Wobbles in the Barriers: Arctic Oscillation (4)

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 4:22 PM GMT on October 14, 2013

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Wobbles in the Barriers: Arctic Oscillation (4)

This is a continuation of my series on the Arctic Oscillation / North Atlantic Oscillation. Links to background material and previous entries are at the end.

In the last entry I suggested that if you were on a bridge overlooking a swiftly flowing creek then you would notice that twigs floating in the water did not move across the current. They are carried downstream along the edge of the current. The purpose of that comparison was to demonstrate how fast-moving, concentrated flows have the effect of isolating one side of the creek from the other. This is true in the creek, and it is also true about jet streams in the atmosphere.

One way to understand the Arctic Oscillation is to think of it as the variation of an atmospheric jet stream. For the Arctic Oscillation the jet stream of interest is the southern edge of vortex of air that circulates around the North Pole (see previous entry). Air inside the vortex often has characteristics different from air outside it. Intuitively for the Arctic, there is colder air on the side toward the pole. If you look at trace gases, like ozone, they are different across the edge of the vortex. The takeaway idea is that the edge of the vortex is a barrier. It’s not a perfect barrier, but the air on one side is largely separated from the air on the other side. In this blog, I describe the difference between a strong and a weak vortex – which is the same as the difference between the positive and negative phases of the Arctic Oscillation and the North Atlantic Oscillation.



Figure 1: This figure is from the point of view of someone looking down from above at the North Pole (NP). Compare this perspective to Figure 1 in previous blog. This represents a strong, circular vortex centered over the pole, which encloses cold air, represented as blue. The line surrounding the cold air is the jet stream or the edge of the vortex.

Figure 1 shows an idealized schematic of the North Pole as viewed from above. This is the strong vortex case, when there is exceptionally low pressure at the pole. Low pressure is associated with counterclockwise rotation in the Northern Hemisphere. This direction of rotation is called cyclonic. This strong vortex case is the positive phase of the Arctic Oscillation. During this phase, the vortex aligns strongly with the rotation of the Earth, and there are relatively few wobbles of the edge of the vortex – the jet stream. I drew on the figure two points, X and Y. In this case, the point X is hot and the point Y is cold. It is during this phase when it is relatively warm and moist over, for example, the eastern seaboard of the United States.

Figure 2 compares a strong vortex and a weak vortex. In both cases, the circulation around a central point is counterclockwise or cyclonic. However, in the weak vortex case, the vortex does not align as strongly with the rotation of the Earth and there are places where the edge of vortex extends southwards. The vortex appears displaced from the pole; it is not centered over the pole.



Figure 2: Examples of a strong, circular vortex and a weak, more wavy vortex. See text for a more complete description.

Whether the vortex is stronger or weaker is determined by the atmospheric pressure at the pole. In the winter, an important factor that determines the circulation is the cooling that occurs at polar latitudes during the polar night.

What determines the waviness or wobbles at the edge of this vortex? The structure at the edge of vortex is strongly influenced by several factors. These factors include the structure of the high-pressure centers that are over the oceans and continents to the south of jet stream. One could easily imagine a strong high-pressure center over, for example, Iceland, pushing northward at the edge of the vortex. This might push a lobe of air characteristic of the middle latitude Atlantic Ocean northward. Since the edge of the vortex is something of a barrier, this high-pressure system would distort the edge of the vortex and, perhaps, push the vortex off the pole. This would appear as a displacement of the vortex and its cold air over, for example, Russia. If the high grew and faded, then this would appear as wobbles of the vortex.

Other factors that influence the waviness at the edge of the vortex are the mountain ranges and the thermal contrast between the continents and the oceans. The impact of mountains is easy to understand. Returning to the creek comparison used above, the mountains are like a boulder in the stream. The water bulges around and over the boulder; the air in the atmosphere bulges around and over the mountain ranges. The Rocky Mountains in the western half of North America are perfect examples of where there are often wobbles in the atmospheric jet stream.



Figure 3: This figure is from the point of view of someone looking down from above at the North Pole (NP). This represents a weak, wavy, wobbly vortex displaced from the pole. The vortex encloses cold air, represented as blue. The line surrounding the cold air is the jet stream or the edge of the vortex. (definition of vortex)

Figure 3 shows an idealized schematic of the North Pole as viewed from above. This is the weak vortex case, when the low pressure at the pole is not as low as average and the pressure is much higher than the strong vortex case of Figure 1. This weak vortex case is the negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation. During this phase, the alignment of the vortex with the rotation of the Earth is less prominent, and there are wobbles of the edge of the vortex – the jet stream. In this case, the point X is cold and the point Y is hot. It is during this phase where it is relatively cool and dry (but potentially snowy) over, for example, the eastern part of the United States.

These figures help to explain the prominent signal of the Arctic Oscillation discussed in the earlier entries (specifically, this blog). That is, when the vortex is weak and wobbly, then there are excursions of colder air to the south and warmer air to the north. This appears as waviness and is an important pattern of variability - warm, cold, warm, cold.

