Support the Arctic Sea Ice Forum and Blog

Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - idunno

Pages: [1] 2 3 4
The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: March 19, 2018, 08:16:03 AM »
No, Thomas, no sarcasm was intended. Der Spiegel reports a lot of the known facts and background, which also allows for a critique such as yours; large parts of which I'd agree with.

The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: March 18, 2018, 02:49:40 PM »
The best reporting so far on the Skripal case, from der Spiegel, from a team of 12 journalists with no apparent axe to grind...

The rest / Re: The problem of social media
« on: March 17, 2018, 09:19:03 PM »
This and associated other articles in the Observer lifts the lid on how Cambridge Analytica/Mercer/Bannon used Facebook data of dubious legal provenance to unleash psychological warfare on the US electorate in 2016...

The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: March 16, 2018, 12:35:19 AM »
Corbyn in the UK stood alone, in one of his finer hours, in suggesting that the government might like to present some evidence, preferably to the relevant international supervisory agencies, and within the parameters of international diplomatic procedures and protocols...

For which he's been getting a couple of days of press abuse. The May government has told the Russians to "shut up and go away" and will shortly be doing as Corbyn suggested. There are some unanswered questions...

The rest / Re: The Trump Presidency (was "Presidential Poll")
« on: March 15, 2018, 10:40:28 PM »
The Quran also presumably allows completely innocent Islamic bystanders (along with terrorists) to make up any old shite, as long as you stop torturing them...

Though ideally not before they've concocted enough baloney for you to justify invading somewhere on the basis of these fictions.

Consequences / Re: Oceanic anoxia
« on: March 15, 2018, 10:26:34 PM »
From a comment on this article...

...which seems to me quite eloquent, if, hopefully, entirely inaccurate and unfactual...

There's another issue that this story forgot to mention, that's KINDA important to us today -

How the ocean lost its oxygen.

The oxygen in the ocean is produced by phytoplankton via photosythesis. Because they need sunlight, they hangs-out close to the surface where they can get that, and as a result, a good chunk of the oxygen they produce bubbles-up to the surface and out into the atmosphere.

In fact, about 2/3 of our planet's atmospheric oxygen is generated by these guys, with the remainder generated by terrestrial plants (which makes sense, when you realize that over 70% of the Earth's surface is covered by water).

Well, a few years ago, British scientists discovered that if the water gets too warm, phytoplankton photosynthesis SHUTS-DOWN.

No photosynthesis = NO OXYGEN produced.

With no oxygen, the fish suffocate and die.

Also, the source of 2/3's of the atmospheric oxygen levels you need to breath just got CUT-OFF, resulting in mass death of animals...and people!

But wait, it gets WORSE...

Lurking deep in the ocean, there's another player, anaerobic sulfur-reducing bacteria. These guys thrived billions of years ago, before the development of photosythesis. But they hate oxygen - it's poisonous to them - so when photosythesis took-off, they had to seek shelter in oxygen-free areas of the world. Like the sediment at the bottom of the world's oceans, where they survive eating dead organic material that settles to the bottom. The oxygen produced by the phytoplankton keeps them in check.

But with no oxygen in the ocean, they are now free to rise from the depths - and find a virtual smorgasbord of suffocated dead fish for them to eat! They quickly multiply, filling the ocean with their by-product - hydrogen sulfide, a poisonous gas - and killing-off anything else in the ocean that wasn't dead already.

Next thing you know, instead of oxygen bubbling-up from the world's oceans into the atmosphere, deadly poison gas is!

This stuff is pretty dangerous even at low levels - per CDC, extended (1hr) exposure >30 ppm can cause irreversible or serious heath issues, and 100 ppm is immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH) -

At sufficient concentrations, it is also toxic to plants - not only killing-off the base of the food chain - but also the other main source of atmospheric oxygen to breath!

During the Permian Extinction, massive volcanic eruptions helped all this along.

But you don't need a Super Volcano.

All you need to do to start this horrific chain of events - is warm-up the surface layer of the ocean just enough, that the phytoplankton decide to take a break.

That could happen as soon as the end of this century -

Two more examples of good journalism, with the added bonus that the first one identifies and critiques some very bad journalism, both from Taibbi in Rolling Stone...

The rest / Re: The Trump Presidency (was "Presidential Poll")
« on: January 04, 2018, 10:48:15 PM »
WRT China, the Trump administration's perceived hostility to the whole Muslim world, gives them the opportunity to take over as the major champion/sponsor of Palestinian/Arab interests in international fora.

Israel gets a US Embassy in Jerusalem, and China gets a "sphere of influence" from Karachi to Dar Es Salaam, across to Marrakesh, back up to Istanbul, and back to Karachi again, within which it may/has become  dangerous for Americans to venture.

If Trump cuts the Palestine aid budget, as threatened, I'd imagine the Chinese would see US$300M to "capture" all of this territory - or all of those hearts and minds and markets at least - as the best bargain made with a Manhattan realtor in all histoty. (Yes, including, the Dutch original purchase of the island from the native Americans. Better than that.)

