Aug 2016 Follow-up on previous assessments. Atmospheric Dynamics, Temperature Displacements, Atmospheric Mixing (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.)


Aug 2016 Follow-up on Previous Assessments. Atmospheric Dynamics, Temperature Displacements, Atmospheric Mixing (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.)

water

From my point of view North America is seeing similar developments which have had, and still are, occurring in Europe. And those are related with the composition of the atmosphere (ref1) and ocean/continental contrasts(ref2) than solar forcing (ref3 and category Solar Activity).

Ref1.- Atmospheric Composition and Thermal Conductivity. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) 2015/08/06

Ref2.- Looking at the influence of continentality in atmospheric circulation. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) 2014/05/13

Ref3.- Solar Activity and Human Activity, Settling Their Environmental Liability. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) 2015/07/24

Globally, both dynamics observed in the NH describe movements of masses of air “carrying” heat into northern latitudes (and altitudes) (ref4 and ref5).

ref4.-(UPGRADED 24th March2015) Revisiting the theory of “Facing a decrease in the differential gradients of energy in atmospheric circulation” by Diego Fdez-Sevilla. 2015/02/10

ref5.- Observed Atmospheric Dynamics. A follow-up assessment over the theory proposed on Energetic gradients by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD. 2016/01/29

Based on previous research shared in this blog (ref6), my assessment is that the Equator is amplifying (ref6) the effect of having the Arctic absorbing the added heat being displaced from mid-latitudes (ref7).

ref6.- Framework and Timeline

ref7.- Pacific atmospheric dynamics with and without a positive ENSO (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.) 2016/03/22

ref8.- A Climate “Between Waters” (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla). 2015/09/08

Altogether, I believe that the present patterns seen are related with the dynamics avoiding the concentration of energetic atmospheric events in form of hurricanes, etc. (ref9).

ref9.- Atmospheric Dynamics, GHG’s, Thermal Conductivity and Polar Jet Stream (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.)2016/04/06

The implications of seeing those dynamics repeating in the recent years are part of the discussions addressed in the publications shared in this blog. I believe that all of them are representative of a global assessment performed with independence, and with conclusions persistent over time despite the distance between the day of publication and the present day 26 Aug 2016 (ref10).

ref10.- Atmospheric Circulation and Climate Drift. Are we there yet? (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) 2015/07/02

Peer review publications are starting to appear supporting the assessments presented in the line of research published in this blog (ref11).

ref11.- Peer reviewed articles supporting previous assessments and research published in this blog. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.)2016/07/28

And the atmospheric events being unfolded through 2016 (ref12) until the present seem to add value to those assessments previously addressed.

ref12.- Seasonality Spring 2016. Continuous follow-up on my previous research assessing atmospheric dynamics. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.) 2016/03/03

Recent atmospheric events

Energy Gradients (ref 4)

The U.S. coast is in an unprecedented hurricane drought — why this is terrifying. By Jason Samenow. August 4, 2016. (Partial Extract from washingtonpost.com)

Hurricanes, large and small, have eluded U.S. shores for record lengths of time. As population and wealth along parts of the U.S. coast have exploded since the last stormy period, experts dread the potential damage and harm once the drought ends.

Three historically unprecedented droughts in landfalling U.S. hurricanes are presently active.A major hurricane hasn’t hit the U.S. Gulf or East Coast in more than a decade. A major hurricane is one containing maximum sustained winds of at least 111 mph and classified as Category 3 or higher on the 1-5 Saffir-Simpson wind scale. (Hurricane Sandy had transitioned to a post tropical storm when it struck New Jersey in 2012, and was no longer classified as a hurricane at landfall, though it had winds equivalent to a Category 1 storm.) The streak has reached 3,937 days, longer than any previous drought by nearly two years.

Twenty-seven major hurricanes have occurred in the Atlantic Ocean basin since the last one, Wilma, struck Florida in 2005. The odds of this are 1 in 2,300, according to Phil Klotzbach, a hurricane researcher from Colorado State University.

