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Author: Subject: Climate Science for the Amateur
mayko
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[*] posted on 29-9-2013 at 12:31
Climate Science for the Amateur


There is an occasional flurry of interest in climatology on this board, as well as some misunderstandings about it. So, I'd like to recommend this educational resource, a free online climatology course from the University of Chicago. I took it about a year ago and although I have a couple of criticisms, I was pleased with the scope and clarity of the course.

http://forecast.uchicago.edu/moodle/


There is also an impressive amount of climatic/geochemical data available to the public. Here are a few good collections.

http://tamino.wordpress.com/climate-data-links/
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/data-sources/
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cdo-web/datasets
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/data-access/


Climatology may seem like something that is out of reach of the home scientist, but there are ways to get involved. Here are a couple of ideas:

http://www.climateprediction.net/
http://skepticalscience.com/Citizen-Science-Climatology-for-...







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[*] posted on 29-9-2013 at 12:50


OK, I have stumbled into so-called 'Climate-Science' as a sub discipline in Chemistry addressing free radical gas molecule reactions in photolysis. There has also been times when I wander into the reaction of gases on a solid surfaces producing results different from classical aqueous reactions and gas/gas interactions. These type of interactions are also discussed in the chemistry of catalysts, which is to some extent, are not so such chemistry as physics (or physical chemistry if you prefer). To the extent that the lines between chemistry and physics become (and are becoming) blurred, excuse me if I do not feel that we need more sub-sciences. In my opinion, there is just science.

I am of this opinion as a true understanding (and being able to participate) in these fields require advance degrees in physics, chemistry, mathematical statistics, numerical analysis, ... and a presentation/course in some of the more 'basic' concepts (which, in spite of the label, I imagine can be quite advanced/complex) is of little value, in my opinion without the proper background.

[Edited on 29-9-2013 by AJKOER]

[Edited on 29-9-2013 by AJKOER]
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mayko
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[*] posted on 29-9-2013 at 13:23


It is true that climatology is a broadly interdisciplinary field, and the UChicago course reflects that, moving from the quantum chemistry of light to physical geology to computer science.

It sounds though like you are saying that a depth-first understanding of all relevant disciplines is necessary to understand an interdisciplinary subject. I'm not sure I agree. For example, in a group working as a team, no individual shares the totality of the group's knowledge, but nonetheless has some idea of the project they are working on.

I enjoyed this article on disciplinary organization:
http://www.ploscompbiol.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal...




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mayko
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[*] posted on 30-9-2013 at 04:32



Methane is indeed a potent greenhouse gas, though it only has a half-life of about 10 years in the atmosphere, decaying to regular old CO2. There is some interesting chemistry involved with its oxidation, which is initiated by the hydroxyl radical in the atmosphere:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmospheric_methane#Removal_pro...


Another class of important non-CO2 greenhouse gasses are chlorofluorocarbons, which are better known for their effect on the ozone layer. The Montreal Protocols which phased them out prevented a substantial amount of warming. [1]

Recently, a super-GHG composed of sulfur, carbon, and fluorine was detected and its emissions volutarily halted. [2] Inert, high-impact GHGs like this have been explored for use in terraforming planets like mars. [3]


[1]Garcia, R. R., Kinnison, D. E., & Marsh, D. R. (2012). “World avoided” simulations with the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model. Journal of Geophysical Research, 117(D23), D23303. doi:10.1029/2012JD018430

[2]Sturges, W. T., Oram, D. E., Laube, J. C., Reeves, C. E., Newland, M. J., Hogan, C., … Fraser, P. J. (2012). Emissions halted of the potent greenhouse gas SF5CF3. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 12(8), 3653–3658. doi:10.5194/acp-12-3653-2012

[3]Gerstell, M. F., Francisco, J. S., Yung, Y. L., Boxe, C., & Aaltonee, E. T. (2001). Keeping Mars warm with new super greenhouse gases. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 98(5), 2154–7. doi:10.1073/pnas.051511598




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[*] posted on 4-10-2013 at 04:33


If I extrapolate mayko's intentions correctly, this thread was intended for posting educational resources, references, etc.—not for bickering and debating climate change, global warming (GW), anthropogenic global warming (AGW), or whatever you choose to call it.

