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Unforced variations: Sep 2012

Filed under: — group @ 5 September 2012

Open thread – a little late because of the holiday. But everyone can get back to work now!


591 Responses to “Unforced variations: Sep 2012”

  1. 551
    Jim Larsen says:

    530 dhogaza playfully pondered, “Undoubtably, because unlike Einstein your first (and following) would be ignored … :)”

    Sure, I’ll play. Going general (ignore the Bomb), given your knowledge of my strengths, weaknesses and blatant flaws, would you consider that response wise?

  2. 552

    I read the 2nd linked article from 548. Until the hack said that methyl bromide was used for refrigeration. (Very early in the piece.) Methyl bromide was used as a pesticide, but it was a dangerous chemical to come in contact with and was hell on the ozone layer. So, it was banned.

    If hacks can’t even read up on the chemicals they’re defending while smearing people, there’s no point in even reading their smears.

  3. 553
    Hank Roberts says:

    Thanks for the Deltoid pointers, Gavin;
    I should’ve thought to provide those.

  4. 554
    Patrick 027 says:

    the road to hell.“…”About the best laid plans.

    I’ve never been fond of that phrase**, perhaps because I suspect it’s often misinterpreted – then again maybe I’m the one misinterpreting it.

    If it is emphasizing the distinction between a plan and the execution of that plane, okay (i.e./e.g. ‘I meant to do it’).

    Sometimes I wonder if some people mean it as a caution against doing something which seems like a good thing to do (somewhat similar to ‘no good deed goes unpunished’). Of course things can go awry, but you can’t go around avoiding what seems like the best course of action – that almost just ensures bad consequences.

    too-cozy relationship between“[insert business/industry/etc. here]“and the relevant regulatory agencies is well documented.

    It would be nice if people could get along, but perhaps it is best in some cases that people have an adversarial relationship – friendships are a conflict of interest. Oh well…

    **oops, that’s really two phrases – ‘The best laid plans (of mice and men)’… vs. ‘the road to hell (is paved with good intentions)’ – I was refering to the later.

  5. 555
    J Bowers says:

    Why oh why is PSU’s Marcellus Center listing a GWPF Matt ‘Northern Rock’ Ridley “report”, ‘The Shale Gas Shock (2011)’, on its resources page? Who slipped that in?

  6. 556
  7. 557
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Mal Adapted,
    Every day is Swear Like a Sailor Day.

  8. 558
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Ron R. quotes Paul Berg: ““Hubris runs high among scientists,”

    Oh, bullshit! Scientists are no more prone to hubris than any other group of people. In fact, I would say that it is precisely the scientists who best understand the risks of their research. It was the scientists who warned the military of the threats nuclear weapons posed. It was the scientists who figured out the doctrine of Mutual Assured Destruction–which has not only kept us from using nuclear weapons, but also getting into a conventional war among superpowers for nearly 70 years!

    Here is a clue: Shelley’s “Frankenstein, or The New Prometheus” is fiction. As a matter of fact, the greatest disasters have always occurred when someone other than the scientists takes control of what the scientists created–from dynamite to derivatives and credit default swaps.

  9. 559
    Susan Anderson says:

    Andy Revkin has also weighed in with an ambiguous (a specialty of his) report on Rachel Carson. I think Doug Bostrom ~549 nails it.

    Couldn’t resist weighing in partly because recaptcha includes “fasciculus” – huh?

  10. 560
    Susan Anderson says:

    Revisiting the DotEarth article, I think I may have overstated the ambiguity. In any case there are excellent as well as execrable comments there.

  11. 561
    Brian Dodge says:

    “Should we be experimenting with bio-warfare?”

    If a nasty bug escapes containment, it’ll sure reduce the anthropogenic carbon footprint.

  12. 562
    Dan H. says:

    Ray,
    I agree. While we have witness our share of dishonorable scientists (Josef Mengele comes to mind), overall, scientists are best able to ascertain the risks. Granted, scientists are not the most empathetic group (probable our genetic makeup – that is why we when into science, and not social work), but to lay the blame on manmade atrocities to the inventors, rather than the users, is misplaced. Most scientific discoveries where intended for improvement, not destruction.

