Nell, Dudley and Snidely: Uncertainty

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 7:07 AM GMT on February 17, 2015

Nell, Dudley and Snidely: Uncertainty

In last week’s article I wrote:

Probability and likelihood are notoriously difficult ways to communicate in quiet consultation, and even more difficult in newspapers, on the radio, television and online. Probability and risk are just made for conflicting headlines. The conclusions are, therefore, by definition, uncertain, and uncertainty can always fuel both sides of a rhetorical or a political argument.

I got a very nice comment from Scott Sabol of WJW FOX 8 about the “uphill battle attempting to communicate uncertainty both in day-to-day weather forecasts and the describing of the components of extreme weather events/climate change influence without alienating the audience.” I have seen several blogs since the blizzard forecasts of January 23 – 26 that focus on the need to better quantify and describe the uncertainty associated with winter storms. Uncertainty is subject of this article.

Here’s a still growing record of the Northeast blizzard news cycle on my Tumblr site. This record includes some of the blogs referenced in the previous paragraph that discuss the need for better communication of uncertainty.

In the fall of 2014, I taught a small course on uncertainty, and specifically, on placing uncertainty of climate change in context with other sources of uncertainty in applying climate knowledge to planning and policy. My starting point in many uncertainty discussions is from the uncertainty fallacy; namely, that the quantification and reduction of uncertainty is the primary barrier that hinders the use of scientific knowledge in decision making. During the 1990s, many proposals and measurement missions were sold on the promise of “reducing uncertainty.” If you consider all of the complex processes that make up the climate system and their simplified representation in models, then casual statements that uncertainty will be reduced by any one investigation are not likely to hold up. Uncertainty might be better understood and be better described, but reduction is unlikely. Further, reduction does not assure better usability of knowledge, and in most cases it is not required.

One of my favorite classroom experiences is when the business students in class describe to the scientists and engineers that they are always making decisions in the face of great uncertainty. They want to know how climate uncertainty stacks up against other sources of uncertainty. They also what evidence that changes in the uncertainty descriptions will be incremental; that is, for example, from one assessment to the next, the description is largely the same.

If you listen to the NPR series on Risk and Reason, you will get a feeling of the difficulty of communicating uncertainty and the difficulty that people have in using information about uncertainty. In that series, there are those who advocate never using numbers describing uncertainty in policy contexts, and then there are those thinking of clever and effective ways to communicate numbers to individuals making important decisions. One take away is that how people use information about uncertainty is highly personal. There are often strong elements of fear and want.

Also, in many cases people have an agenda of how they want to use uncertainty – to make something happen or to keep something from happening ( a Rood blog, an ancient Rood blog, and yet another Rood blog, enough).

The quest for uncertainty quantification and highly quantified descriptions of uncertainty to assist in decision making is a mistake often made by scientists. In the cohort of clients I work with, the vast majority is simply not prepared to work with highly quantitative descriptions of uncertainty. Even more to the point, when climate uncertainty is placed into context with other sources of uncertainty, the quantification is overkill. There are studies that suggest, for instance Tang and Dessai (2012), that highly quantified descriptions of uncertainty can, on average, reduce the usability of climate information.

All of these factors together lead to at least one robust conclusion, there is no way to communicate uncertainty in a usable way to everyone. Therefore, you need have several strategies for communicating uncertainty, and you need to frame those strategies for different audiences. In the work that I have done with experts in public health, there is always the discussion about how to communicate a risk, for example, heat waves to the public. There is also the discussion of how to communicate information to first responders and to emergency health providers so that they will be on the lookout for heat-related afflictions. I am not aware that there is any discussion to communicate to anyone the numbers from epidemiological statisticians that one type of heat index has some fractional advantage in predicting heat-related afflictions.

An important point is the need to make a special effort to communicate to those who are trained professionals and have a framework in which to interpret and use uncertainty information. In the case of a weather emergency, one imagines that large cities might have such professionals. One of the most interesting responses that I saw in the Northeast blizzard news cycle was one where funding for experts, interpreters, in providing guidance on the use of forecasts had been eliminated. I don’t know the complete knowledge chain from weather forecast to shutting down a city, but this type of expertise is critical at some place in that knowledge chain.

