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Change in the Weather: Climate Change and Arctic Oscillation (7)

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 5:14 AM GMT on November 19, 2013

Change in the Weather: Climate Change and Arctic Oscillation (7)

This is the end-for-a-while of my series on the Arctic Oscillation / North Atlantic Oscillation. Links to background material and previous entries are below.

At the end of the previous blog I showed the following figure. The top panel shows the observed Arctic Oscillation Index from 1864 to 1960. The middle panel shows the observed Arctic Oscillation Index from 1864 to about 2000. The little number “r” in the panel is a measure of how well one year’s Arctic Oscillation Index is linked to or correlated with the previous year’s. A number close to zero is a measure of being unrelated. Prior to 1960, the observations were almost unrelated from year to year (r=-0.03). After 1960 there is a much stronger relation (r=0.4). Just looking at the graph after 1960, you can convince yourself that the Arctic Oscillation stays stuck in one mode or another for several years.

Figure 1: The top two plots in the figure show the observed Arctic Oscillation Index. The bottom plot shows a model simulation of the Arctic Oscillation Index. See text for more description. Thanks to Jim Hurrell

The bottom panel of Figure 1 shows a model simulation with the NCAR Community Atmosphere Model. In this model simulation the model’s carbon dioxide is held constant at levels prior to the industrial revolution, when man-made carbon dioxide was quite small. This simulation does not represent any particular year; it is 200 years which when taken together might look, statistically, like the atmosphere. An interesting feature of this simulation is that the Arctic Oscillation does look like the observations before 1960, but not after 1960. One possible suggestion of the reason why the model loses its ability represent the behavior of the Arctic oscillation is that carbon dioxide has increased enough to change the Arctic Oscillation.

I will come back to this below, but first a reminder of the other ideas I introduced in the middle part of the series. Most importantly, there is a stream of air that wants to flow around the North Pole. Likely in a world that has no mountains, no land and water sitting next to each other, then that air would actually circulate with the pole in the center. We live in a world with mountains and oceans and continents, which distort this stream of air. It’s a little like boulders in a creek, and water going around the boulders. The stream becomes wavy. There are other factors that also cause the air to be wavy, but I have introduced enough to make my points, and you can go back to the earlier blogs linked at the bottom for words and pictures. What causes the air to spin around the North Pole? The first thing to consider is the rotation of the Earth. The Earth’s atmosphere wants to line up with the rotation. Another important factor in determining the details of the air circulating around the North Pole is heating and cooling. The patterns of heating and cooling contribute to setting up high-pressure and low-pressure systems. Air flows from high to low pressure and as it flows towards low pressure it does its best to line up with the rotation of the Earth. This relation between high and low pressure and the Earth’s rotation is one of the most important features of the motion of the air in the atmosphere and the water in the ocean.

The way carbon dioxide changes the Earth’s climate is by changing the heating and cooling. A common comparison is to compare additional carbon dioxide to a a blanket which holds the Sun’s heat closer to the Earth’s surface. This blanket causes the Earth to heat up more at the pole than at the Equator. The poles are also special because the Sun goes down for the winter and it cools off. In fact, it gets very cold, and as discussed in the previous blogs, the stream of air that gets spun up isolates the pole enough to let the cooling really get going. With these changes to heating and cooling, if we add a lot of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, then it is reasonable to expect that the Arctic Oscillation might change.

The studies prior to, say, 2008, suggested that the effect of carbon dioxide being added to the atmosphere would be to cause the Arctic Oscillation Index to become more positive. This would be the pattern of the Arctic Oscillation where the cold air is confined to the pole; that is, the less wavy pattern (scientific references: for example, Kuzmina et al. 2005 and the 2007 IPCC AR-4). The studies prior to 2008 support the idea that the additional carbon dioxide is a leading suspect in the changes after 1960 noted in Figure 1. That is, without carbon dioxide increasing in the simulation, the models cannot reproduce the statistical characteristics of the observations and with it increasing, they can.

Those pre-2008 studies, effectively, only considered increasing carbon dioxide. They did not represent the huge changes in the surface of the Arctic that have been observed. Notably, sea ice and snow cover have declined. These surface changes also cause changes in heating and cooling. The decline of sea-ice, for example, changes the surface of the Arctic Ocean from white to dark. This changes the surface from a reflector of energy to an absorber of energy. Sea ice is also a temperature insulator; hence, without the ice the ocean and atmosphere exchange heat more easily. There are many other changes as well, but all I want to do here is establish the plausibility that large changes at the surface are also likely to change the behavior of the Arctic Oscillation. Why? Changes in the patterns of heating and cooling, leading to changes in high and low pressure systems, which then with the influence of the Earth’s rotation, change the waviness of the stream of air around the Arctic.