  13. 563
    Ron R. says:

    Comments I have tried to send since yesterday are repeatedly refused by the spam filter. I don’t know why so I will try to be briefer.

    Secular Animist, please see these links. Especially part 2.

    http://www.ijsaf.org/contents/16-1/lotter1/index.html
    http://www.ijsaf.org/contents/16-1/lotter2/index.html

    http://www.bangmfood.org/quotes/24-quotes/29-regulatory-breakdown

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Monsanto%27s_Mexican_Maize_Mischief

  14. 564
    Ron R. says:

    Jim, thanks. Actually I wasn’t confusing that work on H5N1 with bio-warfare. I was just asking if Ray thought that we should be getting into biowarfare (or chemical warfare for that matter. But on that note, no doubt there are/will be people in the military who will/want to use this laboratory construct for their own ends. Do you think the scientists who built it share any responsibility for it’s misuse? We’re not talking a new design of bicycle or dish washer here. If a parent buys a, AK47 and keeps it in a locked cabinet does he share any blame if his child gets in, whether intentionally or accidentally, and shoots him/herself?) I hope that you are right about the safety of these constructs. Given our history though I find them worrying so I can’t share your optimism.

    [Response:You are just wandering all over the place with this stuff, making rather wild generalizations, and it's not even climate science-related. I explained why the issue with H5N1 research is much more complex than you assume or understand it to be. Please read Imai et al, among many others, if you want to understand the biological issues in detail.--Jim]

    [edit: way off topic]

  15. 565
    Mal Adapted says:

    Gavin and J.Bowers: thanks for the links. Responding to a gish-galloping denier like Neil Craig is always frustrating, even for a subject-matter expert. Although I’ve had doctoral-level training in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, I’d need to do a fair amount of research before challenging Craig’s factual claims in detail. Short of that, non-Dunning-Kruger-afflicted non-experts like myself should defer to expert consensus. At the moment, I’m looking for review articles in referred publications (this one looks good), formal statements by scientific bodies (here’s one from the Endocrine Society), and similar high-quality consensus documents. The next time I confront a Carson-hater online, I expect to be better prepared.

    Dbostrom: Neil Craig and his ilk are desperately defending a fantasy of personal freedom that’s unconstrained by the finitude of a crowded planet. It’s also clear that Carson-haters assign little or no value to non-human species. Reality-based arguments can have no influence them, but there are always the lurkers.

  16. 566
    Ron R. says:

    Mal Adapted:

    Dbostrom: Neil Craig and his ilk are desperately defending a fantasy of personal freedom that’s unconstrained by the finitude of a crowded planet. It’s also clear that Carson-haters assign little or no value to non-human species. Reality-based arguments can have no influence them, but there are always the lurkers.

    Nicely summarized.

  17. 567
    Radge Havers says:

    Speaking of Mary Shelly, physicians doing harm, bad politics, and various pop attitudes towards science, it may be worth stoping for a moment to ponder how Michael Crichton’s perceptions led him down a path that eventually earned him a special monument in RC’s hall of shame:
    Michael Crichton’s State of Confusion

  18. 568
    Steve Fish says:

    Crichton had a prominent anti science/technology theme in his books throughout his career.

  19. 569
    chris says:

    Ron R. wrote: “Why did the scientific community and government allow the biotech giants to police themselves?”

    As others have said, “the scientific community” is not a decision-making collective. Many scientists speak out against specific unethical practices by various industrial concerns. The question why the US government allows so much self-regulation by the biotech(*) industry is likely evident in the fact that industry spends around $200 million a year on lobbying politicians and not far off $100 million a year on donations to politicians and their parties.

    All clinical trial data collected under NIH funding is made under regulations that assure scientifically (statistically) valid outcomes and the results made publically available independent of outcome, a practice that one might consider self-evident when assessing safety/efficacy of medicines. That biotech(*) companies are under no obligation to do so is largely due to their influence on government regulatory policy, and this leads to the sort of horrors that Ben Goldacre described last week in the Guardian.

