Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Tomorrow's Celebration of America's First Refugee Problem

“Every generation has had its own ugly reaction to refugees, whether they are the Irish, the Vietnamese, the Cubans, or the Haitians. And those fears have been broadly unfounded. In fact, there was only one time in American history where the fear of refugees wiping everyone out did actually come true, and we’ll all be sitting around a table celebrating it on Thursday.”

-- John Oliver

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Effective National Populations, Carbon-wise

Here are the effective national populations of the 10 largest CO2 emitters, in terms of their 2012 carbon footprint (fossil fuel CO2 only):

CO2 is the last year for which there is good data. Data via WRI CAIT.

Monday, November 23, 2015

El Nino Surpasses 1997-98

This year's El Nino is still going strong, and, at least in terms of the temperature anomaly of the commonly cited Nino3.4 area in the equatorial Pacific ocean, has surpassed the 1997-98 El Nino:

The Australian Government Bureau of Meterology thinks sea surface temperatures are "approaching their peak, and will decrease in the first quarter of 2016."

They add that the impact on surface temperatures will continue for many months, "With such warm SSTs, models suggest the tropical Pacific is unlikely to return to neutral until at least autumn 2016, although impacts on Australian climate are likely to decline prior to this."

NOAA SSTs are already on a remarkable run where every month since February has been the warmest such month in their records. This year, together with late last year, has seen a surge of about 20 years-worth of the "normal" AGW SST-trend:

Friday, November 20, 2015

Just Because it is Beautiful

The "Blue Dragon," a sea slug:

Most Laughable Graph of the Week

From NoTricksZone, where Pierre Gosselin writes, "The above chart, from, shows that the Arctic sea ice was in fact quite stable from 1979 to 2002, trending downward only slightly. Then from 2002 to 2007, a period of only 5 years, the sea ice saw almost all of its melting. Over the past 10 years, however, the Arctic sea ice has been stable, even growing some over the past 6 years."
Arctic Sea Ice_2015
Reminds me of Skeptical Science's escalator graph.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

James Inhofe's Personal Legislation

From Gail Collins in the NY Times, something you might not know about James Inhofe:
It’s easy to understand why pilots want to stay aloft. I’ve enjoyed every non-campaign-related private flight I’ve ever taken, including in the two-seater owned by an environmentalist who once flew me over a lake full of pig feces that had been treated with chemicals that turned it the color of Pepto-Bismol.

However, I think I speak for most of America when I say that we ought to continue being a little picky about the people we let up there.

The bill’s lead sponsor, Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma, is a very enthusiastic 81-year-old pilot who starred in an exciting airborne adventure about five years ago, when he landed his Cessna at an airport in Texas despite A) The large “X” on the runway, indicating it was closed, and B) The construction crew working on said runway, which ran for their lives when he dropped in.

As a result, the senator had to take part in a remedial training program. This irritated him so much that he successfully sponsored the first Pilot’s Bill of Rights, which makes it easier to appeal that kind of harsh, unforgiving judgment.

The Senate commerce committee is now considering Inhofe’s P.B.R. 2, which would eliminate the current medical exam requirement. Instead, pilots would just write a note in their log every four years saying they’d been to a physician who said everything’s fine. The bill has 69 sponsors.
If only James Inhofe were a hoax.

NOAA Should Submit Their Emails to Lamar Smith

I'm a little surprised I've come to this decision, but I think NOAA should give Lamar Smith the emails he is asking for.

I say that being fully aware that the usual scoundrels will pick over them like vultures, looking for any sentence or phrase they think they make hay with, regardless of its context. It happened in Climategate I and II -- and what I wrote here was certainly off-base and wrong -- and it will happen here. It's likely the primary goal of Smith and the think tank people who are surely urging him on.

There's no doubt that NASA is an agency of the executive branch, subject to Congressional oversight. That includes what's on their hard drives and in their emails, even though I'm sure such scrutiny as this will only drive people to stop using email, or use private email instead.

Congress, of course, won't dare allow anyone to look at its emails. (Gee, I wonder why?) So we can't see what is being suggested to Lamar Smith's staff. Shame.

