We're changing our WunderBlogs. Learn more about this important update on our FAQ page.

Nell, Dudley and Snidely: Uncertainty

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 7:07 AM GMT on February 17, 2015

Nell, Dudley and Snidely: Uncertainty

In last week’s article I wrote:

Probability and likelihood are notoriously difficult ways to communicate in quiet consultation, and even more difficult in newspapers, on the radio, television and online. Probability and risk are just made for conflicting headlines. The conclusions are, therefore, by definition, uncertain, and uncertainty can always fuel both sides of a rhetorical or a political argument.

I got a very nice comment from Scott Sabol of WJW FOX 8 about the “uphill battle attempting to communicate uncertainty both in day-to-day weather forecasts and the describing of the components of extreme weather events/climate change influence without alienating the audience.” I have seen several blogs since the blizzard forecasts of January 23 – 26 that focus on the need to better quantify and describe the uncertainty associated with winter storms. Uncertainty is subject of this article.

Here’s a still growing record of the Northeast blizzard news cycle on my Tumblr site. This record includes some of the blogs referenced in the previous paragraph that discuss the need for better communication of uncertainty.

In the fall of 2014, I taught a small course on uncertainty, and specifically, on placing uncertainty of climate change in context with other sources of uncertainty in applying climate knowledge to planning and policy. My starting point in many uncertainty discussions is from the uncertainty fallacy; namely, that the quantification and reduction of uncertainty is the primary barrier that hinders the use of scientific knowledge in decision making. During the 1990s, many proposals and measurement missions were sold on the promise of “reducing uncertainty.” If you consider all of the complex processes that make up the climate system and their simplified representation in models, then casual statements that uncertainty will be reduced by any one investigation are not likely to hold up. Uncertainty might be better understood and be better described, but reduction is unlikely. Further, reduction does not assure better usability of knowledge, and in most cases it is not required.

One of my favorite classroom experiences is when the business students in class describe to the scientists and engineers that they are always making decisions in the face of great uncertainty. They want to know how climate uncertainty stacks up against other sources of uncertainty. They also what evidence that changes in the uncertainty descriptions will be incremental; that is, for example, from one assessment to the next, the description is largely the same.

If you listen to the NPR series on Risk and Reason, you will get a feeling of the difficulty of communicating uncertainty and the difficulty that people have in using information about uncertainty. In that series, there are those who advocate never using numbers describing uncertainty in policy contexts, and then there are those thinking of clever and effective ways to communicate numbers to individuals making important decisions. One take away is that how people use information about uncertainty is highly personal. There are often strong elements of fear and want.

Also, in many cases people have an agenda of how they want to use uncertainty – to make something happen or to keep something from happening ( a Rood blog, an ancient Rood blog, and yet another Rood blog, enough).

The quest for uncertainty quantification and highly quantified descriptions of uncertainty to assist in decision making is a mistake often made by scientists. In the cohort of clients I work with, the vast majority is simply not prepared to work with highly quantitative descriptions of uncertainty. Even more to the point, when climate uncertainty is placed into context with other sources of uncertainty, the quantification is overkill. There are studies that suggest, for instance Tang and Dessai (2012), that highly quantified descriptions of uncertainty can, on average, reduce the usability of climate information.

All of these factors together lead to at least one robust conclusion, there is no way to communicate uncertainty in a usable way to everyone. Therefore, you need have several strategies for communicating uncertainty, and you need to frame those strategies for different audiences. In the work that I have done with experts in public health, there is always the discussion about how to communicate a risk, for example, heat waves to the public. There is also the discussion of how to communicate information to first responders and to emergency health providers so that they will be on the lookout for heat-related afflictions. I am not aware that there is any discussion to communicate to anyone the numbers from epidemiological statisticians that one type of heat index has some fractional advantage in predicting heat-related afflictions.

An important point is the need to make a special effort to communicate to those who are trained professionals and have a framework in which to interpret and use uncertainty information. In the case of a weather emergency, one imagines that large cities might have such professionals. One of the most interesting responses that I saw in the Northeast blizzard news cycle was one where funding for experts, interpreters, in providing guidance on the use of forecasts had been eliminated. I don’t know the complete knowledge chain from weather forecast to shutting down a city, but this type of expertise is critical at some place in that knowledge chain.

My whole raison d’être these days is training interpreters on how to use climate knowledge in problem solving. Many of the same principles apply in how to use weather forecasts and how to use science-based knowledge in general. The Northeast blizzard news cycle has been and continues to be a real-world example for both climate and weather. The continued snow storms in Boston, for example, are a wonderful example of relentless patterns of weather that demonstrate that weather is not “random.” However, the biggest lessons are on uncertainty, communication and exaggeration for the benefit of telling a story.

