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Topics - Rob Dekker

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The rest / SpaceX
« on: February 24, 2019, 10:34:25 AM »
This thread created from the "Tesla" thread.

SpaceX does all kind of exciting stuff, so I'm just dropping in my comment as a starter :

At this point, it would be good to note that SpaceX just completed another successful launch, this time of the first Israeli Moon Lander, and a Indonesian communication satellite :

Also noteworthy is that with this launch they completed the 34th successful landing and recovery of a Stage-1 booster rocket, and this is the second time that SpaceX re-uses a Stage-1 booster for the THIRD time.

That really shows that they can re-use booster rockets successfully and in doing so reduced the cost for LEO launches below ANY other competitor, and still make money !

The forum / Posting Guidelines
« on: August 10, 2018, 08:48:50 AM »
This thread initiated because I don't see any Posting Guidelines for ASIF posted anywhere yet.

As a start I suggest we look at the Posting Guidelines from another forum, MetaBunk.

MetaBunk's "Guidelines for new threads" seems specific to their purpose (debunking false theories), but their "General Guidelines" are a good start for ANY discussion forum :

1. Don't Post Debunked Bunk - Check first to see if something has been debunked. Don't post it unless you can counter the debunks.
2. Back it up - with links and quotes from reliable source.
3. Be honest - Just go where the facts take you. Don't try to frame something towards a particular point of view.
4. Be polite. This actually is a rule. See:
5. Be Concise. Do not write long rambling posts with multiple asides. Focus on a single claim.
6. Quote from Links. Links should not require clicking on in order to understand the post, so extract relevant excerpts and include them in your post. See:
7. Don't Paraphrase. If you want to say what someone said, then quote them exactly. Do not paraphrase what they said.
8. Don't hint or give "clues". Speak plainly. Don't make people guess what you mean.
9. Avoid Promoting Bunk. Don't post links to something unless it's being taken seriously by people open to reason. Very marginal claims are best ignored - don't give them traffic.
10. Be sensitive. Don't post photos of dead, injured, or grieving people unless there's a good reason. Imagine they were your relative, how would you feel about their photo being posted in this context?
11. Use English. This is an English language site. Do not use other languages unless needed while discussing the translation of something.
12. Avoid Humor and Sarcasm. Everyone likes a chuckle, but not everyone recognizes humor. It gets in the way of communication. Just say what you mean.

Also, MetaBunk published this "triangle of truth" which I think is helpful for our forum as well :

Policy and solutions / People of State of California v. BP p.l.c.
« on: March 23, 2018, 07:33:16 AM »
There is an interesting lawsuit ongoing in US Federal court, which I don't think has been posted upon on these threads yet.

The Cities of San Francisco and Oakland (and a few more) filed suit against the major oil companies, specifically BP P.L.C, CHEVRON CORPORATION, CONOCOPHILLIPS, EXXON MOBIL and ROYAL DUTCH SHELL, claiming :

San Francisco Asked State Court to Require Oil and Gas Companies to Fund Climate Adaptation Program.

San Francisco filed a lawsuit in California Superior Court against five oil and gas companies alleging that the carbon emissions from their fossil fuel production had created an unlawful public nuisance.

The complaint alleged that the defendants had produced and promoted the use of “massive amounts” of fossil fuels despite having been aware since the 1950s, based on information from the American Petroleum Institute, that emissions from fossil fuels would cause severe and even catastrophic climate change impacts. The complaint alleged that San Francisco was already experiencing impacts from accelerated sea level rise due to climate change. The city asked the court to require the companies to abate the nuisance by funding a climate adaptation program to build sea walls and other infrastructure necessary to protect public and private property from sea level rise and other climate impacts.

Here is the full overview of documents filed in the case so far :

The claim is one based on "public nuisance", specifically that the product these companies sell leads to global warming, which leads to sea level rise, and the public needs to build sea walls and other efforts to mitigate that. Sounds plausible to me.

There have been several interesting developments in this case :

First of all, the judge has asked for a 'tutorial' on science of climate change and has asked 8 questions to be answered by both the plaintiffs and the defendants :

1) What caused the various ice ages (including the “little ice age” and prolonged cool periods) and what caused the ice to melt? When they melted, by how much did sea level rise?
2) What is the molecular difference by which CO2 absorbs infrared radiation but oxygen and nitrogen do not?
3) What is the mechanism by which infrared radiation trapped by CO2 in the atmosphere is turned into heat and finds its way back to sea level?
4) Does CO2 in the atmosphere reflect any sunlight back into space such that the reflected sunlight never penetrates the atmosphere in the first place?
5) Apart from CO2, what happens to the collective heat from tail pipe exhausts, engine radiators, and all other heat from combustion of fossil fuels? How, if at all, does this collective heat contribute to warming of the atmosphere?
6) In grade school, many of us were taught that humans exhale CO2 but plants absorb CO2 and return oxygen to the air (keeping the carbon for fiber). Is this still valid? If so, why hasn’t plant life turned the higher levels of CO2 back into oxygen? Given the increase in human population on Earth (four billion), is human respiration a contributing factor to the buildup of CO2?
7) What are the main sources of CO2 that account for the incremental buildup of CO2 in the atmosphere?
8) What are the main sources of heat that account for the incremental rise in temperature on Earth?