Florida hasn’t seen a hurricane of any intensity since 2005’s Wilma, which is shocking considering it averages about seven hurricane landfalls per decade. The current drought in the Sunshine State, nearing 11 years, is almost twice as long as the previous longest drought of six years (from 1979-1985).

Sixty-seven hurricanes have tracked through the Atlantic since Florida’s last hurricane impact. The odds of this are about 1 in 550, Klotzbach said.

Even the entire Gulf of Mexico, and its sprawling coast from Florida to Texas, have been hurricane-free for almost three full years, the longest period since record-keeping began 165 years ago (in 1851). The last hurricane to traverse the Gulf waters was Ingrid, which made landfall in Mexico as a tropical storm, in September 2013.

Scientists have no solid explanation for the lack of hurricane landfalls. The number of storms forming in the Atlantic over the past decade or so has been close to normal, but many have remained over the ocean or hit other countries rather than the United States.

A study published by the American Geophysical Union in 2015 said the lack of major hurricane landfalls boiled down to dumb luck rather than a particular weather pattern. “I don’t believe there is a major regime shift that’s protecting the U.S.,” said study lead author Timothy Hall from NASA.

A “recurring” area of low pressure near the U.S. East Coast in recent years may have repelled some storms, argue Klotzbach and Brian McNoldy, a hurricane researcher at the University of Miami. But McNoldy still says “luck is really 99 percent of it [the drought].”

Adam Sobel, a climate scientist at Columbia University, cautions that the drought in no way invalidates global warming predictions or the expectation that storms will grow more intense in future decades. The “notion that the hurricane drought in the Atlantic has somehow disproved the consensus projections of climate science is wrong, because the drought is still a relatively short-term fluctuation in a single basin, while the projections are for long-term global trends,” he writes on his blog.

And as impressively long as the various droughts are, McNoldy said there have been numerous storms that have almost ended each of them in recent years.

So the drought is hanging on by a thread. A single major hurricane striking Florida’s Gulf Coast, McNoldy said, would break all three standing droughts simultaneously.

Equatorial Amplification (ref8)

Atlantic tropical wave could intensify and threaten Florida by Sunday. By Jason Samenow. August 23, 2016. (Partial Extract from washingtonpost.com)

The tropical Atlantic Ocean is buzzing with activity and one disturbance, in particular, could strengthen and strike Florida in six to eight days. It could even become a hurricane.

The disturbance, known as 99L, is several hundred miles east of the Leeward Islands and headed westward. It is forecast to reach the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico in the next one to two days where it is likely to unleash heavy rain and strong winds.

The main concern is what happens to it after it passes the islands and continues to the west and northwest. It will then enter very warm waters and atmospheric conditions more favorable for strengthening.

Many forecast models now project this disturbance will head toward the east coast of Florida or just a bit to the north.

“Models are starting to agree more on a tropical cyclone near south-to-central Florida in the Sunday to Tuesday time frame,” says Brian McNoldy, Capital Weather Gang’s tropical weather expert.

But it’s not at all clear how strong it will become. Some models forecast the disturbance may strengthen little while others project it will become a hurricane, even a strong one.

For example, the European model predicts the disturbance will rapidly develop near the northern Bahamas this weekend, and make landfall in south Florida Sunday night. The GFS model, on the other hand, does not develop the system.

So it is not a sure thing a significant storm will strike the coast, but the possibility of a disruptive event looms.

“This storm has the potential to be a dangerous one for the Bahamas and the Southeast United States,” writes Jeff Masters, meteorologist at Weather Underground, noting near-record warm water temperatures of 84-86 degrees around the Bahamas. “[W]e have the potential for 99L — which has a large circulation — to rapidly intensify into a large major hurricane.”

John Morales, chief meteorologist from the NBC affiliate, countered it’s too soon to sound alarms. “At this formative stage nobody knows what 99L will do,” he tweeted.

