Balancing the Budget:

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 8:36 PM GMT on August 15, 2012

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Balancing the Budget: Models, Water, and Temperature (5)

This is a series of blogs on models, water, and temperature (see Intro). I am starting with models. In this series, I am trying to develop a way to build a foundation for nonscientists to feel comfortable about models and their use in scientific investigation. I expect to get some feedback on how to do this better from the comments. In order to keep a solid climate theme, I am going to have two sections to the entries. One section will be on models, and the other will be on a research result, new or old, that I think is of particular interest.

First, I want to provide an example of model-based science, engineering, and design – the landing of the rover Curiosity on Mars. This effort relied on simulations for the quantitative evaluation of the propulsion of rockets and the drag of the parachute. Computers were programmed to simulate and manage the workflow, the stage separation, and the coordination with the orbiters. The trajectories and orbits were calculated with computer models of the dynamics of objects moving in gravitational fields with atmospheric drag. Observations were made along the way, and they were used to correct errors that were discovered by the discrepancies between model predictions and observations. The validation of these calculations came with a landing on Mars, in a crater, surrounded by steep mountains. A landing where there was one and only one opportunity. A landing, which was the first real-world execution of these quantitative calculations. As best as I can tell the landing was in terrain with characteristics as expected. As best as I can tell, the landing was within a few meters or where the landing was planned. A few meters error – the models were wrong? Useless?



Figure 1: From NASA: "Curiosity Spotted on Parachute by Orbiter: NASA's Curiosity rover and its parachute were spotted by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter as Curiosity descended to the surface on Aug. 5 PDT (Aug. 6 EDT). The High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera captured this image of Curiosity while the orbiter was listening to transmissions from the rover. Curiosity and its parachute are in the center of the white box."

This is rocket science – what is rocket science? Rocket science is classical physics, what most physicists would consider simple physics, in a sequence of steps that in their totality are complex. Simple physics in a complex system – the same as a climate model.

Doing Science with Models 1.2: In the previous entry of this series I introduced the fact that many of the tasks of design, manufacturing, and accounting have been encoded as mathematical models executed by computers. And I made this promise: I will return to this idea of mathematical descriptions of objects later. Here we are.

Let’s start with something intuitive, money. The amount of money that I have today is equal to the amount I had yesterday plus the money I get minus the money I spend. In my class, I maintain that this simple equation

Today’s Money = Yesterday’s Money + Money I Get – Money I Spend

is symbolic of all of the mathematics that is required to have a scientific foundation to understand the Earth’s climate and climate change. This equation is, in a literal sense, a budget equation. Assume Yesterday’s Money is the amount in your checking account, you Get some money from working, and you Spend some money writing checks. From this information, you know the amount of money you have today by addition and subtraction. If you add it all up, and then compare with your bank statement, and you and the bank agree, then the budget balances.

There is a concept of classical physics called the conservation law, described by a conservation equation. The equation for money, above, is a conservation equation: the amount of money is conserved. That is you have a certain amount, and that amount changes either by getting money or spending money. If you don’t get or spend money, then the amount of money remains the same; it is conserved. There is nothing else. If you take a personal point of view, you can say that the money I have today is the money I had yesterday plus the money I produced minus the money I lost.

So I have used the words simple and classical to describe “physics.” One of the primary fields of physics is mechanics, which describes the way things move. This is what Isaac Newton described, and the basic idea is that if there are forces acting on an object with mass, then that object will move in response to those forces. A force we are all familiar with is gravity, which we usually think of as an object falling towards the Earth. This object could be Newton’s proverbial apple, rocks coming down the side of a mountain, or the mass of your body settling on your tired feet as you stand up. If we go back to the landing of the Curiosity rover described above, then when the parachute was slowing the landing module, there was gravity that was resisted by the drag of the atmosphere on the parachute. The study of forces and motions, as described in this paragraph, is called classical physics because it is old and describes the way the everyday objects that we can see move as well, as the way that planets and moons move. Classical stands in contrast with, for example, Einstein’s theory of relativity which is required when observing things that are moving very fast, for example, light.

Now back to the idea of the conservation equation, your checkbook. There are some things that are observed to be conserved. This observed conservation is so strong and so intuitive that we call these conservation laws. There are the laws of conservation of energy, conservation of mass, and conservation of momentum. Momentum describes how an object is moving: its mass, its speed, and its direction. I will start with the conservation of energy.

Let’s imagine that we are sitting out in space, perhaps on Mars, observing the Earth. Then we say

Earth’s energy today = Earth’s energy yesterday + energy gained – energy lost

The total energy of the Earth can be related to the temperature of the Earth. If there is more energy, then it is warmer. The primary way the Earth gains energy is through heating by the Sun. The Earth loses energy by emitting it back to space. If the energy lost is equal to the energy gained, then today’s energy is equal to yesterday’s energy. That is energy is constant, conserved; and, by inference, the temperature remains the same from one day to the next – from one year to the next. That is, the climate is stable. The energy budget is balanced.

The budget equation for your checkbook and the budget equation of the Earth’s energy look the same. Therefore, a model of the Earth’s climate can be viewed as an accountant’s spreadsheet. A climate model is the accounting of the Earth’s energy, and from that accounting, we conclude whether the Earth’s energy, temperature, is constant, increasing, or decreasing.

Interesting Research: The State and Fate of Himalayan Glaciers - The State and Fate of Himalayan Glaciers appeared on April 20, 2012 in Science and got some press at the time. Tobias Bolch is the senior author. This is a review paper, which is interesting from perspectives that are scientific and the practice of science.

With regard to the practice of science, some will recall that in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report an incorrect statement was made about the rate of melting of the Himalayan Glaciers. This review paper is an assessment of the literature and the knowledge on the Himalayan Glaciers. It was motivated, at least in part, by addressing this erroneous statement. It is members of the scientific community reacting to and correcting incorrect information that made it into the public domain. (see also Glacier Misinformation and IPCC Statement) This error was caused by a breakdown of protocol and review.

With regard to the conclusions of the Bolch et al. paper, they state their correction to the original error, “The statement that most Himalaya and Karakoram glaciers will likely disappear by 2035 is wrong …” They conclude that most of these glaciers have lost mass since the mid-19th century, that this lose has accelerated in recent decades, and that mass loss will continue through the 21st century. They also detail the complexity of the problem, ranging from the terrain, to the regional role of the South Asian monsoon in summertime accumulation of snow at high altitudes, to the role of rocky debris in the reduction of glacial melting. There is also complexity in the impacts that the glacial changes have on water supply.

How are these conclusions reached? The primary tool is the conservation equation for the mass of glaciers.

