Posts Tagged ‘Greenhouse’

Runaway Antarctica

April 1, 2016

I have written for years that a runaway Antarctica was certain, with half the icy continent melting rather spectacularly on an horizon of two centuries at most, and probably much less than that. This rested on the fact that half of Antarctica rests on nothing but bedrock at the bottom of the sea. At the bottom of what should naturally be the sea, in the present circumstances of significant greenhouse gas concentrations.

Visualize this: until sometimes in the Nineteenth Century, GreenHouse Gas (GHG) concentration was 280 ppm (280 parts per million), including the man-made sort. Now we are close to 500 ppm, using a variety of exotic gases we produce industrially, among them, CO2. In CO2 alone we are at:  Week beginning on March 20, 2016: 405.62 ppm. Weekly value from 1 year ago: 401.43 ppm. Weekly value from 10 years ago: 382.76 ppm. So the CO2 alone is augmenting at a bit more than 1% a year. Thus we will be at an equivalent of 550 ppm in ten years (including the full panoply of all the other man-made greenhouse gases, not just CO2). There is evidence that, with just 400 ppm, disaster is guaranteed.

Now visualize this:

How Antarctica would appear if its ice melted: it’s half under the sea.

How Antarctica would appear if its ice melted: it’s half under the sea.

Why so watery? Because the enormous glaciers, up to nearly 5,000 meter thick, press down on the continent with their enormous weight. Since the end of the last glaciation, 10,000 years ago, Scandinavia has been rising, and is still rising (I long used a picture with a similar information about Antarctica’s bedrock.)

A paper published on line in Nature on March 30, 2016, that is, two days ago, “Contribution of Antarctica to past and future sea-level rise” opines that:

Polar temperatures over the last several million years have, at times, been slightly warmer than today, yet global mean sea level has been 6–9 metres higher as recently as the Last Interglacial (130,000 to 115,000 years ago) and possibly higher during the Pliocene epoch (about three million years ago). In both cases the Antarctic ice sheet has been implicated as the primary contributor, hinting at its future vulnerability. Here we use a model coupling ice sheet and climate dynamics—including previously underappreciated processes linking atmospheric warming with hydrofracturing of buttressing ice shelves and structural collapse of marine-terminating ice cliffs—that is calibrated against Pliocene and Last Interglacial sea-level estimates and applied to future greenhouse gas emission scenarios. Antarctica has the potential to contribute more than a metre of sea-level rise by 2100 and more than 15 metres by 2500, if emissions continue unabated. In this case atmospheric warming will soon become the dominant driver of ice loss, but prolonged ocean warming will delay its recovery for thousands of years.

Notice that the scenario evoked in the last sentence is different from my  very old scenario, which is similar to the one advanced in November 2015 by the famous Hansen and Al. (I raised the alarm before Hansen, at least seven years ago). In my scenario, and Hansen’s the ice sheets melt from below, due to warm sea water intrusion.

The West Antarctic Ice Sheet is larger than Mexico.

Here is a taste of the paper (I have a Nature subscription):

“Reconstructions of the global mean sea level (GMSL) during past warm climate intervals including the Pliocene (about three million years ago)1 and late Pleistocene interglacials2, 3, 4, 5 imply that the Antarctic ice sheet has considerable sensitivity. Pliocene atmospheric CO2 concentrations were comparable to today’s (~400 parts per million by volume, p.p.m.v.)6, but some sea-level reconstructions are 10–30 m higher1, 7. In addition to the loss of the Greenland Ice Sheet and the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS)2, these high sea levels require the partial retreat of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS), which is further supported by sedimentary evidence from the Antarctic margin8. During the more recent Last Interglacial (LIG, 130,000 to 115,000 years ago), GMSL was 6–9.3 m higher than it is today2, 3, 4, at a time when atmospheric CO2 concentrations were below 280 p.p.m.v. (ref. 9) and global mean temperatures were only about 0–2 °C warmer10. This requires a substantial sea-level contribution from Antarctica of 3.6–7.4 m in addition to an estimated 1.5–2 m from Greenland11, 12 and around 0.4 m from ocean steric effects10.”

So notice: when CO2 ppm per volume was at 280 130,000 to 115,000 years ago, sea level was up to ten meter higher than now. And now we are at 500 ppmv…

And notice again: When CO2 ppmv was at 400, sea level was up to 30 meters (100 feet) higher than today. And now we are at 500 ppm, and, in a blink, in ten years, at 550 ppm.

Here is another example from the paper. I said all of this before, but to have scientists paid to do research in this area write it black on white in the world’s most prestigious scientific magazine, will no doubt endow me with greater, and much desired, gravitas. So let me indulge, not so much for my greater glory, but because it should help taking what I have long said more seriously.

“Much of the WAIS sits on bedrock hundreds to thousands of metres below sea level (Fig. 1a)13. Today, extensive floating ice shelves in the Ross and Weddell Seas, and smaller ice shelves and ice tongues in the Amundsen and Bellingshausen seas (Fig. 1b) provide buttressing that impedes the seaward flow of ice and stabilizes marine grounding zones (Fig. 2a). Despite their thickness (typically about 1 km near the grounding line to a few hundred metres at the calving front), a warming ocean has the potential to quickly erode ice shelves from below, at rates exceeding 10 m yr−1 °C−1 (ref. 14). Ice-shelf thinning and reduced backstress enhance seaward ice flow, grounding-zone thinning, and retreat (Fig. 2b). Because the flux of ice across the grounding line increases strongly as a function of its thickness15, initial retreat onto a reverse-sloping bed (where the bed deepens and the ice thickens upstream) can trigger a runaway Marine Ice Sheet Instability (MISI; Fig. 2c)15, 16, 17. Many WAIS grounding zones sit precariously on the edge of such reverse-sloped beds, but the EAIS also contains deep subglacial basins with reverse-sloping, marine-terminating outlet troughs up to 1,500 m deep (Fig. 1). The ice above floatation in these East Antarctic basins is much thicker than in West Antarctica, with the potential to raise GMSL by around 20 m if the ice in those basins is lost13. Importantly, previous ice-sheet simulations accounting for migrating grounding lines and MISI dynamics have shown the potential for repeated WAIS retreats and readvances over the past few million years18, but could only account for GMSL rises of about 1 m during the LIG and 7 m in the warm Pliocene, which are substantially smaller than geological estimates.”

I said it before. Including the details. So the evidence was clear, and out there. The optimism (it will take 5 centuries for 50 feet of sea level rise) is not supported by evidence. Actually collapsing channels coming from inverted rivers running up on the bellies of ice sheets are now obvious on satellite pictures and collapse of major ice shelves is going to be a matter of years, not centuries.