This morning, the National Hurricane Center sent a plane into the disturbance and described it as “disorganized” and having “a poorly defined circulation”. It says the disturbance has just a 40 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or named tropical storm in the next 48 hours but a 60 percent chance within five days. Masters thinks that’s conservative: “I think the five-day odds should be higher, at 70 percent.”

Should the disturbance strengthen into a hurricane and strike Florida, it would end a record 10-year hurricane drought in the Sunshine state.

Increment in the role of atmospheric Water in energetic weather events (Ref12).

When it rains, it pours. By Richard Cicone, Principal, ISCIENCES, L.L.C. From isciences.com

A few days ago on my way to Traverse City, along Hill Road near Rapid City I spied stacks and stacks of timber recently extracted from the local forest. These are the remains of mature trees mowed down by a derecho storm [1] that hit Michigan on August 2, 2015. The US Weather Service issued 17 warnings that day and recorded a 4.25 inch ball of hail near West Branch, the largest since records began in 1950 [2].

One hundred mile per hour winds accompanied by over two inches of precipitation extensively damaged forests and private properties, with estimates at $29.7 million in Leelanau and $15.4 million in Grand Traverse counties [3]. Many large trees were uprooted in scenic Glen Arbor near Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes on Lake Michigan, and local farmers suffered a heavy toll. The devastation was so extensive that our Governor declared a “state of disaster” in the region [4]. Glen Arbor is now back to normal but many fallen trees are still strewn on the landscape, and memories are etched with images of that dramatic storm.

Is this normal?
I grew up in Michigan and there are plenty of stories to tell about severe weather events, driving rains, tornadoes, and deep snowfalls. But it is different now.

In fact, precipitation events in the U.S. are often more intense than in the past. Scientists have examined changes in precipitation patterns in the U.S. documenting both increased levels of total precipitation and storms that deliver much more water than normal [6], [7]. The 2014 U.S. National Climate Assessment addresses this issue stating, “Heavy downpours are increasing nationally, especially over the last three to five decades. Largest increases are in the Midwest and Northeast. Increases in the frequency and intensity of extreme precipitation events are projected for all U.S. regions” [8]

The National Climate Data Center at NOAA provides a useful online tool to explore regional variations – the U.S. Climate Extremes Index [9]. Using the Index, Figure 1 (below) shows that in the Upper Midwest a much greater than normal proportion of precipitation is derived from extreme one day events (defined as the highest 10% of occurrences of cumulative daily precipitation) [10]

Equatorial waves and water vapour

Historic Flood Event in Louisiana From 20-30 Inches of Rain.By: Jeff Masters and Bob Henson , August 14, 201. From  wunderground.com

Some of the 24-hour rains that fell on Friday in Louisiana (ending at 11AM CDT/16UTC) had a recurrence interval at over 500 years, according to Metstat. Topping the list of phenomenal rainfall amounts catalogued by the NWS Weather Prediction Center for the period 6:00 am CDT Tuesday, August 9, 2016, through 9:00 am CDT Sunday was 31.39” near Watson, Louisiana.

A tropical depression-like storm with tropical depression-like impacts
The storm system responsible for the record rains formed a distinct surface low just inland along the Alabama coast on August 11, with a central pressure of 1013 mb. By August 13, the low had drifted over northwest Louisiana, and intensified to a central pressure of 1007 mb. Like a tropical depression, the low had a warm core, and the counter-clockwise flow of air around the storm brought huge amounts of tropical moisture from the near record-warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and northwest Atlantic northwards over land. The amount of moisture in the atmosphere over the Gulf Coast region over the past week has been nothing short of phenomenal. Over multiple days, soundings of the atmosphere collected by weather balloon from locations such as New Orleans have measured record or near-record amounts of precipitable water (the amount of moisture in the atmosphere over a given point), often in the 2.5” to 2.75” range; sounding data extends back to 1948 in most cases. Sunday morning’s precipitable water of 2.61” in Lake Charles, LA, was among the top-ten values on record for that station.


Three-day precipitation totals ending at 10 EDT Sunday, August 14, 2016 showed several areas of 20+ inches had fallen over portions of Louisiana. Image credit: NOAA/NWS.


