Monthly Archives: September 2010

West Coast Summer

UPDATE: Some of the graphs were in error and have now been fixed, however it didn’t change any of the results.

Back in August I did a post that showed that Los Angeles and San Diego had record breaking cool July’s. I also did a post on the how hot July really was on the East Coast. This time I will do expanded posts on the summers for the West Coast and the East Coast. These posts will have both rural and urban stations, coastal and inland stations with the criteria I looked for was records that went from the late 1800’s to the present in GISS station analysis. You can get the data from here: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/station_data/

So we will start on the West Coast with 11 stations in total 6 coastal, 5 inland. I will start in Washington and work south for the coastal stations then do the same with the inland stations.

 

Figure 1

 

Here in Figure 1 we see that the summer of 2010 was the second coolest in the Aberdeen record and well below average.

 

Figure 2

 

Here in Figure 2 we see that in Astoria while 2010 was below the average temperature it was nowhere close to a record summer, if anything it would be considered just another normal summer. Read more of this post

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Wildfires, Pine Beetles and CAGW/Climate Change Part 2

Back at the beginning of Sept there was two wildfires in Colorado, one of which the Fourmile Canyon fire got major media attention in the US which brought about people looking to tie it to Global Warming/Climate Change/Climate Disruption or whatever they are calling it this week. That led me to making this post here: https://boballab.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/wildfires-pine-beetles-and-cagwclimate-change/ . Now I finally got things straightened out and some time so here is part 2 of the series.

As shown in Part 1 the assertion is that AGW/Climate Change is causing longer summers in the Rockies and thus causing an increase in Pine Beetle population. This in turn leads to more forest area being vulnerable to wildfires.

Here in step one I used the USHCN Web Interface based on a Google maps to find which stations are in and around the wooded areas of Colorado. There is 13 stations that meet that criteria in the USHCN database and thus in the NASA GISS dataset which is the one I will be using for this look at temperatures. Of those 13 stations only 12 are usable, one station (Collbran) data stops in the year 2000 the others all reach to 2008 or 2009. Read more of this post

Mann Criticizes Mann 08 For Data Quality Errors!

No I’m not making that up for that is what Dr. Michael Mann has done in his attempt to refute the Mcshane & Wyner paper (MW 10). Dr. Mann in conjunction with Dr Gavin Schmidt and Dr. Rutherford written a comment to the MW 10 paper and the Journal of Applied Statistics has accept it for print, however it wasn’t a very good critic of the MW 10 paper because one of the points they make is that:

However, the absence of both proper data quality control and appropriate “pseudoproxy” tests to assess the performance of their methods invalidate their main conclusions.
Now if you had read the MW10 paper the issue of data quality control was explicitly handled this way:
We are not interested at this stage in engaging the issues of data quality. To wit, henceforth and  for the remainder of the paper, we work entirely with the data from Mann et al. (2008)3. This is by far the most comprehensive publicly available database of temperatures and proxies collected to date. It contains 1,209 climate proxies (with some going back as far as 8855 BC and some continuing up till 2003 AD). It also contains a database of eight global annual temperature aggregates dating 1850-2006 AD (expressed as deviations or ”anomalies” from the 1961-1990 AD average4). Finally, there is a database of 1,732 local annual temperatures dating 1850-2006 AD (also expressed as anomalies from the 1961-1990 AD average)5. All three of these datasets have been substantially processed including smoothing and imputation of missing data (Mann et al., 2008). While these present interesting problems, they are not the focus of our inquiry. We assume that the data selection, collection, and processing performed by climate scientists meets the standards of their discipline. Without taking a position on these data quality issues, we thus take the dataset as given.
Now as you can see if there is any data quality issues in the data made publicly available then it is the responsibility of the Climate Scientist that made the database, McShane and Wyner started their paper a priori that the Climate Scientist knew what he/she was doing when sampling, collecting and data quality was performed (processing). Now who was the Climate Scientist that did the processing of the data in the data base and responsible for its quality? Dr. Michael Mann.
In conclusion for Dr. Mann to now claim that the data used by McShane & Wyner was of poor quality, he is actually admitting  that the data in the Mann 08 paper is poor and wasn’t handled properly. Thus by criticizing the MW 10 paper he actually criticizes himself and Mann 08,  because the data used in MW10 is nothing more then the data used in Mann 08.
You can read the MW paper here:
You can read the Mann/Schmidt/Rutherford comment here:

QB Controversy In Philly?

