Rest in Peace Russell Steele

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Hello,

It is with a heavy heart that we share the news of Russ’s passing on January 3rd, 2020. He was at home and surrounded by all his loved ones when he went. His general level of health and post-surgical complications took him sooner than any of us could have expected.

Thank you, Russ’s Family

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Administration

Note: Posting may be suspended for a week or more as I recover from pancreatic cancer surgery. My surgery is on December 30th, with 5 to 6 days for recovery. Once home, I plan to resume posting. Thank you for your patience.

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Wet Years, Dry Years

Reblogged from WUWT

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

I keep reading all kinds of claims that the slight warming we’ve been experiencing over the last century has already led to an increase in droughts. A few years ago there were a couple of very dry years here in California, and the alarmists were claiming that “global warming” had put us into “permanent drought”.

Of course, the rains returned. This season we’re at about 120% of normal … it’s called “weather”.

In any case, I thought I’d take a look at the severity of droughts in the US over the last century. I always like to take a look at the longest dataset I can find. In this case, I got the data from NOAA’s CLIMDIV dataset. Figure 1 shows the monthly variations from 1895 to the present. Note that I’ve inverted the Y-axis on the graph, so higher on the graph is dryer, and down near the bottom is wetter.

Figure 1. Monthly Palmer Drought Severity Index for the continental US, 1895-2019. Above the dashed line is dryer, below the line is wetter.

We can see a few interesting things in this graph. As you might expect, the worst droughts were in the 1930s, the time of the “Dust Bowl”. There were also droughts in the 1950s, although somewhat smaller and shorter.

Then for about thirty years, from 1970 to 2000, times were generally wetter … followed by drier times up to 2010, and wetter times since then.

Next, overall there is a very slight and not statistically significant linear trend toward a bit more wetness.

Finally, it’s worth noting that if our data had started in say 1930, it would have a statistically significant trend toward wetter times … which shows that even 80 years of data may give a very different answer than we get from the 125 years of data shown above. This is why I use the longest dataset available.

In any case, according to NOAA, there’s been no increase in either droughts or wet periods in the US since 1895 …

And meanwhile, here on the northern California coast, it’s Christmas Eve, and a gentle rain has just begun falling … best of the season to everyone.

Posted in Drought, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

NOAA Signs With Three Cloud Companies to Provide Free Access to Its Data.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced a new milestone in its big data program, enabling more access to its ever-growing troves of data in the hopes of sparking new economies and a better understanding of our environment.

The agency launched the Big Data Project as a way to push the petabytes of data it collects daily out to people who could use it. The program is based on the idea that NOAA—and the Commerce Department in general—collects the sort of data that is of interest to researchers and entrepreneurs alike.

NOAA penned a deal in 2015 with five cloud service providers to develop a pipeline for its data to be stored in those cloud providers’ systems, then be made available to the public at no cost. While the partners are not allowed to charge for access to the data, they could charge for value-added content, in much the way weather data is used by industry today.

On Thursday, NOAA announced awards to Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud and Microsoft under multiyear contracts to host NOAA data for public use.

“The Big Data Project’s cloud service providers have shown incredible commitment to open data principles, and they clearly understand the value of NOAA’s data to their customers and to the Nation’s economy,” Ed Kearns, acting chief data officer at the Commerce Department, said in a statement Thursday.

Source: NextGov.com

 

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Breaking – Official US Govt Data shows accelerating temperature decline since 2016

Reblogged from Ice Age Now.

This shocking news (but not-so-shocking to me) comes from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

This graph from NOAA  pretty much tells the story. Temperatures have not only declined, the rate of decline appears to be accelerating.
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                                National Temperature Index – Courtesy NOAA

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The link below contains the interactive version of this graph.
https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/national-temperature-index/time-series?datasets%5B%5D=uscrn&datasets%5B%5D=climdiv&parameter=anom-tavg&time_scale=12mo&begyear=2016&endyear=2019&month=10

Thanks to Norman Grant Smith for this link

Posted in Weather | 1 Comment

CLIMATEGATE: Untangling Myth and Reality Ten Years Later

Ross McKitrick and Steve McIntyre have written up reflections on Climategate 10 years later, focusing on the myths promulgated by the climate academic community. It was McKitrick and McIntyre that exposed Michael Mann climate change “Hockey Stick” as bad science, if not outright fraud. You can take a look at those reflections HERE.

