Old Letter // Changing the Game

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 5:10 AM GMT on December 27, 2010

Share this Blog
3
+

Old Letter // Changing the Game:


This entry will take a ritualistic view at the end on 2010 and the beginning of 2011. First though I want to start with a letter that my brother Bob stumbled onto. (My readers might like this: The Nature of Technological Civilizations). The letter is from a distant relative of our family, Tabitha Morgan, who was describing the winter of 1782-1783. It is available online at Christmas in Virginia, specifically here.

Winter in 1782-1783:

“The wind was still biting cold on the 5th day of March outside the church in Amelia County where we made our vows to each other. If not the coldest, then surely it had been the longest winter that anyone could remember.

The Elizabeth River froze at Norfolk and all of Virginia was covered in a blanket of snow well into what should have been spring. The Chesapeake Bay froze clear out to the mouth and the ice frozen hard on the Potomac didn’t even crack til ten days after the wedding.

When the thaw finally came, the massive sheet of ice that jammed the James River broke loose at Richmond. Ice and water came crashing down the river’s course like a mighty Atlantic wave. All the boats tied below the falls were lost. No living thing survived in the path of that flood.

In May, as it always does, new life burst forth out of the long frozen ground. This year though, the grasses seamed greener . . . the blossoms more fragrant after all those long, dark months of winter. When the hot, wet Virginia summer finally arrived, I realized that I also carried new life within me.

Nothing was as important to me as the child I carried. He dominated my thoughts and absorbed all my energy. I have never known such joy. ….”

From the past year: I have been in Colorado for the past couple of weeks. The week before Christmas there was more than six feet of wet, heavy snow in Gothic, Colorado. This occurred during a month of warm temperatures, with at least one record high in Grand Junction. Meanwhile, I know people who have been stranded in Europe and missed Christmas because of snow. (some old relevant blogs: Cold Warm Cold Warm, Warm Snow, Weather and Climate)

This year also saw the heat wave in Russia, and the floods in Pakistan. All of these events bring together weather and climate, extreme events, geography and people. (see Brian Fagan’s, for example The Long Summer: How Climate Changed Civilization -- review) More and more we hear of this combination of weather and geography and people leading to disruption and destruction and the collapse of fragile, stressed systems.

Is this climate change, increasing stress on societal capacities, exposure of a growing population, or information shared more broadly, more quickly, and with more focus? Is the flood in Pakistan the biggest – or not. Are the (Lady) Huskies better than the (Gentlemen) Bruins of a previous generation? We reduce our focus to events like the focus on the last game, this game, and the next game. We let this gamesmanship rule the day.

This winter I teach my Climate Change Problem Solving class for the sixth time. Usually I try to lead students through an unfolding of the scientific evidence and the complexity of how to approach climate change as a societal problem. I march through ideas like avoiding dangerous climate change. I lead the discussion to conclusions like - we need to understand far more carefully geo-engineering, because we are, in fact, engineering the planet - if we are going to control carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, then we are going to have to develop the technological means to remove carbon dioxide. We discuss the political and scientific and practical problems of carbon markets - the intersection of climate change and national security. The list goes on.

This year I plan to change my approach, into one of thinking about how to prepare for an atmosphere with more than 400 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide and with temperatures that are beyond our notional two degree average that represents our arbitrary and comfortable threshold of dangerous. It has become evident that we must think about this world that is likely to be. We need to prepare and by making this world more real, perhaps, we raise the tangible information that will motivate us to make this world less notional, less likely.

Climate has always impacted us; it brings us success, and it causes us grief. This will continue to be true, but the Earth will be warmer, sea level will be higher, and the weather will be different. Water will come and go in different cycles. There will be more people. Ecosystems will be different. Weather and geography and people will continue to mix it up. No longer will we be able to plan over generational spans with the idea that the environment is constant, or that we have experienced environmental extremes. The very fabric of the way we build will have to change, buildings and houses and infrastructure will have to adapt. Our crops will have to change. It’s a new way of thinking, a big problem that I have difficulty explaining, much less taking on, but it is time to move beyond identifying the problems and take them on in a new game.

r



Figure 1: The 1953 floods lead to a rethink of London's flood strategy. from The Thames Barrier, from 21st Century Challenges


Pakistani Flood Relief Links

Doctors Without Borders

The International Red Cross

MERLIN medical relief charity

U.S. State Department Recommended Charities

The mobile giving service mGive allows one to text the word "SWAT" to 50555. The text will result in a $10 donation to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) Pakistan Flood Relief Effort.

Portlight Disaster Relief at Wunderground.com

An impressive list of organizations


Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 74 - 24

Page: 1 | 2Blog Index

74. JFLORIDA
1:04 AM GMT on December 31, 2010
Boy the inevitable cold of "winter" sure brings out the global coolers in force.
Member Since: May 22, 2006 Posts: 188 Comments: 24743
73. MichaelSTL
1:17 PM GMT on December 30, 2010
Quoting JFLORIDA:
It should resize when you post it no matter what.