No matter what the talking heads on the networks say, no matter what Andy Reid or Mike Vick says the Philadelphia Eagles have a QB controversy. Before I lay everything out let it be known I have been a lifelong Eagles fan, I was born in Wilmington DE and grew up just outside Philly. Now here is why I believe there is a QB controversy: In 6 quarters the Vick led Offense has scored 52 points which averages out to 8.7 points per quarter, the Kolb led offense has got a whopping 3 points for an average of 1.5 pts per quarter and that is being generous. You see it was a huge run by Vick that set up that Akers field goal.

Now some might want to go “but Kolb only had 2 quarters you got to give him a chance he hasn’t played that much blah, blah, blah!” Sorry but that doesn’t wash for me for a couple of reasons:

  1. Kolb has been sitting on the bench for the last 3 years supposedly “learning” from McNabb (Kolb was drafted in 2007).
  2. Besides the start against the Packers he started 2 games last year and in 2008 played the entire second half of the Ravens game after McNabb got benched.
  3. Kolb didn’t beat McNabb out for the starting spot it was handed to him on a silver platter and was the uncontested #1 for the entire 2010 preseason

Here is why those things matter. Typically the Starter from the previous year loses his job in 1 of 2 ways:

  1. He gets released by the team so that a high draft pick, such as a first rounder that soaks up the dough, starts immediately to at most sitting for one year (see Mark Sanchez, Mathew Stafford)
  2. Either a free agent QB signed by the team or a lower level draft pick, such as a 3rd ROUNDER, beats him out for his job.

Neither of those things happened with Kolb. he never beat McNabb or even Vick to be #1 and he wasn’t a #1 draft pick either that the Eagles mortgage the future on when they picked him (that they did based on his great 1-1 record from last year). In 2007 I thought it was too early to pick a QB to replace McNabb, he had more years left in him, however they did, and then invested too much time and money into a 3rd round, 3rd year guy to not play him, which brings us back to Vick. Vick is playing like a vetern pro-bowl quarterback and to me has EARNED the starting spot, Kolb hasn’t. If Kolb had been drafted last year or this year and this happened their wouldn’t have been a controversy, you would just sit him back down and played Vick this year and try Kolb again next year. Since they drafted him in 2007 they should have had him be the starter in 2008 or 2009 and let McNabb go then, but the way they did it (too many years and a new contract to a guy that only started 2 games) has basically tied the Eagles to him and they will sink or swim with him this year. Vick will get a starting gig somewhere else next year no matter what. If Kolb stinks up the place the rest of the year, next year the Eagles will be either looking for a free agent QB or drafting a QB with their #1 pick. So Kolb’s future with the Eagles will be determined by the end of the Skins game on Oct 3 in the minds of the fans and probably in the minds of Laurie and Reid by the end of the Dallas game on Dec 12th. If the Eagles go below .500 this year expect a new QB in Philly.

The Legacy Of Gird

Just this past week I was able to obtain a copy of Legacy of Gird, which is a compilation of the two books (Surrender None and Liars Oath) that were printed after the three books in Deed of Paksenarrion which I reviewed here: https://boballab.wordpress.com/2010/05/26/deed-of-paksenarrion-by-elizabeth-moon/

The books in Legacy of Gird take place chronologically before the Deed of Paksenarrion. The first book Surrender None is the telling of Gird’s life, his struggle to free his people from Tyrants and the act that made him a saint in the High Lord’s service.  The second book, Liars Oath, follows the character Luap introduced in Deed of Paksenarrion as Gird’s second in command. It chronicles his deeds from basically the time shortly before Gird’s death up until the time the “sleeping knights” that Paks and the others found in the fortress in Kolobia. So lets take them separately:

Surrender None can be read separately as a stand alone novel, you don’t need to read Deed to follow this book. However with that said you see how much the elves that told Paks that the Gird as told in her time by the Fellowship  is nothing like the real Gird and makes it a very interesting read in that context for readers of Deed. You truly get to see how a man that would love nothing better than to be able to farm his land peacefully and raise a family is pushed step by step into rebellion.

