# Dr. Ricky Rood's Climate Change Blog

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Point of View
 By: Dr. Ricky Rood, 6:03 AM GMT on August 23, 2012 +11
Point of View: Models, Water, and Temperature (6)

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.

Doing Science with Models 1.3: In the previous entry of this series I used the example of balancing a monthly checking account to make the point that studying the Earth’s climate is very much like balancing a budget. Rather than money, we calculate a budget of energy.

Energy is one of the attributes used by scientists to describe the physical world, and it is a basic law of classical physics that energy is conserved. 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 introduced the concept of making a mathematical representation of the real world with this equation for money

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

and I came to point where I said we have a similar equation for energy

Earth’s Energy Today = Earth’s Energy Yesterday + Energy Gained – Energy Lost

These equations are the most basic models for the process that they describe. In fact, these equations could be said to be the perfect model for your personal budget of money or the Earth’s budget of energy. In the jargon of the scientist who builds models, this perfect model is often called the “analytic” model because it can be solved exactly, or analytically, by arithmetic.

The next idea I want to introduce is point of view. In the first instance, above, the equation represents a personal budget. In the second instance, the equation represents the energy budget of the whole Earth. Recall in the previous entry when I set up the problem of looking at the Earth’s energy, I said to imagine a person not on Earth, but who is observing the Earth. The observer, perhaps on Mars, sees the Earth as a small dot with energy coming in from the Sun, which the Earth then emits back to space from the Earth. If the Earth is in an energy balance, then the amount on energy coming back to space equals that coming in from the Sun.

That’s interesting to think about for a minute. Let’s assume that the Sun is constant. Then if the Earth is in an energy balance, the energy coming back to space is the same no matter the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. So to the person on Mars, the Earth would look the same. But the conditions on Earth might be quite different if the atmosphere had 600 rather than 300 molecules of carbon dioxide per every million molecules of air. This is because the point of view that we are interested in is from the surface of the Earth.

In 2010 I had a series of blogs called Bumps and Wiggles (here, go back and give it some “likes”). In the third of that series, I introduced Simple Earth. Here is that figure, which is described more completely in the original blog.

Figure 1: Simple Earth 1: Some basic ingredients of the Earth’s climate.

The problem of climate and climate change is important because of our point of view. If we are to continue to build thriving economies in our societies, we need a stable climate. In this case, stable really means that we know what to expect. Therefore, the climate of the Earth that might be of interest to that person sitting on Mars is not especially relevant to the person sitting on the surface of the Earth. Therefore, we need to think of models that are from the point of view of the person on the surface of the Earth. Again, energy and the law of conservation of energy come to the forefront.

In the figure, if the stick man looks around there is energy everywhere. It comes as heat from the Sun. It comes as wind from the air. It comes as waves from the sea. It comes as food from the land. So the accounting problem becomes more complex. We need the budget of energy for the atmosphere, the oceans, the land, and the glaciers and ice sheets. This energy needs to be balanced with what comes in from the Sun and what goes back to space. It is the same simple-to-conceive classical physics, but since we are in the middle of it all, the problem becomes complex. Still though, it is only a matter of balancing the books.

Interesting Research: Warming and Cooling in Ice Sheets - I’m usually not the blogger reporting on the most recent papers and breaking research, but this week I am different. The paper is Recent Antarctic Peninsula warming relative to Holocene climate and ice-shelf history, which was published online on August 22, 2012 in Nature. Robert Mulvaney is the senior author. The press take on this paper is that ice-core data show that over the previous, approximately, 12,000 years (the Holocene), there have been a number of times when there has been warming on James Ross Island, an island off the Antarctic Peninsula. These periods of warming have been comparable to the warming observed in the last 50 years, and hence, there are examples of warming that are not caused by the recent increases in carbon dioxide. There are scientific and political consequences of this paper. I will try to think like a scientist.

What does this paper say about generalized warming of the planet due to green house gases? First, we have to look at the locality of the data. It is from a single small island, in a part of the world that is known to have substantial fluctuations of temperature. We then need to look at how this knowledge fits in with the body of evidence as a whole. For example, Mulvaney and coauthors found a prominent warming period about 600 years ago. Was this warming at James Ross Island accompanied by warming of the same global extent as the currently observed warming? Are there other existing data that suggest natural internal variability during these previous times of warming? Is there something different in the past 50 years that distinguishes the current warming from the previous times of warming? The list goes on. So this result needs to be placed in context of all of the data and knowledge, and the coherence of this new information with the existing information needs to be evaluated.

This paper highlights the difficulty of extracting the contribution of warming due to carbon dioxide increase for any particular event. Ages ago, I had a blog on the breakup of the Larsen Ice Shelf. This new result makes the easy attribution of that ice-shelf collapse to human-caused warming difficult. As above, that attribution problem requires looking at the ice- shelf collapse in concert with other information. Was the event isolated? Is there evidence of other causes of variability? Is there something now that is different from the past? One attribution question that I can see – can the extra warming from carbon dioxide push the melting of the ice shelf over a tipping point?

