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Unforced variations, July 2011

Filed under: — group @ 2 July 2011

The RC open thread.
With a reminder that this is not a dumping ground for anything under the sun, but is rather for discussing climate science topics that don’t fit neatly into ongoing discussions.

366 Responses to “Unforced variations, July 2011”

  1. 301


    Great logic:

    1) The greenhouse effect is like a greenhouse;
    2) Greenhouses don’t work the way some have thought;
    3) Therefore the greenhouse effect doesn’t exist.

    Boy, that sure shifted the earth. . .

  2. 302
    Pete Dunkelberg says:

    Allegrement @ 300: The glass greenhouse effect impedes the escape of heat via convection. The atmospheric greenhouse effect impedes the escape of heat via longwave IR radiation. From basic physics (the Stefan Boltzman law) you may calculate the temperature of earth’s surface with no atmosphere or an atmosphere transparent to all wavelengths. It is about 30 kelvins colder than what we experience in our greenhouse gas laden atmosphere. Be glad the greenhouse effect works.

    @ 297 heatapocalypse – see various posts at Capital Climate.

  3. 303
    ccpo says:

    Re: Fruit loops above, wouldn’t it be better, under the concept that a lie/fruit loop is enhanced by repetition, to immediately relegate such fruit loopiness to the Bore Hole? Context being everything…

  4. 304
    Snapple says:

    That John O’Sullivan is in his own little world, and sometimes he is on the Kremlin-financed English-language satellite channel Russia Today.

    He claims he teamed up with CIA operative” Kent Clizbe, who claims to be retired from the CIA’s clandestine service; however, the CIA studies climate change.

    They just want gullible people to think that the CIA
    doesn’t accept climate change. The head of the CIA Center for Climate Change and National Security is named Larry Kobayashi, according to media reports. The CIA works with climate scientists so they will be able to anticipate how the changing climate will impact America’s national security. Clizbe seems to have stopped raving about Dr. Mann. Perhaps he found out he’s not on the same page as the CIA.

    I will be in Phoenix soon and will let you all know if there is a third dust storm (haboob in Arabic and “Phoenician.”

    Maybe someone could write about these dust storms. There was a news account that claimed that the recession contributed to the dust storm because many construction projects were abandoned and the plants on foreclosed properties are not being maintained.

  5. 305
    wili says:

    @296, 297

    One station is predicting a heat index temperature of up to 120 today here in Minneapolis, some of the highest in the country. Dew points have been in the high 70’s and even 80’s. We often have uncomfortably high humidity here, but this is ridiculous. Tomorrows raw temps will be around 100 F but the humidity may drop a bit.

    Which all makes me think about an article I saw about wet bulb temperature (if I am remembering the term correctly). At what point does this measure become life threatening? How is it estimated? Is it the same as the heat index?

    (reCAPTCHA: firmly andeclu)

  6. 306

    If the moderators will allow a cross-post from Open Mind, and one dealing with politics and society rather than the science–

    The recent Schellnhuber ‘noose’ incident was the last straw for me; collating a number of Deltoid’s posts with some other incidents in which (shall we say) the use of reason to settle ‘debate’ has been in abeyance, I wrote an article calling it like I see it. Don’t know if it was the ‘right’ thing to do–but I felt compelled. Judge for yourself:

  7. 307
    Tom says:


    Since I mentioned it I guess I’ll try to answer your question.

    The wet-bulb temperature is simply the temperature a parcel of air would saturate at by evaporating moisture into it at constant pressure. Dewpoint is strictly the temperature at which saturation/condensation occurs. If I remember correctly, more precisely it is a measure of the saturation vapor pressure, i.e. the partial pressure exerted by all the gaseous water molecules in the parcel.

    I’m not familiar with life threatening wet-bulb values but dewpoints in excess of 80 can be life threatening for some. Wet-bulb is especially useful for predicting frozen precipitation when a moist layer exist over a shallow, cold, dry layer near the surface. Also, the height of wet-bulb zero, the freezing value, is a decent indicator for hail.

    The heat index like windchill is really a measure of the body’s ability to evaporate moisture from the skin. To make the water phase change, energy is taken from the skins surface which lowers the body temperature. The more moist the air (dewpoint) the less efficient this process is. Thus the danger.

