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Messages - El Cid

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Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 03, 2021, 11:56:22 AM »
Sadly, robust immunity may only last a year or less. We are going to find out over the next couple of months as the first outbreaks turn a year old.

Resurgence of COVID-19 in Manaus, Brazil, despite high seroprevalence

I wrote about Manaus upthread and I think real seroprevalance was much lower:

We calculated 3,457 excess deaths in Manaus, Brazil, between 19 March and 24 June 2020 representing 0.16% of the city’s population.

And :

"In Manaus, a lower seroprevalence (14%, in June) was found in a random household sample of 250 people"

BTW the 14% number is likely not far from the truth as that would mean that 0,14*2,2 Million = 308 000 were infected. Part of the 3457 excess deaths is very likely not COVID as healthcare collapsed, so we could say that 2500 deaths for 308 thousand infected = 0,8% IFR.

All in all, Manaus likely was not above 20-30% infected, no wonder there was a next wave"

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 03, 2021, 11:50:01 AM »
The Vietnamese have a different graph.

Totally! They controlled COVID just like the Chinese (once again shame on our governments!):

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 02, 2021, 07:18:46 PM »
I dont even understand what this discussion is about any longer.

Thomas came out of nowhere, proclaiming that the virus is "weak", which is basically a meaningless statement and we have been chewing over that statement which is by nature subjective and is an opinion. Discussing opinions, subjective impressions is quite pointless in my view. Discussing data and facts instead could lead somewhere...

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 01, 2021, 05:02:26 PM »
You are right Thomas, it is an extremely weak virus. That is probably why hospitals all over Europe and the Americas reached 100% capacity (and more in many cases) despite perennial lockdowns. All is clear now.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 01, 2021, 07:17:31 AM »
 @TB / Rodius

Excess death is by definition excess above normal. Normal in this case includes previous socio-environmental issues and health.
Explaining away excess death by "pollution", "obesity", etc. is not valid, as previous years also had an obese population and pollution and whatever. If and when you have  excess death you need to find a specific cause for that. 

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: February 28, 2021, 08:05:00 AM »
@Jim Hunt:

I liked the video and as simple as the model is, I am convinced that it is right: to protect the vulnerable you need to vaccinate the "mixers" first, those who are in contact with many people. Problem is: it is not so easy to say who the mixers are, other than some obvious professions like policemen, teachers, shop assistants. But yeah, they should get priority


Total populationwide IFR is cca 1% for COVID, at least 10x that of the flu. For above 60s it is at least 3% and above 70s 5-10%. That is not "stunningly low".
Other than that, please stop running amok on the freezing thread.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: February 25, 2021, 01:35:59 PM »
Another thought on virus extinction:

These mRNS vaccines are very effective. Considering that normal flu vaccines have a real life efficacy of 30-60% only (CDC data), maybe after COVID, vaccinemakers could create mRNS flu vaccines putting an end to the flu season once and for all. Any thoughts?

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: February 25, 2021, 07:34:19 AM »
It seems to me from the study that older people's and those with multiple comorbidities have a weaker immune system and therefore the first shot is not very effective in itself.
Interestingly, the Scottish study showed the opposite: 80+ people got strong immunity from one shot that did not wane

Consequences / Re: Places becoming less livable
« on: February 24, 2021, 10:51:40 PM »
New evidence shows fertile soil gone from Midwestern farms

It is not just that the topsoil is gone but the soil that does exist is dead soil. Due to the use of herbicides and pesticides the soil microbiome is destroyed.

Good news is: the soil microbiome can be quite quickly restored by regenerative agriculture, and places could become more liveable!

better soil, better food, better place

Science / Re: Paleoclimatology papers
« on: February 24, 2021, 03:57:38 PM »
I was sold on Ruddiman's hypotheses long ago.

And the corollary is - as surpsising as it is - that our ancestors' forest fellings saved us from falling into the next ice age. Basically, humans saved themselves from the ice age by killing the forests.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: February 23, 2021, 08:35:35 AM »
Concerning the Pfizer vaccine and clarifying my own understanding.....

The vaccine has about 84% effectiveness at peak (between days 28 and 35) then drops to 58% effective.

