Green science

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valis
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Re: Green science

Post by valis » Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:54 pm

Not to mention paying for the rain :lol:

Peter Drake
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Re: Green science

Post by Peter Drake » Mon Feb 18, 2019 12:40 am

valis wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 12:03 am
Btw, when we hear meaningless assertions like “Climate change is real,” or “The science is settled” I have this knee-jerk response always come to my mind, “fine, then we should cancel all funding for climate research.”

This is not so much a retort to you Peter as it is my reaction to the politicization of the subject, and imho that’s a properly political response.
Thanks Valis. I'm not much of a politics guy, science is hard enough. The politicization is weird and simplistic which is alternately dismaying and entertaining to me. I'm just bright enough to hang out with very smart people, and a number of them are working on projects or studies of things that are affected or altered by climate change. There really isn't any discussion of "real" or "settled" or any of the popular rhetoric, it's more "it's happened, let's study the changes that are/will be occurring".

What really keeps me up at night is the work an acquiantance is doing on microbial ecologic succession in melting permafrost with metagenomic field studies. Yeah, that's a mouthful of jargon. There's a lot of permafrost with a lot of organic carbon locked up in it, much of it is melting and releasing that carbon. The carbon is a food source for microorganisms, and this population shifts in makeup and metabolitic chemistry over time and changes in the permafrost and eventual bog. These critters are releasing a lot of methane into the atmosphere, and the process seems to have some feedback effects that accelerate it. People that think cows and the beef industry are a huge methane source/problem are in for a major realignment of their priorities. They're not wrong, they're just not aware that their focus is dwarfed by the magnitude of what's coming from permafrost. She hasn't published yet, and I wouldn't want to be her when she does, because it's really bad news. I have a deep understanding of the fundamentals of her work, which makes it scarier than stuff about albedo or solar insolation or hundreds of other science aspects to the climate picture that are way out of my wheelhouse.

Imma go play synthesizers now and try not to think about this.

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Re: Green science

Post by dawman » Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:48 am

I’ve been reading about that very topic for a while. While most are hyping up every storm or hurricane, even man made fires, Ive been studying this gigantic area as Im fascinated by the geography and history.
Luckily that massive permafrost has the advantage of altitude, but if that starts melting away no telling what will happen from the Floods and atmosphere.
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Re: Green science

Post by next to nothing » Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:00 pm

valis wrote: You do realize of course, that both of the personas you're referencing here are politicians?
Of course:) You make some good points in your post, it's hard to adress all on mobile here in summery Austria (15 degrees celcius is NOT what i packed for, but i am NOT claiming it as proof of global warming :) ). I will need to come back when i have access to my laptop.

I see Gary jokingly suggested to put the swedes in charge. On that note, let me add that at least they show it is possible to live with co2 emission of approx 3-5 ton per capita per year, compared to the US 15-20 ton per capita per year, without that leaving you with a miserable life. I do think the sweden comment aimed at some other urelated issue though, and i am NOT going to instigate that debate again :)
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.

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valis
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Re: Green science

Post by valis » Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:43 pm

Peter Drake wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 12:40 am
Thanks Valis. I'm not much of a politics guy, science is hard enough. The politicization is weird and simplistic which is alternately dismaying and entertaining to me. I'm just bright enough to hang out with very smart people, and a number of them are working on projects or studies of things that are affected or altered by climate change. There really isn't any discussion of "real" or "settled" or any of the popular rhetoric, it's more "it's happened, let's study the changes that are/will be occurring".

What really keeps me up at night is the work an acquiantance is doing on microbial ecologic succession in melting permafrost with metagenomic field studies. Yeah, that's a mouthful of jargon. There's a lot of permafrost with a lot of organic carbon locked up in it, much of it is melting and releasing that carbon. The carbon is a food source for microorganisms, and this population shifts in makeup and metabolitic chemistry over time and changes in the permafrost and eventual bog. These critters are releasing a lot of methane into the atmosphere, and the process seems to have some feedback effects that accelerate it. People that think cows and the beef industry are a huge methane source/problem are in for a major realignment of their priorities. They're not wrong, they're just not aware that their focus is dwarfed by the magnitude of what's coming from permafrost. She hasn't published yet, and I wouldn't want to be her when she does, because it's really bad news. I have a deep understanding of the fundamentals of her work, which makes it scarier than stuff about albedo or solar insolation or hundreds of other science aspects to the climate picture that are way out of my wheelhouse.

Imma go play synthesizers now and try not to think about this.
Thank you Peter, and of course the "it's settled" comment refers to the Politicization of the subject, certainly not the science. The one arena where I am still personally interested in, is how much of this is determined by cycles that exist separately to/in addition to our own contribution. Ie, the discussions that revolve not just around MUCH longer climate cycles for which a 7 year and 30 year 'trend' are just noisy blips from the great synthesizers in the sky, and in regards to those synthesizers in the sky as well. Meaning electrodynamic & thermodynamic inputs that exist beyond what humans have had the capacity to think of or understand. Solar cycles & solar system trends are really only just a tiny fraction of that.