    There is a continual tension between the desires of the corporate sector to minimize regulation and the role of governments to regulations in accordance with public wellbeing (defined in its broadest sense). So in Europe government regulations forbid the direct advertising of medicines(*) to consumers, and the use of antibiotics in foodstuffs as growth-promoters in animals, each of which is allowed in the US partly or entirely because of the lobbying of government by the respective industries. In each of these examples, the more highly regulated practice is the scientifically-justifiable one.

    So scientists can present their evidence and make scientifically-justified recommendations, but whether these are acted upon depends on politics and the strength of lobbying for opposing “views”. The parallels with the science on the dangers of massive enhancement of greenhouse radiative forcing and the impact on government policy (and public perception) are self-evident…

    (*) a. “biotech” and especially “medicines” aren’t really the correct designations but can’t get past the spam filter with the more appropriate ones

  20. 570
    Steve Fish says:

    Re- Comment by Ron R. — 29 Sep 2012 @ 10:34 AM:

    I have explained to you how climate scientists have been very responsible in getting the word out about global warming and how their efforts have been opposed by big money (25 Sep 2012 @ 10:04 PM, ~#500) which you haven’t contested. Instead you are now continuing your way off topic rants about other non-climate issues which you misattribute to scientists instead of big corporations and their friendly politicians.

    Most of your links are to opinion pieces, not to any science. The two part piece in the International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food by Don Lotter (‘09) is a review. How do these individuals know that something is wrong? What evidence do they have?

    If you answer is that support is in published scientific research that specifically tested for problems, then (real not biotech) scientists have been doing their job and you invalidate your claim that science as a group is the problem. Lotter even has a section describing a small part of the real issue in Part 2 of the article- Bias against and Mistreatment of Dissenting Scientists. This sounds like the same problem as for tobacco, environmental lead, asbestos, and global warming to me. Those who legitimately contest interests of powerful businesses are attacked.

    If your answer is that the conclusions of the commenters are just obvious, then you are trolling. In all of this I am not disagreeing about the potential problems of GMO foods, just your attribution of blame to scientists as a group. In any case, I think that you should take your arguments to a more appropriate website or just stick to climate. Steve

  21. 571
    David B. Benson says:

    What is wrong with this idea?
    http://www.livescience.com/23553-asteroid-dust-geoenineering-global-warming.html
    I can think of two things right off the bat.

    [reCAPTCHA thought of two more: transitivity rtakier.]

  22. 572
    Patrick 027 says:

    Investigating the EV mpg (Cracking the Nissan Code), PART I: the electric power supply

    Using
    http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/annual/?ref=bookshelf

    (PS my calculations were generally based on an earlier version (going through 2010) which was just recently replaced with updates going through 2011). (PS sorry for playing fast and loose with sig.figs):

    Electric power sector emissions:

    for 2006-2010, average emissions per unit net generation (from tables 11.3e and 8.2b): 589.04 g CO2/kWhe
    minimum (2009): 566.69
    maximum (2007): 605.69

    averages for
    coal: 995.90
    petroleum: 935.10 (might be a bit off – see note about natural gas)
    nat.gas: 451.13 (this may be an underestimate because of inexact matches of corresponding categories among EIA tables – see EIA’s footnotes)

    taking into account a 92.603 % efficiency in transmission+distribution:
    (From http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/annual/pdf/sec8_3.pdf :
    2010:, quadrillion Btu
    Energy consumed to generate electricity 40.26
    Net generation of electricity 14.06;
    end use 13.25 (includes 0.15 unaccounted for and 0.09 net imports)
    T+D losses (occur before ‘unaccounted for and net imports’ ?) 1.04
    direct use 0.46
    (14.06 – 1.04) / 14.06 = 0.92603 = 92.603 %
    The 2011 values give 92.577 %)

    for 2006-2010, average emissions per unit delivered electricity: 636.09 g CO2/kWhe
    minimum (2009): 611.96
    maximum (2007): 654.07

    averages (for delivered electricity) for
    coal: 1075.45
    petroleum: 1009.80 (might be a bit off – see above)
    nat.gas: 487.16 (might be a bit off – see above)

    ———

    The efficiencies of net generation of the electric power sector (from tables 8.2b and 2.1f; see footnotes – natural gas and petroleum values could be off, etc.)

