Open Thread Plus Best Someecard Ever!

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"Open Thread Plus Best Someecard Ever!"

Opine away.

And here’s a killer sympathy Someecard to send to your favorite denier:

 

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52 Responses to Open Thread Plus Best Someecard Ever!

    • Dennis Tomlinson says:

      Thanks for the link Will. What Professor Hay describes is the non-linear system ME often mentions. It is a system whose output has multiple (at least two) stable states, is unstable if driven out of a stable state, and will move quickly to the next stable state. I fear our CO2 emissions have pushed the Holocene’s climate – stable, though balanced on the knife’s edge of partial glaciation – towards a new and hellish climate.

      An analogy from my world is the bi-stable multivibrator. A change of its input past the switching point drives the output to its other stable state and, via positive feedback, changes the switching point. After the switch, the stable state persists even if the input is moved back past the original switching point. The technical term for this is “hysteresis”. Please, can someone tell me this is not a valid model for future climate?

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

        A ‘bi-stable multivibrator’ that produces ‘hysteresis’? Steady on, Dennis! This may be read by children or the impressionable.

      • prokaryotes says:

        Maybe the state switch is similar to this.

        The memristor ( /ˈmɛmrɨstər/; a portmanteau of “memory resistor”) was originally envisioned in 1971 by circuit theorist Leon Chua as a missing non-linear passive two-terminal electrical component relating electric charge and magnetic flux linkage. More recently the memristor definition was generalized by Leon Chua to cover all forms of 2-terminal non-volatile memory devices based on resistance switching effects and Chua has claimed that the memristor is the oldest known circuit element with its effects predating the resistor, capacitor and inductor. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memristor

        The article includes functions which could be incorporated into a climate model.

        Interesting…

        “One of the resulting properties of memristors and memristive systems is the existence of a pinched hysteresis effect. [24] For a current-controlled memristive system, the input u(t) is the current i(t), the output y(t) is the voltage v(t), and the slope of the curve represents the electrical resistance. The change in slope of the pinched hysteresis curves demonstrates a switching between different resistance states which is a phenomenon central to ReRAM and other forms of two-terminal resistance memory. At high frequencies, memristive theory predicts the pinched hysteresis effect will degenerate, resulting in a straight line representative of a linear resistor. It has been proven that there are some types of non-crossing pinched hysteresis curves (denoted Type-II) that can not be described by memristors. [25]
        A paper was posted on arXiv proposing an extended “memresistor” theory and seeking to demonstrate that there are multiple dynamic systems which fall outside the constraints of the memristor or memristive systems but also produce zero-crossing pinched hysteresis curves.”

        • Dennis Tomlinson says:

          I’m reminded of the magnetic core memories which were used as nonvolatile memory in early computers. Tiny doughnut shaped cores made from alloys of iron, nickel, cobalt, etc., can be magnetized by running a pulse of current through a wire that has been threaded through the hole in the middle. The current causes a circular-shaped magnetic field to form around the wire perpendicular to the direction of current flow. This magnetic field is aligned with the doughnut, inducing a magnetic flux into the core. When the current is removed, the flux remains – having magnetized the core. A current through the wire in the opposite direction would produce a magnetic field opposite the direction of the first current, and induce a flux field into the core in the opposite direction. Again, removal of the current leaves the core magnetized, “remembering” which direction it was last magnetized. With the addition of a second “sense” wire along with a bit of circuitry, the core provides one “bit” of information storage. The B-H curve below shows the core’s hysteresis between the applied magnetic field (due to the current in the wire) and the its magnetizing flux:
          http://e-magnetsuk.com/images/common_terms_01.gif
          I taught in an electronic technology program years ago. One of the demonstration props I used in class was an 8-inch by 8-inch wooden frame with 1024 (1K in computer lingo) cores stitched with thread-sized wire into a 32 by 32 square array. It was said that IBM employed seamstresses at their plant in upstate New York stitching these things by hand. Praise be to the semiconductor industry for flash memory technology. My “thumb drive” has a storage density billions of times higher than those old core memories.

