Climate Projects

MacKay Project at Northern Kentucky University

Starting January, 2015, a College of Arts and Sciences Faculty/Student Collaborative Project.

Climate Conversations

Starting May, 2016, the idea is to get people talking about the critical issues surrounding climate change.

Faithful: RClimate Reproductions Project

This project began in January, 2015, after a discussion with Kelly O'Day about an "ideal": wouldn't it be ideal if every publication came with data and analysis files, to allow another scientist to

  • reproduce the results,
  • try other analyses on the same data?

Kelly and I agreed to attempt to re-create a figure from a paper by James Hansen, et al. as a start. I hope that this project will result in a collection of both

  • data, and
  • analysis,

allowing all of us to verify and extend the work of others.


Global Temperature in 2014 and 2015

Reference: Hansen, James, and Makiko Satoa, Reto Ruedy, Gavin A. Schmidt, Ken Lo. Global Temperature in 2014 and 2015. 16 January 2015.

Background: Jim Hansen sends out occasional emails, letting folks know what he's thinking about. Just recently he suggested this beautiful summary of 2014 temperatures, as well as prospects for 2015 temperatures. Included were various lovely graphs. I asked Kelly if we couldn't manage to reproduce Figure 1:

HansenFigure1.png

Results:
Here's my work so far:

MyHansen.gif

Notes on the reproduction:

  1. The biggest question mark is whether I've got the right Nino data or not. I got this off his Columbia website, and figure it must be close. It's called Extended Nino34 data. You can see in the averages slight differences. I'm not happy about that!
  2. I have to work on getting fonts sized and chosen properly.
  3. I think that it is only fair to add annotation with authorship of the "fake".
  4. The analysis files contain a reference to a local directory. You must save the data to an appropriate directory of your own to run the R script.
  5. I need some volcanos!

Files used for the reproduction:

  1. Data:
  2. Analysis:
  3. The paper of reference:

Sea Level Temp increase from NOAA

Reference: Figure 2 of this NOAA website:

heat_content2000m.png?w=400

Background: I saw this figure, and was immediately impressed — because it exposes the lie of those who claim that there's been this damned "pause" in warming. No pause. Ice is melting. Oceans are heating up. The deniers look at a few thermometers and say "Look! These ones aren't heating up!" — and we're distracted by their barking.

So this one is important. There are several images that one could fixate on from the website above, but this was the first one that I saw.

Results:

NOAA_faithful.gif

Notes on the reproduction:
The data appears to be exactly what was used to create the original — except it's been transformed into Joules. I need to know how they calculate that. But presumably we need the volume of the 0-2000 m layer, and then we can turn the temperature anomaly into heat.

Files used for the reproduction:


Paleoclimate data

Reference: Moffitt SE, Moffitt RA, Sauthoff W, Davis CV, Hewett K, et al. (2015) Paleoceanographic Insights on Recent Oxygen Minimum Zone Expansion: Lessons for Modern Oceanography. PLoS ONE 10(1): e0115246. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0115246

journal.pone.0115246.g001

Background:

Results:

Notes on the reproduction:

Files used for the reproduction:

Arctic Ice Thickness

3_4_15_Andrea_seaicethickness.jpg

(local copy)

Reference: The figure is from the paper Arctic sea ice thickness loss determined using subsurface, aircraft, and satellite observations. R. Lindsay and A. Schweiger. (local copy).

Background: I found this figure in this Climate Central article entitled Arctic Sea Ice Is Getting Thinner, Faster.

Results:

I'm just getting started. I've loaded in most of the data cited, and have visualized it in the R code that follows:

Notes on the reproduction:

Files used for the reproduction:

These are the datasets cited in the paper from which the image is derived:

  • Data citation:


Arctic Sea Ice Extent

Reference: I found the following image at a lovely National Snow & Ice Data Center site:

charctic-graph-2014.png?w=400

I'd already done something similar, and found it easy to fake:

Background:
This one was almost accidental! I'd already done most of the work when I discovered it. Sometimes you get lucky…

Results:
Things seem to match up pretty well.

Notes on the reproduction:
There are a few things to tidy up:

  • I haven't figured out the colors that were used in the original.
  • The grey of the "climatology" is a little too dark.
  • I used more data than the original. This makes my curves more jaggy (but more realistic, too).

Files used for the reproduction:

Climate Change Predictions Project

One can look back at predictions that were made in the early going and see how well people did. I have two documents in mind to examine in this regard. The first is a compilation of views from the 80s, written from a wide-variety of perspectives on "both sides" of the issue of climate change. The second is 50 years old this year, written by several high-powered atmospheric and climate scientists.


Our Endangered Atmosphere

The book Our Endangered Atmosphere seems to me an interesting place to start, because it shows the debate that existed at the time of its publication (1986), and is presented to the reader as a "fair and balanced" look at the whole picture of climate change (and ozone, and a few other issues). We can now gaze back with the perspective of 30 years, and see how well each side did — and tally up the score. I found the book in the public school library of Mattawa, Ontario, and liked it immediately; it abounded in interesting historical and cultural, as well as scientific, perspectives. Some of them I agreed with; others I abhorred.

Claims of the climate change believers

Claims of the climate change deniers

Comparison of the claims


Restoring the Quality of Our Environment

It was in 1965 that a committee sent a report to President Johnson entitled "Restoring the Quality of Our Environment" (Report of the Environmental Pollution Panel, President's Science Advisory Committee). The nominal date on the report is November, 1965. There is an appendix on "Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide", written by Roger Revelle, Wallace Broecker, C. D. Keeling, Harmon Craig, and J. Smagorinsky, and it is that appendix that I would like to investigate.

Projections

  • Probable future content of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere

Assertions of science

  • "the Carbon 14 content of the atmosphere — more precisely the ratio of C14 to C12+C13 — varies by 1 or 2 percent from century to century apparently depending on the long-term variations in sunspot intensity."
  • Tree ring measurements show that this ratio went up during the 15th and 17th Centuries, and down during the 16th and 18th, in each case by about 2 percent."
  • "…if the oceanic layer mixing with the atmosphere is several hundred meters thick, the amount of exchangable [sic] carbon in the biosphere is less than or about equal to that in the atmosphere."
  • "…the ocean takes up a relatively small fraction of the total added CO2, probably about 15%.

These guys ask such modern questions, e.g. "What would be the total amount of CO2 injected into the air if all recoverable reserves of fossil fuels were consumed? At present rates of expansion in fossil fuel consumption this condition could be approached within the next 150 years.

Evaluations of the Projections

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