Thinking about Water: Sustainability and Climate Change (3)

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 6:57 PM GMT on September 11, 2011

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Thinking about Water: Sustainability and Climate Change (3)

In the past two articles (Sustainability 1, Sustainability 2) I have been exploring the relation between climate change and sustainability. There are a couple of issues that floated to the top. The first is that both climate change and sustainability have complex and difficult issues of communication. For example, if an organization takes a strident and dogmatic position on a single issue, in my example, compostable plastic cups, then the important points about sustainability can be lost in a way that, bluntly, looks silly - and that is definitely damaging to advancing sustainability. The same is true for climate change. The second issue is that central to both sustainability and climate change is waste management – and in the particular case of plastic waste and carbon dioxide emissions there are some interesting parallels. The third is that there are practices in the sustainability movement that are not obviously “good” in the realm of addressing global warming. Ultimately, to address climate change we have to find sources of energy that do not emit carbon dioxide when energy is used.

In this entry, I want to visit the issues of water resources and sustainability and climate change; my primary purpose is to explore more fully the issues of communication, perspectives, and perhaps lumping people together into social and political groups.

In August I took a one-day course on grasslands and the reclamation of prairie land. Throughout eastern Colorado there are efforts to return farmland to natural prairie. Eastern Colorado is very dry, and in fact, southeastern Colorado was at the heart of the Dust Bowl ( an old dusty blog). To support crops such as sugar beets, corn, and Rocky Ford Cantaloupes, water for irrigation is required. The South Platte and Arkansas River watersheds are completely managed. If you drive the dirt roads through un-irrigated land, you see cholla growing.

The grasslands course that I took went to several fields where natural prairie grasses were being planted. Simply, this is agricultural land. If the land is abandoned, then all sorts of weeds, some of them considered pernicious invasive species, take over. That is, if there is some water. If there is no water then the land dries out and blows away. In the spirit of good land stewardship, grass seed are planted and the land is irrigated for a prescribed number of years. In this way, the broadleaf weeds grow first, the grass sprouts and takes hold, and then in five years the tough dry-lands grasses are left to fend for themselves – or perhaps used as rangelands. This appears to me to be good land management, sustainable perhaps, but I am not an ecosystems expert and if there are underlying problems with this, then I hope some readers will let me know.

What is the motivation for this return to prairie? The primary motivation is the capture of water for the cities along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains (Thirsty Cities, Dry Farms). So this might challenge some people’s notion of sustainability, especially those who couch the problem in terms of cantaloupes for suburban lawns.

But I don’t want to frame this in terms of suburban lawns. Denver Water is a large water owner in Colorado, and they have been long-time advocates for water conservation. In fact, if you look at most large U.S. West cities, their water consumption per person has gone down tremendously for the past decade or two. The population, their customer base, has gone up. Looking to a future with more people and a robust economy, water is important, so they are buying up water and water rights. These water rights, often, were originally for agriculture. Again this seems likes sensible, responsible behavior. From the point of view of sustainability, the fundamental problem is a lot of people in a dry land. But just to the west of Denver are the Rockies and they collect, or at least they always have collected – they collect water, store it snow and it flows down to the Plains in the summer. (Perhaps assisted by large tunnels and aqueducts – a good Latin word.)

So climate change – this is a blog about climate change. I started this series of blogs at the county fair. There were science exhibits, and a display on climate-wise gardening. There was a lot of attention to garbage; it was a zero-waste event. There was an exhibit and lecture on irrigation, with, of course, some discussion of stressed and contentious water resources. In one of the discussions I had, I brought up the climate-wise gardening exhibit, and the immediate response was that they did not think that climate change was a very important issue with regards to water for county farm land.

From the point of view of a farmer in eastern Colorado, the weather has always been an unreliable partner. You simply cannot count on water falling from the sky. When the farmer hears someone talking about climate change and the growing unreliability of water, they feel that they already have a large knowledge base about unreliable water. Already, they don’t count on the weather. If it rains, well, that is good fortune that means a little less irrigation or a little more corn. If you look at what affects the farmer’s water, it is cities buying up water rights at the head of the stream, in the mountains. The purchase of water, or more generally, water rights, water policy, and water engineering have a FAR greater impact than climate change. So if you are a farmer in eastern Colorado, the threat offered by climate change is pretty far down the list of risks.

The farmer’s climate risk is then influenced by, say, the cost of fuel. If you are reliant upon fossil fuels to pump water for your irrigation, then the increased cost of that fossil fuel to address climate change, that is threatening their water a few decades down the road – well it does not make a lot of sense. Ultimately, if it is the political will that matters, then the political support for climate change policy does not follow intuitively from their experiences. Plus, if you are a farmer in eastern Colorado, you likely sit on top of some oil or natural gas and with those high prices, and there’s a nice source of steady income – to replace the income lost because the water is being taken away by the city. That climate change is not a major environmental issue is not a surprise, and at least on the surface of policy options, much of what we propose to do about climate change does not appear to be in the farmer’s self interest.

