Archive for the ‘CO2’ Category

Weathering Reinforced Orbital Glaciation Theory

January 15, 2019

I suggested that one could absorb CO2 by deliberately watering vast hot expanses of basalt and, or calcium or magnesium bearing tropical wastelands.
Friend Ian Miller pointed out in a comment that crushing rocks to achieve this required energy. I replied that, actually, I have seen immense expanses of desert in North America, South America, Mexico, Iran, Africa with such rock in a pulverulent form: no need to crush them, they are already completely crushed.

Then I remembered the Sahara, with thousands of kilometers of such pitiless desert. The highest mountain in the Sahara, as in Iran, is a volcano… But then I also remembered seeing prehistoric paintings there, of bucolic hunting scenes complete with hippopotamuses and trees… Imagine: that’s now an absolute desert: seeing one tree is seeing a miracle (one such tree is called “l’arbre du Tibesti”; it’s many thousands years old…).. Ah, but then, when the Sahara was wet, the watering, and the weathering, were achieved! CO2 was withdrawn from the atmosphere!

The white substance is natron, well-known to the Egyptians, in a giant caldera, the Trou au Natron, at the foot of an enormous shield volcano in Chad… In the middle of the Sahara. And not the largest volcano there. The cliffs are 1,000 meters tall. Yes, this all absorbs CO2 when wet…

So I suggest this: glaciations, in the last 2.75 million years were accentuated, reinforced by CO2 absorption from chemically interacting with rocks in the desert. Indeed, during glaciations, the giant circulation cells which create the arid subtropics are less aggressive and move south: the deserts become wet and green.

Now make no mistake: I am NOT saying that the orbital glaciation theory is false. I am just correcting it. I am adding a factor. The orbital theory of glaciation says that glaciations occur when it is too cold in July-August to melt snows in the Northern Hemisphere… where the continents mostly are (the southern equivalent is mostly ice-free: it’s an ocean, the “Roaring Forties”). The theory was first suggested by French mathematicians Joseph Alphonse Adhémar (1797–1862) who computed that ice ages were controlled by astronomical forces in his 1842 book Revolutions of the Sea. The idea is now associated with Milankovitch’s name. The theory’s recent Computer simulations show that this is (roughly) correct… Although various sticky mysteries remain.

I am just suggesting that the glaciating effect found by pure orbital and Earth rotation dynamics is amplified by the mechanism of CO2 diminution from rock chemistry I just described, in this essay and the preceding one.
Indeed orbital effects come short of explaining what is observed. Simulations and paleoclimate analysis show that the variation in Earth’s climate is much more extreme than the variation in the intensity of solar radiation calculated as the Earth’s orbit evolves. Methane release and the like doesn’t cut it yet. If orbital forcing causes climate change, and it does, science needs to explain why the observed glaciation effect is amplified compared to the theoretical, purely astronomical effect.

I just did.

Patrice Ayme

How To Remove CO2 From the Atmosphere: Water Volcanic, Calcium & Magnesium Desertic Tropical Ranges. Contemplate Indonesia!

January 13, 2019

DID INDONESIA CAUSE THE LAST THREE MILLION YEARS OF GLACIATION? SOLVING THE CO2 CATASTROPHE BY ACTIVE, FEASIBLE REMOVAL:

In the last 500 million years, three-quarters of the time or so, the planet enjoyed a hot, Jurassic style climate. It was not the case during the evolution of the genus Homo, one characteristic of which is the ability to endure cold and even subpolar climate. Enormous glaciations then rolled in, one after the other. What happened? Well, the mystery has now been unveiled.

This is not just a curiosity. Indeed, said discovery provides us with a solution to the CO2 catastrophe: just water dry tropical volcanic ranges and similar areas with plenty of calcium and magnesium, and the CO2 will be removed, stabilizing the atmosphere. Watering those particular mineral areas provides with a believable mechanism to decrease CO2 when enormous amounts of cheap clean energy is available… in a generation or two. (This is the first plausible mechanism ever suggested to do so!)

***

Sacred mountain of Zoroastrianism, the major historical religion of civilization, Mount Damavand is the highest point in Iran higher than the Alps or even the Caucasus. It is an active volcano in full sight of gigantic Teheran. The gas and fumaroles on top was a problem when I circled the crater. This is the northern side, facing the Caspian sea, a lush area. Other sides are extremely dry, and I propose to water them. That of course would require gigantic, power-hungry engineering beyond the capability of present civilization.

Global climate change around 3–4 Million years ago influenced the evolution of hominids, via the aridification of Africa, and what happened next, the Pleistocene glaciation about 2.75 Myr ago… thereafter the Earth’s climate suffered rolling glaciations… while human species evolved ever faster.

Most explanations of these climatic events used to involve changes in circulation of the North Atlantic Ocean due to the closing of the Isthmus of Panama. The idea is that a strong current of warm water was going north from the Pacific, joining, and augmenting the Gulf Stream, thus preventing any ice to form in the Arctic. With no ice in the Arctic, the albedo of Earth was significantly lower, thus all these infrared, instead of being sent back to space by reflecting snows, were trapped in the Arctic. A warm Arctic brought temperatures up, overall.

However, the closure of the Indonesian seaway 3–4 Myr ago could also be responsible for these climate changes: it acts similarly to the contemporaneous Panama closing (but as we will see, Indonesia does more than Panama). Closing the Indonesian seaway brought the aridification of Eastern Africa. The simplest theory and results from ocean circulation modelling show that the displacement of mighty New Guinea, about 5 Myr ago, at 100 kilometers per million years, going north, and west, closed the seaway. (But not just that, as we will see.)

That would have switched the source of flow through Indonesia—from warm South Pacific to relatively cold North Pacific waters (all waters below 100 meters are now blocked by narrow, shallow straights inside the Indonesian archipelago). This blockage would have decreased sea surface temperatures in the Indian Ocean, leading to reduced rainfall over Eastern Africa. Changes in the equatorial Western Pacific, by making heat stagnate there, probably reduced atmospheric heat transport from the tropics to higher latitudes, stimulating global cooling around the poles, and the eventual growth of ice sheets., which, in turn, cooled the planet further!

All of a sudden, shallow waters all over! The right side, the gigantic island of New Guinea, moved north, but also west, at 100 kilometers per million years, strangling the Indonesian seaway, starting 5 millions years ago (coincident with the same in Mesoamerica) This blocked the Earth’s warmest waters to enter the Indian ocean.

But there is another way in which Indonesia enters the climatic picture: CO2 removal by chemical reaction with basaltic rocks. This happened because the tectonic collisions caused the rise of high mountains, hence intense weathering.

***.

Basalt Make CO2 Into Rock:

Basalt generally has a composition of 45–55 % SiO2, 2–6 wt% total alkalis, 0.5–2.0% TiO2, 5–14 wt% FeO and 14% or more Al2O3. Contents of CaO are commonly near 10%, those of MgO commonly in the range 5 to 12%.

Limestone is a sedimentary rock which is often composed of the skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral, foraminifera and molluscs. Its major materials are the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate (CaCO3).

Immediate conclusion: if one adds CO2 to basalt, one should be able to make limestone. Indeed:

When CO2 is in presence of water, it reacts and makes carbonic acid. Putting lots of CO2 into water makes a Seltzer water which is acidic enough to destroy basalt. The low pH water (3.2) worked to dissolve the calcium and magnesium ions in the basalts, which then reacted with the carbon dioxide to make calcium and magnesium carbonates (which are whitish). Cores drilled into experimental sites in basalt showed rock with the tell-tale white carbonates occupying the pore spaces. Roughly it seems that 100 kilograms of basalt turned 50 kilograms of CO2 into rock. So far so good… One could locate power plants on top of basalt flows? Probably not: the process costs of the order of $17 a ton… That would augment the cost of burning oil by 20% (back of envelope computation in my head)… One has to understand the cheapest energy is already photovoltaic energy… In 2018…

Researchers tagged the CO2 they injected in basalt, 600 meters down, with carbon-14, a radioactive form of carbon. None of the injected CO2 was leaking back to the surface or finding its way out through a distant watercourse, as no radioactivity came out: the capture of CO2 by basalt is highly efficient.

