New tool for climate change prediction – broken glass

This press release is brought to you by our friends at the National Science Foundation, it is not a joke. However, it is too odd not to spoof a bit.

Here are some preliminary results, there’s more at the end of this article.

How to interpret this related to "weather, not climate": hail is imminent
Press Release 10-243

Broken Glass Yields Clues to Climate Change

 

Ordinary drinking glasses and atmospheric dust particles break apart in similar patterns

Satellite image of a 1992 dust storm over the Red Sea and Saudi Arabia with different sizes of dust.

The comparative sizes of dust particles in the atmosphere, from a dust storm satellite photo.

Credit and Larger Version

December 27, 2010

Clues to future climate may be found in the way an ordinary drinking glass shatters.

Results of a study published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences find that microscopic particles of dust can break apart in patterns that are similar to the fragment patterns of broken glass and other brittle objects.

The research, by National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) scientist Jasper Kok, suggests there are several times more dust particles pumped into the atmosphere than previously believed, since shattered dust appears to produce an unexpectedly high number of large fragments.

The finding has implications for understanding future climate change because dust plays a significant role in controlling the amount of solar energy in the atmosphere.

Depending on their size and other characteristics, some dust particles reflect solar energy and cool the planet, while others trap energy as heat.

“As small as they are, conglomerates of dust particles in soils behave the same way on impact as a glass dropped on a kitchen floor,” Kok says. “Knowing this pattern can help us put together a clearer picture of what our future climate will look like.”

The study may also improve the accuracy of weather forecasting, especially in dust-prone regions. Dust particles affect clouds and precipitation, as well as temperature.

“This research provides valuable new information on the nature and distribution of dust aerosols in the atmosphere,” says Sarah Ruth, program director in the National Science Foundation (NSF)’s Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences, which funds NCAR.

“The results may lead to improvements in our ability to model and predict both weather and climate.”

Kok’s research focused on a type of airborne particle known as mineral dust.

These particles are usually emitted when grains of sand are blown into soil, shattering dirt and sending fragments into the air.

The fragments can be as large as about 50 microns in diameter, or about the thickness of a fine strand of human hair.

The smallest particles, which are classified as clay and are as tiny as 2 microns in diameter, remain in the atmosphere for about a week, circling much of the globe and exerting a cooling influence by reflecting heat from the Sun back into space.

Larger particles, classified as silt, fall out of the atmosphere after a few days. The larger the particle, the more it will tend to have a heating effect on the atmosphere.

Kok’s research indicates that the ratio of silt particles to clay particles is two to eight times greater than represented in climate models.

Since climate scientists carefully calibrate the models to simulate the actual number of clay particles in the atmosphere, the paper suggests that models most likely err when it comes to silt particles.

Most of these larger particles swirl in the atmosphere within about 1,000 miles of desert regions, so adjusting their quantity in computer models should generate better projections of future climate in desert regions, such as the southwestern United States and northern Africa.

Additional research will be needed to determine whether future temperatures in those regions will increase as much or more than currently indicated by computer models.

The study results also suggest that marine ecosystems, which draw down carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, may receive substantially more iron from airborne particles than previously estimated.

The iron enhances biological activity, benefiting ocean food webs, including plants that take up carbon during photosynthesis.

In addition to influencing the amount of solar heat in the atmosphere, dust particles also are deposited on mountain snowpacks, where they absorb heat and accelerate snowmelt.

Physicists have long known that certain brittle objects, such as glass, rocks, or even atomic nuclei, fracture in predictable patterns. The resulting fragments follow a certain range of sizes, with a predictable distribution of small, medium, and large pieces.

Scientists refer to this type of pattern as scale invariance or self-similarity.

Physicists have devised mathematical formulas for the process by which cracks propagate in predictable ways as a brittle object breaks.

Kok theorized that it would be possible to use these formulas to estimate the range of dust particle sizes. By applying the formulas for fracture patterns of brittle objects to soil measurements, Kok determined the size distribution of emitted dust particles.

To his surprise, the formulas described measurements of dust particle sizes almost exactly.