So that’s one perspective of climate change. For another look at Denver Water. Denver Water looks at the mountains to their west, millions of people, and planning 50 years ahead. They look at cities that want to grow; towns that want to attract new businesses. They look across a large region. They look at changing seasonal supplies. Denver Water is one of the utilities that is most concerned about climate change. (Drought and Climate Change from Denver Water) The size of the problems Denver Water care about is large enough that climate change matters and is small enough that the climate projections, what will actually happen, is highly uncertain. They are prepared for the future, if the future looks like the past. But what if that future is different? The smart way to address such ambiguous risk is to buy more of the resource that you need.

I want to end with the grass tour. As we rode around in a bus looking at fields, you cannot help but be impressed by the presence of solar panels in those fields. Even if climate change is not a front-burner issue, energy, energy cost, energy access, energy reliability is.

r



Figure 1: From Rocky Mountain Climate Organization which works “to protect the West and its climate, by bringing about action to reduce heat-trapping pollution and to prepare for the changes that are coming.”

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Quoting yonzabam:


When do the cruise ships start offering trips to the north pole?

You can ask, I suppose: Arctic cruises

Let me know what they say!
Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 5469
OUCH!


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Birthmark:

Yes. Yes it is a record for that index.

Next question.


When do the cruise ships start offering trips to the north pole?
Member Since: July 20, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2893
Quoting JBastardi:
Speaking of record-low ice, is it truly record-low? Hmmm?

Link

Yes. Yes it is a record for that index.

Next question.
Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 5469
Speaking of record-low ice, is it truly record-low? Hmmm?

Link
Member Since: July 5, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 403
Quoting martinitony:
I'm getting tired of people like you denying that there are many, thousands even, of legitimate scientists who don't agree with you.

We only deny it for one reason: because it's simply--and provably--not true.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13455
Apologies, due do an unintentional introduction of a space, the above address does not work for the article. Trying again

Here is a recent study (warning heavy on the soil science):
Link

Edited to correct link again
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AlwaysThinkin:
Speaking of prairie reclamation here's an article on a non profit using biochar to reclaim an old mine in Colorado. Sounds like the early results are pretty positive ....

“ ... experts say it is also immobilizing the heavy metals long enough so that they naturally degrade . . .

Link


Not to particularly picky, but heavy metals cannot degrade. They are elements.
Biochar does sequester certain heavy metals, but is highly dependent upon how the particular biochar is produced and the inherent properties of the soil. However, the heavy metals are still there.
At the moment, there is insufficient data regarding what happens to those heavy metals once the biochar begins to naturally age (oxidize). At most, biochar may produce a temporary positive effect by:
(1)slowing the uptake of these heavy metals into the vegetation
and
(2) slowing the percolation of the heavy metals into local water supplies.
However, biochar amendment of the soil does not eliminate heavy metal contamination. Just thought that this portion of the article posted is extremely misleading.
Here is a recent study (warning heavy on the soil science):
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/ S0045653510005965
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting JBastardi:


Here, I'll throw you a few ice cubes:

Link

Oh, too bad! They were gone by the time I got there!

You should probably look closely at that bottom squiggly line --the anomaly. It tells you what I'm telling you. ;)
Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 5469
Quoting overwash12:
All the Glacial periods,little ice ages,warming periods in the past,have all happened without mans help. Now all we have is AGW to deal with. Deal with it!

There is very little doubt that the current warming is due primarily to human activity.

- The Earth's orbital mechanics haven't changed very much over the last few decades. So we can eliminate them as a culprit.
- Solar output has been flat in the last, so it too can be eliminated.
- There has been no large scale volcanism. So, it can't explain the current warming.
- Plate tectonics...well, that's a bit too slow.
- Cosmic ray impacts have been flat. They are eliminated, too.

That leaves us with GHG's. We've been putting rather a lot of them into the Earth's atmosphere. I suppose in a sense we are seven billion tiny volcanoes, spewing out gigtons of CO2 and changing the nearby landscape --if that makes anyone feel any better.

Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 5469
Quoting martinitony:



You have 32 years of satelite data on Arctic ice period. Your statement about 8000 years is not data. I have seen several articles that suggest historical low or lower ice periods as recent as the 1920s-30s. Example

Phrases like "death spiral" are fear mongering and just set the maroon Cyclone off. And it really does matter whether or not new lows are being reached or whether there is a leveling off and a change of direction.

Last of all you do not present, and none has ever been presented here, a proof of any kind that man is responsible. there has been plenty of litterature lately suggesting just the opposite, that sun cycles and cosmic rays have a far greater impact than man. Another example

Just because you say and believe something doesn't make it true. There is plenty of science and data that support alternate theories. You might dispute them, but don't discount them with your irrational alarmism. It really isn't any different than those irrational religious freaks I'm sure you despise.


It is not news that the area and extent of Arctic sea ice have varied in the past. However, there is no evidence and no reason to believe that the area and extent have been as low as they consistently are now. It probably doesn't matter anyway since area and extent are extremely subject to weather, particularly near the end of the melt season. 2007 is a poster child for the effect of wind and currents on area and extent.

"Death spiral" is the correct phrase to describe the condition of the Arctic sea ice. Did you not look at the Arctic sea ice volume graphic? If that's not a death spiral then what is it?