Projected rainfall from 12Z (8:00 am EDT) Sunday, August 14, 2016, through 12Z Wednesday. Image credit: NOAA/NWS/WPC.

The northern flank of this historic flood event
Separate from the heavy rain along the central Gulf Coast, a band of sometimes-torrential rain has pulsated over the last several days along a pre-existing frontal zone along and north of the Ohio River, stretching roughly from Arkansas to Ohio. This pattern bears some of the fingerprints of a PRE—a “predecessor rain event.” As we noted in a post last October, PREs tend to develop along preexisting frontal boundaries a few hundred miles north of landfalling tropical cyclones, as prevailing winds funnel huge amounts of moisture northward from the cyclone and concentrate it along the frontal zone. One challenge with such events is nailing down the location of the frontal zone, which can oscillate north or south as a multi-day PRE unfolds. Late Sunday into Monday, the Gulf Coast low itself will begin migrating northward along the frontal zone, further raising the possibility of flooding rains. Flash flood watches extended on Sunday morning along a belt from northern Arkansas to extreme northwest Pennsylvania.

On Friday, torrential rains put a damper on the Illinois State Fair at the state capital, Springfield, where an all-time calendar-day rainfall record was set with 5.59” (beating 5.44” from September 8, 1926). Of that total, 3.44” fell in just one hour. Although some events had to be cancelled or rescheduled, no injuries to people or livestock were reported at the fair. Parts of the southwestern Chicago suburbs received 4-5” of rain on Friday.


MODIS image of a strong tropical wave off the coast of Africa south of Cabo Verde as seen on Sunday morning, August 14, 2014. A large region of African dust is visible from the coast of Africa extending over Cabo Verde. Image credit: NASA.

African tropical wave may develop late this week
NHC was not highlighting any Atlantic tropical weather threat areas in their 5-day Tropical Weather Outlook on Sunday morning. However, two of our reliable models for predicting tropical cyclone genesis–the European and GFS models–showed that a strong tropical wave that moved off the coast of Africa on Saturday night does have the potential to develop into a tropical depression late this week as it moves west to west-northwest at 15 mph into the central Atlantic. In their 00Z Sunday runs, about 30 – 50% of the members of the European and GFS model ensemble forecasts predicted development of this system into a tropical depression late this week.

When temperature become something else (ref13).  Lightning.

ref13.- When Temperature Becomes Something Else (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.) 2016/05/30

A night of 7000 lightings in Galicia – North Spain. (Una noche de 7.000 rayos en Galicia.) EFE. 25/08/2016

(In Spanish From lavozdegalicia.es.

Between Wednesday 24, 2016 and this morning, thousands of lightning shook the community, the third largest figure since this phenomenon is measured.

The storms that have ravaged Galicia these days leave behind an impressive number: 7,000, the number of rays that fell between Wednesday and early Thursday in various parts of the community. The majority, some 6,359, took place the 24th Aug, but also the storms of the first hours of the 25th-night made their contribution, adding, between 00.00 and 02.00, 728 to the previous thousands.

According to an expert in data Meteogalicia , Àngeles Lago, this is the “third day with more lightnings” on the Galician territory since measurement began in January 2010. And gets pretty close to the second place on record with 7.113. As it can be seen on the map, one of the most affected provinces has been Pontevedra, which received 1,586 lightnings throughout Wednesday.

CONCLUSIONS

The implications of seeing those dynamics repeating in the recent years are part of the discussions addressed in other publications in the blog. I believe that all of them are representative of a global assessment with independence of the distance in time between the day of publication and the present. All the assessments seem to keep valid under the developments observed. However, always open for discussion.

Solar forcing.

It seems to be still a subject open for interpretation so, despite of having specific posts adrresing this topic, here is mine.

The structure of an stratification thermodynamically dependent (atmosphere) behaves within thresholds. Outside those, variations of factors interacyting are not relevant enough to drive changes.

