Sunday, January 27, 2013

"They can't even predict the weather 5 days in advance..."

I ran into this ancient meme again and would like to share some observations.  
The Meme goes like this:

“Meanwhile the Met Office in the UK never seems to be able to predict more than 5 days in advance.”

Doesn't that sound like a cliche more than any serious assertion?

I admit I don’t know about UK weather forecasting. And I’ll admit locally, (Southwest USA), the Weather Service does seem to forecast more snow and rain storms than we actually see, but they do have their "%ChanceOf" and other factors.

On the other hand, it seems that forecasts of Hurricane Sandy's path - and potential - got nailed pretty good a week before US landfall… and it seems to me tropical cyclone forecasting in general is pretty spot on.  So what about that?

I think it's another one of those human perception things.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

7 part video series "What is Climate? Climate Change, Lines of Evidence"

Allow me to share this post from because this is the sort of information people need to absorb before they can hope to judge the competing claims regarding global warming.  In this post John Cook describes the new seven part video series: "Video on Climate Change Lines of Evidence by the National Academy of Science" 

Friday, January 25, 2013

What We Know About Climate Change... Kerry Emanuel

This seems like something that is worth passing along.  

It's about an updated edition of Professor Kerry Emanuel's book "What We Know About Climate Change"

A Quick, Awesome Must-Read on Climate Change 
—By   | Wed Jan. 23, 2013 | Mother Jones

Kerry Emanuel
Kerry Emanuel 

At this point, climate change is so politicized that it's difficult for the general public to sort out what scientists really know—and don't know—about it. 
Penned by Kerry Emanuel, an atmospheric sciences professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, this latest edition of                            What We Know About Climate Change is the most comprehensive, readable, BS-free rundown on the topic that you're likely to find. 
It's short enough to read in a day, apolitical enough to appeal to both your Fox-obsessed wingnut uncle and your dreadlocked freegan older sister in Brooklyn, and just detailed enough to provide a reload of fresh intellectual ammunition to help you engage others on the topic

Here are a few things you'll learn: 
  • What kind of long-term variation do we expect in the climate, and how is that different from what we're experiencing now? (Heat and cold come and go, but never as rapidly as the last half-century; moreover, the warming of the last 30 years can be explainedonly by accounting for human greenhouse gas emissions.)
  • How exactly do molecules like carbon dioxide and methane make the planet heat up? (Key fact: The planet is warmed twice as much by its own atmosphere than it is by the sun.)
  • How do climate computer models work, and how accurately can they predict the future? (There's a good amount of guesswork involved, but they set reasonable parameters for what we can expect.)
  • Why is the GOP's intransigence on climate action so maddeningly illogical? (In Emanuel's view, the most grievous offense to America's free-market economy isn't subsidies for renewables, but the fossil fuel industry's stranglehold on policymakers.)
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PS. Venture on an epic quest to discover 
the invisible forces and occurrences that sustain life 
on this planet and - for the first time - 
see these processes in action in 
Earth From Space (HD) 

In consultation with more than 220 scientific experts from 
18 international Earth sciences research agencies and academic institutions.  

Using the latest CGI technology, 
and joining NASA and the world’s foremost Earth scientists, 
EARTH FROM SPACE transforms raw satellite data into a visible spectrum, 
offering viewers authentic, high-definition moving images that 
vividly illustrate these processes at work.

sasijayaramEarth Playlist-

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Our Global Heat Engine ~ from space and within the ocean - a five star video

As someone who’s spent his entire life in love with and learning about our fantastic planet, it’s dynamics, it’s history, it’s wonders, I've seen a lot of documentaries, some good, some awful and a few excellent.  Recently I've discovered one of the best Earth education videos I've seen regarding our planet's dynamics.
I'm sharing it here because I’ve often talked about the Global Heat Distribution Engine and fear (based on various blogosphere responses I’ve received) that this concept flies right over the head of most.  Well, this presentation of our planet as the living organism it is - goes a long way to making our one and only planet's complex dynamics and interactions understandable.  It’s a hour and a half tour describing what scientists have observed and learned about our planet. 
It rarely mentions our current AGW warming situation, instead focusing on describing how the various components of our climate work together to spawn weather.  If you’re interested in learning about how our planet functions, this video is a must-see
Earth From Space (HD)

Friday, January 18, 2013

On Scientific Consensus ~ by David Barash

While putting together my post "What consensus on Anthropogenic Global Warming?" I came across this article by David Barash.  I thought he did an excellent job of reviewing the concept of "scientific consensus" and I asked the Chronicle of Higher Education for permission to reprint it.  They forwarded me to David Barash himself, who graciously gave me permission to reprint his article.
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On Scientific Consensus
By David Barash ~ July 18, 2012


Isaac Newton, painted by Godfrey Kneller. 
The late Sir Isaac wasn't shy about making use of a prior "scientific consensus."
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Examining a Fake Skeptics' tricky Rhetorical Sleight of Hand

This fits under the heading of: Further Adventures In The Land Of Virtual Dialogue.
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This one started with a demand that I support my mention that 95% of scientists who are active in climatology support the consensus opinion regarding the root causes of current global warming and also the very real dangers of continuing our current rates of Greenhouse Gas injections into our thin life supporting atmosphere.