But science is made by tribes and these tribes honor the gods (of plutocracy) who finance them, and their whims. So they don’t want to make their sponsors feel bad. So they say unsupported, optimistic stuff, contradicted by a first order analysis.

Science is good, metascience, better. Metascience includes the sociological reasons which explain why some scientists will take some “facts” for obvious (although, coming from another sociology, they are not).

Deep in the Nature paper, in the quote above, or in four drawings and graphs of future sea level rise, one can find projections according to what various models “predict”… 130,000 years ago (!) The “Old Physics” model predicts one meter rise of the sea (this is the official UN maximal prediction for 2100). The new model, again starting with the present conditions, predict more than a six meter rise (!) This is a case of metascience playing with sea level.

This way, the authors of the paper will be able to say, one day: we told you so. While at the same time not irritating their sponsors now (because to understand what they are really saying takes quite a while, and has to be understood as tongue in cheek, when they pretend to apply the analysis to 130,000 years ago… What they really mean is six meters now, not just one meter… Bye bye Wall Street. Punished by its own instruments…)

The question is not whether we will be able to avoid a twenty meter sea level rise: that’s, unbelievably, a given (barring unforeseeable, yet imaginable technological advances to extract quickly a lot of CO2 from the atmosphere). The question is whether we will avoid a 60 meter rise.

Patrice Ayme’

Hurricane Vetoes Sandbagged USA

October 31, 2012

Quantum Style Causation Resplendiscent.

The USA is being sandbagged by its billionaires, in particular its fossil fuel energy billionaires [Like those heirs known as the Koch brothers; See Note]. “Sandy” is the second hurricane to strike the North East USA in a year (after Irene last year). And it is the first hurricane to mix with a North-Easter:

Do Whatever To The Planet, The Planet Will Do Whatever To You

Sandy, a crossfire hurricane!

The USA’s sabotage of the Kyoto Protocol, the USA’s fossil fuel policy, and its encouragement of CO2 pollution by proxy in China are amounting to a deliberate disruption of the biosphere. A refined analysis (not done in this essay) shows that the USA has a Machiavellian interest to proceed that way (as does, say, Russia, or Canada). So it does make sense. Satanic sense. Plutocratic sense.

A hurricane is basically a Carnot engine with the warm ocean for its energy reservoir, and the stratosphere as its cold sink.

A strip of ocean 800 kilometers wide, & 3 degrees C (6F) above normal along the USA eastern seaboard was a direct enabler of hurricane Sandy. These days, 20 degree Celsius waters off the eastern seaboard passes for normal, and an already formed hurricane can survive with such temps. Sandy gained strength, though, because the temps were higher than that.

But not to worry: hundreds of millions of citizens of the USA will be told by their wealthy, much admired masters, that one cannot establish a direct causal relationship between the rise of CO2 and other industrial greenhouse gases and the big bad hurricane-northeaster.

Never mind that this rise of warm blanket gases is about 60% since 1750 CE. Indeed we went from 280 ppm of CO2 to 450 ppm of CO2 + CH4 + N20 + an entire zoo of other greenhouse gases, such as CFC-12, ( CFC-12, (CF2Cl2) diChlorodiFluoromethane is more greenhousey, overall, than N20, and is now banned; thanks to a weird low temperature chemistry, it devoured the ozone layer).

And never mind that the world is ruled by impossible-to-determine-with-pin-point-precision causality. Causality where it is the system that causes, and not the one cause, because, ultimately, there are no causes, but for waves. A wave is intrinsically vague (in French, “vague” means “Wave”). The Quantum says processes have no points.

George Lakoff points out in Global Warming Systemically Caused Hurricane Sandy: “Yes, global warming systemically caused Hurricane Sandy — and the Midwest droughts and the fires in Colorado and Texas, as well as other extreme weather disasters around the world. Let’s say it out loud, it was causation, systemic causation.

Systemic causation is familiar.Smoking is a systemic cause of lung cancer. HIV is a systemic cause of AIDS. Working in coal mines is a systemic cause of black lung disease. Driving while drunk is a systemic cause of auto accidents. Sex without contraception is a systemic cause of unwanted pregnancies.

There is a difference between systemic and direct causation.”

One can go further than that. Systemic causation is all over. Quantum Physics itself is systemic. That was its most baffling aspect. Whereas Classical Mechanics used direct causation, Quantum Mechanics did not. Quantum Physics is all about inferring the singular, from the whole.

Nor did the modern statistical mechanics advocated by the Austrian Ludwig Boltzmann. Boltzmann was  immensely successful by average standards (he met with the emperor, and his first lecture in philosophy (!) more than filled up the largest hall at the university of Vienna, standing room only). However, he took badly asinine criticism of Mach and others, and committed suicide in 1906, just after Planck had published that postulating that energy was only sent by packets (“quanta”) provided with a process explaining the observed blackbody radiation, and the non occurrence of the “ultra violet catastrophe“.

Notice that Planck introduced the “Quanta of Light” (Lichtquanta”) as an unknown mechanism. The greatest strides in science are not made by connecting causality what is known to what is known. Great strides come from postulating a meta-phenomenon, something outside of the realm of what is known.The fundamental axiom of the Quantum is that it is processed by the entire system it can access (and partly penetrate, as it’s made of waves).

The fundamental practical axiom of the Quantum is that it is processed by the entire system it can access (and partly penetrate, as it’s made of waves).

Interestingly the greatest minds (including Einstein) had a very hard time to understand this. Even the Copenhagen School (Bohr, Heisenberg, etc.) did not really understand it fully.

If the Quantum itself is systemic, it’s not surprising that nature is systemic.

How is the Quantum systemic? Through the interference of waves. That is the fundamental axiom of Quantum Physics, the De Broglie axiom: any matter is guided by a wave whose frequency is determined by the momentum-energy of said matter (it’s then not too clear what’s matter, and what’s a wave, or a bump in the night, a charming difficulty of particle physics).

Waves can interfere constructively, or destructively, or somewhere in between. So think of systematic causation as such a thing. It makes sense, even in detail.

For example smoking causes cancer after the smoke interferes with inhaling, or not and various waves of diet and genetics and epigenetics, and immunological competency, and what not. So many causal waves give haphazard looking interference patterns. The same thing happens in a hurricane.

Ultimately there are no causes, but for waves interfering: that image applies extremely well to hurricanes. In particular Atlantic hurricanes originate as the spawning of easterly waves.

One thing is sure, though: if Wall Street keeps on going the way it does, it will drown, and not just for 6 hours. As the Rolling Stones have it in “Jumping Jack Flash””

“Watch it!

