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Messages - Bruce Steele

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Science / Re: Carbon Cycle
« on: April 23, 2017, 07:09:51 AM »
There is the paleorecord and there is current biology and studies on the effects of elevated pCO2 on modern genera. The recent study on dissolution of bryozoans has sent me back into reading work by Andrew Knoll.
From a paper titled "Bio Mineralization and Evolutionary History"
 Permo-Triassic extinction and it's aftermath pages 341-344
   "Catastrophic carbon dioxide increases provides two distinct kill mechanisms - direct physiological inhibition of metabolism and climate change associated with greenhouse enhancement"

Consequences / Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
« on: April 23, 2017, 05:52:02 AM »
Beaufort beavers. Beaver dams a few miles from the Beaufort have shown up for the first time in the Northern reaches of Canada.

Science / Re: Carbon Cycle
« on: April 23, 2017, 04:01:55 AM »
Thanks Wili and Terry, That line "cnidarian nightmares "rolls off the tongue better with the proper pronunciation of CNIDARIA.  The C is silent.

Science / Re: Carbon Cycle
« on: April 22, 2017, 04:52:25 PM »
Here is an old article on ocean acidification. Dr. Andrew Knoll found corals, brachipods, and bryozoan genera well represented in the paleorecord of the end Permian event. They are not physically well suited to rapid changes in ocean chemistry , acidification. History is rewalking a very scary route![/url

It will come from below
 and we will no more know than the trilobites
 our place in it
Brachiopods and bryozoans
 turned to rock
 like before
Cnidarian nightmares
 sulfur, floating fish
It would take a time machine
 to turn this back
And believe me
 It was us
A poem I wrote on the subject, I posted it before but somehow seems appropriate . Terry liked it !

Science / Re: Carbon Cycle
« on: April 22, 2017, 04:36:18 PM »
Canary in the kelp forest
Published 21 April 2017   Press releases Leave a Comment
The one-two punch of warming waters and ocean acidification is predisposing some marine animals to dissolving quickly under conditions already occurring off the Northern California coast, according to a study from the University of California, Davis.

In the study, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, researchers at the UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory raised bryozoans, also known as “moss animals,” in seawater tanks and exposed them to various levels of water temperature, food and acidity.

The scientists found that when grown in warmer waters and then exposed to acidity, the bryozoans quickly began to dissolve. Large portions of their skeletons disappeared in as little as two months.

“We thought there would be some thinning or reduced mass,” said lead author Dan Swezey, a recent Ph.D. graduate in professor Eric Sanford’s lab at the UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory. “But whole features just dissolved practically before our eyes.”


Bryozoans are colonial animals, superficially similar to, but not related, to corals. They are abundant in California kelp forests and are calcareous, meaning they build their honeycomb-shaped skeletons from calcium carbonate.

The scientists found that when raised under warming conditions, bryozoans altered their chemical composition by building higher levels of magnesium into their skeletons, particularly if they were also eating less food. When exposed to acidic conditions already observed off coastal California, these changes predisposed the animals to dissolve.

The researchers consider bryozoans a canary in the coal mine for other marine animals that build calcareous skeletons containing magnesium. These include sea stars, sea urchins, calcifying algae and tube-building worms.

The authors do not know why the bryozoans added more magnesium to their skeletons under warmer temperatures. But they conclude that marine organisms with skeletons made of high-magnesium calcite may be especially susceptible to ocean acidification because this form of calcium carbonate dissolves more easily than others.

Bryozoans grow in connected colonies. During the experiments, the animals shut down parts of themselves when undergoing the stress of ocean acidification, redirecting their energy to new growth. This was somewhat like closing down units of a condominium complex while building new ones at the same time. But the moss animals could not outpace the dissolution.

“They were trying to grow but were dissolving at the same time,” Swezey said.


The authors said the study underlines the increasing vulnerability of calcified animals to ocean acidification, which occurs as the ocean absorbs more atmospheric carbon emitted through the burning of fossil fuels.

During the spring and summer months, deep ocean water rich in carbon dioxide periodically wells up along the California coast when surface waters are pushed offshore by strong winds. These upwelling events also push nutrients to the surface to help support kelp forests and productive fisheries. However, this deep water tends to be more acidic.

Climate modeling shows that the trends of warming ocean temperatures, stronger winds and increasingly strong upwelling events are expected to continue in the coming years as carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere increase. This indicates that acidic conditions will likely become more common, rather than episodic.


“Marine life is increasingly faced with many changes at once,” said co-author Sanford, a professor in the UC Davis Department of Evolution and Ecology. “For bryozoans, their response to warmer temperature makes them unexpectedly vulnerable to ocean acidification. The question now is whether other marine species might respond in a similar way.” (…)

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2017 melting season
« on: April 19, 2017, 04:52:25 AM »
Tigertown, I never saw any evidence the Beaufort Gyre had stopped. From the post I made on Mar. 31 ITP 98 has moved from 55.99 to it's current location at 55.56 The buoy track line never showed anything but clockwise drift and neither did the other two ITP buoys reporting locations in the Beaufort.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2017 melting season
« on: March 31, 2017, 07:39:58 AM »
Tigertown, There are still four ITP WHOI buoys reporting locations. Three in the Beaufort gyre 97, 98, 99 and  93 trapped into fast ice on the north coast of Svalbard.  The thing I find intriguing  is that none of the reporting buoys in the Beaufort gyre show the Northwest thick ice drift modeled in your last post. I have to believe buoys sending real time data over models in this case.
 I like to watch the temp /salinity contours but sadly we only have one of the above listed buoys still sending T/S profiles this year.