The original exchange inspired me to put together a list of many studies and reports that look into this question of "the scientific consensus" regarding global warming.  But, it didn't satisfy the gent and so the conversation continued . . .

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Global increase in record-breaking monthly-mean temperatures

This one fits under The Beat Goes On heading.  As contrarians and those fearful of change get ever more extreme in their misrepresentations and lies ~ our weather get's ever more extreme and challenging for a society build around a moderate stable climate.  Case in point this recent paper: 

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Global increase in record-breaking monthly-mean temperatures

What Ocean Warming ?

{updated April 2013}

In various discussions I point out to fake skeptics that it's disingenuous to only focus on surface temperatures when the oceans are a major component of our global heat distribution engine.

I've often put together links for them to educate themselves, but all I get in return is misdirection and fear fed hostility.

That's why I've decided to post this partial list of ocean studies and news reports that demonstrate the undeniable warming that is being observed in our oceans.

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Century-long trend of global ocean warming identified 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What consensus on Anthropogenic Global Warming?

I had someone ask me: by what rights do I claim "over 95% of scientists who are familiar with global warming issues - understand and support the notion that CO2 and other GreenhouseGases are the major drivers of recent unusual increases in Earth's temperature and weather patterns?"  

Well, it's a long story.  We can begin with this list compiled by the folks at

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Scientific organizations endorsing the consensus

The following scientific organizations endorse the consensus position that "most of the global warming in recent decades can be attributed to human activities":
The Academies of Science from 19 different countries all endorse the consensus. 13 countries have signed a joint statement endorsing the consensus position:
  • Academia Brasiliera de Ciencias (Brazil)
  • Royal Society of Canada
  • Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Academie des Sciences (France)
  • Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina (Germany)
  • Indian National Science Academy
  • Accademia dei Lincei (Italy)
  • Science Council of Japan
  • Academia Mexicana de Ciencias (Mexico)
  • Russian Academy of Sciences
  • Academy of Science of South Africa
  • Royal Society (United Kingdom)
"Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver. These conclusions are based on multiple independent lines of evidence, and contrary assertions are inconsistent with an objective assessment of the vast body of peer-reviewed science."
The consensus is also endorsed by a Joint statement by the Network of African Science Academies (NASAC), including the following bodies:
  • African Academy of Sciences
  • Cameroon Academy of Sciences
  • Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Kenya National Academy of Sciences
  • Madagascar's National Academy of Arts, Letters and Sciences
  • Nigerian Academy of Sciences
  • l'Académie des Sciences et Techniques du Sénégal
  • Uganda National Academy of Sciences
  • Academy of Science of South Africa
  • Tanzania Academy of Sciences
  • Zimbabwe Academy of Sciences
  • Zambia Academy of Sciences
  • Sudan Academy of Sciences
Other Academies of Sciences that endorse the consensus:

CO2 – An Insignificant Trace Gas? The Science of Doom

As the echo-chamber becomes ever shriller with their insinuations of dishonestly among the scientists who make up the climatological community.  

It would be good for interested citizens to try to understand the basics that underpin the scientific consensus.

For those who are actually interested in learning why over 95% of scientists who are familiar with global warming issues - understand and support the notion that CO2 and other GreenhouseGases are the major drivers of recent unusual increases in Earth's temperature and weather patterns, {and why these scientists are worried about the future situation becoming ever more intense} - Science of Doom does an excellent job of explaining the science.

