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Messages - Sebastian Jones

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Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 31, 2020, 06:52:53 PM »

I know this us useless and I am wasting my breath.

Please stop being a racist.


Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 27, 2020, 09:53:20 PM »
Worldometers reporting Italy posting 919 deaths today, eclipsing previous daily high of 793 six days ago.

After shutdown begins the infection chains are mostly broken except for home infection. Hopefully, this is the last wave before the quarantine yields the expected results. I pray they are using as many masks as possible and have a good plan to restart the economy while testing and quarantining like crazy.

Looking at the data — self isolation is NOT working.

Quarantine, real quarantine is required.


Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 27, 2020, 02:38:26 AM »

If you should overstate the danger that CV19 presents, then more people might choose to self isolate, avoid risks to themselves and others, and possibly lead longer, healthier lives.

What's the downside?

Perhaps the generations that grew up on Horror Flicks where crowds ran screaming from Godzilla, or where elderly alcoholics sped their motorhomes recklessly across Pahrumpian Deserts to escape emaciated Martian Marauders, now believe that the great unwashed will inevitably, and foolishly panic when faced with sobering news.

Politicians have come to fear that any 'leader' projecting a less than rosy outcome will lose his or her favoured position at the trough. Sycophants posing as "experts" repeat the party line lie so often that it's common knowledge that the millions of once projected dead have been transmuted into millions of asymptomatic, possibly infected, but nonetheless unaffected, workers. All eagerly chomping at the bit for the opportunity to return to the treadmill just in time for their Easter Holiday Vacation, and the Traditional Easter Dinners where relatives gather together in mass and give thanks to the Wise Incumbents who lead them so successfully during these trying times.


Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 25, 2020, 12:19:58 AM »
Quick update here since many of you were very helpful and caring earlier - I have thankfully been given paid administrative leave for 2 weeks starting tomorrow after work (also due to Inslee's order). So now I will perform social distancing to my best abilities.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 23, 2020, 05:53:03 PM »
One sad and important issue to take into account with some of the poor, African nations are their increased rates of HIV. That in conjunction with covid 19 really paints a bleak picture. I really fear for that entire continent as well as India. When this is all said and done, I won't be surprised if Iran loses close to 10% of its population, which is horrifying.

It seems like once a country hits its breaking point, the death rate spikes soon thereafter.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 23, 2020, 12:24:22 AM »
Don't be daft.  "Printing money" is done by a process called "quantitative easing."  The process can be reversed just as easily and quickly as it's instituted. 

I don't want to hijack this thread with a diversion into macro-economics. And I'm no expert. But no, QE is not synonymous with "printing money." QE is a program of buying bonds by the fed.  It has "traditionally" been (since the fiscal crisis of 08/09) the purchase of government bonds. There is now talk of extending it to munis and even corporate bonds.  It cannot be unwound as easily as it starts because abruptly stopping QE causes instability in the bond markets.  There are many other ways the Fed and the Federal government can increase the money supply, inject liquidity and "stimulate" the economy.  For example, a Universal Basic Income (UBI) has nothing to do with QE.

I continue to think that the gang here that believes these tools can work in perpetuity and without limit are not correct.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 22, 2020, 07:49:39 PM »
Hair Furor is on top of it.

It would be great to have an updated version of this with all the inane things said in the last 10 days or so.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 20, 2020, 11:57:12 PM »
Trump will be pleased . The USA is ready to overtake Iran in the next 24 hours . Within a week China too should be in the rear view mirror . America will have the numbers .. the biggest numbers .. b.c.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 19, 2020, 09:59:12 PM »
Just got word that no matter what, the office will remain open. Unless someone dies in our office we will continue to work. Good to know where america's priories are.

I'm sitting at my desk like: guess I'll just die

Can you take mental health days off? Do Americans even get mental health days?
I see that there have been 3584 new cases in America, so far today, with no report in from Washington..

Nope...immediate job freeze and any leaving is considered "job abandonment." I'll be thankful I have a job and will just wait and see how many deaths end up occurring here.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 14, 2020, 12:12:27 AM »
As made perfectly clear in the post, it's not my list nor my advice. There are some items in there worth considering and others that are harmless. Primum non nocere ... Dr. Robb seems in compliance.

pietkuip ... I gather you are a MD/ Ph.D with an extensive publication record in coronavirus research and clinical treatment of infectious disease? Or just another anxious / panicked internet denizen with zero scientific background in anything halfway relevant?

Perhaps you found it really scary to read that in his opinion "there will be NO drugs or vaccines available this year to protect us or limit the infection. Only symptomatic support is available."

I am not looking for advice myself as we live out in a remote desert on a gated and patrolled 60,000 hectare property that came with a 1950's concrete underground bomb shelter complete with a steel hatch and ceramic air filter, not that there's a need to go inside.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 10, 2020, 01:13:24 AM »
^ Good luck, Sebastian ( and to your family)


DARPA Races To Create a "Firebreak" Treatment for the Coronavirus

When DARPA launched its Pandemic Preparedness Platform (P3) program two years ago, the pandemic was theoretical.

Today, as the novel coronavirus causes a skyrocketing number of COVID-19 cases around the world, the researchers are racing to apply their experimental techniques to a true pandemic playing out in real time.

