in rainfall patterns,” said Zhang. “But they are uncertain about the potential significant ramifications on society in any specific location.”

    Worse than uncertain, they have been in the wrong direction for the North Atlantic Oscillation since the mid 1990’s. That also puts extreme doubt on meaningfully projecting the overall global increase in warmth.

    “Uncertainty is hardly a reason for inaction,” said Mann. “Moreover, uncertainty can cut both ways, and we must be cognizant of the possibility that impacts in many regions could be considerably greater and more costly than climate model projections suggest.”

    The more generally more damaging instances of regional variability, such as deeply negative NAO/AO episodes and increased intensity and frequency of El Nino events, in theory should be inhibited by rising CO2 forcing.

    • “Climate models can meaningfully project the overall global increase in warmth, rises in sea level and very large-scale changes in rainfall patterns,” said Zhang.

      Climate models have not meaningfully forecast correctly for two decades.

  16. “Uncertainty is hardly a reason for inaction,” said Mann. Not surprising, Mann lifts from the UNFCCC 1992 Rio protocol:
    – “Climate change” means a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere…
    – … (c)oncerned that human activities have been substantially increasing the atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, that these increases enhance the natural greenhouse effect … and that this will result on average in additional warming of the Earth’s surface and atmosphere and adversely affect natural ecosystems and humankind…
    – “… lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing taking measures …

  17. The link to “Ambiguity: A new way of thinking about responses to climate change” is broken. I think it might be this: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969716316151

  18. Will climate change release abandoned hazardous waste in the Arctic?
    #AGUnews from #AGUpubs [link]
    “When we looked at the climate simulations, they suggested that rather than perpetual snowfall, it seems that as early as 2090, the site could transition from net snowfall to net melt,” Colgan said. “Once the site transitions from net snowfall to net melt, it’s only a matter of time before the wastes melt out; it becomes irreversible.”

    For ten thousand years, Greenland has gone through warm periods and cold periods. The ice core data shows that temperature stayed within plus and minus two degrees C. The warm periods occurred because there was not enough snowfall in the cold periods. The cold periods occurred because there was too much snowfall in the warm periods. It is a natural cycle.

    We just came out of the little ice age, it was supposed to get warm again. Now, it is warm, the Arctic does open every year, and that is when the snow falls that rebuilds the ice on Greenland. They tell you how much ice is melting every year, the ice is supposed to flow and melt, that always happens, that is how it cools the Northern Hemisphere. They don’t honestly tell you how much snow is falling on Greenland, it is now snowing more than is melting every year. The ice will flow, and may someday carry that stuff to the ocean but it will never be exposed because of lack of snowfall. We have ice cores from Greenland that are 150 thousand years old. Temperatures from Greenland Ice core have varied within plus and minus 2 degrees for ten thousand years.

    About 2000 years ago, there was a Roman Warm Period and then it got cold. About 1000 years ago, there was a Medieval Warm Period and then it got cold. That was the Little Ice Age. When Oceans are warm, Polar Oceans thaw, snowfall increases and rebuilds ice on Greenland, Antarctic and Mountain Glaciers. Ice builds, spreads and makes earth cold again. Polar Oceans then freeze, snowfall decreases and then the Sun removes ice every year until it gets warm again. It is warm again now because it is supposed to be warm now. It is a natural cycle and we did not cause it. CO2 just makes green things grow better, while using less water. The alarmists scare us so they can tax and control us.

    http://popesclimatetheory.com/page54.html

  19. Uncertainty is hardly a reason for inaction. ~Michael Mann

    Of that he’s certain.

    There is much to know. What’s missing is the courage to do nothing to the economy until we actually know much more. Instead, nihilistic ideologues in Western civilization — mostly in the government-education complex (who only know how to spend the money others have earned) — demand that we hand our future over to them at the expense of our common sense, proven best interests and individual liberty.

  20. RE: All Natural… No Detectable Sea Level Rise Signal

    It’s conclusive. No detectable AGW to date. The oceans are just 70% of Earth’s surface. They don’t show AGW signal. SST data can be and are manipulated to show “unprecedented” warming but they can’t stop thermal expansion of seawater. No unusual sea level rise, no AGW. How about on land? It’s man-made – data manipulation and UHI

  21. “Crescent Dunes emits no pollutants, uses a fraction of the water required to generate coal or nuclear power and occupies a smaller combined area than, say, a coal-fired power station.”

    Fools! Your pathetic solar plant produces 110 MW while nuclear and coal plants produce 1,000 to 4,000 MW. You use less water because you use 25,000 tons of potassium and sodium nitrate that have to be mined and manufactured and more expensive than water. And your Death Ray toasts thousands of birds. This solar plant of mass destruction is conceived by bird haters who dream of making money while toasting birds

    • “August 2015 – Tonopah NV – The Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project is applying for a five year permit to discharge up to 0.5 million gallons per day of industrial process wastewater, including cooling tower and boiler blowdown water, reverse osmosis reject water, demineralized water, oil/water separator water, and floor drain water, to three double-lined evaporation ponds. The permit would also authorize the discharge of up to 0.2 million gallons per day of demineralized water for heliostat washing, and 0.2 million gallons per day of untreated water for dust control.”

      Good thing, this clean solar power. Only takes up to 0.9 million gallons of water per day to be thrown away in evaporation ponds. I wonder where they get the water from? Must be really, really, cheap, otherwise they’d recycle it, being in the desert and all.

      I hope the evaporation ponds aren’t close enough to the heliostat array to fry birds that drop in for a drink. It’s probably mighty tempting for birds, putting big water ponds out in the middle of a thirsty desert.

      Nevada’s probably got too much water and too many birds anyway. I was in Las Vegas a few years ago, and cars were floating out of carparks after a flash flood. Obviously too much water, or climate change, or something.

      Cheers.

      • According to FLAP, between one and nine million birds die each year in the city from hitting skyscrapers due to mistaking reflective windows for open sky, or being drawn to lights at night.[1],

    • The concern for a few thousand torched birds is touching. You may be candidates to join the movement to ban Daisy BB guns as they killed more birds than that last year in a suburb of Omaha. Or better yet, you all could adopt some feral cats and volunteer to tear down sky scrappers and save billions of birds.

      • Name one skyscraper that kills more birds than the Death Ray. So you want to disarm the Army and the police force because they killed more people than one psycho killer. Don’t disarm one psycho killer. We have to be fair. Disarm all or none. Great logic Mr. Bird Hater! I can hear you cheering in your sleep – burn birds burn!!

      • Between 365 and 988 million birds die from crashing into windows in the United States each year, according to a new report. That may be as much as 10 percent of the estimated total bird population of the country.

        The estimate puts windows behind only cats as the largest source of human-related menaces that kill birds directly.

        Save the birds!

      • Is the new agency at the UN known?

      • Between 365 and 988 million birds die from crashing into windows in the United States each year, according to a new report. That may be as much as 10 percent of the estimated total bird population of the country.

        The estimate puts windows behind only cats as the largest source of human-related menaces that kill birds directly.

        Save the birds!

        Yes, you are doing a pretty good job of pointing out how green energy is not so environmentally friendly. It is the physical footprint that directly affects creatures and Wind/Solar have very large direct physical footprints.

        Fossil fuels, on the other hand, emit CO2 which is necessary and beneficial in greater amounts for the photosynthesis on which surface life depends. Further, the imagined harms of indirect climate change are not substantiated but are instead the indulgent anxieties of the imaginatively disturbed.

      • Adopt a herd of feral cats. Open a lot of cans.

      • Curious George

        JCH, you are surely not a racist. A city pigeon – a “flying rat” – is as important as a peregrine falcon, or a desert-dwelling bird.

      • “Windows in the United States” is not one skyscraper. We cannot shift from concentrated solar to solar PV because that would be unfair to skyscrapers and cats who are allowed to kill birds. Bird haters will torture logic to maximize bird kills. The cheer is getting louder – burn birds burn!!

      • The concern for a few thousand torched oil soaked birds is touching. You may be candidates to join the movement to ban Daisy BB guns as they …

  22. RE: A breakthrough in blue energy?

    Mr. Dujmovic, your osmotic device is crap. 3-atom thick membrane? Hold your breath. If you exhale, that membrane will break. Your water tank must be constantly refilled with seawater on one side of the membrane and fresh water on the other side. Have you ever tried soaking toilet paper under a swimming pool? How many seconds before it disintegrated? I assure you the toilet paper is thousands of atoms thick.

    Behold my blue energy will save the planet from global warming!!

    • Curious George

      I would love to see a working prototype, at a 100-watt scale or better.

    • You be wrong!
      Have you ever tried soaking toilet paper under a swimming pool? How many seconds before it disintegrated? I assure you the toilet paper is thousands of atoms thick.
      Hint, It’s not toilet paper!

      How Fuel Cells Work

      Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cells used in automobiles—also called Proton Exchange Membrane fuel cells—use hydrogen fuel and oxygen from the air to produce electricity. The diagram and animation below show how a PEM fuel cell works.

  23. “Greenhouse-gas emissions have created a planetary energy imbalance that is primarily manifested by increasing ocean heat content (OHC).”

    Great, start your thesis with an unsupported assertion. I have yet to see a cogent explanation how heat energy captured in the atmosphere by greenhouse gases gets magically transported into the oceans.

