New pages at WUWT and the preview function

I have two new (well one and a half, rounded up) pages to announce for WUWT readers.

First, we have the new Atmospheric Reference Page, available on the pulldown menu as seen below:

The Atmospheric Reference Page is also available on the right sidebar with this icon:

Thanks to WUWT regular “Just The Facts” for compiling and developing this page.

In the coming weeks we are planning to develop additional Reference Pages and to refine the existing pages further, so please post any links below that you think might be valuable additions to WUWT’s Reference Pages.

Second, we have the “sorta-new” upgraded Test page, also available from the menu bar.

The purpose of this page is to give WUWT commenters a place to practice complex comments that might need formatting, I’ve added the helpful tips from Ric Werme to this page to give a reference to use for formatting comments.

Unfortunately no, wordpress.com where WUWT is hosted still hasn’t provided a live comment preview function, I’ve asked wp.com support for this many times, but to no avail. But we do have a solution, read on.

The only solution to actually embed a preview function in the WUWT website is to go to self hosting and manage wordpress in a LAMP installation on a server myself, and given the volume of traffic WUWT gets, plus what we learned trying to do just that with climateaudit.org when news breaks (so did the server box) I don’t want to risk it. Cloudservers at wordpress.com handle such loads with ease. Both WUWT and Climate Audit are stable and can handle huge loads, so I don’t plan to fix what isn’t broken.

You can however use Firefox and Greasemonkey to edit and preview some comment functions, see the link in the Test page. Combine Greasemonkey with the CA Assistant (developed for Climate Audit by Mr. Pete) and you have a way to fully preview and edit comments prior to submitting – see details here

If anyone has any other suggestions for browser add-ons please leave a comment below.

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40 Responses to New pages at WUWT and the preview function

  1. SM says:

    For what it’s worth:

    I’d stay away from self-hosting (WP, or any of the other blog packages) as long as you possibly can. Unless, of course, you have still more spare time.

    My impression is that you don’t have the time.

  2. Anthony Watts says:

    tru-dat

  3. Eric N. WY says:

    The new reference pages are awesome! Thank you, Anthony. It’s nice to have useful observations in a handy spot. I know a few people that can see all the coolness going on and it’s driving them nuts, they just can’t account for the lack of warming. Shameful.

  4. starzmom says:

    The atmospheric reference page is really cool, even if I don’t understand a lot of it. As time goes on, I’m sure I will learn more. That’s why this is my favorite website! Thanks Anthony!

  5. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Adblock Plus, but not just for blocking ads, which of course I will not recommend doing on WUWT and other wordpress sites as those ads are what allow wordpress to offer free hosting.

    Use it for controlling bandwidth usage. On dial-up, some things like the Sea Ice page take too long to load, more than half the images will time out and it can take several page refreshes until everything is loaded. Adblock Plus allows blocking of the elements on a page, so on my end I can trim down what’s loaded to just what I’m interested in.

    Flashblock is likewise recommended. Only load Flash if you want, Flash objects are replaced with a button you can click on to load and play them. This also reveals tiny Flash objects that otherwise you’d never have known were on a page.

    Flash Killer is a “when you really need it, you’ll have it” recommendation. Got something Flash playing or otherwise doing something you want to stop right now? Flash Killer gives you a handy icon, just click it and all the Flash on a page is gone.

    Lastly, Image Zoom is very handy. Rather than saving an image and using a graphics program to examine it, right in the browser on the page you can zoom in and out, rotate, and see whatever detail you wanted a better look at.

  6. paulhan says:

    The atmospheric reference page is another great resource, beautiful animations. Where do you get the time.

    If I’m reading it right, Ireland is in for a cold week going forward.

    Small nitpick – there doesn’t seem to be any scale on the cloud height or water vapour charts.

    Thanks too for the preview solution – downloading GreaseMonkey as I write. Maybe I’ll get the name of your son right next time :-).

  7. Bob in Castlemaine says:

    Thanks Anthony great new features.

  8. JER0ME says:

    The other problem you get with hosting is hacking. For some reason people enjoy doing it, and you would probably be a target for some wacko AGW extremist too.

    In my experience, hosted blogs & forums very rarely suffer from hacking. The seem to have plugged all the leaks, and it is worthwhile relying on that.

  9. JER0ME says:

    Heh. “The” = “They”

    Should have used that dang preview facility!

