About

This Blog

… is devoted to opposing, as best as I can, “… that most natural of human tendencies: the triumph of hope over evidence” [1].

This blog has “667-per-cm.net” in it WordPress URL, and is titled 667 per cm, that corresponding to the frequency of a big spectral line for carbon dioxide (see below) which happens to line close to the peak blackbody emissions region for Earth at nominal temperatures. These physical facts and the proximity of that line to Earth’s blackbody emissions mode is a key element in the reason why climate change due to excess atmospheric carbon dioxide occurs.
AbsorptionSpectrumOfCO2
VibrationalModesOfCarbonDioxide
EarthEmissionsBlackbody--markup
MODTRAN-Typical-2013-03-30_163239_annotated

And as to why and how CO2 is increasing, I punt to Doug RobbinsThe Keeling Curve and CO2”.

Jan
Jan Galkowski is a data scientist, statistician, and quantitative and computational engineer. See his profile at:

View Jan Galkowski's profile on LinkedIn

He has an S.M. degree in EE & Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (“MIT”), and a B.S. degree in Physics from Providence College. He has taken additional graduate level courses in mathematics, signal processing, geology, geophysics, statistics, computer science, and history of science from Cornell University, Binghamton University, Syracuse University, University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign, MIT, Colorado State University, West Point Military Academy, Naval Postgraduate School–Monterey, AFCEA, and Harvard University. Some of these were sponsored by DARPA.

Prior to his present job, Mr Galkowski served as data warehouse developer, test engineer, advisory software engineer, and entrepreneur for Cornell University, Sensis, Westinghouse Nuclear Automation, Loral Federal Systems, IBM Federal Systems, and Aetna U.S. Healthcare. He has a deep interest in science, especially oceanography, geophysics, and dynamical systems models pertaining to these, and especially those related to climate science.

Mr Galkowski’s areas of expertise are:

  • computational methods, numerical and stochastic optimization
  • environmental statistics, including command of current climate science
  • custodianship of data archives, including data warehousing, extraction, transformation, load, and validation
  • model-building and comparative evaluation using information theoretic measures
  • solar and wind energy policy and costs; the utilities landscape
  • data cleansing and imputation to repair missing data

Jan is a member of:

Some things to which Jan has contributed which are publicly available:

Technical Interests

Jan’s current technical interests include:

  • developing and adapting algorithms in support of Bayesian statistical inference, stochastic search, and stochastic optimization
  • inverse theory applied to blind source separation problems in environmental issues, such as point waste generation and pollution sources, as well as recovery of latent components in signals
  • Bayesian statistical methods applied to climate science, such as using state-space and spline methods to infer values of latent states from multivariate series
  • model-based sampling, modern sampling algorithms, multi-model inference with information criteria
  • Scientific programming with R, Python, NumPy, and SciPy

Guidance Regarding Blog Comments

Guidance for posting on this blog: I will not tolerate climate denial comments. I also reserve the right to delete or edit comments made.

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Mr Galkowski and his beautiful and clever wife, Claire, are strong supporters of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and are an Associates of that Institution, 1930 Society members, and Jan is a Fye Society member.

Westwood Statistical Studios

temperature_dependency_WestwoodHS_2011-06-05_one_panel

Mr Galkowski also provides statistical advice to individuals, groups, towns, and companies through his statistical consultancy, Westwood Statistical Studios, specializing in applications of statistical inference to environmental and municipal management problems.  Consultations typically involve three kinds of questions:

  • EstimationWhat are the values of some key quantity, and over what range does it vary?  For example, how much does the recycling tonnage per neighborhood vary in a town, and how does it change by season or as the result of changed policy?
  • Prediction and verification: Given what’s been measured or what’s known by comparison with similar processes or mechanisms, what’s likely to be the range of a key quantity during the next year or quarter? For example, given past hazardous waste collections, what’s likely to be the size of the upcoming one? Or, if residents are charged by the pound for trash and recycling, what’s likely to be the change in overall tonnage of each, or in town receipts for trash? Or, is single-stream recycling having the desired policy effect in a town?
  • Model comparisons: Given a number of possible explanations for why a set of data are what they are, which is the most likely? For example, if energy use at a town high school seems unusually high and costly, is this because of sports field lighting, parasitic loading due to appliances and computers left on, or improper overrides of heating and cooling settings?

Contact him below if you are interested in a preliminary session.

Contact Westwood Statistical Studios below:

Separately …

Jan is broadly interested in questions of statistical practice, based upon

  • the guidelines of the American Statistical Association,
  • those pertaining especially to statistical consultants,
  • and those pertaining to questions of careful data stewardship in a world which values data more than knowledge.
  • Reproducible research, including full release of data and computer programs (“codes”) which were used to derive results and, accordingly,
  • Open access to research publications without paywalls and a critical consideration of the role of peer review in the 21st century.