Liar’s Oath is a vastly different read then Surrender None. For those that have read Deed prior to this story (and Surrender None) know that the real Luap is nothing like the Luap of tale in Paks time and you can sense the coming train wreck. One of the things that delayed Paks from becoming a Paladin of Gird was because the story told in the “Official History” The Life of Gird made Gird out to be unbelievable. Turns out this was Luaps fault because he didn’t believe that by telling the plain truth about Gird, people in the future would not believe he was a true hero. He didn’t do this by accident but on purpose through scheming, including excluding that one of Gird’s Marshal’s was his own daughter. You also see how Luap’s scheming ended up causing the problems in Paks time between the Fellowship and the MageBorn. Turns out Girds dream of peace was the Mageborn and his people living side by side, but Luap separated them after Girds death. One positive thing that you find in this story is how two street urchins/orphans (one peasant and one mageborn) of Girds war against the Mageborn Lords, become first his adoptive children and then the first two Paladins.

Overall I place Surrender None as #3 on the list of the books in this series with Sheep Farmers Daughter being #1 and Oath of Gold being #2. Liars Oath comes in dead last behind the second book in Deed of Paksenarrion and the newest books in this universe Oath of Fealty (which I will talk about some other time)

Sidenote Keri Phelan as King of Lyona and Paks make two appearances in Liars Oath, which I won’t go into since it would spoil the surprise of why they are in it.

http://www.elizabethmoon.com/books-paksworld.html

RINO’s, the GOP and the Tea Party

The Republican Senatorial primary in Delaware was a fascinating race and should be a wake up call to not just the GOP establishment but also to the Dems, however in less than 24 hrs the Dems have shown that they hit the snooze button and rolled back over.

Poll after Poll through the years has shown that the United States is a right of center nation, ie conservative. Self identified conservatives out number liberals, but have not historically been motivated to “get out the vote”, it takes something extraordinary to rouse them up. Carter in his bumbling over foreign policy during a recession (hmm sounds familiar) was one such time, Clinton and his wife Hillary during the first 2 years of his Presidency and their running roughshod over the will of the people (hmm sounds familiar) was another. Both times the President and his party angered the conservative majority enough to drive them to vote. Obama and his socialist agenda  is another such time and maybe this time both party’s will get the message finally through their thick skulls.

For the Dems: We will never become the Socialist Utopia that the Progressives in your party dream of. Every time you have tried this stunt you have gotten slapped down by the people. Eventually if you keep it up you will anger the majority enough that you guys will only be able to be elected in places like San Francisco and Berkley. You keep letting that Far left fringe setting your agenda and being the face of your part,y you will get the civil war in your party you think is happening now in  the Republican party for one very simple reason, something you still haven’t grasped about the Tea Party: The Tea Party isn’t just Republicans. That’s right Dems, there is Democrats in the Tea Party that have watched the far left fringe take over and are pissed. That anger at your actions has been expressed through their involvement in the Tea Party. You guys have been trying the “ignore it and it will go away” strategy for over a year and the problem isn’t getting better for you is it? That’s because hiding your head in the sand only makes it easier for people to kick your ass, not solve your problems. So until you clean the fringe out you will continue to get your ass kicked. If you don’t clean house well your party will fracture leaving you as a rump party of die hard progressives that are just too yellow to call themselves red.

