Rowing and Running

I was a teenage rower, and now am a middle aged rower, so most of my exercise comes on the river, or on an erg (disregarding the 11 miles a day cycle to work, which is definitely good for me too, but that counts as base load). So today I did 10 km, which took me a fraction less than 40 mins, and the end of it I was sufficiently tired to do nothing but pant for 5 mins, and then my arms shook while eating lunch. But a few hours later I am fully recovered, I think.

The contrast I’m trying to draw is with running, which I’m getting into a little bit. When I run 5 km, I end up not truely tired, but more feeling damaged: my thighs ache, my calves ache, but I’m still quite capable of moving. Perhaps I just haven’t learnt how to try hard enough while running. My time for 5km, incidentally, is a little under 25 mins, so 5 mins/km, which is worse than my 10 km rowing speed. But I’m not sure how the two compare.

I do wonder if I should hive off all the non-science junk onto a non-science blog. But no-one is complaining so far.


I’m sure the risible rubbish in Denial Depot would once upon a time have raised some outrage, or at least the feeling that it might need rebutting. But now it just seems boring (and I’m only writing this as a placeholder for a change in interests). Eli briefly snarks it, and Coby apparently intends to read it. Perhaps Schellnhuber is right.

[Various commenters assure me that it is a spoof. I certainly hope so. But this just proves my own personal point: I really don’t care enough to find out! -W]

Stretham Old Engine

Stretham Old Engine is a former pumping engine out in the fens; visiting it is not too dissimilar to the Museum of fenland drainage that James visited a while back. You can see it from above and you can visit it’s own website:

It is best to visit it by boat, though, which we managed on a wednesday during the school holidays, and were even lucky enough to find it open. Sadly it is trapped in something of a vicious circle: they don’t open often so get few visitors; and since they get few visitors they can’t afford to open very often.

Pix here; and I’ll in-line a few.

Cam clean

Anyone who was anyone (and some who aren’t 🙂 went to the great Cam clean up. Unlike James, I didn’t bother turn up for the speeches. This may have been a mistake, as not only did I not get on the grapple teams but also by the time I’d come along most of the litter had gone too. I walked from the FSG (G not J to keep Andy happy!) to the railway bridge and found somewhat less than a bin liner’s worth. Still, it was a lovely day for it, I got to abuse Meg in the tub (sorry) and I saw some nice lichen:

Weird sight of the day was the diver finding stuff under the Elizabeth Way bridge, as marked by his inflatable floaty-thing, which lead to log-jams of VIII’s as they tried to avoid mowing him down. Which they couldn’t even if they tried, since an VIII draws about a foot of water at the most, and he was well down.

There were the traditional lorry-loads of bikes dredged out and kids watching the show. A fair morning out, though not as much fun as going rowing.

After dinner, a 5km run:

Yet more sea ice

A while ago, crowing over the extent of Arctic sea ice this winter and the possibility this would mean loadsa ice this summer, I noted that “it is clear from that, that the winter anomaly doesn’t correlate too closely with the summer minimum”. That was based on the IJIS plot, and on little more than that the 2008 winter ice is clearly on the high side while the summer ice was on the low side. C challenged my assertion, and drew some plots, and decided in the end that maybe I was right. He was also kind enough to send me his spread sheet, but I didn’t get along with it, so have faked up my own google spreadsheet: here if you’re interested.

And the pic below, if all the googly magic works out, is a plot of the winter (March) anomaly and the summer (September) anomaly. We see what we already know: ice is declining, and 2007/8 are anomalously low. If you scatter plot the anomalies, then there is a strong relationship, because of the linear trend.

So it is more interesting to know if one year’s winter anomaly is followed by a summer anomaly. Below is a scatter plot of the winter (March) anomaly-from-linear-trend against the summer (September) anomaly-f-l-t (making the possibly unwarranted assumption that I’ve got my excel script right).

I think it is a blob. There is little sign of a relation.

All this seems vaguely interesting, and you would have thought someone must have published on it. Anyone got a ref?

Ice data from and related.

Rouge at last!

Finally, I’ve been promoted to Rouge admin status. It is a game a little like Mornington Crescent: there are no rules, but it would be a dreadful faux pas to break them.

The excuse was quite a suitable one: I blocked a septic who in a huff had said “I’d quite like to be blocked” but who then proved about as consistent as most septics by demanding to be unblocked.

If you’re interested in more heavy-handed wiki humour, WP:GIANTDICK is good (or this version).

Wandering across the Arctic

With a side-swipe as Maslowski along the way. But first the wandering…

By the Catlin Arctic Survey. Why are they doing this? Mostly because it is fun, and you can earn your keep doing it. They are explorer-types, and unexplored bits of the world are thin on the ground now, so new challenges must be found. But it needs to be dressed up in science, and this alas is where I start to become cynical.

