Monday, December 14, 2009

Early afternoon tab dump 

So many tabs, so little time.

The Copenhagen climate talks have been "suspended" by the bloc of "developing" (meaning poor) countries over questions of distributive justice, and whether Kyoto ought to be continued, or scrapped. The real issue, of course, is that the stability of the entire thing hinges on the United States Senate, a fact that I find very gratifying but which must drive most of the world up a wall.

Weather is not climate, but....

Megan McArdle complains eloquently and at length over the "new breed of deadbeats." Word. If you borrow money, pay it back. And when can we all agree that the Fannie and Freddie should not buy mortgages from states that require that they be non-recourse to the mortgagor?

Michelle Catalano really, really hates the new MTV show Jersey Shore.

Tony Blair comes clean and admits that he would have supported the invasion of Iraq in 2003 even without the WMD justification. Well, yeah. Blair, at least, is "revising history" honestly, which is more than others can claim.

Democrats, apparently, talk to ghosts and other undead in much higher proportions than Republicans.

"Conservatives and Republicans report fewer experiences than liberals or Democrats communicating with the dead, seeing ghosts and consulting fortunetellers or psychics," the Pew study says. For example, 21 percent of Republicans report that they have been in touch with someone who is dead, while 36 percent of Democrats say they have done so. Eleven percent of Republicans say they have seen a ghost, while 21 percent of Democrats say so. And nine percent of Republicans say they have consulted a fortuneteller, while 22 percent of Democrats have.

There is no mention of zombies, though, which is a bit of a relief.

The "silent revolution" in U.S. energy consumption.

More later.

CWCID (for a couple of these): Linkiest.


By Blogger Trochilus, at Mon Dec 14, 02:20:00 PM:

Regarding your comment about "zombies," I assume you were referring to this?  

By Anonymous tyree, at Mon Dec 14, 02:22:00 PM:

The reason the Pew report did not mention Zombies is Bob Hope did all of the necessary research on that subject years ago.


By Blogger Trochilus, at Mon Dec 14, 03:02:00 PM:


Beat you . . . but by only about 2 minutes, it looks like! Heh!  

By Blogger Brian, at Mon Dec 14, 03:07:00 PM:

Lakes in Maine are becoming ice-free at ever-earlier dates, and the rate of becoming ice-free has accelerated in recent decades:


I know, weather isn't climate. Oh wait, this IS a climate record....  

By Anonymous tyree, at Mon Dec 14, 03:32:00 PM:

Trochilus - It was the hound that did it. They always lead the way.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Dec 14, 03:44:00 PM:

Glad we have our priorities straight. Tiger Woods has now made the front cover of the New York Post for 16 consecutive days. He only needs three more to tie 9/11.

Time Person of the Year?

The Truth is Out There  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Dec 14, 04:05:00 PM:

Chicken Little squawks louder:

"Al Gore: Polar ice may vanish in 5-7 years" "With global warming, we have woken giants,"
Asked for comment, one U.S. government scientist questioned what he called this "aggressive" projection. "It's possible but not likely," said Mark Serreze of the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado. "We're sticking with 2030."

Brian, Nothing on offer in Copenhagen would fix this even were it true.

Mad as Hell...  

By Blogger Foxfier, at Mon Dec 14, 04:18:00 PM:

One of the lakes specifically named in the ice-out data is Moosehead Lake; fortunately, they have the ice-out dates listed on line from 1848, in plain English. Records by day-of-the-year are around, too... Random clicking shows that, say, Richardson lake in the dataset used had a record early year in 1921.

Simple response: as shown by the "hide the decline" folks, carefully selecting your inputs can greatly change results. It would be informative to see all the lakes they can find data for charted out individually, instead of as a cloud.
(sources of information would be useful, too-- some of the data is from newspapers, some is from boat-folks, some is from fishermen... all these folks would be looking for something different, and if the data from all is used interchangeably.....)

I seem to remember it's tacky to cite your own studies as the only source of data re: proving the base theory.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Dec 14, 04:38:00 PM:

That energy blog posting from Rueters is fascinating. Thanks for the link.  

By Blogger Escort81, at Mon Dec 14, 04:46:00 PM:

Brian -

Interesting scatter graph. I spend a fair amount of time near Damariscotta Lake (one of the lakes mentioned specifically with respect to continuity of data collection), always during the summer, and my godson attends summer camp on the lake. Anecdotally, it's my sense that the summers are no warmer there than a generation ago, though I am a few miles south of the lake on a big body of pretty cold salt water, and it can be 10 degrees warmer in town in Damariscotta.