One example which represents this point of view:

Water in a solid form maintains its structural integrity below 0 degrees Celsius under oscillations which do not reach above 0 degrees Celsius. You can increase radiation and induce a change in temperature between -13C and -6C and it will not affect the structural disposition of the molecules of water.

However, the threshold can be altered so with the same forcing from an external source of energy you can alter the integrity of the structure.

You can add impurities modifying the molecular structure of the solid water. And with it you can change albedo or chemical bonds.

If the block of solid ice contains black particles, the radiation has a different impact over the irradiance performance and thermodynamic equilibrium. And similarly, if you add salt into the block of water, the molecular disposition changes, the thermodynamic characteristics of the organization gets affected and with it the threshold to maintain the integrity of the structure.

Similarly to what salt does with the boiling and ice point of water, the composition of the atmosphere (greenhouse gasses and aerosols) affect its thermodynamic behaviour triggering changes in its organization and the patterns associated.

Winter is what we call when cold masses of air move from the poles to mid-latitudes. The frequency, persistence, range and extension for those masses of air moving across latitudes, and the patterns described, are directly related with the composition of the atmosphere and its thermodynamic behaviour.

Solar forcing is constant through time, space and surface. It reaches the Earth uninterrupted in its 50% of surface through the whole cycle around the sun. Claiming that its influence can be localized in a specific part of the Earth (North Hemisphere) and in a particular time of the cycle around the Sun (North hemispheric Winter) leaves completely unattended too many questions about the rest of the time and surface receiving the influence of the same force.

The amount of questions which are not addressed by such approach, as well as from the application of the Steffan-Bolztman equation (ref14), is what it makes me to consider to leave them aside from my line of research as major driving forces.

ref14.- Tangled in Words. Atmospheric Dynamics, Stefan Boltzmann Calculations and Energy Balance (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.) 2016/03/10

So far, all the forces and mechanisms identified and discussed in the line of research presented through this blog seem to be enough to support the validity of my work. Even considering the limitations of my research from lack of resources, and its uncertainties as part of applying innovative and original assessments.

From A Climate “Between Waters” (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla).

I believe that the present weather events, altogether with the tornado seen in Venice on July, represent some of the new “Drops of Weather” coming over to say that the Summer, as we know it, is coming to an end.

The reason behind it seems to be the sporadic and unpredictable behaviour of the Jet stream, which not only is wobbly in latitude, but also in the vertical profile of the atmosphere. Accordingly, we can see that when it comes to lower levels from 300hPa induces alterations in the thermodynamical behaviour of the tropospheric circulation. In turn, when this cold air touches the lower level of our atmosphere, activates the energy accumulated in the Water vapour contained in it as latent heat, delivering new forms of energy; kinetic provoking strong winds, electrostatic generating lightnings and potential carried in the mass of all the water coming from its gaseous state into liquid or solid precipitation.

I have already discussed what is my theory about what it is happening that it is generating such a wobbly jet stream in latitude and altitude. This theory was published in a previous post and it points out the incorporation of masses of water vapour into polar latitudes as consequence of CO2 forcing as the cause wearing out the strength of the Polar Jet Stream.

I also have suggested that such incorporation of masses of water vapour into Polar Latitudes follow channels which are linked with persistent cyclonic events in the Atlantic and the Pacific. The present patterns seen in the circulation over the Pacific and the Atlantic are consistent with those proposed in this theory.

Ultimately, if this theory is right and weather patterns are incorporating water vapour into Polar latitudes, it would affect:

