Saturday, April 22, 2017

Best #MarchforScience Posters

I'll keep this post pinned at the top as I find more and add them. Suggestions welcome.

Media preview

Media preview

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Carbon Emissions Due to Land Use Changes, 1850-2015

Here's a nice, meaty result you can sink your teeth into: A paper in the AGU journal Global Biogeochemical Cycles tries to add up the cumulative carbon emissions from changes in how humans use land.

Mostly this means clearing land by cutting trees and bushes. Trees and bushes take up carbon as they grow, and release it to the soil and atmosphere when they die and rot; but they also seed new trees, which sequester carbon and the cycle goes on. Etc.

So cutting down trees without replanting them is an effective (viz. real) release of carbon to the atmosphere.

This paper finds that land use and land cover changes have lead to emissions of 145 ± 16 Pg Carbon (1 standard deviation).

(For some reason, scientists who research the carbon cycle use units of petagrams of carbon (Pg C), where 1 Pg = 1015 g. Most people would call this a gigaton (Gt C), unless they work in climate policy where they use megatons of carbon dioxide (Mt CO2) or its equivalent (Mt CO2e)).

{Aside: Maybe before Marching for Science, climate scientists could at least agree on common units for communicating their science to the public. And decide whether time increases on the horizontal axis to the left, or to the right.}

Here's their time series for each of 10 regions of the planet:

The bump in the orange line is all the trees Americans cut down to built their country. (Look at civil war photographs and notice the relative dearth of trees, especially compared to today. Notice that during the last half of the last century North America has actually been gaining trees. So has Europe.)

The increasing green line, on the other hand, is from the burning of peat lands in Asia and southeast Asia, because the 1998 El Nino brought dry weather to Indonesia.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Dog Lying in Snow

Crying Hipster Interviews Kentucky Coal Miner

Image result for harlan county coal
Harlan coalfield
Today a NY Times audio show had an interview with a coal miner from Kentucky.

The link isn't embeddable, but it's here.

The first part of the show is also worth listening to -- about EPA head Scott Pruitt deciding he can't contest the "endangerment finding" of the Obama administration -- a big deal -- and then the interview with coal miner Mark Gray starts at the 8:45 mark.

The interview is at once impressionable, infuriating, sad, tragic and maddening.

The NYT host, Michael Barbaro, does his apparent best to talk to Mr. Gray about the prospects of coal mining in the US, its impact on the environment, and the impact of its demise on where Gray lives -- which was Kentucky, when he mined, but is now Tennessee as he has given it up.

Mr. Gray has third-stage black lung disease.

Barbaro wants to talk about the pollution and health problems associated with coal, but Gray won't really let him. Gray is totally focused on how coal mining has affected him and the area he grew up in, Harlan County of Kentucky, which by now is a place that is practically iconic in this debate and in American culture. At the very least, see Justified, or, even better close by, the movie Matawan.

Barbaro avoids asking Gray many hard questions, such as coal's contribution to long-term climate change or its well known externalities of acid rain, mercury poisoning, and other damages to humans, other species, and the environment.

Gray talks about how his daddy worked in the mines, as did his daddy's mother and the siblings, and how coal is a way of life there. Which I'm sure it is, or was.

Gray then asks Barbaro if he's ever been to a coal mining operation. Barbaro, who seems like the prototypic Brooklyn hipster, admits he hasn't. Worse, he's never really thought about where his energy comes from, and the lives of those who make that happen.

By this point Barbaro is already crying. Yes, crying, claiming he's so moved about how Gray describes his dying way of life.

But sadly, Gray the miner has no real understanding of the industry he worked in, saying he can't think of any harm coal does. Gray clearly doesn't understand what harm Barbaro thinks is occurring from burning coal, and the best he can come up with is the harm done to miners, such as his own advanced black lung disease. But destroying his body and life was worth it to Gray, he says, because it provided for his family.