I stated, above, that how we use uncertainty is highly personal. I have used climate knowledge and weather uncertainty to choose the location of a house on the Chesapeake Bay as well as to decide whether of not to take a kayak out into a hurricane. In neither case did I feel I was taking on large risk. This weekend, I (over)heard what seemed to be a discussion of two people deciding not to vaccinate their son because they had determined that their son had exceptional natural immunity. A relevant weather-related example of personal choice and, perhaps, the subconscious is the evidence that people take hurricanes named after women less seriously than hurricanes named after men. It made me think of naming winter storms and what Venus or Vesta might suggest compared to Jupiter or Mars. That, of course, led to Nell, Dudley and Snidely.

One thing that I count on from scientific organizations is a dispassionate description of events and uncertainty. Winter storms, especially if we are going to personify them, need a dispassionate, standard scale to describe them. The weather service has several scales that are effective for hurricanes, tornadoes and storms at sea. Winter storms offer a difficult detail, namely, the rain-ice-snow line, whose boundaries are tricky and important. Climate change offers the additional difficulty that characteristics of storms are changing and expected to change more. Therefore, placing storms within recent and historic context seems like a potentially usable piece of information. We need qualifiers, not number-heavy quantifiers. We don’t need to explain numerical dispersion errors in models to the masses. We don’t need to break down all of the pieces – to speak loudly and more slowly.

From the point of view of the climate scientist and the roles that climate change plays in a particular storm – it is always true that public communication is walking into a maelstrom where people have many agendas of how they want to use uncertainty – to make something happen or to keep something from happening. I have had colleagues tell me that there is an imperative to participate in ever loudening ways to convey the knowledge of climate change. This does not appeal or seem effective to me. Those conversations of deliberate disruption and doubt need to be identified for what they are and left in their stewing pool. We need to persistently differentiate the important aspects of climate change, isolate the deliberate disruption, and more effectively expose that which is important about climate change in the many conversations that are emerging.

r


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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

Log In or Join

You be able to leave comments on this blog.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 264 - 214

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6Blog Index

264. 122100
3:31 AM GMT on July 31, 2015
quantify, reduction, uncertainty --good stuff. please read my blog and give feedback
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
263. Xyrus2000
6:30 AM GMT on February 27, 2015
Quoting 201. SeriouslySushi:


The models are bound by the restraints of the known laws of physics as they work in the atmosphere and on the earth.


The guy who wrote that article is an idiot. Climate models are built using the mathematical equations that represent physical phenomena. This is trivially obvious to anyone who can read Fortran.

As such, the computations already propagate errors through the simulation. It's impossible by the nature of the model itself to not propagate errors. His whole beef is just nonsense, which usually fools the Watts crowd (honestly not hard to do at all) but certainly won't get past a scientific review board.

He got his ass handed to him by reviewers because his work is garbage, not because of any conspiracy. His complaints against climate models would apply to any physical model, and they'd be just as stupid.

Also, if he actually used the same comparison graph in his paper that he used in that blog post, he'll be lucky if he isn't permanently blacklisted from those publications. Those cheap little denier tricks of shifting axes and scales may work on the anti-science drones, but they piss off real scientists. The guys either has brass ones or no brains if he thinks that kind of crap is going to get him anywhere. I'm actually surprised it made it to review if his little "victim" post is any indication of the level of his professionalism and quality of his work.

I've worked on many models over my professional career, including climate models, so I know from first hand experience how they're developed. The only thing going on here is little Patty Frank got his ego hurt because those who actually know what they're talking about put him in his place. Then he decided to dig his own professional grave by taking the very unprofessional step of ranting about his rejection on a well-known anti-science blog. Not only will that discourage anyone from wanting to work with him, but it also destroys what little credibility he might have had.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
262. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
5:15 AM GMT on February 27, 2015
RickyRood has created a new entry.
261. ColoradoBob1
4:23 AM GMT on February 27, 2015
This part of Russia is about to come to the debate on Climate Change in a big way . It’s really hard to run the modern world , if the ground explodes under your natural gas plants.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
260. ColoradoBob1
3:55 AM GMT on February 27, 2015
The deniers are claiming that the Blow Outs in Siberia are “pingos”. Here’s handy diagram of Pingo –

http://content.answers.com/main/content/img/oxfor d/Oxford_Geography/0198606737.pingo.2.jpg

Pingos are "free" water made from the freeze thaw cycle over decades they are wedges of ice being forced up by this cycle .

They are not explosions , that happens in seconds. It takes years to make pingo.

Like all denier BS , they will claim this is not new. But satellite work has revealed , in the last 3 hot summers in Siberia. These carters are very new .

These are truly new features on the landscape of Siberia. The rain deer herders have never seen them.

This part of Russia is about to come to the debate on Climate Change in a big way . It's really hard to run the modern world , if the ground explodes under your natural gas plants.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
258. no1der
12:41 AM GMT on February 27, 2015
Jim Inhofe’s snowball has disproven climate change once and for all

"Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) has, once and for all, disproven climate change. While "eggheads" at "science laboratories" were busy worrying about how the increase in heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere was leading to a long-term upward shift in temperatures and increased atmospheric moisture, Inhofe happened to notice that it was cold outside. Weirdly cold outside. So cold, in fact, that water falling from the sky had frozen solid.

