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Messages - Bruce Steele

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Walking the walk / Re: Zero-Carbon Farming and Living via the Acorn Path
« on: November 15, 2017, 07:28:37 AM »
Sidd, Hams , bacon and Lardo are all cured skin on. The butcher skins some cuts but there is really no hide.

Walking the walk / Re: Zero-Carbon Farming and Living via the Acorn Path
« on: November 13, 2017, 03:53:17 AM »
It is acorn season. The black oaks dropped acorns in the Sierra back in Sept. , I only collected enough black acorns to start a few new trees. The valley oaks masted in October and the pigs have eaten most of the two hundred pounds I collected. The coast live oaks are having a very big mast so I am working on some live oaks this year. The cork oaks are also dropping acorns right now . The cork oaks yield a nice white flour . All the others yield brown flour. My staple flour producer remains Holm oak acorns from last years mast. The Holm oaks aren't dropping yet but I still have enough acorns from last year to maintain acorn flour production year round.
 I produced a batch of flour for a local cultural event. I used 2 pounds of Holm oaks and saved the starch that I got for the recipe that follows
.8 pounds flour
3/4 cup acorn starch
Gallon + 3 pints water
 Here is a letter from a friend who made the mush she describes.

The acorn mush was a BIG hit!!

Ignoring your instructions, I waited until very early Saturday morning to cook it in a stainless steel stockpot. I mixed the starchy fraction into 3 quarts of water first, then thoroughly whisked in the dry flour a little at a time before turning on the heat. As it began to thicken I added 2 more quarts of water, stirring constantly throughout the process. When it seemed thick enough, I turned off the heat and put the lid on. When I got it to the Museum a couple of hours later it had thickened even more, so I stirred in another 2 cups of water before transferring the mush to a big basket for serving at room temperature. It stayed pretty thick even after that; I could have added more water but decided to leave it that way.

We put it out in the private area for the Chumash presenters and their families, along with other refreshment snacks  -- toasted chia seeds, lemonade-berry drink, and various traditional (!) Indian foods like coffee, granola bars and Fritos.

The mush came out with a mild but nutty flavor and just the right gluey consistency. Everyone -- even the few public visitors who we allowed to have a taste -- agreed it was delicious! The whole big basketful was all gone by mid-afternoon, and I got SO many compliments! Of course I told everyone that the credit was due to you for having done all the hard part.

Permafrost / Re: Arctic Methane Release
« on: October 17, 2017, 02:00:26 AM »
Avalonian, ++
The Arctic will exhibit nutrient limitations due to the lack of upwelling. Riverine inputs are seasonal.

Policy and solutions / Re: Low GHG Meat
« on: October 03, 2017, 07:13:51 AM »
However we get there we should keep a close eye on the goal ... Zero fossil fuel. Food is an economic decision for consumers and " cheap " is important . I can't speak for farmers in general but farming is a difficult way to make a living. Many of us need a second outside income to keep the farm going at all.
So a conversion to electric better be cheap just like the prices the public expects to pay for food.
 Where is there any discussion of these issues?  Maybe I am missing something?

Policy and solutions / Re: Low GHG Meat
« on: October 03, 2017, 05:53:06 AM »
The confinement farms are economically supported by GMO grain that allows roundup to supplant cultivation and manpower.
 The efficiency of eliminating human labor and the efficiency of scale allow urban consumers to eat cheap protein and sugar. The bargain is we can ignore willfully because we crave, and fat and sugar are cheap, and suffice.
 Maybe I am cynical but perhaps it would be easier to somehow replace everyone's sugar and fat with some replacements that are still sugar and fat but fat and sugar from low or zero fossil fuel sources and methane mediated farming techniques ?
 How do we get from fossil fuel supported ag to anything near zero fossil fuel ag ?
 With zero fossil fuel ?   Nobody has a clue how to do that and there is almost nobody asking how we are suppose to get there.

Walking the walk / Re: Zero-Carbon Farming and Living via the Acorn Path
« on: September 30, 2017, 06:45:54 PM »
Dear Sidd, I put one cup of acorns ,ground into cornmeal consistency , into a quart jar and fill with water. I pour off about three cups of water a day and repeat about six or seven times over the period of a week.  When you pour off the water you will see a white layer of starch that rests at the top of the acorn meal that you should try to retain... This starch can be used as a thickener for various recipes like chocolate pudding or Dotorimuk.  The problem with flow through is you will lose the starch but I believe flow through would do a good job of removing tannins. All acorns have different amounts of tannin so the amount of water I use might be different than what your local acorns require.
 Maybe the most valuable part of the Acorn Challenge for both OrganicSU and I was learning that foraging and preparing acorns has the potential to get you through a tight spot . It is a confidence builder . The first year gave me some impetus to be better prepared  and inspired this years zero ff garden . I have been drying corn, squash seed and beans as dry goods for winter. I mean acorns are
O.K. and relatively tasty but variety is a good thing in the kitchen.
 So I am coming up with some preliminary calorie numbers. My dent corn crop produced the most calories which is probably why it is so important to so many Native American Indians. It is also fairly easy to dry and winnowing . The squash seed is labor intense but they dry quickly in a hot sunny window. The beans need picking , threshing and winnowing and for me they produced far less calories than corn on a similar sized planting area. I haven't started on harvesting the amaranth yet so I don't have a calorie count but as with the beans they require threshing and winnowing. I have been looking at bicycle threshing machines but that is a project for another year and for now I am using manual methods.
 Preliminary calorie count. 300,000 from corn, 50,000 from squash seed and about 10,000 from beans.
That and this years acorns, forage, and winter green vegetables should get the wife and I through two or three months . The chickens will provide another 5,000 calories and an acorn fed pig another 100,000 but we won't use anywhere near a whole pig in two or three months. Salted and air cured pork can last over two years without refrigeration.
 I believe Organic SU proved that an avid forager can get by on very few fossil fuel calories. Knowing which plants are locally available, knowing when and where to find them and learning how to make tasty meals with what's available is a challenge . If we had grown up in a hunter gatherer society we would have mentors to educate us but expert advice is hard to come by on this subject so the Internet is a handy backup. If the internet went down relearning how to do all this would be extreamly difficult .
Seek out good council, read, be careful and like Avalonian says know your hogweed from your hemlock.
 I am already making plans for next years garden efforts and harvesting tools. It will be awhile before I get spring fever but grain crops are next .
 There are some imbedded fossil fuel calories in my old 1960 Massey Ferguson ,my electric tiller and solar array but they can be amortized over several years. Direct fossil fuel use zero. Garden food calories from dried crops ~ 375,000 . Forage season for walnuts and acorns is just begining and I have started using piggy biodiesel in my Ford truck so collection costs will be from renewable energy.

