the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Archive for June, 2011

Skeptics are the Educated

Posted by Jeff Id on June 29, 2011

An interesting post at Judith Curry’s blog links to a paper by Dan Kahan and an article at DeSmog blog.   Sadly, skeptics actually are rational people, who actually understand science.  What’s worse, the more people understand, the more likely they are to be skeptical!  Apparently the reader background link at the top of this blog where technical people left comments on their own backgrounds, is actually real!!  Who knew.

The conventional explanation for controversy over climate change emphasizes impediments to public understanding: Limited popular knowledge of science, the inability of ordinary citizens to assess technical information, and the resulting widespread use of unreliable cognitive heuristics to assess risk. A large survey of U.S. adults (N = 1540) found little support for this account. On the whole, the most scientifically literate and numerate subjects were slightly less likely, not more, to see climate change as a serious threat than the least scientifically literate and numerate ones. More importantly, greater scientific literacy and numeracy were associated with greater cultural polarization: Respondents predisposed by their values to dismiss climate change evidence became more dismissive, and those predisposed by their values to credit such evidence more concerned, as science literacy and numeracy increased. We suggest that this evidence reflects a conflict between two levels of rationality: The individual level, which is characterized by citizens’ effective use of their knowledge and reasoning capacities to form risk perceptions that express their cultural commitments; and the collective level, which is characterized by citizens’ failure to converge on the best available scientific evidence on how to promote their common welfare. Dispelling this, “tragedy of the risk-perception commons,” we argue, should be understood as the central aim of the science of science communication.

The paper is not behind a paywall, thank god, and you are free to fill your minds.  It does seem to be another paper trying to figure out how to communicate the need for ‘action’ to those who think ‘action’ is not the correct act, but at least they go at it from a seemingly more rational viewpoint.

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Roy Spencer, Missing Heat

Posted by Jeff Id on June 27, 2011

This is a very interesting post by Dr. Roy Spencer on the failure of the ocean to warm according to models, more misleading by the IPCC of that failure, and a simple powerful demonstration which shows where models likely go wrong. It definitely deserves more attention. The result – a greatly reduced sensitivity of climate to CO2. Evey day the evidence mounts that model warming is overstated. Climate science and main stream media like to lump skeptics together because we don’t know X or we always say Y. There are strong reasons to be skeptical of global warming alarmism. It is impossible to cover every point with a short list, but some of my favorites include; The multi-model mean running 2-4X observed temperature trend1, The missing hot spot and The missing ocean heat.  Roy’s post is definitely some of the strongest evidence I’ve read that the heat from climate feedback to CO2 just isn’t there.

I’m surprised the center of the internet WUWT hasn’t run it yet. Maybe they have now, I haven’t been over there yet today. Jeff

More Evidence that Global Warming is a False Alarm: A Model Simulation of the last 40 Years of Deep Ocean Warming

June 25th, 2011

NASA’s James Hansen is probably right about this point: the importance of ocean heat storage to a better understanding of how sensitive the climate system is to our greenhouse gas emissions. The more efficient the oceans are at storing excess heat during warming, the slower will be the surface temperature response of the climate system to an imposed energy imbalance.

Unfortunately, the uncertainties over the rate at which vertical mixing takes place in the ocean allows climate modelers to dismiss a lack of recent warming by simply asserting that the deep oceans must somehow be absorbing the extra heat. Think Trenberth’s “missing heat“. (For a discussion of the complex processes involved in ocean mixing see here.)

Well, maybe what is really missing is the IPCC’s willingness to admit the climate system is simply not as sensitive to our greenhouse gas emissions as they claim it is. Maybe the missing heat is missing because it does not really exist.


click here to see the rest of the post.

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What I learned

Posted by Jeff Id on June 26, 2011

I doubt I will spend much time on this paper life is short and you have to pick and chose what you will spend your time on.  The thing is complete bunk in my opinion and I can’t believe it was published, but that is what some of the dark corners of climatology bring us these days.The paper is chock-full of unsubstantiable assumptions and layers of bad math including sections with complete dependence on Mann08 but that is only a chunk of the poodo.

