Open Thread #2

Behave yourselves.

Just remember that some comments with links might end up in the spam filter and may take some time before I notice them.

55 thoughts on “Open Thread #2

  1. getting funnier and funnier to me…..if the next 12 months bring the same as the last 12 months, we will be facing global cooling for sure.

  2. While we talk of the cool spring here in the US, Drudge Report has links up for:
    ———————————
    SUMMER BLAST SET FOR EAST: 110F HEAT INDEX FOR DC …
    …NYC HOTTEST IN YEARS
    Temp Map…
    ———————————

  3. Seriously. What temperatuer do we have to cool to in order for it to be obvious to anyone that CO2 is not the big bad boogeyman that Al/IPCC/Schimdt/Hansen have tried very very hard to make it to be?
    Anyone know if La Nina is forecast to make a return this fall/winter?

  4. Someone posted that JunkScience is down. Seems to work now, although the blog is kaput. Perhaps I missed something.
    I note in the latest issue of Popular Science (maybe popular, questionable science) that Japan wants to revive the Solar Power satellite, to reduce the need for coal-fired power plants. Good grief. I thought this died a well deserved death in the early 80’s.
    Apart from costing an arm & leg to launch, beaming 1 GW down from up there is about as dammfool a thing ever attemped. Even with a huge receiving antenna (10km x 20km) the power density at the center exceeds the Federal microwave exposure standards by at least 100x. And I seriously doubt they can find a frequency that nothing in the atmosphere will absorb.
    If there was a futures market in stupidity…

  5. I hate to admit this, but I just found out that the Maunder Minimum refers to sunspot activity not temperature. On another front, I have been wondering what effect urbanization has on local humidity and rainfall. Florida has a lot of low, grassy land that becomes temporarily wet and marshy following one of our frequent downpours at this time of the year. The next day that rainfall sits exposed to the sun where it evaporates back into the atmosphere creating new clouds which will then produce rain again later in the day. In areas where that are built up perhaps this doesn’t happen anymore because the rainfall is engineered to run off through storm drains and culverts into deep ponds and the Gulf of Mexico. I would think that the total surface area of water available for evaporation is significantly reduced so that the cycle is not self sustaining in these areas. Now there is a whole lot of open, undeveloped land throughout our State so it really shouldn’t effect most rural areas however we have had less than normal official rainfall for many years running. Since most official rain stations are probably located in and around cities, especially at airports and television stations, is it possible that the official announced numbers are lower due to less rain in the immediate area of those gauges?
    REPLY: The Little Ice Age (LIA) concided with the Maunder Minimum, and that was all about temperature.

  6. Huh? What is this all about? Did I cross the line again? I shouldn’t have linked to Global Warming Girls Gone Wild?

  7. This link is to the register (UK) article which purports to show the divergence between NASA, RSS and University Alabama Huntsville temperatures.
    Has any other source picked up on this or would anyone care to comment on the data or the article?
    Thank you!

  8. Not funny. The high temp today here near Concord NH was 93.4F. I don’t like 90+ heat. (Dew point is 68F, adding insult to injury.) As long as we’re recording anecdotal observations, we should note hot weather too.
    And the Hi/Lo temps since May’s high temp are:
    +————+———+———+
    | dt | hi_temp | lo_temp |
    +————+———+———+
    | 2008-05-27 | 85.1 | 52.0 |
    | 2008-05-28 | 66.8 | 43.2 |
    | 2008-05-29 | 78.3 | 35.6 |
    | 2008-05-30 | 80.3 | 50.8 |
    | 2008-05-31 | 73.7 | 55.0 |
    | 2008-06-01 | 77.6 | 56.7 |
    | 2008-06-02 | 77.4 | 51.0 |
    | 2008-06-03 | 81.6 | 49.1 |
    | 2008-06-04 | 63.2 | 56.6 |
    | 2008-06-05 | 63.4 | 55.6 |
    | 2008-06-06 | 59.3 | 55.4 |
    +————+———+———+
    So 93 is a bit of a shock. The last few days had an east wind blowing low clouds inland from the coast. The sort of clouds predicted by Svensmark’s Cosmic Ray hypothesis, I should think, but should look into a bit more.