This buoy is sitting just North of McClure Strait and should show northward drift if the model was representing current conditions

Arctic sea ice / Re: Stupid Questions :o
« on: April 18, 2017, 09:49:44 PM »
Jim, You should read through the whole tread but here is one post from ASLR. Much of the thread has to do with Antacrtic bottom water formation and further info on the North Atlantic Bottom water processes are necessary for a full picture of bottom water. The Pacific doesn't have a northern hemispheric production site but the main site of bottom water return to surface waters occurred in the Eastern Equatorial Pacific. Residence times from creation to return are about a thousand years.

Re: Discussion of WAIS Collapse Main Period from 2060 to 2100
« Reply #47 on: July 12, 2013, 05:26:22 PM »
I am concerned that some readers are not familiar with the excellent work of Purkey and Johnson focused on AABW but also very important to the trends in warm CDW (see reply #9 in this trend, and in the first attached figure see the Weddell-Enderby temperature curve indicating warm water that could be contributing now to basal ice melting for FRIS).  The following reference and abstract cites their continuing valuable work in 2013:
Antarctic Bottom Water warming and freshening: Contributions to sea level rise, ocean freshwater budgets, and global heat gain
by: Sarah G. Purkey, and Gregory C. Johnson; Journal of Climate 2013 ; doi:

Abstract: "Freshening and warming of Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW) between the 1980s and 2000s are quantified, assessing the relative contributions of water-mass changes and isotherm heave. The analysis uses highly accurate, full-depth, ship-based, conductivity-temperature-depth measurements taken along repeated oceanographic sections around the Southern Ocean. Fresher varieties of AABW are present within the South Pacific and South Indian oceans in 2000s compared to the 1990s, with the strongest freshening in the newest waters adjacent to the Antarctic continental slope and rise indicating a recent shift in the salinity of AABW produced in this region. Bottom waters in the Weddell Sea exhibit significantly less water-mass freshening than those in the other two southern basins. However, a decrease in the volume of the coldest, deepest waters is observed throughout the entire Southern Ocean. This isotherm heave causes a salinification and warming on isobaths from the bottom up to the shallow potential temperature maximum. The water-mass freshening of AABW in the Indian and Pacific sectors is equivalent to a freshwater flux of 73 ±26 Gt yr-1, roughly half of the estimated recent mass loss of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Isotherm heave integrated below 2000 m and south of 30 °S equates to a net heat uptake of 34 ±3 TW of excess energy entering the deep ocean from deep volume loss of AABW and 0.37 ±0.15 mm yr-1 of sea level rise from associated thermal expansion."
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Jai, Planning on further increases in total emissions to 1000 Gt or more is likely or worse inevitable.
I still think there is uncertainty in whether current anthropogenic emission trends or feedbacks are feeding CO2 atmospheric levels. Probably some of each. Rboyd posted a EIA revision in China's contributions that illustrates our problems with parsing out anthro from feedbacks.

"Energy-content-based coal consumption from 2000 to 2013 is up to 14% higher than previously reported, while coal production is up to 7% higher"

We should assume other countries fudge their emission figures as well and any reports of a flattening of anthro CO2 is premature. If on the other hand feedbacks are in majority the reason we see continued atmospheric CO2 increases the 1000 Gt number may far short of what is necessary to somehow drawdown, whenever we figure out how to do so.
 I also agree the ocean will give back what CO2 it has absorbed but the timeframe of that release may be in the thousand year timeframe. Remember also that the ocean has more ability to hold CO2 at cold temperatures so as we heat the oceans they will actually return more CO2 than what it has absorbed .
The amount of the return from the oceans is dependent on the gas partial pressure difference  between the ocean and the atmosphere like you stated.

Consequences / Re: 2017 ENSO
« on: April 18, 2017, 06:54:37 AM »
The PDO index just came in for March. Still holding positive at + .74 a slight increase from last month at + .70

Maybe pyrolysis and converting forests & kelp into charcoal is better suited to the policy & solutions page. Converting even a small fraction of the 861 +- 66  Pg C of current forests would add to rather than solve our human impacts on planetary ecosystems. Planting and coppicing wood crops has more promise but crop land and water resources are not limitless.
 Jai, why the need to draw down 1,000 Pg C ?  We are only now surpassing 600 Gt C in total accumulated emissions.

2020-2030. First year < 1m.  Maybe sooner
Late year requires some prediction on the loss of the halocline...  Much later I would guess

Glaciers / Re: Alaska Glaciers
« on: April 17, 2017, 08:22:27 PM »

Thirty two years ago I traveled to Prince William sound to participate in a dive fishery for a herring roe
on kelp fishery about this time of year.  A bush pilot who my wife and I hired took us on a joyride after my wife had gotten the pictures she needed for a magazine article she was writing . He took us to the base of Columbia Glacier and throttled up as he put the small plane just above the water / floating ice field.  He headed straight into a fissure and we were flying inside the Columbia glacier with ice walls a on either side of the wings. He pulled back on the stick and we exited vertically out of the glacier , did a hammerhead and shot straight back into another fissure.  We then exited the glacier back at deck level over the water/ floating ice field.
 It wasn't the craziest thing I did during that fishing season but 14 hour dives in 36 degree water are fishing stories. Maybe this all sounds like a fish story . Anyway the Columbia doesn't calf into the sound like it did back in 1984.  The Prince William Sound herring fishery has only been a small artisanal effort in the decades after the Valdez hit Bligh Rock in 1986.  I read recently a course change to avoid a iceberg field, with origins from Columbia Glacier, was causative in the tankers grounding. The collapse of the herring fishery, the collapse / retreat of the Columbia Glacier, the oil spill and the oil from the North Slope all play interactive parts in this story.