For the Republicans: You also keep forgetting this is a conservative country and keep hauling RINO’s out as if they are something special. Hate to break the news to you but they have been what has cost the GOP elections for the White House. Your compromises to get their votes in the Congress has caused you to enact policies that have gotten you voted out. Why vote for a progressive in RINO clothing when you can have the real thing at less cost? And yes a RINO is worse then having a progressive Dem in any particular Senate or House Seat, especially when you have a socialist President and this is something the GOP establishment like Karl Rove can’t or won’t comprehend. They like to put out that someone like O’Donnel is unelectable and we needed Castle in that seat, now we will have one less (R) Senator. Now here is where Rove just can’t seem to grasp what that means in the real world even when someone points it out to him. Using Rove’s own example of a vote coming down to 1 Senator lets not just look at Castle as a Republican by himself, let put him into context. First lets assume that the bill is something like Cap and Tax and the vote comes down to this Delaware Senatorial seat. If the vote is Yea Obama gets his Job killing bill passed, if Nay it dies the death it deserves. So lets look at 3 scenarios and how things work out and why a RINO in that seat is the worst thing in the world;

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Wildfires, Pine Beetles and CAGW/Climate Change Part 1

UPDATE: See end of article for the update

With the recent wildfire in Colorado I knew it would be just a matter of time before someone would attempt to tie it into “Climate Change” or for the more brave/honest CAGW. Why did I believe this? Because the supporters of the CAGW religion have tried to tie every wildfire to it, remember back in July and the Russian wildfires. Back then they used the “Moscow/Russian Heat Wave” as the excuse for the raging wildfire and that heat wave was due to climate change/CAGW. What made this one more egregious than most was there was some reputed scientists, who should have known better, going around selling that load of garbage. Not even NOAA could back that lie up and quickly distanced themselves from it:

Despite this strong evidence for a warming planet, greenhouse gas forcing fails to explain the 2010 heat wave over western Russia. The natural process of atmospheric blocking, and the climate impacts induced by such blocking, are the principal cause for this heat wave. It is not known whether, or to what extent, greenhouse gas emissions may affect the frequency or intensity of blocking during summer. It is important to note that observations reveal no trend in a daily frequency of July blocking over the period since 1948, nor is there an appreciable trend in the absolute values of upper tropospheric summertime heights over western Russia for the period since 1900.

The indications are that the current blocking event is intrinsic to the natural variability of summer climate in this region, a region which has a climatological vulnerability to blocking and associated heat waves (e.g., 1960, 1972, 1988). A high index value for blocking days is not a necessary condition for high July surface temperature over western Russia–the warm summers of 1981, 1999, 2001, and 2002 did not experience an unusual number of blocking days.

http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/csi/moscow2010/

 

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Massive Ontogenetic Regulation Failure Syndrome (MORFS)

Sounds like a nasty disease doesn’t it? Well if you think that, you would be correct but only in author Brittany McMasters MORFS universe. Unlike most postings I have made in this category this is not about a particular book/story nor about any one author, but about a concept for a Sci Fi universe that multiple authors wright in. First what is MORFS?

‘Massive Ontogenetic Regulation Failure Syndrome’ or MORFS for short, was originally launched on the world’s population by means of a genetically engineered virus. It had been started as an attempt at a biological weapon by a group of terrorists back in the early 2000s. The virus spread unnoticed across the globe. All life forms that experience some form of puberty where affected. This virus altered the strand of DNA that is supposed to protect and regulate the integrity of an individual’s genome. The mutated portion essentially disables all or part of that activity, thus allowing many other mutations and gene swaps to appear and survive. This altered DNA was passed down to all subsequent generations and now each child is faced with the chance of undergoing life changing mutations in their teenage years.

As you can see it is set in a “parallel” universe to our own where a biological weapon doesn’t do what it was planned to do, but in some ways it did something far worse: It forces people to critically examine whether they “like” someone based on something physical or for who they are, because the physical can change drastically in just a few short days. In the MORFS Universe you have people switch genders, grow tails, wings or other animal traits. You see people go from being Ms./Mr. Good Looking to looking  literally like a horse. You also have the standby “powers’ of Science Fiction such as Telepathy, Telempathy, TK, Teleportation, Super Strength and more that people can get in various degrees and can be feared by those that don’t have nor understand it.