I was born in a cross-fire hurricane

And I howled at my ma in the driving rain,

But it’s all right now, in fact, it’s a gas!”

The hurricane generated tide, the storm surge, went 4 meters high. Present USA policy will certainly lead to sea level settling permanently dozens of meters above that.

two degree Celsius average temperature rise will certainly insure this. Why? Because at the maximum of the last glaciation, 20,000 years ago, the temperature on the Northern Atlantic (center of the problem) was only 5 degrees Celsius less than now. Yes, five Celsius. So two degrees Celsius over the entire planet can make a giant difference: we would go back, quasi instantaneously, to the situation, 4 million years ago. Most species will not resist to the shock, oxygen production itself may be impacted.

Not realizing this has been a giant mistake of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). (Of course the IPCC acted that way, that is, erroneously, because only then could it get support from the governments! Corruption is a many varied thing…)

The seas will rise dramatically very soon, because the system being set in motion is highly non linear, like an avalanche… or a storm surge (which practically can take the exact appearance of a tsunami!) True, before an avalanche, a tsunami, or a storm surge, or an earthquake, nothing much is going on, and the cicadas are busy singing. It would be wiser to learn swimming.

Will awareness be born in a cross-fire hurricane and ma [Wall Street] being howled at in the driving rain? Or will the gas be all right now, in a spasm of collective hypnosis?

Its leaders make no mystery that they want to make the USA again the number one producer of fossil fuels. Cutting off mountains to produce coal to export to the American factories in China, fracking the wilds all over, buying off farmers with dollars, chasing them out with fumes and foul waters. No problem. That’s why Sandy paid a visit: to remind the two plutocrats running for residents of the White House, that they are nothing.

***

Patrice Ayme

***

Note: sand•bag n. A bag filled with sand and used as ballast, in the formation of protective walls against a flood, or as a weapon.

 v.tr. 1. To put sandbags in or around.

2. To hit with a sandbag.

3. Slang

a. To treat severely or unjustly.

b. To force by crude means; coerce: sandbagged us into cleaning up their mess.

c. To downplay or misrepresent one’s ability in a game or activity in order to deceive (someone).

Aphorisms, April 2011.

April 28, 2011

 

No Greenhouse, The Tornadoes Blew It Up…

The USA is the country which contributes the most to the emission of CO2, either directly, or indirectly, through its factories in China, fed by the power of radioactive, mercury laced coal.

The most deleterious consequence of CO2 emissions is the acidification of the oceans, which are turned into carbonic acid, according to the exact same reaction which makes all carbonated drinks interesting.

Another consequence of the CO2 poisoning of the biosphere is the rise of atrociously bad weather, as the energy pumped into the atmosphere goes up. That makes the atmosphere, well, much more energetic.

North America and Eurasia are the only continents which spread appreciably from the polar regions to the tropics. The continents do not have the thermal inertia and conductivity of the oceans, so air masses passing over continents are not rendered mild, as they are above the oceans. However, Eurasia has gigantic mountain ranges enforcing a continuous separation between the glacial north and the hot south. Those ranges spread from the Pyrenées in the West to unknown ranges in Eastern Siberia. The polar and tropical air masses are thus segregated in Eurasia.

In the USA, mountain ranges are absent in the Middle West, so polar air can battle hot humid air from the gulf of Mexico. As the greenhouse gets worse, the death toll in the heartland of the USA keeps on climbing. More than 300 dead on the outbreak of April 27-28, 2011.

An aggravating  factor is that so many American citizens live in so called “mobile homes”, shacks which were once on wheels, and have no basement (to take shelter in). Only Gypsies live in such conditions in Europe. And even then, not really, that would be unlawful. so the Gypsies mobile homes are still mounted on wheels, ready to take off before the local authorities get really irked.

Thus, the socio-economic organization of the USA is directly  at fault in the tornado massacres: too much of a consumer, debt driven economy (bringing the CO2 up, and the infrastructure down), too much dire poverty (hey, we want the rich to boast of their “philanthropy”, with their 17% tax rates, and no taxes on inheritance).

What is the plutocracy going to do about it? Don’t hold your breath. Probably pay some Stanford or Harvard professors to go around the Main Stream Media, to claim that the rise of energy in the atmosphere has nothing to do with tornadoes.

***

At War With China & Pakistan?

The Main Stream Media report that Pakistan has been urging Afghanistan to switch alliances from the USA led NATO to the holy alliance of the Taliban, Pakistan and China.

I have said all along that such was the real threat. But now it’s a problem, and it’s in the open.

What do these three have in common? Dictatorship. In other words forms of plutocracy which Lenin was not aware of when he was still healthy, and became suspicious of only when he was on his death bed, and (ex bank robber and terrorist) Stalin had taken control of the Soviets.

***

Syria, Or Why Tyrants Love Tyrants:

Some have protested that the leading democracies attack the bloody Libyan dictatorship just for its oil, instead of the blood it spilled over the last 42 years.  

But not so. First Libya does not have that much oil. It should be enough to give all 8 million Libyans a good life, for a little while longer, but Libya is not Saudi Arabia. Libyan peak oil is soon, Saudi peak oil not before another 15 years or so, and at considerably higher rate of extraction.

Politically; the French succeeded to persuade China, Russia and Brazil to not stand in the way at the United nations. The French have important high technology transfer programs with them all (nuclear submarine with Brazil, nuclear power plants with China, aircraft carrier/command ship and high speed trains with Russia). Economic ties (gas, cars, steel) are also playing an important role (even with India). But now Britain, France, and the USA “shall not rest” until Gaddafi is out.

So the muscular regimes or dictatorships, or plutocracies who have no love for their own minorities, and want to keep on cracking down in all serenity, have now understood the danger of democracy spreading. They object strongly to threats against Assad and his dictatorial system, because they know they are next. So this time, whatever the French want, they will try to veto them at the UN on intervening in Syria.

But of course, by the time France decided to intervene  in Libya, Gaddafi had killed thousands already, and Assad is not yet there. Once he gets there, and he will, the West, and democrats in general, will be better able to distinguish friend from foe, and the cleverly righteous from the stupid cowards…

***

 

Creeping Irrationality.

As the Roman empire matured, degenerating ever more, irrationality gained. Ever more. The same process can be observed nowadays. Why so?

Our leaders, the plutocrats, and their sycophants, are uncommon. By definition. Anything having to do with the commons is antagonist to them. Common sense is not just their enemy, but thoroughly alien.

There they go, per the grace of their god. What should they fear? Revolution? There will be no revolution as long as the debate is not about the true problems. So, instead of talking about the corruption of the political system by high finance, and the feeding of high finance with common tax money, or the collusion of international plutocracy with the dictatorships, the propaganda makes it so that the Main Stream Media talks of other things: overstretched Medicare in the USA, overstretched peripheral economies in Europe.