~ 375,000 and counting

Consequences / Re: Hurricane season 2017
« on: September 07, 2017, 08:10:00 AM »
This is the same web-cam video Sigmetnow linked above for the Maho Beach Cam but it runs for 21 minutes. Same Web cam but starts earlier.

Now imagine 33 hours of this !  Everywhere Irma goes must sound like this. Hypnotic. I listened to this earlier and that wind was in my ears for a couple hours. No I-pad necessary.
And many thanks for Sigmetnows impressive series of hurricane links.

Walking the walk / Re: Gardening
« on: August 31, 2017, 08:15:32 AM »
It seems kinda trivial to talk about gardening with all the misery going around but it has been harvest season around here and there have been several days of good drying conditions with 97 to 102 F continuing for at least another week. The early corn gets smoked and sun dried , it's called chicos. Added to a batch of beans and soaked overnight it returns to sweet yellow corn in a batch of bean soup. Corn has passed milk stage ( and chicos corn ) and I have been picking and drying a bushel  a day. Watermelons are ripening but they are summer garden fare and don't keep.
 I have a very nice stand of black-eyed peas and they are so very good picked green and cooked up into Hopping John. I planted the black-eyed peas for dried beans and I have plenty extra to pick for a couple southern born chefs I know. Strange how simple things are so cherished.
 The pepitas, hulless squash seeds, are a pile of work to scoop out and dry but they offer up a huge calorie source for later in the winter. The piggies are enjoying the leftover pumpkin meat.
 As it turns out drying all this produce is way more work than growing and weeding the garden. I still have many bushels of corn, another hundred+ pumpkins for pepidas , black beans, black-eyed peas , and Limas to thresh and dry.
 So no fossil fuel for plowing and cultivating, solar electrics for water pumps and hot sunny days for drying results in lots of food for winter and plenty of food for summer fare. When it's all done and dried I'll make some attempt to weigh it and get some calorie calculations . Acorns will be starting soon and I will be using piggy bio-diesel in the truck I use to go collect them. The tractor is still happy running on the piggy bio. I will be using it to plow and prepare pastures for the rain season. About three months of work to go.   

Science / Re: Carbon Cycle
« on: August 11, 2017, 04:53:39 PM »
Here is a paper about carbon fluxes in the area of the MacKenzie Shelf. It contains data collected from three buoy arrays monitored in the 2014 melt season. Temperatures at surface and at depth, current direction and velocity, DIC, and pCO2. 29 pages with lots of informative info relevant to late season melt and carbon transport in the Southern Beaufort.

Abstract. The Mackenzie Shelf in the southeastern Beaufort Sea is a region that has experienced large changes in the past several decades as warming, sea-ice loss, and increased river discharge have altered carbon cycling. Upwelling and downwelling events are common on the shelf, caused by strong, fluctuating along-shore winds, resulting in cross-shelf Ekman transport, and an alternating estuarine and anti-estuarine circulation. Downwelling carries inorganic carbon and other remineralization products off the shelf and into the deep basin for possible long-term storage in the world oceans. Upwelling carries dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and nutrient-rich waters from the Pacific-origin upper halocline layer (UHL) onto the shelf. Profiles of DIC and total alkalinity (TA) taken in August and September of 2014 are used to investigate the cycling of inorganic carbon on the Mackenzie Shelf. The along-shore transport of water and the cross-shelf transport of inorganic carbon are quantified using velocity field output from a simulation of the Arctic and Northern Hemisphere Atlantic (ANHA4) configuration of the Nucleus of European Modelling of the Ocean (NEMO) framework. A strong upwelling event prior to sampling on the Mackenzie Shelf is analyzed and the resulting influence on the carbonate system, including the saturation state of waters with respect to aragonite and pH, is investigated. TA and the oxygen isotope ratio of water (δ18O) are used to examine water-mass distributions in the study area and to investigate the influence of Pacific Water, Mackenzie River freshwater, and sea-ice melt on carbon dynamics and air-sea fluxes of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the surface mixed layer. Understanding carbon transfer in this seasonally dynamic environment is key to quantify the importance of Arctic shelf regions to the global carbon cycle and provide a basis for understanding how it will respond to the aforementioned climate-induced changes.

Science / Re: "climate porn" vs. "not alarmed enough"
« on: August 08, 2017, 08:25:39 PM »
Suicide rates for farmers is about double the rate for other occupations.