  10. Just The Facts says:

    Also, click on the following link, check the “Click to animate” box at the top of the page and watch a vortex spin itself out over Europe:
    http://www.coaps.fsu.edu/~maue/extreme/gfs/current/pv325.html

    Here is some background on Earth’s Polar Vortices;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polar_vortex

    which “are caused when an area of low pressure sits at the rotation pole of a planet. This causes air to spiral down from higher in the atmosphere, like water going down a drain.”
    http://www.universetoday.com/973/what-venus-and-saturn-have-in-common/

    Here’s an animated model of a fully coalesced Arctic Polar Vortex;
    http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a010000/a010000/a010005/vortex.mpg

    Here’s an animation of the currently uncoalesced Arctic Polar Vortex
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/intraseasonal/z500_nh_anim.shtml

    Here’s an animated model of a fully coalesced Antarctic Polar Vortex;

    Here’s an animation of the currently uncoalesced Antarctic Polar Vortex
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/intraseasonal/z500_sh_anim.shtml

    ” The January 1985 Arctic outbreak[1] was a meteorological event, the result of the shifting of the polar vortex further south than is normally seen.[1] Blocked from its normal movement, polar air from the north pushed into nearly every section of the eastern half of the United States, shattering record lows in a number of states.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/January_1985_Arctic_outbreak

    “Polar lows are small cyclones that form over open sea during the cold season within cold polar or arctic air masses. Typically 100 to 200 miles in diameter, they possess strong winds and tend to form beneath cold upper-level troughs or lows when frigid arctic air flows southward over a relatively warm body of water (jump in the relatively warm waters of the Arctic, and you will come to appreciate the word “relatively”). Polar lows last on average only a day or two. They can develop rapidly, reaching maximum strength within 12 to 24 hours of the time of formation. They often dissipate just as quickly, especially upon making landfall. In some instances several may exist in a region at the same time or develop in rapid succession.”
    http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2011/01/24/bye-bye-polar-lows/

  11. Kip Hansen says:

    Congrats to Mr. Pete on the Greasemonkey/CA Assistant script. Truly awesome!

  12. Duke C. says:

    Anthony-

    I have been using GM/CA-Assist since it’s inception. Preview and HTML menu bar have been performing flawlessly. But, nested comments and color-coding by age stopped working when you changed over. And, the CA-Assist menu bar (upper right hand corner) is gold colored, (difficult to see), and bleeds outside the margin. Maybe some simple HTML code would fix it- Surround it in a box with a different background color?

    REPLY: A new Version 0.0.9 (build 41) available Jan 20, 2010. Existing users click on “Settings” then “Check for Updates” if you have not already – Anthony

  13. Thanks Anthony, they are all very good reference pages.

    On your ENSO/Sea Level/Sea Surface Temperature Page it may also be handy to show the actual numbers which can be found @ Climate Prediction Center – Monitoring & Data: ENSO …

    If you already have got them there and silly me have missed them , then feel free to ignore this

  14. Andy says:

    Make sure Tamino knows, he will be upset if he misses them, which is kinda a habit with him!

  15. Bob_FJ says:

    Hi Anthony,
    Why not add this longer term NOAA multivariate ENSO index, to the ENSO/SST page, i mean this one:

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/people/klaus.wolter/MEI/ts.gif

  16. Just The Facts says:

    paulhan says:
    January 30, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    “Small nitpick – there doesn’t seem to be any scale on the cloud height or water vapour charts.”

    We’ll have to take this up with the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) Monterey Marine Meteorology Division, as they don’t include the scales on their originals:
    http://www.nrlmry.navy.mil/archdat/global/stitched/vapor/LATEST.jpg
    http://www.nrlmry.navy.mil/archdat/global/stitched/cloudtop/LATEST.jpg

    Ryan?

    “Where do you get the time.”

    Ironically and amusingly it was the cold weather that gave me the time. Usually I would have gone hiking or biking yesterday, but with almost 2 feet of snow on the ground, temps hovering around freezing, snow coming down and no snow shoes (I’m seriously looking into them), I decided to stay in and do my little part to help dismantle the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming Narrative…

  17. HR says:

    Thanks.

    For those of us who don’t understand the significance of the data in each of the graphs is it possible to include a general one-liner to accompany some of graph to say what can be gleaned from the info in each of the graphs.