<img src="../scipics/_warn.png" /> No debate in this thread. Please don't make me split or prune it again (further argument may be deleted). <img src="../scipics/_warn.png" />




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mayko
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[*] posted on 4-10-2013 at 04:53


Your extrapolation was correct. I am torn between letting this nonsense stand and being late for work.

I will just say that I encourage interested parties to investigate the online course, which covers topics such as water vapor feedback and the carbon cycle.

I also note that another role for the amateur is to be informed should they have to write letters to the editor or the like.




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[*] posted on 15-10-2013 at 06:20


The editorial censor does not allow views dissenting from the approved narative.
The dialog presented here is entirely one sided.


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[*] posted on 16-10-2013 at 07:16


Wrong. This isn't a thread for "views" or "narrative", this is a thread for science, <em>in a science forum</em>. There's no politicized bullshit here&mdash;from any faction. I won't warn you again, any further complaints in this topic will be summarily deleted.



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[*] posted on 16-10-2013 at 17:17


For those who are looking for sea ice data and didn't get it from the general links for some reason, here are some useful links.

Arctic Sea Ice News:
http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

Sea Ice Data (Preprocessed, easy to use):
http://nsidc.org/data/easytouse.html

Sea Ice Data (Serious)
http://nsidc.org/data/sea_ice.html

Cryosphere Today:
http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/




[Edited on 17-10-2013 by mayko]




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mayko
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[*] posted on 22-10-2013 at 03:27


In more constructive news, the OpenClimate course has actually recently been repackaged through Coursera:

https://www.coursera.org/course/globalwarming




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[*] posted on 23-1-2014 at 15:46
Who's sorry now


http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/time-series/us/110/00/tmp/1/12/...

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[*] posted on 23-1-2014 at 16:14


You just selected to show December in the contiguous United States, because it superficially appears to support your hypothesis. You can't just omit valid data from consideration, as you have done. Do it <a href="http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/time-series/global/globe/land_ocean/ytd/12/1880-2013?trend=true&trend_base=100&firsttrendyear=1880&last trendyear=201" target="_blank">properly</a> <img src="../scipics/_ext.png">, and include <em>all</em> data.



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[*] posted on 29-1-2014 at 18:57


Has anyone mentioned yet the Little Ice Age (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Ice_Age) and the Medieval Warming Period (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval_Warm_Period). The first left accounts of skating in previously unfrozen canals and the second left records of habization in the then hospitable north Atlantic. I know we've arrived at them by reconstruction and not by the climatologic data that you are plotting from the NCDC. So it is hard to throw them up on the same chart as the NCDC, but at the same time it implies a longer view of history is required to interpret the 0.65C average temperature rise of the recent history.
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[*] posted on 22-7-2014 at 09:24
Science is measurement.


If you don't measure what you claim, that's called philosophy.

http://news.yahoo.com/antarctica-really-getting-icier-study-...
" the expansion being reported now has also been reported by other groups as well using different techniques."

It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is , it doesn't matter how smart you are.
If it doesn't agree with experiment , it's wrong.
— Richard P. Feynman

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[*] posted on 22-7-2014 at 11:44


Quote:
Even in a warming world, it's not surprising that Antarctica might see growing ice; winds and ocean currents play a huge role in where ice does and does not form, and Antarctica's circumpolar winds push freezing air from the North Pole toward the sea.

Is this a typo I see before me, or is it a ...?

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[*] posted on 31-7-2014 at 11:10
Learn something


www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jzBWmpzifc&feature=youtu.be&...

Here's an example of blatant prevarication.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=zORv8wwiadQ
If one begins with the premise ( as this polemicist asserts ) that what will result is undetermined , then the question is not only whether climate becomes hotter or not but also whether it becomes colder or not ( conveniently ignored ). The mirror image is missing from the chart , which shows the same results for a colder climate. So spend trillions on a 50 / 50 chance of being right or being wrong , or , spend nothing and the odds of being right or wrong remain the same. The misdirection made is do you want to gamble with the future of the earth ? The point is that it's only a gamble if you bet money on this.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hobson's_choice - this is often applied by magicians to restrict choice and promote the illusion any another outcome is impossible.