Gray thinks Barbaro should come visit a coal plant in the Appalachians, which really chokes Barbaro up, so he can see all the good coal does, "clean coal" he calls it.

I found this both sad and infuriating, because Gray clearly has a very strong work and family ethic, but is unable to see past the PR the coal industry puts out. He blames the Obama administration for all of coal's ills, even though (as Barbaro tepidly tries to point out) Obama's Clean Power Plan has been tied up in the courts and hasn't been implemented yet. Gray doesn't get this and swooshes right on past.

Gray voted for Trump. He thinks Trump is going to reverse all the evils of Obama (which, again, haven't even come out of the courts yet) and put the miners back to work. At least some of them. Gray resented Hillary Clinton, saying her $30 billion jobs and training package was "charity." Gray says they don't want charity, they want good jobs, like his people before had, working hard to provide. Again without an iota of thought of coal's impact.


Barbaro never does ask any hard questions, about coal's pollution or very long-term climate change and sea level rise, and how that will affect future generations. He seems almost afraid of Gray, because Gray is a hard-assed blue collar worker and Barbaro is just a hipster desk jockey in NYC wearing khaki pants.

So the interview never really goes anywhere, or comes to any conclusion. But it's still very memorable, because these two people are so utterly far apart they don't understand the slightest thing about each other's point of view, so all they do is talk past one another, and of course Gray's life is the more genuine (Barbaro clearly agrees, without even questioning it), because how can you disagree with a miner with 3rd-degree black lung disease who knows no other way to provide for his family and who lacks the education to understand, or even see, the larger picture? He's the real man here, right?

I probably won't forget this interview for awhile. But I won't view it as what it could have been, and should have been, if the interviewer had a little more guts and did a little more journalism.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Published: 2016 Annual Numbers on Energy

Yesterday the EIA published December's numbers for US energy consumption and CO2 emissions. That completes the year.

2016's energy consumption came to 103 exajoules, the same as 2015. ("exa" = 1018.) That's 3.8% below 2007's maximum of 107 EJ.

But there was an extra day in 2016, so average power consumption dropped by an insignificant margin, from 3.26 terawatts to 3.25 terawatts. ("tera" = 1012.)

Because there are ever more Americans, the average power consumption per capita was 10,030 Watts per person, down 1.0% from 2015. That number is down 17% from 1979's maximum of 12,020 W/person.

Clearly the US has passed the point where ever more energy consumption is required to maintain economic growth.

Will do CO2 tomorrow.

RSS v4 Warming - More Than The Surface

TTT = Total Tropical Troposphere

Personal Update

My incision - seven days later
To finish off this thread -- I had my parathyroid surgery last Wednesday -- background here. It went well, with no complications.

The adenoma on one of my four parathyroid glands -- a benign tumor -- was relatively large: 32 mm x 15 mm x 10 mm.

The resident surgeon took a picture of it -- it looked like a piece of liver -- but hasn't sent it to me yet. She's busy, and was working a 30-hour shift when she saw me.

Within 15 minutes of the adenoma's (and gland's) removal, my PTH hormone level -- which controls the amount of calcium in one's blood -- dropped from 255 to 23 (in some units no one ever cites; picograms per milliliter, I think). The normal range is 20-60. So they didn't need to check out any of my other three parathyroid glands.

(Aside: no one in medicine ever seems to know the units of measurements. I only asked a time or two. In the evening I needed some oxygen, and the nurse gave me "three liters," but she didn't know if it was per second, per minute, or per hour. (It was per minute, I figured out later, after I realized it was a rate, not an absolute amount.) Like theoretical physicists, they set all units equal to one -- but for every individual measurement! But they all know what they mean and what numbers are normal, so it's all good.)

I had general anesthesia -- I joked to my anesthesiologist I was going to try to resist her drugs. She laughed, and I lasted about 4 seconds. But it was an easy recovery, unlike some I've experienced in the past.

