Month: May 2018

Josh’s ‘stupidest paper ever’ cartoon on a mousepad and polar bear science tote bags

You can now own a mouse pad featuring Josh’s ‘stupidest paper ever’ cartoon or treat yourself to a versatile tote bag for your summer activities with a positive, non-confrontational message about polar bears. Or give them as gifts. Proceeds from these useful items will help support my work here at Polar Bear Science.

mousepad and tote together_PolarBearScience


Josh’s cartoon on a mouse pad

Josh’s cartoon commemorates the Harvey et al. 2018 paper published in the journal BioScience (“Internet blogs, polar bears, and climate-change denial by proxy”), described by climate scientist Judith Curry as “absolutely the stupidest paper ever published.”

See my April 2018 blog summary of the issue here, in pdf format here.

Presented as a work of peer-reviewed science by the editor’s of the journal BioScience, this paper attempts to destroy my professional scientific credibility on polar bears (Rajan and Tol 2018) due to my criticisms of Steve Amstrup’s 2007 polar bear survival predictive model and Ian Stirling’s continued insistence that polar bears are unable to survive an Arctic with less summer sea ice than they had in the 1980s.

With Josh’s permission, the mouse pad is available to order at my PolarBearScience2 store at Zazzle via the links below for $15.00. Makes a great gift!

Or in black, if you prefer:


Polar Bear Science Tote Bags

For shopping, the beach, or carrying books, I also offer two sizes of canvas bags with a positive, non-confrontational message about the status of polar bears. Decorated with the same fabulous image of a polar bear that graces the cover of my novel (“EATEN”), the text simply reads, “Outstanding Survivors of Climate Change.”

1) Polar Bear Survivor Large Canvas Tote [“Outstanding Survivors of Climate Change”], $27.90:

Relative size of large tote:

Polar bear survivor large tote image 1


Polar bear survivor large tote image closeup

2) Polar Bear Survivor Small Canvas Bag [“Outstanding Survivors of Climate Change”], $13.65:

Relative size of small canvas bag:

Polar bear survivor small tote image 1


Harvey, J.A., van den Berg, D., Ellers, J., Kampen, R., Crowther, T.W., Roessingh, P., Verheggen, B., Nuijten, R. J. M., Post, E., Lewandowsky, S., Stirling, I., Balgopal, M., Amstrup, S.C., and Mann, M.E. 2017. Internet blogs, polar bears, and climate-change denial by proxy. Bioscience 68: 281-287. DOI: 10.1093/biosci/bix133 Open Access, available here. Supplementary data file available here and the data for the principal component analysis is available here and (h/t to R. Tol), the R code is available here Corrigendum here (issued 28 March 2018). Scheduled for the April print issue.

Rajan, A. and Tol, R.S. 2018. Lipstick on a bear: a comment on internet blogs, polar bears, and climate change denial by proxy. Open Science Framework January 2018, DOI10.13140/RG.2.2.18048.12804. Available here.

via polarbearscience

May 31, 2018 at 05:24PM

Despite cooling problems NOAA GOES17 is producing good visible imagery

Despite cooling problems NOAA GOES17 is producing good visible imagery

We reported last week on the cooling problems associated with GOES17 and the infrared imager. Now a new image has been released that shows the western U.S. and the Pacific.

Click for a larger image:

This image provided by NOAA/NASA on Thursday, May 31, 2018 shows the Earth’s western hemisphere at 12:00 p.m. EDT on May 20, 2018 made by the new GOES-17 satellite, using the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) instrument. The weather satellite observes Earth from about 22,300 miles above the surface. Despite a serious cooling problem, the newest U.S. weather satellite has produced sharp snapshot of Earth. On May 23, 2018, NOAA reported that critical infrared sensors in the satellite’s main instrument were not staying cold enough. (NOAA/NASA via AP) 

Via AP:

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released the GOES-17 satellite’s first image Thursday. It shows the Western Hemisphere in detail from 22,000 miles up.

Last week, NOAA reported that critical infrared sensors in the satellite’s main instrument were not staying cold enough. The picture taken May 20 and released Thursday relied mostly on the few unaffected channels in the  and near infrared.

NASA launched GOES-17 in March. The problem with the satellite’s advanced imager cropped up during routine testing several weeks after liftoff. A special team is investigating the issue.

An identical imager, also made by the Florida-based Harris Corp., is working fine on the 2016-launched GOES-16.


via Watts Up With That?

May 31, 2018 at 04:58PM

Inconvenient: new treeline paper suggest temperatures were warmer 9000 years ago

3 to 4 degrees centigrade warmer, in fact. Far greater than recent warming.

The new paper, Kulman et al. 2018 relies on paleoclimatology, which as we’ve learned from Mann, can be taken with a grain of salt.

Because trees may only grow within narrowly-defined temperature ranges and elevations above sea level, perhaps the most reliable means of assessing the air temperatures of past climates is to collect ancient treeline evidence.

