Open thread

Behave yourselves.

I’ll be checking in from time to time and making reports from the road. Just remember that some comments with links might end up in the spam filter and may take some time before I notice them.


0 0 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
April 18, 2008 4:04 pm

Anthony: I ran across a NCDC zonal temperature anomaly data set, which appears to be based on the recently revised (2007) Smith and Reynolds ERSST.v3. In the following graphs, I refer to it as “NCDC ERSST.v3”. This month it was updated on the 12th, a few days earlier than their standard data.
The list is broken down into monthly and annual data. Surface temperatures are divided into land only, ocean only, and land and ocean, which are further subdivided by latitude. There are also ENSO and PDO data. The base years are different.
The usual thing happens with the ERSST.v3 update. Over the 20th century, the data using the newer SST analysis has a slightly higher trend than the standard NCDC data. It’s not a major change, but it’s still a rise. Here’s Global SST.
With the land data remaining relatively constant, the effect is less when comparing the new and old global land plus ocean data.
There’s something novel in the March update. Note the decline in the ERSST.v3 version while the standard data skyrockets.
If we look at the other indices for the past two years, the March 2008 rise in the NCDC ERSST.v3 data (green) looks like an error. All the others rise, but it falls.
Weed out the GISS, HADCrut and Standard NCDC data, leaving the two MSU sources and the newer NCDC, and the downtick in the NCDC ERSST.v3 doesn’t look unusual.
Extending the graph of the satellite and NCDC ERSST.v3 data back to 1979, the variance it the NCDC ERSST.v3 doesn’t look strange at all.
The reason the NCDC ERSST.v3 data mimics the satellite data is, “Beginning in 1985 improvements are due to the inclusion of bias-adjusted satellite data.”
Further explained: “Since most of the oceans are adequately sampled by in situ data, the influence of satellite data is greatest in the Southern Oceans. South of about 45ºS the satellite data cause a slight cooling of the SSTs, which results in a slight reduction in the near-global
(In Situ + Sats) average compared to the in situ analysis (Fig. 4). ”

(Gary G) Otter
April 18, 2008 4:37 pm

There is a Bruce Cobb whom I have seen post here before. If you are out there, Bruce, is this yours?
I would love to see the responses to that! *g* Way to tell them!

(Gary G) Otter
April 18, 2008 4:40 pm

‘Open Thread’
Oy. I get it now. I was afrayed you would say something like that. Way to string us along. Just want you to know that was a sew sew pun. Almost cosmic. Not for high-strung types-
Ok. I know. You said behave. I’ll move on before I bring someone to the end of their rope.

old gasser
April 18, 2008 5:47 pm

Ok, I’ll give it a whirl.
What I find revealing about the false claims of CO2 cultists is that they never state the concentration of that gas in our atmosphere. It’s only a little over .03%. That is a very small amount, leaving me with a sense of wonder; wondering how plants survive at all, that is. Think about it. If the Earth’s atmosphere could be represented by a gallon jug of water, and you removed a quarter-teaspoon of liquid, you’d have .03%! When I see a tree or a crop-field, I’m amazed that the Carbon contained there came from cracking that minuscule portion of our atmosphere.
Then, consider that Earth is covered by about five sevenths water. Out of the remaining two sevenths, there are deserts, mountains, glacier, poles, etc., where plant respiration is little or none. The Earth’s oceans are where the majority of this conversion takes place. The CO2 that remains in the atmosphere is the remnant that isn’t dissolved into the oceans!
There has never been any confirmation that this tiny amount of trace gas has even a remotely measurable effect on Earth’s atmospheric temperatures. None. Nada. Zip. Yes, there are theories, models, inferences, etc., etc. However, if that tiny .03% concentration of CO2 had anywhere near the heat-trapping effect claimed by the cultists, it could be easily be demonstrated in the laboratory. Guess what: It hasn’t.
All of the Oxygen in the atmosphere came from plant respiration, and that concentration is about 21%, or 700 times the CO2 concentration. The scope of this imbalance amazes me. If plants on land and in the sea can steadily metabolise such a small concentration of CO2, and leave us with such a bulwark of Oxygen, why should anyone care if CO2 levels increase to .04, .05, or, (gasp), even double to .06%? The plants would greedily convert the “extra” CO2, and give us even more of their highly reactive elemental waste product to wallow in!
And don’t get me started on volcanoes.
Thanks for allowing the rant of a non-scientist, from one who appreciates the work all of you do here, especially the young-uns.

April 18, 2008 6:54 pm

Australia has had a drought for six years. Antarctic sea ice area has been increasing for the last five years. This year it is well ahead of the mean and could give us six years of increases.
Most of the attention is on the Northern hemisphere but the southern one seems to be telling us something. Even the Arctic seems to be doing something different.
First we have the lowest level ever recorded then we have the largest refreeze ever recorded..11 million sq. Kilometers. That means a lot of sea water cooled which means a lot of heat was taken out of the Arctic.
The media tells us that “open sea water absorbs a lot more solar energy than sea ice thus contributing to global warming but this is when the sun is shining. What about when the sun isn’t shining?
Sea water at the poles, from what I have been able to find out radiates 10 to 100 times what is radiated from sea ice… 100 to 1000 watts per square meter versus 10 watts per square for sea ice. I know it seems a bit strange but there is the distinct possibility that sea ice contributes to global warming by preventing sea water from cooling, while open sea water at the poles contributes to global cooling by radiating more energy into space.

Jeff B.
April 18, 2008 7:16 pm

Just an aside, but it is snowing right now in Tacoma, WA, USA. It’s not sticking, but it is snowing, cold and blustery. I can’t remember a single late April in my lifetime where it has snowed here in Western, WA.

Jeff Alberts
April 18, 2008 8:06 pm

Lol, hey Jeff B. I’m up in Everett. It’s been snowing off and on (mostly on) all day here. Stuck for a while, then melted then stuck for a while again. Not sticking to the roads, but I’ve got about three inches on my railing.

