Saturday, September 9, 2017

The World According To Anomalies - 2

Fig. 1 Cat-5,5, and 2 hurricanes
I. Introduction

This series gets into the nature of anomalies (The World According To Anomalies).

We now live in an anomalous world (e.g. The Records Irma Has Broken).

So, a focus on that aspect of the life of our civilization is more likely to engender an understanding of where we are and where we need to make changes (You Are Here).

II. Background

In an earlier post I discussed the importance of understanding the concept of an anomaly so as to be able to understand the concept of a damaged climate system (The Damaged Global Climate System - 7).

Fig. 2
In our scientific form of analysis we determine what is anomalous and what is not anomalous by measurements applied in a context that has a logical nexus to those measurements (The World According To Measurements - 8).

Those who seek to describe our world, in terms of measurements, are challenged when needed measurements do not go back far enough in time or broadly enough in a particular realm.

Fig. 3
Sometimes the measurements are not available because the taking of measurements can involve the most difficult of endeavors.

For example, if we ask "what is the temperature of the ocean at 1,562 meters below the Totten Glacier Ice Shelf at latitude x, longitude y", we might encounter a situation where no one has yet been able to ascertain that temperature at that location (Studies offer glimpse).

Robust measurements, even at the ice shelf surface itself, are sometimes challenging (Antarctica 2.0, 2).

As our inclination and ability to take measurements improve, our understanding of our world has at least a chance to improve too.

III. Anomalies R Us

One key potential improvement is the ability to detect anomalies.

For example, Fig. 1 shows three hurricanes that are or were active recently.

How do we discern which one or ones, if any, are or were anomalous?

The answer is: robust record keeping.

Two of those hurricanes contribute to the anomalous records database, in that Irma was anomalous in terms of duration of Cat-5 status.

Additionally, Jose and Irma were both Cat-4 at the same time in the Atlantic, another anomalous condition.

If we do not keep records of such anomalies, or deny those realities, then we become ignorant of the environment around us.

That eventuality has the potential to be dangerous to our well being as a civilization.

IV. Ocean Temperatures At Great Depths

We do not have robust historical records of the temperatures of the world oceans at great depths.

One reason is that our technological abilities to do even part of that are of recent vintage:
While it may sound easy to measure the oceans, it is actually quite challenging. The oceans are huge (and deep) and difficult to access. The need is for enough measurement locations at enough depths and with enough precision to get an accurate temperature.

In recent years, we have relied upon a system of automated ocean measurement devices called the Argo fleet. These devices are scattered across the globe and they autonomously rise and sink (down to 2,000 meters) and record temperatures and salinity during their travels. Because of the Argo fleet, we know a lot more about our oceans, and this new knowledge helps us ask better questions. But the fleet could be made even better. They do not measure the bottom half of the ocean (below 2,000m depth) and they do not fully cover regions near or under ice or near shores.
(Guardian). Unfortunately, ARGO and earlier methods of making records only go back so far and so deep.

V. The Estimations

One technique I use to fill in those historical gaps is to use related records that go back much further.

I mean records from which we can deduce a workable estimation of what the ocean temperatures and volume were likely to have been in a given year.

These estimations must be made from older records which have a nexus to the missing records.

I described one such process (which also applies in today's post) in another recent post (see Section VI. here).

VI. The Graphs

The graph at Fig. 2 shows one application of this technique.

The top two panels in that four panel depiction are graphs of the actual measurement data for sea level change (PSMSL tide gauge station records) and for atmospheric temperature change (GISSTEMP weather station records).

The bottom two panels show the estimations of the oceans' thermosteric volume changes ("The 'thermosteric component of sea level change' represents the change of sea level due to warming or cooling of a column of sea water. Warming of a sea water column results in higher sea level and cooling of a sea water column results in lower sea level." see Page 3 in this PDF) and mass-volume changes based upon extrapolations of the actual sea level and actual temperature measurements.

The graph at Fig. 3 shows the in situ ocean temperature estimations, as well as the TEOS based computations related to those in situ estimations.

VII. Conclusion

Denying the anomalous weather produced by the damaged climate system around us is exactly what Oil-Qaeda (Humble Oil-Qaeda) wants us to believe in response to its decades-long propaganda campaign (The Authoritarianism of Climate Change).

The previous post in this series is here.

1 comment:

  1. Another anomaly: "Scientists have long known about the anomalous "warming hole" in the North Atlantic Ocean" (link)