If I am right in thinking the effectiveness drops fast and is short lived, then this vaccine isn't going to do a lot about the pandemic unless it is administered multiple times per year..... which isn't going to happen given how hard it is to get the first one done.

I hope I am misunderstanding this somehow.


the link is in silkman's post:


There are a couple of things to consider here
 1/ I read the Pfizer phase 1/2 study. That showed that after the first dose you have antibodies in similar amounts as if you caught COVID "naturally". BUT, after the second dose, you have more than 10x as many antibodies, which makes it likely that mRNS vaccines give you longer immunity than COVID itself
2/ A few months ago I quoted on this thread a coronavirus study, where immunity was examined to 4 coronavirus strains that cause the common cold. Median immunity was 1 year but lasted form 3 months to anywhere 4years.
3/ Immunity from MERS and SARS 1 is many years according to most studies
4/ The Scottish study showed that for the elderly, hospitalization rates were very much reduced on all examined timeframes

So my conclusions are (not necessarily true but these are my best guesses):

- Natural imminuty to COVID is likely 1-2 years
- 2shot mRNS induced immunity is at least 1 year, but likely more, possibly 2-5
- 1shot mRNS is a stopgap measure and helps reduce pressure on hospitals but not enogh in itself to create herdimmunity

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: February 22, 2021, 05:58:21 PM »
First population based evidence of reduction by the first dose of both the Pfizer and AZ Oxford vaccines of severe disease requiring hospitalisation has been published today by Public Health Scotland:

By the fourth week after receiving the initial dose, the Pfizer and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines were shown to reduce the risk of hospital admission from Covid-19 by up to 85% and 94%, respectively, they found.”

Now, the above is somewhat misleading. I read the report and while it is true that for days (after vaccination) 28-34 the effect peaks at 84% BUT then it goes down to 58% for days 42+.

also, there was no data for 35+ days for AstraZeneca but surprisingly Az had greater efficacy (in avoiding hospitalizations) then Pfizer for days 7-35.

From the study it seems that the effect peaks at around 3-4 weeks and then wanes. The good news is that in 80+ yr olds there is a uniform 80% reduction in hospitalizations

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: February 22, 2021, 07:40:11 AM »
there has been a small survey in Croatia (non-governmental, of course, because the government doesn't want to know about seroprevalence) and preliminary results show that 40% of the population have been infected with SARS-CoV-2.

I very much doubt that 40% number. All seroprevalence studies pointot IFR still being cca 1%.

The UK does a weekly study on antibodies:

For example they show England to have cca 15,3% antibodies. Enfland's population is 56 M, so 15% of that is cca  8 M. With a 100 000 dead, that is 1,25% IFR.

You can also see that at the end of summer 6% had antibodies, so that is a rise of 9% during the fall/winter period, that is 5 million new infected during the same period. and cca 65 thousand dead. So even during the second wave it was still 1,3%

Northern Ireland: 9,2%, ie. 173 000 infected. Dead: 2029. IFR: 1,17%

Spain did a study in December, the result is similar: cca 1% IFR.

Croatia has 5500 dead, so no way have they got anything above 600 000 infected. With a population of 4 million, that is only 15% serprevalence. That is pretty consistent with what C/E Europe has by the way: 15-20%.

40% is a pipedream.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Casual 2021 melting season predictions
« on: February 21, 2021, 03:18:08 PM »
Great Arctic Amplification (AA) 2020 is most probably responsible of this Winter of polar weather pattern disruption, and that ultimately has caused a tremendous anomaly of snow cover over North America, see recent tweets by Judah Cohen.

It seems to me that all the ice that remains is on the American side and with the shallow Siberian seas I expect this trend to remain for the nex few years. This means a warmer Eurasia and warmer America BUT with sudden breakouts of cold to NA. Also, I expect an early meltout and very late refreeze of the Siberian Seas a la 2020. It's a trend I believe that started a few years earlier

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020/2021 freezing season
« on: February 21, 2021, 08:20:20 AM »

Elsewhere I have seen that a colder stratosphere tends to favour a stronger polar vortex.

But the fact remains that temps at 10hpa are about 20C below average, and 10C below average at 30hpa. This is at a time when rapid temp increases is the norm. Has anybody any thoughts on the effect of a "sudden stratospheric cooling" on lower altitudes?

I know nothing about this but I guess the current cooling is due to the polar vortex finally "restarting" after having collapsed spectacularly in January (and it stayed collapsed for unusually long). So it is a sort of pendulum-effect: it was down and out for long so it returned in strength.
Now a strong vortex favours ice retention if I am correct BUT with the current extreme heat intrusion into the North Pole region that might not be true.
Anyway, the Pole-region seemed very vulnerable even before this event and now looks even more so.
So, as I said I know nothing.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: February 21, 2021, 07:45:30 AM »
If in a country seroprevalence is 40%, vaccination of risk groups is well underway and spring is about to start (due to AGW it's already 15-20 °C this weekend). Would it be safe for that country to immediately lift all lockdown restrictions?

With safe I mean that the health care system cannot possibly collapse.

Problem is we do not know much about seasonality: what exactly causes it (sunlight? temperatures? dry weather? being outside more? a combination of this?), and how seasonal  COVID is.

My estimates (based on observation, extrapolation and guesstimation) is that with the new variants R is 3+ during winter and 1,5-2 during summer. I am not sure how much it is now but as the end of February is still prime influenza season, I would say we are still at around 3 and would slowly go down starting April (maybe 2,5?) and May (hitting 2?). So right now, you would still need 66% immune . You would likely need 50% in May and 40% in June to have herd immunity.

BTW, no country has 40% seroprevalence to my knowledge. Most of Europe and the USA is 15-20% (from infections) based on surveys . 

If mask use reduces R by 1/3, then you would need 50% immune now for opening and likely only 20-30% in May/June. (2/3*2*(1-0,3) = cca 1). That is why I am quite sure that COVID is going to quickly disappear in April-June. 20% will have been infected anyway by June "naturally", you only need very few vaccines to top it up.

Now, as to the original question: if you somehow have 40% immune (eg. 20 infected, 20% vaccinated) now, then without mask use you would still likely  have an R of (1-0,4)*3= 1,8 which is way too high and would quickly overburden healthcare systems. With mask use, I would say (especially if you have vaccinated the old) that you are a go. Of course it still depends on the starting value of infections and current hospitalizations. if the starting values are high then even an R of 1,2 would cause problems in a few weeks.

Policy and solutions / Re: Becoming Vegan
« on: February 19, 2021, 09:45:23 PM »
And cook your own stuff. Lot´s of ready made food has too much salt, sugar and other additives.

"best kind of food is made by hand
the only way to get it is from the land"

Consequences / Re: Weird Weather and anecdotal stories about climate change
« on: February 18, 2021, 06:53:34 PM »
Now the situation in Texas is definitely not the same as -15 C and 50 cm of snow in Moscow. Texans are not really equipped to handle the situation.Whereas in Russia...

I studied in Moscow many years ago. Snow fell on Oct 1. When I asked about heating, they told me that the heating season starts on Oct 15 and I should bugger off, it's only two weeks until they start heating, so what is the problem??? We slept in wintercoats and 3 socks :)

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: February 18, 2021, 06:48:43 PM »
In the Netherlands it's around 80% in polls and rising, and for older age groups even higher; So that's good news I'd say

That is really good news. I based my opinion on my country's willingness. I doubt that we will go above 50%. (especially as summer comes and covid "disappears" more people will say that vaccination is unnecessary...but we shall see)

On another note: I agreed with Britain's stance on using one does and vaccinate as many as you can (and worry about the second doe later). I would have done the same had I been in a position to decide. Based on the results of the phase 3 trials that seemed to be the sensible decision I believe

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: February 18, 2021, 06:58:18 AM »
This is wonderful news Oren! As Europe will gets lots of mRNA vaccines in Q2, and seasonality kicks in at the same time, I still believe that we will see a very rapid disappearence of COVID in May/June here. Same is true fo US/UK but a bit earlier. COVID will be mostly gone by summer (but likely come back next winter as only 40-60% of the population will choose to get a vaccine)

Consequences / Re: Weird Weather and anecdotal stories about climate change
« on: February 15, 2021, 04:05:00 PM »
'Snow Apocalypse' Blankets Frozen Moscow

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Heavy snowfalls have buried Moscow in massive snow piles, disrupting transport, delaying flights and making it tough to get around for pedestrians braving strong winds and temperatures of -15°C (5°F).