    The abstract goes on to describe how individual models are not great but the ensemble is great.

    Science moves on.

    • Which part of that don’t you understand?

      • (I thought this post was blown into the ether so I reposted, sorry)

        You have demonstrated reading comprehension problems again Jim D.

        What is the heat transport mechanisms that moves bazillions of Joules from the atmosphere into the Oceans?

      • What is sunlight?

      • Do you understand how insulation works? That’s the starting point. Otherwise it is hopeless to try to explain.

      • David Wojick

        The greenhouse effect is nothing like insulation. It works by absorbing photons in the atmosphere so increasing it cannot warm the ocean without first warming the air.

      • Just like increasing insulation keeps a house warmer for the same heating input, increasing GHGs keeps the surface warmer for the same heating input (from the sun). Because the ocean circulates, that surface warmth translates into ocean heat content. Both insulation and GHGs work by reducing the efficiency with which heat escapes.

      • Each day the sun drills energy into the oceans. Each day a roughly equivalent amount of energy has to leave. If a different amount leaves, the ocean heat content anomaly changes either up or down. The greenhouse effect slows the exit of energy from the oceans, so enhancing the greenhouse effect results in additional energy accumulation in the oceans.

        Or, you could read the numerous references the authors give to support their assertion.

      • David Wojick

        Jim D, it is true that both reduce the heat loss efficiency, but the GH effect does it by warming the air, which then radiates more heat to the surface. So there is no way to increase ocean heat content using GHGs without increasing the air heat content, which is the point here.

      • Steven Mosher

        “The greenhouse effect is nothing like insulation. It works by absorbing photons in the atmosphere so increasing it cannot warm the ocean without first warming the air.”

        wrong.

        It works by raising the ERL, this slows the rate of loss to space.

      • It is both. Less heat loss to space is what you get with better insulation.

      • [… T]he GH effect does it by warming the air, which then radiates more heat to the surface. So there is no way to increase ocean heat content using GHGs without increasing the air heat content, which is the point here.

        Wrong!

      • Steven Mosher

        Here david.

        Dont beclown urself anymore

        http://www.aos.wisc.edu/~aos121br/radn/radn/sld001.htm

        forget all the bad metaphors of “greenhouse” and the “trapping”
        of heat..

        Just understand how insulation works

        restrict or slow the loss by radiative processes and you are WARMER than you would be otherwise.

      • David Wojick

        Again, true enough Mosher, but in the GH case the atmosphere must also warm. Insulation retards conduction, so slows the cooling of the surface. But the enhanced GH effect returns lost heat to the surface as part of the random walk of said heat in the atmosphere, after it is absorbed by a GHG molecule then transmitted to the surrounding air via kinetic collision.

        The surface can only warm if the air also warms, so ocean warming during the hiatus cannot be from increasing GHGs.

      • The surface warms first due to insulation, then the air warms by convection (vertical temperature gradient preserved by convection with a warmer surface boundary condition).

      • Real Climate talks about this:
        http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/09/why-greenhouse-gases-heat-the-ocean/

        There’s some good and some bad here. The main exchange of energy occurs into and out of the oceans. The oceans are good at capturing energy. We are more than insulating the atmosphere. We are insulating the oceans as well. And the oceans have their thermal mass reserves. Suppose the opposite happened. CO2 levels drop. The oceans then give up some of their reserves of warmth. I think that in both cases, this gives additional time for life to adapt.

        I think this is a plot Brandon Gates posted:

        We see what we want, and I see a break around 1998 consistent with the pause. Better yet, it continues through the end of the data, perhaps giving Karl something to consider. The plot shows about 0.1 C of rise over about 60 years. Round the atmospheric rise to 1.0 C for a 1 to 10 ratio.

        Sure it’s a lot of energy since the GHG affect became detectible. Pretty stable though.

      • The surface can only warm if the air also warms, so ocean warming during the hiatus cannot be from increasing GHGs.

        Now we have unsupported assertions.

      • The surface warms due to its radiative balance. GHGs can change the radiative balance without warming the air, so it is not a condition that the air has to warm first, just to have more GHGs (insulation).

      • Steven Mosher

        David

        ‘Again, true enough Mosher, but in the GH case the atmosphere must also warm. Insulation retards conduction, so slows the cooling of the surface.”

        Wrong again.

      • Ragnaar,

        We see what we want, and I see a break around 1998 consistent with the pause. Better yet, it continues through the end of the data, perhaps giving Karl something to consider.

        You’re right … that’s the plot I like to post and I don’t see what you’re seeing. Filtering out the interannual wiggles (which I attribute to internal variability and some amount of error), I see an accelerating upward curve consistent with increasing GHG forcing. Something to keep in mind; that’s NOT what I *want* to see.

        I think that in both cases, this gives additional time for life to adapt.

        Sure, without the oceans we would be seeing a faster rate of surface temperature increase. This doesn’t entail that all will be ok with the rate we’re seeing at the surface over the instrumental record since the mid-20th Century.

        Round the atmospheric rise to 1.0 C for a 1 to 10 ratio.

        More or less in the ballpark; I regressed the data behind that plot against HADCRUT4 and got a ratio of 1:7.8.

        David Wojick,

        The surface can only warm if the air also warms, so ocean warming during the hiatus cannot be from increasing GHGs.

        Nope. Others have already touched on this; the *only* strict requirement for the oceans warming is that they retain more energy than they shed. It might be helpful for you to think about the implications of the deep oceans being, on average, much cooler than the surface but still far far warmer than outer space.

      • Regarding which warmed first, I’m not playing, but I will observe that the radiative models indicate both surface and tropospheric warming.

        Add more CO2 to the atmosphere and downward flux ( for most areas, excluding Antarctica ) from the atmosphere into the surface increases.

        Add more CO2 to the atmosphere and the net radiative flux for the troposphere as a whole ( i.e. at the tropopause ) increases, implying warming.

        Both of these factors, with all the natural variation, are slowing occurring more or less simultaneously.

      • If it wasn’t for the surface and convection, the troposphere would cool, which is what the stratosphere does.

      • brandongates:

        Back to the plot. The top 2000 meters of the oceans warming more starting around 1998 could explain the pause, if there was one. Using only two variables, when the warmth doesn’t go into the oceans the atmosphere warms, and when it does it doesn’t warm. What I want to see is the oceans putting the energy some place besides the atmosphere. A depth of 1000 meters will work. Off on a tangent, as the surface is warmer, I suppose it’s more saline, driving freshwater off, heavy stuff sinks. I am moving away from atmospheric temperatures and placing more weight on ocean temperatures surface and at significant depths. That’s the thing, what it is, the oceans are darn near everything. Man has used water for temperature regulation for over 100 years. All this CO2 and the oceans keep regulating temperatures. I think the best possible thing that could happen is that the oceans will take the warmth and hang onto more of it. This sets aside sea ice question as I haven’t thought that one through.

        What I wanted to see was how the plot reconciles with Karl’s pause ‘not so much’ work? At first I didn’t like what Karl was saying, but he has the credentials and he does the work. The plot in some ways the best thermometer. It goes to where the energy is. It goes to the warmth engine of the Earth. If we had to audit one thing, we’d audit the ocean, not the atmosphere.

        I do find it amusing that since CO2 is so powerful, it will moderate things. WD-40 and duct tape in 400 parts per million.

        Off on another tangent. What’s the sensitivity of the oceans to a doubling of CO2? I am guessing looking at plots, it’s 0.3 C. But how much of that can it give up?

      • Turbulent Eddie,

        Add more CO2 to the atmosphere and the net radiative flux for the troposphere as a whole ( i.e. at the tropopause ) increases, implying warming.

        All else being equal, yes. All else is not equal. I’m constantly amazed that internal variability is so seemingly difficult to understand.

        Both of these factors, with all the natural variation, are slowing occurring more or less simultaneously.

        And throughout the reduced rate of surface and bulk upper air temperature increase, heat content in the single largest heat sink in the system has increased unabated. I’d look to energy imbalance at the surface and TOA for the proper diagnosis.

      • Ragnaar,

        The top 2000 meters of the oceans warming more starting around 1998 could explain the pause, if there was one. Using only two variables, when the warmth doesn’t go into the oceans the atmosphere warms, and when it does it doesn’t warm. What I want to see is the oceans putting the energy some place besides the atmosphere.

        That’s pretty close to the best explanation for Teh Paws I know of. I personally wouldn’t explain it in terms of warming/not warming, but decadal variability sitting on top of a long-term trend.

        The plot in some ways the best thermometer. It goes to where the energy is. It goes to the warmth engine of the Earth. If we had to audit one thing, we’d audit the ocean, not the atmosphere.

        I couldn’t agree more. But we can, and do audit more than one thing. Going beyond the last two decades, the major indicators except Antarctic sea ice point toward net energy retention.

        Off on another tangent. What’s the sensitivity of the oceans to a doubling of CO2? I am guessing looking at plots, it’s 0.3 C.

        That’s three degrees per doubling at the surface divided by 10, which is in line with your previous estimate of the ratio of surface to deep ocean temperature change. I’d put it closer to half a degree for a CO2 doubling because I think your 1:10 ratio is a tad off, but I don’t think it’s a terrible guess.

        Off on a tangent, as the surface is warmer, I suppose it’s more saline, driving freshwater off, heavy stuff sinks.

        Yup. This stuff gets complex in a hurry.

