Thursday, July 20, 2017

Matthew England wins the 2017 Tinker-Muse Prize. Charles Rotter spruiks mistruths @wattsupwiththat

Sou | 1:00 PM Go to the first of 5 comments. Add a comment
Congratulations to Professor Matthew England of the Climate Change Research Centre (CCRC) at the University of New South Wales. He is this year's winner of the Tinker-Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica. It's a prestigious award and comes with a prize of $US100,000. The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) administers the award process independently of the Tinker Foundation.

A pioneer scientist with a rare ability

Professor England does a huge amount of research covering multiple topics. One subject on which he has made an important contribution is increasing our understanding of the Southern Ocean and the Southern Annular Mode (SAM). As stated on his website, "Quantifying the natural variability of Southern Ocean water masses, including their properties and overturning rates, is vital for detecting anthropogenic climate change."

Figure 1 | Schematic depth-latitude diagram showing the major circulation and water masses of the Southern Ocean. The following water masses are highlighted: (1) Antarctic Bottom Water flowing along the abyssal ocean, (2) Circumpolar Deep Water upwelling into the Antarctic Divergence Zone, (3) Antarctic Intermediate Water in the temperature range 4-6°C, and (4) Subantarctic Mode Water in the upper ocean north of the Subantarctic Front (SAF). Source: Matthew England's website

Saturday, July 15, 2017

June is cooler in 2017 but still the 4th hottest June on record

Sou | 2:06 AM Go to the first of 25 comments. Add a comment

Summary: June 2017 was the fourth hottest June on record. The 12 months to June 2017 was the second hottest July to June period on record.

According to GISS NASA, the average global surface temperature anomaly for June was 0.69 °C, which is 0.10 °C less than the hottest June in 2016, making June 2017 the fourth hottest June in the record. It's the hottest June in any year when there was no El Nino.

Below is a chart of the average of 12 months to June each year. The 12 months to June 2017 averaged 0.91 °C above the 1951-1980 mean, which was 0.10 °C cooler than the 12 months to June 2016.

This makes it the second hottest July to June 12 month period on record.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Gigantic ice block, A-68, impressed Anthony Watts so much he came back from his holiday from @wattsupwiththat

Sou | 3:42 PM Go to the first of 19 comments. Add a comment
Photo: John Sonntag, NASA
Most of you will by now have heard that the cracked ice shelf on Larsen C has split the whole way through. This means a gigantic block of ice is now floating free. It's got a name as bland as all the other recorded icebergs: A-68.

The block measures about 5,800 km² in area and weighs more than a trillion tonnes. It is one of the ten biggest icebergs ever recorded.  The weight is equivalent to the weight of 7,142,857,143 fully grown blue whales, the world's largest mammal.  To visualise the area, think of somewhere that's 29 km by 200 km or 18 by 124 miles. The iceberg is around the same size as Australia's largest island after Tasmania, Melville Island north of Darwin, which is 5,786 km² in area.

There's an article at Quartz by Zoë Schlanger, Jennifer Brown and Katherine Ellen Foley, with some other international comparisons, for example, it covers an area twice as big as the Australian Capital Territory and 60 times the area of Paris.

This isn't the largest iceberg ever. The largest recently recorded is B-15, which split off from the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica 17 years ago, in March 2000. It was almost twice the size of this one, measuring 295 km (183 miles) by 37 km (23 miles), and having a surface area of 11,000 km² (4,200 sq miles). Wikipedia also lists other recent large icebergs - here and here.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Not as hot June troposphere temperatures, with a new version from RSS

Sou | 7:03 PM Go to the first of 14 comments. Add a comment
The troposphere temperatures for June 2017 are out. This report covers the lower troposphere as recorded in UAH v6 and the new RSS TLT v4, and RSS TTT v4 for the troposphere (without the "lower"). It follows pretty much the same format as previous monthly updates.

The troposphere is the part of the atmosphere directly above the surface. The temperatures are estimated from measurements recorded by satellites orbiting the earth.  They are not direct temperature measurements (the satellites don't record thermometer readings). And they are of an average of a depth of the atmosphere - up to several kilometres above the surface. The different versions of reported satellite temperature data tend to vary more than different versions of surface temperature.

For all three different temperature data sets shown, the 12 months to June 2017 is the second hottest 12 months in the record (comparing similar July-June periods).
  • For RSS TTT (troposphere), June itself was the just the eighth hottest June, with June 1998 the hottest.
  • For RSS TLT (lower troposphere), June was the equal fifth hottest June (with June 2014). June 2016 was the hottest.
  • The lower troposphere (UAH v6) June was the eighth hottest June on record. June 1998 was the hottest.

Monday, July 3, 2017

A frosty look at David Archibald's latest speculation about global cooling

Sou | 2:12 AM Go to the first of 16 comments. Add a comment
It was so cold this morning that I had to hop into the fridge to warm up. It's winter, of course, but it got quite cold even for winter in this part of the world - measuring about minus 6.4 Celsius this morning at our place.

Okay, I know for some of you that would be a mild winter's morning. Here it's worth lots of tweets. We're no longer used to having the sort of frosty mornings that were common when I was a child. What used to be the norm has now become a novelty with the world warming up so much.

