It’s going to require something drastic……

30 10 2018

Like…..  maybe…..  DE-INDUSTRIALIZATION?



13 responses

30 10 2018
Paul Harris

Quite simply not going to happen. Certainly not in the time frame required and certainly not voluntarily.
There is no appetite at the top or the bottom of society for what is required.
The end is nigh this time.

31 10 2018

“Scientists and politicians are working it out”. Bwahahahahahahahahaha! Oh deary deary me.

Every “solution” is predicated on continuing growth. Hmm, how can we continue growth in population, consumption, economics, while reducing pollution, inequality, habitat destruction, overfishing? The answer is continually being provided by everything around us. We can’t! But we will…until we can’t.

31 10 2018

Actually, politicians are working it out, to a certain extent anyway. Anyone looked at China’s “Social Credit Score”? Combined with “Belt and Road” it’s probably coming to a “democracy” near you soon. The worse things get, the tighter we will be bound.

“Smart” TV’s that record your conversations, shit “smart” phones do the same. “I’m not a robot” verifications where we’re teaching computers to see, Windows “Hello” where you log in with your face (literally putting a face to the name in Microsoft’s database) and never mind the enormous data mine of Facebook.

I can’t decide which dystopian future forms the basis for ours, Skynet/The Matrix with us serving machines or 1984/Animal Farm. My guess is 1984 on steroids, after all Big Brother is already in most lounge rooms and political correctness is newspeak by any other name. Even George Orwell couldn’t imagine the future we’re sleepwalking towards.

31 10 2018
Brandon Young

That is a punchy little video, and no doubt a pretty effective means of getting a simple message across. Too bad the argument it makes is so simplistic that it is misleading.

Climate change is not ONLY about carbon dioxide concentrations. Excerpt:

“The focus on carbon dioxide is too narrow

Only 4% of the heat dynamics of this planet are driven by carbon dioxide. Climate change is certainly caused by the accumulation of greenhouse gases as a direct result of burning fossil fuels; this is certainly beyond question. But water has about 20 times more influence over global heat dynamics than carbon dioxide, and we humans actually have significant power to influence the planet’s hydrology.

We simply must step outside the thinking that carbon dioxide must be the main focus when it comes to climate action. We do not even have viable industrial scale technologies that can do anything about carbon dioxide concentrations, but we have had the power to change the Earth’s water processes for thousands of years. We just haven’t learned to use that power responsibly, at least at the mainstream collective level.

With a broader perspective, we will discover that we simply need to give nature a bit of a helping hand in order to restore the balance in carbon and energy cycles, which are overwhelmingly driven by water.”

The solution is not simply planting trees, it is about restoring the heat fluxes that carry heat from the surface of the land up into the atmosphere and release it out into space. This can be achieved with a combination of targeted land use changes and a transition to regenerative agricultural practices. The target required is a mere 1% increase in the amount of incident solar energy being reflected or reradiated back into space.

The challenge is large, because it involves a change of mindset, especially for farmers, most of whom are still using agricultural techniques from the 19th century, but to put the problem of climate change in the too hard basket would be lazy, destructive and ignorant.

There is an IPCC special report due next year on the subject:

If I can find any of the preliminary reports in the public domain I will link them, unless someone beats me to it…

31 10 2018
I.M. Noman

“Only 4% of the heat dynamics of this planet are driven by carbon dioxide.”

Really? According to the 2013 IPCC report, about 55% of the radiative forcing (which drives the climate change) comes from CO2 and 45% from all other sources, of which methane is the most important. CO2 is the main agent in climate change, says Prof Wadhams in his book.

31 10 2018
Brandon Young

Yes really. The IPCC defines radiative forcing like this:

“Radiative forcing is a measure of the influence a factor has in altering the balance of incoming and outgoing energy in the Earth-atmosphere system and is an index of the importance of the factor as a potential climate change mechanism. In this report radiative forcing values are for changes relative to preindustrial conditions defined at 1750 and are expressed in Watts per square meter (W/m2).”