In a new paper, Kullman (2018) found tree remnants at mountain sites 600 to 700 meters north of where the modern treeline ends, strongly implying Early Holocene air temperatures in northern Sweden were 3-4°C warmer than recent decades.

Kullman, 2018

“The present paper reports results from an extensive project aiming at the improved understanding of postglacial subalpine/alpine vegetation, treeline, glacier and climate history in the Scandes of northern Sweden. The main methodology is analyses of megafossil tree remnants, i.e. trunks, roots, and cones, recently exposed at the fringe of receding glaciers and snow/ice patches. This approach has a spatial resolution and accuracy, which exceeds any other option for tree cover reconstruction in high-altitude mountain landscapes.”

All recovered tree specimens originate from exceptionally high elevations, about 600-700 m atop of modern treeline positions.”

“Conservatively drawing on the latter figure and a summer temperature lapse rate of 0.6 °C per 100 m elevation (Laaksonen 1976), could a priori mean that summer temperatures were at least 4.2 °C warmer than present around 9,500 years before present. However, glacio-isostatic land uplift by at least 100 m since that time (Möller 1987; Påsse & Anderson 2005) implies that this figure has to be reduced to 3.6 °C higher than present-day levels, i.e. first decades of the 21st century. Evidently, this was the warmth peak of the Holocene, hitherto.”

“This inference concurs with paleoclimatic reconstructions from Europe and Greenland (Korhola et al. 2002; Bigler et al. 2003; Paus 2013; Luoto et al. 2014; Väliranta et al. 2015).”

This study adds seven new dates of mega fossil tree remnants (4 Betula, 2 Pinus, 1 Picea) to a
previous sample of 21 specimens from the same glacier (12 Betula, 9 Pinus) (Kullman &Öberg
2015). Individual dates are given in Table 1 and the samples are depicted in Figures 5-7. They range
in elevation between 1410 and 1275 m a.s.l., which is about 600 and 700 m higher than the nearest
present-day treelines of these species. The ages all represent the early Holocene, c. 11 200 to 6700
before present.

There’s also this new paper:

Greenland Ice Sheet 2-5°C Warmer With Much Lower Volume During The Early Holocene

Nielsen et al., 2018

The Holocene climatic optimum was a period 8–5 kyr ago when annual mean surface temperatures in Greenland were 2–3°C warmer than present-day values. … The initial mass loss in response to the temperature increase in the early Holocene is largest when forcing the ice sheet with the temperature and accumulation reconstructions from Gkinis and others (2014) (Experiment 5). In this simulation, temperature anomalies peak at more than 5°C above the present-day reference climate in the early Holocene and the ice sheet loses 20% of its volume in the 3000 years following the onset of the Holocene through increased surface melting.”

“The largest and most rapid retreat of the ice sheet was found for Experiment 5, which was forced by the temperature and accumulation reconstructions of Gkinis and others (2014). In this temperature reconstruction, temperature increases rapidly at the onset of the interglacial and has several shorter periods with temperatures more than 5°C above present in the early Holocene. .. Geological evidence suggests further that the ice-sheet margins in the southwest retreated up to  100 km behind their present-day position during the mid-Holocene (Funder and others, 2011). This evidence is further supported by interpretations of relative sea-level records and bedrock uplift rates that also point towards ice sheet retreat beyond the present ice volume in the mid-Holocene (Khan and others, 2008; Funder and others, 2011; Lecavalier and others, 2014).”

We find that the ice sheet retreats to a minimum volume of 0.15–1.2 m sea-level equivalent smaller than present in the early or mid-Holocene when forcing an ice-sheet model with temperature reconstructions that contain a climatic optimum, and that the ice sheet has continued to recover from this minimum up to present day.”

Graph Source: Nielsen et al., 2018 and Briner et al., 2016

via Watts Up With That?

May 31, 2018 at 04:43PM

Turnbull govt proposes carbon tax on new cars to keep old cars on the road and increase pollution

Showing an uncanny knack to do exactly the wrong thing at the point when it becomes unfashionably late, the Turnbull government  is apparently considering using Australian cars to control the climate. As a nation of die-hard car heads with the lowest population density in the world and award winning high prices for electricity, we qualify as the last advanced nation on Earth who should go “electric”. Currently, EV’s are so rare here, we have one for every 1,750 square kilometers.

The day after Trump was elected on a vow to quash Paris, we signed up, now as the US winds back emissions rules, Turnbull wants to ramp them up:

Carbon laws ‘to drive top cars off the road’

The Australian, Ben Packham and

The car industry has warned that some of Australia’s most popular cars will be taken off the market, or face significant price hikes, under tough carbon-emissions standards being actively considered by the Turnbull government.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries said the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger, the ­nation’s top-selling cars last year, would be among those at risk under proposed emissions rules, similar to those abandoned by US President Donald Trump.

How many storms […]

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via JoNova

May 31, 2018 at 02:52PM