the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Archive for May, 2010

Oil Spill Cleanup Concepts

Posted by Jeff Id on May 31, 2010

Dr. Weinstein sent me an email on oil spill cleanup which has some interesting history.  I don’t think he will mind if I publish the email he sent which contains some clues as to the history of these concepts.  I remember seeing similar things on TV and in print way back when the Exxon Valdez incident happened.  Anyway here is the important part of the email.  Feel free to discuss any suggestions or to add further knowledge.  From the sign in link above, there are a few lurking resume’s around here.

I developed the enclosed technology after the Exxon Valdez spill, while I was still at NASA. Exxon and others were not interested. Some of the ideas were published as a NASA Tech Brief, and that was the end of that. I later had additional ideas and updated my notes. When the spill in the gulf happened, I sent the enclosed writeup to BP. No interest shown. I know they were mainly concerned by the continuing leak, so I guess they did not want to be distracted by the cleanup details.

The following material contains conceptual subject matter that is being made available due to the present oil spill emergency


Leonard M. Weinstein, ScD

May 2, 2010

The purposes of the current ideas are to contain and clean up large oil spills in water. This includes preventing spilled oil from contaminating selected areas. The invention would use barrier skirt oil confinement and clean up devices, combined with methods to deploy and use these devices effectively, and with different variations for protective barriers and storage tanks.

Oil spills can cause considerable environmental damage. In addition, the clean up cost and legal penalties can be huge. For the Exxon Valdez leak, the cost was over 1 billion dollars, and damage to portions of the Alaskan coast was extensive.

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Reader Opinion day from Climate Skeptic

Posted by Jeff Id on May 28, 2010

I read an article on climate skeptic this morning which was interesting. It’s an interview of Climate Skeptic proprietor Warren Meyer  on his views on climate change.  He did a great job with his answers (really it was good reading) but I would suggest making your own before reading his.   The frustrating thing is that they actually expect stupid answers from skeptics to these questions – because skeptics are nutjobs – because that’s what they read — because um ….that’s what they wrote.

Do you believe that global warming and climate change are a grave problem to the world at the moment ?

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Much Ado

Posted by Jeff Id on May 27, 2010

Some have written that skeptics don’t cover sea ice in summer, that’s not how it works here.   Lately, we’ve seen a bit of consternation in the news and on blogs over the rate of drop in Arctic sea ice.  As usual it’s nothing scary to me, but if it continues, the headlines are going to provide a bit of entertainment by September. According to the NSIDC data collected by UIUC, the Arctic is 1 million sq kilometers below what would make the polar bears happy.

A higher resolution but shorter time period dataset for the Arctic (AMSR-E data JAXA) for this year (red line) started a few months ago above the 8 previous years but has crossed all but 1.  What I find interesting is the difference in slope between 2010 and previous years.  The melt rate appears fast.

The warm Atlantic surface water may have something to do with it, again a bit of waterflow causes a big change.  Another interesting feature of sea ice globally is what’s going on in the Antarctic.

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Weather or not

Posted by Jeff Id on May 25, 2010

I’ve spent an entire week away from blogging now,  for the first time since tAV began.  It’s been rather nice this week, quiet, no outbursts, nobody to tell me how I’m a lunatic equal to Romm for my views (that I’m aware of).  Honestly, I’ve been completely uninspired, spent a weekend with the family and got sick the last two days, starting to recover now.  All in all, it’s a good break, it’s hot out with a bright blue sky.  I just can’t push myself to run more temperature numbers today, even though there is plenty to do.  The news is absolutely out of control and our glorious government is spending like a drunken pirate, doing the opposite of what we need on every front, but if you can’t figure that out I can’t help you.  No ranting today.

I look out my window as summer is finally coming,trees and flowers are blooming with green power as mother nature takes over again.   No doom and black skys, no failure of Nature to thrive, it is only our economy and governments which threaten.  Again last week, the scientists predict our doom from their silicon crystal balls, again the answer is to shut down evil capitalism, again governments around the world applaud and agree that more tax is the answer to our problems. Again, the falsified doom scenario’s are put forth, again, again……

I’m tired of the silliness of it, a few degrees of change in comparison to our food, lives and freedom does not balance in favor of the few degrees of change.  We can’t control it anyway but what the hell, just add some tax and Gaia will forgive all.  Fools, in my opinion, but fools are in charge of our world these days.