My whole raison d’être these days is training interpreters on how to use climate knowledge in problem solving. Many of the same principles apply in how to use weather forecasts and how to use science-based knowledge in general. The Northeast blizzard news cycle has been and continues to be a real-world example for both climate and weather. The continued snow storms in Boston, for example, are a wonderful example of relentless patterns of weather that demonstrate that weather is not “random.” However, the biggest lessons are on uncertainty, communication and exaggeration for the benefit of telling a story.

I stated, above, that how we use uncertainty is highly personal. I have used climate knowledge and weather uncertainty to choose the location of a house on the Chesapeake Bay as well as to decide whether of not to take a kayak out into a hurricane. In neither case did I feel I was taking on large risk. This weekend, I (over)heard what seemed to be a discussion of two people deciding not to vaccinate their son because they had determined that their son had exceptional natural immunity. A relevant weather-related example of personal choice and, perhaps, the subconscious is the evidence that people take hurricanes named after women less seriously than hurricanes named after men. It made me think of naming winter storms and what Venus or Vesta might suggest compared to Jupiter or Mars. That, of course, led to Nell, Dudley and Snidely.

One thing that I count on from scientific organizations is a dispassionate description of events and uncertainty. Winter storms, especially if we are going to personify them, need a dispassionate, standard scale to describe them. The weather service has several scales that are effective for hurricanes, tornadoes and storms at sea. Winter storms offer a difficult detail, namely, the rain-ice-snow line, whose boundaries are tricky and important. Climate change offers the additional difficulty that characteristics of storms are changing and expected to change more. Therefore, placing storms within recent and historic context seems like a potentially usable piece of information. We need qualifiers, not number-heavy quantifiers. We don’t need to explain numerical dispersion errors in models to the masses. We don’t need to break down all of the pieces – to speak loudly and more slowly.

From the point of view of the climate scientist and the roles that climate change plays in a particular storm – it is always true that public communication is walking into a maelstrom where people have many agendas of how they want to use uncertainty – to make something happen or to keep something from happening. I have had colleagues tell me that there is an imperative to participate in ever loudening ways to convey the knowledge of climate change. This does not appeal or seem effective to me. Those conversations of deliberate disruption and doubt need to be identified for what they are and left in their stewing pool. We need to persistently differentiate the important aspects of climate change, isolate the deliberate disruption, and more effectively expose that which is important about climate change in the many conversations that are emerging.

r


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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If we treated our homes like we do the earth

- Jen Sorensen / SlowPokeComics.com


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Scientists: "No, We Can't Fight Climate Change by Burning Trees"

A group of 78 scientists is criticizing an Environmental Protection Agency memo they say may dramatically undermine President Barack Obama's directive to cut planet-warming emissions.

In a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, a group that includes climate scientists, engineers, and ecologists criticizes a November 2014 EPA policy memo that discounts emissions generated by burning biomass, including plants, trees, and other wood products known as sources of biogenic carbon dioxide. Critics said they fear the memo shows how biomass might be treated under the EPA's forthcoming Clean Power Plan, which will set the first regulations on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. The EPA is expected to finalize those regulations by summer.

The EPA memo states that using biomass as a source of power is "likely to have minimal or no net atmospheric contributions of biogenic [carbon dioxide] emissions" as long as the biomass is produced with "sustainable forest or agricultural practices." It also suggests that states will be able to increase the use of biomass in power plants in order to meet the limits set in the Clean Power Plan. The biogenic energy framework was the subject of a recent article in Politico magazine, which found that the interpretation "could promote the rapid destruction of America's carbon-storing forests."

The group of scientists argues that not all types of biomass have the same impact on carbon emissions, and that using more biomass derived from trees will actually increase overall emissions. Treating all biomass the same could lead to cutting down older-growth trees for fuel, and older trees store more carbon. The group cites a statistic from the US Energy Information Agency estimating if woody biomass is treated as carbon-free, an additional 4 percent of electricity in the US could be generated from wood over the next 20 years. The scientists estimate that may boost the US timber harvest by 70 percent.

This would likely lead to cutting even more trees, not only in the US, but around the world, the scientists argue. Even if new trees are grown to replace them, it would take many years for the trees to store as much carbon. Further, they say, burning biomass makes power plants less efficient and increases emissions.