The impact of the changes in the structure of edge of the vortex does not end with these persistent periods of regional warm and cold spells. The edge of the vortex or the jet stream is also important for steering storms. Minimally, therefore, these changes in the edge of the vortex are expected to change the characteristics of how storms move. Simply, if the edge of the vortex has large northward and southward extensions, then storms take a longer time to move, for example, across the United States from the Pacific to the Atlantic Oceans. In the positive phase of the Arctic Oscillation they just whip across. In the negative phase, the storms wander around a bit. A more complete discussion of this aspect of the role of the Arctic Oscillation will be in the next entry. (Note use of dramatic tension and the cliffhanger strategy of the serial.)

r

Previous entries:

Barriers in the Atmosphere
Behavior
Definitions and Some Background

August Arctic Oscillation presentation

CPC Climate Glossary “The Arctic Oscillation is a pattern in which atmospheric pressure at polar and middle latitudes fluctuates between negative and positive phases.”

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1457. pcola57
Quoting 1455. Birthmark:

CO2 doesn't preferentially warm the poles. Arctic amplification is complex and cannot be attributed to CO2 alone.


Um, no. While the arctic has warmed since 1976, so have large parts of the Antarctic. So if you are implying some sort of back and forth...well, there's no there, there.

If we look at the period from 1944 to 1976 we find that the entire Northern Hemisphere cooled, not just the Arctic. Aerosols from industry were the primary culprit in that cooling.


I believe it has mad a differnce....
Here in the US they are outlawed..
Should be worldwide..
But I don't know if GreenPeace or scientists have been monitoring them..
I'm just throwing my not so learned opinion and observation out there..
I can take criticism and correction as "I'm a learning".. :)
I'm a AGW believer and the data is overwhelming to a point that it's harder for me to understand a dissenting opinion on the subject..
I can agree to disagree..
But seems to me anyway..
That, for an example, when a road is built through a town and it is pointed at my house,
Do I deny it?
Do I move out of the way?
The situation Must be resolved..
It is a tangible fact that I cannot ignore..
I must resolve and find a solution to the problem..
Same with AGW..
Hard Data..check..
Scientific integrity..check..
Tangible threat..check..
Cannot be ignored..check..
Positive response worldwide..Nope..
It is what it is..
We should have collected our sharpest minds and resolved this matter long ago and haved moved on to other pressing issues that face humanity..


Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6856
1456. azucas
" While the arctic has warmed since 1976, so have large parts of the Antarctic"

Only the Antarctic peninsula.

" Aerosols from industry were the primary culprit in that cooling."

Do you really believe aerosols from industry have diminished since 1976?
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Quoting 1454. azucas:
But why would well mixed Carbon dioxide preferentially warm the poles and ignore the rest of the atmosphere?

CO2 doesn't preferentially warm the poles. Arctic amplification is complex and cannot be attributed to CO2 alone.

Quoting 1454. azucas:
Why did the Arctic warm from 1976 to the present, the Antarctic from 1944 to 76, and the Arctic again from 1917 to 44; while the opposite pole cooled?

Time to look at the bigger picture.

Um, no. While the arctic has warmed since 1976, so have large parts of the Antarctic. So if you are implying some sort of back and forth...well, there's no there, there.

If we look at the period from 1944 to 1976 we find that the entire Northern Hemisphere cooled, not just the Arctic. Aerosols from industry were the primary culprit in that cooling.
Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 5469
1454. azucas
Getting back to the so called arctic oscillation, the Russians came up with an index for this in the sixties and NOAA had an index as well long before anyone pretended we understood it and called it the arctic oscillation.

Compared to Antarctica with its impressive vortex, the northern hemisphere is guaranteed by geography to be far more subject to high amplitude Rossby waves.

Since it is the temperature gradient from the equator to the poles that provides the potential energy for strong circulation, a warming arctic would reduce the gradient and increase the likelihood of polar outbreaks.

But why would well mixed Carbon dioxide preferentially warm the poles and ignore the rest of the atmosphere? Why did the Arctic warm from 1976 to the present, the Antarctic from 1944 to 76, and the Arctic again from 1917 to 44; while the opposite pole cooled?

Time to look at the bigger picture.
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Quoting 1452. RickyRood:
I'm back ... disk crashed ... sorry to lose all of the comments on the last blog ... will repost that, then the new one.


It's okay Professor. After what happened to all of WU during a severe weather outbreak...I accept your resignation (Just kidding!).

Thanks, it's nice to see this blog back up.
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I'm back ... disk crashed ... sorry to lose all of the comments on the last blog ... will repost that, then the new one.
Member Since: January 31, 2007 Posts: 312 Comments: 250
1451. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting 1448. cyclonebuster:
Why is Dr. Roods blog down?

I don't know but it looks like they plan on fixing it.

Doug~ Oh it is..We noted it but you might want to submit a support ticket to help it go quicker.


AR is about to throw down with it's big energy people over solar..
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Australian Temperature Deciles 1 November 2012 to 31 October 2013

Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3403
Good question.

Mine got obliterated yesterday too.
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Why is Dr. Roods blog down?
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1447. Skyepony (Mod)
Since 1993, measurements from the TOPEX and Jason series of satellite radar altimeters have allowed estimates of global mean sea level. These measurements are continuously calibrated against a network of tide gauges. When seasonal and other variations are subtracted, they allow estimation of the global mean sea level rate. As new data, models and corrections become available, we continuously revise these estimates (about every two months) to improve their quality.



