Greening of the Desert: Open Climate Models (1)

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 8:33 PM GMT en Noviembre 21, 2010

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Greening of the Desert: Open Climate Models (1)

A couple of years ago a student of mine brought me the following problem. He described a project where desalinization plants would be built off of the West Coast of Africa. The water would be used to irrigate the Western Sahara for agriculture. The project proposer realized this would change, in a fundamental way, the surface of the Earth. Presumably it would change from white reflective sand to green absorbing leaves. And there would be huge changes in the water.

The person proposing the project knew that there was a relation between the Sahara and hurricanes in the North Atlantic. The question posed was whether or not there might be a weakening of the hurricanes, and perhaps, the project might engender support because of this. Of course there would also be the possibility of increased risk, and opposition to project.


Figure 1. Schematic of African Easterly Waves that I use in dynamics class, but I forget where I got it originally.


In a general sense, this is not a crazy question. The Sahara is an important ingredient of regional climate. There is enough heating in the Sahara that the normal condition of temperature decreasing as you move away from the equator is reversed during the summer, leading to the conditions that cause African easterly waves, which do influence the generation of hurricanes. But there are other influences of the Sahara that are more direct. Even the Romans talked about dust from the Sahara influencing Europe. Therefore, a large regional agricultural or energy project that altered the surface of the Sahara is likely to have regional, perhaps even global, climate effects. There might be benefit, or damage, or risk, or liability.

If we are to imagine alternative energy sources like wind and solar being built to large enough scales to displace fossil fuels, then that will require huge alterations to the surface of the Earth. In 2005 David Keith investigated changes that would occur if wind farms were placed near population centers in the Northern Hemisphere; these covered 10% of the land surface. Nathan Lewis on his web site talks about the scale of the projects needed for alternative energy projects.

The Keith et al. paper referenced above is the type of simulation that is needed when preparing for climate change, new energy systems, and providing energy and food for increasing population. That is, we have to alter the surface of the Earth in some significant way, and then compare, for example, the costs and risks of wind energy, to using other types of energy, including continued emissions of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels. Regional climate impacts also need to be investigated fully.

If you compare this sort of simulation to weather forecasting there are several differences. While there have been studies of weather modification in the past, for the most part we think of weather forecasting as defining with observations what the atmosphere looks like at a particular time and then projecting forward for a few days what the atmosphere will look like. Climate projections are, however, mostly about how the forcing of the climate changes. Forcing? How is the energy budget being changed? What changes absorption and reflection? How does the surface change?

We often focus on how will the greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide change? While this is the most important global problem, when we think about what I will call large-scale adaptation, major energy projects that cover the Earth’s surface with windmills and solar panels, these land-use changes might be more important. And their importance might be in terms of local changes to the weather. Going back to the question posed at the beginning of this entry, benefits, risks, and liability for a specific project, I imagine the desire, the need, maybe even the requirement to do climate impact assessment studies.

Such an assessment study would necessarily be a set of model simulations with changes to the land-surface. There would need to be experiments designed to extract any possible signal from what is bound to be significant noise – variability within the system. New analysis techniques would be required. Given the need to evaluate specific projects, project designers would need access to and the ability to change climate models. This means that the ability to configure, run and evaluate climate simulations needs to exist outside of government laboratories and universities. Compared with weather forecasting, where we are pretty settled on the idea of collections of observations of the current state of the atmosphere, followed by prediction of the future, this is an enormous change. That is, there are few people who have the vested interest to want to play around on the insides of a weather model, but there are potentially many people with the interest and desire to play around with the insides of a climate model.

With this as introduction, the next articles will be a series on the challenges of how to address this potential need: the need for communities other than scientists to have access not just to the results from climate models, but the ability to configure climate models for particular changes to the Earth and investigate the impact of those changes.

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208. cyclonebuster
3:47 AM GMT en Noviembre 30, 2010



HOT GREENLAND!
LOOP IT:
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207. cyclonebuster
3:37 AM GMT en Noviembre 30, 2010
Banning Another Greenhouse Gas?
Posted by Eben Harrell Monday, November 29, 2010 at 3:30 pm
Submit a Comment • Related Topics: Cancun, Carbon Policy, Climate Negotiations , Greenpeace, HFCs, Hydrofluorocarbons

As the next round of international talks about climate change begin in Cancun tomorrow, optimism is low that the talks will lead to a major breakthrough among countries trying to cut emissions. But ahead of the summit, environmentalists applauded an initiative by a consortium of around 400 private companies to ban Hydrofluorocarbons—another contributor to global warming—in their refrigeration.
Attention at climate talks tends to focus on carbon dioxide. But there are other, short-lived gases that are even more potent, although there is less of them. Hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, are currently being used by many companies for refrigeration. The warming effect of these HFCs is at least 1,000 times that of carbon dioxide.


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204. cyclonebuster
8:19 PM GMT en Noviembre 29, 2010
Rapid thaw of permafrost concerns climate experts

(11-28) 04:00 PST Chersky, Russia --

The Russian scientist shuffles across the frozen lake, scuffing aside ankle-deep snow until he finds a cluster of bubbles trapped under the ice. With a cigarette lighter in one hand and a knife in the other, he lances the ice like a blister. Methane whooshes out and bursts into a thin blue flame.
Gas locked inside Siberia's frozen soil and under its lakes has been seeping out since the end of the last ice age 10,000 years ago. But in the past few decades, as the Earth has warmed, the icy ground has begun thawing more rapidly, accelerating the release of methane - a greenhouse gas 23 times more powerful than carbon dioxide - at a perilous rate.

Some scientists believe the thawing of permafrost could become the epicenter of climate change. They say 1.5 trillion tons of carbon, locked inside icebound earth since the age of mammoths, is a climate time bomb waiting to explode if released into the atmosphere.

"Here, total carbon storage is like all the rain forests of our planet put together," says the scientist, Sergey Zimov - "here" being the endless sweep of snow and ice stretching toward Siberia's gray horizon, as seen from Zimov's research facility nearly 350 kilometers (220 miles) above the Arctic Circle.

