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Unforced Variations: June 2015

Filed under: — group @ 1 June 2015

This month’s open thread. Some interesting trends in ocean heat content, surface temperatures, multiple oddly reported papers (which are often linked to ambiguous press releases…) etc. But at least we aren’t working in political science…

264 Responses to “Unforced Variations: June 2015”

  1. 251
    Chuck Hughes says:

    SecularAnimist says:
    25 Jun 2015 at 10:28 AM

    Edward Greisch wrote: “A Myth Being Foisted on you …”

    Your comment is off-topic and is EXACTLY the sort of thing that the moderators of this site have REPEATEDLY asked us NOT TO POST HERE.

    And SecularAnimist, your comment about Edward Greisch being off-topic is also off-topic. You simply cannot post off-topic comments about people being off-topic without being in violation of the “off-topic” rules, which are not part of the conversation.

    Now what were we talking about? Oh yeah, Killian and his apple tree.

    Killian, in your comment concerning the apple tree you made it sound as if you really did have a 50 year old apple tree and had planted another using seeds from the same tree. I totally believed your story. I planted two apple trees a couple of years ago and one died after only a year. The other one produced one really good apple. I have more apples this year. So my question is this…. do I need to plant some more apple trees?


    By the way, I mentioned a couple of months ago that Antarctica could break up into smaller pieces. I believe Eric Steig said he didn’t think it was possible. I don’t see why not. Ice is always breaking into smaller pieces. I don’t see why a series of cracks couldn’t form and start to move. Especially with meltwater flowing through the cracks.

  2. 252
    Killian says:

    #248 Hank Roberts said, straw man, snark, whine, unintelligent mumbling.

    I think you mistake the admin’s disinterest for approval.

  3. 253
    Killian says:

    #250 Chuck Hughes said he believed the apple trees were real. Q: How would I know if *he* had an apple tree?

    Should have been clear. Whole context is a must when dealing with text only. But, fair enough. Sadly, the Peanut Gallery has worn out any good faith, failing to even attempt to engage rationally or with positive intent or good will. It is what it is.

    They are defensive at constantly being out-analyzed by a mere mortal. The self-appointed layman science demi-gods don’t like their narrow methods of analysis being shown to be lacking.

    E.g., my ASI scenario is shaping up pretty well. Again. Yet, not a single math calculation done by me. Not yet September, tho, so, we shall see. I’ll make a final set of scenarios by the 7th. (I always do mine 1st week of July, though there might be some correlation with early January yearly numbers.)

  4. 254
    patrick says:

    The flight of the Solar Impulse is being streamed here:

    A bunch of icons on the page show the real-time status of the flight, aircraft, cockpit, controls, pilot, batteries, profile (energy/altitude profile per day/Sol), etc. All the links on this page together give you a tutorial on how this mission works. And add facts, like: the motors are 94% efficient.

    Among the records being remade every second by this flight could be one for longest wide-open communications during an experimental flight. This kind of transparency deserves its own prize, I think.

    The Day 3 Energy Neutral Evening Briefing was streamed at about 2 am U.S. central time:

    This briefing talks about flight profile, route, and weather.

    Putting the focus on COP21, the UN Climate Change Conference meeting in Paris, the briefing ends on this:

    For longer briefings check Solar Impulse daily Energy Neutral Morning briefings.

  5. 255

    K: This is a perfect example why an entirely rational definition of sustainability is needed. Understanding this is a threshold, and non-negotiable, and implies a very simplified society in the main, leads to different conclusions. We cannot possibly continue this level of consumption with any kind of tech now known. The *only* option, and first line of defense being the lowest-lying fruit, is simplification. . . . We only need to meet 10% or so of current U.S. demand. When one understands and accepts this, additional nuclear is superfluous and clearly not worth the risk.

    BPL: Show your work. Simply accepting a given demand is obviously a bad idea, but it’s also rather a straw man. No one denies that conservation, and lowering energy intensity, are good ideas. But where does your “10%” figure even come from? Why do you think it’s even possible to get people to suddenly cut out 90% of their energy use?

    Anarcho-primitivism doesn’t hold up to serious analysis. Sure, you can do it that way. The obnoxious part is where you insist your way is the only possible way, and we’ll all die if we don’t do it your way.