“The idea that all these objects shatter in the same way is a beautiful thing, actually,” Kok says. “It’s nature’s way of creating order in chaos.”

-NSF-

==============================================================

Here are other ways to use broken glass to forecast and interpret your local climate issues:

Your Computer Climate Model is broken
The Arctic Sea Ice is "rotten"
AGW is increasing the number of spiders globally
Solar minimum ahead -OR- your state is banning the bulb
Mercury vapor poisoning ahead
Your car is causing climate disruption
A drought is almost certain (95% confidence limit)
The climate gods are angry



The Goreacle is angry. Why aren't you listening ?!
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lowercasefred
December 29, 2010 12:09 pm

“To his surprise, the formulas described measurements of dust particle sizes almost exactly.”
We use these formulae to predict breakage from grinding, crushing, blasting, and just about everything else, but this guy was “surprised”.
I don’t believe I’d have told that.

MattB
December 29, 2010 12:12 pm

Yet another use for fractal geometry

rob m.
December 29, 2010 12:18 pm

“In addition to influencing the amount of solar heat in the atmosphere, dust particles also are deposited on mountain snowpacks, where they absorb heat and accelerate snowmelt.”
Dust, not AGW, is causing the glaciers to melt.

KTWO
December 29, 2010 12:19 pm

Interesting. But this seems to confirm a calculation rather than discover anything about the airborne particles.
Direct measurement of the particles was possible and had already been done. Which leads to the question of why the climate models didn’t use the size distributions from the measurements.
It is almost as if the models had faults.

PRD
December 29, 2010 12:19 pm

So SiO2 is the new CO2? Beware the great silicon dioxide monster! Silicosis will abound and its caused by carbon dioxide generating drought and coriolis storms circling the waterless globe… nah that’s from reading too much of Frank Heberts good works.
“…the paper suggests that models most likely err …” WOW! They got something right!!

James Sexton
December 29, 2010 12:22 pm

Yep, this’ll fix the climate models, for sure.

latitude
December 29, 2010 12:23 pm

Nothing must be going on, when they start recycling again.
The Caribbean gets it’s iron from Africa…..African dust storms are very important to the Caribbean…..
yes, we have no bananas

Dave Andrews
December 29, 2010 12:38 pm

“The results may lead to improvements in our ability to model and predict both weather and climate.”
But I thought there was a consensus, the issues were settled and the models were perfect!

Baa Humbug
December 29, 2010 12:39 pm

I’m shattered at this news.

Richard G
December 29, 2010 12:39 pm

I’m at a loess for words.

December 29, 2010 12:41 pm

Talking about broken glasses:
Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.”

Hilary Ostrov (aka hro001)
December 29, 2010 12:42 pm

What on earth will they think of next?!
P.S. Anthony, some of your captions seem to have escaped their natural place in the code!

Sam Hall
December 29, 2010 12:44 pm

The story says:
“Additional research will be needed to determine whether future temperatures in those regions will increase as much or more than currently indicated by computer models.”
Note that they have already decided this future “research” will not show cooling.

etudiant
December 29, 2010 12:45 pm

Although an irresistible target for lampooning, this actually appears to be a useful study.
The idea that coarser dust particles act as heating elements, whereas finer ones act more as sun shades, is at least worthy of empirical test and may in fact be a material factor in determining the temperature of the atmosphere. The cooling effect of volcanic clouds from SO2/sulfuric acid haze is at least a prima facie evidence in favor of the theory.

December 29, 2010 12:46 pm

How to predict weather with a cup of coffee:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Predict-weather-with-a-cup-of-coffee/

Jimbo
December 29, 2010 12:49 pm

Here is the money angle:

Additional research will be needed to determine whether future temperatures in those regions will increase as much or more than currently indicated by computer models.”

December 29, 2010 12:56 pm

Okay, my only question about this relates to the mineralogy of the fragmenting materials and the distribution of that mineralogy. Given the difference in crystal system and chemistry I would think one needs to know carbonate or silicate and so on. most of the examples shown were silicates. We know large amounts of sand and silts sized particles are carbonate. Also not all silicates and minerals in general have the same crystal structure. Glass for example is amorphous but quarts tens to be Trigonal (low quarts that is). Many clay sized particles ten to from Monoclinic crystal forms.

