A lot of heat is going into the ocean

deep ocean by gnews pics

Scientists Find 20 Years of Deep Water Warming Leading to Sea Level Rise
[Via NOAA News Releases]

Scientists analyzing measurements taken in the deep ocean around the globe over the past two decades find a warming trend that contributes to sea level rise, especially around Antarctica. Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide, cause heating of the Earth. Over the past few decades, at least 80 percent of this heat energy has gone into the ocean, warming it in the process.


Everyone looks at air temperatures, since we live on land, but the ocean has been picking up most of the increasing heat being trapped on the planet. Luckily for us. If that heat had stayed in the atmosphere, it would be rising at over 5 °F a decade.

But this increased heat, especially in the deep ocean, not only raises sea level by thermal expansion but also has the real potential for disrupting the underwater rivers that move cold, deep water to the surface, and warm, shallow water to the deep.

Warmer deep waters means that it can take a long time to blow off the heat effects in the atmosphere. The human race may have to start learning pretty quick how to adapt to a rapidly changing world.

Another denialist’s work debunked

Wegman Report’s “abysmal scholarship” revealed
[Via Hot Topic]

A detailed investigation into the genesis of the 2006 Wegman Report — much beloved of climate sceptics because it was critical of the “hockey stick” paleoclimate reconstructions of Michael Mann (et al) — has shown it to be deeply flawed, stuffed with poorly-executed plagiarism, and very far from the “independent, impartial, expert” effort it was presented as to Congress. The new 250 page study, Strange scholarship in the Wegman Report (exec summary, full report) by John Mashey (with considerable assistance from Canadian blogger Deep Climate) finds that:

  • a third of the Wegman Report was plagiarised from other sources, without attribution
  • half of the references in the bibliography are not cited in the main text, and one reference is to “a fringe technology publication by a writer of pseudoscience”
  • a graph of central England temperatures from the first IPCC report was distorted and misrepresented
  • the supposedly impartial Wegman team were fed papers and references by a member of Republican Congressman Joe Barton’s staff
  • Wegman’s social network analysis of the authorship of “hockey team” papers was poor, and did not support the claims made of problems with peer-review in the field


This seems to happen a lot. If a scientist plagiarized so much of their work, they would not be doing science for much longer. But I expect the denialist community to still give the Wegman report all the respect they think it delivers.

Smart meters will not work by themselves

Smart meters need smart consumers – Education as well as technology is key to realizing benefits
[Via Climate Progress]

This cross-post is by CAP’s Richard W. Caperton.

Twenty years from now your relationship with your electric utility likely will be fundamentally different from today. Currently you use electricity whenever you want, pay a flat rate for all of the energy you use, and the only real service you expect from your utility is to keep the lights on. Consumers in 2030, however, will have houses that are optimized to use energy when it’s most efficient, pay rates more closely related to the power’s cost, and expect their utility to be much more of a service provider.

At the heart of this change is information: information about the energy we use, how we use it, and the real value of that power. Data will flow in a two-way conversation between homeowners using electricity—and maybe even producing it, too—and the energy companies managing the electricity grid.

The smart meter is a key to managing all these information flows, and new research shows that smart meters are technically up to the challenges of the future. Consumers now have to learn how to benefit from this new technology.


Change will not happen purely because of technology. Technology by itself will not be effective. People will have to change but they need the best data and a firm understanding of how it is derived.

Smart meters are an important tool but without useful information to create the knowledge needed to make good decisions, they lose much of their value.

People need diverse approaches

myers briggs by tentwo.teneight

Blog Post: Questioning brainstorming
[Via Gurteen Knowledge-Log]

By David Gurteen

When I was in corporate life, many things were inflicted on me that I either hated or felt very uncomfortable with. Brainstorming was one of them. I can’t recall one where I felt anything useful resulted from them other than a pile of flip-chart paper.

It just never jelled with the way my mind works. I always felt the process far to controlling. I wanted to have conversations but that wasn’t allowed. So I would accept and go along with brainstorming as no one else seemed to question it.