While some of the authors use the universe as a platform for their own political, religious and social beliefs to me that is far outweighed by the question of: “How would you think of your Girlfriend/Boyfriend (remember the characters are set at the age of puberty), Son/Daughter if they suddenly stopped looking like they did and now look like a cross between a human and a cat (or dog, bear, pig, squirrel, horse….) or they switched from Male to Female or vice versa”.

Another aspect is how would you handle such a thing? one day you are Tommy the Running Back in high school and 4 days later your Tammy with the reproductive equipment to go along with that name.

if you want to explore stories like that go to Brittany McMasters MORFS site and give it try:

http://morfs.nowhere2go.org/

GISS Map Maker Data Compared to GISS LOTI Data

While playing around with the GISS Map maker program, I had a thought: “How accurate is the Map Maker’s estimated Global Mean to the one in their Land Ocean Temperature Index (LOTI)?”. So I went ahead and started making a spreadsheet by bringing the most up to date LOTI data into it first. You can get the NASA GISS LOTI data here: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata/GLB.Ts+dSST.txt

After that I went to the GISS Map Maker Program ( http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/maps/ ) and started making maps. I set the parameters to Annual Dec-Nov, GISS analysis with Had/Reyn SST with the 1951-80 baseline with the 1200km smoothing. From there you just go year by year making maps for each year. In the upper right hand corner is the estimated global mean anomaly for that year. From there I just copied it into the spreadsheet for that year. I then repeated the process for the 250km smoothing option. This allows us to see the differences in the yearly global mean anomalies for both 1200km and 250 km compared to the LOTI and if there is any differences between each trend.

First lets compare the Map Maker 1200km data to the GISS LOTI which is also calculated with a 1200km “smoothing” as GISS puts it. As can be seen there is a little divergence between the two where there should be none. This translates into a small divergence in the trend between them. The GISS LOTI looks to the old mark one eyeball to be a trend of about .74°C and the Map Maker 1200km to be slightly less at about .73°C.

While that difference between those two is interesting, it is not as interesting as the differences between them and the Map Maker 250km trend and exactly where the 250km data diverges from the two 1200km “smoothed” products the most. First the trend for the 250km product is about .66°C to .67°C which is a slight drop in trend compared to the other two, however its where the divergence that occurs that is the most interesting: Between the years 1881-1894 and 2002 to the present. Now why is that interesting? It has to do with the actual numbers of stations used in the GHCN database for those years. Click the link to the following Graph to get a close up picture: http://chiefio.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/thermometer-records-by-year.gif . You can also see that same graph from the NASA GISS stations data page here (but smaller): http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/station_data/

What you see in those graphs is that the total number of stations in the 1881-1894 time range is very similar to what we see today, but where the number of stations used in the database grows over time until the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s from 1881 the number has been decreasing recently, the “Great Dying of Thermometers”. This touches on something that has been debated on in the blogosphere on whether the drop in stations has effected the trends in the data by the way the data is analyzed. We can now answer that question for the NASA GISS dataset with an affirmative. It is clearly shown in the above graph of GISS data that the more infilling there is, the more warming there is. This also shows that Dr. Hansens assertion that temperatures correlate over 1200km distance is false as well. Unlike others that try to test this with theoretical models, simulations and toy worlds this was done using the real world data as adjusted by NASA GISS and their GISTemp program. However it can also be shown that there appears to be a threshold to where it effects the data, as shown the divergence is only really noticeable when the number of stations have been at their lowest.

Well At Least He Didn’t Call It A 5 Year Plan

Taking a page out the economic play book of the Soviet Union, President Obama has come out with a 6 year infrastructure plan to build roads, bridges and rail lines. You know the things the Stimulus plan of 2009 was supposed to have done. Remember shovel ready?

White House officials said the $50 billion in new government spending would be the first installment of a six-year transportation strategy that would include investments in high-speed rail and air traffic control. To pay for it, the administration would raise taxes on oil and gas companies.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/06/AR2010090602161.html

Well so much for the pledge about not raising taxes on the middle and lower income classes, because we all know that those increased taxes will lead to rate hikse, higher heating oil costs and it will cost you more to drive to work (for those that won’t lose their jobs when the economy tanks).

