The United States Clean Power Plan … It’s time.

“There is such a thing as being too late.”

Posted in Anthropocene, astrophysics, bifurcations, bridge to nowhere, carbon dioxide, Carbon Tax, citizenship, civilization, clean disruption, climate, climate change, climate disruption, climate education, climate justice, decentralized electric power generation, decentralized energy, demand-side solutions, destructive economic development, ecology, economics, energy, engineering, forecasting, fossil fuel divestment, fossil fuels, geophysics, global warming, Hyper Anthropocene, ignorance, investment in wind and solar energy, IPCC, meteorology, oceanography, physics, politics, Principles of Planetary Climate, rationality, Ray Pierrehumbert, reasonableness, risk, science, science education, sea level rise, statistics, sustainability, Tamino, temporal myopia, the right to know, time series, UNFCCC, UU Humanists, Westwood, wind power, zero carbon | Leave a comment

New Paper Shows Global Climate Model Errors are Significantly Less Than Thought (Dan’s Wild Wild Science Journal)

New Paper Shows Global Climate Model Errors are Significantly Less Than Thought – Dan's Wild Wild Science Journal – AGU Blogosphere.

The paper is here, unfortunately behind a paywall.

I wonder if they looked at the temperature distributions’ second moments? See Section 7 of this summary.

Posted in statistics, climate, rationality, reasonableness, physics, science, geophysics, oceanography, environment, meteorology, differential equations, forecasting, carbon dioxide, NASA, NOAA, NCAR, model comparison, climate change, open data, diffusion processes, time series, Arctic, global warming, climate disruption, climate models, ensembles, Tamino, prediction, HadCRUT4 | Leave a comment

Hausfathers “Climate Impacts of Coal and Natural Gas”

Zeke Hausfather published “Climate Impacts of Coal and Natural Gas” on the BEST project site. He makes a close analysis of the relative benefits of coal and natural gas, considering the subtleties and pitfalls of “global warming potential” as a measure, and fully considering various ranges for fugitive methane emissions. He concludes that natural gas has a role as a “bridge fuel”, but, in doing so, fails to consider the inevitable products of natural gas combustion or natural breakdown of its methane in the environment, and, that is, carbon dioxide. It’s all about the carbon dioxide. It’s always all about the CO2. See, for instance,

Present recommendations place a zero Carbon emissions target for clamping average global surface temperature, not average global land surface temperature mind, to +2° C over preindustrial. Now some, including me, suggest +2° C is a bit much, but it looks like that’s (unfortunately) an almost academic argument, given that getting to a +2° C limit will be challenging.

But the point of the Hausfather argument has been heard before, event if the details of rhetoric differ a bit. The key problem I see with it is that natural gas infrastructure, whether fracking, pipeline, or distribution, is being installed as if its lifetime were infinite or, at least, the standard depreciation period of 50 years, and that’s WAY too long for it to be a good and valid tool for greenhouse gas reduction. This is not because it’s better or worse than coal, but simply because it contributes to carbon dioxide emissions and, to reach the goal we need to reach, these need to be zero by 2050.

“So what?” you say.

The “what” is that if indeed all this natural gas infrastructure needs to be abandoned by 2050, or 2080, or 2100, the financial burden of paying it off is accordingly higher. That means that the per unit delivery cost of natural gas to the end customer, whether residential, or a utility burning natural gas to obtain “clean electricity” is grossly understated compared to what it ought to be if that were properly reflected. That means that natural gas is competing unfairly in the marketplace compared with, oh, I don’t know, wind and solar, because the accounting procedure does not reflect the reality of what needs to be done.

Natural gas companies are getting a break on their pricing because no one in the federal government is seriously considering the need to curtail greenhouse gas emissions on a schedule. That’s messing up the transition to zero Carbon.

It’s about time someone really started thinking this through.