Climate change moves back to center stage Monday when governments meet in Cancun, Mexico, to try again to thrash out a course of counteractions. But U.N. officials hold out no hope the two weeks of talks will lead to a legally binding accord governing carbon emissions, seen as the key to averting what is feared might be a dramatic change in climate this century.

Most climate scientists, with a few dissenters, say human activities - the stuff of daily life like driving cars, producing electricity or raising cattle - is overloading the atmosphere with carbon dioxide, methane and other gases that trap heat, causing a warming effect.

But global warming is amplified in the polar regions. What feels like a modest temperature rise is enough to induce Greenland glaciers to retreat, Arctic sea ice to thin and contract in summer, and permafrost to thaw faster, both on land and under the seabed.

Yet awareness of methane leaks from permafrost is so new that it was not even mentioned in the seminal 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which warned of rising sea levels inundating coastal cities, dramatic shifts in rainfall disrupting agriculture and drinking water, the spread of diseases and the extinction of species.

"In my view, methane is a serious sleeper out there that can pull us over the hump," said Robert Corell, an eminent U.S. climate change researcher and Arctic specialist. Corell, speaking by telephone from a conference in Miami, said he and other U.S. scientists are pushing Washington to deploy satellites to gather more information on methane leaks.

The lack of data over a long period of time casts uncertainty over the extent of the threat. An article last August in the journal Science quoted several experts as saying it's too early to predict whether Arctic methane will be the tipping point.

"Arctic Armageddon Needs More Science, Less Hype," was its headline.

Studies indicate that cold-country dynamics on climate change are complex. The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program, a scientific body set up by the eight Arctic rim countries, says overall the Arctic is absorbing more carbon dioxide than it releases.

"Methane is a different story," said its 2009 report. The Arctic is responsible for up to 9 percent of global methane emissions. Other methane sources include landfills, livestock and fossil fuel production.

Katey Walter Anthony, of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, has been measuring methane seeps in Arctic lakes in Alaska, Canada and Russia, starting here around Chersky 10 years ago.She was stunned to see how much methane was leaking from holes in the sediment at the bottom of one of the first lakes she visited. "On some days it looked like the lake was boiling," she said. Returning each year, she noticed this and other lakes doubling in size as warm water ate into the frozen banks."The edges of the lake look like someone eating a cookie. The permafrost gets digested in the guts of the lake and burps out as methane," she said in an interview in Amsterdam, en route to a field trip in Greenland and Scandinavia.

More than 50 billion tons could be unleashed from Siberian lakes alone, more than 10 times the amount now in the atmosphere, she said.

But the rate of defrosting is hard to assess with the data at hand.

"If permafrost were to thaw suddenly, in a flash, it would put a tremendous amount of carbon in the atmosphere. We would feel temperatures warming across the globe. And that would be a big deal," she said. But it may not happen so quickly. "Depending on how slow permafrost thaws, its effect on temperature across the globe will be different," she said.

Permafrost is defined as ground that has stayed below freezing for more than two consecutive summers. In fact, most of Siberia and the rest of the Arctic, covering one-fifth of the Earth's land surface, have been frozen for millennia.

During the summer, the ground can defrost to a depth of several feet, turning to sludge and sometimes blossoming into vast fields of grass and wildflowers. Below that thin layer, however, the ground remains frozen, sometimes encased in ice dozens or even hundreds of meters (yards) thick.

As the Earth warms, the summer thaw bites a bit deeper, awakening ice-age microbes that attack organic matter - vegetation and animal remains - buried where oxygen cannot reach, producing methane that gurgles to the surface and into the air.

The newly released methane adds to the greenhouse effect, trapping yet more heat which deepens the next thaw, in a spiraling cycle of increasing warmth.

Curbing man-made methane emissions could slow this process, said Walter Anthony.

"We have an incentive to reduce our fossil fuel emissions. By doing so, we can reduce the warming that's occurring in the Arctic and potentially put some brakes on permafrost thaw," she said.

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in its 2010 Arctic Report Card issued last month, said the average temperature of the permafrost has been rising for decades, but noted "a significant acceleration" in the last five years at many spots on the Arctic coast.

One of those spots would be Chersky, an isolated town on the bank of the Kolyma River at the mouth of the East Siberia Sea.

The ground in this remote corner of the world, 6,600 kilometers (4,000 miles) east of Moscow, has warmed about 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) in the last five years, to about minus 5 Celsius (23 Fahrenheit) today, says Zimov, director of the internationally funded Northeast Science Station, which is about three kilometers (two miles) from town.

The warming is causing the landscape to buckle under his feet.

"I live here more than 30 years. ... There are many (dirt) roads in our region which I used or built myself, but now I can't use anymore. Now they look like canyons," he says.

Buildings, too, collapse. The school in Chersky, a Soviet-era structure with a tall bronze statue of Karl Marx on its doorstep, was abandoned several years ago when the walls began to crack as the foundations gave way.

The northern Siberian soil, called yedoma, covers 1.8 million square kilometers (700,000 square miles) and is particularly unstable. Below the surface are vertical wedges of ice, as if 15-story-high icicles had been hammered into the soft ground, rich in decaying vegetation, over thousands of years.

As the air warms, the tops of the wedges melt and create depressions in the land. Water either forms a lake or runs off to lower ground, creating a series of steep hillocks and gullies. During summer, lakeside soil may erode and tumble into the water, settling on the bottom where bacteria eat it and cough up yet more methane.

The process takes a long time, but Zimov has done a simulation by bulldozing trees and scraping off moss and surface soil from 1 hectare (2.5 acres) of former larch forest, rendering it as if it had been leveled by fire.

Seven years later the previously flat terrain is carved up with crevices 10 to 15 feet (3 to 5 meters) deep, creating a snowy badlands.

Gazing across a white river to the apartment blocks on a distant hill, Zimov said, "In another 30 years all of Chersky will look like this."






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203. cyclonebuster
7:51 PM GMT en Noviembre 29, 2010
Ouch!











Member Since: Enero 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20469
202. cyclonebuster
7:46 PM GMT en Noviembre 29, 2010
Ouch!



Member Since: Enero 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20469
198. Ossqss
3:34 AM GMT en Noviembre 29, 2010
The truth comes from the future. When one accepts that of which they are told without question, we all lose.

Fix the real pollution, not the frivolous... and save the energy, and help your environment.

What impact does every letter you type have? Put down you computer, high speed connection, and cable TV/Satellite, and think about it :)

Does the word "hypocrite" come to mind when one thinks about their consumption of energy here compared to the average human ? Ya think you are gonna stop the desire to have the same from 5-6 billion others who don't have it yet?



an example
Member Since: Junio 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8188
195. Ossqss
12:39 AM GMT en Noviembre 29, 2010
Quoting martinitony:


You show so well the real problem with liberalism. It is not your belief in having an open mind. I am conservative and I have an open mind. Your problem is that you don't believe that there are good and evil, black or white, truth or falsehoods, wrong or right. You believe that your type of open mind must not be certain of anything except perhaps your wrong-headed beliefs about conservatives. All must be shades of gray.
I am pretty sure you are a fine and decent person. A lot of fine and decent people have been fed to the lions and tigers.



Hummm, interesting related read from 2006. Interesting indeed....... after doing some homework...... and I do my homework :)

We need to take care of the planet, it is our home. Who makes the call, is the question?

http://www.scribd.com/doc/23689403/The-Rise-of-the-Eco-Nazi


Step up ~!

Manmade Global Warming: The Solution
Member Since: Junio 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8188
194. cyclonebuster
10:05 PM GMT en Noviembre 28, 2010
Gulf Stream’s high heat


Although known to warm North Atlantic waters near the Carolinas and spawn strong storms, the Gulf Stream’s overall impact on climate has been a source of debate. Thought since the mid-19th century to protect Western Europe from freezing in the winter, scientists have more recently reduced the Gulf Stream’s central role in moderating that climate to just one of several factors warming up the North Atlantic. But new research has identified an atmospheric connection between the warm waters of the Gulf Stream and the upper reaches of the troposphere. And that, researchers say, could expand the Gulf Stream’s impact on climate once again, perhaps extending it even farther around the world.

The fast-moving current of warm ocean water called the Gulf Stream flows northward along the southeastern coast of the United States and then eastward across the North Atlantic Ocean, and has long been a subject of interest to oceanographers and climate scientists alike. For one thing, the current “transports a lot of heat northward,” says Shang-Ping Xie, a meteorologist at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu. As a result, scientists have been curious to know both how much heat the Gulf Stream brings to the western shores of Europe, and how susceptible the strength of the current is to changes in climate. Overall, the Gulf Stream’s impact on climate has been thought to be regional rather than global, Xie says. That’s partially because the current is actually very narrow: In satellite images of the Atlantic Ocean, it appears as just “a streak of warm water,” he says. Still, recent higher-resolution satellite images have observed large bands of rain that closely hug the current — “a very strong piece of evidence that it’s anchoring a major rain band,” Xie says, which would suggest the Gulf Stream has at least a powerful impact on regional weather.

Another factor in how far-reaching the current’s influence may be is whether that influence extends more than one to two kilometers above sea level and into the upper troposphere. At sea level, air temperatures are quickly warmed by the warmer ocean waters, but friction and rapid exchange of heat between the air and the ocean also quickly disperse that heat. “As soon as it leaves the Gulf Stream, the [air] will cool down rapidly,” Xie says.

If the Gulf Stream’s energy reaches high into the atmosphere, however, its impact wouldn’t be dispersed so easily. Instead, that energy could impact the jet streams — very high air currents thousands of kilometers long that stretch far around the planet — and could significantly impact the climates of both Europe and North America. “The troposphere is the part of the atmosphere where weather patterns are determined,” says Dudley Chelton, an oceanographer at Oregon State University in Corvallis, who was not involved in the new study. Some of the world’s highest mountains — the Himalayas and the Alps — stand in the path of the jet stream and can change wind directions and thus alter weather patterns far away, Chelton says. “The same thing could happen from this [Gulf Stream] effect.”

But some satellites looking down from above can only see a two-dimensional picture of the Gulf Stream’s impact as it plays out across the surface of Earth — they can’t see how high into the atmosphere that impact goes. So Xie and his co-workers turned to brand-new model analyses of weather data, made by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts in the United Kingdom, to study wind patterns above the current. From those data, the team found patterns of winds sweeping upward and clouds forming above the current — not just at the surface, but up to 11 kilometers high in the atmosphere, all meandering along with the Gulf Stream, they reported March 13 in Nature.

“It’s like there’s a direct window that allows [the Gulf Stream’s energy] to propagate all the way to the troposphere,” Xie says. “That can carry its influence very far away.”

Whether features that have sharp changes in sea-surface temperatures relative to the surrounding waters — such as the narrow warm band of the Gulf Stream in the colder Atlantic Ocean — strongly affect atmospheric circulation has been argued about “for decades,” says John M. Wallace, a climatologist at the University of Washington in Seattle.

And in fact, Chelton says, previous studies have observed similar connections between sea-surface temperatures and the troposphere, although they focused on much shorter time scales — such as during a specific storm — rather than on the current’s long-term impact on climate. “This is really a fundamental result,” he says. “It shows so clearly that the signal affects the entire troposphere all the way up to the top.” Still, he adds, although the evidence for the link is convincing, scientists are still working to understand exactly what is driving that link. “This is an area of very active research.”

In the meantime, the current study “certainly strengthens the case for being really careful about sea-surface temperature in weather prediction,” Wallace says. “It’s of great interest to the forecasting community.”

Link

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193. cyclonebuster
10:02 PM GMT en Noviembre 28, 2010
"Also, it isn't unexpected to have more warming in the troposphere than at the surface, especially in the Arctic, since during the summer ice will prevent temperatures from rising much above freezing (since the energy goes into melting ice, same way a glass with an ice cube in it remains near freezing until it melts, even if you put it on the stove)."

Michael,

Gulf Stream Leaves Its Signature Seven Miles High

ScienceDaily (Mar. 24, 2008) — The Gulf Stream’s impact on climate is well known, keeping Iceland and Scotland comfortable in winter compared to the deep-freeze of Labrador at the same latitude. That cyclones tend to spawn over the Gulf Stream has also been known for some time. A new study reveals that the Gulf Stream anchors a precipitation band with upward motions and cloud formations that can reach 7 miles high and penetrate the upper troposphere. The discovery, announced by a Japan–US team of scientists, shows that the Gulf Stream has a pathway by which to directly affect weather and climate patterns over the whole Northern Hemisphere, and perhaps even world wide“Our findings gain even more significance by the fact that the Gulf Stream is the upper limb of the Atlantic portion of the ocean conveyor belt that drives the global ocean circulation,” says co-author Shang-Ping Xie, a research team leader at the International Pacific Research Center in the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, and professor of meteorology at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. “The conveyor belt is predicted to slow down with global warming, which implies that changes in the Gulf Stream will modulate spatial patterns of future climate change.”

Xie has been curious for some time about the response of the atmosphere to warm currents flowing within cold ocean water, such as the Gulf Stream or its Pacific counterpart, the Kuroshio. Xie says, “It has been a challenging task to isolate the climatic influence of the Gulf Stream from energetic weather variations by using conventional observations, which are spatially and temporally sporadic. Our findings were only possible because of the availability of high-resolution satellite data, an operational weather analysis, and an atmospheric circulation model.”

The first hint that these warm ocean currents have a significant effect on the atmosphere came from high-resolution NASA satellite data. These images show a narrow rain band hovering frequently over the warm flank of the currents; wind accelerates and converges over the warm flank and diverges and decelerates on the cold flank.

The satellite images, however, do not allow accurate measurements of upward motions and divergence of air in the upper troposphere, which are necessary to understand the link between the current and large-scale climate. This is where the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) analysis provided the missing data. “It is remarkable to see how the diverging winds 7 miles high show a structure similar to the converging winds and the rain clouds, all meandering with the Gulf Stream,” says lead author Shoshiro Minobe, a professor at the Division of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Hokkaido University.

The upward wind velocity is strongest about the first mile above the surface, but the Gulf Stream-following structure is clearly visible at 4 miles and still discernible at 7 miles and above. The band of diverging winds in the upper troposphere follows the meandering Gulf Stream front.

The findings from the operational weather analysis pointed to the warm flank of the Gulf Stream as the cause of the strong upward winds. “We wanted more evidence, though,” says team member Akira Kuwano-Yoshida of the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), “and turned to the high-resolution Atmospheric Model for the Earth Simulator (AGCM) at JAMSTEC. We drove the model first with the actual Gulf Stream temperatures. The model successfully captured the rain band and the signature in the upper troposphere. Then we removed the sharp sea surface gradient from the Gulf Stream front by smoothing the temperature in the model. The narrow rain band disappeared.”

Finally, the team used outgoing longwave radiation satellite data to measure the cloud top temperatures. The narrow cloud band, associated with lightning, extends 7 miles high above the Gulf Stream meanders and has temperatures below freezing. All this is further evidence that the Gulf Stream influence on the atmosphere extends far above the lower atmosphere.

The Gulf Stream’s strength has changed markedly in the past as Earth has switched between warm periods and ice ages. Closely linked to these changes have been climate changes around the globe—not only in the Atlantic, but also in the Pacific and even in the Southern Hemisphere. Scientists have been puzzled at how the changes in the Atlantic thermohaline circulation (the conveyor belt) lead to climate anomalies in other regions in the Northern Hemisphere. The new study discovers a direct pathway, the Gulf Stream’s deep heating of the atmosphere. This heating generates planetary waves that can induce quite rapid changes in Earth’s atmospheric circulation and alter climate over Europe and beyond by riding on the westerly jet stream in the upper troposphere.

Link

Gulfstream reaches high into the troposphere!

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192. martinitony
9:08 PM GMT en Noviembre 28, 2010
Quoting paratomic:
We're all in denial about something. Whether it's human-caused global warming, lebron james, war, environment, big government, evolution, human rights, obama, family values, violence and sensationalism in media, irresponsible career choices, globalism, conservatism, economic opportunity for hard pressed peoples versus protecting the environment, healthy food, television, internet, politics, you name it! We all have shortcomings. Everyone has vices and biases and prejudices. In hte end, we can't do everything or be everything. We have limits and there're points at which we cannot cross. We have to each be ourselves and fight for our causes and hope to god that all of this synergistic behavior amongst the widely different peoples and cultures works out for the planet as a whole. Because it might not.

There're no second chances, and no single person or idealogy determines the fate of humanity. Because someone disagrees with you it does not mean the end of life on earth as you know it. Disagreement is a virtual certainty. If there's a god, disagreement was probably built into the system to facilitate change when it's needed. Granted, change will sometimes occur when it's not needed or helpful, but change appears to be the one thing certain to happen. Perhaps the good brought about by it outweighs the bad.

I ask all this of myself because I often find myself not trusting military authorities. This is one example of an issue I usually am distrustful of, directly opposite of some of the people you might find in the american legion or in a patriotic rally in support of the troops. The mess in Iran and Iraq and Afghanistan and Korea is bothering me. I am a liberal, but I expect myself to be reasonable. Contrarily, I am much more open to the premise that humanity is screwing the planet up by its vast civilization experiments. Why am I so welcoming to this idea when I am so unwelcoming to military matters? Is it possible that I myself am a denier too? I think so. I think it's very possible that I can be welcoming and open to one idea while being radically irresponsibly opposed to another. I battle with it constantly. I do not want to be in denial.

Could it be that since I am a liberal I am biased to believe in human-caused global warming and that conservatives are biased to believe in war and that the truth is in the middle? Could it be that we're both wrong and that we exist on the extreme ends of things? Or might it be that it's hit and miss. Could it be that sometimes the liberals are right and sometimes the conservatives are right, and that there's no real rhyme or reason for it. Or might it be that the truth is always in the middle, so fittingly available for moderates? I doubt that because we're humans and no human can be everything or know everything. So I doubt people in the middle somehow represent all that is truth. More likely, I think we all get it wrong sometimes, whether we're on the right or the left or in the middle. It's everyones duty to be aware of what's going on so that whatever choice this nation makes it will be moderated.