Before anyone complains they should at least offer advice on how to do it better.


You can also always right-click - view image to see the image full-size (at least in Firefox). I also usually make the image a link to whatever site I took it from, unless I already linked to it recently, or to the image itself.
Member Since: February 22, 2006 Posts: 94 Comments: 32744
72. idontknowforsure
12:57 PM GMT on December 30, 2010
Funny:
Read this article:
Article
Then read these excerpts:

When prophecies fail

-------------

Hadley Climate Centre 2003: “89% Less Snow for Scotland”
Posted on December 29, 2010 by hauntingthelibrary

Don’t you just love that: “89%”? Gives it that touch of pseudo-scientific accuracy and certainty.

This one comes from The Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, which is part of the UK Met Office, and is dated 2003. The Hadley Centre had produced a report for the British-Irish council which found that

“average snowfall could decrease by up to 89%”

This gave Dr Richard Dixon, Head of Policy for WWF Scotland an opportunity to speculate that:

“It even begins to answer the question of whether life itself will be tenable in the Scottish Islands in 100 years time.”

Quite why the absence of snow and a rise in temperature of between 1.8 and 2.2 degrees would make Scotland’s highlands and islands less habitable rather than more is not quite clear. Perhaps he was concerned that the “highlands” might be flooded.

----------

IPCC 2007 forecast failing in every way
By Robert Scheaffer via Marc Morano

The UN’s “Nobel Prize Winning” IPCC Report in 2007, predicted “warmer northern winters” for Europe. As summarized in this UN Press Release of April, 2007, we should expect to see “the ongoing thawing of European glaciers and permafrost, the delayed winter freeze of rivers and lakes, the lengthening of growing seasons, the earlier spring arrival of migratory birds… In addition to warmer winters, Europe’s northern regions will experience more precipitation and run-off. The expansion of forests and agricultural productivity will be accompanied by greater flooding, coastal erosion, loss of species and melting of glaciers and permafrost.” UNEP report link.

A classic case of a “failed prediction.” Theories making predictions that fail are called “refuted.”

---------

Meteorologist in 2007 - reduced arctic ice will mean warmer, delayed winters. In 2010, reduced arctic ice will mean colder winters.

Meteorologist Jeff Masters Can’t Keep his Scientific Rubbish Straight! Masters in 2007: ‘If you say it’s going to be warmer than normal, you’re almost always right these days’— Making it up as he goes along! ‘In 2007, Masters blamed the late, warm winter on a lack of polar ice. Now he blames the cold, early, snowy, winter on a lack of polar ice’

Masters 2007: ‘The fact that so much of the polar ice cap melted this summer. That’s going to slow down the arrival of winter...When you don’t have a full set of polar ice covering polar waters, it’s harder for big air domes to form and bring us our arctic outbreaks’

Member Since: January 17, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 291
71. martinitony
12:43 PM GMT on December 30, 2010
Quoting cyclonebuster:


I guess you calling me a Geek is better right Martini?


Cyclone, do you know what tongue-in-cheek means?

Member Since: July 29, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 970
70. JFLORIDA
7:04 AM GMT on December 30, 2010
It should resize when you post it no matter what.

Before anyone complains they should at least offer advice on how to do it better.
Member Since: May 22, 2006 Posts: 188 Comments: 24743
69. sirmaelstrom
5:40 AM GMT on December 30, 2010
№ 68

They're easier to see in the larger version in the link under the graph. I didn't post the image because it stretched the blog in my post preview--I think it would have been resized anyway.

Pauses in general aren't unusual, although the recent one certainly draws attention since ice extent is probably at a 30-year low for the time of year as a result.

**I know someone will probably post a reply letting me know that it currently is definitely at a 30-year low if indeed that is the case. It probably is, but off-hand I didn't have a year-to-year comparison of all years from 1979-2010 so I stuck with "probably". LOL...Got to be careful with your words here. Some people are quick to jump on you if you make a mistake.
Member Since: February 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 580
68. LoveStormsatNight
5:25 AM GMT on December 30, 2010
I'll take your word for it. I really can't read that graph with all the years superimposed.

A pair of pauses in the middle of the ice forming season isn't a big deal in the long term but I thought it was interesting.

I can see some more prolonged pauses in January with the bright green and blue line. Blowing it up helped.
Member Since: December 28, 2010 Posts: 8 Comments: 511
67. sirmaelstrom
5:23 AM GMT on December 30, 2010
Quoting LoveStormsatNight:
How unusual is a double pause in arctic sea ice growth this time of year?



In the graph below you can see many similar pauses in the 2002-2010 record.



A larger version is here.

As far as double pauses, I would think it simply depends on short term weather patterns over the arctic.
Member Since: February 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 580
66. LoveStormsatNight
3:47 AM GMT on December 30, 2010
How unusual is a double pause in arctic sea ice growth this time of year?