Finally, I will bring us back to models, as models are ubiquitous in climate science and science in general. Within this paper, a glaciological model is used to determine the age scale. This model represents the flow of ice in the glacier, and that flow is assumed to remain constant over the time of the study. Another place that a model is used is determining the temperature based on the observations of isotopes of oxygen. This requires a melding of theory and application. Therefore, when you say, “but the observations show …” remember the role of models in making those observations.

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 51. cyclonebuster 10:59 PM GMT on August 26, 2012 Quoting BobWallace:He isn't going to listen....YOUR DAMN RIGHT....... Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20217
 54. BobWallace 11:39 PM GMT on August 26, 2012 "someone here point me to the right direction"People have tried and tried and tried to point you in the right direction. You show zero evidence of accepting the help offered and continue to disrupt the site with your cartoon.Here's very simple request.Stop posting that damned cartoon. Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
 55. cyclonebuster 11:39 PM GMT on August 26, 2012 Quoting OldLeatherneck:Dr. Mann was just telling you to go away and not bother him any more. Environmental engineers are concerned about air quality, water quality and proper handling of hazardous chemicals. They are in no way capable of modelling your concept regarding the geo-engineering of the ocean's SSTs, even if you could provide millions of dollars for the effort.Obviously Brian Norcross thinks you are just a nuisance, therefore he banned you.You've been very rude to many regular posters on this blog, who are sympathetic to your cause, yet have continually tried to show you the errors of your ways.You are very fortunate that Dr. Rood has not already banned you for being a distraction to the dialogue about climate science.This blog is not about Marine Architecture, Design Engineering and Production Planning!!Correct but it is about computer modeling is it not? Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20217
 57. cyclonebuster 11:40 PM GMT on August 26, 2012 Quoting BobWallace: "someone here point me to the right direction"People have tried and tried and tried to point you in the right direction. You show zero evidence of accepting the help offered and continue to disrupt the site with your cartoon.Here's very simple request.Stop posting that damned cartoon.Not until it is computer modeled.. Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20217
 58. greentortuloni 11:57 PM GMT on August 26, 2012 Quoting cyclonebuster:Not until it is computer modeled..I hate jumping on bandwagons, but I am one of those who supported you.I suggested Comsol as a modeling platform. Until you have learned how to model on Comsol and tried at elast a rudimentary model, you are wasting my time.Comsol will let you model every single aspect of your invention that I can think of, from hydrodynamics and thermodynamics to impeller efficiencies.Give it a shot. Member Since: June 5, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1220
 59. OldLeatherneck 12:04 AM GMT on August 27, 2012 Quoting cyclonebuster:Correct but it is about computer modeling is it not?There are a few facts about computer modelling that you may not understand. While I am not familiar with the complexities of climate models, I am familiar with the complexity and cost (Many Millions) of the control systems models used to develop guided missiles and exoatmospheric vehicles (Star Wars). I know personally many of the engineers and scientists who worked on those simulations. It takes years and many millions of dollars.In my estimation, your concept will be far more difficult and expensive to model because there are almost no controlled variables and a multitude of uncontrolled variables that scientists are still grasping to understand.For anyone to be able to model your concept, you need to provide them the following information:1. Approximate GPS coordinates of your first installation.2. The SST temperatures over how great an area.3. The temperature gradient to a predetermined depth.4. The approximate timeframe for the first installation.5. The sequence of installations (thousands of units) to include timeframe and GPS coordinates.Keep in mind that after the first prototype is validated, the models will need to be changed as well as any design changes required. (NOTE: your original design can not be manufactured in a timely manner at a reasonable cost).Modelling will have to be continually upgraded throughout the entire period of implementation and operation (10-25 years).Nobody capable of designing the suite of modelling software for your concept will touch this for less than \$10-20 Million. Member Since: May 2, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 173
 60. Xulonn 12:44 AM GMT on August 27, 2012 In spite of his occasional relevant and interesting comments on climate change, I have reluctantly placed Cyclonebuster on ignore. This is not the proper place to advance his invention, and all he does is repeatedly irritate people here. I worked as a lab technician in industrial research long enough to know that many, if not most ideas, even if based on sound science and handed to engineers and technicians by the best and brightest Ph.D.'s in the business, do not work out. No corporation is going to take him up on his idea, because there is no profit in it. That leaves private foundations and the government, and they are not going even going to see his idea, let alone consider it, when it is posted on a rather obscure climate change blog. Inventors have been pushing their fringe ideas for years, and unless cyclonebuster can get a highly respected climate change expert to back him, and then work through established channels to reach funders of geo-engineering projects - if they exist, he will go to his grave loudly proclaiming the efficacy of his idea without accomplishing anything worthwhile.Sorry, but if you respond to this post, I will not see it. Member Since: June 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 1049
