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Unforced variations: May 2012

Filed under: — group @ 1 May 2012

New open thread for this month: misrepresentations of wind farm impacts on local climate? Clouds and contrarians? or whatever…


401 Responses to “Unforced variations: May 2012”

  1. 151
    Killian says:

    Messaging and Appeals to Authority

    I believe it is important to get messaging matched to the level of the people who will end up making the changes and making he changes happen. Ultimately, that is average folks. Common wisdom is valuable. It can cut through the complex at times to reveal the the germane. Besides, if the discussions of climate are always over the heads of the average person – not because of stupidity, but because of a lack of familiarity – then we all lose in the end. Besides, I’m not convinced all these theoretical discussions are all that accurate a reflection of how people think and/or how our minds/brains work. Much in psychology and sociology is a bare step above opinion once we move beyond the purely behavioral (operant conditioning) and physical aspects (chemical imbalances, etc.). (Speaking as a Psych major; no insult intended.)

    The average person understands that when you name-drop (appeal to authority), the person will either be germane or will not be. They may not know if the name dropped is germane, but they will know it either is or isn’t. They will decide if the person is germane based on biases from prior knowledge and ideologies (see: The Authoritarians), primarily. What, then, do they need to know from those of us who think we have some knowledge or insight, really?

    First, our world is so specialized, we really can’t expect everyone to educate themselves on these issues. There is no way I could have spent the last six years learning all I could about systems, climate, energy, and sustainable design AND become an expert in philosophy, practiced guitar enough to become a rock guitarist, etc. There is only so much time in the day.

    Second, there is only so much time before the proverbial top is spinning so out of control the crash down to the table can no longer be stopped. And none of us know what that time frame is. We have to prioritize our studies and our actions. Do we have time to get everyone on board with understanding name dropping at the level it is being discussed here? What, then is our messaging? Particularly when we are discussing it because one poster has, for years now, raised irrelevant issue after irrelevant issue, and done so in a manner that shows they are not here to learn, but to obfuscate. I believe it was three or four years ago that I outlined the evolution of the on-line denialists. The final version were those who made pretense at rational, level-headed discussion and accepting some basic points (warming is occurring), but ultimately changed nothing about their underlying understanding. Their consistency is the big tip-off: the data never changes their stance. Dan H. is one of these. Why, then, are we still humoring such people? Their appeals to authority, and claims against authority on the consensus, are bogus for one simple reason: There is absolutely nothing to support these appeals/claims against authority. Yet, he is able to make his claims month after month, year after year though his claims have zero merit.

    We cannot expect the average person to take the time to sort through the false equivalence. We have to move past such debates at some point. Engaging in them is, itself, acquiescence to the false equivalence. Anne Leonard was right when she spoke to Bioneers a couple of years ago: it is time to simply move past these people. They are not interested in the facts, the truth, solutioneering. They are defenders of ideology, power bases and intentional ignorance – though I am certain many of them are pawns rather than promulgators. We all know who the promulgators are. However, many of them know exactly what they do. They cannot but know given their obvious familiarity with the information. We need not sort out which among them is which, however.

    We have to, at some point, treat denialism as what it is: junk/crimes against humanity (again, we need not sort out which it is for any given person; we all recognize some is intentional, some is straight out of The Authoritarians). We must do this not because it is “wrong”, per se, but because the average person is pretty easily confused and we’re running out of time.

    We have to message effectively. Debating the nature of appeals to authority? Where is that getting us? We *all* understand that name-dropping is often BS. We are skeptical of it on its face. That’s really all we need to communicate. But, we need to defend the use of authority by connecting it to real world and clearly and unambiguously naming appeals to authority as BS when they are. I have a love/hate relationship with congressional testimony. How I long to hear scientists flat out state: “He’s lying. He’s in the pockets of big business. This is documented. The claims he is making have exactly zero merit and are taking small facts that are accurate and twisting them to make his arguments seem valid. They are not. There is no research that supports his stance.”

    But this never happens. So, our battle with claims of authority or against claims of authority is simple: we are not willing to call BS in an unambiguous way. That is what the public needs to hear. They cannot parse, due to lack of knowledge and time to gain that knowledge, polite debates about climate science where one side is clearly more valid than the other. The question is not about the nature of appeals to authority, but about making clear when invalid appeals are made and when invalid science is invoked.