So he brought some of this frozen water into the Capitol and onto the Senate floor to show everyone, but mostly to show the eggheads."

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
257. ColoradoBob1
12:36 AM GMT on February 27, 2015
Quoting 255. Cochise111:

The state of New York banned fracking based on a dubious study, which I can't help but compare to so-called climate "science."

Link


The sky is blue, and the earth is round, etc., etc., etc.

First Direct Observation of Carbon Dioxide’s Increasing Greenhouse Effect at the Earth’s Surface
Berkeley Lab researchers link rising CO2 levels from fossil fuels to an upward trend in radiative forcing at two locations


The influence of atmospheric CO2 on the balance between incoming energy from the Sun and outgoing heat from the Earth (also called the planet’s energy balance) is well established. But this effect has not been experimentally confirmed outside the laboratory until now. The research is reported Wednesday, Feb. 25, in the advance online publication of the journal Nature.

The results agree with theoretical predictions of the greenhouse effect due to human activity. The research also provides further confirmation that the calculations used in today’s climate models are on track when it comes to representing the impact of CO2.


Link
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
256. ColoradoBob1
12:24 AM GMT on February 27, 2015
'Blue-green algae' proliferating in lakes

"We found that cyanobacterial populations have expanded really strongly in many lakes since the advent of industrial fertilizers and rapid urban growth," says Zofia Taranu, who led the study as a PhD candidate in McGill's Department of Biology. "While we already knew that cyanobacteria prefer warm and nutrient-rich conditions, our study is also the first to show that the effect of nutrients, such as phosphorus and nitrogen, overwhelm those of global warming."

Alpine lakes affected

Researchers from France, Italy, Spain, the UK, Malaysia, and across Canada contributed to the study. While the increase in cyanobacteria in agriculturally developed watersheds was in line with their expectations, the scientists were surprised to find that cyanobacteria also increased in many remote, alpine lakes. In those sites, warmer temperatures and nutrient loading from atmospheric sources are likely to have played a bigger role than direct agricultural runoff.



Read more at: Link
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
254. JohnLonergan
11:05 PM GMT on February 26, 2015
Michael Mann @ RealClimate:

Climate Oscillations and the Global Warming Faux Pause

No, climate change is not experiencing a hiatus. No, there is not currently a “pause” in global warming.

Despite widespread such claims in contrarian circles, human-caused warming of the globe proceeds unabated. Indeed, the most recent year (2014) was likely the warmest year on record.

It is true that Earth’s surface warmed a bit less than models predicted it to over the past decade-and-a-half or so. This doesn’t mean that the models are flawed. Instead, it points to a discrepancy that likely arose from a combination of three main factors (see the discussion my piece last year in Scientific American). These factors include the likely underestimation of the actual warming that has occurred, due to gaps in the observational data. Secondly, scientists have failed to include in model simulations some natural factors (low-level but persistent volcanic eruptions and a small dip in solar output) that had a slight cooling influence on Earth’s climate. Finally, there is the possibility that internal, natural oscillations in temperature may have masked some surface warming in recent decades, much as an outbreak of Arctic air can mask the seasonal warming of spring during a late season cold snap. One could call it a global warming “speed bump”. In fact, I have.

Some have argued that these oscillations contributed substantially to the warming of the globe in recent decades. In an article my colleagues Byron Steinman, Sonya Miller and I have in the latest issue of Science magazine, we show that internal climate variability instead partially offset global warming.

Read more ...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
253. FLwolverine
10:41 PM GMT on February 26, 2015
Here is something very cool (you should excuse the pun):

Lectures and Special Events at the American Museum of Natural History

On the Nature of Things: A New Work by Karole Armitage

March 25, 2015 - March 27, 2015


Join us for a very special event as iconic modern dance choreographer Karole Armitage premieres a new dance production about climate change and its cultural context created specifically for the Museum's Milstein Hall of Ocean Life and featuring music by John Luther Adams, Philip Glass,Michael Gordon, Henryk Gorecky, and Arvo Pärt.

Developed in collaboration with the Museum and Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich, the work was inspired by Dr. Ehrlich’s essay about the “culture gap”—the notion that 21st-century science has become so specialized that as individuals we no longer have a visceral understanding of the issues at stake.

Created specifically to be performed in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life, On the Nature of Things was directly shaped by the hall’s exhibits as well as by conversations with Museum Curator Rob DeSalle. Dr. Ehrlich, a MacArthur Fellow and founder of The Millennium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere (MAHB), wrote an original text for the production and will perform as narrator for all three evenings.

More
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
252. ColoradoBob1
10:29 PM GMT on February 26, 2015
"In my opinion, it definitely relates to warming and permafrost," said Vladimir Romanovsky,a geophysicist who studies permafrost at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Romanovskythinks he knows how this occurs: Pressurized gas — mostly methane, but possibly carbon dioxide as well — exists beneath the permafrost. Since warming temperatures thaw the permafrost from the bottom up, an underground cavity forms, Romanovsky said. As the gas gets close to the surface, it deforms the ground above, creating a small hill. Finally, the pressurized gas erupts through the surface, forming a crater, he said.............................................. .
These craters should only form when the temperature is warm enough to melt the permafrost. "If the warming continues, we will see more and more of this phenomenon," Romanovsky said. It could happen anywhere there are enough sources of natural gas, including parts of Alaska and northwestern Canada, he added.