        • Dennis Tomlinson says:

          A few more thoughts: Similar technologies that exhibit a multi-state behavior are the Hall Effect sensor, and the Weigand Effect, or Weigand wire. Both make use of ferromagnetic materials, and, of course, Mr. Maxwell’s Equations [Actually Mother Nature’s equations – Maxwell merely discovered them].

          It is my non-scientific observation that Mother Nature used the same set of design equations over and over. When I design an oscillator I use the same equation a mechanical engineer uses to design a shock absorber, which is the same equation that describes the behavior of a pendulum clock. This leads to my fear that hysteresis, a natural phenomenon is very small systems, might also be in play with a very large system – the climate. And at this point I am in need of some light reading or some other frivolous activity.

      • David B. Benson says:

        Yes, the climate state exhibits hysteresis in a rather major way. One end is ‘snowball Earth’ with ice (almost) completely covering the entire globe. The other end is not so definite, but exhibits essentially zero cryosphere. We are currently headed towards that end.

        • Dennis Tomlinson says:

          David, surely the climate must be more than two stable states. Not every glaciation reaches the snowball earth state, and not every interglacial reaches a zero cryosphere. The partially glaciated state of the Holocene that settled out after the Younger Dryas at about 280ppm CO2 could have remained stable, awaiting the next Milankovitch cycle to tip it back into a more glaciated state or vulcanism to push it the other way. Of course, as has happened, mankind pushed the climate toward a hothouse earth by our burning long-sequestered carbon. Crucially, is there a stable state between that of the Holocene and an ice-free hothouse, PETM-like climate? I don’t know.

          • David B. Benson says:

            There is only one major negative feedback in climate, re-radiating incoming energy. Obviously increased albedo helps. Increasing it to snowball Earth suffices to keep the climate stable for 100s of millions of years. This has happened at least twice in the distant past.

            None of the Quaternary climate states have been stable in that sense. The slight change in heat distribution caused by orbital variations has been enough to send the climate skittering over the observed range of global temperatures and cryosphere states; rather dramatic compared to other climates of the past 65 million years.

            As anthropogenic warming progresses there are various positive feedbacks to hurry the climate into a warmish state; reduced albedo is one of those. However it goes, the climate will end up with less ice and warmer on average; whatever temperature causes eventual balance between incoming and outgoing radiation.

            David Archer’s “The Long Thaw” explains matters rather well.

          • prokaryotes says:

            Related conditions, to consider…

            The Moon is unusual because the other rocky planets in the Solar System either have no satellites (Mercury and Venus), or have tiny satellites that are probably captured asteroids (Mars).
            The giant impact theory hypothesizes that the Moon resulted from the impact of a Mars-sized body, Theia, with the very young Earth. This giant impact also gave the Earth its axis tilt and velocity of rotation.[24] Rapid rotation reduces the daily variation in temperature and makes photosynthesis viable. The Rare Earth hypothesis further argues that the axis tilt cannot be too large or too small (relative to the orbital plane). A planet with a large tilt will experience extreme seasonal variations in climate, unfriendly to complex life. A planet with little or no tilt will lack the stimulus to evolution that climate variation provides. In this view, the Earth’s tilt is “just right”. The gravity of a large satellite also stabilizes the planet’s tilt; without this effect the variation in tilt would be chaotic, probably making complex life forms on land impossible.[25]
            If the Earth had no Moon, the ocean tides resulting solely from the Sun’s gravity would be only half that of the lunar tides. A large satellite gives rise to tidal pools, which may be essential for the formation of complex life, though this is far from certain.[26]
            A large satellite also increases the likelihood of plate tectonics through the effect of tidal forces on the planet’s crust. The impact that formed the Moon may also have initiated plate tectonics, without which the continental crust would cover the entire planet, leaving no room for oceanic crust.[citation needed] It is possible that the large scale mantle convection needed to drive plate tectonics could not have emerged in the absence of crustal inhomogeneity. However, there is strong evidence that plate tectonics existed on Mars in the past, without such a mechanism to initiate it.[27]
            If a giant impact is the only way for a rocky inner planet to acquire a large satellite, any planet in the circumstellar habitable zone will need to form as a double planet in order that there be an impacting object sufficiently massive to give rise in due course to a large satellite. An impacting object of this nature is not necessarily improbable. Recent work by Edward Belbruno and J. Richard Gott of Princeton University suggests that a suitable impacting body could form in a planet’s trojan points (L4 or L5 Lagrangian point) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rare_Earth_hypothesis

  1. Tom King says:

    The election represents the defeat of Big Carbon. I watched them throw their greatest punch against a brick wall. The fist broke and the wall stood.