    average 2006-2010:
    coal: 32.72 %
    petroleum: 31.39 %
    nat.gas: 40.15 %
    Total fossil fuels: 34.65 %

    nuclear: 32.62 %

    hydroelectric, geothermal, solar, and wind primary energies were given in fossil fuel equivalent and their efficiencies calculated from that are each 34.69 % (See Table A6, also Table F1)

    (PS note from Table F3 that fossil fuel equivalent solar and geothermal primary energies “Transformed into Electricity” are 12 and 152 TBtu (maybe an improper use of metric prefix T, sorry) in 2010; this is about the amount that would account for electric net generation for both the electric power sector and all sectors. However, this doesn’t include direct consumption, which is the residential sector direct use of solar energy (including PV, and thus including some electricity) (several times larger than 12 TBtu) and geothermal heat and geothermal heat pumps (which is really either a storage or efficiency strategy, depending on how one looks at it). So there may be some solar electricity that isn’t being counted in table 8.2a (which is net generation for all sectors – but that seems to mean all of the electric, commercial, and industrial sectors).)

    Taking into account transmission+distribution efficiency of 92.603 %:

    coal: 30.30 %
    petroleum: 29.07 %
    natural gas: 37.18 %
    total fossil fuels: 32.09 %

    ( From Figure F1, electric power sector has 12.8 quad Btu sales and 26.8 losses , implies 32.3232 % efficiency
    see also
    http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/annual/pdf/secnote2.pdf )

    Although from the graphs at
    http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/annual/pdf/sec2_5.pdf (Fig 2.1b),
    it looks like electrical losses (including transmission and distribution as well as generation) are roughly 2 times used electricity in the residential and commerical sector but (just eyeballing it) ~ 7/4 of used electricity in the industrial sector – well, maybe there are smaller T&D losses between power plants and industrial plants on average (wouldn’t surprise me), but I wonder if some of the difference is due to some industrial electricity being supplied by generators at the same location, with some of the heat also being used (thus not lost) (see Figure 8.3) – also, natural gas dominates the fossil fuel portion of generation in commercial and industrial plants (Fig 8.2b, Table 8.2d). The generation by the commercial and industrial sectors is a small fraction of that of the electric power sector (Fig 8.2b), and within the electric power sector, CHP plant generation is a small fraction of the total (Fig. 8.2b).

    thus if the T&D losses used were from all-sector electricity rather than just the electric power sector, it shouldn’t introduce a large error. (Maybe I should come back to that later?)

    —————

    Multiplying the net generation efficiencies by the emissions per kWhe of net generation to get g CO2/kWh primary energy:

    (multiplying the average values 2006-2010)

    coal: 325.90
    petroleum: 293.57
    natural gas: 181.11
    total fossil fuel: 288.36
    total electric power sector (fossil fuel equivalent primary used for some sources): 200.73

  23. 573
    Hank Roberts says:

    92.603 % efficiency

    wait. What, overall average?

    But the comparison should be to a local end user number for electricity efficiency.

    I had an ancient* gas water heater. When it finally pinholed though, the city would’nt allow putting in electric with the intention of adding solar — to get an electric permitted, the house had to be solar up front first.

    Reasoning given: gas was much more energy-efficient at this end user point than electricity — mostly I recall due to transmission losses. California was buying electricity generated a long way away at the time.
    _____
    *Ancient water heater: Do this: flush the silt out; replace the sacrificial anode. (When it leaks: have a LeakFrog.)

  24. 574
    Edward Greisch says:

    “How Rachel Carson Spurred Chemical Concerns by Highlighting Uncertainty”
    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/27/how-rachel-carson-spurred-chemical-controls-by-highlighting-uncertainty/

    The intent is in the title. The argument is that RC could win on GW by handling uncertainty differently. I don’t believe it. Another Andrew Revkin quote: “both camps in climate debate” is obviously nonsense. See this book: “Nonbeliever Nation” by David Niose. http://www.americanhumanist.org/news/details/2012-09-nonbeliever-nation-by-david-niose-is-a-secular-manif

    There was respect for scientists in the 1950s and 60s. That is not the case now.

  25. 575
    Patrick 027 says:

    Clarifications/adjustments:

    Minimum and maximum values refered to the time period 2006-2010. (Why such a short period? The average is moving and the part about car emissions (coming up) is based on ‘recent’ electricity supply).