Member Since: December 28, 2010 Posts: 8 Comments: 511
65. cyclonebuster
3:24 AM GMT on December 30, 2010
Quoting martinitony:


Apparently, at least according to you Cyclone, the IPCC has it wrong.

"Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with environmental protection, "says the German economist and IPCC official Ottmar Edenhofer. The next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world's resources will be negotiated.

Neue Z%uFFFDrcher Zeitung, 14 November 2010

PS, Cyclone , I flagged you for calling me a jackwagon. Let's see if justice is equally dispursed here.


I guess you calling me a Geek is better right Martini?
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20410
64. martinitony
11:46 PM GMT on December 29, 2010
Quoting cyclonebuster:


It's about leaving a clean pristine planet for our children's children nothing more you Jack Wagon.


Apparently, at least according to you Cyclone, the IPCC has it wrong.

"Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with environmental protection, "says the German economist and IPCC official Ottmar Edenhofer. The next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world's resources will be negotiated.

Neue Zrcher Zeitung, 14 November 2010

PS, Cyclone , I flagged you for calling me a jackwagon. Let's see if justice is equally dispursed here.
Member Since: July 29, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 970
63. cyclonebuster
9:17 PM GMT on December 29, 2010
Quoting martinitony:


astoundingly correct, but extremely naive.

"But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world%u2019s wealth by climate policy. Obviously, the owners of coal and oil will not be enthusiastic about this. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole."

Only a few geeks, like Florida and Cyclone, believe this is about global warming.


It's about leaving a clean pristine planet for our children's children nothing more you Jack Wagon.
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20410
62. sirmaelstrom
9:08 PM GMT on December 29, 2010
№ 57
Quoting MichaelSTL:It is ironic that not long ago Martini (and others) was claiming that the satellite had a warm bias.


NOAA-15 does have a warm bias. Readings at the equator are taken ca.4:30am/pm now as opposed to ca.7:30am/pm in 1998. Other latitudes are shifted back similiarly. I remember having a discussion with someone here who questioned whether this was true as well as whether it lead to a warming bias, but seriously...it seems like common sense to me.

As to whether the orbital drift exists...It's a mess to look at, but one can see it in the links that follow:
NOAA-15 orbit from Jan 20, 2003
NOAA-15 orbit from Dec 27, 2010

Other dates are here, although I didn't see any older than 2003 (I'm sure they're somewhere).

Anyway, if you note when the satellite passes the equator near the Eastern Time Zone, 75th - 90th meridians (I'm choosing it because it's where I am, and I know quickly that I'm 5 hours behind GMT offhand), you can see the following:

On Dec 27, 2010: PM equatorial pass is about 21:33 GMT or 4:33pm local--it passes almost directly over the 75th meridian so it is almost exactly 5 hrs different than GMT. In the morning it was over the equator at 10:35 GMT or 4:35am local--it passes over the 90th meridian here and is 6 hrs behind GMT in this case.

Compare this to geographically similar crossings Jan 20, 2003; 00:32GMT, ca.85th meridian, 5⅔ hr behind GMT or 6:52pm local; 13:06GMT, 90th meridian, 6 hr behind GMT or 7:06am local.

* * *
Looking at the recent Ch.4 data (near surface) data, it does look like something may be wrong. I'm not sure if this data is used officially though, due to the orbital drift; if there is a problem, it may be a while before it is explained.
Member Since: February 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 580
61. JFLORIDA
8:38 PM GMT on December 29, 2010
Actually mart, even here as usual, you are 100 percent incorrect.

The diagrams I posted earlier indicated a shift from mitigation to a more holistic (and realistic) course of mitigation and adaption as alluded to in the blog above.

And as ocean acidification and pollution are directly tied - I don't even understand what you are talking about.
Member Since: May 22, 2006 Posts: 188 Comments: 24743
60. MichaelSTL
8:35 PM GMT on December 29, 2010
I also noticed that Antarctic sea ice has been melting pretty fast - near a record rate in fact, something like 7 million square kilometers of melt in the past month:



Yes, it was higher than normal (reasons) earlier this year, so that explains part of the rapid reduction, but if it really were cooling, you wouldn't expect that to happen (the end of ice growth, when it reaches zero, was also the earliest on record as well). Also, the increase in ice extent has mainly been in the winter - when the effects on albedo are minimized, so no negative feedback there
Member Since: February 22, 2006 Posts: 94 Comments: 32744
59. martinitony
8:28 PM GMT on December 29, 2010
Quoting paratomic:
I just can't imagine any attempt at regulating CO2 here in the US having any beneficial impact. Why? Because business is international. This is globalism baby. A business can go overseas and skirt our regulations. So the regulation will achieve nothing and we will lose jobs in the process. Why would a company come here and base its operations here and be regulated when it can stay in a country where it's not and save money.

Unless there's a miracle we cannot mitigate it. I think most reasonable people know that either we get a miracle or we must adapt to a changed world. No country is going to accept harsh penalties on its economy. It just won't work.