"Proof" really isn't a scientific concept since at its core scientific knowledge is *always* provisional. If all knowledge is provisional, then "proof" is impossible. However, there is ample support that human activity is the culprit:

-It is a fact that CO2 is a GHG. This has been tested and confirmed extensively.
-It is a fact that humans are releasing tens of gigatons of CO2 into Earth's atmosphere.
-It is a fact that the atmospheric concentration of CO2 is increasing.
-It is a fact that the isotopic ratio of the C in Earth's atmosphere is changing in a way consistent with the by-products of fossil fuel combustion.
-It is a fact that while surface temperatures are increasing, stratospheric temperature is *decreasing.* (This is a smoking gun that GHG's are at work.)

All of these facts, along with changes we've made to the Earth's surface (deforestation, for example) adequately explain the current warming. It may not be "proof" in the philosophical sense, but I'll leave the philosopher's to their own musings. Their track record against scientists is pretty unimpressive.

Despite what you read in the popular press, GCR's are *not* the culprit behind the current warming:


There is no real trend in cosmic rays over the last few decades. There certainly has been in temperature, though.

The evidence that human activity is the major driver of the current warming is irrefutable.

The evidence that it is anything else is somewhere between imaginary and hopeful, and usually relies on taking things out of context or grasping at the straws of already rejected hypotheses.
Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 5469
Quoting JBastardi:
Another paper demonstrating that the sun has a great effect on climate. (Something every logical thinker knew all along).

Link


It's not really a paper, though, is it? He's got books to sell, including 'The Chilling Stars: A Cosmic View of Climate Change'. You can buy it by clicking on the title. He makes a living from writing what publishers know will sell.

Velikovsky and Erik von Daniken made a pretty good living from writing iconoclastic books that sensationally 'disproved' conventional wisdom. They wrote complete twaddle but it made them rich.

I'm interested to hear more about how an increase in cosmic rays warms the Earth. Apparently, it makes more cloud condensation nuclei. So, how does that cause warming, exactly?
Member Since: July 20, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2893
Quoting JBastardi:
Another paper demonstrating that the sun has a great effect on climate. (Something every logical thinker knew all along).

Link


Yes, the Sun does have a great effect on climate. I do not know a single person that would deny this. Greenhouse gases also effect climate when the heat is not radiated back out into space.

Mars has a much thinner atmosphere than does Earth. Venus has a much thicker atmosphere than does Earth. All three planets have different chemical make ups to their atmosphere. Venus has much more greenhouse gases than does Earth and is much hotter than is Earth. Mars has less greenhouse gases than does Earth is much colder than is Earth. No, before you say it, location is not everything. Should Venus, Earth and Mars share a common orbit then Venus would still be warmer than Earth and Mars will still be colder than Earth. Theory, in practice? Look no further than our own moon.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4737
Another paper demonstrating that the sun has a great effect on climate. (Something every logical thinker knew all along).

Link
Member Since: July 5, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 403
Quoting nymore:
Now they are going to use only one data set for the arctic sea ice because all others say 2007 was the lowest. You don't have to go back 8000 years you can go back 4 years but that won't scare you so 8000 years sounds better.


The reason why it's so shocking we are at or near the 2007 level is because that year wasn't particularly hot compared to other years, but that an anticyclonic weather pattern had set up over the Arctic which helped melt it much faster than otherwise. This year had no anticyclonic weather pattern and nearly matched it. In only four years time. I think we have a right to be alarmed by that. Also I thought you deniers said that Arctic sea ice was recovering after 2007 how's that going?
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 394
Quoting JBastardi:


Here, I'll throw you a few ice cubes:

Link


How come he doesn't have any graphs for the Arctic or Antarctic sea ice volume?
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 394
Quoting theshepherd:
Dr. Rood


IMHO:

The Developers in Colorado are going to sell as many developments as they can as fast as they can, that's what they do. All the while growing the population and further taxing the fresh water supply.
As I've mentioned before, Big Oil does not hold a candle to the Real Estate Lobby. Developers will get what they want and the politicians will fold like a cheap suitcase.
Farmers will be forced out and the populace will pay the additional fuel charges to have their vegetables shipped in. A Tractor trailer full of veggies traveling across country burns far more fossil fuels than an irrigation pump.
I'm sure you'll have the full support of the Real Estate Lobby with any plan that forces the farmers out.


If you are indeed interested in dry cities as related to climate change, I would think your focus would be on responsible urban growth. But, you would be wasting your time with that.

You can only fit just so many people around a water hole....IMHO



I agree with what you say. I also agree that you pinpointed the biggest reason why we have problems, in so many areas, with the government. One word, lobbyist. We have the right to petition our government. This should be restricted to lobbying the representatives of your own district. Professional lobbyist should be banned and this process made illegal. No one should have "the right" to lobby politicians that do not represent their district. Politicians that accept funds from professional lobbyist should be removed from office and charges for accepting bribes brought against them. .... Do you want the representative government this nation was formed under? You will never have it when professional lobbying groups have a voice that drowns out the voice of the local citizens. You cannot escape this reality.