        The plot in some ways the best thermometer. It goes to where the energy is. It goes to the warmth engine of the Earth. If we had to audit one thing, we’d audit the ocean, not the atmosphere.

        I couldn’t agree more. Fortunately that’s not the only indicator we’ve presently got, and there are no constraints other than personal choice to only look at what’s going on with the oceans.

        Off on another tangent. What’s the sensitivity of the oceans to a doubling of CO2? I am guessing looking at plots, it’s 0.3 C.

        That’s three degrees per doubling at the surface divided by 10, which is in line with your previous estimate of the ratio of surface to deep ocean temperature change. I’d put it closer to half a degree for a CO2 doubling because I think your 1:10 ratio is a tad off, but I don’t think it’s a terrible guess.

    • Your comment is awaiting moderation.

      Planetary energy imbalance – references: Trenberth et al., 2014; von Sch___mann et al., 2016)

      Accumulation of energy into the oceans – references: Loeb et al., 2012; Balmaseda et al., 2013; Rhein et al., 2013; Trenberth et al., 2014)

      Resulting in an increase in global ocean heat content – references: Lyman et al., 2010; Levitus et al., 2012; Abraham et al., 2013).

    • I see that Steve Mosher is back to the insulation story for Greenhouse Gases keeping Earth toasty.

      When I am in my sleeping bag with its goose down holding air still and my body heat then warms the insulating air, and myself, we have Steve Mosher’s insulation story.

      However, if my sleeping bag system is open; i.e., I don’t zip the bag closed and the heat of my body escapes through the open system, then that camping experience become miserable. I get cold.

      The radiative insulation properties of green house gases depend upon the system being more of a closed system, then most of the calculations work. But, the Earth and its green house gases are not a closed system. At both polar regions there is an enormous loss of heat energy through these polar windows which may open more widely or close influencing the heat loss. It would appear that the water vapor content of these regions are a crucial component to the heat exchanger system.

      As for the photons that zip between molecules, surfaces and space, I am told these are vary rapid interactions, i.e., at the speed of light, so I don’t “buy” the long lingering effects of whatever is languishing in the Atmosphere as dominating the greenhouse effect. Except for the abundance of water vapor and its renewal at such a high rate, there appears to be little that can slow photons from their rapid course, As photons are lost to space through the polar windows, a better study of these regions opening and closing acting like regulators of heat loss would be more fruitful.

      My money is on the understanding of heat energy loss at the poles will eventually explain more of the greenhouse effect than any trace gas radiative transfer model.

      I’m getting the zipper on my sleeping bag fixed before I go camping again.

      • CO2 exists in the same quantity at the poles, while H2O is much reduced, so the GHG effect of CO2 is a large fraction of the total under clear skies there, and the insulation effect changes proportionately most there as you increase CO2.

      • RiHo08,

        But, the Earth and its green house gases are not a closed system.

        It’s effectively closed to all but radiative transfers. That’s sufficient to consider it a closed system.

        As for the photons that zip between molecules, surfaces and space, I am told these are vary rapid interactions, i.e., at the speed of light, so I don’t “buy” the long lingering effects of whatever is languishing in the Atmosphere as dominating the greenhouse effect.

        Whence any “greenhouse effect” at all if not the radiative transfers to/from all LW-active species (and clouds, etc.) in the atmosphere?

      • Steven Mosher

        Too funny.

        space blanket

      • RiHo08,

        Yes, and Mosher continually avoids debating the lack of evidence showing that CO2 emissions are doing more harm that good, or that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentrations would do more harm than good.

        He dodged this https://judithcurry.com/2016/07/12/are-energy-budget-climate-sensitivity-values-biased-low/#comment-796768 . No one has refuted or shown it to be incorrect or misleading. I’d welcome constructive debate on this. If no one is prepared to confront this issue, it suggests avoidance and denial (of the relevant facts).

      • RiHo08,

        Foolish Warmists believe that a bit of gas wrapped around a cooling object can raise its temperature, due to the miracle of climatological semantics.

        The foolish Warmists cannot accept their magic CO2 insulation heating effect only works in direct sunlight. Not in the shade, not when it’s cold, not at the equator, or indoors.

        Foolish Warmists can’t believe that the hottest places on Earth are distinguished by their lack of the most important “greenhouse gas “, H2O. These locations are referred to as “arid” tropical deserts, because they are, well, arid!

        The only real effect of insulation on foolish Warmists, is to prevent any truth seeping into their Warmist fantasies.

        CO2 heats nothing. Foolish Warmists believe that CO2 is heating the surface, as “Hottest year EVAH!”

        Cheers.

      • Time was, we used ter live in an open system but that
        system is fast closing cli-sci and open-society-wise. \..
        Oh UNFCCC ‘n IPCC ! oh Gramsci ‘n Alinsky marchin’
        through the institutions!

      • Jim D

        “CO2 exists in the same quantity at the poles, while H2O is much reduced”

        At the poles, little water vapor means the dominant GHG is absent, hence lots of heat loss through this window. Any and all CO2 effect is constant.

        brandonrgates

        “Whence any “greenhouse effect” at all if not the radiative transfers…”

        The variable GHG is water vapor and is not in constant concentrations: High in the middle and Low on the ends. The temperature in the middle is fairly even, the ends are where the draft is, so, I beg to differ, it doesn’t behave like a closed system, or, rather, it behaves as a very drafty one.

        Steve Mosher

        Space blanket? Light weight, cheap, shields one from the wind, but, if you are really cold, as in hypothermia, good luck with a space blanket. With hypothermia, one needs another heat source or its curtains.

        If on the other hand one has a fever, hyperpyrexia, then a space blanket would make the situation worse, unless of course you bath the body in water, which acts like a heat sink and draws the circulating heat away. Then of course one has to deal with all the chemicals in the body that rev up the metabolic system (makes heat, reduces heat loss, internally dehydrating water loss) in the first place.

        Mama Gaia.

      • RiHo08:
        I’ve tried to look at this speed of light question a few times. Here I give my thoughts about it:
        https://chaosaccounting.wordpress.com/2016/07/12/co2-holds-onto-the-infrared-radiation-long-enough-to-warm/
        Ucar describes the process something like, the CO2 molecule shortly re-emits, and also as eventually re-emitting. I’d say, we can think of the CO2 molecule as vibrating. As it does that, it effects other molecules. That effect may lower the CO2 molecules energy. Perhaps meaning no re-emission from that last photon it took in.

      • RiHo08,

        The variable GHG is water vapor and is not in constant concentrations […]

        Photons absorbed/emitted by water vapor travel at the same speed as those absorbed/emitted by CO2.

        Next.

      • Ragnaar,

        Ucar describes the process something like, the CO2 molecule shortly re-emits, and also as eventually re-emitting. I’d say, we can think of the CO2 molecule as vibrating.

        Yes, exactly.

        As it does that, it effects other molecules. That effect may lower the CO2 molecules energy. Perhaps meaning no re-emission from that last photon it took in.

        The stats I know are that one in one million photons are emitted immediately after being absorbed. The energy from the balance is transferred kinetically to other molecules, the vast majority of which are not LW emitters. Collisions can also induce a photon emission, which they do in about six percent of instances.

      • brandonrgates

        “The stats I know are that one in one million photons are emitted immediately after being absorbed. The energy from the balance is transferred kinetically to other molecules, the vast majority of which are not LW emitters. Collisions can also induce a photon emission, which they do in about six percent of instances”

        Funny that. At the speed of light, my guess is that these interactions and reactions are all pretty fast. And, as for a CO2 molecule “holding onto” a photon of energy and vibrating for a while, I would surmise, that this activity would be fairly rapid. And, an activated CO2 molecule striking a very abundant O2 or N2 molecule which don’t seem to respond to the IR absorption/re-emitting dance, only the kinetic bumper-car type of interaction I would expect that there would be some heat energy transfer. However, CO2 being a trace gas, well, I would expect these type of interactions as being, well…infrequent.

        Then again, water vapor and its IR spectrum overlap with CO2 would have some role in all of this I guess.

        Which brings me back to the cold poles and hot equator in a primarily water environment Water is 70+% of the surface of the earth. Water and its multi-phases makes it all work. CO2 is a relatively constant bit actor in this whole scene, at least to my way of thinking. McBeth’s wife’s handmaiden.

        The poles rock!.

      • RiH008, you said “Any and all CO2 effect is constant.” No, the poles are precisely where CO2-change effects are seen most because there is less H2O interfering with it.

      • Jim D

        “poles are precisely where CO2-change effects are seen most”

        Agreed.

        That is why the poles are windows for the escape of IR, no water vapor for retarding IR loss.

      • Jim D:
        I think in the Arctic, what we are seeing there are the material effects of melted sea ice.

      • RiHo08,

        At the speed of light, my guess is that these interactions and reactions are all pretty fast.

        As they are for water vapor. Your speed of light argument is going nowhere real fast.

        And, an activated CO2 molecule striking a very abundant O2 or N2 molecule which don’t seem to respond to the IR absorption/re-emitting dance, only the kinetic bumper-car type of interaction I would expect that there would be some heat energy transfer.

        Correct. That’s the main heat-trapping mechanism as I understand it. Same principle applies to any LW-active species including water vapor. Once energy is transferred to an N2 or O2, it cannot dissipate as LW radiation. The only option is a kinetic transfer back to an LW-emitting species, or escape from the system entirely. Fortunately for us, the main energy flux out of the system is radiative, not mass loss.

