Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Musings: Odd Little World

I was reading an article about how the low cost of oil is prompting people to drive more and buy less fuel-efficient cars when it hit me: by using the remains of all these extinct plants and animals, we're causing the climate change that will result in a whole new round of extinctions. 

And the associated sea level rise is happening faster than expected, as Jan TenBruggencate reports on Raising Islands blog.

Such an odd little world we've created....

Speaking of which, a funny thing happened in the Kauai District Court last week: all the cases were decided not by a judge, but a regular citizen wearing a black robe.  Yes, there is a very fine line between the two. 

Seems the Judiciary had delayed the reappointment papers of Per Diem Judge Joanthan Chun, so he wasn't actually certified when he presided over court last Thursday. Oops. Big do-over.

Prosecutor Justin Kollar doesn't plan to retry the cases, though, so citizens are spared having to cast their fate upon the court a second time.

How many people, do you suppose, get fined, arrested, even imprisoned, for missing court deadlines. But when the Judiciary does it, oh, well, nevah mind.

One big winner that day was the the kanaka maoli who was acquitted of soliciting at a state park after he allowed tourists to give him donations for taking his picture in a helmet and malo. Turns out Punohu Kekaualua,  who claimed religious and cultural rights, was actually right when he said Chun had no jurisdiction over him. But ironically, because this is America he won't have to go through another trial.

Question now is whether charges willl be filed against the police officer who struck a young man who had already been hit by a car while responding to that call for help. Tragic.  Details haven't been released, but the prosecutor's office has been consistently filing felony and misdemeanor charges against motorists who cause accidents involving injuries. 

Speaking of police, two recent retirements may help to ease tensions at KPD. Assistant Chief Ale Qubilan, source of the complaint that prompted the mayor to suspend the chief, is now gone. So is Hank Barriga, who has been on medical leave for the past couple years, ever since he sided with Mark Begley, also still out on leave, in refusing to let the chief back  in upon orders of the police commission, but not the mayor.

And like sands in the hourglass, so go the days of our lives in this odd little world we've created.


Anonymous said...

The Antarctic ice extent is still above the mean.
I wouldn't get too excited about this.

Anonymous said...

I drove with an expired license to court to be convicted by the judge with an expired license.

Dawson said...

I wouldn't get too excited about this.

Study after study reports alarming increases in the rates of Antarctic ice melt, but to many people it's of no concern. Snug in their consumerist cocoons, they stay smugly unconcerned about future generations.

Luke Evslin said...

Anonymous 9:42-
You left out an important word in citing Wattsupwiththat: "Sea."

Winter Sea ice is increasing but land ice (as mentioned in the Raising Island's blog cited by Joan) is decreasing. Antarctic Sea Ice melts every summer and forms every winter. So its impact on sea level rise is negligible. Whereas land ice represents centuries of accumulated moisture that, when it melts (as the West Anarctic Ice Sheet and Greenland rapidly are) raises sea level. As Jon Stewart famously presented: pour ice into a cup, and the cup overflows:

The graphs in Wattsupwiththat are all exclusively sea ice. A quick google search on sea ice brings up a few theories for why winter Antarctic sea ice is increasing at 1% per year: a higher freshwater content (from melting land ice) allows the water to freeze at higher temps, that increased heat leads to more precipitation, or, as published in the Journal Nature in terms that are beyond my intro college meteorology course:

"In recent decades, Antarctica has experienced pronounced climatechanges. The Antarctic Peninsula exhibited the strongest warming1,2of any region on the planet, causing rapid changes in land ice3,4.Additionally, in contrast to the sea-ice decline over the Arctic, Antarcticsea ice has not declined, but has instead undergone a perplexingredistribution5,6. Antarctic climate is influenced by, among otherfactors, changes in radiative forcing7and remote Pacific climatevariability8,9, but none explains the observed Antarctic Peninsulawarming or the sea-ice redistribution in austral winter. However, inthe north and tropical Atlantic Ocean, the Atlantic MultidecadalOscillation10,11(a leading mode of sea surface temperature variability) has been overlooked in this context. Here we show that seasurface warming related to the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillationreduces the surface pressure in the Amundsen Sea and contributesto the observed dipole-like sea-ice redistribution between the Rossand Amundsen–Bellingshausen–Weddell seas and to the AntarcticPeninsula warming. Support for these findings comes from analysisof observational and reanalysis data, and independently from bothcomprehensive and idealized atmospheric model simulations. We suggest that the north and tropical Atlantic is important for projections offuture climate change in Antarctica, andhas the potentialto affect the global thermohaline circulation6and sea-level change3,12"

As Obama said last night:
"I’ve heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they’re not scientists; that we don’t have enough information to act. Well, I’m not a scientist, either. But you know what — I know a lot of really good scientists at NASA, and NOAA, and at our major universities. The best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate, and if we do not act forcefully, we’ll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration, conflict, and hunger around the globe. The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security. We should act like it."

