Friday, December 12, 2014

What is the deal with RSS?

It's nice when a topic for a new post lands in your lap.  Or, in this case, in the comments of one of your old posts.  An anonymous commentator made several statements concerning RSS that warrant a longer explanation than is possible in a reply on the comment section.  This is going to be a long, stats-heavy post.  You've been warned.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Where 2014 would rank if global temperature reverted to the 1979-2013 trend

Given that 2014 is nearly over (~3 weeks to go), we're going to be hearing even more about the possibility that 2014 will be the warmest year in the instrumental record.  I myself made the pile higher and deeper with my last post.  That raised a question in my mind: Where should global temperature be in 2014 according to the warming trend since 1979 (the first full year of the satellite record)?

Monday, December 1, 2014

Hottest years-to-date on record

Back in August, I wrote a post that found the January-June period was the third hottest on record (based on the Cowtan-Way data set which corrects the coverage bias in HadCRUT4 data).  This post will revise and update that earlier article, incorporating GISS, UAH, NCDC, HadCRUT4, and Cowtan-Way data sets.  I am not including RSS, as that data set has shown false cooling since 2000.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Tom Luongo's multiple lies about climate change

An old friend posted an "article" by Tom Luongo, a former chemist (B.S. from the University of Florida) who now writes the Resolute Wealth Newsletter, on Facebook.  Unfortunately, that article is chock full of lies about climate science.  Since Facebook comments aren't the best forum for debunking Gish Gallops, I'm taking the liberty of debunking them here.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Musings after the US election

For anyone paying attention, the US election yesterday was a disaster for Democrats.  That party lost control of the US Senate (likely 53-47) and took a drubbing in US House races (242-174) and US governors' (24-8) races.  The end result as far as science, environmental policy, and climate change is that science deniers now control key oversight committees on science, as many news organizations have noted.  The likely result for at least the next two years is unending investigations, waste-of-time hearings, and other obstacles erected to make environmental regulators' working lives a living hell.  Forget about the US ratifying any environmental treaties, much less anything having to do with climate change.  On the state level, I expect rollbacks of renewable energy mandates at the least, along with attempts to repeal other environmental regulations and meaningless resolutions attempting to nullify various federal laws and/or appropriate federal lands for state and private use.

All of that, though, is in the future.  The more interesting question right now is why Democrats lost in such a spectacular fashion.  I'm sure there will be much ink spilled and numbers thrown about figuring that out but the long and short of it is this: Just like in the 2010 midterms, the Republican base voted and the Democratic base did not.  In my voting precinct, only around 30% of eligible voters actually voted yesterday.  Let that number sink in for a minute.  Thirty percent.  Seventy percent of eligible voters stayed home and let thirty percent decide the fate of this country.  That's not atypical, either.  In fact, the poll workers I spoke with thought it was a pretty good turnout for a midterm election.

We've all read stories, especially in the more liberal sectors of the Internet, about how demographic trends are working against the Republican party, about how their base is getting older and less diverse, etc.  But that base votes.  Every.  Single.  Election.  Meanwhile, the Democratic base only seems to vote in presidential elections and ignore midterm elections.  Until Democrats wake up and realize that every single election is important, not just presidential elections, we'll continue to see results like we saw yesterday.  The repercussions of yesterday's elections on science, environmental, and climate policies will be felt for years to come.  I just hope that someday, either a) Democrats wake up and vote every single time or b) Republicans wake up and realize that science is true whether or not they believe it.  I'm not holding my breath.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Trend versus cycles in global temperature data

One of the most useful features about models, both statistical and physical, is that you can examine different aspects of the system you are analyzing separate from all other other influences.  Want to see if El Niño/Southern Oscillation could be driving the trend in global temperatures?  Construct a realistic model, then isolate the ENSO term.  Want to see if a combination of natural cycles explains the trend?  Isolate the terms for the natural cycles from those for greenhouse gases, and examine the results.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Global warming: Carbon dioxide vs. Natural cycles

The recent paper by Johnstone and Mantua (2014) has certainly made the rounds in conservative circles.  It's popped up several times on my Facebook feed as various friends and acquaintances share articles about it.  Unfortunately, most of those articles get it wrong, usually twisting Johnstone and Mantua's findings to imply that 80% of ALL global warming is natural.  As I explained in my last post, that is a blatant misinterpretation of their paper, which only applies to the northeastern Pacific and coastal regions of the US Pacific Northwest.  Globally, natural cycles do not explain the trend in global temperatures.  How can I say that?  Do the statistics.