    Some of the graphs are in oC, some in oF, is it possible to include a small conversion image somewhere on the page such as

    http://www.learner.org/courses/essential/physicalsci/images/s7.thermometer.jpg

    On the issue of comments will it ever be possible to display images in comments?

  18. Wonderful. Thank you. Looks like we have a nice Sudden Stratospheric Warming to kick off with.

  19. Ric Werme says:

    The test page ( http://wattsupwiththat.com/test-2/ ) is very old and no longer displays a text box for putting in test code. Anthony, can you replace the page with whatever you do to renew Tips & Notes so that people can actually test things?

    REPLY: Ah the comments autoclose after 30 days, fixed. – A

  20. Ric Werme says:

    I tried out CA Assistant for a while, but eventually removed it. It really bogged down loading the Tip & Notes page when that got huge, and if I’d accidentally navigate to some other page while editing a comment, a click back would bring me to an empty text box, whereas without CA Assistant, my partial comment would still be there. Or something like that.

    One thing that probably isn’t very interesting except to Linux/Unix folks is the
    “It’s All Text” add-on. https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/its-all-text/

    It adds a new “edit” button by the text area and clicking it runs my standard editor (emacs) so I can edit in comfort. I have a macro there for adding the HTML blockquote command, if I spent a bit of time at it, I could make it be a nice environment.

    I’ve used file editors and text markup languages since the days of punch cards. No preview window there either, so I’m comfortable enough typing HTML and don’t screw it up too often.

  21. Smokey says:

    Ric Werme says:

    “… a click back would bring me to an empty text box…”

    You probably already know this, but for anyone using a Mac, holding down the ⌘ and Option keys, while clicking on a link, opens the link in a new window. That way, instead of going back [and re-loading the other page] you can just close the new window, and you’re back where you started without having to re-load.

  22. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    From HR on January 30, 2011 at 4:49 pm:

    On the issue of comments will it ever be possible to display images in comments?

    I hope not! Especially from we non-administrator ordinary visitors.

    Look at it from the site’s viewpoint. Someone sticks an image in their comment. Images are hosted somewhere, they have their own web address. Comment goes through moderation, comment with image gets posted.

    Then someone changes the image that the address points to. Before, temperature graph. Afterwards, pr0n or otherwise objectionable material. Here come the complaints to wordpress, WUWT could get shut down.

    Once the article gets old and no one is looking at it, the image could be changed then. If someone really wanted to hurt the site, they could post images, wait a month, change the images, then provide the relevant authorities with a listing of all those objectionable images that are found on WUWT. Game over.

    Even if Mr. Watts can demonstrate it’s not his fault, those are not the original images allowed by the moderators and posted, there’ll still be a significant legal bill and a long fight involved.

    If ever normal commenters are allowed to post images, the only safe way to do so is to download them onto the wordpress servers and use them from there, and lock them down hard, commenters cannot change them without moderator help.

    As things stand, the moderators already have enough to do, and Mr. Watts already has enough headaches. I can do without them, and I can just supply the links. Think of it as Enabling Democracy, if someone doesn’t want to see my images then they don’t have to, it’s their choice.

  23. Max Hugoson says:

    Anthony:

    Am I missing this? NASA NearEarthObservatory?

    http://neo.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/Search.html

    Great resource. Total energy balance (out of wack now, Dr. Spencer, et.al. are working on fixing it.)

    Should that be added to the Atmospheric Reference page?

    Max

  24. Andrew30 says:

    The Atmospheric Reference Pages show maps of the world as you would expect.
    Why is it, that when we are shown this type of map the detail often includes the inter-state politcal boundries for Canada, the United State and sometimes Australia, but never Brasil, Russia or India?

  25. racookpe1978 says:

    I’ve been using Mozilla Firefox for many years.

    In any web page entry text screen, the spelling errors are underlined with red, and can be corrected with a right-click for the recommended spellings.

    Doesn’t help with Aussie or Noz or the UK varietals and humours, but I’m sure it will work for them there folks jest as soon as they get around to speakin’ English. 8<)

  26. Mike Fox says:

    Dear Anthony,

    May I respectfully suggest that you put your atmospheric, ice, solar, and ENSO “pages” higher up, say, just above “Recent Posts”? They are kinda buried as is, and I think they’ll get the attention they deserve if they’re up where they can be more readily seen and visited.