You also, though not directly, hint that privatization is not the solution to everything and can actually prove to be detrimental. This, also, is a reality.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4737
Quoting Birthmark:


You forgot the question mark. The article is actually titled, "The earliest end to Arctic ice melt on record?"

Don't count your sea ice before it's frozen.


Here, I'll throw you a few ice cubes:

Link
Member Since: July 5, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 403
All the Glacial periods,little ice ages,warming periods in the past,have all happened without mans help. Now all we have is AGW to deal with. Deal with it!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting martinitony:


Here, I want you to think a little.
Moon Temperature

Absolute zero is about -273 C. Now, how do you account for the temperature on the moon getting to hundreds of degrees above that? Oh, I guess you're thinking it must be the sun. Powerful thing, the sun, isn't it? Now , I know what you're thinking. "But the Earth has an atmosphere and there is a greenhouse effect." Yeah, that's true, but what if there are variations in sun's radiation and other cosmic rays? Do ya think that could have a major effect. You don't, I guess. Well, I do and so do others as I have already posted.

I'm getting tired of people like you denying that there are many, thousands even, of legitimate scientists who don't agree with you. You can use your denialist slander all you want, but the truth will eventually play itself out.



So, do you disagree with scientists who say that the natural greenhouse effect warms the surface of the Earth by 33 degrees C? A simple yes or no will do.

By the way, its very hot on Venus, too. So hot, lead would melt. Now that's hot! Guess why. That's right - a runaway greenhouse effect!
Member Since: July 20, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2893
Quoting yonzabam:
Atmospheric physicists believe that naturally occurring greenhouse gases


You keep saying those who believe AGW are irrational, when all the evidence from the denialists is that they are the irrational ones, rejecting scientific evidence because they simply don't like it. It doesn't fit into their comfort zone, so they're not having any of it.

Their mentality is little different from conspiracy theorists who claim George Bush blew up the WTC with controlled explosions, the Pentagon was hit by a cruise missile, and the moon landings were faked. I'm sure a very large percentage of AGW deniers are also conspiracy theorists.

I don't go along with all mainstream scientific theories. I think Big Bang Theory is bunkum and I've posted on a few forums to that effect. But atmospheric physicists claim that naturally occurring greenhouse gases warm the Earth at the surface by 33 degrees C. I'm sure that figure is an average and the real figure could be several degrees more or less, but I accept the science.

If you don't accept it, maybe you could show where they've gone wrong and collect your well earned Nobel Prize. I'll be the first to congratulate you. After water vapour, CO2 and methane are the most important greenhouse gases. Man has increased the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere by 40% above pre-industrial level and methane by 140%.

Now, unless you can show that the infrared wavelengths that these two gases re-radiate at are already saturated, so that adding more of them would not contribute to the greenhouse effect, then you rationally have to accept that man is responsible for the warming.


Here, I want you to think a little.
Moon Temperature

Absolute zero is about -273 C. Now, how do you account for the temperature on the moon getting to hundreds of degrees above that? Oh, I guess you're thinking it must be the sun. Powerful thing, the sun, isn't it? Now , I know what you're thinking. "But the Earth has an atmosphere and there is a greenhouse effect." Yeah, that's true, but what if there are variations in sun's radiation and other cosmic rays? Do ya think that could have a major effect. You don't, I guess. Well, I do and so do others as I have already posted.

I'm getting tired of people like you denying that there are many, thousands even, of legitimate scientists who don't agree with you. You can use your denialist slander all you want, but the truth will eventually play itself out.
Member Since: July 29, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 970
Atmospheric physicists believe that naturally occurring greenhouse gases
Quoting martinitony:



You have 32 years of satelite data on Arctic ice period. Your statement about 8000 years is not data. I have seen several articles that suggest historical low or lower ice periods as recent as the 1920s-30s. Example

Phrases like "death spiral" are fear mongering and just set the maroon Cyclone off. And it really does matter whether or not new lows are being reached or whether there is a leveling off and a change of direction.

Last of all you do not present, and none has ever been presented here, a proof of any kind that man is responsible. there has been plenty of litterature lately suggesting just the opposite, that sun cycles and cosmic rays have a far greater impact than man. Another example

Just because you say and believe something doesn't make it true. There is plenty of science and data that support alternate theories. You might dispute them, but don't discount them with your irrational alarmism. It really isn't any different than those irrational religious freaks I'm sure you despise.



You keep saying those who believe AGW are irrational, when all the evidence from the denialists is that they are the irrational ones, rejecting scientific evidence because they simply don't like it. It doesn't fit into their comfort zone, so they're not having any of it.

Their mentality is little different from conspiracy theorists who claim George Bush blew up the WTC with controlled explosions, the Pentagon was hit by a cruise missile, and the moon landings were faked. I'm sure a very large percentage of AGW deniers are also conspiracy theorists.

I don't go along with all mainstream scientific theories. I think Big Bang Theory is bunkum and I've posted on a few forums to that effect. But atmospheric physicists claim that naturally occurring greenhouse gases warm the Earth at the surface by 33 degrees C. I'm sure that figure is an average and the real figure could be several degrees more or less, but I accept the science.