Do I feel better? Perhaps -- it could be too soon to tell, and I'm almost scared to conclude one way or the other. I'm sure I have less of the crummy feeling I wrote about, most of the time, but then it wasn't present all of the time either. It will become clear over a month or three, I think (and one of my doctor's said). But I am optimistic, and if I had to decide right now I would say there's been an improvement.

But, as I wrote, I had to have this surgery for reasons not just because of how I feel day-to-day, but to prevent further bone loss and kidney stones.

The care I received at OHSU in Portland was excellent -- I couldn't have asked for better care. (And thank you too, President Obama, for the ACA.) Everyone who treated me -- the surgeon, the resident, the anesthesiologists, the operation room nurses (except for one), and the post-op nurses -- were all women. Their care was everything I could have asked for, and I am so happy I found my way to them. (My last three primary care doctors have all been women, too, by choice -- I think women make better doctors. So is my dentist. In any case, I find it more easy to open up to them and more comfortable around them.)

So I'm optimistic about my health, for the first time in a few years. Thanks for all your good wishes. I need to get back to earning.

House Science Committee Comes to Agreement on Climate Science

Just kidding!

Today the House "Science" Committee, led by the (bought-and-sold?) Lamar Smith of Texas, had a hearing in DC, titled "Climate Science: Assumptions, Policy Implications, and the Scientific Method."

Here's the video, 2 hours 36 minutes long.

As Republicans are wont to do, the hearing was stacked against the accepted science. Testifying were Judith Curry, John Christy, Michael Mann and Roger Pielke Jr. (How about some fresh voices already?)

So that's 3-1 against the consensus. Maybe 2.5-1.5, on account of enigmatic Roger.

I was tweeting during the hearing; my tweets are here.

I'm not going to do a journalistic summary here -- many news articles have already appeared. Some thoughts:

Michael Mann is the Jake LaMotta of climate science -- he goes in swinging and doesn't ever back down. He directly called out all three other panel members for mistakes, inconsistencies, and their insults, and he zinged committee chair Lamar Smith, too.

Mann cited an article on the recent Heartland Institute conference that appeared in Science magazine, written by Jeffrey Mervis. Mann implied that Smith wasn't interested in the science. (The exchange is reproduced here.)

Hard uppercut to the chin, and Lamar Smith was clearly caught off guard; all he could reply with was
That is not known as an objective writer or magazine.
which is laughably ridiculous, including the fact that Lamar Smith is the least objective person on the planet regarding climate change. This tweet linked to Smith's campaign funding.

This, and Mann using the word "denier," made Rep. Dana Rohrbacher (R-CA) very, very angry, but the livestream stopped just then, so I would go back and watch the video, if I thought Rohrbacher had anything useful to say about climate change.

But he did say dissenters are "brutalized into silence," apparently without noting the irony that the panel was stacked 3-1 in their favor.

There were punches and counterpunches (RPielkeJr suggested that everyone watch today's video for examples of Mann's attacks).

John Christy clearly tried hard to stay above the fray. Though at one point, early on, he seemed to imply that manmade greenhouse gases weren't needed to explain modern warming. And again he put up his misleading graph.

Judith Curry didn't add much, IMO. She meandered around and didn't seem to have any definite position, except that if the consensus was for it, she was against it. Mostly.

Roger Pielke Jr did say one important thing that I gave his kudos for
If I were writing a story about this hearing, I would have put this right up front.

So props to Roger for this. Props to Mann for streetfighting for the consensus like no one else could. Props to Christy for staying above the fray.

I can't think of anything to give Judith Curry props for, unless it was for being exactly what Lamar Smith was looking for.

And it should be pointed out that Michael Mann cited more science, including very recent science, than the rest of the panel combined.

This was good theatre, but as a hearing on the science it was a waste of time. The Republican representatives struck me as particularly uniformed, looking only to score points. It was made only to be a showcase for Lamar Smith's denialism -- instead, to his surprise I'm sure, he came out of it looking like a fool.