Douglas
December 29, 2010 1:02 pm

The research, by National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) scientist Jasper Kok, suggests there are several times more dust particles pumped into the atmosphere than previously believed, since shattered dust appears to produce an unexpectedly high number of large fragments.
—————————————————————————–
Sounds like a lot of Kok and Bull. Next they will be studying the Jason Pollock effect.
Douglas

DSW
December 29, 2010 1:13 pm

So, I guess the subtext here is get ready for the models to show even more warming? Another subtext here is that the CO2 thing isn’t working as well as they would like so they are expanding the list of usual suspects? Just as the the EPA begins regulating GHGs in a few days too. I am confused about something though – is there actually more airborne particulates now that this study is complete? (I assume not, just the normal amount) If not, and the re-modeling shows even more heat that isn’t observed, won’t this work against the veracity of their models? Not a scientist, just an inquiring mind,…

Anonymous Howard
December 29, 2010 1:14 pm

Wakka wakka!
I’m so glad you warned us that a spoof was on its way after the actual not-a-joke — and quite interesting — article from the NSF. Also, that you categorized this post as both “Humor” and “satire” (as well as “Uncategorized”?). Otherwise, I totally would have missed the awesome jokes headed my way. They totally “cracked” me up!
Here’s another one:
[Photo of a broken glass] caption: The climate science glass is half-full… of lies!

Vince Causey
December 29, 2010 1:16 pm

I would have thought it would be easier to measure the particle sizes in the atmosphere. But I guess empirical science is so old fashioned.

Doug in Seattle
December 29, 2010 1:19 pm

What Sam said. Yup, the future is already a known, we must just calibrate the models to reflect that reality.

Ian L. McQueen
December 29, 2010 1:31 pm

FWIW department:
The experimenters may have known, but not did not say, that the fracture pattern depends very much on the type of glass. The broken table-top photo leading the article, and the photo of the broken car side window, are perfect examples of the shatter patterns of tempered glass. When shattered, it breaks into small pieces, about the size of corn kernels, with edges that are not particularly sharp. A broken drinking glass, a broken window pane, or a broken light bulb, exhibit a “classic” broken-glass pattern of shards of indeterminate length that often have very sharp edges. (By interesting coincidence, the glass top of the patio table that we had stored in a little-used room, and on which we had stacked several boxes, suddenly shattered a few weeks ago. We have several pounds of little kernel-size pieces of glass, so we are quite expert on them. We are still cleaning them up.)
In some countries, like Australia, car windshields are made of tempered glass. In others, like Canada/USA, they are made of laminated glass. They break very differently.
I wonder what type of glass the experimenters were writing about.
IanM

johanna
December 29, 2010 1:38 pm

The finding has implications for understanding future climate change because dust plays a significant role in controlling the amount of solar energy in the atmosphere.
————————————————————————
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
PS – Anthony, step away from the computer – just one step at a time (you know all the cliches) and have a great New Year with your family.

Michael
December 29, 2010 1:38 pm

The belief that CO2 is some how bad, is a form of mass lunacy. There is no reasoning with those Al Gore man-made global warming types. Did you know they are freezing CO2 and pumping it deep into the ground for safe keeping? CO2 is plant food! CO2 has virtually nothing to do with the climate of the planet. I’m Just saying.
It seems the only way to deal with the man-made global warming fanatics is to freeze them to death with the the brutally cold winters we are now having due to the extended solar minimum. Our current solar minimum came just in time to protect us from the man-made global warming lunatics. The death toll from the 2010-2011 season looks like it will be one for the record books. We can only hope some of them global warming freaks freeze to death this winter so that their lunacy, at least, is stopped being spread by those individuals.

wpryan
December 29, 2010 1:58 pm

…it looks like the current inhabitants of the White House are ahead of the curve on this one. The EPA already wants to regulate dust. See here: http://www.news9.com/global/story.asp?s=12899662

Tom T
December 29, 2010 2:06 pm

Boy for a settled science there sure is a lot we are still learning.