Link

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
251. Xandra
10:18 PM GMT on February 26, 2015
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
250. ColoradoBob1
10:08 PM GMT on February 26, 2015
New Doc Exposes the ‘Experts’ Peddling Misinformation About Global Warming

Documentaries have found new visibility in recent years, thanks to the rise of streaming services, but the same doesn’t hold for the people who make them. Fortunately, Robert Kenner is an exception. For more than 30 years, the award-winning director of Two Days in October and Food, Inc. has been one of the few acknowledged masters of the form, distilling sprawling, unwieldy topics into concise, compelling films. His latest, March’s Merchants of Doubt, pillories the “scientific experts” maintaining that cigarettes don’t cause cancer or that global warming is a myth. It’s an urgent cry for people to confront scientific misinformation, and it finds Kenner at the peak of his abilities.

Merchants of Doubt Trailer

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
249. RevElvis
9:56 PM GMT on February 26, 2015
How Often Do Climate Scientists Have To Debunk Willie Soon?



CrooksAndLiars.com
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
248. RevElvis
9:34 PM GMT on February 26, 2015
TV Meteorologists Should Say It Loud and Clear: Climate Change Is Here - Amy Goodman

President Barack Obama issued the third veto in his more than six years in office, rejecting S.1 (Senate Bill One), the “Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act.” This was the new congressional Republican majority’s first bill this year, attempting to force the construction of a pipeline designed to carry Canadian tar sands oil to U.S. ports in Texas for export. A broad international coalition has been fighting the project for years. Climate scientist James Hansen, the former head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, wrote in The New York Times that if the pipeline gets built, “it will be game over for the climate.”

This vote and veto came as much of the U.S. was gripped by extreme cold weather, with cities like Boston reeling from historically deep snowfall and Southern states like Georgia getting snowed in. Meanwhile, most of California braces for even more drought. The corporate television newscasts spend more and more time covering the increasingly disruptive, costly and at times deadly weather. But they consistently fail to make the link between extreme weather and climate change.

Millions of dollars are poured into flashy television “Weather Centers.” Now these sets, with their polished presenters, are being upgraded to “Severe Weather Centers” or “Extreme Weather Centers.” Why not make the link? As they flash the words “Severe Weather,” why not also flash the words, “Climate Change” or “Global Warming?” Why not explain how global warming can actually lead to more snowfall, or to, yes, colder weather? The public depends on broadcasters for most of their news and information, even in this Internet age. How could a drought in California be related to Niagara Falls freezing over thousands of miles away? People aren’t stupid. The daily deluge of sensational weather reporting must include explanations of the deeper changes occurring to our entire planet.

TruthDig.com
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
247. RevElvis
9:11 PM GMT on February 26, 2015
Lawmakers Seek Information on Funding for Climate Change Critics By John Schwartz

Democratic lawmakers in Washington are demanding information about funding for scientists who publicly dispute widely held views on the causes and risks of climate change.

Prominent members of the United States House of Representatives and the Senate have sent letters to universities, companies and trade groups asking for information about funding to the scientists.

The letters came after evidence emerged over the weekend that Wei-Hock Soon, known as Willie, a scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, had failed to disclose the industry funding for his academic work. The documents also included correspondence between Dr. Soon and the companies who funded his work in which he referred to his papers and testimony as %u201Cdeliverables.%u201D

In letters sent to seven universities on Tuesday, Representative Raul M. Grijalva, an Arizona Democrat who is the ranking member of the House committee on natural resources, sent detailed requests to the academic employers of scientists who had testified before Congress about climate change.

NYTimes.com

Deeper Ties to Corporate Cash for Doubtful Climate Researcher By Justin Gillis and John Schwartz LINK TO NYTimes.com
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
246. Creideiki
5:53 PM GMT on February 26, 2015
Quoting 238. Xandra:


Anthony is "eyeballing" and pretends to know stuff...

From HotWhopper:

(...)

Anthony Watts wrote a few words about it in his intro to his copy and paste. He said:

From the “this ought to shut up the “Skydragon slayers” department. Despite sophomoric claims that I’m a “denier”, I’ve never disputed that CO2 has a role in warming via retardation of IR transfer from the surface to the top of the atmosphere. What is really the issue related to AGW claims are the posited/modeled but not observed feedbacks and the logarithmic (not linear) saturation curve response of CO2. Along those lines, eyeballing the graph presented from the north slope of Alaska, it appears there might be a bit of a slowdown or “pause” in the rate of forcing from about 2007 onward. Hopefully, LBL will release the data for independent analysis.

Did you spot his "eyeballing"?.