Steve Moore
April 18, 2008 8:53 pm

Jeff & Jeff,
I’m a Washington native, now in Aloha, OR. Used to live in Camas. On the Columbia River.
Snow in the forecast tonight for this area.
I’ve seen snow in April before, but it’s been a long time!

Evan Jones
April 18, 2008 10:33 pm

Alles klar, Herr Kommissar?

April 18, 2008 11:11 pm

Kent- interesting post. I agree with your comment “I know it seems a bit strange but there is the distinct possibility that sea ice contributes to global warming by preventing sea water from cooling, while open sea water at the poles contributes to global cooling by radiating more energy into space.”
I have been looking at this as well. The average solar insolation in northern alaska, for example, is about 85 W/m^2 averaged over the entire year. Clear sea ice and open water have almost identical emissivity of 0.92 – 0.95. That means, if they are at the same temperature, they emit almost the same IR energy up into space. Open water at 273K will emit about 300 W/m^2 up to space. However, snow-covered sea ice has a lower emissivity, so it emits less IR. Sea ice has almost the same thermal conductivity as sea water. However, snow-covered sea ice has a much lower thermal conductivity between its lower and upper surfaces. Any air gap between the ice underside and sea water will also greatly reduce the thermal conductivity.
So, when sea ice forms and has snow cover, it acts like an insulating layer that slows the rate of freezing below, and reduces heat transport from the underlying water up into space. Any ocean currents that transport warm water from southern latitudes under the sea ice will cause melting of the sea ice from below. When open water exists in the arctic, it will eventually refreeze, because open arctic water absorbs, annually averaged, a little less than 85 W/m^2 of sunlight, but emits almost 300 W/m^2. I think the arctic sea ice changes have nothing to do with CO2 forcing, because it is a paltry 1 W/m^2 compared with the huge difference between insolation and IR emission. I think they are mostly driven by changes in oceanic currents bringing warm water up under the arctic sea ice.

April 19, 2008 12:37 am

old gasser says:
“It’s only a little over .03%. That is a very small amount, leaving me with a sense of wonder; wondering how plants survive at all, that is.”
There are many things to be skeptical about when it comes to AGW but dispportionate effect of a trace gas is not one of them. Even though it sounds implausible, 0.03% of the atmosphere is responsible for at least 10% of the greenhouse effect.
Here is a good layman’s explaination of global warming science:

Pierre Gosselin
April 19, 2008 1:52 am

Old gasser
I know just how you feel – a whole lot of fuss about a few molcules of a precious gas. Hard to believe. In a few years a lot of people are going to find out it was much to do about nothing.
Over millions of years climate has changed often, like a wild roller coaster, due solely to natural causes. Suddenly in today’s Gorian science, natural causes have ceased to exist and man has taken over complete control of the climate. This absurdity alone is enough to convince me that it’s a total hoax.
I must say I can hardly wait for Anthony to get back to us with details on his trip. I’m hoping he’s meeting with some sort of influential alarmist who has an ear open for science, and is considering adjusting his/her stance on the matter.

D. Quist
April 19, 2008 3:17 am

Good Morning from Lynnwood WA. Yes, 4-5″ snow on the ground. Everything is frozen solid. The snow is too cold to make snow balls.
I had to redecorate my old Christmas tree and sing Christmas carols.
It has not snowed this late here since 1972.
Regarding Arctic ice, I have a question. all the ice that disappeared from eastern Arctic last summer, was it “flushed” through the Bering Strait, or did it move into the Atlantic? From the brief news reports I’ve seen, winds pushed the ice out from the Arctic.
Where ever those “millions” of square kilometers of ice, and cold arctic water, went, that area must have been chilled down a little? Has anyone bothered to model the world wide weather effect of a few million square kilometers of misplaced sea ice moving about the ocean?
I mean if we can model the climate a 100 years from now with undisputable accuracy, it should be a snap to model a few pieces of ice, one would think.

Bruce Cobb
April 19, 2008 5:03 am

There is a Bruce Cobb whom I have seen post here before. If you are out there, Bruce, is this yours?
I would love to see the responses to that! *g* Way to tell them!

Yes, Gary, that’s mine. I’ve been writing anti-AGW letters to The Concord Monitor for well over a year, and there are usually at least 3 negative responses full of the typical climate alarmist nonsense and ad hominems. This year I’ve also been posting them on globalwarmingskeptics (which seems to be down at the moment), along with some of the responses, which can be mind-boggling in their idiocy. The responses to my latest one should be doozies, as I ramped up the rhetoric a bit. Also, Earth Day is coming up the 22nd, and of course, according to them we skeptics must really hate the Earth. They’ve got it firmly implanted in their tiny brains that C02 is pollution, and we’re killing our planet with it.

Tom in Florida
April 19, 2008 5:34 am

I have been asking people I run into if they have heard of the influence of CO2 on global warming. Unless they give me a very negative response, I then ask them how much CO2 does the atmosphere contain by per cent. I am totally amazed as I have received responses from 3% (not .03%) all the way to 20% with most saying around 10%. I even had a response that the CO2 was replacing the O2 and that is why we were all going to die soon.

Jeff Alberts
April 19, 2008 7:17 am

Good Morning from Lynnwood WA. Yes, 4-5″ snow on the ground. Everything is frozen solid. The snow is too cold to make snow balls.
I had to redecorate my old Christmas tree and sing Christmas carols.
It has not snowed this late here since 1972.

It’s 7:11am in South Everett and just above freezing. Still lots of snow on the ground, perfect snowball weather. The snow is nice and wet, one scoop and you’ve got a snowball. Roads are a bit slushy, hopefully it melts quickly, since I have get on the road in a couple hours and drive 70.