This is essentially the Delta (the variation in a variable, rather than the variable itself) – the relative change in heat dynamics under climate change compared to ‘natural’ levels, not the overall volume of heat exchanges.

The numbers and analysis of the assumptions are all included here:

Click to access 2017%20-%20Restoring%20water%20cycles.pdf

Rather than include a long excerpt, I will point you straight to the section titled:

“The scientific reality and our assumptions in developing and from greenhouse models.”

31 10 2018
Brandon Young

Given that my previous response is still awaiting moderation, presumably because it contains a couple of links, here are the contents of the relevant section of the underlying documentation:

Science has long confirmed that water and its hydrological and heat transfer processes are the dominant factor governing some 95% of the heat dynamics and climate of the blue planet. Indeed it was because water was such a dominant factor in the Earth’s climate, including some 60% of the natural greenhouse effect, that it was assumed that man could not possibly have altered these dynamics in causing our recent climate changes.

As such explanations of the cause of our recent abnormal human induced global warming focused on the clear recent abnormal rise in CO2 levels confirmed 50 years ago by Charles Keeling and its natural greenhouse component effect rather than possible changes to hydrological processes and their heat effects.

Clear mathematical relationships had also been confirmed between the rise in CO2 levels, its greenhouse effect and global temperatures by Savantes Arrhenius. By contrast hydrological processes were so variable in time and space that it was hard to model how they may have changed or demonstrate how they are linked to the observed abnormal CO2 rise, the elevated greenhouse effect or projected climate changes.

The clear abnormal rise in CO2 levels and the fact that it is a greenhouse gas, also made it easy to assume that this was the dominant and primary cause of any recent global warming. The fact that we had recently greatly increased our burning of and emissions from fossil fuel similarly provided a simple clear ‘causal assumption’ for the abnormal CO2 rise, even if CO2 levels had been rising since 1750, 200 years before large fossil fuel use.

Consequently most research to assess the impacts from the clear CO2 rise focused on modelling its component of the greenhouse effect; largely ignoring possible hydrological dynamics as an alternative causal factor.

However, even with these assumptions, this research confirmed that the rise in CO2 and its greenhouse effect, could account for only a small global temperature rise, well below the observed levels. To account for the higher observed rise, greenhouse models had to include a ‘force multiplier’.

This was done by assuming that the water vapour component of the greenhouse effect, which may be four times larger than that of CO2, was a secondary positive feedback due to the warming from the CO2 greenhouse effect. This was rationalised on the assumption that the amount of water that can be held in the air depends on its temperature, which was assumed to be governed by the CO2 level and its minor greenhouse effect.

While expedient, these assumptions conflict with reality, in that the amount of water held in the air, which is often at concentrations of up to 50,000 ppm, either as vapour or as haze micro-droplets is governed not by the air temperature or the 400 ppm of CO2 in the air; but by a balance of;

1. Aerosol micro-nuclei that enable the water in the air to form persistent haze micro-droplets, and:

2. Much larger hygroscopic precipitation nuclei able to coalesce millions of haze micro-droplets hygroscopically into cloud droplets and then raindrops to remove this water from the atmosphere.

Contrary to our greenhouse assumptions and models, water does not disappear from the air as temperatures decline but simply condenses on micro-nuclei to form haze and fog micro-droplets. These haze micro-droplets remain in the air till they are either re-evaporated into water vapour or precipitated by precipitation nuclei.

Instead of being an expedient secondary positive feedback process to try to enable CO2 greenhouse models to account for the observed temperature reality, the vast but variable quantities of water in the air are governed largely by a balance of these two opposing biological nucleation processes. They have their own profound climate effects, largely independent of the temperature, the CO2 concentration or its greenhouse effect.

2 11 2018
I.M. Noman

“We simply must step outside the thinking that carbon dioxide must be the main focus when it comes to climate action.”