Article at MotherJones.com

November 2014 EPA policy memo (PDF)
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Drought Hurts Brazil’s Economy, Helps Commodities

And it’s going to get worse…

Just a few short months ago, the central Brazilian government said water rationing wasn’t necessary.

But now, it says that it’s likely that the country’s three largest metropolitan areas – São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Belo Horizonte, which includes more than 40 million people – will face some rationing.

Those cities are joining 93 other cities in Brazil that have already instituted some water rationing.


Link
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Plastic Sea
- Mike Luckovich



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Arctic ice warms from below
Shrinking Arctic sea ice could cause more-vigorous mixing of ocean heat in northern waters, eventually leading to further melting.


Tom Rippeth of Bangor University, UK, and his colleagues measured water temperatures at different depths and locations across the Arctic Ocean. They found that heat rose more quickly from warm, deep layers
Link
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Quoting 55. JohnLonergan:

How much do you know about climate change?

Take the quiz and find out.




As a rule I NEVER Quiz on a Thursday, but I did bookmark it.

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Quoting JohnLonergan:
How much do you know about climate change?

Take the quiz and find out.

Not too difficult at all:



Though I see that three people huddled at the bottom (perhaps Watts, Monckton, & "Goddard"?) didn't fare so well:

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Quoting 54. Creideiki:



Among the changes: My vet has changed his recommendation from protecting dogs against heartworm from 6 months being enough to year-round protection here in Denver. Turns out the mosquitos are surviving longer, returning earlier, and having short-term resurgences whenever we don't get below freezing overnight. (Note: We've also changed USDA agriculture zone to 5a.)


Same here in Central Mass re the heartworm meds for my lab. I spend a lot of time in the woods and I've noticed that the ticks are around later into winter out earlier in the spring.
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How much do you know about climate change?

Take the quiz and find out.

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Quoting 21. Patrap:

Climate Change Leads to Rapid Emergence of Infectious Diseases

Adam Novak, February 18, 2015 9:32 am





Among the changes: My vet has changed his recommendation from protecting dogs against heartworm from 6 months being enough to year-round protection here in Denver. Turns out the mosquitos are surviving longer, returning earlier, and having short-term resurgences whenever we don't get below freezing overnight. (Note: We've also changed USDA agriculture zone to 5a.)
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Happy Birthday Svante Arrhenius



Svante August Arrhenius

Born 19 February 1859

Wik Castle, Sweden

Died 2 October 1927 (aged 68)

Stockholm, Sweden

Arrhenius developed a theory to explain the ice ages, and in 1896 he was the first scientist to attempt to calculate how changes in the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could alter the surface temperature through the greenhouse effect.[10] He was influenced by the work of others, including Joseph Fourier and John Tyndall. Arrhenius used the infrared observations of the moon by Frank Washington Very and Samuel Pierpont Langley at the Allegheny Observatory in Pittsburgh to calculate the absorption of infrared radiation by atmospheric CO2 and water vapour. Using 'Stefan's law' (better known as the Stefan-Boltzmann law), he formulated his greenhouse law. In its original form, Arrhenius' greenhouse law reads as follows:

if the quantity of carbonic acid [CO2] increases in geometric progression, the augmentation of the temperature will increase nearly in arithmetic progression.

The following equivalent formulation of Arrhenius' greenhouse law is still used today:[11]



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Also posted on Dr. Masters' blog.
Appropriate to the topic "storm".... "The effect of urbanisation on the climatology of thunderstorm initiation"
Link
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Quoting 46. RickyRood:

Yep, she's writing good material. Washington Post has really emerged in this arena in the past couple of years.



Yes, a nice step for her (although it did involve having to move from SF to DC, a not insignificant downside).

Getting the WU gig was perhaps an even larger step, as it meant she could escape the clutches of Judy Curry (and leave Atlanta for SF).
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Quoting 39. Xulonn:

So that's what happened to Angela Fritz after she disappeared from WU - new job and new look!

Nice to see a well-qualified pro like former WU featured blogger Angela move into a job as a weather & climate writer & editor at a venerable and prestigious newspaper like the Washington Post.


