Glueball Wormening Warning #3,572

Apparently everyone who lives within fifty miles of a beach is soon going to be drowned because of rising sea levels caused by SUVs, the Koch brothers and plastic straws, etc.  At best, yer house is going to float away.

The oceans could swell nearly seven feet by the end of the century – destroying the homes of almost 200 million people, according to new research.
It would wipe out over a million square miles of farming and other food producing lands – having ‘profound consequences for humanity.’
This is over twice as much as previous ‘doomsday’ predictions – suggesting the world really is facing a global warming ‘apocalypse.’
The shock finding is based on a technique called structured expert judgment (SEJ) that pooled the knowledge of 22 climate change specialists.

…none of whom have any kind of agenda or may derive government funding to further their “research”, of course.  [/sarc]

As for “structured expert judgement”:  can anyone think of a better euphemism for average guesswork  than this one?

And here’s where the fun begins.  Apparently, SMOD is now a glacier:

Global sea levels could rise as much as 10ft (3 metres) if the Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica collapses.
Sea level rises threaten cities from Shanghai to London, to low-lying swathes of Florida or Bangladesh, and to entire nations such as the Maldives.
In the UK, for instance, a rise of 6.7ft (2 metres) or more may cause areas such as Hull, Peterborough, Portsmouth and parts of east London and the Thames Estuary at risk of becoming submerged.
The collapse of the glacier, which could begin with decades, could also submerge major cities such as New York and Sydney.

So, SUVs etc. are going to cause the Thwaites Glacier to melt away and drown us all?  Before we all start to panic, exchange the old F-150 for a Prius and head for the Appalachians, let’s acknowledge that said glacier is melting — just not because of anything we’re doing.  According to the Oracle Watts:

The Thwaites Glacier has been the focus of considerable attention in recent weeks as other groups of researchers found the glacier is on the way to collapse, but more data and computer modeling are needed to determine when the collapse will begin in earnest and at what rate the sea level will increase as it proceeds. The new observations by [University of Texas Institute of Geophysics] will greatly inform these ice sheet modeling efforts.
Using radar techniques to map how water flows under ice sheets, UTIG researchers were able to estimate ice melting rates and thus identify significant sources of geothermal heat under Thwaites Glacier. They found these sources are distributed over a wider area and are much hotter than previously assumed.
The geothermal heat contributed significantly to melting of the underside of the glacier, and it might be a key factor in allowing the ice sheet to slide, affecting the ice sheet’s stability and its contribution to future sea level rise. [my emphasis]
The cause of the variable distribution of heat beneath the glacier is thought to be the movement of magma and associated volcanic activity arising from the rifting of the Earth’s crust beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

Put simply, for Men Of Simple Brain such as myself:  the Thwaites Glacier is melting, but there’s sweet fuck all anyone can do about it.  Unless swapping the F-150 for a Prius will prevent tectonic plate shift, that is.  (I’m going to shut up now before I give these climate loons any ideas.)

Frankly, any natural event which drowns all of NYFC, Lawn Guyland and Joizee City can’t be all  bad…

Proper Analysis

Over the years, several people have pointed me to Willis Eschenbach’s Skating Under The Ice, and it’s very, very  good.  Of late, however, this post has (and should have) become a landmark in the seemingly-endless debate on climate change, in that Willis applies an age-old accounting principle to the issue of carbon dioxide levels, thus:

Now, for me, discussing the “social cost of carbon” is a dereliction of scientific duty because it is only half of an analysis.
A real analysis is where you draw a vertical line down the middle of a sheet of paper. At the top of one side of the paper you write “Costs”, and under that heading, you list the costs of whatever you are analyzing … and at the top of the other side of the paper you write “Benefits” and beneath, you list those benefits. This is what is called a “cost/benefit analysis”, and only considering only the “Costs” column and ignoring the “Benefits” column constitutes scientific malfeasance.

…and then, in brilliant detail, he shows the other half.  It’s a very long read, but if you don’t do it all, you’re doing yourself a disservice.  His conclusion is stunning:

[T]he benefit that we get from emitting that additional tonne of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is an increase in goods and services of $4,380 … which dwarfs the assumed social cost of carbon of $40. When we do an actual cost/benefit analysis, the result is almost all benefit.

I admit that I had only thought in vague terms about this topic, because I always took it for granted that social benefit came from industry, and that the greater the industry, the greater the benefit.  What I had never done was quantify  the benefit;  and now I don’t have to, because now it’s been done, irrefutably.

Bravo.

Finally, Fall

Looks like today (September 20) is going to be the last day of summer, temperature-wise (91°F) here in north Texas.  Unless the weather folks have cocked it up completely, temps are dropping into the 70s over the weekend (with autumn showers coming in), and it seems unlikely that the mercury will climb much over 80°F even after the showers have gone.

Yes, British- and Euro Readers:  a daytime high temperature in the high 70s and low 80s (22-27 in your stupid Celsius thing) is what passes for autumn Over Here.  You may now eat your livers.

At least we’ll henceforth be spared the stench of lizards frying on the sidewalks.  Until next May, that is.

I am SO glad summer has passed.  Even by our standards, it was a monster.

Good Timing

Looks like I picked the right time to stay at The Englishman’s cottage in Boscastle (i.e. in December last year):

Fifteen flood warnings have been issued by the Environment Agency, most of which are concentrated in Cornwall and the south west of England.

And lest anyone think I’m being facetious:

The Boscastle flood of 2004 occurred on Monday, 16 August 2004 in the two villages of Boscastle and Crackington Haven in Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. The villages suffered extensive damage after flash floods caused by an exceptional amount of rain that fell over eight hours that afternoon. The floods were the worst in local memory. A study commissioned by the Environment Agency… concluded that it was among the most extreme ever experienced in Britain. The peak flow was about 140 m³/s, between 5:00pm and 6:00pm BST.

Granted, the British government has built all sorts of anti-flooding drains and such in Boscastle since then, but I’m still nervous. Government works are not always infallible, as a certain city in the Mississippi delta found out a few years back.

Not Here

Apparently, much of Britishland was smacked by rain storms and snow, with concomitant flooding etc. right before Thanksgiving*:

However, lest anyone be afraid that Yer Humble Narrator was thus afflicted, allow me to show the local conditions yesterday:

…and the view down my “street” yesterday morning at 8am:

Yes, that is blue sky up above the hill on the left. I had to explain the phenomenon to some of the locals, who’d never seen it before and were frightened.

Lest anyone think that the weather in Brigadoon-On-Sea is lovely, however, I should point out that the wind coming in from the sea was so strong (straight into my face, in this pic), I actually staggered a bit while walking back down to the cottage.

I love it here.


*I know they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving Over Here. I was just putting a date on the thing.