In the P3 program, the 60-day clock begins when a blood sample is taken from a person who has fully recovered from the disease of interest. Then the researchers screen that sample to find all the protective antibodies the person’s body has made to fight off the virus or bacteria. They use modeling and bioinformatics to choose the antibody that seems most effective at neutralizing the pathogen, and then determine the genetic sequence that codes for the creation of that particular antibody. That snippet of genetic code can then be manufactured quickly and at scale, and injected into people.

... Jenkins says this approach is much faster than manufacturing the antibodies themselves. Once the genetic snippets are delivered by an injection, “your body becomes the bioreactor” that creates the antibodies, she says. The P3 program’s goal is to have protective levels of the antibodies circulating within 6 to 24 hours.

... DARPA calls this a “firebreak” technology, because it can provide immediate immunity to medical personnel, first responders, and other vulnerable people.

However, it wouldn’t create the permanent protection that vaccines provide.

Robert Carnahan, who works with Crowe at the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center, explains that their method offers only temporary protection because the snippets of genetic code are messenger RNA, molecules that carry instructions for protein production. When the team’s specially designed mRNA is injected into the body, it’s taken up by cells (likely those in the liver) that churn out the needed antibodies. But eventually that RNA degrades, as do the antibodies that circulate through the blood stream.

"We haven’t taught the body how to make the antibody,” Carnahan says, so the protection isn’t permanent.

Jenkins says that all of the P3 groups (the others are Greg Semposki’s lab at Duke University, a small Vancouver company called AbCellera, and the big pharma company AstraZeneca) have made great strides in technologies that rapidly identify promising antibodies. In their earlier trials, the longer part of the process was manufacturing the mRNA and preparing for safety studies in animals. If the mRNA is intended for human use, the manufacturing and testing processes will be much slower because there will be many more regulatory hoops to jump through.

Moderna was involved in a related DARPA program known as ADEPT that has since ended. The company’s work on mRNA-based therapies has led it in another interesting direction—last week, the company made news with its announcement that it was testing an mRNA-based vaccine for the coronavirus. That vaccine works by delivering mRNA that instructs the body to make the “spike” protein that’s present on the surface of the coronavirus, thus provoking an immune response that the body will remember if it encounters the whole virus.

Moderna Ships mRNA Vaccine Against Novel Coronavirus (mRNA-1273) for Phase 1 Study

... even if they have a potent antibody or mRNA ready for manufacture by the end of April, they’d have to get approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. To get a therapy approved for human use typically takes years of studies on toxicity, stability, and efficacy. Crowe says that one possible shortcut is the FDA’s compassionate use program, which allows people to use unapproved drugs in certain life-threatening situations.

Gregory Poland, Mayo Clinic Vaccine Research Group ... compassionate use shortcut would likely only be relevant “if we’re facing a situation where something like Wuhan is happening in a major city in the U.S., and we have reason to believe that a new therapy would be efficacious and safe. Then that’s a possibility, but we’re not there yet,” he says. “We’d be looking for an unknown benefit and accepting an unknown risk.”


Something to consider and watch for:

These therapies/vaccines are being developed by the military at tax-payers expense. Will these companies forget who funded them if and when their products come to market and doubly profit off the taxpayers?

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 09, 2020, 07:25:00 PM »
The WHO has as much choice about this as you or me. They must remain civil while trying to convince the tyrant of his foolishness.

I agree with the WHO that this is not a pandemic yet, not even close to a pandemic. The potential for a pandemic is most certainly there especially with the US doing I don't know what, but we can still stop this before another Wuhan.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 07, 2020, 10:55:04 AM »
Continuing on from #1993 and #2020, covid-19 viral activation and invasion of lung pneumatocytes has unusual and undesirable features that reflect rapid recent evolution of its genome.

The research action centers on the spike protein because it seems to have acquired aggressive new properties from a specific upstream 12-base insertion (creating a 4 amino acid furin-like cleavage site motif) that greatly facilitates adhesion to the ACE2 receptor which facilitates fusion (mediated by a downstream spike domain) with the host cytoplasmic membrane, the entry point of viral RNA into the cell interior where it reproduces.

There are 182 complete covid-19 genomes as of today being studied with both wet lab and dry lab (bioinformatic) approaches. NextStrain collects all these and presents them as a branching phylogenetic tree that grows every day and sometimes gets rearranged.

This tree clusters closely related covid-19 genomes the same way that your desktop organizes related files into a nested folder hierarchy but using advanced statistical methods such as maximal likelihood models that have been under intense algorithmic development for half a century. However these trees can be made under many different assumptions and parameter sets. A tree that aligns amino acids (rather than nucleotides), eg those from the upstream half of the spike protein, might give a rather different topology from a whole genome nucleotide tree.

On the data side, the 182 genomes are mostly not the ones we want: the early ones. Many are just chains of descendants: A in Wuhan gave it to B in Milan and C in Vatican City, B gave it to D in Austria and E in Spain, C gave it to F, G and H in Dubai with 0-2 mutations at each step along the way. The real information lies in more covid-19 genomes from Wuhan but not descended from A.

This is useful early on in a pandemic for the tracebacks and self-quarantining that buy some (mostly squandered) preparedness time but as Sam documents above, that train left the station a month ago.