    I’ve often wondered why wind speed isn’t factored into the heat index since just a little wind would increase the efficiency of the evaporation. That’s the idea behind windchill.

    Hope that was in the ballpark of your question.

  8. 308

    Typical TV meteorologist , on NBC news today, calling this recent US heat wave something from a Mad Max film, “Thunderdome” comes to mind, or “heat dome” as mentioned. If the greater part of the Arctic’s old ice is gone, if the Arctic again has record warm temperatures during summer. what is left to cool the South?
    …………….”Look North weatherman, look North”

  9. 309
    Jim Cross says:

    #292 Gavin comment

    Actually there were record cosmic ray intensities in 2009-2010.

    [Response: Fair point, but the couple of years at the last solar minimum don’t make a long term trend. I should update that graph though. – gavin]

  10. 310
    John E. Pearson says:

    We’re seeing cockroaches above 7,000′ in Northern New Mexico. These are the first I’ve seen in 20 years. I’ve seen 3 this week. I am curious as to why they are showing up now.

    My perception of this past winter is that the temperatures were fairly typical for a La Nina year. It was cold and dry. The “dry” part in that equation is extreme, the driest on record. Is the changing climate here kinder and gentler to roaches? Could their appearance now be related to the largest forest fire in state history that burnt through two weeks ago? Would there have always been some small population of them in the forest and now with the fire/extreme dryness they’re opting for town life? The fire chief said that the moisture content of the fuel in the forest was the lowest on record (3%). Are there any entomologists who frequent RC?

  11. 311
    Hank Roberts says:


    Interesting stuff, including
    “… Although the 2009 intensities were at a 50-year high level, measurements of 10Be deposited in polar ice cores over the last ~500 years (McCracken et al. Adv. Sp. Res. 34. 397, 2004) indicate that the space era has occurred during a period of very-low GCR intensity. Between the years ~1400 and ~1900 10Be production was typically ~40% to ~80% greater than in the early 1970s. It is possible that the near-Earth radiation environment is returning to more “normal” conditions. For more information, see the paper by Mewaldt et al. (2010). …”

    How much of a difference compared to the other forcings? (I realize this isn’t answered yet, but we have estimates for aircraft contrail clouds and volcanic clouds).

  12. 312

    Much better heat wave diagnosis from NBC News, different weather person, describing stagnant systems, very apt. But if there is more of a mix of cold and warm air throughout the Northern Hemisphere less stagnancy possible. So goodbye Mad Max hello more serious dialogue…. Well done…

  13. 313
    Hunt Janin says:

    I’m now finishing up a book on sea level rise. To the best of my knowledge, this introductory-level study covers the subject matter adequately because I have used the best printed sources and best real-live experts I could find. However, the text as it now stands is perhaps too conservative. If you have any heretical but responsible opinions on sea level rise, please share them with me off-list at Thanks.

  14. 314

    Meanwhile, back at the funny farm, S. Fred Singer has apparently attained a new degree in insanity…, claiming apparently that worrying about climate change is a “psychosis.”

  15. 315
  16. 316

    Had quite the revelation tonight, with Montreal clouds being completely different, odd , more like clouds from further South , hundreds of cloud to cloud lightning, spectacular but unfamiliar. Also seen a whole lot of Cirrus, so much so there was starting from mid air red sun pillar at about 50,000 feet., usually I see them from the Arctic horizon. This brings me to wonder if other overheated US RC readers have noticed lazy cirrus clouds hanging over them more often than not, sort of shutting the door with the room having an air conditioner.

  17. 317
    MattB says:

    Just wondering if you guys have done/are planning anything on Lindzen & Choi 2011? It seems to be the new darling of the blogosphere loons. Not so much the peer-review side of things which is fairly well documented.

  18. 318
    jyyh says:

    #316 wayne: I’ve got a feeling that in Finland the amount of fractus-clouds (the ones with unclear edges under the normal (summer) clouds) has been increasing and possibly also those cirruses you mention. I’ve got no hard data though. Forecast for today is 28C, with humidity over 70%, but rather this than the -20 with wind chill of -35. Glad of not having to work outside, though. I really can’t understand those temperatures reported from US, unless they’ve released way more methane than reported from fracking and Deepwater Horizon that is ;-|.