Today’s Glacial Mass = Yesterday’s Glacial Mass + New Glacial Ice – Glacial Melt

An accounting is made from observations of the processes that form glacial ice and that cause glacial melt. There is input from snow. There is loss measured by stream flow. It is a counting problem, another calculation of a budget.

r




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242. no1der
9:55 PM GMT on August 22, 2012
Quoting iceagecoming:


[deletia]

C'mon, stop wasting time on the little stuff and go right to PETM.
Member Since: June 5, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 528
241. BobWallace
9:48 PM GMT on August 22, 2012
Quoting iceagecoming:

Ancient biomolecules from deep ice cores reveal a forested southern greenland.

It is difficult to obtain fossil data from the 10% of Earth's terrestrial surface that is covered by thick glaciers and ice sheets, and hence, knowledge of the paleoenvironments of these regions has remained limited. We show that DNA and amino acids from buried organisms can be recovered from the basal sections of deep ice cores, enabling reconstructions of past flora and fauna. We show that high-altitude southern Greenland, currently lying below more than 2 kilometers of ice, was inhabited by a diverse array of conifer trees and insects within the past million years. The results provide direct evidence in support of a forested southern Greenland and suggest that many deep ice cores may contain genetic records of paleoenvironments in their basal sections.




Link




Arctic Coryphodon data sets do more than tell researchers about the diets of large mammals living in the Arctic 50 million years ago; they also add another piece to the puzzle about how groups of mammals migrated from Asia to North America.

Link



Climate Fluctuations 115,000 Years Ago: Were Short Warm Periods Typical for Transitions to Glacial Epochs?

ScienceDaily (Mar. 7, 2010) — At the end of the last interglacial epoch, around 115,000 years ago, there were significant climate fluctuations. In Central and Eastern Europe, the slow transition from the Eemian Interglacial to the Weichselian Glacial was marked by a growing instability in vegetation trends with possibly at least two warming events. This is the finding of German and Russian climate researchers who have evaluated geochemical and pollen analyses of lake sediments in Saxony-Anhalt, Brandenburg and Russia.

Writing in Quaternary International, scientists from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), the Saxon Academy of Sciences (SAW) in Leipzig and the Russian Academy of Sciences say that a short warming event at the very end of the last interglacial period marked the final transition to the ice age.

Link


So friggin' what?

Do you believe any previous changes in Earth temperature were caused by magic or do you hold that they had physical reasons?

If magic, then please just go away.

If physical forcings then please state the physical forces now causing the planet to heat. The forces other than human-produced greenhouse gases.

If it's not cherry-picking it's grab-and-sling....
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
240. iceagecoming
9:38 PM GMT on August 22, 2012

Ancient biomolecules from deep ice cores reveal a forested southern greenland.

It is difficult to obtain fossil data from the 10% of Earth's terrestrial surface that is covered by thick glaciers and ice sheets, and hence, knowledge of the paleoenvironments of these regions has remained limited. We show that DNA and amino acids from buried organisms can be recovered from the basal sections of deep ice cores, enabling reconstructions of past flora and fauna. We show that high-altitude southern Greenland, currently lying below more than 2 kilometers of ice, was inhabited by a diverse array of conifer trees and insects within the past million years. The results provide direct evidence in support of a forested southern Greenland and suggest that many deep ice cores may contain genetic records of paleoenvironments in their basal sections.




Link




Arctic Coryphodon data sets do more than tell researchers about the diets of large mammals living in the Arctic 50 million years ago; they also add another piece to the puzzle about how groups of mammals migrated from Asia to North America.

Link



Climate Fluctuations 115,000 Years Ago: Were Short Warm Periods Typical for Transitions to Glacial Epochs?

ScienceDaily (Mar. 7, 2010) — At the end of the last interglacial epoch, around 115,000 years ago, there were significant climate fluctuations. In Central and Eastern Europe, the slow transition from the Eemian Interglacial to the Weichselian Glacial was marked by a growing instability in vegetation trends with possibly at least two warming events. This is the finding of German and Russian climate researchers who have evaluated geochemical and pollen analyses of lake sediments in Saxony-Anhalt, Brandenburg and Russia.

Writing in Quaternary International, scientists from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), the Saxon Academy of Sciences (SAW) in Leipzig and the Russian Academy of Sciences say that a short warming event at the very end of the last interglacial period marked the final transition to the ice age.

Link
Member Since: January 27, 2009 Posts: 23 Comments: 1061
239. no1der
9:37 PM GMT on August 22, 2012
Quoting Xulonn:
Most meteorologists don't believe in CC/GW?? From a Daniel Souweine article at Grist:



Back to one of my favorite subjects, the psychology of CC/AGW - Why do the majority of meteorologists (as opposed to climate scientists) not believe in climate change and anthropogenic global warming? That trend seems to pervade this site as well. I find the vitriol spewed by many regulars at Dr. Master's Tropical Weather Blog when someone mentions CC/AGW fascinating. Even when Jeff himself writes on the subject, some blog regulars get upset.

I don't have an answer regarding the cause of this phenomenon, nor have I seen anything published that presents a believable hypothesis regarding it's cause.

Those of us who frequent Dr. Rood's blog and discuss the issues related to AGW/CC are a definite minority among the participants here at Wunderground. Are any of you regulars here meteorologists?


I agree that the psychology of this is fascinating.

The science of AGW is fundamentally a matter of physics, and a very simple 19th century physics at that (optical spectrometry). Yet, the same people who might not dare to hazard an "opinion" about gravity, for example, when confronted with the evidence for AGW, will:
- feel free to bring any number of crackpot or discounted "theories"
- discard generations of work by geologists, paleoclimatologists and geochemists
- slander any knowledgeable scientists as venal and self-interested charlatans
- instead embrace a few rusty old wingnuts
- insist that "a few ppm" of CO2 can't possibly have any effect
- having rejected all science, mutter darkly about mysterious "natural cycles"
...and so on. We all know the pattern too well.

Their problem seems to be ontological and not educational.

And given the psychological costs of truly informed acceptance, I can see how denial is an attractive alternative, no matter how contorted and blinkered a position one must hold.



Member Since: June 5, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 528
238. Xulonn
8:57 PM GMT on August 22, 2012
Bob Wallace - I think you nailed it about the anti-CC/AGW attitude of many Wunderground denizens. It is obvious that when anyone mentions western Pacific Cyclones, usually no one cares or responds - and when Puerto Rico has weather problems, most people at the Masters blog ignore posts about it. They're only interested in storms that might affect the Caribbean, GOM, or the U.S. They greet, banter, and break many of the WU blogging rules almost hourly, without consequences. However when someone mentions that GW/CC might be affecting the frequency and intensity of severe weather, they are quick to angrily denounce it. I've even seen posts that say the Jeff Masters should not be posting AGW/CC information on his own blog, and that Ricky Rood's blog should not even be here on a "weather" site.

I started coming to WU because I am curious about and interested not only in severe weather, but many other natural phenomena. I am particularly concerned about the current rapid (from a long-term earth history perspective) climate change and consequences in the natural environment that threaten the very existence of our civilization.

