Tag Archive: global warming

Climate Change and Tommy Cooper

Tommy Cooper

Tommy Cooper

I remember an old  Tommy Cooper gag that went something like this;

I went to the doctor and said,  “Doctor, doctor.  It hurts when I do this”  (Cooper raises his knee upwards to demonstrate)

The doctor said, “Well don’t do it, then

The point is that it’s exactly like our prolific consumption of carbon-based fuels, but even worse,  the now openly thought assumption that Global Climate Engineering is an antidote to global warming. An Elastoplast for the weather!  Ha Ha.

Because of the world’s dependence on burning carbon, no-one wants to stop doing it.  Economic growth, health, prosperity, comfort and status.   We can’t afford to.  No-one can.

A few days without petrol in 2000 in the UK demonstrated that admirably.

Why, oh why, didn´t I take the blue pill ?

Why, oh why, didn´t I take the blue pill ?

So instead of reducing consumption, all the mad-cap ideas ever invented are now being loudly mooted which will put it into people’s heads that not only are they possible, but also that they will happen People will think that climate change is like an illness, and can be treated with an aspirin.

But it’s not.

The trouble is, that all the ideas are possible, but the consequences have never been tested.  Because it’s the climate on the world we inhabit, there is no dummy test run for any of these plans.  And because the Thermo-haline Circulation (THC) in the oceans takes ~1000 years to complete it’s full circuit, and because the THC is a major component of the Earth’s climate (because water and salt are such good heat stores), any changes we make now and have made in the past, will take centuries to smooth out.  In short…..

We’ve got one shot at it.

Royal Society afforability and effectivness graph

Royal Society afforability and effectivness graph

There are host of ideas; wave-powered pumps to speed up ocean circulation; salt crystals in the sky to increase planetary albedo; space mirror to reflect sunlight;  grind up scrap cars for ocean fertilisation to increase algal growth; artificial trees (to replace the ones we’ve chopped down?) – in short, heaps of them.

But none have been tested and none can ever, ever, be tested.  There is no sandbox area.  No roll-back facility.  No system restore.  No Backup.  That’s it.  It’s all or nothing.

Q. Why?  A. Because the climate is a very complex thing and errors done at the macroscopic level will take millennia to work out of the system, if at all.  Remember, the climate doesn’t smoothly vary. It swings wildly between two or more stable states, currently “Ice Age” and “Not quite Ice Age“.

The simplest way to reduce global warming, and at the same time make our nations less strategically dependant on others, and without all the problems of over-compensation, is just as Tommy Cooper’s doctor said,

Don’t Do It!

Don’t burn so much, don’t consume so much.

The tipping point, from the guys at the Royal Society and James Lovelock, will be when I’m about 75.  Reduced pensions in my old age will be the least of my worries!

desolation-wilderness

Further Reading

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Easter Island not a Treasure Chest

Tests raise life extension hopes – see news here

Possibly, this stuff, rapamycin, could be the next big internet scam.  Acai berries are nearly done, same as Green Tea and Wheat Grass.

Rapamycin

It’s an anti-biotic, found in 1970 on the bleak Pacific island called Easter Island.  I’ve mentioned this place previously as a comparative parable of our times here:

http://strangelyperfect.tv/346/easter-island-modern-history-in-miniature/

Global Survival of the Human Race

Earthrise

Earthrise

And in a miraculous co-incidence, we are currently in conference to mitigate Climate Change(see here).  A noted bunch of academics are saying that Kyoto was a waste of time (history proves this as emissions reductions and postitive action, not words, has been minimal), see here.  Prince Charles in last night’s Dimbleby Lecture stressed the importance of living within our energy means.

So it’s all there, the willpower and the knowledge within our world leaders.

Now what we need is for the leaders to lead by example!

It’s simply not good enough to flit around in massive cars, telling everyone to button down their consumption.

To demonstrably lead, you must do as you expect others to do.  Or nothing will change.

Easter Island

Easter Island

Easter Island

Easter Island is a wonderful example, in miniture, of the Earth.  It had it’s leaders and it’s religions.  It had literature and art.  It had it’s conflict over limited resources.

It’s almost barren and windswept, lost in an ocean, a shadow of it’s former self.  Trees weren’t growing as there were no seeds.  Everything was chopped down and burnt in a last desparate struggle to survive by it’s inhabitants.

Easter Island Moai

Easter Island Moai

The few survivors, when found, were reduced to a bestial existence, incapable of even contemplating the construction of any more statues, for which the Island is now famous.

This will be us in our world, lost in the empty blackness of space, if we don’t do something now.

For our continued existence, it’s not rapamycin that we need to extend our lives.  What we need is to realise that we live on a round world with limited resources.  That’s all.

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Flight AF 447 Ocean Floor

Atlantic Ocean Floor Profile

20050530_daily2_b_1_

Atlantic Ocean Floor

Following the (as yet unresolved) crash of the Air France airbus on flight AF 447, much has been made about the ocean floor having huge cracks and being very uneven.  Most atlases, online and TV news reports say this and back the statement up with visual imagery of the bathymetry.  See this website for instance which has extensive large scale imagery.

It thus enters the perception of people that this is what the bottom of the ocean looks like.  Like in the picture to the left for instance.

Atlantic Floor False Scale

Atlantic Floor False Scale

This image at right is the one usually shown (e.g. on the Wikipedia article) for the sea floor profile in the vicinity of the AF 447 crash.  It has a greatly exaggerated vertical scale – and everyone says this.

But the thing is that the mental picture we have IS that of the picture – it’s how our brains work!  We conveniently forget the reality!

Atlantic Floor Rea lScale

Atlantic Floor Rea lScale

For comparison, I’ve reworked the image here.  I estimate the vertical exaggeration at 85x so all I’ve done is re-sized the picture’s vertical dimension by that amount, keeping the horizontal scale the same!  Be aware that the real scale image is ~2500 pixels wide!

Click on both thumbnails for comparisons! The real scale image now shows the ocean floor to be more like gently rolling hills, not precipitous chasms…

How this affects the continuing search for clues, I don’t know.  I’m sure the guys in the submarines are well aware of the ocean floor – after all, it’s their job and their working environment.

I’ve done this rescale of a popular image for my own, and others benefit, that’s all.


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What Killed Flight AF 447

What Brought Down the Air France Jet over the Atlantic?

Flight AF 447 left Rio de Janeiro, bound for Paris, at 1900 local time (2200 GMT) on Sunday 31 May.  The aircraft, an Airbus A330-200 with registration F-GZCP, had been in operation since April 2005.  Shortly after the aircraft's scheduled arrival time in Paris of 1110 local time (0910 GMT), it was announced that the flight was missing.

Flight AF 447 left Rio de Janeiro, bound for Paris, at 1900 local time (2200 GMT) on Sunday 31 May. The aircraft, an Airbus A330-200 with registration F-GZCP, had been in operation since April 2005. Shortly after the aircraft's scheduled arrival time in Paris of 1110 local time (0910 GMT), it was announced that the flight was missing.

Just my tuppence worth.  The best current info on the subject is Wikipedia which has peer reviewed sifting and not a load of speculative ‘maybes’.  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AF_447 Also, check http://www.weathergraphics.com/tim/af447/ for good weather, navigation and aircraft info.

Prescript

Aside from a bomb, which has never been mentioned because the authorities must have had a bit more information than they are letting on to disregard that option, lightning has been bandied around a bit along with big hailstones and updrafts.

A lot is being made about turbulence and thunderstorms in the Intertropical Conversion Zone (ITCZ).  As far as I can find, no wings have ever snapped on a modern airliner due to up or down drafts.  They may cause the airplane to do something else, but the wings stay on!

British Nobel Prize winning phyicist, meteorologist and Inventor, Charles Thomson Rees WilsonSo thunderstorms, especially in the tropics, happen all the time.  But aircraft can take them routinely nowadays because they are designed to.  So let’s eliminate this option.  If the airplane had stalled, at normal altitude the crew would have had plenty of time to radio mayday.  Even with electrics fused, the airplane has an automatic spinner that pops out to generate new electric for control and comms.  Lightning, similarly, because it happens all the time, is planned for and designed against, so eliminate that as well.

However, I remember everything, (on this sort of thing!!), and way back in the 90s I saw a TV show about the recently discovered phenomenon of Blue jets and Red Sprites.  There are a host of such upward moving electrical discharges from the top of thunderstorms, nearly always above the ocean.  They were postulated by Wilson in the 1920s, physicist inventor of the Cloud Chamber, which, it can easily be argued, helped to bring about the Atomic Bomb.  They were discovered in 1989.  Wilson knew his stuff.

My emphasis shows that all the factors are in place for a viable method of bringing down a large modern aircraft in open airspace.  (also, see Letter to Nature: Gigantic jets between a thundercloud and the ionosphere;  Wikipedia: Upper Atmosheric Lightning or TLE).  Because of global warming, thunderstorms will be more prevalent and more violent as the Earth seeks to equalise it’s overheated energy balance.  So I suggest that in future, it’s probably safer (but more expensive in time and fuel) to fly right round thunderstorms, not over the top or steer through.  It’s another example of Karmic Retribution or Lovelock’s Gaia effect of automatic feedback mechanisms.

Blue Jets

Enough of that.  I think Blue Jets are the most likely cause of the aircraft’s demise.  Their origin is at normal flying height.

Now watch the videos.  Imagine trying to fly an aircraft right over that lot.  The jets are remarkably reminiscent of what could be called a particle beam weapon, or a Star Trek-like phaser or photon bomb-type weapon.  The concentration of energy, in my mind, seems perfectly capable of knocking a airplane from the sky either by electrical overload, or physical damage to the structure by pressure force, or electrical corrosion due to plasma ablation.  No-one haas been able to study the effects of such a thing because they are so rare.

Although totally natural, I doubt this knowledge will bring much immediate comfort to those affected.  If the black box flight recorders are ever found (it’s gonna be tricky, two to four miles down a crack in the ocean floor), they may give some information.  They may be completely burnt out by the discharge, of course.  I know they have various structural and pressure design limits – I don’t know their electrical resistance to high intensity plasma discharges.?

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We Need Two Things to Save the Planet

Data, and Trust in Science

The Burden of Proof is on Science but ’twas ever thus….

The arguments from climate change sceptics ultimately hinge around the general perception of aloofness and intangibility that hang round science and scientists.  The trouble is that some people are basically innumerate and no amount of trying will make them any better.  It’s the same with painting and art – there’s absolutely no way I could paint oils on canvas as a representation of reality – it’s the way it is.  The difference, of course, is that I can recognise genius and skill and thus accept that some people really are better than me….  And because they are better than me, I trust their judgement.

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