Instead we should move some money away from defense or nasa and put it in energy R&D (working with private corporations) so we can build next-generation nuclear reactors or something of that calibre to increase US energy security and capacity. Regulate coal at an appropriate level (for cleaner air) and watch as nuclear power plants get built. People understand the need for clean air like clean water - it can be used to jump-start the process. R&D can do the rest. Have to focus our efforts on energy and cannot tax our way to the finish line. So any money spent in this direction needs to be taken from somewhere else. Tough choices. I really do not believe in adding additional tax burdens. Budget rearrangement.

If we regulate CO2 and we're wrong, we lose jobs and time. This is a weakness.

A strong secure energy infrastructure is good for us whether AGW is real or not. There's a lot more support on the conservative side of politics for something of this nature, including nuclear power. This represents strength and boldness, not weakness. Bottom line.


astoundingly correct, but extremely naive.

"But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. Obviously, the owners of coal and oil will not be enthusiastic about this. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole."

Only a few geeks, like Florida and Cyclone, believe this is about global warming.
Member Since: July 29, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 970
58. MichaelSTL
8:23 PM GMT on December 29, 2010
Oh, and as for sea ice, there are multiple satellites (and using different sensors) used for that purpose. So the one that NSIDC uses had some problems last year - they switched to another satellite and fixed the bad data. the current record low is obviously real because it is seen on multiple different datasets, a few shown here:







Of course, there are slight differences between these - but nothing significant (except for maybe the last one, which has the peak in late March this year well below the average while NSIDC had it right up to average, but their average also goes back to 1972; on the other hand, they seem to show more ice loss in the winter).
Member Since: February 22, 2006 Posts: 94 Comments: 32744
57. MichaelSTL
8:12 PM GMT on December 29, 2010
It is ironic that not long ago Martini (and others) was claiming that the satellite had a warm bias.
Quoting JFLORIDA:
Is there physical data or trends in historical incidence that counters the current ice thickness data that you would like to present here?


NOAA 15 Spacecraft Status Summary

Subsystem Status
Subsystem
Subsystem Status:

ADACS Attitude Determination and Control System Yellow

HIRS High Resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder Red

THERM Thermal Control System Yellow

Status Color Meaning
GREEN Operational (or capable of)
YELLOW Operational with limitations (or Standby)
ORANGE Operational with Degraded Performance
RED Not Operational


If you look at the AMSU subsystem status, you see this, which appears to explain what is happening:

Subsystem History:
Date Time Component Description
12/17/2010 12:18:54 SCAN MOTOR Motor 1 Position 1 began toggling 256 counts (bit-9) between its nominal value of 15606 to 15862. Toggling between these values is increasing.


Also, I think the reason why they use NOAA-15 when they have newer satellites to NOAA-19 for most of the graphs is because it has been up for 12 years, so there is that much data; Aqua has been up since 2002, and is already a couple years past its design life; on the other hand, they do need at least several years of data to intercalibrate the readings to make a longer-term record; I am also guessing that they use multiple satellites for the data. That probably also explains the discrepancy between what UAH and RSS publish and what I have tried to calculate based the difference between 2009 and 2010 (November was cooler than what I came up with, but the previous three months were warmer).

Also, the average shown on Channel 5 isn't the real average as used by UAH (some question about the record highs shown as well - no way that 2009 was the warmest November if you look at that):



Compare them in the 2002-1007 period as well; Aqua appears to require an upwards adjustment since UAH shows more warming over that period; note the last few months as well, even the month-month adjustments are different (Aqua shows a much bigger drop over the last few months and much more stable temperatures over 2010 than UAH, which shows a big spike in January-March and another peak in September - maybe a seasonal cycle adjustment?).
Member Since: February 22, 2006 Posts: 94 Comments: 32744
56. paratomic
7:45 PM GMT on December 29, 2010
Quoting cyclonebuster:
HONOLULU, Hawaii -- After failing to get climate-change legislation through Congress, the Obama administration plans on pushing through its environmental policies through other means, and Republicans are ready to put up a fight.

On Jan. 2, new carbon emissions limits will be put forward as the Environmental Protection Agency prepares regulations that would force companies to get permits to release greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.
Critics say the new rules are a backdoor effort to enact the president's agenda on global warming without the support of Congress, and would hurt the economy and put jobs in jeopardy by forcing companies to pay for expensive new equipment.

"They are job killers. Regulations, period -- any kind of regulation is a weight on economy. It requires people to comply with the law, which takes work hours and time, which reduces the profitability of firms. Therefore, they grow more slowly and you create less jobs," said environmental scientist Ken Green of the conservative American Enterprise Institute.

Dan Howells of Greenpeace disagrees.



"I was looking at some advertisements from the 1970s where they were making the very same arguments about stopping acid rain. And that didn't turn out to be a job-killer. In fact, it created jobs in some places," said Howells, the environmental group's deputy campaign director. "The more we keep making these decades-old arguments, the more we won't be creating the jobs of the future and working towards the new energy economy."