But then, that's what he's paid for.

Credible climate scientists need to boycott biased congressional hearings - The Washington Post

David Titley:

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Measuring the Universe by Their Tiny Scale

from Kim Stanley Robinson's book Galileo's Dream*.

* This is a very good book, but I wish he had left out the subplot where 17th century Galileo is transported to the Jupiter system to solve(?) a controversy about the discovery of sentient life on Europa and in Jupiter. Galileo's tale is plot enough, and Robinson tells it well as historical fiction.

FWIW: Galileo was born three days before Michelangelo died. Newton was born later in the year Galileo died.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


GISS global anomaly, linear fit
versus quadratic fit:

Second-Warmest February

It's not getting much cooler: GISS and JMO both find February the 2nd-warmest Feb, after only 2016. The GISS global anomaly, 1.10°C is back above 1°C -- and tied for 4th among all anomalies-- and the land-only anomaly is 1.43°C, third highest of any month. (GISS's baseline is 1951-1980.) Another El Nino could be brutal.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Australians Say Six of Eight Models Suggest El Niño by July

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology says six of eight international models they consider suggest an El Niño by July.

(The Australians care because El Ninos typically bring below average winter-spring rainfall over eastern Australia.)

Needless to say, it'd be very interesting if this happens -- I can almost hear the shouting now.

AGW Predicted Before it Occurred

I like this, from Eric Steig of U Washington:

Saturday, March 11, 2017

UAH v6.0 Finally Publishes Two Years Later

UAH has finally published their paper explaining the version 6 (here's the final submitted version), in the Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences. This isn't exactly a prominent journal -- Roy Spencer claims, with no evidence offered, that it's all a conspiracy against them:
Our first choice would be an AMS or AGU journal, but they have one or more gatekeepers who inevitably get involved in the review of papers with “Spencer” or “Christy” as authors.

I might remind you of the Climategate email passage “Kevin [Trenberth] and I will keep them out somehow even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”

Trenberth also managed to get an editor to resign because Remote Sensing published one of my papers (which was never retracted though)…Trenberth apparently had some influence over that editor in the research realm.

Many of these journals are now tightly controlled to prop up the IPCC narrative.
I've asked him for evidence. I'm not holding my breath.

Recall that some people accused Karl et al of publishing in order to influence the 2015 Climate Conference. But their paper has been in peer review for about 1/2 year, and they published their paper at the same time as they introduced their new dataset. UAH did not, publishing their paper almost two years after making some huge changes to their data, far bigger than Karl et al's changes.

Just imagine the outcry if Karl et al has changed some regional monthly anomalies by over 1.4°C, as UAH did.

Winter Arctic Sea Ice Extent at Lowest Peak Yet

The maximum extents of winter sea ice in the Arctic are their lowest values yet, according to two different datasets, JAXA v2 and NOAA. (I think it's fair to call the peak now, several days after.)

JAXA v2 has Arctic SIE peaking on 3/6/17 at 13.878 Mkm2.

NOAA has Arctic SIE peaking on 3/5/17 at 14.447 Mkm2.

Don't ask me how these two datasets can differ by 569.000 km2. That seems like a lot, for a basic measurement (even by satellite). I don't understand it either.

But both are the lowest winter maximums in their records, going back to 1979. That counts for something.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

The Movie "Geostorm" -- Just What We Don't Need

An apparently ridiculous, irrational look at geoengineering. In theatres October 20th.


Continental US Had Its 2nd-Warmest February

This February was the second-warmest in the continental US records (going back to 1895), after 1954.

That looks strange, 1954, but it was 0.25°F warmer then.

Still, this February's anomaly was 5.85°F above the 1980-2010 baseline, and 7.34°F above the 1901-2000 baseline. (Hey, it's NOAA who uses Fahrenheit; don't blame me.)

