These are “season’s greetings” animations from the coal industry, circa 2008.
Maybe its a sign of progress that not even the coal industry would be stupid enough to put out productions like this in 2015.

Worth celebrating the small things.


I’m going to have to watch and rewatch this to really grasp – hypnotic and revealing.

Popular Science:

We tend to think of the ocean as a vast bowl, filled with salty water. But it might be more appropriate to think of that water as a particularly salty layer dip in an uneven baking dish.

The very bottom layer of this “dip” is unevenly concentrated at one end of the ocean basin, near Antarctica. This layer of water is known, fittingly, as bottom water. It forms near the surface, as Antarctica’s ice shelves freeze in the winter. The water that freezes pushes out many salt particles, shoving them deeper into the ocean, making the water below the ice shelf denser and saltier. This cold, salty water sinks to the bottom of the Southern Ocean, falling into the abyss in underwater waterfalls.

The formation and movement of Antarctic bottom water is hugely important for ocean circulation, but because Antarctica is a difficult place to work, scientists have a hard time observing it directly.

Thankfully, they have computers to help. Researchers at the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science used a supercomputer called Raijin to create simulations of how bottom water behaves using data collected in the field. Even with a supercomputer, it took 7 hours to produce one second of the above footage.


Music Break: Adele – Hello

November 25, 2015

If you’ve live long enough, you know what this is about.

If you haven’t, well, you have something to look forward to.

The video has half a billion views on youtube, and is an instant classic. The song has inspired many, many internet cover versions, and clearly crosses cultures in its appeal. This suggests a much more elegant approach to the dilemma of hatred, misunderstanding, and terror.

It’s no accident that the first thing that happened in Berlin when the wall fell, was a rock concert.  Culture is the frame story that cuts thru and dissolves the most toxic and monolithic ideologies – and Western culture’s greatest weapon is not bombs, but the culture itself – the more creative, anarchic, humorous, irreverent, sex-positive, and sarcastic, the better.

Beats not bombs.

Below, see an indescribable version that is at once Arabic, auto-tuned, and Gay. Words fail. Read the rest of this entry »


Dana Nuccitelli in the Guardian:

Investigative journalism by Inside Climate News (ICN) into Exxon’s internal documents revealed that the company was at the forefront of climate research, warning of the dangers posed by human-caused global warming from the late-1970s to the late-1980s. As Harvard climate historian Naomi Oreskes noted,

But Exxon was sending a different message, even though its own evidence contradicted its public claim that the science was highly uncertain and no one really knew whether the climate was changing or, if it was changing, what was causing it … Journalists and scientists have identified more than 30 different organizations funded by the company that have worked to undermine the scientific message and prevent policy action to control greenhouse gas emissions.

Exxon has responded to the ICN allegations by pointing out that over the past three decades, the company’s scientists have continued to publish peer-reviewed climate research.

Our scientists have contributed climate research and related policy analysis to more than 50 papers in peer-reviewed publications – all out in the open. They’ve participated in the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change since its inception – in 1988 – and were involved in the National Academy of Sciences review of the third U.S. National Climate Assessment Report.

Finally, I’ll note that we have long – and publicly – supported a revenue-neutral carbon tax as the most effective, transparent, and efficient way for governments to send a signal to consumers and the economy to reduce the use of carbon-based fuels.

While the ICN investigation focused on Exxon’s internal reports, Exxon’s spokesman pointed to the peer-reviewed scientific research published by the company’s scientists between 1983 and 2014 – 53 papers in all.


Read the rest of this entry »

Yeah, I like Marvel movies.

Dude, Scarlet Witch can freakin’ fly!

What #ExxonKnew Back When

November 25, 2015


Click for larger

Working on a video about the recent revelations around Exxon’s climate science program, I came across a striking image yesterday that gives some indication of the skill of Exxon’s modeling, as far back as 1982.

Above, you’ll see a graph showing Exxon’s projections for global warming, published in a 1982 internal briefing document on the greenhouse effect. Fortuitously, one of the forecast years is 2015, so it gives us something we can immediately compare.  For this year, the graph projects an atmospheric CO2 level of 409 ppm, just a tad above our actual 400, and shows an “Average Temperature Increase” of .84 °C.  We’ll have to wait a few weeks for the final word on 2015, but I’m told .84 C is pretty close to what NASA GISS will show.

Stats gurus have already reminded me it’s not a straight up comparison.
NASA’s baseline for starting temps is the 1950 to 1980 global average, and Exxon uses the single year 1979 as a base.  Exxon’s co2 level is slightly higher.  Exxon assumes climate sensitivity as being 3.0°C (+/- 1.5°C), which is dead-on with the 1979 National Academy of Science estimate, and broadly consistent with today.

Not exactly “apples to apples”, – but I’ll call it “macintosh to honeycrisp”.
Exxon correctly predicted a warming, identified the mechanism, and got the time frame and magnitude basically correct.  Show this to your Uncle Dittohead when he tells you “the climate models don’t work.”

For comparison, we can look at contemporary projections from another mainstream climate scientist, for instance, Wallace Broeker from 1975.

Skeptical Science:

Wallace Broecker was among the first climate scientists to use simple climate models to predict future global temperature changes.  His 1975 paper Climatic Change: Are We on the Brink of a Pronounced Global Warming? is widely credited with coining the term “global warming”. Read the rest of this entry »

Stampede from Coal Continues

November 25, 2015



Germany’s Allianz SE, one of the world’s largest financial asset managers, said on Tuesday it would decrease investments in companies using coal and boost funding in those focused on wind power over the next six months.

Chief executive Oliver Baete said Allianz will no longer invest in companies if more than 30% percent of sales come from coal mining or if coal generates more than 30% percent of electricity.

He said Allianz decided ahead of next week’s United Nations climate change conference in France with “an eye on the 2C goal of the Paris climate negotiations as well as the economic risks involved.”

In 2014, Allianz managed about €1.8tn ($1.9tn) assets in US, Germany, France, Italy, Britain and the Asia-Pacific region.

The company plans to release more details later in the week, but experts estimate the decision on coal would affect investments worth €4bn. Some 90% of the investments affected are in bonds that will be allowed to mature while the six-month frame will apply to equities, Allianz said.

In Paris, more than 190 countries are to negotiate a new global pact to fight climate change. Most of them have already presented plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions after 2020, when the deal is supposed to take effect.

Carbon Tracker:

Fossil fuel companies risk wasting up to $2.2 trillion in the next decade, threatening substantially lower investor returns, by pursuing projects that could be uneconomic in the face of a perfect storm of factors including international action to limit climate change to 2˚C and rapid advances in clean technologies, think tank the Carbon Tracker Initiative warns today.

Read the rest of this entry »


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