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Messages - JD

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1
Walking the walk / Re: Gardening
« on: June 27, 2020, 01:37:55 PM »
I agree with what Neven said about using this year as a baseline.  There is a saying I like - "you need to kill a plant 3 times before you learn how to grow it".  It was certainly true for me!

For building up the soil, it is worth thinking about what you are trying to achieve.  Most people think about gardening in terms of soil chemistry - i.e. you need to get the right nutrients into the soil so the plants have the food to grow.  A better way is to think about gardening in terms of soil biology.

The foundation of soil biology are the bacteria and fungi.  Oversimplifying, the bacteria are what create the nitrogen cycle and the fungi are what create the mineral cycle, and together they create soil structure.  Teaming with Microbes is a great book about this, and Dr Elaine Ingham is a great person to watch on YouTube https://orfc.org.uk/understanding-the-soil-food-web-with-elaine-ingham/.  The great thing about gardening with biology is that you don't need to buy any fertiliser as your fungi will provide all the minerals from what is already in your soil.

Weeds love soil with no fungi.  If you dig soil, you kill the fungi so you make the soil much more attractive to weeds.  This may be the reason you have so many weeds.  Even if you did not dig the soil, the previous people may have done so and the fungi has not had time to recolonise the soil.  I do all my gardening no-dig https://charlesdowding.co.uk/start-here/ and have almost no weeds.

Most vegetables and all fruits like a 50:50 ratio of fungi to bacteria.  If your soil has recently been dug, you will need to do some work to get the amount of fungi to increase. 

The quickest way to change the soil biology is to make a fungal dominated compost (50% green matter (e.g. grass cuttings), 40% brown woody matter (wood chip is great for this) and 10% manure).  Make it in a batch, turn it at the end of weeks 1, 2 and 3 then leave for another 3 weeks and you will have wonderful compost for your garden.  Mine reaches a temperature of 70C and stays at that temperature for the first 10 days, which kills all the invasive weeds.  Just spread it over the top of your soil - don't dig it in.  You don't need a lot of compost - the idea is to seed the biology, sort of like like a probiotic yoghurt, rather than provide nutrients.

If you don't have the material to make a fungal dominated compost, a good alternative is to cover the soil with wood chip, but it does take more time before it is effective.  This is best done at the start of the wet season (i.e. in Autumn in the UK) so the wood chip is wet enough to rot (i.e. be eaten by fungi).  It also provides a good mulch for your soil which will reduce evaporation so you won't need to water as often.  Again don't dig the wood chip into the soil, just leave it on the top.  At the start of the next growing season you can rake the wood chip into paths and have clear soil to sow into.

Good luck!

2
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 22, 2020, 04:21:34 PM »
Based on the data here https://github.com/CSSEGISandData/COVID-19/blob/master/csse_covid_19_data/csse_covid_19_time_series/time_series_19-covid-Deaths.csv the US and most European countries are following the Italy pathway.  The best fit seems to be the number of deaths doubling every 2.5 days for the first 20 days then dropping to doubling every 5.25 days after that.

No obvious departures from that pathway for the countries listed below.



Days since
first death

Doubling
time
(days)

Predicted
deaths on day

Predicted
Cumluative
deaths

Country Status
10 2.5 18 69
11 2.5 24 93 Germany (yesterday 23, total 84)
12 2.5 31 124 Netherlands (yesterday 30, total 136)
13 2.5 42 166
14 2.5 55 221 United Kingdom (yesterday 66, total 233)
15 2.5 73 295 US (yesterday 82, total 307)
16 2.5 98 392
17 2.5 130 522 France (yesterday 207, total 562)
18 2.5 172 694
19 2.5 228 922
20 2.5 260 1,182
21 5.2 297 1,479
22 5.2 339 1,818 Spain (yesterday 345, total 1,720)
23 5.2 387 2,205
24 5.2 441 2,646
25 5.2 503 3,149
26 5.2 574 3,723
27 5.2 655 4,378
28 5.2 747 5,125 Italy (yesterday 793, total 4,825)
29 5.2 852 5,977
30 5.2 972 6,950
31 5.2 1,109 8,059
32 5.2 1,265 9,324
33 5.2 1,443 10,767
34 5.2 1,647 12,414
35 5.2 1,878 14,292

3
Ken Feldman:  Like Tom, I see ASLR's posts as trying to understand what possibility we have of climate change proving far worse than generally accepted.  Clearly that does not mean it definitely will be far worse, but it does show that there is more than zero chance of it being far worse.

Your charts of human CO2 emissions based on stated policies suggest that the emissions will flatten, but will remain at roughly the current levels, i.e. CO2 will increase linearly. 