Like many of you here at the R.Rood CC blog, I am interested in a broader spectrum of natural science than many of the typical WU storm junkies. They don't really seem interested in climate science, or even science at all, unless it specifically relates to current weather issues. They are, however, extremely interested in modelling (the subject of Dr. Rood's current blog post), and argue endlessly about the merits and accuracy of the various tropical storm models, waiting breathlessly for the next "run." Then they race to see who can post the data and plots first, often with duplicate posts between several people. However, when modelling science is applied to CC, they seem to either ignore it, or completely discount it.
Member Since: June 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 1452
237. BobWallace
8:20 PM GMT on August 22, 2012
Xulonn...

I find the vitriol spewed by many regulars at Dr. Master's Tropical Weather Blog when someone mentions CC/AGW fascinating. Even when Jeff himself writes on the subject, some blog regulars get upset.

I think there are a few things going on over at Jeff's blog.

First, it's mostly about tropical weather, actually mostly about Southeastern US storms. Little interest is shown to a storm that might hit Central America or Asia. That has to pull in a lot of red state folks who are fighting facts.

Second, there are a lot of big-storm junkies who seem to type with one hand on the keyboard and one "in their laps". Just look at the historical big storm admiration that goes on when the weather isn't amusing. Those folks seem to really resent talk about anything other than storms. (With the exception of their personal chatter.)

Finally, there is a large group of teenie-weenies who, I would suspect, are drawn in by the storm-chaser videos. They're likely on their way to becoming part of the 'junkie' group. "Don't step on my drugs, man."



Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
236. OldLeatherneck
8:12 PM GMT on August 22, 2012
Quoting BobWallace:


2013 may also be a El Nino year with warmer water entering the Arctic from the west.


Thanks for that bit of cheerful news!

If I was a betting person, I'd put money on 2013 as the most probable year, with 2014 a close second.

I'm very anxious to see what the methane emissions amount to in the next few months.
Member Since: May 2, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 180
235. BobWallace
8:03 PM GMT on August 22, 2012
Quoting OldLeatherneck:


I'm of the opinion that many TV Weathercasters have most of their undergraduate education in Broadcast Journalism or Communications, with at best a minor in meteorology. Certainly, the major TV outlets have meteorologists on their staffs, but unless they have pleasant appearances and soothing voices they will never appear on camera.

Also, the station management probably does not want to lose viewers by having their broadcasters discussing anything as controversial as Climate Change.


I had a TV weatherman/meteorologist admit that he downplayed any talk of climate change because any mention brought lots of complaints to the TV station.

Got to hang on to those eyeballs....
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
234. OldLeatherneck
8:00 PM GMT on August 22, 2012
Quoting Xulonn:
Most meteorologists don't believe in CC/GW?? From a Daniel Souweine article at Grist:



Back to one of my favorite subjects, the psychology of CC/AGW - Why do the majority of meteorologists (as opposed to climate scientists) not believe in climate change and anthropogenic global warming? That trend seems to pervade this site as well. I find the vitriol spewed by many regulars at Dr. Master's Tropical Weather Blog when someone mentions CC/AGW fascinating. Even when Jeff himself writes on the subject, some blog regulars get upset.

I don't have an answer regarding the cause of this phenomenon, nor have I seen anything published that presents a believable hypothesis regarding it's cause.

Those of us who frequent Dr. Rood's blog and discuss the issues related to AGW/CC are a definite minority among the participants here at Wunderground. Are any of you regulars here meteorologists?


I'm of the opinion that many TV Weathercasters have most of their undergraduate education in Broadcast Journalism or Communications, with at best a minor in meteorology. Certainly, the major TV outlets have meteorologists on their staffs, but unless they have pleasant appearances and soothing voices they will never appear on camera.

Also, the station management probably does not want to lose viewers by having their broadcasters discussing anything as controversial as Climate Change.
Member Since: May 2, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 180
233. BobWallace
7:57 PM GMT on August 22, 2012
Iceagecoming...

"Yes, Earth has warmed, many times in the past. Who is to say this was not human induced warming 3 million years before the present??"

Do you even read your stuff before you post?

And what do 41,000 and 100,000 year temperature change periods have to do with the 150 rapid warming period we're now observing?

Lastly, who has claimed that the Earth has not been really hot before?


(BTW, most climate scientists would agree that there is an ice age coming. It will get here in several thousand years after humans have quit 'artificially' raising the Earth's temperature. You have my permission to sit up waiting on it to appear.)

--

eta: In addition to cherry-picking should we add the category of "grab and sling"?


Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
232. BobWallace
7:52 PM GMT on August 22, 2012
Quoting OldLeatherneck:


While we don't know what the weather patterns will do next year, we know a few things for certain going into the 2013 melt season:

1. Much less multi-year ice will be in the Arctic Sea.
2. 2013 will see peak solar radiation.
3. CO2 will be higher than this year.
4. CH4 will be higher, maybe much higher, than this year.


2013 may also be a El Nino year with warmer water entering the Arctic from the west.

---

eta: NOAA in August 2012...

"El Nio conditions are likely to develop during August or September 2012."
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
231. iceagecoming
7:52 PM GMT on August 22, 2012
Quoting BobWallace:


I really don't get the point of your posts.

You have to know that overall the planet is warming. You've been shown the data too often to not have seen it at least a few times.

You have to know that climate change/warming does not mean that there will be no more cold weather for many years into the future. That we will see some periods of harsh cold as the jet stream gets stuck and a few cold days turn into a 'few plus'.

I'm left with either you refuse to accept the data staring you in the face or you just want some attention by posting stuff to get replies.

If it's the former, you might want to talk to someone about your problem. See if accepting reality might be something that would improve your life.

If it's the latter, get a dog. A dog will love you and give you all the attention you need if you treat it right.



Yes, Earth has warmed, many times in the past. Who is to say this was not human induced warming 3 million years before the present??
More pertinent question, why did it cool, and with variable duration, won't see many posting these articles round these parts. What energy source could make these changes possible? Could this be the reality? Enjoy.



Figure 1 | Ice-age climate and solar variability. A 3-million-year record of
δ18O (ref. 8) (a); orbital obliquity (blue) compared with integrated summer
insolation (red)3 (b); and summer insolation for the Northern Hemisphere
(on 21 June at 65° N; red) and the Southern Hemisphere (on 21 December
at 65° S; blue)6 (c). δ18O is considered a proxy of global ice-volume change,
which is assumed to occur mostly in the Northern Hemisphere over this
interval. From 3 to 1 million years ago, δ18O varies primarily at the 41,000-
year period characteristic of obliquity and integrated insolation. From
1 million years ago to the present, longer cycles of climate change, with a
roughly 100,000-year period, are more obvious. The double-headed arrow
indicates a transition more gradual than abrupt over the time indicated.