Cars that see everything around us and communicate back to central command, cellphones that hear everything we say and potentially record it , food and supply lines built around centralized warehousing and instant shelf stocking. Medical and health issues more and more dependent upon high tech, few people versed in practical medicine , fewer still with hands on experience in diagnosing and treating themselves their family or their farm animals.
 Now imagine the power of EMP ( electromagnetic pulse )and the cessation of computer communications , electronic controlled engine systems and electronic medical systems ... the power grid and a good part of what passes as our defense systems.
 And no these aren't things that really bother an old Luddite pig farmer but I would think an honest analyses of the wonders of electrification , self driving cars and modern supply chains might mention potential downsides. However remote the possibilities.

Consequences / Re: 2017 ENSO
« on: April 12, 2017, 07:47:57 AM »
ASIF Emperor
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Re: 2014 El Nino?
« Reply #231 on: March 15, 2014, 11:23:21 PM »
The following statement (through March 9 2014) and attached SOI chart (through March 15 2014, and note that on March 15 the 30-day moving average SOI index is -7.5), from the Australian BoM, supports the idea that we are moving towards an El Nino event beginning around mid-April 2014:

"Southern Oscillation Index:
The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) has continued to drop over the past two weeks, having dropped steadily over the past month from a peak of about +14. The latest approximate 30-day SOI value to 9 March is −6.3.

Sustained positive values of the SOI above +8 may indicate a La Niña event, while sustained negative values below −8 may indicate an El Niño event. Values of between about +8 and −8 generally indicate neutral conditions."

Darvince, Here is an old post ... from ASLR.  Strangely 2014 didn't produce an El Niño but at the time it surely showed positive signs it would. We are currently in the spring ( and unpredictable ) El Niño season.

Consequences / Re: 2017 ENSO
« on: April 09, 2017, 05:44:31 AM »
Lord M Vader, Thanks for the linked Colorado state PDF. It appears a strong MJO in the Western Pacific would disrupt rather than strengthen any potential El Niño this year. Something to watch anyhow.

Walking the walk / Re: Gardening
« on: April 08, 2017, 04:34:45 PM »
I think wood chips are great for mulching trees , like the WSU site said , but I would be careful about digging in chips before they have been well composted if you are going to use them to build garden soil for vegetables. Bacteria will begin to compost your chips if dug in and they will borrow nitrogen in the process . This can leave your soil lacking in nutrients for a couple years until the composting is complete, dependent upon warmth and soil moisture. For vegetable gardens you should compost first then add them in.
 If you have extra land that you don't plan on putting into garden for several years spreading chips will control weeds and built soil organics, but it takes time. Wood shavings are used for horse stalls and they are plentiful and free . They come with manure and urea but usually even after composting they require some added nitrogen for a balanced soil additive. So adding some other manure , like chicken, before composting will speed up the process and result in a better final product.

Science / Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« on: April 05, 2017, 07:03:13 AM »
Sidd, Check out the photo op on today's  signing of executive order 13777. 
Like I said "thank Dow chemical"  when all the fish and amphibians disappear.

The rest / Re: The Trump Presidency (was "Presidential Poll")
« on: April 04, 2017, 11:59:26 PM »

"The 9th circuit will IMO probably uphold the lower court overruling of the Trump immigration ban. The republicans will stall awhile until they invoke the nuclear option so they can get Gorsuch confirmed by a simple majority vote. Then they will again stall in anticipation of being able to put one more even more hard right judge on the Supreme Court. That should buy them a 6 / 3 conservative court that can outlive a democratic presidency if there is a voter backlash in four years. So liberalism on the court will be dead for at least 12 and maybe 16 years. That is what a vote for Clinton was intended to prevent.
 The Russian intervention that resulted in casting enough doubt on Clinton to get the bummed out
millennials to stay home or throw away their vote probably was the deciding factor. Without Wikileaks revealing the Democratic caucus undermining of Sanders this election ( again IMO ) would have gone differently.
 I think Clintons Syrian policy and deep state plans for a pipeline through some territories divided off a Syrian failed state and controlled by Kurds and a quasi democratic regime was probably what drove Russia to intervene . They won but now they have to figure out how to keep the batshit crazy republicans from whatever plans they can cook up to relieve the Middleeast of their remaining oil reserves.
 When this leads to the next war , or expands the current constant state of war, then the Republicans will need to figure out whether they really want Trump in control. He will have given them the Court they wanted and maybe his utility will have a short timeline. Pence seems a more likely war commander ."

I am sticking to my predictions from Feb. 8 on this thread.  Everything is rolling out fairly predictably.

Consequences / Re: 2017 ENSO
« on: April 04, 2017, 05:18:12 AM »
Terry, I don't think this potential El Niño is anything I would call "classic" in how it is going to develop,  if it does. I have learned a lot from AbruptSLR and Lord M Vader over the last few years but the way this is developing is something new to me.  Definately not like anything I have lived through. Also nothing like it in the satellite era. I would like to learn more about how a coastal El Niño forms and what processes drive it's formation .
 OT, I am descended from several generations of dry land farmers here in Southern Calif. because when they first moved here there weren't agriculture wells. Even as a kid I remember lots of land planted in Lima beans that is now houses and vineyards. Beans are planted in late spring when you already know how much soil moisture you have. In good years you planted Lima beans, in marginal years you planted black eyed peas, and when it didn't rain you waited another year .  There is so much dependent on wells drilled into aquifers that can't maintain themselves with current levels of pumping. Progress?