 61. OldLeatherneck 1:05 AM GMT on August 27, 2012 Quoting Xulonn: Inventors have been pushing their fringe ideas for years, and unless cyclonebuster can get a highly respected climate change expert to back him, and then work through established channels to reach funders of geo-engineering projects - if they exist, he will go to his grave loudly proclaiming the efficacy of his idea without accomplishing anything worthwhile.Both Dr. Masters and Dr. Rood are highly acclaimed in their respective disciplines. They both have been inundated by CycloneBusters cartoon concept for many years. They also have personal networks throughout academia and government. If either one of them thought that CycloneBuster had a viable concept, I'm sure that someone in government or industry would have looked at it by now. Member Since: May 2, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 173
 62. spbloom 1:52 AM GMT on August 27, 2012 Quoting OldLeatherneck:There are a few facts about computer modelling that you may not understand. While I am not familiar with the complexities of climate models, I am familiar with the complexity and cost (Many Millions) of the control systems models used to develop guided missiles and exoatmospheric vehicles (Star Wars). I know personally many of the engineers and scientists who worked on those simulations. It takes years and many millions of dollars.In my estimation, your concept will be far more difficult and expensive to model because there are almost no controlled variables and a multitude of uncontrolled variables that scientists are still grasping to understand.For anyone to be able to model your concept, you need to provide them the following information:1. Approximate GPS coordinates of your first installation.2. The SST temperatures over how great an area.3. The temperature gradient to a predetermined depth.4. The approximate timeframe for the first installation.5. The sequence of installations (thousands of units) to include timeframe and GPS coordinates.Keep in mind that after the first prototype is validated, the models will need to be changed as well as any design changes required. (NOTE: your original design can not be manufactured in a timely manner at a reasonable cost).Modelling will have to be continually upgraded throughout the entire period of implementation and operation (10-25 years).Nobody capable of designing the suite of modelling software for your concept will touch this for less than \$10-20 Million.Hmm, recalling when I took a little time to examine the idea a few years back, actually I think it fails based on some pretty simple calculations. That's no surprise when you consider e.g. how much pumping would be needed to countervail the heat energy contained in a loop eddy. In any case no fancy modeling is needed to establish multiple grounds for impracticality if not impossibility, none of which Patrick has listened to notwithstanding the patient efforts of many. Member Since: May 12, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 299
 63. spbloom 1:56 AM GMT on August 27, 2012 Quoting OldLeatherneck:Both Dr. Masters and Dr. Rood are highly acclaimed in their respective disciplines. They both have been inundated by CycloneBusters cartoon concept for many years. They also have personal networks throughout academia and government. If either one of them thought that CycloneBuster had a viable concept, I'm sure that someone in government or industry would have looked at it by now.To be fair neither Jeff nor Ricky are experts in geo-engineering, but of course Patrick knows well who the latter are. I can't recall him specifically admitting to having approached any of them, but likely he has and with the predictable outcome. But why listen to them either? Member Since: May 12, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 299
 64. cyclonebuster 2:17 AM GMT on August 27, 2012 Quoting greentortuloni:I hate jumping on bandwagons, but I am one of those who supported you.I suggested Comsol as a modeling platform. Until you have learned how to model on Comsol and tried at elast a rudimentary model, you are wasting my time.Comsol will let you model every single aspect of your invention that I can think of, from hydrodynamics and thermodynamics to impeller efficiencies.Give it a shot.I am the one with the idea .I have no idea how to model anything. I need a University to do this........ Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20217
 66. cyclonebuster 2:29 AM GMT on August 27, 2012 If you would have listened to me 20 years ago the Arctic Ice would not be in the state it is in now nor would we have had Katrina and possibly a repeat of that event to the exact day from Isaac.......... Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20217
 67. cyclonebuster 2:32 AM GMT on August 27, 2012 "No corporation is going to take him up on his idea, because there is no profit in it. That leaves private foundations and the government, and they are not going even going to see his idea, let alone consider it, when it is posted on a rather obscure climate change blog."LOL! You have got to be kidding me right? No profit from 13 trillion watts every 7 seconds.... Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20217
 68. leftlink 2:39 AM GMT on August 27, 2012 It might be interesting with the convention happening this week to list the language on climate change from all the state Republican Party platforms.For example:Minnesotahttp://www.mngop.com/pdfs/platform.pdf"We oppose policies, legislation and mandates that are based on the theory that humans are responsible for global climate change including the Theory of Man-Made Global Warming, as well as any energy policies that raise the cost of energy to consumers and do nothing to protect the environment."Texashttp://www.tfn.org/site/DocServer/20...pdf?docID= 3201"Controversial Theories – We support objective teaching and equal treatment of all sides of scientific theories. We believe theories such as life origins and environmental change should be taught as challengeable scientific theories subject to change as new data is produced."The national platform document should also be ready soon. Member Since: December 28, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 134