"It is widely accepted that variations in Earth’s orbit affect glaciation, but
a better and more detailed understanding of this process is needed. How
can the 41,000-year glacial cycles of the early Pleistocene be explained, let
alone the ~100,000-year glacial cycles of the late Pleistocene? How do the
subtle changes in insolation relate to the massive changes in climate known
as glacial cycles? And what are proxy climate records actually measuring?
The field now faces these important questions, which are made all the
more pressing as the fate of Earth’s climate is inexorably tied to the vestige
of Northern Hemisphere glaciation that sits atop Greenland, and to its
uncertain counterpart to the south. ■"


Maureen Raymo is in the Department of Earth Sciences, Boston
University, 685 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02215,
USA. Peter Huybers is in the Department of Earth and Planetary
Sciences, Harvard University, 20 Oxford Street, Cambridge,
Massachusetts 02138, USA.


Link



The last interglacial period sensu lato (Marine
Isotope Stage 5; MIS 5), 75–130 ka before present,
is considered an interval of relative warmth throughout
the circum-Arctic region. A compilation of qualitative
climate proxies from deep-sea sediments, ice cores,
and terrestrial near-shore sequences (LIGA members,
1991) revealed conditions about 4 °C warmer than
present in northeastern Canada and Greenland for the
early warmest portions of the last interglacial (sensu
stricto), ca. 115–130 ka BP (MIS 5e). Plant macrofossil
and fossil insects from east-central Greenland
indicate that mean summer air temperatures were about
5 °C above present (Bennike and Böcher, 1994). The
NorthGrip ice core in Greenland reveals the most
detailed arctic climate history for the last interglacial,
indicating mean annual temperatures 5 °C warmer than
present (NGRIP members, 2004). A quantitative
pollen-based climate reconstruction from Bol'shoy
Lyakhovsky Island in the Laptev Sea (Siberia),
suggests that mean July air temperatures were 4 to
5 °C higher than present during the Eemian climatic
optimum (Andreev et al., 2004a)


Link
Member Since: January 27, 2009 Posts: 23 Comments: 1061
230. Xulonn
7:42 PM GMT on August 22, 2012
Most meteorologists don't believe in CC/GW?? From a Daniel Souweine article at Grist:


This week in Boston, Mass., the nation’s broadcast meteorologists will meet in their yearly conference sponsored by the American Meteorological Society (AMS). You probably don’t have it marked on your calendar, but from the point of view of the planet, it’s the most important meeting of weather reporters in history. Because the burning question in Beantown is whether weathercasters will embrace their responsibility to communicate how climate change is creating a new normal of dangerous, extreme weather.

Given the climate change-fueled storms, heat waves, droughts, and wildfires that have dominated the past year, global warming will undoubtedly be a “hot” topic at this year’s conference. But, amazingly, many broadcast meteorologists remain lukewarm to the subject: The majority of weathercasters, including many with AMS certification, don’t believe that humans are causing climate change, let alone that it’s dramatically shifting our weather patterns. These meteorologists are missing the opportunity to be journalistic heroes who can inform the nation about our increasingly poisoned weather.

text


Back to one of my favorite subjects, the psychology of CC/AGW - Why do the majority of meteorologists (as opposed to climate scientists) not believe in climate change and anthropogenic global warming? That trend seems to pervade this site as well. I find the vitriol spewed by many regulars at Dr. Master's Tropical Weather Blog when someone mentions CC/AGW fascinating. Even when Jeff himself writes on the subject, some blog regulars get upset.

I don't have an answer regarding the cause of this phenomenon, nor have I seen anything published that presents a believable hypothesis regarding it's cause.

Those of us who frequent Dr. Rood's blog and discuss the issues related to AGW/CC are a definite minority among the participants here at Wunderground. Are any of you regulars here meteorologists?
Member Since: June 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 1452
229. OldLeatherneck
7:40 PM GMT on August 22, 2012
Quoting BobWallace:


From that link...



I suspect the new number will be 2013 to 2016. For the cautions, perhaps 2013 to 2020.

Another year like this one and it's likely 2013 or 2014. And nothing terribly special happened this year.


While we don't know what the weather patterns will do next year, we know a few things for certain going into the 2013 melt season:

1. Much less multi-year ice will be in the Arctic Sea.
2. 2013 will see peak solar radiation.
3. CO2 will be higher than this year.
4. CH4 will be higher, maybe much higher, than this year.
Member Since: May 2, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 180
228. BobWallace
7:23 PM GMT on August 22, 2012
Wanta see how thin the Arctic sea ice is? Medium blue about 1.0 to 1.5 meters. Yellow is about 4 meters, just over 12 feet.




This image is a bit weird for most of us since it puts Greenland at the top, it's usually at the bottom. I'll flip it...




When the Russians started putting their ice labs on the pack in the 1950s they would just plop them down on 20'+ thick ice. Now they have to search for some 2 meter ice that is likely to hang on during the melt.

That blob of yellow on the east side of Greenland. It will totally melt this year. It's getting pushed into warmer Atlantic Ocean water and more of the red/yellow stuff will follow it over the next few weeks.
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
227. BobWallace
6:57 PM GMT on August 22, 2012
Quoting Pipejazz:
Link
Revision of artic ice melt out dates.


From that link...


In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported that as a result of the melting trends, they expected that the Arctic would be ice-free by the year 2100.

“When we had the 2007 minimum, that date was brought forward to 2030-2040,” said Laxon. “The fact that we look set to get another record ice minimum in such a short space of time means that the modelers may once again need to go and look at what their projections are telling them,”


I suspect the new number will be 2013 to 2016. For the cautions, perhaps 2013 to 2020.

Another year like this one and it's likely 2013 or 2014. And nothing terribly special happened this year.

We're likely to end up with only 2.0 to 2.5 thousand km3 of Arctic sea ice remaining. We've seen a year to year drop of 2.5 thousand km3 twice in the last six years.

We've averaged 0.7 thousand km3 per year loss over the last decade and the last melt year could easily be a very rapid melt of thin, broken up ice. A sudden collapse.

The ice surrounding the North Pole is now in the meter to 1.5 meter thick range. The small amount of remaining thick ice is pushed against the north side of Greenland and the Canadian Archipelago and is starting to transport out via the Fram Straight.

2030? Very unlikely, IMHO.
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
226. RevElvis
5:27 PM GMT on August 22, 2012
no surprise here (including the last paragraph)

Arctic cap on course for record melt: scientists

RawStory.com (AFP - Agence France-Presse)

The Arctic ice cap is melting at a startlingly rapid rate and may shrink to its smallest-ever level within weeks as the planet's temperatures rise, US scientists said Tuesday.

Researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder said that the summer ice in the Arctic was already nearing its lowest level recorded, even though the summer melt season is not yet over.

"The numbers are coming in and we are looking at them with a sense of amazement,"said Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the university.

"If the melt were to just suddenly stop today, we would be at the third lowest in the satellite record. We've still got another two weeks of melt to go, so I think we're very likely to set a new record,"he told AFP.