There have been a series of papers in the past couple of years that suggest that the changes in sea ice and snow cover are having large effects on the weather in the U.S. If you look across these papers, then there is growing evidence that the meanders (or waviness) of the Arctic Oscillation are getting larger and that storms over the U.S. are moving more slowly. Here is a list of quotes from these papers.

From a paper I have previously discussed:

Francis and Vavrus (2012): Evidence linking Arctic amplification to extreme weather in mid-latitudes - “Slower progression of upper-level waves would cause associated weather patterns in mid-latitudes to be more persistent, which may lead to an increased probability of extreme weather events that result from prolonged conditions, such as drought, flooding, cold spells, and heat waves.”

Liu et al. (2012): Impact of declining Arctic sea ice on winter snowfall – “ … some resemblance to the negative phase of the winter Arctic oscillation. However, the atmospheric circulation change linked to the reduction of sea ice shows much broader meridional meanders in midlatitudes and clearly different interannual variability than the classical Arctic oscillation.”

Greene et al. (2012): Superstorm Sandy: A series of unfortunate events? - “However, there is increasing evidence that the loss of summertime Arctic sea ice due to greenhouse warming stacks the deck in favor of (1) larger amplitude meanders in the jet stream, (2) more frequent invasions of Arctic air masses into the middle latitudes, and (3) more frequent blocking events of the kind that steered Sandy to the west.”

There is some controversy about the work connecting the changes in the sea ice and snow cover to changes in the Arctic Oscillation and to changes in extreme weather in the U.S. (Barnes (2013): Revisiting the evidence linking Arctic amplification to extreme weather in midlatitudes, Francis response, and Freedman @ Climate Central ).

I think there is significant merit in the work that connects changes in the Arctic Oscillation to increases in carbon dioxide and related changes to the surface of the Earth. Part of my intuition comes from a career of working with atmosphere models. If a model is radiatively dominated, then the vortex over the pole is very strong. In this case, there is little waviness in the jet stream. This is analogous to the case of increasing carbon dioxide and the Arctic Oscillation becoming more common in its positive phase. If a model is less driven by radiative forcing, then it is easier for the waves that are initiated by the flow over the mountains to grow and distort the edge of the jet stream – more waviness. This is like the negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation. Though in the end it will require a careful calculation of the energy budget, the removal of sea ice from the surface of the Arctic Ocean allows more heat into the polar atmosphere, which means the radiative cooling will be less intense. Hence, the vortex will be weaker or the Arctic Oscillation will more commonly be in its negative phase. If there are changes in the Arctic Oscillation, which are realized as changes in the waviness and speed of the jet stream around the Arctic, then there will certainly be consequences to the weather in the U.S.

Potential changes in the character of the Arctic Oscillation are an important issue for those thinking about how to respond to climate change. The loss of sea ice is a large change, which will undoubtedly have important impacts in the Arctic. It is reasonable to expect large impacts on weather at lower latitudes, in the U.S., Europe and Asia. The change in the Arctic sea ice has happened very rapidly. This challenges the assumption often made in planning that climate change is a slow, incremental process. The weather of the here and now and/or the next fifty years, a common length of time for planning, is likely to be quite different from the past fifty years. Since we rely on our past experience to plan for the future, this is a direct challenge to our innate planning strategies. If we are cognizant of the possibility of significant changes to weather patterns on decadal lengths of time, then we can develop new planning strategies that will improve our resilience and make our adaptation decisions more effective.


Previous entries:

Climate Change and the Arctic Oscillation

Wobbles in the Barriers

Barriers in the Atmosphere


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.”

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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“To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”
― Theodore Roosevelt

“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”
― Theodore Roosevelt

“Every immigrant who comes here should be required within five years to learn English or leave the country.”
― Theodore Roosevelt
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Also of note: TWC constantly indicates winter storm
Boreas, only problem is it ain't winter until

Saturday, December 21
Winter Solstice 2013

It is kinda like Hurricane Sandy which was a TS at landfall. Details.

Here are some details from the other side of the pond.

John Marshall
3 Hours ago

i have been in Spain for your last few blogs and not at a convenient wifi access. Weather in Spain has been wet over the early summer, in fact Lake Caspe, the largest reservoir on the Ebro, has never been fuller for spring let alone late September when we drove past. We had warm first few weeks but the last was 15C colder and we had 2ins of snow the week before we departed, very early for the region where we stay, Teruel. Snow has fallen since we left on Monday and staying on north facing slopes.

