Back in Toronto after two weeks in Thailand. One of my sons got married and my wife and I spent time traveling with my son and new daughter-in-law and my daughter. I left New York on Monday Mar 9 back to Toronto and left the next morning for Thailand, pretty groggy when I arrived on late Wednesday evening Bangkok time. The wedding was on Saturday.
After the wedding, we debated between going to the beach or going up north and, in deference to my tendency to sunburn, we went up “north” – Chiang Mai being nearly (!) 19N, not far from the Arctic Circle, and then into the hills to Pai, a lofty 486 m. Pai turned out to be sort of a hippie/backpacker enclave, a far cry from busy Bangkok. When we left, Bangkok was 36C; I hardly watched any TV, but I saw one CNN international weather survey and Bangkok was the hottest place that I noticed on their survey that day (tho I didn’t notice anything from the Persian Gulf which might well have been hotter.) We spent a few days in each locale. My wife and daughter stayed on after I left and have just returned from the beach.
We’ve spent some time recently discussing speleothems in tropical caves. Interestingly, one of the tourist things in Pai are caves – we visited the very large Spirit (Lod) Cave about 38 km NE of Pai, only about 10 km as the raven flies from the Myanmar border, but I don’t think that there any roads into Myanmar closer than than Mae Hong San, which is about 100 km away. There’s another cave on the tourist maps at Chiang Dao, also in this area. This part of Thailand has a pretty strange modern history as parts of it were settled by Kuomintang remnants, who controlled the opium trade for many years. I’ll do a separate post on this cave, drawing it to the attention to Jud Partin or any other interested speleo, if for some reason, it’s not on his radar screen. (I have no knowledge of whether it is or isn’t; it may well be. )
We’ve talked about UHI from time to time and, in that context, the temperature difference between Bangkok and Pai was pretty noticeable, especially at night. Bangkok was hot all the time, but Pai was actually fairly cool in the morning and evenings. Chiang Mai was intermediate. Yes, there’s a difference in altitude, but the difference in temperature was more than the 3 deg C lapse rate. Pai also seemed drier than Bangkok and perhaps that contributed as well. Arriving in Bangkok, I watched the temperatures as the plane descended in the late evening and as I recall the lapse rate at 11 pm was only about 3 deg C in the lowest 2000 m or so.
I thought a bit about about water “cycle” feedback, a topic from the Heartland conference that interested me the most. I was particularly interested in the presentations by Richard Lindzen and William Kininmonth, both of whom I met for the first time. I’ll write some notes on this topic. I mulled over the pros and cons of making the all-in water “cycle” feedback a major new theme for the blog. In terms of dealing with “big questions”, arguably it would be the most useful allocation of effort, but it would require me to make a major investment of time and energy in a large new topic, at a time when I have much unfinished business on the proxy front. Please wait until I make a more detailed post before commenting on this issue.
I took some drafts of a long overdue reply to Wahl and Ammann. Ross has been bugging me to deal with this for a long time and wrote a draft; I have my own draft. I really, really dislike having to respond to this article, as I find it virtually impossible to write a reply that isn’t very sharply worded. Given that they pretty much replicated every one of our results (and that their code virtually matches ours, as noted in May 2005), it is frustrating that they claim the exact opposite – they purport to refute our findings, a false claim that IPCC and the climate community readily relied on. Combined with the fact that they dragged out providing their SI until over 3 years after their original press release and 2 1/2 years after the IPCC deadline for publication. Having said that, the ball is in our court now and has been since summer 2008, so I guess we’ll have to respond. This will definitely disturb any potential serenity at the blog.
Internet service was actually readily available even in hippie Pai, but I was glad of the break. I appreciated the posts by Roman, Ryan and UC in my absence. The two Jeffs seem to have made some interesting progress on AVHRR, but it looks like investigations are stalemated a bit by the continuing inability/refusal of Steig and coauthors to provide the monthly AVHRR data as used in their study. With much improved understanding of RegEM from the Steig analyses, I’m looking forward to re-visiting the Mann et al “EIV” recon, which we didn’t touch in our prior look at this topic.
I was much appreciative of Anthony’s efforts on the server front. I asked Anthony in New York why we shouldn’t just transfer CA onto wordpress where everything was provided for free. WUWT has greater traffic than CA (tho CA traffic is also very large, having run over 6 million hits/year for the last couple of years) and WUWT functions perfectly on a wordpress format. A couple of CA functions aren’t available on wordpress – Latex and bulletin board. However, we could easily manage without latex (tho it’s nice on occasion). As to the bulletin board, I would be quite content to cut it loose – actually I’d like to do so as I don’t support or monitor it.
However, Anthony said that there was quite a bit of hidden traffic to CA in the form of links to graphics as well as posts and that a change of address would cut off an important resource. He felt that it was very important that there be continuity of the resource and URL. Readers at both sites supported this view with some extra contributions. (I again express my appreciation for ongoing contributions since, as I’ve mentioned on occasion, this is important to my being able to continue devoting time to the site.)
I was glad of the break, but back to the grindstone. Lots of things to write about.