Source is CU
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Why is Dr. Roods blog down?
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1445. auburn (Mod)
Test
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Fukushima Daiichi NPS Prompt Report (Nov 18,2013)

Immediate release: Fuel removal from Unit 4 spent fuel pool has started at Fukushima Daiichi NPS

tepco.co.jp

Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
1443. Patrap
Welcome back, Kotter'
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128875
I have not yet read this new book from Ajit Varki and Danny Brower published 2013 on Denial: Self-Deception, False Beliefs, and the Origins of the Human Mind. This description is intriguing…
As a consequence of this evolutionary quirk we now deny any aspects of reality that are not to our liking-we smoke cigarettes, eat unhealthy foods, and avoid exercise, knowing these habits are a prescription for an early death. And so what has worked to establish our species could be our undoing if we continue to deny the consequences of unrealistic approaches to everything from personal health to financial risk-taking to climate change. On the other hand reality-denial affords us many valuable attributes, such as optimism, confidence, and courage in the face of long odds.
More here:
http://cmm.ucsd.edu/varki/denial/home.html
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1441. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
RickyRood has created a new entry.
Nuclear Plant Starts Up On India's Tsunami-Vulnerable Coast (NPR)




Seventy-four nuclear reactors in tsunami-risk areas (homelandsecuritynewswire.com - 9/24/2012)

"Man deeply asleep, blindly and aimlessly struggling and suffering, torn by war and passion, fouling everything he touches; and yet, through a strange flaw in his nature, clinging ingeniously to the very instruments which wound, the patterns which betray."

- G.I. Gurdjieff
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
Exploiting Tomorrow's Solar Eclipse To Help Understand Sea Levels

"Tomorrow at dawn on the U.S. East Coast, a partial solar eclipse will rise. Solar eclipses have many uses. They can confirm the Theory of Relativity, allow study of the solar corona, and this week, help prepare for global warming induced sea level rise. The tides induced in the oceans when the Sun and Moon are aligned are particularly high (and low) and give a foretaste of the effects of sea level rise in the coming decades. Maryland's Department of Natural Resources is asking for photos of these King Tides to help with preparation for the effect of sea level rise.

SlashDot.org
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
1438. Patrap
Global food supply at severe risk from climate change, warns leaked study by UN-created panel
By Jacob Kastrenakes on November 1, 2013 06:36 pm


A scientific panel set up by the United Nations has found that climate change will pose a serious threat to the world's food supply in the coming decades, reports The New York Times. The findings aren't set to be announced until March and are still undergoing editing, but a copy of the report has leaked online. The findings come from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which has been releasing reports on the matter around every six years the Times reports that its 2007 findings were far less foreboding.

AGRICULTURAL OUTPUT COULD DROP TWO PERCENT EACH DECADE

According to the Times, the report says that agricultural output may drop by as much as two percent every decade for the rest of this century, compared to what it would have been without the effects of climate change. Demand for food is reportedly expected to rise 14 percent each decade during that time, exacerbating the food supply issue.

The IPCC's study reportedly also finds that the impact of climate change is already being felt worldwide, and that it'll likely intensify as greenhouse gas emissions rise. Evoking scenes from a disaster film, the Times reports that the IPCC's draft warns that many plant and animal species could go extinct as temperatures and sea levels rise. It may not be too late to mitigate the effects, however, by cutting emissions. The study reportedly finds that some of the strongest impacts can still be avoided, though the signs of improvement likely wouldn't be felt until later the century.

"[The report is] a work in progress," Jonathan Lynn, a spokesman for the IPCC, tells the Times. "We don't have anything to say about the contents. It's likely to change."

THE IPCC'S REPORTS CONTINUE TO LEAK

The IPCC has dealt with this kind of leak before, leading to the panel facing sharp criticism of its findings even before their release. Most recently, the panel found that humans were the cause of climate change, a factor that clearly plays heavily in its upcoming report. Though much could still change before its proper release, the Times notes that when another climate change report leaked in August, very little was changed before its publication in September.

Efforts are already being taken to address climate change from high in the US government, with President Obama issuing an executive order early today that will have government agencies preparing for its effects. For now, such efforts still fall far from what the IPCC's findings suggest is necessary.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128875
1437. Patrap
What happens in Fukushima this Month as to the removal of those spent MOX fuel rod assemblies, may just determine the Future for 4-5 Billion Humans. The best news I can give on this is that the Japanese are finally coming to Washington this week to finalize a co-operative effort with the US leading it.

May God guide them in this arduous task, for failure, may jus be too much for Man to overcome. The Genies bottle is open, pray that we can close it.



Dangers in removing Fukushima's spent nuclear fuel rods
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128875
Don't mess with Eli Rabbet

Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3403
Quoting 1431. FLwolverine:
It must have been a fun afternoon around here, considering the number of posts that are missing right now - apparently a lot of cooling off was thought necessary!

I've been thinking about some of the stuff I've seen posted recently, and I think it's time for a reality check.

REALITY: global warming is real, climate change is happening, and the consequences will be (at best!) unpleasant for us, bad for our kids, and downright nasty for our grandkids - not to mention the other 7 billion people on the planet. There is science - lots of science - to support this statement, and there is no science to prove it wrong. The only questions are when, how bad, and is there anything we can do to lessen the effects?

I think at least some of the contrarians (Dr Masters' word, I think) who post here know this, deep in their gut, or at least suspect that this is reality. But this is a terrifying reality - god knows it scares me - so naturally people want to avoid accepting it.