As a simple thought experiment of what this might imply for the future climate, I looked at the CO2e data from NOAA https://esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/aggi/aggi.html.  Pre-industrial was 275 and CO2e was 496 at the end of 2018.  Taking the values for the last 10 years of CO2e and projecting them to 2100 with a simple linear projection I get a value of 778 for CO2e (assuming CO2e increases linearly if CO2 increases linearly)

778 is 1.5 doublings above pre-industrial.  At 3C per doubling this gives 4.5C temperature rise and clearly into the catastrophic territory for the impact on human civilisation.  So based on your charts I would say catastrophic climate change looks possible and even likely.

ASLR's posts have documented lots of issues that indicated this 4.5C projection may be too low. 
  • Climate sensitivity may be 5C per doubling, which would give a 7.5C temperature rise, way into catastrophic territory. 
  • CO2e in the atmosphere may increase at a faster rate than recently, even with the same CO2e emissions from humans (reduced %absorbed by the oceans, increased CO2e from permafrost melting, etc.) so the simple linear projection may be too low, again moving us way into catastrophic climate change territory.

So I can't see the point of worrying whether RCP8.5 is feasible or not, when it is clear that we have the potential to cause catastrophic climate change with our current policy.

ASLR: Thank you for all the hard work you do!

4
Consequences / Re: Floods
« on: November 25, 2019, 10:51:01 AM »
The person who runs the site, WebHubbleTelescope, seems very reticent about making forecasts with the data. Reading between the lines, I think it is because he is still exploring the underlying physical rationale for the model so does not want to make predictions before that understanding is sufficiently robust. 

I think if you go through the posts there is probably enough information to build the model in excel and you could do your own forecasting.  Maybe there is more in his book too but I have not read it.

5
Consequences / Re: Floods
« on: November 24, 2019, 01:05:22 PM »
There is a lot about how to predict ENSO from the various lunar forcings here http://contextearth.com/, and there is a book explaining the underlying maths which is discussed here https://geoenergymath.com/.  The claim is that ENSO is deterministic, and is caused by the Pacific Ocean sloshing forced by the orbit of the moon.

The underlying mechanisms and correlation look convincing to me, but my maths is not up to fully understanding the details.  E.g. https://contextearth.com/2018/01/04/last-post-on-enso/


6
Arctic sea ice / Re: IJIS
« on: January 21, 2017, 07:46:12 AM »


Slightly off topic for IJIS, from WebHubbleTelescope on his Context Earth blog http://contextearth.com/2016/11/21/presentation-at-agu-2016-on-december-12/, his deterministic model of ENSO suggests that we will be neutral till 2018 and have a La-Nina in 2019.

Quote
These are all based on the known Earth wobble and lunar tidal periods and really confirms that ENSO is a nearly pure deterministic stationary process driven by known geophysical forcings. And like the tidal models that this ENSO model emulates, the longer the period to extract from and the more lunar periods that are included, the better the fit becomes.

7
Antarctica / Re: Rift in Larsen C
« on: January 07, 2017, 08:39:11 AM »
Thanks Sebastian.  Looking at the paper that Seumas linked to at the start of this thread,

http://www.the-cryosphere-discuss.net/9/861/2015/tcd-9-861-2015.html

you can see the ice flow and how it will periodically calve.

The conclusion from the paper was interesting, particularly that this event may take it back to a new minimum since the last interglacial and that it may also put the ice shelf into an unstable configuration that might lead parts of it to collapse.

The reduction in area of Larsen C Ice Shelf under Scenarios
I and II of 9 and 12% respectively will be significant, but
will of course not contribute to immediate sea level rise since
the floating ice already displaces its own weight of seawater.
The predicted ice loss is also not unprecedented: in the late
1980s a calving event removed 14% of Larsen C Ice Shelf
(Cook and Vaughan, 2010). The real significance of this new
rift to this ice shelf is two-fold. First, the predicted calving
will reduce its area to a new minimum both in terms of direct
observations, and probably since the last interglacial period
(Hodgson et al., 2006). Second, unlike during the 1980s,
but highly comparable to the development of Larsen B Ice
Shelf between 1995 and 2002, the resulting geometry may
be unstable. According to the stress-flow angle criterion, our
calving scenarios lead to a range of unstable outcomes from
partial to significant. Under our modest rift propagation Scenario
I, immediately following the predicted calving event,
the central part of the ice front will be unstable and prone to
persistent calving of small ice blocks as the principal strain
works to open existing fractures. It is not clear how quickly
the velocity of a real ice shelf will be able to adapt to the
new boundary conditions, but even if this is rapid, the margin
of stabilizing ice becomes very narrow. Under Scenario
II, the unstable part of the new ice front is considerably larger
and, even if the flow field adapts quickly to the new geometry,
parts of the calving margin remain unstable and prone
to run-away calving of a similar nature to Larsen B Ice Shelf
between 1995 and 2002. Assessing the stress field according
to Doake et al. (1998), Scenario II would also be considered
as an unstable calving front.

Our model demonstrates that the newly developing rift
presents a considerable risk to the stability of the Larsen C
Ice Shelf.


