“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Republican Wars Against Science - The Rising Seas - Maybe Moses Will Help

Seas are now rising faster than they have in 2,800 years, scientists say

Waves driven by a cyclone appear in the Elbe estuary near the North Sea close to  northern Germany. (Christian Charisius/European Pressphoto Agency)
A group of scientists says it has now reconstructed the history of the planet’s sea levels arcing back over some 3,000 years — leading it to conclude that the rate of increase experienced in the 20th century was “extremely likely” to have been faster than during nearly the entire period.
“We can say with 95 percent probability that the 20th-century rise was faster than any of the previous 27 centuries,” said Bob Kopp, a climate scientist at Rutgers University who led the research with nine colleagues from several U.S. and global universities. Kopp said it’s not that seas rose faster before that – they probably didn’t – but merely that the ability to say as much with the same level confidence declines.
The study was published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Seas rose about 14 centimeters (5.5 inches) from 1900 to 2000, the new study suggests, for a rate of 1.4 millimeters per year. The current rate, according to NASA, is 3.4 millimeters per year, suggesting that sea level rise is still accelerating.
Unsurprisingly, the study blames the anomalous 20th-century rise on global warming — and not just that. It also calculates that, had humans not been warming the planet, there’s very little chance that seas would have risen so much during the century, finding that instead of a 14 centimeter rise, we would have seen somewhere between a 3 centimeter fall and a 7 centimeter rise.
The new work is particularly significant because, in effect, the sea level analysis produces a so-called “hockey stick” graph — showing a long and relatively flat sea level “handle” for thousands of years, followed by a “blade” that turns sharply upwards in very recent times.
The discovery of such patterns itself has a long history, going back to a 1998 studyby climate researcher Michael Mann of Penn State University and two colleagues — who found a “hockey stick” graph for the planet’s temperature, rather than for its sea level. Since then the “hockey stick,” in its various incarnations, has come in for voluminous criticism from skeptics and doubters of human-caused climate change — even as multiple scientists have continued to affirm the conclusion that the last 100 years or so are way out of whack with what the planet has seen in the past thousand or more.
The new research also forecasts that no matter how much carbon dioxide we emit, 21st-century sea level rise will still greatly outstrip what was seen in the 1900s. Nonetheless, choices made today could have a big impact. For a low emissions scenario, it finds that seas might only rise between 24 and 61 centimeters. In contrast, for a high emissions scenario — one that the recent Paris climate accord pledged the world to avert — they could rise as much as 52 to 131 centimeters, or, at the very high end, 4.29 feet.
However, Kopp notes that the methods used to project these totals may not fully capture what happens over the course of this century. “We have a model that’s calibrated against a period when a certain set of processes, largely thermal expansion and glaciers, were dominant,” he says, “and we’re looking forward to a period when other factors will be dominant.”
As Kopp’s words acknowledge, the major contributors to sea level rise in the 20th century were the melting of mountain glaciers around the globe and the natural expansion of ocean water as it warms. However, in the 21st century, researchers think that the truly major players in potential sea level rise, the huge ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica, will come to play a larger role. (Just how large remains unclear.)
The current study was based on combining a variety of so-called “reconstructions” of past rates of sea level from 24 locations around the world with more recent measurements from 66 global tide gauges. That’s necessary because you can’t just measure sea level change in a single place and get a global picture — over long time periods, factors ranging from whether land is rising or sinking to changes in ocean currents and the gravitational pull of the planet’s ice sheets mean that different regions can see different amounts of sea level rise (or fall).
One of the sites where past sea levels were reconstructed by scientists is pictured below:
Coastal wetland in Newfoundland, Canada, that harbors a record of sea level for the past 2,000 years. (Courtesy of Ben Horton)
The new study follows in the footsteps of a 2011 study that looked at the ocean and climate records contained in salt marshes in North Carolina to infer the history of sea level rise over the past 2,100 years — research that had many of the same authors. That study, too, found that the recent sea level rise is unprecedented over that time period.
Mann of Penn State, one originator of the “hockey stick” reference and a co-author on the 2011 study (but not the current one), said by email that he thinks the current work is an “incremental advance” on that prior study, albeit one he agreed with in broad outline
Mann continued by email:
The study nonetheless reiterates the conclusion we reached [in 2011] that the acceleration in sea level rise over the past century is unprecedented over at least the past millennium, and that this acceleration is directly related to the spike in surface temperature over the past century (i.e. the “hockey stick”).
The new paper emerges even as another study, also published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, produced very similar 21st-century projections of sea level rise. That paper, led by Matthias Mengel of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, also calculated that with unconstrained emissions, the Earth could see a maximum of some four feet of sea level rise by 2100. But it too acknowledged that the approach “cannot cover processes” like the possible collapse of the oceanfront glaciers of the West Antarctic ice sheet, which, it said, “is hypothesized to be already underway.”
Such calculations are roughly in line with the 2013 projections of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for expected sea level rise by 2100, although they rely on a different, more simple type of model than that body used. However, Princeton climate scientist Michael Oppenheimer, who was not involved in the current work but collaborates with Kopp and was his postdoctoral adviser, says that this agreement between approaches still “begs the question of just how much disintegration of the polar ice sheets will contribute to sea level during the 21st century since neither type of model is adequate for capturing this growing and potentially disastrous contribution – and that is ultimately the most important unknown, both with regard to sea level and potentially with respect to the whole field of climate change.”
Capping a major day for sea level rise news, Kopp also released a report Monday along with Benjamin Strauss of Climate Central and two other researchers, using the current study’s approach to determine that thousands of coastal “nuisance” floods in the United States over the 20th century would not have happened without human-caused global warming.
Based on just four inches of sea level rise attributed to humans in the 20th century, and another two inches so far in the 21st, Strauss said he “was really surprised to see that there are human fingerprints on thousands of coastal floods that we’ve already had in the United States.” The reason is that such nuisance floods — King Tide flooding in Miami would be a good example — represent what Strauss calls a “threshold” phenomenon, which is caused after sea level rise reaches a certain level.
“I think these studies really put the human fingerprint on Miami Beach’s hundred-million-dollar saltwater flooding problem, and really a lot of what’s going on in South Florida,” Strauss said.
More at Energy & Environment:
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  1. NOTE : This is Post Number 7000 at The Elephant Bar

    My blogs
    The Elephant Bar · Posts › All (7000)

    1. Miami could have been saved had not all that CO2 and Methane been expelled by the creation and distribution of those 7,000.

    2. I hear Kauai has slipped under the Pacific.

    3. .

      Congratulations, Deuce.



  2. 6,995 of 'em have hit on the poor Republicans. I exaggerate, but not much, lately.


    Trump said on Hannity he knows Hillary is being protected but that there is a long statute of limitations and he'd go after her if he's elected. The question arose about a pre-emptive pardon by O'bozo.

    I'm not sure if there is such a thing.

  3. Rufus's Science Guys:
    HHS rule change lets in immigrants with HIV, STDs

    The administration has decided to let immigrants with three sexually transmitted diseases known for causing sores or lesions on genitalia to enter the United States, an expansion of a previous decision to let in those with HIV.

    Feere, the Center's legal policy analyst, added, "This change in policy illustrates, once again, that increased immigration is the main goal of the Obama administration, no matter the costs. The administration itself estimates that more people will become infected and that there will be increased health care costs as a result of these changes. But obviously these are considerations that have little relevance for those with an open-border perspective."

    1. I heard some of 'em cause Hitler Little Dick Syndrome.

      This will have vast negative social consequences, some even unknown to us now.

  4. Anyone against mixing in some more HIV et al, is RACISS!

    1. That would be our Rufus.

      He's so open minded or vacant minded rather he once advocated selling heroin over-the-counter at Wal-Greens.