I know a senior meteorologist there who is forbidden to talk about climate change, or more strictly anthropomorphic climate change, and I cannot even get him to talk about the GHE because he, amongst all government employees, is in fear of his job. A very sad state of affairs for a so called free country.

Weather in the UK will follow its course but with cooling oceans winters will get colder but whether this one will be is impossible to say, though with a large high over the country temperatures will fall with zero wind power to help. So much for a climate and energy policy that looks as if it was dreamt up by 10 year olds.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/paulhudson/posts/Rest- of-November-outlook-and-what-about-winter
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So, let us not be blind to our differences - but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved.

John F. Kennedy
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http://icons-ak.wxug.com/data/640x480/2xus_severe.g if

Boreas, is it jan or feb, nope nov.! Regular heat wave.

Noreaster for next wed. on the most traveled day of the year. Hmm?
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Y'all get yours!

request a card
Want to join but don’t yet have a card? To request a BP Driver Rewards Card online, simply fill out the fields below and click "next." Your card will be delivered in 7-10 business days. You can also pick up a BP Driver Rewards Card at your local BP station.

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Oh, that's right, everyone here rides a bike, I forgot.
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Hmm??? Looks like a lot of ice here to me, what do you guys think?

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Quoting 167. tramp96:

Many critical thinkers believe liberalism is a disease.
How's that for ya?

many critical thinkers think that HIV doesn't cause AIDS.
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Quoting 178. tramp96:

I'm not closed minded enough to think that
they are always wrong.
If the GOP wins the next pres. election and reverse
coarse would you then say well the govt. is saying its
not true so there is no GW?

No, I would not say that, because I get my science from the scientists.
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From DeSmogBlog:

Report: Gas Industry’s Campaign Donations Reach Record Levels

As elected officials in Washington continue to mull the possibilities of setting stricter standards for fracking, the natural gas industry has decided to pull out all the stops to defeat these standards before they can even see the light of day. A new report from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) shows that the industry’s campaign contributions are now at record levels as they battle politicians wishing to tighten the reins on fracking.

According to the report, natural gas campaign donations to politicians in states where fracking is taking off have risen by 231% in the last 8 years. But the industry is also hedging its bets in non-fracking states, as donations to politicians in those areas saw an increase in donations of 131%.

Melanie Sloan, executive director of CREW, isn’t surprised by the increase. Of the report, Sloan said, “Like many industries under increasing scrutiny, the fracking industry has responded by ratcheting up campaign donations to help make new friends in Congress…As CREW’s report shows, the fracking boom isn’t just good for the industry, but also for congressional candidates in fracking districts.”

CREW goes on to explain where the bulk of the money is going:

The top 10 recipients of fracking industry contributions are a mix of strong industry supporters and Republican leadership. Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), chairman emeritus of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, received the most contributions, raking in $509,447 between the 2004 and 2012 election cycles — over $100,000 more than the next closest recipient, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who received $384,700. While serving as chairman of the committee, Rep. Barton sponsored the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which exempted fracking from the Safe Drinking Water Act. Overall, nearly 80 percent of fracking industry contributions went to Republican congressional candidates.

CREW also compiled a chart listing every member of both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate (a grand total of 535 elected officials) show how much each representative received from the natural gas fracking industry in the form of campaign donations.

The chart shows just how much influence the industry has purchased: Of the 535 elected officials in the House and Senate, only 67 have not received any money from the natural gas industry. Only 5 Republicans in Washington have not received money, with 62 Democrats being stiffed by the industry as well. It’s clear which political party the industry favors when it comes to buying off politicians.

And House Republicans continue to deliver for the industry. In just the last few weeks, they have introduced legislation that would open up more public lands for drilling, and they are attempting to make it even more difficult for the public to challenge new drilling permits.

Less than 13% of America’s elected representatives have not taken money from the natural gas industry, and that is a very staggering and depressing number. And as we approach next year’s midterm elections, my prediction is that the percentage of politicians with no financial ties to the industry will fall even lower.
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Quoting 175. goosegirl1:



No one is arguing at all :) and no one is trying to shuck and jive. Just because your current government is liberal does not mean that it is always wrong.
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Quoting 170. tramp96:

You were the one inferring if the govt. says it's true
then it is gospel. Your ducking and dancing

My ducking and dancing what?

