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El Nino Evolution

Figure 3. Sea-surface height as inferred by by NASA satellites during the current El Niño (December 27, 2015, at left, from Jason-2) and at a comparable point during the last “super” El Niño (December 28, 1997, at right, from TOPEX/Poseidon). Warmer temperatures in the upper ocean result in higher sea-surface heights, as the seawater expands. In 1997, the above-average sea surface height was generally more intense and peaked in November. In 2015, the area of high sea levels was less pronounced but considerably broader. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech. (see [4])

Figure 1 shows the annual global temperature anomaly since 1980 up to November 2015 using the NASA GISS data set [1]. NASA has not yet published December’s data though BEST has [2] and yes 2015 was the hottest year on record beating the previous best 2014 by a sizable amount. Note that 1997-1998 were el Nino years and that is why they were at that time the hottest years on record. 2015 actually corresponds to 1997 in so far as the evolution of an el Nino goes as shown in the measurement of 3.4 Sea Surface Temperature (SST) anomaly (see Figures 2 and 3). 2016 is the year that actually corresponds to the hotter 1998. Therefore with high probability 2016 will set yet another record beating 2015. The dotted curve in Figure 1 is my projection of the temperature anomaly through 2025. The 1979-2015 global warming linear trend is 0.163 degrees C per year as shown in Figure 1. I simply added (2015-1997) * 0.163 degrees to the 1998 through 2007 anomaly to compute an estimate for the years 2016 through 2015. Note that the gap between 1997 and 1998 is much larger than the gap I’m forecasting between 2015 and 2016 so my estimate may be conservative. If 2016 is much hotter than my estimate the rate of global warming may be accelerating. … Continue Reading

The Trump Effect

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“If Trump wins the nomination, prepare for the end of the conservative party.” George Will [1]

“If any of these candidates end up in the White House in 2016, America is in deep, deep trouble. Just by commanding the national stage, Republicans are already pushing dangerous ideas into public discourse and fueling a climate of violence and vitriol.” Robert Reich

By Tony Noerpel … Continue Reading

End of Year Wrap Up

December 21, 2015 Columns, Sustainable Planet Comments Off on End of Year Wrap Up
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In the middle of 2013, oil prices began to tumble [1]. Economists predicted that cheap energy would be good for the economy. People would spend the money they saved buying cheaper gasoline on more stuff made in China that they don’t need keeping the economy healthy, said the pundits. Many experts predicted that Saudi Arabia, a country which produces oil, would defend the price by cutting production, i.e., a government would bail out the private sector. … Continue Reading

Telling the Truth

December 9, 2015 Columns, Sustainable Planet Comments Off on Telling the Truth
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“..[W]orry only about being more honest. It may take a long time for the truth to come to light but it will remain long after the lies have faded.” Jang Jin-Sung [1]

“If a lie is told a hundred times even the liar begins to believe it.” Korean proverb from Jang Jin-Sung [1]

“Dear Leader” is an autobiographical account of Jang Jin-Sung’s daring escape from North Korea. It is also about how an entire country became overwhelmed by lies and deceit. The big lie in our country, global warming denial, has completely engulfed one political party, one broadcasting network, and much of the rest of the corporate owned main-stream-media. Of course being able to blame ExxonMobil, Peabody Coal and Lamar Smith, though guilty as charged, does not absolve us. We could exercise free will and stop believing the lie, can’t we? Well, maybe not. … Continue Reading

Trusting Science

November 14, 2015 Columns, Sustainable Planet 1 comment
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“The Four Corners of Deceit: Government, academia, science, and media. Those institutions are now corrupt and exist by virtue of deceit. That’s how they promulgate themselves; it is how they prosper.” – Rush Limbaugh [1]

I previously reported [2] on two papers by sociologist Lawrence Hamilton and colleagues concluding that Democrats and liberals accept science more than Republicans and conservatives across a broad range of topics [3-4]. Aspects of their survey raise some nuanced questions which likely do not affect their results but are worth discussing. The survey questions read:

“Would you say that you trust, don’t trust, or are unsure about scientists as a source of information about [topic]?”

People were asked about several topics including climate change, vaccinations, forest management and the safety of GMO crops. I thought they should have used “science” rather than “scientist‘. In a private email Hamilton wrote: “I interpret ‘trust’ responses on all questions not as indicating that nuclear power, GMOs, vaccines etc. are necessarily all good, but rather that people accept ‘science’ as a good way to find out.” … Continue Reading

Avoiding Stupidity on Election Day

October 30, 2015 Columns, Sustainable Planet Comments Off on Avoiding Stupidity on Election Day
noerpel150

“We found that people called an action stupid for three separate types of situations: (1) violations of maintaining a balance between confidence and abilities; (2) failures of attention; and (3) lack of control. … These results bring us closer to understanding people’s conception of unintelligent behavior while emphasizing the broader psychological perspectives of studying the attribute of stupid in everyday life.” Aczel, Palfi and Kekecs [1]

In a recent paper Balazs Aczel, Bence Palfi and Zoltan Kekecs show that we share a common understanding of what “stupid” means or what we define as stupid behavior. The first type of situation described by the authors is nothing more than the Dunning Kruger Effect [2] which we have previously discussed. Humans (all of us) tend to believe we have competence in areas where we are entirely ignorant. Think of George Will writing about human-caused climate change. While we recognize this behavior in others we often fail to recognize it in ourselves. All the scientists in the world could not convince Will that he is being stupid. John Cleese points out [3] that “In order to know how good you are at something requires exactly the same skills as it does to be good at that thing in the first place, which means — and this is terribly funny — that if you are absolutely no good at something at all, then you lack exactly the skills you need to know that you are absolutely no good at it.” … Continue Reading

A Dialogue on Climate Change and Global Income Inequality

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On October 23, Friday at 6:00 p.m. at George Washington University, Ashburn Campus, we (GWU, Sustainable Loudoun, 350 Loudoun, REHAU, Corcoran winery, your business our world, CCAN, and solar solutions for all), are hosting Klaus Hubacek, a professor at the University of Maryland, to speak and lead a discussion on Global Income Inequality and Carbon Footprints . We will have food, and wine, and vendors of sustainable products and non-profits will be tabling.

In my April 9, 2014 article I described well-known positive natural feedbacks in the Earth climate system. These feedbacks are amplifying the warming directly caused by our carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels. I posited that there is one more positive feedback which has never been identified in the scientific literature to my knowledge related to human behavior. While the paleoclimate record informs our understanding of the various natural feedbacks, human behavior is a new phenomenon. But it is predictable. I wrote: … Continue Reading

Recognize Reality on Election Day

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“There are constant assaults on the natural environment, the result of unbridled consumerism, and this will have serious consequences for the world economy,” Pope Francis.

Pope Francis did not make human-caused climate change a moral issue. It has been one for decades. He did not make inequitable distribution of wealth and income and its resultant wars, slavery and desperate poverty a moral issue either. Greed has been a moral issue for several millennia. But his holiness does make these moral arguments accessible to the general public and in a way that should bring shame and embarrassment to many American politicians. I’m thinking Rubio, Bush and Santorum who all admonish the Pope to leave science to the scientists, just like they do. … Continue Reading

Global Income Inequality and Carbon Footprints

September 29, 2015 Columns, Sustainable Planet Comments Off on Global Income Inequality and Carbon Footprints
noerpel150

“Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream.” Hope Yen, USA Today [1]

On October 23, 2015, we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of Sustainable Loudoun and the 9th year we’ve collaborated with George Washington University Ashburn Campus and other local organizations to present lectures and discussions on human sustainability in what we are now calling the Don Sandros Energy Summit. The doors open at 6:00 p.m. for a reception with our speaker and with local for-profit and non-profit vendors. We will have food and wine. The talk and discussion begin at 7:00 p.m. Our speaker is University of Maryland professor Klaus Hubacek and the topic is global income inequality and carbon footprints. The event is free to the public. … Continue Reading