Definitely. Good to see her spreading her professional wings from WU into into the WP. It's very uplifting.
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Warming oceans could spell disaster for coral reefs

Michael Casey | CBS News | February 18, 2015

It looks like 2015 is shaping up to be a bad year for coral reefs.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warned this week that warm waters in the tropical Pacific and Indian Oceans spark widespread coral bleaching across the world this year - making it the third time in less than a decade that this has occurred.

Reefs are one of the world's most important ecosystems, supporting more species than any other marine environment including 4,000 fish species. They are also a crucial to sustaining many coastal communities that thrive on the $375 billion a year reaped through diving, fishing and tourism.

Bleaching is akin to coral cancer. It occurs when corals are stressed by changes in conditions such as temperature, light or nutrients. They respond by expelling the symbiotic algae living in their tissues, causing them to turn white. Without the algae, the coral loses its major source of food and often can't survive.

"The outlook shows a pattern over the next four months that is similar to what we saw during global coral bleaching events in 1998 and 2010,"said Mark Eakin, coordinator of NOAA's Coral Reef Watch which uses climate models and satellite data to monitor reefs. "We're really concerned that 2015 may bring the third global coral bleaching event."

NOAA warned the greatest threat for coral bleaching through May 2015 is in the western South Pacific and Indian oceans. In the Pacific, thermal stress has already reached levels that cause bleaching in Nauru, Kiribati, and the Solomon Islands, and is expected to spread to Tuvalu, Samoa, and American Samoa in the next few months. In the Indian Ocean, thermal stress may reach levels that cause bleaching around Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, and parts of Indonesia and western Australia.


Time series showing a previously healthy elkhorn coral colony that bleached in September 2014. Even as color began to return in late September, tissue mortality was progressing until very little remained in November 2014 (NOAA)

"If the pattern follows what we have seen in last two global bleaching events in 1998 and 2010, we may see this to move back into the central Pacific and into Southeast Asia and into western north Pacific," he said. "You are seeing this move with the sun. The heating is going on as the sun is in place and causing the temperature of the waters to warm above what corals can tolerate."

UNC professor John Bruno, who currently is studying the impact of overfishing on Caribbean reefs, said the projection wasn't surprising given that 2014 was found to be the hottest year in the modern record. He fears especially for reefs that had recovered from previous events like those in the Seychelles.

"All those places that have recovered will be right back where they were 15 to 20 years," Bruno said. "The concern with global warming is that if we start seeing bleaching events every three years or every five years we wont start see any recovery."

The NOAA projection is the latest dose of dire news for corals, almost a third of which have been degraded mostly due to climate change but also widespread pollution and coastal development. Among the biggest threats are bleaching events, with some 15 percent of reefs being lost in the 1998 event.

"By midcentury, the temperatures that cause coral bleaching will become the norm," Eakin said. "We are stepping toward that in the Caribbean where we have been seeing temperatures that cause bleaching every five or six years. In the Pacific, it's less frequent but it's becoming more frequent."

© 2015 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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warm air is well over Alaska and also NW Canadian Arctic
it stands out here well
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Quoting 42. Frasersgrove:




Better tell the arctic this news, according to IJIS the ice extent in the arctic has dropped by almost 200,000 sq/ km in the last 2 days to set a record low for today.
http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_exten t.htm


faster and faster

2015 will be another record ice year melt
we got to really scare em
maybe 95 percent melt
with Greenland running away in water
that should work
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Yep, she's writing good material. Washington Post has really emerged in this arena in the past couple of years.

Quoting 39. Xulonn:

So that's what happened to Angela Fritz after she disappeared from WU - new job and new look!

Nice to see a well-qualified pro like former WU featured blogger Angela move into a job as a weather & climate writer & editor at a venerable and prestigious newspaper like the Washington Post.
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Thanks ... I need all the pluses I can get!

Quoting 44. LowerCal:

Maybe so... but I gave you a plus for pushing back against the Eastern U.S. bias, heh.
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Quoting 38. RickyRood:

Subtropical Anti-vortex Thrusts Northward Bringing Temperatures 16 Degrees (F) Above Normal to the Canadian Plains

Being Bad ...

r
Maybe so... but I gave you a plus for pushing back against the Eastern U.S. bias, heh.
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Today's selection of articles about science, climate change, energy and the environment.