The administration says it has the power to issue the regulation under a 2007 Supreme Court ruling that directed the agency to make a determination on whether carbon dioxide, blamed for global warming, was a hazard to human health.

Rep Fred Upton, R-Mich., the incoming House Energy Committee Chairman, penned an op-ed in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal along with Americans for Prosperity president Ted Phillips, and charged that Congress should act.

"The best solution is for Congress to overturn the EPA's proposed greenhouse gas regulations outright. If Democrats refuse to join Republicans in doing so, then they should at least join a sensible bipartisan compromise to mandate that the EPA delay its regulations until the courts complete their examination of the agency's endangerment finding and proposed rules," the op-ed read in part.

With Republicans taking control in the House, the GOP will be in a better position to take on some of these policies, and members are promising a fight if the Obama White House moves forward with any carbon crackdown. There was bipartisan support for a bill proposed this year that would have stripped the EPA of the power to set carbon emissions limits. GOP lawmakers could bring the measure back.


Link

I just can't imagine any attempt at regulating CO2 here in the US having any beneficial impact. Why? Because business is international. This is globalism baby. A business can go overseas and skirt our regulations. So the regulation will achieve nothing and we will lose jobs in the process. Why would a company come here and base its operations here and be regulated when it can stay in a country where it's not and save money.

Unless there's a miracle we cannot mitigate it. I think most reasonable people know that either we get a miracle or we must adapt to a changed world. No country is going to accept harsh penalties on its economy. It just won't work.

Instead we should move some money away from defense or nasa and put it in energy R&D (working with private corporations) so we can build next-generation nuclear reactors or something of that calibre to increase US energy security and capacity. Regulate coal at an appropriate level (for cleaner air) and watch as nuclear power plants get built. People understand the need for clean air like clean water - it can be used to jump-start the process. R&D can do the rest. Have to focus our efforts on energy and cannot tax our way to the finish line. So any money spent in this direction needs to be taken from somewhere else. Tough choices. I really do not believe in adding additional tax burdens. Budget rearrangement.

If we regulate CO2 and we're wrong, we lose jobs and time. This is a weakness.

A strong secure energy infrastructure is good for us whether AGW is real or not. There's a lot more support on the conservative side of politics for something of this nature, including nuclear power. This represents strength and boldness, not weakness. Bottom line.
Member Since: September 17, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 182
55. JFLORIDA
7:40 PM GMT on December 29, 2010
So DenialSat 1 is having some real problems it seems mart.

No matter energy is not going to just disappear as seems to be the claim that was being made. 
Member Since: May 22, 2006 Posts: 188 Comments: 24743
54. JFLORIDA
7:30 PM GMT on December 29, 2010
Is there physical data or trends in historical incidence that counters the current ice thickness data that you would like to present here?


NOAA 15 Spacecraft Status Summary

Subsystem Status
Subsystem
Subsystem Status:

ADACS Attitude Determination and Control System Yellow

HIRS High Resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder Red

THERM Thermal Control System Yellow

Status Color Meaning
GREEN Operational (or capable of)
YELLOW Operational with limitations (or Standby)
ORANGE Operational with Degraded Performance
RED Not Operational
Member Since: May 22, 2006 Posts: 188 Comments: 24743
53. JFLORIDA
7:26 PM GMT on December 29, 2010
Mart, possibility and probability are not the same and all things are not equal.
Member Since: May 22, 2006 Posts: 188 Comments: 24743
52. martinitony
7:22 PM GMT on December 29, 2010
Quoting JFLORIDA:
Thank you Michael. That sounds like a real possibility.

I assume they know there could be a problem.


Yes, there must be a problem. The readings must be incorrect. Those satellites reading ice extent are , of course, correct. They've never been wrong before. Well, maybe they have been , now and then, but the current readings must be right, not like that NOAA-15.
Member Since: July 29, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 970
51. JFLORIDA
6:47 PM GMT on December 29, 2010
Thank you Michael. That sounds like a real possibility.

I assume they know there could be a problem.
Member Since: May 22, 2006 Posts: 188 Comments: 24743
50. MichaelSTL
1:43 PM GMT on December 29, 2010
I think there is something going on with the NOAA-15 satellite and the sudden cooling at the surface isn't real, nor is the warming in the stratosphere (although the warm stratosphere beforehand, as I pointed out yesterday in Dr. Masters blog, looks real). If you look at Channel 5, which is from a different satellite (Aqua), it shows temperatures about the same as this time last year and no sudden jump (I have been wondering when they would replace all of the displayed channels with those from Aqua, being a better satellite, never mind that a couple NOAA-15 channels don't work anymore).

That said, when I first saw the sudden decrease near the surface, I first thought "oh, it looks like La Nina is finally having as significant effect on temperatures". Of course, the deniers will claim that it is a sign of permanent global cooling - when they said the same thing a few years ago when global temperatures rapidly fell in late 2007.