April 19, 2008 7:49 am

Thank you for the info regarding anual inputs/outputs of Arctic sea ice/water. So many of the answers I try to access require memberships/fees. So much of what is out there deals with ice’s roll in warming while ignoring the cooling aspects. ie; if a chunk of ice melts it is because it was warmed up, but if it was warmed up then something was cooled down. We hear about the effect of the warming but since the cooling water gets sent downward it gets ignored.
I agree with you that the major melting factor at the poles is from sea water, causing most sea ice to melt from the bottom up.
D.Quist…I found myself questioning the experts with regard the great melting of 2007 in the Arctic. While many said it was a melt down some were indicating it was the result of winds and currents. They said it got pushed out into the Atlantic ,but sea surface temperature anomalies did not show up as one would expect in the Northeast Atlantic. The anomalies have been on the warm side. In the Area between Canada and Greenland however a lot more Ice formed ( most in 15 years. I suspect what has happened is that the ice has been jammed together, resulting in less area but thicker ice. Was this the case? Don’t have data for that. They have said that the area of multi sea ice has been reduced but that means little if the ice has just been piled up.
The one thing that the “lowest level ever recorded” for Arctic sea ice indicates is that there was a lot more area to radiate thermal energy into space having a much greater cooling effect on the Arctic water.
One report indicated that the thickness of first year sea ice was 10-20% greater than average, indicating more cooling took place this winter than normal.
It is interesting to note what has been happening in the Bering sea this year. Sea ice coverage is well above the mean. At one point it was something like 60% ahead of the mean.. It is now about 50% ahead (cryosphere today).
Thanks Anthony for the open thread. .. Hope your road trip does not encounter the cold weather we are having.. Snowing right now .

Brent in Calgary
April 19, 2008 8:05 am

I’m sitting here in -12 degrees C , also 4-5″ of snow expect another 4-5 ” today. I would agree this is like the ’70’s. I’ve noticed here in sunny southern Alberta a hell of a lot more cloudy days the last several months. I’m a true believer of the weather controlled by the sun, not this now politically correct co2 crap.You can’t watch the news without mention of global warming effecting everything ( actually , notice how they use the words climate change more frequently as we freeze our asses and in the summer during hot days they will use global warming). Anyway I just want to say that this site ROCKS, keeps me sane and is near the topof my list of favorite web sites.
Brent in Calgary

Robert Wood
April 19, 2008 8:40 am

SO how much “decrease in warming” and for how long, before the hysterics admit their gaff?

Evan Jones
April 19, 2008 8:45 am

was it “flushed” through the Bering Strait, or did it move into the Atlantic?
Through the Bering Strait, according to NASA.
My objection is not to the direct CO2 effect (which is modest, but measurable). I object to the “positive feedback” equations of the IPCC models. It would seem that the feedbacks are actually negative.
Yes, there is increased water in the atmosphere, but it is not manifesting itself as “greenhouse effect” vapor, but as “icehouse effect” cloud cover, thus resulting in homeostasis.

D. Quist
April 19, 2008 9:35 am

I found myself questioning the experts with regard the great melting of
2007 in the Arctic….
….They said it got pushed out into the Atlantic ,but sea surface temperature
anomalies did not show up as one would expect in the Northeast Atlantic.
That is a very good point. Thanks for answering my layman questions.
I apologize for not providing proper references as basis for my questions. At the time of reading about these things I didn’t realize I would run into this excellent site. In the future I will try and collect where I get my ideas from.
Another observation I had, in regards to the Arctic melt is this. There were specific predictions regarding a strong Atlantic hurricane season. These prediction were then reinforced once La Nina indications appeared. Dr Grey and other predictors indicated that La Nina would strengthen the hurricane season.
As we all know the season fizzled. I assume they are still struggling with figuring out why that was the case.
Based on my own thinking the most obvious, unusual, weather event, was the melting of the Arctic. If large amounts of ice doesn’t show up in the sea surface temperature, then what if any effect did this weather phenomena have? You have a fizzled hurricane season, La Nina and major Arctic melt. I though during the hurricane season that someone would link the events, and point out the possible effects.
P.S. I live in a place, Seattle, where educated people will say, with a straight face, that Hurricane Katrina would never have struck New Orleans, had President Bush signed the Kyoto Protocol.

Mike Bryant
April 19, 2008 12:55 pm

What is the single most important issue…?
(Direct link to ABC Poll, page 6 has global warming zero result)

April 19, 2008 12:57 pm

As a fellow Seattleite I can confirm D.Quist’s anecdote about the attribution of Katrina to Bush.
But, then again, the koolade drinkers here blame everything on Bush (unless it involves giving away more tax money to one of their pet projects/programs).

Alan S. Blue
April 19, 2008 1:06 pm

Is there any such thing as a ‘first snow of the year’ and ‘last snow of the year’ long-term national historical record?
I’m in Seattle under an unseasonal blanket of snow also. This is wildly atypical for the area – two mild snows spread from December through February is much more common.
“It last snowed in April in 1972” is good information, but is there any way to quantify this? Because it would seem like is should be very closely correlated with each local region’s temperature – and have the advantage of ignoring all the microsite issues. It would still run afoul of true UHI effects – but the effect of individual trees, runways, etc. would be insignificant when judging “When did it last snow in location X?”
So the number of days between ‘first snow of the year’ an ‘last snow of the year’ should be quantifiable. It won’t be perfect – it will also correlate with drought, etc. – but the removal of a swath of observation biases would seem to be worthwhile.

Michael Ronayne
April 19, 2008 2:33 pm

Between 2 to 3 SC23 sunspots are developing on the solar equator. I am running blink comparator analysis of Continuum and Mannetogram images and two sunspots are definite but I am not 100% sure about the third just yet. Solar Cycle 24 is reporting 1 sunspot and nothing from SWPC or NASS as yet. I don’t want to post links as that get this message blocked. If you click of the Sunspots ICON on this page you download near real-time SOHO Continuum and Mannetogram 1024×1024 images. Solar Cycle 23 rules! We are still not at solar minimum.