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[*] posted on 31-7-2014 at 15:43


franklyn, this is for you:

<a href="http://www.cartoonistgroup.com/store/add.php?iid=41786">Global Warming Hoax</a>
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[*] posted on 31-7-2014 at 16:59


sharknado-0.jpg - 80kB

sharknado-2.jpg - 59kB




"Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts" Richard Feynman
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[*] posted on 1-8-2014 at 14:22


Mayko:

Is there a course on the net economic consequences of possible climate change with respect to do nothing versus activism?

I am referring to, for example, the potential economic losses on having to rebuild and loss of lives (or, at least the economic value of lives) directly due to extreme weather events ...versus the cost in government support for green projects, higher taxes on things like fossil fuels, loss of jobs in poluting industries net of profits and taxes from the creation of new green industries, deaths averted from cleaner air and water, ..

It seems to me that such a course would be important in educating the populace, at least from a pure economic viewpoint.

[Edited on 1-8-2014 by AJKOER]
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[*] posted on 1-8-2014 at 14:56


The way I see it is similar to the cartoon that Artemus Gordon posted: whether or not climate change is really happening or not and whether or not we have anything to do with it doesn't matter because there's no reason not to make the world a nicer place to live. Sure people cite economic and political issues, but those are trivial in comparison with the safety and well-being of the future generations. The world is going to run out of fossil fuels at some point, and if we end up using them all up, there better be a valid alternative at that point, so no time is truly too soon to develop and implement affordable and efficient green energy: it's a win-win in the end.



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[*] posted on 1-8-2014 at 15:40


Zts16:

Is it not easier to educate people that the ocean is rising and suggest that they should move?

Or, in the name of activism, spend whatever is needed to slow the ocean from rising in this century?

The cost/benefit analysis in this special case is simple, relocate even if the government has to pay some of the tab.

I believe the most problematic part of any macro analysis is on fixing the horizon. If you argue it should be 100 years, I might argue think much longer term. We, as a species, will leave this planet or face extinction at some point in the future. At that point, would not prior decisions that limit the earth's population, and preserve resources, be more favorable to the likelihood of our colonization of other worlds (promoting the continuing survival of the human species) ? I suspect the answer is yes.

Bottom line, one person's long term is another's short term, and if we assume short term planning is incorrect, what is really the right course?
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[*] posted on 1-8-2014 at 23:54
This thread really should be called climate science for the uninformed.


www.youtube.com/watch?v=ap6YfQx9I64
https://paw.princeton.edu/issues/2010/03/17/pages/7940/index...

Here masquerading in the appearance of authenticity by calling itself 'skeptical ' this house organ of ' true believers ' does nothing but rebuff the observations made highlighting the now proven invalid claims of climate alarmists , steadfastly remaining adamant in self delusion. www.skepticalscience.com/even-princeton-makes-mistakes.html
For obvious reason one cannot have meaningful dialog with such individuals so one should expeditiously marginalize them as opportunity permits. www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYKggC5VOzA

Reason will prevail. The whole of this ' conspiracy ' is not what you think it is.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=7P5RW0Tmp-U

View of an apostate
www.sciencemadness.org/talk/viewthread.php?tid=29227#pid3210...

_______________________________________


I said before elswhere :
Scientific Climatology is about as scientific as - scientific stock market trend analysis. Called charting by the quants that practice this arcana. If climate modeling projections were as accurate as proclaimed , with some adjustments they would be able to make a killing in the security exchange and currency arbitrage markets. The applied math is irrespective of any particular data set. Utterly devoid of any payoff , the hacked and finessed charts more than anything indicate those generating them have no understanding of their results. A broken clock is right twice a day, it's all in the timing. Every dog has his day , but that doesn't signal a trend. In its early days, a trend draws strength from the repudiation of the old trend ; in its final days, it lives off the denial of its own end.

— A poignant quotation
Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from
the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of
forming such opinions.
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to
hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence.
— Albert Einstein


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AJKOER
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[*] posted on 2-8-2014 at 04:49


Quote: Originally posted by franklyn  
.....

I said before elswhere :
Scientific Climatology is about as scientific as - scientific stock market trend analysis. .....


