Thursday, October 23, 2014

Today's partial eclipse

From Portland, OR. Taken with my iPhone through a solar filter. Not nearly as good as I hoped.

Monday, October 20, 2014

No Doubt About it, the Strangest Animal I've Even Seen

Discovery News says it's a basket star -- a group of brittle relatives of the starfish.

Via the Huffington Post

Friday, October 17, 2014

Falcon in the Infared

This is really cool -- a video of the launch and descent of SpaceX's Falcon 1, filmed in the infrared. It was taken in September, but only released today by Elon Musk on Twitter. One thing I never realized was how on ascent the released first stage flies in the plume of the second stage rockets for a good while. That makes sense -- when the first stage is released it's traveling at the same speed as the rocket, except for (I'm guessing) a couple of booster rockets to give it a little push. But in the movies and TV shows you only ever see a few seconds of the first stage release, and from close up it looks like it's falling away fast.

Be sure to see the descent, a picture of which is the cover screen.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Shorter Mark Steyn

Shorter Mark Steyn: It's OK for me to defame him because Michael Mann is a public figure. And what's worse, he doesn't behave like the "real man" that I am.


A) Anyone that has to call himself a "real man," isn't one.

B) Is it really true that Mann's lawyer says "Ca Ching!" every time Steyn rants online?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

2014 Non-El Niño Year Much Warmer Than 1997 Monster-El Niño Year

This year -- with no El Niño (so far) -- is noticeably warmer than the big El Niño year of 1997, with global temperatures and sea-surface temperatures at record highs. It's almost like the planet has warmed up since then.

Red is 1997-98. Blue is 2014. Nino3.4 anomalies on left-hand axis; GISS anomalies on the right.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Guess How High the GISS Temperature Was in September

(Please remove your hats.)

First, let us pay homage to The Pause.
Giver of posts.
Sustainer of temps.
Antagonist of catastrophic alarmists everywhere.
Remember The Pause,
Keep faithful to The Pause,
Be steadfast with The Pause,
and, no matter what, keep pushing The Pause.

(You may now replace your hats.)

GISS's number for September's global temperature anomaly is +0.77 C -- the warmest September in their records, which begin in 1895.

Of course, it may have been five times as warm in 1894, for all we know.

August of this year was also #1 among all Augusts everywhere. That's just an astronomically rare coincidence.

But September 2014 was only the 7th-warmest of any month in their dataset. The southern hemisphere was 4th, and the northern hemisphere a paltry 61st (of 1,616 months). Notice the three 6's there -- that clearly means it's soon going to be as cold as Hell. Or something.

The last 60 months (5 years) are the warmest in GISS's archive, as are the last 120 months, but that always happens right before a temperatures plunge.

The trend from 00:00:01 UTC October 1, 2001 to 23:59:59 UTC Sept 30, 2014 is still negative. which can only mean one thing:

The Pause continues. 

   Go to Graphs page              Go to Maps page

Added 10/16:

Hadley SST: Warmest September in Their Records

The Hadley Centre's sea-surface temperature anomaly for September is the highest September since their records started in 1850. 

It's the second-highest anomaly for any month, excepting only last month. 

The last four months have ranked 3-4-1-2 among all months since 1850. 

It's been the warmest 60-month (5 yrs) period in their dataset, the warmest 10 yrs, and the warmest 30 yrs. 

The last 120 months are +0.07 C warmer than the previous 120 months.

The Pause, as they say, continues.

Map of sea-surface temperature anomalies from HadSST3 for latest month

The Irony of Bob Tisdale

1) Cites my work in an open letter to Jon Stewart*, and in an open letter to Lewis Black and George Clooney**, and then again in one to Pope Francis***.

2) Blocks me on his blog.

(*) Yes, that Jon Stewart.
(**) Yes, that Lewis Black, and yes, that George Clooney.
(***) Just kidding about the Pope****.
(****) For now.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Judith Curry's Sneaky Sentence

Judith Curry had an op-ed in yesterday's Wall Street Journal about her recent paper [PDF] with Nic Lewis -- it's paywalled, but the full text is on her blog.

It's titled, "The Global Warming Statistical Meltdown: Mounting evidence suggests that basic assumptions about climate change are mistaken: The numbers don’t add up." It begins
At the recent United Nations Climate Summit, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned that “Without significant cuts in emissions by all countries, and in key sectors, the window of opportunity to stay within less than 2 degrees [of warming] will soon close forever.” Actually, this window of opportunity may remain open for quite some time. A growing body of evidence suggests that the climate is less sensitive to increases in carbon-dioxide emissions than policy makers generally assume—and that the need for reductions in such emissions is less urgent.
and concludes
This slower rate of warming—relative to climate model projections—means there is less urgency to phase out greenhouse gas emissions now, and more time to find ways to decarbonize the economy affordably. It also allows us the flexibility to revise our policies as further information becomes available.
which is, of course, exactly what the WSJ wants to hear.

As you probably know by now, that paper uses a simple model for temperature change and finds that
...median estimates are derived for ECS of 1.64 K and for TCR of 1.33 K. ECS 17–83% and 5–95% uncertainty ranges are 1.25–2.45 K and 1.05–4.05 K; the corresponding TCR ranges are 1.05–1.80 K and 0.90–2.50 K.
where ECS is the equilibrium climate sensitivity and TCR is the transient climate response.

The Lewis & Curry numbers are significantly lower than the IPCC 5AR's numbers (ECS: 1.5°C to 4.5°C, TCR: 1.0°C to 2.5°C), especially for ECS.

The paper has been criticized because it didn't use the latest data for ocean heat content, surface temperatures (Cowtan & Way), or aerosols. These are easily understood points that seem difficult to dispute. Hence, on RealClimate, Nic Lewis flatly refused to address these issues:
I will not waste time arguing in this venue about the validity and/or relevance, or lack of it, of Shindell (2014), Cowtan and Way (2013) or the Allen and Stocker TCR/TCRE relationship.
On Twitter Gavin Schmidt said a preliminary calculate of ECS using Lewis and Curry's method but with the most recent ocean heat data (Durack et al) raises their ECS upper limit to 6.1 C -- much higher than the 5AR upper limit (which also did not use data that came out after the 5AR cutoff date of 5/15/13, so the upper limit will likely increase). (Added 10/10: a commenter says this has been revised to 4.7 C.)

But, in her WSJ op-ed, Judith Curry wrote:
Using an observation-based energy-balance approach, our calculations used the same data for the effects on the Earth’s energy balance of changes in greenhouse gases, aerosols and other drivers of climate change given by the IPCC’s latest report.
This is sneaky. It's technically true, and makes her paper look like something on equivalent grounds as the IPCC, and something the IPCC missed. But it fails to mention that the Lewis & Curry method doesn't use the most recent data available. It doesn't even acknowledge that they exist, which is at least worth a caveat in the article. Without that, it misleads the reader.

Judith Curry is fond of criticizing others on ethical grounds. I wonder what she would say about the ethics of an IPCC-ish scientist who wrote an article without using the best and most recent data available -- and who even ignored its existence.

I think we all know the answer to that.

PS: The Durack et al changes to ocean heat content (OHC) are indeed significant. Their study found a large addition to the 0-700 meter OHC numbers of (2.2 to 7.1) x 1022 J/35 years. This works out to an average of 20 to 64 terawatts. The existing NOAA OHC numbers for the 35-year change for the 0-700 m region gives 140 TW. So the Durack addition is another 14-46%. That's why their abstract ends with "These adjustments...have important implications for sea level, the planetary energy budget and climate sensitivity assessments." (Emphasis mine.)