Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Greta Thunberg Time's Person of the Year

Time magazine just made Greta Thunberg their Person of the Year.

Excellent choice, which brings attention not just to her but to the climate change problem in general.

And it ought to infuriate even more all the middle-aged white climate denying men who can't abide someone speaking their mind -- especially when it's a female. They'll only look more foolish (than they already have) attacking a 16-year old girl. They're turning from climate change deniers to bigots -- or more likely, their bigotry was there all along, but it's now coming out their every pore.


Added: And she was chosen over Trump, who was one of three finalists not chosen. Other two were Nancy Pelosi and the U.S. whistleblower. Whatcha wanna bet he can't simply congratulate her sincerely?

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Help Me Understand the AMOC

I'm confused about the AMOC, the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. I thought it carried heat from the Gulf of Mexico northward to Europe, like this:

But now I see this University of Washington press release about a Nature paper, and the press release gives this view of the AMOC:

The directions seem reversed. So which is it??

The Problem of Space Debris

I like this quote. Read about the Kessler Syndrome if you don't know about it. I wrote about it for Yale Climate Connections several years ago, as an example of a big problem that was long foreseen but ignored until (perhaps) it's too late.

Image from Nature Briefing.

Saturday, December 07, 2019

Castigating Greta

On Watts' blog Eric Worrall calls Greta Thunberg a "climate messiah."

Delingpole calls her a "climate puppet" and a "Marxist." Earlier he called her St Greta of Thunberg."

In August Aaron Banks in England wrote "Freak yachting accidents do happen in August..."

And of course there have been many insults about her mental health, simply because she is on the autism spectrum and has been open about it.

Sometimes I think these hard core deniers are just worse people human beings.

Thursday, December 05, 2019

US Coal Production Under Trump

It's not going up:

When he campaigned in 2016, Trump said:
On Thursday, Trump drew wild applause in Charleston, W.Va., by telling miners in hard hats and reflective stripes to get ready to be "working your asses off" in reopened mines if he's elected. Some people waved signs saying, "Trump digs coal," and the business tycoon joked about needing a spritz of hair spray after trying on a miner's helmet, the gift of an industry group.

"I'm thinking about the miners all over this country," Trump said. "We're gonna put the miners back to work. We're gonna put the miners back to work. We're gonna get those mines open."
It was another lie.

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

2019 Global CO2 Emissions, Up 0.6%

The Global Carbon Project says 2019's global CO2 emissions will be 0.6% higher than 2018's. An increase, but less of an increase than for the last two years.

The Way It Is, December Third, Two-Thousand Nineteen

UAH modeled November 2019 to be the warmest November in the lower troposphere in their records. UAH.

AVISO's latest global sea level number is the highest in their records. This is with "near real-time" data analysis. We'll see after it gets fully processed.

The reading and math scores of 15-year old US students have not improved in two decades. Their latest scores were "slightly above average in terms of reading ability but below the math skills level of peer nations." Which country's students came in first? Do you really have to ask?

I can't think of a better way to win the future than to have your 15-year olds lead the world in reading and math scores. Whatever your system of government.

A dead whale was found to have 220 pounds (100 kg) of debris in its stomach. How terribly sad.

Trump's tariffs on Chinese solar panel imports have cost about 62,000 US jobs. That's more than the entire employment of the coal industry here.

World per capita coal consumption is flat-to-declining again, after increasing about 30% last decade:

Data from BP's 2019 Statistical Review. Coal mass is converted to energy units using their value of 1 toe = 4.187e10 J for modern power plants. "toe" = ton of oil equivalent. 

PS: Apologies for the headline to Walter Cronkite.

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Subsidized Rebuilding and Subsided Insurance

Bay St Louis, Mississippi:

But some people are being forced to leave. Read this great article from CityLab, which also includes this table:

This is the highest value I've yet seen for lost property value.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Ronald Bailey Still Gets It Wrong!

I see that Ronald Bailey of Reason tried to correct his recent long article on climate change, after what I wrote here. But he still gets it wrong, and still shows he doesn't understand the basics.

His correction says:

The problem isn't with the thickness number! It's with the whole concept of acceleration!

His correction is very fuzzy and doesn't address the problem in any way.

The problem is that acceleration isn't measured in millimeters, or feet, or any unit of length. It's measured in units of length per time-squared (say, mm per year-squared).

Did Bailey take basic physics? Or did he forget it all?

How come people who don't know science get jobs writing for a place for decades, and I'm still struggling as a freelancer? Must be my noxious personality.

The First Big Pollution Event

I like this cartoon from Stoat:

If you don't get it, it refers to the "Great Oxidation Event" of about 2.3 B years ago, a situation sort of like 'your terrorist is my freedom fighter.'

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Key West's Sea Level Rise

Perhaps you read the NYT article on sea level rise in Key West, Florida. (Or, as Esquire put it, "The Great Chinese Climate Hoax Is Recreating Venice in the Florida Key.") People there have been dealing with sea level for almost three months now. I looked for the sea level data for Key West, and October had the highest value ever.

click to enlarge

Sea level there is about 210 mm (8 inches) higher than last October. Another view is

click to enlarge

Right now I'm not in the mood to calculate the error bars. Calculation of error bars is left as an exercise for the reader.

Residents there want their roads raised:
Monroe County, Florida
Elevating a third of the county’s 300 miles of roads could cost $1 billion, Ms. Haag said. “We are the most vulnerable county in the state, if not the nation.”
That works out to $1,900 per foot. Monroe County, Florida has about 78,000 residents, but Key West is only 25,000. So a billion dollars to raise roads is $40,000 per resident. It seems to me difficult to justify that, for a place that is going under anyway. (If the roads don't, beaches and yards and parking lots will. What about freshwater? What about insurance? Who would write a mortgage on any building there put up for sale?) But I don't expect that would stop the federal government, who is going to face a lot of these situations and will want to look like they're doing something, at least to stop the clamor. And there'll be a lot of sympathy for vulnerable residents -- at least until the costs get too high. It's a difficult situation and will be ever more dire. In a hundred years the thing most remembered about Trump will be his idiocy and (by then) criminality on climate change.

What do you think?

PS: In 2016 Monroe County voted 51.0% for Trump, 44.1% for HClinton.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Mann Lawsuit Update: Supreme Court Declines to Hear

From Bloomberg Environment:
The Supreme Court won’t step into a legal dispute between a prominent climate scientist and a pair of conservative organizations that questioned his work and compared him to a convicted child molester.

The justices on Nov. 25 declined to review an appeal from the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the National Review, which want to stop climate scientist Michael E. Mann from pursuing defamation claims against them.
Mann is quoted:
“We are pleased with this nearly unanimous decision by the Supreme Court to deny the appeal” in the defamation case, he said in an email. “We are looking forward to the trial.”
From here:
The case goes back to the local-level Superior Court of the District of Columbia... The proceedings are currently in the discovery phase, with both sides collecting documents to support their arguments.