I inferred nothing. I implied things are not always what they seem, and you then inferred the government-as-gospel doctrine. There is your unwanted grammer lesson of the day :)

In reality, I was saying that sending money to mitigate disasters caused by climate change infers that you are admitting guilt, and thus feel that climate scientists are correct. Unfortunately, this whole "warmist!" "denier"! exchange has become a political exchange, with (predictably) neither side backing down. We need a return to common sense.
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Sadly, climate change and BP are doubling up, down here on dem eyrster' men.

Empty nets in Louisiana three years after the spill
By Matt Smith, CNN
updated 3:43 PM EDT, Mon April 29, 2013

Yscloskey, Louisiana (CNN) -- On his dock along the banks of Bayou Yscloskey, Darren Stander makes the pelicans dance.
More than a dozen of the birds have landed or hopped onto the dock, where Stander takes in crabs and oysters from the fishermen who work the bayou and Lake Borgne at its mouth. The pelicans rock back and forth, beaks rising and falling, as he waves a bait fish over their heads.
At least he's got some company. There's not much else going on at his dock these days. There used to be two or three people working with him; now he's alone. The catch that's coming in is light, particularly for crabs.
"Guys running five or six hundred traps are coming in with two to three boxes, if that," said Stander, 26.
Out on the water, the chains clatter along the railing of George Barisich's boat as he and his deckhand haul dredges full of oysters onto the deck. As they sort them, they're looking for signs of "spat": the young oysters that latch onto reefs and grow into marketable shellfish.
There's the occasional spat here; there are also a few dead oysters, which make a hollow sound when tapped with the blunt end of a hatchet.

George Barisich pilots his oyster boat on Bayou Yscloskey, in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana. JOHN NOWAK/CNN

About two-thirds of U.S. oysters come from the Gulf Coast, the source of about 40% of America's seafood catch. But in the three years since the drilling rig Deepwater Horizon blew up and sank about 80 miles south of here, fishermen say many of the oyster reefs are still barren, and some other commercial species are harder to find.
"My fellow fishermen who fish crab and who fish fish, they're feeling the same thing," Barisich said. "You get a spike in production every now and then, but overall, it's off. Everybody's down. Everywhere there was dispersed oil and heavily oiled, the production is down."
The April 20, 2010, explosion sent 11 men to a watery grave off Louisiana and uncorked an undersea gusher nearly a mile beneath the surface that took three months to cap.
Most of the estimated 200 million gallons of oil that poured into the Gulf of Mexico is believed to have evaporated or been broken down by hydrocarbon-munching microbes, according to government estimates.
The rest washed ashore across 1,100 miles of coastline, from the Louisiana barrier islands west of the Mississippi River to the white sands of the Florida Panhandle. A still-unknown portion settled on the floor of the Gulf and the inlets along its coast.
Tar balls are still turning up on the beaches, and a 2012 hurricane blew seemingly fresh oil ashore in Louisiana.

Well owner BP, which is responsible for the cleanup, says it's still monitoring 165 miles of shore. The company points to record tourism revenues across the region and strong post-spill seafood catches as evidence the Gulf is rebounding from the spill.
But in the fishing communities of southeastern Louisiana, people say that greasy tide is still eating away at their livelihoods.
"Things's changing, and we don't know what's happening yet," said oysterman Byron Encalade.
Life before the spill
Before the spill, Encalade and his neighbors in the overwhelmingly African-American community of Pointe a la Hache -- about 25 miles south of Yscloskey -- earned their living from the state-managed oyster grounds off the East Bank of the Mississippi.
Back then, a boat could head out at dawn and be back at the docks by noon with dozens of 105-pound sacks of oysters.
Now? "Nothing," says Encalade, president of the Louisiana Oystermen Association.
Louisiana conservation officials have dumped fresh limestone, ground-up shell and crushed concrete on many of the reefs in a bid to foster new growth.
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A War Over Solar Power Is Raging Within the GOP

"Clean energy technology has always been an easy punching bag for conservatives. Propelled by growing strain of global warming denial within their party, Republicans in Congress have proposed to slash funding for renewable energy programs in half this year, and mocked the idea of a green economy as "groovy" liberal propaganda. Their argument, as laid out by House Republicans and libertarian organs like the Cato Institute and Reason magazine, is that the federal government shouldn't 'pick winners and losers' in the energy markets or gamble taxpayer dollars on renewable-energy loans to companies like Solyndra, the Silicon Valley solar panel manufacturer that went bankrupt in 2011 after receiving $535 million in federal loan guarantees.

