Monthly Archives: March 2011

So What?

Those who deny the reality of global warming are, once again, overly excited about a recent paper by Houston & Dean. Why is it that they think every paper which strengthens the case for global warming is some kind of fraud, but every paper which they think weakens the case, is some kind of “bombshell”?

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Food for Thought

Food prices worldwide have gone up over the last 8 or 9 months.

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It’s a volcano in Iceland which erupted in 2010. Please don’t ask me to pronounce the name.

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Dishonor among deniers

Those who deny the reality, human cause, or danger of global warming, don’t always tell outright lies. One of their common tactics is to say what’s technically true, but is also irrelevant, misleading, or more often, both.

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Mission Failure

As many of you are aware, the launch of the Glory satellite was a failure. The mission would have studied solar irradiance, aerosols, and clouds — all of which are important data for climate studies. Alas, the satellite failed to deploy and the mission — if it happens at all — will have to wait. It’s surely a demoralizing blow to the Glory team, and a blow to climate science since it follows hard upon the launch failure of the OCO satellite two years ago. RealClimate has a post on the subject.

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It wasn’t that long ago, back in 2000, that David Viner of the Climate Research Unit stated that winter snowfall in England will become “a very rare and exciting event”. He added that “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is.” His comments came on the heels of several very low-snow winters in England.

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Where’s the Global Warming?

This year’s snowy winter has spawned a flurry of comments along the lines of, “where’s the global warming?”

It’s right where it was expected to be: on the globe. Global average temperature has been pretty much what was expected, given la Nina conditions and, yes, global warming. But that doesn’t stop people from confusing local weather with global climate.

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8,000 years of AMO?

I’ve often said that the evidence for actual periodic (or even pseudoperiodic) behavior in ocean cycles is sketchy at best. What are usually quoted as periods are better referred to as characteristic time scales. Furthermore, it’s all too easy to misinterpret period analysis (usually in the form of spectral analysis) even when estimating the values of, or assessing the existence of, characteristic time scales.

I don’t deny the existence of fluctuations (which I regard as a better description). Nor do I claim that they don’t show characteristic time scales — just that the evidence is often sketchy at best. As far as being actually periodic (in the sense that knowledge of the last few “cycles” enables us to make some useful prediction of the next, or the next few, “cycles”), I believe that they’re not. I could be wrong — but I’m still waiting for evidence.

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