In the SI there was a dataset which gave the relative sea level for Carolina (blue line).   The slope of the line pre-960AD is almost exactly 1mm/yr, this extends throughout the trend length.

The red line is the blue line with 1mm/year added in by me for GIA corrections per Kemp’s procedure.  What makes it mildly interesting is Fig 2.

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Silly Money, Green Stew

Posted by Jeff Id on June 25, 2011

The mindless will do anything to go green.  It doesn’t matter one bit how little financial sense it makes.  It doesn’t matter that peoples lives are destroyed, its for the better, because they say it is.  The article linked is actually about destroying farmers in favor of disrupting birds, but the end of the article has this little quote:

It is estimated that it will cost $45 billion to connect San Francisco to San Diego by high-speed rail. State and federal taxpayers will be footing most of the bill. Advocates of the high-speed rail argue that it will create thousands of jobs and will make California businesses more successful, thereby stimulating the economy.

45 billion is a lot of money for a train that can only turn left but that is what we get today.   I have an alternative plan.  Let’s just give one million dollars tax free to 45 thousand random employed people and then they won’t have to work anymore, thereby directly creating “thousands of open jobs” for others to take.  Alternatively, they will blow it buying stuff from actually profitable California businesses rather than trains that won’t make money.  We know the train plan isn’t profitable because of the recent history of rail elsewhere in the US, and the fact that if they were planning a true profit, 45 billion dollars of government money wouldn’t be required. I suppose the beneficiaries of my plan will be disappointed in a few years though because it is near certain that someone else in California will vote to take their money later on and give it to different people for the latest green stew.

Oh well.

The billboard is on I-94 westbound between Milwaukee and Madison just before Lake Mills. Sent by anonymous reader. I'm glad I'm not alone!

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The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

Posted by Jeff Id on June 24, 2011

Lubos Motl has an interesting and well written post on the recent supreme court CO2 decision.  He looks at it from the angle of how a government should function and the constant pressures faced to hold the outside influence of groups with an agenda  from corrupting it to a narrow minded advantage.

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Nothing to Gain! Hansengate takes off.

Posted by Jeff Id on June 22, 2011

We are constantly told that climate scientists gain nothing for their work.  There are no incentives, yet often we find that is not the case.

A quote from Chris Colose, budding cliatoknowledgist left at Bart Verheggens blog alleging again that I am some kind of conpiracy theorist for even suggesting such a thing as a payoff might exist – silly me:

Chris Colose Says:
June 15, 2011 at 17:43>

There are certain people who equate the most conspiracy theories with the most eloquent and factual, but it is certainly not reasonable people with exposure to the goings-on in the physical science community. In fact very few scientists in climate have anything to benefit from economic suggestions or climate change action. We’d have most to gain by just saying everything was uncertain so we can get more funding from NSF.

This is just an accusation, but the godfather of the extremist claims and winner of the Air Vent’s most extreme quote of 2009 contest James Hansen potentially made just a tiny little profit for his work.  I know it will surprise you if it turns out to be true but this 1.2 million is outside of his otherwise paltry salary of  $180,000, pension plan and expenses received for various projects.

It should be no surprise that the propagandists at Fox News are again the only major media group to cover this obvious non-story at this point.

NASA Scientist Accused of Using Celeb Status Among Environmental Groups to Enrich Himself

The NASA scientist who once claimed the Bush administration tried to “silence” his global warming claims is now accused of receiving more than $1.2 million from the very environmental organizations whose agenda he advocated.

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Washington, D.C., a group claims NASA is withholding documents that show James Hansen failed to comply with ethics rules and financial disclosures regarding substantial compensation he earned outside his $180,000 taxpayer-paid position as director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

Don’t worry folks, there is no money for the individuals in climate science.

The suit alleges:
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Blah, pingbacks

Posted by Jeff Id on June 22, 2011

Some pingbacks from a blog and its repeaters were dropped here.  If you want to brainwash yourself that renewable energy is ready today (or that there even is such a thing as ‘renewable’ energy), the inappropriately named skeptical science has the right article for you.