This has caused a lot of internet activity, with RealClimate getting it right :
and some outlets (like the guardian) getting it partly right and partly wrong :
to the climate change denier trolls coming out with totally off assertions, not answering the judge's questions at all.

For example, (not a Lord) Monckton has even filed an official amici curiae in support of the oil companies in this case. I'm not even kidding, here it is :

The 4 hour 'tutorial' on climate science was yesterday, and it appears that this is the first time that the fossil fuel industry officially declared that the planet is warming because of GHG emissions. The Mercury has a report here :

The Defendants have already filed numerous motions to dismiss this suit. With Royal Dutch Shell for example stating rather annoying weasel phrases like :

Royal Dutch Shell is a holding company....It conducts no operations of its own; in particular, it does not produce, transport, market, or sell fossil fuels and has never produced, transported, marketed, or sold fossil fuels.

The floor is open for opinions and facts on this suit, please comment.

Arctic sea ice / Bottom melt in Central Arctic ?
« on: June 25, 2013, 09:36:03 AM »
So far, measuring by SIE and SIA, it looks like 2013 is following a path of 'recovery' from the devastating 2012 melting season.

However, as several posters on Neven's main pages have pointed out, the ice in the Central Arctic is in dire straights, after continued pounding and dispersion due to persistent lows over the Central Basin.

It remains to be seen if the dispersion of ice and the many polynias currently present in the Central Basin will be persistent and will collect enough heat to basically "burn a hole in the North Pole" area this year, or if the ice there will compact, and still has enough resilience to withstand the remainder of the summer, to prevent an ice-free North Pole come September.

Interesting in the discussion about the resilience or vulnerability of the Arctic Basin is the observation of Ice Mass Balance buoy 2012J, which seems to show significant bottom melt over the past month :

This buoy is currently located at 87.75 N, 24.30 E, which puts it smack in the middle of the "damage zone" inflicted by the persistent lows which dominated late spring and early summer 2013, and that Neven rightfully names, the Persistent Arctic Cyclone (PAC) of 2013.

There has been some questions about the integrity of the data from this buoy (for starters, it's thermometer went haywire earlier this month, and it's bottom sounder is unreliable) but the data from the thermistor string insists significant bottom melt is occurring there, at least 30 cm over the past month, even though atmospheric temperatures are still close to salt-water freezing (-2 C).

Purpose of this post is to investigate if the bottom melt recorded by 2012J is real, and if so, what is causing it.

For that, I consulted the Ice Tethered Profiler buoys from the good people at Woods Hole Institute. These buoys record temperature and salinity below the ice, from the surface down to 700 meter below the ice.

There are three ITP buoys in the NP area (Nansen basin) which may shed light on 2012J's melting profile. ITP 57, 58 and 61.

ITP 57, at 86.9271° N, 88.2188° E, is closest to 2012J, and just like 2012J also smack in the middle of the slush zone that was affected by the PAC 2013.

The buoy status graphs shows that ITP 57 has been rocking-and-rolling over the past month, presumably as a result of PAC 2013 :

But here is the interesting part :
There area where 2012J, ITP 57, 58 and 61 hang out has a rather shallow halocline.
For example, the halocline under ITP57 is only 25 meters below the surface.
And now it seems that with the Ekman pumping and general turbulence created by the PAC 2013, the salinity right under the ice has increased quite dramatically. For ITP57, salinity increased from 31.5 psu a few months ago to close to 34 psu currently. ITP58 shows an increase from 31.5 to 34 and ITP61 shows increased salinity from 28.5 to 33 psu over just the past month.

Now of course, with increased salinity under the ice, we can expect water temperature below the ice to drop, and the heat to go to bottom melt, since the melting point of ice will be lower. But how much bottom melt does this increased salinity cause ? That depends on how fast and how deep the cold fresh melting water will get mixed with the lower salty waters.

In the case of all three ITPs (57,58 and 61) it seems that the upper 100 meter layer of water has cooled something like 0.2 C over the past month. That suggests that some 82 MJ of energy was transferred from the saltier water to the ice, which would represent something like 25cm bottom melt.

Incidentally that is pretty close to what we see has happened with 2012J.

Also, some posters suggested that maybe 2012J is close to a polynia, and thus may absorb solar energy that causes bottom melt as well. However, if solar energy caused the bottom-melt, then we would expect the water to "freshen" right below the ice. Instead, ITP 57, 58 and 61 all show increased salinity at the surface, which suggests the bottom melt is dominated by salinity increase, not insolation into nearby polynia.

So the hypothesis I propose is that currently bottom melt is occurring in the Central Basin, due to salinity increase below the ice, caused by increased turbulence by the PAC 2013, which stirs up the shallow halocline in the region.

In favor of this hypothesis is data from buoys in the area, notably 2012J, ITP 57, 58 and 61.
Notably also : Against this hypothesis is data from IMB buoy 2012E and 2012B in the area, which show not much bottom melt (yet).

I'm curious to read your thoughts.

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