Category Archives: News

The 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics

Here’s this morning’s announcement of The 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm in full:

The associated press release puts it this way:

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Physics 2021

“for groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of complex physical systems”

with one half jointly to Syukuro Manabe, Princeton University, USA and Klaus Hasselmann, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany

“for the physical modelling of Earth’s climate, quantifying variability and reliably predicting global warming”

and the other half to Giorgio Parisi, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy

“for the discovery of the interplay of disorder and fluctuations in physical systems from atomic to planetary scales”

The press release explains:

Read more on The 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics…

Facts About the Arctic in October 2021

By way of a change we start this month’s look at all things Arctic with some sea ice statistical analysis. Anthony Watts’ Arctic porky pie production line has been speeding up recently, and I am not the only one who has noticed. As part of his takedown of the latest “skeptical” allegations against the United Kingdom Met Office Tamino has been looking at trends in Arctic sea ice extent over at his “Open Mind” blog:

First and foremost, the yearly minimum is only one day out of the year. We have sea ice extent data throughout the year, and what happens during the rest of the year counts. Instead of using the annual minimum, let’s use the annual average. To avoid losing the most recent data, I’ll compute the yearly average for October through the following September rather than the usual (but arbitrary) January through December. I’ll also omit October 1978 through September 1979 because that year is incomplete. I get this:

The annual averages show much less fluctuation than the annual minima, so we can estimate things like rates of change with greater precision. I find that there is statistical evidence that the rate changed over time. One model of such changes uses three straight-line segments with their changes chosen to best-fit the data, like this:

Read more on Facts About the Arctic in October 2021…

Facts About the Arctic in September 2021

A detailed dissection of the 2021 minimum of various Arctic sea ice extent metrics can be found on a dedicated thread. All other Arctic news in September will be found below.

Let’s start with a map of sea ice age at the beginning of August:

Read more on Facts About the Arctic in September 2021…

Facts About the Arctic in August 2021

Let’s first of all take a look at JAXA’s flavour of Arctic sea ice extent:

After reaching lowest extent for the date in early July, the weather in the Arctic Basin was stormy, cloudy and cool compared to other recent years until the last few days of the month:

Here’s the same period in 2020 for comparison purposes:

Consequently the rate of extent loss in the second half of July was significantly less than last year.

Next let’s take a look at AMSR2 concentration:

Read more on Facts About the Arctic in August 2021…

Facts About the Arctic in July 2021

The JAXA ViSHOP web site was down for maintenance over the weekend. It is now back in action, to reveal Arctic sea ice extent at the lowest for the date in the AMSR2 record:

[Edit – July 6th]

High resolution AMSR2 area is also now lowest for the date:

as indeed is extent:

[Edit – July 13th]

According to the Canadian Meteorological Centre the current cyclone has bottomed out with a central mean surface level pressure of 971 hPa:

Read more on Facts About the Arctic in July 2021…

The Polar Amplification Model Intercomparison Project

The Polar Amplification Model Intercomparison Project (PAMIP for short) is one of several Community Earth System Model (CESM for short) based climate modelling projects.

As the project’s web site points out:

Polar amplification, the phenomenon that external radiative forcing produces a larger change in surface temperature at high latitudes than the global average, is a key aspect of anthropogenic climate change but its causes and consequences are not fully understood.

Read more on The Polar Amplification Model Intercomparison Project…

Koonin’s Unsettled Science – The Movie(s)

We have previously mentioned the Wall Street Journal’s assorted activities promoting the new book by Steven E. Koonin which possesses the rather long winded title of “Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters.”

Read more on Koonin’s Unsettled Science – The Movie(s)…

Allegedly “Unsettled Science” by Steven Koonin et al.

In our recent article about the forthcoming G7 Summit in Cornwall we suggested that:

Climate change is top of the G7 agenda along with Covid-19, and you can rest assured that vested interests will not miss any opportunity to promote those interests over the next two months and beyond.

That has indeed proved to be the case! Let us count the ways.