Consequences / Oceanic anoxia
« on: January 04, 2018, 10:27:25 PM »
Perhaps the most terrifying aspect of the climate crisis is the trend towards oceanic anoxia, discussed here...

It seems to me entirely probable that, if the oceans tip into an anoxic state, the atmosphere will necessarily follow.

I presume its also possible that, like a stagnant pond, the oceans could begin producing noxious gases such as hydrogen sulphide, nitrous oxide, etc, instead of oxygen. I vaguely recall an estimate that around 70% of the oxygen produced within the carbon cycle is the product of oceanic plankton...

As the article above concludes, "If you can't breathe, nothing else matters."

This has been mentioned in passing occasionallly on here, but I couldn't find a thread...

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 16, 2017, 01:40:46 AM »
As the Tesla fleet has increased, Tesla has been cutting back on the availability of “Unlimited Free Supercharging.”  Today the company addressed commercial use of the service — eliminating it for newly-purchased cars going forward.

Tesla introduces new ‘Supercharger Fair Use’ policy to focus on long distance travel and deter commercial use
Tesla is introducing a new ‘fair use’ policy for its Supercharger network today. This is to deter the commercial use of its charging stations, which has become a problem in some markets, and to focus on the original intended use of the Supercharger network: enabling long-distance travel in electric vehicles.

The automaker says that any new or used Tesla vehicles purchased after today and is used for commercial purposes cannot use any Tesla Supercharger worldwide.

From the Tesla legal page:
”We encourage the commercial use of Tesla vehicles while using appropriate charging solutions. Please reach out to your local sales contact to explore vehicle and charging options that suit your needs.”

Hi sigmetnow,

I'm sure this is a worry for those  people who have a legal responsibily for Tesla vehicles sold, but...

the question above???

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 16, 2017, 12:39:25 AM »
Go away, but whence...


Bob Wallace, Sigmetnow, Elon/Tesla, and I think I'll pass.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 15, 2017, 11:57:41 PM »

Just curious...

1. Of the several thousand posts which you've made on here, many of which concern Elon/Tesla, can you recall one which would differ substantially from what Elon/Tesla would expect a professional PR operator to post on their behalf, in return for appropriate remuneration?

The rest / Re: Who should be the Democratic nominee for President in 2020?
« on: December 10, 2017, 04:50:34 PM »
Since it's now been 2 days since anybody on the "Arctic Sea Ice Forum" had anything to say about "Arctic Sea Ice", I hope I can be forgiven for pointing out that I don't give a flying fuck about who is the democratic candidate in 2020?

For every 100 posts about US domestic politics here, surely the rest of the world is allowed one, occasionally, just to express regret that this forum, which was once an interesting source of information on an issue of international interest, in the present moment, and in the future, including 3 years hence - Arctic Sea Ice - is no longer covered here.

As for whether US domestic politics is covered well here.. Well, I personally prefer to rely on sites which have staffs with 600+ years of combined experience inside the beltway, multiple PhDs, lavish entertaiment budgets, and daily, hourly contacts with the major players.

Carry on, the rest of you, relying on Buddy's regular updates on why he cannot retune a television.

Meanwhile... IJIS. Severnaya I... (I forgot),j Chukchi, methane hydrate, wind off the ice thingy, has a name..., Does anybody reading this know whether ASI area today is low or high?

One day, a professional US political operator from, say, CAP, could visit this site. Is it useful to them to have to wade through 99 uninformed US political posts to reach the one actual factual scientific update

At present, AFAICT. this site has not reported any science WRT the Arctic Sea Ice for 48hours

The rest / Re: Russiagate
« on: December 10, 2017, 04:02:39 PM »
Sorry for posting this in the wrong thread,but...

It is now two days since any contributor to this forum had anything to say about Arctic Sea Ice.

Perhaps it might be less misleading if Neven could rename this whole forum as "Buddy's TV reviews - Fox News (US) Only".

WRT Russiagate, if there is anybody here who actually has any idea what Mueller has discovered, it would be illegal for them to post it here, or anywhere else. So we are all either A. ignorant or B. silent or C. soon to be arrested.

From one of the most informative, educational sites on the internet, which was often days ahead of the MSM in breaking news about perhaps the most vital issue des nos jours - Arctic Sea Ice - to a pathetic, ignorant, ineffectual critique of one vacuous US politician... SAD!

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season
« on: February 23, 2017, 11:12:34 PM »
Yesterday was the coldest day in the Arctic for 2 years?

Perhaps not the best moment for declaring the 2016/17 freezing season finished, and the 2017 melting season begun? Yet that seems to have happened on this forum?

The rest / Re: The Trump Presidency (was "Presidential Poll")
« on: February 15, 2017, 11:23:28 PM »

This is interesting...

The rest / Re: The Trump Presidency (was "Presidential Poll")
« on: February 15, 2017, 11:18:15 PM »
O heck, I meant,

LAGER, Lager, lager µLager; SHOUTING

But obviously, I'm not as skilled a political spin-doctor as some.