So I am so pleased to see in this Newsweek article (via an interesting post by Johnnie Moore) that people are questioning the method.

And take a look here Brainstorming wont bring you good ideas.

This to me, sums it up: “Ideas come out of relationships, they come out of conversations.” and “good ideas are more likely to be the product of rambling conversations than brainstorming.” Oh and yet another post from Johnnie Moore: Where (and when) ideas happen – “people simplify their ideas as solitary, Eureka moments, whereas ideas often happen in social environments.”

There are some other good points made in the article too. “That people are attracted to the idea that complex things can be explained by a simple formula, or achieved by a step-by-step process. In this way, personalities are reduced to a number of types (such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) and pathways to success are promoted with the packaging of a number of rules.”

How many times have I been asked for ten simple steps to implement KM? The world is too complex for that! And those of you who have seen Dave Snowden speak know his views on Myers-Briggs.

There is a lot of fundamental things that we have long taken for granted that need questioning.


Not everyone learns the same way and not everyone comes up with ideas the same way. Believing that they do – that a bunch of flip charts will allow new ideas to come up – will not be successful.

New ideas come about through social interaction, through the friction that comes from different views and different approaches. Removing that diversity by saying only one approach will be used hampers real creativity.

Creativity and innovation can be simplified in only one way – making it easy for humans to interact and transfer information in a diverse environment with plenty of useful data. You do that and an emergent property will be great ideas.

I took part in some management training that used the Myers-Briggs testing. As a tool to put people into boxes, it is bunk. It simplifies complex human behavior too much to make the sorts of personnel decisions HR people need to make.

But, it is a wonderful tool to gain insight into the different approaches people use to solve problems and get through their lives. As I scientist I was really skeptical. I was the only ENFP in the class while almost every other scientist was ISTJ.

But I saw how different the world looks when everyone has the same viewpoint. The picture above demonstrates what happens when the Sensing people are grouped together and the Intuition people are grouped together. Each are given the same mix of Legos and asked to to build a structure.

Quite a difference. In the class I took, we split up into N/S groups, we were asked to describe a marker pen. The S group wrote down specific descriptions of what the pen looked like and what was written on it. It is black with white letters. It smells like turpentine.

The two of us in the N group wrote down things the pen could represent. iIt looks like a rocket or a hot dog.

Each group had very different ways of seeing the world. Neither was necessarily right all the time nor wrong all the time. But the wrong viewpoint at the wrong time could result in failure.

The best way to prevent this is to make sure there is a diversity of views, approaches and ways of learning. Then you also need to make sure you provide for each.

Some people need to talk to think but they can dominate those who can only think in silence.

Simplifications such as Myers-Briggs can be a useful tool for some limited uses but should never become dogma. Because, people can change their behavior to fit and will if their job depends on it.

But as a tool to help make sure a working group has the diversity it needs to be successful. It helps make explicit what we all pretty much know anyway – Richard talks a lot while Sue does not. Sam has lots of ideas but many are not worthwhile. Bob is really good at taking someone else’s ideas and reducing them to practice.

That is where successful ideas come from.

His stalker-like antics have gotten him banned from the University’s campus

Mich Ass’t Attorney General cyberbullies gay student body president
[Via Boing Boing]

Michigan Assistant Attorney General Andrew Shirvell has become so fixated on a particular gay University of Michigan student that he runs a blog about the student called “Chris Armstrong Watch.”


How in the world can a state employee get away with intimidating a student this way and keep his job? Doesn’t he have a boss to reign him in? Guess not. His boss says he is free to do whatever he wants to on his own time. So I assume stalking a student is okay. Makes you wonder just how strongly this state’s Justice department would prosecute the death of a gay student?

Of course, it turns out that Shirvell has served as an assistant campaign manager for the State’s Attorney General, so the AG certainly knows the views of this guy.

As the Washington Post stated:

He may be doing this on his own time, but it raises issues of fairness and security. How can the gay men and lesbians of Michigan trust a lawyer for the state when he spends every waking hour out of the office denigrating who they are?