    • As soon as we get too confident, the Right will rise up and kick our asses. Big coal still has plenty of money and that is dwarfed by big oil. Watching the AM cable news today, I saw almost saturation ads, mainly the Energy Tomorrow ads from American Petroleum Institute.

      • Greatgrandma Kat says:

        Headline at NBC business news “Coal Company fires 150 employees due to Obama win” I couldn’t get the address to come up here but they said Obama will have wiped out coal production in US by 2020. It say’s they put on the layoff notices that it is because of the War on Coal waged by Obama that you are losing your job. No fair really to not give credit to all the other hard working people who have helped make dirty coal a declining industry. There was a lot of other crap to about how unamerican it is to want to stop coal production and even offered a prayer for all those real americans that still love coal.

      • Merrelyn Emery says:

        If they didn’t understand you, say it louder, ME

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      I’ve already seen numerous blank assertions in the MSM, even in ‘liberal’ shite-rags like the increasingly execrable ‘The Guardian’ of Obama being a ‘lame duck’ and action on climate derangement ( when mentioned at all) being ‘unlikely’ or ‘impossible’. The mucilaginous Grover Norquist has declared that Obama, more or less, lost the election, so it will be obstructionist ‘business-as-usual’ on Capitol Hill. Here in Australia the Murdoch sewer has cranked up it denialism and rabid attacks on renewable energy and environmental law (‘Green Tape’)and the other large MSM group Fairfax is rapidly becoming another centre of crude denialism. Prospects darken as the elite circle their waggons.

    • Leland Palmer says:

      We can’t depend on a fortuitous hurricane to win each election for us.

      Or, maybe things are so bad we can.

      Still, these are the most powerful and richest people on the planet. Wall Street was built on carbon money.

      Most people, responding to carbon corporation propaganda, still think of fracked natural gas as “clean energy”, when according to NOAA, methane leakage makes natural gas roughly as bad as coal, or worse, in global warming potential.

      So, we have a long way to go, and have many entrenched fossil fuel corporation talking points to counter.

      Two very intelligent friends of mine, for whom I have great respect, have repeated such talking points to me. One friend was telling me how cold it is- hinting that the temporary and local cold weather makes global warming unlikely. Another friend was telling me that property values in Canada might go up. Both these ideas originated as fossil fuel corporation talking points- and there are hundreds of these talking points, as documented on the website Skeptical Science.

      The fossil fuel corporation propaganda is everywhere, not just in their astroturf information laundering network, but also in misleading academic studies funded by industry, in a network of academics funded by ExxonMobil, on TV- it’s everywhere.

      Unlearning is harder than simple learning, partially because there is ego involved. People don’t want to admit that they have been fools for fossil fuel corporation propaganda.

      And in every case other than global warming, the ability to ignore things we can’t do much about and continue to function is a sign of maturity, according to psychologists. Only in the case of global warming could this kill us all.

      • Merrelyn Emery says:

        Yes Leland, it has been everywhere but it failed to stop the carbon price in Oz and it failed to stop Obama’s relection. Time to redirect the energy towards adressing that real little problem we all have? ME

  2. squidboy6 says:

    Out of sympathy it should add “and please don’t have a stroke after reading this card… seek help instead”.

  3. Paul Klinkman says:

    Permanent oiltopia will be achieved when the last non-controllable solar inventor is neutralized.

    So, make absolutely sure that there are only three roads for actual inventors. One, all grant applicants must be full professors at a fully controllable university, two, inventors must be one or two person for-profit corporations in a garage, competing against multinationals (ha!), or three, all inventors must forswear any dreams of getting back any rent money by making their inventions truly nonprofit. Tell them they’re not socialist enough if they don’t starve enough.