The planet has charted a slew of record temperatures in recent years. In the continental United States, July was the hottest ever recorded with temperatures 3.3 degrees Fahrenheit (1.8 Celsius) higher than the average in the 20th century, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Most scientists believe that carbon emissions from industry cause global warming. Efforts to control the gases have encountered resistance in a number of countries, with some lawmakers in the United States questioning the science.
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
225. Pipejazz
5:25 PM GMT on August 22, 2012
Link
Revision of artic ice melt out dates.
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 177
224. RevElvis
5:20 PM GMT on August 22, 2012
Another interesting article on the ancient Mayans.

Multiple Factors, Including Climate Change, Led to Collapse and Depopulation of Ancient Maya


ScienceDaily.com


ScienceDaily (Aug. 21, 2012) — A new analysis of complex interactions between humans and the environment preceding the 9th century collapse and abandonment of the Central Maya Lowlands in the Yucatán Peninsula points to a series of events -- some natural, like climate change; some human-made, including large-scale landscape alterations and shifts in trade routes -- that have lessons for contemporary decision-makers and sustainability scientists.

In their revised model of the collapse of the ancient Maya, social scientists B.L. "Billie" Turner and Jeremy "Jerry" A. Sabloff provide an up-to-date, human-environment systems theory in which they put together the degree of environmental and economic stress in the area that served as a trigger or tipping point for the Central Maya Lowlands.

Previous to the collapse, the Maya occupied the area for more than 2,000 years, noted the authors, "a time in which they developed a sophisticated understanding of their environment, built and sustained intensive production [and water] systems, and withstood at least two long-term episodes of aridity."
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
223. Neapolitan
1:33 AM GMT on August 22, 2012
Quoting OldLeatherneck:
For Neapolitan & Patrap: STAY SAFE

I know that you two, maybe others, that post on here regularly live in an area that could be impacted by Isaac. Since I'm not capable of understanding the many charts and graphs, of potential tracks and intensity, I will not resort to either forecasting or wishcasting. I just want you two to know that taking the time to prepare your homes and families is far more important than blogging your our sake on the Climate Blog. That same sentiment applies to any lurkers who live in any area that may be impacted by the approaching storm.
Thanks. I've been threatened by, chased away by, and gone through numerous tropical cyclones, and while I don't ever forget what they're capable of, I simply do my best to prepare my family and belongings to ensure they're safe and secure, then hope for the best while expecting the worst. (I was in Cutler Ridge--southwest of Miami--when Andrew came through, and it doesn't get much worse than that.) If Isaac (or any other storm) ventures close enough, I and mine will be ready.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13538
222. OldLeatherneck
11:40 PM GMT on August 21, 2012
For Neapolitan & Patrap: STAY SAFE

I know that you two, maybe others, that post on here regularly live in an area that could be impacted by Isaac. Since I'm not capable of understanding the many charts and graphs, of potential tracks and intensity, I will not resort to either forecasting or wishcasting. I just want you two to know that taking the time to prepare your homes and families is far more important than blogging your our sake on the Climate Blog. That same sentiment applies to any lurkers who live in any area that may be impacted by the approaching storm.
Member Since: May 2, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 180
221. RevElvis
10:20 PM GMT on August 21, 2012
1,375,022 Acres Are Burning in the US

MotherJones.com

(also has a quote and a link to Dr. Master's Blog (8/20/12)

The National Interagency Fire Center reports that 2012 just broke the record for most acreage burned by wildfires as of this date. The previous record was set in 2006, another mega-drought year.

That's nearly 7 million acres or 10,893 square miles that have burned so far this record hot and dry year. Currently 39 large fires and fire complexes are actively burning 1,401,968 acres.

Wildfires have big costs. So far in Utah this year there have been more than 1,000 wildfires that have cost over $50 million to fight. The Chips Fire in Northern California%u2014at just shy of than 50,000 acres%u2014has a running tab of over $17 million as of six days ago and it's still going strong.

Wildfires also have intimate costs. Like the "fire-walker's" solo journey into the night. And tragic costs. Like the 20-year-old firefighter on the Steep Corner Fire in Idaho who died when a tree fell on her on August 12. Or the inmate-firefighter who died fighting the Buck Fire in Southern California on Sunday.
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
220. BobWallace
9:37 PM GMT on August 21, 2012
Quoting OldLeatherneck:


Since reading more about the isostatic rebound of Greenland as it sheds mass (1,000 gigatonnes this year??), I've wondered if that would cause significant seismic activity. If so, how strong would the tremors be??


How strong? I guess it would depend on how much built up force there is and whether it releases in a series of small movements or lets go all at once.

At the nasty end of things, a big shake could drop a bunch of ice into the ocean and make a big wave, I would imagine. Some serious water sloshing in the Arctic could do interesting things to shelf ice.

Here's an interesting article from the viewpoint of a professor of geophysical and climate hazards...

Link

--

eta: The Greenland ice sheet is generally more than a mile thick. It won't melt overnight, so I'd think gradual unloading with the possibility of small adjustments in land height/rebound and smallish tremors. Guessing....

Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
219. OldLeatherneck
8:22 PM GMT on August 21, 2012
Quoting BobWallace:


As we take the ice load off the top of land masses and make the high tides higher seems like we should expect the ground to creak and groan. We're changing the loading.


Since reading more about the isostatic rebound of Greenland as it sheds mass (1,000 gigatonnes this year??), I've wondered if that would cause significant seismic activity. If so, how strong would the tremors be??
Member Since: May 2, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 180
218. OldLeatherneck
8:16 PM GMT on August 21, 2012
Quoting RevElvis:
Cloud Brightening to Control Global Warming? Geoengineers Propose an Experiment

ScienceDaily.com

(thought this was interesting, but my opinion - would be to solve the problem at it's source - not treat the symptoms > less chance of "blowback")

ScienceDaily (Aug. 20, 2012) %u2014 Even though it sounds like science fiction, researchers are taking a second look at a controversial idea that uses futuristic ships to shoot salt water high into the sky over the oceans, creating clouds that reflect sunlight and thus counter global warming.

The point of the paper -- which includes updates on the latest study into what kind of ship would be best to spray the salt water into the sky, how large the water droplets should be and the potential climatological impacts -- is to encourage more scientists to consider the idea of marine cloud brightening and even poke holes in it. In the paper, he and a colleague detail an experiment to test the concept
.

As long as we keep emitting CO2 at the levels we are, we will continue to destroy the oceans and the important role they play in the world's food chain.

While some form(s) of geo-engineering may eventually be required, the likeliehood of unintended consequences scares the #*@$#% out of me.
Member Since: May 2, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 180
217. RevElvis
6:28 PM GMT on August 21, 2012
Cloud Brightening to Control Global Warming? Geoengineers Propose an Experiment

ScienceDaily.com

(thought this was interesting, but my opinion - would be to solve the problem at it's source - not treat the symptoms > less chance of "blowback")

ScienceDaily (Aug. 20, 2012) Even though it sounds like science fiction, researchers are taking a second look at a controversial idea that uses futuristic ships to shoot salt water high into the sky over the oceans, creating clouds that reflect sunlight and thus counter global warming.