    It simply is not enough to say you disagree with what a purported/actual expert has said, it is now necessary to call them out completely: They are not of a different opinion, they are, in fact, bending the data to suit a message, and that is not good science and is not legitimate.

    So, who cares what Dan H. has to say? Is he an honest actor? Maybe. Do his comments reflect the science accurately? No. Has he demonstrated an ability and/or willingness to let the data speak? No. Is he, then, a valid contributor to the discussion? No. Should this false equivalence be allowed to go on given the nature of the general public’s reliance on their own ideologies to make decisions? No. Does he virtually always belong in the Bore Hole? Yes.

    What the public needs is exposure to real, valid debate. Any suggestion warming is non-anthropogenic flies in the face of all the science. False equivalence is literally killing us. People are dying, crops are being lost, commodity prices are rising.

    http://www.freep.com/article/C4/20120414/NEWS06/120414018/grapes-michigan-frost

    http://bangordailynews.com/2010/05/11/business/frost-hits-mainersquos-berry-and-apple-crops/

    What we need to do is stop supporting the anti-science message by affording it platforms to present a falsely equivalent message. One appeal to authority is legit: it’s backed by the facts. The other appeal is not: it is backed by nothing but hot air and ideology.

    Isn’t that the message? That the science is what it is, and solutioneering is decades behind where it needs to be? That claims against the science are simply not valid at all, and are not worthy of our time? That debating Santa Claus is a deleterious activity given conditions and the inertia of society? Is debating Dan’s false appeals to authority and his false claims against legitimate authority really something we need to present to the general public?

  2. 152

    Killian wrote in 151:

    What we need to do is stop supporting the anti-science message by affording it platforms to present a falsely equivalent message.

    Bravo. When someone is consistently derailing a conversation and otherwise not making a positive contribution, the best solution is often to talk around him. The conversation moves on even if he does not.

  3. 153
    Joseph O'Sullivan says:

    In response to Jim’s comment (#34) on citizen science projects and to follow up to my reply to Lucy Lacie (#101), there have been published studies that used data gathered by non-scientists.

    One example is the bird watching projects, Christmas Bird Counts, sponsored by the Audubon Society where the data gathered was analyzed to assess and project the effects of climate change.

    A popular press story:
    Study: Birds adjusting slowly to climate change
    http://www.boston.com/news/science/articles/2012/03/27/study_birds_adjusting_slowly_to_climate_change/

    The paper:
    Tracking of climatic niche boundaries under recent climate change
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2656.2012.01958.x/abstract

    [Response:Yes, the Christmas Bird Counts are an outstanding example. Thanks Joseph.--Jim]

  4. 154
    Susan Anderson says:

    Timothy Chase:

    It’s not the concept, but the polysyllabic jargon. Surely coherentialism and/or coherentism can be put in plain direct English. It doesn’t mean anything to anybody not clued in.

    Ray, it’s not just specific science but the habit of thought that goes with examining evidence. Reaching over the footlights requires putting science in terms that do not require special knowledge in any scientific field. The closest I’ve been able to come is critical thinking, and, of course, telling the truth which I’ve talked about in the context of teaching people how to draw. The ones not hanging on to looking “smart”, trying to discover the “secret”, and interested in finding things out get it very quickly.

    Others, my apologies, am going to desist for a bit in hopes “science” will return to the discussion.

  5. 155
    Dan H. says:

    Secular,
    While surveys show that a large majority (consensus, if you wish) acknowledge that the Earth has warmed, and most scientists contend that humans have contributed significantly, I find no survey showing that scientists agree (or even come close) on what warming effects will be generated by the increasing atmocpheric CO2. This is the disconnect. While many of us would agree with the first two premises, we disagree on the third. Name calling does not garner much respect in the scientific world.

    [Response: 'what warming effect'? Warming is the effect, and yes that is pretty widely agreed on. If you want to discuss impacts of that on other systems - ice sheets, ecosystems, ocean circulation, etc - please do so. Stop claiming to want to discuss real issues, and just actually do so. You might find the response more congenial. - gavin]

  6. 156

    Susan Anderson wrote in 154:

    It’s not the concept, but the polysyllabic jargon. Surely coherentialism and/or coherentism can be put in plain direct English. It doesn’t mean anything to anybody not clued in.