***

Is America Tribal? Or Just Rendered Stupid?

So Obama went on his knees, and produced the “long form” of his birth certificate. Trump, the plutocrat, proclaimed victory.

It is interesting how, 150 years after the Secession War, Americans are still basking in the glory of having a two track citizenship. There are real Americans, those, born in the USA, who can become president. And then there are second rate citizens, who can be deported, and are not good enough for the US presidency.

Let me be clear here: the worst problem is not with republicans. Most of these, in polls, did not believe that Obama was born in the USA. This showed, as usual, that most republicans have a diminished sense of reality. The worst problem was with the left wing media, which did not realize that, by being indignant about where Obama was born, they made the point of the racists, and the partisans of the “us versus them” mentality. Why? Because it OUGHT not to matter where Obama was born. And, moreover, on the letter of the law, it did not matter. So the left argued as an extreme right, while thinking of itself as, well, on the left!

So much for human rights, and equality! It is alarming to see that, 150 years after the Secession War, people still do not seem to understand that violating the neighbor’s rights violate their own, and that the tribalism of geographical origins is nothing to defend.

Let’s notice in passing that Sarkozy, the French president, himself the son of an immigrant from Hungary, suggested that naturalized citizens ought to have fewer judicial rights. But the outraged reaction of French public opinion, and of French democratic institutions, such as the Constitutional Court, made Sarkozy gave up completely on the idea. Having entertained it brought down Sarkozy in the polls, as low as a French president ever got. 

What is particularly grotesque is that millions of American parents have lived overseas, giving birth to American Untermenschen… Even if the families of each parent had been American for generations. And still most Americans and the Main Stream Media consider them to be a lower caste.

Oh, and what does the Constitution of the USA say?

The Constitution reads as follows: “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States

The US Constitution does not say you have to be born INSIDE the USA to be a natural born Citizen.  Actually John Mc Cain was born in Panama. True, the US Supreme Court messed up the “natural born” common law idea by deciding at some point that Native Americans were not Americans. (That was rescinded in 1924.)

Barack Obama’s mother was a citizen, a child of two natural born citizens who always lived in the USA. She lived in the USA for more than seventeen years before his birth. That made Barack Obama a natural born Citizen no matter where he was born. One would think.

Hence, Obama is a natural born citizen from two independent criteria. So why to talk about this non subject with so much enthusiasm for so long? Either the Main Stream Media is stupid, or wants people to be stupid, or both.

***

How democracy Turns Plutocratic:

A democracy is as wealthy as the many who compose it. It is complicated to keep people individually well provided for. That is a seduction of plutocracy: only the wealth of the few matter matters, and they call that an economy. And how does plutocracy happen? By transferring wealth from the many, to the few. The few (oligoi) manage (nomos) the house (eco), and the many are left to live in the outhouse. There we go.

What we have now is more a politically driven phenomenon than an economic one. The fact that the presidents of the USA, for decades, have been immensely wealthy men, and similarly for most of the American Senate and Congress, has a lot to do with it. The extent of that corruption is different from that occurring in normally functioning democracies.

***

Geological Realism Against Unreal Plutocracy:

The entire Pacific plate seems to be on the move. From archeogeological studies, we know that the 9 Richter Cascadia quake entails a San Andrea quake south.

And look at the geography of California: it sure appears as if the land West Of the San Andrea fault, a part of the Pacific Plate compacted by the American plate, periodically falls into the ocean. How nice a tsunami does that make?

Although the San Andrea is classified as a “transform” fault (sideways motion), clearly the entire West Coast is, overall, a massive subduction zone, a giant pile up (a plate is sinking below another, never to be seen again).

Indeed the American plate heads westward ever more, crushing and… subducting the Pacific plate. As proven by the volcanic range which extends from British Columbia to Mexico, including on the way the massive Long Valley Caldera.

So the fact that the Pacific plate one moves north westward does not make the overall subduction go away. Whatever geologists say. But of course, if the geologists assert that no subduction quakes can happen in California, they ingratiate themselves to the powers that be, and their departments will be well funded. Reciprocally, should their insinuations irritate the powers that be, they will be, at best, ignored. At worst, their departments will get de-funded.

Farfetched? Exaggerated? How many tsunamis do you need to be warned? Japan was hit by three massive tsunamis in 30 years prior to 2011. It was known that the Senai plain had been hit in 860 CE by a tsunami, which went four miles inland. How many miles do you need?

Geologist Shishikura and his colleagues told the government. The powerful Trade Ministry dismissed the evidence. Trading first, tsunamis cannot be traded. Nuclear power plants were left by the sea, defended only by sea walls corresponding to recent wave activity. Fukushima had a 5 meter wave, so they put a 5.5 meter wall. When the tsunami came, it was 15 meters.  

Thus, ultimately, expect a Richter 10 quake along the West North American coast someday (after all, there was a 9.6 Richter quake in Chili, in 1960, same plate, similar situation).

But 10 Richter quakes are not something plutocracy has to worry about (its recent, expensive homes being the most capable of resisting quakes). it has only to worry about geologists, engineers and construction types working hard. If they work so hard, who would pay for them? The plutocracy. And that is insufferable. The plutocracy does not need arrogant geologists and engineers with their science, and , contractors with their big muscles.

The plutocracy needs valet parking, servants, servers, valets, private security, goons, sycophants and paid escorts.

Thus West Coast media and politicians ignore the quake danger, they are paid to ignore the danger, however indirectly, another aspects of neglect and complacency which has its root in the class structures of the USA.

***

Riling Against High Speed Rail Because Is Where The Money Is:

University professors play an important role in fabricating an ideology compatible with the plutocracy in power. Under the USSR, professors were generally in the pocket of power. When Sakharov, or Solzhenitsyn turned against their masters, they  were rare exceptions who proved the rule.

A week or so ago, a Stanford professor blasted High Speed trains in the USA, claiming that, worldwide, only two Very High Speed lines are profitable. One in France, the Paris-Lyon line, one in Japan, the Osaka-Tokyo line. I don’t know about Japan, but the statement is blatantly false about France.

This is subtle ideology transfer. The gross message: “High Speed Rail is bad”, is accompanied by disinformation, if not lies. Indeed  the definition of High Speed Rail is 300 km/h in France, but only 200 km/h in the USA. Most of the French main lines go at 200 km/h. Most are profitable (SNCF, a private company, being overall profitable, although most of its mileage is internally subsidized  small lines in the boondocks).

In truth, France’s very high speed lines are profitable. So much so, most use double deck trains. The Paris-Lyon-Marseilles, Paris-London, Paris-Brussels  lines are very profitable. New lines are established with a mixture of private and local state financing, and would not be engaged in, if not guaranteed profitable (the local city will not sink municipal funds into nothingness).

Electric trains fed by nuclear power have at most 3% of the CO2 production of other means of transportation. Something to keep in mind next time very warm air mixes with cold air in the neighborhood.

***

Patrice Ayme

A Carbon Treaty Is A Win-Win For Everybody.

November 26, 2009

 

(Even Wall Street, but nothing is ever perfect…)

Is Obama warming up?

***

I was preparing a robust document about American deranged policy in Afghanistan, when it was announced that, to quote the New York Times, three hours ago: "At the international climate summit meeting in Copenhagen next month, Mr. Obama will tell the delegates that the United States intends to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions “in the range of” 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050…"

My approach to Obama is stick and carrot. At this point, it’s going to be carrot, since this sudden volte face about going to Copenhagen represents a laudable effort on his part to try to get out of the encroaching senility of American politics. The American policy relative to climate change has made even less sense than taking part in a civil war between depraved primitives in Afghanistan.

That U.S. policy, so far, is that of the ostrich, head firmly planted in the sand, but even an ostrich would not take that increasing heat.

Believing that burning 400 million years of carbon is a lethal situation ought to make economic sense, especially for American patriots. The USA has a gigantic scientific machine (still) at its disposal. By refusing to exert it on devising technological solutions to climate change, it has been forced it to stay stuck in bed, wasting its magnificent bode and eager mind. Instead, if the USA harnessed that gigantic scientific machine, and then hooked it up to legal constraints for improving technology, the USA would gain economic advantage. It is economics 101.

The main argument against the CARBON BUILD-UP is that, whatever the exact amount of the probability, the risk is too high. I called that the CO2 WAGER.

For a different perspective, here is a little vivifying memo for Obama, about the CARBON BUILD-UP. I was asked kindly by the blog "Learning From Dogs" to answer the following questions:

1. Is mankind having an effect on the atmosphere of this planet which will be harmful?

2. Is there any room for error in your answer to Q.1.?

3. CO2 levels in the atmosphere are higher than has ever been known by science.  Is that a correct statement?

4. Are the activities of mankind causing the increasing levels of acidification in the oceans of the planet?

5. Are the activities of mankind causing the rising sea levels of the planet’s oceans?

6. Is man-made global warming happening: yes; no; unclear?

7. Is there a rational argument for assuming global warming will threaten mankind’s existence on the planet?

***

 

Here are my answers:

1. Is mankind having an effect on the atmosphere of this planet which will be harmful?

Two degrees Celsius warming globally, planet wide, in the average, may mean twenty degrees Celsius warming at the poles, on current trends, extended linearly Thus Alaska would become  tropical. Amazingly, not only did it happen before, but it seems to be the Earth preferred climate.   Our present BIOSPHERE is not adapted to this though: crocodiles could swim to tropical Alaska, but where are all temperate and polar fauna and flora going to go?

2. Is there any room for error in your answer to Q.1.?

Not really: when the plane is going to hit the mountain, it does not matter whehter it is going a few degrees higher or a few degrees lower. The observed fact is that the poles are warming ten times faster than the rest of the planet.

Of course, when one tries to do refined science, one wants to mitigate raw data by a bit of theory. Thus, for example, more ice piles up in the dead center of Antarctica, because the air there, being a bit less frigid, can carry more water. Some people have argued that this effect would compensate by the melting at the edges of the icecaps. But actually the melting of the icecaps has accelerated from .45 mm per year to .75 mm per year in the last two years.

Indeed, aside from the piling up of more ice at the South Pole, from the warming, all other non linear effects induced by the warming ought to make the situation ever worse, quicker.

3. CO2 levels in the atmosphere are higher than has ever been known by science.  Is that a correct statement?

We use to know this for the last 800,000 years, by studying old air in ice cores.

Now new methods study various isotopes of various biological remains (for example Foraminifera fossils, and can be extended hundreds of millions of years.

It is correct that, for the last 15 million years, according to the latest (2009) research, CO2 concentration were limited to 300 parts per million volume (except for possible transient peaks; extreme volcanism can rise and lower CO2 quickly).

During the warmest geological eras CO2 was much higher, though. Those eras were much more extensive than the glaciated periods. and therein our tragedy: the planet as Homo has always known it was a glaciated planet. The climate has drastically cooled since shortly before the disappearance of the dinosaurs (See my TRAPPED IN SUPER TRAPS ). We are threatening turn back the heat of 100 million years ago, in 100 years.

4. Are the activities of mankind causing the increasing levels of acidification in the oceans of the planet?

Half of the increased, "anthropogenic" CO2, so far, has gone in the ocean, some reacting with water to make carbonic acid. The latest research suggests that plankton will start dissolving by 2100. A lot of CO2 was just dissolved, as in a carbonated soda, (e.g. Perrier), and may, and, most likely, will, come out if warmed up and shaken. This is now happening in the Antarctic ocean, which has been warming, while wind speed increased (hence more waves, and more shaking of the man-made Perrier… Actually Perrier is also man-made, just that way, by injecting more source CO2…)

5. Are the activities of mankind causing the rising sea levels of the planet’s oceans?

The ocean has been warming up, and thus it expands. The expansion is accelerating. There are evidence from diverse sources, including satellites, that the giant icecaps of Greenland and Antarctica are, overall, melting. Since some Antarctic temperatures have gone up 4.5 degree Celsius, if one ascribes that spectacular rise in temperature to man, as all the evidence points out to, then so it is.

6. Is man-made global warming happening: yes; no; unclear?

Some people have used disingenuous tricks with the temperature graphs, to pretend that the Earth has been cooling in the last decade. They typically start a straight line at a high point. A slowing down of the warming is arguable, short term, but it may be attributable to the coolest sun in a century, as I explained in SUN COOLING, STILL THE ICE WAS MELTING . If anything, it is to be feared that the warming will considerably accelerate in the next few years, as the sun becomes more normal.

There is also a subtle phenomenon at play, well known to physicists.

The warming is just a degree of freedom of the system in which increased energy is flowing, as the lowest part of the atmosphere warms. Warming can involve the oceans, or the ground itself. When one looks at the temperature gradient in the latter, by digging holes and measuring the temperature gradient, the signs of irresistible warming are blatant.

As the warming proceeds, something new happens: new dimensions open up, in which energy can flow. Thus, paradoxically, some effects that were blatant before can become less so, as the new sinks for the increasing energy open up. In particular, such effects could slow down the apparent warming, as they suck up the energy (this is how people cool by sweating: the heat energy is diverted towards evaporating water).