    Next, make sure that actual invention skills, much less not-for-profit leadership skills, are never taught in any college anywhere.

    • David B. Benson says:

      Actually this is regularly done for all engineering majors. Check the ABET requirements for certification.

  4. Paul Magnus says:

    So any ideas how we are going to move past congress?

    • Over the next 2 years, we demonstrate the viability of wind and solar power, and convert as many voters as we can. It is sad to say, but the weather will probably help us make our case. Then, we elect climate friendly representatives to the House.

      • Calamity Jean says:

        It might also help over the next two years to persistently nag our Senators and Representatives (of either party), reminding them that more than 2/3 of all Americans, and more than half of all Republicans, want action to be taken on climate change. And if your Senators and Representative are climate-unfriendly, get politically involved to help find a climate-friendly challenger for 2014.

      • Darth Vader says:

        “Then, we elect climate friendly representatives to the House.”

        You, alongside with most other climate enthusiasts, are blindfolded by your unfunded, but immovable, optimism and believe in mankind. If you think that a little bit of bad weather will prevent the oil industry from hammering its message into peoples mind, then you badly underestimate your opponent. And when you do so, you will never win any war.

        • Merrelyn Emery says:

          Hammer away Darth, only to find the enemy has already moved through the jungle and is attacking somewhere else, ME

      • Paul Klinkman says:

        Demonstrating the viability of solar and wind is like demonstrating the reality of climate change. It’s obvious when you count the costs of oil wars and fossil fuel subsidies, but that’s not good enough for a guy with his head in the sand.

      • Paul Klemencic says:

        Douglas: Have you talked to anyone in the green power sector lately? The collapse of natural gas prices, coupled with the impending expiration of the tax credits, has led to an overwhelming sense of frustration and impending doom. The viability of wind and solar can’t stand the impact of the combination of loss of tax subsidies with extremely low cost natural gas.

        Solutions exist, but we need a forum to build them. Unfortunately, Climate Progress no longer effectively serves a place to work collaboratively on solutions.

        • Merrelyn Emery says:

          Well go and start building a forum, and I’ll give you a hint – you have to do it face-to-face. Once you have the effective conditions in place for concerted cooperative action based on the established trust that there are common purposes, you can use electronic media to help keep it going, ME

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      Two words- Guy Fawkes. The last man to enter Parliament with honest intent.

  5. In all of the political analysis, very few are dealing with the fact that there were more Democratic / Green votes for Congress Critters than there were for Republican. Yet, the House of Representatives stays solidly in the hands of the Republican Party with extremely conservative leadership like Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan. That is the result of Republicans controlling most state legislatures and gerrymandering districts to produce this result. More states need to follow the example of California and take the drawing of districts out of the hands of the legislature and putting it in the hands of a citizen commission.

  6. prokaryotes says:

    Despite a cool October, U.S. on track for its warmest year on record http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2292

  7. Jan says:

    Joe,

    one simple suggestion to (I think) improve climate science communication here and elsewhere.

    Could authors and editors aim to give data both in metric AND in American/English units?

    I know from school that one inch is 2.54 centimeters, but being European and no scientist, I’m unfamiliar with most non-metric units.

    I have to look up conversion tables and use a calculator if I want to get a feeling what a value in Fahrenheit, gallons, square miles, acres, etc. “really means”. What normal reader does that?

    More importantly I guess the same regarding metric units is true for many American readers – presumably the main target audience.

    I’ve seen many posts giving data mostly or exclusively in km/h, m squared, cm, °C etc.

    While that may be the norm in international science, it probably impedes understanding for the general public.

    Harder to grasp, easier to dismiss.

  8. Bob Lang says:

    Recently, 2 members of the Canadian Federal Parliament introduced a motion in the House of Commons to have an emergency debate on Arctic Sea Ice Loss.

    However, House Speaker Andrew Scheer made an immediate decision that the issue “didn’t meet the parameters for an emergency debate”.