If you don't accept it, maybe you could show where they've gone wrong and collect your well earned Nobel Prize. I'll be the first to congratulate you. After water vapour, CO2 and methane are the most important greenhouse gases. Man has increased the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere by 40% above pre-industrial level and methane by 140%.

Now, unless you can show that the infrared wavelengths that these two gases re-radiate at are already saturated, so that adding more of them would not contribute to the greenhouse effect, then you rationally have to accept that man is responsible for the warming.
Member Since: July 20, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2893
Quoting Birthmark:
@ 32. nymore

That might be the most ridiculous post I've read in a year or two.

RSS, UAH, GISS, and HadCRUT *all* show warming for the time period 2000-present. If they show no statistically significant warming...well that is no surprise given the short time period. But for the last 30 years, *all* measures show rapid and statistically significant warming.

It honestly doesn't matter whether the Arctic SI Area or Arctic SI Extent are at record lows or only nearly so. One thing is clear: Arctic Sea Ice is in a death spiral.

IMO, the best evidence for that is Sea Ice Volume. Volume seems to be less affected by weather than area or extent.

But no matter what data we use, they all tell the same tale. They differ only in the particulars.

The Earth is warming rapidly, by geological standards. Cherry picking won't chance that fact one tiny bit.

And human activity is the primary cause.



You have 32 years of satelite data on Arctic ice period. Your statement about 8000 years is not data. I have seen several articles that suggest historical low or lower ice periods as recent as the 1920s-30s. Example

Phrases like "death spiral" are fear mongering and just set the maroon Cyclone off. And it really does matter whether or not new lows are being reached or whether there is a leveling off and a change of direction.

Last of all you do not present, and none has ever been presented here, a proof of any kind that man is responsible. there has been plenty of litterature lately suggesting just the opposite, that sun cycles and cosmic rays have a far greater impact than man. Another example

Just because you say and believe something doesn't make it true. There is plenty of science and data that support alternate theories. You might dispute them, but don't discount them with your irrational alarmism. It really isn't any different than those irrational religious freaks I'm sure you despise.
Member Since: July 29, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 970
@ 32. nymore

That might be the most ridiculous post I've read in a year or two.

RSS, UAH, GISS, and HadCRUT *all* show warming for the time period 2000-present. If they show no statistically significant warming...well that is no surprise given the short time period. But for the last 30+ years, *all* measures show rapid and statistically significant warming.

It honestly doesn't matter whether the Arctic SI Area or Arctic SI Extent are at record lows or only nearly so. One thing is clear: Arctic Sea Ice is in a death spiral.

IMO, the best evidence for that is Sea Ice Volume. Volume seems to be less affected by weather than area or extent.

But no matter what data we use, they all tell the same tale. They differ only in the particulars.

The Earth is warming rapidly, by geological standards. Cherry picking won't chance that fact one tiny bit.

And human activity is the primary cause.
Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 5469
I like how the alarmist on here say we should believe the majority of scientists who blame the warming on man and not the minority of scientists who say it is natural. Only they will use the minority of the measurements taken when it comes to showing what they want you to see. Examples are things such as the temperature for the last decade or more they will use only GISS data because all others say no warming. Now they are going to use only one data set for the arctic sea ice because all others say 2007 was the lowest. You don't have to go back 8000 years you can go back 4 years but that won't scare you so 8000 years sounds better. The person on this blog who always claims we will need a super volcano, a strike from an object from space or nuclear war is someone who won't care about AGWT if any of these terrible things happen. We have had none of these things happen yet it has not warmed globally for quite some time. I say don't worry the arctic will not be ice free in 5 or 10 years the person who claims this is no different than any other fear monger.
Member Since: July 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2255
Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 5469
Quoting JBastardi:


It just shows that ice melts are cyclical and thirty years is less than a blink of an eye in relevant data.

How about 8,000 years? That's how long scientists believe it's been since the Arctic Sea had so little ice.

Speaking of: scientists at the University of Bremen in German say the following: "It seems to be clear that this is a further consequence of the man-made global warming with global consequences."

Uh-oh.

In its quaint translation, the paper further states: "The increased insolation into the open water heat it up, leading to an additional sea ice melt from the bottom and delays formation of new ice in autumn. Moreover, the sea ice retreat can no more be explained with the natural variability from one year to the next, caused e.g. by weather influence. Climate models show rather, that the reduction is related to the man-made global warming which, due to the ice albedo effect, is particular pronounced in the Arctic: an ice area melted by a small temperature increase will then as open water have a much darker surface, absorb more solar radiation as before which causes an additional heating."

Absent a massive volcano eruption, asteroid strike, or global thermonuclear war the Arctic Sea will be ice free at some point in some September within the next five to ten years.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13455
Quoting JBastardi:
The earliest end to Arctic ice melt on record. Ouch!

Link


You forgot the question mark. The article is actually titled, "The earliest end to Arctic ice melt on record?"

Don't count your sea ice before it's frozen.
Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 5469
Quoting theshepherd:
WU has numerous staunch AGWs who live in low lying coastal towns. Why is that? Why aren't they moving inland, say Colorado, before their property becomes worthless? After all, they all say "it's too late, the damage has been done, the cascade has begun".

I would suggest they think, "someone else's ocean will rise, not mine".



Um, SLR is happening gradually, by human standards. Almost every adult living in a coastal town is going to be just fine.

Glad I can help. :)
Member Since: October 30, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 5469
There has been permanent ice on Antarctica since there has been an Antarctica.

There has for millions of years occurred warming and cooling there. This is proven by "intact", long since frozen ancient plant life complete with viable DNA. I would suggest if we are to find viable dinosaur DNA, then Antarctica is where we will find it.

Core samples taken through the sea ice area adjacent to the land mass has proven that the sea ice has melted 60 times. When the sea ice melts, this removes their damming effect on the land glaciers that then bring forth into the sea their trails of rubble. The west Antarctic sea has at least 3 times supported tropical life. But then, this is just what those silly geologists say...and we all know that they all work for big oil.

Depending on which climate model you like, the seas may rise from 3 to 20 feet ...or so.
That being said, how can anyone believing these models continue to live in coastal towns. WU has numerous staunch AGWs who live in low lying coastal towns. Why is that? Why aren't they moving inland, say Colorado, before their property becomes worthless? After all, they all say "it's too late, the damage has been done, the cascade has begun".

I would suggest they think, "someone else's ocean will rise, not mine".


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting cyclonebuster:


What else would you expect from a record low extent since 1979 ? OUCH!



It just shows that ice melts are cyclical and thirty years is less than a blink of an eye in relevant data.
Member Since: July 5, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 403
Quoting yonzabam:


3rd warmest southern hemisphere August on record - temps with reference to the average for 1951-80.


2011 34 31 27 36 29 35 55 63
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug


And the 3rd warmest southern hemisphere June - August temperature on record at 0.51C above the 1951-80 average.



Would this be the record warmth you were referring too!

Editorial: Cold comfort to the needy

The New Age Editorial

Just when South Africans think the worst of an especially biting cold winter has passed, Mother Nature makes a U-turn and returns-with devastating results.

As our paper reported on its front page yesterday and today, the cold front, accompanied by gale force winds, snowfalls and flooding in some provinces across the country, has wrought havoc around the country.

Some in the scientific world are quick to pronounce the freak weather as a sure-fire sign of global warning and it is now time for humanity to reap the whirlwind. Cold comfort to people out there who do not even understand what global warming is.

These are the people who often carry the brunt of global ills, such as rising food prices, wars and, of course, the exploitation of the earth’s resources without putting anything back.

Spare a thought for these faceless people. These are people who reside on the periphery of our society. They are the homeless who have to face harsh weather without protection of any kind.

Let us for a moment think of the people who live in the squatter camps that dot our landscape, as you snuggle under a mountain of blankets tonight or sip on hot soup, think of them.


Another cold snap later this week
Posted by wwadmin on Mon, 29/08/2011 - 11:49
Filed in:

National News

Yet another cold snap is coming towards New Zealand - the third one in several weeks says WeatherWatch.co.nz. However this one looks short lived and doesn't appear to be a repeat of the historic cold blast earlier this month.

WeatherWatch.co.nz forecasters say the set up will be similar to earlier this month, but lacks the same amount of energy. "We have another long high from north to south building over eastern Australia and lows forming around or near New Zealand" says head weather analyst Philip Duncan. "But despite the similar set up both the high and the lows are much smaller. The air won't be coming from the South Pole, it will be coming from over the Southern Ocean".

Mr Duncan says overall the wind direction may not be so favourable for heavy snow to sea level and says that Southland and Otago will be most exposed to snow to those levels.

However heavier snow could push in across the Canterbury plains and foot hills - but it's unclear if this will make it to sea level.

Regardless of potential snow, the air will be cold. WeatherWatch.co.nz says it will start in the deep south late on Thursday and will become more widespread on Friday. It will push into the North Island during Friday and Saturday with snow showers about Volcanic Plateau and cold winds and a few showers elsewhere.

The high in the west should clear up conditions by Sunday in most places with heavy frosts returning.

Potential Travel Problems
By Road
South Island: Snow is expected to again affect major Alpine Highways. Snow may also affect low lying roads and highways around Southland and Otago.
North Island: Snow may affect or close the Desert Road late on Friday and into Saturday morning.

By Air:
Queenstown Airport may be affected by flight delays and cancellations as a result of snow at the airport on Friday.

http://weatherwatch.co.nz/content/another-cold-bl ast-later-week


I have posted these entries for past three month's
on this climate change blog. Might make for interesting reading if one was so inclined, well I reckon you ain't been around much:)


Cold snap brings near-record low temp

Last updated 05:00 02/08/201

Last week's cold snap has seen Timaru record its second lowest temperature for July since records began in 1906.

On July 26, the minimum air temperature recorded in Timaru was -7.8 degrees Celsius. It was also the fourth-lowest minimum temperature for any month since 1906, according to the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa).

Senior climate scientist Georgina Griffiths said the coldest temperature recorded was -9.1C in August 1998, followed by two cold days in 1966 which saw -8.9C in June and -8.8C the next month.