Norfolk and El Nino

September 24, 2015 Columns, Sustainable Planet Comments Off on Norfolk and El Nino
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“In the waters of the Eastern Pacific, strong westerly winds have pushed a massive amount of warm water against the coasts of the Americas, resulting in one of the strongest El Niño events ever observed. Not only does El Niño impact atmospheric patterns, changing storm tracks and suppressing Atlantic hurricane frequency, it also typically resulting in an increase in coastal “nuisance” flooding at high tide along the U.S. West Coast and mid-Atlantic coasts. Nuisance flooding is expensive, causing frequent road closures, overwhelmed storm water systems, and damage to infrastructure. According to a September 9 press release from NOAA, some cities along the mid-Atlantic coast can expect record amounts of “nuisance” flooding at high tide during the coming winter—at Sandy Hook, NJ, Lewes DE, Washington D.C. and Norfolk, VA.” – Jeff Masters [1] … Continue Reading

The Limits of Price and the Club of Foam

September 15, 2015 Columns, Sustainable Planet Comments Off on The Limits of Price and the Club of Foam
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“Excuse me; it’s not limited from an economic point of view. You have to separate the economic from the physical point of view. Many of the mistakes people make come from this. Like the stupid projections of the Club of Rome; they used a purely physical approach, without taking prices into account. There are many different sources of energy, some of which are too expensive to be exploited now. But if oil becomes scarce they will be exploited. But the market, which is fortunately capable of registering and using widely scattered knowledge and information from people all over the world, will take account of those changes.” – Milton Friedman when asked about limited resources. [1]

It is not just economists like Ha-Joon Chang, Steve Keen and Kent Klitgaard, and physicists like Reiner Kummel, Robert Ayers and Mark Buchanan, and systems scientists like George Mobus, or engineers such as myself who have observed that economics is not a science, even Milton Friedman distanced economics or certainly his own economics from science as we see in the quote above. … Continue Reading

Poseidon’s Misadventure

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“A sea level rise of 5m in a century is about the most extreme in the paleo record (Fairbanks, 1989; Deschamps et al., 2012), but the assumed 21st century climate forcing is also more rapidly growing than any known natural forcing.” Hansen et al. [1]

In 2012 I forecast [2] that the planet was locked into at least 5 meters of sea level rise. I did not give a time frame other than to suggest that immediate action to limit fossil fuel consumption might slow the rise enough for relatively easy adaptation and keep the rise from being even higher. During the Melt Water Pulse 1 (MPW1) event 14,600 years ago, sea levels rose 5 meters per century for several centuries. Though such a rate is rare, one meter of sea level rise per century is common to abrupt climate change events such as Heinrich Events. Thus a rough estimate of the time frame would be 100 to 500 years or more. Of course it doesn’t necessarily stop there. We can make it worse. … Continue Reading

Not Your Father’s El Nino

August 15, 2015 Columns, Sustainable Planet Comments Off on Not Your Father’s El Nino
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NASA and other agencies now forecast the incipient El Nino conditions to continue at least into the winter and the early part of 2016. Figure 1 compares Pacific sea surface temperature anomaly for the El Nino of 1997- 1998 with the current sea surface temperature anomaly. These data are from August 6, 1997 and August 5, 2015. Note the huge impressive blob of heat on the west coast of Central America. So it looks the same but different and may not evolve in the same way.

In Figure 2 I’ve plotted the global temperature anomaly up to and including the July 2015 data published by NASA. If we assume that the 2015-2016 El Nino plays out similar to the 1997-1998 event and is followed by a strong La Nina, we can make a crude first order estimate of the global temperature anomaly out to 2025. The trend line of the anomaly from 1979 until July 2015 has a slope of 0.0165 degrees C per year. Since events are unfolding 18 years later, I’ve added 18*0.0165 = 0.297 degrees C to the monthly temperature anomaly for each corresponding month. We see that if the El Nino plays out anything like the 1997-1998 event, we may never again experience a year as cold as the year global warming “stopped” in 1998. … Continue Reading


 

 

 

 