So looking only at a thermometer to gauge climate change is a mistake. So far, the temperature rise in the temperate and tropical areas has been tiny, but the effects in the polar areas, where the refrigerators and sun shades of the planet are, have been tremendous .If, and when those get demolished, all hell will break lose: the entire planet will become tropical, deserts will extend, continents will desiccate in the present tropics.

7. Is there a rational argument for assuming global warming will threaten mankind’s existence on the planet?

The problem is more global carbon than global warming per se. Global carbon threatens an imminent collapse of the food chain in the ocean. This has happened before, and was caused by volcanoes (which belch SO2 and CO2).

Mankind’s ongoing existence will then become a military problem, the revelation of a victor after most of humankind dies. Indeed, as the biosphere collapses, nuclear world war has a high probability of occurring.

The apparition of a victor is by no means certain. As the defeat of Britain and France in May-June 1940 showed, and the victory at Midway confirmed, one- time extraordinary events, not easily reproducible in war games, do happen in real war. So it is not clear that civilization will survive. For civilization to survive, the capacity to progress technologically has to be preserved, because we can’t go back, having destroyed the support system for the old technologies (and, if we destroy enough species, even a return to the Paleolithic will not insure the survival of the species, because there will be nothing to hunt).

In any case, if the Earth switches to its hot mode, it is clear that billions of people will die. Political leaders informed of this, and neglecting that forecast become accomplices of this incoming holocaust.

There is no choice. So Obama is right to go to Copenhagen, and he better come back with a drastic accord. Not only the planet, and mankind, but even the prosaic economic superiority of the USA will greatly profit. Short term.

Indeed the USA is not just the Saudi Arabia of poisonous coal, but also the Saudi Arabia of wind, and, even better, the Saudi Arabia of sun. God is probably American, so we may as well milk it.

Patrice Ayme

BIOSPHERE COLLAPSE, not “Climate Change”.

October 30, 2009

It is a curious thing to observe how far some humans will go to make themselves the center of attention. Maybe it’s out of cowardice. After all, to become the center of something, however illusory, however silly, allows one to forget the fragility of the human condition.

A handful of top notch elite scientists can be found, who are among those who are skeptical about the fact that burning the fossil fuel accumulated in the last 400 million years is causing a dangerous warming of the climate. Those who belong to the elite are generally not climate scientists, but, unsurprisingly geologists or geophysicists (that means, paid by the burning of fossil fuels).

Moreover, when one looks at their arguments, or even their graphs, one generally find obvious bias. I have explained before that denial is big business, and that the sun itself has conspired with the giant fossil fuel business (the ultimate conspiracy theory!)

But this streak of solar cooling is not enough for the partisans of atmospheric poisoning. It seems as if they were hell bound not only to poison the air and the oceans, but reason itself.

(I have explained why reason is to be poisoned, in many other essays. Reason itself is the greatest enemy of the plutocrats and their agents. By denying that there is a problem with 450 ppm of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gases, and rising quickly, not only can plutocrats and their servants pursue their self enriching extractive policies, but they can destroy the reasoning and observational capabilities of normal people., an intrinsic good as far as plutocrats and their agents are concerned)

A preferred trick of those tricksters is to cut the graph depicting the concentration of CO2 at, say, 360 parts per million (ppm), when we are actually at 390 ppm! This has the undeniable advantage of masking the exponential growth of atmospheric CO2 in the last few years…

image

What we see in this graph is a basically flat line, followed by an exponential (the famous “hockey stick”, as a climate scientist dubbed it).

From studying ocean sea shells, we now know that the CO2 concentration did not exceed 300 ppm for the last 25 million years. That means that the basically flat line in the graph above extends considerably to the left. The basically flat line actually extends 2 kilometers to the left, at the scale of the graph above. Yes, more than a mile!

So there is no doubt that the recent CO2 exponential climb is man-made, and tied up to industry.

A related trick of the deniers is to “forget” that man has generated a lot of other gases than CO2. Those artifical, man-made gases can be up to 10,000 times better than CO2 at blocking infrared light.

A greenhouse consists into allowing visible light in, while blocking the exit of the light that heat makes, the infrared light. Three large greenhouses are Mars, Earth, and Venus. All planets are greenhouses, and earth like planets in other solar systems will have water, thus water vapor and CO2 two most powerful and natural greenhouse gases: these gases allow light in, but tend to block infrared.

Thus the heat gets trapped close to the ground, and the high atmosphere, now less warmed by infrared light on its way to space, cools down. Some ignorant fools have heard of that cooling, and screamed that it proved that there was no greenhouse, because a cooling has been demonstrated. Whereas, in truth, that high altitude cooling is expected, and proves the exact opposite, namely a greenhouse next to the ground!

When one is considering the man-made greenhouse, one has therefore to also include these exotic industrial gases and evaluate their contribution to the greenhouse. For example, the Greenhouse Warming Potential (GWP) for methane over 100 years is 25 and for nitrous oxide it is 298. This means that emissions of 1 million metric tons of methane and nitrous oxide respectively warm up the lower atmosphere as much as the emissions of 25 millions and 298 millions metric tons of carbon dioxide, respectively, over the following century.

Perfluorocarbons (CFCs) are the worst. They are used in refrigeration. The most frequent is tetrafluoromethane. Its GWP is 6,500 times that of CO2. The GWP of hexafluoroethane is 9,200 times that of carbon dioxide. Over ten years, the GWP of methane is higher than what it is over a century, because methane oxydizes quickly. Over ten years the GWP of methane is 100 times that of CO2. This means that a “methane burp“,  would have a tremendous warming effect. There are reasons to believe that such “methane burps” have happened, and could happen again. They are catatastrophically violent events, complete with giant tsunamis, I know you wanted to know…

In any case we are around 450 ppm in CO2 equivalent (the exact number is fiercely debated, and irrelevant, because the yearly augmentation is so fast)… We started from 280 ppm of CO2 equivalent in 1850… At this rate, we will pass a DOUBLING within twenty years.

Recent research on marine fossils has allowed to find out the CO2 concentration over the last 25 million years: it never exceeded 300 ppm durably. (There were short spikes due to occasional major volcanic activity, but that’s always accompanied by marked, and brutal drops in temperature, because volcanoes also creates enormous quantities of sun masking material and gases; Antarctic records show the two contrary effects wash each other out!)