        However, CO2 being a trace gas, well, I would expect these type of interactions as being, well…infrequent.

        On a per-molecule basis, CO2 is the better absorber than water vapor. Unless you account for that, your ratio analysis will obtain misleading conclusions. Better informed estimates put water vapor’s contribution to the greenhouse effect at 50%, clouds 25% and CO2 at 20%. The remaining 5% is attributed to methane, ozone, CFCs, etc.

        Then again, water vapor and its IR spectrum overlap with CO2 would have some role in all of this I guess.

        Yes. Radiative transfer codes are handy when it comes to approximating the effect of such overlaps.

        CO2 is a relatively constant bit actor in this whole scene, at least to my way of thinking.

        That is obvious, and you’re not alone. If only CO2 rain or snow were as common an occurrence as H2O precipitation, we might not be having this discussion.

      • RiH008, yes, and adding CO2 retards the escape of IR from the poles leading to warming.

      • brandonrgates

        “water vapor’s contribution to the greenhouse effect at 50%, clouds 25% and CO2 at 20%.”

        Yet water vapor is eight times more abundant than CO2 in some regions, especially the warm area accounting for the bulk of GHG effects at the equator and many times less at the poles. My point regarding the Drafty Radiative Transfer Model is that the poles represent an open window for the greenhouse effect. Heat energy is transported by several atmospheric cycles and ocean currents to the poles where the long wave radiation can exit this mortal coil with ease. CO2, being a trace gas absorbs IR and re-emits IR pretty quickly allowing little time for the bumper cars games with N2 and O2.. The polar regions will preferentially cool the earth.

      • RiHo08,

        Yet water vapor is eight times more abundant than CO2 in some regions […]

        Water vapor ranges from zero to four percent of the atmosphere by volume, with an average somewhere between two and three percent. CO2 at 400 ppmv works out as water vapor being zero to 100 times more abundant than CO2, on average 50 to 75 times more so.

        The polar regions will preferentially cool the earth.

        It’s been 120 years since Arrhenius’ 1896 paper on the combined radiative effects of CO2 and water vapor in the atmosphere, and the planet hasn’t gotten any cooler. Quite the opposite really; the surface is about a degree warmer. Theory and prediction confirmed by observation disagree with you.

    • “The abstract goes on to describe how individual models are not great but the ensemble is great.”

      Well… yeah!… one doctor says your little child is going to grow, as an adult, to 80 cm size, the second doctor tells you that he’s gonna be 2m80cm… in the end he’ll be 1.8m… exactly the average… so the conclusion is that both doctors’ answers/prediction were correct, right? :-)

    • Regarding the paper: “Observed and simulated full-depth ocean heat-content changes for 1970–2005” By Cheng, Trenberth et co.

      All increase in Ocean Heat content seem to be ascribed to the anthropogenic increase of CO2 in the atmosphere.

      That makes me wonder: What was the causing the sea level increase before human emitted significant amount of CO2 into the atmosphere? Isn´t sea level supposed to be correlated to ocean temperature and thereby to Ocean Heat content?

      How much the sea level would rise, and correspondingly temperature and Ocean Heat Content would increase, without an increase of the CO2 level in the atmosphere, isn´t mentioned with a word in the paper by Cheng, Trenberth et co. I think that makes the comparison between the model runs and observations pretty useless.

  24. Just as I predicted…?

    Anyone who claims complete certainty has insufficient warrant for that claim. The world and its behaviors can be known only within degrees of probability. Instead of arguing about whether something is scientific or whether it is true, we ought to be discussing plausibility, likelihood, utility, risk. [~Henry Bauer, “What to believe? Science is a red herring and a wild-goose chase”]

    Accuweather sees concern about about a tropical development that could bring 12″ of rain and flooding to Florida over the next few days.

    But, this very concern was foreseeable, within degrees of probability — having nothing to do with humanity’s release of CO2 into the atmosphere –, back on January 20, 2016 –e.g., “…the bi-monthly Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO is associated with variations in mid-latitude tropical thunderstorm activity) may interact with an Arctic Oscillation (AO is characterized by a counter-clockwise Arctic wind pattern) and a North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO is described as a blocking of the jet stream over the North Atlantic), and combine with an El Niño-Southern Oscillation. ENSO currently is in the phase of a peaking El Niño and a likely outcome of all these weather activities is a torrential rain event somewhere in Florida. When that happens a Nobel prize-winning climate scientist probably will point and proclaim the flood is an example of extreme weather and evidence of climate change.”

    • Wagathon,

      […] having nothing to do with humanity’s release of CO2 into the atmosphere […]

      Such an absolutely confident statement doesn’t read as consistent with “within degrees of probability”. It also implies a dubious “if not this then that” dichotomy.

      When that happens a Nobel prize-winning climate scientist probably will point and proclaim the flood is an example of extreme weather and evidence of climate change.”

      Sure … within degrees of probability.

      • It has happened before. Trying to understand and basing a prediction on the synchronization of multiple factors… is it even possible? Of course, it’s easier to boil all down the single mystical element, CO2 but scientists outside Western academia see predictions based on it as something akin to the ancient science of astrology.

        Flooding Threatens Florida, Southeast
        Locally heavy rain could cause flooding in Florida and the rest of the Southeast over the next several days.

        Severe Weather

      • Wagathon,

        Trying to understand and basing a prediction on the synchronization of multiple factors… is it even possible?

        Within degrees of probability at best, contingent on quality of observation, theory and computational horsepower.

        Of course, it’s easier to boil all down the single mystical element, CO2 but scientists outside Western academia see predictions based on it as something akin to the ancient science of astrology.

        The bulk of warming since the Industrial Revolution is *mainly* attributed to CO2. That really shouldn’t be any more controversial than instead attributing warming *mainly* to a hypothetical 10% increase in solar output. How that additional energy would manifest itself through the rest of the system is the much harder part.

        Something I’m quite certain of … nobody will ever contribute to figuring anything out if they perpetually insist that it cannot be done outside of mythical Eastern astrology.

      • Looking for ways to excuse they probably are wrong even when nothing they say is verifiable is what Western climate science has become.

      • Recognizing that we’re never going to be right about everything and looking for potential sources of error are things I consider essential to good scientific practice, Wagathon. Your declaration by fiat that “nothing they say is verifiable” is particularly priceless. How many degrees of probability are there in that confidently absolute and sweeping assertion, hmm? And speaking of verifiability, how would one go about proving your negative true, eh?

        Wake me up when your own arguments exhibit the same standards you claim Western climate scientists aren’t following.

      • Michael Crichton () the wake-call for Western climate scientists. What would it take to convince you about global warming? Michael Crichton essentially had the same question, when he advanced the hypothesis that, aliens cause global warming. That was about 12 years ago. Government scientists of global warming alarmism like Kevin Trenberth want to turn the scientific method on its head. They demand that the unconvinced prove humanity’s CO2 has not caused the globe to heat up. If that makes sense then perhaps Trenberth should first prove to us skeptics that aliens are not the cause of global warming.

      • Wagathon,

        Michael Crichton () the wake-call for Western climate scientists.

        I suppose science fiction authors might be considered more authoritative sources than astrologers.

        If that makes sense then perhaps Trenberth should first prove to us skeptics that aliens are not the cause of global warming.

        My money is on invisible farting unicorns.

        In the meantime back in the real world, we have lab-tested physical theory coupled with observation to rely upon. And a prediction made in 1896 which has since been realized. There’s no “proving” anything to people who are ideologically opposed to believing it, a lesson I first learned discussing evolution with creationists.

        As far as “but Trenberth” goes, no sale. Alternatives explanations for post-Industrial Revolution warming are a dime a dozen, and it’s up to their promoters to substantiate them as the superior model. Science has long worked this way. Galileo did not succeed by asking endless “what if” questions, he painstakingly gathered evidence and published. Climate “skeptics” might do well to shut up and calculate … nobody else is going to prove their theories for them.

      • Global warming alarmists are forced to live in an alternate reality where, A Modern Grand Maximum Is Simply Ignored, and ad hominem attacks on realists are used as a substitute for science.

        What we now know about the sun explains everything about late 20th century warming. As it turns out, “the modern Grand maximum (which occurred during solar cycles 19–23, i.e., 1950-2009),” says Ilya Usoskin, “was a rare or even unique event, in both magnitude and duration, in the past three millennia.” [Usoskin et al., Evidence for distinct modes of solar activity, A&A 562 (2014)]

        What happens in an extreme case of solar activity –e.g., how about a, 3,000-year solar activity record? We now know because we just lived through it –i.e., a period of global warming. Now that the sun gone on a hiatus and everything is different. It has happened before. Sergey Kotov used the mathematics of chaos to analyze a 4000 year Greenland ice core temperature record and found a pattern in the data. Extrapolating into the future Kotov’s approach predicts cooling to 2030, then warming, and then 300 years of cooling beginning in 2100.

      • Global warming alarmists are forced to live in an alternate reality where, A Modern Grand Maximum Is Simply Ignored, and ad hominem attacks on realists are used as a substitute for science.

        Says the guy who insists that climatology is indistinguishable from astrology. Self-awareness isn’t exactly your strong point is it, Wagathon.

        What we now know about the sun explains everything about late 20th century warming.