Molecular biologists want the genomes from the very earliest stages of viral spread in late Nov 2019 for five principal reasons:

-1- to work out the ancestral genome that first crossed the species barrier.
-2- to determine the carrier species because it may harbor many other coronavirus strains.
-3- to determine what adaptive changes took place that caused covid-19 to spread so virulently.
-4- to better understand mutational processes in covid-19 and future properties may evolve.
-4- to resolve whether mutational gain/loss of nucleotides represents an insertion or deletion.

However the epicenter of spread, which is not necessarily the epicenter of origin, has been bulldozed to the ground, its entire stock of wildlife incinerated and its infected denizens cremated without any genetic sampling. Under the circumstances, the focus was eradication; public health mandarins would hardly be bowing to requests for viral agent preservation from scientists.

Prior to the outbreak, Wuhan had two institutes (not one) collecting coronavirus genomes from wild bat populations and requesting isolates from other virology labs around the world, for example the Manitoba, Canada BSL-4 facility.

Assembling such a resource makes research sense in a country like China with strong science and a costly history of viral outbreaks in both livestock and humans. For its part, the US maintained a massive collection of anthrax strains until the FBI autoclaved the entire set after a rogue worker mailed a weaponized one around.

In summary, only a few of the 182 genomes originated early on in Wuhan but because of privacy considerations neither preprints, GenBank annotations or GISAID metadata make clear if any of the people were affiliated with the two corona virus laboratories.There is very little specific clinical information about the eight original ICU patients that triggered the ophthalmologist's alert. We don't know if any of the covid-19 genomes represents the transmitting patient with acute angle glaucoma.

Regardless, the genomes at NextStrain fall into two early-diverging clades (strains) that split early on and never later hybridized (through RNA recombination). These were noticed back in February and denoted L and S clades (for distinguishing mutations that affected leucine and serine codons). The topology of that branch of the tree has been stable ever since.

The original authors were careful to say of the two strains, the L type “MIGHT be more aggressive and spread more quickly”. However nobody since has honored that cautionary statement. Because of transmission chains, subsequent internal mutational divergences in both clades, and lack of healthy human volunteers, this idea is very difficult to pursue. Note that every node on the tree defines, through its descendants, its own clade or strain.

The NextStrain tree is unrooted, meaning that deep ancestry is not indicated by outgroups (closely related corona and other viruses). This is so bizarre that other researchers immediately added a variety of outgroups and recomputed the tree to see which of L and S is closer in genomic sequence to the first covid-19 to escape its initial animal host. And that the 'more ancestral' sequence is said to be the smaller clade, S. That needs to be revisited now that the data set is so much larger.

The phylogenetic tree unambiguously resolves the upstream spike protein mutation as an insertion. This was correctly inferred in the ‘uncanny’ preprint where it is called the 4th ‘HIV’ region. That’s not entirely off the mark but it’s better called the putative gain-of-function furin-like cleavage site resulting from the new four basic amino acid motif.

This preprint was withdrawn by author request; it was not retracted (shame on you FAS) and could conceivably resurface after massive revisions. It never mentions weaponization. The pdf is still offered at biorxiv; there’s a good discussion of its myriad problems too by others in the field:

To date, there’s still no good explanation for how the furin-friendly insertion arose in the spike protein. Some of the better spike protein analysis is provided in the links and images below. 21 Jan 2020 discovery of furin site (in Chinese) images and structural analysis AC Walls et al French paper on furin site real furin motifs are longer GISAIS metadata for 93 genomes RNA recombination remdesivir L and S clades early paper

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 05, 2020, 06:18:07 PM »
What's a Pandemic Bond?

Here you go Sebastian:

The Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility (abbreviated as PEF, and also known as Pandemic Bonds) is a financing mechanism to assist with the management of a pandemic outbreak. It is provided by the World Bank, which raised the majority of the money by issuing bonds, which can be seen as a type of catastrophe bond. Additional money is provided by donations.

Link >>

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 03, 2020, 03:09:41 AM »
From Reddit, I don't know about the top two, but the bottom one was from the "Life Care Center in Kirkland". Look it up in google images.

Why would they wear greater protection? The message they are getting is "this is a hoax from the left", "this is just the flu", "this is not airborne". Both the CDC and WHO have droplet precautions.

I believe that to be wholly inadequate. A primary means of infection are fomites. Look at all of them with civilian clothes exposed all over the place. They will take the droplets home.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 02, 2020, 10:17:17 PM »
we are running out of planet

This is a phrase, so on point, i will steal it from you someday. Thanks in advance, Kassy!  :)

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: February 26, 2020, 07:18:37 PM »
Consider the plight of the old men kissing babies, pressing the flesh and rallying crowds in an effort to make themselves electable. Can the Presidency be won by a candidate who fears the proximity of the people? Can you win an election from a sickbed, from isolation?

Will the coming elections be won by those with the best immune systems, rather than the best ideas?

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: February 26, 2020, 02:07:18 PM »
Based on LTG projections, we're about due.

Consequences / Re: Chinese coronavirus
« on: February 16, 2020, 08:02:49 AM »
First I've heard of this Sark, and Mr. Google returns nothing to the search string "Wuhan Coal yard fire".
Can you expand on this for us?