  19. 319
    Scott says:

    I’ve been looking at the recent Kaufmann paper and I don’t understand something. He estimates anthropogenic sulfur emission from industrial consumption and deduces that there has been a rise in sulfur emission, mainly from Asia. (Something I’d assumed for a long time). One popular denialist argument is to point to the GISS Stratospheric Aerosol Optical Thickness measurements at:

    These don’t seem to show anything particularly large for the post 1998 period – why is that? I can clearly see the effect of volcanic erruptions, so I assume this is not a good measure of sulfur emissions. Is there any similar direct measurement for sulfur which would capture the Asian increase? I’ve seen satellite measurements of aerosols and SO2 from volcanic eruptions so why doesn’t this work for industrial emissions?

  20. 320
    caerbannog says:

    Just picked up a copy of Ray Bradley’s new book “Global Warming and Political Intimidation”. The prose is polite and restrained, but you can tell that Bradley is hopping-mad. Here’s a paragraph where he lets Wegman have it with both barrels (and then reloads):

    As I read the Wegman Report, I must say I was impressed by how well this statistician had grasped the intricacies of paleoclimatology, and in particular, high-resolution studies of tree rings, ice cores, and corals. His section on the problems of using tree rings, and of the important points that one must take into account, struck me as quite brilliant — lucid and clear. It was only later that I realized that large sections of his report had been lifted verbatim from my own 1999 book on the subject, “Paleoclimatology”.

  21. 321

    jyyh, Cirrus clouds are the real -not looking like – but as effective as a geodesic dome, maintaining heat particularly at night, a literal thunderdome from very active thunder clouds, likely from the entire world, boosted by impending El-nino becoming bigger still reaching even in Finland, I see in Montreal the same weird fracti form high altitude clouds likely more seen further South. I relate all on my blog, and also an explanation , quite visual, of the reason for this heat wave, with the help of Mad Max lingo, well applied this time….. Having friends from Finland I salute you!

  22. 322
    Hank Roberts says:

    For Scott, did you look at Scholar? This may help:
    From a quick glance, it’s not simple to associate the changes in the wavelengths the satellites detect with whatever the actual events/chemicals/particles are of interest. Also there’s plenty of obfuscation on the subject — the first hit Scholar finds if you limit the above search to 2011 is from “PJ Michaels – Transportation, 2011 –”

  23. 323
    Dr Burns says:

    Is there any evidence that man’s CO2 is responsible for this change or the increase in warming over the past 300 years since the LIA. If so, exactly what is the evidence ?

    [Response: Yes – though the role of CO2 specifically does not come out of the noise until the 20th C. Please see the IPCC reports, perhaps starting off with the FAQs. – gavin]

  24. 324
    hank says:

    Somebody PLEASE go tell them to shut up over at WUWT. They’re trashing this site once again, this time about comment deletion;
    If the owners of this site have any self respect, please use it now.

    [Response: There is really very little point. Their whole endeavour is a giant ad hom argument designed to shift discussion from substance and science to personalities. Treating it as if it was a serious discussion wastes everyone’s time and just increases the noise. Suffice to say they have no idea how much spam we get, or how Re-Captcha works. But the discussions here are moderated, and off-topic, tedious or abusive comments don’t make it out of moderation (though it is a small fraction of what they are claiming). This improves the signal to noise ratio and makes for more nuanced conversations – something that is all too rare in the blogosphere. Other people can run their blogs how they like, and if people don’t like one blog, they can go elsewhere or start their own. I am distinctly uninterested in playing games. – gavin]

  25. 325
    J Bowers says:

    University sculpture upsets Wyoming coal industry

    Apparently Wyoming Republican lawmakers believe the purpose of a university is to flatter its funders when choosing its onsite art. How very medieval. No, I’m being too harsh on medieval people.

    The artist’s blog: Chris Drury – microcosm and macrocosm
    NYT: Coal-Themed Sculpture Annoys Lawmakers

  26. 326
    Hank Roberts says:

    > hank says: 22 Jul 2011 at 5:06 PM

    Disambiguation: not me.