But the fact is that it doesn't matter how much the contrarians rage and rail against Nea and the rest of us, or how much faux science the contrarians post, or how many lies they repeat, or how much they misread or misinterpret comments made here - none of this matters. It wouldn't even matter if Dr Rood's blog were discontinued and all of us were banned.

It doesn't matter because reality is what it is - global warming is real, climate change is happening, and the consequences will be (at best) unpleasant for us, bad for our kids, and downright nasty for our grandkids - and deadly for many (most?) of the other 7 billion people on the planet.



Welcome back,

It was kind of whacky, a lot of trolling and heated responses. Frankly, the moderation here is ridiculous, the resident contrarians offer nothing in terms of science. If Dr. Rood and WU really want a blog/forum where the science and solutions are to be discussed, this blog must adopt a stringent comment policy along the line of these:

Collin Maessen at Real Sceptic:


...the rules say you need to
stay civil,
you answer questions when asked,
provide citations (or give them when asked),
don%u2019t make claims that are demonstrably wrong,
don%u2019t spam,
and the comment has to be on-topic.

These rules are quite strict compared to what is the norm on most websites, but I%u2019ve found them to be necessary.


Source: The Perfect Example For Why I Moderate My Comment Sections

I reformatted Collin Massen's post to put the rules in tabular form.

The rules at ClimateSight are similar aand are strictly enforced.

Comment Policy
Comments on any and all posts are more than welcome. However, please abide by a few rules:

Cite your statements appropriately - peer-reviewed sources for scientific claims, primary sources for quotes/current events/etc.

Don't smear someone's reputation based on pure speculation. This includes, but is not limited to, climate scientists.

Please refrain from personal attacks on myself or other commenters. Mean comments about how much you hate this comment policy are also kind of pointless.

Any violations of this comment policy will be deleted.


I posted my previous post too quickly, I want to add that enforcing either of these sets of rules would have eliminated most of the incendiary posts today.
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3403
1434. Patrap
Japan to remove nuclear fuel from Fukushima plant
By Jacob Kastrenakes on November 2, 2013 04:00 pm


The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant's operator has gained permission to move forward with a plan that would transfer over 1,000 fuel rods to a new location on the site, potentially preventing massive radiation leaks in the future, reports The Wall Street Journal. Around 1,300 spent fuel rods and 200 new fuel rods have been sitting in a pool inside one of the plant's reactors, Unit 4, since it was damaged in March 2011. The four-meter-long rods (around 13 feet) will be pulled out of the plant one at a time by a crane that still needs to be constructed.

"HANDLING SPENT FUELS INVOLVES HUGE RISKS."

"They must be handled one by one," says Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority, according to the Journal. Tanaka had warned that the process was potentially dangerous because debris from an explosion that had fallen into the pool could damage the rods. "Handling spent fuels involves huge risks. It would be a disaster if radioactive materials comes out of the metal rods during the work." Japan's NRA approved the plan this week, which was put forth by Fukushima's operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO).

The rods will be moved to a storage location on the power plant's site, one that should better prevent them from releasing large amounts of radiation into the environment were another disaster to strike, reports the Journal. The work is expected to begin in mid-November once construction on the necessary equipment is complete. "This will be significant milestone for TEPCO and the Japanese government and in the process of decommissioning the site," US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz says in a statement.

Moniz completed a trip to Fukushima on Friday, where he inspected the plant and discussed what progress still needs to be made there. Both Moniz and TEPCO president Naomi Hirose say that their organizations have been working together since the accident occurred, but Hirose notes that their relationship is now strengthening. "We are receiving valuable technological support from this engagement, allowing us to apply leading-edge thinking and experience to our decommissioning efforts," Hirose says in a statement.

TEPCO WILL HEAD TO WASHINGTON NEXT WEEK TO DISCUSS THE CLEANUP

In particular, TEPCO and the Department of Energy have been working together to prevent groundwater contamination, to treat and dispose of waste, to remove fuel debris, and to treat contaminated water. The two groups will also meet in Washington next week for a commission focused on Fukushima cleanup, emergency response, and civil nuclear research, among other related matters. "As Japan continues to chart its sovereign path forward on the cleanup at the Fukushima site and works to determine the future of their energy economy," says Muniz, "The United States stands ready to continue assisting our partners in this daunting yet indispensable task."
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128875
Climate Change Report Sees Violent, Sicker, Poorer Future

WASHINGTON (AP) — A leaked draft of an international scientific report forecasts that man-made global warming likely will worsen already existing human tragedies of war, starvation, poverty, flooding, extreme weather and disease.

The Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will issue a report next March on how global warming is already affecting the way people live and what will happen in the future, including a worldwide drop in income. A leaked copy of a draft of the report's summary appeared online Friday. Governments will spend the next few months making comments about the draft.

The report details specific effects of warming and how countries and people can adapt to some of them. The American scientist who heads the report, Chris Field, says experts paint a dramatic contrast of possible futures.


HuffingtonPost.com (AP)
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
It must have been a fun afternoon around here, considering the number of posts that are missing right now - apparently a lot of cooling off was thought necessary!

I've been thinking about some of the stuff I've seen posted recently, and I think it's time for a reality check.

REALITY: global warming is real, climate change is happening, and the consequences will be (at best!) unpleasant for us, bad for our kids, and downright nasty for our grandkids - not to mention the other 7 billion people on the planet. There is science - lots of science - to support this statement, and there is no science to prove it wrong. The only questions are when, how bad, and is there anything we can do to lessen the effects?