Looking at Suomi NPP 375m


some background info

Basically there's a rumor that started 7 days ago around fire detections in China. showed a spike in SO2 and NOx with fire detections in this area, I believe delivered from the CAMS 40km model for fire detections and GEOS-5 22km for SO2.  I'm finding Windy is extremely difficult to use although it is pretty, so the sources for Windy are not exactly clear to me at the moment.

Wouldn't expect there to be a news article since we hear almost nothing from inside China.

Fire detections are ongoing and detected by multiple NPP enviro-sats.  Confidence is high and radiative power is in the 750-1500MW* range.  Location is on the order of within 100 meters of what appears to be coal staging yards outside of Wuhan Iron and Steel Co and linked with a couple of coal power plants nearby.  Didn't check the date of imagery.

"Update: Rise in sulfur dioxide could be sign of mass cremations in Wuhan" Taiwan News

So Taiwan News is reporting rumors of open cremations based on Windy and Twitter comments and the "debunking" has been trotted out and all of it has been utter trash journalism, from all sides.

After 7 days I kept seeing confusion surrounding this event saying it's all from models (you know how it is) so I sat down to pinpoint the location and find some sources in case anyone is interested.

It's pretty likely there are lots of industrial accident fires and open garbage burning especially of medical waste all over China.  These coal piles can go up spontaneously and both the power and scale of the observations are consistent with an open coal burn.  I'm just putting it within 100 meters of that coal staging yard.

*edit: that has to be a mistake.  not that hot I don't think.  but fire detections ongoing nonetheless

Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: February 05, 2020, 10:13:09 PM »
Re: The reason for the decrease in size is unknown

We ate 'em ?


Consequences / Re: Decline in insect populations
« on: January 07, 2020, 12:52:02 PM »
The roadmap to insect recovery is essentially the same roadmap to avoiding environmental calamity overall.

Arctic sea ice / Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« on: December 19, 2019, 08:21:32 PM »
The sixth power, depending on how you calculate it, is either a squared cube or a cubed square.
And what on earth is "a cube squared" and what has it to do with anything?

The height a tidal bulge rises goes up as an inverse cube of the distance to the tide raising body. So, if you had the Moon at half its present distance 4 billion years ago, the tidal bulge it would lift would be 2X2X2 times higher, or eight times as high.
The rate at which a tidal effect slows the rotation of the planet scales as the square of the height of the tidal bulge. So 4 billion years ago the slowdown rate may have been 8X8 or 64 times its present value.
Four and a half eons ago the Moon would have been something like one tenth its present day distance, so it was slowing the Earth's rotation something like a million times faster.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: October 15, 2019, 10:26:30 PM »

From 2016 through 2019, Argentina’s government awarded contracts for 6.5 gigawatts (GW) of new renewable energy capacity, helping make wind and solar the country’s cheapest unsubsidized sources of energy. Roughly 5 GW of this capacity is already either in operation or under construction, attracting nearly $7.5 billion in new investment and creating more than 11,000 new jobs.

How is it "unsubsidized" when the government is footing the bill?

Because the income from selling the juice to Joe Public should recoup the capital cost exactly as a private sector mob invest capital to generate revenue. The proof (or not) will be in the pudding a few years down the line.

Snow is an insulator and a reflector. It prevents the earth losing heat and increases albedo. I foot of snow is equivalent to R15 insulation. It doesn't matter if the year was a "cold" or "warm" one, the difference is that the surface of the ground is insulated against emitting heat into space, the "ground" surface doesn't drop to -40 C or what ever the ambient temperature is. The contrast one has to consider for the analysis is the difference between winter and summer temperatures, not year on year changes.

Albedo is more important when the balance of heat loss prevented by the insulation throughout the day is less than the amount of heat added from insolation. If snow cover DOES persist into the summer then one, clearly, can make an argument that heat into the earth from insolation is going to decrease. From Shared Humanities post, the evidence is that this is not happening. Snow is melting out rapidly in the spring.

Basically we apply a nice reflective blanket in the cold of the night, to keep the heat in, then we pull it off as soon as there is enough warm sunshine to heat up the ground. My guess is its a strong positive feedback loop into warming the earth.

There will be nice deep early snowfalls from a meandering jet stream and an increasingly wet atmosphere, the latitudes that the snow will persist into spring will move north. The permafrost that relies on winter heat loss will thin and decline in extent, releasing more methane and CO2 and feeding the increasingly warm wet cycle towards an equitable climate.

The above are some of the feedbacks that amplify Milankovitch cycle variations. The cycles themselves don't change the heat input into the earth enough to cause the variations that we observe in previous interglacials. We are in a Milankovitch interglacial now and have accelerated the feedbacks by the release of gigatons of CO2.

Consequences / Re: Hurricane Season 2019
« on: October 11, 2019, 05:07:55 AM »
As we near the end of the 2019 season, global cylconic activity has been near normal.  Higher Atlantic and Indian ocean storms have been counter by lower Pacific (both eastern and western) activity.

Global cyclonic activity has not been "normal". Ask anyone in the Bahamas.

 If you mean the sum of the cyclonic winds or some other cherry, then the word you are looking for is average, not normal.

There was nothing normal about the 2 cat 5s in the Atlantic, although if the world keeps warming it will be normal.