    Sorry. There had been a long-standing debate in the theory of knowledge in which those who argue that what knowledge is structured like a pyramid, where one level acts as a foundation for the next (the foundationalists) and those who argue that what matters most is overall coherence or unity of explanation, that is, how things hang together, like pieces of a raft (the coherentialists) talked past one-another almost to the point that each was arguing against a straw man in place of the other. Neither group could learn from the insights of the other, and even when they arrived at some of the same insights in their more moderate forms, they couldn’t recognize that people on the other side of the divide were seeing the same thing. I had assumed you had been brought up in the moderate foundationalist camp.

    In any case, although you should try to speak to as many as possible, you won’t always be able to speak to everyone, with luck someone will always find something of value in what you have to say.

  7. 157
    Jim Galasyn says:

    So there’s this: Why I Won’t Be Speaking at the Heartland Conference

    From Donna Laframboise, of NOconsensus.org and The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken for the World’s Top Climate Expert. Apparently, Ross McKitrick haz a sad, too.

  8. 158

    Name calling does not garner much respect in the scientific world.

    Since you aren’t a part of the scientific world, and your claims are fallacious and repetitious, it’s more acceptable than usual.

  9. 159
  10. 160
    Susan Anderson says:

    well, broken promise about shutting up and letting the scientists talk, but a link to supporters of Heartland for those who want to follow through. Scott Mandia has also shown the way (h/t Tenney Naumer):

    http://pinterest.com/climatebrad/heartland-institute-sponsors/
    http://climatechangepsychology.blogspot.com/

  11. 161

    The morning paper had a story, to be published in Nature Geoscience today, claiming that solar influence on climate is much bigger than thought, through UV and ozone. Based on research in Meerfelder Maar on climate 800 BC. Sounds somewhat improbable; any comment already?

  12. 162
    Killian says:

    “I find no survey showing that scientists agree (or even come close) on what warming effects will be generated by the increasing atmocpheric CO2. This is the disconnect.”

    The scientists, policymakers and general public are all engaged in forward-looking scenarios, not certainties. This in no way supports your denialism. What you are doing is insisting on predictions rather than what you are, appropriately, given: scenarios. That should not require further explanation, so I offer none. That you are still making the same mistake shows that your comments belong, appropriately, in the Bore Hole.

    Your second error is to fail to admit that there is pretty strong consensus regarding the minimum changes we should expect, that there is a minimum of 2C over pre-industrial times coming. That 2C is more than enough to launch extensive global mediation efforts. Are you merely being dishonest here, or…?

    Your third error is to completely ignore risk assessment. The issue of climate change is only important if it affects society. If it were something we could safely observe nobody but scientists would have a *need* to be aware. but it has the potential to completely destabilize globally. The risk assessment says that a risk that large must be mitigated against. it’s not worth ANY savings since the lack of mitigation *can* end in the end of civilization as we now know it.

    This stuff is child’s play. That you continuously engage in pretense that the science isn’t certain and the risks are basically unknown is all anyone needs to know about your posts.

    Bore Hole, says I!

  13. 163
    Jim Larsen says:

    157 Jim G linked Donna Laframboise, ” In my view, the more people who hear about my book, the more likely it is that governments will start making more informed decisions.”

    All I can say is “Wow.”

    160 Susan A, the one that strikes me is USAA, which is the co-op style insurance agency for the armed forces and their families. One of the most honorable and level-headed organizations in the world gave $45k to Heartland. I wonder what percentage of Heartland is engaged in climate change denial in one form or another.

  14. 164
    AIC says:

    Lucy Lacie (sorry to be so late to comment):
    Studying issues of global warming science, such as are discussed on this blog, is a good thing to do, and we need to somehow forge a community (global) consensus that anthropogenic global warming is a major problem in order for our civilization to effectively address it.
    However, I hope that by the time you graduate from college, that will be accomplished. To my mind, it it time to move on to actual measures to stop emissions of greenhouse gases. Energy efficiency and renewable energy. That will take engineering as much as pure science. The high school courses you need to take are still the same as others have advised: Math, chemistry, physics, biology. I would also add history, government, sociology, english, and a foreign language. Technical skills can only take you so far, and after that people skills and the ability to communicate become important. In college, try taking one or two engineering courses and see whether you like designing and building, or prefer more pure science.