I think at least some of the contrarians (Dr Masters' word, I think) who post here know this, deep in their gut, or at least suspect that this is reality. But this is a terrifying reality - god knows it scares me - so naturally people want to avoid accepting it.

But the fact is that it doesn't matter how much the contrarians rage and rail against Nea and the rest of us, or how much faux science the contrarians post, or how many lies they repeat, or how much they misread or misinterpret comments made here - none of this matters. It wouldn't even matter if Dr Rood's blog were discontinued and all of us were banned.

It doesn't matter because reality is what it is - global warming is real, climate change is happening, and the consequences will be (at best) unpleasant for us, bad for our kids, and downright nasty for our grandkids - and deadly for many (most?) of the other 7 billion people on the planet.
Member Since: January 6, 2013 Posts: 3 Comments: 2399
1430. bappit
Some models to play with.

Here's a link to the Coursera class that uses these models.
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The Global Warming Debate

Background on the Global Warming Debate

As you may or may not know one of the more controversial topics in the world today is global warming.

Some people believe that global warming is a serious threat to our society, economically, socially, politically, and action must be taken immediately to try to alleviate it's effects.
Others believe global warming to be a myth and any actions taken in response to global warming will be harmful to the economy and therefore society as a whole.
These are the extreme viewpoints. There are many who believe somewhere in the middle when it comes to global warming issues (such as, it's happening, but it is not a threat, or it can lead to minor problems, so let's find a way to adjust), and equally many who simply do not have an opinion.
This week, part one of the Global Warming Debate, we will present the facts about global warming, the basic arguments presented by both sides, and the political climate with regards to global warming. You will be responsible for interpreting various viewpoints on an issue, and formulating your own opinion based on the facts, and the quality of the reasoning. It is perfectly possible for two people to look at the same facts, and hear the same arguments, and come to different conclusions about what needs to be done.



So what is the problem?

The problem is that the global average temperature has been rising in recent decades. NASA-Goddard Institute for Space Studies has a page showing these changes of the global average temperature, as well as changes locations and in different seasons. The 2000 year temperature trend also shows the warmer temperatures this century. Many people believe this temperature change is associate with increases in carbon dioxide. This is because of the greenhouse effect.

Some have criticized the validity of the data showing an increase in global mean temperature because satellite data has shown the opposite trend. However, this opposite trend is focused mainly on the temperatures in the upper atmosphere, whereas the surface temperature trends shown above are only for the surface.

The next questions involve the actual relationship between greenhouse gases and temperature increases, as well as whether or not us humans are actually causing the greenhouse gases to increase.

Some believe that climates will change significantly as a result of global warming. Look at a few examples in the Midwest, according to this link, Wisconsin summers in 2095 will be the equivalent of Arkansas summer now. This could lead to adverse conditions for certain species of plants and animals, disrupting the food supply, or in other cases, increase the length of the growing season, adding to the food supply. Many also believe that global warming will lead to more disease being spread from the tropics, sea level rise as a result of melting polar ice caps, more hurricanes, and fires. See early warning signs.



Feedback Loops

There are many theories on Global Warming, some of which involve the ideas of feedback loops.

A positive feedback loop is one that amplifies changes.
An example of this the world's population. With a fixed birth rate, the population of the globe will continue to grow (until checked). Large populations cause large numbers of births and large numbers of births result in larger population. The change gets amplified each step. These feedback loops are dangerous.
A negative feedback loop is one that tend to mitigate a change.
An example of this is homeostasis, the maintenance of body temperature. As a person's body gets too hot, (s)he begins to sweat in an attempt to lower the temperature. If their body is too cool,(s)he will begin to shiver in an attempt to increase the temperature.



Global warming is likely to be amplified by a few key positive feedback loops...

Ice and Snow As the earth warms, the levels of ice and snow decrease, this decreases the surface albedo, allowing for an increase in absorbed solar radiation at Earth's surface. This leads to more warming and less ice and snow cover.



Water Vapor As the earth warms, so does the atmosphere, this increases the amount of water vapor the atmosphere can hold. Warmer temperatures mean more evaporation, leading to a higher amount of water vapor, the most powerful greenhouse gas in existence, and consequentially even higher temperatures.




Three effects are poorly understood...
Changes in cloud cover could dampen the effects, especially if they are low clouds. Most climate models forecast that this will be the phenomenon that eventually brings the earth back to equilibrium.

Aerosols may or may not counteract global warming. Some studies have shown aerosols to block out a significant amount of incoming solar radiation, others have not.

The ocean circulation may change leading to varying effects in different parts of the world. Although "The Day After Tomorrow" is not a plausible scenario, many scientists believe that although the earth will warm as a whole, some regions, especially western Europe, may cool as a result of weaker ocean circulation.
These effects make global warming scenarios very different.


Political Landscape

The political landscape is generally focused on whether or not action, such as the Kyoto Protocol, is necessary. The Kyoto protocol was signed in 1997, by almost all industrialized countries. It sets targets on reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The key countries that did not sign are Australia and the United States of America. The key developing nations not involved in the KP are China and India. The main argument against the KP is that it will cost too much economically.

Facts on the Kyoto Protocol
What about the United States?
The climate change activities currently underway at Federal agencies are a result of U.S. commitments under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, signed in 1992 by the Bush Administration and ratified that year by the Senate. The Framework Convention entered into force in 1994.

