Thursday, April 27, 2023

Global SST at record high

The record high for global average sea surface temperature (SST) is about 0.2°C.

The orange line is 2022.

Same for the North Atlantic:

Plots from University of Maine's Climate Reanalyzer.

Here's an interesting article from today that goes into more detail:

Earth in hot water? Worries over sudden ocean warming spike, Seth Borenstein, Associated Press, 4-27-23

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Good News, But Not Entirely

"Mike Lindell’s firm told to pay $5 million in ‘Prove Mike Wrong’ election-fraud challenge," Chris Dehghanpoor, Emma Brown and Jon Swaine, Washington Post, 4/20/23.

Lindell has done a huge amount of damage to America, and I hope the history books say that.


“The G.O.P. is a working-class populist party that has no interest in nurturing highly educated bobo boom towns. The G.O.P. does everything it can to repel those people — and the Tesla they drove in on.” 

- David Brooks, "Why People are Fleeing Blue Cities for Red States," NY Times, 4/13/23.

All people seem to care about anymore is their own pocketbook.


Someone from the Washington Policy Center wrote a blog post:

"Washington’s gas prices have increased between 35 and 52 cents per gallon since CO2 tax," Todd Myers, 4/17/23.

"Depending on the comparison, Washington’s gas prices have increased between 35 and 52 cents more than neighboring states since the state launched a tax on CO2 emissions at the beginning of the year."
Yeah, that's the point! Making fossil fuels more expensive incentivizes individuals to switch to noncarbon sources of fuel.

But I do agree with his second point:
"Despite the clear data, state politicians and agency staff refuse to acknowledge the cost of the increases and aren’t helping residents deal with the impact of the costs."
The poor (and middle class, today) can't just go out and buy an electric car to avoid the carbon tax. What's a new electric car cost, at least $25,000? That's beyond the means of a lot of people. 

Personally, I can't afford an electric car, new or used, right now. Probably never a new one.

So all the poor and middle class can do is suffer the carbon tax. If they drive the US average of about 12,000 mi/yr, and their car gets the US average of about 25 mi/gal, they buy 480 gal/yr of gasoline. If Todd's lower limit of an additional 35 cents/gal (at a minimum) is accurate, that's an extra $168/yr they're paying in carbon taxes. $14/month.

That's not trivial if you're poor. $168 would cover about two months of electricity. (Personally, my average electricity bill over the last 12 months is $87/month.)

The problem is that these Washington legislators want to keep the carbon tax money for themselves, to use as they desire.

A much better way to use it, if you're really serious about halting climate change, is as James Hansen started advocating for long ago: refund all carbon taxes back on an equal per capita basis. 

The poor would actually make money under this plan. Their refunds, since their use if average, would cover their up-front carbon fee costs. But those who use "too much" gasoline would pay more, and most of that would go back to the poor.

This plan would help alleviate poverty.

It should be relatively easy to return all money collected (minus a few percent for administrative costs) to households, it seems to me. They can return tax returns. But of course, there are people who are homeless, sharing a car, etc and how do you handle these situations? But it's not rocket science.

But politicians really don't care about the poor. Of course.


This March was the 2nd-warmest in its records, going back to 1880, according to NASA GISS. The 4th-warmest of any month. That's weird, considering we've just come out of the La Nina -- the third La Nina in consecutive years.

(Graph via Tropical Tidbits.)

So we're not even in an El Nino yet -- which many are predicting for later this year -- and already temperatures have soared out of the La Nina zone. (The GISS global anomaly this past November was "only" 0.73°C [baseline: 1951-1980].)

A new El Nino is likely to get very interesting


Sunday, April 16, 2023

Sidney Crosby Story, plus.

Hockey's regular season is over and the playoffs begin tomorrow. Let me post this nice story first:

The Pittsburgh Penguins, my team, missed the playoffs for the time in 17 years. They played very inconsistently. Their playoff streak had been the longest in North American sports; I think the second-longest is now 9 or 10 years. 

Now it's over. 

They did this despite controlling their playoff destiny -- they lost to the worst team in the league, the Chicago Blackhawks, even though if they had won that game they were still in the hunt, and only needed to beat the second-worst team in the league, Columbus, two days later.

It was a monumental collapse. The Penguins fired their front office the next day, and they deserved it for having made several bad trades and contract agreements. 

But no doubt some of the players didn't have enough heart, either. (Easy to say, as a fan.)

Crosby played great this season: 93 points, 1.13 points/game, 3.38 points per 60 minutes, played all of the 82 games without an injury. 35 years old.

So did their other superstar, Evgeni Malkin: 82 points, 1.00 points per game, unexpectedly played every game. 36 years old.

But they didn't have the contribution they needed from their third- and fourth-lines, and they didn't have the goal keeping they needed (.907 save percentage, 3.03 goals per game, if my spreadsheet it right). 

It's a big disappointment, and although the Penguins have been receding since their back-to-back Stanley Cup wins in 2015-16 and 2016-17, this seems very stark, like the Crosby-Malkin-Kris LeTang era is over. Three Cups in Crosby's career, which is huge by any standard. Crosby was still outstanding this year, not only on offense, but making vital plays on defense too, diving for pucks in a way no others players were (consistently), and leading his team as always. (Crosby will always be a better 200-foot player than the league's current superstar, Connor McDaniel, and a better leader too. But McDaniel did score an incredible 153 points this year.)

In hockey, for players, a "point" is a goal or an assist. That's right, assists count as much as goals.)

Even though the Penguins would have very likely lost in the first round of the playoffs, to the Boston Bruins (the NHL's best team this year, who set the record for the most points ever in an 82-game NHL season), this is a great disappointment for Pittsburgh fans.

I guess now I will root for the Bruins. Actually I somehow got really tuned in to their playoff run in 2003-4 when I lived in New Hampshire; back then they were on regular TV out of Boston, and I had cable TV back then too, even though they were eliminated in the first round. I remember Ray Borque skating all over the place. But I didn't understand much about hockey then.

It's hard to imagine the Penguins doing much better next season. Sadly. As I've said before, I really regret I didn't become a Penguins fan until the year after their 2017 Stanley Cup. There were on a tremendous run, and changed the face of hockey with their fast play. But this year they were the oldest team in the league, which is now dominated by young, fast players (although most of them don't score a point a game, like Crosby).

Go Bruins, I guess. (Sigh.) But not one of them, or McDaniel, is the all-around player that Sidney Crosby is.

Saturday, April 15, 2023


From the NY Times by Matthew Fetterman: The Boston Marathon Route: The Ups, the Downs and That Citgo Sign: From the rural suburbs to the bedlam of Fenway Park, the Boston Marathon is as special as distance running gets.

I think that's probably true, and I like this quote anyway. But I wish I knew Boston better (and not just one of its southern suburbs). I looked into living there in the early aughts, but concluded I couldn't afford it.

Snicker, Laugh, OMG

She's already shown she's incapable of embarassment.

Tuesday, April 04, 2023

Camille Flammarion

Camille Flammarion was an interesting guy. He was a French astronomer and author who lived from 1842-1925 -- I posted one of his well-known woodcuts here, La Fin du monde ("The end of the world"). But he clearly had a very active and interesting imagination. 

Here are some of his other woodcuts/paintings: