Thursday, February 11, 2016

Questionable Scientific Papers - 6

Fig. 1 The ghost of SLF?
This series is about scientific papers that exhibit the widespread ignoring of scientific realities now effectively lost in the old filing systems.

Lost because no retrieval work is done, which elitist scientists relegate to others.

Then, there are the hangovers in their college students, who seek Phd's, cut corners so they can make enough money to pay for booze and their crushing educational debt.

Or something like that.

Thus, they do not dust off some of the classic scientific papers and then digitize them.

One example is the paper Woodward (1888).

One professor does not accept that level of academic performance from his students:
To our knowledge, Woodward (1888) was the first to demonstrate that the rapid melting of an ice sheet would lead to a geographically variable sea level change. Woodward (1888) assumed a rigid, non-rotating Earth, and therefore self-gravitation of the surface load was the only contributor to the predicted departure from a geographically uniform (i.e. eustatic) sea level rise. This departure was large and counter-intuitive. Specifically, sea level was predicted to fall within ∼2000 km of a melting ice sheet, and to rise with progressively higher amplitude at greater distances. The physics governing this redistribution is straightforward.
(On The Origin of the Sea-level Seesaw). The Mitrovica team found a paper as important as some of Einstein's papers, which everyone else seems to have overlooked.

Especially this guy:
For the past couple of decades, the oceans have been steadily rising. Each year, sea-level increases by about 3 millimeters, a constant and ominous creep responding to climate warming.

Scientists have been measuring this rise from satellites since 1993, using instruments called altimeters. But for an 18-month period that began in the middle of 2010, something surprising happened. Instead of rising, sea levels fell.

"Every few months we check in on sea level and try to get some idea as to what's happening and why ..."
Fasullo, who was trying to balance out the Earth's "water budget," sought an explanation for where that water, normally ocean bound, might have ended up.

Now he believes he has one. His paper explaining the sea-level drop was recently accepted into the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Fasullo worked to determine where the water might be, if it wasn't contributing to sea-level rise. In an earlier paper, the researcher and other scientists concluded it had probably gotten stored on the land somewhere. They also thought La Niña might have something to do with this.
(A Scientist Explains the Mystery, emphasis added). The man is clueless about the sea level fall reality as well as what causes it and what doesn't (Proof of Concept , 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).

This sea level fall and sea level rise dynamic is a reality that has been happening since circa 1775.

Nevertheless, he concludes: "I see lakes in Australia full of water."

Like Professor Mitrovica says, usage of the ill-advised "global mean average" has led us astray for 100 years" (The Ghost-Water Constant - 4).

The paper's author looks at that deceptive global mean average "every few months" and bases everything he thinks he knows on it.

A bad, but common, mistake, which endangers us all:
"Although more than 95% of active climate scientists attribute recent global warming to human causes and most of the general public accepts that climate change is occurring, only about half of U.S. adults believe that human activity is the predominant cause, which is the lowest among 20 nations polled in 2014. We examine how this societal debate affects science classrooms and find that, whereas most U.S. science teachers include climate science in their courses, their insufficient grasp of the science may hinder effective teaching. Mirroring some actors in the societal debate over climate change, many teachers repeat scientifically unsupported claims in class. Greater attention to teachers' knowledge, but also values, is critical."
(Science, 2/12/16, emphasis added). A new post in the Agnotology series is in order (Agnotology: The Surge, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17).

BTW, the graph @ Fig. 1 is from a new database I just acquired from NASA.

More on that later.

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


  1. Good stuff Dredd! At least the 'understanding' levels seem to be also rising.
    "Note that around the ice sheet, the land is actually sinking today, like when ones partner gets up from a waterbed mattress."
    Is easy to ignore other possibilities when one is convinced they have the answer. The SLC (fall) is so counterintuitive; many can't 'get' the adjacent factors. Similar to those who are convinced an apple core thrown from a moving car into the weeds goes 'backwards' from their 'view' and don't consider what's been happening to the core just before it was released.

    1. Thanks for your efforts to spread the word and find those picking up on this along with the rest of us here at Dredd Blog.

      The dark side of the force is still very active, so, there is a lot of work to do in order to bring a better SLC understanding to the attention of those who need to know.

      Every bit helps.

      Dr. Mitrovica indicates that we have used GMSL for 100 yrs and it has misled us all along.