Facts on the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
The debate mainly pits environmentalists against economists.

A majority of environmentalists and scientists believe global warming is occurring and is an issue that needs to be dealt with. Environmentalists say that other species, even the dinosaurs, could have died off in the past as a result of climate change, and we could suffer the same fate.
Read an article from this perspective
A majority of economists and businesspeople, more concerned with the economy, do not see global warming as an issue. Economists often point to previous claims by scientists that turned out to be untrue or contradictory to the current consensus.
Read an article from this perspective

Link
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1427. Xulonn
Quoting 1422. yoboi:

Roy W. Spencer...blah, blah, blah...Dr. Spencer%u2019s work ...blah, blah, blah...Dr. Spencer%u2019s research...blah, blah, blah...
But yet, he has recently been discredited and quite soundly at that. Your defense of Spencer contains no currently relevant information.

I knew that you could not respond to the substance of my post - either because of psychological barriers, or because perhaps you are a shill for the denialist industry.

Are you going to comment on Dr. Hayhoe, the currently active climate scientist and fundamentalist Christian I referred you to? The one who is married to a prominent fundamentalist pastor, and neither of whom have a problem with accepting AGW/CC? And who is trying to educate evangelical Christians on the truth of AGW/CC?

Or are you just in love with Dr. Spencer and his denialism?
Member Since: June 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 1474
Quoting 1399. JohnLonergan:
A couple of posters mentioned energy efficient homes and home heating recently(sorry, but I forgot who it was) and I thought they might find this article in The Guardian interesting:


The Passivhaus's fabric-first approach to energy efficiency
.

"Everyone wants a low-energy home, but people focus on accreditation criteria and lose sight of the bigger picture," says architect Piers Taylor said: "It's a one-size-fits-all approach, which can make you blind to the specifics of making one each home appropriate to its context. A house should be simple, and allowed to breathe naturally."


These passivhausen from SMITH HYDER certainly contradict the boxy one size fits all criicism:

SMITH HYDER GALLERY
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3403
This one is also a little old...but definitely raises my eyebrows.Link

A bad climate for development

Poor countries’ economic development will contribute to climate change. But they are already its greatest victims

The poor are more vulnerable than the rich for several reasons. Flimsy housing, poor health and inadequate health care mean that natural disasters of all kinds hurt them more. When Hurricane Mitch swept through Honduras in 1998, for example, poor households lost 15-20% of their assets but the rich lost only 3%.

Global warming aggravates that. It also increases the chances of catching the life-threatening diseases that are more prevalent in poorer countries. In many places cities have been built just above a so-called “malaria line”, above which malaria-bearing mosquitoes cannot survive (Nairobi is one example). Warmer weather allows the bugs to move into previously unaffected altitudes, spreading a disease that is already the biggest killer in Africa. By 2030 climate change may expose 90m more people to malaria in Africa alone. Similarly, meningitis outbreaks in Africa are strongly correlated with drought. Both are likely to increase. Diarrhoea is forecast to rise 5% by 2020 in poor countries because of climate change. Dengue fever has been expanding its range: its incidence doubled in parts of the Americas between 1995-97 and 2005-07. On one estimate, 60% of the world's population will be exposed to the disease by 2070.
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Article is a little old, but not sure if it has been posted on here or if anyone in here has read it.

Brazil Outpaces All Other Countries in Reducing Global Warming Emissions, According to New Rainforest Data
Developed World Needs to Step Up and Follow Brazil’s Lead


WASHINGTON (December 1, 2010) – Brazil announced today that it reduced tropical rainforest destruction to another record low level. The country’s National Institute for Space Research found that the loss of Amazonian forest reached a record low of 2,490 square miles (6,450 square kilometers) between August 2009 and July 2010, 67 percent lower than the average deforestation rate between 1996 and 2005.

Below is a statement by Doug Boucher, director of climate research and analysis at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“Brazil has done more than any other country over the past five years to cut global warming emissions by dramatically reducing its deforestation. Destroying tropical forests is responsible for about 15 percent of global warming pollution, and Brazil had been the biggest source of deforestation pollution. Its reduction is a stunning turnaround.

“Let’s put this achievement in perspective. This year, Brazil has emitted about 850 million tons less global warming pollution per year than what it emitted between 1996 and 2005. That is just 15 percent less than the amount the Obama administration promised to cut between 2005 and 2020. And it is equal to the amount the European Union has pledged to cut by 2020. In other words, a developing country already has nearly achieved what the world’s wealthiest countries have only promised to do.

“Brazil had previously committed to cutting deforestation by 80 percent by 2020, and recently shortened that time frame to 2016. But by enforcing its environmental laws, protecting indigenous peoples’ land, and reforming agriculture and ranching practices, it has already made a 67 percent reduction, putting it well on the way to reaching even its accelerated goal.

“Some of the credit needs to go to Norway, which agreed to give Brazil as much as $1 billion over five years if it reduced deforestation. That funding has compensated farmers, ranchers and other Brazilians whose livelihoods depend on clearing trees. Norway’s contribution amounted to about $100 a year for each of its citizens. By contrast, the amount of aid the United States has pledged to protect tropical forests amounts to only about $1 a year for each American.