You show so well the real problem with liberalism. It is not your belief in having an open mind. I am conservative and I have an open mind. Your problem is that you don't believe that there are good and evil, black or white, truth or falsehoods, wrong or right. You believe that your type of open mind must not be certain of anything except perhaps your wrong-headed beliefs about conservatives. All must be shades of gray.
I am pretty sure you are a fine and decent person. A lot of fine and decent people have been fed to the lions and tigers.
Member Since: Julio 29, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 970
191. paratomic
8:38 PM GMT en Noviembre 28, 2010
We're all in denial about something. Whether it's human-caused global warming, lebron james, war, environment, big government, evolution, human rights, obama, family values, violence and sensationalism in media, irresponsible career choices, globalism, conservatism, economic opportunity for hard pressed peoples versus protecting the environment, healthy food, television, internet, politics, you name it! We all have shortcomings. Everyone has vices and biases and prejudices. In hte end, we can't do everything or be everything. We have limits and there're points at which we cannot cross. We have to each be ourselves and fight for our causes and hope to god that all of this synergistic behavior amongst the widely different peoples and cultures works out for the planet as a whole. Because it might not. Look at the human body as an example. It's a synergistic organism composed of many different lifeforms and processes. A human body can fail for multitudes of reasons. Being synergistic does not make it immune.

There're no second chances, and no single person or idealogy determines the fate of humanity. Because someone disagrees with you it does not mean the end of life on earth as you know it. Disagreement is a virtual certainty. If there's a god, disagreement was probably built into the system to facilitate change when it's needed. Granted, change will sometimes occur when it's not needed or helpful, but change appears to be the one thing certain to happen. Perhaps the good brought about by it outweighs the bad.

I ask all this of myself because I often find myself not trusting military authorities. This is one example of an issue I usually am distrustful of, directly opposite of some of the people you might find in the american legion or in a patriotic rally in support of the troops. The mess in Iran and Iraq and Afghanistan and Korea is bothering me. I am a liberal, but I expect myself to be reasonable. Contrarily, I am much more open to the premise that humanity is screwing the planet up by its vast civilization experiments. Why am I so welcoming to this idea when I am so unwelcoming to military matters? Is it possible that I myself am a denier too? I think so. I think it's very possible that I can be welcoming and open to one idea while being radically irresponsibly opposed to another. I battle with it constantly. I do not want to be in denial.

Could it be that since I am a liberal I am biased to believe in human-caused global warming and that conservatives are biased to believe in war and that the truth is in the middle? Could it be that we're both wrong and that we exist on the extreme ends of things? Or might it be that it's hit and miss. Could it be that sometimes the liberals are right and sometimes the conservatives are right, and that there's no real rhyme or reason for it. Or might it be that the truth is always in the middle, so fittingly available for moderates? I doubt that because we're humans and no human can be everything or know everything. So I doubt people in the middle somehow represent all that is truth. More likely, I think we all get it wrong sometimes, whether we're on the right or the left or in the middle. It's everyones duty to be aware of what's going on so that whatever choice this nation makes it will be moderated.
Member Since: Septiembre 17, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 182
190. idontknowforsure
8:19 PM GMT en Noviembre 28, 2010
The Crown Jewel of Global Warming is a Fake. By Art Horn, Meteorologist
For two decades now we have been told over and over again that global warming is melting the world glaciers and this will flood coastal cities and farmland and in fact it’s happening now! The historic and unprecedented flooding will displace millions if not billions of people and wreak havoc with the global economy, not to mention nature. This apocalyptic proclamation, the crown jewel of global warming alarmists has been the primary rallying cry in the effort to “stop global warming” by shutting down the carbon based energy producing companies of the world. This is the ultimate goal of the hundreds of environmental groups across the globe. The big problem with all of this is that the dazzling jewel of disaster has been proven to be a fake. A couple of satellites turned it over and found a big crack.
In its latest 2007 climate assessment report number 4 the IPCC states that sea level increased at a rate of about 13.5 inches during the 20th century. This number is considerably higher than the 6.7 inch per century rate derived from tidal gauges around the world. David Burton found the rate of rise from tide gauges to be only 2.4 inches per century. Data from the TOPEX/Poseidon satellite mission launched in 1992 indicated a 12.2 inch per century rate based on data from 1993 to 2005. In its latest report the IPCC has predicted sea level will rise as little as 7 inches to as much as 118 inches (ten feet) by the year 2100. Some are predicting much greater rises. Recently Fen Montaigne a senior editor at Yale Environment 360 wrote that if the west Antarctic ice sheet melts sea level will rise 16 to 20 feet. Al Gore is predicting a 20 foot sea level rise by 2100. Dr. James Hansen of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies is predicting the possibility of an 82 foot rise by 2100. These frightening predictions are the crown jewel of the global warming establishment.
The degree of sea level rise from these predictions ranges from no change from the current rate, about 7 inches per century to somewhere around 20 feet of rise by 2100. The alarmists are quick to point out that things could get much worse if the IPCC’s worst case scenarios come true. Currently ocean expansion is the primary cause of sea level rise. This expansion is a response to the small amount of warming that has taken place in the last 150 years, about 1 degree Fahrenheit. The alarmist community feels confident that predictions of the climate, of which much is still not understood, will be accurate 100 years into the future. Based on these “accurate predictions” sea level could rise dramatically based on the current rate of rise and forecast increases.
There is a problem with all these predictions. It’s the data released from the GRACE (Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment) tandem satellite system. The analysis has revealed a large and obvious crack in the supposedly impenetrable crown jewel of global warming. The data reveal that global sea level is rising at a rate of .04 inches per year. This equates to 4.0 inches per century. This rate is far lower than the IPCCs rate of 13.5 inches per century and well below the TOPEX/Poseidon rate of 12.2 inches per century. What this means is that real world data is showing that the threat of long term massive
sea level rise is a no show. The satellite data says there has been no acceleration of sea level rise and in fact the rate of rise is three times lower than the most recent IPCC assessment.
Despite all the TV news stories, documentaries, newspaper headlines, magazine articles, pleas from environmental groups, highway billboards, university studies and international climate change conference reports there is no sign of rapid sea level rise, none. It’s all a prediction of what might happen, not of what is happening. Television networks need ratings, newspapers and magazines need readers, universities, environmental groups and climate conferences need funding. Scary stories of coastal cities gulping for air as the oceans wash over them creates a morbid sense of fascination that attracts both audiences and money.
The alarmist climate change industry will combat this data and its results. The results will be attacked, revised and contorted to keep the threat alive and the money flowing. Most of the time the attackers use the assumption that the future predictions of global temperature rise are correct. There is no evidence that this is even remotely true. The real inconvenient truth is that the earth’s temperature has been falling for 3,000 years as revealed by the Greenland ice core data. Current temperature changes are but tiny blips in the overall cooling. The temperature has dropped some 3.75 degrees Fahrenheit since the Minoan Warm Period some 3,300 years ago. The ultimate irony will be that if the long term trend continues shivering future generations may look back and wonder why we saw warming when the next ice age was staring us in the face.
The global warming monster that feeds on the dying carcass of man made global warming will continue to scare people as long as it can. It will continue to devour billions of dollars until it ultimately chokes of its own gluttony. Unfortunately many innocent people may be hurt before the beast is dead. The threat of massive sea level rise has been the primary weapon of fear for those looking to control how we make energy and who rules the world. For those who can see clearly the crown jewel is in full sight and the evidence says it’s a fake.