In politics, such musings would be seen as deflection at best and clownery at worst, but we are really only just beginning to understand where we fit into all of this. And taking the stance just as our civilization is starting to be able to 'reach out' that we really ought to just shut it all down and head back into the trees runs counter to so much of the explorer which exists in me, especially as a child, let alone all of us.

Just imho...

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Re: Green science

Post by Peter Drake » Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:48 pm

Valis, deep thoughts, and it is interesting to consider processes on timescales that dwarf human lifetimes or even the existence of human civilization. A favorite of mine is the carbonate-silicate cycle. In the deep past (>540mya) there have been at least four episodes of "snowball earth" in which the entire planet was frozen over or nearly so. Much of the hypotheses for this are centered around the geochemistry of the CSC and the impact of very large bacterial mats on atmospheric composition. There's a story of extremely long term cycles being told by carbon and oxygen isotope ratios found in very ancient rocks.

The whole CSC collapses in around 600-800my when our changing sun gets a little more luminous. Around that time C3 photosynthesis will end, then C4, and by around 1-1.1 billion years from now multicellular life will be done. A little sad to think that the history of life on this planet is more than 3/4 finished, but I get reassured by thinking of how resilient it all is. The biggest mass extinction that wiped out most of everything was only ~250mya and the recovery looks pretty good from my admittedly biased perspective.

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Re: Green science

Post by valis » Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:37 pm

Thank you, Peter. Very succinct and with a tone that puts things both in human perspective and you give good pointers for anyone that wants to dig in on the aspects of the hard science data points and timelines you bring up. Your input and presence is appreciated anytime.

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Re: Green science

Post by Peter Drake » Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:24 am


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Re: Green science

Post by garyb » Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:29 pm

since everyone is fixated(pun intended) on CO2, who wants to step up and say what the main greenhouse gas is on the earth and by what percentage?.... :)

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Re: Green science

Post by valis » Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:26 pm

Honestly, I am thankful there are thoughtful people left in the world who are mindful of the impact we have on the world around us, consider treating others as they wish to be treated, and generally try to not make a mess out of things by bashing through life to get what they want.

But I would LOVE to see more people keep an open mind and try to avoid letting issues polarize them into tribal mindsets that suit the pyramid scheme thought leaders. Once people have suffered enough intentional trauma, it's entirely too easy to steer them en masse with hot button issues.

Still, I'm thankful I don't live in a teepee and have a need to huddle around a fire that does nothing but blacken my lungs, and also thankful we didn't collapse into a Mad Max like lifestyle post-'Y2k" and similarly suffer from inevitable inhalation issues from burning wolmanized and lacquered wood once all the nearby 'safe' sources were burned up. Ie, things could be worse, and life is good!

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Re: Green science

Post by garyb » Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:29 pm

what? wait-
i thought we were all good with the Mad Max thing...

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Re: Green science

Post by garyb » Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:31 pm

it's the last of the V8s!

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Re: Green science

Post by valis » Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:33 pm

I will also admit I miss my V8 powered classic Mustangs. What a thing to own during your youth... =]

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Re: Green science

Post by valis » Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:34 pm

Peter, if I were to extrapolate from your previous comment I can draw similarities to the 'warm fronts' we often experience just before sub-zero temperatures and heavy frozen moisture slams us during the winter. Similarly, it's always interested me how long it takes AFTER the solstices for the 'pendulum to swing' the other way and the 'real' warm or cold periods set it (July-August is always far hotter in northern climates than DURING the solstice...).

In other words our systems tend to oscillate and often reverse trends, and for anyone who has read James Gleick, it's easy to see that patterns don't necessarily conform to simply input/out correlations or static periods for any kind of oscillation.

Feel free to contribute your insights Peter, I enjoy civil discourse that includes new information and am always happy to stretch my mind to incorporate ideas new to me.

At the same time, what GaryB said on the previous page about our Mental Models being far more limited in scope than any kind of perceived reality (let alone some ultimate or abstracted reality beyond our grasp that only reaches us through our limited scope of perception) is fairly on point from my perspective. We created models, maps and symbols that represent *the things themselves* in an attempt to grasp 'what is really out there'. The point where we start clubbing each other over the head with an ape-like insistence on One Model Uber Alles is where things really tend to fall apart for us humans IMHO. And that's a cycle that's all too evident in our written history, even from the perspective of the pen of victors it's easy to discern that particular Pheonix rising and falling again and again.

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Re: Green science

Post by Peter Drake » Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:52 am

garyb wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:29 pm
since everyone is fixated(pun intended) on CO2, who wants to step up and say what the main greenhouse gas is on the earth and by what percentage?.... :)
Come on people, this one is easy and has a surprising answer (I'm not going to spoil Gary's fun) The dataset we got from a few days of no US air travel after 9/11 calibrated our understanding a little more. No, silly, it's not chemtrails.

Also, Valis, very perceptive of you to raise the issue of hysteresis (a delay between perturbation and effect) There are effects we haven't fully experienced yet because there are enormous natural buffers like the heat of fusion of water ice soaking up titanic amounts of energy, or oceans acting as chemical sinks for many gigatons of CO2.

I vaccilate between despair and hope fueled by my faith in human creativity and resourcefulness. I'm really enjoying this conversation.

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Re: Green science

Post by garyb » Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:25 pm

since when did the earth NOT experience dramatic and even catastrophic climate change?

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