  27. 327
    The Raven says:

    It is speculated that Murdoch’s Neil Wallis, participated in the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit breakin, and sabotaged the PR job afterwards, much like an arsonist firefighter.

    It is known that Wallis, the News International Executive Editor who was in charge of their electronic break-ins was reporting back to News International at the same time he was ostensibly working for Scotland Yard on those break-ins. He was also the person hired by the University of East Anglia to handle PR in their e-mail break-in. Did he do it twice?

    Olbermann video: (the Wallis coverage starts at 5:57.)

    Olbermann transcript:

    Discussion by Joe Romm of ThinkProgress:


  28. 328
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Hank, WRT WTFUWT, why should we care what goes on within the walls of the asylum? These are people who think it snows CO2 in Antarctica, who think the entire scientific community is involved in a global conspiracy, who could not analyze or understand data if their collective single brain cell dependended on it.

    As Leonardo said, “As to my enemies, I pay no more attention to the wind that comes from their mouths than to the wind that comes from their anuses.”

    In the case of WTF, the latter wind contains more information.

  29. 329
    Lloyd Flack says:

    #327 The Raven,
    I thought that the dates on some the files dumped by the hackers suggested that they were based on the North American East Coast.

  30. 330
    The Raven says:

    Wallis could after all hire hackers in North America. Or perhaps it was done through the News International New York office.

    [Response: I know people love to speculate, but these kinds of discussions go nowhere. Thanks – gavin]

  31. 331
    J Bowers says:

    The only thing I’ll say on the Wallis subject here: Was he just a hired consultant at Outside Organisation, or he was an MD?

  32. 332

    #324, hank, they have nothing better to say, its a good sign. They lost the science argument.

    Does anyone further South from Montreal explain a CB single cell giving off thousands of Cloud to cloud
    lightning. Some say 20,000 in one hour. From observations we called them summer night lightning. But from all accounts, no one from Montreal has seen so many. Is this a frequent occurrence say in Maryland, Kentucky? I suspect not only new species of birds migrating North… Will show a video on my blog when I can find the right wire.

  33. 333
    Marco says:

    I think Hank #324 could benefit from reading this blogpost:
    which nicely exposes the enormous hypocrisy of WUWT.

    David Appell is far from the only person being censored by WUWT. Watts IS unique in his threats to those providing inconvenient comments (see also thefordprefect’s link)

  34. 334
    J Bowers says:

    de Freitas feeds his students sceptic propaganda

    But it gets worse. The last two slides on the next page of the workbook pdf (p3 of the hi-res pdf, p62 of the low res) include little inset graphs. The first of these is a graph of monthly global satellite temperatures with the increase in CO2 overlaid, prepared by US weatherman and noisy climate denier Joe D’Aleo. The last slide on that page includes a little inset graph that looked familiar.
    It took a little hunting, but I eventually tracked down the original4, from Christopher Monckton’s March 2009 SPPI Monthly CO2 Report at the web site of the Science and Public Policy Institute, the US lobby group that promotes many of Monckton’s activities:

    I can’t believe the university would be impressed with that. Aren’t these students paying fees for an education, not an indoctrination?

  35. 335

    [Response: I know people love to speculate, but these kinds of discussions go nowhere. Thanks – gavin]

    Eh, given means, motive, opportunity and (alledgedly) a history of similar crimes, I don’t see how this is any wörse than betting on Arctic ice ;-)

  36. 336

    This is an overview of a single CB cell exhibiting unusual lightning, apparently unleashing 20,000 strikes in one hour (source is from a news network).

    I have it from a different angle, none in Montreal have ever seen this before. Will post when I transfer it to computer.

  37. 337
    PAM says:

    I must admit that I agree with many detractors:
    – CO2 is natural;
    – CO2 is absorbing IR;
    – CO2 marginal impact is decreasing as it increases;
    – Ice does melt: it is normal;
    – More melted water means more water;
    – We could even send Canadian icebergs to poor countries (if they have to melt why not give them…);
    – Lindzen position is that there is GW but not caused by us: fine with me;
    – Lindzen even agrees that CO2 molecules are vibrating: fine with me;
    – If people would only understand as much as Lindzen does: 95% would believe in GW;
    – If Lindzen could only see how intelligent he is, he could be a great asset in fighting GW;
    – It is just a matter of coincidence that we emit CO2 in massive amounts and the temperature increases;
    – CO2 accumulated during billions of years causing our planet to cool down are now back in the atmosphere;
    – A nuclear winter would be shortened with lots of CO2;
    – Between a snow ball earth and 10C more: my choice is clear.

