Paleodata

March 21, 2017

Paleodata

Goebel et al., 2008

March 14, 2017

The late pleistocene dispersal of modern humans in the americas (Goebel et al 2008)

Goebel_1

Beringia_MAp

Hubbert 1956

March 13, 2017

1956_Hubbert

Hasegawa 1/72 scale Douglas A-1 Skyraider

December 24, 2016

20161210_05531320161210_055234.jpg20161210_055220.jpg20161210_055208.jpg20161210_055158.jpg20161210_055143.jpg20161210_055307

Vox’s David Roberts: “Consilience” or just plain silliness?

December 14, 2015

True climate science denier, David Roberts (formerly with Grist) has authored another truly vapid article for Vox …

The 2 key points that climate skeptics miss

Updated by David Roberts on December 11, 2015

Arguments between climate skeptics (or whatever the hell we’re calling them now) and their opponents very frequently devolve into hypertechnical squabbles over particular scientific issues like sea surface temperatures or Milankovitch cycles (don’t ask).

Generally speaking, this is a Bad Thing. Technical scientific disputes are of limited interest the general public — especially technical disputes litigated with great partisan venom. A discussion dominated by such disputes just causes most people to tune out entirely. What’s more, it creates the illusion that the validity of climate science hinges on how these squabbles are resolved. It doesn’t.

[…]

Vox (whatever the hell that is)

 

“Define Irony”

Mr. Roberts actually denied the scientific method prior to making his first point. Science is the process of formulating systematic explanations for observations (hypotheses) and then testing and upholding or falsifying those hypotheses.  Science is not about formulating slogans that non-scientists can “tune in” to.

Read the rest of this entry »

A Novel Way to Test the Impact of Rising Sea Levels

December 8, 2015

Eric Worrall’s recent essay on the Prime Minister of Tuvalu and his reticence to providing some evidence that his island nation is being inundated by rising sea level inspired me to devise a simple test to see if an island is sinking, vanishing or being washed away:

Planimeter a recent map of the island and compare it to an older map of the island.

 

Since the USGS has a large historical inventory of topographic maps, this should be relatively easy for any islands in these United States.

For my test case, I chose Key Biscayne, Florida.  It’s just south of the perennially sinking Island of Miami, has a maximum elevation of about 5′, is relatively small and the USGS had several vintages of 7.5 minute quadrangles available.
Then…

KB_1962

Figure 1: Key Biscayne, 1962 (USGS)

And Now…

KB_2012

Figure 2: Key Biscayne, 2012 (USGS)

I planimetered the coast lines of each map and found no significant changes over the 51 years from 1962-2012…

KB_Comp

Figure 3: 1962 vs. 2012.  Roughly a 1% difference in area.  The apparent slight increase in well within the margin of error of the planimetering tool.

I guess I’m going to have to deny climate change or at least doubt the climate, because I can’t see any effect of sea level rise on this puny, flat, little island. (/sarc).

What did ExxonMobil Know and when did they know it? (Part 3, Exxon: The Fork Not Taken)

October 23, 2015

Fork

This just keeps getting more hilarious…

Exxon Confirmed Global Warming Consensus in 1982 with In-House Climate Models
The company chairman would later mock climate models as unreliable while he campaigned to stop global action to reduce fossil fuel emissions.
Lisa Song, Neela Banerjee, David Hasemyer
Sep 22, 2015

Steve Knisely was an intern at Exxon Research and Engineering in the summer of 1979 when a vice president asked him to analyze how global warming might affect fuel use.

“I think this guy was looking for validation that the greenhouse effect should spur some investment in alternative energy that’s not bad for the environment,” Knisely, now 58 and a partner in a management consulting company, recalled in a recent interview.

Knisely projected that unless fossil fuel use was constrained, there would be “noticeable temperature changes” and 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air by 2010, up from about 280 ppm before the Industrial Revolution.

[…]

Through much of the 1980s, Exxon researchers worked alongside university and government scientists to generate objective climate models that yielded papers published in peer-reviewed journals. Their work confirmed the emerging scientific consensus on global warming’s risks.

Yet starting in 1989, Exxon leaders went down a different road. They repeatedly argued that the uncertainty inherent in computer models makes them useless for important policy decisions. Even as the models grew more powerful and reliable, Exxon publicly derided the type of work its own scientists had done. The company continued its involvement with climate research, but its reputation for objectivity began to erode as it campaigned internationally to cast doubt on the science.

[…]

Climate ‘Catastrophe’ Foreseen

By 1981, Exxon scientists were no longer questioning whether the buildup of CO2 would cause the world to heat up. Through their own studies and their participation in government-sponsored conferences, company researchers had concluded that rising CO2 levels could create catastrophic impacts within the first half of the 21st century if the burning of oil, gas and coal wasn’t contained.