In the end, I’ll soon continue serious blogging, but today I looked out the window and decided to relax again…….

The weather seems fine to me.

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Simple Question

Posted by Jeff Id on May 20, 2010

We see from the past post us technical guys like reader kdk33, can pick up on the more obvious flaws of paleoclimate pretty quickly. Honestly there are times when I feel sorry for Mann, his role in history will not be a good one in the long term but it was brought about by an initial mistake in his early papers.  After the accolades he received for his 98, 99 work the censored directory was created with a corrected PCA reconstruction.  What should he do, phone the UN — um world, I screwed up a little…..

His reaction, of course, has been the opposite.  He doubled down, creating one reconstruction after another using math which is actually worse than the original.  Food for skeptics!  Leading to Pielke Jr’s writing of my single favorite quote in all of climate science:

If Michael Mann did not exist, the skeptics would have to invent him.

Damn that’s good.

So here’s the question,

Where would the IPCC be without the proxy based reconstructions?

It’s a scary question because if the climatologists were to excise the bad paleo stuff, IMHO the AGW story is strengthened rather than damaged.

Posted in Uncategorized | 138 Comments »

Proxy Methods

Posted by Jeff Id on May 19, 2010

I was lucky enough to get some time to spend at the ICCC today.  Realizing I’m president, I simply left work and drove to Chicago, turns out nobody fired me.  I had an amazing conversation with Lucia about her PhD work, which surprisingly enough I had some background in, I met Craig Loehle for the first time (he doesn’t look like I’d expected, far younger 😉 ), saw Anthony Watts briefly and I got to spend about an hour with Steve McIntyre discussing hockey stick math – how fun is that! Cool day all in all.

We don’t talk about hockey sticks enough here lately, but after my conversations over the last couple of days I think a brief discussion of the math of hockey sticks – aka paleoclimate reconstructions is in order.  I’m afraid I’m not planning anything with enough written math for some of you but rather another attempt a generic explanation of how hockey stick paleo reconstructions are made and go wrong.  Perhaps those who already know this topic can help explain it to the rest as simplifying the subject is important.  Not everyone knows, or cares to know, how to perform a multivariate regression – not that it’s impossibly hard.  Most  of this article has to do with tree proxy’s but it applies to different varieties as well.

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Supply and Demand in Journalism

Posted by Jeff Id on May 18, 2010

A few days ago I had a little fun with Grist.Keith Kloor took a bit of exception to it. Keith wrote the following article, which includes your humble host in an unflattering grouping with Romm.

Why Climate Journalism is a Rotting Carcass

Some quotes for entertainment.

So, are you ignoramuses still with me? Now a common refrain on Romm’s blog is that the mainstream media is just drop-dead dumber than dumb when it comes to reporting and writing on climate change.  At least once a week he calls attention to another supposed foul-smelling abomination (in a subhead, of course):

So far, I think that may be the first time I’ve agreed with Romm– crazy day.

Many climate advocates and climate scientists couldn’t agree more with Romm. One climate blogger, who is starting to sound like Howard Beale, thinks the press is easily manipulated. An environmental ethics philosopher is sympathetic to “Hide the Decline” climate scientists because…well, you read (emphasis added):

More likely to me, and more defensible in many ways, is that Mann and others were fudging the findings in order to “smooth them out” so that they were easier to read, so that their findings would not be misinterpreted by a lazy and apathetic press, so that an anomalous line wouldn’t distract from the overarching observation, which is that there is persistent change.

Kind of interesting. So chopping off of inconvenient data isn’t a plan to make sure that people are unaware of the low data quality or uncertainty in result.  It had nothing to do with the ‘unprecedented in a thousand years message’ presented in the IPCC.  It is in fact, a sophisticated statistical technique to prevent readers from spraining their brains on uncertainty.  All that consternation in the emails about insuring that their story was consistent for the IPCC was actually about making it easier to read….. Hmm.. I hadn’t heard that angle before.

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Krugman V Jones

Posted by Jeff Id on May 17, 2010

Oh come on, tAV has been far to boring lately.  Today I was fortunate enough to receive an email which pointed out an interesting, yet short article from Paul Krugman, who writes at the ever shrinking New York Times Pay-Blog.

Paul Krugman – New York Times Blog

May 16, 2010, 6:12 pm

How Will They Spin This?