  15. 165
    Christopher Hogan says:

    Would it be possible to have an posting on increased likelihood of drought, particularly with reference to Dai’s work. I find the maps posted here to be frightening and compelling: https://www2.ucar.edu/atmosnews/news/2904/climate-change-drought-may-threaten-much-globe-within-decades

    While a number of sources suggest the US Southwest will get dryer this century, the projected “dust-bowlification” of the US interior seems to me to be the most compelling near-term impact of climate change. But I think there is significant disagreement across climate models on the distribution of rainfall, and I would appreciate some informed discussion of the uncertainties around these projections, particularly Dai’s.

  16. 166
    Dan H. says:

    Killian,
    Your minimum value is contradicted in several recent papers. Here is a sample of recent work and their climate sensitivity ranges:

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/pip/2012GL051607.shtml
    2.1 – 4.7

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2012/2011JD016620.shtml
    1.8 – 4.9.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/env.2140/abstract
    1.1 – 4.3

    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2011JCLI3989.1
    1.3 – 2.6

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2012/2011GL050226.shtml
    1.3 – 1.8

    Some are much higher:
    http://aaas.confex.com/aaas/2012/webprogram/Paper6634.html
    3-7.

    Is this your idea of a consensus? It certainly is not mine.

    [Response: Is this your idea of a coherent comment? It is not mine. You deliberately confuse multiple concepts in order to paint a picture of greater uncertainty. For instance, your 5th link is to Gillett et al, and is for TCR, not ECS - an error that has been pointed out to you multiple times before. The 4th link is the same thing. The sixth link is not original research and is discussing Earth System Sensitivity - again not the same quantity. I mean, really, did you not think people would click on the links? - gavin]

  17. 167
    Susan Anderson says:

    re 166 and inline:
    The recent trend in artificial skeptic promotion is to provide massive links and pseudoscientific bafflegab. Unfortunately, those who wish to be convinced will buy it. It is surprising to find it on RealClimate where you’d think the punter would know they’d be exposed, but of course once provided it can be cut and pasted elsewhere – another argument for the borehole. Sort of like those reviews that extract one phrase and use the integrity of the medium to give it credibility.

  18. 168
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Dan H.,
    Do you really think “transient sensitivity” is the same as expected warming during this century? Really? If so, why are we listening to you? It is no wonder you are so confused.

    OTOH, are you hoping people on a climate blog are so dim that we will conflate these concepts? Isn’t that a little bit like trying to rob a police headquarters?

  19. 169

    More data… must have… more data:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120503142714.htm

    Seriously, a 500,000-year sediment record with decadal resolution ain’t chopped liver.

  20. 170
    MarkB says:

    DanH,

    Gavin’s point leaves us with the first 3 studies you referenced. The first 2 are consistent with existing estimates. The 3rd is slightly lower, but the conclusion notes that their estimate is a likely underestimate.

    “The resulting estimate of the climate sensitivity is slightly smaller than the best estimate given in IPCC (2007) and could be compared with
    other estimates as well. However, we underscore that our results are sensitive to the indirect aerosol effects, which have a large uncertainty.

    In this study, the cloud-albedo effect is treated as a radiative forcing mechanism in the main part of the study, whereas other indirect aerosol
    effects will be parts of the climate feedbacks.

    Therefore, the estimate of S presented here is likely to be underestimated because the net
    forcing of the other indirect effects are likely to be negative (Forster et al., 2007).”

  21. 171

    Kees van der Leun wrote in 161:

    The morning paper had a story, to be published in Nature Geoscience today, claiming that solar influence on climate is much bigger than thought, through UV and ozone.

    Not able to find an actual copy of the article. However, the title is:

    Regional atmospheric circulation shifts induced by a grand solar minimumhttp://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo1460.html

    I seem to remember an article a few months back that argued for something similar. What is important in this context is the word “regional.” You get this from the press release here:

    Climatic effects of a solar minimum, May 6, 2012 – 16:31 in Earth & Climatehttp://esciencenews.com/articles/2012/05/06/climatic.effects.a.solar.minimum

    The heat (or lack thereof, since we are dealing with a solar minimum) gets redistributed, but the redistribution itself doesn’t mean there is any greater sensitivity of the system as a whole to solar forcing.

  22. 172

    PS Sorry for the formatting. The line breaks showed up in the preview but not in the final copy.

  23. 173
    Dan H. says:

    Timothy,
    Are you referring to this paper?