    Point I am trying to make: resistance provokes persistance.
    From an Ericsonian (Milton Erickson) approach to communications, the more resist to deniers, the more we will have persistance.
    So the approach should be to support tham, become their fan… It would decrease the persistance…

    Going in the opposite direction seems counter intuitive but it is the answer.
    For example, some of the stuff guys like Lindzen is saying is really great stuff.
    This guy really knows is science (more than me at least).
    If you can not win against your ennemy, join them…
    Apply internal guerila among them (sending commandos).
    Make sure they loose support.

    All of this needs coordinated efforts.
    After all, those scientists have been accused of collusion: it is time to do what other are accusing them of doing.
    Build a collusion and go on Fox TV admitting to them there is a collusion with one first target: Fox (or anyone else).
    Unite and focus on one ennemy at a time: when a few will collapse, others might change their minds…
    Tough? no easy: just need unity and sharing a common target.
    Choose anyone and all focus on one guy: if you are living by the truth, that guy or company will fall.

    It is time for the scientists to spend some time together and get out of the labs.
    Can you imagine 1000 scientists around the global going after one target in press conference? in one week?
    How many scientists are working in GW? 10K? 100K?

  38. 338
    PAM says:

    Is it possible, in the worst case, that GW could be under-modeled?
    Is it possible that some very simple model could be the most accurate?
    Is it possible that some of these modelers are incousciously trying to lower the results because of fear:
    – fear of being used as scape-goat;
    – fear of the numbers they see: This can not be true…;
    How can someone be insensible with big oil putting all their efforts to keep their money flowing?

    Beside every problem I see opportunities…
    Petrol causes GW –> GW causes more need of clean energy;
    Peak Oil cause petrol to go up: economic crisis –> race towards cheaper alternatives;
    I am oversimplifying my tought process here but you certainly get the idea.

    Even for Oil companies: decreasing oil availability would give them more dollars per barrel.
    How come they do not see that decreasing oil availability increases their revenues and the duration of those revenues?

  39. 339

    The Frontline Club is screening a documentary in London that we think people on Climate Debate Daily would engage well with, primarily due to the excellent Q&A after the film. “Up in Smoke” explores the environmental impact of slash and burn agriculture, such as global warming and deforestation.

    Filmed over a period of three years across the globe, Up in Smoke follows pioneering scientist Mike Hands as he attempts to change one of the most carbon-emitting practices in the world: slashing and burning rainforests for subsistence agriculture.

    Combining Hands’ scientific research with the lives of the impoverished farmers who depend on slash and burn agriculture for their livelihood, the film examines the real cost of carbon and the attempts to change environmentally damaging practices.

    The core of the film is Hands’ attempts to put slash and burn agricultural practices on the agenda at the 2009 Copenhagen Summit and draw global attention to the issue. Up in Smoke shows the desperate working conditions of the farmers in South America and addresses the complex moral questions about the demands of saving the planet for the future and protecting the livelihoods of people living today.

    The film is followed by a Q&A with the director, Adam Wakeling, and revolutionary ecologist Mike Hands, which should lead to a productive, informative, and essential discussion for any of those passionately interested in issues related to climate change.

    For more information, our screening site is here:—up-in-smoke.html

  40. 340
    jyyh says:

    6th warmest june at GISS.

  41. 341
    Magnus W says:

    I guess you have seen this… how it got past review beats me.

    An other curve fitting exercise:

    “A 21st Century forecast suggests that climate may remain approximately steady until 2030-2040, and may at most warm 0.5-1.0°C by 2100 at the estimated 0.66°C/century anthropogenic warming rate, which is about 3.5 times smaller than the average 2.3°C/century anthropogenic warming rate projected by the IPCC up to the first decades of the 21st century. However, additional multisecular natural cycles may cool the climate further.”

