* Posts by Eric Werme

21 publicly visible posts • joined 21 May 2007

UK butterfly numbers hit hard

Eric Werme

I thought people wanted global warming to end!

Oh lovely, after decades of people bemoaning global warming, the shift of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation a year and a half ago looks to have started a few decades of cooling and people are already bemoaning global cooling and longing for the good ol' days.

Boffin dubs global warming 'irreversible'

Eric Werme
IT Angle

Harsh words for Susan Solomon

From http://icecap.us/ :

That 1000 year forecast comes with a moneyback guarantee from NOAA. Too bad they don’t offer the same on their seasonal forecasts. the last two winters were forecast to be warm in Alaska and the lower 48 states. Susan can’t help but keep embarrassing herself first with her work on the ozone hole, then the IPCC AR4 report for which she was a Lead Author and now this.

Welder in DIY penis enhancement nut mishap

Eric Werme

When he gets married....

I guess the next step will be to tighten the union fitting.

US scientist commits suicide as Feds prep anthrax charges

Eric Werme

Ivins link to Gulf War Syndrome & anthrax vaccine

An interesting page to read is http://www.vaccine-a.com/excerpt.html . If I had time, I'd get the book. At least it explains why people sent to the current Iraq war aren't coming down with Gulf War Syndrome.

I get the sense that Ivins was closely involved with the investigation into the Anthrax contaminated letters. If that's true there's gotta be some interesting stuff that hasn't (will never?) come to light.

North Carolina targets WTF licence plates

Eric Werme
IT Angle

H8 banned in New Hampshire USA

My wife's H8DCYF, for i Hate the Division of Children Youth and Family, a state agency that violates the rights of parents and children every day, raised enough of a stink so that H8 is banned. The owner of H8TAXES had it recalled, but managed to get it back. A gas company got Methane (CH4) and Ethane (C2H6), but couldn't get Propane (C3H8).


Painting by numbers: NASA's peculiar thermometer

Eric Werme

May 2008 data coming out on the cold side

UAH data for May is out and IIRC lists the global temperature as below the long term average, it's the coldest May in 20 years, the lowest anomaly since January 2001,

etc. RSS will be out soon, then the UK's Hadcrut and finally GISS. The last two need more time to process the ground reports, the first two have true global satellite data though it's low level tropsheric air temp, not ground temps.

See http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/06/03/uah-global-temperature-dives-in-may/

for more, or my http://wermenh.com/climate/science.html for links and background.

Phoenix beams back Martian postcards

Eric Werme

Re: a bit "geometric" for random

It's not completely random.

I wasn't able to find a good picture in a brief web search, but I've seen photos of remarkably regular "patterned ground" from permafrost regions.

Some of these may be useful to people unfamiliar with the phenomenon, if you find some good links to good photos, please post them.





Is the earth getting warmer, or cooler?

Eric Werme

Re: Mark, Anonymous Coward and "facts"

> Well, it's a fact that it IS getting hotter than just the solar increase can account for.

It hasn't been getting hotter for the last decade and there are signs we're beginning a cool down. CO2 is still going up, except for one interesting and recent blip. At least, we think it's a blip, and we think it's due to the Pacific getting colder during the current La Nina.

> It is a fact that it is getting hotter faster than at any time in geological history.

I'm not sure geologic history has the time resolution to support that. There is evidence of sudden (decades-long) changes in both directions.

> It is a fact that the little ice age was european.

Utterly false. People are finding more and more evidence that it affected many sites in both northern and southern hemispheres.

> It is a fact that CO2 will trap IR and so blanket the earth like a, uh, blanket.

It is also a fact that our current CO2 levels nearly completely block the range of wavelengths affected. The first 100 ppm of CO2 has a major impact, an increase from 350 to 450 will have very little. This is one of the key problems with the GHG theory. CH4 concentrations are plateauing, H2O levels continue to fluctuate wildly but include negative feedback paths that keep the Earth from getting hot quickly.

> It is a fact that we are pumping a lot of CO2 from a previously unavailable source

yes, but a lot of that was removed from the atmosphere....

> and that the sinks available can only handle so much in the short term

That's not clear, and it one reason why that CO2 blip is interesting.

> and the long term sinks don't react any where near the speed of the output we have.


Climatology is changing astoundingly quickly and some once-in-30 year (or once in 100 or even 200 year) paths to new knowledge are opening. Fact: You aren't keeping up with recent research.

Eric Werme

Re: IT workers say climate change not real, everyone... listens?

Andy Anon writes:

"Isn't it worthy of independently-funded scientific investigation to ascertain why so many hardcore climate change sceptics are to be found lurking in IT Departments the world over hunched over laptops taking a disproportionate but no doubt effective (for them) amount of comfort from one article on The Register website?"

No, the reason why there are many IT folk posting here is because this is an IT news, rumor, and discussion site. Duh. A few people have come here from some of the climatology sites following links to the story at El Reg, some place they've never heard of. (E.g. "posted at the Register UK.")

Andy also fantasizes "As they're notorious for not getting out much, should I pay much heed to these people who spend large amounts of time in chilled server rooms and in virtual worlds where temperature is irrelevant and only raised on a personal level when some sad super-boobed female avatar turns up in a chat willing to talk dirty (even if she turns out, as likely, to be a 50-year-old man typing on a keyboard in his garage)?"

Oh come on. I live and work in New Hampshire on systems located in chilled server rooms in Massachusetts and Texas. The last computer game I was any good at was Lunar Lander, though I did by a copy of Myst after the price dropped. I don't have a garage.

I have been interested in weather since I was a kid, and am more interested in wild flowers than cultivated gardens. I haven't had time for that geekist of outdoors activities, Geocaching, because my wife and I bought property on a NH mountainside and that is going to take a lot of time. I've only gotten reinterested in this sorry science because the recent reduction of solar activity means we can finally figure out how both CO2 (et al) and solar (et al) affect climate and temperature. The more I look into things, the more disturbing things I see about the IPCC reports. There are some great avenues for solar related research, some are being pursued, some need to be pursued.

Fifty years from people are going to look back at this decade and call it the Golden Era of Climatology. I was lucky to be part of Computer Science's golden era. Look at all the sides of this debate and watch what may (or may not) be the most impressive change in scientific thought since plate tectonics.

Eric Werme
Dead Vulture

Re: More on the 2000 mystery data shift

I found the data adjustment link I was looking for, see


The original discussion is at


That page has an update that sums up the problem pretty well:

"As noted in the comments below, GISS updated the GLB.Ts+dSST anomalies which show a large 0.67 degC value for March. This addition of March 2008 temperature data to the record caused a corresponding drop in annual average temperature for the years 1946 and 1903. According to GISS, 1946 is now colder than 1960 and 1972, and 1903 dropped into a tie with 1885, 1910 and 1912.

That’s really neat."

I'm still not sure if it's relevant to this discussion, but it is worth knowing about the next time you see a graph of GISS data. History will change net month.

Vulture head because it read the articles and its brain exploded in amazement.

Eric Werme

Re: More on the 2000 mystery data shift

I couple weeks ago there was a discussion at http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com about how missing months in USHCN ground data are filled. Adjustments are made from the two other months in the DJF/MAM/JJA/SON meterological seasons and from average temperature for that month over all the years covered, I think even those outside of the baseline. This has the interesting effect that we don't know the past temperatures until the end of time or a change in the backfilling procedure.

Unfortunately, I can't find that discussion, nor am I certain it's relevant to the issue at hand. I can dig deeper if you wish.

BTW, I have a nice intro to the basic issues behind current climatology research at http://wermenh.com/climate/science.html . It's a good starting point to understanding some of the controversy and why the future looks a lot brighter than it has over the last 15 years or so.

BOFH: The Boss gets Grandpa Simpson syndrome

Eric Werme


I was working on a contract software job - my desk was in the lab space and all the employees were swapping tales. One, who thought he knew everything mentioned that core memory used odd parity so it would catch a read cycle that didn't rewrite the data (reading core data had a side effect of zeroing it). He then noted that async serial communications usually used even parity and wondered if anyone knew why.

I looked up from my desk and said "Paper tape."

One seriously deflated ego....


PDP-10s forever.

Motorised meat-smoker droid vigilante patrols Atlanta

Eric Werme

Confused about bodily functions?