So, via Joe Romm, the NASA-GISS data show that the past 12 months were the hottest 12-month period on record. Here’s my plot of the temperature anomaly — the difference, in hundredths of a degree centigrade, from the average over 1951-80:

The 12 hottest months? — really? From Joe Romm!, you know it’s propaganda before you read another word.

Well this is a denialist blog, at least to the point that I deny the ‘shoot yourself in the foot’ solutions.  It’s not like many of us deny the radiative effects of CO2, it’s the result we worry about.  I flatly would not be surprised to see warming from human effects -or nature, but some seem to throw down the gauntlet every few minutes to us evil “solution” denialists.

SteveH provided the compiled graphs, but come on, how fun is this.

They could argue that temperatures fluctuate, that one shouldn’t make too much of a particular peak — which is actually true. But that would get them in trouble, since the whole global cooling thing has been about taking the 1998 peak — visible in the chart — plus a bit of bad data to claim, literally, that up is down. Any statistical fix, like looking at multi-year averages, would just confirm that the temperature trend is up.

Yes guys the trend has been up, until a little more than a decade ago but we all know the short term trend is nearly useless.

Now, I’m sure that the climate deniers will find a way to ignore the latest facts. But I’m not sure what that way will be.

Well, he’s shown his “PROOF”, the last 12 months were the warmest in recorded history–  or ever!!! Certainly not many of us are surprised to see some warming but let’s see if the ‘warmest ever’ claim holds up to ‘mild’ scrutiny.

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SST has dropped below zero anomaly.

Posted by Jeff Id on May 17, 2010

From Bob Tisdale’s blog.

He also has some other posts showing the current SST pattern.


NINO3.4 SST Anomalies Are Now Negative

I just took a quick look at NINO3.4 SST Anomalies, and for the week centered on Wednesday May 12th, they’ve dropped into negative numbers: -0.075 deg C.

NINO3.4 SST Anomalies – Week Of May 12, 2010


OI.v2 SST anomaly data is available through the NOAA NOMADS website:

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Big Oil at Stefani’s

Posted by Jeff Id on May 16, 2010

Well last night was interesting to say the least, Lucia, Steve, Anthony and I were planning a dinner together when Pajamas Media invited us to join them.   There were a lot of sharp people in the room, including PJ media and Heartland guys.  All were very serious about climate science and far more reasonable than RC would have you think.  It made for a constant stream of interesting conversation.  The only problems were that the room was so loud and crowded it was difficult to follow the detail of a conversation about math or pca or nuances of temperature stations or enjoy the meal properly and my children have my bedtime set for a maximum of 10:00.  We basically closed the place, it was either leave or do the dishes.  Still the company made the experience more than entertaining.  I learned several things about Anthony’s surface station project, SteveM’s talk tonight which will cover hide the decline in greater detail.

For those that can’t attend, PJTV is planning a live internet streaming of the keynote speakers.  I’m a space nut with a climate blog so I hope to be present for both Harrison Schmitt and Steve McIntyre’s  talks today.

Lucia has a nice writeup on the night here.

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Posted by Jeff Id on May 15, 2010

I’m not sure people realize that blogging is more about reading than writing.   Sure, I do enjoy the privilege  of placing my thoughts on line for discussion with a lot of smart people, so there is a measure of talk, but from a functional perspective, blogging is mostly reading. By the time you get around to writing something, you’ve already spent hours looking at papers and data and are a little spent.    Like many of you, I’m a thoughtful person who spends much of his time staring blankly at a wall (or computer screen) having constant quiet consideration in my head.

Recently, my reading has led me to the opinion that many (if not most) people in the skeptic world seem to prefer we do something about CO2 emission.  My opinions haven’t changed one bit and probably won’t in the next 15 years but if we look at the fact that no damage has been shown from CO2, massive warming hasn’t occurred at the rates predicted in the models and none of the predicted disasters have come true, why would we still want to limit CO2 production?

In all honesty, I simply don’t understand what would lead anyone who is skeptical of the warmist predictions, to the decision that action must be taken.