  9. prokaryotes says:

    Carbon tax suddenly part of ‘fiscal cliff’ debate

    WASHINGTON — A potential tax on big polluters, a taboo subject in the United States in recent years, has come back into the spotlight as some sense potential for a revenue windfall at a time lawmakers look for ways to the so-called “fiscal cliff” of tax rises and spending cuts due in early 2013. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/49751113/ns/us_news-environment/t/carbon-tax-suddenly-part-fiscal-cliff-debate/

  10. prokaryotes says:

    Carbon tax suddenly part of ‘fiscal cliff’ debate

    WASHINGTON — A potential tax on big polluters, a taboo subject in the United States in recent years, has come back into the spotlight as some sense potential for a revenue windfall at a time lawmakers look for ways to the so-called “fiscal cliff” of tax rises and spending cuts due in early 2013. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/49751113/ns/us_news-environment/t/carbon-tax-suddenly-part-fiscal-cliff-debate/

    • DRT says:

      Here’s an idea for another source of revenue. Let’s have an excise or sales tax on lobbying and political advertising. Let’s tax any spending by artificial non-person entities intended to influence elections or public policy. So that means for example, tax the millions spent by PACs on advertising, tax corporate spending on ALEC and the Chamber of Commerce and lobbying.

    • Paul Klemencic says:

      Well, a small scale carbon tax won’t hurt… Right?

      Wrong. A small scale carbon tax will take out coal and replace this source with shale gas. Then we have to deal with the new natural gas power plants. A carbon tax would lead to extensive buildout of CHP (combined heat and power) projects. In effect, we replace 500 coal plants with millions of CHP plants… Good luck controlling emissions from millions of new carbon emission sources.

      In effect the carbon tax represents the system archetype “Fixes that Backfire” in the electricity and home heating markets.

      A carbon tax doesn’t address problems in the oil market much at all. A $20 per ton carbon tax is only about six cents per gallon, not enough to drive substitution or energy efficiency. Unconventional and frontier oil developments threaten the planet even if we eliminate all other fossil fuel carbon sources.

      Each energy market needs a customized solution, that takes into account the ineffective nature of each market. Economists who propose carbon taxes don’t understand energy markets… they assume the “free markets work best” paradigm, ignoring the actual history of energy markets that clearly demonstrates that free markets have been a disaster in the oil, electricity, and natural gas markets. I am very frustrated by the lack of competence in addressing energy market stakeholder needs.

      Finally, a carbon tax backfires in yet several more ways. Placing a carbon tax on energy plays right into the hands of US politicians who demagogue tax hikes. And once the US implements a small ineffective carbon tax, the opponents of further action can claim “problem solved”. This would delay the action needed in the oil market to stop expanding unconventional oil production. We need to address the oil market head on.

  11. prokaryotes says:

    Carbon tax suddenly part of ‘fiscal cliff’ debate

    WASHINGTON — A potential tax on big polluters, a taboo subject in the United States in recent years, has come back into the spotlight as some sense potential for a revenue windfall at a time lawmakers look for ways to the so-called “fiscal cliff” of tax rises and spending cuts due in early 2013. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/49751113/ns/us_news-environment/t/carbon-tax-suddenly-part-fiscal-cliff-debate/

  12. Spike says:

    More research on the adverse impacts of climate change in agriculture – “potential wetter conditions or elevated CO2 concentrations hardly counteract the adverse effect of higher temperatures.”

    http://environmentalresearchweb.org/cws/article/opinion/51385

    And a UK study shows adverse effects upon French maize production as one specific example in Europe.

    http://www.met.reading.ac.uk/~ed/home/hawkins_etal_2012_GCB.pdf

  13. Australian Energy White Paper plans to burn, burn, burn it all: https://theconversation.edu.au/energy-white-paper-plans-to-burn-burn-burn-it-all-10616

    The suggestions in Language Intelligence were really useful in writing this article, including the repetition in the headline. Thanks for all your help Joe.

  14. Will Fox says:

    “We suggest, therefore, that scientists are biased not toward alarmism but rather the reverse: toward cautious estimates, where we define caution as erring on the side of less rather than more alarming predictions.”

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378012001215

  15. Lionel A says:

    Tried to view this Climate of Doubt from the Climate State site but had viewing trouble because of ‘copyright claim’ withdrawal.