  6. 256
    MA Rodger says:

    HadCRUT4 is just posted for May 2015 & puts May as the hottest anomaly of the year with all months of 2015 so far in the top 20. Mind, that’s not quite as scorchio as the NOAA anomalies for 2015, but not far off.

    1 . .. 2007/01 . 0.835°C
    2 . .. 1998/02 . 0.762°C
    3= . . 2006/12 . 0.701°C
    3= . . 2002/02 . 0.701°C
    5 . .. 2002/03 . 0.697°C
    6 . .. 2015/05 . 0.694°C
    7 . .. 2015/01 . 0.69°C
    8 . .. 2015/03 . 0.68°C

    9= . . 2010/04 . 0.677°C
    9= . . 2010/03 . 0.677°C
    11 . .. 1998/07 . 0.672°C
    12 . .. 2014/08 . 0.666°C
    13 . .. 2002/01 . 0.661°C
    14 . .. 2015/02 . 0.66°C
    15 . .. 2014/04 . 0.658°C
    16 . .. 2015/04 . 0.657°C
    17 . .. 1998/04 . 0.633°C
    18 . .. 2014/12 . 0.63°C
    19= . . 2013/11 . 0.628°C
    19= . . 2005/11 . 0.628°C

  7. 257
    Hank Roberts says:

    Antarctica could break up into smaller pieces. I believe Eric Steig said he didn’t think it was possible.

    That’s what I called the “Ice Cube Catastrophe” scenario — a sudden rumble, the ice cap becomes crushed ice and rushes to the sea.

    I made the Ice Cube Monster notion up an example of tasty, tempting, scary fiction == although lately, we’ve learned more about deep cracks, lakes draining to bedrock, icequakes, and how far ice can be bent or twisted while it flows, before some sudden change makes it snap … I wonder.

    We’ve come a long way from “no change for a thousand years” to the discovery of temporary openings that resealed or flowed shut every winter, e.g.

    When I guesstimate the way our knowledge is trending, I worry: surprises.

    While “It is a capital mistake to theorize before you have all the evidence. It biases the judgment” (Sherlock Holmes), on the other hand, if trouble is pointed in your direction, you’d want to dodge before it starts moving. Just in case.

    But as everyone knows, overly general predictions are profoundly convincing; it’s something about how our minds work. See “Forer effect” (also called the Barnum effect” or the “fallacy of positive validation” — well documented. Kind of like how we see patterns so readily, real or not.

    Any scribbler can predict catastrophe. Eventually, something bad happens.

  8. 258
    MartinJB says:

    Edward Greisch (245): “The asymmetry finally hit me over the head when a renewable energy advocate told me that the main purpose of renewable portfolio standards (RPS) was to “kill nuclear”.”

    Not buying this. I have high-trust relationships (i.e. close friends and family) with people who design or manage RPS programs. That is unequivocally not the purpose of the programs they’re involved with. All of these individuals would rather have some kind of price on carbon, but for various reasons that has been difficult to do (I’m sure I don’t need to expand on this!). For the purpose of full disclosure, I would add that even in the presence of a price on carbon, there would probably still be pro-renewable add-ons (RPS or pay-in tariffs, typically) until it is felt that renewables are sufficiently mature.

    Anyway, that’s my take on the subject. I don’t know about the “renewable energy advocate” you spoke to, but I’d suggest people treat that quote with due skepticism (and I fully expect that some folks are likely do the same with my statements — the joys of non-sourced information on the web!).

  9. 259
    patrick says:

    Solar Impulse Day 4 Energy Neutral Evening briefing:

    Energy/altitude profile of the flight, accumulating potential energy with altitude. Surprises. Planning. Three-color profile chart. Regular profile widget on streaming page:

    Day 3 Update Briefing I: batteries, flight profile, and pilot:

    Day 3 Briefing II: crossing dateline, pilot health, flight profile:

  10. 260
    chuck hughes says:

    I’m not a scientist but I do think that what Dr. Wadhams says here is very credible. In other words it makes sense to me. I don’t think his take on the Arctic is alarmist or over the top. See what you think:

  11. 261
    patrick says:

    Solar Impulse Day 4 Energy Neutral Morning program:

    Pilot interview. Stress, sleep, yoga. Interviews on pilot health, insulation, air traffic control liason–and, which seeks to build support for CoP 21 the UN Climate Change Conference–and to put a point on it, just broad and fine enough, namely, “I want concrete actions for a clean future.”

