Ask Stoat

Shamelessly copying RP's "ask prometheus" feature, I've added an "Ask Stoat" link to the sidebar, which directs here. So, that means I'm inviting you to submit climate-science-type related questions for my careful analysis. I'm not anticipating any great flood, but if there is, you'll have to wait your turn in the queue... Submit your questions via comments on this post, or email. And this may be a good point to mention that I'm tending now to use wmconnolley@gmail.com as my "public face" email, though at the moment it just redirects to the obvious one.


Blogger Brian said...

Glad you're doing this! My question is how do emission scenarios affect the IPCC 1.4 - 5.8C temperature range? Can we get a predicted temperature range for a Bush-style "business as usual" emission scenario, another range for moderate action to reduce emissions, and a third for drastic action?

2:55 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I’d be interested to know if you accept the IPCC conclusion most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities?

Just kidding.

I'd love your explanation of the R2 vs. RE statistical issue - what's necessary, what's sufficient, and why.

- John Fleck

7:01 pm  
Anonymous Steve Bloom said...

Now here's a new twist: http://www.earthsave.org/globalwarming.htm. I'd love to see this dissected, if and when you can get to it. I'd also second John's request on the RE/R^2 business, as it seems that tempest in a teapot will remain with us until the FAR provides a new set of targets.

7:24 am  
Blogger Belette said...

Earthsave should be easy enough, I'll take a look. R2 vs RE: Sorry to JF for not replying, busy etc: but I'm obviously out of touch: what is it code for? Is this some Bartonism?

10:49 am  
Anonymous Steve Bloom said...

RE vs. R^2 is McIntyre's latest hobbyhorse. His site is down just now so I can't provide a link, but it should be real easy to find.

Thanks for agreeing to look at the Earthsave business. One wonders why they came out with this position now since it seems to be mostly based on information from four or five years ago. (Although Earthsave itself is to all appearances a legitimate organization.) I looked over the 2001 Hansen paper and the subsequent UCS review, but the trail seemed to grow cold after that. Hansen's view then seemed to be based on the idea that it might be easier to wean people (Americans, anyway) off their addiction to meat than their addiction to fossil fuels. Does he still think this is true?

3:19 am  
Anonymous Miriam said...

Here's another for you. This story in the Guardian today looked interesting. How does it fit in?


9:55 am  
Anonymous Steve Bloom said...

Here's one close to home: http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0922-02.htm . It's often hard looking at articles like this to know whether anything substantial has been learned since last year's very similar articles. If the answer is that nothing has, that makes for a very brief response.

7:35 am  
Anonymous Steve Bloom said...

What *is* the deal with these Canadians?: http://www.springerlink.com/app/home/contribution.asp?wasp=027b762b01644580a4df4177bf7ac141&referrer=parent&backto=issue,9,15;journal,4,74;linkingpublicationresults,1:101201,1

Do articles like this get peer-reviewed?

4:40 am  
Anonymous Steve Bloom said...

So pasted below is the abstract of the new Science paper on the agreement of tropospheric water vapor with GCMs. How important is this? In particular, does it have help validate the amount of warming the models attribute to CO2 and other anthropogenic GHGs? If you don't have on-line access to Science or otherwise can't get the full paper, let me know and I'll be happy to send send you the PDF. (BTW, that previous question I posted suffered from a bad link on the Springer site, and now I can't find the article that prompted the question. So never mind. Although Canada does seem to have a disproportionate number of septics for some reason.)

Global Cooling After the Eruption of Mount Pinatubo: A Test of Climate Feedback by Water Vapor
Brian J. Soden,1* Richard T. Wetherald,1 Georgiy L. Stenchikov,2 Alan Robock2

The sensitivity of Earth's climate to an external radiative forcing depends critically on the response of water vapor. We use the global cooling and drying of the atmosphere that was observed after the eruption of Mount Pinatubo to test model predictions of the climate feedback from water vapor. Here, we first highlight the success of the model in reproducing the observed drying after the volcanic eruption. Then, by comparing model simulations with and without water vapor feedback, we demonstrate the importance of the atmospheric drying in amplifying the temperature change and show that, without the strong positive feedback from water vapor, the model is unable to reproduce the observed cooling. These results provide quantitative evidence of the reliability of water vapor feedback in current climate models, which is crucial to their use for global warming projections.