  • The strength of the Polar Jet Stream becoming wobbly from the bottom up, from tropospheric circulation forcing instead of from the stratospheric Polar vortex, (more here)
  • Introduction of water vapour into Arctic Polar latitudes would decrease temperature gradients in the Pole reducing ice and snow cover, (more here)
  • that would induce ice melting which in turn would affect SST and Oceanic circulation in the Atlantic and Pacific. That would explain the cold anomaly in SST in the North Atlantic, thus the AMOC and global thermohialine circulation going around the Antarctic and arriving at the Pacific.(more here)
  • Arctic Polar masses of air getting warmed up would become involved in translatitudinal circulation from the Atlantic and the Pacific through the Arctic, in a breathing like cycle. That would open a new channel for balancing gradients of atmospheric pressure between the atmospheric masses of air above both Oceans. That would explain the synchronicity between Low pressures observed in the North Atlantic and North Pacific, (more here).
  • An interconnection between Atlantic and Pacific atmospheric circulation through the Arctic would affect Equatorial winds. That would have an impact over the distribution of SST being dominated by them, being the most relevant the ENSO.(more here and here)
  • Furthermore,  new channels breaking the restriction of keeping warm masses of air bellow Polar circulation would release the thermodynamical limits for equatorial latitudes to absorb water and heat, therefore, increasing thermal conductivity towards upper latitudes. That would explain heat waves moving upward in latitude.(more here and here)
  • At the same time, incorporating the possibility for subtropical circulation to occupy the volume of space at Polar latitudes would allow the global circulation to absorb more energy without steep increases in temperature thanks to the extra volume added to be occupied.(more here)
  • An homogenization in the amount of energy carried in the atmosphere by water vapour would induce a decrease between gradients of energy. That would allow atmospheric events to persist in location and time due to the reduced capacity of the atmosphere to dissipate its energy.(more here)
  • The amount of energy being accommodated by the atmosphere would behave like electricity, being tamed by the capacity of the surroundings to absorb and conduct it. But, like a short circuit, the energy contained in the atmosphere, could overwhelm the capacity for the surroundings to cope with it in a smoothly manner, triggering abrupt discharges from energy in latent heat form carried by the water vapour, into potential energy carried by the masses of water in form of hail and  rain, and kinetic energy generating strong winds. All those forms of energy capable of decimating crops, houses and even killing animals as we have seen in some videos in this post.(more here)

Present Atmospheric conditions and dynamics

North Hemisphere

GFS ARCTIC T2 anom_2016-08-24 init Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD

GFS NH WS250 2016-08-24 init Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD

Dynamics over the Antarctica.

ref 15.- There is Ice or Frost In Antarctica? (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) 2015/11/05

 

GFS SH T2_anom_2016-08-24 init Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD

Most definitely, I believe that the climate in our Earth is what it lies between waters. Between cold waters and warms waters, between waters in the atmosphere or those in the ground inland or at the oceans. Altogether, our climate lies on those processes moving energy between waters in the form of gas, liquid or solid.

If my approach and assessments are correct, the expectation comes with the applicability over unfolding developments. Based on those assessments I would expect to see the present 99L system to trigger vast amounts of rain without developing a hurricane conformation. Furthermore, it might become very resilient and mobile, with the capacity to move across the Atlantic basin reaching Europe with enough energy to deliver more rain, or moving at higher latitudes above the ocean.

Lets see.


The aim of publishing my work openly is to allow for it to be exposed for an open review. So any constructive feedback is welcome. After a period of time of at least a month from the publishing date on this blog and at LinkedIn, if no comments are found refuting the value of the piece published I then publish it at ResearchGate generating a DOI for posterior references.

In order to protect my intellectual rights, more assessment in depth and the statistical and numerical analyses that I have performed to support my arguments can be discussed at my email: d.fdezsevilla(at)gmail.com

If you find that my work is worthy to be acknowledged, share your thoughts openly and publicly because by sharing public acknowledging over the value of my work is what will help me in order to find the attention from those able to allow me access to a job position or resources to increase the functionality of my research.

PerspectiveSince October 2013 I have been studying the behaviour of the Polar Jet Stream and the weather events associated as well as the implications derived into atmospheric dynamics and environmental synergies.

Many of the atmospheric configurations and weather and climate events we see these days are very similar with the progression followed since 2013. Please take a look at posts addressing those events from previous publications in this blog or look at the categories in the top menu. Also at research-gate. Feedback is always welcomed either in this blog or at my email (d.fdezsevilla(at)gmail.com). All my work is part of my Intellectual Portfolio, registered under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License,  WordPress.com license and it is being implemented at my profile in researchgate. I will fight for its recognition in case of misuse.