So after doing your best and getting your ass kicked enough times by the weather, the prices, disease in your herd, or a million other things you can't control , throwing in the towel becomes an option.
Climate change is only going to add risk and extra pressures to an ongoing problem. Some places may actually get better due to increased rainfall but they won't compensate for the negative effects of heat and drought elsewhere.
 When farmers are expected to convert to zero carbon farming we should expect more failures on the farm unless farm prices compensate for conversion costs. IMO ,expect very few farmers to successfully make the conversion and suicide rates to increase in other occupations as food prices spike.

Up one bin 4.00- 4.50

Up one bin 3.75-4.25 

Policy and solutions / Biodiesel farm production
« on: July 29, 2017, 06:18:20 AM »
There are several biodiesel production technologies currently in use that can power heavy equipment on farms. Vegetable oil can be produced by cold press or solvent extraction techniques. Solvent extraction produces a higher oil to bulk seed ratio but requires extra steps to process flake and dry the bulk seed and requires extra steps to retrieve the solvent with stills . Methanol retrieval from the glycerine byproduct is another step requiring the use of a still, retrieval of methanol from glycerine is common in most biodiesel production operations.
Farmers can send their oil seed crops to oil extraction facilities or process with oil seed presses on farm.
Farming oil seed crops is dependent upon large tractors and combines and trucks to transport seed either into silos or to processing facilities. The oil produced can be distributed to restaurants for deep fryers and be reused later in biodiesel production.
 Oil production from various oil seed crops like soybeans, canola, safflower and sunflowers all require similar equipment but the size of the farm operation generally determines weather the farmer is required to send his crop away for processing or process on farm with all the extra processing machinery necessary for on farm oil production.
 I have described two oil production models that are determined by the amount of production and the size of the farm.
 Although these same techniques can be scaled down to very small farms but the combines required for harvest are never small or cheap and oil presses and dryers necessary are all expensive.
 I have been experimenting in biodiesel production from rendered pork fat because at very small scales you can avoid the costs of combines, large tractors, driers and oil presses. Buying the required methanol and sodium hydroxide is not difficult and there is the potential to produce both of those chemicals from scratch if necessary. I consider the scale of the various options as steps that can be repeated in various sizes of farm operations.  Under very extreme collapse scenarios biodiesel production still offers a potential way to power farm equipment.
 Just rough numbers but vegetable oil production is about 80 gallons per acre but I would defer to Sidd on more accurate numbers.
 One lardhog can produce about fifty pounds of extra fat along with about 180 lbs. of meat .
Here is a recipe for biodiesel from lard. I currently don't use solvents but oil quality would be better if I did. The biodiesel is still effective at running my old tractor but only during hot weather.

Science / Re: "climate porn" vs. "not alarmed enough"
« on: July 28, 2017, 10:55:52 PM »
Sidd, Included with articles like the Wallace-Wells piece should be solutions . There are so many very brilliant people here on the forum but as it turns out not so many with working experiance in agricultural
solutions to a climate troubled world. You have far more experiance in agriculture than most people here and although from your posts it is obvious you are very well educated it may be your agricultural techniques that make your opinions relevant to those of us that didn't follow through on a path to higher education.
 Like I said up thread I have trouble gaining traction with people on why experimenting with zero ff farming is important.  If I keep coming back to you for your thoughts about ag it is because I value your opinion. I probably have a better idea about gallons of soy oil produced per acre, bio-diesel production per gallon of used oil and processing equipment required than most other readers here but if you could put some of those numbers down for others readers here to look at I am certain they would find the numbers and techniques interesting.

Science / Re: "climate porn" vs. "not alarmed enough"
« on: July 28, 2017, 06:56:26 AM »
Dear Sidd, Eating less meat is yes part of the answer but only one part. I know you grow soybeans and make biodiesel and therefore you have figured out how to grow vegetables and reduce ff use. Maybe you could also help inform those interested in  soil fertility without animal manure or hydrocarbon based fertilizers? Soy is as you well know is largely based upon GMO seed stock and roundup. I assume you use GMO's but you haven't ever explained your operation in detail. GMO's reduce cultivation and fuel use but they are still part of an agricultural system that supports the meat based foodsystem you critique.
 My efforts at growing vegetables for a self sufficient farm , a self sufficient family, and ideally a self sufficient community, utilizes animals for soil health , food and fuel. If I can produce animals without the use of fossil fuels and at the same time create a fertile farm then I have no qualms with eating meat. Anyone who attempts such a solution will quickly realize animal protein is a precious commodity.  The large challenge is how to get even a small group of humans to take responsibility for every bit of their personal carbon footprint. They are the only chance that someone can get thru the coming bottleneck with a skillset to thrive after the deluge.
 If you think growing soy is a viable option do tell. Until then count me as an omnivore.
I am very tired of the I'm a vegan and that is a solution arguement without any details or proof that that system works. Do you live off your crop? How carbon free is it? How do you maintain soil health?How dependent are you on fossil fuels in the rest of your life? If you have solutions will they scale to
larger groups of humans?
 My fossil fuel garden is doing fine, I can't claim my whole operation is operating anywhere near ff free but that is where I would like to end up. Any helpful suggestions are appreciated . Flint corn crop has tasseled and set ears, the seed squash are up to size, the summer squash for drying are about 20", the beans are flowering and  getting ready
to set beans. I will have several hundred pounds of produce to start the acorn challenge with
OrganicSU in January.
 Anyone willing to test their self sustaining agriculture/foraging skills and help those who might be interested in something similar are invited to take up the challenge. No grocery store for as long as you can get your wife and family to cooperate. 

