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The Analysis of Sea Levels.


mikegarrison
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1 hour ago, Codraroll said:

Back in the 1980s, nuclear power was becoming a serious competitor to fossil power. The fossil fuel companies poured millions into the anti-nuclear lobby and eagerly promoted a solar- and wind-powered future, because they knew this future would be decades away and fossil fuels would have free reign in the meantime.

Now, solar and wind are here, so the pendulum swings the other way. The fossil companies have broken the nuclear lobby, to the point that they know it would take years of discussion, planning, and construction for nuclear plants to be built at a large scale again. Yet more years of uninterrupted, competition-free reign for fossil fuel power.  So funding for nuclear enthusiasm is quietly raised a bit, while retaining some funds for the anti-nuclear crowd to slow things down to an appreciable pace.

There's also money to be made on "transition projects", and the same people who supply fossil fuel power production equipment seem to be in the wind business if not the solar business.

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On 2/19/2022 at 7:53 AM, kerbiloid said:

The fossil fuel is a solar energy consumed by plant and accumulated as fossils.

 So, the most green fuel is coal. It's all made of the coastal sealife.

A fossil fuel is one you dig out of the ground. A green fuel is one that does not contribute to climate change. So nuclear is fossil, but also green, because the waste, while diifcult to deal with, at least doesnt turn into CO2. Coal and oil, being as they are putting hundreds of years of CO2 sequestration into the air every day,  are very much not green, BECAUSE they are fossil fuels.

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19 hours ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

Most tropical soils are naturally very poor.  Evidence indicates that natural soils which have 0.5% carbon can be raised to 9% through human intervention.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terra_preta

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6 hours ago, Rakaydos said:

A fossil fuel is one you dig out of the ground. A green fuel is one that does not contribute to climate change. So nuclear is fossil, but also green, because the waste, while diifcult to deal with, at least doesnt turn into CO2. Coal and oil, being as they are putting hundreds of years of CO2 sequestration into the air every day,  are very much not green, BECAUSE they are fossil fuels.

a fossil fuel is a fuel made out of "fossils" 

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There is no technical definition of a "fossil fuel", but generally this would be oil, gas, and coal. Fuels that come from ancient plant and animal matter.

There is no  accepted usage of "fossil fuel" that includes uranium.

It is interesting that people have proposed using C-14 ratios to test for the difference between fossil and bio fuels. Bio fuels will generally have some C-14, while fossil fuels will be all C-12 and C-13. C-14 is made in the atmosphere, so it is taken up by plants, but any carbon that has been sequestered underground for a long time will be entirely from the stable isotopes.

Edited by mikegarrison
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  • 4 weeks later...
On 2/19/2022 at 5:58 AM, Codraroll said:

Back in the 1980s, nuclear power was becoming a serious competitor to fossil power. The fossil fuel companies poured millions into the anti-nuclear lobby and eagerly promoted a solar- and wind-powered future, because they knew this future would be decades away and fossil fuels would have free reign in the meantime.

 

Even if the US public was united in wanting nuclear power (something the anti-nuke lobby  essentially made impossible, even while foreign oil dependency was a strategic threat), the sheer cost of building nuclear plants per current designs and regulations would be unfeasible.  I strongly suspect that this is due to the fact that while the regulations (and early reactors) where designed and built, electric power was a publicly regulated utility at publicly regulated prices.  That is to say, they provided electricity on a "cost plus" basis.  And just like with the military industrial complex, the power utilities were more than happy to add any safety features/regulations that would add to costs.  Any stockholder lying awake at night worrying about "too cheap to meter" would soon rest easy.  While it is quite possible that the fuel providing companies pushed an anti-nuclear agenda, I can't imagine it would be as remotely effective as insiders happily building multiple levels of redundancy to *everything* inside the plants.

The way the electricity is produced and sold is no longer quite "cost plus", but the regulations are long since etched in stone.  Obviously, once the plants were built, the power companies hardly wanted them vilified and certainly needed them producing for as long as possible.  And it certainly turns out that kicking the "decommissioning can" down the road well into the "freeish market" phase of electricity billing is going to bite them hard.

With the size, scope, and effectiveness of today's fossil fuel propaganda arm it is easy to assume that it was always such.  But as far as I know, it grew out of the old Tobacco Institute and their message "smoking is good for you".  I have little reason to believe it was so effective before that.

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As for the pumping of ground water, cheaper energy will allow more feasible desalination.  This will alleviate the sinking ground issue.  Even if we simply extrapolate known levels of technology being applied as required the cost of rising seas becomes much less dramatic.   Most buildings don't last more than 3 or 4 decades.  Simply putting newer construction on higher ground is a cheap and natural progression.  Add to that the fact that technology (and hopefully sane discourse) improves, the argument for being very alarmed decreases

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4 hours ago, darthgently said:

...the argument for being very alarmed decreases

Except, you know, if your entire country might be inundated...

The response to climate change would look very different if it was the entire mainland United States that was at threat of being submerged instead of some "far off" and "tiny" island nations.

4 hours ago, darthgently said:

Add to that the fact that technology (and hopefully sane discourse) improves...

But the latter is a bit like saying "all the world leaders need to do is sit down, discuss their concerns, and come to a joint solution". Sounds easy on paper, pretty unlikely in reality.

See below about technology.

4 hours ago, darthgently said:

As for the pumping of ground water, cheaper energy will allow more feasible desalination.  This will alleviate the sinking ground issue.  Even if we simply extrapolate known levels of technology being applied as required the cost of rising seas becomes much less dramatic.   Most buildings don't last more than 3 or 4 decades.  Simply putting newer construction on higher ground is a cheap and natural progression.

This all sounds nice, but reminds me of how the USSR "had" vast natural and decent labor resources at their hands to solve the meandering economic problems of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Yet just because the physically required materials were there doesn't mean they ended up being used. Lack of effort to change and interest in preserving the status quo led to stagnation, and before anyone knew it the country literally and figuratively fell apart, because no one could get together to try and solve anything, in combination with many wanting to deliberately either let it wither away or actively tear it down for their own benefit (in some cases positive, in some cases malevolent).

So "we have the technology" or "the technology is there" is not a good indicator of how a problem will turn out.

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46 minutes ago, SunlitZelkova said:

Except, you know, if your entire country might be inundated...

The response to climate change would look very different if it was the entire mainland United States that was at threat of being submerged instead of some "far off" and "tiny" island nations.

But the latter is a bit like saying "all the world leaders need to do is sit down, discuss their concerns, and come to a joint solution". Sounds easy on paper, pretty unlikely in reality.

See below about technology.

This all sounds nice, but reminds me of how the USSR "had" vast natural and decent labor resources at their hands to solve the meandering economic problems of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Yet just because the physically required materials were there doesn't mean they ended up being used. Lack of effort to change and interest in preserving the status quo led to stagnation, and before anyone knew it the country literally and figuratively fell apart, because no one could get together to try and solve anything, in combination with many wanting to deliberately either let it wither away or actively tear it down for their own benefit (in some cases positive, in some cases malevolent).

So "we have the technology" or "the technology is there" is not a good indicator of how a problem will turn out.

Far more people who cried that the sky was falling have been wrong than were correct.  Historical fact.  Drama sells

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9 minutes ago, darthgently said:

Far more people who cried that the sky was falling have been wrong than were correct.  Historical fact.  Drama sells

Yes but people who say “everything is fine” or “everything is alright” don’t have a good track record either :)

I’m not saying we “are” doomed, but it isn’t “all good” either.

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39 minutes ago, SunlitZelkova said:

Yes but people who say “everything is fine” or “everything is alright” don’t have a good track record either :)

I’m not saying we “are” doomed, but it isn’t “all good” either.

Actually, people who say "everything will work out fine" are by far more often correct.  Note I wrote "will work out", not "is".  What did your parents tell you when you were scared?  Don't worry, it will work out fine.  And 999 out of 1000 times they were absolutely right.  When in doubt, listen to the calm quiet people and ignore those freaking out.  It doesn't mean that nothing is wrong.  It means it will work out.  And it will work out quicker the sooner people stop freaking out

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2 hours ago, darthgently said:

Actually, people who say "everything will work out fine" are by far more often correct.  Note I wrote "will work out", not "is".  What did your parents tell you when you were scared?  Don't worry, it will work out fine.  And 999 out of 1000 times they were absolutely right.  When in doubt, listen to the calm quiet people and ignore those freaking out.  It doesn't mean that nothing is wrong.  It means it will work out.  And it will work out quicker the sooner people stop freaking out

Being worried over a test or a first date is not in the same class as climate change or any other global issue. As I said earlier, I am not necessarily saying that "doomsayers" are correct more often than those who believe everything "will work out", but the latter aren't necessarily correct more often either.

I don't think we can apply some blanket logic to all global issues. Each has its own unique situation. Are current supply chain issues going to lead to economic collapse? No, I think we can say it will all work out. But if the variety of data across a number of fields is telling us we have a pretty bad situation on our hands if we don't figure out some way to end our use of fossil fuels? Upon looking around at how little action is being made to do so, and reading reports saying the action being touted as "major" isn't enough, I think it is acceptable to say we are heading towards a bad outcome.

There are plenty of instances where one can say "it will all work out" and be correct. I don't think that can be said about climate change. Saying that would be like being in a stalling, hijacked airliner and saying "it will all work out". Are there pilots aboard who know how to make a recovery and get the plane flying again? Yes. But if the terrorists won't let them in the cockpit and the ground is getting closer and closer, even if there is still a possibility that they might be allowed in at the last moment and save the plane, there is absolutely nothing wrong with saying "we might be screwed".