      'It's none of the guv'mint's damned business' said he.

    2. If you're looking to score, Quirk, just go to the University of Washington campus. Just inside the campus line, into the no police zone, you can get anything you want.

    3. Though surely you know the drugs marts in Detroit well enough you don't have to go out of city.

  5. Congratulations on the 7,000, Deuce.

    Quite the run, quite the effort.

    And it is appreciated by everyone I'm sure.

    It is appreciated by me.

  6. For a guy his age, The Donald has a lot of energy, not lacking in stamina. Remarkable.

  7. You finally did it! You posted some idiot from Mother Jones. Congrats, you and Mrs. Ash must be happy.

    1. Mother Jones? Where do you see them lurking in that post?

    2. Wow, Ashley, I'm surprised you are not well versed in Chris Mooney's antics and Global Warming hysteria.

    3. Really not so surprising. Ash has a few lefty memes and a Canadian sense of superiority he wasn't even born to but not much knowledge of anything. Nice to have around though, even I admit. Very little profanity, and his name calling is J.V. Pleasant fellow for the most part.

    4. Naw, I AM unfamiliar with the author. Was he formerly with Mother Jones and now Wappingers or is he a freelancer.

      What antics did the man get up to?

    5. Phone auto correct - Wapo Washington Post

    6. .

      The guy has been all over the place. He's a free-lancer that has worked for a dozen papers. He's a blogger and an author. He may work for Rolling Stone now but that isn't the only place he works. It obviously doesn't limit him.

      As proof, the story above was carried in the Washington Post. The NYT had a similar story today by a different author. CBS and other media have reported on it. I haven't seen anything in Rolling Stone, yet.

      Ash asked a legitimate question.


    7. If it's in the Washington Post, CBS, and the NYT,
      IT's GOTTA BE TRUE !

      97% of the lying-ass MSM Says So !


    8. Swing and a miss there dougo.

    9. Do I read you right Mome? - the antics you are referring to is that Mother Jones has published some of his writing or has he danced naked on the White House lawn or something?

  8. 7,000!


    Hard to believe, ain't it?


  9. Road Trip Day. Be out of pocket until Friday, or so. Have a good one.

    Or, two. :)

    1. Don't drive on the left side of the road, General.

      We need you back to clean up the mess in Libya.

  10. Wow, measuring the rise and fall of the sea levels of 2100 years...

    let's measure them for the last 10,000 years and then see a pattern..

    Even 10,000 years is a small measurement by geologic terms

    IN other words?

    Measurement of the last 2100 years is nonsense.

  11. Rising and falling sea levels over relatively short periods do not indicate long-term trends. An assessment of hundreds and thousands of years shows that what seems an irregular phenomenon today is in fact nothing new," explains Dr. Dorit Sivan, who supervised the research. The Templar palace in Acre, seen here, is one of the sites where this study was carried out.

    The sea level in Israel has been rising and falling over the past 2,500 years, with a one-meter difference between the highest and lowest levels, most of the time below the present-day level. This has been shown in a new study supervised by Dr. Dorit Sivan, Head of the Department of Maritime Civilizations at the University of Haifa. "Rises and falls in sea level over relatively short periods do not testify to a long-term trend. It is early yet to conclude from the short-term increases in sea level that this is a set course that will not take a change in direction," explains Dr. Sivan.

    The rising sea level is one of the phenomena that have most influence on humankind: the rising sea not only floods the littoral regions but also causes underground water salinization, flooded effluents, accelerated coastal destruction, and other damage.

    According to Dr. Sivan, the changing sea level can be attributed to three main causes: the global cause -- the volume of water in the ocean, which mirrors the mass of ice sheets and is related to global warming or cooling; the regional cause -- vertical movement of the earth's surface, which is usually related to the pressure placed on the surface by the ice; and the local cause -- vertical tectonic activity. Seeing as Israel is not close to former ice caps and the tectonic activity along the Mediterranean coast is negligible over these periods, it can be concluded that drastic changes in Israel's sea levels are mainly related to changes in the volume of water.