 69. BobWallace 2:55 AM GMT on August 27, 2012 "Controversial Theories – We support objective teaching and equal treatment of all sides of scientific theories. We believe theories such as life origins and environmental change should be taught as challengeable scientific theories subject to change as new data is produced."That sounds good. Lay out the various ideas and review the data that supports/refutes each. Texas would turn out some science-savvy students.But you know damned well that the data won't be presented in an objective manner. There's no way that the dating data for human and dinosaur data will be presented. It would conflict with the Earth being only 6,000 years old.And the data for evolution...."Objective" - no friggin' way. It's just an excuse to teach Bible myths at taxpayers' expense.Would be fun if someone insisted that Hindu creation theory had to get as much attention as Christian.... Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
 70. greentortuloni 11:15 AM GMT on August 27, 2012 Quoting cyclonebuster:I am the one with the idea .I have no idea how to model anything. I need a University to do this........Actually you need to roll up your sleeves and get to work. COMSOL is a pain in the ass, I think, from the little I have done with it but anything that models any physical process is a pain in the ass by its nature, nothing against COMSOL in particular. I am sure there are other programs out there.You are not stupid, you just need to get busy. If you don't know how to model it, start with the first step and then take the next step and so on. I've worked my ass off over YEARS to accomplish goals. Sometimes that is what it takes. If you don't have the juice to do this, why should anyone else do it for you?However, in the hopes of inspiring you, here is a similar type project, on cloud whitening. Why not copy what they did as a plan to get official recognition of your project? Member Since: June 5, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1220
 71. greentortuloni 11:24 AM GMT on August 27, 2012 Quoting BobWallace:"Controversial Theories – We support objective teaching and equal treatment of all sides of scientific theories. We believe theories such as life origins and environmental change should be taught as challengeable scientific theories subject to change as new data is produced."That sounds good. Lay out the various ideas and review the data that supports/refutes each. Texas would turn out some science-savvy students.But you know damned well that the data won't be presented in an objective manner. There's no way that the dating data for human and dinosaur data will be presented. It would conflict with the Earth being only 6,000 years old.And the data for evolution...."Objective" - no friggin' way. It's just an excuse to teach Bible myths at taxpayers' expense.Would be fun if someone insisted that Hindu creation theory had to get as much attention as Christian....I actually wouldn't mind teaching intelligent design if it was really taught with an open mind. I remember when spontaneous generation, the caloric method and that theory about gravity being the result of particles hitting us was 'taught' as part of a physics class to demonstrate scientific method. It really helped me to understand science.If they said, this is the theory that we start with (e.g. scientific method) and then examined the evidence and let the students chose their own conclusions, I wouldn't care what they used as examples of theories. Personally I always wanted to try "really intelligent design" (RID), where we were designed by aliens as a theory. I think it is much harder to prove RID false without proving "intelligent design" false than arguing against creationism. Member Since: June 5, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1220
 72. BobWallace 2:25 PM GMT on August 27, 2012 Jim - this is a nice clean graph. Interested in doing the same with volume?Or, a different question - which graphing package(s) are you using? Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
 73. Neapolitan 2:36 PM GMT on August 27, 2012 Quoting greentortuloni:I actually wouldn't mind teaching intelligent design if it was really taught with an open mind.To, too, wouldn't mind intelligent design being taught--if it had even the slightest bit of scientific fact behind it. But it doesn't, so including it in the mandatory curricula would be in my opinion the same as demanding that those learning dental medicine be forced to take a course on the Tooth Fairy.The same with climate change, of course. On the one side are tens of thousands of scientists wanting to see the truth be taught; on the other side are corporatists and ideologues who want to see that truth quashed. That any person or group is even remotely considering teaching the two opposing sides for the sake of "balance" is beyond wrongheaded or neglectful; it's downright criminal. Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13110
 74. Neapolitan 2:53 PM GMT on August 27, 2012 Quoting BobWallace:Jim - this is a nice clean graph. Interested in doing the same with volume?Or, a different question - which graphing package(s) are you using?I actually have a volume version; I was just waiting for the August PIOMAS numbers to publish it so it would be more complete, accurate, and telling:That 2012 bar is obviously going to be considerably taller come October when September's final numbers are released. But it's interesting that even with just the July tally, 2012 had already lost a greater percentage than every other year in the record save for 2010 and 2011.Of course, when the annual loss reaches 100%--and it will, very soon--that means nothing left.(I'm using Excel 2010 for the charts at the moment, but plan to port most/all of them to matplotlib or something similar to make admin a little easier.) Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13110