The rest / Re: The Trump Presidency (was "Presidential Poll")
« on: February 15, 2017, 11:11:24 PM »
SHOUTING lager, lager, LAGER[/size]

The rest / Re: The Trump Presidency (was "Presidential Poll")
« on: February 15, 2017, 11:01:52 PM »

This is the thread

for people who LIKE shouting? Or [/bNOT?]

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season
« on: January 25, 2017, 02:02:04 AM »
I think that there is a (remote) possibility that the recent export of thick solid ice into the Fram Strait and the vicinity of Svarlsbard could lead to a recovery of extent and volume, as follows...

There seemed to be no hope of the sea freezing over around North Svarlsbard. Now thick ice is blown there, there is thick ice there.

That ice came from the Lincoln Sea and the area round the Pole. Those are ice-forming regions, where open water will not survive long, and will increase in thickness and volume far quicker (it will grow from 0 to 100 cms thick far easier than it would add the same additional volume growing from 200 to 300cm thickness, because ice insulates the seawater below it from the much colder air above it).

So a couple of weeks of normal SATs at any point from now to April could result in a decent covering of ice a metre or two thick in the export zone (Lincoln Sea to the Pole), with additional ice recently exported from there, and still clinging on as unmelted ice in the Greenland Sea and around the North of Svarlsbard.

I am not at all convinced of this, just throwing it out as a maybe.

In any case, if this is the case it could make for a very unpredictable melting season in this sector. Normally the ice's defences against liquid water incursions involve a stronghold of tough multi yr ice, surrounded by weaker first year ice. This year, we may have more of a doughnut-shaped defensive position, with the strongest forces deployed at the perimetre, defending a weak centre.

This could go either way. If the thick MYI in the Greenland Sea impedes Atlantic Water forcing its way North effectively enough, little damage will be done either in the Greenland Sea, or in the more effectively protecteded central pack. Or there could be a flash melt, with the Southern-lying multi year ice too close to harm's way to survive, and the Central Arctic first year ice, just too weak.

My hunch is that the second of these possibilities is more likely; but the first does perhaps exist.

Science / Re: WACCY Science
« on: December 19, 2016, 05:53:32 PM »
Idunno, as ever, if this is the right thread, but the following long Guardian article examines the mounting evidence that Jennifer Francis's speculations about the weakening jetstream are looking increasingly vindicated, and examines some of the consequences...

Walking the walk / Re: Weeds and wild-growing plants
« on: December 11, 2016, 09:14:11 AM »
The newish Association of Foragers... a uk-based international body, with a code of conduct, and a growing membership of professional foragers, several of whom have very informative websites of their own.

Permafrost / Re: This is not good.
« on: December 05, 2016, 10:50:37 PM »
Could some moderator/Vergent (thread starter) consider editing the title of this thread to clarify what is not good, what is being discussed here? I concur that it isn't good, incidentally.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season
« on: December 05, 2016, 10:41:58 PM »
Apologies all, that I haven't recently had the time to contribute, or even follow recent discussions...

My tuppenceworth (with apologies to those who have heard this stuck record a couple of years previously on the ASIB...)

The much-touted annual minimum is insignificant. It is followed by a period of 6 months of 0% albedo feedback.

The autumn/fall is the most critical period. Can the cold atmosphere sufficiently cool the liquid seawater so that it EITHER floats, as ice, and then cools further, OR sinks, as colder denser still liquid seawater? A solid ice surface can quickly drop to -30C, whereas liquid seawater is around -1.8C or above, by definition.

If the vagaries of ocean currents deliver hotter seawater to the Arctic surface in sufficient quantities that the atmosphere cannot quickly grab it, and retain it at surface by freezing it, it will sink, and be replenished by further supplies of anthropogenically warmed seawater. A conveyor belt of heat; which will warm the local atmosphere still further.

I'd be interested to know if anybody here can calculate whether any area of the earth has ever, since records began, been more anomalously warm than the Arctic over the last 3 months of 2016? Sahara at 70C? Europe in Summer at 50C?

My opinion is that the annual solar cycle of 2016, or any other year, which raise the ambient Arctic SAT from -30C in midwinter to 0C in midsummer pale into insignificance beside the accumulated energy absorbed by the planet over the previous 4 billennia, (with a huge increase in the energy retained due to CO2 forcing over the last few decades,) which has raised the global average temp from around -265C (absolute zero + geothermal) to around +12C. That heat is stored primarily in the oceans. The new modern anthropogenic component of it will have greatest effect if, due to a related disruption in the jetstream, Atlantic heat is hurried North during the autumn/fall. That could, in theory, produce a situation in which large areas of the Arctic surface do not refreeze as usual, but remain 30C above normal. In theory, and also, this year, in practice...

The rest / Re: Preparations for Potential Societal Collapse
« on: December 05, 2016, 09:33:16 PM »
A "zero carbon" future will be untenable and unacceptable to most without a corresponding set of energy and sustenance (food and water) solutions that are modern, efficient and appealing on some set of basic human levels.  If that future means a primary diet of acorns and pork, that feels very depressing and unattractive, beyond a few months max.  Why not procure a large supply of ready-to-mix "emergency" food available is any big box store like Costco?  You can get 1 or even multi-year supplies, and it removes a lot of the time and energy involved with ensuring basic nutrition needs are met.  That stuff would get nasty after a bit, but it sure would offer more variety than acorns and pigs feet.

OTOH, pileus, 99.99997% of the world's leading chefs beg to differ with you...

Walking the walk / Re: Weeds and wild-growing plants
« on: December 01, 2016, 10:57:26 AM »
The BBC Radio4 food programme last week was devoted entirely to foraging; the main segment being a fascinating - and surely very carbon reducing - attempt to reproduce the tastes used in Oriental curries from plants growing wild in Scotland...

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season
« on: November 22, 2016, 02:17:48 PM »

Science / Re: WACCY Science
« on: November 22, 2016, 01:52:36 PM »
This seems like it's worth a bump.

Also, Dr Cohen has started to post what are promised to be regular updates on the Arctic Oscillation...

...much of which goes over my head. But on previous form, he's well worth paying attention to.

Walking the walk / Re: Weeds and wild-growing plants
« on: October 27, 2016, 05:39:28 PM »
Wild watercress has a problem, if it is gathered from water running below sheep pasture; this because the hollow stems can harbour the ovine liver fluke, which is passable to humans.

There is even EU legislation forbidding the collection of windfall apples from orchards where sheep have been present for I forget how long before the apples are picked up.

Further info on this is available from Professor Google et al.

Walking the walk / Re: Weeds and wild-growing plants
« on: October 27, 2016, 09:27:46 AM »
I am slightly reluctant to recommend foraged weeds on a non-specialist forum with an international readership, as there are numerous poisonous weeds growing alongside common and delicious varieties, and the flora of the British Isles is different to that of New Zealand, say.

In the Apiaceae family, most prominently...

... there are wild carrots, wild parsley, angelica, fennel, etc. Also, and very difficult to distinguish, unless you are a Botany PhD, there is hemlock, fool's parsley, Satan's parsley, all of which are very poisonous. So be careful.

Secondly, if you have any known strong allergies, be very wary of any foodstuff which is unfamiliar to you.

Third, beware also nutters with sprayguns full of Roundup and other poisons blasting away at everything they can see.

With these caveats, the gathering and consumption of wild plants is a fantastic way to reduce your environmental impact; a huge amount of European salad is now grown in semi-desertified parts of Spain, by irrigation, then exported by road transport via Amsterdam to all over Northern Europe. The export of 97% water from Spain to Wales, say...

Meanwhile, in Wales, the happy shopper is paying up to £20/kg for some "healthy" salad, if they are buying bags of mixed leaves, which are mixed mainly with air, and wrapped in a plastic bag to deliberately maximise the volume of the package transported. At these prices, an average Welsh ditch contains around £5 of salad leaves per metre squared.

In the past, many other plants were used as foods in the British Isles. A Shakespearean-era salad, or sallet, would typically consist of up to 40 commonly-eaten plants.

Here are some...

Garlic mustard has a much stronger taste than "wild" rocket; it is actually closer in taste to the cabbage family. There is no finer possible addition to a sausage sarnie.

Ground elder - IT MUST HAVE A TRIANGULAR STEM CROSS-SECTION - tastes of celery, but much nicer.

Dandelion makes a very good addition to eggs mayonaisse, say. As the French common name, pis-en-lit, suggests, it is a strong diuretic.

The following link has some extra information for UK readers...

...and an ever-increasing number of other guides, courses, etc, are becoming available.

Also recommended, as they are both clearly not actually trying to sell you summat are the works of this pair...

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: October 26, 2016, 08:08:30 AM »
This Elon Musk chap bears an uncanny resemblance to the "Luke Rattigan" character in the Dr Who episode "The Sontaran Stratagem"...

When people discover that a security system which takes 2 days to fix a cyberattack makes for an interesting 48 hours trapped in a vehicle piloted by a malicious 9 year old, Mr Musk could well end up more closely resembling the same character, Mr Rattigan, towards the end of the subsequent episode...

To be clear: I personally would welcome, and would consider buying, an electric vehicle, especially if it could be powered by solar or wind power, as long as it contained absolutely no electronics, besides possibly the radio. And Tesla is going some good work on battery technology.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016/2017 freezing season
« on: October 25, 2016, 07:53:14 AM »
I find the animation of changing sea ice temps, from the Graphs page, very informative, and it's not very clear from the site that it is animated. It's worth a watch...

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: October 25, 2016, 07:40:05 AM »
Self-driving cars would be fine, if they can be made to work on clockwork. If computer-controlled, bear in mind that any self-respecting 9-year-old is probably better at computer security than whoever installed the system. Also 17 million Russian teenagers, 4 million Libyans, 150 million Chinese.

Do you want to be a passenger in a vehicle which is being piloted from Benghazi, by a kid who regards the 9/11 attacks as a glorious victory over the infidels? And who has managed to hack into your new "smart" cooker or "smart" shower or "smart" toaster, which talks to your personal PC, which talks to your "smart" car.

A Rule of Thumb

A rule of thumb -

Too smart is dumb

Ogden Nash

The FT weekend magazine, Oct 22/23, had a very interesting article, from a journalist who spent several months on container ships on the NSR, and conducted many interviews in and around Tiksi.

