Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Published: 2016 Annual Numbers on Energy

Yesterday the EIA published December's numbers for US energy consumption and CO2 emissions. That completes the year.

2016's energy consumption came to 103 exajoules, the same as 2015. ("exa" = 1018.) That's 3.8% below 2007's maximum of 107 EJ.

But there was an extra day in 2016, so average power consumption dropped by an insignificant margin, from 3.26 terawatts to 3.25 terawatts. ("tera" = 1012.)

Because there are ever more Americans, the average power consumption per capita was 10,030 Watts per person, down 1.0% from 2015. That number is down 17% from 1979's maximum of 12,020 W/person.

Clearly the US has passed the point where ever more energy consumption is required to maintain economic growth.

Will do CO2 tomorrow.

RSS v4 Warming - More Than The Surface

Personal Update

My incision - seven days later
To finish off this thread -- I had my parathyroid surgery last Wednesday -- background here. It went well, with no complications.

The adenoma on one of my four parathyroid glands -- a benign tumor -- was relatively large: 32 mm x 15 mm x 10 mm.

The resident surgeon took a picture of it -- it looked like a piece of liver -- but hasn't sent it to me yet. She's busy, and was working a 30-hour shift when she saw me.

Within 15 minutes of the adenoma's (and gland's) removal, my PTH hormone level -- which controls the amount of calcium in one's blood -- dropped from 255 to 23 (in some units no one ever cites; picograms per milliliter, I think). The normal range is 20-60. So they didn't need to check out any of my other three parathyroid glands.

(Aside: no one in medicine ever seems to know the units of measurements. I only asked a time or two. In the evening I needed some oxygen, and the nurse gave me "three liters," but she didn't know if it was per second, per minute, or per hour. (It was per minute, I figured out later, after I realized it was a rate, not an absolute amount.) Like theoretical physicists, they set all units equal to one -- but for every individual measurement! But they all know what they mean and what numbers are normal, so it's all good.)

I had general anesthesia -- I joked to my anesthesiologist I was going to try to resist her drugs. She laughed, and I lasted about 4 seconds. But it was an easy recovery, unlike some I've experienced in the past.

Do I feel better? Perhaps -- it could be too soon to tell, and I'm almost scared to conclude one way or the other. I'm sure I have less of the crummy feeling I wrote about, most of the time, but then it wasn't present all of the time either. It will become clear over a month or three, I think (and one of my doctor's said). But I am optimistic, and if I had to decide right now I would say there's been an improvement.

But, as I wrote, I had to have this surgery for reasons not just because of how I feel day-to-day, but to prevent further bone loss and kidney stones.

The care I received at OHSU in Portland was excellent -- I couldn't have asked for better care. (And thank you too, President Obama, for the ACA.) Everyone who treated me -- the surgeon, the resident, the anesthesiologists, the operation room nurses (except for one), and the post-op nurses -- were all women. Their care was everything I could have asked for, and I am so happy I found my way to them. (My last three primary care doctors have all been women, too, by choice -- I think women make better doctors. So is my dentist. In any case, I find it more easy to open up to them and more comfortable around them.)

So I'm optimistic about my health, for the first time in a few years. Thanks for all your good wishes. I need to get back to earning.

House Science Committee Comes to Agreement on Climate Science

Just kidding!

Today the House "Science" Committee, led by the (bought-and-sold?) Lamar Smith of Texas, had a hearing in DC, titled "Climate Science: Assumptions, Policy Implications, and the Scientific Method."

Here's the video, 2 hours 36 minutes long.

As Republicans are wont to do, the hearing was stacked against the accepted science. Testifying were Judith Curry, John Christy, Michael Mann and Roger Pielke Jr. (How about some fresh voices already?)

So that's 3-1 against the consensus. Maybe 2.5-1.5, on account of enigmatic Roger.

I was tweeting during the hearing; my tweets are here.

I'm not going to do a journalistic summary here -- many news articles have already appeared. Some thoughts:

Michael Mann is the Jake LaMotta of climate science -- he goes in swinging and doesn't ever back down. He directly called out all three other panel members for mistakes, inconsistencies, and their insults, and he zinged committee chair Lamar Smith, too.

Mann cited an article on the recent Heartland Institute conference that appeared in Science magazine, written by Jeffrey Mervis. Mann implied that Smith wasn't interested in the science. (The exchange is reproduced here.)

Hard uppercut to the chin, and Lamar Smith was clearly caught off guard; all he could reply with was
That is not known as an objective writer or magazine.
which is laughably ridiculous, including the fact that Lamar Smith is the least objective person on the planet regarding climate change. This tweet linked to Smith's campaign funding.