Consequences / Re: 2017 ENSO
« on: April 03, 2017, 08:31:27 PM »
AbruptSLR, The lysocline in the Pacific is shoaling at a rate of about + 2 meters per year. As we load CO2 into the atmosphere that portion absorbed by the oceans transfers to depth by both physical means ( down welling of very cold highly saline waters in both Antarctia the North Atlantic and the Sea of Okhotsk ) and via the biological carbon pump. This transfer of carbon to depth causes acidification of deep waters and leads to a shoaling of the lysocline. This is however a fairly slow process that is of course concurrent with atmospheric heating but I think in the short term not likely causative of a retrograde El Niño .  We have been having a large conversation about the Ding paper of late and maybe the shift of the Atmospheric circulation pattern that may have some implications for a retrograde El Niño?
 Maybe the shift in the GPH over Greenland and the low pressure systems being pulled eastward and riding up the Atlantic might have an effect in the Pacific as well ? We expect an El Niño to form as hot water is pulled from a dome of hot water in the Western Pacific via MJO processes , westerly wind bursts, and a relaxation of easterly winds in the tropics. If the MJO instead strengthens over the Eastern Pacific it would seem to me we should also expect much different rain patterns to develop than those we expect with a strong MJO in the Central Pacific.
 Maybe I am speculating too much . I wasn't correct on what I expected to happen with the 2015-2016 El Niño and the subsequent La Niña . But if a very  strong MJO centers over the far Eastern Pacific I would also expect rain patterns to be much different from what we usually expect an El Niño to deliver.
I know a I am getting way in from of any working knowledge here but if this new El Niño is somehow associated with what we are seeing in the Atlantic this is going to be a very strange year.

Sidd, In answer to your question I believe Trump was a populist and said a lot of things , people heard what they wanted to hear. I have several friends and relatives that voted for Trump. I have talked to them. They were republicans before the vote and each has a different reason for voting Trump. A fairly well educated one told me he didn't support Trumps climate views but he was voting for a restriction on Muslim immigration. He has married someone who comes from a part of the world where there is a history of Christian / Muslim divide and violence.
 I have been a fisherman most of my life and fishermen tend to vote conservative. Many of us feel we have been dealt with unfairly by liberal politics, lawyers and the environmental community in general.
I get some of those same problems even here on the forum. You can deal with what you feel are injustices by getting angry or by trying to push the stone back up the mountain one more time. That is injustice and an angry response revolves around your belief in your own ability to change the system or other people's opinion....pushing the stone. There are however plenty of angry people I know and breaking things to them is better than the status quo. They voted Trump. Things may break, I am not sure they will be happy with the results.

Science / Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« on: April 02, 2017, 07:43:32 AM »
Sidd, Here is a PDF with more explicit info about testing in the Salinas Valley. It was in the area of study for the board I served on. The test to  identify the pesticides in the water was an ELISA test. I was sitting as a farmer representative and I don't have a dollar estimate for the cost but I think getting some water fleas and doing some water tests would be fairly cheap. The brand names for Chlorpyrifos are Lorsban, Dursban and several others. Thank Dow Chemical.
 I think adding almonds to the international list of US crops in need of boycotts is in order.

Science / Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science
« on: April 02, 2017, 07:04:04 AM »
A few years ago I served a short stint on a water quality board that was collecting fees from farmers to test water quality in local watersheds from Monterey to Carpenteria Calif.  About one third of all streams were toxic to a water flea ( Ceriodaphnia Dubia )used to test water toxicity . That is water samples taken from local streams would kill the insects overnight in about one third of all samples . Samplers would count out fifty water fleas and place them in a stream water sample , they would also do another sample with a control with clean water.  I didn't do the sampling I just got access to the results.
 Chemical analysis revealed two insecticides were also present in the toxic samples in our area and other areas of Calif. that were kiliing the water fleas, and other insects. The EPA gave notice that the two insecticides responsible would be phased out . I thought giving farmers several years to find something to replace the chemicals responsible was generous to the extreme and I have been waiting ever since for the ban to go into effect. Diazinon and Chlorpyrifos were the two problem chemicals.
Today the EPA recended their our science advice and canceled the ban on Chlorpyrifos , the more toxic of the two problem pesticides.
 Scott Pruit and the EPA are probably putting human health at risk but they are also rendering whole watersheds toxic to the insect life that sustains fish populations.
 I wonder how long the clown show in Washington will go on ?  They are doing their damage while we argue about foreign meddling in an election campaign .  There isn't a single article about how this latest corporate handout will kill one more part of our native wildlife. I hope everyone enjoys their picture perfect produce.



Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: April 01, 2017, 08:03:04 PM »
No Maiz Gringo!  It appears that boycotts are catching on as an appropriate response to our current right wing government takeover.  Mexico is threatening a boycott of $2.5 billion in U.S. Corn exports land talking to Brazil and Argentina as alternative sources. There are also citizen boycotts of major U.S. brands taking place in Mexico although you don't hear diddy squat on our news media about it.
 Are there other boycotts already affecting U.S. corporate bottom line figures around the world ?
We are a corporate state and money is the best way to respond but corporate media sure as hell doesn't want the world citizenry to catch on to our vulnerabilities. How about China starting a soybean boycott?  Where can these sorts of efforts be publicized ?  Somebody needs to lead the charge. Money changes everything !

