Its summer, which is why its poured with rain. More floods, etc etc. Here it was only somewhat wet, though it stopped in time for the friday evening pub visit.

And it was also the last day of school: Miranda has just finished her first year, a momentous… milestone.

And so its holiday time. Back in a bit.

TVs and computers breeding generation of ‘screen kids’?

Sez the Grauniad. So far so dull. More interesting was TVs and computers are the “electronic babysitters” for a generation of children who are losing out on family life and becoming more materialistic, a report says today. The study paints a picture of a breed of “screen kids” who are spending more and more time watching TV and surfing the net in their bedrooms, unsupervised by adults. The Watching, Wanting and Wellbeing report from the National Consumer Council found nearly half the children from better-off families surveyed had televisions in their bedrooms, compared with 97% of the nine- to 13-year-olds from less well-off areas.

Once a TV was a sign of affluence, now its a sign of poverty. There is just too much cheap trash around in our lives.

Wasting time on glaciers with RP Sr

The goal of Climate Science on this subject (of glacier advance and retreat) is to present documentation that the frequently stated claim that glaciers are retreating everywhere is an inaccurate statement sez RP in response to his first comment. Of course, this is a waste of time (as well as attacking a strawman), as IPCC section 4.5.3 have already done it.

Meanwhile, back at TGGWS…

Since we were on TGGWS-wanabe’s (can it really be true that no-one has pointed out to her that her CO2 graph is junk? Why is it still there?) it seems appropriate to note that a heavily-cut version has aired in Oz. Most of the cuts (I haven’t seen the thing, of course) are hacking out Wunsch, who was misrepresented in the original – there is a nice interview with him here.

But thats reality. In Durkin-world Wunschs appearence in the film “perfectly accurately represents what he said”. So why was Wunsch cut? Are Australian lawyers saner than Durkin?

Many Arctic temperature trends

The egregious Soon has a paper, Variable solar irradiance as a plausible agent for multidecadal variations in the Arctic-wide surface air temperature record of the past 130 years which is a weasel-worded title if ever I saw one. But anyway: Soon is comparing the “Arctic” temperature record to the solar irradiance (via some proxy or another) and finding a wonderful match, which sends the Durkins of the world into a frenzy. Of course, this means that the solar *doesn’t* match the global record; and of course given almost any shape of solar you could find some region of the world whose temperature trend would match it, but never mind that for now.

What about this Arctic temperature record? Its from Polyakov et al, and you can see their version of it here. You can download their station records (but be careful, there are data bugs in there) and average them yourselves (quite how Polyakov do the averaging I don’t know; I’m just treating each file with weight one. This may not be right: it treats all the buoy data as one point, for example).

i-fdf02c2c9bb7dcc3beafbeea8735529e-poly-arctic.png My results are shown here (as ever, click for bigger pic; black lines T avg; blue lines station count on the RH axis; all this is the annual mean data); the top left is the one to start with, and fairly well matches P et al. (remember P start their pix in 1880). So things are broadly OK. That pic is done by subtracting the mean of each station before averaging, which is of course necessary. Now look at the top right, where I haven’t done this. There is a precipitious drop in temperature! Why? Because, as time goes by, more and more high-latitude stations come into the mix and the average temperature of a station goes down. Clearly this isn’t a useful figure to deduce a T trend from, but it *is* a useful figure to demonstrate that the P dataset shows substantial shifts in its distribution of stations over time.

You can get rid of that by picking only stations that are always there: the lower plots are the same, but requiring 1900-1980 data to be (nearly always) present. Hence even the non-normalised version of this (bottom right) has no strong trend (after 1900). Sadly, though, the shape of the top and bottom left plots is nearly identical, so the changing data coverage hasn’t made much difference to the overall trend. Ah well. I remain somewhat mistrustful of this dataset, because of the huge changes in coverage.

A much earlier post of mine may well be relevant: using HadCTRU data.

