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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Our poster presentation on predicting the mineral composition of dust aerosols at the 2014 fall meeting of the AGU

I just have come back from this year's fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in San Francisco. The meeting was very interesting and productive (and exhausting) for me. The amount of exciting science from the whole range of geosciences, presented by many enthusiastic researchers at the AGU, is always overwhelming. I wish I would have been able to suck in more from all the information provided in the oral and poster sessions.

I, together with my collaborators Carlos Pérez García-Pando and Ron Miller, had following poster presentation on "Predicting the Mineral Composition of Dust Aerosols: Evaluation and Implications" in the session "Aerosol Comparisons between Observations and Models".


The abstract of the poster states:

"Soil dust aerosols in Earth system models are typically assumed to have globally uniform properties. However, important climate processes related to dust depend on the aerosol mineral and chemical composition, which varies regionally. Such processes include aerosol radiative forcing, transport of bioavailable iron that catalyzes marine photosynthesis, heterogeneous chemistry, ice nucleation, and cloud condensation.
We have implemented a new version of the soil dust aerosol scheme in the NASA GISS Earth System ModelE that takes into account the mineral composition of the dust particles. Dust aerosols are represented as an external mixture of minerals such as illite, kaolinite, smectite, carbonates, quartz, feldspar and gypsum, as well as iron oxides and accretions of iron oxides with each of these minerals.
We present a new publically available compilation of measurements of mineral fractions derived from ca. 50 references from the literature. This compilation is used to evaluate our new model of mineral and elemental composition within ModelE. We discuss the challenges of comparing simulated mineral fractions to measurements, which often come from field campaigns and ship cruises of limited duration. Despite uncertainties of the measurements, we show the importance of estimating the undisturbed size distribution of the parent soil prior to wet sieving, along with the modification of this size distribution during emission. 
In particular, our new model reproduces measurements showing greater amount of aerosols at silt sizes (whose diameters exceed 2 μm) including significant amounts of clay mineral aerosols (like illite) at silt sizes. Our model also reduces the systematic overestimation of quartz, while allowing iron to be transported farther from its source as impurities than in its pure, crystalline form."

The two papers where the details of the results from three years of research can be found have just been submitted to Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss. Let's see how they are going to do in the review process.

Update 03/07/2015: Our two discussion papers have been published at Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions now and can be found here:

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Tim Ball says Adolf Hitler was right in "Mein Kampf". How far will AGW-deniers go?

This is a slightly modified version of a comment that I wrote at the blog "... And Then There's Physics" where people discussed this matter in an open thread (here).

Equalizing climate scientists with Hitler or Nazis has not been an uncommon rhetoric by AGW deniers. Even Roy Spencer whose work to provide one of the satellite retrieved temperature data sets is very valuable for climate science did it not long ago in his blog, when he wrote a whole post (here) dedicated to calling the ones who accept that what has been found by mainstream climate science "global warming Nazis" and accused them of supporting policies of mass murder. And I got banned from Anthony Watts's junk science blog when I called a commenter out and announced the application of armed self-defense (rather as a rhetorical reply, not that I carry around any weapons), if the commenter takes action, after the commenter equalized climate scientists with Nazis and fake skeptics with the persecuted Jews in Nazi-Germany to justify his fantasies about lynching climate scientists. Well, at least that was what Anthony Watts used as pretext to finally ban me from WUWT, permanently.

However, I think the post by Tim Ball at WUWT (here) has its own quality. It seems to be perceived by a number of people, including by Tamsin Edwards and Richard Betts according to their reply at WUWT (here), that the core of Tim Balls article is again a comparison of climate scientists with Hitler or Nazis. I suppose this comes from superficial reading, which is understandable, since no one sane really likes to wade in a pool of s***. Then again, if one explicitly replies to such a garbage one should at least read it first carefully and see what it actually states.

Although Tim Ball also mentions that Hitler's "lies and deceptions caused global disaster, including the death of millions of people" (Ball actually downplays what the German Nazis and their helpers did, since it wasn't global disaster caused by Hitler's lies and deception due to which millions of people died. Instead, the Nazis committed deliberate, state organized genocide and mass murder of 12 to 18 million people, including 6 million Jewish people, mostly within about 6 years, not even counting the additional tens of millions who got killed in the global war started by Germany), the core of the article is something else. The core is that Ball cites a passage from Hitler's "Mein Kampf", because he thinks that Hitler gave a valid explanation in the quote why "the big lie" works. Ball thinks Hitler was right. Hitler didn't write about his own lies in the quote, he wrote about "The Jews". Ball believes that there was a global conspiracy behind the IPCC and climate science, which worked in the same way as the alleged global conspiracy that was attributed to "The Jews" by Hitler in his anti-Semitic paranoia. At the end of his article, Ball emphasizes ones more that understanding what Hitler was saying was a key for understanding the workings of the conspiracy behind AGW. Now, I don't know whether Ball also personally thinks Hitler was right about "The Jews", or whether he thinks Hitler was wrong about this specifically targeted group, but Hitler's "explanation" was correct regarding the alleged conspiracy behind IPCC and AGW. This can't be deduced from Ball's text alone. One can deduce, though, that Ball subscribes to the same structure of deluded and paranoid explanations as Hitler did, how the world was supposedly controlled by an omnipotent evil cabal. One could call this structural anti-Semitism to which Ball subscribes. If one reads the comments below the article, some of the commenters take the cue, though, and it becomes clear that for some of the lunatics it's one and the same conspiracy that was also hallucinated by Hitler and the Nazis.

Ball's article, and even more the strong endorsement of this vile text by the crowd at WUWT is evidence for me that the accusations against climate scientists to support "evil" policies and even policies of the kind that would lead to mass murder and similar, shouldn't be simply considered just as rhetoric by some desperate cranks and science haters. They are rather projection of own desires and wishes of these people onto those who are prospective targets. This raises the question for me, how far would they go, if they got the opportunity?