Thank you Joan for sharing the link to science reporter Jan TenBruggencate's invaluable blog.

Anonymous said...

The fact of the matter is...... Nobody knows where oil comes from .

Anonymous said...

Not sure I would quote the guy who refuses to label terrorists, Islamic extremists. And that we all can agree on.

Anonymous said...

Look at the mountains. We haven't had rain (except for maybe one or two days) this month and it's supposed to be the rainy season. The trades that bring rain to the windward side have not appeared for I don't know how long. Is this climate change? I don't know but it sure seems like something unprecedented is happening.

Dawson said...

12:23 PM wrote:
The fact of the matter is...... Nobody knows where oil comes from .

That's not a fact, that's an urban superstition, like the belief that the measles vaccine causes autism.

In an age where critical thinking continues down the crapper (nearly half of U.S. millennials believe astrology is a science), pop cults of misinformation abound for everything from global warming to GMOs.

All of which would mean nothing more than another season of silly pseudo-science TV documentaries, were it not for the fact that these dimbulbs vote.

And people wonder where the Barcas and Hoosers of life get their following.

Anonymous said...

Luke, I am perfectly aware of what the Sea Ice Reference page refers. All of the WUWT reference pages are considered indispensable resources in the field. Warmists cheer when it shows decline, ignore it when it shows growth.

There is every indication that the total ice mass of East Antarctica has increased dramatically since 2009. The peninsula is the exception, continuing a steady but rather minor decline for the last 20 years. Since the satellite data show the interior of Antarctica cooling, CO2 is not the cause.
Further the models are clearly wrong.
That having been said, hysteria and alarmism over what appears to be a failed hypothesis detracts from real environmental issues that are of more immediate concern and are vastly more measurable.

Anonymous said...

The world is ending. In the past it was the religious nuts proclaiming that God's judgement was close. Today, since there ain't no religion, the nutjobs are saying "the world is ending", not by God, but by Man.
As important as we think we are, the earth has been here quite while. How in Zues' name do you say that all critical things are done during our measly 80 year lifetime?
Do humans cause change? Yes. But the cataclysmic doom espoused by the many is total hogwash. Yes, we got no religion, Nature must be God, And God is now punishing us.
Y'all remind me of the woman who heard in a seminar that the universe would end in 8 trillion years, "WHAT?" she screamed. When ascertained that it was 8 trillion she says" Oh Thank God, I thought you said the earth would end in 8 billion years."
The sun's light takes 8 minutes to reach us.....better start worrying now, you may only have 8 minutes.
As the World Turns.

Anonymous said...

The real ice problem is not sea ice or land ice ... it's crystal meth. That "ice" problem has manifested itself on Kauai long before any rise of the sea level will impact our residents. It's nice to think about future problems but let's start facing the ones before us here and now. No affordable housing, deadend jobs for locals, grandparents having to raise their grandchildren, and cost of living hikes seemingly year after year.

Anonymous said...

Grandparents could have taught their kids to keep their legs closed, and encouraged education.

Luke Evslin said...

Anonymous 3:07,
It's a red herring to share that sea ice is expanding when the cited article was about rapid melting in Greenland and West Antarctica. It's like me refuting that 2014 was the planet's hottest year (since we began taking temps) by saying Lihu'e recently had its lowest recorded temperature.

Anonymous 4:11
Nobody is saying that climate change will end life on earth; but it's definitely going to make it hard for humans. There is currently more co2 in the atmosphere than there has been for all of human existence. The last time Co2 was this high the temperature of the planet was 11 degrees higher and sea levels likely 100 feet higher. Annual carbon emissions are currently 58% higher than they were in 1990 and we've increased the Co2 content of the atmosphere by 40% since the industrial revolution with the very large majority of that increase coming in the last eighty years. Yes, a lot can happen in eighty years. Please don't take my word for it-- check out what NASA says or read the IPCC report which was endorsed by the 192 member nations of the UN.