  9. Oddly enough where I live, Richmond, VA, we’re going through a huge hot heat wave. I think tomorrow we may break a record that was set in 1899.
    Hey, it was THIS hot over a century ago too?
    Hmmmmmm.

  10. Two questions …
    1. I’ve read that the global warming theories do not adequately explain the global temp increase since the 1970’s. Is there an alternative hypothesis, other than AGW?
    2. There is a large amount of wasted heat from combustion processes. Typical recip engines run well less than 30% efficiency; the rest is exhausted to the atmosphere. Even nuclear power plants dump a lot of waste heat into the atmosphere. Has anyone run the numbers; how much GW might be do to the mere (inefficient) use of energy?

  11. Here in Southern Montana, it is only 50 degrees at 8:30 pm. But at least our trees finally leafed out. Go figure.

  12. Tom in Florida, the official rainfall at the Jacksonville airport this week was something like @ 1 and 3/4″; however, I got nothin’. Just the nature of the afternoon seabreeze interacting with the inland heat.
    As for dry or wet conditions in Florida, that has a lot to do with whether we’re in a La Nina or El Nino, and whether the AMO is in a warm phase or cool phase. While it’s been awhile since the water was 5 or more feet deep in some of my pastures, it will happen again. Now, though, there are people who have built houses in the low lying areas around here that used to be covered with trees because everybody knew that it flooded.

  13. Should global warming cause more rainfall or less? ( assuming that it is warming)
    My answer is more rainfall. Higher temperatures should cause more evaporation from the oceans. That will increase the total amount of water in the atmosphere but eventually it will reach a new equilibrium. From then on its the old adage; what goes up must come down. So more evaporation will result in more rainfall worldwide. We don’t know where it will come down, but worldwide rainfall should increase.
    What do you think?

  14. 1. I’ve read that the global warming theories do not adequately explain the global temp increase since the 1970’s. Is there an alternative hypothesis, other than AGW?

    No need for an alternative. The most reliable temperature records (satellite and balloon) indicate any warming which might have occurred is completely within natural variability. Also, any warming certainly isn’t global, since many locales have cooled during this time.

  15. Where is the Drudge Report these days on recent events such as low sunspot activity, lowest global temp readings of the decade, NASA manipulation of historical data, biases from poorly located temperature sensors, the return of ice in the Arctic, etc. etc.?
    I read recently that liberals by and large take what they hear on the news to be facts while conservatives tend to be more skeptical.
    In my opinion, there is not going to be any objective debate on the matter of AGW vs. NGW (naturally occuring global warming) until the issues that Anthony Watts and others are raising enter the mainstream media. Liberals hate Drudge, but at least they read it.
    BTW, I am very pleased to see that this blog site is rapidly gaining readership. I suggest that we forward it to all of our liberal friends and co-workers so they at the least become aware that there are valid & logical concerns with the AGW “information” that is being distributed by the liberal mainstream media outlets.
    Btw, I am making diner and drink bets with my liberal pals that it will be colder one year from today than it is now, based on any of the variance reports other than NASA’s.