No. According to the American Chemical Society, water vapor does not control the Earth’s temperature, but is instead controlled by the temperature. CO2 (as well as CH4, N2O, and O3) has been building up in the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution when we began burning large amounts of fossil fuel. The addition of the these non-condensable gases causes the temperature to increase and this leads to an increase in water vapour that further increases the temperature. This is an example of a positive feedback effect. There is also a possibility that adding more water vapour to the atmosphere could produce a negative feedback effect. This could happen if more water vapor leads to more cloud formation. However, atmospheric physicist Garrett’s vote is for zero cloud impact on climate temperatures, once we include really low-flying clouds called snow. He says that thermodynamically, clouds (and water vapour) are an internal system response, not an external forcing.

2 11 2018
Brandon Young

Yes, I can see how you get to that view if you look just at the chemistry. But we need to do far better than that, because hydrology is driven ultimately by biological processes, and these involve living organisms and systems that add orders of magnitude to the complexity of the Earth-atmosphere system.

The science is expanding quite rapidly now, and much research is being done and needs to be done, which is why the IPCC Climate Change and Land report is an important waypoint, to see how much consensus can be built around the new understanding of the biological processes, and how much these can be used to make the greenhouse models more realistic and accurate.

As already mentioned in the provided excerpt, the biological nucleation processes are critical to both how much water is held in the atmosphere and how much falls as rain. The more we have cloud seeding via microbial precipitation nuclei, which are delivered up to the clouds by heat fluxes from land areas with rich healthy soils and abundant green growth, the faster the hydrological process works to cycle water and carry heat up and out into space.

For example, here is one study which describes the nucleation process for one particular strain of bacteria, and suggests that it might provide a useful template for other species:

Ice-nucleating bacteria control the order and dynamics of interfacial water

Some snippets, which help to demonstrate how biological processes have evolved to become far more powerful and efficient than simple chemical processes, and they are the basis of the atmospheric interactions, climate change or not:

… airborne ice-active microorganisms are involved in the interaction of atmospheric aerosols, clouds, and precipitation, and they may influence the hydrological cycle and the coevolution of life and climate through feedback mechanisms that receive increasing attention in Earth system and climate research (bioprecipitation cycle)

We demonstrate that P. syringae bacteria can effectively order water molecules in their vicinity, which supports the hypothesis that they carry IN active sites, which can promote the nucleation of ice. In addition, vibrational energy is very rapidly exchanged through the surrounding water near the bacterial surface. Ordering and thermal energy removal through effective energetic coupling within the water network are advantageous for ice nucleation by inaZ sites at the bacterial surface. The water order is significantly enhanced with decreasing temperatures, which indicates that the molecular mechanisms involved in biogenic ice nucleation have been evolutionarily optimized for temperatures close to the freezing point of water. Heterogeneous ice nucleation initiated by substrates is little understood and contributes to large uncertainties in the prediction of climate change (49). Close analysis of the interaction of inaZ proteins with water exemplifies the fact that surface sites matching ice templates and the presence of hydrophilic sites (by matching bonds) commonly assumed to promote ice nucleation (50) are not sufficient to explain the IN properties of P. syringae but that on a nanometer scale, a symmetric hydrophobic-hydrophilic pattern can play an important role in water structuring and thus ice nucleation, an effect testable in future experimental studies. The model discussed here is valid for bacteria similar to P. syringae. Other species involved in biogenic ice nucleation, for example fungi and pollen (9), may use variations or entirely different mechanisms.

31 10 2018

Meanwhile, every day now we see stories like these headlines. It’s straw clutching stuff, but for the uninitiated these stories keep up a social delusion that we can easily run society on low grade energy, and its just around the corner.

2 11 2018
Brandon Young

@ I. M. Noman

I have posted a response to your comment twice, but neither has been displayed for whatever reason. Please feel free to make the same argument with a comment on my site, and I will certainly respond there. Cheers.

7 11 2018

Brandon, your comments just went to moderation for reasons best known to WordPress, and because I was on the road for four days I was unable to approve them……. now I’m back in Tassie, I can do my duty again!

7 11 2018
Brandon Young

Great. Thanks.

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