Also, the effect of ENSO on global temperature? Well, that is nothing new at all:

Science: Big Chill for the Greenhouse

While widespread attention has been paid to the greenhouse effect -- the trend toward global warming due to the increase of carbon dioxide and other gases in the atmosphere -- some scientists believe that this winter La Nina will bring on a dramatic, though probably temporary, drop in average global temperatures. Says meteorologist and oceanographer James O'Brien of Florida State University: "We are predicting that by next year, average global temperature will retreat to 1950s levels, slowing up planetary warming by 30 to 35 years."


Here is the date of that article:

Monday, Oct. 31, 1988


Also, here is what the BOM says about the current event:

Strong La Niña event continues in the Pacific

Issued on Wednesday 22 December | Product Code IDCKGEWWOO

La Niña conditions remain firmly in place across the tropical Pacific, though the majority of long-range models surveyed by the Bureau suggest this event may be near its peak. With a gradual decline likely, it is expected that the current La Niña event will persist through the first quarter of 2011.

All climate indicators of ENSO remain above La Niña thresholds. Despite a slight warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean over the last fortnight; a large pool of cooler than normal water remains below the surface in the central and eastern Pacific, with temperatures up to 4 °C cooler than normal: comparable to the La Niña event of 1988.


The SOI has also been going wild the past few days (they already had to extend the chart to +30 a few months back):



The monthly record for December is +23 in 1950, so it looks like we will obliterate that record (the MEI will likely also drop again - maybe it will even set a new all-time record low, perhaps for December-January if the SOI stays high next month).

So yeah, we have a pretty strong La Nina event right now, record strong in the atmosphere, yet global temperatures are still warmer than they were during the last La Nina (although that one was stronger in terms of Nino 3.4 SST anomalies, which directly affect global SSTs). Odd too that those cold subsurface anomalies can't seem to upwell and cool the surface better despite strong trade winds and everything.
Member Since: February 22, 2006 Posts: 94 Comments: 32744
49. cyclonebuster
5:03 AM GMT on December 29, 2010
HONOLULU, Hawaii -- After failing to get climate-change legislation through Congress, the Obama administration plans on pushing through its environmental policies through other means, and Republicans are ready to put up a fight.

On Jan. 2, new carbon emissions limits will be put forward as the Environmental Protection Agency prepares regulations that would force companies to get permits to release greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.
Critics say the new rules are a backdoor effort to enact the president's agenda on global warming without the support of Congress, and would hurt the economy and put jobs in jeopardy by forcing companies to pay for expensive new equipment.

"They are job killers. Regulations, period -- any kind of regulation is a weight on economy. It requires people to comply with the law, which takes work hours and time, which reduces the profitability of firms. Therefore, they grow more slowly and you create less jobs," said environmental scientist Ken Green of the conservative American Enterprise Institute.

Dan Howells of Greenpeace disagrees.



"I was looking at some advertisements from the 1970s where they were making the very same arguments about stopping acid rain. And that didn't turn out to be a job-killer. In fact, it created jobs in some places," said Howells, the environmental group's deputy campaign director. "The more we keep making these decades-old arguments, the more we won't be creating the jobs of the future and working towards the new energy economy."

The administration says it has the power to issue the regulation under a 2007 Supreme Court ruling that directed the agency to make a determination on whether carbon dioxide, blamed for global warming, was a hazard to human health.

Rep Fred Upton, R-Mich., the incoming House Energy Committee Chairman, penned an op-ed in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal along with Americans for Prosperity president Ted Phillips, and charged that Congress should act.

"The best solution is for Congress to overturn the EPA's proposed greenhouse gas regulations outright. If Democrats refuse to join Republicans in doing so, then they should at least join a sensible bipartisan compromise to mandate that the EPA delay its regulations until the courts complete their examination of the agency's endangerment finding and proposed rules," the op-ed read in part.

With Republicans taking control in the House, the GOP will be in a better position to take on some of these policies, and members are promising a fight if the Obama White House moves forward with any carbon crackdown. There was bipartisan support for a bill proposed this year that would have stripped the EPA of the power to set carbon emissions limits. GOP lawmakers could bring the measure back.


Link

Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20410
48. JFLORIDA
4:38 AM GMT on December 29, 2010
Lord no - they are clickable - one is from the IPCC and the other a Canadian.

I love diagrams. I think those could be thematically combined and generalized for more functionality.
Member Since: May 22, 2006 Posts: 188 Comments: 24743
47. Dr. Ricky Rood , Professor
4:35 AM GMT on December 29, 2010
Quoting JFLORIDA:
Anyway with respect to Dr Roods blog the change in direction as presented graphically, as I tend to lean that way, seems to be a  combination of the following with a shift more towards adaptation as opposed to mitigation:

With respect to the entire macroscopic ecosystem/nation/economy :




Then with respect to the individual/species/specific case:



Where in the second diagram  "Climate Change" is also synonymous with climate variability. 