Jeroen B.
December 29, 2010 2:07 pm

Such a pane in the glass, this is.

Honest ABE
December 29, 2010 2:12 pm

Ah, I get it, so the warming would’ve been worse, but we’ve also caused a bunch of dust which is slowing down global warming.
Thank you “science.”

David, UK
December 29, 2010 2:17 pm

“As small as they are, conglomerates of dust particles in soils behave the same way on impact as a glass dropped on a kitchen floor,” Kok says.
I think we need to pay more heed to what Kok says. In fact (ladies) you can take that as a general principle.

DonS
December 29, 2010 2:26 pm

lowercasefred says:
December 29, 2010 at 12:09 pm Right as rain, lowercasefred. I’m just tired of these guys being “surprised” at my expense.

Hexe
December 29, 2010 2:33 pm

These guys can go one (or, actually, ’42’) better, behold: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-12012082
tp://www.futurict.ethz.ch/FuturICT
(I’m so not making any HH guide jokes here, oh no. Then again, Marvin the paranoid android had a few fitting lines of wisdom that could be pressed into service here…)

1DandyTroll
December 29, 2010 2:34 pm

I “suggest” they “can” make vague suggestions of natural objects that might affect nature with a negative effect of a positive warming feedback effect if only they have understood a bunch of really complex stuff, hopefully, sounding cool but more like particle physic to the politicians or laymen with much influence on politician due to the fact that if only they could scare up enough research grants they’d be set for life, err, I mean they’d might be able to figure something out eventually. And besides if the other guys could get a direct link to the tax-available subject why shouldn’t they?
I remember a time, not too long ago, actually only 10 years, when too many economically challenged people and their companies throw away money on just about any IT project. Nobody needed an actual product just the thought of a potential mind dazzling product. We all know what happen in such a market that is open to the vapor ware industry and the ponze schemers.
I wonder what would happen to the world economy if inventors and engineers had it as easy getting money. Of course UN has always worked out of the principal that nobody needs to show an actual product or service before hand outs and the money just, “mysteriously”, disappears. But disregarding that fact, what would the global economy look like if inventors and engineer could effectively behave as yesterdays dot com puppies or todays climate hippies, the profiteering and the non-profiteering, the same way to get money en masse without first having something to show for?

Werner Brozek
December 29, 2010 2:37 pm

“Larger particles, classified as silt, fall out of the atmosphere after a few days. The larger the particle, the more it will tend to have a heating effect on the atmosphere.
Kok’s research indicates that the ratio of silt particles to clay particles is two to eight times greater than represented in climate models.”
So let me get this straight. Silt warms the atmosphere. The amount of silt has been greatly underestimated. Therefore CO2 is MUCH LESS dangerous than we thought? This definitely needs to be researched further!
“In addition to influencing the amount of solar heat in the atmosphere, dust particles also are deposited on mountain snowpacks, where they absorb heat and accelerate snowmelt.”
For an article written in 2009 on a related topic, see:
http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/warming_aerosols.html
“At the same time, black carbon emissions have steadily risen, largely because of increasing emissions from Asia. Black carbon — small, soot-like particles produced by industrial processes and the combustion of diesel and biofuels — absorb incoming solar radiation and have a strong warming influence on the atmosphere.”

John F. Hultquist
December 29, 2010 2:46 pm

I’ll help investigate this concept. I just love experiments where when you are done you can eat the results.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brittle_(food)

R. Gates
December 29, 2010 2:48 pm

Michael says:
December 29, 2010 at 1:38 pm
“CO2 has virtually nothing to do with the climate of the planet.”
____
I wonder why it would be that a natural climate feedback process exists whereby CO2 is naturally sequestered out of the atmosphere every time that gas gets to a certain level? Seems an odd sort of feedback to exist if this lowly “do nothing” gas is just sort of there and having no effect what-so-ever to the climate?
I find your comment a wonderful example of the extremist skeptical thought that has gone too far the other way…of course, you may be just kidding, in which case….Happy New Year!