8
Antarctica / Re: Rift in Larsen C
« on: January 06, 2017, 01:21:15 PM »
But according to the article:

"The researchers say that this is a geographical and not a climate event. The rift has been present for decades, they say, but it has punched through at this particular time."

This also made the news on Radio 3 this morning, but the news item stressed that this was a natural event. 

Does anyone know how old the Larsen C shelf is?  I presume that ice shelves don't calve in the same way glaciers do, so I find it difficult to see how this can be a "natural" event unrelated to global warming.

9
Consequences / Re: 2015/16 El NiƱo, the aftermath
« on: February 17, 2016, 06:38:11 AM »
Have a look at what WebHubbleTelescope has done on QBO and his sloshing model for the El Nino at http://contextearth.com/. The maths is beyond me, but he explains the principles simply enough for me to just about follow.

From one of his recent posts:

"I have been on a path to understand ENSO via its relationship to QBO and the Chandler wobble (along with possible TSI contributions, which is fading) for awhile now. Factors such as QBO and CW have all been considered as possible forcing mechanisms, or at least as correlations, to ENSO in the research literature.

Over time, I got sidetracked into trying to figure out the causes of QBO and the Chandler wobble hoping that it might shed light into how they could be driving ENSO.

But now that we see how the QBO and the Chandler wobble both derive from the seasonally aliased lunar Draconic cycle, it may not take as long to piece the individual bits of evidence together.

I am optimistic based on how simple these precursor models are. As far as both QBO and the Chandler wobble are concerned, one can't ask for a simpler explanation than applying the moon's Draconic orbital cycle as a common forcing mechanism."

10
Walking the walk / Re: Gardening
« on: November 29, 2015, 12:16:47 PM »
I have been developing Permaculture in my small garden for about 8 years, and have been reasonably succesful. Recently, however,  I have started getting into the work of Dr Elaine Ingham.  It turns out that most  of the hard work I thought I needed to do is not needed (or wrong), and if I get my soil biology right, great things will happen.  Thought this might be interesting for this part of the forum.

She sets out the basics in this talk.

Key points for me:

Amazing things happen if we get the soil biology right
1. No need for any fertilisers ever - nutrients will be made available in the right quantities at the right time
2. No need for herbicides - weeds simply don't grow
3. Food has higher nutrition - nitrogen is provided in the form that makes protein (Ammonium NH4+) rather than the form that makes food bitter and unpalatable (Nitrate - NO3-)
4. Great soil structure is built - bacteria and fungi glue soil together with the right gaps, plowing destroys soil structure and leads to compaction
5. Water is retained in the soil where it is needed - because of the structure drought and floods become much less of an issue
6. Huge carbon storeage - soil can be built at a rate of an inch a month not an inch every 100 years

Why does it work?
1. 50-80% of plant sugars are fed by the roots to the soil.  The sugars feed the soil life, which in turn feed the plants. Fungi create acids that break down minerals to extract nutrients, the soil web eat the nutrients so keep them locked up in their bodies, and the plants choose which sugars to secrete to get the release of exactly the nutrients that the plant wants at that time.  There is more than enough minerals in the soil to feed the plants, but it needs fungi to convert it into a plant available form.
2. The ratio of bacteria to fungi determines the types of plants that grow.  Early succession weeds like bacteria and nitrate dominated soil.  Old growth forrests like fungi and amonium dominated soil.  Vegetables and cereals like an approximately even balance.  Ploughing / digging cuts fungal hyphae, so kills the fungi. Adding artificial fertiliser typically adds nitrates which also kills the good fungi and quite a lot of the good bacteria.  Remaining soil life is all bacteria, so is perfect for early succession weeds.
3. Plants with too much nitrate will store the excess in their leaves to keep them away from the flowers and seeds.  This makes the leaves bitter and eventually the leaves wither.  Poor biology (see 2) also means that the plants do not get enough essential nutrients so cannot form the proteins easily.
4, 5, 6,   Bacteria bind the tiny soil particles together and fungi bind the bacteria groups together, so you get the fine soil tilth that grows great plants.  There are pore spaces for water to seep through, but enough surface for the water to be held, so soils can take huge rain water events without losing structure.  The fungi are also capable of breaking through hard pans and removing compaction layers, so the roots can go deeper, and with deep roots you get deep biology.

How do you create the right biology?
1. Aerobic compost - applied at a rate of 1 tonne per acre - very small amounts.  Aerobic compost is not difficult to make, but it needs to be done carefully - the biology has to be assessed with a microscope and you need to pay attention to ingredients, temperature and moisture.
2. Compost Extract - strain out the biology from aerobic compost and you can cover more area, or get to difficult places (e.g. compaction layers).
3. Aerated Compost Tea - similar to compost extract, but with air bubbled through it for 24 to 48 hours - creates a glue so that you can spray it on the above ground parts of plants and trees and it will stick to the plants.

No need for Monsanto or the fertiliser companies!

There is a much longer set of videos too here

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