Global warming explained

Yes, its… well I’m not quite sure what it it, but its wacky, and all the planets are taking part. See here. Page 1 is only silly; but page 2 gets seriously wacky:

The “cause and effect” of these remarkable planetary transformations, we believe, is explained by appealing to a new form of Physics — not yet embraced by most of mainstream science. In fact, this is an “old Physics” — once the centerpiece of 19th Century, pre-quantum reality. At its most fundamental, it is a Physics based on the literal accessibility of “higher dimensions.”

This “higher dimensional/hyperdimensional” description is not just an abstract concept, left over from a few mathematicians a hundred years ago — but is a serious, quantifiable new model, regarding the real domain of energies that invisibly flow into and out of our “three-dimensional” reality… literally creating in the process all of physical matter… as well as its observed, three-dimensional, highly complex interactions.

In addition to its fundamental hyperdimensional component, this “new Physics” is intimately coupled to a modified concept of a spatial “aether.” This “aether,” however, is distinctly different from another old 19th Century concept – an “electromagnetic aether,” proposed then as a medium (analogous to air or water) necessary to carry rhythmic light and radio vibrations across “empty space.” This “new aether” also has no connection to the now popular term “zero point energy” — the current quantum mechanics description of vacuum processes proposed by mainstream physics to generate matter and energy from empty space.

And I *think* they are serious. But I didn’t dare read page 3.

Rapid Changes in Ice Discharge from Greenland Outlet Glaciers

So says Howat et al. in Science (why hasn’t this made it into the blogosphere before? Or did I miss it?). Interestingly, though the most recent change is a decrease: Using satellite-derived surface elevation and velocity data, we find major short-term variations in recent ice discharge and mass-loss at two of Greenland’s largest outlet glaciers. Their combined rate of mass-loss doubled in less than a year in 2004 and then decreased in 2006 to near the previous rates, likely due to fast re-equilibration of calving front geometry following retreat. Total mass-loss is a fraction of concurrent gravity-derived estimates, pointing to an alternative source of loss and the need for high-resolution observations of outlet dynamics and glacier geometry for sea-level rise predictions. This is the first evidence I’ve seen that some of the recent increases in glacier flow may just be fluctuations, though it was always a possibility.

And there appear to be some issues in resolving this with GRACE, or perhaps rather suggestions that these glaciers weren’t producing the loss GRACE saw: Other GRACE observations suggest a 450 Gt ice-loss from south Greenland between May 2004 and April 2006 that the authors mostly attribute to increased discharge from HH and KL (20). While the timing of the increased loss agrees well with the KL/HH acceleration, our results suggest that the combined loss from these glaciers over this period can only account for 13% of this loss. Absent an extensive, but unobserved, acceleration elsewhere, measurements for other south Greenland glaciers suggest a 2000 to 2005 loss increase of roughly 23 Gt/yr (1). This suggests that despite large dynamic changes, much of the 2004-2006 loss estimated from GRACE may be related to surface balance anomalies or other causes.

Incidentally… although the title is fair enough, I wondered if it was interesting that it was titled “changes” rather than “decreases”. But then I discover that the Rignot article on increases last year was titled “Changes in the Velocity Structure of the Greenland Ice Sheet” so its fair enough.

[Update: thanks to MW for ref to -W]


Sounds like a dumb idea and it seems to be one. So I looked up the Global Warming entry. Which I suppose you could compare to the wiki version. Unlike the wiki version the Consa one is just about fact free (even a graph of temperature change is obviously to liberal for them) and not really even very funny, though it does contain It should be noted that these scientists are motivated by a need for grant money in their field of climatology. Therefore, their work can not be considered unbiased, though no more than any scientist in any other field .[4]. Also, these scientists are mostly liberal athiests, untroubled by the hubris that man can destroy the Earth which God gave him.

Also its servers seem very slow – don’t these conservative folks have any big-money backers? – and has no entry for “stoat”. I got bored waiting for it to search for weasel so I don’t know if it has that.

IPCC facts

There is a new website called IPCCfacts. Presumably this is a reflection of the fact that the general public can’t cope with reading the SPM, much less the full report when it emerges. The “facts” section is a bit thin – lets hope there are more than this to come. Resources, of course, under “Global Warming and Climate Science Experts” references RealClimate. But “myths” looked interesting, and oh yes, they can’t resist delving into hurricanes with #2; Myth: The report shows that the overall number of hurricanes is expected to decline, undercutting the argument that global warming produces extreme weather events. But then they are dumb enough to source this to a Pielke blog post when he clearly does no such thing, but to the contrary says Kudos to the scientists involved. Despite the pressures, on tropical cyclones they figured out a way to maintain consistency with the actual balance of opinion(s) in the community of relevant experts.