Cold Englishman
December 29, 2010 2:56 pm

Straws and grasping come to mind!
Also “can I have more money to extend this important research, even though I already know the answer?”

View from the Solent
December 29, 2010 2:59 pm

I think NSF issued the article 3 months 4 days too early.

tallbloke
December 29, 2010 3:02 pm

One wonders how much solar energy these dust particles could hold compared to the oceans…
So wind turbines will slow down surface wind, meaning less iron rich particles getting out over the ocean to feed the precious plankton which absorb the nasty co2’s. Maybe we’ve found the right lobbying tool here….
Hmmm?

old engineer
December 29, 2010 3:03 pm

We hardly need a computer model to predict the amount of particulates (that’s what the US EPA calls them- particulates) in air. Since particulate matter is a “criteria” pollutant with a National Ambient Air Quality Standard. Its volumetric concentration, mass, and size has been measured for at least 30 years throughout the U.S. The literature is voluminous.
For those who want a reference see:
http://www.epa.gov/air/criteria.html
and
http://www.epa.gov/apti/Materials/APTI%20435%20student/Student%20Manual/Chapter_5_noTOC-cover_MRpf.pdf
and
http://www.epa.gov/oar/oaqps/greenbk/pindex.html

Cynthia Lauren Thorpe
December 29, 2010 3:13 pm

…back from the cattle yards where I’ve now decided NOT to wean the calves
with these glass bottles I’ve got here…JUST in case and JUST so I can say I’ve ‘done my part(icles’?) today to help ‘save the atmosphere over over the U.S.’ because I’ve grown to really like you guys ‘heaps’ (as they say over here)…
That said, though… There are two little items I’d like you Scientists to explain to me…
1. Why with all this talk of ‘climate change’ don’t you talk of the obvious chem trail
crap being sent into the atmosphere over your very U.S.A. heads…? Isn’t that a concern to you guys??? …or is that ‘HAARP’ the real culprit of ‘climate change’, or not?
And…
2. Why oh WHY did I think of ‘Yes, We Have No Bananas’ like my friend, ‘latitude’ there ~ while I was smiling at these amusingly great photos???
Forever Enquiringly Minded…(as is usual…)
(the admittedly ‘dusty’) Cynthia Lauren
…continuing to enjoy a happy 75 degree F day in the sunny Southeast…

CodeTech
December 29, 2010 3:15 pm

Cool… this reinforces my theory that “climate researchers” are actually clueless gits, throwing away every last piece of Science that doesn’t suit them, only to “rediscover” bits and pieces later.
And that’s not intended as humor.
Since they’re inventing their discipline as they go along, the phrase “climate scientists say:” should hold as much weight as “astrologists say:”. Honestly, I believe most of them wouldn’t know Science if it bit them in the face.
Meanwhile, honest working people have used this amazing new discovery daily in their jobs for decades. Go figure.

CodeTech
December 29, 2010 3:18 pm

Oops – I forgot I meant to post this important and completely relevant video:

December 29, 2010 3:23 pm

What could be the next “scientific researches” to show similarity with climate change — curved light from flashlights, steel bars becoming easier to bend, birds sleeping on tree branches with one foot curled up,…

Cynthia Lauren Thorpe
December 29, 2010 3:39 pm

Yep…! I’m back from the cattle yards where I’ve just now decided NOT to wean the calves with these here glass bottles…JUST in case, and JUST so I can say that today, I’ve ‘done my part(icles’?) to help ‘save the atmosphere over over the U.S. and the Globe in general! (A thought worthy of a Winfield Red, in fact) because I’ve grown to really like you guys ‘heaps’.
That said, though… There are two little items I’d like you Scientists to explain to me…
1. Why with all this talk of ‘climate change’ don’t you talk of the obvious chem trail
crap being sent into the atmosphere over your very U.S.A. heads…? Isn’t that a concern to you guys??? …or is that ‘HAARP’ the real culprit of ‘climate change’, or not?
And…
2. Why oh WHY did I think of ‘Yes, We Have No Bananas’ like my friend, ‘latitude’ there ~ while I was smiling at these amusingly great photos???
Forever Enquiringly Minded…(as is usual…)
(the admittedly ‘dusty’) Cynthia Lauren
…continuing to enjoy a happy 75 degree F day in the sunny Southeast…

tokyoboy
December 29, 2010 3:45 pm

Typo in title ??
“New tool for climate change prediction”
could be…..
“New fool for climate change prediction”