7:59 pm  
Anonymous Steve Bloom said...

Aha!: The Canadians rediscovered (full text version) at http://www.friendsofscience.org/documents/debate.pdf . The article might better be titled "A Wholly Credulous Review of Current Septic Thought." I'm not curious at all about the contents (been there, heard that), but am wondering who these people are and how in the world something like this gets published by an apparently-credible journal. Is it some kind of equal-time thing?

2:57 am  
Anonymous Steve Bloom said...

Sorry, I inadvertently posted the wrong water vapor abstract (a prior one by the same author from 2002), although the two together make for a nice one-two punch. Here's the fresh one:


The Radiative Signature of Upper Tropospheric Moistening

Brian J. Soden, Darren L. Jackson, V. Ramaswamy, M. D. Schwarzkopf, Xianglei Huang

Climate models predict that the concentration of water vapor in the upper troposphere could double by the end of the century as a result of increases in greenhouse gases. Such moistening plays a key role in amplifying the rate at
which the climate warms in response to anthropogenic activities but has been difficult to detect because of deficiencies in conventional observing systems. We use satellite measurements to highlight a distinct radiative signature of upper tropospheric moistening over the period 1982 to 2004. The observed moistening is accurately captured by climate model simulations and lends further credence to model projections of future global warming.

6:58 am  
Blogger Belette said...

Steve - ah, that makes more sense...

8:42 pm  
Anonymous Sylvia said...

There was an IGBP book, (of which I only read the downloadable executive summary(pdf) because it is expensive) that I'm not sure if I cited carelessly or not. It says the "earth system has moved well outside the range of natural variability exhibited over the last half million years at least." Although it points out that global change is "more than climate" the case appears to be based on the Vostok ice core data regarding GHG concentrations, and temperatures "inferred" from that. Given all of the fuss and hysteria around the so-called hockey stick, which just examines a much shorter and more recent period, and since I have cited this on my blog - I'm wondering if I need to add some qualifications to statements I have made that we are outside the known range of variability known to have occurred for longer than the period in which humans have existed. So I would appreciate any comments you might have on what evidence there is for climate variation further back than could be reconstructed for the hockey stick. And thanks for your blog!

11:20 pm  
Blogger Belette said...

Sylvia - well, "earth system has moved well outside the range of natural variability exhibited over the last half million years at least." I find that a bit surprising. They seem to be basing that mostly on CO2 levels - for which its certainly true. But I think you would have a hard time justifying it for temperature levels: the Eemian (previous interglacial) is generally regarded as being somewhat warmer than we are now. Even for the holocene there were earlier warm periods: see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Holocene_Temperature_Variations.png. These are based on proxies of course.

Its true the current warming is rapid, though. But I have trouble understanding the all-coral-is-going-to-die arguement, for example: why didn't it before?

I found your blog post: http://www.postnormaltimes.net/blog/archives/2005/02/unknown_knowns_1.html. I'll paste this in there.

10:06 am  
Anonymous Sylvia said...

Thanks for that - just when you think you've finally found a good soundbite - boom! complexity bites again! I'll eventually work some comments on this into a post. Lesson learned: Soundbites are always dangerous. That is why we need blogs. I may be back here after I check in with a few coral reef wonks...

6:49 pm  
Blogger Marybel said...


I just came across your blogs researching the cactus flower you are talking about. My dad also has a few planted out in his backyard. They are actually in bloom at the moment and they are beautiful. I was wondering if you know the name of these flowers.

Thank you,


10:25 pm  
Blogger Marybel said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:26 pm  
Anonymous :):):):):):) said...


12:37 pm  

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