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364682612000867

  24. 174

    Kees van der Leun, regarding regional sensitivity to solar forcing, I found something from an older paper. From Skeptical Science, reference to an older paper:

    It has also been proposed that ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which varies more than other solar irradiance wavelengths, could amplify the solar influence on the global climate through interactions with the stratosphere and atmospheric ozone. Shindell et al. (1999) examined this possibility, but found that while this UV variability has a significant influence over regional temperatures, it has little effect on global surface temperatures.

    “Solar cycle variability may therefore play a significant role in regional surface temperatures, even though its influence on the global mean surface temperature is small (0.07 K for December–February).”

    Incidentally, Shindell et al. (1998) predicted that there would be an ozone hole some years from 2010-2019.

    Please see:

    Radiative cooling by increasing greenhouse gases by itself causes area-weighted temperature decreases of ~1-2 K poleward of 70° from altitudes of 200 to 50 mb during 2010-2019 in the winter in both hemispheres, relative to the control run. In the Northern Hemisphere, the reduced frequency of stratospheric warmings adds to the radiative cooling, resulting in total temperature decreases within the enhanced Arctic vortex of 5-7 K during December and January. Large ozone losses in February and March exert a sizeable positive feedback, so that modeled temperatures are 8-10 K colder in the greenhouse run owing to combined radiative, dynamical, and chemical influences.

    Shindell, D.T., D. Rind, and P. Lonergan, 1998: Increased polar stratospheric ozone losses and delayed eventual recovery owing to increasing greenhouse-gas concentrations. Nature, 392, 589-592, doi:10.1038/33385.
    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/abstract.cgi?id=sh04000r

    They seemed to do rather well there, too.

    Please see:

    Although the Arctic polar vortex is smaller than its Antarctic counterpart, it is also much more mobile, often moving over densely populated lower latitudes, where UV radiation is more intense than near the pole. By mid-April 2011, the lower stratospheric vortex had shifted off the pole and sat over central Russia, remaining intact and enclosing total ozone values less than 275 DU through late April (Figure 5). Significant increases in surface UV radiation were associated with these low ozone levels. For example, under a lobe of the vortex extending south over Mongolia on 22 April, the clear sky UV index (UVI, a commonly used metric for gauging the impact of surface UV radiation on human skin) at 48°N, 98°E was 8.60, compared to the long-term average of 5.36, an anomaly roughly seven times the standard deviation. The 22 April value was close to the highest UVI at that location in mid-summer. On 17 April, a tongue of vortex air extended over the Alps. Even though this tongue had experienced some in-mixing of extra-vortex air, the UVI at Arosa (46.8°N, 9.7°E) increased to 7.4, about four standard deviations above the long-term mean. UVIs exceeding 7 can cause sunburn within minutes.

    Manney, G.L., et al. (2011) Unprecedented Arctic ozone loss in 2011, Nature (Subscription Required)
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature10556.html

    Sometimes those models do pretty good, don’t they? ;-)

    Hope this helps.

  25. 175
    David B. Benson says:

    Kevin McKinney @169 — Its only about 130,000 years at decadal resolution, but that certainly is still not chopped liver.

  26. 176
    Paul K2 says:

    I’m a little surprised there isn’t any discussion of the UWashington paper announced today covering corrections to the UAH temperature data from satellites. Maybe this is because the paper isn’t formally out yet.

    I will check back periodically to see when the discussion on this begins.

  27. 177

    #177–Right you are, DBB. Thanks for catching my conflation of the total span with the continuous record.

  28. 178
    Hank Roberts says:

    For Paul K2, watch the journal; if they do an early online release it will be here, I think: http://journals.ametsoc.org/toc/atot/0/0
    That’s got papers up through May 4th as of right now, and the UW press release is dated May 7th. Note the press release anticipates a response from UAH.

  29. 179

    Dan H wrote in 173:

    Timothy,
    Are you referring to this paper?

    No, Dan. The paper I was thinking of had nothing to do with galactic cosmic rays. Neither does the paper that Kees van der Leun brought up.

  30. 180
    Jim Eager says:

    Re pounding sand, or rather olivine, to draw down CO2, there are mountains of peridotite in Oman (dry) http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=114019 and in Newfoundland (anything but dry), and not just in Gros Morne National Park.