If you want to listen to the engineers on the subject not directly paid by the industry or leftist governments,  costs and complete lack of energy storage capability preclude any possibility of effective mitigation of CO2 output with today’s technology.  You just have to build enough, they tell you.  What they don’t tell you are true costs.  Not that it will stop the morons from forcing it down your throat with an iron fist — to put it mildly.   Ask them why it is that if CO2 is destroying everything in the world, new types of far less dangerous nuclear reactors aren’t the main item being promoted, barring that wild hope, why aren’t they even on their lists!??

Loud and ignorant in my opinion. Read the link at your own risk but you won’t come back any smarter.

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Amending the Past

Posted by Jeff Id on June 20, 2011

Guest post by Pat Frank


Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech or of the press…

On May 24, this year, Jeff hosted my guest-posted Future Perfect analysis here on tAV, which was picked up by WUWT on June 2.

The analysis showed that a cosine+linear fit to the global average surface air temperature anomalies between 1880-2010 pretty much accounted for the entire trend. When the cosine was removed from the anomalies, the residual trend showed no sign of the accelerating climate warming required by AGW.

Wasting no time, Tamino at Open Mind posted three criticisms of my analysis also on June 2, here and here.

Tamino’s criticism consisted of three parts:
1.  “there aren’t nearly enough “cycles” to show that global temperature is following a cyclic pattern.
2. The cosine_linear fit had no physical basis.
3. Arbitrary alternative fits yield a statistically better fit.

I learned about Tamino’s criticisms around June 4, and posted major replies, June 6 and June 12, showing his criticisms were meritless. I also posted replies to other commentators. Tamino properly posted my replies and intercalated his responses into them.

Tamino’s entire analytical response to my June 12 reply consisted of calling me an idiot. He offered no response at all to my reply on June 13.

On June 16 Tamino snipped my reply to a number of posters, writing, “[Response: Enough already.].” And that was the end of that. The reply Tamino snipped is reproduced at tAV here.

The snipped June 13 reply included a link to a Fourier power spectral density (PSD) analysis of the global average air temperature anomaly trend, offered by poster “Bart” at WUWT. Here it is:

Figure: Power spectral density analysis of the 20th century surface air temperature anomaly series.

This analysis is a frequency analysis that looks for sinusoidal periods within serial data. The strong signal at 0.015 year^-1 says there is a ~65-year cycle within the air temperature anomaly trend.

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Holding back the craziness

Posted by Jeff Id on June 20, 2011

I’m not sure this if this is good news or not but it sounds good. My concern is that there may be detail in the ruling which increases/affirms power to the EPA over CO2.

Supreme Court Rejects Environmentalists’ Suit Demanding Power Plant Emissions Cuts

“If EPA does not set emissions limits for a particular pollutant or source of pollution, states and private parties may petition for a rulemaking on the matter, and EPA’s response will be reviewable in federal court,” the decision continues.

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Sea Level – A little wet?

Posted by Jeff Id on June 17, 2011

The MSM is usually several days behind the blogs on issues regarding data quality.  In this case, I don’t recall reading about it on the main climate blogs, missing it isn’t impossible with my current schedule.

Fox news covered this.  As we all know Fox does not deliver real news and only liberal outlets like CNN, MSNBC, NBC, BBC, CBS, etc., etc… can be trusted for ‘real’ news.  So please take that into consideration.  It appears that the Heartland institute may have initially uncovered the story but Sea level data published by peer reviewed scientists has a tweak in the numbers which requires a head scratching.

The University of Colorado’s Sea Level Research Groupdecided in May to add 0.3 millimeters — or about the thickness of a fingernail — every year to its actual measurements of sea levels, sparking criticism from experts who called it an attempt to exaggerate the effects of global warming.

So each year they simply add in 0.3mm to the data?   Giving an extra 30mm or 1 inch in 100 years.  Not a huge deal at first glance, the question is what is the rationale for the required ‘correction’.
“We have to account for the fact that the ocean basins are actually getting slightly bigger… water volume is expanding,” he said, a phenomenon they call glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA).

The above quote is in reference to the following:

Steve Nerem, the director of the widely relied-upon research center, told that his group added the 0.3 millimeters per yearto the actual sea level measurements because land masses, still rebounding from the ice age, are rising and increasing the amount of water that oceans can hold.

