Snow!

DSC_3702-e-snowy-bike So, it snowed. I got stuck in traffic after a curry and Miriam had to walk home through the mighty blizzard. The photo doesn’t really capture the full horror of a full 5″ of snow – who knows, perhaps more by tomorrow. Madingley hill was chaos and I shall certainly cycle to work tomorrow as it will be quicker. And I still haven’t dug the dahlias up. Oops.

Update: it turned out to be wonderful snow, just right for children, Daniel was out in it all day. I was at work, and it proved possible to cycle in and back. We had a brief exciting power cut which reminded us how fragile our western life is; the heating goes off too, of course. More forecast for tomorrow. Did Piers predict all this?

We win!

The mighty Chesterton Men (Ralph, James H, Chris W, Dave B, Me (special guest appearance on strokeside), Michael S, Andi R, Mike PJ; cox James T) powered to victory in Saturday, though admittedly not in the prestigious “best fancy dress” category but in the less hotly contested “novice M8+”. I still don’t really understand the category system (or care much) but I think it means we don’t have any / many ARA points; and since this wasn’t an ARA competition I think we still don’t. Still I do (I hope) get a Pot. And we did beat the COWS.

Results (silly xls format, sorry).

Hulme

Somewhat against my will, I find myself obliged to post about Hulme, if only to stop people arguing on other talk pages. Come and argue here, folks :-(.

Anyway, KK pointed me to two Hulme pieces, and I’ll take those as my texts:

* http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8388485.stm
* http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704107104574571613215771336.html

My immeadiate reaction is that these are both about science-n-politics. Which immeadiately says the the hacking incident has told us nothing interesting or new about the actual science. Which in turn is one in the eye for the septics, who insist it puts yet another stake through the heart of blah wibble.
Continue reading “Hulme”

clearclimatecode.org

If you believe in climate related software being open, or even if you only believe in the ultimate triumph of Python over Fortran (personally I’m a Perlista when not rooting for embedded C, though I have respectable colleagues who adhere to the Python heresy, and who may convert me in time), then go visit:

http://clearclimatecode.org/

where you can find a guide to the project history and some interesting results and their google code. This is all a free effort by Nick Barnes and David Jones and others at Ravenbrook, but they welcome others to join. So far they are concentrating on the instrumental series (gosh, how topical!), but Nick has ultimate ambitions to do palaeo stuff too. Maybe they will write a climate model one day (though that is a much much larger task). It looks like the UKMO has finally swung round the idea of an open analysis (well maybe; this can perhaps be read slightly differently. We’ll see what they release. I presume “We intend that as soon as possible we will also publish the specific computer code that aggregates the individual station temperatures into the global land temperature record.” means that they feel the need to scrub the code for embarassing comments first, otherwise what possible reason could there be for delay?).

I wonder if this is a good place to comment on programming languages? One of the reasons I left science was that I really didn’t want to spend the rest of my life writing Fortran. It does have some advantages – it is harder to do some of the really really stupid things that are fairly easy to do in C – but that isn’t a reason to be writing new code in it. It is a legacy problem – so much old code is on Fortran – but sometime someone has to gird up their loins and replace it. And retrain all the scientists who write Fortran.

The Upside to the Climatic Research Unit e-mail hacking incident?

Can we leave out the -gate trash? We had a big argument on wiki about this, and the wacko POV-pushers lost, hurrah. So none of that here, thanks.

Keith “baby killer Kloor strokes my ego so outrageously that I can’t find it in me to rage much that apparently I failed to use [my] influential corner of the climate blogosphere to foster a healthy discussion of the salient issues, be it the integrity of the peer review process, FOIA evasion, CRU data storage, or the “tribalism” that Curry notes. Connolley appears to be taking a nothing to see here, move along attitude. (don’t miss comment #1, BTW).