I would like to you remind that I am not saying we are destined to fail or "factually doomed", with no hope of salvation. I am simply saying there are no indications that everything "will", or is even likely to, work out fine.

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  • 3 weeks later...

This isn't exactly about climate change - but it is directly related to smart remediation strategies in a very important area 

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/to-revive-a-river-restore-its-hidden-gut1/

Plus, it taught me a new term:

 

Quote

 

A stream is a system. It includes not just the water coursing between the banks but the earth, life and water around and under it. Lynch had been tracking discoveries about a layer of wet sediment, small stones and tiny creatures just below the streambed called the hyporheic zone—a term from the Greek hypo, meaning “under,” and rheos, meaning “flow.” Stream water filters down into this dynamic layer, mixing with the groundwater pushing up. Water in the hyporheic zone flows downstream like the surface water above it but orders of magnitude more slowly.

For a large river the hyporheic zone can be dozens of feet deep and can extend up to a mile laterally beyond the banks. It keeps the waterway healthy by regulating critical physical, biological and chemical processes, including riverbed aeration, water oxygenation, temperature moderation, pollution cleanup and food creation. Some biologists compare the hyporheic zone to the human gut, complete with a microbiome. Others call it the liver of the river.

A healthy hyporheic zone is full of life. Crustaceans, worms and aquatic insects constantly move between the zone and surface flow. Nematodes, copepods, rotifers and tardigrades also dig up and down, creating spaces for water to mix underground. Microbes proliferate throughout the zone. Water welling up from below brings oxygen to salmon eggs laid in the riverbed

 

The whole article is worth a read. 

It talks about not only smart remediation strategies (required to overcome problems created by past, less informed water management strategies) and the difficulty of the political process to get a program started, finished and then have the success change how people look at similar situations 

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1 hour ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

Plants make the Earth all warm and snuggly:

Northern Hemisphere vegetation change drives a Holocene thermal maximum (science.org)

(Trying to make the models more better)

Hmm. They are suggesting that plant-influence surface albedo was a significant driver of temperature. Which I suppose makes sense, since plants have evolved to absorb energy from the sun. Of course this is but one climate model, apparently being tested against only one climate era.

Since I am pretty confident that surface albedo is factored into all models, I am wondering why these people think their model explains the historical record better than others. That wasn't clear to me during a quick scan of the paper.

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7 hours ago, mikegarrison said:

why these people think their model

I got a different perspective - they hear people talking about the HTC as unproven or as a conundrum (it shows up in many fossil records (pollen, reef cores, etc) but some of the models fail to show a HTC when they run the simulation back in time. 

These guys are pointing out something that the model (that someone else developed) does not accurately account for - and that if included may make future prediction more accurate 

 

A great many papers are about this kind of thing - the writers point out an area that the currently most popular prediction software does not include or account for when forecasting. 

A few months ago I posted one of these - where the model wasn't accounting for Arctic / Atlantic flows correctly (according to the author) - and that if they did add the data the prediction would be more accurate 

Edited by JoeSchmuckatelli
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File this under "The Road to Hell is Paved With What???" 

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2022/04/solar-geo-engineering-global-warming-malaria/629604/

Climate panicking Geo - Engineering proponents want to mimic the Pinatubo effect by spraying sulfur dioxide indiscriminately throughout the atmosphere:

Quote

If humanity wants to turn down the worst effects of global warming, then it simply needs to do that, with planes, indefinitely

...calling this reckless, feckless plan an 'ethical necessity'. 

Thankfully, they're getting pushback from climate science:

Quote

... geoengineering is far from a sure bet. To its critics, the technology runs the risk of re-creating some of the worst mass extinctions in the planet’s history, which have been the consequence of boosting both the atmosphere’s carbon-dioxide level and its sulfate level. We’re already pumping CO2 into the sky, they argue. Why are we so sure that adding sulfates won’t just backfire?

The article goes on to discuss a different and more immediate potential problem with the Geo-Engineers plan: raising rates for malaria across the world (malaria remains the 6th leading killer of people, globally). 

Quote

More broadly, the study shows that solar geoengineering could worsen people’s lives even in the poor countries that it is supposed to help most.

Lord, save us from well-intentioned fools. 

 

Edited by JoeSchmuckatelli
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Yes, this has been talked about for many, many years. It won't happen, because everybody realizes it's a bad idea.

We are currently doing this anyway, unintentionally. Ship bunker fuel is generally the sludge that is left over after all the good stuff is taken from oil, and it's usually full of sulfur, so ships pump out SOx. That makes ship exhaust often a net negative for radiative forcing.

Problem is, CO2 remains in the atmosphere for 100s to 1000s of years, while SOx reacts out quite quickly. So the long term warming potential of ships is positive, even though the short term radiative forcing is negative.

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