The science blurb begins with Current estimates for the disappearance of the Arctic Ocean’s sea ice cover vary from 100 years away down to just 4 years from now. It won’t come as any great surprise to readers of this blog that I regard this as utter twaddle. Anyone who seriously believes the Arctic will be ice-free in summer in 4 years time is invited to put their money where their mouth is. I don’t expect to be deluged with offers. Maslowski was unwise enough to say this in late 2007 – anyone know if he has repeated or updated himself? (actually I’ve just found what is probably the source pdf. M, sensibly enough, *doesn’t* say the Arctic will be ice free by 2013. He does say that the GCMs are too conservative. And he does say if-this-trend-continues (of the ice volume trend) the Arctic will be ice free in 2013. But if-this-trend-continues is always a stupid thing to say. In this case, for the obvious reason that were the trend to continue for another year, ice volume would be negative (as I wisely said a while ago). And quite apart from that, he is looking at *annual* data (insofar as I can tell what he is looking at) and not even the most wild-eyed wackos expect zero annual volume by 2100, let alone 2013. So I would say that M has said nothing intelligible, whilst deliberately saying provocative things to stir up attention. As always, if you can find better, please let me know).

So these people will drill a few sea ice cores and measure the ice thickness. There is already such data about, and while it does no great harm to add to the store of data, it isn’t going to revolutionise anyone’s view of the ice. I hope they know that other people have already done this, but Climate modellers will be able to use the findings coming out of the Survey data to help validate or modify the globally recognised projections… which has depended on the sea ice data available from satellites and submarines (hitherto unverified by a comprehensive ground-truth survey). which gives the impression, alas, that they are ignorant of all that has gone before (are they under the impression that they are doing a comprehensive survey? Hard to believe, but it is what the “hitherto” implies. And what is wrong with the submarine stuff?). I think it more likely, however, that they are just ignoring all the pre-existing ground truth. Though they have Seymour saying “There’s no question that the Catlin Arctic Survey’s manual measuring techniques have the capacity to provide the first large scale direct measurements of ice thickness in the High Arctic” and he really ought to know.

But what of their data? They have released the first month’s data and have cleverly eschewed the traditional but tedious method of reporting lat-lon-depth in favour of drawing hard-to-read numbers on a map. I’m guessing that the red lines and purple lines delineate boundaries of ice type rather than their route, which I’m assuming is marked by the approximately 10 data points. That seems a little thin for a month’s work, but perhaps they haven’t managed to phone them all in. The headline summary is The results collected in the first month of the Catlin Arctic Survey point to an unexpected lack of thicker Multiyear Ice. I don’tunderstand this. I thought (and indeed they show results from Ron Kwok confirming this) that the multi year ice is a narrow band near Canada this year. This isn’t unexpected. They didn’t start near Canada so they didn’t see that bit.

Errm, have I missed something obvious?
[Update: by bizarre co-incidence, the Watty folk noticed, just after I posted this, exactly the same thing: Weird or what?]

Ice, again

But just for once not sea ice, at least not to start with.

RMG provides a nice link to some of the Wordie “collapse” stuff. Although I find that a touch confusing, as the Wordie had essentially gone by 1992 – see [[Wordie Ice Shelf]] for example. Reuters is also noting it as news. Odd. Perhaps they are confusing it with that other well-known ice shelf that begins with a W, the Wilkins. That hasn’t collapsed (warning: link to BAS PR, and BAS has a terrible habit of re-writing its website and breaking all the old links. If it still works for you, be grateful). It has however lost a bit of pinning, making it moderately likely to fall to bits soonish (this subtle distinction appears to be lost on the desmoggers). Cue wild overexcitement from the Times. They win “null points” for The collapse of ice shelves does not raise sea level significantly, because the ice contracts as it melts (see RMG again for the complicated truth). The Times also gets no points for What is most alarming about the events in the Antarctic is their speed, which has taken scientists by surprise. These ice shelves are collapsing far more rapidly than most scientists had predicted only 15 years ago. As RMG points out, this was all predicted (see-also RC) – but in the usual way of things, without a timescale. When will the Wilkins collapse? We don’t know; BAS at least is careful not to make any predictions, even now. Notice also that despite the careless talk of caused-by-GW, BAS is careful to say There is little doubt that these changes are the result of atmospheric warming on the Antarctic Peninsula, which has been the most rapid in the Southern Hemisphere. Can you spot the difference? RC has a discussion thread on that, but it has 500+ entries. If anyone said anything interesting there, do let me know :-).

Bottom line must be that ice shelves are falling apart, but we knew that, and it is hardly surprising as it has been getting warmer there recently. More exciting would be a clear link to SLR, but that is currently absent.

Meanwhile, up North, the current anomaly is fairly small but people detect hints of enhanced variability this year. The cryosphere today pics aren’t that easy to track, so I like looking at IJIS. But it is clear from that, that the winter anomaly doesn’t correlate too closely with the summer minimum (someone with time on their hands should scatter plot something like March anomaly against September anomaly). If you’re feeling lucky, bets are still on.

Tweet this

Um. So I get a spam which begins: “Tweet this: Rapid-fire media may confuse your moral compass
Media culture should allow time for reflective moments, say USC neuroscientists…” Is there a media less suited to reflective moments than twitter?