Columns

Asterisk No More

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By Samuel Moore-Sobel “Moods come and go, but greatness endures.” These prescient words were uttered by President George H.W. Bush, a man who knows firsthand the truth of his own saying. In 1992, President Bush garnered only 37 percent of …

Second Bull Run

Bull Run Creek

It may not have been a battle, but – seeing as how it was my second attempt at getting a good look at Bull Run Creek – coupled with the fact that I’m a native Northerner – I felt a …

Snowmageddon III?  Seven Survival Tips for Parents

Michael_Pic

By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. “snOMG,” “snowmageddon,” “snowpocalypse,” and “kaisersnoze” are a few terms to describe what just happened in Northern Virginia. The storm was reported to be the second worst storm on record. And while many children and teens gladly …

What Is a Sport?

Lunde new

By Mary Rose Lunde On January 10, hundreds of talented dancers from across the East Coast competed at the Universal Dance Academy Regional Championship at West Springfield High School. Tensions were high and the stakes couldn’t have been greater. What …

Six Things to Know to Weather a Market Downturn

Smith0035

It’s natural to be nervous when the markets head for negative territory. Keep a positive perspective with these six investing reminders. It can be very unsettling for investors when their portfolios and the markets start heading for the red and …

El Nino Evolution

Figure 3. Sea-surface height as inferred by by NASA satellites during the current El Niño (December 27, 2015, at left, from Jason-2) and at a comparable point during the last “super” El Niño (December 28, 1997, at right, from TOPEX/Poseidon). Warmer temperatures in the upper ocean result in higher sea-surface heights, as the seawater expands. In 1997, the above-average sea surface height was generally more intense and peaked in November. In 2015, the area of high sea levels was less pronounced but considerably broader. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech. (see [4])

Figure 1 shows the annual global temperature anomaly since 1980 up to November 2015 using the NASA GISS data set [1]. NASA has not yet published December’s data though BEST has [2] and yes 2015 was the hottest year on …

Editorial

Grief and Greed

blueridge2

By Matthew Parse What would drive a single individual to cause so much emotional stress and financial burden on hundreds, if not, thousands of families? What would drive the Town …

Op-ed

Oh No, It’s the Christians!

blueridge2

By Nicholas Reid In the hours and days following every massacre perpetrated by radical Muslims, there is one unifying theme across most news coverage of the massacre, wherever it may …

Dear Editor

Job Well Done!

town of purcellville sign

Kudos to Town Manager Rob Lohr and his awesome hard working staff. You did a fantastic job of snow removal throughout the Town of Purcellville this past week. Mr. Lohr …

View From the Ridge

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Purcellville

blueridge2

Mark Your Calendar, They’ve Asked for Our Input So Let’s Give It To Them By Steady and Nobull The Purcellville Planning Commission has tentatively scheduled a series of public input …

Student News

Four Scouts Achieve Eagle Scout Rank

3 Feb 2016

eaglescout

Joel Gicker, Kyle Siecker, Sam Soltis and David Watson achieved the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor conducted at Blue Ridge Bible Church in Purcellville on January 9. The four Eagles are members of Troop 711 of …

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8th Grade Writers Honored At Blue Ridge Middle School

2 Jul 2015

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Sixty-seven Blue Ridge Middle School eighth graders have been honored for their writing during the 2014-2015 school year. Many students had their writing selected for publication by Creative Communication, a program for student writers, while others won county-wide writing contests. …

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Ben Kellogg Achieves Eagle Scout

1 Jul 2015

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Benjamin Robert Kellogg achieved the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor conducted at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Purcellville on March 29. Friends, family and troop leaders attended the celebration, including his parents, Robert and Deirdre Kellogg. …