I think we would need to cross-reference that graph with daily high, low and average temperatures for each day of each year listed along the x axis, measured at some common point on the shores of the lake, to draw any conclusions about climate and ice-out dates. Part of the analysis would consider the timing of the first sustained bout of sub-freezing temperatures each season, and its intensity and duration, as it relates to the peak or maximum thickness of the ice during that winter. That is, because ice can act as an insulator, an early hard freeze followed by pretty average winter temperatures could result in a thinner than normal sheet.

The link you provided states:

"About half of the year-to-year variability in the lake ice-out dates is explained by historical March-April air temperatures."

which makes sense, but in theory we could have a warm March-April and a not warm other 10 months of the year. So, again, the need for daily data, if available.

Also, the link states that the southern lakes are more sensitive to changes in air temperature, so there is the possibility of a tie-in to urban heat island effect, if the lake is near Boston, Portland or Manchester, etc.

I wonder if a slight chemical change in the composition of the water, perhaps resulting from acid rain, could be responsible for less ice thickness overall during the winter or earlier ice-out in the spring (a lower pH would mean that a fluid would freeze more slowly)? I guess I am suggesting one "for sure" man-made cause to replace another "maybe/maybe not" man-made cause.

Just thinking out loud here, not a scientist, but still happy to engage in peer review.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Dec 14, 04:56:00 PM:

What Jamie Dimon might have said today:

With all due respect Mr President,

JP Morgan Chase didn't need TARP money, but it was forced on us.

When the government asked us to step up and take on a big risk to save Bear Stearns we did -- and quickly. I put my job on the line to make it happen.

When I personally went public a few years ago to say that the independent investment banks like Merrill Lynch, Lehman and Bear Stearns were getting over-extended and over-leveraged because of lax SEC oversight, the government ignored me.

Now we have a stalled recovery because your administration has frozen the private sector. A flawed stimulus, Energy and Healthcare and general concerns over federal profligacy have put the private sector on the sidelines. And you dragged me down here to tell me it's my fault?

Also, you sent a clear, unspoken message today that you'll put a big surtax on my bonus if I resist your putting in a new federal bank consumer protection agency -- why don't you just call this new agency ACORN and be done with it.

I spent years putting up with Sandy Weill. I already have my "fuck you" money. You may be President, but you aren't President for Life.

Mad as Hell ...  

By Anonymous bfranklin, at Mon Dec 14, 05:59:00 PM:

You may be President, but you aren't President for Life.

How can you be sure?
Who knows the true designs of Mr. Barry "Chavez" Soetoro.

HOPEfully his actual accomplishments will be significantly less than his desires.  

By Anonymous Brian Schmidt, at Mon Dec 14, 09:24:00 PM:


Looks to me like Moosehead had its record early iceout in 2006.

Sebago Lake, next on the list of lakes after your randomly-selected Richardson Lake, also had records in the last 25 years.

You're right that it could be manipulated by choice of lakes though. Still more conspiracies, they're everywhere!

My main attempt is to provide rebuttal to random-cold-weather quotes that is at least better than the random link. YMMV.

Escort - agreed, it's not definitive, but it is evidence, and I think it's better than the evidence in the tab dump.  

By Blogger Foxfier, at Mon Dec 14, 10:10:00 PM:

odd how y'all on the "the world is ending!!!" side always go in for conspiracies, no?

BTW, since when is April 19th earlier than April 14th? (1945-- it's actually easier to spot if you look at the ugly chart in the second link, since it goes by how many days into the year it is)

While we're at it, Sebago Lake didn't set a record in the last 35 years-- it *MATCHED* a record set in 1932, of 73 days in to the highly spotty record.

This is all utterly ignoring that the listed metric for Moosehead is "the day, hour, and minute navigation is open from Greenville to Northeast Carry"-- our ability to move through icy water has improved in the last 150 or so years.

My main attempt is to provide rebuttal to random-cold-weather quotes that is at least better than the random link.

It might be, if you were accurate in your statements.  

By Anonymous Brian Schmidt, at Mon Dec 14, 11:13:00 PM:

Foxfier: you're right about 1945 for Moosehead Lake, I stand corrected. Go on to correct the USGS and you'll really have something.

Anon at 4:05 - Two climatologists and I have a bet with physicist Joe Romm where we're betting that Arctic ice will stay by 2019 - we're taking the cool side. Bet info here:


So I disagree with Gore, although I haven't seen the latest info he's using.  

By Blogger Foxfier, at Mon Dec 14, 11:50:00 PM:

Go on to correct the USGS and you'll really have something.

Right, because they care-- that's probably why they organized their data in the way they did, since even with the lakes Mr. Hodgkins selected in his prior two papers, there's obvious problems like this.

Even when you ignore the big problems of citing their own papers, the lack of quality control for "ice-out" dates, the sometimes patchy data, the lack of control for other factors (urban heat, pollution, ease of navigating icy locations, etc)

For that matter, that they estimated the air temps is another problem....  

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