***

Indonesia is sucking CO2 out of the atmosphere:

Many mountains in Indonesia and New Guinea consist of ancient volcanic rocks from belching volcanoes caused by subduction of various tectonic plates. When ocean floors were caught in a colossal tectonic collision between a chain of island volcanoes and a continent, those volcanic  rocks were thrust high. Lashed by warm tropical, acidic, corrosive, penetrating rains, these basaltic rocks react with CO2 sequestering the product inside the basalt. That is why, with only 2% of the world’s land area, Indonesia accounts for 10% of its long-term CO2 absorption. Its mountains could explain why massive ice sheets have persisted, waxing and waning, for several million years: evidence shows that the normal state of the planet in the last half a billion years, is a hothouse, with crocodiles all the way to the north of Greenland…

Researchers claim to have found that such tropical mountain-building collisions in wet areas coincide with nearly all of the half-dozen or so significant glacial periods in the past 500 million years. “These types of environments, through time, are what sets the global climate,” said Francis Macdonald, a geologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in Washington, D.C. (December 2018). If Earth’s CO2 has a machine producing it, the rise of mountains like Indonesia’s could be it.

Long-term changes in the planet’s temperature are governed by shifts in CO2 atmospheric density. Plate tectonics refurbishes continually the planet’s surface. For decades, scientists have debated what turned the CO2 on, to the dramatic extent it did. Volcanoes were long prime suspects. Volcanoes erupt where plates dive beneath one another. By spewing carbon from Earth’s interior, they could turn up the thermostat. That was the idea. But it’s a bit stupid: CO2 was in atmosphere, gets captured by rocks, sediments, gets buried, and then belched out: it sounds like a rather quick (on a geological scale) zero sum game: what comes in comes right out…

Rock weathering of massive mountain ranges, seems a smarter approach: it depends on mountain building driven by plate tectonics. Indeed, sometimes there are giant mountain ranges, as big, or bigger than the present Himalayas. Sometimes, most often, not: as observed, the planet is a hot-house ¾ of the time, just as there are no massive wet tropical ranges, most of the time.

The Hercynian range, which spans the Appalachians, Scotland, and countless ranges in Europe, is still here for all to see (started 480 millions ago, it became Himalayan like when Africa collided with North America as part of the construction of Pangea).

When tropical mountains contain seafloor rocks rich in calcium and magnesium, they react with CO2 dissolved in rainwater to form limestone, which is eventually buried on the ocean floor. Both processes matter in removing CO2 from the atmosphere, This also explains why there were gigantic amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere in the Carboniferous era, and they mysteriously vanished: they are in all these rocks, such as all these limestone ranges….

Having the right rocks to drive the CO2-chewing reaction is not sufficient. Climate matters, as I said. For example, the Siberian Traps, a region that saw devastating volcanic eruptions 252 million years ago, are rich in such rocks but absorb little CO2: it’s too damn cold, the chemistry doesn’t happen much because of the cold (details aren’t clear yet).

More clearly, in Arabia, one finds plenty of heat and volcanic rocks, but the solvent, water, is absent: CO2 rains down as carbonic acid after reacting with water… But only then. So… If could make it rain in Arabia, we could eliminate massive amounts of CO2. @,lacks another ingredient. “It’s hotter than Hades but it doesn’t rain.” Indonesia’s location in the rainy tropics is just right. “That is probably what’s keeping us centered in an ice age,” Kent adds.

***

The Preceding Suggests THE Viable, Sustainable and Definitive Remedy to the CO2 catastrophe:

Lots of cockmaniacal plans have been proposed to mitigate the CO2 catastrophe (Harvard, the Pluto university, is going to try to throw a veil on the atmosphere… although that won’t solve the CO2 problem, but trust the nasty to come up with nastier…)

Some of mitigation of CO2 will happen naturally: as, and if, the Siberian Traps become tropical, and if it rains there much, CO2 will be removed from the atmosphere. More generally, as the entire planet warms, it moistens up, and all volcanic zones of the planet become CO2 absorbing: this is a natural way to prevent CO2 from raising so much the planet boils.

Practically, if one finally masters thermonuclear power, and, or, photovoltaic energy becomes super cheap, one could make it rain artificially (or massively water) dry tropical volcanic rock areas (such as Arabia, Iran). Thus one would remove enormous quantities of CO2 from the atmosphere. That will have to be done by 2100, just to stabilize the climate in the standard hothouse, the Jurassic mode ( what Trump calls a “super climate”), with sea level ten meters higher and crocodiles in Newfoundland…

Over the past few years, academic Macdonald and his collaborators have searched for other times when tectonics and climate could have conspired to open an Indonesia-size CO2 sink. They found that glacial conditions 90 million and 50 million years ago lined up neatly with the collisions of a chain of island volcanoes in the now-vanished equatorial Neo-Tethys Ocean with the African and Asian continents. A similar collision some 460 million years ago started to form the Appalachians, but it was thought to have taken place in the subtropics, where a drier climate (from trade winds) does not favor weathering. By reanalyzing ancient magnetic fields in rocks formed in the collision, Macdonald’s team found the mountains actually rose deep in the tropics. And their uplift matched a 2-million-year-long glaciation. “They’re developing a pretty compelling story that this was a climate driver in Earth’s past,” says Lee Kump, a paleoclimatologist at Pennsylvania State University in University Park.

Those cases are not exceptions. Indeed, the team compiled a database of every tectonic “suture”—the linear features left by tectonic collisions—known to contain ophiolites, characteristic pieces of sea floor, and pillow lavas and the like, volcanic sea floor, over the past half-billion years. Based on magnetism in each suture’s rocks and a model of continental drift, they mapped their ancient latitudes to see which formed in the warm and rainy tropics, and when. “We were surprised that this is not as complicated as we thought,” Macdonald said.

The team compared the results to records of past glaciations and found a strong correlation. They also looked for declines in volcanism, which might have cooled the climate (from lessening of CO2 emissions). But their influence was much weaker, Macdonald said.

A recent study challenges the mountain CO2 weathering-thermostat notion with evidence for the importance of volcanoes (as I said, it has to be rather a zero sum, when considering volcanoes from subduction, because what goes in comes pretty fast out!) The study used ages from thousands of zircons, durable crystals that can indicate volcanic activity, to show that upticks in volcanic emissions were the dominant force driving the planet’s warm periods. But there are two types of volcanisms: what I call “core volcanism” (“Traps”, Large Igneous Provinces, LIPs) brings in massive amounts of fresh CO2 from way down inside the mantle… It’s likely both streams of ideas have at least one hand on the truth.

The beauty of absorption by volcanic rocks of CO2 is that it explains not just why glaciations start, but also why they stop.

A hothouse Earth appears to be the planet’s default state, prevailing for three-fourths of the past 500 million years. We will have it again by 2100: the dice are thrown, it’s in the air.

An Indonesia-style collision may push the global climate into a glacial period, but only for a while. Mountains erode and continents drift. And the planet warms again.

Science doesn’t just bring understanding, it brings also the means to act on the universe. Now we have the trick to reduce CO2… (And I am, by the way, the first to propose it: massive watering of the desiccated zones!) To give us the means, we have to keep on deploying photovoltaic energy and thermonuclear reactors (I say “deploying”, because there is plenty of evidence that a massive thermonuclear reactor could work: the bigger, the more efficient, it’s a matter of mass against surface).

The alternative to the solution to the CO2 catastrophe by weathering and geological chemistry is a CO2 driven holocaust. Developing science and technology is not just profitable, pleasant, and human. It is also the moral thing to do. And the only moral solution to CO2 there is.

Patrice Ayme

***

***

P/S: By public request, a partial list of references supporting the research above:

References: Closing of the Indonesian seaway as a precursor to east African aridification around 3–4 million years ago
Mark A. Cane & Peter Molnar
Nature volume 411, pages 157–162 (10 May 2001)

Swanson-Hysell, N.L. and Macdonald, F.A., 2017. Tropical weathering of the Taconic orogeny as a driver for Ordovician cooling, Geology, G38985. 1.