The 30-year trend is 0.47°F/decade. That's right, we're warming at almost half-degree every 10 years. It's 0.26°C/decade, or about 50% faster than the globe as a whole is warming. That's a pretty good rule for land warming versus global warming in the middle latitudes, and one I don't think the public is yet aware of.

So while the Paris Agreement tries to limit global warming to 2°C, that's 5.4°F in the continental US. And it's almost too late for the 2°C limit to hold, so USA48 could see at least 6°F of warming.

Except in the Pacific Northwest. Salem, Oregon was slightly below average last month, and we had 13.44 inches of rain in February, a record. That's 341 mm, if you must know.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Med Update

Now I feel a little weird about having shared my medical issue publicly, but I guess there's no turning back at this point.

Image result for parathyroidI had a round of tests last week regarding my hyperparthyroidism, up at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) -- a very impressive place. Everyone I dealth with -- doctors, clinicians, residents, assistants -- was first rate, and extremely organized.

They did find an adenoma -- a benign tumor -- on my right lower parathyroid gland (there are four). It's about 3 cm x 1 cm x 1 cm, hanging off a parathyroid gland that is itself only the size of a grain of rice. My diagnostician said I may have had this disease for 10 years or more. Due to a lack of insurance I didn't have a lot of blood tests over the years, but one I paid for in cash in 2005 showed slightly high calcium in my bloodstream, as did another in 2011. But when you don't have insurance, and are barely able to afford basic doctor visits and some basic medications, doctors tend not to get too deep into your issues -- no one ever mentioned my high calcium before. By now it's 30+% above the upper limit, and my production of parathyroid hormone (PTH) is at least 3 times too high. I never had my PTH level checked before either, again due to lack of health insurance. Blood tests are expensive. Everything about health care is expensive in America.

My bone density has significantly decreased, as the increased PTH has had my body taking calcium from my bones. It was especially alarming in my left forearm -- they only tested my left leg, left hip, and left forearm -- and I'll probably be on calcium supplements for years.

Based simply on this low bone density risk, and an increased risk for kidney stones, the diagnostician recommended I have surgery to have this adenoma taken out, and the surgeon agreed. I had a kidney stone circa 2002 -- the most pain -- urgent pain -- I've ever experienced (they say it's akin to childbirth) -- but none since, somewhat surprisingly.

My diagnostician said he can't guarantee I'll feel any better after the surgery -- in terms of getting rid of this generalized crummy feeling I have, the tiredness and headaches and fatigue and the feeling one has the day before you know you're coming down with the flu -- but he said about 50% of patients do feel better in a few months. I'm optimistic, but I do need the surgery at least for the reasons of bone loss and kidney stone risk. My surgery is scheduled for Wednesday, March 22nd, and I'll be in the hospital overnight.

This disease seems to strike at random, about 1-4 per thousand people, depending on culture. They said I didn't do anything "wrong" to acquire this hyperparathyroidism -- it just sometimes happens. I don't know of anyone in my extended family who ever had it, and it doesn't appear to be genetic anyway. But my health is only so-so -- I've been dealing with chronic pain since my early 20s, when I broke my coccyx playing squash, and I have since acquired two other problems that have never fully healed -- and I need to pay more attention to it. It's frustrating trying to get exercise, because no matter what I do, something hurts for it.

But I'm optimistic about this upcoming surgery. I couldn't possibly feel better about the doctors treating me -- both were extremely impressive in their understanding of this disease, rattling off data and percentages about treatment options. Of course, I appreciate that kind of thing.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Temperature vs Log(CO2) Since 1970

Following Joe's suggestion (thanks), here I plot temperature since 1970 versus log(CO2):

It's a better fit, avoids the 1940-1970 aerosol mess, and for CO2's climate sensitivity gives S(CO2) = ΔT(x=1) = T(x=1) - T(x=0) = slope = 2.6°C. With no evidence that feedbacks have done much yet -- except for a negative feedback from aerosols (traditional pollution), which are reducing the apparent climate sensitivity to CO2.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Temperature vs Log(CO2)

In an argument discussion on a post from earlier this month, it's suggested to plot temperature vs log2(CO2). Here's that plot:

That's a pretty good linear fit.