[…]

Unanimous Agreement

“Over the past several years a clear scientific consensus has emerged regarding the expected climatic effects of increased atmospheric CO2,” Cohen wrote to A.M. Natkin of Exxon Corporation’s Science and Technology Office in 1982. “The consensus is that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 from its pre-industrial revolution value would result in an average global temperature rise of 3.0 ± 1.5°C.” (Equal to 5.4 ± 2.7°F).

“There is unanimous agreement in the scientific community that a temperature increase of this magnitude would bring about significant changes in the earth’s climate, including rainfall distribution and alterations in the biosphere.”

Exxon’s own modeling research confirmed this and the company’s results were later published in at least three peer-reviewed science articles. Two of them were co-authored by Hoffert, and a third was written entirely by Flannery.

Exxon’s modeling experts also explained away the less-dire predictions of a 1979 study led by Reginald Newell, a prominent atmospheric scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Newell’s model projected that the effects of climate change would not be as severe as most scientists were predicting.

Specifically, Newell and a co-author from the Air Force named Thomas Dopplick challenged the prevailing view that a doubling of the earth’s CO2 blanket would raise temperatures about 3°C (5°F)– a measure known as climate sensitivity. Instead, they said the earth’s true climate sensitivity was roughly less than 1°C (2°F).

[…]

http://insideclimatenews.org/news/18092015/exxon-confirmed-global-warming-consensus-in-1982-with-in-house-climate-models

I have yet to find any Exxon models… Much less any that confirmed a “Global Warming Consensus” or “Climate ‘Catastrophe'”.  What I have found are reports which cite other people’s models and quite a few “cartoons” derived from them.

Same as it ever was.

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it!” (Lawrence “Yogi” Berra)

Half wrong.

Exxon: The Fork Not Taken

It’s notable that Exxon was made aware of the so-called consensus…

“The consensus is that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 from its pre-industrial revolution value would result in an average global temperature rise of 3.0 ± 1.5°C.”

And they were also made aware of reality…

“Newell and a co-author from the Air Force named Thomas Dopplick … said the earth’s true climate sensitivity was roughly less than 1°C.”

Inside Climate likes to make a big deal out of this…

Exxon’s former chairman and CEO, Lee Raymond, took an even tougher line against climate science. Speaking before the World Petroleum Congress in Beijing in 1997, Raymond mocked climate models in an effort to stop the imminent adoption of the Kyoto Protocol, an international accord to reduce emissions.

“They are notoriously inaccurate,” Raymond said. “1990’s models were predicting temperature increases of two to five degrees Celsius by the year 2100,” he said, without explaining the source of those numbers. “Last year’s models say one to three degrees. Where to next year?”

Mr. Raymond was correct. The models have been “notoriously inaccurate.” However, they have been very precise in their inaccuracies…

What did ExxonMobil Know and when did they know it? (Part Deux) “Same as it ever was.”

October 23, 2015

If you thought Part 1 was a doozy, “you ain’t seen nothing yet”…

Exxon Believed Deep Dive Into Climate Research Would Protect Its Business
Outfitting its biggest supertanker to measure the ocean’s absorption of carbon dioxide was a crown jewel in Exxon’s research program.

Neela Banerjee, Lisa Song, David Hasemyer
Sep 21, 2015

In 1981, 12-year-old Laura Shaw won her seventh-grade science fair at the Solomon Schechter Day School in Cranford, N.J. with a project on the greenhouse effect.

For her experiment, Laura used two souvenir miniatures of the Washington Monument, each with a thermometer attached to one side. She placed them in glass bowls and covered one with plastic wrap – her model of how a blanket of carbon dioxide traps the reflected heat of the sun and warms the Earth. When she turned a lamp on them, the thermometer in the plastic-covered bowl showed a higher temperature than the one in the uncovered bowl.

If Laura and her two younger siblings were unusually well-versed in the emerging science of the greenhouse effect, as global warming was known, it was because their father, Henry Shaw, had been busily tracking it for Exxon Corporation.

[…]

Henry Shaw was part of an accomplished group at Exxon tasked with studying the greenhouse effect. In the mid-70s, documents show that Shaw was responsible for seeking out new projects that were “of national significance,” and that could win federal funding. Others included Edward E. David, Jr., a former science advisor to President Richard Nixon, and James F. Black, who worked on hydrogen bomb research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the 1950s.

Black, who died in 1988, was among the first Exxon scientists to become acquainted with the greenhouse effect. Esso, as Exxon was known when he started, allowed him to pursue personal scientific interests. Black was fascinated by the idea of intentionally modifying weather to improve agriculture in arid countries, said his daughter, Claudia Black-Kalinsky.

“He believed that big science could save the world,” she said. In the early 1960s, Black helped draft a National Academy of Sciences report on weather and climate modification. Published in 1966, it said the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere “agrees quite well with the rate of its production by man’s consumption of fossil fuels.”

In the same period, a report for President Lyndon Johnson from the President’s Science Advisory Council in 1965 said the burning of fossil fuels “may be sufficient to produce measurable and perhaps marked changes in climate” by the year 2000.