  12. 262
    Killian says:

    #254 Barton Paul Levenson said …simplification. . . . We only need to meet 10% or so of current U.S. demand. When one understands and accepts this, additional nuclear is superfluous and clearly not worth the risk.

    BPL: Show your work.

    Mine? Far too complex to list here, but one of the simple bits was: Currently living at rate of 5.5 Earths. So… getting down to merely sustainable, in the most basic sense of continuing exactly the same indefinitely (as opposed to regeneratively, which creates comfort and abundance), would mean living on less than 20% of what we do now. Add to that needing to, e.g., take GHG’s backwards, does that not imply somewhere in the range of 10-20%? I do believe it does. Risk assessment says take the low end given extinction is the risk, well… There are multiple ways to attack this issue. This is just one.

    Luckily, there are finally others saying this. I was rather surprised to find it so, but it is. I will see if I can round up the link. (Just spent 20 minutes looking… later.)

    Simply accepting a given demand is obviously a bad idea

    Via what logic? It is not as if there is no logic or assessment behind the number. Simply dismissing the conclusion with no reason is what is a bad idea. Try to remember, analysis not the science, nor vice-versa. The science is established; analysis is appropriate and occurs under different guidelines than science. Act like it.

    but it’s also rather a straw man. No one denies that conservation, and lowering energy intensity, are good ideas. But where does your “10%” figure even come from?

    Already noted. Certainly a more stringent analysis is great, but those are beginning to happen. You’d think you’d learn not to be so patronizing and dismissive. It’s my area of knowledge and experience that applies to analysis and planning, not yours.

    Why do you think it’s even possible to get people to suddenly cut out 90% of their energy use?

    Because they want to live? And who said suddenly? Now there’s a Straw Man.


    Wow. Straw Man. Heck, flat out lie. Have never, will never, support that approach, and nothing I say here supports that characterization. You will never even try, I don’t think.

    The obnoxious part is where you insist your way is the only possible way, and we’ll all die if we don’t do it your way

    No, the obnoxious part is your lie that it’s “my” way. 2. If you don’t like the broad strokes of simplification, well, that’s your ignorance, not my error.

    I suggest you stop characterizing what you don’t understand as other people’s failings. You might learn something. When we discuss these things, you are in my sphere of influence, not yours. Try some humility.

  13. 263
    Edward Greisch says:

    257 MartinJB: I did not talk to the “renewable energy advocate.” James Hansen did. James Hansen is rather famous in climate science; I am not. James Hansen was the boss of some of the contributors to RealClimate. In any case, the quote makes sense if you know anything at all about the grid. See my other comments on this thread and sign up for some courses in “Electric Power Systems” in your local Electrical Engineering Department. Wind and solar can be added to the grid up to about 8%; but how much wind you can add varies with the wind.

    I neither doubt nor care about the sincerity of your friends and family. The sincerity of your friends and family is not relevant. Humans have a high tendency to sincerely “believe” all sorts of nonsense. Humans are never reliable enough to be witnesses, but sometimes they “ring a bell.” What the “renewable energy advocate” said happens to match what is obvious from a knowledge of engineering. Notice that I put “believe” in quotation marks. “Believe” is a taboo word. How is the Great Pumpkin?

    “until it is felt that renewables are sufficiently mature” We do not “feel” answers to questions. We calculate [using math and arithmetic] the answers to questions. We verify by doing experiments. Your use of the word “felt” is not appropriate to this conversation. How would you tell a baby wind turbine from a teenage wind turbine? The “maturity” of the wind turbines is not the problem. The wind is the problem. And the fact that we do not have adequate enabling technology that would overcome the problems of the wind. For a worm, feeling is high level thinking.

    There is no reason why your friends and family would know anything about the motives of certain billionaires and giant corporations who are as secretly as possible spending a billion dollars a year to mislead people. Your friends and family are not guilty of being insincere. But I doubt that they are degreed engineers.

  14. 264
    patrick says:

    Solar impulse Day 5 Energy Neutral Morning program:

    Last full day/Sol on the Hawaii run. Pilot interview. Flight & Mission Director. Nagoya takeoff. Hawaii preview. Swisscom, Schindler, and Solvay key people. FutureIsClean campaign.