The year in stoats: 2016

A vintage year, for which the title must be Oh, and we were Gone / Kings of Oblivion. Something for everyone. Here, after review, is what catches on my mind. But first, my favourite mountain picture of the year.


Other reviews of the year: ATTP; me in 2015. Not a review of the year: Eleven Years Of Blogging by Martin Rundkvis.

* Jan: Science advances one funeral at a time discussed the unlamented death of Robert Carter, somewhat ironically preceded by WATN 2015.
* Feb: CSIRO: science as a public good because of some recent echoes; I'll probably blog those separately. And The Greatest Liberty Of Subjects, Dependeth On The Silence Of The Law from old Hobbes.
* Mar: And what rough beast, its hour come round at last / Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? on the great issue of Hansen's paper. Salby-world was quiet in 2016; I suspect that him losing his case is about the last we'll see of him1.
* Apr: Storelvmo et al. by proxy was a brief foray into the now-unfamiliar world of science, but I quickly returned to easier ground with was to become something of a theme for the year, Yet more Exxon drivel. With Rex Tillerson to be Sec of State, this should run and run.
* May: Climate sensitivity, again mercifully required no great ability to think; unlike Say no to Brexit...
* Jun: ...which segues onto Boris Johnson is a tosser. Or more interesting, The sea ice post! which was another topic of the year. In the fish-in-a-barrel category is coolfuturesfundsmanagement; remarkably, my link to my blog post is still on their fb page but there's little other sign of activity there.
* Jul: I spared you the Mays in June even though it was dead exciting, but I don't see why you'd want to miss the real event; town bumps. Apart from that July was quiet; so I'll just remind you of my bad beekeeping.
* Aug: I asked Who is the farting three-legged dog in this scenario, you ask? and apparently-presciently reported that Antarctica’s sea ice said to be vulnerable to sudden retreat? But you'd be wrong to think it prescient. Hayek vs Hobbes and the theory of law was my discovery of Hayek and the beginning of a long slow process of reading him; more to come, you lucky and grateful people.
* Sep: Sea ice: dull as expected was reasonably accurate as to the annual minimum, but remarkably un-prescient for the year. Back at the comic relief was A Falconer Uppermost twitting the usual suspects.
* Oct: my valiant attempts to convince the nice lefty folks of obvious truths such as We Don’t Need a ‘War’ on Climate Change, We Need a Revolution? fell on deaf ears, as ever. Don't worry, I'm not downhearted.
* Nov: Trump am all de rage, so I had A proportionate response to Trump’s climate plans? and response, though neither are really about La Donald. Trump’s Plan to Eliminate NASA Climate Research Is Ill-Informed and Dangerous? is more the kind of entrail-reading we can look forward to.
* Dec: Leak reveals Rex Tillerson was director of Bahamas-based US-Russian oil firm? is a correction of shameless drivel from the Graun, not that they thanked me. Scott Adams is a tosser proves I'm still on the side of Truth and Light. And so as to not end on that, U.S. Needs a Robust Carbon Tax, not an Exxon Carbon Tax? is yet another appeal for sanity from the left.


1. Yes I know he turned up at Curry's Pizza Parlour but that's hardly a claim to fame.


* Thom Hartmann Does It Too - QS

More like this

But wondering what is going on in the Arctic. Temperature is almost toasty. Ice seems to be thin. Ice extent is record low for the date. Whats up?

By Phil Hays (not verified) on 29 Dec 2016 #permalink

Phil Hayscwrote "..what is going on in the Arctic..."

Explaining sea ice is easy - it is temperatures:…

Explaining temperatures - less easy. When there is a big deviation from trend it is usually mainly or just noise / weird weather rather than a big change in the trend. I hope that is the case here because the alternatives don't sound good.

In other news, Wisconsin has scrubbed climate change from their website.…

If we don't talk about it, it clearly doesn't exist.

[That one is pretty weird. There's a clear lack of any kind of understanding behind that kind of censorship. Which makes sense in a weird way because you wouldn't do that kind of censorship unless you lacked any understanding -W]

By Phil Hays (not verified) on 30 Dec 2016 #permalink

And we were gone, real cool traders. We were so turned on, you thought we were fakers.

By Wesley Dodson (not verified) on 30 Dec 2016 #permalink

Temperatures are the issue, but the answer to temperatures might involve sea ice.

Noise/weird seems unlikely. Depending on how you look at it, is someplace between 6 sigma and 12 sigma weird. Maybe. And statistics for this are not well defined. Maybe only 4 sigma. Next year will be ... interesting ... for a lot of reasons.

Alternatives? Oh, do discuss.

By Phil Hays (not verified) on 30 Dec 2016 #permalink

Alternatives? I was thinking a big increase in the trend rate might be something like a start of a transition towards equable climate, but I am no expert so discussing this with me would probably be dull.

Not sure what you were calculating to be 6/12/4 sigma? With…
it seems fairly easy to say quite a bit of it is just coincidence of Arctic and Antarctic both being at record low at the same time which rarely happens. 12 sigma seems rather a lot but maybe the FDD is that much below the trend point?

Some heat can certainly be coming from the ocean because of lack of sea ice and lack of thickness. Lots of storms pushing unusually large amounts of moisture from over North Atlantic and Pacific into Arctic rather than drier winds from land providing both GHG insulation and latent heat.

Combinations of such things happening to align in a way they haven't done before but are now more likely to occur more often could perhaps make noise/weird weather still a plausible explanation?

The nice thing about sea ice decline is that it will give friend Vlad's navy unrestricted access to western Europe and the U.S. east coast, thereby making America great again.

By Raymond Arritt (not verified) on 30 Dec 2016 #permalink

>"peaks at 8 sigma"
yes that is below climatology. I believe he calculated over 10 sigma for below trend. Below climatology seems more normal though below trend could perhaps be more useful in some circumstances?

Phil Hays
". The statistics must be based on the world of the past, not the current world."
A little lost.
Statistics, of this type, are always based on the [observed ] world of the past.
"someplace between 6 sigma and 12 sigma weird. "
The observations are only for a short time 1970? on and the standard deviations might be quite larger than what has been allocated at the moment.
The 12 sigma may come about by conflating the SD of two different data sets at opposite ends of their cycles.
Which would still give 4 and 8 sigma additions, which are still extreme.
The change comes at a time that several satellites seem to have gone down in reporting and there may be an algorithm problem in the one reporting ? Japanese, that needs to be fixed.
This rates as a reasonable explanation for the too weird and unexpected changes, a SNAFU. Recheck the findings and correlate with any other sources eg MAISIE [ this may also be showing extreme changes, I don't know]
Conversely something really weird in terms of heating and melting has and was happening which we should all be talking about, thanks Phil.
For which the models and scientists had no clue, No one predicted this as far as I could see two months beforehand. Which makes those clever models??? and scientists???-
As an aside someone at Lucia's [DeWitt] mentioned that the El Nino spawns heat patterns at the poles, in which case such extremes might not be out of keeping in a post El Nino situation.
Hence the comment about SD not being exactly right to use.