(That was 440 million years ago, and the continents looked nothing like now; only Siberia is recognizable… It was a free floating continent…)

Tropical uplift may set Earth’s thermostat
Paul Voosen
Science 04 Jan 2019:

For scary, or when Antarctica partially melted under similar conditions to what we are going to get within a decade:

Antarctic ice melt 125,000 years ago offers warning
Paul Voosen
Science 21 Dec 2018:

 

Don’t Underestimate Earth’s Violence: Permian Mass Extinction Boosted By Ozone Destroying Gases

November 29, 2018

This is a violent universe. We are a violent species making peace in a violent universe, and it’s not easy. Even those who loudly advocate non-violence often end up feeding even more violence than if they had stayed silent. An example is the US peaceniks in the 1930s, who, anxious to appease the fascists and the gods of war, they claimed, refused entry to millions of refugees… including Anne Frank… Who all died (excuses anybody?) 

As violence is omnipresent and can’t be avoided, the next best thing is to understand it, so one can mitigate it. With floods of mind to spill like lava all over the universe… The first thing to understand is that violence is complicated, finely tuned (as demonstrated by the fact Earth itself goes at 30 kilometers per second along her orbit…)

I have argued that one of the secrets of the success of Earth’s biosphere is its powerful nuclear reactor, churning a giant iron ocean below our feet. It brings up a magnetic shield, and a CO2 burying mechanism, let alone nutrient providing volcanism. biological niches instigator…

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/life-giving-nuclear-earth-reactor/

Heat transfer from the interior of the intelligence giving planet is not smooth: it happens as catastrophic LIPs, Large Igneous Provinces, enormous eruptions which can last several million years, and create continent sized lava flows, miles thick.

It has long been obvious Siberian hyper volcanism caused the worst mass extinction:

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/…/21/trapped-by-super-tr…/

The new research finding: a massive release of halogens by the eruption plume, made things worse from disappearance of ozone, thus an extreme UV mutagenicity & sterilization. Same for dinosaurs (I say)!

Even nowadays, 250 million years later the Siberian Traps are immensely impressive: everything in the picture above erupted in a cataclysm.

See: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-018-0215-4

“End-Permian extinction amplified by plume-induced release of recycled lithospheric volatiles

Magmatic volatile release to the atmosphere can lead to climatic changes and substantial environmental degradation including the production of acid rain, ocean acidification and ozone depletion, potentially resulting in the collapse of the biosphere. The largest recorded mass extinction in Earth’s history occurred at the end of the Permian, coinciding with the emplacement of the Siberian large igneous province, suggesting that large-scale magmatism is a key driver of global environmental change. However, the source and nature of volatiles in the Siberian large igneous province remain contentious. Here we present halo-gen compositions of sub-continental lithospheric mantle xenoliths emplaced before and after the eruption of the Siberian flood basalts. We show that the Siberian lithosphere is massively enriched in halogens from the infiltration of subducted seawater-derived volatiles and that a considerable amount (up to 70%) of lithospheric halogens are assimilated into the plume and released to the atmosphere during emplacement. Plume–lithosphere interaction is therefore a key process control-ling the volatile content of large igneous provinces and thus the extent of environmental crises, leading to mass extinctions during their emplacement.”

Siberian Traps today. Putorana-Taymir peninsula. Imagine all this as it was 250 million years ago: red-hot lava… Kilometers thick

The demise of the dinosaurs gets more attention. However an even more disastrous event called “the Great Dying” or the “End-Permian Extinction” happened on Earth prior to that. Now scientists discovered how this cataclysm, which took place about 250 million years ago, managed to kill off more than 90 percent of all species of life on the planet. (Yes, it seems those extinction tend to happen every 200 million years, because blobs come up cyclically, as in a well-named “lava lamp”.)

The cause of the extinction was a massive volcanic eruption in what is contemporary Siberia in Russia, known as the “Siberian flood basalts.” What’s remarkable, the eruptions lasted for about one million years. (The eruption which caused the demise of dinosaurs lasted much longer, but peaked around the demise of these type of beasts, and many other types, such as ammonites… See my link above)

The recent study’s lead author Michael Broadley, a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Petrographic and Geochemical Research in Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy, France, observed: “The scale of this extinction was so incredible that scientists have often wondered what made the Siberian Flood Basalts so much more deadly than other similar eruptions”. I had the same objection brought up to me by a top paleontologist. This friend of mine favored the (energetically nonsensical) asteroid collision explanation of the demise of the dinosaurs. It is usually claimed that the LIP of the Cretaceous was not the largest… When, actually, the two places on Earth with giant LIP in full evidence are the Siberian Traps and the Deccan Traps…

Siberian Traps mapped. In violet: lava, In red: tuff (ashes, more or less crystallized together). 2 million square kilometers, roughly Western Europe, in area, and up to 4 million cubic kilometers… That is 4,000 times more voluminous than the largest asteroid imaginable crossing Earth’s orbit. 4,000 times the volume is the problem with asteroid theories of extinctions… Moreover, those 4,000,000 cubic kilometers of lava of the Traps were accompanied of much larger volumes of hot gases…. Same reasoning holds for the “dinosaur” extinction, the KT boundary… 

The Permian extinction affected not only larger animals, decimating about 70 percent of their species, but also killed off 96 percent of the world’s marine life, as well as countless insects. It inflicted such a loss of biodiversity that it took another 10 million years for the ecosystem to bounce back. Interestingly, large species which could burrow survived… and soon their descendants became “mammalian reptiles”… appearing dozens of millions of years before dinosaurs…

The explanation in plain language? The geologists aver that the instigated volcanic eruption was not just massive, but the plume carried massive quantities of halogen gases which destroyed the Earth’s ozone layer at the time. They found this by analyzing the composition of the lithosphere — the hard outer part of the planet, which includes the crust and the upper mantle. Before the Siberian Flood Basalts happened, the Siberian lithosphere featured much chlorine, bromine, and iodine, all chemical elements from the halogen group. Notably, breathing gas containing these elements is highly toxic and will usually result in death. But after the volcanic eruption, these elements seemingly vanished.

“We concluded that the large reservoir of halogens that was stored in the Siberian lithosphere was sent into the earth’s atmosphere during the volcanic explosion, effectively destroying the ozone layer at the time and contributing to the mass extinction,” Broadley elaborated.

Something similar happened with the Cretaceous extinction. As the time before last, animals which could burrow tended to survive… So did those with high metabolism, and the capacity to keep warm, as mammals and birds, or to lay supine and hibernate (crocs, turtles, snakes, etc.) Indeed at the end of the Cretaceous, temperatures collapsed (how the polar dinosaurs, who could survive cold winters, disappeared is probably a tale of its own… not yet told…)

***

It’s fashionable to whine we humans are violent beasts. Sure. Yes, indeed. So what? We can leave our dent on this hyper violent universe, precisely because we, too, can be violent. Yes, covering the planet with agriculture is violent (many hate the new Brazilian president, just because he dares to want to do what North Americans and Europeans long did to their own continents; devastate the biosphere to cultivate their gardens).

Yes we kill and eat animals (and may not need to do this much longer). This is how we rose. So here we are, our growing minds having been well fed by enormous quantities of animal vitamins, fat and proteins. And we are starting to understand what more and more all means. To do better than Traps and their LIPs, we need to be more deliberate. That’s called wisdom. We can only brandish our own plumes if we are smart… And the aim of all this human activity, this human violence onto the universe? Not to flood continents with lava, but the universe, with mind.

Patrice Ayme

 

Is The United Nations The Greatest Enemy Of The Climate?

October 9, 2018

In its latest report on climate change, October 2018, UN now claims that climate warming caused by human activities is reversible. That absurd claim is much more damaging than Trump clownish positions on climate change and coal. And yet, contrarily to what UN scientists claim, overshooting the target, and then cooling off will probably not work, because of nonlinear effects. Once ice is gone, ice doesn’t come back easily.

Climate change, so far, has been linear: every year a bit warmer, a bit more CO2. That’s not the main problem. The main problem is that the planet could switch to a Jurassic regime.

The UN scientific report on climate change claims that, in the likelihood that governments fail to avert 1.5 degree Centigrade (2.7 degrees F for US primitives) of warming, another scenario is possible: The world could overshoot that target, heat up by more than 2 C (3.6 F) degrees, and then through a combination of lowering emissions and deploying carbon capture technology, bring the temperature back down below the 1.5C (2.7F) degree threshold.

In that utopical UN climate round trip scenario, some damage would be irreversible, the report claims. (yes, sure, *some*). All coral reefs would die. However, the sea ice that would disappear in the hotter scenario would return once temperatures had cooled off, bleats the UN… The ice will return? This is unproven and most certainly FALSE: once the albedo of the Arctic is changed, it won’t come back, and the Arctic ocean will heat up. The Arctic ocean already contains enough heat 50 meters below its surface, to melt said frozen surface completely.