I hadn't realised that the NSR was actually much more used, and the Russian Arctic much more populated, under the USSR. It was prioritised by the Soviets as a military/ideological imperative. Tiksi harbour is filled with dozens of semi-sunk rusting hulks of Soviet-era luggers.

Tiksi also has a dwindling human population, many of whose parents arrived as prisoners or military personnel, and who are trapped in place by rising property prices elsewhere in the Russian state, or by their ancestral homes now being located in states which separated from Russia, such as Moldova, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Latvia, etc...

Interesting from several points of view...

1. There is now much less navigation of the NSR than there was from approx 1938-1991; and the season is now 3 months, rather than year-round. This should serve as a positive, ice-saving feedback; but it clearly is totally overwhelmed by global warming.

2. Russia has a lot of the infrastructure necessary to reopen the route to commercial shipping - docks, etc, but it is all in a state of catastrophic disrepair.

3. The current regime is now propagandising the recolonisation of the North; only the low price of oil is holding them back. It is now becoming a tenet of Russian patriotism, as it was during the era of Josef S, that the North must be re-conquered.

No apologies for not using the surnames of the politicians involved. Usage of Mr P's name seems to attract bots like excrement attracts coprophagic insects.

I am sorry for not providing a link, but the FT is paywalled, and I just stumbled over a hard copy of the mag, being thrown away.

Consequences / Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« on: September 04, 2016, 12:46:29 AM »
In fact, the influence of humans practically engaged in subsistence survival within their local landscape, over the last 3 or 4 millennia has so radically changed almost every biome in existence that it could be claimed that there is no natural world, other than in the genuine wilderness of Antarctica.

The myth of the wilderness chimes strongly with Americans - unpopulated unpolluted vast stretches of land untouched by man.

Underpopulated yes, given that during the European invasion, the aboriginal population suffered a mortality rate from smallpox and persecution of -estimates vary - about 95%. Certainly, where Columbus landed in Hispaniola, modern day Haiti and Dominican Republic, we know that 100% of the natives had died out by around 1650CE. IIRC, it is estimated that the population of the Amazon was reduced by 95%. In the States, the official government policy was "extermination" until late into the 19th Century. And one of the main arguments advanced for the second amendment  was so that private citizens could join in.

In the New World then, as well as the old, if you are intent on setting aside space for nature which has never  been affected by humans, there isn't any.

Back in Europe, which I know better... My own idiosyncratic belief is that the greatest  threat to local biodiversity in the UK, for example, is now UNDERpopulation.

By which I mean that the current rural population is not much bigger or smaller than it was 50 or 100 years ago, and whether it is bigger or smaller make little difference. But people no longer make any use of virtually any local natural resources. As far as the natural world is concerned, after at least 2,000 years of human exploitation, the humans disappeared, and that is a disaster.

If, to take an example pertinent to the discussion above, woodland is no longer coppiced to provide firewood and timber, you do still get some standing woodland; but it enormously impoverished as a habitat. In a purely "natural" state, in a now near mythical, unrecoverable past, which is now the preserve of Disney movies, there was some mature woodland, but with an awful lot of clearings in it. Because mastodons sometimes decided they preferred their lunch to lie down and not hover out of reach. Thus, biologists speculate, certain tree species evolved to survive being broken, or even felled and nearly uprooted. by producing new coppiced growth. There are also a wide range of woodland plants which have evolved to exploit the break in the canopy, on which a host of creepy-crawlies also depend. Once upon a time, the mastodon and the other mega fauna may well have been the "keystone" species in this environment.

Their role was inherited by a bunch of medievals, who certainly weren't even aware of why a tree can be coppiced, nor slightly interested in providing ecological niches for bluebells or butterflies; but who did so because the found it was the best way to obtain the maximum amount of wood from a patch of land. In modern terms, the best source of carbon-neutral fuel.

Similarly, not with the specific aim of pleasing the reed-warblers, reed beds were ransacked for every last standing reed, for thatch or basketry, on an annual basis. Reeds grow better if they are cut. Once upon a time, not so long ago, people around here even picked fruit off fruiting plants when they were bearing ripe fruit.

From such practices, the English landscape was largely formed, and in terms of the pattern of land-use, changed remarkably little between the late Bronze Age and the witterings of the Reverend Malthus in around 1800, when the situation gravely changed, due to the actual Tragedy of the Commons, rather than the mythical version referred to by Neven, above; which I may return to in a future instalment.

My point, for this instalment, is that the environment which was handed down to us by our ancestors was actually shaped by their exploitation of it; and while they may have a bit too good a job at, for example, supplying the beaver-skin hat market, or the wolf-skin cloak department, which  is regretable, many of those species which actually survived a couple of millenia of living alongside humans actually thrived as a result of humans performing important, long-sighted and sustainable activities within it, and performing crucial ecological roles within it.

To impose a boundary between the human and the rest of the natural world, and to declare humans the enemy of the natural is  to condemn many habitats which now only exists specifically because of human intervention to a long slow decline through neglect.