Link
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187. cyclonebuster
1:16 PM GMT en Noviembre 28, 2010

How would these work in the gulfstream inside the tunnels?

Whale-Inspired Ocean Turbine Blades: US Naval Academy Researchers Look to Convert Tidal Energy Into Electricity

ScienceDaily (Nov. 27, 2010) %u2014 Interest in developing alternative energy sources is driving the consideration of a promising technology that uses underwater turbines to convert ocean tidal flow energy into electricity.Now lessons learned from the ocean's largest mammals has inspired United States Naval Academy researchers to tackle one of the serious challenges of this technology: the low velocity associated with many tidal flows and the difficulty of extracting useful energy from low speed flows using current designs. They are presenting their findings at the American Physical Society's Division of Fluid Dynamics (DFD) meeting in Long Beach, CA.

"We designed a novel blade modification for potential turbine performance improvement, which was inspired by humpback whale flippers, with the addition of tubercles, or bumps, to the leading edge of each blade," explains Mark Murray, a Naval Academy engineering professor. Previous research demonstrated the addition of biomimetically derived protuberances (technology that mimics nature) improved stall characteristics and aerodynamic performance."

The researchers' modified blades proved to be more effective in extracting energy at low speeds. Importantly, the blades did not degrade performance at high flow speeds or increase the mechanical complexity of the turbine.

Applications of this research may include the development of turbine designs that are more effective in converting low velocity tidal flow energy into useful electricity and more economically feasible to deploy.

This project was conducted as an undergraduate independent research study by Ensign Timothy Gruber, who is currently attending Massachusetts Institute of Technology's masters program, with Murray and Associate Professor David Fredriksson in the Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering Department acting as his faculty advisors.

Link

Member Since: Enero 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20469
186. Ossqss
2:07 AM GMT en Noviembre 28, 2010
Quoting EnergyMoron:
Thanks Doc:

Heavy stuff. Got to take time to digest it.

The windfarm paper is going to be very interesting. Not a quick scan sort of paper, to be sure.

Actually got the question "Can wind farms cause warming" at a talk at a local college. Not totally stupid since there is draught conditions in the Texas areas with windfarms. But, the second law is the second law and removing energy from the system should result in less heat (the abstract of the paper you cited is in line with this).

A zinger Doc.


MIT paper from earlier this year, final revision and free PDF.

Potential climatic impacts and reliability of very large-scale wind
farms
C. Wang and R. G. Prinn
Center for Global Change Science and Joint Program of the Science and Policy of Global Change, Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
Received: 17 August 2009 – Published in Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.: 14 September 2009
Revised: 17 December 2009 – Accepted: 10 February 2010 – Published: 22 February 2010


Member Since: Junio 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8188
184. cyclonebuster
7:39 PM GMT en Noviembre 27, 2010
Same link as above!

"(Borisov is) dreaming of the time when regions of permanent frost will disappear in our country, in Alaska, in Canada, and the unpopulated tundra will be converted with flowering grazing and meadow lands," Lyubimov wrote. "The Arctic will become warmer, too. Life for people all over the world will become better, happier."

This guy is Psycho!
Member Since: Enero 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20469
183. cyclonebuster
7:30 PM GMT en Noviembre 27, 2010
I would say this guy is "Dam Crazy" or what? However, Tunnels in the Bearing Strait is not Crazy.


Could a massive dam between Alaska and Russia save the Arctic?

Two years ago a science writer from the Netherlands proposed a radical solution to combat melting in the Arctic. In his "North Pole Rescue Plan," Rolf Schuttenhelm suggests blocking the flow of water from the Bering Sea into the Arctic Ocean. He argues that this idea -- crazy as it sounds -- is worth exploring."Complete melting of the Arctic would be a great loss. Ecologically, and, why not mention, emotionally," Schuttenhelm wrote in 2008. "It is as wrong as it feels."

The entire region is experiencing rapid climate change, and scientists predict the Arctic Ocean may be ice-free during summer by 2030. Erosion now threatens 31 Alaska villages, and at least 12 of them are looking at relocating. Two of them -- Kivalina and Shishmaref -- are in the very waters, the Chukchi Sea, most impacted by Schuttenhelm's proposals.

These communities are losing ground and history to a warming Earth. Permafrost, the foundation on which their homes rest, is melting at an alarming rate. Coastlines are retreating, eaten and battered by sea waves. Buildings are buckling. Ground is sinking. And millions of dollars are being spent figuring out how best to save these communities.