Walking the walk / Re: Gardening
« on: September 23, 2019, 12:52:25 PM »

Arborists usually (by profession) mean woodchip mulch and I agree with them that too thick a layer could cause problems as it takes a long time to break down and might become almost impenetrable to water for a while.

I advocated grass cuttings /cut greens as mulch and if you make it 20 cm thick it quickly (1 month or 2) collapses to 2-5 cm especially during the warm season if you have rain.

It is my experience, that if you put down 5-10 cm woodchips, weeds easily grow through that and it will be very difficult to handle the situation. On the other hand, if you have 20 or even better, 30 cm of cut weeds/grass/greens around the trees, it heats upsomewhat and kills all the weeds underneath and chokes them and by the time the mulch collapses (becomes much thinner) nothing or not much will be there to grow through it.

Also if you have an orchard you can have lots of greens around the trees (grass, clovers, alfalfa, etc) that is easy to cut and put around the trees (mow-and-blow style). I think this is the best and easiest solution for trees. (vegetables are a different matter)

Arctic background / Re: Hearts in the Ice Expedition
« on: September 22, 2019, 04:25:00 PM »
There are some male faces amongst the Bamsebu Team!

See also:

Perhaps the English version of the expeditions "About" page should be rearranged along the lines of:

They will be the first women to over-winter in Svalbard without men in a 20 sq mtr trappers cabin at 78N.

Consequences / Re: Hurricane Season 2019
« on: September 03, 2019, 07:57:40 AM »
 Just looked it up, the Bahamas have been an independent nation for 47 years ... I thought they were British, sorry for the blunder. Those poor people have my deepest sympathy and I would hope they get ALL the help they will need.

Science / Re: Satellite News
« on: August 13, 2019, 02:42:03 AM »
Great effort gero....

It is gentlepersons like gerontocrat who make this site work...

Arctic sea ice / Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« on: August 10, 2019, 06:56:00 PM »
The climate changed wildly throughout the Pleistocene and they did fine.


El Cid:
There were about two dozen ice age cycles in the Pleistocene similar in speed and amplitude. When humans reached Australia there was an extinction event. When they reached the Western Hemisphere there was an extinction event. But in Africa where they had the most time to adapt to our hunting they did relatively well, and somewhat so in Eurasia.

Arctic sea ice / Re: When will the Arctic Go Ice Free?
« on: July 23, 2019, 11:49:07 PM »
Let's return to the central issues...

1) When the Arctic will go ice free
2) How that is likely to play out from first ice free day, to week, to month, to season, to year
3) What the consequences are of that, and hence why we should care

1) the trends in ice extent, ice area and ice volume are all headed to the same outcome, zero ice. Each points to a somewhat different potential date for that. The differences in those dates, though important from a human perspective in a single human lifetime, are essentially identical in geologic terms, and virtually identical in the lifetime of civilizations or nations.

The most likely correct projection is the limiting projection based on the full suite of projections, not the average, not the last, but the first. And that is based on volume. The inherent oscillatory nature of the many linked earth and solar systems creates a form of variation that looks like and can useful be treated similar to randomness. And it has randomness in it. But it isn't truly random in the large scale.

That said, the outer bounds of the error band on projecting forward on ice volume suggest that we have already entered the outermost likelihood for an ice free summer day. Clearly this year won't be it. Next year could be. But most likely that won't be for a few years.

On the other end, the high band, we almost certainly will see it before 2030 even under the most unlikely combination of events. As a result, the first ice free day in September will almost certainly occur between 2022 and 2028.

2) with the progressive loss of ice cover, warming of the ice free ocean, thinning of the ice cover, failure of the tundra and clathrates, combined with mans continued and accelerating release of global warming gases, the lengths of time that the Arctic is essentially ice free will grow longer. There will be oscillation with temporary retreats, and with shocking extensions. The trend will remain for longer and longer ice free periods. That will happen quickly, even in human terms.

3) as that happens, the downwelling driving forces on both the ocean, driving the Atlantic and Pacific oceanic circulations will progressively grow weaker, and the down falling driving force for the atmosphere will simultaneously decline with it, and with that the motive forces for atmospheric circulation of the polar cell will decline.

As the oceanic driving forces collapse a whole suite of interlocking circulations will lose their motive force. New balances will come into play. The oceanic circulations will perhaps stall, and in some areas new broader slower circulations driven by corriolis forces and topography will take over. Areas will go anoxic. Species will move with the temperature and flow. Many will die.

As the atmospheric driving forces fail, the heat balance will shift. The tropopause will rise. The polar circulation will slow and become more chaotic before too be driven by lesser circulations and forces. As the polar cell fails, so too will the driving forces between the Ferrell and polar cells weaken and fail, then those between the Ferrell and Hadley cells. In time, those too will be overridden by other forces.

With an increased tropopause, single cell circulation becomes possible, though moving at slower speeds allowing drag to counter corriolis forces that would otherwise truncate the circulation. Exactly what happens with this is unknown and is a key question related to how the atmosphere circulates on Venus, and how it circulated on Earth during equable climate periods.

The oceanic and atmospheric circulations are however also interdependent based both on flow interactions and based on heat. With dramatic shifts in flow and consequent large shifts in heat balance, moisture shifts, clouds and the like, the problem is extraordinarily difficult to sort out.

That it will shift is certain.