The assumption has always been that, without heavy government subsidies, renewable energy sources like solar and wind power would never be able to compete with fossil fuels. But something funny has happened to renewables that major power companies and their Republican allies didn't see coming. Over the past two years, the solar industry has skyrocketed, with one new solar unit installed every four minutes in the US, according to the renewable energy research group Greentech Media. The price of photovoltaic panels has fallen 62 percent since January 2011. Once considered a boutique energy source, solar power has become a cost-competitive alternative for many consumers, costing an average $143 per megawatt-hour, down from $236 in the beginning of 2011.

Backed by powerful conservative groups, public utilities in several states are now pushing to curb the solar industry, and asking regulators to raise fees and impose new restrictions on solar customers. And as more people turn to rooftop solar as a way to reduce energy costs - 90,000 businesses and homeowners installed panels last year, up 46 percent from 2011 - the issue is pitting pro-utilities Republicans against this fledgling movement of libertarian-minded activists who see independent power generation as an individual right. In other words, the fight over solar power is raging within the GOP itself."



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Quoting 167. tramp96:

Many critical thinkers believe liberalism is a disease.
How's that for ya?

Having a heart is a disease?
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Quoting 167. tramp96:

Many critical thinkers believe liberalism is a disease.
How's that for ya?

Here we go with "right" and "believe" again. How about a few facts?

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#164- in response to your link:

I live in Marcellus Shale country, which I'm sure you can also read as the state of King Coal. However... (checks to see if her office is bugged)... I have been campaigning for a move away from fossil fuels since the late 80's. I hope the government shuts down even more coal-fired power plants. The economy couldn't get much worse here anyway, and if we can cut the ties to fossil fuels, it will send research money into alternative energy.

If I suddenly stop posting, Joe Manchin's goons have found me :))
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Quoting 164. tramp96:

So anything our govt. admits to is ok with you.
I doubt you will have that opinion in about
3.5 years but being the gentleman that I am
here is a present


Wow, you read a lot into a short sentence! What I think about what government does is irrelevant. There's an old saying in DC- in a small town, you can't break wind in a hurricane and someone not catch a whiff. But in DC, you can hide a loud "trumpet", provided you have two things: several smaller instruments bleating at the same time, and a culprit on which to blame The Big One.
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Quoting 162. tramp96:

I'm telling. Your off topic

my off topic what? finish a sentence, man.
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Quoting 159. tramp96:

No Ma'am but I'm sure you will concede the fact
that since Obama wants the EPA to get rid of
the coal plants that is itself is an admission
that they clearly believe in GW.
The US govt took us to war in Iraq did that make it

Hmmm- funny I didn't see anything about the Iraq war in your link :), but "right" is a relative term. "Right" or "wrong", our government admitted guilt over climate change due to CO2 emmisions. As for the coal plants, that will be a long battle due to the economics of it all, but one can hope.
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161. Skyepony (Mod)
Explosion in China on Friday, 22 November, 2013 at 07:27 (07:27 AM) UTC.

Updated: Friday, 22 November, 2013 at 10:15 UTC
Local authorities say an oil pipe explosion in an eastern Chinese city has killed six and severely injured seven others. The district government of Huangdao in the seaside port of Qingdao said an oil pipe near a shopping mall broke Friday morning and that the rupture caught fire during repairs. It says the incident remains under investigation. Authorities assured the public that the blast was well away from any petrochemical plants of military facilities. Photos posted online and in social media show huge black smoke and shattered concrete slabs. The pipeline is owned by China's largest oil refiner, Sinopec. Calls to Sinopec's headquarters in Beijing were not immediately answered Friday.

I see 35 dead & 166 injured on youtube.

Oh noo.. it looks like 35...& much water contamination. Some went into the sea & caught on fire there too.

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Quoting 143. PensacolaDoug:
You guys will stop at nothing to further all things liberal. We got yer number. Now with the collapse of Obamacare, everybody is getting it. LOL!!!!

obamacare has collapsed? that's odd, cause ACA enrollment is going up.

is this like when medicare was first implemented and it took a few years to work the bugs out and it was obviously 'totes collapsing' even though it worked out fine?

or like when romneycare was first implemented and the website didn't work and only 123 people signed up in the first month which meant it was obviously 'totes collapsing' even though it worked out fine?

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Quoting 152. yoboi:

Your graph shows the oceans are not warming.....ya need heat to fuel storms......almost 17 ys "near" a flatline with temps...With solar 25 we should start the cooling....