Meanwhile, the changing climate also threatens the Arctic Ocean's marine life. Both polar bears and walruses, for instance, need expanses of floating ice for hunting and migration. Increased warmth has made the Arctic a more dangerous place for people and wildlife alike. On Wednesday, the Obama administration announced it was designating an area of the Alaska Arctic larger than California as critical habitat for polar bears, which are listed as a threatened species because of the melting ice.

With so much at stake, the Dutchman argues that human society must take direct and extraordinary steps to reverse the warming trend and save the planet.

"I disagree with the conclusion we should not act -- out of human inertia," he wrote in his rescue plan. "The cost of inaction is enormous,"

Still, perhaps anticipating the public reaction to meddling with Mother Nature on such a scale, Schuttenhelm realized that it might be hard to tell whether blocking the gap between North America and Asia is an exercise in stupidity -- or one of simple genius. Acting rashly with too many unknowns wouldn't be wise, he acknowledged.

Scientists are deeply skeptical.

"Geo-engineering is an absolute fool's game," said Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, in an interview Tuesday from his office in Boulder, Colo. "This idea that you are going to stop global warming in its tracks by protecting the Arctic is not realistic."

Yet Schuttenhelm is not the first to think damming the Bering merits further study. Decades ago, a Soviet engineer cobbled together a similar, if more elaborate, proposal aimed not at saving the Arctic's trademark chill, but eliminating it.

"We must thaw the ice in the Arctic Ocean," Petr Michailovich Borisov said in 1960 in an interview published in Literaturnaya Gazeta, a Russian language literary newspaper. (The article was reprinted in English in "The Bering Strait Project: Symposium.")

Borisov believed a thawed Arctic could solve any number of society's cold-driven ailments. Frozen soil and Arctic chill had made the Sakhalin oil fields hard to drill and construction of the Saratov-Moscow gas pipeline more challenging. When warm weather did show up, it sucked moisture from already dry climates, causing severe droughts in Russia and abroad. The frigid Arctic Ocean interfered with rice crops in Northern Japan and grape vines in the North of France, while sea ice clogged and blocked shorter routes for international shipping. And every facet of life was more expensive in the heart of the north's freezer box.
Taming the Arctic's ravenous, frigid %u2018beast' through engineering

"Cold is a beast of prey that devours tremendous sums of money," noted the Literaturnaya Gazeta article's author, Boris Lyubimov, who was sympathetic to the cause.

"(Borisov is) dreaming of the time when regions of permanent frost will disappear in our country, in Alaska, in Canada, and the unpopulated tundra will be converted with flowering grazing and meadow lands," Lyubimov wrote. "The Arctic will become warmer, too. Life for people all over the world will become better, happier."

Link
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182. cyclonebuster
7:17 PM GMT en Noviembre 27, 2010
Quoting MichaelSTL:
Also, ice area has pretty much leveled off in recent days, with the anomaly increasing by over 50% (was around -800,000 km2 a few days ago; edit, it updated, was -1.3 million):



That is mainly due to Hudson Bay still refusing to freeze (other areas are also lagging, like the Chukchi Sea, which recently had an overall decrease in area, not just anomaly, the Bering Sea further south is also starting to drop in anomaly):




Here TOO:

Member Since: Enero 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20469
181. cyclonebuster
7:12 PM GMT en Noviembre 27, 2010
What does Sean know about climate change?

"Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell questioned the decision, saying the designation was not supported by sound science or good economic analysis."




Alaska Considers Suing Obama Over Plan to Save Polar Bears


Alaska is considering mounting a legal challenge to President Obama's plan to set aside 187,000 square miles in the state as a "critical habitat" for polar bears, a move that could add restrictions to future offshore drilling for oil and gas.

Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell questioned the decision, saying the designation was not supported by sound science or good economic analysis.

"This additional layer of regulatory burden will not only slow job creation and economic growth here and for our nation, but will also slow oil and gas exploration efforts," he said in a written statement on Wednesday. "We are especially concerned regarding the limited consideration given to the additional economic information the state provided."

Parnell said the state is considering its options, including a lawsuit against the designation.

The total designation, which includes large areas of sea ice off the Alaska coast, is about 13,000 square miles, or 8.3 million acres, less than in a preliminary plan released last year.

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Tom Strickland, assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks at the Interior Department, said the designation would help polar bears stave off extinction, recognizing that the greatest threat is the melting of Arctic sea ice caused by climate change.

"This critical habitat designation enables us to work with federal partners to ensure their actions within its boundaries do not harm polar bear populations," Strickland said. "We will continue to work toward comprehensive strategies for the long-term survival of this iconic species."

Designation of critical habitat does not in itself block economic activity or other development, but requires federal officials to consider whether a proposed action would adversely affect the polar bear's habitat and interfere with its recovery.

Nearly 95 percent of the designated habitat is sea ice in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas off Alaska's northern coast. Polar bears spend most of their lives on frozen ocean where they hunt seals, breed and travel.

Sean Parnell and the state's oil and gas industry had complained that the preliminary plan released last year was too large and dramatically underestimated the potential economic impact. The designation could result in hundreds of millions of dollars in lost economic activity and tax revenue, they said.

Parnell said Wednesday that the state is pleased that existing manmade structures will be exempted from critical habitat considerations. But, he said the state is disappointed it was not consulted on many other recommendations.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said reductions included in the final rule were mostly due to corrections that more accurately reflect the U.S. border in the Arctic Ocean. Five U.S. Air Force radar sites were exempted from the final rule, as were Native Alaskan communities in Barrow and Kaktovik, Alaska.

The Interior Department has declared polar bears "threatened," or likely to become endangered, citing a dramatic loss of sea ice. Officials face a Dec. 23 deadline to explain why the bears were listed as threatened instead of the more protective "endangered."

Kassie Siegel, a lawyer for the Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental group that has filed a lawsuit to increase protections for the polar bear, hailed the designation of critical habitat.

"Now we need the Obama administration to actually make it mean something so we can write the bear's recovery plan -- not its obituary," she said.

Siegel called for the administration to impose a moratorium on oil and gas drilling in bear habitat areas. "An oil spill there would be a catastrophe," she said. "That seems like an understatement."