    ——

    Taking the 2010 values from http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/annual/pdf/sec8_3.pdf :
    quadrillion Btu , converted to trillion kWh
    Energy consumed to generate electricity 40.26 , 11.80
    Net generation of electricity: 14.06 , 4.364
    T&D loss: 1.04 , 0.305
    remaining after T&D loss, before adding ‘unaccounted’ and ‘net imports’: 13.02 , 3.816

    unaccounted for: 0.15 , 0.044
    net imports: 0.09 , 0.02(6)
    end use: 13.25 , 3.883

    direct use: 0.46 , 0.13
    end use other than direct use: 12.79 , 3.748

    From Table 8.2b, the electric power sector net generation was 3.971232939 trillion kWh, 0.149 less than the net generation given above (similar to, although somewhat greater than, the direct use value).

    If T&D loss were entirely from the electric power sector, the T&D efficiency for that sector would be 92.32 %, only slightly less than caculated for all-sector electricity. Setting aside the direct use, T&D efficiency would be 92.35 %.

  26. 576

    There is no shortage of climate events going on right now;

    absolutely extraordinary low Arctic snow extent even though more than half the ice is gone:

    http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh?fm=09&fd=25&fy=1980&sm=09&sd=25&sy=2012

    Washington Post giving a good presentation on Antarctica ice extent apparently high:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/post/antarctic-sea-ice-reaches-greatest-extent-so-late-in-season-2nd-largest-extent-on-record/2012/09/28/472625d8-098e-11e2-a10c-fa5a255a9258_blog.html

    The very same Arctic minimum claimed to be caused by a single Cyclone event on August 5, if you believe the contrarians. Yet there is evidence making the said cyclone event not very relevant to 2012 melt, except it may have been stronger by the open water and sea ice next to each other.

    And I am missing a lot of events. The record low snow extent exists despite the fact that its snowing!
    Clouds have recently made the Arctic quite warmer, the reason for the clouds should be discussed, especially
    since it lasted from the spring onwards to today. The study or presentation of cyclones being more numerous in the Arctic, the biggest feature of change in my estimation, being less visual than ice, has been largely ignored.
    The high probability that NW Europe will experience summer rains for decades to come because Greenland will be the only thing cooling the air and in effect steadying the jet stream over the UK. The US mega drought, and more…. So here we have it, lots of climate related stuff to discuss, so I rather want to read RC at it full blast. Science its at its best when people discuss all the details of a specific subject thoroughly. Being that all these events cited above are related to each other studying it openly a lot is crucial.

  27. 577
    Patrick 027 says:

    re 573 Hank Roberts – of course, but I have to use averages for what I’m doing (this will become clear later). Granted, average residential or residential+commercial would probably be the way to go for charging EVs, but the graphs of Fig 2.1b still seem to show that an overall conversion+delivery efficiency of ~1/3, so it’s not too far off.

  28. 578
    Patrick 027 says:

    It occured to me to try using table 8.4b instead of 2.1f to find net generation efficiency; I looked at it a bit; it seems (except where revised, as I am now looking at an updated version of 8.4b) to have generally similar values, but the fossil fuel inputs are a little smaller – especially natural gas; nuclear power input is about the same as are hydroelectric, geothermal, solar, and wind; biomass input is a bit less. Based on the footnotes, I would have expected the opposite difference for natural gas and no difference for biomass; thus, I suspect that the title of 8.4b may be meant to indicate it is not including inputs to CHP power plants.

    The most straightforward thing to do is just use Table A6 values (divide the “Heat Content of Electricity” by the “Heat Rates for Electricity Net Generation” (footnotes left out of quotes)…giving:

  29. 579
    Radge Havers says:

    Edward Greisch @574 

    “There was respect for scientists in the 1950s and 60s. That is not the case now.”

    Hard to quantify respect, but you have to wonder if respect in this case hasn’t become very soft and conditional in the popular mindset.  