The point of the paper -- which includes updates on the latest study into what kind of ship would be best to spray the salt water into the sky, how large the water droplets should be and the potential climatological impacts -- is to encourage more scientists to consider the idea of marine cloud brightening and even poke holes in it. In the paper, he and a colleague detail an experiment to test the concept
.
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
216. RevElvis
6:24 PM GMT on August 21, 2012
Flood Risk Ranking Reveals Vulnerable Cities

ScienceDaily.com

ScienceDaily (Aug. 21, 2012) — A new study of nine coastal cities around the world suggests that Shanghai is most vulnerable to serious flooding. European cities top the leader board for their resilience.

These finding are based on a new method to calculate the flood vulnerability of cities, developed by a team of researchers from the Netherlands and the University of Leeds. The work is published in the latest edition of the journal Natural Hazards.

The index does not just look at the likelihood of a city's exposure to a major 'once in a hundred years' flood. The researchers have been careful to include social and economic factors in their calculations too
.
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
215. RevElvis
6:22 PM GMT on August 21, 2012
Forest Razing by Ancient Maya Worsened Droughts, Says Study

ScienceDaily.com

ScienceDaily (Aug. 21, 2012) — For six centuries, the ancient Maya flourished, with more than a hundred city-states scattered across what is now southern Mexico and northern Central America. Then, in A.D. 695, the collapse of several cities in present day Guatemala marked the start of the Classic Maya's slow decline. Prolonged drought is thought to have played a role, but a study published this week in the journal Geophysical Research Letters adds a new twist: The Maya may have made the droughts worse by clearing away forests for cities and crops, making a naturally drying climate drier.

"We're not saying deforestation explains the entire drought, but it does explain a substantial portion of the overall drying that is thought to have occurred," said the study's lead author Benjamin Cook, a climate modeler at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
214. BobWallace
5:58 PM GMT on August 21, 2012
Quoting RevElvis:
Quakes Beneath Antarctic Glacier Linked to Ocean Tides

LiveScience.com

Thousands of earthquakes occurring in rapid succession in less than a year under an Antarctic glacier may have been linked to ocean tides, new research suggests.

Scientists investigated seismic activity under David Glacier, a large glacier in East Antarctica about 270 square miles (700 square kilometers) in size. The glacier serves as the outlet from which ice from 4 percent of that region's ice sheet drains out toward the sea.

To learn more about the foundations and behavior of this glacier, the researchers analyzed seismic data gathered from there over a nine-month period between 2002 and 2003 by the Transantarctic Mountains Seismic Experiment array of 42 seismometers. They identified about 20,000 seismic events during this period that were stronger and lasted longer than the shaking typically seen with glaciers.


As we take the ice load off the top of land masses and make the high tides higher seems like we should expect the ground to creak and groan. We're changing the loading.
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
213. cyclonebuster
5:45 PM GMT on August 21, 2012
Also notice how the cycle peaks and vallies are growing in amplitude over time a sign of thinning ice........


Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20401
212. cyclonebuster
5:04 PM GMT on August 21, 2012
The Cryoshpere Today also has the Arctic Basin as a new record low.


Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20401
211. RevElvis
3:41 PM GMT on August 21, 2012
Quakes Beneath Antarctic Glacier Linked to Ocean Tides

LiveScience.com

Thousands of earthquakes occurring in rapid succession in less than a year under an Antarctic glacier may have been linked to ocean tides, new research suggests.

Scientists investigated seismic activity under David Glacier, a large glacier in East Antarctica about 270 square miles (700 square kilometers) in size. The glacier serves as the outlet from which ice from 4 percent of that region's ice sheet drains out toward the sea.

To learn more about the foundations and behavior of this glacier, the researchers analyzed seismic data gathered from there over a nine-month period between 2002 and 2003 by the Transantarctic Mountains Seismic Experiment array of 42 seismometers. They identified about 20,000 seismic events during this period that were stronger and lasted longer than the shaking typically seen with glaciers.
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
210. cyclonebuster
12:53 PM GMT on August 21, 2012
"To Scambos, these are clear signs of climate change spurred by human activities, notably the emission of heat-trapping greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide.

"Everything about this points in the same direction: we've made the Earth warmer," he said.

This summer has also seen unusual melting of the ice sheet covering Greenland, with NASA images showing that for a few days in July, 97 percent of the northern island's surface was thawing. The same month also saw an iceberg twice the size of Manhattan break free from Greenland's Petermann Glacier.

The change is apparent from an NSIDC graphic showing current Arctic ice cover compared with the 1979-2000 average, Scambos said. The graphic is online at nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/ .

"What you're seeing is more open ocean than you're seeing ice," he said. "It just simply doesn't look like what a polar scientist expects the arctic to look like. It's wide open and the (ice) cap is very small. It's a visceral thing. You look at it and that just doesn't look like the Arctic Ocean any more." "

Link
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20401
209. BobWallace
10:08 PM GMT on August 20, 2012
Quoting ClimateChange:


Thanks for the comments and suggestions. I do plan on exporting the ice data over there. The medium is a little more convenient and makes it a lot easier to upload graphics. Don't need to worry about hosting them elsewhere.

I've always been interested in the weather & climate, so researching some of these events isn't a big deal for me but it does take time. I don't have a lot of time to devote to this blog. But I'm going to try to post about interesting current and historical events when I get some free time. And if I see any studies of interest I'll post them. I read some of the "skeptical" blogs and they sometimes like to call attention to past heat waves and the like to sow doubt, so I figure I might as well post and try to make a more balanced picture. There's a wealth of data out there that really could be made more accessible to the average person, so that they could see that the climate is changing. What it means -- or what we should do about it -- are still debatable. But to say that it's not happening is just asinine.


Some data you might want to take a look out is annual melt out dates for various bodies of water. Might not be a biggie in Ohio, but further north it is something watched very carefully and records can go back for many years.
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
208. ClimateChange
8:38 PM GMT on August 20, 2012
Quoting BobWallace:


I would think the changes in Great Lake ice would be a good topic for your blog. Perhaps ice fisherpeople and ice sailors could give some input.

Setting your site up as a central place where one could go for region climate data might be a good service. Have a page of links to reliable data sources.

Good luck and drop periodic summary pieces in here.


Thanks for the comments and suggestions. I do plan on exporting the ice data over there. The medium is a little more convenient and makes it a lot easier to upload graphics. Don't need to worry about hosting them elsewhere.