Unsurprisingly, RP jumps on this and it will be fun to see if IPCCfacts (a) corrects themselves (b) blusters it out, or (c) doesn’t respond. I’m hoping for (a), of course, but guessing (c).

[Update: they have silently done (a) and removed their myth. You’ll find the original at RPs site -W]

Environment damaged by cars and nukes

Well yes indeed, but in this particular case I’m referring to the funding for the Natural Environment Research Council, which has been cut in order to help pay for the govts failed attempt to rescue the Rover car company; and rescuing the nuclear industry. Or so says the BBC – all I know for sure is that we’ve lost ร‚ยฃ10M. Which is less than some of the other reseach councils.

Great wikipedia edit comments

Coming back from the pub, I find the edit comment Someone added a bunch of none sence. First of all, it’s not a giant beaver the creates the wind. Second, it’s impossible that the people you mentioned knew about beavers. If that makes no sense (and should it?) this is the edit in question.

Kind of puts RP’s problems in perspective ๐Ÿ™‚ Although its a possible new avenue for tornado research!

More thought provoking is The Coriolis force does not affect insects or ships since its clearly false; but in the case of insects its negligible. And for supertankers? I’m not sure.

UK leads the world

I’m happy to say that in one respect at least the UK leads the world: the proportion of the U15’s having sex. According to UNICEF we storm ahead with 38%, way ahead of our nearest rivals the repressed Swedes (figure 5.2d). We also do best at getting drunk, too (5.2b), though we only just beat the sober Finns.

Of course, as far as the report goes, these count as negatives not positives. But how do the children count it?

Figure 4 time (the data strikes back)

I thought I’d expand a bit more on why Svensmarks figure 4 is unacceptable (fig 4 of arXiv; fig 6 in Cosmoclimatology: a new theory emerges). Bear in mind that there is more wrong in the article than just this, though! The fig is:


I’m arguing about the lower line, which purports to be a 90-64S average. This is sourced to: (90-64S zonal mean) and thats a perfectly reputable source. However, not one to be used blindly, as S does. You have to wonder about the data quality. And even a cursory think would lead you to wonder how much early data there is in there.

One hint is that the early data is more variable. If you look closely you can see this in S’s fig. If you draw the raw data its more obvious; and if you take the standard deviation its 1 oC before 1957 and 0.4 after. Which is because there are a whole pile of extra stations available after 1957 which smooths things out. The table referenced says it also uses HadISST1 for SSTs in the early period, and it says its a land-ocean mean. But that isn’t consistent with the change in variability (there is an other table,, which only has the stations in. But the differences between that and the former, for 90-64S, is very small).

A good source of temperature data is the BAS READER project. A quick glance shows only Orcadas in the early years in the correct region (and even thats a bit wrong, since Orcadas is only 60 S; maybe GISS is taking 5 degree radius-of-influence to include it S of 64S?).

In fact, I can demonstrate that the early data *is* pure Orcadas by plotting it:


Black: GISS data. Blue: Orcadas station data. Note that GISS are anomalies so I’ve adjusted them vertically to fit (by 3.6 oC, if you care). The early fit is so good its clear that the GISS data *is* pure Orcadas. Which means the table description is odd? Anyway. I’ve also added 4th order polys a-la S. Amusingly, the poly fit is fine, so I would have no complaints if S just used the Orcadas data. But then the fit wouldn’t be so good after 1950; and he wouldn’t be able to call it “Antarctic” temperatures.

So: just to be clear: the early part of S’s data comes from Orcadas, an Island station at 60 S. it is *not* an average of 90-64S as he says: its data from a single station. Any competent Antarctic-type reviewer would have caught this glaring error. This is a teensy bit of a problem for him, as his “Antarctic theory” is most pronounced S of 75S; arguably, 60 S should actually be in rest-of-world as far as he is concerned. I’ve no doubt though that his theory will prove sufficiently pliable to account for this ๐Ÿ™‚

[Update: the data sparsity is a bit more obvious via a map: e.g. for 1910 (thanks G) -W]

[A read writes: Could you please be more clear? Write what is on the axes in different colors, what it is used by Svensmark for, and why you think that it’s wrong as opposed to some vague cliches that the data are not enough. I thought I had been. OK, my pic (the lower one) shows in black the raw data used in the lower line in S’s plot. They are the same, except I haven’t put a 12y filter through the data. Overplotted in blue is the raw Orcadas station data. From 1905 to 1950 the data overly so exactly that its hard to see the blue line unless you look closely, except for a few excursions (1945 is the most obvious) that are presumably caused by more data becomming transiently available for that year. This demonstrates that the data S is using from GISS really is the Orcadas data. Therefore it isn’t a mean for 90-64S or anything like it (that is obvious from the data from 1960 on, which disagrees. If anything there is an antiphase relation, especially from 1980 on. I hope thats clear now -W]