More assessments presenting chronologically the line of research published in this blog can be accessed in the category Framework and Timeline.

For anybody interested in the posts related with this discussion here I leave you those more relevant in chronological order (there are comments bellow some of them. Please check them out):

Posted in Aerobiology, Aerosols, Air, Biological productivity, Energy Balance, Extreme climatic events, Filling in, Influence of Continentality, Polar vortex and Jet Stream, Solar activity, Water vapour | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Climate. The Long Distance Between Science And Politics. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.)


Climate. The Long Distance Between Science And Politics. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.)

Last week the celebrity physicist Brian Cox appeared at the ABC’s Q&A on Monday night to discuss the state of climate with other panellist.

Several different digital platform media have covered the debate with sensationalist headlines focusing on the confrontation of two points of view. Brian Cox defended the existence of a climate change linked to anthropogenic forcing and Co2 emissions based on data and scientific agreement. Meanwhile, the  Australian senator-elect Malcolm Roberts defended his doubts based on an untrusted sense over the agenda behind the institutions handling the measurements and assessments supporting Brian’s posture.

Both postures have become stereotypes in the debate on climate. Same situation can be found all over the different channels supplying information and allowing interaction between participants.

Brian used “data based” assessments representing the scientific thought. Malcolm defended his doubts based on inaccuracies on computer modelling and the need for “empirical evidence.”

The missing link

Both postures are so close that they could be called the two sides of the same coin. Both represent postures which are allegedly based on analytical thinking and resource management.

The scientific thought looks for the most accurate method to analyse situations and evaluate their impacts and applications. Similar approach is expected in politics when they take decisions applied in designing and imposing policies affecting access to social-care, education, economic stability and environmental policies.

The assessments from scientists and politicians have an impact over all aspects related with the dynamics of any society.

The posture of following data blinded by its “objectivity” is risky and any posture based entirely on datasets, should be followed with an attitude of constant critical thinking. So I would not go so hard on anybody bringing doubts into the table. But, somebody with such critical attitude, should also show it with any other assessments directly related with the implementation and designing of all other policies and use of resources.

In the present economic situation, many countries are suffering economic imbalances triggered by lousy assessments followed by the politic absence of criticism. So it takes my attention how easily it can be made a strong political statement against assessments made by scientists over the use of natural resources and its impact over the global dynamics when such strong political criticism is not applied in the design and application of other policies.

My Take

Science and Politics surged as a necessity to manage resources and apply strategies aimed to generate a sustainable growth in our societies.

Both are carried out by humans and therefore, all aspects of human behaviour are present in all sectors. Political and economic agendas and personal interests are involved in both sides. But also the responsibility behind any decision and posture having an impact over the whole society.

Science and politics are advocated to work together. The mere fact of losing trust over each other, by extension, triggers the lost of trust from society towards either politics and science.

People pick their sides and create a sense of right and wrong in a dispute which has no winner.

We need to focus on understanding the source of our differences before we can move into convincing any fictitious “opponent”. And that is what I missed in the debate. A discussion over the source of the differences between both postures, a scientists and a politician.

One major question arise for me from the debate which involves everyone:

Which assets do we ask for in a scientists and in a politician?

And after you think for a while over those, look at them and ask yourself why are not the same assets for both?


More assessments presenting chronologically the line of research published in this blog can be accessed in the category Framework and Timeline.

Other related posts:

The scope of Environmental Science and scientific thought. From Thought-driven to Data-driven, from Critical Thinking to Data Management. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) 26 June 2015

Scientifically Challenged (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.) 12 May 2016

Settled Science (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.) 9 June 2016

Ups and Downs on Climatic Assessments. A Matter of Multiple Perspectives from the Same Point of View (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.) 12 August 2016

Posted in Opinion | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ups and Downs on Climatic Assessments. A Matter of Multiple Perspectives from the Same Point of View (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.)