I've always been interested in the weather & climate, so researching some of these events isn't a big deal for me but it does take time. I don't have a lot of time to devote to this blog. But I'm going to try to post about interesting current and historical events when I get some free time. And if I see any studies of interest I'll post them. I read some of the "skeptical" blogs and they sometimes like to call attention to past heat waves and the like to sow doubt, so I figure I might as well post and try to make a more balanced picture. There's a wealth of data out there that really could be made more accessible to the average person, so that they could see that the climate is changing. What it means -- or what we should do about it -- are still debatable. But to say that it's not happening is just asinine.
Member Since: September 8, 2011 Posts: 8 Comments: 245
207. BobWallace
8:19 PM GMT on August 20, 2012
Quoting ClimateChange:
Hey all! I'm sorry about the spam, but I just started a new blog at: http://ohioclimate.wordpress.com/

I've made a few blog posts here about climate change, but the medium isn't ideal and the traffic minimal (hard to find). I created the new site to provide a place to discuss the actual effects and impacts (both positive and negative) that have already occurred on the local and regional scale. As a native Ohioan, the focus is on Ohio, but also on the greater Midwest and Lakes region.

Lost in the discussion of climate change on the ordinary person is that it's effects have not been limited to the arctic. The changing climate is evident everywhere. Weather has always been an interest of mine, so I've looked back at old records in the past. And they really illustrate some of the changes. Today, I made a post discussing the old phenomenon of July frosts. I'm not talking 1816 -- year without a summer. Rather, I'm talking circa 1900 -- light frosts used to be a fairly common occurrence even in July in the interior parts of northern Ohio. In recent years, it seems even the far North seldom see summertime frosts. In the case of Ohio, the July frost has become part of lore of yesteryear.

http://ohioclimate.wordpress.com/2012/08/20/july- frost-in-ohio-endangered-species-or-already-extinc t/

Anyways, I welcome anyone to come participate there. As I have other business to do, I won't be making new posts very frequently (maybe once a week or so), but I do intend to maintain it. I don't expect much traffic, but I'd like to counter some of the nonsense that the US warming trend is only an artifact of manipulated data by providing physical evidence of the changes that are independent of any temperature readings.


I would think the changes in Great Lake ice would be a good topic for your blog. Perhaps ice fisherpeople and ice sailors could give some input.

Setting your site up as a central place where one could go for region climate data might be a good service. Have a page of links to reliable data sources.

Good luck and drop periodic summary pieces in here.
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
206. ClimateChange
7:27 PM GMT on August 20, 2012
Hey all! I'm sorry about the spam, but I just started a blog at: http://ohioclimate.wordpress.com/

I've been posting here about climate change, but the medium isn't ideal. I created the new site to provide a place to discuss the actual effects and impacts (both positive and negative) that have already occurred on the local and regional scale. As a native Ohioan, the focus is on Ohio, but also on the greater Midwest and Lakes region.

Lost in the discussion of climate change on the ordinary person is that it's effects have not been limited to the arctic. The changing climate is evident everywhere. Weather has always been an interest of mine, so I've looked back at old records in the past. And they really illustrate some of the changes. Today, I made a post discussing the old phenomenon of July frosts. I'm not talking 1816 -- year without a summer. Rather, I'm talking circa 1900 -- light frosts used to be a fairly common occurrence even in July in the interior parts of northern Ohio. In recent years, it seems even the far North seldom see summertime frosts. In the case of Ohio, the July frost has become part of lore of yesteryear.

http://ohioclimate.wordpress.com/2012/08/20/july- frost-in-ohio-endangered-species-or-already-extinc t/

Anyways, I welcome anyone to come participate there. As I have other business to do, I won't be making new posts very frequently (maybe once a week or so), but I do intend to maintain it. I don't expect much traffic, but I'd like to counter some of the nonsense that the US warming trend is only an artifact of manipulated data by providing physical evidence of the changes that are independent of any temperature readings.
Member Since: September 8, 2011 Posts: 8 Comments: 245
205. BobWallace
6:47 PM GMT on August 20, 2012
Quoting pintada:


Really, straw building did change the straw market. The price jumped from $0/ton to almost $100/ton. I haven't kept track so don't know the exact price now. Anyway it would be just the local price.

My house is wood frame because straw was just too expensive at the time. Plus, the local building inspector made it clear that he didn't want to see straw buildings in "his" county. Sometimes its easier to just conform.

Straw bale building is cool. Just make absolutely certain that the stucco on the outside is VERY thick and un-cracked. Mice love straw!


Where?

Straw prices around here have stayed fairly flat, I buy a couple bales a year for the garden.

Rodents love seeds, straw not so much.

Building inspectors. Some of those guys....

There are stacked bale (no frame) houses that are now about 100 years old. I wouldn't build a stacked bale in earthquake territory but one with a timber or concrete frame would be fine.

Concrete corners and door posts with a bond beam across the top should be excellent for earthquake and hurricane country. Put a layer of heavy wire, something like concrete mesh on the outside of the bales and stucco over and it would take a major force to bring that structure down. \

Tie the outside wire to the corners and it would be super-strong. Ferrocement walls. Ferrocement boats are incredibly strong.

BTW, rice straw would be an excellent material. The high silicone content of rice straw makes it very rot resistant, in the event some moisture did find its way inside.
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
204. pintada
6:37 PM GMT on August 20, 2012
Quoting BobWallace:


Leaving plant "wastes" on the field stores that carbon for a short time. Probably only until the next year's microbes eat it into CO2 and methane.

More importantly it feeds those microbes and they produce nutrients for the next crop. And the plant material helps the soil absorb rain and hold the water in between rains.

If straw bale houses are being built in large numbers, I'd be very surprised. I live in an area in which there are a lot of alternative builders and there seem to be few straw buildings.

Straw for houses makes huge sense. Hugely insulating, sound deadening, high fire resistance, lower skilled construction, and the carbon in the straw should be sequestered for 100 years or more.

Straw bale houses can be beautiful. You end up with the very thick walls of adobe construction. Deep-set windows and doors. A feeling of mass and strength.


Really, straw building did change the straw market. The price jumped from $0/ton to almost $100/ton. I haven't kept track so don't know the exact price now. Anyway it would be just the local price.

My house is wood frame because straw was just too expensive at the time. Plus, the local building inspector made it clear that he didn't want to see straw buildings in "his" county. Sometimes its easier to just conform.

Straw bale building is cool. Just make absolutely certain that the stucco on the outside is VERY thick and un-cracked. Mice love straw!
Member Since: July 15, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 234
203. Some1Has2BtheRookie
5:30 PM GMT on August 20, 2012
Deleted
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4737
202. Patrap
4:07 PM GMT on August 20, 2012
I can assure anyone that the 30K Minus's for Nea came from the Highest authority here on wunderground.


Fresca?

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128348
201. BobWallace
3:55 PM GMT on August 20, 2012
Quoting pintada:


My limited understanding of the phenomenon is:

A farmer might choose to leave the corn stalks (for example) in the field, and plow them under. If that happened, tons of carbon would be trapped there in the soil.

My old pappy used to plow under the straw from our barley crop some years. "Put'n humus in the soil" he would say.