    For instance, there doesn’t seem to be quite so much respect for scientists in science fiction which is now pretty much just part of the sci-fi/horror/fantasy lump.  Trace an arc from Frankenstein to Jurassic Park, and the window for even funky respect (like “The Brain of Morbius” 1976) seems to have all but closed. You get the feeling even Doctor Who only pays lip service any more. 

    Crichton’s “State of Fear” may have jumped the shark, however the nonsence goes on.

    [Response: There has always been nonsense. But scientists as a professional class are among the most respected professionals (doctors poll a little higher). It's probably true that overall levels of respect in authority have declined from the 1950s, but that is on the whole a good thing. - gavin]

  30. 580
    Patrick 027 says:

    decline of respect for authority – reminds me of something from Fareed Zakaria’s “The Future of Freedom”


    (from the updated version (September 2012)) Table A6 http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/annual/?ref=bookshelf#appendices ):
    % efficiency

    average 2006-2010: net generation , net generation + T&D

    coal —-: 32.85 , 30.42
    petroleum: 31.29 , 28.98
    nat. gas : 41.09 , 38.05
    total fossil fuel, also used for “noncombustible renewable energy” (for primary energy in fossil fuel equivalent)
    ———: 34.70 , 32.13

    nuclear -: 32.63 , 30.21

    2010:

    coal —-: 32.76 , 30.34
    petroleum: 31.06 , 28.77
    nat. gas : 41.69 , 38.60
    total fossil fuel, etc.
    ———: 34.97 , 32.39

    nuclear -: 32.64 , 30.23

    ——–

    PS if you click (where available) on the link in the name of the table/graph on the left-hand-side, you get a version of the table that allows you to produce graphs within the website. Quite handy.

  31. 581
    Dan H. says:

    Wayne,
    Interesting thught. I am not sure that all the events are related, but possibly. There may be a relationship between low Arctic ice extent and high Antarctic, given that the previous Antarctic high was set in 2007.

    Do you have any backup for your European rains? This past winter sure saw enough snow, which many claim was a result od the same jet stream anomaly which cause the record-setting warm North American winter.

    I think you are jumping the gun on the mega-drought. The drought was relatively short-lived, and appears to be over in many places.

    Also, you missed the cold, wet land down under.

  32. 582

    UK is literally being overwhelmed by Rain:

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/107969891/Rain#fullscreen

    There has to be an effort to officially clarify why, or at least an extensive discussion on this. Usually these events occur in isolation, small areas of the world get hit, now we have Drought in the US extensive rain in NW Europe, and more than half of Arctic sea ice extent gone if not volume as well. Now is the time to put the dots together….

  33. 583
    David B. Benson says:

    Hank Roberts @573 — CA still obtains lotsa electricity from up this way and also from AZ.

  34. 584
    Radge Havers says:

    Gavin (in-line @  579), thanks.

    For the most part I can accept that, although I can’t help wondering if there isn’t more going on here. For example, I’m a pretty disrespectful person, but on the other hand I’m not especially inclined to make a virtue of my personal lack of rigor. Or perhaps the politics of giving priority to “faith based” approaches to problem solving has simply helped make it easier to play on peoples’ naturally mixed attitudes in order to gin up attacks on rational responses to selected problems like AGW.

    Something has changed, which makes me wonder, perhaps wrongly, if ideas about the role of science and scientists in society, which we take for granted, may not be as stable as they appear. 

    Or maybe things really are turning around.

  35. 585
    wili says:

    I’d like to second Wayne’s (@576) call for a full discussion of the recent dramatic events occurring in the Arctic and their immediate likely consequences. I tried to start such a discussion on another thread and got pretty well shot down. Here’s hoping that posters show more respect to Wayne.

    So, to follow up, Wayne @576 said: “The high probability that NW Europe will experience summer rains for decades to come because Greenland will be the only thing cooling the air and in effect steadying the jet stream over the UK. The US mega drought…”

    Could you or someone explain a bit more clearly how Greenland now being the only body consistently cooling the top of the globe is likely to steady (or has already steadied?) the jet stream over the UK? It seems to be what is happening, but is there now other configuration that the jet stream could fall into?

    And, Wayne, you mention the US drought in very next sentence. With the new configuration in the Arctic, are we likely to see highs park themselves over the central plains for months in the coming years as well. Are wet UK summers and dry (Midwest and Western) US summers linked to a cold Greenland surrounded by ever warmer and ever more ice-free summer waters?