A Look Behind the Headlines on China's Coal Trends

* Forgotten fossil found to be new species of ichthyosaur (with video)

Temperature rise leaves dogs racing on thin ice


*** Brain's iconic seat of speech goes silent when we actually talk


!!! Epigenome of more than 100 tissue and cell types mapped



*** Autism genes activate during fetal brain development



* Neanderthal groups based part of their lifestyle on sexual division of labor

!!! Can you judge a man by his fingers? Link between relative lengths of index and ring fingers in men and behavior towards women

*** Tropical fire ants traveled the world on 16th century ships



*** Breakthrough in nanotoxicology by researchers

* Dust to dust: Disintegrating rocky exoplanet could unlock secrets to how our solar system was formed

The strange case of the missing dwarf

!!! Mapping seascapes in the deep ocean



*** Farmers can better prevent nutrient runoff based on land characteristics




Indiana House panel advances measure to add solar power fees


Arsenic, nitrates among pollutants in California drinking water: report

Why the power grid of the future is in California and New York

Obama to declare national monuments Thursday in Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois

!!! Scientists announce anti-HIV agent so powerful it can work in a vaccine




Future of New York Could Be Wet, Hot and Flooded: Report

West Virginians start clean up after massive oil train derailment
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Quoting 22. Cochise111:

Looks as if the sun is going into another minimum. More cooling is on the way:

Link



Better tell the arctic this news, according to IJIS the ice extent in the arctic has dropped by almost 200,000 sq/ km in the last 2 days to set a record low for today.
http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_exten t.htm
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Global Sea Ice Coverage from Satellite Data: Annual Cycle and 35-Yr Trends
Claire L. Parkinson


Abstract
Well-established satellite-derived Arctic and Antarctic sea ice extents are combined to create the global picture of sea ice extents and their changes over the 35-yr period 1979–2013. Results yield a global annual sea ice cycle more in line with the high-amplitude Antarctic annual cycle than the lower-amplitude Arctic annual cycle but trends more in line with the high-magnitude negative Arctic trends than the lower-magnitude positive Antarctic trends. Globally, monthly sea ice extent reaches a minimum in February and a maximum generally in October or November. All 12 months show negative trends over the 35-yr period, with the largest magnitude monthly trend being the September trend, at −68 200 ± 10 500 km2 yr−1 (−2.62% ± 0.40% decade−1), and the yearly average trend being −35 000 ± 5900 km2 yr−1 (−1.47% ± 0.25% decade−1).
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Quoting 37. barbamz:

Norway to become Germany's energy reservoir
Deutsche Welle English, Feb 16, 2015
A submarine power cable is set to link Norwegian hydroelectric plants and German wind farms starting in 2020. A powerhouse for Europe, Norwegian hydropower plays an important role in the renewable energy revolution. ...


While I was in Tromso, I saw some Engineering they did at the High School we showered at, it was leased to NATO during "TEAMWORK 84"

They had 2 foot wide stainless steel vault doors for Nuclear Safe Haven..leading down into the Mountain.

Man rated for Hundreds and self sustaining Equipped for 6 mths.

And their bridges were fantastic...by 84' standards and a decade ahead of the states for that period.

Fascinating folks.

I want to retire there.

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Quoting 38. RickyRood:
Subtropical Anti-vortex Thrusts Northward Bringing Temperatures 16 Degrees (F) Above Normal to the Canadian Plains

Being Bad ...

r
So that's what happened to Angela Fritz after she disappeared from WU - new job and new look!

Nice to see a well-qualified pro like former WU featured blogger Angela move into a job as a weather & climate writer & editor at a venerable and prestigious newspaper like the Washington Post.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Norway to become Germany's energy reservoir
Deutsche Welle English, Feb 16, 2015
A submarine power cable is set to link Norwegian hydroelectric plants and German wind farms starting in 2020. A powerhouse for Europe, Norwegian hydropower plays an important role in the renewable energy revolution. ...
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I am enthusiastic about Dr. Francis's work, but I believe the uncertainty space remains too large to establish cause and effect. Difficulties in observations, theory, model representation, processes of cause and effect.

I was checking in to provide this link to Jennifer Francis, herself, on The Conversation

Thanks for teeing it up for me.


Quoting 32. CuriousAboutClimate:

can we just come out and say Jennifer Francis is right at this point?
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India Starts Building World’s Largest Solar Plant, Overtaking U.S.