Those sources of natural resources and produce within Western Europe, at least, which were at genuine risk of extinction through overexploitation by people are long gone. Like Julius Caesar ate the last one, the greedy sod. There are many more in the actual modern world as it exists that are in more danger today because humans are now afraid to interact with their surroundings in any way, for fear of upsetting a "natural" ecological balance that actually irrevocably disappeared several tens of thousands of millennia ago.

I accept that Antarctica is a wilderness, and that humans have no business there, apart from on important scientific work. But Antarctica is not a hotspot of biodiversity, more of a desert. People have always tended to avoid deserts, preferring areas of high biodiversity, which is often tasty or of other interest. We are locked in a symbiotic relationship with our environment; and the continuing economic exploitation of the environment by humans is an essential feature of that relationship; without which both parties locked in symbiosis suffer immensely.

Consequences / Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« on: September 03, 2016, 09:08:31 PM »
I am predisposed in favour of humans, having inter alia, as previously confessed, a passion for music. Subjective, but I prefer human music to walrus.

Then there's astro-physics, archaeology, anatomy, and through to zoology.

Within just the field of zoology (a bit of ethology and some ecology), there is a relatively recent and emerging concept of the "keystone species" - one whose activities within any particular environment have such a range of impacts on the range of other species present that the ecosystem virtually collapses, or is at least hugely impoverished, without them.

The most celebrated example being the  reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone. With the rearrival of wolves, going about their murky business, a whole host of spin-off, unexpected ecological benefits have emerged. Primarily, deer and moose no longer dawdle over their grazing, moving rapidly from place to place, looking pretty nervous as they do so. This is hugely in the interest of the flora which provide the deer with grazing, and the interest of the flora is ultimately the interest of the grazing herbivores, who are of course endlessly of interest to wolves. It's all a very virtuous circle.

Wolves in Yellowstone may be a celebrated local example; but by far the most ecologically significant, and generally beneficent, keystone species throughout their full range, which encompasses almost all of the globe, excluding the oceans and Antarctica, is a bipedal ape with opposable thumbs, whose extraordinary gifts for communication and co-operation and, pertinent today, anticipation, gave them the ability to completely out-compete all rival species, with unfortunate results for the mega-fauna.

The Serengeti may be the world's most famous and celebrated wildlife reserve; where megatonnes of wildebeeste are stalked by the king of the beasts, in scenes which evoke a pre-human past dominated by Nature Red in Tooth and Claw.

And is almost certainly the most continuously artifically managed landscape on Earth - managed by human artifice - today by the Maasai and other tribes, who still use fire to boost the production of fresh grass for their cattle. Quite when this process started is anybody's guess. I'd consider it unlikely that the quite local girl "Lucy", australopithecus afarensis, some 3.8My BP had control of fire. Homo neanderthals arrived in Europe an estimated 500,000 years BP, IIRC, and certainly had fire. A date for when some form of bipedal ape with opposable thumbs started playing with fire in the Serengeti should probably be earlier than later, imho, between those two dates.

You might not approve of this process. One could argue that the Serengeti should have been left without human interference, to become in turn scrubland, and possibly eventually some form of tropical dry forest. When the great white hunters such as Prince Philip and chums finally put down the rifles and picked up cameras their first moves as WWF - an error repeated by ecologists so frequently, in so many places, that words fail me - was of course to attempt to remove, restrict and curtail the traditional practices of the keystone species in this environment. The human.

And another thing...

Consequences / Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« on: September 03, 2016, 06:58:58 PM »
A conundrum...

There is a negative correlation between falling population fertility levels and carbon emissions. Countries with higher birth rates tend to have lower carbon emissions. In many cases, the  more marginal and rapidly reproducing strata of societies earn their share of the available oxygen in ways which actually reduce carbon emissions, even when their own respiration is taken into account.

Consider the dishwashing machine. I'm sure many of you have domestic dishwashers, possibly with smart technology so that you can monitor its electricity consumption and carbon emissions.

Well, travel to India, and some twenty years ago when I last ventured that way, I would estimate that the total carbon emisssions from the life-cycle and daily use of dishwashing machines in the whole of the Indian subcontinent was approximately zero. Zero steel, copper, rubber annd plastic, to produce the machines; zero electricity to run them; zero detergent to flush away into the drains. There might be couple of dozen in the diplomatic quarter of Delhi, but I doubt it.

"Labour-saving devices" are a tough sell in India.

Let's compare recycling rates. I'm not an expert, but I believe that Western cities and metropoles, with stable family sizes, etc, an educated population who are increasingly environmentally conscious, aim for something in the region of 60% of waste to be recycled. Sounds like the sort of thing that the mayor of New York, London, Berlin would be proud to announce, at a great cost to the municipal budget and in associated carbon-belching machinery and equipment. Delhi, at a guess, is closer to 99%, with neither cost nor credit to the mayor, and very close to zero emissions.

Closer to home, when I finally tire of my toy with storage capacity the size of Manhattan, I dare say that the precious rare metals herein will be recuperated, probably on a rubbish dump somewhere in West Africa, by somebody who comes from a large family - and whom I am yet to be convinced is at the root of the current problem, what with all of that irresponsible breathing and breeding going on.