Science / Re: "climate porn" vs. "not alarmed enough"
« on: July 28, 2017, 03:45:42 AM »
With a hat tip to Ken Provost over at Scribblers is this piece by Richard  Heinberg.
Richard points out that there are not many people discussing the issues that were recently elevated in the Wallace -Wells piece. Fewer still putting thought into how to plan for the various likely downside effects.
 I was cooking for a large group of foodies yesterday. I served acorn bacon souffle, acorn chocolate
mousse and farm sourced bratwurst. It was an occasion to talk about acorns because very few people have tried them. There are people in the food culture interested in foraging and acorns make for a nice conversation icebreaker. I tried to bring up my zero ff garden efforts as an additional subject that parallels foraging , for me anyway ,but I find very few other people able to make the connection. O.K. these are ,for the most part ,citizens of a very wealthy enclave and testing survival techniques is probably very far from their general train of thought. You would think getting off ff might be an issue of interest but no luck. They are curious about trying acorns as a novelty and that is about as far as it goes.
 On the other end of the political spectrum I have introduced my farm experiments to some right wing friends and invariably they congratulate me for my efforts at self sufficiency. I don't really plan what I do around self sufficiency but it is apparently the easiest way to make a conversational connection .
I am still struggling at how I can get liberals to make a mental leap into what might be neccesary to achieve zero fossil fuel goals within the next thirty years.
 Life here on the farm often deals with life and death. Today was one of those days where the vet gets called , we do everything we can but I end up making the call and burying the little piglet . X-Ray broken back, nothing to do. Sometimes I think a daily connection with death makes my thoughts about how I can move forward in dealing with climate change more visceral. Makes me kinda hard maybe.  I think people are just unhinged from how their daily decisions are connected to life, the enviornment and ultimately climate change and the deadly consequences of their daily choices. For me the daily choices and the future ramifications are inseparable. I do what I can, I prepare for the future, I feel like  a stranger among my peer group. Walking back is lonely, self sufficiency or future preparedness? Likely little help either way. So I have a hundred pigs every day dependent on me keeping the faith.
 Richard Heinberg is also agriculturally based. If I can't find more support from liberals I will start working harder with conservatives. Self sufficiency ,although lonely ,is better than denial.   

Science / Re: Carbon Cycle
« on: July 25, 2017, 06:06:44 PM »
Terry, If ever the day comes that sea otters can't survive because of what we have done to their enviornment then I believe we will have also destroyed habitability for ourselves here on land .
I wish them no ill will and have gained ,over the years ,respect for them. I am merely a visitor to their world .  The ocean is an amazing place I have been privileged to spend so many years. Acidification scares me. People scare me.     The sirens still call.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2017 melting season
« on: July 25, 2017, 07:27:12 AM »
Greatdying, The wind forecast for Barrow airport is for southwest winds increasing 10-20 knots tomorrow.  So the wave forcast is for southerly waves along with the winds IMO.This should drive the waves towards ITP 97 which is in the pack north of the wave forecasts. ITP 97 is currently showing a lot of surface heating and a shoaling of salinity layers.It should  be interesting to see what effect some waves will have.

Science / Re: Carbon Cycle
« on: July 25, 2017, 02:40:36 AM »
Terry, What will happen to sea otters is an open question. Their numbers have been going up for several decades and are approaching levels that could be sufficient for delisting. Too many purple urchins and not enough kelp would likely restrict sea otter diets for other herbivores dependent upon healthy kelp. There are some studies that show increased kelp and
associated  small crustacea and mollusks in CO2 vent areas so maybe conditions for otters would be OK but these studies aren't from areas within sea otters historical range.
 Sea Otter politics is a difficult terrain for a Sea Urchin diver. I have a long history in that arena and I guess the best compliment I ever got from all those years was from an environmental proponent who said I was a worthy opponent. I f you'd like to see some old history on the subject google my name plus Sea Otters.
 Otters, acidification, fisheries management and water politics are all tough political terrain. That is where I spend my time and energy.

The rest / Re: Favorite songs about Nature
« on: July 23, 2017, 05:47:32 PM »

And this, an ethereal onetime dream , can't quite acquiesce yet

Science / Re: Carbon Cycle
« on: July 22, 2017, 07:40:31 PM »

This thesis shows that purple urchins increase feeding rates by about 500% when exposed to acidified conditions that are currently occurring in Northern California during spring upwelling season. (see figure 8 below)
No wonder the kelp is all gone! Of course 150 purples per square meter can do plenty of damage without an increased  feeding rate. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife documented purples in those concentrations across their abalone survey transects.  (See

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2017 melting season
« on: July 22, 2017, 07:42:32 AM »
The Barrow ice cam shows a 51F air temperature and a wet roof on the camera building.
 Red Dog Dock water temp. Is ~ 55 and the Nome water temp. is ~ 60.  Those are water temperatures similar to Calif . water temperatures.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: July 19, 2017, 06:38:23 PM »
i think the two important data sets  in the article I linked were the continued increases in CO2 emissions.  1990 7 Gt.C
                  2000 8 Gt.C
                  2007 10 Gt.C
                  2013 11 Gt.C
                  2016 11.4 Gt.C
The second point was there has ,over the last three years, been a year over year increase similar to the yearly gains of the 1990s
If we are to argue that the ten year temperature flatline starting in 1998 was  cooked data then maybe we should also question " the emissions over the last three years have plateaued ".
One arguement is from the Black BAU camp, the other is from the Green BAU camp,
BAU is however color blind.