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2017 melting season
« on: March 31, 2017, 04:20:31 PM »
Tigertown, Maybe the buoys are too far west to be moving yet? I don't know. Will watch to see if they start going north over the next couple weeks .  The ice over Greenland is certainly moving towards the Fram. 

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2017 melting season
« on: March 31, 2017, 07:39:58 AM »
Tigertown, There are still four ITP WHOI buoys reporting locations. Three in the Beaufort gyre 97, 98, 99 and  93 trapped into fast ice on the north coast of Svalbard.  The thing I find intriguing  is that none of the reporting buoys in the Beaufort gyre show the Northwest thick ice drift modeled in your last post. I have to believe buoys sending real time data over models in this case.
 I like to watch the temp /salinity contours but sadly we only have one of the above listed buoys still sending T/S profiles this year.

This buoy is sitting just North of McClure Strait and should show northward drift if the model was representing current conditions

The rest / Re: The Trump Presidency (was "Presidential Poll")
« on: March 29, 2017, 05:43:38 PM »
So whether you are from Austria or Australia you only have a few options if you are convinced both the Dems and the Republicans are equally evil.
Danger close
Boycott us, sanction us, or bomb us
Travel bans, revoke our visas, and figure out how to pay for the U.N. And NATO without us. It is of course either a Dem or a Republican , actually both, that help fund those programs. Maybe money does buy loyalty but if both branches of our government are hopelessly corrupt the entire world citizenry needs to unify against us.
 I am a Dem by the way and I don't believe the Republicans and the Dems are the same but if that is how it looks to the rest of the world I would suggest you respond in some meaningful way. I also think bombing us would be very counterproductive so you really have only monetary options.

Policy and solutions / Re: Geoengineering, another rush for money?
« on: March 28, 2017, 07:04:42 PM »
I am intrigued with the part of the geoengineering experiment that utilizes calcium carbonate .

"Keith has previously used computer modeling to explore the possibility of using other materials that may have a neutral impact on ozone, including diamond dust and alumina. Late last year, he, Keutsch, and others published a paper that found using calcite, a mineral made up of calcium carbonate, “may cool the planet while simultaneously repairing the ozone layer.”

The balloon tests could provide additional insight into how these chemicals actually interact with precursors to ozone in the real world and offer additional information that could help refine their understanding of solar geoengineering, he says: “You have to go measure things in the real world because nature surprises you.”

Is it time for scientists to begin geoengineering-related experiments in the open air?

Keith stresses that it’s too early to say whether any geoengineering technologies should ever be deployed. But he has argued for years that research should move ahead to better understand their capabilities and dangers, because it’s possible they could significantly reduce the risks of climate change. He stressed that the experiments would have negligible environment impacts, as they will involve no more than a kilogram of materials."

We should keep some perspective on the difference between an experiment and full scale geoengineering implementation . We do on a regular basis shoot rockets into space. I am quite sure those rocket launches inject tons of emissions into the stratosphere. A kilogram of calcium carbonate is harmless in comparison .

Terry and AburptSLR, How we tell our story is important. I mentioned interest from chefs in my operations and I would like to offer a couple examples of two chefs that have visited over the last two days.
 One returned for his second visit. On his first trip he brought his wife ,friends and family. I showed their children around , let them pet the wooly pigs and showed them where the chickens were hiding their eggs. We put the eggs in cartons and they took a couple dozen eggs home with them. A four year old carried a dozen eggs back to their car and was proud to get the eggs back to his parents without breaking them. As it turns out the chef is also interested in mycology as am I. I already have some experience in sterile culture and growing shrooms . The holm oaks I have growing are perfect candidates  for inoculation with truffle mycelia. As it turns out mycology, farming, pigs and acorns all share a nexus that may inspire this South African chef and his children . I certainly hope so anyway.
 The second chef as it turns out is interested in acorns. My pigs first attracted him but I believe our shared interest in acorns as a staple for the human diet may lead us both in interesting directions.
As it turns out he is of native American decent. Acorns were a staple here locally for thousands of years but even the native tribes have lost some important knowledge that needs to be reacquired . If chefs and restaurants can introduce the public into the culinary attributes of acorns I think my interest in acorns may be the most important knowledge I can help transfer to future generations( and this one ).
 I have already made some offers to give a local Montessori school a presentation on acorn processing and cooking. If together with native heritage and local chefs knowledgable in the best food presentations we might get kids to think of acorns as food and we might as a community be making progress .At the same time we can walk progress back a step or two.

Terry, Sometimes re-reading a thread from begining to end reminds me , or scares me , into action.
Wanting less ,not more ,might be something I would add to the earlier posted lists. But maybe I am just an old man realizing my crap is going to be someone else's burden. "Want" , I believe , is on other much older lists we conveniently ignor.
 I recently lost my older brother.  My fond memories of our shared  youth evolve around very simple things like walking to school, riding horses in the desert, skiing on wooden skis . There is nothing unique about these sorts of fond memories of youth but somehow we live too much of our lives acquiring things that neither make us happy nor satisfy what needs might better please our overburbed planet.