As well as that he talks about what "is really the issue" - his "posited/modeled but not observed feedbacks". Goodness only knows what he's referring to there. And let's guess how he knew that CO2 has a log relationship with surface temperature? It would have been either directly or indirectly from climate scientists.

Finally, you'll notice his little conspiratorial dig in the last sentence - about releasing the data for independent analysis. He's not suggesting that he do any independent analysis - I doubt he'd be capable. That comment of his confirms (again) that he never bothers to read the papers that the press releases he copies are about. He rarely links to the paper (and didn't this time) - and he didn't even visit the website, I'd say. The methodology and data are referenced in the paper and there is also a heap of material provided as extended data figures and tables.

(...)

Complete blog post >>


The interesting part will be finding out if the denialist rank-and-file have been given the new marching orders that the "pause" is now starting in 2007.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
245. Naga5000
5:38 PM GMT on February 26, 2015
Quoting 243. Cochise111:

UK Met office says the almost two-decade long "pause" in AGW could go on for another five years. Wait, I thought there wasn't a "pause." Just about everyone on this site refuses to acknowledge any sort of "pause."

Link


From the abstract:

"Following the termination of a variability-driven hiatus, we also show that there is an increased likelihood of accelerated global warming associated with release of heat from the sub-surface ocean and a reversal of the phase of decadal variability in the Pacific Ocean."

So at least you finally admit global warming is real.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
244. JohnLonergan
4:26 PM GMT on February 26, 2015
Quoting 229. Xandra:

From Phys.org:

First direct observation of carbon dioxide's increasing greenhouse effect

Snip


Attp has commented on this paper here:

CO2 forcing observed from surface

Posted on February 26, 2015 by ...and Then There's Physics

I thought I would post this video illustrating the first time that a change in CO2 forcing has been observed from the ground. The paper is an Observational determination of surface radiative forcing by CO2 from 2000 to 2010 by Feldman et al. (2015). I had a quick read and as I understand it, they observed from two different sites and measured the downwelling spectrum in the infrared band. They then had to use radiative transfer models to try and remove things like seasonal variations so as to extract the change in forcing due to changing atmospheric CO2 concentrations. They detect a trend of 0.2 ± 0.06 Wm-2 per decade.

Something to bear in mind, though, that this is not the first time that the radiative influence of increased atmospheric CO2 has been detected. Harries et al. (2001) measured – from space – a change in the outgoing spectrum. This is the first time that it’s been detected on the surface.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
242. Xandra
1:27 PM GMT on February 26, 2015
Climate change is personal by Miriam O’Brien (aka Sou/HotWhopper)

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
241. JohnLonergan
1:20 PM GMT on February 26, 2015
Quoting 240. Neapolitan:

And that after promising beforehand to abide by the BEST findings whatever they might be.

What a weasel...


What have you got against weasels? Sometimes they grow up to be Stoats.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
240. Neapolitan
1:11 PM GMT on February 26, 2015
Quoting JohnLonergan:


The last (only?) time that Watts was involved in an actual , legitimate scientific study (the BEST Report), he withdrew when it became obvious that the results would contradict his beliefs.
And that after promising beforehand to abide by the BEST findings whatever they might be.

What a weasel...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
239. JohnLonergan
12:20 PM GMT on February 26, 2015
Quoting 238. Xandra:


Snip

Finally, you'll notice his little conspiratorial dig in the last sentence - about releasing the data for independent analysis. He's not suggesting that he do any independent analysis - I doubt he'd be capable. That comment of his confirms (again) that he never bothers to read the papers that the press releases he copies are about. He rarely links to the paper (and didn't this time) - and he didn't even visit the website, I'd say. The methodology and data are referenced in the paper and there is also a heap of material provided as extended data figures and tables.

(...)

Complete blog post >>


The last (only?) time that Watts was involved in an actual , legitimate scientific study (the BEST Report), he withdrew when it became obvious that the results would contradict his beliefs. Of course, he didn't contribute any actual work to the project.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
238. Xandra
11:18 AM GMT on February 26, 2015
Quoting 230. Xulonn:

Aw, c'mon Xandra - you're just trying to rile up the denialists.

Actually, this is a fascinating new development and a great advancement in climate science.

It will be interesting to see what Anthony Watts and his ilk will have to say about this. (And how Sou - at her HotWhopper blog - will tear up Anthony's pathetic efforts to discredit the new research.)

Anthony is "eyeballing" and pretends to know stuff...

From HotWhopper:

(...)

Anthony Watts wrote a few words about it in his intro to his copy and paste. He said:

From the “this ought to shut up the “Skydragon slayers” department. Despite sophomoric claims that I’m a “denier”, I’ve never disputed that CO2 has a role in warming via retardation of IR transfer from the surface to the top of the atmosphere. What is really the issue related to AGW claims are the posited/modeled but not observed feedbacks and the logarithmic (not linear) saturation curve response of CO2. Along those lines, eyeballing the graph presented from the north slope of Alaska, it appears there might be a bit of a slowdown or “pause” in the rate of forcing from about 2007 onward. Hopefully, LBL will release the data for independent analysis.