April 19, 2008 2:59 pm

No one here has mentioned Earth Day activities this year. There doesn’t seem to be much going on in New Hampshire related to climate change, are there other events that people are going to make sure all sides of the story get heard?
I was at Carnegie-Mellon Univ for the first Earth Day. people drove cars and trucks on to the grassy area between a couple buildings and erected tents, inflatable structures, etc. I still have the Whole Earth Catalog I bought there. The highlight of the day was a cold front passage that soaked everything bought a windstorm that blew down everything else. The exiting vehicles on the wet ground left quite a mess.
So I’ve always figured that the Earth wasn’t very impressed with the gesture of concern and it sent a reminder that it’s stronger than we are.

April 19, 2008 5:53 pm

Interesting addition to Roy Spenser’s :
April 19, 2008 RESEARCH UPDATES:
(1) – Our latest article, “Potential Biases in Feedback Diagnosis from Observational Data: A Simple Model Description”, has been accepted for publication in Journal of Climate. It uses a simple climate model to show how daily noise in the Earth’s cloud cover amount can cause feedback estimates from observational data to be biased in the positive direction, making the climate system look more sensitive to manmade greenhouse gas emissions than it really is.
(2) – I have asked the editor of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society to consider publishing a paper I have written entitled, “Evidence for Internal Radiative Forcing of Climate Change”. I believe that this paper addresses the single most important issue neglected by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC): Natural climate variability generated within the climate system in the form of INTERNAL radiative forcing.
This paper is a generalization of our paper that has just been accepted for publication in Journal of Climate, and describes how mixing up of cause and effect when observing natural climate variability can lead to the mistaken conclusion that the climate system is more sensitive to greenhouse gas emissions than it really is. It also shows that a small change in cloud cover hypothesized to occur with the El Nino/La Nina and Pacific Decadal Oscillation modes of natural climate variability can explain most of the major features of global average temperature change in the last century, including 70% of the warming trend. While this does not prove that global warming is mostly natural, it provides a quantitative mechanism for the (minority) view that global warming is mostly a manifestation of natural internal climate variability. (This paper is sure to be controversial, and it will be interesting to see how difficult it will be to get published.)

old construction
April 19, 2008 7:02 pm

Raven says
‘Even though it sounds implausible, 0.03% of the atmosphere is responsible for at least 10% of the greenhouse effect.”
Is the 10% from the math or computer models or observed data from the atmosphere? I understand that CO2’s sensitivity has yet to be measured in the atmosphere. (no playststion allowed)

April 19, 2008 10:07 pm

old construction says:
“Is the 10% from the math or computer models or observed data from the atmosphere? I understand that CO2’s sensitivity has yet to be measured in the atmosphere.”
This number is estimated using basic physics which even skeptical scientists agree with (e.g. Richard Linzden, Pat Micheals). The source of 10% figure is explained on the page I linked to. I believe coined the term ‘playstation science’ in first place.
The computer models only become an issue when alarmists argue that a small increases in CO2 will by amplified by water vapour feedback. Saying CO2 accounts for 10% of the greenhouse effect does not include any of these feedbacks.
GW science is complex and not everything claimed by the alarmists is wrong.

Larry Grimm
April 20, 2008 2:28 am

I’m sorry for this non-scientific post, but it’s pained me to see the way my beloved Seattle has fallen for the AGW scam. Seattle was a wholly different place during the Boeing era. Now in the Microsoft era, Seattle is very bizarre. That said…
Hey you Seattle and NW folks, drive carefully. Having grown up there and with the infrequent snow falls, I know how poorly they drive in snow. We’ve been getting snow every other week here in Colorado (highest snowpack in the mountains in a long time). Trying to find a decent day for soccer practices has been a trick. At least I can usually count on folks driving sensibly in the snow here.

April 20, 2008 5:43 am

Alan S. Blue:
[[I’m in Seattle under an unseasonal blanket of snow also. This is wildly atypical for the area – two mild snows spread from December through February is much more common.
“It last snowed in April in 1972″ is good information, but is there any way to quantify this? Because it would seem like is should be very closely correlated with each local region’s temperature – and have the advantage of ignoring all the microsite issues.”]]
Doesn’t a negative PDO produce a cold current along the western US? The last negative PDO period, which ended in the late 1970s, might be worth wading through.
I don’t think you’ll have much luck looking at the range of snow events like that. My latest snow at Penacook NH in the last 10 years was on 2002 May 26. This was the day after I found the granite monument in Ashland NH commemorating 1816, the year without a summer. It was also the last snow for the lamest snow season I’ve had. The seasons before and after were the snowiest until the 07/08 season. The next snowfall I had was on 2003 Oct 23, the earliest I’ve recorded. That gave me a snowfree period of 157 days. The second shortest was 221 days.
So, in that three year period has interesting data, but it’s completely useless in terms of saying much about climate, at least not without including studies of the NAO and other controls. Over my 10 year record here the record is equally dirty, though this past _season_ is so off the charts it demands attention.
Ultimately, events like earliest/latest snowfall wind up being anecdotal information. About the best that can be gleaned is if similar reports come in from a wide area, as has happened this year, then there is something worth studying.

An Inquirer
April 20, 2008 9:52 am

My best of laugh of the day so far comes from a poster named lunaticcringeradio on another blog:
yep that’s what snow is called now, denial. a record breaking 7.5 inches of denial fell on juneau alaska thursday apr 17th, breaking the previous record of denial that was set in 1948 of 1.1 inches of denial. apparently denial is so overwhelming these days people are making denial men, and denial angles, some people are getting their cars stuck in denial, and in some cases denial has been so bad it has shut down major metropolitan cities. there have even been reports, mostly by bitter global warmists, who were attacked by kids throwing denial balls at them all over the nation this deniable winter.

