Monthly Archives: December 2011

Data and Code for Foster & Rahmstorf 2011

This post is only to provide access to the data and the code (all computations were done using R) used in Foster & Rahmstorf 2011 (blogged about here).

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The Value of Data

On a cold January morning in 1986, the space shuttle Challenger lifted off its launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Morale was high, especially as the Challenger flight was to inaugurate the teacher-in-space program with astronaut/high school teacher Christa MacAuliffe in its crew. Alas, 73 seconds into the flight the shuttle disintegrated, destroying the spacecraft and killing all the astronauts on board. The cause of the accident was a leak of hot gas from one of the solid rocket boosters. The leak occured because of the failure of rubber “O-rings” which were supposed to seal the joints between rocket sections, and part of the reason they failed is that the temperature was so cold at the time of the launch — the O-ring material becomes more stiff at low temperature so it’s less likely to make a proper seal.

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Oh Pleeze

WUWT has another post by Jim Goodridge. It makes one question whether that blog has any standards for truth or accuracy.

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Johnny’s Growth

Suppose, just for argument’s sake, that when your son Johnny turned 2 years old you decided to monitor his growth. His birthday is Jan. 1, so on the first of every month you measure his height — you even mount a tape measure permanently on the wall so you can measure him in the same location each time. You dutifully record the number for each measurement. Your wife thinks this is “cute” so she decides to take a picture every time you do, and puts them in a photo album labelled “Our Growing Child.” Since she’s a professional photographer, she uses her amazing Nikon super-high-res digital camera. All her friends think it’s super-cute.

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We must be doing something right

It seems that even before the paper which is the topic of my latest post appeared, The Register attacked it. We must be doing something right.

They can’t possibly have read the paper, since it hadn’t even been posted when they posted their attack. Frankly, I doubt anybody with any sense cares about them.

But now that New Scientist has given a realistic report, it looks like commenters at their site want to torpedo the truth. What say we visit the New Scientists article, just to be sure that truth gets represented in the comments section?

Update: RealClimate mentions the paper, as well as a statement from the World Meteorological Organization emphasizing that this year (2011) will almost certainly end up as the hottest la Nina year on record.

The Real Global Warming Signal

Many different factors affect Global temperature. Fake “skeptics” like to claim that mainstream climate scientists ignore everything but greenhouse gases like CO2, when in fact it’s mainstream climate scientists who identified those other influences. Natural factors cause temperature fluctuations which make the man-made global warming signal less clear, fluctuations which are often exploited by fake skeptics to suggest that global warming has paused, or slowed down, or isn’t happening at all. A new paper by Foster & Rahmstorf accounts for some of those other factors, and by removing their influence from the temperature record makes the progress of global warming much more clear.

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Best Defense

There’s a saying in American Football (and perhaps other sports too) that “The best defense is a good offense.”

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1400+ Years of Arctic Ice

We have precise data for Arctic sea ice extent from satellite observations over about the last 30+ years, and a pretty good estimate for the last century or more from ship and aircraft observations. The data show clearly that Arctic sea ice has declined dramatically over the last few decades, a decline the like of which has certainly not been seen for over 100 years prior to that. In addition, a recent survey of available proxy information — not a reconstruction, but a thorough review of the evidence — tells us that the modern decline in Arctic sea ice is “unmatched over at least the last few thousand years and unexplainable by any of the known natural variabilities.”

Now there’s even more evidence of the shocking state of the Arctic sea ice. New research reports an actual reconstruction of the extent of Arctic sea ice over the last 1,450 years (Kinnard et al. 2011, Nature, 479, 509-512, doi:10.1038/nature10581).

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