 75. greentortuloni 4:24 PM GMT on August 27, 2012 Quoting Neapolitan:To, too, wouldn't mind intelligent design being taught--if it had even the slightest bit of scientific fact behind it. But it doesn't, so including it in the mandatory curricula would be in my opinion the same as demanding that those learning dental medicine be forced to take a course on the Tooth Fairy.The same with climate change, of course. On the one side are tens of thousands of scientists wanting to see the truth be taught; on the other side are corporatists and ideologues who want to see that truth quashed. That any person or group is even remotely considering teaching the two opposing sides for the sake of "balance" is beyond wrongheaded or neglectful; it's downright criminal.I agree with you about balance being the wrong way to teach science. It is stupid and illogical. But the problem is that currently science is being taught as a religion in many places.This isn't because of any religious/theoretical beliefs but simply because a lot (though probably not the majority) of high school teachers are not sufficiently versed in thinking or open-mindedness. They are taught science is the right way and simply force that down students throats. There is no wonder that any high school kid who has been raised in a religious family sees this as a conflict in religion. This is where the concept of balance comes in. My argument was that by teaching kids to think and by teaching them the scientific method and why it works, then they can use that to analyze anything. I think this is the only way to change people's minds short of forcing them to enlist and make them study science. Walking them through the thinking and letting them chose issues to criticize and giving them practical experience without the theoretical baggage would be more productive than banning it. How many times has rock n roll, premarital sex, homosexuality, drugs, making puns, etc been banned in society?[In an aside, this is also more along the lines of how the bra in works cognitively. It is two different areas, logical belief and emotional belief and emotions will win 98% of the time. People can live with cognitive dissonance much easier than they can live with emotional dissonance. IMHO.]Besides, these religious nutjobs are people I like. I mean I've worked with companies that held prayer breaks at work, something that made me exceedingly claustrophobic. But they were good (and bad) people and once I got used to the wierdness, they were ok to hang out with. Member Since: June 5, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1220
 76. Neapolitan 5:12 PM GMT on August 27, 2012 Quoting greentortuloni:I agree with you about balance being the wrong way to teach science. It is stupid and illogical. But the problem is that currently science is being taught as a religion in many places.This isn't because of any religious/theoretical beliefs but simply because a lot (though probably not the majority) of high school teachers are not sufficiently versed in thinking or open-mindedness. They are taught science is the right way and simply force that down students throats. There is no wonder that any high school kid who has been raised in a religious family sees this as a conflict in religion. This is where the concept of balance comes in. My argument was that by teaching kids to think and by teaching them the scientific method and why it works, then they can use that to analyze anything. I think this is the only way to change people's minds short of forcing them to enlist and make them study science. Walking them through the thinking and letting them chose issues to criticize and giving them practical experience without the theoretical baggage would be more productive than banning it. How many times has rock n roll, premarital sex, homosexuality, drugs, making puns, etc been banned in society?[In an aside, this is also more along the lines of how the bra in works cognitively. It is two different areas, logical belief and emotional belief and emotions will win 98% of the time. People can live with cognitive dissonance much easier than they can live with emotional dissonance. IMHO.]Besides, these religious nutjobs are people I like. I mean I've worked with companies that held prayer breaks at work, something that made me exceedingly claustrophobic. But they were good (and bad) people and once I got used to the wierdness, they were ok to hang out with.So long as students are taught to use the scientific method, that's fine. That, along with development of critical thinking skills, are vitally important. But few none of the ID curricula I've seen have been about applying the scientific method to let students determine on their own whether ID has any validity; instead, they've been about dishonestly sowing seeds of doubt and confusion about evolution, then suggesting that since those darned scientists don't know everything, there's a good chance they don't know anything, and therefore a conservative Christian implementation of ID must be correct.ID pushers aren't the least bit interested in presenting two "competing" theories and allowing students to make up their own minds. They are interested in demonizing scientists--Darwin is red, with a forked tail and horns!--hiding the truth from students, delegitimizing one of the most solid theories in all of science, and promoting a point of view that has absolutely zero basis in reality.I'm not saying all religious people are nuts. Heck, nearly my entire family is deeply religious, with priests and pastors galore. But some were home-schooled because their parents didn't want their minds warped by liberal thought, free thinking, or critical evaluation skills. And those folks are far worse off for it.ID, insofar as it need be taught, should be treated like Roman mythology. Nothing more. Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13110
 77. RevElvis 6:13 PM GMT on August 27, 2012 How Ocean Currents Affect Global Climate Becoming Better UnderstoodScienceDaily.comScienceDaily (Aug. 26, 2012) — Florida State University oceanographer Kevin Speer has a "new paradigm" for describing how the world's oceans circulate -- and with it he may help reshape science's understanding of the processes by which wind, water, sunlight and other factors interact and influence the planet's climate.Here's how it works: Basically, the oceans, together with the atmosphere, rebalance heat on the planet. The sun shines on Earth and heats up the tropics more than the poles. Near the poles, the ocean is cold and the water sinks; near the equator, the surface of the ocean is inviting and warm -- and floats on top of the colder deep water.So the question is this: Where does the water that goes down come back up? Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