World Climate Report: lying by omission

So whats new you ask? Well nothing, but its worth pointing out. The issue in question is What do we learn from Glaciers in the Highest Altitudes In The Alps? which found (quick reminder) that though low-altitude glaciers were retreating, the very highest ones on Mt Blanc were not, because ablation is negligible there, because its too cold.

This was on CCnet (thanks J), which seems to have picked it up from World Climate Report. Which spends so much of its time wurbling that it doesn’t have space to quote bits of the paper such as the shrinkage of numerous glaciers in the Alps over the last century is reflected by field observations [Haeberli, 1995; Haeberli et al., 1998; Haeberli et al., 2002; Ohmura, 2004; Vincent et al., 2005] and satellite data [Paul et al., 2004; Berthier et al., 2004]. These studies show that glaciated areas below 3000 m a.s.l. have been strongly affected, especially over the last 2 decades. Or even bits of the conclusions such as Over the next 100 years, according to climate warming scenarii, a significant part of precipitation could become rain above 4300 m a.s.l. which could warm up the deep firn and ice. Some studies show that substantial warming of the firn temperature at shallow depths has taken place over the last few decades [Lu¨thi and Funk, 2001; Suter et al., 2001]. Should this warming reach the bottom ice, the ice dynamics would be greatly modified

No, it spends all its time on the lack of retreat, and fails to put this into any kind of context. There is nothing there that is a direct lie (though the insinuation that the IPCC’s Mountain glaciers and snow cover have declined on average in both hemispheres. Widespread decreases in glaciers and ice caps have contributed to sea level rise should be reconsidered is an indirect one) but the overall impression is misleading.

VNC: argh

I’m using VNC to view unix through windows and very nice it is. One irritating feature was lack of cut-n-paste between the VNC window and the outside world, but I could live with that. Then I wanted to run a different window manager, so ended up reading the documentation (:-) and discovered, in the “vncconfig” section, that this only works if you have a vncconfig running. Is this a weird way to get cut-n-paste working or what?


What do we learn from Glaciers in the Highest Altitudes In The Alps?

You couldn’t get a more perfect example of desperation than:

At the recent International Symposium on “Landform – structure, evolution, process control”, University of Bonn, Germany, June 7-10, 2007, that I attended, there was evidence presented of the retreat of all of the glaciers in the Alps. However, thanks to CCNet and Benny Peiser for alerting me to a paper which provides evidence that one glacial area in these mountains is not retreating. [1] [2]
Continue reading “What do we learn from Glaciers in the Highest Altitudes In The Alps?”

No solar hiding place for greenhouse sceptics?

Very little other than the bleedin’ obvious I fear. Inel laments her lack of access; but has read it and provides a copy of the Nature comment, but not the Proc Royal Soc original. Not having read the original, I’m not sure what was in it worthy of publication; the lack of a trend in solar is known already. But the septics are rather like Monty Pythons Balck Knight: no matter how many limbs you chop off they hop around on one leg or offer to bite your shins, and they need to be stomped on every now an again.

Even if you’re mad enough to insist that solar forcing changes might be strong enough to explain climate change; or that they are amplified by some mysterious mechanism involving clouds or space aliens; you’re still left with the minor problem that (a) the trend in solar, if there is one, is downwards and (b) any trend is much smaller than the 11-y solar cycle which you certainly don’t see in the sfc data; see wiki for example.

The new paper won’t stop the loonies, of course; nothing will (and anyway, this being published in Proc Royal Soc and nature just means its part of the Vast Global Warming Conspiracy ™). But it may be handy for editing into wikipedia.

[Update: the paper is available (thanks F) and the abstract is There is considerable evidence for solar influence on the Earth’s pre-industrial climate and the Sun may well have been a factor in post-industrial climate change in the first half of the last century. Here we show that over the past 20 years, all the trends in the Sun that could have had an influence on the Earth’s climate have been in the opposite direction to that required to explain the observed rise in global mean temperatures. -W]