''It was a near record cold, so it was a pretty significant event.''

On July 25, the maximum temperature for Timaru was 6.9C at 3pm.


http://www.stuff.co.nz/timaru-herald/news/5373122 /Cold-snap-brings-near-record-low-temp


http://images.tvnz.co.nz/tvnz_images/news2011/wea ther_nz/qtown_pgb.jpg

Aug 3 (Reuters) - Australia's 2011/12 wheat crop is suffering from cold dry weather in the key eastern grain producing state of New South Wales, which may cut output, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia said in a report on Wednesday.

These reports from the front end of August. Empirical evidence from the locality is quite accurate and not prone to misguided political directives and tampering as we have seen with
supposed climate experts who have a axe to grind.
Hansen,(I wanna be arrested)
Phil Jones
The files showed scientists plotting how to avoid Freedom of Information requests and appeared to show them discussing how to manipulate data.

Some of the most controversial contained personal attacks on climate change sceptics and one, by the unit’s Professor Phil Jones, mentioned using a ‘trick’ to massage years of temperature data to ‘hide the decline’.

Giving evidence to the Science and Technology Committee’s enquiry, the professor denied manipulating the figures but admitted writing ‘some pretty awful emails’.

He also admitted withholding data about global temperatures but said the information was publicly available from American websites.

And he claimed it was not ‘standard practice’ to release data and computer models so that other scientists could check and challenge the research.


Professor Murari Lal


A WARNING that climate change will melt most of the Himalayan glaciers by 2035 is likely to be retracted after a series of scientific blunders by the United Nations body that issued it.

You can have your faith, I'll take real science. Thank You and good night.
Member Since: January 27, 2009 Posts: 23 Comments: 1056
Quoting theshepherd:
Dr. Rood


IMHO:

The Developers in Colorado are going to sell as many developments as they can as fast as they can, that's what they do. All the while growing the population and further taxing the fresh water supply.
As I've mentioned before, Big Oil does not hold a candle to the Real Estate Lobby. Developers will get what they want and the politicians will fold like a cheap suitcase.
Farmers will be forced out and the populace will pay the additional fuel charges to have their vegetables shipped in. A Tractor trailer full of veggies traveling across country burns far more fossil fuels than an irrigation pump.
I'm sure you'll have the full support of the Real Estate Lobby with any plan that forces the farmers out.


If you are indeed interested in dry cities as related to climate change, I would think your focus would be on responsible urban growth. But, you would be wasting your time with that.

You can only fit just so many people around a water hole....IMHO



Have you noticed the major moves back to urban centers? I live in Columbus Ohio where up until a decade ago you couldn't find a soul on downtown streets at night. Since then several thousand new condos and apartments have been developed. Much more would have happened the last three years if not for the recession.

Now, why do you suppose young professionals are flocking to urban centers? Actually, you are right that the Dr. would be wasting his time trying to encourage responsible urban development because it is happening anyways because you can make money doing it because people like to make money.

The truth is pushing green is pretty much unnecessary. If it works financially, it will just happen and if it doesn't we will just be flushing the taxpayers money down the toilet.

Safety regulations are necessary. Government attempts to steer the economy almost always fail.
Member Since: July 29, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 970
Dr. Rood


IMHO:

The Developers in Colorado are going to sell as many developments as they can as fast as they can, that's what they do. All the while growing the population and further taxing the fresh water supply.
As I've mentioned before, Big Oil does not hold a candle to the Real Estate Lobby. Developers will get what they want and the politicians will fold like a cheap suitcase.
Farmers will be forced out and the populace will pay the additional fuel charges to have their vegetables shipped in. A Tractor trailer full of veggies traveling across country burns far more fossil fuels than an irrigation pump.
I'm sure you'll have the full support of the Real Estate Lobby with any plan that forces the farmers out.


If you are indeed interested in dry cities as related to climate change, I would think your focus would be on responsible urban growth. But, you would be wasting your time with that.

You can only fit just so many people around a water hole....IMHO

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting cyclonebuster:


What else would you expect from a record low extent since 1979 ? OUCH!




Saying it doesn't make it true Cyclone.





Member Since: July 29, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 970
Quoting JBastardi:
The earliest end to Arctic ice melt on record. Ouch!

Link


What else would you expect from a record low extent since 1979 ? OUCH!

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The earliest end to Arctic ice melt on record. Ouch!

Link
Member Since: July 5, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 403
Quoting martinitony:


Do they have these conditions in the rain forests? If you have lots of rainfall don't you get lots of vegetation that shades the soils and reduces evaporation? Isn't your construct a little simplistic and isn't the outcome much more complex?


Simplistic? May be. But, probably not far from the truth. It isn't just that rain forests get rain it's the fact that they get it dispersed throughout the year rather than a rain or monsoon season where you get heavy rain part of it and intense drought for the rest. With global warming you have more intense periods of rain and drought making it harder to form rain forests which would instead become tropical woodlands, woodland savannas, or tropical savannas. Places with less trees because of a fire and drought season which makes it much harder for most of the trees in the Amazon that have already adapted to that place survive. The Amazon is very sensitive to drought and so far this century the Amazon has gone through two one in one hundred year droughts in 2005 and 2010. Hope that answers your question.