Mike Sander
April 20, 2008 11:42 am

Well, it is April 20th…and it is snowing yet again in Northwest Seattle. We have about one half inch on the ground..Its in the upper 30’s so it will be gone soon…but my goodness!

old construction
April 20, 2008 4:35 pm

In your replay to Old Gasser you said that CO2 accounts for AT “LEAST” 10 % of the green house effect. The link uses the trem “ABOUT” 10% and it is still an estimation. It could be higher or lower depending on MANY veriables. But the fact is no one knows for sure now much warming is do to CO2 at any level concenstration.

Mike in Reno
April 20, 2008 5:43 pm

First, I want to thank Anthony and the posters at this site for the enlightening information, research, and reasonable discussion of the facts. It’s really gone a long way in helping me understand the issues without the extreme bias that seems to invade the topic from both sides.
One thing I do want to ask about is this: Does anyone have any references to good companies making vertical wind turbines? Most websites I’ve found so far look pretty sketchy and the only one that looks like a great design won’t respond to inquires and may run into the $10’s thousand for their device. 🙁
I know Anthony has put up solar at his house, but my house in Reno is very windy and I’m wondering if I can put up enough vertical turbines to eliminate my electrical bill completely. I figure we’re going to keep having energy crises no matter the weather trend, so might as well fix it myself!

Evan Jones
April 20, 2008 6:04 pm

The CO2 effect, in a direct sense, is not even the issue. The IPCC could be 100% right about the warming effect of CO2 and STILL be 100% wrong.
What the IPCC models rely on are the positive feedback issues. If there is no positive feedback, if there is instead, negative feedback leading to homeostasis, then the entire AGW hypothesis is in the dumper.
That’s what’s the big news about the AquaSat. No positive feedback. The water vapor that is supposed to be increasing the GH effect is instead going into cloud cover and increasing albedo/precipitation, which leads to an increase increase ice cover, which in turn leads to even more albedo.

Graham H
April 21, 2008 3:22 am

well, longtime lurker here — and at CA with “Leif in the fast lane” — first-time commenter
Jeff Alberts – do you have a cousin named Bryan? If so, he and I might be in a couple of the same annual gradeschool pictures.
Alan S. Blue …
I created the following tables from data at the link below and sent this out as a new years gift to family members, putting them on notice for local climate the cool PDO winters just a cycle ago. The italicized values are for the last PDO cool phase which ended after ~1975. Also, SeaTac Airport (at 427ft) was not reporting prior to 1949-50, prior to that reporting was done from the federal building in downtown Seattle, maybe rooftop?
History of daily temperature records by month at SeaTac Airport
Temperature in Fahrenheit
Min = Lowest Daily Minimum, Max = Highest Daily Maximum

Min Year Month Max Year
0 1950 January 64 1981
1 1950 February 70 1968
11 1955 March 75 1987
29 1975 April 85 1976
28 1954 May 93 1963
38 1952 June 96 1995
43 1954 July 100 1994
44 1955 August 99 1981
35 1972 September 98 1988
28 1949 October 89 1987
6 1955 November 74 1949
6 1968 December 64 1993

History of daily and monthly total snowfall records by month at SeaTac Airport
Measured in inches, T = Trace amount e.g., skiff or dusting

Daily Year Month Total Year
21.4 1950 January 57.2 1950
9.8 1990 February 13.1 1949
7.4 1989 March 18.2 1951
2.3 1972 April 2.3 1972
T 1993 May T 1993
0.0 n/a June 0.0 n/a
T 1980 July T 1980
0.0 n/a August 0.0 n/a
T 1972 September T 1972
2.0 1971 October 2.0 1971
9.4 1946 November 9.4 1985
13.0 1968 December 13.0 1993

April 21, 2008 4:07 am

Evan: Agreed; feedback is the key now. Everything else is interesting, but basically rather irrelevant unless it helps eludicate the sign of the feedback term. Unless you rely on some rather dubious post-hoc fix like aerosol dimming, the current data seems to be pointing towards negative, for which we should all breathe a sigh of relief.
What I don’t understand is why my (now somewhat feet-of-clay) hero Lovelock (who I have met, and still have a lot of respect for) stopped believing in his beautiful, stable, homeostatic [Earth|Gaia] which inspired a generation of greenies like me, and started assuming the worst possible positive feedbacks for which there doesn’t seem to be any historical (or current) evidence. If the Earth were that unstable, we wouldn’t be here to worry about it…

Patrick S
April 21, 2008 6:28 am

There is a strange discrepancy in the GISS for March that thought I would bring to light:
There are two different values present for the March Anomaly, 0.35 and 0.67 depending on where you look.
This page:
clearly shows both values in the 4 figure presentation.
What gives? Im willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, but if they are tweaking their dataset to get this kind of variation I have to wonder…

Mike Bryant
April 21, 2008 7:57 am

“Sunspot 991 is is almost invisibly tiny, but it is there. Credit: SOHO/MDI”
I can’t see it.

Mike Bryant
April 21, 2008 7:55 am

“Sunspot 991 is is almost invisibly tiny, but it is there. Credit: SOHO/MDI”
I can’t see it.

Bob B
April 21, 2008 8:21 am
Evan Jones
April 21, 2008 10:06 am

PC: Agreed.
Rev: Open Thread suggestion: Would it be possible to show the ten most recent comments rather than the five most recent?

Jeff Alberts
April 21, 2008 10:16 am

Jeff Alberts – do you have a cousin named Bryan? If so, he and I might be in a couple of the same annual gradeschool pictures.

Nope, sorry.

Doug Werme
April 21, 2008 11:59 am

I was out on a raft just upstream of Seattle during this weekends intermittent blizzard. There is something just wrong about mixing snowball fights with water sports. There is still very low runoff.
I’d have say that was weather, not climate, but there have been enough of these stories globally that is looking rather climatic. (Normally only heat waves are considered climate change, cold spells simply weather).