This then, under the heading of humans contributing to reducing negative impacts, and more to follow on actual positives...

Consequences / Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« on: September 03, 2016, 05:27:10 PM »
Well, JimD, I'm sorry if me tone offends you - sorry, that is, in the sense of 'tough luck', rather than  that I feel any need to apologise. I'm afraid that you must regard me as an enemy.

If humans are your enemy, then I am certainly human. You have an increasing number of enemies, around 7 billion or so, and you may need quite a deep bunker - because that's the road you are taking.

Of the two obvious alternatives for you to take on your enemies - the bullet or the ballot box - I can't really see that "it's time we all jumped off a cliff" is going to be a winning ticket in electoral terms, so enforcing your interpretation of your sacred texts, "The Limits to Growth" et al, may take quite a lot of bullets. I'll admit that I haven't read it, so I just regard it as a failed exercise in econo-prognostication, which has been getting more wrong with each passing year for the past 40 years; and an addendum to Malthus, who is about to celebrate a bicentennary of real world evidence and data demonstrating that abstract models of predicted human behaviour DO NOT WORK.

By way of a small example of the behaviour and consumption patterns of one Western consumer, me. At the time that Erhlich was writing, I had embarked upon collecting some music - I had around 20 LPs or so, some 250 tracks. Let's say five kilograms of vinyl, which ultimately had to be pumped out of the ground somewhere. I remain a keen music fan, and my tastes have become more catholic, change over time and I'm generally not entirely happy unless I have somewhere around 6 billion songs at my disposal at any one time. For which I'd need a shed the size of Manhattan, and the exclusive use of most of the oil of Saudi Arabia for a month or two, just to get enough vinyl to... OTOH...

Here, then, some of my  favoured econo-sociologi-futuro-prognostications, which I find slightly more credible than Malthus/Erlich...

Though I don't claim anything in there which I'd elevate to the status of a sacred pronouncement which, if only everybody else would pay heed would then give me the right, abrogated by US jurisprudence as a result of Roe versus Wade, to start dictating on issues of fertility, which are the concern, in my view, of each individual mother, on a case by case basis.

At a societal level, those of you who are concerned about an increasing population, if you want  to see more indivdual mothers decide to have less children later, then as much as anything in sociology is ever a hard and fast rule, then as women and girls have access to longer time in education, they tend to have less children; as they enter the formal workforce and pursue more rewarding careers, and achieve higher social and economic status, there are further gains in the field of women's rights, which have a knock-on effect of informing the choices and fertility even women who have not themselves benefited from extra years of education.

I have two further important points to make, which will follow, anon...

Consequences / Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« on: August 31, 2016, 03:20:20 AM »
Wow! Somebody posted something half-sane in this thread! Congratulations to Archimid.

First: the title is close to gibberish, innit?

Population is a synonym for 'people'. Public is a synonym for 'people'.

So "Population - Publlic Enemy Number 1" is either contradictory gibberish, or an obscure reference to American rap and R+B charts. I preferred NWA or Linkin Park.

Second, I think that any system of thought or belief that suggests that the existence of people, or of any particular group of people, is inherently a bad thing is in itself - and I have to use an old-fashioned and sweeping term here - evil.

Third, if anybody on here is proposing discussing the effects of global warming on polar bears with the polar bears themselves, do be warned that polar bears like to begin discussions by ripping out yer liver. Similarly, as seals can be trained to balance beach balls on their noses, perhaps walruses, provided they get rewarded with enough fish, might eventually learn to round up a decent load of the flip-flops, empty bottles, bits of old string and other plastic crap floating about the ocean. But I think you might run out of fish. Humans are probably a better bet.

Next, this forum is relatively welcoming even to science deniers, until they start posting utter rubbish, so carry on. From my reading of comments elsewhere (mainly Guardian), you've all pretty much given up disputing the pause, your solar cycle wittering, pirates and pixies, Monctons-a-leaping and leprechauns. This is all you've got left - no point in tackling carbon emissions because somebody in Africa might be having sex. This now represents about 50% of the deniers' input on the Guardian's comment streams.

Last, while population continues to grow, the population growth rates have been falling rapidly around  the world for decades. This is a pretty well understood phenomenon, with a very good statistical fit with the factor which sociologists regard as the cause of it, across continents, cultures and income levels. Populations growth rates, or at least birth rates, dramatically decline in correlation with the number of years that girls can stay on at school.

Now, I must now have seen about 200 comments from - let's call them global warming dismissers - saying that population is all that matters, and there's no hope for the environment with so many people on the Earth - and I still haven't seen one calling for extra investment  in women's education, particularly in developing countries.

Because that ain't the point innit? The point is that people in Kenya are still having sex, so I might as well fly my private plane around Kansas, because the world's going to hell in a handcart anyway, and that Viagra ain't all it's cracked up to be.

No siree Bob, its them young black women that's the cause of all the problems anyway, well them and Mexicans and Muslims and libtards.