Obviously, this guy would not be able to be involved at all in any of these prosecutions, but even the boss seems to have tainted himself.

Shirvell has come onto campus to specifically target the activities of this student. He called the student’s employer trying to get him fired. His disruptive efforts on the campus against the student got him an anti-tresspass order and the student is nowtrying to get a restraining order against the Shirvell. The guy has showed up at 1:30 am at the student’s house. The student had to ask police to provide protection for him to leave his house.

Shirvell has a blog where he only discusses his maniacal ravings about this one student. The guy is an obnoxious bully who is trying to use the ‘power’ he has to intimidate a private citizen. The goal is to not only attack this student but to prevent any other person from standing up, because he might make their life hell.

Why would an average person want to put themselves through such harassment? This is how bullies have always worked and it really stinks that a member of the justice system is so obviously one.

I really hate bullies. A lawyer for the state goes on the personal attack of a student. And that is okay because of the First Amendment? It is political speech that is protected. You can not just intimidate someone else and call it First amendment.

But then the same guy has been on an anti-gay tirade for some time. He tried to get a Catholic parish in the area to boycott a pizza place in 2005 because it had a rainbow sticker in the window.

He also helped organize protests that threatened to disrupt a Catholic confirmation ceremony because he did not like the former State Senator that was speaking nearby. He compared her to the KKK because she was pro-choice, even though the presentation was on how to register to vote.

He has been doing this for years, being a graduate of the Ave Maria Law School, an institution apparently started to produce lunatic lawyers. He does not want people he disagrees with to have any visibility in public life. What a bully.

How can any private citizen get away with such intimidating tactics, much less a state official? Watch the video and you will get some idea of what a loon this guy is.

But a loon that can make the decision on whether someone goes to Federal prison for years or simply gets to walk. I think that a good defense lawyer could have quite a fun time tainting any cases done by this guy, especially if the client was gay.

Posted in Government, Sustainability. Tags: , . Comments Off

Being forced to deal with change

[Crossposted at SpreadingScience]

ethernet cable by doortoriver

Feature: There is no Plan B: why the IPv4-to-IPv6 transition will be ugly
[Via Ars Technica]

Twenty years ago, the fastest Internet backbone links were 1.5Mbps. Today we argue whether that’s a fast enough minimum to connect home users. In 1993, 1.3 million machines were connected to the Internet. By this past summer, that number had risen to 769 million— and this only counts systems that have DNS names. The notion of a computer that is not connected to the Internet is patently absurd these days.

But all of this rapid progress is going to slow in the next few years. The Internet will soon be sailing in very rough seas, as it’s about to run out of addresses, needing to be gutted and reconfigured for continued growth in the second half of the 2010s and beyond. Originally, the idea was that this upgrade would happen quietly in the background, but over the past few years, it has become clear that the change from the current Internet Protocol version 4, which is quickly running out of addresses, to the new version 6 will be quite a messy affair.


While somewhat technological babble, the problems seen with running out of Internet addresses are very similar to ones we will continue to face over the coming years – having to make massive changes at the last moment because we did not do a good job thinking about the transition.

Like climate change, redoing the Internet’s addressing protocol will happen whether we want it or are prepared for it. And like climate change, we have wasted 20 years dithering.

And the transition may end up costing money, as older devices have to be replaced because they no longer work properly.

So, the next few years might be a nice demonstration of just how adaptive and resilient many organizations are. And not isolated organizations but almost all of them. One failure along the route can remove access for many.

We will be forced into a new regime where we have no experience and no real way to test possible solutions. Instead of one organization dropped in the deep end to sink or swim, imagine 50 all tied together, so if one goes down, the others may be dragged down also.

I figure we will muddle through like we have but a lot of productivity may be lost for some time as we make the transition that everyone knew we were going to have to make 20 years ago.

It does not give much hope that we will be any different with other complex problems facing us unless we change the way we do things.


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