( Which of course in my line of training and studies I cant help but notice the similarities to pattern studies specifically as in field pattern as opposed to point symmetry. Which would probably be an terribly uninteresting aside to most that I think I wont expose you to more than to say its a aesthetic dilemma with some surprising implications and answers in other considerations. )



These your charts? We need to talk,.
Member Since: January 31, 2007 Posts: 314 Comments: 257
46. cyclonebuster
4:33 AM GMT on December 29, 2010
Why we doing stupid stuff like this just send the Co2 to the moon via rail gun powered by tunnels. While we are at it send all the nuclear waste to the sun via rail gun.


Adapting Agriculture to Climate Change: New Global Search to Save Endangered Crop Wild Relatives

ScienceDaily (Dec. 27, 2010) %u2014 The Global Crop Diversity Trust has announced a major global search to systematically find, gather, catalogue, use, and save the wild relatives of wheat, rice, beans, potato, barley, lentils, chickpea, and other essential food crops, in order to help protect global food supplies against the imminent threat of climate change, and strengthen future food security.The initiative, led by the Global Crop Diversity Trust, working in partnership with national agricultural research institutes, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), is the largest one ever undertaken with the tough wild relatives of today's main food crops. These wild plants contain essential traits that could be bred into crops to make them more hardy and versatile in the face of dramatically different climates expected in the coming years. Norway is providing US$50 million towards this important contribution to food security.

"All our crops were originally developed from wild species -- that's how farming began," explained Cary Fowler, Executive Director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust. "But they were adapted from the plants best suited to the climates of the past. Climate change means we need to go back to the wild to find those relatives of our crops that can thrive in the climates of the future. We need to glean from them the traits that will enable modern crops to adapt to new, harsher and more demanding situations. And we need to do it while those plants can still be found."

Crop wild relatives make up only a few percent of the world's genebank holdings, yet their contribution to commercial agriculture alone is estimated at more than US$100 billion per year. One example dates back to the 1970s, when an outbreak of grassy stunt virus, which prevents the rice plant from flowering and producing grain, decimated rice harvests across Asia. Scientists from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) screened more than 10,000 samples of wild and locally-cultivated rice plants for resistance to the disease and found it in a wild relative, Oryza nivara, growing in India. The gene has been incorporated into most new varieties since the discovery.

Link
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20410
45. LoveStormsatNight
4:00 AM GMT on December 29, 2010
Agreed
Member Since: December 28, 2010 Posts: 8 Comments: 511
44. JFLORIDA
3:26 AM GMT on December 29, 2010
Quoting cyclonebuster:
Martini is one of these Climate crocks.

I think so.
Member Since: May 22, 2006 Posts: 188 Comments: 24743
43. cyclonebuster
3:11 AM GMT on December 29, 2010
Martini is one of these Climate crocks.


Link
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20410
42. JFLORIDA
3:05 AM GMT on December 29, 2010
Something unusual seems to be occurring in the atmosphere since Dec the 21st.
Member Since: May 22, 2006 Posts: 188 Comments: 24743
41. JFLORIDA
2:56 AM GMT on December 29, 2010
Whats cool now is we probably can track where the energy is going.
Member Since: May 22, 2006 Posts: 188 Comments: 24743
40. LoveStormsatNight
2:44 AM GMT on December 29, 2010
Yes you need to include the heat energy used in melting ice and the rising temps of the deep and mid levels of the ocean. All the heat energy doesn't stay in the air once it's trapped. It moves around.
Member Since: December 28, 2010 Posts: 8 Comments: 511
39. JFLORIDA
2:41 AM GMT on December 29, 2010
Quoting martinitony:
temperatures
This link shows am assortment of world wide temperatures. Use the dialogue box to check surface temperatures as well.

Florida, how come it's getting so cold at surface and lower atmosphere?
Melting ice and heating the lower ocean probably takes some energy.  Also mart while you are playing with your new toy tell me what is happening at the other levels.

Something a bit odd I would think at the upper levels as they are warming as quickly. 

At least you are good for something mart.
Member Since: May 22, 2006 Posts: 188 Comments: 24743
38. cyclonebuster
2:40 AM GMT on December 29, 2010
Pretty sad isn't it Martini? No wonder why it is breaking records year after year.

Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20410
37. cyclonebuster
2:33 AM GMT on December 29, 2010
Look at land and Ocean Martini Northern hemisphere Jan-Nov..


Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20410
36. cyclonebuster
2:32 AM GMT on December 29, 2010
Look at Northern hemisphere Martini.


Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20410
35. cyclonebuster
2:30 AM GMT on December 29, 2010
STILL OVERWHELMINGLY HOT ISN'T IT MARTINI?


Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20410
34. cyclonebuster
2:28 AM GMT on December 29, 2010
OVERWHELMING ISN'T IT MARTINI?


Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20410
33. cyclonebuster
2:26 AM GMT on December 29, 2010
The November 2010 global land surface temperature was the warmest on record, at 1.52°C (2.74°F) above the 20th century average, while the November global ocean temperature tied with 1987 and 2008 as the tenth warmest on record, at 0.39°C (0.70°F) above average.