 78. pintada 6:37 PM GMT on August 27, 2012 Quoting RevElvis:How Ocean Currents Affect Global Climate Becoming Better UnderstoodScienceDaily.comScienceDaily (Aug. 26, 2012) — Florida State University oceanographer Kevin Speer has a "new paradigm" for describing how the world's oceans circulate -- and with it he may help reshape science's understanding of the processes by which wind, water, sunlight and other factors interact and influence the planet's climate.Here's how it works: Basically, the oceans, together with the atmosphere, rebalance heat on the planet. The sun shines on Earth and heats up the tropics more than the poles. Near the poles, the ocean is cold and the water sinks; near the equator, the surface of the ocean is inviting and warm -- and floats on top of the colder deep water.So the question is this: Where does the water that goes down come back up?"Water flows from the surface to the deep ocean in polar seas at a rate equivalent to twenty thousand Niagara Falls. Since the oceans do not expand by the same volume, this flow must be matched by an equal and opposite upwelling toward the surface somewhere else. Part of that counterbalance is generated by gentle upward mixing in the tropics. In other places upwelling is assisted by wind-driven surface pull. These upwellings are concentrated on the eastern boundaries of the oceans, where winds blow parallel to the coast, like along the western United States. This upwelling explains why the seas of northern California are at their most bracing in spring and summer, and why San Francisco then wears a foggy shroud: cool deep water upwells under the influence of winds from the north. In a physical quirk of life on a spinning sphere, the average direction of water movement is at a right angle to the direction of the wind. 25 In the northern hemisphere the twist is to the right, while in the southern it is to the left. This effect is called the Coriolis force, after Gaspard-Gustave de Coriolis, ... "Roberts, Callum (2012-05-24). The Ocean of Life: The Fate of Man and the Sea (p. 69). Penguin Group. Kindle Edition.I recommend the book highly. Of course, the book has many parts that are not for the faint-hearted. The truth about the oceans may be more painful and scary than the problem in the Arctic. Member Since: July 15, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 208
 79. RevElvis 8:19 PM GMT on August 27, 2012 Antarctic ice sheets may have changed the planet's heartbeatARStechnica.comYou may have seen them before—the graphs from Antarctic ice cores showing the heartbeat of “ice ages” (or glaciations). If so, you probably noted a cyclical pattern, with each glaciation lasting about 100,000 years before being abruptly interrupted by a relatively brief warm period—the interglacial. Soon, the slow freeze inexorably gripped the planet again. There's a reason for this rhythmic pattern—cycles in Earth’s orbit that subtly alter the sunlight reaching the Earth.There are some good answers to that question, but then there’s the other mystery: once you look back about a million years into the past, the heartbeat changes. Instead of glacial cycles 100,000 years long, a more rapid pulse of 41,000 years becomes the norm. Something happened to change that. Here, too, there are some hypotheses, but the data to test them has been scarce.Enter a new study from researches at the University of Cambridge. The study presents 1.5 million years of climate history recorded in ocean sediments off the eastern shore of New Zealand. As with most ocean cores, the team measured isotopes of oxygen in the calcium carbonate shells of single-celled foraminifera. (The same isotopes are used to extract climate records from ice cores.) Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
 80. greentortuloni 8:32 PM GMT on August 27, 2012 Quoting Neapolitan:So long as students are taught to use the scientific method, that's fine. That, along with development of critical thinking skills, are vitally important. But few none of the ID curricula I've seen have been about applying the scientific method to let students determine on their own whether ID has any validity; instead, they've been about dishonestly sowing seeds of doubt and confusion about evolution, then suggesting that since those darned scientists don't know everything, there's a good chance they don't know anything, and therefore a conservative Christian implementation of ID must be correct.ID pushers aren't the least bit interested in presenting two "competing" theories and allowing students to make up their own minds. They are interested in demonizing scientists--Darwin is red, with a forked tail and horns!--hiding the truth from students, delegitimizing one of the most solid theories in all of science, and promoting a point of view that has absolutely zero basis in reality.I'm not saying all religious people are nuts. Heck, nearly my entire family is deeply religious, with priests and pastors galore. But some were home-schooled because their parents didn't want their minds warped by liberal thought, free thinking, or critical evaluation skills. And those folks are far worse off for it.ID, insofar as it need be taught, should be treated like Roman mythology. Nothing more.I dated a girl once who wasn't allowed to listen to rock and roll. So I showed lyrics to her from Black Sabbath without stating they were BS. She was surprised of course to find that Black Sabbath wasn't really about devil worship and that she even liked the lyrics (forget which songs, probably Paranoid, Sweat Leaf and SBS, given I couldn't have remembered much else they wrote.)I realize you don't need the point elaborated but I will anyway, apologies in advance: I believe that using religion to dumb down school curriculi and removing critical thinking is awful and probably evil; even in the religious sense of evil. I just think that forgetting that the people whom we disagree with are real people with the right to their opinion doesn't help the solution. While they see us as evil, forcing them will only be counter productive. Member Since: June 5, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1220
 81. greentortuloni 8:41 PM GMT on August 27, 2012 That said, I'm not looking forward to all the religious right blaming global warming on sinning liberals and trying to string us up (I say 'us' because I have come to realize my brand of conservationism is not conservative in a time when conservative has come to mean "protector of religious consumer lifestyles".) Member Since: June 5, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1220