If I worked for NOAA I would resist anyone reading my emails. I might even leave over it, if that was a possibility, and I might not go quietly. Scientists, like many others, need private correspondence to talk, hash out ideas, question ideas, question calculations, entertain hypotheses and question data. That's why science attains the amazing successes it does.

So what Lamar Smith is doing is killing the scientific process, killing the scientific enterprise that has benefited Americans and the world so much. That should be pointed out again and again.

Smith hasn't even given any indication that he or his staff have read the paper by Karl et al (and the one of revisions to ERSST v3 before them), and why that information and data doens't answer their questions. What about these papers do Smith et al find incomplete or not adequately explained?

This clearly shows, I think, that their focus is certainly not on the science.

Smith should be thanking these scientists for all their work on this huge problem of manmade climate change.

I doubt Lamar Smith can recognize that, and I doubt he cares anyway. I think Lamar Smith is craven and just wants to make his oil and gas friends happy, and the think tank people urging him on just want to make their own fossil fuel funders happy.

They don't care about science. It's all politics to them. To be blunt, I don't know how they live with themselves. I really don't.

But Lamar Smith, or Marc Morano or Chris Horner can't stop the greenhouse effect. They can't stop the warming that will only continue in the future. But they can harm a lot of people in the process -- both the scientists and the scientific process, and especially the people who are and will continue to suffer from climate change.

Of course, they couldn't care less about these people.

But, regardless of the consequences and repercussions, NOAA is subject to Congressional oversight. I am glad they are making a stink about it. But it seems to me the law is clear. And it's a law that needs to change, if scientists (and others) are to properly do their jobs. Everyone needs some privacy, some room to think and noodle and kvetch.

Like the AEI before him, Lamar Smith is driving science underground. And that means less of it, just at the time when even more is needed.

Profit and Power from Global Warming

Via The Guardian.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Chinese Workers Hauling Coal

I came across this striking photograph in "King Coal and the queen of subsidies," by Ottmar Edenhofer, Science vol 349 issue 6254, 9/18/15.

More Big Gains in Ocean Heat Content Just Posted

NOAA just released the 3Q15 numbers for ocean heat content*, and they are again huge.

In the last 12 months, the 0-700 m region of the ocean has gained 1.5 W/m2 of heat**, and the 0-2000 m region 1.7 W/m2.

That's a gain of 25 ZJ (zettajoules) for the 0-700 m region, and 28 ZJ for the 0-2000 m region. (By way of contrast, "...mankind generates 0.5 zetajoules of energy every year in its power stations.")

Or, if you prefer, 780 trillion Watts and 870 trillion Watts, respectively.

The graph above shows that the heat gain (a very good approximate to global warming) is obviously accelerationg; calculated from a 2nd-order polynomial fit to the top half of the ocean***, the acceleration remains at 0.10 W/m2/yr for the 0-2000 m region****.

An acceleration of 0.10 W/m2/yr sounds large to me -- what forcings are, in total, increasing at that rate? -- but that's what the data says.

* NOAA ocean heat content data: 0-700 m, 0-2000 m.

** The area used here is that of the entire Earth, since about 93% of the GHG-trapped heat goes into the ocean.

*** Yes, heat may be increasing, or decreasing, below 2000 meters. I'm aware of this paper, which finds a small increase of 0.05 W/m2 for the region below 3000 m for the 1990s and 2000s. If you know of additional studies on the deep ocean, I'd appreciate if you left them in a comment.

**** The basic statistical error bar here (two-sigma) is ±0.03 W/m2/yr. I don't know how to include autocorrelation in a 2nd-order polynomial fit. If you can help me out with that, let me know. Thanks.

Monday, November 16, 2015

GISS Posts First Ever Global Anomaly Above 1⁰C

NASA GISS just posted a record high monthly global temperture anomaly for October: 1.04°C.

That smashes the old record of 0.97°C from January 2007.

Both are relative to the baseline of 1951-1980.

Year-to-date, 2015 is 0.08°C warmer than the previous record last year. 2015 will definitely be the warmest year in the records, unless a significant asteroid or comet strikes Earth, or nuclear war breaks out -- it only needs an average anomaly of 0.35°C for November and December to break the old record.