Friday, October 14, 2011


An interesting question: Does the 1918 eruption mentioned in the article below appear in the L & R 2008 base data, graphed above and in the table below?

Answer is a pretty unequivocal no. The values for optical depth (of sulfate aerosol-caused UV light scattering -- VOLC in the data set below) do not exceed typical low/background values. Something like a value of 0.05 would have been required to register.

Katla does not appear to historically have been a high-sulfate aerosol type volcano.

Which is good for humanity in general, although it may yet disrupt air travel.

And although it would have been a nice test of L & R 2009 and other models, had Katla erupted as predicted, and had there been sulfate in the stratosphere as a result.

But I found this a valuable short exercise. The value of this kind of thought experiment is in providing students with the kind of mastery over the facts and math of climate knowledge that will be needed to provide mitigation and adaptation needs in the next few decades.

A special version of what philosopher Matthew Crawford has called, in another context, "mastery over one's own stuff."

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