"By Norman Christian Hoffmann" says "Your bum bot sounds like a piece of shit to me...."

It shoots water, it doesn't hurl excrement with a fan. That will come with number 2. :-)

"and nothing a phone call to the local police department can't solve."

My guess is that he made several calls before going on the offensive.

Global-warming scientist: It's worse than I thought

Eric Werme

BBC global temperature decline story changed to suit activist

This is not quite on topic, but is the story of story that amuses Reg readers.

Last week, the BBC published http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7329799.stm titled "Global temperatures 'to decrease'".

The BBC then changed the title and contents a few times, much to the amusement and consternation of people who noticed.

Today comes a purported dialog between an activist, Jo Abbess, and BBC Environment reporter Roger Harrabin that was behind those changes. I can't vouch for the accuracy of the claims, but it makes for amusing reading at


Eric Werme

Mauna Loa CO2 2008 level may be less than 2007

No, no one is claiming that we're emitting less CO2 than before, but the current La Nina is bringing colder water than usual and apparently more CO2 is being absorbed. The result is an interesting downturn in Mauna Loa data, see http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/ for details.

Data from several other CO2 monitoring stations doesn't show the effect, but do point out that it's tough to implement a 350 ppm cap when we're at 386.

Cassini sniffs Enceladus's 'surprising organic brew'

Eric Werme

.... business opportunity

"essence of natural gas" - sounds like a new paradigm for "power drinks" to me.

Start Your Day with a Bang!

Spy satellite to slam Earthside

Eric Werme
IT Angle

Sigh. Line 1 of title is okay, Line 2 - Andromedra Strain - is bogus

Hey, the NY Times headline said the satellite _may_ hit Earth. In fact, it can't miss.

AFAIK, spy satellites don't carry bacteria or viruses. (Unless they're powered by Windoze. Sorry.)

Apparently the satellite is a new design launched in 2006 and lost communications soon thereafter.

Beryllium is used to stiffen optical assemblies. Being a light metal, I imagine it's used in a lot of satellites. It does have hydrazine propellant that hasn't been used, that would be a bit of an issue if the tank survives reentry.

Bringing it down by blowing it up is is pointless. If the satellite explodes, parts will gain kinetic energy an climb to a higher apogee, parts will lose kinetic energy and quickly reenter. It's currently in a 100 mile circular orbit, and the perigee will remain 100 miles so the pieces will still come down. If it looks like it might land in Russia or China, then that might warrant some "pre-reentry damage" efforts. To keep it in orbit requires two boosts, e.g. one to raise the apogee and when it reaches another to raise the perigee. Space science to be sure, but really just high school physics.

Ghostly plastic bathtoy flotilla nears Cornish coast

Eric Werme

Oceanographers realy appreciate those ducks, shoes, etc.

They've provided some welcome and important data about ocean currents, with implication for both pollution (and nutrient) transport and even global warming. (Of course, anything gets a link to that these days!)

http://www.agu.org/sci_soc/ducks.html is an old article (1994), there must be newer ones around.

Chileans mislay large lake

Eric Werme

It was "minor earth tremors"

"What kind of country 'enjoys' earth tremors?"

The sort of country that has endured several Mm 7-8 tremors. I've enjoyed all the earthquakes I've experienced in New England, they've ranged between Mm 1.5 a mile or two away to 5.5 hundreds of miles away.

Headless zombie wanders San Francisco

Eric Werme

Rufus is in California....

But not too close to San Francisco. whois gadspot.com reports:

Administrative Contact:

GadSpot, Inc.

NA NA (judy@gadspot.com)



713 W. Duarte Rd


Arcadia, CA 91007


Technical Contact:

NA NA (jcpurple35@gmail.com)

'Data storm' blamed for nuclear plant shutdown

Eric Werme

Control systems are not commercial systems

My father was an EE in the control system industry inventing things like the Bailey Meter 756, the first commercially successful parallel processor.

A later system, the 855, had a hardware scheduler that switched register sets every clock tick so each application had no impact on the CPU time needed by another.

He also designed a network architecture much like IBM's later token ring that had fixed allocations of bandwidth for each node. Again, no node could use more than its share.

These designs are an anathema to performance-driven designs, but sometimes positioning control rods or transporting heat is more important than raw performance.