Tuesday, November 09, 2010

WTH, it's a slow day


David B. Benson said...

Eli the Rabett didn't care to offer a substantive comment regarding
new solar-powered process removes CO2 from the air and stores it as solid carbon so I thought I'd try again.

Its be a slow day and all, that is.

Rattus Norvegicus said...

This is starting to look like Watt's joint. I am watching a pretty decent show on PBS called "Islam and Science" talking about the observations Islamic scholars made in developing the model of the solar system which ended with Copernicus. Quite interesting.

climacs said...

Looking at the chart and seeing that Arctic sea ice has doubled in the past 2 months highlights the difficulty we face with the reality-challenged crowd. As long as there is a seasonal cycle they can concoct some absurd way to claim that a recovery is occurring or will begin within several months.

Unknown said...

Interesting to see that the "reference" line is the average from 1972-2008. Given that the last 6 of those years are well under the average, there must have been some much higher years in times past. What's the average for say 1972-1992 like in comparison?

Rattus Norvegicus said...

From what I know, winter max has only declined slightly, but let's be generous and give them a 30 year 1972 to 2001 average. But note that *every* year since 2003 is below the average. It just gets worse.

adelady said...

If you want a longer term view, this is not bad. If you use your sheet of paper technology to blank out the screen post 1950 then pre 1950, you can pick up the changing patterns. Winter and autumn virtually unchanged for 50 years, spring and summer always a bit more variable.
Then everything goes haywire.


Deech56 said...

Time for a guest post by Steve Goddard?

Anonymous said...

If what I have read is true, that world wide wind speeds are declining slowly over the past decade? When you factor in that 'equal and opposite' thing. Could man-made-wind-farms be slowing everything down? For the life of me I can't figure it out. Maybe if we could get jets to go another direction for a while things could get back to normal:)


Anonymous said...

So we have a record low, or almost so for this time of year. But I keep hearing a single days figures mean little. More important is the dearth of multi year ice.

Little Mouse still thinks Maslowski has it right: a zippo ice minimum 2016 +/- 3 yrs. Nah methinks 2016, but not later.

saw that too but not enough wind farms for that to be the reason

EliRabett said...

Well guest posts from bunnies are always welcome, but as Eli said, it was a slow day.

The point about the wind speeds is interesting. Eli once had a discussion w. Bob Grumbine about this and he pointed out that if the arctic warmed faster than the rest of the world then the temperature gradient would decrease, decreasing winds. Bob then went on to discuss how this would affect cloud nucleation

More seriously, it isn't clear that having more nucleation sites would induce more cloudiness. We're already much less (_much_ less) dusty than, say, the last glacial maximum and don't see much difficulty in forming clouds. The exception is in forming clouds over central ocean basin, and then it is primarily a problem for stratus (thin, low-lying) clouds. No problem for convective clouds.

(Aside: Over the ocean, nucleation sites are mostly salt particles from spray. If there were weaker winds, we'd expect fewer of these particles as well.)

So, as long as we're speculating, how about this:

Weaker winds -> less dust transport -> less available dust (salt) to form ocean stratus -> fewer stratus on the ocean -> ?ocean warming (the ocean stratus are highly reflective and thin enough to not cause much surface warming, I think.)

The reason I talk about ocean stratus is that these are the one class of cloud that it looks like there is difficulty in finding enough dust (salt) to nucleate growth.

A bit further down in the discussion, MT offered some excellent snark in reply to the question of how do you test all this:

The most effective way is to dump huge quantities of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, wait a couple of decades, and do the measurements.

As far as I know the only alternative is numerical models, which are spectacularly less risky and ultimately probably spectacularly less expensive.

However, they are less certain than random perturbations of the real world, which leads certain sectors to prefer the experimental approach, apparently.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I see. It always seems to be about the distribution. Cheaper too.


Anonymous said...

Ah! There you are, on a semi-submerged emergency raft, in the middle of the ocean, under a cloudless sky, sizzling in the midday sun, with water running low and no one knows where you are, except a fellow castaway about half a mile distant. Now that's a slow day.

But wait! Splashing/skimming the ocean surface will help generate those pesky missing nuclei required by the kinetics of cloud formation and growth, to give respite from the sun and a soothing and thirst-quenching shower of rain.

A new entry for the Survival at Sea Manual?

Sadly, no. Before the cloud and rains arrive (ha!), your splashing has alerted families of Galeocerdo cuvier and its bigger cousin the Carcharodon carcharias. Oops!

Slow days relaxing in the sun can be nice. Mind you, if you can coax your fellow castaway about half a mile away to do the splashing for you ...

Cymraeg llygoden

PS Sorry, it's a slow day :-) But perhaps a salutary allegorical tale about the unintended perils of geo-engineering?

Anonymous said...

"May I say to ya,... what a picture?:o)

LH said...

Arctic ice extent and area both show statistically significant declines in all twelve months of the year 1979-2010 (the satellite era), not just in September.

Cycle plots provide a nice visualization. I've updated this one through October 2010:


Anonymous said...

And there are some interesting developments down south too.


