Monthly Archives: October 2019

Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire

This wedding photo from California went “viral” in a visible sign of how there’s no escape from California wildfires.

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Western Wildfire: Climate Change is Serious Business

Over the last few years we’ve heard story after story about massive wildfires in the western USA which threatened thousands of homes and lives and cost people billions of dollars. California seemed especially hard hit, especially last year. For me, the story of a great-grandmother dying in a fire with her two great-grandsons in her arms, is a sadness too great to bear.

So I’ve been glad that this year, I haven’t noticed such news stories about truly horrific gargantuan western wildfires. Until … now. In California.

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A Message from Pamina

Hello all,

I wanted to let you all know that later today, Tamino is undergoing surgery. It’s something that’s been scheduled for months now and while it’s nothing life-threatening, he will be laid up for a while and may not be available to post or moderate for the next several days.

I want to take this chance to thank everyone who has donated, especially lately. You’ve been able to help cover my time away from work to stay home and help Tamino recover, and you’ve made a nice dent in the medical bills. It’s easy these days to see awfulness in the world, but I’m thankful to see there’s also kindness and goodness on the Internet as well. Thank you, from both of us.

Tamino will be back soon. Play nice til then.


Secret Agreement lets homebuilders prevent energy efficiency

A fascinating story in the NY Times tells how the National Association of Home Builders got a special deal which guarantees them — the industry supposed to be regulated — 4 out of 11 seats on two committees responsible for updating building codes. They’ve used that power to block almost all progress in energy efficiency for U.S. homes.

Of course they claim the agreement is “appropriate.” Which makes me wonder, if it’s so appropriate, why LIE about it?

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Climate Change Threatens the Corn Belt

While American farmers are still suffering from recent severe flooding, historically our “corn belt” has done a remarkable job increasing food production. The main reason is of course the advances of farming chemistry, genetics, and technology, but throughout the 20th century the U.S. corn belt went farther and faster than other regions of the world (even other regions of the USA).

New research from Partridge et al. might explain why. Climate change has been raising temperatures around the world and across the USA, but while other areas had to contend with the bulk of it, during the growing season our corn belt has heated up much less than most places, while precipitation increased slightly. In other words, we got lucky.

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Thank You

First, thanks to Jean-Pierre Dehottay, Koenraad Machiels, Tim Baumann, and James Vogan for kind donations to the blog. As I’ve said recently, it really makes a difference right now.

We still need help (feel free to visit the donation link below!) but we’re already much better off thanks to the kindness and generosity of the folks who read this blog. Thank you!

This blog is made possible by readers like you; join others by donating at My Wee Dragon.

Sea Level: Eastern North America

Since Dave Burton was kind enough to remind us how great the danger of sea level rise is, I’m enjoying the recent focus on the topic. I’d like to apply my new alignment technique (including variable station weights) to several regions of eastern North America, to see how they differ and what they have in common in their sea level history.

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Sea Level Rise: Regional

I’ve decided to apply some area weighting to my sea level estimate based on my new method.

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Aligning Tide Gauge Stations

I’ve spoken before about my new way of aligning tide gauge stations. Maybe it’s time for me to outline some of the details, and share my program (written in R) for doing the computation.

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Sea Level Acceleration since the 1960s

Dangendorf et al. have made a new estimate of global sea level since the year 1900, based on data from tide gauges around the world. I’ve compared it (which I’ll call Dang) to the most trusted data set (in my opinion) from Church & White (which I’ll call CW), to the dataset I have criticized from Jevrejeva et al. (which I’ll call Jev), and to my own reconstruction (which I’ll call me) based on my own method of correcting for VLM (Vertical Land Movement). The first thing to note is that my own data doesn’t include proper area weighting, and can only be considered seriously flawed. But it is my own, so we’ll see how the new kid on the block compares to it, as well as to well-known data sets. Here’s the new data from Dang:

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