“Brazil’s accomplishment is a ray of hope in an otherwise gloomy picture due to the failure of wealthy countries to seriously address global warming. It’s past time for the rest of the world to step up and follow Brazil’s lead.”

Link
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Quoting 1417. Xulonn:
No, Yoboi, that's not what I said - nice try with the word-twisting, purposeful misinterpretation, denialist technique, however.

It's an insult to me, and a transparent piece of b.s.

Allowing for a remote - but unlikely - possibility that you have even a tiny bit of honesty in you, I give you a link to and a quote about - religion and science, including climate science:

Climate Change Statements from World Religions





(p.s. I guarantee that Yoboi is incapable or unwilling to reply to the substance of my reply/comment!)


In Spencer's case the problem is not as much his religion as it is his competence; I compiled a list of Spencer publications with links to published rebuttals.



Spencer et al. (2007)

Lin et al. (2010) [Abs] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S 0022407310001226

Spencer & Braswell (2008)

Lin et al. (2010) [Abs] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S 0022407310001226
Murphy & Forster (2010) [Abs] http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2010JC LI3657.1

Dessler (2010) [Abs, full] http://geotest.tamu.edu/userfiles/216/dessler10b.p df

[BLOG] Barry Bickmore
http://bbickmore.wordpress.com/2011/02/25/roy-spe ncers-great-blunder-part-1/

Spencer & Braswell (2009) [Abs]
Lin et al. (2010) http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S 0022407310001226

Spencer & Braswell (2010) [Abs, full]
Dessler (2010) [Abs, full] http://www.sciencemag.org/content/330/6010/1523.ab stract

Spencer & Braswell (2011) [Abs, full]

Dessler (2011) [ full]
http://geotest.tamu.edu/userfiles/216/Dessler2011. pdf

Trenberth et al. (2011) [full] http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/3/9/2051/pdf

[BLOG] RealClimate http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011 /07/misdiagnosis-of-surface-temperature-feedback/

[BLOG] LiveScience http://www.livescience.com/15293-climate-change-cl oud-cover.html

[BLOG] Global Warming: Man or Myth? http://profmandia.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/spencer -braswell-2011-proof-that-global-warming-is-exagge rated-or-just-bad-science/


Source: AGW OBSERVER
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3403
1422. yoboi
Quoting 1417. Xulonn:
No, Yoboi, that's not what I said - nice try with the word-twisting, purposeful misinterpretation, denialist technique, however.

It's an insult to me, and a transparent piece of b.s.

Allowing for a remote - but unlikely - possibility that you have even a tiny bit of honesty in you, I give you a link to and a quote about - religion and science, including climate science:

Climate Change Statements from World Religions

The woman climate scientist in the below quote is married to Dr. Andrew Farley, a well-known evangelical pastor. Younger evangelicals like Dr. Hayhoe "get it" about the reality of AGW/CC. Old, over-the-hill and discredited, sold out scientists like Dr. Roy Spencer are simply shills for the fossil fuel industry.

So what do you think of Dr. Hayhoe, Yoboi? Or will you ignore her because her belief in real, evidence based and peer-reviewed science violates your agenda?



(p.s. I guarantee that Yoboi is incapable or unwilling to reply to the substance of my reply/comment!)





Roy W. Spencer received his Ph.D. in meteorology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1981. Before becoming a Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 2001, he was a Senior Scientist for Climate Studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, where he and Dr. John Christy received NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal for their global temperature monitoring work with satellites. Dr. Spencer’s work with NASA continues as the U.S. Science Team leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite. He has provided congressional testimony several times on the subject of global warming.

Dr. Spencer’s research has been entirely supported by U.S. government agencies: NASA, NOAA, and DOE. He has never been asked by any oil company to perform any kind of service. Not even Exxon-Mobil.
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2374
1421. yoboi
Quoting 1416. Neapolitan:
Darn. I knew there was a reason I had you on ignore, but I forgot it and pulled you from the list yesterday. Thanks for the reminder.All your statements and questions were answered for you perhaps a hundred dozen times back when you had some here convinced that you were truly curious and willing to learn. But now that we've all known for some time that you're just dishonestly trolling for attention, we'll simply ignore you. Again. Thanks!


It was a simple question Neap....yeah both poles gained ice this yr.....
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2374
1419. Xulonn
Quoting 1406. ncstorm:
I rarely post here..hell Dr. Rood barely posts here..this blog has been up for how long??..probably because there is nothing new to report...
Gee NC, you come here yet again to insult Dr. Rood? How shameful!

Climate normally averages things over a 30 year minimum with efforts to tease out changing trends.

How long does a tornado or hurricane last? How quickly does weather change vs. climate? Lots more short term dynamics there, and a big adrenalin rush for storm geeks.

This is a blog and discussion about the details of AGW/CC - there is no debate in the scientific world about the fact that it is happening.

However, there is a time-consuming and monumental effort by the scientific community to understand AGW/CC, how and how fast it is happening, and what humankind can do to deal with it.

If you choose to believe the lies and misinformation spoon-fed to you by the climate denialist industry, fine, but why on earth would you want do promote those dis-proven lies and disinformation at a climate science blog that is based on the fact that AGW/CC is real?

There is no debate on the reality of AGW/CC - get over it!
Member Since: June 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 1474
1418. bappit
Quoting 1393. ScottLincoln:

Adopt a personal policy like mine... flag and minus all troll posts. As stated by a moderator, after 10 flags, a post is hidden.
I've unfortunately been doing a lot more of that in recent weeks just to keep the blog thread readable.