Did you spot his "eyeballing"?.

As well as that he talks about what "is really the issue" - his "posited/modeled but not observed feedbacks". Goodness only knows what he's referring to there. And let's guess how he knew that CO2 has a log relationship with surface temperature? It would have been either directly or indirectly from climate scientists.

Finally, you'll notice his little conspiratorial dig in the last sentence - about releasing the data for independent analysis. He's not suggesting that he do any independent analysis - I doubt he'd be capable. That comment of his confirms (again) that he never bothers to read the papers that the press releases he copies are about. He rarely links to the paper (and didn't this time) - and he didn't even visit the website, I'd say. The methodology and data are referenced in the paper and there is also a heap of material provided as extended data figures and tables.

(...)

Complete blog post >>
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
237. riverat544
8:08 AM GMT on February 26, 2015
Quoting 231. RevElvis:

How regulators and legislators make it harder for you to use solar power



When homeowners or businesses install solar panels, state laws ensure utility companies pay for unused electricity that is routed back into the power grid - a practice known as net metering.

Currently, 43 states and the District of Columbia have implemented net metering policies, some of which are more favorable than others, but all of which turn the power grid into a two-way street.

The cost of rooftop solar-powered electricity will be on par with prices for common fossil-fuel power generation in just two years, and the technology to produce it will only get cheaper, according to Deutsche Bank's leading solar industry analyst, Vishal Shah.

As Americans have warmed to solar power and its ability to reduce electricity bills, utilities are suffering revenue losses and have been seeking ways to recoup that money. Over the past several years, state utility commissions and legislatures have pursued policies that reduce the benefits of adopting distributed solar power systems for homeowners and businesses.

ComputerWorld.com

"There has grown in the minds of certain groups in this country the idea that just because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with guaranteeing such a profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is supported by neither statute or common law. Neither corporations or individuals have the right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back."

- from the short story "LifeLine" - Robert A. Heinlein




It won't be that long before batteries become cheap enough that you can combine them with solar cells and disconnect from the grid.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
236. BaltimoreBrian
3:16 AM GMT on February 26, 2015
I have added the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society to the list of news sources in my blog.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
234. wartsttocs
12:41 AM GMT on February 26, 2015
Hey Bob, thanks for the Siberian blow hole update interesting stuff. BTW.... I knew Dr. Francis before you,
neener, neener, neener, I can't prove that though so my bragging rights are hollow.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
232. LowerCal
11:59 PM GMT on February 25, 2015
8 crazy new solar research breakthroughs - TechRepublic
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
231. RevElvis
11:46 PM GMT on February 25, 2015
How regulators and legislators make it harder for you to use solar power



When homeowners or businesses install solar panels, state laws ensure utility companies pay for unused electricity that is routed back into the power grid - a practice known as net metering.

Currently, 43 states and the District of Columbia have implemented net metering policies, some of which are more favorable than others, but all of which turn the power grid into a two-way street.

The cost of rooftop solar-powered electricity will be on par with prices for common fossil-fuel power generation in just two years, and the technology to produce it will only get cheaper, according to Deutsche Bank's leading solar industry analyst, Vishal Shah.

As Americans have warmed to solar power and its ability to reduce electricity bills, utilities are suffering revenue losses and have been seeking ways to recoup that money. Over the past several years, state utility commissions and legislatures have pursued policies that reduce the benefits of adopting distributed solar power systems for homeowners and businesses.

ComputerWorld.com

"There has grown in the minds of certain groups in this country the idea that just because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with guaranteeing such a profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is supported by neither statute or common law. Neither corporations or individuals have the right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back."

- from the short story "LifeLine" - Robert A. Heinlein


Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
230. Xulonn
9:56 PM GMT on February 25, 2015
Quoting 229. Xandra:
...
The results agree with theoretical predictions of the greenhouse effect due to human activity. The research also provides further confirmation that the calculations used in today's climate models are on track when it comes to representing the impact of CO2.

Aw, c'mon Xandra - you're just trying to rile up the denialists.

Actually, this is a fascinating new development and a great advancement in climate science.

It will be interesting to see what Anthony Watts and his ilk will have to say about this. (And how Sou - at her HotWhopper blog - will tear up Anthony's pathetic efforts to discredit the new research.)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
229. Xandra
8:49 PM GMT on February 25, 2015
From Phys.org:

First direct observation of carbon dioxide's increasing greenhouse effect


The scientists used incredibly precise spectroscopic instruments at two sites operated by the Department of Energy's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility. This research site is on the North Slope of Alaska near the town of Barrow. They also collected data from a site in Oklahoma. Credit: Jonathan Gero

Scientists have observed an increase in carbon dioxide's greenhouse effect at the Earth's surface for the first time. The researchers, led by scientists from the US Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), measured atmospheric carbon dioxide's increasing capacity to absorb thermal radiation emitted from the Earth's surface over an eleven-year period at two locations in North America. They attributed this upward trend to rising CO2 levels from fossil fuel emissions.