Figure 1 | Frosty nights in Australia via BoM

Deniers can get all of a twitter when there's a frost. They are scared that it means an ice age is coming. Take David Archibald. He's been predicting an ice age for something like twelve years, ever since (he says) he "started out in climate science". He says his first paper was written just a few months later, but the only place he could publish it was in the denier journal Energy and Environment.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Website feedback

Sou | 8:47 PM Go to the first of 43 comments. Add a comment


Thank you for all the help. I've made some more changes as a result of emails and comments here:
  • The sidebar is now white. Some of you were finding the dark background hard to read and/or ugly. 
  • The font has been made easier to read from what was there at first, and is bigger than the font on the old blog.
  • New menu: There's a new menu. Until tomorrow, I'll leave it so it opens when you visit the page. However it's quite intrusive when it's open, so I'll only leave it like that for a short while, so you know it's there.  I hope in time, people will notice the little hamburger icon in the top right hand corner. Click on that and the menu will open and close. Click near the top of the open menu itself (it doesn't have to be right on the spot marked with an X) and it will close.
  • Less white space: Not really, though it might seem that way. What I've done is adjusted the page so that on medium and higher resolution screens, such as you'll find on high end notebooks and with larger desktop monitors, the sidebar no longer sits right on the edge. The gap between the sidebar and the main articles is now a bit smaller. Smaller screens and lower resolutions can still enjoy maximum breathable space :)
  • I've put the latest comments and the newest articles up the top of the sidebar. Just click on what you want and the panel will open up. It's the same content as it was on the old blog, but should now be easier to get to for most of you. 
  • If on your screen the side bar is missing, it probably means you're looking at a very small screen (a small tablet or similar). The content of the sidebar is still there and accessible to you. It's just moved down the page under the main articles. You should be able to get to it easily by scrolling down the page. Or, if you know what you're looking for, use the main menu (click on the hamburger icon on the top right of the page). The sidebar items are listed under Blog Menu (the top item in the menu).

There are a few other things I've done, and I'll continue to make refinements over time, most of which you probably won't notice but I'll feel better for it :)

If there's something bugging you about the site, please let me know either by leaving a comment here, or by sending an email or tweet or even a comment at facebook . (The first three are better options. I don't really use Facebook except to let people know about blog articles).

Time to get back to the business of blogging and other important matters :)

Sou - 11:05 pm + 10 UTC, Thursday 29 June 2017

I'd be glad of any comments on the new website - speed of loading, ease of navigation, readability, colours, fonts, difficulties, complaints whatever.

It's a work in progress. (It's not been possible to test it fully before going live, because it's hosted on Google.) The old site was getting to the end of it's usability from a management perspective, but it did work.

If enough people find this new design doesn't work for them, I'll revert back to the old design. On the other hand, if you prefer this, I'll continue to do my best to overcome any drawbacks.

This is what the website should look like at the moment (I've updated the picture to show the changes as of now, 29 June in Australia). Click to enlarge.


Anthony Watts is foxed yet again by temperature anomalies

Sou | 3:42 AM Go to the first of 40 comments. Add a comment
I read the latest article from Anthony Watts at WUWT. It reminded me that he really is dumb as an ox and blind as a bat.

Now you and I know that temperatures have been going only one way - up. And it's been getting really hot these past few years. Last year was the third year in a row that was the hottest on record. This year is shaping up as possibly the second hottest.

So what does Anthony Watts do? He plunges deep into idiocy with a most ridiculous article today (archived here).

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Pat Michaels theorises climate conspiracies, at Judith Curry's place

Sou | 2:30 PM Go to the first of 25 comments. Add a comment
Judith Curry has posted an article by Patrick J. Michaels from the Cato Institute (archived here).  He is wearing his conspiratorial tendencies on his sleeve, and wants Donald Trump to prevent the publication of a report mandated by the US 1990 Global Change Research Act, the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4). The chapter headings of the new report are listed here.

Pat describes his conspiracy theory in the second paragraph, where he believes that US civil servants "portray global warming as alarming" for money. He wrote:
The Assessment Report will be produced by civil servants in the federal government (mainly unfireable GS15’s reporting to Obama Administration bosses), many of whom handle large amounts of climate research money. It has always been in their interest to portray global warming as alarming, and therefore in need of even more federal research dollars.
I call this projection. Would Pat Michaels retain his own job for the Cato Institute if he started to write about climate science in an objective, factual manner? It seems to me he managed to get a job with them because he was a science disinformer.

Leo Goldstein has an oddly paranoid poke at the IPCC

Sou | 2:22 AM Go to the first of 6 comments. Add a comment
Some of articles at WUWT are indistinguishable from gibberish. In the past few months, Anthony Watts has taken to publishing articles by a very strange man. He now calls himself Leo Goldstein. When he first wrote articles for WUWT, he wrote as Ari Halperin. He's the chap who came up with the Google conspiracy, and developed a tool to combat it, made by Google :D.

Here's one bit of gobbledegook from Leo today (archived here, latest here). He wrote about equilibrium climate sensitivity and quoted the IPCC's AR5 Working Group 1 report:
The equilibrium climate sensitivity quantifies the response of the climate system to constant radiative forcing on multicentury time scales. It is defined as the change in global mean surface temperature at equilibrium that is caused by a doubling of the atmospheric CO2 concentration.” (p. 16)
That's fine. Thing is, I don't understand what Leo's difficulty is.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Neanderthal Anthony Watts joins the sky dragon slayers

Sou | 7:45 PM Go to the first of 32 comments. Add a comment
Anthony Watts has joined the sky dragon slayers he used to ban from his blog at WUWT. Well, he used to ban some of them. He's joined forces with Rick "Neanderthal" Perry, the US Secretary of Energy, who rejects climate science outright.

The sky dragon slayers are among the dumbest of the dim deniers, who don't believe the science of climate change. Most of them have spent their retirement years trying in vain to disprove the greenhouse effect. Sky dragon slayers reject the notion that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and is causing global warming. They think our planet stays warm by magic, or from the warm breath of their god, or from pixie dust, or something.