This, and Mann using the word "denier," made Rep. Dana Rohrbacher (R-CA) very, very angry, but the livestream stopped just then, so I would go back and watch the video, if I thought Rohrbacher had anything useful to say about climate change.

But he did say dissenters are "brutalized into silence," apparently without noting the irony that the panel was stacked 3-1 in their favor.

There were punches and counterpunches (RPielkeJr suggested that everyone watch today's video for examples of Mann's attacks).

John Christy clearly tried hard to stay above the fray. Though at one point, early on, he seemed to imply that manmade greenhouse gases weren't needed to explain modern warming. And again he put up his misleading graph.

Judith Curry didn't add much, IMO. She meandered around and didn't seem to have any definite position, except that if the consensus was for it, she was against it. Mostly.

Roger Pielke Jr did say one important thing that I gave his kudos for
If I were writing a story about this hearing, I would have put this right up front.

So props to Roger for this. Props to Mann for streetfighting for the consensus like no one else could. Props to Christy for staying above the fray.

I can't think of anything to give Judith Curry props for, unless it was for being exactly what Lamar Smith was looking for.

And it should be pointed out that Michael Mann cited more science, including very recent science, than the rest of the panel combined.

This was good theatre, but as a hearing on the science it was a waste of time. The Republican representatives struck me as particularly uniformed, looking only to score points. It was made only to be a showcase for Lamar Smith's denialism -- instead, to his surprise I'm sure, he came out of it looking like a fool.

But then, that's what he's paid for.

Credible climate scientists need to boycott biased congressional hearings - The Washington Post

David Titley:

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Measuring the Universe by Their Tiny Scale

from Kim Stanley Robinson's book Galileo's Dream*.

* This is a very good book, but I wish he had left out the subplot where 17th century Galileo is transported to the Jupiter system to solve(?) a controversy about the discovery of sentient life on Europa and in Jupiter. Galileo's tale is plot enough, and Robinson tells it well as historical fiction.

FWIW: Galileo was born three days before Michelangelo died. Newton was born later in the year Galileo died.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


GISS global anomaly, linear fit
versus quadratic fit:

Second-Warmest February

It's not getting much cooler: GISS and JMO both find February the 2nd-warmest Feb, after only 2016. The GISS global anomaly, 1.10°C is back above 1°C -- and tied for 4th among all anomalies-- and the land-only anomaly is 1.43°C, third highest of any month. (GISS's baseline is 1951-1980.) Another El Nino could be brutal.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Australians Say Six of Eight Models Suggest El Niño by July

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology says six of eight international models they consider suggest an El Niño by July.

(The Australians care because El Ninos typically bring below average winter-spring rainfall over eastern Australia.)

Needless to say, it'd be very interesting if this happens -- I can almost hear the shouting now.

AGW Predicted Before it Occurred

I like this, from Eric Steig of U Washington:

Saturday, March 11, 2017

UAH v6.0 Finally Publishes Two Years Later

UAH has finally published their paper explaining the version 6 (here's the final submitted version), in the Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences. This isn't exactly a prominent journal -- Roy Spencer claims, with no evidence offered, that it's all a conspiracy against them:
Our first choice would be an AMS or AGU journal, but they have one or more gatekeepers who inevitably get involved in the review of papers with “Spencer” or “Christy” as authors.

I might remind you of the Climategate email passage “Kevin [Trenberth] and I will keep them out somehow even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”

Trenberth also managed to get an editor to resign because Remote Sensing published one of my papers (which was never retracted though)…Trenberth apparently had some influence over that editor in the research realm.

Many of these journals are now tightly controlled to prop up the IPCC narrative.
I've asked him for evidence. I'm not holding my breath.

Recall that some people accused Karl et al of publishing in order to influence the 2015 Climate Conference. But their paper has been in peer review for about 1/2 year, and they published their paper at the same time as they introduced their new dataset. UAH did not, publishing their paper almost two years after making some huge changes to their data, far bigger than Karl et al's changes.

Just imagine the outcry if Karl et al has changed some regional monthly anomalies by over 1.4°C, as UAH did.

Winter Arctic Sea Ice Extent at Lowest Peak Yet

The maximum extents of winter sea ice in the Arctic are their lowest values yet, according to two different datasets, JAXA v2 and NOAA. (I think it's fair to call the peak now, several days after.)

JAXA v2 has Arctic SIE peaking on 3/6/17 at 13.878 Mkm2.

NOAA has Arctic SIE peaking on 3/5/17 at 14.447 Mkm2.

Don't ask me how these two datasets can differ by 569.000 km2. That seems like a lot, for a basic measurement (even by satellite). I don't understand it either.

But both are the lowest winter maximums in their records, going back to 1979. That counts for something.