Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sea Ice anomalies

Since Jaxa resumed posting daily results of Arctic Sea Ice extent, I've been processing the data and posting plots here. I'm thinking of doing an interactive plotter for the various ice measures, similar to the climate plotter.You could choose which years to show.

So I started looking at means and anomalies, and thinking about trend calculations. The general method for anomalies seems to be to take a day-by-day average over some years and calculate discrepancies from that. The number of years is not huge, and there is a spike of variability near the maximum melt, so the daily mean is not free of the fluctuations from which an anomaly is sought. So I tried a multiple regression using trig functions and a secular trend.

An anomaly plot is useful for plotting in that it removes the seasonal oscillation, making the key information more visible. With the trig functions I can use a sidereal year, which gets rid of a minor but awkward leap year issue. I found four harmonics was sufficient as the magnitudes taper quite fast; using five made negligible difference.

I looked at the Jaxa data, and also the Arctic and Antarctic sea extent data from UIUC (Cryosphere Today).

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I've been paged


I responded there at about 7.30pm 29 May here (2.30 am PDST). My posts there now just disappear - I think into the spam bucket. We'll see if it appears.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Arctic Sea Ice - JAXA is back!

JAXA Arctic Sea Ice Extent is back, with a new satellite and a new style. In previous years I have kept a table and plots of the latest figures here. The page is supposed to be updated automatically daily at about 2pm Japan time. In the past JAXA updating has been irregular, and I've resorted to manual updating, which can be irregular at this end. We'll see how it goes this year.

I haven't yet adopted JAXA's new style, with just the current, past extreme years, and some decade averages. I'm still using the old style with the last ten years plotted and tabulated individually. This may change.

My impression so far is that the new data is jumpier than the old. 2012 is a mid-range year so far, but there was a huge melt yesterday. The previous day gained ice, so it may be just noisier.

The link to the data page is top right under pages, and also resources.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

April GISS Temp up 0.1°C

TempLS showed a rise in global mean anomaly in April, 2012, from 0.32 °C to 0.52 °C. GISS showed a smaller rise, from 0.46 °C to 0.56 °C. This is the second month in which TempLS substantially exceeded GISS. The satellite indices showed rises comparable with TempLS. Time series graphs are shown here

As usual, I compared the previously posted TempLS distribution to the GISS plot.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

ANU emails - reactions?

They have been out now for over 24 hours, and in a word, blogwise, zilch.

Simon Turnill made the original FOI request for the emails. He was excitedly chronicling every step in the blogfuss based on reading meanings into comments of the Privacy Commissioner on what might be in the emails, made in the finding on his appeal.

Based on these speculations, WUWT pronounced BREAKING: “Death threats” against Australian climate scientists turn out to be nothing but hype and hot air. But I guess Anthony pronounced Game over.

So now they could actually read them and verify, right? Well, no. Simon Turnill has not posted them. Complete silence there. I posted a comment at WUWT - just one comment in response (we're all bedwetters).

My blog software lets me count how many people tuned in from other sites to link to the emails that I posted. From WUWT, just two. From Bishop Hill, where I also posted a notice and there was some discussion, there were four.

The Australian does have an article, which focusses on the "forced to release" angle. Very little about the outcome of their previous speculations. No mention of the main incident. And they haven't made the release accessible either.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Threats at ANU - emails released - UPDATE

Update 22 May
As Eli notes on the other thread, Deltoid has posted on the Media Watch report on this issue. This is the investigation trumpeted by the Australian headline:
"Media Watch eyes climate scientist death threat claims"

What did they find? The original Canberra Times reports seem well-based. They emphasised a generally threatening environment, with nasty stuff, and did particularly not emphasise death threats. The ABC amped that aspect up a bit. The V-C was reported as referring to death threats over the six month period of Simon Turnill's report, but it now isn't clear if he actually said that.