That graph is just accumulated ACE within the Atlantic Basin, which is not indicative of whether or not Oceans are warming.

I do believe the largest CO2 absorber on the planet are the oceans, we are in fact seeing oceans warm significantly under the surface. Especially in the Arctic and Antarctic where waters are melting the ice from beneath. This is part of the reason why we still see substantial losses of ice when surface temperatures are still below freezing.

That flatline you speak of is evident here in this graph, but again is it dropping or stalling or what? But when you look at the other variables within deep ocean layers you see warming is still very much constant at 700-2000 meters in depth.

Bob Tisdale did well in this piece, it even has some links down below as to the pros and cons to the data extraction and it's resulting interpretation. I believe Bob is somewhat neutral/anti-man made induced climate change as they come to criticising some of the data, but doesn't try to hide things from you like some other major biases out there, but I can not disagree too much with him on the depth of the Ocean and measuring it's temperature in relation to past Climates. There are ways to measure it, but even then it still is dependent on what source is available at the area of interest. While I don't agree with the majority of Bob's ideas, I do think this article looks at this particular idea with good scepticism.

Here is an abstract of the accuracy of the data itself.

One topic discussed but not illustrated (until now in Figure 1) was that the annual variations in temperatures at depths between 700 and 2000 meters were in terms of hundredths if not thousandths of a deg C and that it was unrealistic to think we could measure the temperatures of the oceans at depth with that type of accuracy. It turns out that the annual variations are typically in thousandths of a deg C. The total scale of the temperature anomalies of the graph in Figure 1 is two one-hundredths of a deg C

best regards,
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re #134:

Looks to me as if we have a thinly veiled admission to culpability for climate change offered by the US government. Are you disagreeing with that?
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Quoting 149. MisterPerfect:
Google is Flying High and Polluting the Air with Government-Bought Fuel

[Nonsense deleted]
Only four mentions of Al Gore's name? Could it be that your infatuation with him is declining? Speaking of which, my offer still stands. A friend of a friend is also personal friends with Gore; if you'd like an 8x10 signed glossy of him to hang above your bed, just let me know.
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theblaze.com and akool aid Man,

REally ?,

Well, Who'd a thunk it?

Oklahoma Scientist to Test if Fracking Causes Earthquakes

By John Daly | Tue, 05 November 2013 23:01 | 0

Oklahoma is a leading U.S. energy producer with an economy increasingly concentrated on the oil and gas industry. Economist and Dean of the University of Central Oklahoma’s College of Business Administration, Dr. Mickey Hepner, notes that roughly 25 percent of all employment in Oklahoma is either directly or indirectly connected to the energy industry.

The good news is that much of Oklahoma’s output increasingly comes from releasing subterranean hydrocarbons via hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” a controversial technique that involves injecting liquids containing a variety of substances deep underground to break up geological formations to release trapped deposits of natural gas.

The bad news in Tulsa is that since fracking began, the state has experienced a rise in seismic events. In a report entitled “Earthquake Swarm Continues in Central Oklahoma,” released on 22 October in partnership with the Oklahoma Geological Survey, the U.S. Geological Survey noted, “Since January 2009, more than 200 magnitude 3.0 or greater earthquakes have rattled Central Oklahoma, marking a significant rise in the frequency of these seismic events… Studies show one to three magnitude 3.0 earthquakes or larger occurred yearly from 1975 to 2008, while the average grew to around 40 earthquakes per year from 2009 to mid-2013. ‘We've statistically analyzed the recent earthquake rate changes and found that they do not seem to be due to typical, random fluctuations in natural seismicity rates. Bill Leith, USGS seismologist noted, ‘These results suggest that significant changes in both the background rate of events and earthquake triggering properties needed to have occurred in order to explain the increases in seismicity. This is in contrast to what is typically observed when modeling natural earthquake swarms.’"

Oklahoma’s largest recorded earthquake, measuring 5.7 on the Richter scale, occurred on 5 November 2011, injured two people, damaged more than a dozen homes, and was the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in Oklahoma. More than 10,000 underground injection wells were active in Oklahoma as of January 2013, according to data from the state Corporation Commission.

Understating the obvious, determining whether or not fracking causes increased seismic activity is a question of immense importance for both proponents and those opposed to the practice. On the financial side, potentially billions of dollars are involved, from profits to class action lawsuits.

Enter into the fray Oklahoma Geological Survey research seismologist Austin Holland, who has spent the last four years looking into central Oklahoma's ongoing swarm of earthquakes, who proposes a study that could actually trigger more earthquakes.