  16. Old Bob, there’s a couple of alternate scenarios that are plausible.
    One is: The planet has been warming at around 1 degree C per century since the “Little Ice Age” of the 1700s. There’s a couple of large cyclical weather patterns (La Nina, El Nino, PDO etc.) that can lead to relative increases or decreases. So adding a ‘hot cycle’ on top of the original 1C/c gets to the observed 2C/c pace. And when things switch to cooling instead of warming, you’re subtracting the cyclical portion from the underlying 1C/c trend and get something like 0C/c. Which is what we’ve had for, say, ten years.
    Another possibility involves sunspots. There isn’t a good mechanism postulated – the ‘Total Solar Irradiance’ doesn’t seem to track sunspots closely enough or strongly enough to be quite right. But we have a long record of sunspot observations, and the periods of extremely low sunspots correspond with the periods of extremely low temperatures quite well. (We don’t have excellent temperature records, but we do have extensive records of crop failures and the like.) This theory is also somewhat bolstered by observations of ‘global warming’ on Mars, Jupiter, and Pluto earlier this decade. But the actual output of the sun has only fluctuated very slightly.
    The first satellite measurements of temperature were in the late 1970s, which just happens to coincide with a cold period in the weather cycles. So our best (most regular, most consistent, best calibrated, least obfuscated) temperature measurements were able to see the dramatic temperature increase across the 1980-2000 time period. Models were developed during that time – and the correlation with carbon dioxide emissions was decided to be causation. The models haven’t really predicted the trend of the last eight years though. The models aren’t ‘completely disproven’, they could just be unlucky at the moment. It takes either more time, or a sharper deviation to do that. And if there’s an underlying ‘warming trend’ that isn’t anthropomorphic, you’ll basically be unable to separate that without another couple of complete cycles. That’s thirty more years or so. So… now what.

  17. bsneath asked: Where is the Drudge Report these days on…
    I don’t know how Matt Drudge decides what makes the cut for his page. Once in a while, I used to listen to a Sunday night show he had on the radio. He seemed like a reasonable guy. But, I guess with news sites and needed clicks for ad revenues, the sensational stuff keeps the traffic count up.

  18. Japan wants to revive the Solar Power satellite
    It would make one heck of a space death ray.
    Tom in Florida,
    The reduction in evaporation (and transpiration) due to urban runoff is probably small compared to the increase in evaporation due to irrigation. About 35% of all the worlds crop land is irrigated. In addition, urban irrigation is widespread in hot dry climates such as Australia.

  19. Just another piece of anecdotal. Here, in SW France, we have had our wettest and coldest spring /summer in living memory. Living memory here is a long time. My neighbours age from 60 to 91 years old. In eastern France they have had a prolonged period of temperatures in the low 80’s. This would normally be the other way round.
    The big concern is that the last time we had similar weather, but no as bad as now, was in the 50’s when winter were much more severe than in recent years.
    By the way, PDO remains very negative (may 2008 at -1.9, april 2008 at 1.9). I believe it is some time since 2 months remained at a low level.

  20. Tennet Naumer a blogger at DotEarth is trying to tell me Rossby Waves are used by GISS Temp to fix the lack of station coverage:
    Surface station coverage in 1978:
    http://www.climateaudit.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/ghcn_giss_250km_anom04_1978_1978_1951_1980.gif
    Surface station coverage in 2008:
    http://www.climateaudit.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/ghcn_giss_250km_anom04_2008_2008_1951_1980.gif
    “You also do not understand the methodology of the way GISS calculates surface temperature using the mathematics of Rossby waves — a very sound methodology, as it agrees quite well with other temperature sources.
    Go back to school.
    — Posted by Tenney Naumer ”
    I thought Rossby waves apply in a linear system and not a chaotic one. Any comments or references on this?

  21. MattN and Bob Tisdale,
    I’ve been visiting that CFS site for around a year, and they alter their long-term-outlook pretty dramatically on a regular basis. Not that many months ago they forecast the La Nina to sink to record lows, and persist through the summer. Before that they under-estimated the strength of the La Nina greatly, and before that they over-estimated the strength of the last, weak El Nino. So I’d say they have some glitches to work out of that model.
    The site is at
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf
    It has good data from the past. Also a comparison of the CFS model with others. Currently the CFS is the highest estimate for the strength of the rebound from the La Nina. Other models differ, and quite a few have the rebound stay in neutral territory.
    I’ll bet my nickel that the La Nina returns, but more weakly, in the fall. If you look at the data from the early 1950’s you can see times when the La Nina weakened during the summer, but re-strengthened during the fall. I’m guessing we are in a roughly similar time-period, with the PDO turning negative, and the AMO warm cycle starting to erode back to cool. Of course, the lack of sunspots throws a wrench into the works. You can’t use the past as a analog if history refuses to repeat itself.