(Plotting against log2(CO2/CO21850) shows time in units of CO2-doubling since 1850.)

Data sources:
CDIAC: CO2, 1832-1978
Mauna Loa: CO2, 1959-2016
HadCRUT 4.5: GMST anomalies, 1850-2016

Bathrooms and Water Fountains

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Mildred Dresselhaus has Died

I'm sad to see that physicist Mildred Dresselhaus has died, at 86.

I profiled her for Scientific American way back in 2002. She was the first scientist I profiled for Sci Am, and when I sat down with her somewhere in Boston, I told her I was a little nervous. She said, "Oh come on, don't be silly."

She immediately made me feel at ease. After that the interview went really well.

She did a lot of work on carbon nanotubes, describing them, understanding them, classifying them. I probably didn't write enough about her work in advancing women in science -- she was the first woman to hold a full professorship at MIT, in 1968 -- but then, I saw her as a very good scientist, with nothing to do with her gender. Perhaps I was naive. Or perhaps that's the way it should be.

The NYT says she published more than 1,700 articles, and won a host of medals. I assume that is the number of papers she was either lead author on or a co-author...which is immensely impressive by any measure. My impression was that everyone thought very kindly of her. She was old enough to have been in the olden, golden age -- she worked under Fermi, lived in the same neighborhood and even walked to work with him. Oh for those days. That's as romantic as it gets, scientifically.

She was one of a kind.

As EPA head, Scott Pruitt must act on climate change | The Seattle Times

Great op-ed in the Seattle Times:

Monday, February 20, 2017

More About Sea Ice, and More

And, just for the record, Arctic sea ice extent is currently ranked 3rd lowest for February 20ths, behind 2016 and 2006, and global sea ice extent is ranked lowest for this date.


Sorry for not posting much interesting lately, just numbers and political fluff. I haven't been feeling well for some time -- a few years -- and I thought it was that I was just getting older or not sleeping well or not in the best shape. But I just recently learned I have a disease called hyperparathyroidism -- my parathyroid gland is producing too much of its hormone ("PTH") that regulates calcium in the blood. As a result, my body thinks it needs more calcium in the bloodstream, which it is leeching out of bones and other tissues. The result can be a host of symptoms -- fatigue, headaches, weakness, poor sleep, depression, more and just feeling crummy -- and eventually, due to the bone loss, broken bones can show up, and osteoporosis. I haven't broken any bones in a long time, but I do feel pretty crummy these days, with a flushed face, very tired, headachy, easily exhausted, and kinda like the way one feels the day before you know you're getting the flu. My face is tired. I've had, very often, a flushed face for several years, but the other symptoms have come on only in the last 6-12 months. Again, I thought it was only that I was getting older, and I needed to bear down and tough my through it. But a blood test in December -- the first comprehensive blood test I've had since 2011, due to lack of health insurance -- showed my calcium level was a good bit too high, as was my PTH hormone level (produced by the parathyroid). It was the first time I had ever had that routinely checked, as far as I know. (I've kept a spreadsheet of my blood test results starting in 2005, when I lived in New Hampshire and there paid $350 cash for a blood panel, $25/month at a time.) Luckily my doctor put two and two together and raised the alarm for hyperparathyroidism -- the first time she ever caught one, she told me. (Hyperparathyroidism affects about 1-4 people per thousand, and not because they did anything "wrong." Usually, but not always, it strikes people in their 50s, and more women than men.) The disease also affects vitamin D levels, and mine were very low -- already a problem in the Pacific Northwest, due to its high latitude and relative lack of sunshine. (I've read that above about 45 degrees latitude, one simply can't get enough Vit D from sunshine -- the Sun's annual average angle is simply too low -- and supplements have to be taken). I was taking 10,000 IU of Vit D a day, and still the level in my blood was too low.