I would go as far as saying that many papers in Nature and Science, when they deal about the climate, systematically underemphasize the planetary danger we seem to be getting in. Typically the authors’ research reveals an ominous evolution, but, then, rather meek conclusions are modestly drawn. There is no doubt an implicit pressure from the powers that be to not disrupt big business as usual, and climate scientists prefer to not bite the hand that feeds them (considering where the money, hence power, goes, that would be Goldman Sachs, or, at least, the fossil fuel/pollution establishment, which is somewhere near Goldman Sachs in the Pantheon that rules over us).

The IPCC, the world panel on “Climate Change” is the number one exhibit of meekness, and of lack of common sense as far as viewing a “small” global temperature rise as tolerable. In its computations, the IPCC has refused to enter the melting of the polar ice shields, and the possibility of methane clathrate  eruptions. Yet, it is known, from computing the sea level rise, and its acceleration, that the giant ice shields at the poles are melting. Surely the IPCC ought to include these factors in a “possible worst outcome scenario“.

It is also known that the methane (CH4) density in the atmosphere has doubled, or, maybe, quadrupled. During the last significant warm-up, methane eruption occured, causing a giant tsunami in the North Atlantic (in places, water went an incredible 80 kilometers inland!) The IPCC ignores all this superbly, preferring naively to stick to proven, observed and incontrovertible facts, and scrupulously rejecting inchoating, or probable events. 

The IPCC claims to believe that limiting the global temperature rise at 2 degrees Celsius would be fine. Instead, it would be a dangerous stupidity to approach a two degree Celsius of global temperature rise (yes, I thought carefully before using the word “stupidity“: all alternatives were found wanting).

Indeed the whole problem is not to warm up the poles too much. The global temperature rise is irrelevant. Two degrees more in Texas or Australia would just lead the offending natives to crank the air conditioning higher, and pour more prehistoric aquifer water on their greens.

Whereas the frozen poles constitute the planet air conditioning system. The frozen poles reflect light out into space, and make the atmosphere in a Carnot engine, with a warm source (the tropics) and a cold sink (the frozen poles). Heat is transported from warm to cold, from tropics to poles, by enormous oceanic currents, such as the Gulf Stream. Melt the poles, remove the heat reflectors, and shut down the currents.

But most of the warming, so far, is at the poles, and it has already reached nearly 5 degrees Celsius in parts (the Antarctica peninsula, for example). Yet, the global temperature rise, so far, is roughly ONLY one tenth of that. Scaling up, on present evidence, a global planetary rise of two degrees Celsius may mean a rise of twenty degrees Celsius in many glaciated polar areas (yes, a rise of 40 degrees Fahrenheit). So the poles would melt, and the Earth would lose its reflectors. Tipping points would tip, and things would get worse from there. Oceanic currents would stop. Europe would freeze in winter. Global temperatures would shoot up. Oxygen would disappear from huge parts of tropical oceans, which would die. (Several of the preliminaries of these effects are tentatively observed.)

Many people, reading this, will scoff, and say that this will not happen, because it did not happen before. Paleontologically, this is not true: although there was no human industry to start a CO2 bubble, they have happened before (they can be generated by continental drift or super giant volcanic eruptions known as “supertraps”).

When dinosaurs flourished, the poles were warm. Dinosaurs were roaming the forests of Antarctica. Crocodiles terrorized Northern Greenland. However, the world had dozens of millions of years to adapt. Polar dinosaurs saw with the lights of the stars for months on end. Right now, we are going to hit the biosphere with the heat shock from hell.

Besides, it’s not all about “climate change”. Half of the CO2 is presently dissolving in the oceans, so a rise of two degrees Celsius means extremely acid oceans (CO2 turns into carbonic acid after it reacts with water). At the present rate of acidification, marine life will dissolve big time by 2100. That’s how a lot of the oxygen is produced, by photosynthesizing unicellular animals, with acid sensitive skeletons. Atmospheric poisoning deniers do not want just to warm us up.

Ah, also, just a reminder: some gigantic, and deep, parts of the oceans got too warm to contain enough oxygen to support life, and they have already died.

And yes, the oceans are rising, and the icecaps are melting, both in Greenland, and Antarctica: the rise of sea level is itself augmenting at the rate of 5% a year (as many facts in this post, this was published in summer or fall of this year, 2009). It’s an exponential.

When something augments at a rate proportional to its own value, it’s an exponential. The exponential is the most important function in analysis, if not mathematics. The exponential augments extremely fast, because the bigger it is, the faster it becomes bigger. Peons who know the exponential not, have no idea the danger we are in! They have no mathematical understanding of the danger we are in. They need to take those mathematic classes they never took, to realize how immoral their ignorance is.

Figure 1

Accelerating down. The trend line of Greenland ice mass (green) curves downward with time, suggesting that ice losses have been accelerating.

[Credit: Isabella Velicogna, geophysical research letters.]

The more fossil fuels burned, the more hot air, the less oxygen. But not to worry, American politicians will be pleased to inform you that their super private, super bank, the one which advises the White House always, and pays bonuses with taxpayer money, Goldman Sachs, will make a future oxygen market, and will sell it short. Trust American capitalism, White House style, to adapt. Down to the last gulp of air.

On a slightly more serious note, the expression “climate change” is thus a misnomer.

In truth, we are facing a man-made collapse of the biosphere, just because full grown men want to keep on playing with fire. There ought to be an IPCB: Intergovernmental Panel on the Collapse of the Biosphere.

Atmospheric poisoning deniers want to heat us up in acid, while cutting our air supply. By 2100 CE. Of course, when that apocalypse has become the future no one can deny, there will be only one solution: nuke the coal plants. More seriously, Asia plans an enormous augmentation of its CO2 production, and that may very well become a casus belli, when the runaway exponential nature of the man-made greenhouse becomes blatant.

Patrice Ayme

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/

***

Technical annex 1: To calculate the radiative forcing for a 1998 gas mixture, the IPCC in 2001 gave the radiative forcing (relative to 1750 CE) of various gases as: CO2=1.46 (corresponding to a concentration of 365 ppm), CH4=0.48, N2O=0.15 and other minor gases =0.01 W/m2. The sum of these is 2.10 W/m2. One obtains CO2 equivalent = 412 ppm. That was in 2001, we are in 2010 (about). CO2 concentration is now 290 ppm, which means that CO2 equivalent is above 440 ppm.

***

Technical annex 2: Quoting straight from Science:

“Climate Change: Fixing a Critical Climate Accounting Error.

The accounting now used for assessing compliance with carbonlimits in the Kyoto Protocol and in climate legislation contains a far-reaching but fixable flaw that will severely underminegreenhouse gas reduction goals (1). It does not count CO2 emittedfrom tailpipes and smokestacks when bioenergy is being used,but it also does not count changes in emissions from land usewhen biomass for energy is harvested or grown. This accountingerroneously treats all bioenergy as carbon neutral regardlessof the source of the biomass, which may cause large differencesin net emissions. For example, the clearing of long-establishedforests to burn wood or to grow energy crops is counted as a100% reduction in energy emissions despite causing large releasesof carbon.”