Alan Simpson not from Friends of the Earth
December 29, 2010 3:57 pm

It looks, to this layman, that they are trying, ( woefully in this case ), to reposition themselves and their funding to account for how cold it is going to get. Obviously it is still our fault and requires extra study. FFS these charlatans have no shame whatsoever.

December 29, 2010 4:05 pm

The NSF press release is not a joke, they mean it seriously, the NSF is the joke!
Thanks, and a Happy New Year!

Douglas DC
December 29, 2010 4:12 pm

“Additional research will be needed to determine whether future temperatures in those regions will increase as much or more than currently indicated by computer models.”
Ah,I love the smell of Grant Money in the morning…

Brian H
December 29, 2010 4:37 pm

R. Gates says:
December 29, 2010 at 2:48 pm
Michael says:
December 29, 2010 at 1:38 pm
“CO2 has virtually nothing to do with the climate of the planet.”
____
I wonder why it would be that a natural climate feedback process exists whereby CO2 is naturally sequestered out of the atmosphere every time that gas gets to a certain level? Seems an odd sort of feedback to exist if this lowly “do nothing” gas is just sort of there and having no effect what-so-ever to the climate?

The feedback process is BIOLOGICAL; it’s consumed by plants, mostly bacteria and phytoplankton, and sequestered in HUGE layers of carbonate on seafloors. That’s not climate, that’s EATING. It takes a hungumious crustal event to release it for re-use. So the planet’s flora tend to drive CO2 down to starvation levels, until a catastrophe kick-starts them again.

Dave Worley
December 29, 2010 4:45 pm

I can’t decide whether I am disgusted at the utter waste of human minds, or if I am grateful that they remain distracted by such minutae.

Dave Worley
December 29, 2010 4:52 pm

“wpryan says:
December 29, 2010 at 1:58 pm
…it looks like the current inhabitants of the White House are ahead of the curve on this one. The EPA already wants to regulate dust. See here: http://www.news9.com/global/story.asp?s=12899662
Yup, “big farm”, a necessity for a prosperous civilization, must be eliminated.
It’s a simple formula for the simple minded.

Alvin
December 29, 2010 8:04 pm

PRD says:
December 29, 2010 at 12:19 pm
So SiO2 is the new CO2? Beware the great silicon dioxide monster! Silicosis will abound and its caused by carbon dioxide generating drought and coriolis storms circling the waterless globe… nah that’s from reading too much of Frank Heberts good works.

Maybe someone should create some government subsudies to take this silicon and bind it in some kind of usable substance. Oh crap, solar cells. Never mind 😉

Julian Flood
December 29, 2010 8:42 pm

PRD says: December 29, 2010 at 12:19 pm
quote
So SiO2 is the new CO2? Beware the great silicon dioxide monster! Silicosis will abound and its caused by carbon dioxide generating drought and coriolis storms circling the waterless globe
unquote
Here’s a sequence for you: more dissolved silica will increase the number of diatoms in the oceans as this is the limiting resource for those delicate little plants. They will displace the calcareous plankton — diatoms win as long as there is silica for their shells. The calcareous plankton are better at pulling down and sequestering CO2 and they have a fixing sytem which discriminates against the heavy isotopes of C. No coriolis storms but if diatom levels rise then there will be a reduction in CO2 pull down and a light isotope signal in the atmospheree which the uncritical will be able to read as the result of fossil fuel burning.
Dennis Nikols, P. Geol. says: December 29, 2010 at 12:56 pm
quote
Okay, my only question about this relates to the mineralogy of the fragmenting materials and the distribution of that mineralogy.
unquote
A lot of the dust is just agricultural, which I would guess is silica, but I’ve not seen a breakdown of the composition.
Do you know what happens to a particle in sea water? How quickly does it dissolve and have we, over the last two hundred years, increased dissolved silica levels?
There was a recent Sockeye salmon glut caused by a volcano in the North Pacific but with no increase in CO2 pull-down. Silica feeding?
JF