April 21, 2008 1:14 pm

Allow me to hang myself by the open thread. Playstation models and I pee see see notwithstanding, global warming seems to me to be a GOOD thing. I wish it were happening. How much better would my garden grow!
I’m not a skier. I don’t like snow. Tundra is worthless in my estimation. I prefer it warm. As far as I can tell, warmer is better in every respect. For the last 300 million years or so, it has mostly been warmer than now. Warmer is the normative condition.
Apparently another glaciation is coming. That’s the only conclusion one can draw from the regular Milankovich cycle evidence of the last 3 million years, which nobody disagrees with, as far as I can tell. Glacial epochs are a bummer. If we humanoids are going to mess with the climate, I vote we warm it up, and soon.

Wondering Aloud
April 21, 2008 2:04 pm

Your reference does not appear to agree with your statement that CO2 accounts for at least 10% of the grenhouse effect on the earth?

Mike Bryant
April 21, 2008 2:55 pm
April 21, 2008 7:38 pm

Wondering Aloud says:
“Your reference does not appear to agree with your statement that CO2 accounts for at least 10% of the grenhouse effect on the earth?”
junkscience is a site that errs on the side of skepticism. If it says CO2 is ‘about’ 10% then you can be certain that there is little no science that supports a smaller figure. OTOH, there is scientific literature that places the value as high 30% – hence, my use of the term ‘at least’.
I don’t think it is worth getting into a debate about the exact number, however, I do think skeptics need to make sure they don’t use facile arguments that sound good to the uninformed but have zero scientific basis. Claiming that 0.03 of atmosphere cannot possibly have a signficant effect on the planet’s temperature is one of those facile but false arguments.

Jeff Alberts
April 22, 2008 7:47 am

Raven, do you think it’s fair to say that the .03% is largely overwhelmed by a myriad of other processes and can’t have any real measurable effect?

April 22, 2008 8:10 am

Last Friday ( 2008-04-18) the climate-alarmist Guardian reported that “Greenland’s disappearing lakes leave giant ice sheets largely unmoved” with subcaptions unambiguously stating that meltwater is a marginal player in outlet glacial flow. Citing Woods Hole findings published in Science the dynamics of basal lubrication appear to be more complex than either the original basal lubrication theory or the Guardian article suggest.
Ars Technica reports that although it has a marginal effect on outlet glacier flow – casting doubt on the theory that additional supraglacial water flow would accelerate a rise in sea level – another study sees fairly intense seasonal effects on inland ice sheet glaciers.
Meanwhile ABC news insists on singing the alarmist cant, showing the very same photos published in Science (taken by Woods Hole’s Sarah Dass) with no explanation whatsoever. Take a look at photo #3 and photo #6 and the biggest factor in the formation of these large seasonal lakes can be seen: Heat-absorbent soot that contributes between 1 – 2.4 Watts/m-2 of additional energy into ice and snow packs on glacier surfaces (Charlie Zender, UCI), causing up to 90 percent of the entire boreal melt-off.
In other words James Hansen’s CO2-driven calamitous forecast of the past month should have been tempered by this year old data on soot deposition in the Arctic. After all, Christian Science Monitor reports a NASA-funded team is taking part in a survey of the heating effects of aerosols on the Arctic. Perhaps Hansen didn’t get the memo? V. Ramanathan did.
The more climate science investigates the manifold effects of soot , the more pernicious soot becomes – perhaps beating out CO2 as the big bad climate player.

April 22, 2008 9:00 am

One alarmist rejoinder to the ongoing decadal temperature plateau is that a spline curve fit isn’t fair statistics – it’s far-too conveniently flattening the trend – but then what is? A a running average?
“Raven” replying on Science Alert “The IPCC – on the run at last,” commented: “…The last 7 years of data is enough to demonstrate statistically that the IPCC 4AR projections are 95% likely to be false. It will take quite a surge in warming over the next few years to get back to where the temps are supposed to be according to the IPCC models.” see:

Alan S. Blue
April 22, 2008 11:01 am

Thank you Graham H.
January 1950, 57 inches. Yeeeouch.

Brian D
April 22, 2008 2:47 pm

Looks like snow coming for MN Friday night, with colder air for next week.
New sunspots have formed and they look to be cycle 24. Sun might be getting active now. Guess we’ll see how things go the next couple months.

Harold Pierce Jr
April 23, 2008 1:51 am

ATTN: Raven and Everybody
RE : Water Vapor Rules the Greenhouse System
Monte Hieb is mine safety engineer, and he gives a detailed step-by-step procedure for calculating the contribution of the various greenhouse gases to the so-called greenhouse effect. He assumes an absolute humidity of 1% by volume. He did not actually state the value he used for the concentration of water vapor, but his calculations are correct for this value which is about the mean global average.

April 23, 2008 5:43 am

Brian, it might be a typo, but http://www.solarcycle24 says spot #992 is a cycle 23 spot:
“Sunspot 992 in the northern hemisphere of the sun belongs to Cycle 23.”

Brian D
April 23, 2008 1:14 pm

The new sunspot labeled today is NOT cycle 24. Cycle 23 keeps on trucking.

