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Unforced variations: Apr 2017

Filed under: — group @ 2 April 2017

This month’s open thread.

167 Responses to “Unforced variations: Apr 2017”

  1. 151
    mike says:

    Daily CO2

    April 26, 2017: 412.63 ppm
    April 26, 2016: 407.41 ppm

    Spiky day. Slow posting of comments is throttling the conversation. Is this intentional? Do the PIC want us to move discussion elsewhere? Too busy to deal with comments?

    Submitted around 8:43 pst on April 27th

    Warm regards


  2. 152
    Michael S. says:


    I read an article the other day concerning Dehydration based Kidney Disease.
    One thing I took away from what I read is the possibility that a large number of creatures might have an issue adapting to a higher humidity level present in their habitat. I have lived in both a high (New Orleans), and low (North East Texas) humidity environment. The manner in which heat is dealt with is different. For example, in New Orleans 99% humidity during the summer is expected, but in Greenville, Tx., 80% humidity was considered to be extremely high and rare(except for short periods directly after a rain storm). My wife grew up in the dryer air and had considerable trouble adapting to the higher humidity levels of the Gulf coast, and that was with knowledge that she would need to drink more fluids(with added ice).

    My question here is: As the average temperature rises, will the average humidity level(Area and Percentage) also increase? I wonder how this will affect people and animals who do not have knowledge support and cooled drinks to assist in staving off new extreme temperatures and humidity.

  3. 153
    David B. Benson says:

    Tamino is back on his Open Mind blog posting a letter from Rahmstorf.

  4. 154
    Scott Strough says:

    @152 Michael,
    Yes higher overall humidity is an expected reinforcing feedback. Regional effects may vary, but overall this is true.

  5. 155
    Mal Adapted says:


    … the biggest turning point was then a video put out by my church actually touched on the importance of caring for the Earth as a gift from God and as a home for future generations.

    Thomas’s testimony may or may not be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth (we’re not under oath here, after all), but that much at least is credible to me.

    As a conservationist and atheist in that order, I’ve interacted a little with the creation stewardship movement among evangelicals. One guy I spent a morning with 20 years ago impressed the hell out of me; he was sharp as a knife, and a human dynamo too. He told me he had degrees in Psychology and Marketing but had a life-changing experience while backcountry camping that reordered his priorities, so he became an Evangelical pastor to spread the stewardship Word. I’ve met other devout Christians whose commitment to biodiversity conservation was at a level with their commitment to Christ. Our main difference is that they believe it’s blasphemous to worship the creation instead of the Creator, whereas I support the theory that creation created itself.

    The point is that once we get past the religious part I’ve usually found religious conservationists to be fellow travelers. I’d advise all secular advocates for biodiversity to consider working with them. Even if your goals aren’t identical (are they ever?), they may be more than close enough for an alliance.

    As an atheist who went willy-nilly to Sunday School for six years before declaring for skepticism at age twelve, I don’t see AGW-denial built into Christianity. Our current predicament stems from the “dominion over creation” spin given it by charismatic but ultimately self-serving preachers. They’ve assured their eagerly receptive congregations that affluence is the gift of Providence, so it’s at best impious to ask about bills pending. That strikes an obvious chord with cost-externalizing natural resource liquidators and investors. Sadly but not mysteriously, the prosperity gospel is a much easier sell than the creation-stewardship gospel.

  6. 156
    Eric Swanson says:

    Michael S. #152 – The problem isn’t relative humidity, it’s dew point temperature, which I didn’t see mentioned in your link. The human body cools itself via sweating and evaporation of that water. With dew points above about 35 C, there’s no way for the evaporation to lower the body temperature to safe levels. The result can be heat stroke and death.

    The kidney problem is a newer effect, the result of years of exposure to high humidity conditions. The sugar cane workers at lower elevations are especially vulnerable and they must drink large quantities of water or hydration mix to provide enough sweat to cool off. One report I saw suggested that the workers must drink 3 to 4 liters a day. As it is, they stop working around noon, because it’s just too hot.