I invite those interested in learning to spend some time reading through this first class climate education website.
CO2 – An Insignificant Trace Gas? Part One 
November 28, 2009 ~ by ... -part-one/ 
section headings:
Argument from Inconceivability
How do we analyze the Earth’s Climate?
Energy from the Sun
Energy from the Earth
Energy Absorbed by Gases in the Atmosphere
Measurements in the Lab
What Effect Does it Have?
The Maths
The Stefan-Boltzmann Law states: . . .
But wait, there's more,

Climate is a complex subject. Hopefully this explains some basics and we can start looking a little deeper in subsequent posts.
More in this series: 
Part Two – why different gases absorb different amounts of energy, why some gases absorb almost no longwave radiation 
Part Three – the Beer Lambert model of absorption and the concept of re-emission of radiation 
Part Four – band models and how transmittance of CO2 changes as the amount of CO2 increases under “weak” and “strong” conditions 
Part Five – two results from solving the 1-d equations – and how CO2 compares to water vapor 
Part Six – Visualization - what does the downwards longwave radiation look like at the earth’s surface 
Part Seven – The Boring Numbers – the values of “radiative forcing” from CO2 for current levels and doubling of CO2. 
Part Eight – Saturation – explaining “saturation” in more detail 
CO2 Can’t have that Effect Because.. – common “problems” or responses to the theory and evidence presented
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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Considering the cost/benefit equation of accepting AGW consensus science

I received the following comment from a character who has yet to be impressed with an extreme weather event. Thinking instead that economic considers are paramount and that if recognizing the seriousness of climate science and its implications means spending money and changing some expectations, he's against it... at least until we know for sure how bad it's going to get.

Why deny the dangers of global warming?

I came across this video today that perfectly sums up my thoughts regarding why so may choose willful ignorance, attacking science, ignoring earth observations and generally doing everything possible to make meaningful change impossible.  

It's only three minutes, but that's all it takes to explain the basics.

Following that is an hour long lecture where this University of San Diego, Professor of History and Science Studies, Naomi Oreskes PhD. describes her research which documents the background of the orchestrated attack on climate science.

#1 What Does Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) Really Stand For?

I'm amazed, given the escalating extreme and damaging weather events these past years -  how the denial echo-chamber and Fake Skeptics have reacted.  Instead of finally seeing the proverbial writing on the wall it seems they are reacting more like wounded animals, shriller and nastier then ever.  

As I visit my regular virtual discussion boards I'm amazed at the utter nonsense that get's tossed in one's face.  And there's way the heck too much unjustified paranoia and insinuations that scientists and agencies are liars - along with more anger about their financial concerns.

Every visit I come up away with another two or three silly fake skeptic assertions I'd like to write about, because they are so blatantly misleading.  But, I have very little time available - it's something I find really frustrating.

This is a reason why I'm not one bit shy about sharing the work of others.  Besides, there's no way I could have done as good a job as this series does, so allow me to share a learning opportunity.

{I went ahead and posted all four articles in this excellent series.}
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

What Does GWPF Really Stand For? (via Desmogblog)
This is a guest post by MA Rodger The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) is a UK-based climate-sceptic think-tank founded in November 2009 by Lord Lawson. Within two years of its launch, a survey of scepticism in the global media by Oxford University's RISJ had added a final chapter showing the…

Saturday, January 12, 2013

#2 Debunking the GWPF Briefing Paper No2 - The Sahel Is Greening

This one was a new topic for me and it was fascinating seeing how Philipp Mueller manipulates and omits information in order to make his assertions.  Reminds me of that writer's license where a writer is allowed to manipulate and fabricate real world facts in order to move his/her story along.  However, that's science fiction and the story of our global heat and moisture distribution engine has a way more interesting tale to tell... for those with genuine curiosity to want to learn.

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Debunking the GWPF Briefing Paper No2 - The Sahel Is Greening (via Desmogblog)
This is the second in a series of posts on the educational charity and climate sceptic 'think-tank' Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF). The first post examined GWPF's organisation and its principles (or lack of them). Here we examine GWPF's Briefing Paper No2 - The Sahel Is Greening by Philipp…

#3 Debunking GWPF Briefing Paper No3 - The Truth About Greenhouse Gases

This is the third in's excellent series reviewing papers produced by the "Global Warming Policy Foundation." This time looking at the details of scientific knowledge regarding Greenhouse Gases and how fake skeptics have misrepresented that knowledge.