    In the present study, in light of earlier studies, research student Ayelet Toker and Dr. Sivan, set out to examine Israel's sea level over the past 2,500 years, based on data deduced from many coastal archaeological findings. They made a careful selection of findings that have been reliably and accurately dated, and first focused on findings that were excavated by the Antiquities Authority in Acre of the Crusader period. These revealed that the sea level during the Crusader period -- just 800 years ago -- was some 50-90 centimeters lower than the present sea level.

    Findings from the same period at Caesarea and Atlit reinforced this conclusion. When additional sites were examined from periods before and after the Crusader period, it was revealed that there have been significant fluctuations in sea level: During the Hellenistic period, the sea level was about 1.6 meters lower than its present level; during the Roman era the level was almost similar to today's; the level began to drop again during the ancient Muslim period, and continued dropping to reach the same level as it was during the Crusader period; but within about 500 years it rose again, and reached some 25 centimeters lower than today's level at the beginning of the 18th century.

    "Over the past century, we have witnessed the sea level in Israel fluctuating with almost 19 centimeters between the highest and lowest levels. Over the past 50 years Israel's mean sea level rise is 5.5 centimeters, but there have also been periods when it rose by 10 centimeters over 10 years. That said, even acute ups and downs over short periods do not testify to long-term trends. An observation of the sea levels over hundreds and thousands of years shows that what seems a phenomenon today is as a matter of fact "nothing new under the sun," Dr. Sivan concludes.

    So says Moses's Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Grandson...

  12. .

    Elitist Pols are at it Again

    Republican lawmaker wants to ban welfare recipients from buying steak and lobster

    You can be poor. You can eat steak.

    But a New York Republican wants to ensure that you can't be poor and eat steak on the government's dime.

    If the bill introduced by Sen. Patty Ritchie passes, families participating in the state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) would be restricted from purchasing "luxury food items" like steak and lobster.

    The proposal falls in line with a decades-old conservative fear that people use government assistance to purchase high-end foods. A strikingly similar proposal popped up last year in Missouri last year and another was signed into law by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) in April.

    The New York SNAP program already restricts recipients from purchasing alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, pet food and hot or prepared foods, according to the state. But under the new proposal, non-essential items would be broadened to include things such as soda, candy and cake, along with luxury foods, according to a statement released by Ritchie, who represents Oswegatchie in St. Lawrence County.

    [Kentucky lawmaker’s bill forces men to get note from wives before purchasing Viagra]

    Essential items, her proposal notes, include "milk, juice, fruits, vegetables, granola bars, peanut butter and dozens of other healthy foods."

    “The goal of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is to help low-income consumers make wise and healthy food choices — however in New York State, SNAP beneficiaries are able to use their taxpayer-funded EBT cards to purchase things like soda, candy, cake and other types of junk food and luxury items,” the statement says, referring to electronic benefit transfer cards.

    New York Sen. Patty Ritchie. (New York State Government)

    “Many of these items aren’t just unhealthy, they’re also expensive," Ritchie's statement adds. "This legislation would not only help low-income families and individuals stretch their food budgets further and promote health and nutrition, it would also protect taxpayers from abuse of a program that’s intended to help those who have fallen on hard times.”

    Ritchie's bill, the statement notes, would also require the state Office of Temporarily Disability Assistance to establish a list of "luxury food items" that cannot be purchased with an EBT card.

    According to the state agency, there were nearly 3 million SNAP recipients in New York in December 2015. That month, the state spent more than $415 million on the program.

    [Missouri Republicans are trying to ban food stamp recipients from buying steak and seafood]

    As Wonkblog's Roberto A. Ferdman noted in a story about the Missouri proposal last year, banning the purchase of cookies, chips, energy drinks, and soft drinks appears to uphold a food stamp program's mission to provide users with healthy food choices.