As has already been noted, we are already seeing dramatic shifts in all of these, with dramatic consequences. However, the largest differences will no doubt come when the relative balance between the various forces reach near parity. At that point, if we had a non dimensional analysis to guide us, we might (and only might) have a better idea about how the transitions will occur, and precisely when we might expect hysteretic sorts of state change.

I haven't found a non dimensional analysis of the coupled ocean, air, ice thermodynamic system using the Buckingham Pi method that might aid there. If anyone does, that might be quite useful. It should tell us what the key dimensionless parameters are to monitor (essentially the ratios of various forces that drive the system as a whole).

What we can be certain of is that the Earth is a heat engine. During periods such as our recent several millions of years where we have ice at the poles, the heat differential between these and the solar inputs (dominant at the equator) act to stabilize the system like a giant engine. The ice acts as a huge buffer or battery holding the system in a sort of equilibrium. That oscillates annually and at longer periods. Still it is a buffer. With the loss of that buffer, the system loses its governor. It then is likely to change quite quickly to an alternate stable system governed by other dynamics. That is when we will,see and experience truly abrupt climate change. No one will need convincing then that it is real. But, no doubt, many will still need convincing that we are at fault, and that we need to urgently act.

That we don't know those dynamics sufficiently well to model them successfully is particularly troubling. That we know from geologic records just how different that system is is even more troubling. But, and this is especially important, people lose sight of the importance of the rate of change in converting from one to state to another. Prior geologic analogies seem tame and slow by comparison to our current predicament. And this may be why a period of ice free Arctic in and transition period between ice ages could exist without completely upending the system. Even then, the dynamics are such that the conditions must have been radically different from what we are acuustomed to.

In our case though, we don't have slow changes at work. Our case is more akin to a fully loaded 18 wheeler racing down a 12% grade, burning out its breaks and bashing through the guardrail into open air several thousand feet above the canyon floor. You might as well decide to enjoy the ever so brief ride, as no amount of steering or cranking on the breaks means anything at that point.

But in our analogy we are still on the road. We've begun to lose traction with the highway, the breaks are all but gone and the steering isn't working. Worse, we are making our decisions by committee with a crew in the cab that is, shall we say, less than up to the task.

We are in the ever so brief period before calamity where we cannot be quite certain whether we are going to inevitably go through the guard rail and plummet to our certain death, or miraculously gain the ever so small bit of control that allows us to steer onto the truck runaway ramp. Sure, it's going to rip the wheels off and all but destroy the rig, but at least we get to recover from it.

Now, if we can just get all of the monkeys in the cab to come to agreement that we need to act, and act together, maybe we might just barely survive this yet. But first we have to get them to stop biting each other and throwing their poo.


Consequences / Re: Places becoming less livable
« on: June 11, 2019, 11:30:07 AM »
I was wondering whether to post this under 'anecdotal' but on balance, this is what it amounts to. It may not be dramatic, but I think we're seeing incremental less-livable conditions even in the Atlantic-buffered centre of Wales, UK. Bear with me.

It's June, it's currently raining, and has been for most of the last two weeks, with a temperature similar to many recent winters (about 13-14C). The sun does occasionally emerge, and then it warms up suddenly - if briefly. In contrast, we had a record warm Easter (late April), at something like 28C, followed by a hard frost. The winter was damp, cool, and miserable, with barely any frost or snow.
    Rather than being a one-off, parts of this are starting to repeat in most years: a mild, wet winter (unless we get polar vortex incursions), unnaturally warm early spring, followed by a reversal to freezing conditions sometime in April, and then cool, damp summers.

All these are mere annoyances in a globalised world with reliable food imports, but I'm involved with local sustainability, insect recording and the like. These are some of the effects I'm seeing:

--This year the local fruit crop was devastated by the late frosts, which hit the blossoms. Apples are now trying to flower again, but I'm guessing that they probably won't ripen.
--The fruit that has set won't ripen if this weather keeps up through the summer.
--Last summer's near-drought (yes, in Wales) almost killed some of the fruit trees, and another long dry spell will probably knock them out - or another long wet spell will allow fungus to get them instead.
--Local honey bees survived the winter well (anomalous long hot summer last year, after the hard winter), but now have brood to feed, and can barely get out to forage for pollen. Many of the larvae will probably die.
--Insect populations are fluctuating wildly, as pest species like aphids proliferate and are then knocked out by unfavourable weather; this means their predators are hit even harder, because they don't have the reproductive mechanics to proliferate rapidly in good conditions.
--insect abundance generally is heading into boom-and-bust mode; the swarms of gnats or other flies are hardly seen, and pollinators are locally abundant and locally absent. (One a morning survey yesterday, I saw five bumblebees, all within 5 sq. m.; in hours of walking over common land, there were no others.)

It's all down the seasons becoming less well defined, and the fluctuations in weather becoming less predictable, but more entrenched. If we had to survive in my town on local produce, we would be really, really struggling. Last year the harvests were wonderful, but last year was probably an aberration. Some of our weather is, of course, tied to the Arctic as well - I'm sure it's no coincidence that the summer of 2012 (with all that ice transport into the Atlantic killing zones) was also a wash-out here.

This thread is mostly about the dramatic changes, I know, but I just wanted to emphasise that all these minor problems do add up... and they certainly make the place less livable - or, rather, will do in a more sustainably-run world with local food supplies. Even in these otherwise buffered areas like the UK, the effects are mounting up in a really noticeable way.