Posted in statistics, climate, rationality, reasonableness, physics, geophysics, environment, ecology, energy, forecasting, risk, consumption, energy reduction, carbon dioxide, methane, the right to know, natural gas, bridge to nowhere, climate change, Ray Pierrehumbert, Anthropocene, zero carbon, global warming, climate disruption, fossil fuels, COP21, James Hansen, pipelines | Leave a comment

“Where most of us live (with apologies to southern-hemisphere readers)” [reblog of Tamino]


Love the comparison with Berkeley Earth Surface Temperatures.

Originally posted on Open Mind:

Almost all of us live on land, not the ocean. And, most of us live in the northern hemisphere, not the southern. For the benefit of most of us, let’s take a closer look at how temperature has changed, in the northern hemisphere, on land.

View original 1,100 more words

Posted in Anthropocene, carbon dioxide, citizen science, climate, climate change, climate data, climate disruption, denial, ecology, education, environment, forecasting, fossil fuels, geophysics, hiatus, Hyper Anthropocene, IPCC, mathematics, maths, meteorology, NOAA, open data, physics, prediction, rationality, reasonableness, risk, science, science education, statistics, Tamino, time series, Uncategorized, Wordpress | Leave a comment

It was the year 2000, Elizabeth Houghton had just died, and the plan was to restore the ecosystems about Fowl Meadow

Please remember Elizabeth Houghton as you pass by Routes 128 and 95 in Canton, looking north over her beloved Fowl Meadow and the Neponset River. She can no longer show you her photographs of the watershed under flood conditions and remind you that the aquifer under the meadow is 150 feet deep, holds 95 billion gallons of pure water, and provides flood storage to protect abutting towns. Elizabeth would applaud our efforts to restore Neponset wetlands, but she would remind us that there are presently nine separate proposed transportation and public works projects that threaten its well being.

Which of us will protect it now?

Ellen Anderson
Longtime friend and colleague from the Neponset River Watershed Association
November 1999

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Neponset River Watershed Association issued a report in the year 2000 titled “Restoring Wetlands Of The Neponset River Watershed”. Included in their goals was the following plan:
(Click on image to see a bigger picture)
With the huge University Station development underway, shown below, Fowl Meadow is bound to suffer, once again the victim of development.
(Click on image to see a bigger picture)
That’s why I’m boycotting University Station in Westwood and all its shops.

Posted in biology, citizenship, consumption, destructive economic development, ecology, environment, ethics, exponential growth, floods, Hyper Anthropocene, ignorance, living shorelines, politics, population biology, prediction, rationality, reasonableness, risk, science, statistics, the right to know, transparency, University Station, Westwood | Leave a comment

Comprehensive and compact tutorial on Petris’ DLM package in R; with an update about Helske’s KFAS

A blogger named Lalas produced on Quantitative Thoughts a very comprehensive and compact tutorial on the R package dlm by Petris. I use dlm a lot.

Unfortunately, Lalas does not give details on how the SVD is used. They do report that their tutorial is based in part on slides by Petris, and on slides by Zivot and Yollin. Petris himself acknowledges the SVD approach as originating with:

  • L. Wang, G. Libert, P. Manneback, “Kalman Filter Algorithm Based on Singular Value Decomposition,” Proceedings of the 31st Conference on Decision and Control, 1992, pp. 1224–1229.
  • Y. Zhang, R. Li, “Fixed-Interval Smoothing Algorithm Based on Singular Value Decomposition,” Proceedings of the 1996 IEEE International Conference on Control Applications, 1996, pp. 916–921.

Update, 1st August 2015

While reading a review by Tusell, my attention was drawn to the very recent (2015) KFAS package, developed and described by Helske, which I’m intending to try as a competitor to dlm. The detailed references are:

Posted in statistics, maths, Bayesian, stochastic algorithms, mathematics, R, forecasting, Bayes, open source scientific software, time series, state-space models, dynamical systems, Kalman filter, multivariate statistics, Rauch-Tung-Striebel, prediction, dynamic linear models, numerical software, SVD | Leave a comment

WHT’s “Climate Sensitivity and the 33C Discrepancy”

I happened across a blog post (from 2013) by the mysterious blogger known as WHT (*) titled “Climate Sensitivity and the 33C Discrepancy“. If I could, I’d reblog it here, but their blogging site is not WordPress-friendly. WHT is now posting future things at context/Earth and I will follow. WHT produces a lot of interesting sites and posts, like a “stochastic analysis of log sensitivity to CO2“, and “spatial and temporal correlations of wind“.