See: https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2018/09/12/prediction-the-arctic-will-melt-suddenly/

The global temperature graph up to 2018. One seems to see an overall acceleration, a nonlinearity, an exponential drawing itself… Exponentiation is the typical nonlinearity.

For governments, the idea of overshooting the target but then coming back to it is attractive because then they don’t have to make such rapid changes,” Dr. Shindell, a climate scientist at Duke University and an author of the report, said. “But it has a lot of disadvantages.” Yeah: like it won’t happen. Cheap enough CO2 capture, for example, doesn’t exist.  

Says NYT:

A landmark report from the United Nations’ scientific panel on climate change paints a far more dire picture of the immediate consequences of climate change than previously thought and says that avoiding the damage requires transforming the world economy at a speed and scale that has “no documented historic precedent.”

The report, issued on Monday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of scientists convened by the United Nations to guide world leaders, describes a world of worsening food shortages and wildfires, and a mass die-off of coral reefs as soon as 2040 — a period well within the lifetime of much of the global population.

The report “is quite a shock, and quite concerning,” said Bill Hare, an author of previous I.P.C.C. reports and a physicist with Climate Analytics, a nonprofit organization. “We were not aware of this just a few years ago.” The report was the first to be commissioned by world leaders under the Paris agreement, the 2015 pact by nations to fight global warming.

The report was written and edited by 91 scientists from 40 countries who analyzed more than 6,000 scientific studies. The Paris agreement set out to make a big wishful thinking about preventing warming of more than two degrees centigrade (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit as US primitives have it) above preindustrial levels — long considered a threshold for the most severe social and economic damage from climate change. Heads of small island nations, hounded by rising sea levels, also asked scientists to examine the effects of 1.5 C (2.7 F) degrees of warming.

Absent aggressive action, many effects once expected only several decades in the future will arrive by 2040, and at the lower temperature, the report shows. “It’s telling us we need to reverse emissions trends and turn the world economy on a dime,” said Myles Allen, an Oxford University climate scientist and an author of the report.

To prevent 1.5 C (2.7 F) degrees of warming, the report said, greenhouse pollution must be reduced by 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, and 100 percent by 2050. It also found that, by 2050, use of coal as an electricity source would have to drop from nearly 40 percent today to between 1 and 7 percent. Renewable energy such as wind and solar, which make up about 20 percent of the electricity mix today, would have to increase to as much as 67 percent.

These requirements are not planned by most of the industrialized world. The report concluded that the greenhouse gas reduction pledges put forth under the Paris agreement will not be enough to avoid 2C (3.6 F) degrees of warming.

Despite the policy implications, which go against Trump’s climate skepticism stance, the United States delegation joined more than 180 countries on Saturday in accepting the report’s summary for policymakers. A State Department statement said that “acceptance of this report by the panel does not imply endorsement by the United States of the specific findings or underlying contents of the report… We reiterate that the United States intends to withdraw from the Paris agreement at the earliest opportunity absent the identification of terms that are better for the American people,” the statement said. The Trump position has been that a number of provisions of the Paris Accord, such as a 100 billion fund to help the Third World, are unacceptable.  However the fact remains that, after Obama’s giant fracking effort, major US states have the most ambitious sustainable energy programs (especially mighty California).

The UN scientific report emphasizes the necessity of a tax on carbon dioxide emissions. “A price on carbon is central to prompt mitigation,” the report concludes. It estimates that to be effective, such a price would have to range from $135 to $5,500 per ton of carbon dioxide pollution in 2030, and from $690 to $27,000 per ton by 2100. 

The cost of fossil-fuel emissions rose to its highest level in more than a decade in Europe, in August 2018, surpassing 20 euros a ton ($23) and adding to the cost of electricity across the continent.

Carbon emission permits have more than quadrupled from less than 5 euros since the middle of 2017 after European Union governments agreed to cut away a surplus that had depressed prices of the CO2 permit market since the financial crisis that started in 2008. Utilities and industrial polluters need the certificates to cover greenhouse gas emissions they produce.

By comparison, in fossil fuel happy USA, under the Obama administration, government economists estimated that an appropriate price on carbon would be in the range of $50 per ton (but they did nothing, as usual in Obama’s administration). Under the Trump administration, that figure was lowered to a ridiculous $7 per ton. Those with Trump Derangement Syndrome will say: we told you so. However, in the area of climate change, Trump is mostly wind: he used to be a climate alarmist (not as bad as yours truly). Now Trump has skeptic, because it brings him votes (but in truth he does nothing, same as Obama).

Whereas what the UN is doing by claiming climate change can be reversed, (with sci-fi technology) is diabolical… and will hogtie leaders such as… Trump: how can one justify thorough changes in all of society, while being told, by the UN it’s all for nothing, it’s not necessary? 

What is going on? A form of ubiquitous corruption: scientists who authored the UN report are all, directly or indirectly, government employees. They want to please their employers, so that they can be paid, be influential, and honored. Those employers themselves are trying to please their plutocratic masters (and future employers). So they engineered a completely unrealistic wishful loophole, resting on non-existing technology (efficient, cheap, mass, planetary sized CO2 capture).

9 years ago, I pointed out the UN ignored the potential for a nonlinear climate change catastrophe:

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2009/11/18/2-c-is-too-much/

Now the UN has done even worse: it claims that climate disasters are coming, but won’t cost that much (1% GDP for 1C of warming), & they are reversible. BS!

Patrice Ayme

Prediction: The Arctic Will Melt Suddenly

September 12, 2018

So far, the Arctic sea ice has melted at a pace which is best fitted with lines. 10.4% per decade, more exactly. It sounds reasonable, in first approximation, to suppose that will keep on that way. However, most changes start, in first approximation, linearly, before fitting higher power curves.

In the case of Arctic sea ice, a number of mechanisms seem possible to go from linear to nonlinear.  For example, the more sea ice melts, the warmer the sea gets, the harder it is to form sea ice. Such a self-feeding mechanism is an exponential.

However, we, humanity just found a huge new mechanism to potentially melt all ice, and it is operative. It is even of our own making! As with the Fall of Rome, one cause leads to others, which then can feed back on the first.

The discovery?

A blob of warm water, 50 meters below the surface of the Arctic ocean. Why does not come to the surface, if it is warmer than the water above it? Because it is abnormally salty, thus denser.

How was it created? The Chukchi Sea has become ice-free much too much of the year. It is just north of the Bering Strait, and lies on top of the flooded Beringia land bridge between Eurasia and North America. So it is shallow: average depth, 71 meters only, and warms up well. The Chukchi Sea warms up so much it becomes salty, and that salty water sneaks north below cold upper waters (it is blocked from going south by the Strait.

The redder, the more heat content in the Chukchi sea… When the Arctic Ocean starts to churn, the sea ice will all melt…Study lead author Professor Mary-Louise Timmermans, of Yale University (yes, a woman) said: We document a striking ocean warming in one of the main basins of the interior Arctic Ocean, the Canadian Basin… the upper ocean in the Canadian Basin has seen a two-fold increase in heat content over the past 30 years.

The researchers traced the source to waters hundreds of miles to the south, where reduced sea ice has left the surface ocean more exposed to summer solar warming.

Professor Timmermans added: This means the effects of sea-ice loss are not limited to the ice-free regions themselves, but also lead to increased heat accumulation in the interior of the Arctic Ocean that can have climate effects well beyond the summer season.

 

What next? A strong storm, an Arctic hurricane (they happen!)  could push cold waters out, and that would force the warm water up. I would venture to say that this is exactly what happened in August 2012 (generating thereafter the smallest Arctic sea ice ever recorded, by a long shot).

The same will happen again in the future, on a grander scale.

And all the Arctic sea ice could melt, thus warming the Arctic ocean enough to melt all ice, and that in turn, could warm up the ocean enough that summer to prevent the return of the ice thereafter…

It goes without saying that, after the Arctic ocean is ice-free, trillions of tons of methane hydrates laying inside the shallow sea floor will fiercely erupt, freeing trillions of tons of methane. It has happened in the past, and can be violent enough for tsunamis. It is actually already started, albeit on a small-scale, relative to what it could become. Methane is a greenhouse gas with more than 25 times the warming power of CO2 (the “forcing” effectiveness to be a bit more technical). Thus our effort to engineer a man-made Jurassic climate will make great strides. Maybe we will see class 5 hurricane strike Canada?