Another laugher is how this President says the Republicans do not have any new ideas, then turns around and comes up with ideas to “help” the economy that are 80 years old. Also for being such a great intellectual he should also have know these 5 err 6 year plans have a very bad track record, just go ask the Soviets:

The Five-Year Plans for the National Economy of the Soviet Union (Russian: пятилетка, Pyatiletka) were a series of nation-wide centralized exercises in rapid economic development in the Soviet Union. The plans were developed by a state planning committee based on the Theory of Productive Forces that was part of the general guidelines of the Communist Party for economic development. Fulfilling the plan became the watchword of Soviet bureaucracy. (See Overview of the Soviet economic planning process) The same method of planning was also adopted by most other communist states, including the People’s Republic of China. In addition, several capitalist states have emulated the concept of central planning, though in the context of a market economy, by setting integrated economic goals for a finite period of time.

The initial five-year plans were created to serve in the rapid industrialization of the Soviet Union, and thus placed a major focus on heavy industry. Altogether, there were 13 five-year plans. The first one was accepted in 1928, for the five year period from 1929 to 1933, and completed one year early. The last, thirteenth Five-Year Plan was for the period from 1991 to 1995 and was not completed, as the Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991.

First lets look at a “successful” five year plan:

The First Plan, 1928–1933

From 1928 to 1940, the number of Soviet workers in industry, construction, and transport grew from 4.6 million to 12.6 million and factory output soared.[citation needed] Stalin’s first five-year plan helped make the USSR a leading industrial nation; albeit at the expense of millions of lives and a decline in the standard of living.

Remember in the progressive world millions dying is considered a success. Now lets look at an unsuccessful one:

The Second Plan, 1933–1937

Because of the success of the first plan, the government went ahead with the Second Five-Year Plan in 1932, although the official start-date for the plan was 1933. The Second Five-Year Plan gave heavy industry top priority, placing the Soviet Union not far behind Germany as one of the major steel-producing countries of the world. On top of this, communications, especially railways, became faster. As was the case with the other five-year plans, the second was not uniformly successful, failing to reach the recommended production levels in such crucial areas as coal and oil. The second plan employed incentives as well as punishments and the targets were eased as a reward for the first plan being finished ahead of schedule in only four years. Women were encouraged to participate in the plan as childcare was offered to mothers so they could go to work and not need to worry about their children.

During this time, the new Soviet system of government continued to evolve as different solutions were applied in an attempt to revive the agrarian sector of the country’s economy, but these efforts were largely unsuccessful because almost all of the farmers had already been evicted, imprisoned and systematically murdered as the political persecutions shifted into high gear, culminating in the Great Purge. The sum total of The Second Five-Year Plan was a deterioration of the standard of living because the focus of “planners’ preferences” replaced consumer preferences in the country’s economy, with an emphasis on military goods and heavy industry, so that is what the economy provided. This resulted in a much lower quality and quantity of available consumer goods.

So let me gets this straight? The first plan was a success and they had millions die and the standard of living dropped, the second plan failed and they had millions murdered and the standard of living dropped? Hmm I’m beginning to see a pattern emerge here. Never mind they had to get the kinks worked out and finally be able to feed themselves?

The Eleventh Plan, 1981–1985

During the Eleventh Five-Year Plan, the country imported some 42 million tons of grain annually, almost twice as much as during the Tenth Five-Year Plan and three times as much as during the Ninth Five-Year Plan (1971–75). The bulk of this grain was sold by the West; in 1985, for example, 94 percent of Soviet grain imports were from the nonsocialist world, with the United States selling 14.1 million tons. However, total Soviet export to the West was always almost as high as import, for example, in 1984 total export to the West was 21.3 billion rubles, while total import was 19.6 billion rubles.

Ok they didn’t things just got steadily worse, but don’t worry they had a 5 year plan to fix that!

The Thirteenth Plan 1991

This plan, which would have run until 1995, only lasted about one year due to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five-Year_Plans_for_the_National_Economy_of_the_Soviet_Union

So how is that hope and change working out?