no-fire I liked it, anyway, enough to clean it up. Perhaps better in context: Echo Park Time Travel Mart (via TS's feed). And the Victorian iPods are good, too.

Via CIP, who feels for the suffering rich, a good piece from Krugman (which is itself really from Brad DeLong) Rat Race America. On why those who are really quite comfortably off no longer feel as comfortable as they would have 30 years ago.

Godel in Engine Summer?. You decide. But if you haven't read it, you should. And The Deep. And Beasts. But don't read Little, Big. Or at least, not all of it.

If we had to sum up the political view of our participants in a single sentence... we couldn't. That's sort of the point.

Rumours of an explanation of a bit of the 70's cooling.
Nature's take, and the thing itself.

Monckton on God. Monckton has already had far far more publicity than he deserves. But it is convenient to keep a link to everyone pointing out how wrong he is. More.

I think I need to pad out the text a bit here in order to make the images line up nicely. Um, what shall I say? It is raining. We've hoovered the living room. Errm, there must be more to life than that. I know: I'll point out, unoriginally I'm sure, that the sea ice is definitely off its min, and definnitely "only" #3 in the records. As to what the september min will come in at, we'll see in a little while.

Pix from China (h/t mt): boston.com/bigpicture/. mt chose the dam; I prefer this one. This is the scary one.

Miscellany: digital sundial. Who would have thought it? Oh, and the spectrum of mercury through a CD. And a nice pic to demonstrate that PZ isn't all bad by any means.


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Say what you will about Monckton, he does tend to introduce me to words I've never seen before. And will likely never see again.

Sure it wasn't a pseudo-random number generator.

By David B. Benson (not verified) on 26 Sep 2010 #permalink

I'm guessing then that is everyone's reaction to Little, Big. It was brilliant, until it wasn't. Now I'll try the others.

By Heraclitus (not verified) on 26 Sep 2010 #permalink

Since I live in the DC area, I plan to attend the rally, although it may be tough to miss Colbert's "Keep the Fear Alive" rally.

> statistical methods ... but why?
Oh, just 'cause i don't know if this meeting belongs in the "restore sanity" or the "keep fear alive" category.
Only name I recognize is von Storch. Perhaps a clue ....

[von S is good, so that is a good sign. You should ask James -W]

Hi William, okay Lord Monckton is a nut job; that is funny. (Which doesn't mean his Wikipedia biography should say so. :)

[Why do you think his wikipedia bio should be disconnected from reality? -W]

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 26 Sep 2010 #permalink

By the way, on the subject of Arctic ice, what are your thoughts on this one? http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/09/08/inconvenient-ice-study-less-ice-i… Try to imagine that Anthony Watts is not the Devil, but just a lowly reporter, and consider the source he's reporting on. :)

[I'd say that apart from putting his own slant on it with the use of "Inconvenient" there isn't much wrong with Watts post, since he is mostly quoting a press release. "Thoughts" would include the way the septics are rather keen on accepting really very indirect proxy evidence when it supports their view but reject far stronger evidence when it opposes it. In this case, this study doesn't oppose any of my views so I have no problems with it. I'm somewhat dubious about their assertion taht they can talk about the entire Arctic - this is one area, and they seem to deduce that the sea must have been ice free all the way to the North Pole, which sounds odd to me -W]

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 26 Sep 2010 #permalink

Digital sundial could have a compass, gyroscope and a bubble level for a wrist version... lol.

Hi Hank,

I thank William for deleting my earlier hastily written response. What I really wanted to say is this.

Given the uncertainty surrounding even the most reliable charts of our most recent surface temperatures, and then given all the caveats and controversies surrounding proxy reconstructions of just the past 2000 years, what is that figure you've presented from 'global warming art' dot com supposed to mean? If I take it at face value and follow the black line I'd have to conclude that global average temperatures exceeded those of 6-7000BP in the year 2004AD. If I follow one of the blue lines it seems there was an exceptionally warm period at ~ 7800BP and another one at ~ 6900BP (forgive inaccacuracies of my eyeball estimations). I have no idea what the other coloured lines mean. Is it fair that I consider it a completely meaningless distraction? If not, could you at least explain how it's relevant? Thanks.