The rest / Re: Astronomical news
« on: June 10, 2019, 06:04:29 PM »
Summer Solstice 21st June 16hrs :54mins GMT (UTC is a vile invention by a bunch of mad, evil scientists)

For those who will be dancing around the fire before genuflecting to the rising sun, here is how to make woad.

You can make a beautiful blue woad dye from the leaves of the woad plant.

Woad belongs to the brassica family (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower etc). It is a biennial plant, which means it grows for 2 years before dying off.

In the first year it grows as a small cluster of broad leaves and in the second year large sprays of yellow flowers form on its long woody stems. After flowering, a woad plant will produce seeds and then die back. You can harvest these seeds for sowing the next crop.

However – for our purpose – we need to harvest the woad plant in it’s first year, as it is these leaves that give us the beautiful blue dye extracted from woad.

Creating Woad Dye
Woad plants are ready for harvest in the summer months.

Take the leaves from the base of the plant and then cut them into small pieces. Submerge the torn or cut leaves in a stainless steel pan of water and bring up to a temperature of 175F (80C). Simmer for about 10 minutes.

Cool the woad dye down as quickly as possible, so that the leaves don’t breakdown too much. If they do, they will go through the strainer and pollute your dye bath. Partially submerging your saucepan in cold or icy water is the easiest way to do this.

Strain off the liquid and – whilst wearing gloves – gently squeeze as much liquid as possible from the leaves.

When you are sure your woad dye is below 120F (50C), add 3 teaspoons of soda ash. At this stage your lovely blue dye will be a greeny-brown color.

Aerate the liquid with an electric or hand-held beater. You will notice it foam up a fair bit. Leave the – now bluey-green – woad dye for a few hours, during which time the foam will evaporate and any pigment will settle.

Gently scoop or siphon off all the water, leaving only the pigment in the bottom of your saucepan. If you are having trouble seeing the sediment in your contained, pour the dye into a glass jar.

Fill with water again and repeat 2 or 3 times. Soon you will have clear water at the top and thick pigment in the bottom.

This is your blue woad dye!

Consequences / Re: Sea Level Rise Projections and Maps
« on: June 09, 2019, 03:37:35 AM »
I could only see a sliver of the top of the sketch, so I went to the site, pretended to be able to agree to something in Dutch, and found the sketch, mostly reproduced below (I hope). Interesting article (in English).  Edit:  Now I can see the sketch above, so I'm deleting my version...

/vent on/

What is it about having a slew of new people show up in the forums, absolutely intent on telling all of us who've been watching the ice intently for many years, exactly how we've gotten it wrong(tm), and need to follow their better direction?

Color me tired of people long on wind and short on science and data.

/vent off/

....I'm feeling a little overwhelmed by 415 ppm CO2 and the stronghold that short-term profits have over current civilization. It feels like human nature and Mother Nature are on a collision course which is beyond my ability to influence. I just to be able to able to tell some people I care about how to prepare and I don't have good answers.

A very reasonable concern.  My own take is that the safest place may be in one's home community, building a tight-knit, supportive community where one might strive to be useful and valued.  People watching out for each other can be invaluable.  Without that, I think even the most remote and armed homesteads would be overrun. 

Being a recent immigrant in a foreign community may create a challenge to being fully part of such a community.

I see the Puerto Rico hurricane disaster as illustrative.  Urban populations fared better than rural.

Science / Re: 2019 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« on: May 05, 2019, 09:05:40 PM »
Last year the average value of the week End April/Beginning May was below 410 ppm. If you look at the latest available data the increase will be around or slightly higher than 4 ppm/year.
In contrast the week beginning thereafter was around 411 ppm, so this difference will decrease again.
And here it is. The first (to my knowledge, please correct me if I'm wrong) yearly increase of more than 4 ppm:
Week beginning on April 28, 2019:     414.32 ppm
Weekly value from 1 year ago:             409.84 ppm
Weekly value from 10 years ago:     390.36 ppm
Last updated: May 5, 2019

Next week this increase will be quite lower, due to a much higher value last year

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2019 melting season
« on: April 25, 2019, 02:21:24 AM »
Slightly off topic but yet another sign of arctic warming - the break up of ice on the Yukon yesterday was the second earliest ever recorded and only 8 hours behind  the earliest breakup on the same date in 2016
Technically this was indeed the second earliest break up, but while the indicator ( a post is placed out on the river ice connected to a clock, when the ice moves, the post pulls a pin from the clock, which stops and records the official time of break up) showed break up, in actual fact almost all the ice is still intact. Photos of the river condition are regularly posted on the site This morning's pic shows the open water at the top left, where the "tripod" was. We should have another pic in an hour or so!
Of course April 23rd this year was the 113th day of the year, while April 23rd 2016 was the 114th day of the year. But who is counting, its still early.