Fun springs eternal!

Let’s re-engineer a few dinosaurs and pterosaurs, once Canada’s Arctic archipelago is covered with forests, as we are at it…

Patrice Ayme

    

 

European Biofuel Criminals: Elected Democracy Doesn’t Work

May 15, 2018

Every day, the European propaganda machine tells us how good Europeans are, because they hate Trump so much. In the latest development, Trump kills Gaza baby by forcing his parents to expose their child to Israeli tear gas, so great was their indignation that Israel persists to have the same capital for 3,300 years, in spite of Muhammad having flown there on a winged horse, as all islamizing Muslims know.

However, by crucifying Trump all day long, the European legislators and their friends and employers, the lobbyists, are throwing gold dust in our eyes, it’s highly profitable, if not for orangutans, at least, to them:

***

THE CRIMINALS IN OUR MIDST; THOSE IN “POWER”, POWERING THEMSELVES EVER MORE: THE CASE OF EUROPE AND PALM OIL FUEL

We are led by the corrupt. You could cut down the entire Amazon forest, ship all the trees to Europe and burn them, claiming you replace fossil fuel burning, and corrupt EU law and its corrupt judges and legislators would count that as a 100 percent greenhouse gas reduction

Many years ago, I campaigned on my sites against “biofuels”. The idea of turning food into fuel is a monstrosity: it’s putting locomotion above survival, it tells  us it’s OK to kill people, as long as we can move: a parody of the worst mass criminal imperialism. Yet, biofuels became Politically Correct. And now are a mass, biomass PC phenomenon.

Cuddle with the Orangutans not: Palm Oil Mass Criminal Eradication of the Biosphere: The 100% PC European Union Law is turning Indonesia (above!) Into Hell. Or, at least, fuel.

PALM oil is found in food and cosmetics, and the mass cultivation of palm is destroying the biosphere, rainforests, ecologies and orangutans. Besides, it’s bad for the cardiovascular system (epidemiology in places using palm oil has shown). In pathetic efforts some grocers and companies are halting the use of palm oil in some products.

Yet, the real problem with palm oil isn’t in your kitchen or bathroom. In Europe, it is in your car. Or, more precisely, its tank.

Half of all the palm oil imported by the European Union is turned into “biodiesel” and blended into conventional fuel to power cars and trucks. Mixing palm oil to “green” fuels crazily triples carbon emissions… instead of doing what it was advertised to be doing, reducing said emissions. And the palm oil addiction is subsidised by the European Union: taxpayers are legally forced to destroy rainforests, & accelerate the climate catastrophe!

People don’t know that they have palm oil in their fuel tanks,” says Laura Buffet of Transport & Environment in Brussels, Belgium, which campaigns for cleaner transport in Europe.

How did we get there?

It’s always the same: a few self-important monkeys get to power, or were born that way, and they are promised lots more bananas, a better cages, business class travel, a nice retirement… if only they take whom the mightiest and wealthiest view as the right decisions.

Just like the Nazis, these leaders of ours shooting palm oil will be OK, if the misdeeds they commit are hidden from the general population. Thus they keep the general population in a carefully organized darkness. They will be even more OK, if, like the German population supporting the Nazis in 1930s, said population learn not to dig too deep to find out what is really going on.

Global palm oil production hit 65 million tonnes in 2017, with 20 percent used for biofuel, says data firm Palm Oil Analytics.

Under European rules, 10 percent of transport energy should come from “renewable” sources by 2020 (is rainforest “renewable”? No! It takes centuries to grow, especially on poor soils, as in Borneo). Thus countries are blending biofuels like palm-oil biodiesel with conventional fuels.

Transport & Environment calculates that using palm-oil biodiesel triples emissions versus burning fossil fuels, based on figures compiled for the EU.

This tripling in CO2, is not just from burning the fuel, but also from burning rainforests to grow oil palm, which releases lots of carbon. What’s more, there are vast stores of peat under many rainforests, which when drained decompose (methane!) and can release carbon for decades… They can catch fire, burn for months…

In January, the European parliament voted to end subsidies for palm-oil biodiesel from 2020. The vote has no force, though, as the European Parliament has no force: the dirty little secret of the EU is that governments decide, especially the big ones (Germany, France). Moreover, if the EU ends subsidies for palm-oil biodiesel, while keeping its overall biofuel targets, cars will be fuelled with soybean or rapeseed oil instead… and that’s much more destructive for the environment (palm is several times more efficient by surface unit). However, then the price of other vegetable oils will shoot up, increasing palm oil relative advantage… as happened in the USA.

Under its perverse self-declared “Democratic” leadership, the USA came to mandate that conventional fuels must be blended with biofuel… But the US hasn’t approved the use of palm oil because its carbon emissions are the highest of any vegetable oil. Hence, as more corn, and soybean were turned into biodiesel, bringing up the price of other vegetable oils, the US started importing large quantities of palm oil for use in food… as it is the cheapest.

There is a much better way to green transport: electric locomotion. Electric cars are already cheaper to run than cars powered by fossil fuels, produce hardly any air pollution and can be powered by solar or wind energy…. Solar and wind are now the cheapest UNSUBSIDIZED energy sources…

Bioenergy is an inefficient form of solar energy. Plants capture only a fraction of one percent of solar energy compared with 16 per cent for current solar panels. Solar panels as used on satellites have nearly 50% efficiency (OK, they are expensive)… and a combination of (the new) Perovskites and Silicon let us hope to get soon such efficiency on the ground, in cheap solar cells.

The challenge now is to persuade our corrupt government officials that they have run out of excuses to prop up the fossil and biofuel industry, which pays them under the table.

Ending subsidies for all food-based fuels and other “biofuels” would be a win for forests, climate action, taxpayers – and orangutans. And also for the air. Recently I flew (for family reasons) over the French Alps, Piedmont, Switzerland, Germany. The air above the Alps was clear, be they French or Swiss, one could see hundreds of kilometers in full detail. Piedmont was polluted significantly (all Italian industry is there, and there are high mountains, north, west and south). The pollution over Germany was astounding. A brown cloud obscured all beyond ten miles. Thank Angela Merkel lignite burning policy for that.

Ah the Germans… Do they ever learn? Friedrich Nietzsche: …”we are too open-minded, too malicious, too spoiled, also too well-informed, too “traveled”: we far prefer to live on mountains, apart, “untimely,” in past or future centuries, merely in order to keep ourselves from experiencing the silent rage to which we know we should be condemned as eyewitnesses of politics that are desolating the German spirit by making it vain and that is, moreover, petty politics.”

PM Angela Merkler wanted to prove she was ecologically correct by wasting nuclear power: nevermind that coal has killed thousands of Germans, a year, for generations, although nuclear power has not killed even one German. That’s PC for you. Just as she wanted to prove she was no racist by accepting a million Muslim refugees, all of a sudden (voters have sobered her up)…. (Just ask the French, who accepted 30,000 Chechen Muslim refugees, supposedly pursued for their religion by Putin, and now some of the youth so accepted kill French citizens in the name of Allah, because Allah, a friend of theirs, said so, or so say the famous epileptic analphabet caravan raider, and serial rapist… )

The Germans wasted much of Europe in the 1914-1945 period. They just didn’t think too well about they were doing, the human and cosmic angles were lagging… What of the Japs? Same idea, in the same period: follow orders, don’t think too much. So of this mood, all to present in Germany and Japan, the old Axis mood, still lingers all too much… All this CO2 emitted kills, and will kill much more, especially indirectly…

So the Tokyo Power company locates a nuclear power plant along the shore, at sea level, in an area notorious for super giant tsunamis, with warning signs 12 centuries old… And the reactors survive a nine Richter quake, but then get hit with a 34 meters wave. Oops, forgot backup power, some of the reactors melt down, explode, people nearly die, region evacuated. What to do? Make a bad situation worse: Japan has decided to replace nuclear power (bad, if badly done), by coal power (worse). Actually Japanese accountants have already computed that the few coal plants added already will kill the equivalent of 60,000 full human lives, from their pollution…

As I said, above, except in very high latitudes, the energy problem is solved: just use PhotoVoltaics…

Morality means sustainability, and it’s all very practical… but we will have to change our political system to direct democracy, if we want to remove the corruption element found in our present politics. The case of biofuels, burning food for greed, is a case in point.