The influence of atmospheric CO2 on the balance between incoming energy from the Sun and outgoing heat from the Earth (also called the planet's energy balance) is well established. But this effect has not been experimentally confirmed outside the laboratory until now. The research is reported Wednesday, Feb. 25, in the advance online publication of the journal Nature.

The results agree with theoretical predictions of the greenhouse effect due to human activity. The research also provides further confirmation that the calculations used in today's climate models are on track when it comes to representing the impact of CO2.

Read more >>


More information: Nature DOI: 10.1038/nature14240
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
228. barbamz
8:07 PM GMT on February 25, 2015
(Copy from the main blog:) Long new article in the English edition of "Spiegel":



The Warming World: Is Capitalism Destroying Our Planet?
Spiegel English, February 25, 2015 - 06:05 PM, by Alexander Jung, Horand Knaup, Samiha Shafy and Bernhard Zand
World leaders decided in Copenhagen that global warming should be limited to 2 degrees Celsius. Achieving that target, though, would take nothing less than a miracle. With another round of climate negotiations approaching, it is becoming increasingly clear that mankind has failed to address its most daunting problem ...

SPIEGEL Interview with Naomi Klein: 'The Economic System We Have Created Global Warming'
Spiegel English, February 25, 2015 - 06:05 PM. Interview Conducted by Klaus Brinkbaeumer
Can we still stop global warming? Only if we radically change our capitalist system, argues author Naomi Klein. In an interview with SPIEGEL, she explains why the time has come to abandon small steps for a radical new approach. ...


Those articles are translations from the current German edition, dealing with GW.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
227. Xulonn
7:55 PM GMT on February 25, 2015
Quoting 226. Cochise111:


If the shoe fits. . . .
OMG - not only do you not understand science, the meaning of the word "fit" is alien to you as well!

"fit"
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
225. Xandra
4:26 PM GMT on February 25, 2015
My Depressing Day With A Famous Climate Skeptic

By Adam Frank

(...)

I had the opportunity to see Dr. Soon in action when he visited the University of Rochester a few years ago to give a talk about his research. That was when I saw the real problem with the public debate about climate change.

But before we go back in time to that fateful day, let's review a little background about Soon. First, he is not an astrophysicist or a climate scientist. He holds a degree in aerospace engineering. What really matters, though, is that Soon is a climate skeptic with a Ph.D (from University of Southern California in 1991.) That makes him extremely valuable to the forces of climate denial. Soon is often a speaker at conferences focusing on climate doubt — and he's been invited to testify before Congress.

When it was announced that Soon was giving a talk at the University of Rochester, I knew it would be interesting. I was more than willing to hear what the man had to say. The whole point of being a scientist is, after all, to try to leave your preconceptions at the door and let the work speak for itself. I also wanted to understand Soon's own thinking about the role he was playing as a public skeptic.

On all counts I was disappointed.

Taken as nothing more than a scientific talk, Dr. Soon's presentation was, in my opinion, pretty bad. I watch a lot of these things. It's part of my job. If Soon had been giving a Ph.D defense, he would have been skewered. I was left without a clear line of argument or clear justifications for his claims. More importantly, for a topic this contentious there was insufficient discussion of the voluminous and highly detailed response critics have offered to his claims that solar activity accounts for most observed climate variability. Many of my colleagues listening to the talk said they felt the same way. I came away thinking, "Is that the best they have?"

But more troubling was a conversation I had with Soon earlier in the day. Every scientist has the right to his or her own perspective. But scientists also understand how research communities build their understanding about what is known and how anyone knows it. So, I wondered how Soon could fail to acknowledge that the weight of evidence was overwhelmingly against him when he made his overarching public statements of skepticism. I asked Soon why his testimony to Congress did not begin with something like, "I acknowledge that the majority of researchers in my field hold a different view from me, but let me now explain why I am taking such a contrarian position."

When I asked Soon about these points, he had very little to say.

I came away from my meeting with this famous climate skeptic feeling pretty depressed. What I had seen was a scientist whose work, in my opinion, was simply not very good. That, on its own, is no big deal. There are lots of scientists whose work is not very good — and some people may even think my science should be included in that list. But Soon's little string of papers were being heralded in the highest courts of public opinion as a significant blow to everyone else's understanding of Earth's climate. From TV studios to the halls of Congress, we were being told his was world-shaking research of the highest caliber, and that we had to take notice.

From what I saw and learned that day, the truth wasn't anywhere close. That was what made it all so depressing. For an issue so important to all of us, the standards should be a lot higher.

That is the real problem with Willie Soon and climate denial.

Complete article >>
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
224. riverat544
6:58 AM GMT on February 25, 2015
Quoting 208. misanthrope:


Actually, no. The bill that the President vetoed would have taken the decision on Keystone out of his hands. The final decision is yet to be made and the President could still decide to approve the project, though I think that is doubtful at this point.
I prefer that Keystone XL Pipeline not be built but I'm not sure how much difference the decision will make. The place we really need to attack fossil fuels is on the demand side. As long as there is enough demand someone will try and supply it. If you reduce the demand enough then the K-XL becomes a white elephant if built.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
223. ColoradoBob1
5:19 AM GMT on February 25, 2015
Sorry for movie quotes .