Steven Koonin’s new book “Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters” is being promoted (left?), right and centre by a veritable cornucopia of the usual suspects. In an endeavour to explain (to the mythical (wo)man in the street?) the ways in which “A lie will fly around the whole world while the truth is getting its boots on” I’ve performed a Google search for the phrase “climate science has drifted so far out of touch with the actual science as to be absurdly demonstrably false” by way of a demonstration:

65 “demonstrably false” clones of the WSJ article, and counting……

[Edit – April 24th]

This morning’s update on my “demonstration” Google search.

There are now 241 “demonstrably false” Kooninism clones, and counting……

Read more on Allegedly “Unsettled Science” by Steven Koonin et al….

Stop Attempts To Criminalise Nonviolent Climate Protest?

It may not have come to your attention yet, but a long list of over 400 climate scientists have recently signed an “open letter” to the UK and other Governments requesting:

As academics researching climate and environmental change, we have been encouraged to see increased focus on climate in politics and society in recent years. Considering the current trajectory of planetary change, such attention is welcome, even though action is still lacking. We know that our research alone was not enough for this recent awakening to climate breakdown as an existential crisis for humanity, and recognise that protest movements around the world have raised the alarm…

But around the world today, those who put their voices and bodies on the line to raise the alarm are being threatened and silenced by the very countries they seek to protect. We are gravely concerned about the increasing criminalisation and targeting of climate protestors around the world…

With the upcoming Conference of the Parties of the UN Climate Change Convention (COP26) in Glasgow, and the urgency for global action accelerating as global warming already reaches 1.2°C, 2021 is a critical year for climate governance. It has become abundantly clear that governments don’t act on climate without pressure from civil society: threatening and silencing activists thus seems to be a new form of anti-democratic refusal to act on climate.

See for example this tweet from “Scientist Rebellion”, the militant academic wing of Extinction Rebellion UK?

The signatories to the open letter include a long list of well known names:

We, the undersigned, therefore urge all governments, courts and legislative bodies around the world to halt and reverse attempts to criminalise nonviolent climate protest.

  • Professor Julia Steinberger, Universities of Lausanne & Leeds
  • Dr Oscar Berglund, University of Bristol
  • Distinguished Professor Michael Mann, Penn State University
  • Professor Piers Foster, University of Leeds
  • Dr Leah Goldfarb, Universite Paris Saclay
  • Professor Catherine Mitchell University of Exeter
  • Dr Peter Gleick, Pacific Institute
  • Professor Stefan Rahmstorf, University of Potsdam

etc. etc.

On Monday the Guardian newspaper published an article about the climate scientist’s open letter:

That article has now disappeared from public view:

Read more on Stop Attempts To Criminalise Nonviolent Climate Protest?…

Facts About the Arctic in April 2021

As part of his March PIOMAS gridded sea ice thickness update Wipneus also produced this graph of sea ice export from the central Arctic via the Fram Strait:

So far this winter export has been remarkably subdued, but that has now changed. A persistent dipole with high pressure over Greenland and low pressure over the Barents Sea is generating strong northerly winds in the Fram Strait, and even bringing some April snow showers to South West England:

Precisely how high the pressure has been over Greenland is the subject of much debate. See for example this discussion on the Arctic Sea Ice Forum about whether a new world high pressure record has just been set. Different weather forecasting models have come to very different conclusions about the mean sea level pressure of a high pressure area situated over the Greenland ice sheet, which reaches an altitude of over 3,000 metres. Here’s GFS for example, showing 1097 hPa at 06Z on April 4th:

whereas the Canadian Meteorological Centre synopsis for the same time shows a mere 1070 hPa:

At least all the assorted models agree that the isobars are closely packed over the Fram Strait, and hence some of the thickest sea ice remaining in the Arctic is currently heading towards oblivion in the far north Atlantic Ocean:

Here’s the US Navy’s sea ice drift forecast for Saturday 10th:

Read more on Facts About the Arctic in April 2021…