Patrice Ayme

Climate Catastrophe, February 2018

February 14, 2018

A climate catastrophe is enfolding out there. Potentially the biggest in 65 million years, or more. This being civilization, chances are that, as the catastrophe unfolds, our rotten leaders, or one of them at least, and it could be just the plump Kim or his Swiss educated, stern, haughty, smirking, black dressed, even younger sister, decides to distract us all, with a nice thermonuclear showdown.

(For rotten contemplate, Israeli PM Netanyahu, which Israeli police wants arrested, or South Africa’s Jacob Zuma: both are the rule, among the world’s great leaders. What makes them exceptional is that institutions, in Israel or South Africa, are after them. In most places, institutions are already too rotten themselves, to do this… Every two weeks, Obama went to visit his multibillionaire masters in the Silicon Valley tech monopolies; I know Californians who were in love with the sounds of his helicopter armada, every two weeks, as he came to receive the latest payments. And they still are in love. Never mind that this killed democracy and innovation…)

To document these titanic climate happenings while they occur, I will regularly post a “Climate Catastrophe” series, from brand new “moulins” in the supposedly indestructible East Antarctic ice shield (now melting, to the specialists’ unfathomable surprise) to Black Beetle devouring high altitude and high latitude trees…

Capetown is supposed to run out of water in April: an exceptional drought festers. It will the first large (4 million) urban area to run out of water. And NOT the last: one expects the dry belts to move up towards the poles. North of southern South Africa, there is Namibia, and it’s very dry…

The climate is getting disorganized, worldwide, as expected. In California, the drought is not just back, it never left (last year it flooded in California, right. However, flooding in some desert areas is chronic). Snow levels are now the lowest. Ever. The Sierra forest, 10,000 years old, is dying. The situation in California is hyper catastrophic, but nobody is talking. Officially the drought is over… but has never been worse!

Mount Cook, New Zealand. It is hard to believe, but we are on track to have all this ice disappear. That aesthetic blow will accompany an unconceived biological disaster, planet wide, which will disrupt all of civilization, in all ways. Mt Cook lost 50 meters in altitude, in a recent quake…

And our politicians, our self-declared leaders, are doing… nothing. Nothing much, besides moving their mouth parts. It’s not just Trump. Trump is a red herring, a scarecrow people brandish to excuse themselves from thinking, and absolve themselves, by calling him the cause of everything. In reality, the US Federal tax on gasoline is unchanged since 1993, and that has nothing to do with Trump. Obama could have brought the tax up, when he had a supermajority. But he was too busy getting guidance from big money. (Most plutocrats are gas-guzzlers, watch their private jets, or then think, like Trump, that, the more energy, the better…)

The indifference to massive taxes on fossil fuels in the USA has everything to do with the US population feeling little need to do something serious about the climate catastrophe, because it sees no catastrophe looming. Among young people (the ones with the rage to protest) the mental cancer of the so-called “social networks”, with their “likes”, “bots”, millions of “friends”, “trendings”, and veracity from (engineered) popularity or “links” have become the reference for thinking. That thought is organized by plutocrats, for plutocrats.

In England a so-called “judge” (an excellent phrase and concept of Trump, by the way) decided to keep Wikileaks’ Julian Assange under embassy arrest. He has been there for more than 5 years. The corrupt so-called “judge”, in a grandiloquent opinion, declared that Assange seemed to view himself above the law (Assange had good reason to fear deportation to the USA). Originally, Assange had been charged for raping a CIA agent (!) Sounds unbelievable, but I didn’t make it up. To celebrate that, she organized a party for him, two days later, complete with glowing tweets. But then the masters in Washington called, and everybody knew that Obama and his goons would do anything to arrest Assange (Clinton just called him a traitor and a Russian agent; Assange is not US, and Main Stream Media have authenticated many of his stories; Washington was furious, because Wikileaks revealed war crimes by the USA which were left unprosecuted… although those denounced the cover-up, were prosecuted with great ferocity).

Even worse, not content with uncovering US war crimes, Assange endangered cash cows of the so-called “democratic” party, and its pretend-opponents, such as Google.

The “rape” charges against Ms CIA agent were dropped by Sweden in May 2017. But the charge that Assange brutalized Washington and its agents (Google, etc.) is alive and well. Average US citizen don’t give a hoot: all too many are aware that one is best unaware that the USA has been doing so well from plundering, not just the nature of the biosphere, and nature itself, but also human nature.

All signals are red: global sea ice (both poles combined) is at the lowest ever, by a significant margin, sea level rise is accelerating, forests are dying, so are parts of the ocean. Plutocrats have been buying property in New Zealand, just in case. However, to give a slightly different perspective, from Ian Miller blog (Ian is a senior physical chemist):

Summer Storms, February 7, 2018:

New Zealand has just had some more bad weather. Not an outstanding statement, but it does add a little more to the sort of effects that climate change is bringing to us. We have had quite a warm summer. Certainly not as hot as Australia, but where I live we have had many days hotter than what before were outstandingly hot days. On many days, we had temperatures about ten degrees Centigrade above the January average. Apart from one day of rain shortly after Christmas, we had almost no rain from October and the country was in a severe drought. You may say, well, a lot of countries have months without rain – so what? The so what is that October and November are usually the rather wet months here.

Then a week ago we got a storm. It was supposed to be “a depression that was the remains of a tropical cyclone” but with wind speeds of 86 knots reported, by my count that is still a tropical cyclone, except it is no longer in the tropics. (It just limps in to a category 2 hurricane.) Why did it not die down? Probably because the surface waters of the Tasman are at record high temperatures, and seven degrees Centigrade above average in places, and warm sea waters feed these systems with extra energy and water.

Where I am, we were lucky because the system more or less passed us by. The highest wind speed here was 76 knots, but that is still more than a breeze. We also missed most of the rain. Yes, we did get rain, but nowhere near as much as South Westland, where 0.4 meters of rain falling in a day was not uncommon.

The rain did some good. A couple of scrub fires broke out in Otago, and it looked like they would be extremely difficult to contain, thanks to the drought. The best the fire service could do would be like spitting at it compared with what the cyclone brought to bear.

However, the main effect was to be a great inconvenience, especially to Westland. Westland is largely a very thin strip of flat land, or no flat land, running through very tortuous mountain country. If you have nothing better to do, go to Google Earth and zoom in on the town of Granity (41o37’47″S; 171o51’13″E). What you will see is the hill, which goes up very steeply to over 300 meters before rising more “gently to the town of Millerton at about 700 meters. Between the road and the sea is one layer of houses, and the storm was washing up into their back doors.

The hills and mountains are very young, which means they have very little erosion, whole a lot of the rock is relatively soft sedimentary rock. There are some granitic extrusions, and these merely provide another reason for the rest to be even more tortuous. The whole area is also torn apart, and constructed, from continuing earthquakes. Finally, there is fairly heavy subtropical rain forest, parts getting over ten meters of rain a year. The area is quite spectacular, and popular with tourists, and it is very well worthwhile driving through it. Once you could see glaciers flowing through rain forest; now, unfortunately, the glaciers have retreated thanks to global warming and they only flow down mountainsides but they are still worth seeing.

The net result of all this is that when this cyclone struck, the only road going north-south and was west of the mountains got closed thanks to slips (one was a hundred meters wide of fallen rock from a hill) and trees knocked over by the wind. Being stuck there would be an experience, especially since the place is basically unpopulated. If you want to see the wild, you tend to be short of facilities. Some were quite upset about this, but my question to them was, this cyclone was predicted for about three days in advance. If you really could not put up with it, why go there? One grump was recorded as saying, “This sort of thing would not happen in . . . ” (I left out the country – this person did not define them.) Well, no, it would not. They don’t get tropical cyclones, hurricanes typhoons, or whatever you want to call them, and they don’t have this difficult terrain. One way or another, we have to put up with weather.

However, the real point of this is to note there is still glacial progress being made to do anything sensible to hold global warming. There is a lot of talk, but most of it is of the sort, “We have to do . . . by the next fifty years.” No, we have to start a more determined effort now.