  31. 181
    MMM says:

    Here’s an Unforced Variation for you: I have noticed a certain skeptic meme that seems to pop up again and again, which is the idea that the CO2 increase is natural and not anthropogenic. This is such a ridiculous meme that it seems almost not worth addressing (and indeed, some skeptics like Englebeen and, gasp, Singer, have explicitly rejected it): and yet, some partly competent scientists fall for this too (eg Spencer) and even publish papers on it in legitimate journals (see Essenhigh, Energy & Fuels) (ok, the journal isn’t a _climate_ journal, but still). Most recently it has been Mr. Eschenbach and his issue with the Bern cycle approximation at WTFUWT (not a good sign that he, and many commenters, didn’t grasp the difference between an approximation designed for use with a pulse of emissions against an equilibrium background, and an actual model, but that’s neither here nor there).

    I keep theorizing that an on-line carbon cycle model that is fairly transparent about the carbon stocks, flows, and assumptions, that is complex enough to capture the seasonal cycle and the response to annual global mean temperature, including isotopic tracers. This would allow those skeptics who do not instantly associate “computer model” with “the root of all evil” to play with the numbers and convince themselves that things like the association of yearly variations of CO2 and yearly variations of temperature can be consistent with the attribution of more than 90 percent of the CO2 increase since pre-industrial to anthropogenic emissions.

    Does such an on-line model exist? If not, is there a textbook or paper which describes such a set-up in sufficient detail to allow a half-way competent programmer to put such a model together?

  32. 182
    Jim Galasyn says:

    Microsoft to go carbon neutral: Microsoft and climate science, part 2.

  33. 183
    Unsettled Scientist says:

    Dinosaur farts may have helped drive Mesozoic warming

    I saw this on Colbert last night, so I had to look it up. I haven’t dug into the paper.

    Could methane produced by sauropod dinosaurs have helped drive Mesozoic climate warmth?

    Summary
    Mesozoic sauropods, like many modern herbivores, are likely to have hosted microbial methanogenic symbionts for the fermentative digestion of their plant food [1]. Today methane from livestock is a significant component of the global methane budget [2]. Sauropod methane emission would probably also have been considerable. Here, we use a simple quantitative approach to estimate the magnitude of such methane production and show that the production of the ‘greenhouse’ gas methane by sauropods could have been an important factor in warm Mesozoic climates.

  34. 184
  35. 185
    Jim Galasyn says:

    MMM, you want Clear Climate Code.

  36. 186
    MMM says:

    Unsettled Scientist: This probably qualifies me for a “Don’t be SUCH a scientist” rebuke from Randy Olson, but… are we talking farts or belches? I guess the paper claims that dinosaurs were non-ruminants, so unlike cows, it may really be fart-based methane here…

  37. 187
    Lynn Vincentnathan says:

    There’s a weird thing happening in our subtropical weather here in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Could it be due to GW, which I understand is cooling higher parts of the atmosphere above the GHG “belt.”

    We in Edinburg/McAllen — about 26°N latitude and about 100 feet above sealevel — have been having severe hailstorms this year (during warm, short-sleeve weather) that have damaged a lot of property. Also during Hurricane Emily in 2005 Brownsville a bit farther south and closer to sealevel got a severe hailstorm in July during the hurricane. Our local weatherman said these are unheard of.

    I don’t really have much idea how high the “cooling” area above the GHG belt is, or whether extreme updrafts could take the moisture up there to form hailstones. I was reading that typical areas from hailstones were in the interior and mid-latitudes, or if in the tropics, then in high altitudes (and that hail general formed in cumulonimbi thunderclouds about an altitude of 11,000 feet (3.400 m).

    There are many factors that lead to hailstones, but could GW be one of them — maybe by providing a cooler atmosphere above the GHG belt and/or making other extremes more likely, like severe updrafts?

  38. 188

    Lynn Vincentnathan Re Texas hail (187)

    The cooling due to the greenhouse effect itself takes place in the stratosphere, so there won’t be much moisture there for the hail you are experiencing. However, according to a recent paper arctic amplification reduces the North/South temperature gradient, slowing down the jet stream, and simultaneously increasing the North/South amplitude of Rossby waves. Cold air makes further incursions to the South, warm air to the North and weather patterns stall out, all resulting in greater extremes.

    Please see:

    Jennifer A. Francis and Stephen J. Vavrus (2012 Mar 17) Evidence linking Arctic amplification to extreme weather in mid-latitudes, Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 39, L06801, doi:10.1029/2012GL051000

    I suppose that could be what you are seeing, but I’m no expert.

  39. 189
    Unsettled Scientist says:

    @Triple M,
    I dunno if its farts or burps, but the joke was funny.

