Robert Grumbine

Oceanographer/glaciologist/climatologist/endurance athlete/reader of many things.

Recent Articles

Forecasts and their Value

Economic Value of Weather and Climate Forecasts, Richard W. Katz and Allan H. Murphy, editors, 1997 includes some hard core math.  But the idea explored is straightforward enough, and much of each paper included is spent on the considerations which…

Satellite Data

We've passed the 50th anniversary of the first meteorological satellite*, on to 60! Even though satellites have been used for decades, it's still far from simple to do so. Or, rather, it is much more involved than I used to…

March for science

Dates to be determined, but there is an effort developing to have a march for science in the US.  There's a facebook group, and facebook messenger at @marchforscience, twitter as @ScienceMarchDC, and the main web site.  Things are evolving rapidly,…

Recent Reading

If you hadn't noticed last time I wrote about my reading, I enjoy reading old books, and books about old things.  One of the interesting, to me, things about math/science/engineering is that it is incremental.  Each generation builds on what…

2016 Tough on Sea Ice Satellites

The last several weeks have been hard on the satellites people like me use most for determining sea ice coverage.  We use passive microwave instruments on a number of different satellites.  The 'passive' in its name means that it doesn't…

Chapter one and Ted Fujita

Dr. Tetsuya Fujita, a.k.a. Ted, a.k.a. Mr Tornado was a meteorologist who spent most of his career at the University of Chicago.  When I was in graduate school, I was down the hall from him and a friend (Eric) was…

Recent reading

I'm a bookaholic, I confess.  I have far more books than are strictly needed.  And I'm acquiring more essentially all the time.  (The freebies available via google, ibooks, kindle, nook, and many other venues don't exactly slow down my acquisition.) …

The Pacemaker of the Chandler Wobble

Abstract: The Chandler Wobble is one of the largest circumannual periodic or quasi-periodic variations in the earth's orientation.  After over a century of searching for its forcing, it was found to be caused by atmospheric circulation and induced ocean circulation…

Been a while hasn’t it

Didn't mean to disappear quite that long, 2.5 months it turns out.  Well, I'll be picking up my posting again.  In the interim, I've been on vacation in the Peruvian Amazon, picture below, been a manager at work, and generally…

Data Horrors

"The great tragedy of science -- the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact."  Thomas H. Huxley.Sometimes, though, you have to pay attention to just how ugly the observation (fact) is.  And even more to how ugly a…

How to build a climate model?

How is it that we go about building climate models?  One thing is, that we would like to build our model to represent everything that we know happens.  If we could actually do so -- mainly meaning if the computers…

What is a model?

In the blogospheric talk about climate change 'model' gets mentioned a lot.  Sometimes it's merely descriptive, and often it is perjorative.  But it is mostly never really defined.  Like or loath them, nobody says just what models are.  Except for…

Bad philosophy 1

Different people are good at different things, which is no real surprise; but one of the common situations where some people suddenly become blind to this is scientists regarding philosophy.  Plus, well, most non-philosophers regarding philosophy.  I've had the good…

Autism Awareness month 2015

A reminder that April is Autism Awareness month.  I can't say very much first hand, but won't let that stop me from writing.  (As usual.)Couple notes.  One is, though I'm not autistic, I'm also not dead center 'normal' (whatever that…

Citizen Science Versus Science

It's impolitic to say so, but I dislike the term 'Citizen Science'.  Scientists are supposed to be embracing 'Citizen Science' and all that.  But I can't get rid of the feeling that it's a patronizing term.  Nor can I ignore…

How to pick cherries

The not-so fine art of contriving to support the conclusion you predetermined is cherry picking.  Really not a good thing for a scientist to do or condone, but pretty common in politics.  The latest example comes from politician (now presidential…

Merchants of Doubt Movie

Do go see the Merchants of Doubt Movie.  Los Angeles and New York March 6 opening, Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington DC the 13th.  More widely starting the 20th of March.  The movie is inspired by the book of the…

Better thoughts

During my weird week, I also had a couple signs of beauty.  Both from my nieces, and one in the midst of sadness.  If I haven't reminded you before: I've got great nieces!First, from my niece Kristen, whom you've heard…

A weird week

Between people denying that there is a correlation between CO2 and temperature and several other items, last week was just plain weird for me.  A few pieces of, I hope, some more general interest.One is, of course, the reminder that…

Question place 2015

Time to hang out the shingle again for questions.  What would you like to know about?In the mean time -- See Dr. Kate Marvel's distressingly accurate description of the peer review process.  Fortunately it isn't always like that.  Unfortunately, it…

Forecast Evaluation

Boy, blow one historic blizzard forecast and people get all cranky*.  Except, as H. Michael Mogildiscusses, it was an almost perfect forecast.  For the specifics of that storm and its forecast, I refer you to Mogil's article.I'm going to take…