        Here’s what I know about the Sun:

        ANNUAL MEAN TSI: Lean (GRL 2000) with Wang Lean Sheeley (ApJ 2005) background, Mon Apr 6 11:29:27 2009 PMOD absolute scale – multiply by 0.9965 for TIM scale, TSI [W/m2] Total Solar Irradiance

        The difference between the 21st Century mean and the bottom of the Maunder Minimum is 1.1 W/m^2. We need to divide that by four to account for the (nearly) spherical geometry of the planet, and further multiply by 0.7 to account for albedo. The answer is 0.2 W/m^2. I’ll let you provide the temperature change over the same interval and compute the rather alarming implied climate sensitivity parameter.

        For comparison, the IPCC answer is in the neighborhood of 0.8 K W^-1 m^2.

        Thanks for playing.

      • You’re playing with yourself. A study of the Earth’s albedo (project “Earthshine”) shows that the amount of reflected sunlight does not vary with increases in greenhouse gases. The “Earthshine” data shows that the Earth’s albedo fell up to 1997 and rose after 2001.

        What was learned is that climate change is related to albedo, as a result of the change in the amount of energy from the sun that is absorbed by the Earth. For example, fewer clouds means less reflectivity which results in a warmer Earth. And, this happened through about 1998. Conversely, more clouds means greater reflectivity which results in a cooler Earth. And this happened after 1998.

        It is logical to presume that changes in Earth’s albedo are due to increases and decreases in low cloud cover, which in turn is related to the climate change that we have observed during the 20th Century, including the present global cooling. However, we see that climate variability over the same period is not related to changes in atmospheric greenhouse gases.

        Obviously, the amount of `climate forcing’ that may be due to changes in atmospheric greenhouse gases is either overstated or countervailing forces are at work that GCMs simply ignore. GCMs fail to account for changes in the Earth’s albedo. Accordingly, GCMs do not account for the effect that the Earth’s albedo has on the amount of solar energy that is absorbed by the Earth.

      • Wagathon,

        A study of the Earth’s albedo (project “Earthshine”) shows that the amount of reflected sunlight does not vary with increases in greenhouse gases. The “Earthshine” data shows that the Earth’s albedo fell up to 1997 and rose after 2001.

        Not exactly. The Earthshine observations only cover 1994–1995 and 1999–2003. The 1984-2001 interval was reconstructed using cloud cover data as a proxy.

        What was learned is that climate change is related to albedo, as a result of the change in the amount of energy from the sun that is absorbed by the Earth.

        Hardly a novel concept.

        For example, fewer clouds means less reflectivity which results in a warmer Earth.

        Not necessarily. Fewer clouds also means less trapped outbound LW radiation, which is a cooling effect. Whether a change in cloud cover results in a NET warming or cooling is highly dependent on cloud type. A reduction in low thick clouds tends to result in NET warming because the SW albedo change is more dominant. Conversely, a reduction in high thin clouds tends to result in NET cooling because the outbound LW loss is more dominant. As ever, the grand question is whether secular warming due to CO2 (or any external forcing) will result in a net positive or net negative feedback. Ironically, the “climate is always changing” meme tends to imply climate instability, to which a net positive cloud feedback would contribute.

        The nearly 10 W/m^2 swing in Figure 3 of Pallé et al. (2004) due to albedo change *is* impressive. However, drawing conclusions about the planet’s radiative energy budget on those data alone is single-sided accounting, a no-no which is an innocent oversight at best and a mendacious attempt to mislead at worst. Here I’d be talking more about *you* than the paper’s authors; they write:

        If the changes in cloud properties responsible for the reflectance changes shown by the proxy were a result of secularly increasing atmospheric greenhouse gases, then they would signal a strong positive SW cloud feedback, although a simultaneous negative feedback may be expected through reduced cloud trapping of IR radiation (14). However, the reflectance increase from 1999 to 2003 would be difficult to attribute to monotonically increasing atmospheric greenhouse gases. Natural variability is a much more plausible explanation, given the size and time scale of the proxy changes.

        … which is not controversial to me, shows a proper recognition that radiative budgets must be balanced and that natural decadal variability is a prominent feature of climate.

        Obviously, the amount of `climate forcing’ that may be due to changes in atmospheric greenhouse gases is either overstated or countervailing forces are at work that GCMs simply ignore. GCMs fail to account for changes in the Earth’s albedo. Accordingly, GCMs do not account for the effect that the Earth’s albedo has on the amount of solar energy that is absorbed by the Earth.

        Obviously you’re a sucker for “anything but CO2” arguments. You’re confidently jumping to conclusions on the basis of two decades of data which only tell one side of the radiative story related to clouds. I’ve got over a century of temperature and CO2 observation which leave Arrhenius’ 1896 prediction quite intact.

        As far as GCMs and albedo go, it’s *false* that they don’t take albedo into account, but *true* that they have issues faithfully reproducing it:

        ABSTRACT

        A comprehensive comparison of characteristics of the planetary albedo (α) in data from two satellite measurement campaigns (ERBE and CERES) and output from 20 GCMs, simulating the 20th-century climate, is performed. Discrepancies between different data sets and models exist; thus, it is clear that conclusions about absolute magnitude and accuracy of albedo should be drawn with caution. Yet, given the present calibrations, a bias is found between different estimates of α, with modelled global albedos being systematically higher than the observed. The difference between models and observations is larger for the more recent CERES measurements than the older ERBE measurements. Through the study of seasonal anomalies and space and time distribution of correlations between models and observations, specific regions with large discrepancies can be identified. It is hereby found that models appear to over-estimate the albedo during boreal summer and under-estimate it during austral summer. Furthermore, the seasonal variations of albedo in subtropical areas dominated by low stratiform clouds, as well as in dry desert regions in the subtropics, seem to be poorly simulated by the models.

        Take care to note that this is a discussion of *absolute* albedo, not secular albedo *trends*, and that this paper covers models from CMIP3, not CMIP5. Searching for CMIP5 albedo, I get hits mostly concerned with summer Arctic sea ice and snow coverage, not clouds.

      • It’s the absence of clouds that causes warming. Does anyone doubt that? Yes… climate alarmists’ whose models also have an absence of clouds. Maybe we should fear clouds because we know so little: the science of clouds, which is clearly critical, is one of the least well understood aspects of climate science. ~Nigel Lawson

        The water vapor mops up heat. As the vapor rises it leaves a cooler Earth behind. The water vapor rises and as it does the atmosphere becomes cooler and thinner and the water vapor eventually condenses. As it condenses the water vapor gives up its heat to the cold emptiness of space as the vapor returns to water and forms clouds or freezes and ultimately falls back to earth as rain, sleet, hail and snow.

        The global warming alarmists cannot change this process. They can however program GCMs so as to depict runaway global warming by treating water vapor as a contributor to global warming—i.e., a positive feedback as if it collects heat like a greenhouse. In actuality, of course, water vapor is a part of a holistic process that results in a negative feedback because the amount of solar energy that is reflected away by clouds during the day more than offsets the suppression by clouds of cooling during the night.

      • Wagathon,

        It’s the absence of clouds that causes warming.

        I told you already, it depends on the type of cloud.

        Yes… climate alarmists’ whose models also have an absence of clouds.

        When in doubt, simply make stuff up.

        Maybe we should fear clouds because we know so little: the science of clouds, which is clearly critical, is one of the least well understood aspects of climate science. ~Nigel Lawson

        Yer preachin’ to the choir: Clouds and aerosols continue to contribute the largest uncertainty to estimates and interpretations of the Earth’s changing energy budget. ~IPCC AR5 WG1 Ch. 7

        The global warming alarmists cannot change this process.

        And just like that, after genuflecting to the Uncertainty Monster you’re back to being absolutely certain that CO2’s role is nonexistent. “Degrees of probability” … [poof!] … gone! No amount of theory, prediction, or evidence contrary to your belief (which are in abundance) apparently matters.

      • Putting phony analogies, conjectures and speculations about reality aside the real truth is, global warming alarmists really don’t care one wit about CO2. Leftists did not suddenly become concerned because someone died from increased global warming. Like the Left-leaning media leading up to the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris (liberal media didn’t just refuse to run satirical cartoons against the Muslim faith: they ran from them), there has been a systemic failure by the liberal media from the beginning to print the real news about the global warming debate.

        A failure to report on the fundamental dishonesty of the official government-education climate science establishment is like being unaware of the anti-Semitism of radical Islam’s imams. We now see the same dishonesty and corruption underlying the Hillary’s pay to play candidacy. So long as it is in their political interest the UN and the Left will continue to spread propaganda that serious warming will someday return and when it does it will be worse than ever unless our socialist government overlords are immediately empowered to raise taxes to dramatically curb the emission of greenhouse gases.

        Using the analogy of a greenhouse with respect to global warming alarmism was never a scientific-based attempt to objectively describe the actual effect of CO2: global warming is a Left versus right issue so it’s obviously more social than science. The purposeful use of the erroneous greenhouse analogy was for its dramatic effect: it makes for great theater. Use of the deceitful analogy of a greenhouse to peddle global warming propaganda may be the greatest sin Western science ever committed because it’s a sin against physics.