 82. RevElvis 9:02 PM GMT on August 27, 2012 Swarms of Scottish Robots Will Find and Heal Damaged CoralPopularScience.comSwarms of caretaker robots will soon buzz around the damaged coral reefs of Scotland, re-cementing broken sections with utmost precision. Researchers at Scotland's Heriot-Watt University are programming autonomous underwater vehicles to follow a set of simple rules, like bees in a swarm, to keep corals healthy.- have to ask - what happens when the robots realize who is making the coral "unhealthy"? ;-) Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
 83. greentortuloni 9:14 PM GMT on August 27, 2012 Quoting RevElvis:Swarms of Scottish Robots Will Find and Heal Damaged CoralPopularScience.comSwarms of caretaker robots will soon buzz around the damaged coral reefs of Scotland, re-cementing broken sections with utmost precision. Researchers at Scotland's Heriot-Watt University are programming autonomous underwater vehicles to follow a set of simple rules, like bees in a swarm, to keep corals healthy.- have to ask - what happens when the robots realize who is making the coral "unhealthy"? ;-)Stuff like this is why I am giving up bikes. Thanks for the article link. Member Since: June 5, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1220
 84. Some1Has2BtheRookie 9:19 PM GMT on August 27, 2012 Deleted Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4717
 86. spbloom 2:19 AM GMT on August 28, 2012 Quoting RevElvis:Swarms of Scottish Robots Will Find and Heal Damaged CoralPopularScience.comSwarms of caretaker robots will soon buzz around the damaged coral reefs of Scotland, re-cementing broken sections with utmost precision. Researchers at Scotland's Heriot-Watt University are programming autonomous underwater vehicles to follow a set of simple rules, like bees in a swarm, to keep corals healthy.- have to ask - what happens when the robots realize who is making the coral "unhealthy"? ;-)My immediate mental image was of mechanical blancsmange. Member Since: May 12, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 299
 88. cyclonebuster 6:26 AM GMT on August 28, 2012 Where is the OUTRAGE?Arctic sea ice extent fell to 4.10 million square kilometers (1.58 million square miles) on August 26, 2012. This was 70,000 square kilometers (27,000 square miles) below the September 18, 2007 daily extent of 4.17 million square kilometers (1.61 million square miles).Including this year, the six lowest ice extents in the satellite record have occurred in the last six years (2007 to 2012).After tracking near 2007 levels through July, the extent declined rapidly in early August. Since then, the loss rate has slowed some, averaging about 75,000 square kilometers (29,000 square miles) per day—equivalent to the size of the state of South Carolina. However, this is still much faster than the normal rate at this time of year of about 40,000 square kilometers per day (15,000 square miles).Link Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20217
 89. cyclonebuster 6:53 AM GMT on August 28, 2012 I have told you how to end this... Computer model my idea or say good bye to sea ice.....It is that simple......Scambos said the Arctic system is too variable to guarantee that each future year would show a decline, but over time he expects the decline to continue. "I think we can expect further declines to new records," he said, "and eventually, an ice-free North Pole."Link. Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20217
 90. Neapolitan 11:06 AM GMT on August 28, 2012 Quoting greentortuloni:I dated a girl once who wasn't allowed to listen to rock and roll. So I showed lyrics to her from Black Sabbath without stating they were BS. She was surprised of course to find that Black Sabbath wasn't really about devil worship and that she even liked the lyrics (forget which songs, probably Paranoid, Sweat Leaf and SBS, given I couldn't have remembered much else they wrote.)I realize you don't need the point elaborated but I will anyway, apologies in advance: I believe that using religion to dumb down school curriculi and removing critical thinking is awful and probably evil; even in the religious sense of evil. I just think that forgetting that the people whom we disagree with are real people with the right to their opinion doesn't help the solution. While they see us as evil, forcing them will only be counter productive.I suppose it depends, then, on how one defines the word "forcing". Is it "forcing" to require school students to learn actual science, not some version based on mythology? Real, not revised or expurgated, history? Math? (I clearly remember my very conservative parents being suspicious of the so-called "new math"; after all, something so different from what they'd been taught as children must surely have come about as part of a Communist plot.) I suppose to some people who'd rather their children not develop critical thinking skills (and I know a number of these types), it probably is "forcing". But I don't think schools--at least not those that accept public dollars--need to be in the business of teaching children every type of non-science pablum just so their parents are satisfied that little Susie and Johnny aren't corrupted by the big, bad world. And if the parents are resolute, they should withdraw their children and educate them in any way they wish--then accept the fact that those children may very well enter the world of the 21st century completely unable to understand the world around them, contribute to society in a meaningful way, or cope with the increased speed with which things are changing. That's sad, and detrimental to society at large, but something a free people have to tolerate.I never forget that those with whom I disagree are real people. In fact, it's because they're people that one realizes just how badly they can screw up. Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13110
 92. Pipejazz 12:56 PM GMT on August 28, 2012 Link Ice is low in the Arctic Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 140