      When mixed with other myth generators, whether intended or not, the result has a damaging effect that I call "cognitive feedback loops" such as:

      "You may want to talk with your child about climate change. His or her teacher may be among the 1 in 3 American middle school and high school teachers bringing climate change denial into the classroom.

      Fewer than half of U.S. adults — the lowest percentage among 20 nations polled in 2014—agree with the 95 percent of climate scientists who attribute recent global warming to human causes. The first nationwide survey of climate change education set out to see if there was hope for today’s students, who will grow up in a world shaped by climate change. Policy directors from the National Center for Science Education and researchers from the nonpartisan Penn State Survey Research Center who conducted the study were not reassured. Instead, the answers shocked them

      (Newsweek, 2/11/16, emphasis added).

      This subject is one for the Agnotology series (Agnotology: The Surge, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17).

      BTW, did you see my comment at the bottom of that link you provided (in the comment section) ?

  2. Thanks for the follow up and I do talk with the kiddos; probably more like 2.5 / 3 teachers here in Straya-energy exporter and all that. You bet I did read the additional explanation and in the comments--much obliged!
    Last week I was chasing the relationship between the molecular diameter of H20 and temp to get a better grip on all related factors.Then I got to thinking about the relationship of Co2 and how only 10% of atmospheric Co2 is dissolved into the surface water (fresh and salt)and wondered due to the enormous amount of Co2 being introduced each year, would that have cumulative effect and be an 'expanding' factor( If only minor) that also contributes to SLC?

    1. Mark,

      "... would that have cumulative effect and be an 'expanding' factor( If only minor) that also contributes to SLC? ..."

      That is possible but still a minor factor until ...

      Notice today's post (I am working on it now).

      The geographical and geophysical components are addressed again in this context.

      Remember, if the researchers are missing the ghost-water component they will never get current SLC dynamics.

      No matter how much cold and/or thermal expansion is attributed to SLC, it will never match the melt-water and ghost-water component amounts until the ice sheet mass / gravity is gone, the melt-water and ghost-water is relocated, and SLC from them has settled down to practically zero.

      At that point, thermal and/or cold expansion will then be the major factors, because the other two factors will have become non-existent.

      The sea level will be way high then (~300 ft higher that now).

  3. Thanks Dredd! A minor factor indeed when compared against 'relocation' inputs and those from yesteryear. Melting ice just 'seems' slow in human time. Furthermore, ice dams don't just hold ice; when they are full of H2O, they can 'relocate' plenty fast. Am former Spokane resident and recommend the trip to eastern Washington to see the result of a large ice dam letting go- 600 cubic miles per hour! ( ~Detroit to Boston)
    That's 'major'!

    1. I wrote about a similar event that took place "in recent times", geologically speaking.

      It is called "meltwater pulse 1C" by scientists:

      "However, meltwater pulse 1C (8,200-7,600 years ago) left traces at numerous locations in the United States, northwestern Europe, and China. It occurred soon after the 8200 year cold event, which resulted from the final catastrophic drainage of glacial Lakes Agassiz and Ojibway around 8400 years ago. The torrent of around 100,000 cubic kilometers unleashed within a few years or less amounted to barely a meter rise in global sea level, if evenly spread across the world's oceans (note 1). Yet the stratigraphic record preserves vestiges of this relatively minor pulse."

      (The Surge: A Forgotten Aspect of Sea Level Rise, ). Meltwater and ghost-water pulses still cause the sea-saw or sawtooth pattern in SLC records.

      Thermal expansion is the glossover fill in for researchers who refuse to see the water hidden in plain sight (The Warming Science Commentariat - 2).

  4. "Only ~1% of the world's fresh water is accessible for direct human uses. This is the water found in lakes, rivers, reservoirs and those underground sources that are shallow enough to be tapped at an affordable cost. Only this amount is regularly renewed by rain and snowfall, and is therefore available on a sustainable basis." (link)
    ------ // ------
    "How much of an effect does terrestrial groundwater storage have on sea-level rise? Reager et al. used gravity measurements made between 2002 and 2014 by NASA's Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites to quantify variations in groundwater storage. Combining those data with estimates of mass loss by glaciers revealed groundwater's impact on sea-level change. Net groundwater storage has been increasing, and the greatest regional changes, both positive and negative, are associated with climate-driven variability in precipitation. Thus, groundwater storage has slowed the rate of recent sea-level rise by roughly 15%." (link).

    Those two don't add up IMO.