    Yeah, looks like your assumption is right, just dug up this quote from the paper. “To estimate methane production we follow the relationship derived by Franz et al.[7] for modern non-ruminant herbivores, where Methane (litres per day) = 0.18 (body mass in kg)^0.97.”

  40. 190
    David B. Benson says:

    Lynn Vincentnathan @187 — I opine more severe updrafts. The clouds do usually extend above the tropopause.

  41. 191

    #186 et seq.–Well, a cooling stratosphere and warming troposphere have to meet in the middle somewhere–which implies a sharper temperature gradient than previously in a zone extending for some distance above and below the tropopause. Could be relevant, perhaps–you can imagine more rapid chilling and congelation as proto-hailstones ascend in those updrafts David mentions.

    Mere hand-waving, of course, but an interesting idea nevertheless.

  42. 192
    Dave says:

    WUWT, Bishop Hill, Tallbloke, The Air Vent, etc have all focused on the recent post by Steve McIntyre with respect to the data he has been working on since its recent release (i.e. with respect to Yamal and the Hockey Stick).

    Upon reading the post (and another explanation at Bishop Hill) one can’t help but be left with the feeling that there has been some obfuscation surrounding the data that was used, and its relevance thereof, to the creation of the Hockey Stick graph.

    As a layman, I can follow the logic of the points as they are being made by McIntyre et al and, on the face of it, there would appear to be some issues. What do other contributors think?

    [Response: This is more of the usual obfuscation - they are confusing the raw data (available online for years), with as yet unpublished analyses of that data, which McIntyre feels he is entitled to for unclear reasons. They are conflating work by mann and colleagues (which didn't include Yamal) with work from briffa's group that did. We'll have more to say on this soon. - gavin]

  43. 193
    Vendicar Decaruan says:

    Even a winter without winter didn’t remove their head from their anus.

    Support for climate change action drops, Stanford poll finds

    The drop was concentrated among Americans who distrust climate scientists.

    http://news.stanford.edu/news/2012/may/climate-change-survey-050812.html

  44. 194
    Tokodave says:

    And then there’s this:U.S. completes warmest 12-month period in 117 years. Even the thermometers are in on the conspiracy.

  45. 195
    MARodger says:

    Dave @191
    Watts was certainly getting more than a little exercised over this Yamal data. I looked into WUWT a couple of days back looking for news of April’s UAH (as the RSS temp shows significant rise for April but no sign of UAH) & Watts had one of his “sticky” posts calling somebody (at CRU?) a “liar” in the headline. The text began explaining that calling folk a liar in the headline was a new phenomenon at WUWT because, unlike those rascally warmists, WUWT is careful with its use of ad hominem attacks. Mind, there’s no sign of that headline now.

  46. 196
    Dan H. says:

    Vendicular,
    While the survey showed a graphic depicting the decline in scientific trust, this number was extrapolated from other surveys, as the question was not asked in the 2010 Stanford survey. Support for electric vehicles may have been adversely affected by recent news coverage of poor performance. Analysis of the survey could also be construed as a general distrust of government, as all the questions concerned governmental taxes or regulations.

  47. 197
    L. Hamilton says:

    “Support for climate change action drops, Stanford poll finds”

    Not seeing that in New Hampshire, where we’re polling statewide four times a year — most recently last month. Belief in the reality of ACC has been remarkably steady among Republicans (low) and Democrats (high), and recently appears rising among Independents in the middle. Next survey in June.

  48. 198
    L. Hamilton says:

    On our polls we’re also starting to ask climate-science knowledge questions regarding e.g. volcanoes, sea ice, sea level, CO2. Also evolution and a trust-scientists item. These correlate with ACC beliefs pretty much as you’d expect, but it appears that for some items it’s the belief that drives the knowledge answers rather than vice versa.

  49. 199
    grypo says:

    McIntyre appears to believe that the information in this Climategate 1.0 email reveals that “CRU had, after all, calculated a Yamal-Urals regional chronology as early as April 2006″. To me, it appears his entire argument and subsequent accusations hinge on such a premise. It leads him to state that he is “completely convinced that they would have used it in Briffa et al 2008 and/or their October 2009 online article without a second thought. My surmise is that the apparent failure of the (still withheld) Yamal-Urals regional chronology to accord with their expectations caused CRU not to use it in Briffa et al 2008.”

  50. 200
    grypo says:

    And this email as well.


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