There continues to be a large misunderstanding of atmospheric CO2 increases and what we should expect to happen to those increases if we do manage to plateau our emissions.
They will not drop ! They will continue to increase for many decades . The author of the linked article doesn't understand this and I think someone like RobertScribbler should better understand what we should expect. They will not even decrease in the rate of increase until we drop back several
Giggatonnes of carbon emission per year. That simply isn't happening and if you include fugitive gas emission from gas drilling and the CO2e numbers, like Rboyd has pointed out ,we have already reached doubling. So the important number we should all consider is ECS. If ECS is 4 or higher things are going to get very hot very fast. That is where BAU has gotten us all.     

Science / Re: "climate porn" vs. "not alarmed enough"
« on: July 18, 2017, 02:39:01 AM »
From a focus on ocean acidification CO2 numbers are the numbers to watch but from an ECS perspective the CO2e numbers are the numbers to watch.
 How soon will the CO2e cross the 560 ppm threshold ? 
 If ECS is in the 4.5-6 range and we are crossing the 560ppm CO2e threshold within the next decade or two then even pessimists like me are probably still guilty of espousing some version of the
 Pollyanna syndrome . We hope we can offer up some advice for future generations that have to deal with a much hotter climate when indeed it might turn out we will need to live by our own advice.
 Thanks Rboyd , you made my day.

Arctic sea ice / Re: What the Buoys are telling
« on: July 18, 2017, 01:57:04 AM »
If you compare a buoy that has completed it's mission in the Beaufort like ITP69 the T/S composite is visually similar to ITP 97. The comparisons of the DO composites with those two buoys however show some sort of failure of the oxygen sensors on the ITP97 buoy.
 I will continue to watch the temperature / salinity numbers 97 is reporting because those sensors seem to be in working order. The only other ITP reporting is ITP 95 but it is on the Atlantic side. The temperature numbers are I believe telling a story to watch.

Arctic sea ice / Re: What the Buoys are telling
« on: July 18, 2017, 12:07:41 AM »
Hyperion, The ITP is dependent upon a sensor running up and down a cable so there are sometimes issues with the mechanics of the sensors daily trip. It does seem like things are settling down a little today but I think the surface temperatures the buoy is reporting should result in some rapid bottom melt.  I am expecting a polynya in the area of ITP 97. 

Science / Re: Carbon Cycle
« on: July 17, 2017, 05:37:36 PM »
Here is an open access link to the pteropods paper above.

The important points IMO are
Inability to acclimate , feed availability doesn't compensate for undersaturation stress, undersaturation stress can cause mortality even if pteropods are returned to saturated water conditions, results may explain decrease in pteropods numbers in the northern Calif. Current, predicted undersaturation over a much larger portion of the pteropods range in the Calif. Current in the next thirty years will likely affect pteropods population and carbon cycle contributions

Arctic sea ice / Re: What the Buoys are telling
« on: July 16, 2017, 04:14:01 PM »
ITP 97 is showing some very strange conditions. Surface waters have been in the -.4 C to -1.2 C range from the surface to 100 meters for over a week. There is also a concurrent shoaling of saline water from depth. I keep expecting to see some reversion to something more normal but everyday I look at the update and things still look weird .  I know one buoy's data might be just a buoy that is putting out bad numbers , but maybe it is the one source on what the water column is doing . What would a breakdown of the thermocline and the halocline look like ?

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: July 15, 2017, 06:50:29 AM »
Terry, I so much wish emissions would plateau. I would give anything to see some way to verify ff use had plateaued. I am afraid however that there is no way to verify numbers issued by my government, the Chinese, the Indian government, the Russian government , the Polish government, and since they represent a large enough portion of the total ff emission I don't trust any worldwide claims.
 I really believe there is an attempt to distort our public belief or trust in the truth or what our governments tell us. This is so frickin Orwellian. And I am terrified the distortions are so damn
successful . Nobody knows where we stand. 
 Negotiating emissions targets without getting a handle on verification is pure bullshit !  Put some fricken tracers in all international sales of fuel and coal. Don't tell me this isn't possible. Hell we could probably use sulfur content of various coal deposits to correlate satellite CO2 and SO2 emissions . Just pulling straws but considering the stakes involved I would like to see some ideas from the science on why this is impossible. 
 Like I said before , the present is more terrifying than future scenarios. Jeeze
Trust but Verify is a Russian proverb. Apropos

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: July 14, 2017, 05:52:30 PM »
Here is an article I find more disturbing than the Wallace-Wells piece. It shows there hasn't been a leveling of oil or gas use there has been a continued increase. It also shows the downturn in coal may be far smaller than that reported because, as we have discussed here on the ASIF , Chine has been under reporting.

Clare, Call me old fashioned but I love my animals and I don't think humans would be what they are without them. Without us they are of course doomed. I saw farmers in Hungary trying to maintain the  heritage of their animals and farm culture when the Soviet Union folded and left the state farms stranded. I can't imagine the pain the changes this proponent of ag 2 envisions as progress. Not !
 I question the market for these products as it appears the vegetarian segment of the population that should ostensibly support the transition is very small.

 Marketing to a small segment of the population is different than converting the entire population. Marketing ethics is different than justifying the proposed changes as reducing fossil fuels and improving soil carbon. I would like to see some lifetime carbon analysis of artificial lighting , artificial soils, etc. Again paint me as dubious.  NZ is well situated to weather the problems a large portion of the rest of the world is going to suffer over the next 30-50 years. Far better than Southern Calif. or Silicon Valley.

Science / Re: "climate porn" vs. "not alarmed enough"
« on: July 13, 2017, 12:25:11 AM »
ASLR, I do not think what I had to say was OT. You are a fan of the Matrix and the red pill ,blue pill choice seems appropriate to me. Why the push back to the Wallace-Wells article? 
 I have taken my share of media training but there is just too much rebel in me to take the blue pill advice.
 Civilization made the choice that it wanted the truth, the red pill and science , a long time ago but apparently the argument is still alive for a great majority of the human race.

Sig, Re. Kettleman City supercharging station. There are several large solar arrays that have been built along Highway 41 that crosses the I-5 at Kettleman. The closest one is only about five miles north.
 It gets pretty hot there so an indoor lounge is necessary. Maybe tesla owners might bring some upscale restaurants to the rather truckstop fare currently available.
 Gas stations in Kettleman charge rather usurious rates for gas with a dollar a gallon higher than stations not on the interstate.


Science / Re: "climate porn" vs. "not alarmed enough"
« on: July 12, 2017, 06:27:18 PM »
I read the critiques first and the David Wallace-Wells article afterward. Most of us here on the ASIF can follow the scenarios closely enough to at least offer some kind of critique. That is we have followed these issues in detail here and we probably even know who of our members will fall on one side or the other on the "too alarmist or not " spectrum. 
 Talking about whether one indulged in psychedelics is I suppose also kinda taboo
but there are little bits of wisdom that can be garnered from hanging out with people willing to voluntarily unhinge themselves from reality. One of them is that it is a very scary experience for some people and once is definitely one time too many for some even though they thought it would be fun before they went there. Most people , I suppose, have enough good sense to realize knocking the stilts  
out from under yourself is something to fight very hard to avoid and that is because most people create constructs about what is real or not real and anything that might break that construct is to be avoided. They know this innately. To some degree looking into the depths of climate change is likewise an adventure in insanity. A collective insanity instead of an individual one but a situation that challenges reality or sanity itself.  
 I have a time or two broken the construct and forced myself to rebuild the broken pieces. As crazy as it sounds and as unlikely the chances such advice would ever be
followed society needs to break the construct of the security it provides, and rebuild itself in some other form. We will reach this place whether we like it or not because we already collectively  ate the red pill.
 So as an individual I try to envision what the future may look like and make attempts at living in that future world. Yes it is a scary place from a distance but living in that world and getting to know it by degree is my personal challenge. 
Society is still stuck in the "too afraid" too experiment mode. Society would much prefer to tweak things a bit and maintain BAU as long as possible. Some us us need to go look on the other side , maybe it's just our nature, but most people are gonna avoid ever looking at what is obviously to them "craziness"

Science / Re: Carbon Cycle
« on: July 11, 2017, 01:25:36 AM »
I don't think I need to comment on this new paper on pteropods in the Calif. Current, the language is very clear. The acidification we can expect over the next 30 years is baked in the cake at this point but there will be decades and decades of increasing acidification beyond the 30 years of acidification already in the pipe even if we do manage to begin to reduce our CO2 emissions .

xposure history determines pteropod vulnerability to ocean acidification along the US West Coast

N. Bednaršek1,2, R. A. Feely1, N. Tolimieri3, A. J. Hermann1,4, S. A. Siedlecki 4, G. G. Waldbusser 5, P. McElhany3, S. R. Alin1, T. Klinger6, B. Moore-Maley7 & H. O. Pörtner 8

The pteropod Limacina helicina frequently experiences seasonal exposure to corrosive conditions
(Ωar < 1) along the US West Coast and is recognized as one of the species most susceptible to ocean acidification (OA). Yet, little is known about their capacity to acclimatize to such conditions. We collected pteropods in the California Current Ecosystem (CCE) that differed in the severity of exposure to Ωar conditions in the natural environment. Combining field observations, high-CO2 perturbation experiment results, and retrospective ocean transport simulations, we investigated biological responses based on histories of magnitude and duration of exposure to Ωar < 1. Our results suggest that both exposure magnitude and duration affect pteropod responses in the natural environment. However, observed declines in calcification performance and survival probability under high CO2 experimental conditions do not show acclimatization capacity or physiological tolerance related to history of exposure to corrosive conditions. Pteropods from the coastal CCE appear to be at or near the limit of their physiological capacity, and consequently, are already at extinction risk under projected acceleration of OA over the next 30 years. Our results demonstrate that Ωar exposure history largely determines pteropod response to experimental conditions and is essential to the interpretation of biological observations and experimental results.

Arctic sea ice / Re: What the Buoys are telling
« on: July 11, 2017, 01:12:00 AM »
ITP 97 is the only ice tethered buoy still working in the Beaufort this year. It is showing a lot of heat in the first ~ ten meters of surface water. It is still over deep water but if the current warm water holds we can expect a large hole  to form in the area west of McClure Sound.  The warning has gone on for several days already.

Look at the T /S contours

Policy and solutions / Re: City or countryside : which direction ?
« on: July 10, 2017, 01:31:56 AM »
Bob, I was too busy canning apricots to respond properly so Thank you for summing up what I was thinking. Also with the advent of affordable electric vehicles there is the option of getting into town without too much ff these days. Plenty of room to place solar panels etc. I also have met some very polite home schooled children that seem bright and I assume well educated.
 There may be some gap in values between the city and the countryside but so much is really  case by case and individual interests driving these issues. The question of energy use and the potential for efficiency is also values driven IMO at this point but when costs drop far enough renewables will supersede ff due to economic interests.
 UPS and Amazon delivery is a valid arguement but delivery/freight trucks meet me at the top of the driveway as they make their daily route between nearby towns. I can get overnight delivery anywhere in the state and never leave the property.   
 It would be advantageous to have something like the organized communities that Bob desribes around here but California is a different animal.

Policy and solutions / Re: City or countryside : which direction ?
« on: July 09, 2017, 05:14:47 PM »
With solar and battery storage improvements rural lifestyles can get by on less ff energy inputs.
Biodiesel can be another addition to compliment a self sufficient farm and with some acreage vegy biodiesel or piggie biodiesel can be locally produced , completely self contained or nearly so. Carbon farming may offer some potential to add some carbon back into the soil. So from an energy perspective rural has the potential to be less energy intense than cosmopolitan lifestyles. Travel becomes less and less of a burden when you don't need to go anywhere and farm animals and crops tend to keep you at home anyhow. The biggest issue is the expense of maintaining the farm and the infrastructure. Most farm families need outside incomes and ideally that can be an Internet job but marketing farm production requires trucks ,trailers and usually some large distances traveled. There aren't local markets for the most part because the money is somewhere else , in the cities. A large part of the processing centers for crops and animals has been centralized and so the producers are forced to travel farther to deliver to market. Even farmers markets tend to force travel into the cities and eat up time and energy. The only way to avoid these issues is to get very small but you better have a big pile of money stored up before you start because farming is an expensive enterprise without an income.
 Around here with property values in the millions very few people actually buy a farm to actually produce food. Horse hobby farms or rich vineyard operators are more the norm. I can only think of one young family in the last fifteen years who has made the transition successfully and they work ungodly hours . There are hundreds and hundreds of hobby farms ,none of which are productive.
 So I guess the question still remains how do we transition to feeding humans with less energy whilst at the same time reversing destructive farm practices propagated by corporate farming, fossil water pumping, pesticides, soil loss , carbon extraction from soils, and huge infrastructure costs incurred with distance to markets. The thing that amazes me is the optimizm that electric cars generates without ever a thought to how we plan on feeding ourselves. Someone else's problem , me thinks. Changing all this in thirty years seems nigh on impossible. Thirty years to zero ff emissions.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2017 melting season
« on: July 06, 2017, 06:04:01 AM »
Barrow ice cam has updated. 56F and it is apparently time to go hunt seals or maybe bowheads. Lots of activity with boats and people launching boats on the beach.

Consequences / Re: Arctic Thermal Oases and agriculture?
« on: July 02, 2017, 06:25:31 AM »
Comradez, I don't know if you have seen this before but this farmer in Bethel Alaska has some beautiful produce. I was in Bethel once, not someplace you'd expect to see a vegetable farmer. The advantage is having a good local market for your production. Fresh vegetables are flown in this far north. The soil on the Meyers farm is obviously spectacular and I doubt there is much trouble with bugs , slugs or your usual completion. There are probably easier places to start farming than Ellesmere and still be a pioneer.

Bob, I in no way would suggest you are less than knowledgable about these issues. The gap between your knowledge and the general public is however very broad.
 I shudder at what conditions will be like if we push past 500 ppm considering how things are progressing here in the 400 + present.  Getting us all to accept the hardships that zero is going to result in requires some knowledge of the climate system and the carbon cycle. Leveling off our increases is the first step ,to be sure ,but I think we will find it gets very very difficult as we try to get by on 20 Gt per year , then 10 Gt per year and however implausibly zero. We are very much dependent upon the technological solutions you stress with electrics, batteries, and converting our transportation infrastructure. I worry very much about the total lack of imagination that is being put into how we transform our food infrastructure and dietary preferences. Those changes are where we will see how very difficult it is to get eight billion people fed and still get our emissions to zero.
 Flight, space shots , and a myriad off other luxuries will be memories of the past before we figure out how to feed so many people. I find very few people that can understand why I am trying to farm the way I do. People do understand self suffiency ,they don't however understand the urgency of our carbon predicament.

rboyd, If you look at the Keeling curve you can see that 10 Gt CO2 anthro emissions in 1960 was causing a rise in atmospheric CO2 . If we were to start to reduce CO2 at the same rate we have followed as we went from 10Gt in 1960 to the 40Gt and got back to 10Gt in ~ sixty years atmospheric CO2 would still be increasing.  We would be at atmospheric CO2 in excess of 520 ppm and approaching doubling. I think some of the CO2 that has gone into short term terrestrial and oceanic sinks would be coming back out and atmospheric levels would probably be higher than the 520 ppm that simple math might lead you to believe. We would be approaching CO2 doubling and climate sensitivity of
1.5-4.5 would determine the heating we would experiance. The point of all this is to emphasize that simply starting a decline in our emissions will not result in a cessation of atmospheric CO2 level increases.
 So getting back to zero and dealing with what comes out of short term sinks is necessary to stop atmospheric CO2 increases. I don't understand why this issue is so poorly covered in drawdown discussions. 

Consequences / Re: Ocean Temps
« on: June 27, 2017, 09:01:23 AM »
The water temperature at Red Dog dock, Kotzebue Sound has continued to rise. It hit 47.8F today which is higher than water temperatures at Nome. The water temperatures at Red Dog dock have risen by more than 17 degrees in less than two days. Air temperatures hit 60 degrees.

Walking the walk / Re: Gardening
« on: June 26, 2017, 08:35:15 PM »
I have an acre of garden in, all plow work done with a one bottom plow pulled behind  my piggie biodiesel  powered tractor. I am using my battery powered wheel hoe for cultivating and my water is overhead sprinklers , the pump is run on solar grid tied three phase.  I have twenty rows of flint corn , each row two hundred feet. Forty hulless seed squash plants, enough for two or three gallons of dried pepidas. I have in one row of Costata Romanesco Sqaush that I let get about two feet long then slice and sun dry. I have black eyed peas, black beans and limas for dry beans. All these crops are crops that can be dried and stored for winter.
 I can harvest summer squash , tomatoes, melons and several forage crops for greens as the winter crops mature. I have a big crop of sweet corn in but there is a big murder of crows pulling up the starts and eatting the seed . I don't use any herbicides or pesticides. I plant enough to suffer a certain amount of losses to the crows and cucumber beetles without much for worries.
 I have been allowing tomatillos, red root pigweed ( amaranthus ), and lambs quarter to grow around the edge of the garden where they get watered from the sprinklers. They don't get fertilizer or hand weeding and are what I consider forage crops. I don't plant them but they are all edibles.
 The apricots, Santa Rosa plums and mirabelles are all currently ripe and need to be canned. I have had a bad season with fire blight and my pears look bad but there will be bushels of pears in spite of the damn blight. I have been checking the oaks trees I forage in the fall and there appears to be a nice set of acorns this year. I am down to my last ten or fifteen pounds of acorns stored from last year. Still processing and making flour. I am going to get something north of a thousand pounds of acorns picked and dried this year, that's my target anyhow.
 This years acorn challenge will be much easier to get through with the garden providing dry goods and variety.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2017 melting season
« on: June 26, 2017, 03:31:55 AM »
A jump of 8 degrees F in water temperature at Red Dog Dock today.

Consequences / Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« on: June 24, 2017, 01:22:50 AM »
Wili, Could you please source your 20% of population using 80% of resources ?
Just looking at numbers
7.5 billion people.    36 billion tons CO2
With a 80/20 split you get
1.5 billion people emitting  28.9 billion tons CO2
6.0 Billion people  emitting  7.1 billion tons  CO2

So six billion people are getting by with only 1.2 tons of CO2 each ?  Damn hard to believe.
At any rate we gluttons need some lessons in frugality.  If anyone on this site thinks they are getting by on 1.2 tons of CO2 per year I'd be very interested in your story. My friend OrganicSU is probably closer than anyone else who posts here . He is someone I admire for his commitment .
 If we are putting the health benefits of modern society into the balance we should also admit our diets and resulting obesity, death by car, and drug problems balance the scale that modern medicine provides.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2017 melting season
« on: June 23, 2017, 12:44:19 AM »
We have water temperature readings again for Red Dog Dock, Kotzebue Sound. There is still some fast ice there and water temperature at 30.2F   Nome also has water temperatures at 43F.  As soon as the fast ice breaks loose at Red Dog Dock we will have real time temperatures for the Kotzebue Sound and see what is pushing through the Bering Strait.

Science / Re: Carbon Cycle
« on: June 18, 2017, 11:25:47 PM »
ASLR, Although the Humboldt Current that flows along the  coast of Chile is also an eastern boundary
current instrument readings in high upwelling regions of Central Chile record pCO2 peaking at slightly less than DIC =1,800. This hasn't resulted in surface water understaturation yet.
 pCO2 readings in upwelling regions off the Oregon Coast are exceeding DIC=2190 pH < 7.75 and omega( undersaturation ) < 1.0
The most recent Oregon Coast  readings of pH < 7.43 push omega quite a bit below aragonite saturation. Other Eastern boundary currents will catch up but we are seeing more extreme conditions here and can expect those conditions to further deteriorate.

rboyd, In the Kevin Anderson you tube video you posted in the conservative science thread Kevin twice uses a 800 GtC emissions limit. When we include CO2e and feedbacks I would venture to guess even the 800 GtC is to high. I don't understand why we should give the IPCC any credence when they continue to blow CCS smoke up our collective asses.
 1,000 GtC is a generous sprinkling of fairy dust by a civilization never intending to achieve an emissions total that might preserve the ecosystems we need to survive.
 You, Bob Wallace and I might still be here watching as we blow though the 800 gT limit. We probably won't be around to see the consequences .

Science / Re: Carbon Cycle
« on: June 10, 2017, 04:59:25 AM »
ASLR, We are seeing some of the lowest surface water pH readings here along the US West Coast.
We are seeing these readings in the same places in multiple years of upwelling seasons. Offshore winds and upwelling draw up low pH intermediate waters and deliver them onto the shelf. Riverine waters also dump additional nutrients that along with the nutrients produced in upwelling processes result in phytoplankton blooms that add to the low pH conditions when they die, sink and are remineralized by bacteria. This also results in low oxygen levels that co-occur with the extremely low pH events.
 A place called Fogarty Creek Oregon, close to Depoe Bay, has recorded the lowest readings at 7.43pH The long shore current takes the nutrient enriched waters from the Columbia River combines them with the upwelled intermediate water and sends them at the coast as it wraps around offshore reefs like the Stonewall bank.
 These conditions will continue to worsen because the intermediate waters feeding these upwelling areas are about 35 years old and the waters that will be delivered for the next 30 to 40 years are already in the pipeline and as atmospheric CO2 levels increase so too will the future waters delivered be more acidified than the waters currently upwelling that were formed 35 years ago.
 Mean DIC ( anthro ) in intermediate waters is ~ 37 umol per kg-1 that was in formation when atmospheric CO2 was ~ 350 ppm
 Intermediate waters currently in formation with current 400 ppm will arrive with DIC( anthro ) at ~ 56
 umol per kg-1. "When this water reaches the CCLME , the frequency of omega < 1.7 events at the CM site ( 40.34degrees north) in Northern California will rise to 61%, an 81% increase from current exposure and 14.5 fold increase over pre-industrial estimates." Omega <1.7 is the point where biological damage begins in sensitive shellfish.
 CCLME is the California curent large marine ecosystem. CM is Cape Mendocino
 The paper is open access

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