AbruptSLR,  Those of us pursuing ' small is beautiful ' solutions but old enough not likely to live until the 2045-2060 transition are challenged with transferring gained knowledge to those who will be living thru bottleneck times. Small farms and farming traditions have been under dissolution pressures for generations already . Even if the economic pressures of idiosyncratic personal desisions to march backwards don't result in insolvency there are likely no direct descendent family members willing to pursue similar life decisions . That is one of the reasons small farms and fishermen family traditions have been failing for the last two or three generations. Marketing our food products via modern communications does offer some relief however.
 I have had dozens of chefs and aspiring  farmers tour my farm operation . They value the quality of the produce , they value the ' small is beautiful ' ideals. Mycology, rare farm animals, truly free range chickens and eggs for their children to collect, green fields , fruit trees , zero carbon goals, all pike their interest. How many of them pursue similar ideals is of course impossible to know but I believe the ascetic is a large incentive. There has to be something besides allowing monetary decisions to drive every decision. Many will fail in pursuit but those who keep the dream alive will pass on this inheritance. The farm may eventually die but the vision is important nonetheless.


Walking the walk / Re: Gardening
« on: March 19, 2017, 03:56:57 AM »
Etienne, It looks like bird damage to me also. Getting early peas up often results in similar damage .
If you keep an eye out you should be able to spot the culprits. Wire cages will probably fix the problem and if you leave some plants out without protection and see reoccurring damage you will get some confirmation.

The rest / Re: 2017 open thread
« on: March 01, 2017, 11:37:27 PM »
For a slightly longer list some of you may choose to read a current" Doomstead Diner" piece. What you shouldn't say in public.

It ends . " Such is the nature of a cull "

Consequences / Re: Effects of Climate Change on the biosphere
« on: February 26, 2017, 10:30:54 PM »
Sigm and Terry, Some of the stone fruit are just starting to bloom but even here in Southern Calif. I haven't seen any bloom on the three Blenheim Apricot trees I have.

Science / Re: Carbon Cycle
« on: February 26, 2017, 07:17:57 PM »
Latest pan oceanic oxygen measurements show a 2% drop since the 1960's. In this study they are modeling a 7% decline by 2100 but in the models I inked in the first post on the " carbon cycle " page they projected an 8.6 % drop in the same timeframe.

Science / Re: Carbon Cycle
« on: February 25, 2017, 05:49:48 PM »
I should read logicman links before I comment but I only gave the Herman harder link a cusory look and the graphic offered makes it look like there are no deep sinks or that they are all on some sort of ? 4 year cycle. That is of course ridiculous.
 There are deep sinks. We can date them with radiocarbon from our testing years. We know there are ~38,000 gigatonnes of carbon in the deep oceans . DIC dissolved inorganic carbon.
 Understanding how carbon is delivered into this sink and how carbon is then returned back into the atmosphere is of critical import . Time of circulation is on thousand year timeframes.
 For some further reading about carbon dating and for some more on radiocarbon dating of water masses and the carbon ages associated.

Science / Re: Carbon Cycle
« on: February 23, 2017, 04:44:50 AM »

Development and application of foraminiferal carbonate system proxies to quantify ocean acidification in the California Current

The oceanic uptake of anthropogenic carbon has mitigated climate change, but has also resulted in a global average 0.1 decline in surface ocean pH over 20th century known as ocean acidification. The parallel reduction in carbonate ion concentration ([CO32-]) and the saturation state of seawater (Ω) has caused many major calcium carbonate-secreting organisms such as planktonic foraminifera to exhibit impaired calcification. We develop proxy calibrations and down core records that use calcification and geochemical characteristics of planktonic foraminifera as proxies for the marine carbonate system. This study focuses specifically on the surface ocean chemistry of the California Current Ecosystem (CCE), which has been identified as a region of rapidly progressing ocean acidification due to natural upwelling processes and the low buffering capacity of these waters. The calibration portion of this study uses marine sediments collected by the Santa Barbara Basin (SBB), California sediment-trapping program located in the central region of the CCE. We calibrate the relationships of Globigerina bulloides calcification intensity to [CO3 2-] and the B/Ca ratios of G. bulloides, Neogloboquadrina dutertrei and Neogloboquadrina incompta shells to Ω calcite using in situ measurements and model simulations of these independent variables. By applying these proxy methods to down core, our records from the SBB indicate a 20% reduction in foraminiferal calcification since ~1900, translating to a 35% decline in [CO 32-] in the CCE over this period. Our high-resolution calcification record also reveals a substantial interannual to decadal modulation of ocean acidification in the CCE related to the sign of Pacific Decadal Oscillation and El Niño Southern Oscillation. In the future we can expect these climatic modes to both enhance and moderate anthropogenic ocean acidification. Based on our historic record, we predict that if atmospheric CO2 reaches 540 ppm by the year 2100 as predicted by a conservative CO3 pathway, [CO32-] will experience a net reduction of 55%, resulting in at least a 30% reduction in calcification of planktonic foraminifera that will likely be mirrored by other adversely affected marine calcifiers.

Osborne E. B., 2016. Development and application of foraminiferal carbonate system proxies to quantify ocean acidification in the California Current. PhD thesis, University of South Carolina, 182 p. Thesis (restricted access).

Consequences / Re: 2017 ENSO
« on: February 21, 2017, 04:19:50 AM »
It seems like a return to El Niño conditions in the 3.4 region may coincide with the last couple months of the California rain season. We have been getting rain that has made this feel like an El Niño even though it wasn't but I wonder if a return to elevated surface water temperatures in the 3.4 region might extend wet conditions into April ?
 I also see Apocalypse4real  has a focus on a potential El Niño in his February. Blog post

Consequences / Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
« on: February 18, 2017, 12:52:20 AM »
Terry, Everything is fine around here. Kinda muddy for chores , we have had 5 inches rain in the last 12 hours.
 I have been mesmerized by for a couple days. Will be watching lake levels for the next several days.