Holland is hoping to establish with scientific backing as to whether testing a lone disposal well in south central Oklahoma, on the land of Dick Pieper’s ranch north of Marietta in Love County, where seismic monitoring equipment recorded 142 regional earthquakes occurred between 13 September and 3 October, can resolve the question. Holland hope to convince the operator of the well on Pieper’s ranch to begin operating the well at a minimal level of about 1,000 barrels a day to see if increased seismic activity occurs.

Related article: When will the Shale Bubble Burst?
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Google is Flying High and Polluting the Air with Government-Bought Fuel
Drew Johnson

If you Google the word “hypocrite,” you probably won’t get pictures of Google executives, or links to disturbing stories about the company’s obnoxious and creepy behavior – but that’s what should show up in the search engine’s results.

Wealthy liberal ideologues have long cornered the market on environmental hypocrisy – think of Al Gore’s personal energy consumption, which I exposed six years ago – but Google’s principals have taken “good for thee, but not for me” to new heights.

While touting green technology, and lobbying the federal government on environmental policy, Sergey Brin, Larry Page, and Eric Schmidt have put 3.4 million miles on their private jets in recent years, polluting the atmosphere with 100 million pounds of carbon dioxide. Their trips, according to flight log data I analyzed, included single-day jaunts and brief corporate meetings, but also what appear to be hundreds of exotic vacation destinations.

Few Americans would care that a successful tech company with substantial travel demands and nearly $60 billion in revenue over the past year maintains a fleet of private jets that guzzle fuel by the millions of gallons. But Google uses campaign contributions to strong-arm federal lawmakers into hamstringing everyone else with restrictive environmental regulations, while Google execs cavalierly jet off to exotic vacation spots around the globe on the taxpayers’ dime.

Google has been a leading proponent of encouraging the federal government to, as the company says, “put a price on carbon through cap-and-trade or a carbon tax.” Through its “Google green” initiative, as well as its “Clean Energy 2030” proposal, Google has urged the U.S. to shutter coal plants, and dictated what types of cars Americans should drive. The search engine and online advertising powerhouse also believes the federal government should take more dollars from America’s taxpayers to fund unproven gambles in President Obama’s fictitious “green energy economy.”

Cap-and-trade and carbon tax schemes are relatively harmless to tech companies like Google, but would ravage America’s manufacturing sector. Job losses and the resulting spike in the cost of consumer goods associated with restricting carbon dioxide emissions may not be a concern to bigwigs at Google, but they would devastate huge numbers of American families. We know all too well in the Obama stimulus era that ideological projects like Solyndra are losers with zeroes on the end, but Google still receives up-twinkles when it joins the Kumbaya drum circle – something it’s happy to do to maintain its hip appearance among millennials.

When a company attempts to manipulate the government into using environmental policies to determine what types of cars Americans can drive, what kinds of jobs Americans can have and how taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars are spent, it should at least be unerring in its commitment to the environment. But Google isn’t – not by a long shot.

Through H211 LLC, a shell company controlled by Google’s Sergey Brin, Larry Page, and Eric Schmidt, the “NSA’s leading vendor” maintains a hangar of fuel-devouring private jets. In total, according to flight data I analyzed, Google executives have flown more than 3.4 million miles, burning an average of 100,000 gallons of fuel every month in recent years.

All that jet fuel comes from refined crude oil – lots of it. Google’s planes burned through nearly 59 million barrels of crude since 2007, much of it gallivanting to elite playgrounds and exotic destinations (almost 300 flights by my count) like Nantucket, Aspen, Costa Rica, St. Maarten, Hawaii, and Bermuda, and even obscure island paradises like Babelthuap, Tortola and Tahiti. Astonishingly, the amount of crude used to fuel Google’s planes could provide all the gasoline used by 11,500 American drivers for a whole year. The supposedly environmentally conscious company’s jets have emitted more than 100 million pounds of carbon dioxide over the last four years alone.

Google has snagged a few favors from Uncle Sam to lower the cost of maintaining its jet fleet along the way, too.

Since 2007, the private airplane fleet owned by Google execs has been housed in a hangar at NASA’s Ames Research Center just outside Google’s Mountain View, Calif. headquarters. The taxpayer-funded hangars are intended for aircraft performing scientific research to assist NASA, but it appears that Google’s jets perform very little actual scientific research (unless calculating the circumference of Mai Tai umbrellas on the beaches of Babelthuap somehow qualifies).