But , the past has wisdom for us , and old movies are now our books.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
222. ColoradoBob1
5:08 AM GMT on February 25, 2015
” We keep you alive to serve this ship …. so row well, and live.”
Jack Hawkins Ben Hur

The Bridge on the River Kwai –

Maj. Warden: I belong to a rather rum group called Force 316. Our headquarters is up in the botanical gardens.

Commander Shears: Protecting rare plants from the enemy?

Hint : In his next epic , he said , “I’ve got my orders , not like that poor fellow, he’s riding the whirl wind.”
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
221. ColoradoBob1
4:56 AM GMT on February 25, 2015
On the wreckage of "Systems Thinking" and "Chaos" theory / ,

” We keep you alive to serve this ship …. so row well, and live.”
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
220. RevElvis
3:39 AM GMT on February 25, 2015
219 - think we might be in for a crash course on "Systems Thinking" and "Chaos" theory / mathematics -

- no lectures, text books or tuition required -

Just a living laboratory and attendance will be mandatory !
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
219. ColoradoBob1
2:56 AM GMT on February 25, 2015
* Massive amounts of Saharan dust fertilize the Amazon rainforest We knew this, the 'new' is the magnitude of phosphorous transport is now known.

If what the models forecast is true, and we keep cutting trees as we do. Then this one dust particle is landing on another dust particle. Because the Amazon rainforest will be dead. The cyclone that just sideswiped Australia points to the tropics expanding. There is no reason why one desert near the tropics can't export dust to a new desert in the tropics.

By 2100 plants, animals, bacteria, and people will only go to the tropics briefly. Because we will have sawed down every tree there to make decks in Mass., and China.

On another thread today I looked up the ice melt in Greenland , because someone asked . It's doubled in 6 years. Antarctica is tripled in 6 years. Does anyone here think our great forests aren't under going the same collapse?

And we're not up in Greenland with torches melting ice , but we are in the tropics chain sawing trees. And this will bite everyone , and it is not in the models.

And it is another " MONSTER BEHIND THE DOOR ".
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
218. ColoradoBob1
2:04 AM GMT on February 25, 2015
Looking at the Reanalyzer tonight is something amazing .

It's a 20 C degree anomaly above average on the North Slope of Alaska, and it's a 20 C degree anomaly below average from Indiana to Maine .

Link

Dr. Jennifer is going to win a Noble Prize, because nature is doing exactly what she predicted it would.

Someone will go back and find the last year we saw "flat" jet streams , because tonight the jet is a pile of pasta noodles draped on the top of the Earth. And it's been at it for years , and getting weirder.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
216. ColoradoBob1
1:34 AM GMT on February 25, 2015
“You are all condemned men ….. We keep you alive to serve this ship …. so row well, and live.”
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
215. ColoradoBob1
1:12 AM GMT on February 25, 2015
Permafrost contains a considerable amount of methane hydrates. An expert estimated that the craters have total explosive power comparable to about 11 tons of TNT.

Having read several of these articles, all of which seem to be based on the original reporting in the Siberian Times. One thing is clear, these were not explosions where gas was ignited by some spark, but rather methane hydrates reaching a temperature where their phase change occurs from a stable hydrate to a gas very rapidly.
And looking at how deep some of these holes are, and where they are occurring this not good .

I am reminded of what I wrote about Dr. Hanson's phrase " MONSTERS BEHIND THE DOOR " over 8 years ago .



it's a phrase I caught a few weeks back from the Tom Brokaw special on Global Warming.

Tom plowed a lot of the same ground that's been in the news for the past few years, but the show was notable for the above phrase, and what it describes. Dr. Hanson from The Goddard Space Flight Center used it. And like the 50's SiFi movies it's the things we don't know that scare him about Global Warming. One of those doors is beginning to open now, and behind it is the thawing of the permafrost. An emerging subject that's going to get a lot more attention, and the permafrost in Siberia in particular.


Thursday, September 07, 2006
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
214. ColoradoBob1
12:42 AM GMT on February 25, 2015
One of the new methane blowholes that experts are interested in is one dubbed B2. Satellite images show that it is a big lake that is surrounded by over 20 small water-filled craters. Analysis of the satellite images show that there were originally no craters and lakes but then the craters started to emerge. Scientists think that the water-filled craters merged and eventually become one large lake.

Link
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 264 - 214

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6Blog Index

Top of Page
Ad Blocker Enabled

Dr. Ricky Rood's Climate Change Blog

About RickyRood

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

RickyRood's Recent Photos

Clouds in the lee of the Rockies at sunset.
Clouds in the lee of the Rockies at sunset.
Clouds in the lee of the Rockies at sunset.
Clouds in the lee of the Rockies at sunset.