Anonymous 4:24
I, as everyone who grew up on Kaua'i, have lost many, many friends to crystal meth. It's like a cancer that disproportionately affects the young and disadvantaged and, without a doubt, it's the biggest current tragedy on Kaua'i. However, I wasn't aware that fighting meth or creating affordable housing means that we can't also work to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Anonymous said...

@ 4:24 PM - no one is discrediting that meth and education are important issues but we can't continue to put global warming on the back burner. It's not a future problem; it's impacting our world and affecting our environment and health NOW. By the time it's severe enough for you & many others to notice it's a reality, it will be too late and FYI it is caused by humans. For example, we on Kauai have been guilty of driving fuel inefficient cars for years. Too many people "need" their Hummer, F150/250/whatever big truck they drive as a status symbol. People take pride it in for whatever reason -few actually need them. Most don't care what the impact is, but:
*Earth is warming because of global warming pollution, and transportation-related sources are a major contributor.
*Passenger cars and light trucks produce almost one-fifth of the nation’s global warming pollution
*The U.S. transportation sector alone emits more carbon emissions than all but three other countries' total emissions
(*Union of Concerned Scientists)

Anonymous said...

The fact of the matter is entirely correct, The crude oil we pump out of the earth is not the fabled result of millions of years of hyper compressed dinosaur and vegetation remains. Natural gas is but not oil. That is a myth big oil likes to keep alive to bolster their claims that we're going to run out soon justifying the supply/demand equation to keep prices inflated. No one is sure just what or why oil is. One theory is that it is a naturally occurring process of super compressed methane that comes from deep within the earth and lubricates the tectonic plate movements, but no one is sure yet. The major deposits of the stuff are apparently found along the plate lines which lends to that theory. But one thing is certain, there is no end to it, rather an endless abundance to which we are being held slave for the enormous profits of the global oil industry.

Anonymous said...

2014 is by no means the hottest year. It is not even the third hottest in the last decade. The confidence of the .02 C is less than half. Thirty eight percent. A exaggerated claim, the hottest years in the USA were likely between 1934-1940.
If sheet ice is a red herring, it is one continuely trumpeted by NOAA. Except when it is not.
CO2 is far from a weather driver.,

Luke Evslin said...

Anonymous 12:53
As you said, 1934 was likely the hottest year in the US, but it was the 49th hottest globally. According to NOAA, the hottest ten years on record are (in order):
2014, 2010, 2005, 1998, 2013, 2003, 2002, 2006, 2009, 2007, 2004. You notice a clustering?

Sea Ice is a red herring when you use it to refute an article on land ice.

I am sure that you passionately believe that Co2 does not impact the climate-- but, rather than an anonymous blog commentator, I will choose to trust the scientific agencies that say otherwise:

Academia Brasiliera de Ciências (Bazil)
Royal Society of Canada
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Academié des Sciences (France)
Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina (Germany)
Indian National Science Academy
Accademia dei Lincei (Italy)
Science Council of Japan
Russian Academy of Sciences
Royal Society (United Kingdom)
National Academy of Sciences (United States of America)
Australian Academy of Sciences
Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Sciences and the Arts
Caribbean Academy of Sciences
Indonesian Academy of Sciences
Royal Irish Academy
Academy of Sciences Malaysia
Academy Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand
Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS)
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
National Academy of Sciences (NAS)
State of the Canadian Cryosphere (SOCC)
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Royal Society of the United Kingdom (RS)
American Geophysical Union (AGU)
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
American Meteorological Society (AMS)
Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (CMOS)

Anonymous said...

12:13 nice explanation Did you know that Titan which is one of Saturns moons has mass quatntities of Methane

Dawson said...

12:13 PM wrote:

The major deposits of the stuff are apparently found along the plate lines which lends to that theory.

...Except when major deposits of the stuff are found where there are no plate lines. Like, ohhh, say... Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and North Dakota.

But one thing is certain, there is no end to it, rather an endless abundance to which we are being held slave for the enormous profits of the global oil industry.

...Except for the billions of barrels of it that are being sprayed into the air as chemtrails by the airline industry, which is in cahoots with the government in a plot to pollute your precious bodily fluids. (Control of your mind, they already have. )

12:53 PM wrote:

A exaggerated claim, the hottest years in the USA were likely between 1934-1940.

12:53? Meet 12:13. You guys definitely should do lunch.