Joking aside, if this were a discussion of how pressure could be brought on politicians to increase the flow of funding for girls' education, well and good.

It ain't.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Five Year Cycle Thread
« on: October 01, 2014, 08:32:13 PM »
Hi everybody,

(Sorry real life has prevented me from paying proper attention for some time. I've been lurking sporadically.)

I am rather dubious also that 2 repetitions of a low would constitute a cycle.

I DO think that a 365 day average of the data is a very excellent idea.

Perhaps one could posit that the possibility that any one year is now going to see a spectacular crash is round about 20%? So about 2 per decade, with, I would assume at present, higher odds as time goes on that any one particular crash year might actually result in a seasonally ice free Arctic?

At any rate, removing the seasonal component in the data is, imho, an excellent idea.


NEVEN, get a fucking  grip.

edit N: you might want to read first, before jumping to conclusions. If it is to be believed that AGW is a potentially very serious problem, then rationally speaking this discussion isn't off-limits, as long as it stays philosophical, and doesn't become a brainstorm for how to go about depopulating. Now, I'm not a fan of cold rationalism, I don't like discussing these things, but I'm not going to shut down the discussion either because of that. If I'm going to close discussions because I don't like them, I might as well stay online 24 hours a day.

This thread will eventually depopulate by itself.  ;)

The rest / Re: 40 maps that explain the world
« on: June 16, 2014, 07:52:45 PM »
Sorry to lower the tone, but here's...

...the world according to big Ron.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2014 Melting Season
« on: June 02, 2014, 10:49:49 PM »
Also Sprach Zarathustra...

'God was stillborn; though we hope that the Mother of God, now in intensive care, may yet pull  through."


I still think that the 6-month long winter conditions will have much more effect that a few days weather; and I cannot much be persuaded that any weather forecast beyond 60 hours or so is accurate to the point of usefulness.

OTOH, I do think that ocean currents are reliable; and that the significant ones affecting the Arctic are not in the Pacific, but in the Atlantic; bathymetrically, the Arctic is essentially the Extreme North Atlantic.

In the mid-latitudes of the North Atlantic, it would appear that a large amount of colder than  usual surface water is heading North...

So, while I'm dubious of predictions based on futurological weather forecasts for ten days out, I'll happily predict that ocean currents will exert a dampening influence on the melt over the coming 5 months.

If there's one thing that I dislike more than hypocricy, it's when other people expect me to practice what I preach. :-*

Also, the SSTs in the Carribean over the past 30 days are below average, see here...

and as enny fule no, that means that the ice in the Arctic will be above average this year.

 ABSTRACT (maximum 200 words)
The operational production of skillful long-range forecasts of Arctic sea ice has the potential to be very useful when integrated into the planning of Arctic operations by the U.S. Navy and other organizations. We investigated the potential for predicting October sea ice concentration (SIC) in
the Beaufort Sea at lead times of one to five months. We used SIC data for 1979–2007 to statistically and dynamically analyze atmospheric and oceanic processes associated with variations of SIC in the Beaufort Sea. We also conducted correlation analyses to identify climate system variables for use as predictors of SIC. We developed linear regression models for predicting SIC based on multiple predictors. We tested these models by generating hindcasts of October SIC for 1979–2007 based on several combinations of predictors. We found two key predictors of October SIC in the Beaufort Sea at leads of one to five months—antecedent SIC in the Beaufort Sea and sea surface temperature (SST) in the Caribbean Sea in the preceding May-September period. Both of these predictors showed a consistent and statistically significant relationship with October SIC at all lead times. Both are also dynamically reasonable predictors, given the role of antecedent ice conditions and of the Arctic Oscillation and North Atlantic Oscillation in influencing basin scale SSTs. Our hindcast verification metrics show that a linear regression model based on these two predictors produces skillful forecasts of SIC at leads of one to five months. Based on these results, we issued a forecast on 01 June 2010 for SIC in the Beaufort Sea in October 2010. We also identified and conducted multi-year, linear regression hindcasts using several other predictors (e.g., low level air temperature, low level winds, and upper ocean temperature) that proved useful at various lead times. Our results indicate a significant potential for improving long range forecasts in support of Arctic operations by the U.S. Navy and other organizations.

See especially figures 6 - 10, for some fairly clear proofs that some other factors, e.g. ENSO, AO, NAO, have little discernible relationship to the September minimum.  Eliminate those things which are impossible, and whatever remains, however improbable...

(Apologies to those of you over-familiar with idunno's sad crush on Megan M. Stone; this might possibly not be the first time I have referred to the above paper. At least it is currently timely.)

P.S. She does not, that I noticed, look at meltpond fraction; so the latest research may supercede this. But I am happy to wave a hand towards the colder-than-usual mid-Atlantic SSTs, and to argue that this suggests that less-than-usual quadrizillions of Giga Joules per second are currently heading up the Atlantic from approx Miami to approx Svarlsbard. And this will affect the Arctic heat budget over the coming 4 months.

I went high, 3.25 - 3.5; based on cold SSTs stretching all along the path of the gulf Stream from the Carribean thru the mid Atlantic.

Pages: [1] 2 3 4