  22. I don’t see how a change in PDO, la niña, el niño etc. could cause warming trend. A step shift, yeah but not a trend. There was a change to the warm stage of PDO in 1976, but that wasn’t a gradual change, it became hot and then the strength of el niño stayed high but with no upward trend (apart from 1998) while temperatures rose.
    Similarly, the satellites show no warming ’til 1998, but rose and fell with alternating el niño and la niña or volcanic eruptions. Suddenly we get 1998 and temperature generally remain high despite consecutive la niña years in 1999-2000 allowing temperatures to fall again. For 2001-2007, temperatures don’t go back to the sawtooth pattern but remain high despite weak en niños and this is what causes the trend. So why?

  23. Bob Tisdale (02:38:20) :
    “Looks like the ensemble mean has the NINO3.4 temperature rising just above the threshold (0.5degC) of an El Nino from August till October.”
    It will be interesting to see how the ENSO models do in a negative PDO regime. It may be an unfamiliar environment for them.

  24. To believe what one hears… or reads… is a similar trap. The statement was made above that liberals believe what they hear and conservatives question what they hear. The statement was based on reading something to that affect. Logically one can then say that for the person making the statement, it is possible that he/she believes what is read.
    A better morsel of wisdom is this: Do not always believe what you think.

  25. Caleb: Regarding your remarks about the PDO…
    I guess it depends which PDO Index you use or agree with. According to the two ERSST versions, the PDO has generally been negative for a few years. Smooth them with a 3- or 5-year filter and those little positive blips at 2003 would go away.
    http://i26.tinypic.com/25kn8ef.jpg

  26. I just got a fund raising letter from Al Gore for the DSCC. Here’s a quote
    “The undeniable reality of global warming—the most serious threat to human existence in history.”
    Al Gore the undisputed king of understatement.

  27. Al Gore is seriously worried about his cash cow carbon trading scheme. I can imagine the reaction if a person that owned, say, large amounts of stock in an oil company were to send around letters talking about how nuclear waste is the most serious threat to human existence in history.

  28. Bob B:
    Tenney Naumer couldn’t cope with the soot data when I brought it up over at dE. She never heard of it either. FWIW she’s a liberal and RC acolyte and a householder in Brazil.
    As for Rossby wave interpolation method, one way to validate it would be to see how much variance there is between NASA/GISS calculated grid temperatures vs. the grid data from the other data sets (RSS, UAH/MRU, HadCRUT …. ). I would not be surprised if their interpolated data tended to stray off from the other datasets.
    And as with any method of its kind, wouldn’t the Rossby method become less reliable as the data became more sparse? It might be OK for temporally backfilling pilot series, perhaps, but I wouldn’t want to stake my reputation on data that’d look as fudged as that in any other field!
    The thing is that climatology is full of these kinds of interpolations … This is right out of her blog:
    http://climatechangepsychology.blogspot.com/2008/06/upper-troposphere-is-warming-after-all.html
    “… Now, Robert Allen and Steven Sherwood of Yale University have used wind data taken from weather balloons as a proxy for direct temperature measurements to give the first conclusive evidence that the upper troposphere has been warming after all. Although they are an indirect measure of temperature, these wind records can be backed up by satellite and ground instruments, making them more reliable than existing direct temperature measurements (Nature Geoscience doi: 10.1038/ngeo208)…”
    Now using wind speed to gauge air temperature strikes me as total bull****. I wouldn’t trust a proxy that disagreed with real field data but was corroborated by remote sense data. A mathematical proxy guess is “more accurate than *field data*?” Really? My fat hairy stinking butt!
    Likewise Ramanathan’s soot discovery could have only been made from direct observations made in situ, the net heating effect of soot was masked both on the ground and from satellite reconnaissance.
    I’m gobsmacked at times by the reliance upon remote & proxy data sources in the field. The willingness of people to suspend disbelief when faced with doubting the gospel of experts is dispiriting.