Unfortunately, straw is now at a premium since straw bale houses have become fashionable ... of course, i suppose the carbon is still trapped in the house which is good.

If farmers kept more straw and corn stalks etc. in the field, and spread manure on fields rather than fertilizing with chemicals then that is where the savings would really be felt. If farmers didn't buy their nitrogen source, but could provide it naturally we could save gigatons of CO2.

Farming would be less simple. Its a lot easier to sample your soil and then buy the correct commercial fertilizer than it is to take the same soil analysis and then figure out whether to graze chickens or cattle on the field, or whether to buy manure from the local feedlot.

Farming would be less profitable. Everyone (especially the corn farmer) knows that its horrible to plant corn in the same field year after year. It should be corn one year, and then alfalfa (a legume) for ~10. Of course, if they did that corn would at least triple in price and half the third world would starve.

Bottom line, farmers must buy commercial fertilizer to make a (western consumerist) living, and they must mine their soil rather than husband it properly to feed the teeming billions of us.

Its called overshoot.


Leaving plant "wastes" on the field stores that carbon for a short time. Probably only until the next year's microbes eat it into CO2 and methane.

More importantly it feeds those microbes and they produce nutrients for the next crop. And the plant material helps the soil absorb rain and hold the water in between rains.

If straw bale houses are being built in large numbers, I'd be very surprised. I live in an area in which there are a lot of alternative builders and there seem to be few straw buildings.

Straw for houses makes huge sense. Hugely insulating, sound deadening, high fire resistance, lower skilled construction, and the carbon in the straw should be sequestered for 100 years or more.

Straw bale houses can be beautiful. You end up with the very thick walls of adobe construction. Deep-set windows and doors. A feeling of mass and strength.
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
200. Some1Has2BtheRookie
3:54 PM GMT on August 20, 2012
Deleted
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4737
199. BobWallace
3:47 PM GMT on August 20, 2012
Quoting Birthmark:

Oh, I didn't notice that it was from a comedy website. WUWT - The Onion of climate science.


Now, now, now... Let's not besmudge the Onion.

The people who write the Onion know the facts. They write their stuff to be funny.
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
198. BobWallace
3:45 PM GMT on August 20, 2012
Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


I cannot speak for Neapolitan, but I would imagine that this is a ball park figure. Considering how long he has been on WU, and all of the blogs here that he posts to, I would imagine that 30,000 is a good "feels like" number. He certainly has received many of what appeared to be organized "minus" to his posts before.


I joined the site because I was reading on the tropical weather blog, trying to learn more about weather event, and saw Nea's very informative posts getting buried by numerous people.

I joined and started adding my pluses to counteract intentional ignorance.

(Why do some people actively choose to be ignorant? They have to climb over piles of facts in order to maintain their false beliefs.)
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
197. pintada
3:09 PM GMT on August 20, 2012
Actually it occurs to me that instead of using the word "if" in posts 194 and 195 i should have said "when".

After the "transition" (as defined by John Michael Greer and others) the few people left will recycle their carbon very effectively.

I don't need to buy nitrogen for my place ... I have mulch and manure coming out my ears!!! LOL
Member Since: July 15, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 234
196. cyclonebuster
2:52 PM GMT on August 20, 2012
Quoting pintada:


No, silly boy.

If soils were managed properly - i.e. not mined - then there would be no appreciable run off.

There would be much less nitrogen fertilizer made.

There would be no dead zone in the GOM.


Less nitric acid also.....
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20401
195. pintada
2:26 PM GMT on August 20, 2012
Quoting cyclonebuster:


Nah! Then you get the run off from the soils when it rains which have become more acidic with (carbonic acid) and then it gets into the lakes,ponds rivers and oceans a screws the whole ecosystem up all over again......It's a vicious cycle. Better off not burning any fossil fuel....


No, silly boy.

If soils were managed properly - i.e. not mined - then there would be no appreciable run off.

There would be much less nitrogen fertilizer made.

There would be no dead zone in the GOM.
Member Since: July 15, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 234
194. pintada
2:23 PM GMT on August 20, 2012
Quoting Patrap:
And what many are saying about , well Topsoil and soil as a whole and its ability to sequester HUGE amounts of Co2 in the Loop is vastly underplayed as to recent study and obs.

But as we bake out that Soil to a more drier level, well that slows dramatically.

CARBON SEQUESTRATION IN SOILS

Over the past 150 years, the amount of carbon in the atmosphere hasincreased by 30%. Most scientists believe there is a direct relationship between increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and rising global temperatures. One proposed method to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide is to increase the global storage of carbon in soils.

An added benefit to this solution is the potential for simultaneous enhancement in agricultural production.

But what exactly is carbon sequestration, and what is its role in the global carbon cycle?

How can we manage soils to capitalize on their ability to store carbon?

And what are the costs and trade offs of these activities?


My limited understanding of the phenomenon is:

A farmer might choose to leave the corn stalks (for example) in the field, and plow them under. If that happened, tons of carbon would be trapped there in the soil.

My old pappy used to plow under the straw from our barley crop some years. "Put'n humus in the soil" he would say.

Unfortunately, straw is now at a premium since straw bale houses have become fashionable ... of course, i suppose the carbon is still trapped in the house which is good.

If farmers kept more straw and corn stalks etc. in the field, and spread manure on fields rather than fertilizing with chemicals then that is where the savings would really be felt. If farmers didn't buy their nitrogen source, but could provide it naturally we could save gigatons of CO2.

Farming would be less simple. Its a lot easier to sample your soil and then buy the correct commercial fertilizer than it is to take the same soil analysis and then figure out whether to graze chickens or cattle on the field, or whether to buy manure from the local feedlot.

Farming would be less profitable. Everyone (especially the corn farmer) knows that its horrible to plant corn in the same field year after year. It should be corn one year, and then alfalfa (a legume) for ~10. Of course, if they did that corn would at least triple in price and half the third world would starve.

Bottom line, farmers must buy commercial fertilizer to make a (western consumerist) living, and they must mine their soil rather than husband it properly to feed the teeming billions of us.

Its called overshoot.
Member Since: July 15, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 234
193. Birthmark
2:22 PM GMT on August 20, 2012
Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


Could it be that it is from Anthony Watt's website? Only crackpots, Neanderthals and liars take anything that Anthony Watts says seriously. Even the media KNOWS this!

Oh, I didn't notice that it was from a comedy website. WUWT - The Onion of climate science.
Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 5469
192. percylives
2:15 PM GMT on August 20, 2012
Cryosphere Todaynow has the Northern Hemisphere with less than 2.9 million square kilometers of ice cover. This is a new minimum in their satellite record and any additional melting will just add to 2012's record. There still is about a month before re-freezing usually begins.
Member Since: August 23, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 99

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About RickyRood

I'm a professor at U Michigan and lead a course on climate change problem solving. These articles often come from and contribute to the course.