    "But seafood and steak?" Ferdman wrote. "Seafood has been shown, time and again, to be a healthy part of any diet. And steak is such a broad category that it's essentially banning people from buying any flat cuts of beef, from porterhouse to flank..."


    1. I'm entirely in favor of that bill. I'm tired of being middle class and being priced out of the lobster market by the welfare recipients. Even Dungeness crab is beyond my means.

      Let them eat mackerel and hamburger.

    2. I'm joking, but only a little.

      Caviar goes too far.

  13. ""In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual" "

    - Galileo

  14. BTW Congrats, Deuce on the big 7k! That's a lot of posts!! I'm glad you find it relaxing as that is a lot of work.


  15. U.S. judge orders discovery to go forward over Clinton’s private e-mail system

    By Spencer S. Hsu February 23 at 4:02 PM

    There are at least three ongoing investigations into Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's time as Secretary of State. Here's an explanation of who is investigating, and why. (Gillian Brockell/The Washington Post)

    By Spencer S. Hsu February 23 at 4:02 PM 

    A federal judge on Tuesday ruled that State Department officials and top aides to Hillary Clinton should be questioned under oath about whether they intentionally thwarted federal open records laws by using or allowing the use of a private email server throughout Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.

    The decision by U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of Washington came in a lawsuit over public records brought by Judicial Watch, a conservative legal watchdog group, regarding its May 2013 request for information about the employment arrangement of Huma Abedin, a longtime Clinton aide.

    Officials with the State and Justice departments said that they were aware of the order but declined to comment further, citing the ongoing litigation. Discovery orders are not readily appealable. An attorney for Abedin declined to comment.

    Sullivan set an April 15 deadline for parties to litigate a detailed investigative plan--subject to court approval--that would reach well beyond the limited and carefully worded explanations of the use of the private server that department and Clinton officials have given.

    Sullivan also suggested from the bench that he might at some point order the department to subpoena Clinton and Abedin to return all emails related to Clinton’s private account, not just records their camps previously deemed work-related and returned.

    “There has been a constant drip, drip, drip of declarations. When does it stop?” Sullivan said, “This case is about the public’s right to know.”

    In granting Judicial Watch’s request, Sullivan said that months of piecemeal revelations about Clinton and the State Department’s handling of the email controversy created “at least a ‘reasonable suspicion’ ” that public access to official government records under the federal Freedom of Information Act was undermined.

    Sullivan noted that there was no dispute that senior State Department officials were aware of the email set-up from time Clinton took office, citing a January 2009 email exchange including Undersecretary for Management Patrick F. Kennedy, Clinton chief of staff Cheryl D. Mills and Abedin about establishing a “stand-alone network” email system.......

    1. .

      April 15 just to get an investigative plan.

      The first week in November is getting closer and closer.


    2. Indeed it is, and Comer should drop his report soon.

      Like, right now.

      It's all very irritating.

  16. Rufus, the old fool, is heading out right into a severe weather system.

    Let us all call upon St. Christopher to intercede on The General's behalf.


    (someone has to care for him as he seems incapable of caring for himself)

  17. Iraq: The Real Story

    Victor David Hansen

    February 23, 2016

    Same old story -

    Obama fled
    People dead

    Gary Kasparov, Ken Pollack, VD Hanson, all the intelligent folk agree....all O'bozo'a fault.

  18. Ops....

    Headcutters 1 Russia 0

    The Islamic State Tuesday seized from rebel forces the important northern Syrian town of Khanaser southeast of Aleppo and its surrounding hills. DEBKAfile: ISIS, which now controls a 20-km section of the Aleppo highway to Hama, cuts off the government supply line between Aleppo and central and western Syria. In the last few days, US and Russian forces had discontinued their air strikes against the Islamic State forces advancing on targets in western and central Syria – the Americans, who left the task to the Russians, and the Russians, on the assumption that ISIS was weakening rebel resistance in Aleppo so saving them the task.The Islamic State’s capture of Khanaser proved that the Russian strategists miscalculated badly.