SSam
December 29, 2010 11:42 pm

“Since climate scientists carefully calibrate the models”
TWEEEEEEET!!!! Penalty flag. Thirty yard penalty for B/Sing the public.

December 29, 2010 11:51 pm

As a reader of press releases, I have a couple of questions.
(1)First of all: What did Jasper Kok actually do?
Did he, as I thought at the start of the release, conduct experiments in which he broke apart dust (undoubtedly in a machine called “The Dust Buster”), and then measure the resultant particles? Or, as is later indicated, did he apply a pre-existing formula to dust, only to discover that it worked?
(2) While it’s useful knowing the ratio of different particulate sizes, what is the rate at which they are produced? How fast does the sand have to be going, and how much sand produces how much extra particulate? And how does this relate to non-sand? I have to presume they know this, or at least have a good idea, but it would help put things in perspective to mention it.
(3) According to Kok, the importance of this ratio is its role in making computer models more accurate in their prediction of future climate. Of course, the advantage of computer models is that they can be used in reverse. New data can be applied to past projections to see if they more closely mirror the reality. If so, more research is justified. If not, it’s time to look at something else.
So here’s third question: As a means of justifying their confidence in the ratio, why is there no mention of how well it did in this test?
And if in the unlikely event the test hasn’t been done — well, why is Kok issuing a press release? There’s nothing to say yet.
Those are my questions. Or at least, those are a few of my most pressing questions.
PS: Not wanting to be picky, but as an editor these things fairly leap off the page, and to relieve my OCD in this area, I have to pick a nit.
The sentence reading:

“Additional research will be needed to determine whether future temperatures in those regions will increase as much or more than currently indicated by computer models.”

Is obviously meant to read:

“Additional research will be needed to determine the effectiveness in using this to predict weather patterns, especially around desert regions.”

I know. It’s silly how some of the obvious mistakes can make it through.

Dave in Delaware
December 30, 2010 12:08 am

George Carlin comes to mind, in the spirit of this post and press release –
“What’s the difference between a drop and a droplet? After all, if you divide a drop into smaller parts, all you really get is smaller drops. Big or little, a drop is a drop.”
“Same thing with a crumb. But the odd thing about a crumb is that if you cut a crumb in half, you don’t get two half-crumbs, you get two crumbs. To me, that sounds like magic. I gotta ask David Copperfield how they do that.”

Laurence M. Sheehan
December 30, 2010 12:32 am

What we should learn from history is that we can NOT predict the future, any of the future, including future climate and future weather, by examination of and extrapolation from past data. To attempt to do so is a fool’s errand.
It is possible, to an extent, to examine the present, and better find out what is actually occurring.
It would be as sensible to consult an oracle, or perhaps a seer.

Peter Whale
December 30, 2010 1:35 am

A glassical piece of work, crystal clear conclusions, shard like observations by a cracked team.

Richard
December 30, 2010 2:21 am

Tom T says:
December 29, 2010 at 2:06 pm
Boy for a settled science there sure is a lot we are still learning.
Crow’s Law: Do not think what you want to think until you know what you ought to know – John Crow, as quoted in “Most Secret War” Prof. Jones (R.V. that is).

Tim Clark
December 30, 2010 3:40 am

So we have more silt than expected in the atsmosphere to be broken down and deposited in the oceans. What effect does deposition of newly exposed CaCO3 have on downwind ocean waters?
Just asking.
…….dominated by silt size materials and characterised by low OC (average
0.71% ±0.13); CaCO3 varied widely, with an average of 45% ±18.