So what they are saying is that they are correcting sea level rise for the lack of sea level rise due to increased ocean capacity created by nature.
So to sum it up,  the sea level didn’t actually ‘rise’ that much, but it would have, we think,  if nature would stop messing with the planet?
Well 0.3mm/year is tiny for sure right

But Taylor said that the correction seemed bigger when compared with actual sea level increases.

“We’ve seen only 7 inches of sea level rise in the past century and it hasn’t sped up this century. Compared to that, this would add nearly 20 percent to the sea level rise. That’s not insignificant,” he told

Hmm, a 20 percent increase in sea level rise because we don’t like that nature is messing with the actual sea level rise.
I have to say, if this is true, someone’s thumb is again on the scale.
Of course we all know climate scientists have “nothing to gain” from exaggeration.

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Posted by Jeff Id on June 16, 2011

See, this is what happens when there is no time for deep research or calculation.  You get opinions.  Certainly, they are more informed than average but average doesn’t spend a lot of time at climate blogs.

Ice ages, ugly things those.

___Frozen fruit,

_____and Garden hose.

Starvation comes when Dana knows.

What I can say is that those with motive beleive that without human influence we would not only experience a flat temperature history but our future will remain the same!  For tens of thousands of years.

What is better, prediction of the end of the world by 3C of flaiming doom,  or a ten thousand year stability of climate!  ???


No surprise that this should be the appropriate meme. I had forgotten the IPCC paragraph as pointed out by RB.  Does anyone else detect any bias whatsoever in the language?


There is no evidence of mechanisms that could mitigate the current global warming by a natural cooling trend. Only a strong reduction in summer insolation at high northern latitudes, along with associated feedbacks, can end the current interglacial. Given that current low orbital eccentricity will persist over the next tens of thousand years, the effects of precession are minimised, and extremely cold northern summer orbital configurations like that of the last glacial initiation at 116 ka will not take place for at least 30 kyr (Box 6.1). Under a natural CO2 regime (i.e., with the global temperature-CO2 correlation continuing as in the Vostok and EPICA Dome C ice cores), the next glacial period would not be expected to start within the next 30 kyr (Loutre and Berger, 2000; Berger and Loutre, 2002; EPICA Community Members, 2004). Sustained high atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, comparable to a mid-range CO2 stabilisation scenario, may lead to a complete melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet (Church et al., 2001) and further delay the onset of the next glacial period (Loutre and Berger, 2000; Archer and Ganopolski, 2005).


Seems fairly certain to me. Why worry.



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Scammin the Public

Posted by Jeff Id on June 16, 2011

Bishop Hill has an interesting post on the nature of the Clean Energy Scam.

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Autumn for the Leaf? Part Two

Posted by Jeff Id on June 14, 2011

by Robert Allaband

According to the Bureau of Transportaion their was 255,917,664 total registered vehicles in the United States as of 2008. Of that total 137,079,843 were passenger cars and 101,234,849 were classified as other 2-axle 4-tire vehicle (SUV’s, Pickups and such).

Now the goal is not to replace a small fraction of those numbers with Electric Vehicles (EV’s), it is to replace all or the vast majority of them if you want to cut the strings of dependency to the internal combustion engine. Now you might want to reach that goal for the reason of GHG’s emission cuts or for energy independence from Middle East tyrants. No matter the reason for the switch lets look at what happens if or once it does occur.

First lets look at what happens if the EV’s that replace the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE ) vehicles use a plug in system such as what is used for the Nissan Leaf. When you do this you have to ask yourself a couple of simple questions:

Where is the electricity going to come from?

Right now the US is suffering a supply problem, and some places experience brown outs and rolling balck outs during the summer months. We have what is called “peak” hours where the demand for electricity is just about to, is at or has surpassed the supply in some areas. We get told to turn things off and to turn up the thermostat on the AC until the “peak” passes. Depending on your electric utility and where you live you can be “in peak” for as long as 12 hours as seen by one provider charging “peak rates” between 9am and 9pm. So this begs the question what happens when you replace just 137,000,000 passenger cars that ran on gas with EV’s and they all come home after rush hour and plug in?