    Best,

    Mike Fox

  27. INGSOC says:

    Gotta love it! Can’t thank you all enough for all the work you put into this site.

  28. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:

    This is a great page Anthony. It’s fascinating. Ryan Maue has some nice graphics.

    Thanks for the work Just The Facts. At some point while going through all the graphics I was feeling that the world is beautiful.

    :-)

  29. Dave Springer says:

    I lost some functionality when Uncommon Descent switched over to a cloud server including the comment-preview plugin I was using. The problem is most of the preview plugins use Ajax (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ajax_framework) which is incompatible with clouds. This plugin:

    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/live-comment-preview/

    which uses client-side javascript only without any Ajax requests to the server should work okay. The only reason it might not work would be due to javascript being disabled on the visitor’s web browser. I have javascript disabled in my Internet Explorer web browser for a number of reasons. One of the best reasons in the world is I don’t see any of those annoying Google Ads sprinkled all over everything – Google Ads don’t work without javascript. If I REALLY REALLY need javascript enabled to get at something I want I use Firefox to view it instead – I keep security settings lower in Firefox just for that purpose and keep them pretty high Internet Explorer and use Internet Explorer most of the time.

  30. Dave Springer says:

    kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    January 30, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    “From HR on January 30, 2011 at 4:49 pm:

    On the issue of comments will it ever be possible to display images in comments?

    I hope not! Especially from we non-administrator ordinary visitors.”

    You can if you’re willing to work at it. If a link to a youtube video is the last line in a comment then the youtube preview screen will appear in place of the link. If you upload a static image to youtube and then post the link to it in the comment your static image will appear in the comment. Complicating this is if the image appears on another website you’ll have to save it first on your computer in order to be able to upload it a youtube video.

    Too much work for me. I’d rather just post the link the image and if someone is interested enough in my comment they can click the link to see the image.

  31. DavidS says:

    WUWT, its like a One Stop Shop!

  32. Greg says:

    Thank you for these improvements. I would like to echo the humble requests for an “Idiot’s Guide” to the Atmospheric page.

  33. Brian H says:

    For editing, and comments, and copying, I strongly attest to the value of ClipMate. It automatically saves whatever you copy, unlimited temp or perm files of your choice, allows composing of a New Clip before pasting, F7 does a spellcheck, etc. Much more. Try it free for a while from clipmate.com . I’ve used it for a decade and wouldn’t be without it.
    This was an unsolicited and unrecompensed free plug.
    :)

  34. Alexander K says:

    Thanks for the extras, Anthony.
    For me, WUWT is like going to a really fascinating science class/window on the world every day – brilliant!
    And the company here is great too.

  35. Just The Facts says:

    Max Hugoson says: January 30, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    “Am I missing this? NASA NearEarthObservatory?
    http://neo.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/Search.html

    There is some good stuff in there. I’ll review further and incorporate some content from NEO onto the reference pages. Thanks.

  36. Just The Facts says:

    Greg says: January 31, 2011 at 3:09 am

    “Thank you for these improvements. I would like to echo the humble requests for an “Idiot’s Guide” to the Atmospheric page.”

    Hello Greg

    Can you provide a bit more detail on what you’d like to see, e.g. should we enhance the graphic descriptions further? Or are you looking for more a tutorial on Earth’s Atmosphere, e.g. content on Atmospheric Circulation:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmospheric_circulation

  37. M White says:

    “Atmospheric Temperature:

    Global – 30-Day Actual – 10-hPa/mb Height Temperature Anomalies – Atmospheric Temperature Anomalies At Approximately 31,000 km (101,700 feet)”

    31,000 km ????????????????????

  38. Just The Facts says:

    M White says: January 31, 2011 at 10:14 am

    “31,000 km ????????????????????”

    Yes, typo, good catch, corrected. Thanks

  39. Bob_FJ says:

    Hi Anthony,
    I would love to see a hockey stick illustrating the exponential growth of hits to your site rather than simply the current total. I’d further love to rub-it-in to the BBC and its Oz cousin; the ABC, about this mysterious growing “new media” thingy.
    I’m having heavy intercourse with the ABC, about their so-called “The Science Show”, and when they stop digging their hole, may draft some interesting articles for your consideration to post.
    Best regards, Bob_FJ

  40. Bob_FJ says:

    Pleeeeese excuse my html tag error above.

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