India is about to start construction on what will be the world’s largest solar plant. As part of a redoubled effort to ramp up renewable energy capacity to help meet the developing country’s fast-growing energy needs, the 750-megawatt solar plant in Madhya Pradesh will be inaugurated on August 15, 2016 — India’s Independence Day. The plant will be significantly larger than the world-leading solar farms in California, including the recently-commissioned Desert Sunlight Solar Farm.

Read more ...
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U.S. refinery strike enters 18th day as talks restart


HOUSTON (Reuters) - The largest U.S refinery workers strike since 1980 entered its 18th day on Wednesday as union and oil company representatives prepared to renew face-to-face negotiations over pay and safety, after a week's hiatus.

Related Stories

Union and Shell to resume talks Tuesday over U.S. refinery pact Reuters
U.S. refineries strike to widen as walkouts planned at BP plants Reuters
U.S. workers strike for second day at nine refineries; one to shut Reuters
Union rejects sixth refinery offer from Shell, talks recess Reuters

Shell, union resume communications over U.S. refinery contract: spokesman Reuters

More than 5,000 workers at 11 plants, including nine refineries accounting for 13 percent of U.S. production capacity, remained on strike with little sign of a quick end.

Face-to-face talks between representatives of the United Steelworkers union (USW) and lead oil company negotiator Royal Dutch Shell Plc have been on hold as the company compiled a reply to an information request from the union and weighed a counterproposal from the union.

The union's lead negotiator International Vice President Gary Beevers told Reuters in an interview on Monday that safe staffing levels at refineries and chemical plants remain a key sticking point. The union also wants wage increases. [ID:nL1N0VQ0TD]

No new strike notices have been issued by the USW since Feb. 6 when workers at plants in Whiting, Indiana, and Toledo, Ohio, were told to walk off their jobs starting the next day.

Tesoro Corp's 166,000-bpd plant in Martinez, California, was the only refinery to cease operations due to the strike. Part of it was already shut for maintenance and after the walkout started the rest was idled. Tesoro officials have said production at the refinery will not resume for the duration of the strike.

Shell has rescheduled from March until September a planned overhaul of a hydrocracking unit at its 327,000 barrels per day (bpd) joint-venture refinery in Deer Park, Texas, sources told Reuters on Monday. The refinery's gasoline-producing fluidic catalytic cracking unit remains shut, though the rest of the plant is operating as usual. [ID:L1N0VR050]

The USW is seeking a three-year, industrywide pact that would cover 30,000 workers at 63 U.S. refineries that together account for two-thirds of domestic capacity.

Companies have called on trained temporary replacement workers to keep their plants running at nearly normal levels.

(Changes day of week in lead to Wednesday)

(Reporting by Erwin Seba in Houston; Editing by Terry Wade and Alden Bentley)
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Quoting 30. RevElvis:

New Orleans was once above sea level, but stormwater drainage has caused it to sink -- with deadly consequences



An explosion in the early hours of Sept. 1, 1975 ripped apart this Metairie residence in the Bissonet Plaza area. The blast, which injured five members of the Stephen M. Little family and six of their neighbors, was believed caused by a gas leak. But an underlying cause was soil subsidence.

article at Times-Picayune


That was like 40 years ago...when I was 15, I went to Summer Camp in Bissonet Plaza.


That hasn't happened here since they retrofitted the "slab" Home Gas mains/meters with flex hose. And to be sure,,we still here.

Plus, that happened in the western suburbs in Jefferson Parish where I grew up. No homes in Orleans Parish were ever affected.

Subsidence happens when one builds entire Suburbs in a wetland area drained. Thats why most suburban Homes got spillway dirt every 2 years to fill up the mean grades around our Homes. We made a lot of cash as kids/teenager's spreading it with shovels, wheelbarrows and rakes.
Thats called work.
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can we just come out and say Jennifer Francis is right at this point?
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Don't know whether this has been linked before, but it's a great interactive site with excellent videos covering basic climate science and climate modelling.

The U.K. Science Museum's Climate Science Info Zone
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New Orleans was once above sea level, but stormwater drainage has caused it to sink -- with deadly consequences



An explosion in the early hours of Sept. 1, 1975 ripped apart this Metairie residence in the Bissonet Plaza area. The blast, which injured five members of the Stephen M. Little family and six of their neighbors, was believed caused by a gas leak. But an underlying cause was soil subsidence.

