Friday, January 29, 2016

Questionable Scientific Papers - 5

Fig. 1 "The European Problem"
In the previous post of this series I introduced a new module of the Dredd Blog sea level change (SLC) software (Questionable Scientific Papers - 4).
Fig. 2 Geophysical Fingerprint

That module calculates the fingerprint of SLC left by geophysical dynamics which I call: 1) displacement, 2) ghost-water, and 3) the thermal-factor (Fig. 2).

Fig. 3 Geographical Fingerprint
There is another module in the software model that calculates the fingerprint of SLC left by geographical dynamics which I call "Antarctica Portion," "Greenland Portion," and "Glaciers' Portion" (Fig. 3).

The distinction is that one is a picture of the geographical locations from which the SLC originates, and the other is a picture of the geophysical entities generating the SLC.

The distinction is that one module focuses on geographical origins, while the other focuses on geophysical process origins.

They both have a "Combined" window, but the geographical module then has "Antarctica Portion," "Greenland Portion," and "Glaciers' Portion."

In contrast, the geophysical module has "Displacement Portion," "Ghost-Water Portion," and "Thermal-Factor Portion."

I changed the latter one from "Thermal Expansion Portion" to "Thermal-Factor Portion" because the latter description is more in touch with reality, as was discussed in a couple of earlier posts (Questionable Scientific Papers - 4, The Ghost-Water Constant - 2).

The gist of the nomenclature change is that "thermal expansion" is not a major factor in SLC, even when that SLC is sea level rise (SLR).

Thermal expansion is especially not a major factor when that SLC is sea level fall (SLF).

So, now the description "Thermal-Factor Portion" has to do with thermal characteristics in a more accurate way.

It is especially so, since I realized that thermal expansion is a minor player in SLR scenarios, and is actually a no-show in SLF scenarios.

That having been said, it is still true that thermal expansion is a minor factor in both scenarios of SLC, as I will explain.

First, as Fig. 2 shows, the thermal expansion dynamics are not thrown away by the new fingerprint addition to the model, rather, it is shown for what it is, a vain expansion in the falling sea level scenario that exists near land masses as ice sheets fade away.

It's like, ok we know that thermal expansion has taken place in this sea level that has dropped two feet during the time frame of the graph, however, we do not see two feet of SLF as a case where thermal expansion caused SLR.

Since none of us have seen a negative number increase a positive number by addition [(+5)+(−4) = +1], we also will not see minor thermal expansion of say 2 millimeters change the nature of a 2 foot drop in sea level into SLR.

Basically then, in cases where zones or sub-zones have an SLR characteristic, the "Thermal-Factor Portion" will show a minor addition to the increase in sea level there.

However, in cases where zones or sub-zones have an SLF characteristic, the "Thermal-Factor Portion" will show, in effect, a resistance to the SLF (e.g. "the sea level would have been this much lower without this much 'thermal expansion' influence").

By the way, Zone AD.SW.SE, shown in Fig. 1 and Fig. 2, contains the following PSMSL tide gauge stations:  Stn. #249 (FOGLO / DEGERBY), Stn. #229 (KEMI), Stn. #79 (OULU / ULEABORG), Stn. #240 (RAAHE / BRAHESTAD), Stn. #194 (PIETARSAARI / JAKOBSTAD), Stn. #57 (VAASA / VASA), Stn. #285 (KASKINEN / KASKO), Stn. #172 (MANTYLUOTO), Stn. #376 (RAUMA / RAUMO), Stn. #239 (TURKU / ABO), Stn. #14 (HELSINKI), Stn. #315 (HAMINA), Stn. #2103 (FORSMARK), Stn. #1211 (SPIKARNA), Stn. #88 (RATAN), Stn. #203 (FURUOGRUND), and Stn. #2101 (KALIX).

Regular readers know that zone area as the locus of "The European Problem" we explored in On The Evolution of Sea Level Change.

Have a great weekend everyone.

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.

Changes by David Bowie (lyrics here):


  1. They young Bowie understood the nature of resistance to the status quo.

  2. Another questionable paper (Nature paper on thermal expansion).