Friday, August 4, 2017

The World According To Anomalies

Fig. 1 The pattern of global anomalies
I. Background

Many scientists today like to describe events in terms of an anomaly ("something that deviates from what is standard, normal, or expected" - dictionary).

I like that technique, because, if one says "the temperature today is ...", in one sense it does not connote as much as "the temperature anomaly today is ..." (at least in terms of giving a "heads up").

With that in mind, a thought came to my mind in terms of "how can I present a group of analogous climate factors into a simple line graph?"

II. The Graph of Climate Anomalies Emerges

The first attempt to accomplish the task is shown in Fig. 1 as a simple line graph.

It is plain enough to please the Amish, however, it is bound to please others when they consider what it is composed of and what it "says."

III. The Simple Complexity of The Anomaly Pattern

The graph is composed of the anomalies in the GISS, WOD, and PSMSL in situ measurements.

Fig. 2
These are atmospheric temperature anomalies (measured at weather stations around the globe), ocean temperature and salinity measurements (from  oceanographic stations around the world), and from sea level change records (using 1,486 tide gauge stations' records) from around the world.

But, the difference here is that this is the anomaly pattern that all of these measurements of anomaly present --when combined into one pattern.

It shows that the realm of anomaly is on the rise.

IV. How It Is Done

Fig. 3
This technique requires processing close to a billion ocean temperature and salinity records, weather station records from around the globe, and sea level measurements at tide gauge stations around the world.

Once the data is loaded into a software module (not model), the anomalies are derived by:

1) acquiring the first measurement (oldest in time);
2) subtracting that amount from all subsequent measurements (newer in time);
3) averaging all of the anomalies into one anomaly stream (pattern);
4) writing the results to a CSV file;
5) generating the graph that shows what is happening (Fig. 1).

V. What It Means

The story the pattern tells is clear, which is that it is not only atmospheric temperature alone, not ocean temperature and salinity alone, and not sea levels alone, that are getting increasingly anomalous ("something that deviates from what is standard, normal, or expected" - dictionary).

No, the story this pattern tells us is that our world is and has been and continues to become something that deviates from what is standard, normal, or expected.

In short, our world is out of whack.

VI. Conclusion

Today's graph was the first time I have generated this graph from the vast data stores I have collected ("GISS, WOD, and PSMSL in situ measurements").

Note that I have added Fig. 2 and Fig. 3 for contrast, in the sense that one can view the anomaly component sources individually (Fig. 3), in combination with the timing of individual impacts (Fig. 2).

The next post in this series is here.

Harvard Professor Oreskes begins her presentation at 11 minutes into the video (the first 10 minutes is introductory).

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