So I'm going up to OHSU in Portland in about 10 days for a full battery of tests and to consult with a physician and a surgeon. Thank God Obama I now have health insurance, at least until the Republicans take it away. The cause of hyperparathyroidism is usually (80% of the time) a tumor on one of the four small parathyroid glands (they're behind the thyroid, two on each side, each about the size of a grain of rice), causing it to overproduce its PTH hormone. The tumor is almost always benign, and removing it and the associated parathyroid gland usually fixes the problem, relatively simply. Some patient testimonies I've read -- OK, maybe they select just the good ones -- say it's effective within days and a striking improvement is felt. Which by now I'm really hoping is the case, because I'm feeling increasingly lousy. Part of what I'm feeling now is, I suspect, that I know that I have this disease, so I'm more attuned to the symptoms, and perhaps happy just to have an explanation, but some of it is, I can tell, that the disease is progressing and has already gone quite a ways -- I never had these headaches until the last month or so, and I never felt this smacked around the head all the time.

As I wrote, I thought I was just getting older and this is how older people feel, or that I wasn't getting enough exercise, or that it was somehow my fault. In fact I didn't even mention most of my symptoms to my doctors, and I probably would not have for a good while longer, maybe even years, absent the results of the recent comprehensive blood test.

So I'm very much hoping the upcoming tests suggest a path to a sound treatment. I'm fine with surgery, at this point -- it's relatively minimal, but it's still surgery. But I've had several in my life. And if that happens I hope it works and I can get back to feeling good again, or at least better, and back to regular work and regular life again. Probably it won't be that simple -- things usually aren't -- but I'm glad to have a place to at least start.

But the Trend is Still Up!

While both of the polar sea ice extents are low, Antarctic sea ice is just plain ridiculous.

Yesterday its extent set a new low for the satellite era, at 2.20 Mkm2. (The previous low was 2.26 Mkm2, way back in 1997.)

Amazingly, present Antarctic SIE is 16% below last year's value at this time. Last year's low was 2.58 Mkm2.

But the long-term trend, starting with the satellite data on 10/26/1978, is still very much upward, at 18.3 Kkm2/yr. That's down from its maximum of 23.7 Kkm2/yr in July 2015.

Perhaps this year is mostly noise and the ice will rebound. On the other hand, if this year represents a tipping point, as some think happened with Arctic SIE years ago, it won't. But if has fallen a large amount in just the last two years:

{This last graph is the 365-day moving average, and not corrected for leap years. With over 38 years of data, the 365-day moving average would have now fallen back about 9-10 days -- that is, what was once a Jan1-Dec31 average is now about a Dec23-Dec22 average. So probably worth fixing.}

A New Word: "ecomyopia"

"It is unlikely that the Anthropocene moniker has the symbolic power to correct ecomyopia, which the authors define as the tendency to not recognize, to ignore, or fail to act on new information that contradicts political arrangements, social norms, or world views...."

- "Ecomyopia in the Anthropocene," D.G. Casagrande et al, Anthropology Today, Volume 33, Issue 1, pages 23–25, February 2017.
Note the abstract ends with, "The global capitalist response to the Anthropocene will likely be to embrace technological hubris."

Friday, February 17, 2017

John Adams cp Donald Trump

"The liberty of the press is essential to the security of freedom in a state: it ought not,
therefore, to be restrained in this commonwealth."
— John Adams, Massachusetts Constitution of 1780

Still More Ice Spikes

I don't know what it is about where I live now, but I keep getting ice spikes in my ice cube trays here.

Never have seen them anywhere else I've lived. But I like them. It's silly, but I feel like something special has happened whenever they show up.

(These are all the same ice spike.)