Edit: Also due to higher temps you have more evaporation than would otherwise occur meaning it would take more time to reform a rain forest to it's thick, lush self.
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 394
Quoting martinitony:


Do they have these conditions in the rain forests? If you have lots of rainfall don't you get lots of vegetation that shades the soils and reduces evaporation? Isn't your construct a little simplistic and isn't the outcome much more complex?


Rainforest soils are very thin. Most trees have enormous 'butresses' to give them stability, since they can't grow deep roots.

But I was referring to agriculural land. In addition to increasing dryness, there will also be more soil erosion
Member Since: July 20, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2893
Quoting martinitony:


Do they have these conditions in the rain forests? If you have lots of rainfall don't you get lots of vegetation that shades the soils and reduces evaporation? Isn't your construct a little simplistic and isn't the outcome much more complex?



Will someone get this? I am still on the phone.

Is this the Pope? I would like to discuss something with you, please.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4737
Quoting yonzabam:
As the world warms, there will be more evaporation from the oceans and therefore more rainfall. This rain will become more 'tropical' in character, falling in heavier bursts. Consequently, the topsoil will become saturated more quickly, so that further rain runs off the surface into watercourses, without irrigating the soil.

So, although there's more water falling on agricultural land, a smaller pecentage of it actually irrigates the soil. Add in higher evaporation rates due to increased temperatures and you have the paradoxical situation of increased rainfall occurring at the same time as increased soil moisture deficits and consequent crop failures.

Irrigation projects might counter this in some places, but in places like Africa people will starve and become environmental refugees.


Do they have these conditions in the rain forests? If you have lots of rainfall don't you get lots of vegetation that shades the soils and reduces evaporation? Isn't your construct a little simplistic and isn't the outcome much more complex?
Member Since: July 29, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 970
Quoting iceagecoming:


Posted the record cold in the Southern Hemisphere all
summer long. Fallen on deaf ears? Or something else is afoot.


3rd warmest southern hemisphere August on record - temps with reference to the average for 1951-80.


2011 34 31 27 36 29 35 55 63
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug


And the 3rd warmest southern hemisphere June - August temperature on record at 0.51C above the 1951-80 average.

Member Since: July 20, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2893
Quoting iceagecoming:


CO2 irrelevant.

That's a little like a guy with a life-long three-pack-a-day habit who's just been told he has terminal lung cancer proclaiming, "Cigarette smoke irrelevant".
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13455
Quoting yonzabam:


Not according to this



There are different types of minimums, of course, including volume, area, and extent.

http://blogs.nature.com/news/2011/09/arctic_sea_i ce_drops_to_record.html
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13455
Quoting cyclonebuster:
1st place since 1979! OUCH!




Posted the record cold in the Southern Hemisphere all
summer long. Fallen on deaf ears? Or something else is afoot.
Member Since: January 27, 2009 Posts: 23 Comments: 1056
Quoting Neapolitan:

It's unclear just how such an assumption could be drawn from this ice core data; perhaps you can explain to us? At any rate, an interesting point to note is that the middle graph--CO2 parts per million--doesn't come up to the current date, in which the global concentration has risen to 390 ppm, which would put a spike on the left end of the green line at roughly the -3 mark on the blue temperature graph. (You know: a "hockey stick", if you will.)


CO2 irrelevant. Note the time period between glaciations. Take a guess what's next.
Member Since: January 27, 2009 Posts: 23 Comments: 1056
Quoting cyclonebuster:
1st place since 1979! OUCH!




Not according to this


Member Since: July 20, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2893
1st place since 1979! OUCH!


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
As the world warms, there will be more evaporation from the oceans and therefore more rainfall. This rain will become more 'tropical' in character, falling in heavier bursts. Consequently, the topsoil will become saturated more quickly, so that further rain runs off the surface into watercourses, without irrigating the soil.

So, although there's more water falling on agricultural land, a smaller pecentage of it actually irrigates the soil. Add in higher evaporation rates due to increased temperatures and you have the paradoxical situation of increased rainfall occurring at the same time as increased soil moisture deficits and consequent crop failures.

Irrigation projects might counter this in some places, but in places like Africa people will starve and become environmental refugees.
Member Since: July 20, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2893
Quoting iceagecoming:
Figure 1: From Rocky Mountain Climate Organization which works “to protect the West and its climate, by bringing about action to reduce heat-trapping pollution and to prepare for the changes that are coming.”





Looks like a cool spell is coming.

It's unclear just how such an assumption could be drawn from this ice core data; perhaps you can explain to us? At any rate, an interesting point to note is that the middle graph--CO2 parts per million--doesn't come up to the current date, in which the global concentration has risen to 390 ppm, which would put a spike on the left end of the green line at roughly the -3 mark on the blue temperature graph. (You know: a "hockey stick", if you will.)
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13455
Uh Yup - We've been building dams for years up here for WATER.
'Course the dams are built and paid for by some astute Yanks - we got our wages
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

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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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