  36. 586

    Thanks for noticing Wili! I deal with it on my blog a bit. Since its likely Arctic sea ice will not recover to its former extent and volume during summer , the only cool place in the Northern Hemisphere will be Greenland. This means about Greenland will have the lowest more compressed air mass facing much higher one towards its South , of course in between low cold and warmer higher air zones is the jet stream. In the recent past this cold point varied further due to a much colder Arctic having a coldest pole varying much more throughout the Polar Northern Hemisphere. In other words it gave a more variable summer everywhere. The only thing changing this permanent localized rain scenario should be largely ENSO and other factors, I am sure I missed. ENSO of course gives more clouds (rain), La-Nina gives less clouds, sunnier skies in most parts.

    These are some suggestions, it can be other things, other causations , this is why we should discuss what is going on since current events are quite startling . Perhaps so much overwhelming to even talk about? May be these events are too big to notice? A serious discussion about recent events are rare. Attribution aside, there is the basic weather and climate implications of vastly less Arctic ice to debate. We can’t possibly expect to project future outcomes unless the future projected 20 years ago is also examined. Did we see this coming?

  37. 587
    Patrick 027 says:

    Re
    Karsten V. Johansen 55,95
    Susan Anderson 85,86
    wili 111,128
    (re my 64,69,78,114
    and maybe my 103)
    - I had meant to come back to that – with 1 more comment about the quasistationary pattern (pertinent to European warmth),
    - and then some more general info about atmospheric dynamics – which I like to explain in the context of everything else (brief comparisons to ocean, outer core, mantle, and if I knew enough about it, stellar and Jovian dynamics, and how vorticity and matter waves can both ‘tunnel’)
    (I had the idea of an aside about the thermodynamics of convection, and then, with phase changes or other changes and kinetics – Kohler curves, snow crystal habits, Bergeron process, etc, but analogously, also the partial melting of rocks, feldspar exsolution, the ~ 660 km Perovskite transition, metamorphic facies, subduction, martensite, cementite, tempered chocolate, salt rejection, azeotropes, rapakivi texture, rotten granite, compositional buoyancy in the outer core … yes, all these things really should be covered all at once, because it would be awesome and fun – unfortunately it could take awhile to double check some things…)

    … but I think I may want to get back to Earth’s precession, since I’ve already got a lot put together (or nearly so) for it. But first, Ev mpgs…

    ———–
    Re my 89, Susan Anderson 94, Russell 113 – thanks. I saw part of a show on Boudicca on the History Channel – I was really hoping she would win that battle :).

  38. 588
    Hank Roberts says:

    Stoat’s got a good topic on the changes _about_ the polar science in Britan — reorganization. I added a note about the change in the US polar science group, quoting briefly from the AGU’s weekly EOS newspaper article:

    Eos, Vol. 93, No. 38, 18 September 2012
    NSF Realignment Plan Includes Moving Polar Office Into Geosciences Directorate

    Most interesting if you want a glimpse of the realpolitics emerging as all that tedious ice melts, getting out of the way of Progre$$.

    It’s subscription time — $20 is the basic AGU membership; pay now for the next calendar year and get a price break if you want to attend the annual meeting in San Francisco. That gets you the EOS newsletter, and a lot of online abstracts. Full journal articles still paywalled.

    Nevertheless a deal, if you want to read stuff on point about what’s going on that’s mildly paywalled.

    Worth the $20 for us kibitzers, bystanders, and occasionally active citizenry I’d say.

    http://membership.agu.org/agu-members-save-on-journal-subscriptions/

  39. 589
    ozajh says:

    Dan H @ 562,

    [edit - seriously OT]

  40. 590
    Patrick 027 says:

    … but “Science of Doom” has a series of posts on atmospheric fluid dynamics already (someone upthread gave a link to it)…

  41. 591
    Patrick 027 says:

    … with updated data,

    2010:
    electric power sector emissions g CO2/kWh net generation, delivered (using the same T&D efficiency used earlier), primary (using some fossil fuel equivalents in some categories)
    571.69 , 617.36 , 195.55


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