April 23, 2008 5:04 pm

An ongoing discussion about the delayed transit between solar cycle #23 & #24 is at .
I’ll crib from a comment I posted there re: A discussion of solar cycle durations (Schwabe Cycles):
For predictive metrics, I have to think it is less a question of the duration of transit from SC#23 to SC#24 than the cumulative number of spotless days (since the first spotless day) and the speed of sunspot movement.
Jan Janssens maintains a “spotless days” page. It’s interesting b/c of the trend analysis halfway down the page. I’ve re-posted his January spotless days chart for convenience:
He hasn’t updated it since January, but AFAIK the trend has continued unabated.
What’s spectacular about Janssens’ chart is how it correlates with SC’s from the first half of the 19th century (at the end of Dalton minimum).
Just as profound is the evidence on SC#25 (the cycle following the next one, #24), derived from observations of steeply slowing sun spot *motion* across the sun’s surface. This is a metric of a major slowdown of the sun’s own convective layer’s internal conveyor belt.
By the same metrics SC#24 will be normal or quite strong once it ramps up, but SC#25 may prove the onset of a drop in SC amplitude just as this current transit is demonstrating lowered frequency.
Naive critics of a grand solar minimum will claim that we should expect SC#24 to be a normal (if longer) solar cycle, that forecasts of a grand minimum are thinly veiled assaults on global warming. Such contentions tilt at empty scarecrows, however. The point is that just as SC#24 strength will validate previous observations of sun spot motion (speed), those very same observations predict a weak SC#25.
My WAG is that these will become the classic portents of grand minima — slower sunspot movement, an increase in cumulative spotless days in conjunction with a longer cycle transition. Another slow minimum transit like this one would validate the theory/observation trend, as would SC#25’s projected weak solar max.
My feeling on this – being a lay person – is that much like the inception of the Little Ice Age, starting with the Sporer minimum, we should look first to less bleak scenarios. I don’t believe the world needs more Pied Pipers to lead us on media stampedes.
After all, the sky is always falling down. As it should. Otherwise we’d have no air.

April 23, 2008 6:20 pm

I mentioned a few days ago that it’s really pretty silly to be hanging on every little spot that comes across.
Umm, I noticed a little spot on the magnetogram that has a cycle 24 field. It’s not visible yet on the visible light image. has a close up of spot 992 (cycle 23) and the new spot. It’s under the headline “You know your [sic] desperate when?” I guess that means they agree with me. 🙂

April 23, 2008 8:28 pm

With respect to Cosmic Ray Flux and cloud formation.
What happens to the heat in water vapor when it condenses to form clouds?
This heat of condensation/heat of vaporization is not trivial and would appear to be the majority of the energy in the atmosphere that contains water vapor. It dwarfs the heat of melting and the specific heat of the condensed water.
How is it released and what is it released into? Is it radiated mostly into space?
Does the increased cloud formation due to increased CRF mean the Earth’s heat pump runs faster due to the greater rate of heat flow out of water vapor?

An Inquirer
April 23, 2008 8:51 pm

Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice is dropping like a rock. What’s Up With That?

April 23, 2008 9:03 pm

Researchers @ NASA/GISS modeled the effects of the Maunder Minimum & concluded it did indeed precipitate the Little Ice Age.
The result of the Maunder minimum’s multiple cycles of weaker solar maxima & extended minima was a drop in ocean temperatures, stronger Earth-cooling La Ninas, weaker inter-zone convective winds and weaker moist warm ocean weather fronts pushing inland into continental landmasses leading to longer & colder continental winters.
The research at the time did not account in any way to the possible role of more cosmic rays increasing total cloud cover (a possible 25% differential effect in shading & albedo over the past century).
Tim Patterson & Don Easterbrook have both found strong solar cycle correlations in their respective fields in mud & ice core sampling.
Easterbrook has said it’s puzzling to him why the ice core data is being ignored even though his work has been corroborated by other ice core data and the correlations are nothing short of amazing.
Tim Patterson a column on mud-core data which showed a strong correlation between ocean productivity and solar cycles – also anticipating future solar cycles:
In the meantime the “warmists” are busy casting aspersions toward anyone watching the sun as yet a new & improved denialist strategy. If they only knew how we’d rather dicker over the difference of a degree or two of warming & some dirty aerosols than the far-worse prospect of a big cooling trend brought on by a grand solar minimum. On the one hand the warmists remind us to be patient: “A ten-year temperature plateau? That’s not a detrending of CO2 levels from global temperatures, it’s just the lull before the heat wave. You just wait and see! Climate sensitivity is real! Temperatures will catch up with CO2 concentrations real soon now, and you’ll be impressed by the new and improved hockey stick blade.”
And then what of indications of a significant change in long-term solar activity? Should they wait to see what that has in store as well? Well, no, the conclusion is handy: There are no portents there, we just need to be more patient to realize that SC#24 will have no effect on this zooming warming trend that’s coming real soon now.
And they accuse skeptics of facile thinking. It was William James who commented, “A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.”
Such hot-air trends have always been there to observe for anyone who cared to look.

April 23, 2008 9:48 pm

“With respect to Cosmic Ray Flux and cloud formation.
What happens to the heat in water vapor when it condenses to form clouds?”
The “latent heat” is converted to “sensible heat” and the air parcel warms up. Depending on the temperature profile of the air column, the air will rise ala puffy cumulus clouds, or it won’t rise, ala flat stratocumulus clouds.
I think the main area expected to be impacted is maritime, as the air mass over land has a lot of condensation nuclei already, e.g. dust, smoke, etc. Maritime air is often stable, so the result may be more stratocumulus reflecting sunlight from the surface, and hence keeping the air mass stable. Without convection, the cloud droplets will grow slowly and won’t rain out. Or something like that.
So, blame dreary weather on the seacoast on global cooling.

Evan Jones
April 23, 2008 10:22 pm

Increased water vapor is the keystone of the IPCC positive feedback equation. If it does not form low level clouds, it goes to vapor and increases the greenhouse effect. But if it forms low level clouds, albedo is increased and there is a negative feedback resulting in homeostasis.
The irony is that the Aqua Satellite was supposed to prove anthropogenic global warming. Instead it is proving homeostasis.