If levels begin to rise again things will get sketchy. Monday will be a big test.

I think our yearly rain total was only about 5 inches two years ago .  I am hoping these storms are something that can bust the drought. So I would be the last one to complain right now. Rain some more , I can always buy taller boots !

Consequences / Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
« on: February 16, 2017, 05:49:07 AM »
Tor Bejnar, Thanks for the link. Lot's to take in but the description of the 4' weir that parallels the parking lot seems a very weak link. The thirty foot high concrete emergency spillway ends and a little four foot wall extends to the hill at the edge of the parking lot. It was overtopped during last weeks 902' high water event. You gotta be kidding me.

Consequences / Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
« on: February 14, 2017, 09:19:22 PM »
Terry, Exactly! Why did water flood the parking area at the same time it topped the emergency spillway? If I was to give some advice it would be to quickly build some kinda wall around the parking area so the water is forced to go down emergency spillway and not over the parking lot and the section of hill with what appears to be zero concrete. Was the parking area an afterthought? Who would design a parking structure at the same level as the spillway.
 It really doesn't matter if the dam holds but the whole mountain it was attached to crumbles... 

Consequences / Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
« on: February 14, 2017, 07:00:41 AM »

Weather forecast have snow above 8,000 ft. with warm conditions and heavy rain Thursday. Theire is a need to maintain water releases at current rates for at least 8-10 more days or more. I agree with
Shared Humanity that it looks like there is continued erosion on the main spillway . Repairs being attempted are on the emergency spillway I believe and I can't see how repairs on the main spillway can be done with current release rates. I also don't think fixing the hole in the emergency spillway will prevent other holes forming if the emergency spillway over tops again. A nasty situation.
 I haven't seen any mention of what portion of Southern Calif . water reserves are threatened but there is a risk to portions of the State Water Project pumps and canals . Breached Levys will not be quickly repaired should they fail.
I believe ASLR is a bit of an expert on the associated risks?  What happens to the State Water project should Oroville actually breach?


Consequences / Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
« on: February 13, 2017, 05:09:50 AM »
Martin, Yes I live an a floodplain but we are still in a drought with the upstream reservoir at only 13%.
I would prefer more rain although it is pretty muddy of late.  We are to some degree dependent on heavy rains to fill our reservoir. The problem with the latest storm was it was very warm and it rained at high altitudes in the Sierra with snowmelt adding to flows. There are rains predicted to begin again Thursday and continue through next Monday. The predications are for colder conditions but any more snowmelt will be very bad for the Oroville. There is a lot of rain season still to come. There are plans to drop bags of rock into the growing hole in the emergency spillway but it is dark for the next few hours.
They will have two days to try to contain the growing hole before the next rains begin.
 I saw the Sierra from Fresno the other day and the snowpack was at a strangely high altitude. There is some very deep snowpack in some places with Mammoth lakes holding over twenty feet.
 It is a bad situation and morning should be interesting . Still not a word on anything but the internet, Facebook or Twitter. Strange

Consequences / Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
« on: February 13, 2017, 02:36:07 AM »

I looked through more than one article before I could believe this wasn't a hoax. I however I still am struggling with the total lack of news on the T.V. ? I live in Southern Calif. any nary a word? If there is a potential release of the top thirty feet of Oroville Dam this is deadly serious.

Science / Re: Southern Ocean Venting of CO2
« on: February 11, 2017, 05:24:15 AM »
Jai, yes well it is kinda difficult disagreeing without coming off like a dick. Didn't intend to be rude.
More importantly I too worry that a switch back to the earlier conditions of the 1990s would result in an extra 3GT additional  CO2 moving from the ocean carbon sink back into the atmosphere annually . It is also unnerving that even though the Southern Oceans are currently functioning as a weak sink Mauna Loa is accelerating. If the southern Oceans hadn't become a more effective sink the atmospheric CO2 levels would have grown even faster. 

Walking the walk / Re: Zero-Carbon Farming and Living via the Acorn Path
« on: February 10, 2017, 02:22:05 AM »
Terry, Sidd has said he makes large batches of soap using the glycerin byproduct of his biodiesel production.  I plan on doing the same but I haven't yet started. Making lye and methanol from scratch is also something I would like to accomplish. Curious how independent I can actually be .
I suppose my drive to make fuel from locally available ingredients is like I said drivin by curiousity as much as anything else but proving what is possible on a very local scale is also driven by a desire to eliminate my carbon footprint.  To the degree you can eliminate all or most of your energy needs you can obviate the complications of recreating fuel sources to run tractors , trucks and heavy equipment . I happen to think larger groups of humans like villages or guilds demand scalable food resource equipment.
Soap is just a byproduct of my fuel making adventure . I do consider it both a potential commodity and for me a necessary part of daily hygiene . Without soap I am afraid I might just as well move off into a cave somewhere because that is as close as I could get to any other humans.
 I have been wondering if I can think of retirement as an energy challenge. My month on foraged and farm grown foods did save trips to the grocery store and quite a bit of money. Soap is of course a very small expense but piece by piece , food, fuel ,soap , solar energy, and water,  all chip away at expenses . You mentioned that soap might also be a sellable commodity but I would prefer to think of it as a trade item. I would love to think at some point what you produce or what you provide in services might be more valuable than a pocket of cash.
I will consider your query about lye and soap production as a challenge. OrganicSU and I have been pushing each other to turn some our our personal musings into physical challenges and get on with getting some of them accomplished.