  29. “…a common enemy must be found, one either real or invented, to unite humanity…In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill.”
    From the Club of Rome’s book The First Global Revolution.
    Some info here:
    http://green-agenda.com/globalrevolution.html

  30. Regarding Drudge… I check his site pretty much every day. While he is highlighting warm temperatures now, I don’t see him as being pro-AGW at all. Drudge likes to find outliers. He’s very fond of irony, as well. For example, if there’s a Global Warming demonstration that gets canceled due to snow, you know you’ll find that on his site in a heartbeat. If there’s record-breaking heat, he will also throw that on his site.
    Anyway, I see that GISS is out with an anomaly of 36. I darn near laughed out loud. Nonetheless, I will be putting together my monthly analysis on the trends. My predicted anomalies were actually high for the month by a bit. The prediction using the change in 360-month trend lines actually did produce a predicted anomaly of 36.5, so that was pretty good (it was my lowest prediction). The average of my predictions were in the mid 40s. So, even with GISS, the anomaly was lower than historical patterns would have suggested it would be by a bit.

  31. Anthony,
    I’m thinking of starting a website called MISS or the Mike Institute of Space Studies. After the monthly GISS number comes out, it will be my mission to adjust the number. Instead of only using the sea and earth surface temperatures, I will also use just enough of the earth core temperatures to produce the perfect hockey stick shape. The core is, after all, part of the globe so I see no inconsistency with using core data. Trust me, I know what I’m doing.
    (I might even be able to ge a job at NASA!!)
    Irreverently,
    Mike

  32. Leebert,
    You hit the nail on the head. It’s one more indication to me that the climate policy makers have outpaced the climate modelers in terms of understanding the climate (i.e., current knowledge is sufficient for policy making). When the disconnect is this big, it reminds me of Enron with the hype surrounding its business model (i.e., we can trade anything for exorbirant prices) or Bear Stearns with its derivatized sub-prime loan business (i.e., we can convert all mortagages into AAA regardless of risk). The arrogance at RC is astonishing. Why? Just because they work with supercomputers and miles of FORTRAN code? Grant you, that’s pretty cool, but does it entitle you to claim that you know the future (i.e., CO2 impact on global temps)? Those guys are going to ge burned and pretty badly at that (like Enron and Bear Stearns). Remember the scandal at that French bank (Societe General) where a trader lost BILLIONs? Guess what he ineptly betted for last Autumn – higher stock market, higher bond yields, and a strengthening dollar. Yep, he was wrong (spectacularly) on all three counts. The guys at RC are flying blind, and because of their arrogance, they don’t know it.

  33. Dear Bob B,
    Nice of you to put words in my mouth — I have never expressed an opinion one way or the other on soot on Dot Earth. For your information, of course I would think that it has an effect on the melt rate of snow and ice. A 4th grader would know that.
    As to your dislike of GISS TEMP, you will have to throw the babies (i.e., HadCRU, UAH, and RSS) out with the bath water if you throw out GISS — they are in really good agreement with each other (see link below):
    http://tamino.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/4way.jpg
    If you want to try to show where Tamino is incorrect in his calculations, good luck with that:
    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/03/02/whats-up-with-that/

  34. Oh Bob, I think I owe you an apology — that was leebert putting words in my mouth, not you, for a change.
    Yeah, I own a house in Brazil. I wonder how long you guys would last on the streets around here.
    Tenney Naumer, CPA, MBA, M.Acc.

  35. 1. I’ve read that the global warming theories do not adequately explain the global temp increase since the 1970’s. Is there an alternative hypothesis, other than AGW?
    Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, Pacific Decadal Oscillation, North Atlantic Oscillation and Arctic Oscillation all switched over to warm phase. (PDO has only just flipped to cool, which may at least partially account for the cooling.)

  36. Should global warming cause more rainfall or less? ( assuming that it is warming)
    My answer is more rainfall.

    That is what the Aqua Satellite indicates. CO2 increase leads to low-level cloud increase, which increases albedo and stabilized temperatures. Result: homeostasis.