By 1977, Black had become a top technical expert at Exxon Research & Engineering, a research hub based in Linden, N.J., and a science advisor to Exxon’s top management.  That year he made a presentation to the company’s leading executives warning that carbon dioxide accumulating in the upper atmosphere would warm the planet and if the CO2 concentration continued to rise, it could harm the environment and humankind.

[…]

http://insideclimatenews.org/news/16092015/exxon-believed-deep-dive-into-climate-research-would-protect-its-business

Firstly, the Earth’s atmosphere is not air in a jar.

Secondly, the Black presentation was dated in 1978.

Thirdly, the Black presentation was just another survey of government and academic publications on the so-called greenhouse effect.

Here’s what Exxon knew in 1978…

Exxon knew that most government and academic scientists wanted more research money.

Exxon knew that most government and academic scientists wanted more research money.

“Same as it ever was…”

XOM4

“Same as it ever was…”

In 1978, Exxon knew that the effects on sea level and the polar ice caps would likely be negligible, models were useless and more effort should be directed at paleoclimatology.

In 1978, Exxon knew that the effects on sea level and the polar ice caps would likely be negligible, models were useless and more effort should be directed at paleoclimatology.

“Same as it ever was…”

In 1978, Exxon knew that the models were useless.

In 1978, Exxon knew that the models were useless.

“Same as it ever was…”

Inside Climate then bemoaned the fact that Exxon management scrubbed a science project…

Exxon’s enthusiasm for the project flagged in the early ’80s when federal funds fell through. Exxon Research cancelled the tanker project in 1982, but not before Garvey, Shaw and other company engineers published an initial paper in a highly specialized journal on the project’s methodology.

We were anxious to get the word out that we were doing this study,” Garvey said of the paper, which did not reach sweeping conclusions. “The paper was the first of what we hoped to be many papers from the work,” he said in a recent email. But the other publications never materialized.

I never worked for “big oil,” however, “little oil” tries to avoid spending money on science projects.

What did ExxonMobil Know and when did they know it? Part 1

October 22, 2015

Maybe ExxonMobil should file a RICO lawsuit against the “Shukla 20” and this gentleman…

Exxon Knew Everything There Was to Know About Climate Change by the Mid-1980s—and Denied It
And thanks to their willingness to sucker the world, the world is now a chaotic mess.

By Bill McKibben YESTERDAY 12:13 PM

A few weeks before the last great international climate conference—2009, in Copenhagen—the e-mail accounts of a few climate scientists were hacked and reviewed for incriminating evidence suggesting that global warming was a charade. Eight separate investigations later concluded that there was literally nothing to “Climategate,” save a few sentences taken completely out of context—but by that time, endless, breathless media accounts about the “scandal” had damaged the prospects for any progress at the conference.

Now, on the eve of the next global gathering in Paris this December, there’s a new scandal. But this one doesn’t come from an anonymous hacker taking a few sentences out of context. This one comes from months of careful reporting by two separate teams, one at the Pulitzer Prize–winning website Inside Climate News, and other at the Los Angeles Times (with an assist from the Columbia Journalism School). Following separate lines of evidence and document trails, they’ve reached the same bombshell conclusion: ExxonMobil, the world’s largest and most powerful oil company, knew everything there was to know about climate change by the mid-1980s, and then spent the next few decades systematically funding climate denial and lying about the state of the science.

[…]

http://www.thenation.com/article/exx…and-denied-it/

These folks are so desperate to create a tobacco company analogy that they will resort to bald-faced lies.

Read the rest of this entry »

Shell to quit US Arctic due to “unpredictable federal regulatory environment”

September 29, 2015

Guest post by David Middleton

Disappointing results from an initial rank wildcat can’t kill a play.

The cyclical ups and downs of product prices can’t kill a play.

High operating costs can’t kill a play.

Only massively incompetent government can kill a play.

“This is a clearly disappointing exploration outcome,” Marvin Odum, director of Shell’s Upstream Americas unit, said in a statement. While indications of oil and gas were present in the Burger J well in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea, they weren’t sufficient to warrant further exploration, the company said. Shell will now plug and abandon the well.

Shell had planned a two-year drilling program starting this July. The company was seeking to resume work halted in 2012 when its main drilling rig ran aground and was lost. It was also fined for air pollution breaches. The Anglo-Dutch company first discovered oil and gas in the region in the late 1980s.

The company continues to see potential in the region and the decision not to explore further in Alaskan waters “reflects both the Burger J well result, the high costs associated with the project, and the challenging and unpredictable federal regulatory environment in offshore Alaska,” according to the statement.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articl…ulations-costs

The potential of the Alaska OCS is nearly as large as the Central Gulf of Mexico…

Product prices and exploration results are by their nature, unpredictable. Operating costs are tied to product prices and regulatory requirements. Regulatory requirements must be predictable in order for any business to function.