Science / Re: Southern Ocean Venting of CO2
« on: February 09, 2017, 06:25:51 AM »
Jai, I didn't see a retraction of your
These deeper ocean currents are much undersaturated as we continue to (rapidly) increase our atmospheric CO2 abundance. 

You again make some claim that there is an increase in venting when the article you site says
" stronger ocean overturning,as seen in the 1990s, brings more carbon -rich water up from the deeper ocean "
The graphic in the article shows a 3 gigatonne decrease in venting to the atmosphere relative to the 1990s not an increase in venting.

Maybe I am confused with your choice of terms but to me ocean venting implies an ocean to atmosphere CO2 transfer whereas ocean ventilation is a transfer of CO2 from the atmosphere to the ocean. If you might spell out which transfer you intend it might help me to better understand your meaning. At any rate the deep ocean is not undersaturated relative to current atmospheric levels and that is why there was a larger ocean to atmosphere CO2 transfer in the 1990s when upwelling was bringing more deep water to the surface. Again you might better explain your choice of the word undersaturated because it is used as a definition for the solubility of aragonite. I think you mean there is less CO2 at depth but that is incorrect.
I also think you should respect Grubers contention that we don't know whether the more recent conditions represent a longer term trend. I would much consider Gruber an expert and accept his opinion that variability is responsible . He is a top notch biogeochemist . Not a field easily mastered .
I have read his predictions for U.S. West Coast surface water undersaturation and they are Not conservative . Undersaturation is the point that aragonite dissolves and Gruber has predicted months long periods of undersaturation by 2035. I will tract down numbers when I get a chance.

The rest / Re: The Trump Presidency (was "Presidential Poll")
« on: February 08, 2017, 03:28:58 PM »
The 9th circuit will IMO probably uphold the lower court overruling of the Trump immigration ban. The republicans will stall awhile until they invoke the nuclear option so they can get Gorsuch confirmed by a simple majority vote. Then they will again stall in anticipation of being able to put one more even more hard right judge on the Supreme Court. That should buy them a 6 / 3 conservative court that can outlive a democratic presidency if there is a voter backlash in four years. So liberalism on the court will be dead for at least 12 and maybe 16 years. That is what a vote for Clinton was intended to prevent.
 The Russian intervention that resulted in casting enough doubt on Clinton to get the bummed out
millennials to stay home or throw away their vote probably was the deciding factor. Without Wikileaks revealing the Democratic caucus undermining of Sanders this election ( again IMO ) would have gone differently.
 I think Clintons Syrian policy and deep state plans for a pipeline through some territories divided off a Syrian failed state and controlled by Kurds and a quasi democratic regime was probably what drove Russia to intervene . They won but now they have to figure out how to keep the batshit crazy republicans from whatever plans they can cook up to relieve the Middleeast of their remaining oil reserves.
 When this leads to the next war , or expands the current constant state of war, then the Republicans will need to figure out whether they really want Trump in control. He will have given them the Court they wanted and maybe his utility will have a short timeline. Pence seems a more likely war commander .
In the famous words of Country Joe" Woopee we all gonna die "

Consequences / Re: Weird Weather and anecdotal stories about climate change
« on: February 07, 2017, 07:27:03 AM »
Budmantis, Congradulations on your new ASIF status.

The rest / Re: The Trump Presidency (was "Presidential Poll")
« on: February 06, 2017, 04:39:21 PM »
I complained about this thread a couple days ago .Although I am sure it has nothing to do with my complaints I have found some good reading here of late. Solid comments without shouting.
 OrganicSU, Because I believe you are living closer to zero carbon than any other commenter on this blog you deserve a voice here. In my comments yesterday I mentioned the Four horsemen of the
Apocalypse. Famine, War, Pestilence and the one I have always had a hard time remembering
Conquest. Trump will always help me remember the horseman riding conquest.

The rest / Re: The Trump Presidency (was "Presidential Poll")
« on: February 06, 2017, 05:20:55 AM »
"Small may be beautiful, it is just not that prosperous" and " the popular fetish for small business is at odds with economic reality "  may both be rational arguments from an economic perspective but in the end survival may not be determined by economic rational or reasoning.
 Until you attempt to take "small is beautiful " to an extreme like hyper local food production and foraging it is very difficult to get your head around the fact that almost everyone in western society is dependent on books or the Internet to provide themselves with food( let alone energy supplies )We don't have an oral tradition that can provide advice on what is safe food or poison. We don't have elders to give us advice, we are very far removed from the foundations of our former societal traditions that kept food supplies safe, let alone plentiful.
 Virtually all of western society has abandoned the personal knowledge necessary to strike out alone or ( even more difficult ) provide for a small village. There are of course societies still in tact that do maintain these traditions but they are not economically viable by any definition prescribed by modern standards or publications like " The Economist "They are however sustainable even in the face of climate change.
 Maybe the meek will inherit the earth. They won't be worried about 7  or 8 billion people having
perished in their shining cities.  They will be worried about next winters food stores just like they always were. Yes climate change will hammer them also but societies with sound foundations may have a better ability to modify their traditions as things change than the limitless nonsense we think money can buy.
 Forget modern medicine, the grocery store, and  modern transportation. Take reductionism to it's logical end ( if wars ,disease, famine and Trumponian greed retake us unprepared )  We have forgotten our past .

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