* Article is about subsidence and it's effects - written February 18, 2015 (contains reference to an event that happened almost 40 years ago)

article at Times-Picayune

* Fixed It ! (Hope this helps)

** Timeline emphasized for the "Chronicle'ly Challenged"
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From Phys.org:

Study finds more evidence for link between wavy jet stream and extreme weather


Credit: National Weather Service

Prolonged cold snaps on the East Coast, California drought and frozen mornings in the South all have something in common – the atmospheric jet stream which transports weather systems that's taken to meandering all over North America.

Rutgers University climate scientist Jennifer Francis and colleagues link that wavy jet stream to a warming Arctic, where climate changes near the top of the world are happening faster than in Earth's middle latitudes.

A new study from Francis and University of Wisconsin-Madison scientist Stephen Vavrus, published in IOPscience, backs up that theory, with evidence linking regional and seasonal conditions in the Arctic to deeper north-south jet stream waves which will lead to more extreme weather across the country.

Read more >>


More information: "Evidence for a wavier jet stream in response to rapid Arctic warming." Jennifer A Francis and Stephen J Vavrus 2015 Environ. Res. Lett. 10 014005. DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/10/1/014005
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Quoting 25. Naga5000:
NEXT!


Hey! Don't make a funny just 'cuz someone don't read as gooder as you!

Honestly, this isn't the first time he's posted links that end up saying the exact opposite of what he tries to imply.
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22. - could a separate forum be created for deniers? perhaps along the lines of 12 step group support?

1. We admitted we were powerless over our ignorance - that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that the Power of Science and Logic could restore us to sanity.

3. ,...
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Quoting 23. CuriousAboutClimate:



shouldn't there be some initial cooling before you predict more cooling? the 30+ year trend in declining solar output hasn't resulting in cooling yet...



How about some real science?

From G Feulner & S Rahmstorf (On the effect of a new grand minimum of solar activity on the future climate on Earth)
- Geophysical Research Letters, 2010

In summary, global mean temperatures in the year 2100 would most likely be diminished by about 0.1°C. Even taking into account all uncertainties in the temperature reconstruction, the forcings, and the model physics, the overall uncertainty is estimated to be at most a factor of 3, so the offset should not be larger than 0.3°C. Comparing this to the 3.7°C and 4.5°C temperature rise relative to 1961–1990 until the end of the century under the IPCC A1B and A2 emission scenarios, respectively, a new Maunder-type solar activity minimum cannot offset the global warming caused by human greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, any offset of global warming due to a grand minimum of solar activity would be merely a temporary effect, since the distinct solar minima during the last millennium typically lasted for only several decades or a century at most.


I see this may be superfluous, but why not inundate a denier with facts.
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Quoting 22. Cochise111:

Looks as if the sun is going into another minimum. More cooling is on the way:

Link


"Carried out by the University of Reading and the Met Office, the study establishes the most likely changes in the Sun's activity and looks at how this could affect near-surface temperatures on Earth.

It found that the most likely outcome was that the Sun's output would decrease up to 2100, but this would only cause a reduction in global temperatures of 0.08 °C. This compares to an expected warming of about 2.5 °C over the same period due to greenhouse gases (according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's B2 scenario for greenhouse gas emissions that does not involve efforts to mitigate emissions).


Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2012-01-decline-solar-output -offset-global.html#jCp"

NEXT!
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From the New York Times, a very sobering piece on the water woes in Brazil.

Taps Start to Run Dry in Brazil's Largest City
Sao Paulo Water Crisis Linked to Growth, Pollution and Deforestation
By SIMON ROMERO, Fe. 16, 2015

Excerpt:

"Behind closed doors, the views are grimmer. In a meeting recorded secretly and leaked to the local news media, Paulo Massato, a senior official at Sao Paulo's water utility, said that residents might have to be warned to flee because "there's not enough water, there won't be water to bathe, to clean" homes."
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Quoting 22. Cochise111:

Looks as if the sun is going into another minimum. More cooling is on the way:

Link


shouldn't there be some initial cooling before you predict more cooling? the 30+ year trend in declining solar output hasn't resulting in cooling yet...
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Climate Change Leads to Rapid Emergence of Infectious Diseases

Adam Novak, February 18, 2015 9:32 am


Climate change is creating conditions that are likely to increase the rate of infectious disease worldwide.