[Science 23 October 2009: Vol. 326. no. 5952, pp. 527 – 528.]

It is hard to believe that errors of such magnitude, committed by scientists (and implemented by the European Union and the US Congress) are not deliberate.

***

When Denial Is Big Business.

October 18, 2009

HARD TO SEE WHAT YOU HAVE NO INTEREST TO SEE.

 

Naturally, a number of greenhouse deniers observe a decrease of global temps in the last 30 years. Here is the real global data:

File:Satellite Temperatures.png

The graph shows an increase of average global temperatures of half a degree Celsius in less than 30 years (this translates into many times that as the poles, and nearly no augmentation of temperature elsewhere; but the poles are the Earth’s icebox: demolish the icebox, and the rest will rot, with water all over you don’t want to have it).

Greenhouse deniers can look at a graph such as this one, and see a decrease. Nobody has said they were very bright. Actually, they are paid to be dumb. More exactly, they are paid more, and become more famous, the more they misinterpret the obvious.

As I explained in my post of May 31, 2009, a possible explanation for the plateau on the right is the decrease of the sun’s activity in the last 30 years, which works against the greenhouse effect. Watch the red line below:

 

File:Solar-cycle-data.png

For reasons unknown, a fluctuation of irradiance of the sun shows up as a rise of temperature 3 to 4 times greater than what one would expect from the straight input of solar energy: non linear phenomena are at work that we do not understand, but such is the fact.

Another fact, related, or not, is that, for reasons unknown, natural methane production went flat for 10 years.

After a moratorium of 10 years, methane’s density is picking up again. Methane came out of the Arctic ocean in 2007. What happened in 2007? 2007 had the warmest Arctic ocean ever.

In 2008, the ocean was a tiny bit colder, so the CH4 stayed put in the ocean, sort of, but it escaped instead from the tundra… Methane is, of course, as I explained before, the number one cause of worry: it has the potential of increasing global temperatures an inconceivable amount, in a few years.

Greenhouse deniers are well paid: they go on TV, etc. They have interest to deny the fact that the graph above is going up, from down on the left, up to the right.

The same happened when Galileo showed to his friends the cardinals, and his friend the pope, what could be seen in his telescope, namely mountains on the moon. The cardinals looked into the telescope, and they saw no mountains, no shadows of the mountains. Nothing.

The cardinals just saw a perfect sphere, as their forefathers from their institutionalized superstition had taught them the moon was. Why? Because they had a vested interest in the institution they were heading. A fortiori the same for little nobodies who would be nothing, if they did not claim absurdities as the truth.

Thus the greenhouse deniers see the graph above as slanting down, from left to right. They see what they have interest to see.

OK, there are important fluctuations in the graph above. But those are always observed, and have to be smoothed out, to observe trends. It’s the same as in the financial, or commodities markets.

Yearly fluctuations relate to sunspots (in ways not understood), or volcanic eruptions (Pinatubo, a volcano in the Philippines injected a gigantic veil of sulfates in the high atmosphere, decreasing solar heating on the ground enormously, and lowering global temps brutally by more than half a degree Celsius: volcanoes can do way, way worse; Tambora, a volcano that exploded in Indonesia in 1814, caused famine inducing frosts in Europe the following summer).

OK, back to 2009. From the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), October 2009:

“At the end of the Arctic summer, more ice cover remained this year than during the previous record-setting low years of 2007 and 2008. However… September 2009 sea ice extent was the third lowest since the start of satellite records in 1979, and the past five years have seen the five lowest ice extents in the satellite record.

NSIDC Director and Senior Scientist Mark Serreze said, “It’s nice to see a little recovery over the past couple years, but there’s no reason to think that we’re headed back to conditions seen back in the 1970s. We still expect to see ice-free summers sometime in the next few decades.”

The average ice extent over the month of September, a reference comparison for climate studies, was 5.36 million square kilometers…  1.68 million square kilometers (649,000 square miles) below the 1979 to 2000 September average. Arctic sea ice is now declining at a rate of 11.2 percent per decade, relative to the 1979 to 2000 average.

Sea surface temperatures in the Arctic this season remained higher than normal, but slightly lower than the past two years, according to data from Mike Steele at the University of Washington in Seattle. The cooler conditions, which resulted largely from cloudy skies during late summer, slowed ice loss compared to the past two years. In addition, atmospheric patterns in August and September helped to spread out the ice pack, keeping extent higher. 

… Only 19 percent of the ice cover was over 2 years old, the least in the satellite record and far below the 1981-2000 average of 52 percent. Earlier this summer, NASA researcher Ron Kwok and colleagues from the University of Washington in Seattle published satellite data showing that ice thickness declined by 0.68 meters (2.2 feet) between 2004 and 2008.”

As I pointed out in old essays on a generalization of mine of the Equipartition of Energy theorem, a rise in heat can be expressed in many other ways than heat. After all, heat which is microscopic dynamic energy, can be converted in other forms of energy.

As the heat goes up, new energy sinks can open up. This may explain why the temperature rises observed seem to plateau, with different plateaus in different places (a higher heat plateau was reached in Alaska a full decade before a similar one in Europe in 1998). In other words, although solar irradiance is enough to explain the recent global plateau in temperatures, it may not be a proof of a stagnation of the energy input from the greenhouse into the biosphere.

When in doubt, it’s best to assume the worst; that’s how our ancestors survived enough in the jungle to allow us to be around today. The worst is only natural: only fools, or the corrupt, would believe that a rise of Greenhouse Gases from 280 parts per million to 450 ppm (where we are today) is business as usual.

The block of ice known as Antarctica is unstable at 425 ppm.

***

Patrice Ayme.

***

P/S 1: Some will appreciate the facts and graphs above, but mourn the human touch. So here it is.

I was walking two days ago in a forest, where, as child, and that was not so long ago, there used to be a glacier. Now the glacier is an unbelievable 2 miles away, 2,000 feet up, and there are thousands of tall trees instead. Most of the heating is in the mountains, and at the poles. As the warming theory says it should be.

P/S 2: Venus, Earth and Mars surface temperatures are dominated by the evolution of their greenhouses. So it will be on all inhabitable planets. A greenhouse is as natural as an atmosphere. A problem we have now is that the only natural greenhouse gases are water vapor, H2O, CO2, and traces of CH4. Unfortunately, we have added other, much more potent, man made greenhouse gases to this mix.