In addition to the publicly subsidized hangar space, Google received another money saving perk courtesy of U.S. taxpayers: Millions of dollars’ worth of jet fuel at below-market prices from NASA and the Department of Defense. Google officials spent an estimated $29 million on jet fuel at the facility, roughly $10 million less than what they would have paid on the open market.

Perhaps that explains why Google execs have flown to the nation’s capital more than 100 times in the past 6 years?

It should come as no surprise that the Google executives who benefited from government-owned hangar space and federally subsidized jet fuel also happen to be among the largest contributors to political campaigns in the United States. The company itself routinely ranks among the top-10 organizations for federal campaign contributions. Google’s PAC, along with its executives, employees, and those individuals’ immediate family members, contributes hundreds of thousands of dollars each election cycle. In 2008 alone, Google PAC gave $817,855 to President Obama’s campaign; in 2012, Google PAC nearly matched its previous total, giving $801,770.

By pushing strict “climate change” policy on everyone else, while polluting up a storm themselves, Google reaches levels of hypocrisy not seen since I uncovered the inconvenient truth about frenzied environmentalist Al Gore, who devours about 20 times more electricity in his mansion than the average American family uses in their home over the course of a year. If Google’s “good for thee but not for me” attitude about going green seems like a page out of Gore’s playbook, it should: the company has had plenty of time to learn directly from the discredited environmental prophet, whom they have paid handsomely to serve as a “senior adviser” since 2001.

Behind Google’s self-congratulatory declarations of environmental purity lies a dark reality. At the same time Google encourages government to limit carbon emissions for the rest of the American economy, company VIPs are zipping comfortably through the skies, polluting their way to the exotic playgrounds of the rich and famous – with much of that travel subsidized by the American taxpayer. Since 2000, the phrase “Don’t be evil” has served as Google’s unofficial corporate motto. Given their corporatist polluting while urging the rest of us hoi polloi to green up, they might consider changing the motto to “Don’t be hypocrites.”

google-flying-high-and-polluting-the-air-with-gov ernment-bought-fuel
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This seems somewhat relevant right now...

"Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future."

John F. Kennedy
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Quoting 140. PensacolaDoug:

See you there!

Making sure we don't win?

Hows that? By voting early and often?

Not making sure you don't win, nor my side does; just making sure whichever side does win does so fairly and squarely. You know, with none of the voter-intimidation tactics one side has worked so diligently to codify since taking the House in 2010...

Anyway, I thought this was interesting. Forgive the partial crosspost from Dr. Masters' forum:

Even though Melissa unofficially accumulated just a paltry 3.3775 ACE units, that was still more than enough to catapult the storm into third place on the year, behind only Ingrid (4.668) and Humberto (8.823).

Very telling on the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season is this statistic: 2013's average ACE (Accumulate Cyclone Energy) per storm is (again, unofficially) just 2.6. That is by a wide margin the lowest in the satellite era from 1960 onward. (Second place in that span is 1970, with an average ACE of 3.4.). This year's 2.6 average is far below the yearly per-storm average of 8.4. It's so low that it's considerably less than the 1st percentile value of 3.0. In fact, it's so low that, statistically-speaking*, years like this should be expected to occur no more than once every ten thousand years.

In other words: it's been an unprecedented Atlantic hurricane season.


This year's 2.6 average is tied with pre-satellite 1907 for second lowest on record (1870 onward), with pre-satellite 1925 seeing an average of just 1.75 per storm.

* - Note that I said "statistically-speaking". That doesn't mean similar seasons haven't happened in the recent but pre-satellite past. Nor does it means that a similar season can't happen again as soon as next year, nor even every one of the next five or ten consecutive years. It simply means that, based on a normal distribution that's itself based on what's happened from 1960 through 2013, years like this are extremely rare indeed...
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Quoting 143.

I'm assuming your including the entry's Author in your all inclusive rant Dougie?

I mean, your here for what, 3-4 post from the Political Right, then what you got?


But your consistency at nothing iz outstanding.

Try the Gumbo, but avoid the Fla. "Sneaux" though, it can make ya sneeze I heard.

Esp if you use it and get caught/convicted after voting on well, "Sneaux" testing SNAP recipients.

See what I did dere?


How bout a Saints re-cap from last nights game maybe?

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Lordy, the "farce" is strong in dis un.

I'll try to expound on it to my VA Shrink at 8am Local.

; )

How bout dat Harry Reid eh?

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
You guys will stop at nothing to further all things liberal. We got yer number. Now with the collapse of Obamacare, everybody is getting it. LOL!!!!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:

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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.

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