Tim Clark
December 30, 2010 3:47 am

R. Gates says:
December 29, 2010 at 2:48 pm
Michael says:
December 29, 2010 at 1:38 pm
“CO2 has virtually nothing to do with the climate of the planet.”
____
I wonder why it would be that a natural climate feedback process exists whereby CO2 is naturally sequestered out of the atmosphere every time that gas gets to a certain level? Seems an odd sort of feedback to exist if this lowly “do nothing” gas is just sort of there and having no effect what-so-ever to the climate?

Argumentem ad ignoratum.
The sequestration of CO2 is not a “natural climate feedback”. It is a natural chemical process.

Richard111
December 30, 2010 4:06 am

And what of the dusts of climates past? Had they no effect?

Metryq
December 30, 2010 4:41 am

And studying the entrails of slaughtered animals will show omens of things to come. But only the priests can tell us what the signs mean!

amicus curiae
December 30, 2010 6:03 am

the research is..phhht, but I loved the clever captions and pics:-)
I vote climate model is broken as the best.

tarpon
December 30, 2010 6:09 am

The really weird, from a former science group, now turning propagandist for the government taxing scam. Obviously the guilt tripping didn’t work, so need new scare.
I was looking at mud splats today, and trying to figure out how they connect to global warming. But all I could come up with was damn it, now I got to wash the car.

December 30, 2010 11:27 am

How wonderful that scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research are studying the fragmentation dynamics of various kinds of dust. They think that the Warmists have their atmospheric clay particles right, but their silt particle models are off.
I suppose that after dust, our public money will fund research on belly-button lint and clothes washing / drying lint, which will lead to the conclusion that human produced lint is thousands of times more harmful to nature than natural dust, and is a leading contributor to global warming climate change climate disruption whereby belly-button lint will combine with CO2 to burn us all to a crisp, unless we give all our money to the UN environmentalists who will give a pittance to the 3rd world while living fat on our dime, with no actual reductions in CO2 or belly-button lint.
Is my sarcasm flag showing?

Alex
December 30, 2010 12:27 pm

Another take: Dust Study May Invalidate Most Warming Modeling Work Done to Date
http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=20516

Maverick
December 30, 2010 5:41 pm

The solution to climate change is now clear. We need to mine more coal and create more dust. The only problem at the moment is that half the world’s internationally traded coal comes from Queensland, which is currently underwater!!

December 31, 2010 8:33 am

Regarding my questions of December 29, 2010 at 11:51 pm (essentially, “What did Kok actually do?), can I take it that nobody else knows either?

December 31, 2010 8:43 am

Frank Lee MeiDere,
My suspicion: it’s all based on a model. A secret model.
Can’t let the Chinese get a leg up on us with a dust model gap.

December 31, 2010 9:24 am

I can’t imagine it would be easy for a dust model to walk the runway, either.

Pascvaks
December 31, 2010 9:29 am

“Ordinary drinking glasses and atmospheric dust particles break apart in similar patterns”
Will NOT be surprised if a specific pattern of dust particle (or glass) causes blizzards, another hurricanes, another sleet, and another just plain old fashioned rain, another fog, another.. (Things are all connected, right?)

December 31, 2010 10:58 am

Pascvaks posted:
Will NOT be surprised if a specific pattern of dust particle (or glass) causes blizzards, another hurricanes, another sleet, and another just plain old fashioned rain, another fog, another.. (Things are all connected, right?)
The old joke science of a butterfly flapping its wings in China causing a typhoon. (Love your sarcasm!)
I often wonder why the enviro-whackos on’t scream about the atmospheric disturbance created by the high-speed motion of cars on freeways stiring the air, and pushing the air through and out in tunnels. Maybe I shouldn’t have posted this thought. It will soon be in a Monbiot or Hansen bleating or some stupid reporter’s (but I repeat myself) article about ruining the world.

otter17
January 6, 2011 7:53 am

Sigh… a neutral review of a scientific discovery that is followed up by a ridiculous set of pictures that add nothing but animosity towards a variety of global warming topics. What a complete waste of time.

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