That’s the key findings of two new studies that show viruses such as Ebola, H1N1 and TB, as well as dengue and yellow fevers could spread further and become more frequent because of our changing climate.


Mosquito, a disease vector. Photo credit: Creative Commons: Enrique Dans In one recently published article, zoologists studied climate in two vastly different regions—the tropics and the Arctic—to gain an understanding of how climate change may affect the spread of disease.

In both regions the scientists found that by altering and moving habitat zones of disease-carrying animals, climate change could be making outbreaks of diseases more frequent.

Previously, scientists believed that parasites could not quickly jump from one host to another because of the way parasites and hosts co-evolve. This would, in effect, make new disease more rare as parasites would first have to evolve a genetic mutation in order to move to another species.

However, the new analysis argues that these evolutionary jumps can come quicker then anticipated.

“Even though a parasite might have a very specialized relationship with one particular host in one particular place, there are other hosts that may be as susceptible,”said Daniel Brooks, professor at University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Newer hosts are more susceptible to infections because they haven’t developed resistances to them, making the hosts more likely to get sicker.

The researchers predict that as humans move deeper in wildlife areas they are more likely to interact with animals affected by new more virulent strains of pathogens. This would increase the rate of human epidemics and could be spread even further through global air travel.

Sometimes the new diseases will come to us more directly.

In another new study, a team of researchers from the U.K. and Germany found that rising temperatures in Europe could bring traditionally tropical diseases such as dengue and yellow fevers to Europe.

The researchers predicted 2.4 billion people could be exposed to the Asian tiger mosquito by the middle of the century, as they emigrate from Africa to Europe’s new warmer climate.

The mosquito can transmit pathogens that spread diseases including dengue fever, chikungunya infection, yellow fever and encephalitis.

The research suggests the chances of the Asian tiger mosquito, hitting the UK and France are higher than previously thought.

Eastern Brazil, the eastern U.S., Western and Central Europe and Eastern China are also likely to provide increasingly suitable habitats for the mosquito between the period 2045 and 2054.

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New York City Could See Up To Six Feet Of Sea Level Rise This Century: Report



Climate change is already impacting New York City with rising temperatures and sea levels, which will only worsen as the century continues, according to a report released Tuesday from a panel of scientific experts.

In its 2015 report, the New York City Panel on Climate Change found that the most populous city in the United States is expected to see more frequent heat waves and extreme precipitation events. This is in line with the national and international trends other leading scientific bodies have observed.

The city's average annual temperatures, measured from Central Park, have risen about 3.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1900. From 1971 to 2000, the average annual temperature in the city was 54 degrees, and models predict a a 4.1- to 5.7-degree increase by the middle of the century. Temperatures are projected to rise 5.3 to 8.8 degrees Fahrenheit by the 2080s.

HuffingtonPost.com
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Dr. Rood,

I get a "page not found" error on the Tang and Dessai link;
the pdf can be found here.
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There are studies that suggest, for instance Tang and Dessai (2012), that highly quantified descriptions of uncertainty can, on average, reduce the usability of climate information.

I imagine that's why the IPCC uses the likely-unlikely and high and low confidence ranges in their summaries, to make the uncertainty more understandable by non-scientists.
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They also what evidence that changes in the uncertainty descriptions will be incremental;
Should that be "want"?
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Solar power does not have 1,400 years of baggage.

I have never seen a solar farm explode , and dump waste into a river.
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Off topic –
Charley Rose is talking to an ex CIA guy tonight. Not once has he mentioned that the Saudi ‘s funded a virulent effort since Roosevelt to kill us. Our oil money all these years gave us ISIS. Now the genie is out of the bottle, and ISIS wants to kill the Saudi princes as well.

As long as they pumped oil , we turned a blind eye to the Wahhabi bullshit they exported.

Now, it may eat all of us.

Solar power does not have 1,400 years of baggage.
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SPECTACULAR SWEDISH LIGHT SHOW
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Dr. Ricky Rood's Climate Change Blog

About RickyRood

I'm a professor at U Michigan and lead a course on climate change problem solving. These articles often come from and contribute to the course.