Best, Alex

[The lines are explained; I'd look at the wiki version http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Holocene_Temperature_Variations.png But the overall point is that different proxies produce different answers. There is a value feeling of overall warmer temperatures ~6-7kyr ago, but it isn't easy to translate that into a global temperaure. So then you can look at other proxies - like, say, the shape of the wave or ice imprints on the North Greenland fossil beaches - and try to use those to say what might have happened. But 1kyr is a long time, and there is no guarantee of uniformity in that time -W]

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 27 Sep 2010 #permalink

Hi William,

I have no idea what 'septics' or even 'skeptics' are saying about the link I posted (whoever/whatever they are). I haven't read the comments at Anthony Watts' site or anywhere else. I specifically asked for your opinion because you were a researcher with the British Antarctic Survey and you regularly post on the Arctic sea ice situation. As for me, a sort of amateur researcher, I've actually been trying to come up to speed on this issue. There are some things about the Arctic issue that could be a sort of 'game changer' if they prove true. That is, they could convince me personally that global warming (as distinct from 'climate change' generally) is a real problem. Your thoughts are appreciated.

Best, Alex

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 27 Sep 2010 #permalink

> Alex Harvey ... no idea what the other
> coloured lines mean
They're explained on the page the thumbnail links to:

On the confused rich, seems they're confused by something I recall my high school math teacher explaining. They're "on an exponentially rising curve" (wealth). Those always look very steep on the uphill side, and flattish on the downhill side, no matter where you are.

This site, tho' a bit outdated, gets it pretty clearly:
Search Results

The L-Curve: A Graph of the US Income Distribution

L-Curve: The Movie

From William's "Rumors of an explanation" link to Solveclimate:
____________excerpt follows________

... Trenberth said the authors' analytical method was "very good" and noted that it has been adopted by other scientists.

Fast temperature shifts may be nothing new. Paleoclimate ice core records show multiple cases of sudden temperature changes, said Wallace. These so-called "abrupt climate change" events usually occurred over one to two decades.

Whether the 1970s drop in sea surface temperature qualifies as an abrupt climate change event isnât clear, said Wallace. However, "those ice records prove that climate can change abruptlyâmore abruptly than previously thought."

Just wondering if the relatively short arctic sea ice melt season has any meaning?

By Paul Kelly (not verified) on 27 Sep 2010 #permalink

You wouldn't want the ice melt season to be any longer, would you? There'll be little to nothing of it left soon enough without wishing more of it away sooner.

Hi William, I am looking further into the press release and I see it says,

"Astrid Lyså says that such old beach formations require that the sea all the way to the North Pole was periodically ice free for a long time."

Is your position that it is still possible to have an ice free Arctic somewhere in 6-7000BP but in global average surface temperature terms still be less than the CWP (current warm period)? Or is your position that the Arctic probably wasn't ice free, as this geologist believes? (Or both?)

Best, Alex

[Firstly, there is nothing very special about the North Pole from the point of view of the winds or the ice, so I find it hard to believe her statement literally. But if I interpret it as "for quite some distance, comparable to that to the pole" then it can be understood.

More: it would (in theory) be possible to have an ice-free Arctic from 6,500-6,700 and ice covered for the rest of the time. Very unlikely, true, but possible. So the temporal average is unclear. It *might* be possible to have an ice-free Arctic but globally lower temps than now - look up the Milankovitch forcing stuff: the point being that at some times in the orbit there is a strong increase in insolation at ~65N, whilst global insolation is essentially unchanged. I don't know if 6 kyr is one of those times. So the greographical average is unclear. And lastly, I don't know enough to interpret her evidence, nor do I know the literature well enough to know whether her interpretation is accepted -W]

By Alex Harvey (not verified) on 28 Sep 2010 #permalink