Since DeSmogBlog allows reposting of their articles and I sure couldn't do as good a report as they have, here it is in all it's educational glory:

Debunking GWPF Briefing Paper No3 - The Truth About Greenhouse Gases (via Desmogblog)
This post is part 3 of a series examining the UK-registered educational charity the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) and the work it allegedly does explaining global warming to the public. In part 1 the GWPF and its principles (or lack of them) were examined. In part 2 the many serious and fundamental…

Monday, January 7, 2013

#4 Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) and the hockey stick

Here's another examination of how contrarians weave fiction into their presentations.
{I'll have more to add to this later}

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GWPF & The Hockey Stick Curve (via Desmogblog)
The previous post in this series examined the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) Briefing Paper No3 "The Truth About Greenhouse  Gases". Despite its title, Briefing Paper No3 said very little about such gases. Yet one subject (not directly to do with greenhouse gases) was discussed at some length…

Conservative Columnists: Leading Voices in the Denier Choir

Considering the taste of denialist wrath I've been receiving of late I read this with much interest and believe it's worth sharing.
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"Leading Voices in the Denier Choir: Conservative Columnists’ Dismissal
of Global Warming and Denigration of Climate Science"
Shaun W. Elsasserand Riley E. Dunlap

Friday, January 4, 2013

Dear M."Skeptic" ~ Climate Change Denial and Human Ingenuity

In some ways the following was a response to a virtual character over at who resembles a Denialist Sock Puppet more than any real person I've ever known.

by Minda Berbeco on January 1, 2013

Climate Change Denial and Human Ingenuity
by Minda Berbeco on January 1, 2013

In my job I get to learn a bit about the common arguments against climate change. As I’ve mentioned before, the new charge is not that it doesn’t exist, it’s that it is just too hard to do anything about climate change right now. It’s too expensive, the technology is just not there, we need to talk about it more, and not be rash.

Talking about it actually is a big one — it’s like your horrible ex-girlfriend from 20 years ago who is still looking for closure – “I just want to be sure, we are really both ok with this break up?” It’s not that we can’t ever address those greenhouse gases, we just need to talk and talk and talk and maybe wait for the future when technology is better and human ingenuity has kicked in.

If only we humans had more, I don’t know, elbow grease? I mean, wouldn’t it be great if we lived in a world where human intellectual and political resources could be utilized to solve seemingly impossible problems?

In the spirit of the New Year, I thought we could travel in time to the futuristic society the climate deniers speak of. A world that would have the technological wherewithal, the human ingenuity and political will to tackle major issues like climate change.
Let’s take the trip! . . .

From there Berbeco get's into an interesting review of human ingenuity and capabilities. 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

It got me to thinking... society, meaning all of us, find ourselves in a situation where we should be acting adult and dispassionate about absorbing information and coming to terms with our real world geophysical situation.  But, instead we have a world where folks feel fine using the most ruthless tactics to keep us from focusing in on the real questions of our time:   
A) understanding what is happening to our planet's atmosphere and climate and biosphere 
B) coordinating efforts to confront and adapt to the situation at hand.

"Polynomial cointegration tests of anthropogenic impact on global warming" examined by Tamino

I've be challenged with another "final nail in the coffin" of the theory of society induced global warming.  It comes in the form of a paper titled: "Polynomial cointegration tests of anthropogenic impact on global warming"  By M. Beenstock, Y. Reingewertz, and N. Paldor
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Their abstract claims: 
"We use statistical methods for nonstationary time series to test the anthropogenic interpretation of global warming (AGW), according to which an increase in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations raised global temperature in the 20th century.  
"Specifically, the methodology of polynomial cointegration is used to test AGW since during the observation period (1880–2007) global temperature and solar irradiance are stationary in 1st differences whereas greenhouse gases and aerosol forcings are stationary in 2nd differences. We show that although these anthropogenic forcings share a common stochastic trend, this trend is empirically independent of the stochastic trend in temperature and solar irradiance.  
"Therefore, greenhouse gas forcing, aerosols, solar irradiance and global temperature are not polynomially cointegrated. This implies that recent global warming is not statistically significantly related to anthropogenic forcing. On the other hand, we find that greenhouse gas forcing might have had a temporary effect on global temperature."

When I looked it up on the internet I was once again amazed at how well the same few words have been astro-turfed throughout the blogosphere.  It's this astro-turfing of yet another 'final nail in the coffin of AGW' by contrarians masquerading as skeptics that has inspired me to post the following.

Now, I admit I don't understand: "Polynomial cointegration tests" any better than 99% of the rest of the population.

But, I can witness what is happening on this planet and I've been around long enough to be leery of fast talkers with tons of statistics and hubris claiming to have proven the scientific "establishment" and the "laws of physics" wrong. 

My lack of understanding leaves me to review what folks who are smarter than me have to say and it's been interesting for sure.

The best source in this instance has been "Tamino" an accomplished professional who's an expert in statistics and has examined this study.  His post is an interesting review that folks who understand this stuff are sure to find educational.  I myself found the discussion following Tamino's post even more interesting than the over my head statistics.  

So interesting in fact, that I've decided to copy a whole bunch of related comments for the curious.  I also found another discussion over at FaceBook with some information worth sharing.