        The phony greenhouse analogy is dogma not science: a scare tactic to help achieve the Left’s political agenda of taking over the country’s economy, just as ignoring the effect of clouds is a knowing deception to further the global warming hoax. It’s all a big math charade – pulling mythical rabbits out of abstract toy models to divert the public’s eye from the real truth.

        The UN and the Left will continue to proclaim, “Eureka! That is what our mathematical programs tell us and we have many of these programs and they all tell us the same thing!” For the Left, humanity is causing global warming no matter what anyone else may believe and despite what we may observe now or in the immediate future. It’s a good gig for them and many have made a living taking public money to spread these fears about what will happen long after we’re all dead and buried.

      • I give more credit to the wisdom of “science fiction authors” like Michael Crichton any day compared to what passes for expertise in the Western AGW Climatology Movement.

        I am obliged to confess I should sooner live in a society governed by the first two thousand names in the Boston telephone directory than in a society governed by the two thousand faculty members of Harvard University.” ~William F. Buckley

      • Wagathon,

        After having written such an impassioned screed which is all but wholly unresponsive to anything I wrote, does it not occur to you that perhaps you’re the one who has confused political science for physical science?

      • If global warming was about the science it wouldn’t be a Left vs. right issue now, would it? Al Gore accused his mentor Roger Revelle of being senile and the Left attempted to demonize famous hurricane hunter Dr. William Gray by labeling him a ‘denier’ (with all the nasty connotations that word implies). Global warming has never been a scientific discussion except by skeptics.

        There are no skeptics among government scientists. Misleading the public with claims of a scientific consensus has actually been a big lie from the get-go. Freeman Dyson says, “I think any good scientist ought to be a skeptic.”

      • Wagathon,

        There’s a way to de-politicize the issue: talk about the science. You’re not doing that. I rest my case.

      • You rest your case but you’ve proven nothing.

    • An area of low pressure in the upper atmosphere, a stalling surface front and abundant tropical moisture are the ingredients for this multi-day flood threat. In addition, a weak area of surface low pressure near the coast of Florida’s Big Bend will keep a firehose of moisture pointed at northern Florida where rainfall totals may top 12 inches. ~Brian Donegan. weather.com (today)

  25. “Greenhouse-gas emissions have created a planetary energy imbalance that is primarily manifested by increasing ocean heat content (OHC).”

    Great, start your paper with an unsupportable assertion. I have yet to see a cogent explanation of how heat energy captured in the troposphere by greenhouse gases, gets magically transferred into the deep oceans. (I have read papers suggesting this takes hundreds to thousands of years though).

    “The CMIP5 models show large spread in OHC changes, suggesting that some models are not state-of-the-art and require further improvements. However, the ensemble median has excellent agreement with our observational estimate…”

    The “ensemble median”. LOL

    Science moves onwards.

  26. …and, predicted here January 17th:

    Wagathon | January 17, 2016 at 10:13 pm |

  27. Two comments regarding the NASA Greenland Ice article:
    First, it doesn’t say whether they took into account ice thickness (high pressure will melt ice at lower temperatures). Some of their methods may indicate melting without that information, but some will not.
    It is also interesting to note that the figure caption states: “This first-of-a-kind map, … will help scientists better predict how the ice will flow in a warming climate.” This belies an assumption that the climate is warming. It also suggests that the authors assume that the ice may flow differently in a warming climate. As the base of the ice is insulated from any effects of warming at the top, the ice will flow the same, whether it gets warmer at the top or not. Any change will be the result of either a pressure change at the bottom (for example, more ice deposition at the top) or heat flow changes at the bottom.
    Of course, as with some of the other articles, this was written by a journalist, but I doubt she changed the figure caption.

  28. RE: A breakthrough in blue energy?
    In the Nature article the authors said they used MD simulation. They didn’t say what it was, so I looked it up. It is Molecular Dynamics simulation, a computer mathematical simulation. They never said anyting about a 3-atom thick membrane or an actual physical test. Theirs is an entirely mathematical model, just like many climate predictors use. Basically, what they are describing is a liquid-liquid battery, and they suggest several different liquid combinations that might work. The liquids in a closed system would need to be replenished, just as is the case with a lead-acid or other kind of battery, either by charging, or replacing the liquids.
    A closed system as described in the Dujmovic article would not work in any case, because as you move water molecules through the membrane, the volume would increase on the salty side, and decrease on the other side. The pressure difference would quickly break the membrane. So, you would need an open system with water entering or leaving the reservoirs.
    I can’t imagine what they are thinking a large-scale system would look like; perhaps they want to harvest millions of kidneys to use for their membranes.

    • The 3-atom thick membrane exists in their computer simulation and they are describing the results of the simulation as if it were a real osmotic device. As I said, your exhalation can break the membrane. Never mind if the anode and cathode are made of solid or liquid. Even a gas anode and cathode can break the membrane.

  29. RE: Floating Solar
    The pro: Evaporation on the string of reservoirs along the Colorado River increases the saltiness of the water downstream. This is among the biggest environmental problems of the system. And, it is not very neighborly to our friends to the south to give them a trickle of salt water for their irrigation needs.
    The cons: 1. In the southwestern U.S. there would probably be more sediment accumulation on the panels from wind than would be washed off by the infrequent rain. So, keeping the collectors clean would be a concern.
    2. I can’t imagine the boaters or other tourists would be keen on the idea. After all, Lake Mead and Lake Powell are the centers of two National Recreation Areas. And, the economy of Parker, Arizona depends on tourism at Lake Havasu.
    Besides, the hydroelectric capacity of these dams is great enough that solar is not really needed. If it were significant, it would require additional power lines to faraway places.

    • Curious George

      My concern is that water is not unproductive. There are algae in water and at the bottom. Deprive them of sunlight, and you may end up with a dead, stinking water.

  30. “Ryan Maue: Global warming reduces pole-equator T gradient. That’s a climate on laxatives — not steroids.”

    “climate on laxatives”… ehh… but interesting.

    That’s what Manabe and Wetherald seemed to conclude back in ’79.

    “The reduction of the meridional temperature gradient appears to reduce not only the eddy kinetic energy, but also the variance of temperature in the lower model troposphere.”

    Translation: Global Warming leads to LESS extreme climate

    We only have the opposite understanding because of the IPCC’s shameless need to try and scare the public.

    That said, there are a number of different aspects wrt to meridional temperature gradient to consider.

    Manabe’s finding and point are that the modeled increase in humidity mean a modeled increase in the latent heat capacity which means that the atmosphere is much more efficient at energy exchange for a given unit of air mass exchange. Therefore, less air mass exchange is necessary with a commensurate drop in the violent exchange associated with extreme weather.

    Francis’ finding was that a reduced pole-to-equator gradient meant greater amplitude long wave patterns and slower progressing waves. According to this, persistent warm/cold, rainy/drought patterns might occur.

    But here’s a thing – observations do tend to bear out a decrease in pole-to-equator gradient but the modern GCMs don’t. So Francis’ notions would not apply if the GCMs were correct – that is if the Hot Spot were to appear.

    • Turbulent Eddie,

      Manabe’s finding and point are that the modeled increase in humidity mean a modeled increase in the latent heat capacity which means that the atmosphere is much more efficient at energy exchange for a given unit of air mass exchange. Therefore, less air mass exchange is necessary with a commensurate drop in the violent exchange associated with extreme weather.

      I cannot find where MW1980 make that specific conclusion. Instead I read:

      The increase in the poleward moisture transport has an important hydrologic implication. Owing to this increase, the change in the mean precipitation rate has a large latitudinal dependence although the evaporation rate tends to increase uniformly at all latitudes in response to an increase of CO2. It is found that the enhanced penetration of moisture into high latitudes markedly increases precipitation there and shifts the midlatitude rainbelt poleward. Thus, the rate of runoff from the model continent increases significantly in high latitudes. On the other hand, the poleward shift of the midlatitude rainbelt results in the absence of a significant increase in the precipitation rate and the reduction of soil moisture over the model continent in a zonal belt centered around 42 latitude. In this zonal continental belt, the eddy kinetic energy decreases significantly and is partly responsible for the aforementioned absence of the increase in the precipitation rate. In the model subtropics, an increase of carbon dioxide in the model atmosphere intensifies the monsoonal precipitation along the east coast of the model continent which results from the increase of the northward moisture transport along the periphery of the oceanic anticyclone. It is important to recognize that the results described above are obtained from a climate model with an idealized geography free of mountains and without seasonal variation. Therefore, one should not take too literally the details of the geographical distribution of climate change indicated in this study. Nevertheless, these results suggest that the climatic effect of a CO2 increase may be far from uniform and may have significant geographical variation.

  31. Earlier snowmelt paper. A double logic fail. Earlier snowmelt caused by colder temperatures??? And slower snowmelt from colder temperature causes lower streams, with drastic consequences??? The lower stream part is true, because more water percolates into the soil where mountain trees can use it over the summer growing season. So is good for mountain forests, not bad. Same as a slow spring thaw on the Wisconsin farm is good for field soil moisture.
    At first thought this must be an Onion satire piece. Nope. Just confusion about 15 years of observational data at one mountain forest (all during the pause) thrown into some U. Colorado climate model. It got through pal review despite the logic fails.

    • ristvan,

      Earlier snowmelt paper. A double logic fail. Earlier snowmelt caused by colder temperatures???