Actually, the study of climatology is perhaps more like economics, but perhaps a little more scientifically rigorous. In economics, one has a larger set of input variables and not as well understood laws governing their interactions. But in climatology, the inputs are again many, but limited to a few significant players (like CO2, SO2 from vulcanism and burning of dirty fuels, NOx, CH4 from methane hydrates that are temperature sensitive, dust entering the upper atmosphere from volcanic eruptions and meteor impacts, oxygen and ozone levels and interaction with pollutants.., to name a few) that vary with intensity at various times in earth's history. While we may have data records (in the polar ices for example), actual events that caused a temperature aberration are generally not known with certainty. However, the laws of physical matter and interactions, while not entirely understood, has to be superior to what goes on in economics (a heavier reliance on the interpretation of statistical correlations as a guide to causality and the like).

Bottom line, there is perhaps more similarity between these reputed scientific disciplines than one would like to admit.

[EDIT] Talk about an interdisciplinary topic, there is an interesting correlation between sunspots and climate (see http://www-das.uwyo.edu/~geerts/cwx/notes/chap02/sunspots.ht... . To quote a few points:

"Sunspots and climate
Incidentally, the Sporer, Maunder, and Dalton minima coincide with the colder periods of the Little Ice Age, which lasted from about 1450 to 1820. More recently it was discovered that the sunspot number during 1861-1989 shows a remarkable parallelism with the simultaneous variation in northern hemisphere mean temperatures (2). There is an even better correlation with the length of the solar cycle, between years of the highest numbers of sunspots". .....
Intuitively one may assume the that total solar irradiance would decrease as the number of (optically dark) sunspots increased. However direct satellite measurements of irradiance have shown just the opposite to be the case. This means that more sunspots deliver more energy to the atmosphere, so that global temperatures should rise.
Not only does the increased brightness of the Sun tend to warm the Earth, but also the solar wind (a stream of highly energetic charged particles) shields the atmosphere from cosmic rays, which produce 14C (radioactive carbon 14). So there is more 14C when the Sun is magnetically quiescent. This explains why 14C samples from independently dated material are used as a way of inferring the Sun's magnetic history.
Recent research (3) indicates that the combined effects of sunspot-induced changes in solar irradiance and increases in atmospheric greenhouse gases offer the best explanation yet for the observed rise in average global temperature over the last century. Using a global climate model based on energy conservation, Lane et al (3) constructed a profile of atmospheric climate "forcing" due to combined changes in solar irradiance and emissions of greenhouse gases between 1880 and 1993. They found that the temperature variations predicted by their model accounted for up to 92% of the temperature changes actually observed over the period -- an excellent match for that period. Their results also suggest that the sensitivity of climate to the effects of solar irradiance is about 27% higher than its sensitivity to forcing by greenhouse gases."

My take on this is that if one is citing temperature data, one should at least adjust the data for the impact due to solar irradiance. I would also adjust for known recent volcanic events, for example, Krakatoa, possibly using a dummy variable or a model based on volume of mass/SO2 ejected into the upper atmosphere. To quote from Wikipedia on Krakatoa (link: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/1883_eruption_of_Krakatoa#Glo... ) :

"In the year following the eruption, average Northern Hemisphere summer temperatures fell by as much as 1.2 °C (2.2 °F).[9] Weather patterns continued to be chaotic for years, and temperatures did not return to normal until 1888.[9] .....
The eruption injected an unusually large amount of sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas high into the stratosphere, which was subsequently transported by high level winds all over the planet. This led to a global increase in sulfuric acid (H2SO4) concentration in high level cirrus clouds. The resulting increase in cloud reflectivity (or albedo) would reflect more incoming light from the sun than usual, and cool the entire planet until the suspended sulfur fell to the ground as acid precipitation.[14]"

[Edited on 2-8-2014 by AJKOER]
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[*] posted on 18-10-2014 at 06:13


Tidbit on non-condensable gases.
http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/climatescience/climatescie...
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[*] posted on 12-7-2015 at 20:37


http://uk.reuters.com/article/2007/11/12/environment-climate...
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/cif-green/2010/nov/01...
The best one can say of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — criminally irresponsible purveyors of disinformation.
Once and for always it soon can be said , Good-bye to this pathological ' science ', and the morons who wasted their lives promoting it.

Throughout the past century every known cyclical natural variation has happened like clockwork. Of course you won't hear of this from the IPCC.
http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2015/07/11/Earth-head...
http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/mini...


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