 93. greentortuloni 2:51 PM GMT on August 28, 2012 Quoting Neapolitan:I suppose it depends, then, on how one defines the word "forcing". Is it "forcing" to require school students to learn actual science, not some version based on mythology? Real, not revised or expurgated, history? Math? (I clearly remember my very conservative parents being suspicious of the so-called "new math"; after all, something so different from what they'd been taught as children must surely have come about as part of a Communist plot.) I suppose to some people who'd rather their children not develop critical thinking skills (and I know a number of these types), it probably is "forcing". But I don't think schools--at least not those that accept public dollars--need to be in the business of teaching children every type of non-science pablum just so their parents are satisfied that little Susie and Johnny aren't corrupted by the big, bad world. And if the parents are resolute, they should withdraw their children and educate them in any way they wish--then accept the fact that those children may very well enter the world of the 21st century completely unable to understand the world around them, contribute to society in a meaningful way, or cope with the increased speed with which things are changing. That's sad, and detrimental to society at large, but something a free people have to tolerate.I never forget that those with whom I disagree are real people. In fact, it's because they're people that one realizes just how badly they can screw up.Maybe, science should be optional in high school. Give two levels of degrees: HS and HS + science. My guess is that very few colleges would accept students from the regular HS program. I am not sure what the regular program would teach, given English is full of liberals (even Ayn Rand was liberal for the religious right). I guess, history, social studies, shop class and gym would be left. Member Since: June 5, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1220
 94. greentortuloni 3:03 PM GMT on August 28, 2012 Quoting martinitony:Aug 27, 2012Pay no attention to global-warming alarmistsBy Gordon J. FulksWith this newspaper arguing that our planet is in peril and that its remedies should be followed, global warming has again arisen as a hot political and pseudo-religious topic. .... He holds a doctorate in physics from the University of Chicago, Laboratory for Astrophysics and Space Research.Dude man, folksy works on fox, here people like facts straight up. At least do the blog the courtesy of getting the tone right before posting bullshite like this. Also, post the link so people can read the comments about your source. Member Since: June 5, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1220
 95. Birthmark 3:08 PM GMT on August 28, 2012 "... where proponents offer...peer-review as definitive substitutes for real science."??? Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 4918
 96. BobWallace 5:56 PM GMT on August 28, 2012 "After World War II, the post-war boom saw an expansion of human CO2 emissions but a decline in the global temperature."Well, duh. Ever hear of SO2, acid rain and the time of global dimming?Take this piece of crap and flush it. Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
 97. BobWallace 5:59 PM GMT on August 28, 2012 Quoting greentortuloni:Maybe, science should be optional in high school. Give two levels of degrees: HS and HS + science. My guess is that very few colleges would accept students from the regular HS program. I am not sure what the regular program would teach, given English is full of liberals (even Ayn Rand was liberal for the religious right). I guess, history, social studies, shop class and gym would be left.University admissions committees are already looking closely at home schooled applicants. Their science departments have grown tired of having to spend time arguing away idiotic beliefs. It takes time away from teaching science. Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
 98. BobWallace 6:06 PM GMT on August 28, 2012 Quoting Pipejazz:Link Ice is low in the ArcticArctic sea ice is not only low, all the measurement systems now report new record minimums, and the lines on the graphs continue to plunge.Area graphs are showing a bit of slowing as central pack melt pools are starting to freeze over and some snow is starting to cover water, but extent (and certainly volume) continue to drop rapidly.I'm so looking forward to seeing the 'end of August' volume number. I'm betting it's alarming. (Alarming is probably too weak a word in this case.)You can see all the graphs here...Link Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
 99. greentortuloni 6:09 PM GMT on August 28, 2012 Quoting BobWallace:University admissions committees are already looking closely at home schooled applicants. Their science departments have grown tired of having to spend time arguing away idiotic beliefs. It takes time away from teaching science.The point was that people will fight like heck to avoid something you force on them. But if you tell the horse it can't drink, it will drink just to spite you. Same thing with whores (a la Dorothy Parker).If the religious nutjobs that want to ban science were denied science, they would scream to high heaven. Not all of them, but a lot of them. Member Since: June 5, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1220
 100. SteveDa1 7:27 PM GMT on August 28, 2012 If the summer of 2013 turns out to be highly favorable to the melting of arctic sea ice it is very possible that we will witness an ice-free period of at least a couple of days.Every year the arctic ocean absorbs more and more heat since more of the dark ocean is exposed and there is less and less ice to absorb that heat. That permafrost is at a high risk of melting very rapidly.This leads to a disturbing question...Just how much methane and CO2 will be released from arctic permafrost in the next decades potentially unleashing runaway global warming?Speaking of methane, unsuspectingly, concentrations have been relatively stable - hovering between 550 and 700 ppbv - from about 11,000 to 150 years ago or until the start of the industrial revolution, when we started having a significant impact on our planet.Excel datasheet download from the NSIDC obtained in 2010 from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide Ice Core WDC06AMethane concentrations in ppbv in the northern hemisphere in March 2012. Unsurprisingly, areas over Russia and Canada are witnessing increased levels of atmospheric methane than other, more southern regions. Member Since: October 17, 2006 Posts: 60 Comments: 1297
 101. spbloom 8:26 PM GMT on August 28, 2012 Clearly someone forced martinitony to learn some science once, and to this day he's acting out against it. Member Since: May 12, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 299

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