      No, paraphrase/quote-mine fail on your part:

      “This study shows us that, counterintuitively, warming generally causes snow to melt during colder periods of the seasonal temperature cycle due to the effects that warming has on reducing the depth of snowpacks, which causes melt to begin earlier in the year,” said Taylor Winchell, a graduate researcher in the Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR) at CU Boulder, and lead author of the study. “The colder temperatures associated with early melt reduce the trees’ ability to uptake carbon during the snowmelt period, a key period for seasonal carbon uptake.”

      It got through pal review despite the logic fails.

      No, it got through peer review because some people don’t have your apparent reading comprehension issues, Rudd.

      • Curious George

        Thick snowpack needs a higher temperature to start melting. A thinner snowpack melts at really low temperatures. Little kids know this in our enlightened age of environmental awareness.

      • Little kids know this in our enlightened age of environmental awareness.

        Children, and Incurious Georges, may not fully appreciate the complexities of snowpack physics:

        To accurately predict the timing and magnitude of snowmelt runoff from deep cold snowpacks, water flow percolation within snow must be understood (Gray and Male, 1975; Wankiewicz, 1979). Liquid water flow within the snowpack is influenced by its internal properties. Deeper, colder snowpacks have slower flow rates; this lag and attenuation in timing of meltwater delivery to the soil surface makes the process important for runoff and streamflow generation in mountains. The water flow through snow is a complex physical process that can be divided into two flows – matric flow and preferential flow (e.g. Marsh and Woo, 1984a; Marsh, 1991; Waldner et al., 2004).

        Appeals to common sense on the basis of a single parameter like temperature may not yield correct conclusions in dynamic multi-parameter physical systems.

      • Curious George

        Suddenly it is about a flow rate.

      • Curious George

        Brandon, thank you for a useful link. I had to notice that it is strictly a model; authors did not waste any time on actual measurements.

      • Curious George,

        Suddenly it is about a flow rate.

        It’s been about flow rate from the get-go:

        Snowmelt rate dictates streamflow

        Abstract

        Declining mountain snowpack and earlier snowmelt across the western United States has implications for downstream communities. We present a possible mechanism linking snowmelt rate and streamflow generation using a gridded implementation of the Budyko framework. We computed an ensemble of Budyko streamflow anomalies (BSAs) using Variable Infiltration Capacity model-simulated evapotranspiration, potential evapotranspiration, and estimated precipitation at 1/16° resolution from 1950 to 2013. BSA was correlated with simulated baseflow efficiency (r2 = 0.64) and simulated snowmelt rate (r2 = 0.42). The strong correlation between snowmelt rate and baseflow efficiency (r2 = 0.73) links these relationships and supports a possible streamflow generation mechanism wherein greater snowmelt rates increase subsurface flow. Rapid snowmelt may thus bring the soil to field capacity, facilitating below-root zone percolation, streamflow, and a positive BSA. Previous works have shown that future increases in regional air temperature may lead to earlier, slower snowmelt and hence decreased streamflow production via the mechanism proposed by this work.

        Is it really so terribly difficult for you to acknowledge that you don’t know much about snowpack dynamics? I sure as heck don’t.

        Brandon, thank you for a useful link.

        You’re welcome.

        I had to notice that it is strictly a model; authors did not waste any time on actual measurements.

        There are just shy of 50 references cited in that paper, did you check all of them? You might first look at Marsh and Woo, 1984a; Marsh, 1991; Waldner et al., 2004 because those are most relevant to meltwater flow through snowpacks.

        I can’t speak to the validity of Nicolas R. Leroux and Pomeroy’s entire model, but that wasn’t the point of my citation. However, since we’ve been reduced to thumping the “but models” meme now, let’s see what their purpose was in developing it:

        This two-dimensional snow model needs to be validated against in-situ data. This lack of validation makes this model only a tool to show how PFPs can be numerically reproduced, where the snow research is currently at, where the uncertainties are and what should be the next steps. Furthermore, this model has many assumptions that need to be addressed. Among these assumptions, snow grain metamorphism is one of the biggest. Wet snow metamorphism would result in an increase of grain size where liquid water flows and dry snow metamorphism, caused by vapour gradients, could make the simulation of the preferential flow paths dynamic. The development of this numerical model raises questions on water flow through snow and numerical snow modelling:

        … and it goes on to list ten outstanding questions. Looks like perfectly good science to me.

      • Curious George

        Brandon, you keep shifting your ground. You introduced a snowpack thickness into an article titled “Earlier snowmelt carries drastic consequences for forests.” Your quote was about timing and temperature. While I know next to nothing about snowpack dynamics, it is not a surprise that a thicker snow cover would ultimately result in an increased creek flow. It is nice to have it scientifically confirmed by models. But why blame temperature and timing?

      • Curious George,

        Brandon, you keep shifting your ground.

        That’s funny.

        You introduced a snowpack thickness into an article titled “Earlier snowmelt carries drastic consequences for forests.”

        Nope. Snowpack thickness is discussed in the press release as one of the timing mechanisms. I simply called Rud’s attention to it in my first response to him. Seriously, try reading more than just the headline.

        Your quote was about timing and temperature. While I know next to nothing about snowpack dynamics, it is not a surprise that a thicker snow cover would ultimately result in an increased creek flow.

        Sure … intuitively, more snow = more stream flow.

        But why blame temperature and timing?

        Blame is such a loaded term, but how about physical theory and observation? Here is another quote from the press release:

        The study results show that earlier, slower snowmelt, triggered by warmer temperatures, reduce streamflow. These slower “trickle” melts reduce percolation in hillslope soil and allow more water to evaporate, resulting in less streamflow overall.

        “Triggered by warmer temperatures” clashes with, “The colder temperatures associated with early melt reduce the trees’ ability to uptake carbon during the snowmelt period, a key period for seasonal carbon uptake,” and might be a mistake on the part of whoever wrote the press release.

  32. RE: An artificial leaf could convert carbon dioxide emissions

    “The researchers’ artificial leaf works like this: When sunlight hits the leaf, an electrochemical reaction occurs within the cell, turning the carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide, which is then mixed with hydrogen and converted into a “synthesis gas,” or “syngas.”

    Mr. Curtiss, where did you learn chemistry? How do you convert carbon monoxide into hydrogen? Unless you’re an alchemist, you can’t. Hydrogen by itself is a fuel and it is an INPUT to your chemical reaction not an OUTPUT. Since you are starting with hydrogen fuel, CO2 and CO are unnecessary to produce fuel. The fuel in syngas is hydrogen but you started with hydrogen! Worse, syngas contains CO, a poisonous gas. You are converting harmless CO2 into poisonous CO.

    Behold my artificial leaf will save the planet from global warming!!

    • Or you could just let a tree convert CO2 to wood. You can even build things with wood. Aeroplanes and motor cars used wood. Some small boats are still made of wood.

      Cricket bats are made of wood, and wood is often used for furniture. In an emergency, you can even make a fire from spare bits of wood, if the wondrous back radiation of CO2 isn’t keeping you warm enough.

      On the other hand, there’s hardly any funding for developing real, as opposed to artificial, leaves. Settled science, you know!

      Cheers.

  33. Even seemingly simple technology is so complex … from the article:

    if a hacker can get you to visit a malicious website or click on a phishing link, they can then target the monitor’s embedded computer, specifically its firmware…the computer that controls the menu to change brightness and other simple settings on the monitor. The hacker can then put an implant there programmed to wait…for commands sent over by a blinking pixel, which could be included in any video or a website. Essentially, that pixel is uploading code to the monitor. At that point, the hacker can mess with your monitor…

    [T]his could be used to both spy on you, but also show you stuff that’s actually not there. A scenario where that could dangerous is if hackers mess with the monitor displaying controls for a power plant, perhaps faking an emergency. The researchers warn that this is an issue that could potentially affect one billion monitors, given that the most common brands all have processors that are vulnerable…

    https://hardware.slashdot.org/story/16/08/07/1546208/one-billion-monitors-vulnerable-to-hijacking-and-spying

    • Jim2,

      Thank you for that. I haven’t been following the discussion here so I don’t know what prompted you to post it. But it is very topical right now. A China Government company is bidding to buy the rights to run the NSW electricity grid (NSW is Australia’s largest state by population and GSP). Many people are very concerned about the Chines government running our electricity system. Two weeks without electricity and around 50% of Sydney’s populations would be dead (around 2 million) – no water, no petrol for the car, not transport, no food, no ATMs..

      • I posted it here since the subject includes technology. The Chinese are also investing heavily in tech companies in the US. Our Globalist overlords seem to see no problem with this. I guess they believe the US Constitution confers on the Chinese to do whatever they want here.

      • Jim2,

        I think you aree conflating two separate problems. Do you know of a counterfactual analysis domonstrating that the world would be better off if globalization, increased free trade, multi corporates, capitalism, etc. had been blocked or reduced (such as by protectionism)?

      • I don’t believe you can do a credible analysis on something as complex as the world economy. Better to have a guy like Trump in there trying to get US citizens, he, as the US President, can. It’s going to have to be more empirical-like than climate-model-like.

      • I don’t believe you can do a credible analysis on something as complex as the world economy.

        Of course you can on the big picture like this. It’s done all the time and far better than trusting personal beliefs.

      • Errrrr ..

        Better to have a guy like Trump in there trying to get US citizens THE BEST DEAL THAT he, as the US President, can.