***

Another force 4 hurricane just struck Tonga and is now heading towards New Zealand. Yes, extra-tropical tropical cyclones were predicted, as a consequence of global warming, and have become facts (one hit Portugal last Fall; its enormous winds fed hundreds of fire storms before the rains hit). See the following essay, from 2008, to understand why the rise of temperature is just part of the problem:

Applying Equipartition Of Energy To Climate Change PREDICTS WILD WEATHER

“We” have to start a more determined effort? I agree. We are running out of time. As I said, raising fossil fuel taxes should be done immediately. And it’s not enough. And who is “we”? There is no “we” here! Our masters like it as it is, complete with a feeling of doom and gloom, alleviated by industrial escapism… The French president just declared that “counter-power” should not rise to the power of putting our great leadership, that great power, in difficulty, worldwide (or words to that effect). All our present leadership, worldwide, have not realized they are a new feudalism.

To get out of the hellish spiral we are in, a massive, total war effort in research and development should be engaged. Especially with thermonuclear fusion. However, the exact opposite has happened: the effort on ITER, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, has been slowed down by ten (10) years… to save money (or, more exactly, how much it cost per year). Yet, at this point, it’s highly likely to work (especially in reactors larger than ITER)… modulo specific progress on an arsenal of attainable technologies. Thermonuclear fusion would replace ALL fossil fuels…

And the alternative is world war and one more return to the traditional fare of cannibalism (forget vegetarianism, when land is at a premium!)

You have been warned. It may be time to reconsider how people in general, and in particular the intellectuals, or experts, advising the great leaders, think! Hint: they are more biased than they think, and the more official the thinker, the more biased!

Patrice Aymé

Climate Catastrophe: California Forests Dying. Giant Fires Coming In 2018

January 10, 2018

Power corrupts, and apocalyptic power corrupts apocalyptically.

The Sierra Nevada forests are dying. The deterioration in a few weeks has been spectacular.  I did twice the same long-range high altitude run in 6 weeks, and I was astounded by the deterioration, during those six weeks. I would have expected such a deterioration in 6 years, and would have called it fast. A related, but greater worry occurred when I discovered hundreds of bear tracks in the snow at 9,000 feet. In the middle of winter, bears, up high in the mountains, are supposed to sleep. It looked instead as if they were looking for dinner: ain’t cold enough! And dinner there is! Besides yours truly, I saw deer happily grazing at 8,000 feet. In January. A picture is worth a long discourse:

December 31, 2017. Picture From Tahoe Rim Trail At 8,200 feet, looking down 300 meters (1000′) lower, towards the south. The forest should be green, if not covered with snow. Instead thousands of the conifers below are grey, or rust color. All dead, or dying. Many of these trees are centuries old, and are uniquely adapted to high altitude. Next summer, after the first lightning strike accompanied by a gusty wind, they will all burn. Notice the spectacular absence of snow, in the heart of winter. Thirty years ago, you would have had ten feet of snow there. For eight months.

Many naive locals think the trees are dying from drought. Actually they are dying from an invasion of Bark Beetles. Up to a few years ago, the Bark Beetles were killed by hard freeze. Now, because of the global warming, the hard freeze happens only at higher elevation. A rough computation says that one loses 7 degrees Centigrade per 1,000 meters gain. As the Sierra has arguably warmed up by 3 degrees Centigrade, that would correspond to an altitude gain for the Bark Beetles of 500 meters, as observed. Lower elevation trees, such as giant Ponderosa pines, are genetically adapted to the Bark Beetles.

In some places, woodpeckers thrive, as they find the Bark Beetles delicious. However, the trees are otherwise unexploitable. The trees rot, and, once down, one can kick right through them. This also makes the trunks soft and younger trees bend, while still alive. Example: t

Picture at 7,000 feet (2,150 meters). High altitude conifers, beautiful white firs, behind with the rust color should be green. The tree in front had its trunk so weakened by the beetles, it is bent. This is very frequent with younger trees..

White firs are now dying in large numbers. The primordial cause for the fir mortality is the fir engraver (Scolytus ventralis), a small black bark beetle that flies to a tree (often in high numbers), bores an entrance hole, excavates an egg gallery, and lays up to 300 eggs. The larvae feed on the cambium layer underneath the bark, creating a maze of small galleries. If the adult gallery or the larvae galleries girdle the tree, the flow of water and nutrients is blocked – killing the tree. The trees only defense is gluing the offenders in sap, but they need to have plenty of water to produce sap. Not the case during this millennial drought.

Notice the tini tiny patch of snow, just above the word “snow”. A few years ago, this would be covered with snow for 6 months each winter. (It is taken in an ex (?) cross-country ski area, Tahoe X country… X country areas have not opened in Tahoe this year, nor will they. All the dead or dying trees in this picture were healthy looking, two years ago.

When people think of “climate change”, they repeat that soporific, propaganda laden semantics, “climate change”. A soothing incantation. Like, excuse me, I will change now. This is mistaken: climate change will show up, and already shows up as “galloping glaciers” (yes! Albeit counterintuitive), hundreds of millions of dead trees, enormous fires of a style generally associated to an asteroid impact, surging seas, giant storms, lethal massive floods, droughts unheard of, in the last three million years. Oh, yes, because the climate may reverse 50 million years in a few decades. Time travel is upon us.

It’s not “climate change”. It’s climate catastrophe.

Patrice Aymé

P/S: Most of the world’s mountain, temperate and Arctic forests are threatened by a similar catastrophe. As they burn, the CO2 greenhouse will evolve into a CO2 greenhouse chain reaction. I am against geoengineering, as a misplaced hope. However, I am not against bioengineering. Powerful biological weapons should be brought to bear upon the devouring insects. One may be capable of slowing them down through sterilization programs. And then there is the possibility of using gene drives.

Why the rush? because it’s urgent! At this rate, California, or Pacific Northwest forests may disappear in five years. Applications of gene drive include preventing the spread of insects that carry pathogens (in particular, mosquitoes that transmit malaria, dengue, and zika pathogens), controlling invasive species… The technique can be used for adding, disrupting, or modifying genes, in such a way as to cause a crash in the population of a disease vector by reducing its reproductive capacity. The San Francisco Bay Area, a great bio research center, endowed with self-declared “philanthropists”, should re-orient itself as a tree-huggers capital… Considering the disaster, one can take some risks (with a well-chosen method, it’s not clear there is any, differently from the hare brained geoengineering proposals…)

 

 

Increasing Greenhouse Means Increasing Floods, Droughts

August 28, 2017

Among other dynamic activities… As I long predicted, a decade ago, on theoretical grounds, namely the Equipartition of Energy theorem.

Part of Texas was struck by a spectacular hurricane and tropical storm, Harvey, which dumped, and is dumping, an unheard of quantity of rain. That was to be expected, it’s a long foreseen effect of the increasing greenhouse. It is even suspected that, hundreds of millions of years ago, when a greater greenhouse than now ruled, and there was just one major supercontinent, enormous weather systems, of a power unimaginable today, occasionally flooded the otherwise dry interior.

The US President Trump used to complain about CO2, when he was funding and  supporting the so-called “Democrats”, less than ten years ago. To be elected, he engaged in a masquerade denying the shattering potential of a brutal augmentation of the greenhouse. Now he is rising to the occasion, a modern Noah, engineer of his own destiny.

Flood in the Atacama Desert, Northern Chili in 2012. Atacama is the world’s driest desert.

Increasing greenhouse means increasing floods, and not just in the Atacama… Just as it means increasing droughts. The fundamental reason is the increasing temperature: warmer air carries more water molecules. Basically temperature is agitation, and greater agitation keeps more molecules aloft.

Similarly, greater temperatures means greater agitation of water molecules of water in the soil, which then escapes, thus dryer soil, ultimately.

Contradictory effect can emerge, from the same causes. An example: increased floods and droughts, from the same increasing greenhouse.

This has long been well-known in a great desert such as the Sahara.

It’s instructive that a state such as Texas, which produced so much fossil fuels over the last century was struck hard. But so will be the USA, overall: many of the great US cities are threatened by flooding, as sea level will rise.

