Friday, September 4, 2015

Weekend Rebel Science Excursion - 49

The activist's flute
I. Introduction

The previous weekend rebel science excursion discussed some simple sea level change (SLC) concept software (Weekend Rebel Science Excursion - 48).

In today's post I am announcing an attempt to rebel against traditional sea level rise (SLR) prediction software (including my own), by telling you that I am going to try to develop a C++ object oriented system that uses the "fingerprint method" discussed in various recent Dredd Blog posts (Don't Believe In Abrupt Sea Level Change - Know About it, The Evolution of Models - 13).

Many things leave "fingerprints", including global warming, such as the effect it has on the vast quantities of ice on this planet.

Especially in Antarctica and Greenland.

One fingerprint of that sort is SLC.

Regular readers know that SLC is composed of two components: 1) SLR, and 2) sea level fall (SLF).

The conceptual dynamics of that software, as to SLC, is: "what effect does ice sheet relocation (from land masses into the oceans) have?"

I am talking about ice relocation by way of ice melting, or by way of ice calving (that is to say ice, or ice-water, "flowing" into the ocean).

The effects of that flowing into the ocean, are SLR and SLF.

Both SLR and SLF are real concepts, but in the larger scheme of things, there are counter-intuitive parts to them.

Some seriously counter-intuitive parts.

"Global mean average sea level" is a popular myth, a scientific fiction, but a useful tool non-the-less, for example, in the sense of a mathematical construct.

You will find all of the parts of the missing MH-370 aircraft long before you discover that the sea level around the globe is the same everywhere, like on a cue ball, soccer ball, or basket ball.

Sea level reality is anything but global mean average.

But, the daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly differences in sea level leave a fingerprint, a useful fingerprint.

But more than that, the SLC fingerprint is a thing that can be predicted to be the same in the future, for anything that has a fingerprint, so long as it is "alive."

In other words, even though the ratio can be temporarily thrown out of kilter by the addition of ice melt-water or calving, it will seek the normal fingerprint pattern anew.

II. Body

Scientists use the nickname "fingerprint" to describe the pattern that certain
Fig. 1 SLC fingerprint (x0 ... x22)
selected tide gages around the world make when their elevation readings are noted.

That fingerprint is visually represented by 23 points or dots, as shown in Fig. 1.

Two are on a line representing a mean equilibrium reference point, symbolic of the global mean sea level average.

The others are above or below the line at varying distances, which represents each tidal gage's mean average sea level over some period of time.

That fingerprint, which is composed of fixed locations at 23 points, can be represented mathematically in a zero based array x0 ... x22 .

Additional identity values of those points can be expressed as a distance ratio the points have to each other.

Note, for further clarity, that (from left to right)  x0, x1, and x2 are points below the line, and that x3 is a point on the line, as is x20 .

The relation x0 has to x1 is a negative value y0 which describes how much further away from the line x1 is compared to x0, and so forth.

The xn locations above the line have a positive y value, which represents their distance above the equilibrium line (global mean sea level line).

If the tidal gages, over a period of time, begin to show change in their distance from the global mean sea level line, or a change in relation to each other, it indicates that additional melt water or additional land ice has emptied into the ocean somewhere, causing the SLC they are recording.

That somewhere can be determined by how the gages move over a period of time, in relationship to each other, and in relationship to the equilibrium line.

Sometimes the source of SLC will be Greenland, other times it will be Antarctica or non-Polar glaciers (or all of them).

Eventually the points stabilize and reach their former ratio to each other, indicating that the melt or calving has subsided or slowed down to an imperceptible quantity.

The tracks left during the disturbance from the norm can be used to isolate the sources of the perturbations or anomalies.

III. Conclusion

When perfected, the software would include the algorithms for detection of ice mass and volume loss at Greenland, Antarctica, and non-Polar glaciers (whether or not anyone at those locations had noticed that change yet).

Have a scientifically rebellious honest weekend anyway.


  1. Here you go Dredd (have a good laugh):

    Bjørn Lomborg, just a scientist with a different opinion?

    Bjørn Lomborg is a well-known media personality who argues that there are more important priorities than reducing emissions to limit global warming.

    In a recent controversy centering on him, the Australian government (known for its contradictory position on climate change) offered the University of Western Australia (UWA) $4 million to make Lomborg professor – which UWA first accepted, but then after massive protest from its staff and students refused. The Australian government was quick to label it a “freedom of speech” issue that Lomborg should get a university position, and vowed to find another university that would host him. However, free speech doesn’t guarantee everyone a university position; there are also academic qualifications required.

    [further down]

    apart from one paper in 1996, Lomborg has never published anything in any field of science that was interesting or useful to other scientists, or even just worth the bother of contradicting in the scientific literature. PhD students at many universities are expected to publish two or three original research papers from their PhD, and without that, they are generally uncompetitive for a postdoc position. [more]

    [yet this quack gets recognition!]


    1. Tom,

      Sounds like Bjørn Lomborg is in a very small class of scientists, and a larger class of deniers such as Inhofe type politicians, who have emotional or similar problems that impair their professionalism.

      I have sympathy for them during their time of analytical malfunction, for a limited time.

      That limited time ends when they begin to deliberately, as opposed to ignorantly, express deceit.

      Being wrong and admitting it is one thing, but glorifying in error is another.

  2. D'ja see this yet Dredd?


    1. Tom,

      Good eye.

      That happened to me a month or so ago.

      I watch the polar ice closely (Arctic Ice Extent: 2015 Struggles For First Place).

      One morning during coffee cup #1 the same thing happened.

      I asked around and it was a glitch then.

      Later on this morning, I will get the data from my less busy source that only has 2015 and 2012 on it (and the std. dev. tracks).

      It is the one used in the link "Arctic Ice Extent: 2015 Struggles For First Place" above.

      Keep up the good work.

    2. As of Saturday (Sept. 5):

      Arctic Ice Extent: 2015 Struggles For First Place - 3

      It is highly unlikely that the polar sea ice would precipitously drop this year to take the record from the year 2012.

      Those types of events are ice sheet or ice shelf events.

      Like Greenland's Jakobshavn glacier did earlier this year (The Evolution of Models - 11).

      The calving event there was more than the ice cover amount indicated in the glitch in the Arctic Sea Ice graph Tom linked to.

      All eyes on Greenland and Antarctica (summer is approaching Antarctia).

  3. All,

    I was so busy yesterday, with the world tidal-gauge database.

    I didn't take a look at comments posted and thus, Tom's comment was neglected until this morning.


    I got the tidal-gauge annual data (~1880-2014) from a premiere site.

    I downloaded the data for over 1,400 top tidal gauge locations around the world.

    If you remember, Dr. Mitrovia only used 23 of them ("the golden ones", the very best) in his fingerprint video (Don't Believe In Abrupt Sea Level Change - Know About it).

    I am waiting for a reply to an email from him because the names of those 23 were not readable in the video.

    In the mean time I am building an SQL database for every year for every location.

    The neat thing is that the station information has the latitude and longitude for each station.

    Thus, I can write Algorithms to isolate the areas of prime SLF and SLR, then integrate the monthly values to identify any SLC whether it is SLF or SLR.

    Then, using the fingerprint method and some Sherlock Holmes tactics trace it back to the source (Greenland, Antarctica, or non-Polar glaciers).

    No only that, future projections of SLC can be directed to a specific area.

    Gotta get back to it.

    I expect to do a post on that today or soon thereafter.