    I have now found what looks to be the same program at CLIMATE OF DOUBT (PBS FRONTLINE), but is it the same broadcast?

    Whatever an interesting cast of characters put in an appearance, if only by being ‘in shot’ but of course not an exhaustive list of those who should be questioned under oath and on the record:

    Fred ‘I like to see good science being done and protected’ Singer

    Pat Michaels
    Chris Horner
    Christopher Monckton
    Willie Soon
    Myron Ebell (and his ‘stuff’)
    James Taylor

    Tim Phillips – nails his colours to the mast, remember this.

    David Koch
    Joseph Bast
    John Coleman
    James Sensenbrenner
    Marc Morano – seen in background only
    Richard Lindzen
    Judith Curry
    John Christy

  16. Paul Magnus says:

    TG for social media. Is the such a thing as Social Media Day? There aught to be…

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/12/youth-vote-gap-republican_n_2100155.html

  17. Paul Magnus says:

    Nice, something to cheer the day…not.

    Climate Portals shared a link on FB
    about a minute ago

    New Possible Energy Source May Risk ‘Unleashing The Monster’
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com
    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A half mile below the ground at Prudhoe Bay, above the vast oil field that helped trigger construction of the trans-Alaska pipeline, a drill rig has tapped what might one day be the next big energy source. The U.S. Department of Energy and industry partners over…

  18. Paul Magnus says:

    Bucking the trend…

    Climate Change: Lessons From Ronald Reagan
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/11/opinion/sunday/climate-change-lessons-from-ronald-reagan.html

    might it be possible for the United States to take significant steps to reduce the risks associated with climate change?

    A crucial decision during Ronald Reagan’s second term suggests that the answer may well be yes.

  19. Leland Palmer says:

    Uh oh…

    Gulf Stream is destabilizing methane hydrate deposits:

    Recent changes to the Gulf Stream causing widespread gas hydrate destabilization

    The Gulf Stream is an ocean current that modulates climate in the Northern Hemisphere by transporting warm waters from the Gulf of Mexico into the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans1, 2. A changing Gulf Stream has the potential to thaw and convert hundreds of gigatonnes of frozen methane hydrate trapped below the sea floor into methane gas, increasing the risk of slope failure and methane release3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. How the Gulf Stream changes with time and what effect these changes have on methane hydrate stability is unclear. Here, using seismic data combined with thermal models, we show that recent changes in intermediate-depth ocean temperature associated with the Gulf Stream are rapidly destabilizing methane hydrate along a broad swathe of the North American margin. The area of active hydrate destabilization covers at least 10,000 square kilometres of the United States eastern margin, and occurs in a region prone to kilometre-scale slope failures…

    …This destabilization extends along hundreds of kilometres of the margin and may continue for centuries. It is unlikely that the western North Atlantic margin is the only area experiencing changing ocean currents.

    <a href="http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v490/n7421/full/nature11528.html?WT.ec_id=NATURE-20121025"Nature Methane Hydrate Paper

  20. Leland Palmer says:

    I’ve just finished reading Recent changes to the Gulf Stream causing
    widespread gas hydrate destabilization
    for the first time. This is a link to the full text pdf of this scientific paper recently published in Nature.

    It seems that this paper has developed a general way to determine the stability of hydrates. It uses the depth of the gas hydrate stability zone like a giant thermometer, to read ocean temperatures decades or centuries in the past.

    This seems like a completely general way to determine the stability of hydrates. In principle, it seems like we could now have a methane hydrate early warning system. In principle, it now seems possible to roughly read the future of this crisis, and see if it is a biosphere ending event, or a more recoverable situation.

    Must this remain a principle, only? A fairly tiny effort, by the U.S. Navy, for example, could give us a window on the future of the world. The depth of the gas hydrate stability zone can be read with sonar.

    Maybe at this point, many of us would rather not know the future of the earth. Maybe many of us want a few more brief years of comparative normalcy before Hell truly breaks loose.

    The only way to bring a destabilizing feedback system back into control, though, is to couple feedback of information with effective action.

    Now, both are possible, I think.