  19. The Men Who Want Their Foreskin Back

    The anti-male circumcision movement likens the procedure to genital mutilation and because of that it wants to restore what was lost with cones, weights, and more......

    Help is on the way...

    1. they hang weights on the skin stretching in back over the tip of the penis to recreate a foreskin.


      All Jew haters who have been snipped should be forced to do this.

    2. I don't want my foreskin back.

      Let others walk with weights if they wish.

  20. A rebel fighter in the Aleppo area said he did not expect the cease-fire plan to work.

    “The Russian jets will not stop bombing on the pretext of Nusra and the Islamic State organization, and will keep bombing civilians and the rest of the factions with this pretext,” said Abu al-Baraa al-Hamawi, a fighter with the Ajnad al-Sham group.

    “Everything that is happening is pressure to extend the life of the regime,” he told Reuters from the Aleppo area.

  21. Nevadamania; Update: Improper voting?

    posted at 7:01 pm on February 23, 2016 by Allahpundit

    Update (AP): All hell is breaking loose on Twitter at 9:20 ET as reports are trickling in from caucus sites about the GOP running out of ballots, people receiving — and casting — multiple ballots, poll workers wearing Trump gear, yelling, swearing, and on and on. The best thing you can do to stay on top of it is to scroll down in this post and scroll through our collective Twitter feed, which is being updated minute by minute with news. It’s total chaos in Nevada. I’ll leave you with this for now:.......

  22. Trump seems to have beaten both Cruz and Rubio with Hispanics.

    Trump wins Nevada with about 42%.

    Right now it's:

    *TRUMP 42% RUBIO 25% CRUZ 21%

  23. Paul • (Formerly Unsk)
    I have trying to lay off the Donald, but this is too big:

    Accused Of Fraud, Trump Will Take The Witness Stand

    By: Jay Caruso ( at Redstate)

    Some details of the case:

    "In court filings last Friday, lawyers for both sides in a long-running civil lawsuit over the now defunct Trump University named Trump on their witness lists. That makes it all but certain that the reality-show star and international businessman will be forced to be grilled under oath over allegations in the lawsuit that he engaged in deceptive trade practices and scammed thousands of students who enrolled in his “university” courses in response to promises he would make them rich in the real estate market.

    Although the case has been winding its way through the courts for the past five years — and Trump has denied all wrongdoing — the final pretrial conference is now slated for May 6, according to the latest pleadings in the case. No trial date has been set, but the judge has indicated his interest in moving the case forward, the pleadings show.

    This part really stood out:

    As noted by Yahoo News last week, the Trump University case has already intruded on Trump’s political schedule. On Dec. 10, 2015, during a day he was making international headlines over his pledge to ban Muslim immigrants from the United States, Trump managed to escape any press attention and give a closed-door pretrial deposition in the case, according to court filings reviewed by Yahoo News. Exactly what he said in the deposition remains under seal, but lawyers for Tarla Makaeff, a California yoga instructor who is the lead plaintiff in the case, cited portions of his testimony (blacked out in her pleadings) to support their contention that Trump has threatened to ruin her financially for bringing the lawsuit and that she needs protection from his “retaliation.”"

    What's funny ( actually not so funny) is that two of the three front runners for the Republican nomination are men of extreme low, in fact despicable character: that would be Trump and Rubio.

    These posts on Rubio:

    Mark Levin: Stop the Lies, Marco



    1. I think all three leaders in the Republican race, Trump, Cruz, and Rubio are of low character, and Hillary is of even lower character.

      Bernie seems perhaps the most honest, but alas, his political program takes the country straight to Venezuela.

      Dr. Ben Carson is getting about 8% tonight. 8% of Republicans in Nevada have some good sense.

      This is something to celebrate, it could worse, given Nevada.

      Sounds like it's time for The Donald to settle the lawsuit, whatever the merits, for a large amount, which is exactly what the plaintiff's lawyers are counting on.....good timing.