Politically Speaking

I am a climate hawk, meaning that minimizing and preventing further climate disruption is the issue, and dominates all other ones. Accordingly, I favor no particular political party or candidate, as long as they take aggressive action on the question, whether it is Senator Bernie Sanders or Bob Inglis’ Republicen. One could also call me a Hermann Scheer solar revolutionary because I both judge solar photovoltaic technology to be a revolutionary energy source for the reasons Professor Tony Seba details, and because it is a democratically empowering development, returning control of energy to the people and public at large, denying central concentrators of such power the influence they presently enjoy. Thus, it heralds the oncoming of a green century and the return of electrical power to the people.

While I am vehemently against any expansion of fossil fuels, I also believe that the historical commingling of environmental questions with progressive causes has hurt progress on the environment and that Democrats get an all-too-easy pass on environmental questions. I also believe that some environmental questions are more important than others, climate disruption and species extinction being the most important, and that many large environmental organizations have so long played the political game they are more interested in maintaining and expanding their political power than in the reasons why they were founded in the first place.

I am also against endless building and expansion, especially in wetland area, and oppose continued development, preferring zoning rules to curtail it, even if this can be interpreted as “snob zoning”.

And I will accept help from anywhere, even utilities and corporations who have seen the need to change.

My recent passions and allegiances include strong support of the Massachusetts Interfaith Coalition for Climate Action, and pursuing questions and resolutions of issues pertaining to Climate and Environmental Justice through my congregation, at First Parish, Unitarian Universalist, in Needham.

 


[1] This is a quote from Howard Wainer, in an article which appeared in CHANCE magazine, a publication of the American Statistical Association. The article was entitled “Defeating Deception: Escaping the Shackles of Truthiness by Learning to Think like a Data Scientist“, 29(1), 2016, 61-64.

7 Responses to About

  1. George O'Har says:

    Jan,

    Odd coincidence. I clicked on your link after I read your response to my question on Azimuth re periodization. Then I clicked on your bio. I’m a former electrical engineer, which isn’t pertinent, really, but my ph.d is from MIT! (though not in ee). I had some fine meetings with Tom Kuhn in graduate school. Small world. I even own Akamai stock. Anyway, I’ve added your blog to my climate change folder. Thanks again for your answer on Azimuth. I still have more questions, but that’s neither here nor there. I didn’t mind getting my ears boxed on Azimuth. Maybe had it coming. I do think, though, that attempts to discuss the issue of climate change in ways that implacably divorce such discussions from politics are a stretch. I know of no other issue in the history of science where you can decode a person’s political views from his or her position on the science, i.e., people toward center and right are skeptical; people moving left from center are CAGW supporters. You couldn’t do that with quantum theory, or f = ma. There may be some electrons hopping both ways @ the middle, but every liberal I know is a firm supporter and every conservative I know is not. Again, thanks.

    George

    • Thanks for writing, George.

      “Ears boxed”? I always thought the place was pretty friendly, at least compared with others, e.g., Tamino’s. (I have nothing against Tamino. It’s a matter of tone and style. I’ve been told I’m not particularly friendly on this site.)

      I do wonder why you are surprised at being able to “decode a person’s political views” based upon this issue. Seems to me pretty simple to understand. For the set of people who “get it”, governmental action is seen as essential. Even people like me, a fiscal conservative, don’t believe that getting to zero emissions can be accomplished completely via free market initiatives. (I do think the failure of the U.S. Congress and executive to properly deal with the issue leaves the private sector in charge, even if they aren’t capable of solving the entire thing. I think that will end in litigation.) On the other hand, there’s former Senator Bob Inglis of South Carolina, a dyed-in-the-wool conservative, Kerry Emanuel of MIT, conservative politically, and James Hansen, at least middle of the road. Also, on the other side, I find people like Senator Elizabeth Warren and 350MA don’t take the problem seriously enough. Senator Warren supported the deferral or delay of FEMA’s schedule of increased flood insurance for South Shore (Massachusetts) coastal property owners. And there’s a group of Massachusetts environmentalists (and perhaps others outside) who feel that the climate change emergency can be fixed by replanting forests and “sustainable agriculture practices”, as well as believing CO2 concentrations can readily be returned to 350 ppm from where they are. These people don’t take the problem seriously either.

      And, as you’ve read at Azimuth, there’s the entire matter of nuclear energy which I think any and every citizen really concerned about climate change needs to embrace. That’s engineering, not ideology.

  2. Since’s there’s a general discussion here, I should point out a new paper, by Frances Moore and Delavane Diaz of Stanford University, “Temperature impacts on economic growth warrant a stringent mitigation policy“, Nature Climate Change, 12th January 2015. The principal result from this investigation is that the social cost of Carbon (“SCC”) is estimated at US$220/ton of CO2 emitted in 2015 rather than the range of US$30/ton-US$40/ton adopted for planning purposes by the U.S. federal government. The corresponding cost for Carbon itself, then, is US$60/ton.

  3. Pingback: Codium fragile, for Saturday, 17th January 2015 | Hypergeometric

  4. Pingback: “Solar power is contagious. These maps show how it spreads.” (from Vox) | Hypergeometric

  5. Pingback: Now, if we could only say the same think about Massachusetts … | Hypergeometric

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