I have been doing that. The bickering has been getting worse lately though. I'm flagging LOTS of posts, and it has done no good. So I posted my comments about it.
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1417. Xulonn
Quoting 1409. yoboi:


So you are saying that if someone attends church they can't be a good/great scientist?????
No, Yoboi, that's not what I said - nice try with the word-twisting, purposeful misinterpretation, denialist technique, however.

It's an insult to me, and a transparent piece of b.s.

Allowing for a remote - but unlikely - possibility that you have even a tiny bit of honesty in you, I give you a link to and a quote about - religion and science, including climate science:

Climate Change Statements from World Religions

The woman climate scientist in the below quote is married to Dr. Andrew Farley, a well-known evangelical pastor. Younger evangelicals like Dr. Hayhoe "get it" about the reality of AGW/CC. Old, over-the-hill and discredited, sold out scientists like Dr. Roy Spencer are simply shills for the fossil fuel industry.

So what do you think of Dr. Hayhoe, Yoboi? Or will you ignore her because her belief in real, evidence based and peer-reviewed science violates your agenda?

Quoting Lisa Palmer at the Yale Forum on Climate Change

No Pope or Bishop of Canterbury %u2026 So Look to Pols

Texas Tech associate professor Katharine Hayhoe is a prominent climate scientist and an expert reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. A lead author on the upcoming 2014 U.S. National Climate Assessment, she says %u201CThe evangelical world is the last significant holdout on the reality of this issue.%u201D

%u201CWhy is that?%u201D asked Hayhoe, an evangelical Christian who spends an increasing amount of time discussing climate change with members of her faith community.%u201DThey don%u2019t have a bishop of Canterbury or a pope to provide guidance. The evangelical church in America looks to their politicians to inform their beliefs rather than looking to their beliefs to inform their politics. It is no accident that every single GOP candidate in the recent primaries one by one openly denied the realities of this issue. There is a vacuum of leadership, and the evangelical community has looked elsewhere. It explains why, if you look at mainline denominations, their perspective on climate change is much different than evangelicals.%u201D


(p.s. I guarantee that Yoboi is incapable or unwilling to reply to the substance of my reply/comment!)
Member Since: June 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 1474
Quoting 1413. Torito:
Bot check.

GLOBAL WARMING IS A HOAX.
Darn. I knew there was a reason I had you on ignore, but I forgot it and pulled you from the list yesterday. Thanks for the reminder.
Quoting 1415. yoboi:


Neap let's cut the BS about Spencer he has great education and work ethics.....If he did not he would not be allowed to work for NOAA, NASA or the DOE....He clearly says that humans impact the climate by approx 10% at best....He has a level head and does not subject to doom & gloom.....Try Looking at the real science data.....things are changing to a cooler climate.....I will ask you this question.....Did both poles gain Ice this year??????
All your statements and questions were answered for you perhaps a hundred dozen times back when you had some here convinced that you were truly curious and willing to learn. But now that we've all known for some time that you're just dishonestly trolling for attention, we'll simply ignore you. Again. Thanks!
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13580
1415. yoboi
Quoting 1411. Neapolitan:
No, he's not. Not even close. What he seems to be saying is that when a person rejects scientific evidence simply because it runs counter to his or her superstitious beliefs--as Spencer has done--that person loses scientific credibility.


Neap let's cut the BS about Spencer he has great education and work ethics.....If he did not he would not be allowed to work for NOAA, NASA or the DOE....He clearly says that humans impact the climate by approx 10% at best....He has a level head and does not subject to doom & gloom.....Try Looking at the real science data.....things are changing to a cooler climate.....I will ask you this question.....Did both poles gain Ice this year??????
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2374
1413. Torito
Bot check.


GLOBAL WARMING IS A HOAX.
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1412. Xandra
Quoting 1402. Xulonn:

[...] Roy Spencer, Like Jeff Masters, is a Ph.D. Meteorologist. However, unlike Dr. Masters, Dr. Spencer has forsaken science in favor of his religious beliefs, and is therefore, like you, he is considered an AGW/CC denialist, and not a true skeptic.

The wisdom or lack of, from Dr Roy Spencer PHD.

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Quoting 1409. yoboi:


So you are saying that if someone attends church they can't be a good/great scientist?????
No, he's not. Not even close. What he seems to be saying is that when a person rejects scientific evidence simply because it runs counter to his or her superstitious beliefs--as Spencer has done--that person loses scientific credibility.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13580
Another handy reference for deniers, their affiations and websites:

REVEALED: Marc Morano’s Pack Of Climate Denial Jokers

Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3403
1407. Patrap
In the big scheme of things, for us with Families and a endearing Love of the Earth, the reason we strive to communicate the message of Climate Change is the aforementioned.

Quips, low brow mind games and images are fine and all, but when the meat of the matter comes to discussion,we will always side with the known.

For the tipping point is not a vague concept, come 450-490ppm CO2, well..I'll be surely dead and buried, but this archive, will hopefully survive.


Then the last laugh/word will be softly heard chuckled from a Tomb in NOLA

Fresca,..?







Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128875

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About RickyRood

I'm a professor at U Michigan and lead a course on climate change problem solving. These articles often come from and contribute to the course.