Steven McIntyre Tweets: Climategate contains important lessons on how institutions evade responsibility through sly and carefully restrictive terms of reference, unrepresentative inquiry teams, and wrongheaded findings – relevant caveats in the week before Horowitz

Posted in Analysis, Climate Change, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

United States – Record-high snow cover across the Lower 48

Re-blogged from Ice Age Now

Snow now covers nearly one half – one half! – of the continental United States. That’s the most snow cover on December 2 since records began.

Snow Cover – 2 December 2019 – Image courtesy of NOAA

“Snow covered the ground on nearly half of the real estate in the Lower 48 — 46.2 percent of land area — on Monday morning,’ writes Jason Samenow of the Capital Weather Gang ” (This is) the largest area on Dec. 2 since snow cover records from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration began in 2003. Normally, a little more than a quarter of the nation has snow on the ground at this time of year.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2019/12/02/snow-cover-reaches-record-early-december-extent-lower-after-back-to-back-storms/

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/12/03/early-snow-cover-record-set-for-usa-a-foot-of-snow-in-25-states/

Posted in Weather | 2 Comments

My Friend Anthony Watts at COP25: Climate Change and Data Manipulation

Recorded in Madrid, Spain, the site of the UN’s COP25.

Posted in Analysis, Climate Change | 1 Comment

Everything That Happens on Earth Happens in Cycles

It’s a cycle, it’s a cycle, it’s a cycle! says Peter Temple who warns we are entering a cooling phase. “[J]ust when we need more energy and warmth, we have politicians trying to tax it out of existence.”

Climate-and-advanced-civilizations
“The sun and the planets are the main driver of climate change on our tiny little planet,” says Temple, and presents his analysis in this video: https://youtu.be/lZw4DdocxN0

Posted in Analysis, Climate Change, History | 1 Comment

Western Hudson Bay freeze-up earlier than average for 1980s for the third year in a row

Yep, a sure sign of global warming, an early freeze up. 

Reposted from Polar Bear Science.

This is the third year in a row that freeze-up of Western Hudson Bay (WH) ice has come earlier than the average of 16 November documented in the 1980s. Reports by folks on the ground near Churchill confirm polar bears are starting to move onto the sea ice that’s developing along the shore after almost 5 months on land. After five good sea ice seasons in a row for WH polar bears, this repeat of an early freeze-up means a sixth good ice season is now possible for 2019-2020.

Sadly for the tourists, however, it means the polar bear viewing season in Churchill will be ending early this year, just like it did last year and the year before.

Churchill pbs checking the ice 10 Nov 2019 Amanda Atarling photo

When mothers with cubs are out on the ice (see photo above), it’s pretty certain the mass movement from land to sea ice is well underway because these family units are usually the last to leave.

CURRENT ICE CONDITIONS

Weather in Churchill was very cold today, -36C with the wind chill. The slight moderation in temperature in the forecast for the rest of this week is still very conducive to ice formation:

Churchill weather 11 Nov 2019 at 12 pm_EC

The Canadian Ice Service charts for 10 November 2018 below (the overall picture and the details for ice development in northern Hudson Bay) show the ice conditions last year at the time that bears left for the ice:

Sea ice Canada 2018 Nov 10

Hudson Bay North ice stage of development 2018 Nov 10 from archive

Below is what the ice looks like this year (11 November 2019): while the band of ice is not quite as thick as last year at this time, recent cold weather has led to solid ice formation along the west coast of Hudson Bay and into James Bay (home to Southern Hudson Bay bears). This ice is guaranteed to widen and thicken over the next few days, putting this year only a day or two behind last year and 2017.Canada sea ice extent 2019 Nov 11

Hudson Bay North ice stage of development 2019 Nov 10

Just to round out the comparison, below is the detailed ice development chart for 11 November 2017:

Hudson Bay North ice stage of development 2017 Nov 11 from archive

FREEZE-UP DATES SINCE 1979

Like Andrew Derocher’s student Laura Castro de la Guardia, I am using a definition of “freeze-up” that describes the behaviour of polar bears to newly formed ice, not the date when fall ice coverage on the bay reaches 50% (e.g. Lunn et al. 2016).