But they have independently investigated, and again found a definitely threatening environment for climate scientists. They too have a collection of emails received. And they emphasised that the Turnill six-months six scientists FOI request is very limited, and no basis for sweeping assertions that threats have been debunked.
"11 emails. To six scientists. In one university. In one six month period. How on earth do they debunk the Canberra Times's story?"

Their summary:
"One news outlet comes out of it, in our opinion, almost unscathed: Fairfax Media's The Canberra Times. The ABC doesn't look so great, and The Australian looks worst of all."

Eli has more

I have been involved in blog discussions at WUWT and Bishop Hill.

Indeed at WUWT I was honored with an award of crow pie. And told in no uncertain terms of the error of my ways:
You’ve earned troll bin moderation status me thinks because you’d rather believe this fantasy you’ve concocted than facts of the matter at hand. And, the facts are, that there’s no death threats. Game over. – Anthony

As Graham Readfearn notes, the ANU FOI request, on which the latest fuss is based, covers just six named staff at that one University, with threats that actually entered the email system, over a six month period. And ANU only sent around asking for them after a FOI request was received, so they don't include emails that the recipients deleted. So it's a very limited sample. I've summarised some more background here.

However, ANU has now released the emails. I've put a zip-file here. The Privacy Commissioner noted one particular email as:
“In my view, the exchange as described in the email could be regarded as intimidating and at its highest perhaps alluding to a threat.”

It's in Doc_5.pdf. It describes a conference/seminar organised by the University, at which, on the first day, someone "took exception" to a talk on climate change. Then:
"Moreover, before he left, he came to the Fri dinner and showed other participants his gun licence and explained to them how good a sniper he is."

Now I expect that at WUWT they'll say, well, he could be aiming low, or whatever. But it sure sounds like a death hint, at least.

On the other thread a commenter "Colours" draws attention to a comment here where the poster identifies himself as the person who proffered the licence (in his version, a kangaroo culling licence) and gives an alternative non-threatening version of the circumstances.

Update So now that what was in the emails is known, what do we hear from WUWT and co? Nothing. And Simon Turnill, who demanded the emails under FOI, has not posted them. Not said anything. There is a story in the Australian. ANU "forced" to release emails - no mention of the main content.
Update: Simon Turnill has now (5pm Thu) posted the emails with his interpretation.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

April 2012 temperatures up 0.2°C

The TempLS analysis, based on GHCNV3 land temperatures and the ERSST sea temps, showed a monthly average of 0.52°C for April, up from 0.32 °C in March. In fact, the March figure had also been revised upward by 0.03°C with late data, so the cumulative rise is 0.33°C since Feb. MSU-RSS satellite temp is also way up (by by 0.26°C).  There are more details at the latest temperature data page.

Update David Appell says that UAH rose even more, by 0.295°C
Further update - on re-reading, I'm not sure if the UAH figure was a rise or an absolute amount.

Latest - Roy Spencer has posted. The new value is 0.30°C, a rise of 0.19°C

Below is the graph (lat/lon) of temperature distribution for April. Still warm in the US, and pretty warm all over.

Update: I have added an interactive spherical projection map for the month. It's useful for seeing the Arctic warming in perspective. It's at the end of the post.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Entropy and the greenhouse effect.

Efforts to explain the greenhouse effect are never-ending. Not that it's a hard concept, but the Second Law gets debated as well. In fact, entropy and its transport are very much part of the story.

Some will think that entropy is an abstract notion and can't clarify anything. But its something that can be tracked and budgetted, and that is a useful overlay on regular heat transfer talk. What I'm going to say here isn't any novel physics, and describes no unfamiliar mechanisms. But I found that it helped with my mental accounting.

A while ago I essayed an entropy budget for the Earth. We have a heat flux budget. Every time a heat flux Q arrives at or leaves a region, it carries a flux Q/T of entropy. Here T is absolute temperature at the transfer surface; if it isn't uniform, integration is needed. Entropy is created when sunlight is first absorbed by materials on the Earth, and leaves in the outgoing IR flux. Since it can't be destroyed, and isn't significantly accumulating, the IR must carry it all. That's a constraint worth investigating.