This thread is in part anecdotal stories, that and weird weather.  My stories came with forty years spent as a modern hunter gatherer. I either made good choices or I went broke but the full span of it left me with some good stories as a consolation  prize . I happen to believe stories have value as do long term biological datasets. But the data set without the story that follows it will often fall on deaf ears. A story is designed to transport the listener into another mans experiences. If a good story and a good long term dataset can be turned into a convincing message then the final product is likely more convincing than the data or the story standing alone.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: March 18, 2019, 02:16:33 AM »
Many frackers behave like farmers, except that the “crop cycle” appears to be longer, perhaps two years. These firms will borrow or sell equity one year and then drill for sixteen to twenty-four months. Production will surge two years later and then, as many authorities have noted, fall off rapidly.

I've always seen fracking as a temporary measure. Fracking is not sustainable in any way. It is not profitable in the long term, there isn't enough of it and the more we frack the more we will poison our own water and turn our rock foundation to sand. Fracking will not lead to global economic prosperity, even if it didn't cause climate change.

Fracking is fundamentally flawed.

The rest / Re: Systemic Isolation
« on: March 10, 2019, 01:11:00 AM »

I will attempt to restore this thread over the coming weeks.

I intend to post updates on Great Lakes water temperature and freezing season, as well as other related information, which might be of interest to some on the board.

Wang, J., X. Bai, H. Hu, A. Clites, M. Colton, and B. Lofgren, 2012: Temporal and Spatial Variability of Great Lakes Ice Cover, 1973–2010. J. Climate, 25, 1318–1329,

Abstract: "In this study, temporal and spatial variability of ice cover in the Great Lakes are investigated using historical satellite measurements from 1973 to 2010. The seasonal cycle of ice cover was constructed for all the lakes, including Lake St. Clair. A unique feature found in the seasonal cycle is that the standard deviations (i.e., variability) of ice cover are larger than the climatological means for each lake. This indicates that Great Lakes ice cover experiences large variability in response to predominant natural climate forcing and has poor predictability. Spectral analysis shows that lake ice has both quasi-decadal and interannual periodicities of ~8 and ~4 yr. There was a significant downward trend in ice coverage from 1973 to the present for all of the lakes, with Lake Ontario having the largest, and Lakes Erie and St. Clair having the smallest. The translated total loss in lake ice over the entire 38-yr record varies from 37% in Lake St. Clair (least) to 88% in Lake Ontario (most). The total loss for overall Great Lakes ice coverage is 71%, while Lake Superior places second with a 79% loss. An empirical orthogonal function analysis indicates that a major response of ice cover to atmospheric forcing is in phase in all six lakes, accounting for 80.8% of the total variance. The second mode shows an out-of-phase spatial variability between the upper and lower lakes, accounting for 10.7% of the total variance. The regression of the first EOF-mode time series to sea level pressure, surface air temperature, and surface wind shows that lake ice mainly responds to the combined Arctic Oscillation and El Niño–Southern Oscillation patterns."

Image one below: "Weekly time series of LIA for (a)–(f) each of the six lakes and (g) total Great Lakes during the period 1973–2010. Units for lake ice area are km2 (left vertical axes) and fraction divided by the lake surface area (right vertical axes)."

Image two below: "Annual-mean lake ice area for (a)–(f) each of the six lakes and (g) total Great Lakes ice anomaly during the period 1973–2010. The linear lines are the trend in annual lake ice coverage calculated from the least squares fit method. Unit for the vertical axes is km2."

The politics / Re: Economic Inequality
« on: February 10, 2019, 12:33:06 AM »
I would love to see a carbon tax distributed as dividend, at such a level that it could provide a basic income to all citizens. This could reduce economic inequality while going some way towards reducing our carbon addiction, and could actually receive voter support, as it includes an immediate strong benefit to a large number of people.

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: January 28, 2019, 04:29:23 AM »
Germany's ditching of coal will be dependent on the completion of Nord Stream II, at present this is very much anathema to America's expressed wishes. Hopefully Germany will consider her own needs, and the needs of the Paris Accord signatories to be of greater import than the demands of America (and NATO)?

Has Poland given any indication that she'll be giving up increasing coal consumption, even while purchasing high priced, highly polluting LNG from American sources? NSII and South Stream may both be necessary to curb Europe's coal dependency.

Substituting NG for coal is a positive. Substituting coal for fracked LNG from across the world might prove to be a negative WRT greenhouse gases. Increasing coal and/or fracked LNG won't help Europe meet their GHG commitments.

For those who still do not understand how tropical oceanic energy, via evaporated water into the atmosphere, is telecommunicated (within weeks to months) poleward......., me, me.....


Feel free to ask questions, as everyone knows that long-tail climate change is a complex and somewhat confusing topic.



I rarely comment on these types of threads but want you to know I visit them daily. I suspect there are many others who do the same.

Thank you.

Permafrost / Re: Arctic Methane Release
« on: January 12, 2019, 01:07:37 AM »
In this case they are not allowed to work, even if they wanted to.

Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: January 06, 2019, 01:22:28 AM »
Re: excess cider

make booze. that's what johnny appleseed was all about. all the orchards he planted were unfit for anything except booze.


Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: January 05, 2019, 07:00:27 AM »
Sebastian , GMO open field tests risk unknown unknowns so testing tobacco before you test corn might have a certain wisdom , no?  If we really screwed up tobacco no big loss. 
 Increasing the efficiency of plant growth has a bit of potential upsides if indeed the plant better utilizes CO2 . Worth some more work IMO even if GMO is scary stuff.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: December 31, 2018, 10:48:07 PM »

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