  37. How does CO2 cause low-level cloud increase? Does it cause nucleation around CO2 molecules?

  38. John A.
    If you are familiar with distillation techniques, it might help you to visualize the process. More heat redirected to the earth’s surface by absorption of outgoing radition by CO2 increases the amount of vaporization at the earth’s surface. Water vapor then carries the redirected heat in the form of latent heat to higher altitudes where it condenses. Eventually, the released heat escapes to outer space in the form of radiation heat transfer. Please note that there has been NO heating trend in the SH for the past 30 years, which is mostly covered with ocean (thus, ample water available for evaporation). In distillation, if you increase the energy (heat) to the reboiler, then more vapor traffic goes up the column. Assuming that the condenser at the top of the column can handle the extra heat load, then more liquid travels back down the column to repeat the process. The end result is that there is little temperature change at top and bottom of column, but a lot more vapor and liquid going up and down the column (i.e. cloud formation). Of course, this assumes that convection is carrying the extra heat from the reboiler up the column where it is cooled by the condenser. Similarly, the extra heat of CO2 absorption is initially carried up into the atmosphere by convection. Thus, no significant temperature rise at the earth’s surface. The climate models assume that the additional heat is trapped at the earth’s surface, thus the reason for the alarmist temperature trends. Also note that the rising temperature trends of the NH over the past 30 years can be explained by lower pollution levels of sulfates (85% of which originate in the NH). If these modelers spent more time at home making moonshine in their backyard distillaries, there would not be global warming alarmism!

  39. Just a thought . I live in n.c and it has been warm the last several days. We have had some records in the state which go back to 1933 , IT WAS THIS HOT BACK THEN TOO.My first piont is the noaa,weather channel,and accuweather had had a fiels day with this .It’s like it’s never been this warm before.But what really gets me ,I guess I shouldn’t really be supprised,is out west they are having snow in Montana ,Colorado,Wyoning,Washington State,and Idaho and frost in California and Orogan and the only thing the weathermen are saying is it’s a little cool and accuweather is saying very cool out there. We are not talking about flurries . They are forcasting 12 to 18in. in the Rocky mountains and 4 to 8 in. of snowin the lower elevation.Isn’t this unual for this time if year. I mean summer is only 11 day away.They even reopened the a ski resort in Colorado.Now if this were winter and it was 30 degrees above normal the media and weathermen would be screaming GLOBAL WARMING AND WE WOULD SEE THE POLAR BEARS ON THAT LITTLE BIT OFMELTING ICE!!!!

  40. When putting GISS at HadCRU baseline(1961-1990) and at 250km, GiSS is much more similiar. Look at these maps.
    GISS
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/work/gistemp/NMAPS/tmp_GHCN_GISS_HR2SST_250km_Anom04_2008_2008_1961_1990/GHCN_GISS_HR2SST_250km_Anom04_2008_2008_1961_1990.gif
    HadCRU
    http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcrut3/diagnostics/monthly/anomaly.png
    HadCRU GISS
    Jan .053 .10
    Feb .187 .23
    Mar .430 .41
    Apr .250 .26
    Will compare when HadCRU comes in for May.
    GISS changes come from missing data being filled in. I’ve noticed changes in there maps. Holes being filled.

  41. http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/33092/title/Science_Academies_Call_for_Climate_Action
    reports on a joint statement of “Our National Academy of Sciences and its counterparts in a dozen other nations” “to limit the threat of climate change by weaning themselves off of their dependence on fossil fuels.”
    The statement refers to a global temperature increase between 1906 and 2005 of 0.74C. This strike me as rather odd, as we have data up to last month:
    Jan 2005: 0.489
    Dec 2005: 0.225
    May 2008: -0.083
    I appears that much of that 0.74C has been relieved recently….
    http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/33104/title/Polar_Bear_Fallout

  42. Mr. Goetz over at CA is digging into the GISS code again, currently detailing how Cedarville became an urban center.
    I gotta say there’s some bad design and/or implementation in my body of work over the past 30 years, but Dr. Hansen’s failures in oversight of his ‘project’ on our behalf is downright criminal.

  43. Hi,
    2 or 3 days ago I was looking at a nice graphing tool to graph monthly temperatures over a selectable time period and even automatically determine the trend. I thought it was on the NOAA site but now I can’t find it. Can anybody provide a link??
    Thanks

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