The ice in the Weddell Sea gyre is not looking too happy, at least right now. But perhaps more importantly, note the lead on the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula. I can't recall seeing that feature before, certainy not at this time of the year. Does anyone else have an idea?

Is this a hint that warm water working its way in to the Weddell Sea? If yes, what would the impact of open (and warmer) water on ice shelves and glaciers terminating in the Weddell Sea.....


Anonymous said...

Arctic sea ice, Winter extent: I'm a little surprised at the graph posted by LH. My understanding was that winter extent was not declining nearly as much as summer extent, for the reason that it extends into land in the winter and won't spread less until the total winter extent is much reduced. But if you just compare areas where winter extent is not blocked by land, it is declining just like summer extent.

Volume seems to be the fastest declining item. Extent is supported by the remaining thin ice breaking up and spreading over more area than the same volume of ice would have in the past, but as it gets thinner, one summer it will just melt away.

Pete Dunkelberg

EliRabett said...

Winter extent changes are in such places as the Baltic and the Sea of Oshkosh (sp? who cares), basically on the periphery.

LH said...

Here's another way to look at it: cycle plot of the *mean latitude* of the Arctic ice edge (data from Eisenman 2010, h/t Tamino).

The mean latitude of the ice edge has been moving northward too, in every month of the year.


seamus said...

What's this about a "new solar-powered process removes CO2 from the air and stores it as solid carbon"? Trees aren't new.


Meanwhile , back at the nation's oxymoronic opinion leader, Fed Singer has bounced another reality check:


Anonymous said...

Hackney council is demanding a giant rabbit be whitewashed.

Save the rabbit

Little Mouse

Unknown said...

Nice graph LH

For most months ice extent has decreased by about 1 month melting/freezing (apart from Aug-Sep). So that implies about 2 months longer ice-free (in those parts that do clear).

I can see why the walrusses aren't happy...

Anonymous said...

>>“So, as long as we're speculating, how about this:

Weaker winds -> less dust transport -> less available dust (salt) to form ocean stratus -> fewer stratus on the ocean -> ?ocean warming (the ocean stratus are highly reflective and thin enough to not cause much surface warming, I think.)”<<

Sounds like a reasonable speculation. Isn’t it ocean stratus that the (geo-engineering) self propelled salt spray spewing robot ships are supposed to stimulate and therefore save us from ourselves?

If this were Up With Watts a similar (but inverse) musing would be presented as a near certain fact and would quickly be elevated to the rank another long proven nail in the coffin by the Wattets.

arch stanton

Anonymous said...

Russell (10/11/10 2:19):

Actually Fred (or whoever writes for him these days) passes muster for cleverness. He basses all his lies on future disclosures that will never be made regardless of whether Cuccinelli and/or Congress investigate or not. He’s simply baselessly priming the pump of outrage for when Cuccinelli’s investigation is shut down.

arch stanton

Anonymous said...

Ellis, "world wide wind speeds are declining slowly over the past decade"
Wind speeds in Western Europe are picking up spectacularly the last few hours. Are you trying to hide the increase in wind?


J Bowers said...

Also Re. Russell, Wrong Said Fred seems a candidate for the Ratchet Hypothesis.


Anonymous said...

"The ICCER [i.e. Muir Russell team] has provided example code to read and grid the GHCN data set and produce an annual temperature series. The Review used such code in the 'trial analysis' described in chapter six of our report."


chek said...

Is anybody monitoring King-pin-rat since DC is taking a well deserved break?
Fascinating to see how he's still sucking on those dry, fossilised bones of climate-anticlimax one year on, like he has a clue.

Rattus Norvegicus said...

At least he's recycling his posts!

Anonymous said...

J Bowers-

Re: Fred Singer > Ratchet Hypothesis:

Despite Hanlon’s razor; given Fred’s history, I can’t help but suspect that in his case he plays to the Ratchet Hypothesis rather than is a victim of it.

Thanks for the link.


Jim Bouldin said...

What happened to the Toolbox series?

Anonymous said...

Me thinks the Welsh Mouse has hit the science communication problem on the head. The public is busy splashing away and the scientists are yelling "Carcharodon carcharias" meanwhile the deniers are telling us "no sharks here"

And yes I had to look up the meanings.

Little Mouse.

Anonymous said...

Re Check and the comment on CA.

Michael Moon
Posted Nov 12, 2010 at 10:54 AM | Permalink | Reply

“It is an oversimplification to say that dendrochronology is ring counting based on rainfall and the physiology of trees. Many other factors are considered. This is especially true with the old bristlecones, as their growth can be affected by slope gradient, sun, wind, soil properties, temperature and snow accumulation.”

The fellows who invented dendrochronology never imagined it would become a temperature record! Anyone (AnyMann?) who claims this is robust science would have been laughed out of my high school physics class…

Steve: I prefer that people don’t over-editorialize on this. The points been made lots of times.

"Steve" appears to have no sense of irony. I know my irony meter exploded.


Anonymous said...

Is anybody monitoring King-pin-rat since DC is taking a well deserved break?

Fascinating to see how he's still sucking on those dry, fossilised bones of climate-anticlimax one year on, like he has a clue.

The break is over.