Snow in Russia? -15 C in Moscow? They must be terrified :)

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: February 11, 2021, 08:57:19 AM »
The Oxford/AstraZeneca affairs smell politics, or corruption, or both.
Was the European pushback (for over 65) simply corruption to favor the more expensive vaccines? Or was it science-based?

A WHO panel just declared the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine effective for people over 65. Now we have contradicting "science".

Maybe we should read the phase 3 study and draw our own conclusions:

The AstraZeneca vaccine is one of the poorer ones with quite low efficacy. The study was not well done and modified during phase 3 trials:

"The 18–55-year-old cohorts were originally planned as single-dose efficacy cohorts. However, the protocol was modified on July 20, 2020, to offer a second dose to the participants in these cohorts as a result of robust booster responses identified in the evaluation of the early immunogenicity cohorts (version 9.0; appendix 2 pp 331–332).5
Boosting began on Aug 3, 2020, resulting in a longer gap between prime and booster vaccines in these cohorts than for those aged 55–69 years and those aged 70 years or older, as these participants were enrolled into two-dose groups from the start."

Besides, they screwed up and one cohort got a half dose. Excluding this screwed up cohort REDUCES efficacy further.

Also, older people were included only later and few in numbers making statistics more difficult:
"Those aged 56 years or older were recruited later and contributed 12·2% of the total cohort"

Among the normal dose participants (but don't forget that second shot timing was variable because they oroginally planned to make only one shot!, so comparisons are tricky) efficacy is 62%.

Also, there is no breakdown in the study as to the efficacy among older people (probably due to low participation)

This study was very badly done and even then the results are not very encouraging.
Would I take it? Yes, but I would much rather take Sputnik, Pfizer, Moderna.
Would I give it to the elderly? Yes, but I think it is a wise choice that they are vaccinated by mRNA vaccines which are proven to work much better.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: February 10, 2021, 07:32:37 AM »
How long to get it to all the one hundred bippity-bip nations in the world?

Don't be so hasty! It's the white world first and when we are all protected then, maybe then we can give some vaccine to those poor LatinAmerican/Asian bastards. Africans? Don't even mention them! Too many of them in the first place and they are used to dying of all sorts of malaise anyway.


Science / Re: Global Warming Would Stop Quickly After Emissions Go To Zero
« on: February 09, 2021, 03:30:14 PM »

Thank fuck I have never breed I would not wish the inevitable dark future for humanity on any offspring of mine

Thank fuck I have. The future is always inevitably dark. Has been for millenia.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020/2021 freezing season
« on: February 09, 2021, 09:10:27 AM »
The climatic consequences then materialising the next winter season with North Africa and Iberian Peninsula stealing Central Europes rains as the rain belts that usually run north of the British Isles will shift centred at the Strait of Gibraltar.

please, please, I asked before, but can you support it with any research?

Science / Re: Global Warming Would Stop Quickly After Emissions Go To Zero
« on: February 06, 2021, 10:21:42 AM »
We are already at +1,25 and during the last 20 yrs global temperatures rose cca 0,5 C. I see absolutely no chance of this stopping before +2 C. Emissions will be higher during 2020-40 than 2000-2020, there is also some lagging effect and then you have your Arctic feedback cycle. I think we will hit +2 C by 2040. Maybe we can limit this to +2,5 C. maybe. And then there are myriads of other problems as kassy said: plastics, soil erosion, loss of biodiversity, etc.
See attachement (3yr running mean of global temperatures), especially the last 10 years!

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: February 05, 2021, 10:31:06 PM »

Also, cases are dropping precipitously everywhere vaccinations are taking place.

I've seen papers that estimate herd immunity as low as 25% if the most important nodes were targeted.

I think things are looking very good right now. Soon Covid 19 will be a rare disease of the unvaccinated.

Absolutely. And it is likely that summer herd immunity threshold is well below 50% even with the new variants. And cca 20% of the population is already immune due to infection. So you need to vaccinate 30% (or less) and it is over (at least until autumn).

The end is nigh!!!

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: February 05, 2021, 10:26:58 PM »
Ok, so this is the company I talked about:

This is a Hungarian geothermal company. There were significant cost overruns, and quite a few unexpected difficulties that cost lots of time (and money). You can read a bit about the projects. They provide heating to cca 40 thousand homes and a number of industrial end-users (eg. Audi Hungary, which employs 11000 people).

These projects used EU-funds/grants and cheap government loans and despite this although profitable, its rate of return is really not very high...

My experience is that geothermal is great, it's clean, wonderful for heating, but much more difficult than people presume.

Walking the walk / Re: Gardening
« on: February 05, 2021, 10:13:26 PM »

There is a beautiful irony that the best thing for an individual to do to combat climate change, is also the best thing to do if you think climate change is going to collapse the current economic system.

And as a bonus you get rewarded by extremely delicious fruits and vegetables. Not a bad deal if you ask me :)

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: February 04, 2021, 01:12:23 PM »
Current geothermal technology requires drilling two or more holes and fracturing the rock between them. Water is pumped into one hole and hot water steam comes out of the other. New drilling technologies can reach as high a temperature as desired almost anywhere. The new wells can drill down until they reach the appropriate temperature then drill laterally for a sufficient distance to heat the water and a second well can be drilled to bring the water to the surface. So far this is all current technology nothing new to develop.

As I said, I have been involved with geothermal for a while, so I speak from (some) experience. Current projects here are used for heating, NOT for electricity, because you would need much higher temperatures.

You claim that we can achieve as high temperatures as we want with current technology and do this at a reasonable price. Based on my experience I find this claim dubious, but maybe we just do things "old-fashioned" here. Can you give some evidence?

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: February 04, 2021, 07:17:31 AM »
Geothermal is rarely above 110-120 C to make electricity production possible (I know, because I have been involved with geothermal projects for a while). It is usually more suitable for heating houses and then greenhouses in a cascade design...
New drilling technologies can reach as high a temperature as desired almost anywhere. The new wells can drill down until they reach the appropriate temperature then drill laterally for a sufficient distance to heat the water and a second well can be drilled to bring the water to the surface. So far this is all current technology nothing new to develop.... They are working on a pilot plant the real question is cost. They are hoping to bring the first one online for about 150 dollars a MWH and reduce costs from there. That should bring the cost in under new nuclear. New nuclear costs ignore nuclear waste disposal costs.

I don't know about this. I 've been involved with conventional geothermal, where you dig, the water comes up, you use it via heat exchangers and then pump it back. If you are lucky, you get steam and can first use it for electricity production then it cools down and use it for heating then it cools further and use it for greenhouses, etc and then you pump it back. This is viable at current energy prices but by no means super profitable.

What you are talking about seems pretty difficult and expensive. I am not sure this would work without subsidies.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: February 03, 2021, 08:36:23 AM »
Also, keep in mind that hydropower and geothermal energy are renewables that power spinning turbines.  So a 100% renewable grid does not necessarily mean 100% wind and solar.

Hydro and geothermal is not feasible in most places because of geology. Hydro also causes great disruptions to nature even where you can use it. Geothermal is rarely above 110-120 C to make electricity production possible (I know, because I have been involved with geothermal projects for a while). It is usually more suitable for heating houses and then greenhouses in a cascade design...

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: February 03, 2021, 07:40:22 AM »
1.Great news about sputnik v. Not a fan of Russia, but many people knew long time ago that this vaccine was good. I don't mean just random people but medical experts, people that know how vaccines are made. Everything suggested it would be good.

I agree with this. Sputnik uses 2 different adenovirus vectors (Ad5 and Ad26) which made it very likely that the payload gets delivered effectively. It does. the study is convincing. Sputnik is most likely a much better vaccine than AstraZeneca's.
Phase 3 Study (The study was organised and monitored by the Moscow branch of the Dutch contract research organisation Crocus Medical. - so hopefully no Putin tricks in it):

I also attach a pic below about efficacy. I would still choose Pfizer/Moderna but if this is what they have, I would take it.

As for Sinopharm's 1st generation vaccine: I am not sure about efficacy but it is probably problem-free. It is a very old technology which means safety should not be a problem.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020/2021 freezing season
« on: February 01, 2021, 10:58:18 AM »
HYCOM ice movement and thickness for the month of Januari.
The thickest ice could be located in the Beaufort sea in summer. Not a safe place though

The CAB will be fair game this summer. If the Siberian Seas melt out early like in 2020, then  BOE becomes a possibility

Science / Re: Paleoclimatology papers
« on: January 31, 2021, 05:06:06 PM »
Although models correctly capture the broad patterns of climate change, improvements are required to produce reliable regional projections.[/b]

Exactly. Broad trends are usually OK, but localized effects and changes in atmospheric circulation are poor

Policy and solutions / Re: Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)
« on: January 31, 2021, 08:16:29 AM »

Let’s say it is definitively determined that to remove the necessary amount of carbon from the air, we can switch to harder farming methods and expend millions of person-days planting millions of acres of trees/grasses/whatever, if we start a wartime-like effort right now.  (And we determine how that would change the ecology of the affected areas, for better or worse....)

No. You misunderstand regenerative ag. You do NOT start changing the landscape to forests. You change practices. You stop tilling, you start using diverse covercrops, you use animals on the land not in enclosed industrial spaces, you use diversity instead of monocultures. There is absolutely no wartime effort needed here, the technology exists, every farmer has it or can buy it easily. It's "only" a change of mindset - unfortunately that is the most difficult obstacle in our lives.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 31, 2021, 08:10:53 AM »
Baseload is fiction? Pretty amazing. I attach (just as an example) Denmark's energy demand intraday throughout the week. The same would be true for almos all countries.

There clearly is a constant demand ("baseload") and there are peak demand periods during the day. Baseload is NOT meaningless

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: January 31, 2021, 08:04:18 AM »
Quote from: El Cid
... manaus had 3700 deaths

This study has been making waves but noone seems to do the maths. This is the source:

(5th hit in Google for manaus excess death)

This is what it says:

We calculated 3,457 excess deaths in Manaus, Brazil, between 19 March and 24 June 2020 representing 0.16% of the city’s population.

And even the "adjusted-for-everything" blood donor study says:

"In Manaus, a lower seroprevalence (14%, in June) was found in a random household sample of 250 people"

BTW the 14% number is likely not far from the truth as that would mean that 0,14*2,2 Million = 308 000 were infected. Part of the 3457 excess deaths is very likely not COVID as healthcare collapsed, so we could say that 2500 deaths for 308 thousand infected = 0,8% IFR.

All in all, Manaus likely was not above 20-30% infected, no wonder there was a next wave

Policy and solutions / Re: Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)
« on: January 30, 2021, 10:59:56 PM »
We have 40 m sqkm of agricultural land. This means that we could potentially capture 5*10^10 ton of carbon in 10 years. 50 billion tons of carbon. That is 180 billion tons of Co2. ...

Great!  If it’s so easy, why hasn’t it already been done? ? ?.... And if it were, what would we eat?

For the same reason that we couldn't stop COVID. Politicians are stupid and lazy. So is everyone else. Habits change hard.

And what would we eat? Reg ag yields are not necessarily significantly lower than conventional. Besides, half of our cropland grows food for cows and pigs. Less meat consumption = no problems.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: January 30, 2021, 10:54:14 PM »
manaus had 3700 deaths, which means - considering Brazil's average age of 33  - that (using 0,5% IFR ) they had 740 k infected out of a population of 2,2 M. That is 35% not 76%. The seroprevalance study was based on a very small segment, blood donors, and this overestimated true immunity. No surprise here

Science / Re: Paleoclimatology papers
« on: January 30, 2021, 01:38:24 PM »
.... the annual mean northern high-latitude temperature during the mid-Holocene was warmer than the preindustrial climate, because of the seasonally rectified temperature increase driven by the Arctic amplification. This study offers a resolution to the “Holocene temperature conundrum”, a well-known discrepancy between paleo-proxies and climate model simulations of Holocene thermal maximum.

kassy, your article actually supports what I said!

They find that while most models say that NH mid-to high latitude temperatures SHOULD HAVE BEEN lower according to most models but were in fact WARMER ("Holocene Optimum conundrum") according to paleoproxies. This is exactly what I said. Furthermore, they say that when they deliberately choose only those models that have a very strong Arctic Amplification then those models do reproduce the proxies.

Conclusion: Most models underestimate Arctic Amplification. Don't use those models! Use reality and try to find models that fit that reality! This is what the guys in your article did. And the authors quoted by Kiwi did the exact opposite.

Policy and solutions / Re: Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)
« on: January 30, 2021, 07:07:39 AM »

Elon Musk:
Am donating $100M towards a prize for best carbon capture technology

I wonder if he would accept any  given plant as the answer?

Exactly my thought. We have millions of years of R&D here by Nature. Trees. Plants. Animals. Regenerative Agriculture. Many Reg Ag practitioners increased their soil carbon content (measured in the upper 30 cms) by 0,5% in a decade.

We have 40 m sqkm of agricultural land. This means that we could potentially capture 5*10^10 ton of carbon in 10 years. 50 billion tons of carbon. That is 180 billion tons of Co2. That is 5 years of emissions. Not bad at all. 

I bet this would be cheaper and more environmentally friendly to do than any wonderful technology dreamt up by Elon Musk et al.

Can I get the 100 million bucks now?

Science / Re: Paleoclimatology papers
« on: January 29, 2021, 10:00:34 PM »
Palaeoclimate puzzle explained by seasonal variation
Scientists have long been baffled by the mismatch of climate simulations of the past 12,000 years with temperature reconstructions from geological records.

I have seen this one and I call it bullshit. They find that reality and models don't match so they try to tweak reality to fit the models (instead of the other way around!).
Never mind that models don't replicate the Green Sahara or Holocene Optimum European and American temperature and precipitation matters. Never mind that treelines were higher in the mountains and more to the North by hundreds of kms than now during the Holocene Optimum. Hundreds of papers show that H.Optimum vegetation signals (often significantly) warmer temperatures than now (eg.trees instead of shrubs/tundra, broadleaf forest instead of conifers,etc.). Instead of drawing the glaringly obvious conclusion that our models are very poor, they realign reality. Amazing.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 29, 2021, 12:13:59 PM »

I think your assumptions are overly optimistic. A grid with only renewables is NOT a possibility right now.

Batteries? We would need to mine so much lithium that is not even there. Also, what will you do with the used batteries? And not only from grid-based batteries but the billions batteries from cars? What about the cobalt, nickel, rare earths? Where will you get that? It's going to be a very difficult path ahead. Hydrogen is much more feasible.

Oil: Even when EVs will be at price parities with gasoline/diesel cars, the cars, trucks, etc produced today will be in use for 20-30 years. Oil is definitely here to stay for at least two decades.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: January 28, 2021, 09:05:26 PM »

Interesting numbers on AZ vaccine. ....

All infections
30 in the vaccine arm: 101 in the control arm
29 vaccine: 40 control

Which implies
1 vaccine: 61 control

This is indeed great news.

Walking the walk / Re: Gardening
« on: January 28, 2021, 08:59:58 PM »

This is a nice one (pdf), I hope the link is OK:

(also check out Ernst Götsch on youtube and here:

(also Panos Manikis: , there are also other videos with him)

Then, Geoff Lawton has tons of videos on youtube starting with this :

he's got dozens of other videos that you can learn a great deal from

I think the basic principle is mimicking a real forest, if you consider that, you won't make big mistakes. You start with plenty of "nurse" trees and many other "useful" trees planted real close to each other. Ideally the tree rows are north-south if the slope of the land allows. You plant many nitrogen fixers and pioneer trees and fruit trees. Then after 2-5 years you start coppicing the nurse trees, ie. cutting them back heavily and leaving the cut wood around your fruit trees as mulch (you can chip it if you can get a chipper). I also strongly advise  to create an evergreen hedge around the land (yew, cypress, laurel, etc.) - or at least from north, south and west. This will shelter the plants, reduce the strength of the winds, reduce evaporation, create a microclimate. I would plant clovers in between the trees. You really only need to cut clovers twice or thrice a year and put the cuttings around the trees, or as you said feed the sheep with it. 

In our climate birch, poplar, alder, willow, russian olive, mulberry ( Mulberry leaves are great animal feed as well!), black locust, albizia julibrissin are great nurse/pioneer/coppice trees. Some maple, ash and oak is OK, but they grow too big and overshadow everything. I would plant my big trees on the northern end of the land. White clover, red clover, crimson clover are great in between the rows.

As for the sheep: we really need rest periods between grazings, so I would use a portable (electric?) fence and let them eat the grasses/clovers only after a minimum rest period of 2 months. Otherwise the "pasture" will weaken. So you can create various paddocks, graze them for a few days on 200m2, then for a few days on the next 200m2 and so on.

I wish you good luck with this venture.

Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: January 28, 2021, 08:22:30 AM »
Or they could be taught 3 days per week via computers at home and would go to "real" school only 2 days. Lots of miles saved

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 28, 2021, 08:20:44 AM »
Ok, let's say that coal goes. It's out.
1) You will need to partially replace it with gas peakers as renewable storage is not solved. Let's say not all, but half of it will be replaced by gas.
2) Energy consumption per capita is still growing in the developing world, you need to address that somehow. If you are overly optimistic you can say that all of it will be wind/solar and peaks troughs are not a problem. it's a stretch, but let's say.
3) Oil: All those cars on the road will consume oil for at least 1-2 decades. Plus 95% of cars/trucks, etc produced are NEW oil consumers. So even if you are very very optimistic you could say that oil consumption will be stable until 2030.

That still leaves you with the same oil emissions as now, some more for gas (partially replacing coal) than now, and zero from coal. That would still be 25 bln t co2 emissions vs 35 currently.

Walking the walk / Re: Gardening
« on: January 28, 2021, 07:37:04 AM »
Couple of things/questions Bruce,

1 ) 15-20 thousand pounds seems to me very little on 5 acres. Of course that depends on what you grow. If my calculations are correct that is below 0,5 kg/m2. I know that my much smaller veggie garden (grown on compost and irrigated, no dig) has average yields of 3-5 kgs/m2 of carrots, parsnips, 2-4 kgs of sweet potatoes, 3+ kgs of tomatoes. Of course lettuce and greens yield much less, way below 0,5 kg/m2. Green beans yield cca 0,5 kgs /m2. My original soil is clay but I now have 10-25 cm of very soft black earth on top of it in the garden beds, and I do not need a spade to get out my sweet potatoes or carrots.
2) You say that figs freeze out where you are, but I find that odd. The general knowledge and experience here is that figs survie until -15C. They die back if it falls below that (happens every 3-10 years), but grow back from root. Of course if they die back you don't have a breba crop (1st crop), only a second. So maybe, you grow the "wrong" fig variety? We definitely have no dieback until minus 13-14 C.
3) As for trees. I think trees are the ultimate solution (agroforestry). They build up organic matter in the soil, they are less work than vegetables, and produce wonderful fruits. And yo can still grow veggies in between them if you want to. Or let loose those mangalitsa in the rows (when the trees are bigger)?! I have some mulberry trees outside the house and a wild apple and pear tree. we live by a forest and wild boar eat up all the fallen fruits. They love it and do not hurt the trees at all. Maybe you can use this technique of growing a sort of food forest? You could grow some (coppiced) nitrogen fixers and apples/pears /peaches/apricots/mulberries from seed, eat the good/lucky varieties that tase well and leave the rest for the pigs?

Walking the walk / Re: Gardening
« on: January 27, 2021, 09:06:18 PM »
Well Bruce,

Half an acre garden? That is a LOT. I mean, I currently have 2 acres but most of it is just various trees (eg spruce, maple, ash, etc),  ornamental trees (like magnolias, gingko, tuliptree, paulownia, flowering bushes) and many fruit trees from mulberrys to figs, apples, pears, apricots, peaches, cherries, persimmon, pawpaw, plum, chestnut, hazel, berries, etc but you do not really need to do much with those.

A vegetable garden is much more work. if yo do not look at your trees for a month or two, likely nothing bad happens, but veggies need constant, almost daily attention. So half an acre is really very much. but you can literally grow tons of food. What will you plant?

I have a wheat cover crop now in half of my (not really big) vegetable garden, I plan to terminate it at the beginning of May/end of April and plant melons, sweet corn, tomatoes, basil, beans, peppers and aubergine there.

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