The Arctic Slope Regional Corp., which advocates for Alaska Native business interests, said in a statement that the decision disproportionately impacts Alaska Natives and called the designation the "wrong tool" for conserving the polar bear because it does nothing to address climate change.

"The burden of the impacts will be felt by the people of the Arctic Slope," said Tara Sweeney, vice president of external affairs for ASRC, which is based in Barrow, Alaska. "This is a quality of life issue for our people."

Kara Moriarty, deputy director of the Alaska Oil and Gas Association, said the action would hurt oil and gas exploration in Alaska by creating more delays and added costs to projects in what already is a high-cost environment, she said.

"The companies and the industry will be required to go through more permitting and create mitigation measures without a direct benefit to the polar bear or oil and gas development," Moriarty said. "The Fish and Wildlife Service has found over and over again our activities pose no threat to the polar bear."


Link


























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178. cyclonebuster
2:22 PM GMT en Noviembre 27, 2010
Dr. Rood,

Can you explain the role of convection currents in the oceans and what effect they have on climate change?
Member Since: Enero 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20469
175. EnergyMoron
4:35 AM GMT en Noviembre 27, 2010
Thanks Doc:

Heavy stuff. Got to take time to digest it.

The windfarm paper is going to be very interesting. Not a quick scan sort of paper, to be sure.

Actually got the question "Can wind farms cause warming" at a talk at a local college. Not totally stupid since there is draught conditions in the Texas areas with windfarms. But, the second law is the second law and removing energy from the system should result in less heat (the abstract of the paper you cited is in line with this).

A zinger Doc.
Member Since: Diciembre 8, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 3
171. cyclonebuster
5:43 PM GMT en Noviembre 26, 2010
Quoting MichaelSTL:


Also, if you look at the NW, you'll notice that in addition to the snowfall records, there are a lot of precipitation records, which of course makes sense since record snowfall is usually because of record precipitation* (deniers usually claim that record snowfall is solely due to record cold).

*Of course, this isn't always the case, if you include all precipitation (e.g only count events where it snowed), but even then, rare snowfall in places like New Orleans often coincides with not-so-rare (but not commonplace) freezes, which are usually dry.


Bottom line is we will get more droughts near the Equator and more precipitation in the Northern latitudes be it rain, snow, sleet,hail,ice or fog.
Member Since: Enero 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20469
169. cyclonebuster
5:04 PM GMT en Noviembre 26, 2010
Quoting MichaelSTL:
Also, speaking of drought, drought is covering a good part of the U.S. again (although areas in the central U.S. and Ohio Valley recently had a major rain event):



The aforementioned rainfall event was also the heaviest rainfall locally in more than two years, with the last being from the remnants of Hurricane Ike:

RECORD EVENT REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ST LOUIS MO
130 AM CST THU NOV 25 2010

...A MAXIMUM DAILY RAINFALL RECORD SET AT ST. LOUIS MO...

A RECORD RAINFALL OF 3.08 INCHES WAS SET AT LAMBERT INTERNATIONAL
AIRPORT IN ST LOUIS MO ON WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 24TH. THE PREVIOUS
RECORD WAS 1.73 INCHES IN 1987.


Also, even with the recent record cold blast over the Northwest, more record highs than record lows have been set over the past week:

Record Events for Fri Nov 19, 2010 through Thu Nov 25, 2010
Total Records: 2484
Rainfall: 598
Snowfall: 309
High Temperatures: 452
Highest Min Temperatures: 568
Low Temperatures: 176
Lowest Max Temperatures: 381




WOW! High to Low ratio ( 2.5:1 ). Not good even with all those record lows we are still setting more record highs! Ouch!
Member Since: Enero 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20469
167. cyclonebuster
4:57 PM GMT en Noviembre 26, 2010
Quoting MichaelSTL:
Once again, another extreme weather event that defies the meaning of a "1 in 100 year event" (or more); the deniers will claim that there is absolutely no connection with climate change, but it is very likely that there is a connection (droughts and floods occurred before; but now with increasing frequency and severity):

Another extreme drought hits the Amazon, raising climate change concerns



We know from simple on-the-ground knowledge that the 2010 drought was extreme, leading to record lows on some major rivers in the Amazon region and an upsurge in the number of forest fires. Preliminary analyses suggest that the 2010 drought was more widespread and severe than the 2005 event. The 2005 drought was identified as a 1-in-100 year type event.


Correct dryer near the Equator and wetter the more North you travel.
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164. cyclonebuster
2:48 PM GMT en Noviembre 26, 2010
img src="">
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163. cyclonebuster
2:42 PM GMT en Noviembre 26, 2010
img src="">
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162. cyclonebuster
2:40 AM GMT en Noviembre 26, 2010
img src="">
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161. cyclonebuster
1:54 AM GMT en Noviembre 26, 2010
Quoting MichaelSTL:


Wrong. That graph only goes to 2008 (which is why there is no huge spike in temperature and it flattens out; remember when the deniers were saying that temperatures stopped rising?).

Here is the latest solar activity:



Of course, it IS going down if you look at the long-term, since 1950 or so.



Wrong again - your tunnels will enhance mixing and make heat content rise even faster (also, that chart only includes the upper layers, not the deep ocean). And no, don't start again about how it is impossible; otherwise, tell me how La Nina cools the surface of the ocean but leads to an increase in heat content:



(look at not just the east Pacific, but the western Pacific and Indian Ocean, the deeper the 20%uFFFDC isotherm, the deeper the warm water layer and higher the heat content is)


Sorry but you are incorrect on this one Michael! It may cool the surface down but what lies below that same surface down deep is still much cooler water than what's above it. Convection currents are responsible for that although the upwelling is caused by different forces!.
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159. cyclonebuster
1:37 AM GMT en Noviembre 26, 2010
Global surface temperature is rising with Co2! Tunnels stop both!


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158. cyclonebuster
1:34 AM GMT en Noviembre 26, 2010
Quoting pottery:

What's a 'right triangle' ?


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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.

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Clouds in the lee of the Rockies at sunset.
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