      • Well Peter, I’m sure you are brilliant. And if not brilliant enough, you probably know someone who is. Or maybe you would need a roomful of brilliant people to model the global economy. At any rate, I have no doubt a mighty fine model could be produced.

        I’m not that brilliant, but I have observed that brilliant people can’t even predict the price of oil x months, years, or decades out from time y. It’s a global commodity and depends on many factors in the global economy. Seems they could do better if economic modelling was all that. Given that fact plus the climate model debacles, I’ll approach any global economic model you or your cohorts produce with an ocean full of skepticism.

        But of course on this thread we are discussing politics. When it comes to that, I’m more concerned about myself, my family, my friends, and my country. I want to know what candidate will be better in that respect and I doubt your model will tell me that, even if it worked perfectly, being big picture and all. Trump’s concern for US citizens over people in Syria, Iran, or China is what I like. He would be negotiating with us in mind.

        But of course your idea of using “sciency” models and academic analysis as a basis for policy isn’t new. Some guy came up with that before. Can’t remember his name, but I believe it began with a “M.” So far, that doesn’t seem to be working out so well.

      • Jim2,

        Your comments suggest you know nothing about the economic models of the global economy. It’s not my area of expertise either, bur I do know a little from my past. The models exist to do counterfactual analysis. If you don’t know that globalisation, free trade, fair competition, multinational corprations are all enormopusly net beneficial and that without them the world would be far behind where it is now, then you have a hell of a lot of learning to do. Here’s just one group involved in this: https://cama.crawford.anu.edu.au/
        https://crawford.anu.edu.au/people/academic/warwick-mckibbin

        When it comes to that, I’m more concerned about myself, my family, my friends, and my country.

        You and all your future generations will be better off if the world reduces barriers to free trade, globalisation, mutli corporates, etc. It increase productivity and increases GDP growth rate and standard of living for the parties involved. Block it and you allthose progress more slowly.

      • You may now call me names and swing the handbag.

      • Naa. We agree on most things, but not everything. But supporting protectionist policies is akin to Luddite beliefs.

      • I would settle for a bit of slower global growth if the US gets a net benefit and income inequality here is eased.

      • The US won’t get a net benefit by implementing protectionist policies. It’s akin to Luddite to believe that and to advocate for it.

      • Jim2,

        I want Republican policies, and was open to Trump. But I’ve gone totally off him now. I’ve been following some high level analyses. I now believe he’d ab a huge risk for world peace. He seems to be near nuts.

        From today’s Australian:

        Trump a security threat

        A Donald Trump presidency could cause “mayhem” for Aus­tralia’s national security, wreck the crucial defence alliance with the US and trigger an unnecessary confrontation with China, Kim Beazley has warned.

        The former defence minister and ambassador to Washington said Australia could not afford to sit back and let chaos rule while its ability to defend itself was badly weakened.

        Writing for The Australian Strategic Policy Institute think tank, Mr Beazley said a Trump presidency would not be a question of “hold on to your hats for four years” and then sanity would rule. “America will be a different place after four years of Donald Trump,” he writes. “Australia’s responses, should they be necessary, must be immediate, forceful and sustained. More broadly, we can’t afford to see our region, including relations with China, fall victim to ill-considered confrontations.”

        Fifty national security officials from the Republican Party this week signed a letter warning that Mr Trump would be the most reckless president in US history, saying he lacked the character, values and experience to be president and “would put at risk our country’s national security and wellbeing”.

        Mr Beazley said some commentators would be pleased to see a rogue, isolationist US repudiating old shared values and perspectives. “However, we don’t have the capacity to readily survive an uncoupling of our bilateral ­defence relationship with our ­national security intact,” he said.

        more… http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/foreign-affairs/donald-trump-a-security-threat-says-kim-beazley/news-story/e467672f14aab1c3ef3eb9a39222c5d8

        Here’s another from the UK Independent:

        Donald Trump is not just a security threat to America, he’s an economic threat too
        Trump wants other countries to lose when they do business with America, and if that doesn’t work he’s prepared to build walls to keep them out”
        http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/donald-trump-security-threat-to-us-america-economic-threat-mexican-wall-a7181161.html

      • Peter – I was already familiar with the concepts surrounding free trade before you came along.

        Of course, none of your articles mentioned China’s military build-up and saber rattling. The US was on top of the manufacturing heap, so we have suffered the furthest fall in that regard.

        Trump merely wants FAIR trade, not isolationism. It is also right that all NATO countries pay their fair share of defense. Given the fact that global trade is making a Chinese military monster, you might think about all this a bit more deeply.

        Finally, I really like Trump’s idea to let the Keystone pipeline be built (more trade!!) and unleash the US energy sector from artificial restrictions. Cheap energy along with abundant natural gas will make us more competitive in chemicals. This is a very good thing.

      • Jim2,

        Of course, none of your articles mentioned China’s military build

        The military build up is due to a lack of free trade, not because of it. If the world traded fairly there would be much less need for military build up. Military build up is because a country feels threatened about it’s security -especially security of supply of energy and raw materials. Weak President Obama has done enourmous damage to world security. Trump will do far more damage (Hilary will too) because they both oppose free trade. they want to bully everyone into favouring the US.

        Trump merely wants FAIR trade, not isolationism.

        Rubbish. he wants dominance and push everyone else into subservience. Hillary also wants protectionism – in her case because she has to do what the unions tell her to do. Get stuffed with that!

        Why do you keep conflating military with trade and economics. Don’t you understand we are talking about free trade, globalasation (economc), improving human well being, raising GDP growth rate, improving stnadards of living. You may not recognise it but your arguments are opposed to all that

      • PL said: “The military build up is due to a lack of free trade, not because of it. If the world traded fairly there would be much less need for military build up”

        This is one of the most naive ideas I’ve ever read.

      • Jim2,

        Who’s name-calling now. Your understanding of economics is at the level of pub-talk. Your whole understanding of the issues is naive.

      • Peter – do you honestly believe that more free trade will induce China to stop it’s incursion in the South China Sea?

        I said your IDEA is naive because countries go to war for many reasons. Rationality isn’t always part of the equation.

        You have over-extolled the benefits of free trade and this isn’t difficult for anyone here to see.

    • Thanks to the weak President Obama for giving the green light to China, Puttin, Middle East, Iran, North Korea to do whatever they want, we (the OECD countries) are in deep doo doo.

  34. Moderator: A couple of my comments that showed up after clicking “post comment” have disappeared shortly afterwards (and they did not indicate they were awaiting moderation). Are you deleting or is this yet another mystery of WordPress?

    • no idea what is going on? I checked spam, didn’t see them there either

    • That’s happened to me before. It appears to be triggered by certain words since I could post just the link, but not totally sure about that.

      • jim2:

        Bare links seem to toss comments into moderation now. And if individual words pass the initial moderation-required filter, it seems odd they would trigger a later auto-deletion. If only Prof. Curry has moderation authority at CE, it is likely a WP glitch.

    • Thanks for the reply. Not worth reposting.

  35. From the article:

    Meanwhile, the number of oil rigs drilling in the United States rose for the sixth consecutive week to 381.

    The combination of factors led analysts to warn that the world had not yet dealt with the overhang of physical oil, which could drag prices lower again before any sustained recovery.

    “The proper signals are not yet being sent to fix the product market,” Morgan Stanley said in a note, noting that refined products also needed to draw down a large excess.

    “In other words, physical oil markets likely need to get worse before they get better.”

    http://www.cnbc.com/2016/08/07/oil-prices-rise-on-renewed-output-freeze-talks-but-fundamentals-remain-weak.html

  36. To the non-scientist skeptic this paper finding no anthropogenic sea level rise signal seems huge, especially since J. Hansen was one of the authors. I’m frankly surprised by the finding. Am I the onliest one?

  37. Re: Technology and Policy – Teresa May has made a good start as UK PM.

    Families will be offered five-figure cash payouts under a radical plan to boost the drive for controversial shale gas fracking. The move marks a further dramatic departure by the new Prime Minister from David Cameron’s blueprint for Britain’s energy needs. The Lottery-style ‘Frackpot’ windfall scheme involves paying individual householders cash sums – which could be as high as £13,000 – if they are living in areas where the gas can be extracted. The move marks a further dramatic departure by the new Prime Minister from David Cameron’s blueprint for Britain’s energy needs. In just three weeks in Number Ten, Mrs May has scrapped the climate change department, threatened to scupper the Hinkley Point nuclear power plant deal with China and France, and now plans to transform Mr Cameron’s cautious fracking rewards scheme. Mrs May hopes her bold post-Brexit plan would allow access to Britain’s untapped energy reserve and give a boost to the economy.

    –Simon Walters, Mail on Sunday, 7 August 2016

    H/t GWPF, http://us4.campaign-archive1.com/?u=c920274f2a364603849bbb505&id=eb878335ce&e=d3ab024ae2

  38. Here’s another helping of steaming BS …


    In just over seven months, humanity has used up a full year’s allotment of natural resources such as water, food and clean air

    https://science.slashdot.org/story/16/08/09/1841255/earths-resources-used-up-at-quickest-rate-ever-in-2016

  39. Only in Hillaryland could former CIA director Michael Morell be seen as anything but a certifiable mental case, red-baiting and regime change having completely erased defeating Islamic extremism from the agenda.

    In Syria, US should be “killing Russians and killing Iranians covertly,” says former CIA acting director Morell.