    For further reading, see:

    An adaptability limit to climate change due to heat stress – Sherwood 2010

    Report from the first international research workshop on mesoamerican nephropathy

    Heat stress assessment among workers in a Nicaraguan sugarcane farm

  7. 157
    Russell says:

    There is an alternative to tomorrow’s second march on the absent denizens of Capitol Hill
    at 4 PM, at an ecologically diverse and pleasant place scarce an hour from The Mall ,where may be seen several hundred Senators, Sectrataries, Representatives and Deputies of both parties and half the population of K- Street besides:

    Far better to see the lot of them cheer ten horses than several thousand activists make asses of themselves on the Mall:

  8. 158
    mike says:

    Daily CO2

    April 27, 2017: 408.64 ppm
    April 27, 2016: 406.54 ppm

    I am reading about possible EN conditions arising again this year. That would not be good for CO2 sats in the atmosphere. This is an upward sticky number. We know how to add CO2 to the atmosphere, can we figure out a reasonable way to stop doing that? More CO2, more heat. Easy calculation.

    Warm regards


  9. 159
    Greg Simpson says:

    Michael S.,

    From what I’ve heard, relative humidity is expected to stay roughly the same. Of course, this means that with rising temperatures the absolute humidity should rise.

    I’ve not seen estimates of how the variation from the mean will behave. That’s important, and it’s something most of us missed about the jet stream.

  10. 160

    One of 100,000 plus in DC today. Inspiring to see the youthful energy and aged endurance. Learn this word, guys:


  11. 161
    generic commenter says:

    Hank 137&138 or anyone, what would the ‘orange’ layer be, in this photo?

  12. 162
    Hank Roberts says:

    New estimate of the current rate of sea level rise from a sea level budget approach
    First published: 22 April 2017
    DOI: 10.1002/2017GL073308


    We revisit the global mean sea level (GMSL) budget during the whole altimetry era (January 1993 to December 2015) using a large number of data sets. The budget approach allows quantifying the TOPEX A altimeter drift (amounting 1.5 ± 0.5 mm/yr over 1993–1998). Accounting for this correction and using ensemble means for the GMSL and components lead to closure of the sea level budget (trend of the residual time series being 0.0 ± 0.22 mm/yr). The new GMSL rate over January 1993 to December 2015 is now close to 3.0 mm/yr. An important increase of the GMSL rate, of 0.8 mm/yr, is found during the second half of the altimetry era (2004–2015) compared to the 1993–2004 time span, mostly due to Greenland mass loss increase and also to slight increase of all other components of the budget.

  13. 163
    Hank Roberts says:

    for “generic commenter” (seriously, you should find yourself a name)

    The orange you’re seeing there in that nighttime view looking down from the ISS is from amber streetlights.
    That light is passing directly upward through the atmosphere.

    Light passing vertically through the atmosphere doesn’t interact with very much air — one thickness
    Light passing at a low angle through the atmosphere interacts with far more air — many times the thickness of the atmosphere.

    The orange/red you see in the atmosphere at sunset is the light remaining after the blue has been scattered by the atmosphere — you’re seeing sunset light that passes at a very low angle through a whole lot of atmosphere. There’s now more red showing up in sunsets due to coal smoke than people saw before the fossil fuel era began.

    For the same reason the moon looks orange during a total lunar eclipse, it’s lit by the “sunset” light around the edge (the “limb”) of the planet, again it’s light that’s following a very long path through the air.


  14. 164
    Killian says:

    Re #160 Kevin McKinney says
    One of 100,000 plus in DC today. Inspiring to see the youthful energy and aged endurance. Learn this word, guys:


    No, don’t. Jargon is a waste of your time. There are always already simple ways to say things. If it means little to you reading it here, meaning you need explication *at all*, then Joe Nextdoor sure as heck doesn’t know. More importantly, he’s very unlikely to want to.

    Now, if you say, “We all have different roles, and who we are, how we act, can change with those roles, and affect our sense of identity…” he’ll know what you mean. He may still not like it, but at least you can have a conversation.

    If all the “movement” people don’t start leaving the ’60’s behind, they’re going to “movement” us into extinction.

    Climate and resources are *not* going to be solved by walks, strikes, protests, etc.

    This time is different.

  15. 165
    Killian says:

    Yo, Mike, the Scripps CO2 charts always leave off the daily averages for extreme days. Do you know their policy on this? Secondly, is there are more consistent source for daily averages that doesn’t cut off the extremes?


  16. 166
    generic commenter says:

    My description of the phenomenon to be identified was too generic.
    This youtube video (made from photos from the ISS) says it is “the Earth’s ionosphere “(thin yellow line)”

  17. 167
    Killian says:

    If this article sounds like an echo, it miggt be because I’ve been saying the same here for around ten years.

    It’s criminal.