Lets use the Leaf as an example.

According to Nissan ( ) you can program your car to charge during off peak hours so lets say that most people do this trying to save money (this is a best case scenerio). Also according to Nissan it takes approxiamtely 7 hours to charge a dead battery back to full using the 240v charging dock. There is a 480v option that works in 30 minutes, but very few people already have 480v service and very few of those that don’t are going to pay to have 480v service set up, and it takes 20 hours for a 110/120v line. This is why Nissan recommends the 240v charging dock. So you end up over a four hour period every week day with a large percentage of those 137,000,000+ vehicles being plugged in and starting to charge. This in turn means that you must keep more generating capacity up and running for longer periods of time if there is no increase in overall capacity to meet this new demand. This in turn leads to increased costs for the utilities as they must shoe horn more maintainence in during early morning hours where pay scales increase for not working 9 to 5. Also this means line maintainence is going to become more problematic as there will be more demand during what is now “off peak” hours. This in turn means rising costs to the consumer. However lets say the generating capacity is overcome which at leads us to other questions.

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Autumn for the Leaf? Part One

Posted by Jeff Id on June 12, 2011

If we are to achieve a truly zero carbon economy using discontinuous sources like wind, then energy storage is key.    I follow the news on this topic closely and storage advancements are coming almost daily but how far and fast will the technology progress?  – Jeff Id/Elmer Fudd

Keystone Arch


guest post by Robert Allaband

One of the sites that I peruse off and on through out the day is Instapundit ( ) because the author, Professor Glenn Reynolds, links to some very interesting stories. One that is of interest he had titled: MIT students develop liguid fuel for electric cars. He provided a link to another site called and an article about a paper released in the journal Advanced Energy Materials.

Semi-Solid Lithium Rechargeable Flow Battery

Mihai Duduta, Bryan Ho, Vanessa C. Wood, Pimpa Limthongkul,

Victor E. Brunini, W. Craig Carter, Yet-Ming Chiang*

Here is the link to the MIT press release:

Now flow batteries are nothing new you can find them in your UPS backup for your computer and you can read up on them here:

The paper goes into detail how the Semi Solid Flow Cell (SSFC), in the prototype they have, overcomes the limitations of a typical flow battery. Now the authors of the paper, specifically Dr. Ching, are not new comers to the field of making batteries for electric cars. Dr. Ching was responsible for some of the breakthroughs on Lithium Ion batteries and a co-founder of A123 Systems:

A123 Systems (NASDAQAONE)[1] develops and manufactures advanced lithium-ion (lithium iron phosphate) batteries and battery systems for the transportation, electric grid services and commercial markets. The company has 1,700 employees and is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts.[2]

Founded in 2001 by Dr. Yet-Ming Chiang, Dr. Bart Riley and Ric Fulop, A123 Systems’ proprietary nanoscale electrode technology is built on Massachusetts Institute of Technology research. In 2009, the company was included on the Guardian‘s “Global Cleantech 100” list.[2] </blockquote>

Now the thrust of this article isn’t in the nitty gritty of what makes (or doesn’t) a SSFC work. The thrust will be the two problems that the MIT team says the SSFC or technology similar to it will overcome that in my opinion prevent wide acceptance of electric vehicles. The first problem is just about universally recognized and gets almost all the attention: Energy Storage.

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Zero Tolerance!

Posted by Jeff Id on June 12, 2011

I’ve been blogging this weekend, much to the chagrin of my far-better half. I’m  a lousy quitter, what can I say.  I tried — hard.  I read math, papers, did calcs, did some CAD, played with the kids, watched movies.  We’re babysitting an awesome golden retreiver.   You know, fun stuff.

So in my blog reading, I spent some time playing with Bart Verheggen’s crowd.  They like me, what can I say. Well, MapleLeaf, whom is thoroughly crazy, has accused me of intended violence against Eli Rabbet.   And I have a new nickname.

Guest post by Elmer Fudd:

Here’s the exchange copied below with stuff removed starting with Eli’s rip on lukewarmers. Why post it? Because the zero tolerance crowd  – is not sane!

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