Anyway, “Climate Sensitivity and the 33C Discrepancy” gives (yet) another way to prove, without further obfuscation or distraction, the connection between increasing atmospheric CO2 and global climate change.

(*) “WHT” may well mean “Webhubbletelescope” which is the blogging handle of one Paul Pukite.

Posted in astrophysics, carbon dioxide, climate, climate change, climate disruption, climate models, dynamical systems, ENSO, environment, forecasting, fossil fuels, geophysics, global warming, mathematics, maths, meteorology, oceanography, physics, Principles of Planetary Climate, rationality, reasonableness, risk, science, WHT | 1 Comment

BOYCOTT University Station, Westwood, MA

Details here: Image below.

Additional reasons were given here. And here.

Here’s the re-cap:

The Town of Westwood has pushed, encouraged, supported, and, some might say, rushed and railroaded through the development of a major shopping mall on its southern edge, the University Station project. This property, near a former industrial site, is also within the Neponset River watershed (see Indeed, the Neponset River is close by. There are also wells which supply the Dedham-Westwood water close by.

The Neposet River Watershed Association submitted comments on the project (see which were parried by the engineers for the shopping mall developer without intercession by the Town’s Conservation Commission or its Board of Selectmen. Not addressed in that exchange, as worthwhile as the NRWA’s critique was, were the choices these engineers made to estimate local precipitation . Those choices calibrate University Station’s ability to deal with runoff, according to prevalent stormwater regulations, at the 0.90 quantile of daily precipitation between 2000-2009 at the local Norwood Airport. That baseline would exclude, for instance, the 3 inch rainfaill in 24 hours which flooded sections of Westwood, a circumstance which would flush car fluids and other contaminants into the Neponset watershed, overwhelming the design of the Station’s drainage system (see and and

Furthermore, the Town had a Superior court order in hand demanding restoration of 25,000 square feet of wetlands because it impacted an area of that size when it built facilities for its high school. Records and memory of those who have lived here as publicly available do not show where this 25,000 square feet has been restored. The University Station area, proximate to the Neponset, would have been a perfect opportunity to return these 25,000 square feet to wetland in addition to buffering the effects of the Station, were it to be built, as it now has been.

Furthermore, the Town did not consider installation a large array of community solar on the same property, or requiring such of the developer of the Station or its tenants, especially on their roofs. They could have put solar canopies on a portion of the parking area. There are even ways of putting solar in the parking lots themselves, which have the advantage of keeping them automatically clear of snow and ice.

For all these reasons, University Station is an environmental blight, a paen to continued unbridled development in Westwood and elsewhere. And these actions completely ignore the future, with the prospect of torrential downpours being exacerbated by climate disruption and change due to increasing greenhouse gas emissions.

It’s worth boycotting University Station. I am, whether for shopping (preferring Roche Brothers), or social engagements. (I won’t attend if they are there.)

By the way, each of the above are documents from the public record at the Town of Westwood site, at least as of 19 May 2015. Screenshots of links to some of these documents are:

And the links themselves are:

You’ll find plenty of engineering discussion and response on those pages pertaining to runoff and stormwater. But, as in any engineering, the designs are only as good as the assumptions made. The key one here, to iterate, is daily precipitation at the 0.90 quantile of the amounts seen 2000-2009 in Norwood. Alternatively, the MAXIMUM seen during that period might be advisable, since the point is to contain the worst case runoff, or, better, the MAXIMUM PROJECTED precipitation over the lifetime of the structures. But they did not. No doubt, as you’ll see if you read the documents, there are loopholes in MassDEP regulations to permit such. Whether or not it is environmentally wise is my question, and the reason I recommend the boycott.