Somebody just told me: it won’t be tomorrow, that the greenhouse bites. But, in Houston, tomorrow is today, as the city turns into a lake. What people may not understand that much of the greenhouse warming is spent on melting the poles. In particular, the giant frozen expenses of the north. Once all those will be melted, temperatures and storms will shoot up. Why? Because, first, melting ice requires a huge amount of energy. Once the ice is melted, all the heat will go towards other effects. Secondly, the ice creates a strong albedo, the reflectivity of the Earth. Once that’s gone, the soil and water expanses will be capable of much greater warming, as the Sun’s energy will dive deep down inside…  

Patrice Ayme’

Antarctica Breaks Apart, In The Middle Of Winter!

July 13, 2017

It’s not just what, where, but when. In the depth of winter. Even in the depth of winter, Antarctica breaks apart. Larsen C Iceshelf, a vast 5800-square-kilometre iceberg more than a quarter the size of Wales, weighing more than a trillion tonnes, has now calved. It was detected by Nasa’s Aqua MODIS satellite instrument.

The calving reduces the size of the Larsen C Ice Shelf by around 12 per cent and will change the landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula forever.  

As the iceshelves disintegrate, the feeding glaciers, overland, accelerate and the sea warms further. The Larsen C break forked like a snake tongue, 2 months before breaking. (Meaning more is coming soon!)

Iceshelves are part of Antarctica’s glaciers. They are glaciers which have separated from the rockbed, and start  floating on the sea. Some are 800 kilometers (500 miles) wide, and 800 meters (half a mile) thick.

Just a bit of math: an iceshelf 1000 kms wide extending 1000 kms in the sea, and a kilometer thick weights: 10^6 10^6 10^3 = 10^15 tons, that is one thousand trillion tons. It’s obvious that such an object in the way, especially when anchored here and there to rocky islands, is hard to move. So the iceshelves slow down the interior glaciers of Antarctica, force them to bunch up (thus to receive more snow).

Thus 12% of the Larsen C iceshelf in Antarctica just broke this week. In the middle of Antarctica’s winter. The whole  Larsen C, three times as large as Wales, could well follow…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3nZbIRi7WM

To this a denying insect responded: A. D.. Jordan ridiculously screeched on the Internet: “Perhaps you should complete your story on the Larson [sic] C Ice Shelf story. Scientists who study such things say it will take many years of study to determine if this event was due to what you assert. Fear mongering based on no factual information has been the biggest black eye the Man Made Climate Change folks have suffered.”

When a plane, and, a fortiori, a planet, crashes, one does not wait for “Scientists”, whatever a “scientist” is supposed to be, years from now to deliver a verdict (Darwin, certainly a scientist, was no official “scientist”: he had no serious degree, let alone a “scientist” job… My grandfather, who drew the geological maps of Algeria, had no official geology degree, his “real” job was something else… The point is that good science is what good scientists do, and a tool they use is having a good hunch, or skill; not being corrupt helps.).

The Larsen A and B iceshelves previously disintegrated in a similar fashion. By chance, there an automated weather station in the area of the Larsen B iceshelf when it collapsed into a zillion tiny bergs (all of which Zuck sucks). The disintegration happened in the polar night too. For four days, incredibly warm and powerful foehn wind blew at temperatures exceeding 50 Fahrenheit (and actually 15 Centigrades!)

If all iceshelves of the Antarctic Peninsula disintegrated, we would not need “scientists” to tell us what is going on. Many scientists are on the take: Google will pay “scientists” up to 400,000 dollars to sing the right tune. This methodology, of paying “scientists” was long practiced by the drug industry (of tobacco leaves).

The 180-kilometer-long crack threatening one of Antarctica’s largest ice shelves had branched out, before the break. Radar mapping shows that a second crack has split off from the main rupture like a snake’s forked tongue, the Antarctic Project MIDAS reported May 1. That second branch, which stretches around 15 kilometers, didn’t exist on radar maps taken six days earlier, the scientists say.

Denying the facts of anthropomorphic climate change is dishonest, or ignorant, or both. The map of Antarctica will have to be redrawn, smaller, that’s a fact. The fact that the iceshelf broke in the Antarctic winter is itself telling: that means there is warming even when there is no sun (there can be foehn in the dark, and also the warm circumpolar current is undermining the ice from below; this was long hypothesized by your truly, and it’s increasing becoming a demonstrated fact: warmer water is denser.).

West Antarctica is mostly a huge iceshelf and giant icesheet grounded on rock most of which is way below sea level, as deep as the Grand Canyon (much fun is to be had when warm ocean water sneaks below). It’s also one of the fastest warming region on Earth (more than twice the global rate, that is in excess of 2.5 C, where the average is 1.2 C…) Soon the gigantic icesheet which constitutes most of West Antarctica will turn into an iceshelf, and the denial insects will migrate to higher land from flooded Florida. 

Iceshelves are goners, admire while they last…

In the last ten years, the speed of sea rise, worldwide, has augmented by 50%. It’s already clear that much of Florida will go below the waves (no dam can save it, as the limestone there is porous), very soon. The debate, increasing, is whether we will be able to limit sea level rise in the next few centuries, to 20 meters.

More can be done, like repelling the Donald Trumps at the heart of Anglo-Saxon imperialists. By “Anglo-Saxon imperialists” I don’t mean the British The British, as the good Europeans they are, emit only b. Great Britain has reduced its CO2 emissions by 40% since 1990!

High CO2 emissions have, arguably, to do with the nastiness of a country: Luxembourg, an obnoxious tax haven hidden in plain view inside the European Union, recently emitted 21.4 tons of CO2 per person per year (Luxembourg does not have the excuse of high fossil fuels production, as Qatar, Emirates, Trinidad & Tobago have).

The CO2 emissions, per capita, per year of the EU 28 (European Union including rogue Britain) were less than seven (7) tons in 2015 (and decreasing strongly). By the way, the added value of manufacturing in the EU 28 was on a par with China, and 30% larger than that of the USA. (So the USA can’t retreat behind a cloud of smoky justification that America is Great Again, and has been emitting a lot…)

French CO2 emissions per capita in 2015 were only 5.1 ton (France has the greatest number of nuclear reactors functioning… in the world, even more than the USA).

Australia crows that it didn’t have a recession in 20 years. That’s true, but it’s also true that Australia is a massive producer and exporter of CO2 generating substances. The CO2 emissions per head in Australia are 18.6 tons, mostly from coal used in power generation. Natural gas is frantically exported to other countries, which made the city of Adelaide recently go without electricity, when the gas ran out…  

Canada, with its boyish heir to the throne, Trudeau, is paying lip service to climate change, all cosmetic: in spite of giant hydropower in some states, for example Quebec, the country is a miserable 15.5 tons per capita per year in CO2 emissions. Mostly because Canada selfishly, not to say dementedly, insists to produce and export the world’s most polluting fuel, tar sands. I guess, when you have killed nearly all the Indians and French-Indian metis, you may as well try to kill the rest of the planet too. Good things have come out of these massacres… (I feel, that, as Putin himself had the impudent honesty of recognizing, higher-ups in Canada believe that global warming is a good thing. Some of Trump’s advisers have expressed the same feelings, long hidden at the top of America…)

A few months ago, during the Austral summer, a French expedition pushed towards the Totten glacier, not far from the Dumont Durville station. They dived along the massive cliff of the iceshelf.

The French have the only autonomous scaphander tech to dive in subfreezing waters: the equipment weights hundreds of pounds and is figured as cover story in National Geographic, July 2017. The entire swimsuit has several layers, one of them being electrically heated… The report is fascinating:

“Deepest Dive Ever Under Antarctica Reveals a Shockingly Vibrant World. 
Our special report offers a rare look at life beneath the frozen continent—where penguins, seals, and exotic creatures thrive.
Tendrils of ice-covered brine, or brinicles, leak from sea ice near East Antarctica’s Dumont d’Urville Station. Ephemeral and seldom seen, they form when trapped, supercooled brine escapes from the ice and freezes less salty seawater…”

Notice the hanging tentacles of ice…

The French scientists dived next to a towering cliff, and expected the ice to go deep, hundreds of meters deep. Instead, it mysteriously stopped, sort of right away. The scientists were floored by this discovery. In my humble opinion, it seems the ice is just hanging there from a cantilever effect. That would explain why the iceshelves so readily disintegrate… It also mean the ice is melted from below by the warm circumpolar current, irresistibly gnawing, preparing to spring a nonlinear trap, onto a humanity in denial…

Global warming is a fact, not just a theory! Yet, it gives us the occasion of drawing conclusions about national moods…

Patrice Ayme’