According to a recalculation of WH data that goes up to 2015 and back to 1979 (Castro de la Guardia 2017, see graph below), in the 1980s bears left for the ice at freeze-up (10% sea ice coverage) about 16 November ± 5 days while in recent years (2004-2008) they left about 24 November ± 8 days, a difference of 8 days. In other words, the relative change in the dates that WH bears left the shore between the 1980s and recent years is only about 1 week (with lots of variation).

castro-de-la-guardia-et-al-derocher-2017-fig-3-no-caption

Therefore, freeze-up dates of 10-12 November or so (Day 314-316) for 2017, 2018, and 2019 are some of the earliest freeze-up dates recorded since 1979 (the earliest being 6 November, Day 310, in 1991 and 1993), even earlier than the average for the 1980s.

Virtually all Western Hudson Bay bears leave the shore within about 2 days of sea ice concentration reaching 10% (Castro de la Guardia 2017; Cherry et al. 2013), although Southern Hudson Bay bears leave when it reaches about 5%: in other words, the bears go as soon as they possibly can.

As I discussed in 2016 regarding newly-published studies (Obbard et al. 2015, 2016) on the status of Southern Hudson Bay (SH) bears:

“…SH polar bears left the ice (or returned to it) when the average ice cover near the coast was about 5%. This finding is yet more evidence that the meteorological definition of “breakup” (date of 50% ice cover) used by many researchers (see discussion here) is not appropriate for describing the seasonal movements of polar bears on and off shore.”

Here is the week 19 report from the 2018 Churchill Polar Bear Alert Program (November 4-11 — almost 5 months ashore), confirming that bears were moving onto the rapidly forming ice by the first week of November last year:

churchill-problem-bears_week-19_2018-nov-5-11.jpg

For 2019, the town of Churchill is behind in their posting of problem bear reports (the last one listed is 28 October) but I’ll insert the relevant status sheets for the season’s end here as soon as they are available.

My 2017 Southern Hudson Bay post (with its list of references) is worth another look for its discussion of the following points: the definition of freeze-up; the relationship of official freeze-up and breakup dates to the dates that bears depart; the overall health and survival of Western and Southern Hudson Bay polar bears.

A final note: if PBI spokesperson Amstrup had been right about his predictions of Arctic sea ice and polar bear survival back in 2007 when he was the head of the US Geological Survey’s polar bear research team, there would be no polar bears at all in Hudson Bay right now (Crockford 2017, 2019), not a thriving population of fat, healthy bears moving offshore as early as bears did in the 1980s.

REFERENCES

Castro de la Guardia, L., Myers, P.G., Derocher, A.E., Lunn, N.J., Terwisscha van Scheltinga, A.D. 2017. Sea ice cycle in western Hudson Bay, Canada, from a polar bear perspective. Marine Ecology Progress Series 564: 225–233. http://www.int-res.com/abstracts/meps/v564/p225-233/

Cherry, S.G., Derocher, A.E., Thiemann, G.W., Lunn, N.J. 2013.Migration phenology and seasonal fidelity of an Arctic marine predator in relation to sea ice dynamics. Journal of Animal Ecology 82: 912-921. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1365-2656.12050/abstract

Crockford, S.J. 2017. Testing the hypothesis that routine sea ice coverage of 3-5 mkm2 results in a greater than 30% decline in population size of polar bears (Ursus maritimus). PeerJ Preprints 2 March  2017. Doi: 10.7287/peerj.preprints.2737v3 Open access. https://peerj.com/preprints/2737/

Crockford, S.J. 2019. The Polar Bear Catastrophe That Never Happened. Global Warming Policy Foundation, London. Available from Amazon in paperback and ebook formats.

Lunn, N.J., Servanty, S., Regehr, E.V., Converse, S.J., Richardson, E. and Stirling, I. 2016. Demography of an apex predator at the edge of its range – impacts of changing sea ice on polar bears in Hudson Bay. Ecological Applications 26(5): 1302-1320. DOI: 10.1890/15-1256

Obbard, M.E., Stapleton, S., Middel, K.R., Thibault, I., Brodeur, V. and Jutras, C. 2015. Estimating the abundance of the Southern Hudson Bay polar bear subpopulation with aerial surveys. Polar Biology 38:1713-1725.

Obbard, M.E., Cattet, M.R.I., Howe, E.J., Middel, K.R., Newton, E.J., Kolenosky, G.B., Abraham, K.F. and Greenwood, C.J. 2016.Trends in body condition in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from the Southern Hudson Bay subpopulation in relation to changes in sea ice. Arctic Science 2: 15-32. DOI: 10.1139/AS-2015-0027

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