Anyway, its been a while now, I’ve forgotten what I wrote (ah, while I’m there, I should point out that it has been categorically denied that James was anywhere near the gonads in question). So I see I palmed off all the heavy argument to JEB, and I still think that was a good idea. I’ve been busy with the wacko’s on wiki, as you’ll see if you visit [[Talk:Climatic Research Unit e-mail hacking incident]].

But since Keith raises some specific issues, I’ll answer them briefly:

* integrity of peer review: nothing very interesting there. We have the CR scandal, but that is from the other side. There is the > ahem < of McLean et al. – I keep mentionning that, but no-one is ever interested :-(. Go on Keith, have a look, don’t be tribal :-). There are indeed interesting issues around peer review, but the current excietment has not illuminated those issues. You’ll find more interesting discussion within the narrow compass of JEB, and previous than you will in the mess of reaction to the hacking.
* FOIA evasion: I’m still not seeing this, though I accept views are somewhat polarised. McI and fanboyz made an unreasonable number of FOI requests, largely for data that wasn’t CRU’s. CRU, correctly, refused.
* CRU data storage: same again, sorry. CRU, rather a long time ago, threw away some data that wasn’t theirs. If you read the more eccentric frothy parts of the blogosphere, this is whipped up into a conspiracy to… well, I don’t know.
* Tribalism. I suppose I’m tribal because I don’t agree this is a scandal (well, the hacking was scandalous, we’re all agreed on that, of course, not that you’d know it if you read certain blogs). So, Keith can have his tgribalism test: what does he think about Zorita calling for Rahmstorf to be banned from IPCC? Remember: be forthright; no weaselling.

[Update: read Nurture -W]

Major sea level rise likely as Antarctic ice melts?

So says the Beeb. And they have a cute picture of whales next to icebergs to prove it. It would be natural to think this was occaisioned by That East Antarctic mass loss, in full (i.e. the new GRACE results) but apparently not, it is just a coincidence: Sea levels are likely to rise by about 1.4m (4ft 6in) globally by 2100 as polar ice melts, according to a major review of climate change in Antarctica. Conducted by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), it says that warming seas are accelerating melting in the west of the continent. . Before I continue onwards let me quote Two years ago, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projected that the global average sea level would probably rise by 28-43 cm (11-16in) by the end of the century. But it acknowledged this figure was almost certainly too low, because it was impossible to model “ice dynamics” – the acceleration in ice melting projected to occur as air and water temperatures rise. Launching the SCAR report in London, lead editor John Turner from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) suggested that observations on the ground had changed that picture, especially in parts of the West Antarctic ice sheet. “Warmer water is getting under the edges of the West Antarctic ice sheet and accelerating the flow of ice into the ocean,” he said. I do this merely to ask if you know a Top Fact about John Turner? He is very fond of donkeys. Now, back to the schedule.

So, the SCAR release is Antarctic Climate Change and the Environment and that is supported by the BAS press release (read it now folks – they have an irritating habit of moving them around every five minutes). On the off chance that you don’t want to read a 20 Mb pdf download, they helpfully provide a top 10 points list in BIG SHOUTY CAPITALS for the hard of understanding. I’ll leave you to read most of that for yourself (NN will like the bit about sea ice). They reckon that The predicted warming [to 2100] of around 3º C is not enough to cause melting across most of the ice sheet but that Loss of ice from the West Antarctic ice sheet is likely to contribute some tens of centimetres to global sea level by 2100… This is expected to contribute to a projected total sea level rise of up to 1.4 metres by 2100.

At this point we go back to the title of the Beeb’s story and say Aha! Yes: you’ve phrased that really very carefully. “Major sea level rise likely as Antarctic ice melts”. Not *because* but *as*. In that case, they ar relying on ~1.2m of SLR from misc sources to 2100, plus some more from Antarctica, and that is within the bounds of the reasonble.

Incidentally, have you noticed how exciting things have got recently? I’m sure only half a year ago I was bemoaning the lack of cliamte stuff, and now busloads are coming along all at once. It must be Copenhagen (argh! Oh no! I’ve said the word and I said I wouldn’t).