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Calendar

February 2016
M T W T F S S
1 2 3

Loudoun Valley Boys Basketball Spirit Night at Coach's Corner

4

Music Together Classes - Winter Session

5

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

6

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

7

5K Race to Benefit Riverside High School Athletic Department

8 9 10 11

Music Together Classes - Winter Session

12

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

13

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

14

Gallery Coffeehouse: READERS THEATRE "LOVE LETTERS" BY A. R. GURNEY

15 16 17

Mad Cap Puppets: UNDER THE BONSAI TREE

18 19

LAST HAM STANDING COMEDY IMPROV

20

CHINESE NEW YEAR EVENT: Year Of The Monkey

21

Loudoun Symphony presents A LITTLE CHAMBER MUSIC

Gallery Coffeehouse: THE COMEDY CULT IMPROV

Gallery Coffeehouse: THE COMEDY CULT IMPROV

22 23 24 25 26 27

THE EDGE: Malone Benefit Concert

28

Loudoun School of Ballet Winter Showcase

29 1 2 3 4

VSA of Loudoun Spring Musical: SPECTRUM’S JOURNEY

5

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

VSA of Loudoun Spring Musical: SPECTRUM’S JOURNEY

6

VSA of Loudoun Spring Musical: SPECTRUM’S JOURNEY

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Readers Theatre, 100 Lunches" by Jack Sharkey & Leo Sears

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Lifestyle

Run and Walk To Your Nearest 5K Pregame Event Happening on Super Bowl Day In Leesburg

3 Feb 2016

runandwalk

There is a new Running Company, the Pace Makers Running Company, in town and they are on a mission to help the local population with their health goals while raising money for selected charities. The race at The National Conference Center in Leesburg on February 7, is to help benefit the Riverside High School Athletic Department. The upcoming race on …

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Lovin’ Leesburg for All Its Beauty

3 Feb 2016

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By Hannah Hager We may be in the thick of winter, but this home on Cherry Spring Lane will melt your heart. Come spring you’ll fully be able to enjoy this simple, yet elegant brick home and its surrounding green pastures enclosed by miles of black wooden fences. Beyond your immediate yard are sweeping views of the mountains and valleys …

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6th Annual Loudoun Grown Expo February 27

3 Feb 2016

loudoungrownexpo

It’s that exciting time of year again for the Sixth Annual Loudoun Grown Expo. The yearly event will take place at the Bush Tabernacle 250 South Nursery Avenue, Purcellville, on February 27 with new expanded hours starting at 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. There will be wine and beer exhibitors, farm exhibitors, artisans and makers, restaurants and other rural economy …

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Around Virginia

Education Savings Accounts Make Big Move in House

Dave_larock

The Virginia House of Delegates gave a strong push to House Bill 389, Delegate Dave LaRock’s (R-33rd District) innovative Education Savings Account legislation, as the House Education Committee voted 13-9 in favor of advancing the bill forward. “This is definitely an exciting development for parents and students in the Commonwealth,” …

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Kaine to Hold Hearing on Opioid Abuse

Kaine

On Monday, February 1, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, will hold a field hearing in Loudoun County to examine the ongoing fight against opioid misuse and abuse among older Americans. Kaine has met with families, law enforcement and business leaders across Virginia …

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Youth Can Apply for 2015 Livestock Exhibitor Scholarships

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Youth who exhibited beef cattle, sheep, meat goats or swine in the 2015 State Fair of Virginia 4-H and FFA youth livestock program are eligible to apply for 12 new scholarships being offered by the State Fair of Virginia. Scholarships will be offered in three age groups: Juniors (9-12), Intermediate …

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Sports

Western Loudon Volleyball Club “Hitmen” Team Finishes Second

3 Feb 2016

westernloudounvolleyballclub

The Western Loudon Volleyball Club U14 boys team, called the “Hitmen,” finished second in a tournament held January 17. This is the first ever boys team for the WLVBC (and only the second boys club in the area). Coach Allan Kotmel led the seven-member team. WLVBC started eight years ago, …

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ODFC West Travel Soccer Program Shines

2 Dec 2015

ODFCsoccerpics

The Old Dominion Football Club West boys and girls middle school travel soccer program scored big the weekend of November 21 and 22.  The girls Quest Premier 22 team took home the championship in the U12 Girls Premier Division of the Hunt Country Classic located in Fauquier County. The boys …

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