Monthly Archives: June 2012

Open Thread and Interesting Article

There’s an interesting article from Popsci, well worth a read. It includes this quote from Katharine Hayhoe:


When I get an e-mail that mentions my child and a guillotine, I want to pull a blanket over my head.

Evidently the fake skeptic strategy of denying the science isn’t working, so they’re using other tactics.

Sea Ice Update

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: one of the strongest evidences of global warming is the dramatic loss of sea ice in the Arctic. Northern hemisphere sea ice has taken a nose-dive recently, which has caused some speculation in the blogosphere that we might be headed toward a record-shattering melt season.

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Skin a Cat

Before I begin let me make it clear that this is not about abusing cats. I love cats. We have a cat. We treat him very well. He treats us as though it’s our duty to worship him. He’s a cat.

This is about the old adage that “there’s more than one way to skin a cat.”

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The Light of Day

Anthony Watts has posted a story about an Oregon State University instructor, Nickolas Drapela, who has been dismissed from his job. Watts hosts a lengthy piece (by Gordon Fulks) which accuses OSU of intolerance, raises the spectre of Lysenkoism, and suggests that Drapela was dismissed because “Drapela is an outspoken critic of the theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming, the official religion of the State of Oregon, the Oregon Democratic Party, and Governor John Kitzhaber“.

I’m not sure which is greater, the pity that the scientific issue of global warming has been so politicized by those who want to prevent us from doing anything about it, or the irony that one of their strategies is to accuse others of politicizing the issue. In a move I find almost incomprehensible, Watts also linked to a slide presentation by Drapela. It’s astounding.

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CO2 Sanity

Not too long ago a post at WUWT examined the most often-used data set for atmospheric CO2 concentration, from the Mauna Loa atmospheric observatory. The post itself is just a curve-fitting exercise, but the author doesn’t make outlandish claims about the significance of his conclusions. What’s disturbing is some of the reader comments, especially from those who don’t want to believe that the CO2 increase has been caused by human beings.

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Seeing the Light

These days, amateur astronomers are far better equipped — at least electronically — than they were just a decade ago. Many of them have acquired CCD cameras at modest expense and have learned well how to use them to estimate the brightness of variable stars, a process called CCD photometry. This makes for more precise measurements than the “old way,” which was to look at the star, possibly assisted by a telescope or binoculars, but with no other instrument to estimate brightness than the human eye. The target star is compared to nearby stars of known brightness (comparison stars) and a “judgement call” is made. This process is called visual photometry.

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Annual Cycle of CO2

The question arose, whether the size of the annual cycle in atmospheric CO2 concentration has been changing recently. We’ve previously shown that it increased several decades ago, but has it increased or decreased more recently than that?

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