Link
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20410
32. cyclonebuster
2:25 AM GMT on December 29, 2010
The November 2010 Northern Hemisphere land and ocean surface temperature was the warmest November on record, while the Southern Hemisphere land and ocean surface temperature was the 13th warmest November on record.

Link
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20410
31. cyclonebuster
2:24 AM GMT on December 29, 2010
Quoting martinitony:
temperatures
This link shows am assortment of world wide temperatures. Use the dialogue box to check surface temperatures as well.

Florida, how come it's getting so cold at surface and lower atmosphere?


For the 2010 year-to-date (January–November), the combined global land and ocean surface temperature was 0.64°C (1.15°F) above the 20th century average—the warmest such period since records began in 1880.

Link
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20410
30. martinitony
1:37 AM GMT on December 29, 2010
temperatures
This link shows am assortment of world wide temperatures. Use the dialogue box to check surface temperatures as well.

Florida, how come it's getting so cold at surface and lower atmosphere?
Member Since: July 29, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 970
29. JFLORIDA
9:34 PM GMT on December 28, 2010
Could it be im just a mediocrity and populism skeptic?

another layer of conspiracy - utterly predictable.
Member Since: May 22, 2006 Posts: 188 Comments: 24743
28. martinitony
9:21 PM GMT on December 28, 2010
Quoting JFLORIDA:
Well thats solely your opinion - the consensus exists within a population qualified to present an opinion.

I really dont think "skeptic" is a good term for the uninformed either. I mean flat earthers are just spherical globe skeptics and there was a time when they were the majority in the general population.

"Skeptic" makes it sound reason based and even rationally plausible when obviously it is not.


Arrogance and elitism.
Member Since: July 29, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 970
27. JFLORIDA
7:35 PM GMT on December 28, 2010
Well thats solely your opinion - the consensus exists within a population qualified to present an opinion.

I really dont think "skeptic" is a good term for the uninformed either. I mean flat earthers are just spherical globe skeptics and there was a time when they were the majority in the general population.

"Skeptic" makes it sound reason based and even rationally plausible when obviously it is not.
Member Since: May 22, 2006 Posts: 188 Comments: 24743
26. martinitony
7:30 PM GMT on December 28, 2010
Quoting JFLORIDA:
Well if you are going to base an argument bucking previous research and the consensus solely on the reputation and record of a particular scientist it would be nice if you checked that they actually had a positive and consistent one.

Especially when that IS the total argument.


Florida, you should stop using the term consensus. I find the term to be subjective and in this case, even false. As a matter of fact, the public consensus is exactly the opposite of your personal belief. The nation is now full of skeptics.
Member Since: July 29, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 970
25. JFLORIDA
7:22 PM GMT on December 28, 2010
Well if you are going to base an argument bucking previous research and the consensus solely on the reputation and record of a particular scientist it would be nice if you checked that they actually had a positive and consistent one.

Especially when that IS the total argument.
Member Since: May 22, 2006 Posts: 188 Comments: 24743
24. martinitony
7:13 PM GMT on December 28, 2010
Quoting JFLORIDA:
I dont see the point of Mart's post - except to try to continue to float some vast climate conspiracy.

Nothing is argued specifically. Its wholly circular. The consensus is a conspiracy because the conspiracy is a consensus. It was nice of Dr Rood to clarify but  I dont see the insight or value of the inquiry.

Again it doesn't even make it out of the gate with respect to reason.

Mart are you paid to blog or post, or are otherwise compensated to instill doubt/post misinformation?


Yes, Dr. Rood pays me to occasionally post some inane comment for the purpose of inspiring additional posts from the rest of you. He is paid 50 cents per post for each additional blog response and I get a nickel of that. So , you can see I am really motivated.

Cyclone, and the rest of you from Rio Linda, the above comment is not true. It is supposed to be satire, even funny.

As to you Florida, you seem to think that yours is the only proper approach to posting. That is you want facts and results and conclusions laid out in a scientific way. You complain bitterly when I post general opinion or those arguments from those who you don't see as atmospheric scientists or climatologists. Funny, when someone else here, such as Simon or others, posts character assassinations of scientists you don't agree with, I don't see you complaining. Think about that.

Thank you for your response , Dr.Rood.
Now I have another question for you.
You mentioned a couple of skeptics in your post, Spencer and O'Brien. I know that Spencer is often bashed here if he is quoted. I am not sure if the same is true of O'brien. My question is, although I assume that you disagree with these gentlemen, do you respect their opinions and should others here be more open to their skepticism? That is, should they read and debate their comments as opposed to assassinating their character?
Member Since: July 29, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 970

Viewing: 74 - 24

Page: 1 | 2Blog Index

Top of Page

About RickyRood

I'm a professor at U Michigan and lead a course on climate change problem solving. These articles often come from and contribute to the course.

Local Weather

Mostly Cloudy
52 °F
Mostly Cloudy