However, there are many who consider themselves to be lukewarmers.  In my reading, lukewarmer doesn’t mean anything beyond a recognition of the radiative physics of CO2, it guarantees nothing in atmospheric response but there are many less experienced people who assume differently when they read “lukewarm”.   I can’t assume the title myself because it doesn’t seem that we know how climate responds to added heat capture of CO2.  Lukewarmers (and I) expect some warming from CO2, however many of them enjoy discussion of limitation policy.  I’m legitimately curious about this position and the rationalization of the position.  There isn’t anyone here who I would describe as thoughtless and maybe someone will change my mind on whether we should pursue limitation policy of some kind.

So if you are for a strategy of accelerated limitation of CO2 output through some form of government intervention, from the most severe to the most moderate version, I’m genuinely curious why you hold that position, and what your rationale for it is.

This thread is therefore,

– Why we should limit CO2

– What your preferred method for limitation is

and if you’re interested,

– Why it’s better than doing nothing.


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Posted by Jeff Id on May 14, 2010

The blog is difficult to run full time.  I’ve got a newborn, a company and now an interesting chance to meet Lucia, Anthony and SteveM.  I don’t like Pielke’s latest paper in the same fashion that I don’t like the rest of the unrequired (is that a word?) leftist solutions to plant food.   I wrote half a rant on the idiocy of the thing but what’s the point.   Pissing off a respected skeptic isn’t a good use of my time.

Anyway, if you have the guts and wherewithal to post here (your truthful opinions) to some of the Carricks, Kenneths, Tony’s, lurkers or Paynes,  who have no trouble telling anyone they are wrong, send a self addressed, stamped email to ….

JeffId1 at gmail dot com

Warmers are welcome as always and receive far better moderation. — It still stinks tho.

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ICCC – Chicago

Posted by Jeff Id on May 14, 2010

I’ll  be going to the Chicago climate change conference this weekend.  It’s actually a pretty exciting opportunity, besides meeting a lot of famous names for dinner, I’m planning to catch some of the presentations.  This will be the first time that I’ve met any of the personalities from the internet world that many of us have grown so familiar with – you know what they say about meeting people on the internet!  For Lucia and myself the event is right nearby. In my case, it’s just an hours drive into town.  That’s basically next door in Chicago traffic.

That reminds me, I need to see if the grumpy conservative blogger pass I applied for has been approved.

Reconsidering the Science and Economics

The Fourth International Conference on Climate Change will be held in Chicago, Illinois on May 16-18, 2010 at the Chicago Marriott Magnificent Mile Hotel, 540 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago. It will call attention to new scientific research on the causes and consequences of climate change, and to economic analysis of the cost and effectiveness of proposals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

PJTV is set to cover the conference at this link

PJTV to Cover Climate Conference
05/13/10, By Dan Miller, press release

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Crisis at Grist – Send your money

Posted by Jeff Id on May 13, 2010

Grist a fine bathroom publication, which wastes electrons by the minute trying to instill wondrous solutions to CO2, has sent me an email.  In it they requested I send them a check to help save the ‘endangered’ reporter.

It’s not easy — especially when said species try to bite us or start growling incessantly about climate skeptics — but it’s not a choice. We simply must save these journalists from extinction.

Perhaps if reporters stopped turning out a constant stream of alarmist, envirowhacko drivel like this link, they and the NY Times, LA Times, MSNBC, CNN, ABC and every other politically left media outlet wouldn’t have such financial difficulty.

Yes, I did not send them money. I just wanted to offer everyone here the same chance to send their own money, such that their ignorant policies can be enacted and you can send the government the rest of your money.

What will you do with your $20.

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Posted by Jeff Id on May 12, 2010

I really enjoy Willis Eschenbach’s posts on WUWT.  He’s a good writer and makes reading fun.  Today he’s put one up on the super cloud maker ships which launch water into the air to increase cloud cover and save us all from global warming doom.

Bill Gates invested in the project apparently, but Willis found some of the basic numbers to do some calculation on the invention.

Cool image from WUWT post. Figure 1. Artist’s conception of cloud-making ships. Of course, the first storm would flip this over immediately, but heck, it’s only a fantasy, so who cares? SOURCE

The ship launches 10 tons of water per second to 3000 ft altitude.

The machines, developed by a San Francisco-based research group called Silver Lining, turn seawater into tiny particles that can be shot up over 3,000 feet in the air.  The particles increase the density of clouds by increasing the amount of nuclei contained within. Silver Lining’s floating machines can suck up ten tons of water per second.

Willis did a quick calculation for how much power it would take to launch the wter at 100 psi.

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