    [Response: I love the way that even the abstract compares two completely different things (the trend from 1950? and 21 st century projections) as if they were the same period. Maybe they think this is justified because there is a law of nature that says that linear trends have to continue indefinately…? This is just embarrassing. – gavin]

  42. 342

    I have a video finally, more than 300 lightnings in 7 minutes from a single cloud, July 21 2011, 9 PM. As far as I know, no one from Montreal has ever seen such a thing. I am trying to figure out the media’s 20,000 per hour. But I got about 3000 per Hour from a single Cumulo Nimbus to the South of Montreal originating near the New York and Vermont border. Extraordinary to watch, in essence firing bolts from almost always the same spot. Will comment more on my blog when I get more info.

  43. 343
    Charles says:

    Re: 341

    Magnus, the reason that the paper got through, uh, peer review might be found in the following links:

    [Response: They are also publishing completely garbage such as the latest missive from Gerhard Kramm on the “so-called greenhouse effect”. Oh dear. – gavin]

  44. 344
    Geoff Beacon says:

    I can’t decide if this amuses or terrifies me:
    Climate change forecasters are wrong on CO2, new report claims

    And it says that while their research results add further evidence of global warming from a forecasting perspective, there is only limited evidence of a link between annual emissions of CO2 and the 10- and 20-year rise in global annual average temperatures

    Claims from competing interest groups have led to a decline in confidence in statements on climate change – particularly in the wake of allegations of manipulated data from the University of East Anglia, and incorrect projections on Himalayan glaciers.

    The Lancaster research aimed to make 10 and 20 year ahead climate predictions more accurate and trustworthy for policy-makers, and be the basis for more informed debate over the realities of climate change.

    Are we to have a balance between the Lancaster University Management School, a triple-accredited, world-ranked management school, and the claims of the IPCC?

    The IPCC use inadequate models, which obviously understate the dangers then there is a scaling down of the dangers by papers like that from LUMS.

    OK, modelling is hard, we cannot expect perfection but should we not publicise their defects.

    Who remembers the well modelled box girder bridges?

    They collapsed.

    But there are plenty of other brides to cross.

  45. 345
    Hank Roberts says:

    > Kramm

    Bentham Science Publishers.
    “Author Pays” publishing model, ownership undisclosed.

    Happy to hear there’s something lower than E’n’E.
    “… I enjoyed hearing about your efforts to contact Bentham Publishers. I, too, have been curious about them. I looked at to check on whether Bentham has ISI-listed journals and how they are priced. lists 14 Bentham journals, 12 are classified as “bad values” in terms of price per article and price per citation, and 2 as “medium values”. It appears to me that they are an established publisher that has fallen into “bad hands”….”

  46. 346
    J Bowers says:

    Tim DeChristopher sentenced to two years. The judge states that had he kept his mouth shut, he may have not been prosecuted at all.

    U.S. District Judge Dee Benson pointed to DeChristopher’s continued defiance and frequent assertions to reporters that civil disobedience is justified in fighting climate change. He mentioned DeChristopher’s speech after his March conviction, in which the activist implored others to buck the system.

    If not for that “continuing trail of statements,” Benson said, DeChristopher might not have faced prosecution, let alone prison.

    “The offense itself, with all apologies to people actually in the auction itself, wasn’t that bad,” Benson said.

    The Founding Fathers would be proud. How about that Rosa Parks, eh?

  47. 347
    Hasis says:

    Geoff B

    If you can access it, it may be useful to read Keith Beven’s ideas on this issue:

    My interpretation of the LUMS work is that it is more aligned with Wally Broecker’s ideas of AGW uncertainty than the Heartland Institute’s

  48. 348

    I have linked , 2 recordings from different locations of July 21 single Cumulo Nimbus lightning phenomenon. Absolutely fascinating event, worth while to study and look at again and again. One from the North, the other further west. As more come through will link. Would be nice to have a Burlington Vermont perspective.

  49. 349
  50. 350
    J Bowers says:

    “Latest from Spencer. Any validity?”

    James Taylor of Heartland has written a Forbes piece claiming AGW has been crushed by it based on the paper. You just know something’s wrong.

    Looking forward to the rebuttals, I must say.