I’ll address the risks incurred by failing to use the expected extremes in daily precipitation some day in a post at my blog ( in conjunction with data from Norwood, and data from the Town of Sharon. However, it doesn’t take much to see what I’m getting at. Here’s the history of rain events bigger than 2.5 inches in a midnight-to-midnight day from May 2000 until May 2015, recorded at Norwood Airport (KOWD) which is where the University Station engineers chose their data:

EDT Precipitation (in) Events
2000-12-17 2.63 Rain-Thunderstorm
2001-3-22 2.86 Rain
2001-6-17 3.12 Fog-Rain-Thunderstorm
2004-4-1 2.61 Rain
2005-5-25 2.57 Rain
2005-10-15 4.60 Rain
2006-6-7 3.17 Rain
2008-2-13 2.71 Fog-Rain-Snow
2008-7-24 2.53 Fog-Rain-Thunderstorm
2010-3-14 3.09 Rain
2013-6-7 3.02 Rain
2014-10-23 2.58 Rain-Thunderstorm
2014-12-9 2.54 Rain

There are 13 of these. So, on average, assuming these are Poisson events, one of these occurs about once every 15 months.

Much of the advertising for University Station emphasizes both its beauty, and the beautification of its customers. Well, I want to show you to, stark and real. In a lush, green landscape, dominated by the Neponset River, all University Station looks like is a wholly unnatural scar, an additional insult to the organic earthy Massachusetts plain, after the piercing by Route 128. I saw trees being cut today, trees which blocked the view of this unholy temple to unbridled consumption from the train station, trees cut and discarded as if they were irrelevant. That, folks, is the spirit of University Station.

(Click on image to see larger photo.)

Update 30th July 2015

The acclaim for the apartments advertised for University Station is barely a whisper. Why would anyone want to live there?

Posted in citizenship, climate change, climate disruption, conservation, corruption, destructive economic development, ecology, environment, ethics, MA, risk, University Station | 3 Comments

Hansen et al.

Originally posted on Open Mind:

A new paper by Hansen et al., Ice melt, sea level rise and superstorms: evidence from paleoclimate data, climate modeling, and modern observations that 2 °C global warming is highly dangerous is currently under review at the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussion.

The paper explores the possibility of, and consequences of, much more rapid melting of earth’s great ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica. It surveys evidence from the previous interglacial (the Eemian, about a hundred thousand years ago) of rapid fluctuations in sea level, its potential impact on the ocean’s overturning circulation, and of extreme storms as a consequence. It also reports the results of model simulations which include more, and rapidly increasing, injection of fresh water in regions of the ocean (around Antarctica and the north Atlantic) near the great ice sheets.

View original 1,159 more words

Posted in adaptation, Antarctica, Anthropocene, Arctic, astrophysics, bifurcations, bridge to nowhere, carbon dioxide, carbon dioxide capture, Cauchy distribution, chance, civilization, climate, climate change, climate disruption, climate zombies, COP21, denial, differential equations, dynamical systems, ecology, economics, environment, ethics, floods, forecasting, games of chance, geophysics, global warming, Hyper Anthropocene, IPCC, James Hansen, mathematics, maths, meteorology, nor'easters, oceanography, physics, politics, probability, rationality, reasonableness, science, sea level rise, statistics, Student t distribution, Tamino, temporal myopia, the right to know, transparency, Uncategorized, UNFCCC, zero carbon | Leave a comment

Mad Unscience (humorous, if it wasn’t so pathetic)

(Hat tip to Tamino‘s posting of this.)

This is priceless.

Posted in capricious gods, carbon dioxide, citizenship, climate, climate change, climate disruption, climate zombies, denial, global warming, history, Hyper Anthropocene, ignorance, obfuscating data, politics, rationality, reasonableness, science, science education, Tamino, UU Humanists | Leave a comment