April 24, 2008 5:15 am

An Inquirer (20:51:16) :
“Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice is dropping like a rock. What’s Up With That?
My first guess is that ice on the southern fringe would be melting first. I tried loading cryosphere’s “30 day” animation, but it hung after loading 20 of 24 images. Sigh. I’ll try another system. I really wish they’d show two years worth of data on their graphs, I went to two days data on my home weather station plots and like the longer trend.
However, both their northern and southern hemisphere plots show more ice than last year, especially southern. I won’t be surprised if there is quick melting in the northern hemisphere, I’d expect, but have no data, that the sea ice is relatively thin. Just another year in these interesting times.

Mike Bryant
April 24, 2008 6:10 am

Hmmm, this from spaceweatherdotcom:
SOLAR ACTIVITY: “Is this the last gasp of dying Solar Cycle 23? It sure looks that way,” reports Paul Haese who sends a dramatic picture of the sun taken just hours ago from Blackwood, South Australia. The sun is criss-crossed by dark magnetic filaments and peppered with active regions that are not quite sunspots but seething nevertheless. “What a great show,” he says. Readers with solar telescopes, you know what to do.

Pamela Gray
April 24, 2008 6:44 am

re: NH sea ice? Could it be because it always does around this time of year? Afterall, the earth continues to cycle through it’s tilt, ignoring the noise of humans.

April 24, 2008 7:04 am

“Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice is dropping like a rock. What’s Up With That?”
Uhh. It’s spring in the NH. It does that. :shrug:
Meanwhile, expect absolutely no one to recognize that the SH ice coverage is almost 2 million km^2 above same time last year:
Place your bets on shattering last year’s record. Double or nothing not one news source outside Fox says a peep….

Jeff Alberts
April 24, 2008 7:42 am

Increased water vapor is the keystone of the IPCC positive feedback equation. If it does not form low level clouds, it goes to vapor and increases the greenhouse effect.

Which happens regardless of CO2 levels.

Alex Llewelyn
April 24, 2008 10:22 am

I saw an article in the New Scientist today (normally very pro AGW) that a change in Ocean currents could be causing a lot of the abnormal warming in the Arctic that has caused so much hullabaloo about melting ice caps. A cyclical ocean current appears to have warmed the arctic which in turn causes the whole Northern Hemisphere to warm up. The figure quoted in the article was 0.2 of the 0.5oC warming we’ve seen over the last 30 years in the NH. I’ll try to find a link if I can

Alex Llewelyn
April 24, 2008 10:23 am
Pamela Gray
April 24, 2008 5:43 pm

Well, well, well. Someone who is capable of making inroads into global warming models will be developing the piece of the puzzle related to solar influences on the middle atmosphere. Heavy reading but worth the time.

An Inquirer
April 24, 2008 10:01 pm

Pamela Gray and Matt N,
Thanks for your comments, 🙂 but the issue is not that spring brings declining ice cover, but rather the decline is faster than last year, and if the plummeting rate keeps up for a few more days, the ice level will be back to the level it was at last year at a similar time. Perhaps the cause for the rapid drop is that the the last million sq km did not freeze very thick — this last million sq km did not freeze at all last year. Perhaps that is why it is melting so fast now. But that certainly is only a speculative guess.
Yes, total global ice is much above normal. Only 6 times since satellites began measuring the sea ice has global ice been as extensive as it is now.

Pamela Gray
April 25, 2008 6:19 am

So what you are saying is the extent of the ice shelf that hasn’t been there for many, many, many years is now melting it’s edge off at a very fast rate. An educated guess is that whenever the ice shelf freezes this far out, the edge rapidly melts away as the NH tilts to the sun, more so than when the ice shelf was not as extensive.

Pamela Gray
April 25, 2008 6:42 am
April 25, 2008 8:50 am

Give it a week and see what the chart looks like. It may be just an observational “burp” by the software.

Bob B
April 25, 2008 4:08 pm

I was just arguing with an AGW proponent on
I had stated that the GISS record is crap and corrupted and there is a 5X divergecne in the GISS set from 1998 -2008 compared to others. Well the blogger Cthulhu generated this plot:
Which proved my point and shows the divergence of GISS temp set compared to all the others. He did a great job at looking a ten year period changes in temerature.
I congratulated him for weaning himself past the Tamino school of Cherry picking.

An Inquirer
April 26, 2008 6:13 am

Pamela Gray, it has been my perception that skeptics generally have a better handle on the facts than alarmists, so I want to alert you that you may have an misconception of Northern Hemisphere ice. The current level is higher than last year, but likely NOT higher than for “many, many, many years. ” Pictures for 2004 and 2005 are not available, but it looks like 2003 had more ice at this point in time. It appears that we are higher than 2006 as well as 2007.
Can anybody point to me a graph of arctic ice that covers more than the last 12 months? This link has total global ice for 30 years:
but I do not see any series for the arctic ice.
MattN may be right that it is a burp, and technical issues have arisen occasionally in the Cyrosphere service which they appear to be diligent to correct.
MEANWHILE, I have been around for almost sixty years, and I have never seen snow this far south in Minnesota at this time of the year. And it is not an insignificant amount of snow!

Pamela Gray
April 27, 2008 8:12 am

Actually my main point is that when looking at rate of ice melt, it would be best to compare apples with apples. Look through the record for the same ice extent and graph the rise and fall for each build-up and each melt season. Finally indicate the timing of known natural conditions (solar cycle, ocean cycle, tilt, orbit, etc) on the graph. After you do that, you should then be able to tell if the rate of ice melt for any one data set on your graph is melting at a faster rate than any other comparable set of data on your graph. You might also find some kind of cycle tied to natural conditions. If there are no differences between comparable data sets, then the variable conditions (IE anthropogenic sudden or slow increased pollution) would not appear to be influencing build-up and melt as much as stable cyclical conditions (ocean cycle, solar cycle, tilt, orbit, ozone, etc). If there are unaccounted for differences between comparable data sets, then I would be looking for a change in variable conditions, such as CO2.

May 14, 2008 1:02 pm

Polar bears officially listed at threatened:
The door has been kicked in….

October 3, 2008 2:34 am
%d bloggers like this: