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My Long Thaw

by sidd Tue Jan 6th, 2009 at 07:35:18 AM EST

[The title of this piece is a riff on the book by Prof. David Archer.]

I was tempted into writing this entry upon reading a piece by Mr. de Sousa , especially the sentence

"What is needed now is to bring the debate to the public, dig it out of shady blogs and impenetrable scientific journals."

By way of background, I am a once and sometime physicist. I have plowed through my share of impenetrable journals. So I do feel a certain sympathy for the sentiments expressed by Mr. De Sousa.

That said:

Everyday, I am presented with questions that I cannot fully answer. If these questions are sufficiently important, I educate myself sufficently to form an opinion. If time and circumstance preclude sufficient education, I defer to the opinion of those I consider trustworthy in the matter at hand.

This is dangerous.

If I have not the expertise to form a decision, I naturally tend to agree with a purported expert whose opinion furthers my other interests.

Therefore: If the matter is sufficiently important, I bend priorities and arrange circumstance in order to educate myself.

promoted by afew

I read James Hansen in the late 80's upon the occasion of his US Senate hearing, but I was then unconvinced of his thesis that humanity was quickly and adversely affecting climate through release of fossil CO2.

I thought to myself, 'The evidence is not compelling enough, yet.'

Besides, I was otherwise occupied at the time.

Ten years later, the impressive modelling of volcanic eruptions, including Pinatubo, and resulting corroboration to Hansen's (and other) models had changed my mind.

At the turn of the millennium, I began my own personal climate education program, which has not yet ended.

From my background I was familiar with the work of Fourier and Arrhenius and there I began. I reworked the Arrhenius calculation, moved on the simple slab atmosphere and ocean models and proceeded to more sophisticated versions,

I soon affirmed that Dr. Hansen was quite correct, and that I had been quite wrong in my initial assessment. A terrible future awaited.

I was unconvinced of Prof. Hansen's case in 1990. The climatologist community went to the labs, collected data,sharpened the questions, provided better answers. By 2001, I was convinced, preponderance of evidence was too weighty for me to deny.

But that was not enough. I had to educate myself in the details. I am biased by my background, with the edged gift of mathematical facility. Shirking the calculations was not an option. So, many hours of calculation and programming, all in all quite well worth the effort. I continue these pursuits today.

An example to illustrate my journey:

[Please bear in mind that we do indeed stand on the shoulders of a myriad giants. I will mention a (very) few of the researchers and even fewer of their works. Else, this article would be even longer and more tedious.

Some of the articles mentioned below are quite dense. I do hope I will succeed in illuminating the darker corners. And perhaps persuade some that effort is well expended in learning these complicated matters.

I shall only touch on one very specific issue, that of sea level rise. Other large and looming problems such as the acidification of oceans, or large scale changes in precipitation are ignored in this essay, although I have investigated some of those issues, and I am quite concerned about them ]

In 2003, a result from the TOPEX satellite data drifted across my screen. Sea level rise as measured by satellite had increased to 2.4 mm/yr. As far as I had been aware, the number had been 1.8 mm/yr for a hundred years, as measured by tide gauges. The early TOPEX data had agreed within the margin of error (2.1 mm/yr +/- 0.4 mm/yr) with the tide gauge results.

My nose twitched, my ears pricked, and every hair stood on end like the quills of the fretful porpentine.

Why did the graph intrigue me so ?

The ocean has far more heat capacity than the atmosphere, and as such, changes much slower than the atmosphere. Any change in the global ocean is years and decades in the making. The ocean is the great integrator.It betrays the amount of heat it stores by sea level rise, for sea water must expand as the temperature rises. And it integrates thermal expansion together with the increase in ocean volume from melting ice on land.

I rarely, if ever, print anything out. But this graph moved me sufficiently, to the point where I printed out a nice colour copy on my girlfriend's printer and affixed it above my desk.

( An example of that graph, together with a rather dated discussion may be found at http://membrane.com/sidd/sealevel.html )

sea level rise

When people ask me how a scientist works, I often reply, "I stare at the data till little drops of blood appear on my forehead."

I stared at that graph for the better part of a year.

And I kept reading and calculating.

I obtained the raw datasets and analyzed them. I discovered that the last half of the data exhibited a larger sea level rise than the first.(3.7 mm/yr as opposed to 2.1 mm/yr)

Why would sea level rise have increased ?

I stared at the data some more.

And kept reading and calculating.

Sea level change has several components:

1) Subsidence and rise of underlying sediment and bedrock. Previously glaciated continents are still rising in response to removal of ice overburden. Coastal margins sink as human activity or climate change depletes groundwater. Thrust and subsidence of continental plates affect mean sea level. All these affect tide gauge data in particular.

2) Thermal expansion of the ocean as the water warms

3) Melting of continental ice (not floating ice shelves)

4) Impounding freshwater in large dams

5) Depleting terrestrial groundwater as in the Ogallala aquifer, which then returns to the water cycle and the ocean.

The second and third are the principal factors affecting global sea level rise.

We can estimate thermal expansion from the historical temperature records of the sea surface and the deeps. Levitus and others have measured temperature distributions in the oceans and we can see the warming. From the known thermal expansion coefficient of sea water, we find that the contribution of oceanic heat increase is about 1.6 mm/yr of the total. I do not see how (ie i am not clever enough to think of a way) to greatly increase the amount of heat pumped into the ocean, so in my estimate, this contribution will not increase much in the next decades. In this context geothermal heat contributions,as from undersea vulcanism, are negligible.

Apart from the thermal expansion, continental ice melting is the big factor. Meier and others have untertaken a comprehensive survey and estimate that, excluding Greenland and Antarctica, continental ice (such as in Alaska, South America, the Himalayas) contributes about 1 mm/yr to global sea level rise.

What of Greenland and Antarctica ?

At present the contribution to sea level rise drom Greenland is estimated to be about 0.5 mm/yr.

Mass loss estimated from West Antarctica is so far roughly the same as Greenland, and is estimated to cause 0.5 mm/yr sea level rise. This rate is increasing but not nearly as quickly as in Greenland.

If we add up these contributions, we do get roughly the measured sea level increase to within the error estimate.

The following figure from Domingues et al.,Nature, Letters, v453,2008, shows the size of the relative contributions: Note that the values used here for ice mass loss from Greenland and Antarctica do not show the jump we have seen in the last few years after 2003. Of which more later.

Relative contributions to Sea Level Rise

I was aware that a characteristic of CO2 induced global warming was a faster warming at the poles. I had been thinking for some time about ice sheet stability or lack thereof.

If the ice on Greenland were to melt completely, the rise in sea level would be about 6 meters. But a complete melt is unlikely. The northern part of the Greenland ice sheet survived the last interglacial period. But even if only the southern part melted, the sea level rise induced would be over two meters.

The great weight of the ice has depressed the rock under it to the extent that the rock surface resembles a bowl with cracked sides.

Greenland ice surface

An animated depiction may be found at http://membrane.com/sidd/greenrockturn.html animated Greenland bedrock

The ice will probably melt in place and the resulting water will drain out into the ocean. One can imagine the glaciers grinding larger openings to the ocean, but that process will not be quick. Nevertheless, the signs are worrying.

As the ice melts,slumps and moves, glacial earthquakes occur. The total number of glacial earthquakes in Greenland has more than doubled between 2002 and 2006.

The annual number of these icequakes registering 4.6 or greater on the Richter scale doubled from 7 in 1993 to 14 in the late 1990s; it doubled again by 2005.

The ice mass loss from Greenland doubled between 2004 and 2006.

And what of Antarctica ?

As Greenland groans, Antarctica answers.

Some two or three decades ago, a small number of glaciologists including Mercer and Weertman had warned of a possible instability and surge of the West Antarctic glaciers.In 1978, Mercer wrote in the journal Nature:"One warning sign that a dangerous warming is beginning in Antarctica, will be a breakup of ice shelves in the Antarctic Peninsula just south of the recent January 0C isotherm; the ice shelf in the Prince Gustav Channel on the east side of the peninsula, and the Wordie Ice Shelf; the ice shelf in George VI Sound, and the ice shelf in Wilkins Sound on the west side"

Each of these ice shelves is melting or gone today. Payne,Jacobs and many others have measured the effect of warming Circumpolar Deep Water intruding onto the continental shelf and melting the ice shelves from below.

The Antarctic ice sheet is separated into the Eastern and Western sections by the spine of the TransAntarctic mountains. The Eastern section seems stable, except for some sections showing accelerating flow. The Western section is losing mass almost as quickly as Greenland. Here is a map section from http://lima.nasa.gov/antarctica/

West Antarctica

The West Antarctic Ice sheet is grounded below sea level and fringed by great floating ice shelves.The following picture is a map of the bedrock under the Antarctic ice; the full size version is at Wikipedia. Here is a smaller version.

Antarctic Bedrock

The land below the miles of West Antarctic ice slopes downward as one goes inland. This is an unstable situation even if we were not carbon loading the atmosphere. The following image describes a version of the problem treated by Schoof,Journal of Geophysical Research,v112,F03S28,2007. (This is what some might consider a dense and impenetrable paper.)

Ice shelf with depressed bed

The next figure from the same article shows the instability: we are in Figure 3g. The ice is set to jump back to the position in 3h. The order of the figures is rather odd, the time progression goes down the left hand column,across and up the right hand column. A cooling progression as in an advancing ice age would be the transition from 3c to 3d.

Instability of Ice shelf with depressed bed

The ice shelves in West Antarctica are breaking up. As Greenland melts, sea level rises, these shelves float freer and break faster. The ice shelves restrain the ice behind from flowing unimpeded into the ocean.

Unlike Greenland, where the glaciers reach the sea through narrow channels, in the West Antarctic behind the Pine Island (PIG) or the Thwaites Glacier (THW) one would have a plain of ice fifty or a hundred kilometers wide all moving to the ocean. That would be a horrifying glacial surge indeed. And only one of many.

The following figure is from Holt et al., Geophysical Research Letters,v33, L09502, 2006. It does not seem reproduce very well here, so I encourage a visit to the version at http://membrane.com/sidd/longthaw/thwaites.png

Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers bedrock Pine Island, Thwaites ice velocities Pine Island, Thwaites ice thickness

The Thwaites glacier has a bed that not only slopes downward inland, the glacier is also expected to widen as the grounding line retreats. Below its inner reaches lies the Byrd Subpolar Basin, indicated by 'BSB' in the figure above. So as it melts back, more of it will be exposed to the warming ocean.

Below the ice, the ocean works a million little warming tentacles down the submarine slopes, into the great Byrd Subpolar Basin.

Recall the instability shown in the Schoof graph above. Now consider an application of the Schoof treatment to the West Antarctic Ice sheet.The distance between ice grounding lines in 3g and 3h in this case is on the order of thousands of kilometers. The ice facing the Amundsen Sea now (3g in Schoof) retreats all the way to the Transantarctic mountains (Fig 3h) taking the shelves and glaciers feeding the Ross Sea with it. That would be a fearsome instantiation of the Fig 3g to 3h transition and would result in sea level rise of several meters.

How long ?

Back to the satellite sea level rise data. The sea level rise today is (depending on the period chosen) about 4.0 mm/yr. The graph below is an updated version of the first graph from a presentation by Abdalati entitled "Ice Sheets, Glaciers and Rising Seas"

Sea level rise change

The data indicate a doubling of sea level rise in decade.

So in 2020 we might expect sea level rise of a centimeter a year.

Humans live near the coast, and most of them do not live on cliffs. The average beach gradient is 1 in a 100 or less. Therefore 1 cm. sea level rise will result in coastline retreat of 1 meter.

Every year.

And once we have destabilized these ice sheets, there will be no stable coastline for centuries.

I repeat: There will be no stable coastline for centuries

How bad ?

Hansen likes to point to a a great flood called Melt Water Pulse 1 A, some fourteen thousand years ago, when the ocean rose by a meter every twenty years. For five hundred years in a row.

Yes, it could get that bad.

So what is to be done ?

Don't look at me. I'm just some random guy writing on a web site. The best thing to do is learn more. Read the primary literature. A good place to go is realclimate or The Discovery of Global Warming

For what it's worth, this is what I am doing.

First, I apologize to the children.

Next, cut my CO2 footprint.

And I keep trying to learn more, everyday.

Wish me luck. I wish you the same.

We will all need it, especially the little ones.

"Surely every medicine is an innovation; and he that will not apply new remedies, must expect new evils; for time is the greatest innovator; and if time of course alter things to the worse, and wisdom and counsel shall not alter them to the better, what shall be the end?"
Francis Bacon.

A version of this article is also posted at http://membrane.com/sidd/longthaw/
by sidd on Fri Jan 2nd, 2009 at 07:30:48 PM EST
Here's my down-home take on ocean acidification, just to add to the anxiety level.  http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/6/15/02028/9540

paul spencer
by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Sat Jan 3rd, 2009 at 01:02:16 AM EST
Oceanic acidification is something that might have a larger impact than sea level rise. The shallowing of the aragonite saturation depth has profound consequences on the biochemistry of the oceanic food chain in addition to the effects on coral reefs. Note that acidification has other related consequences as well, notably the degradation of the ocean sink for CO2.
by sidd on Sat Jan 3rd, 2009 at 02:27:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The big melt: 2 trillion tons of ice since 20033

More than 2 trillion tons of land ice in Greenland, Antarctica and Alaska have melted since 2003, according to new NASA satellite data that show the latest signs of what scientists say is global warming.

More than half of the loss of landlocked ice in the past five years has occurred in Greenland, based on measurements of ice weight by NASA's GRACE satellite, said NASA geophysicist Scott Luthcke. The water melting from Greenland in the past five years would fill up about 11 Chesapeake Bays, he said, and the Greenland melt seems to be accelerating.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Jan 3rd, 2009 at 03:54:42 AM EST
I did not bring up the GRACE data specifically, but it is one of my favourite sources. You cannot hide from gravity, and the ability of GRACE to detect relatively small signals such as the mass changes due to ocean currents and air movements constantly amazes me. And as the years pass, the data get better. All this from merely an accurate measurement of the distance between two orbiting satellites, one trailing the other. Nice.
by sidd on Sat Jan 3rd, 2009 at 02:31:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you underestimate the likelihood of catastrophic collapse in ice sheets. As the glaciers melt, the water falls through the ice and flows to the sea at the base of the ice sheet, completely changing the adhesion resistance the ground has for stopping billions of tons from rolling into the sea.

So, although the thaw may well continue in a gradual fashion for some time, there is the constant potential for a crack in a sheet to develop into an unstoppable roll that propels a substantial chunk of ice into the sea at one time. That will cause a rather more dramatic sea level change than you are acocunting for.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jan 3rd, 2009 at 10:20:32 AM EST
Thanx for bringing this up. I did not want to include the effect in detail in the essay, for fear of making it even longer. But I now seize the opportunity to discuss this.

The effect of meltwater lubricating the base of a  moving glacier has been dubbed the "Zwally effect" after glaciologist Jay Zwally, and in fact, seasonal acceleration has been observed in some glaciers in Greenland. But it seems this effect is not the major player. The various factors at play are discussed in two excellent posts at realclimate by Mauri Pelto at

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/04/moulins-calving-fronts-and-greenland-outlet-gl acier-acceleration/


http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/10/what-links-the-retreat-of-jakobshavn-isbrae-wi lkins-ice-shelf-and-the-petermann-glacier/

I do agree with you that a fast and catastrophic (let us say in decades instead of centuries)  collapse may not be ruled out. However, the mechanism for such a collapse is not yet entirely clear to me.

It is true however that such fast collapses have occurred in the past (witness Melt Water Pulse 1 A)
and this is one of Hansen's great fears. Merely because we cannot exactly model such collapse does not mean it cannot occur. To paraphrase Haldane, "Nature is not only cleverer than we suppose, but rather, cleverer than we can suppose."

I feel that great danger is not in Greenland but in the West Antarctic Ice sheet, due to the Weertman instability treated by Schoof, which I have briefly described. I could, as always, be wrong.


by sidd on Sat Jan 3rd, 2009 at 11:44:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm firmly convinced that the climate is undergoing long-term change towards warming.

But one cannot use a decade or so to make such an argument. It may seem to be supporting the claim, but climate change takes place over centuries unless there is a catastrophic event.

Notice that famous cases of volcanic eruptions that changed the albedo of the atmosphere only lasted for less than a decade.

The important point to be made is not that short term data reinforces the basic theory, but that the risks of doing nothing or too little are too great to ignore.

The Stern report represents the strident, but basically conventional approach to the issue while this paper discusses the mathematics of catastrophic failure.


Stern gets lots of discussion because the economists can discuss his assumptions concerning future value calculations while the Weitzman paper gets none because the mathematics is outside their area of expertise.

Sort of looking for the key under the lamppost syndrome.

The real stumbling block to change is that those who will have to sacrifice (basically all of us in one way or another) are alive now while those who will reap the benefits haven't been born yet.

As Reagan famously said: "posterity doesn't vote".

So making a moral argument is tough sledding. This is why I've been focusing on reviving talk of humans as altruistic, as opposed to self-centered, beings.

Policies not Politics
---- Daily Landscape

by rdf (robert.feinman@gmail.com) on Sat Jan 3rd, 2009 at 01:25:22 PM EST
Agreed, a decade is too short, there is a reason that climatologists like 30 year averages. But even 30 year averages seem to indicate something is amiss. 30 years ago the tide gauge data were indicating 1.6 mm/yr sea level rise. Today the value is more like 3 mm/yr.

Thanx for drawing my attention to the Weitzman paper. One point that struck me is that the sensitivity like parameter might be related to the 'slow feedback' sensitivity discussed by Hansen, (which includes relatively slow processes such as albedo change due to retreating ice sheets) and is twice the 'Charney' sensitivity ('fast feedback sensitivity') used in most discussions. A sentence in the Weitzman paper in the discussion of the 'Dismal Theorem' caught my attention: that while the probability of disaster decreases polynomially with the scale of the disaster, while the impact of the disaster increases exponentially.

For those interested in discussion of fat tailed distributions of sensitivity might want to look at James Annan's work. (I am not as sanguine as he is in this regard.)

by sidd on Sat Jan 3rd, 2009 at 02:21:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well whenever a flooding diary turns up I always turn to this site to see what individual rises mean to coastline.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Jan 3rd, 2009 at 06:53:49 PM EST
Hi sidd, I'm faltered that a lousy log entry of mine compelled you to write this thorough piece.

I'm just somewhat baffled on why did you miss the last 4 years of data from Jason:

P.S.: you can forget about the Mr.


by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]protonmail[dot]ch) on Tue Jan 6th, 2009 at 09:11:50 AM EST
How is the data from 2002-8 substantially different from the data from 1994-2000?

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 6th, 2009 at 09:46:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The later follows the trend, the former not.

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]protonmail[dot]ch) on Tue Jan 6th, 2009 at 10:16:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Attach a copy of 2000-2 after 2008 and they'll be indistinguishable.

If you want to make a statement about the last 4 years being anomalous, do you mind making it a statistically testable statement rather than "why did you miss the last 4 years of data?"

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 6th, 2009 at 10:40:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Data available here.
Quick plot, of error from the linear fit:

Lines with increasing smoothing, raw difference in yellow.
Compare periods 94-96, 98-00, and 06-08
Does not look like a significant departure from earlier temporary downward trends.
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Tue Jan 6th, 2009 at 11:40:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanx for the response. The last graph by Abdalati includes data through 2007. The web site
exhibits the processed data.
by sidd on Tue Jan 6th, 2009 at 12:44:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Out of curiosity, I would like to know if my essay has helped anyone to better understand the science. After all that was why I wrote it...

I need and welcome feedback, without which my attempts will not improve.

by sidd on Tue Jan 6th, 2009 at 12:58:47 PM EST
Yup, that sort of survey is always helpful. As you say, who has time to check the science themselves?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jan 6th, 2009 at 01:07:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It helped me a great deal and I read it with great interest. I hope you keep writing on this subject.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Tue Jan 6th, 2009 at 01:29:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
was very welcome. Thanks for the underlying effort and for your responses to comments.

Separate subject - we all understand Luis de Sousa's point-of-view, too. In fact I would like to believe in his perspective, but lean substantially toward the doom side of the argument - which is, for instance, where the ocean acidification matter tends to lead.

paul spencer

by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Tue Jan 6th, 2009 at 02:37:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't. Mainly because I've yet to figure out what precisely his point is. Maybe that's because I'm dense, but I really don't see it.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Jan 6th, 2009 at 02:45:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yup. Still scratching my head, too.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Tue Jan 6th, 2009 at 08:13:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
than to say "we all". In fact maybe I completely misunderstand de Souza's point, but here's my take.

He believes that the issue of global warming due to human activity is not proven. He uses any hiccup in the trend line to indicate his thesis. In a couple of previous diaries it seemed to me that he raised the idea of solar cycles as root cause for the data.

One of the important points of sidd's diary - and the subsequent comments - is the substantial increase in the rate of growth in the level of the oceans over time segments that seem sufficiently long for inference, but frightening in their brevity in the 'normal' pattern of climate change.

paul spencer

by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Tue Jan 6th, 2009 at 10:08:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I remember reading a special issue of "La recherche" (french kind of scientific newspaper) on the subject. They said we were heading to a more active solar cycle for the next 11 years, after a calmer cycle. So you could maybe suppose that the downward trend (which, if I understood correctly, is more of a less-upwardish trend) could be related to a less active solar cycle.

Which means that we have already got our respite, and that future data could be worsened by the (marginal) solar effect, tending towards heating for the next few year.

In a context of being on the edge of huge destabilization, this is bad, meaning we have'nt done anything while we had time, and now we have to be extra efficient in fighting global warming. Furthermore, you have to remember that our current actions may not have effects before years, which means that people would have to pay for past inaction nevertheless.

by Xavier in Paris on Wed Jan 7th, 2009 at 06:47:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't "La Recherche" the French edition of "Scientific American"?

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 7th, 2009 at 06:50:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
might be. I don't really know. It used to be a hard science magazine 20 years ago, and now is more easy to read for the general public (at least if you've been in sciences at the university)
by Xavier in Paris on Wed Jan 7th, 2009 at 06:57:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
La Recherche is independent, the French edition of Scientific American is Pour la Science.

As Xavier said, La Recherche used to be a compilation of researcher's articles about various subjects written for people already aware about science ; now it is more accessible, but still partly written by researchers.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misŤres

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Wed Jan 7th, 2009 at 07:43:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Note Pour la Science is independent also, published by Belin. They picked the articles they choose to translate, now pick one from American Scientist also, and throw in an original French or European article each month (since inception).

But now they have changed their layout and editorial line to match exactly that of La Recherche, which honestly includes a fair bit of CNRS corporatism and the same hard-left propaganda which has made the Education Nationale what it is now (reason why I dropped my subscription to Pour La Science, as a decent right winger)


by Pierre on Wed Jan 7th, 2009 at 09:17:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But the solar cycle explanation is nonsense [.pdf]. There is no known physical mechanism by which the short-term solar cycles can cause the global mean temperature data we've been seeing over the past two or three decades.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Jan 7th, 2009 at 01:09:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Without question this is a high quality diary, helping me educate myself on scientific topics where I simply don't have the time or knowledge to dig deeper.  Thanks sidd.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - AnaÔs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Wed Jan 7th, 2009 at 07:41:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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