Ups and Downs on Climatic Assessments. A Matter of Multiple Perspectives from the Same Point of View (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.)

Escher - Cascade (01)

In previous publications I have shared images and created videos to support my research based on recent observed atmospheric events.

In this publication, I want to share one thought which has been coming very often around my research over climatic data sets and analyses.

From some time ago I have increasingly getting the sense of that there is a limitation which is playing a huge role over atmospheric assessments as the result of applying numerous indexes, (which keep increasing in number) defining in isolation everything measurable. And then, we look for “teleconnections” between them, like the AO, NAO, PDO, EPO, ENSO… But, all of them, either talking about variations in SST or Atmospheric Pressure, end up pointing to the same driving factor dominating their behaviour, changes in wind shear.

Many of those indexes overlap their significance and will never work together in a consensual approach because they represent atmospheric dynamics which are working at different grades of dependency for different variables, changing the magnitude of those “dominance interrelations” throughout time. It feels like looking at the relation in the atmosphere between atmospheric relative humidity, total water vapour, specific humidity, atmospheric liquid water and precipitation. All related but different.

And, I believe that all of the differences applied in compartmentalizing the structure and zonification of our atmosphere are carrying the limitations generated from the position and attitude adopted as observers.

We have a tendency to interpret many of the events observed relying on what it works for us as if it works the same for everything out there. And then we build data processes bypassing our faulty point of view so they should overcome such limitations. Because, computers do not question the validity of an outcome in terms of making sense. If it is “computationable” it is valid within probability margins. But, because computers do not question if considering something computational makes sense in itself, or resolves anything, or even if the approach/program applied is the correct, computational processes just take the info supplied under the parameters programmed, and deliver a “meaningless” result. The meaning of the result has to be evaluated by a human interpretation from a human perspective.

Ups and Downs

So we look at developments moving up or down, from east to west, a meaningful average or a meaningless event. But what if we consider that in a round object, there is no up or down, neither left or right, and everything happens as an indicator of a wider process.

Averages play a huge role in climatic studies. But like statistics there are huge limitations assumed. If the average food supply for each family in a town is 5 kg of meat per week, you will never suspect that maybe half of the population is starving while the other half takes 10kg or more of meat per week.

In a 300km drive on a 3m wide road, there is only one bump, 2m wide 2m long and 2m deep. In average, if you spread the size of the bump throughout 300km, you will have a smooth trip… It all becomes relevant when we consider that such localised event marks a threshold threatening the integrity of your car. Same happens with environmental events. Some localized events are significant because they represent thresholds endangering the continuity of coexistent processes. One example are earthquakes. They are able to change the course of a river for ever, and with it, all the ecosystems dependent on the old course as well as those under the influence of the new one.

But, what about such considerations in atmospheric dynamics? So far, nobody has identified localised events, either in time or in geographical location, representing the threshold that changed previous dynamics. And I believe that those have happened in front of our eyes, but we haven´t been able to conceptualise their significance.

We, as specie, learn to interpret codes, in form of languages, in order to predict outcomes and be prepared so our response lapse time gets reduced, as part of an instinct to survive. But once we have learnt a pattern of thought, it is very difficult for us to change it.

Atmospheric dynamics are driven by forces of all kinds. However, we focus our attention mostly over those of a magnitude enough to call our attention, or that of our man-made algorithms.

These type of considerations underestimate some situations which have shown in the past to play a role which can easily scape out of our radar. What we consider small magnitudes, can actually trigger chain reactions with big repercussions. One of the most noticeable startling example occurred in 1940 in Tacoma EEUU.

The collapse of the 1940 Tacoma Narrows Bridge stunned everyone, especially engineers. How could the most “modern” suspension bridge, with the most advanced design, suffer catastrophic failure in a relatively light wind?

Construction on the bridge began in September 1938. From the time the deck was built, it began to move vertically in windy conditions, which led to construction workers giving the bridge the nickname Galloping Gertie. The motion was observed even when the bridge opened to the public. Several measures aimed at stopping the motion were ineffective, and the bridge’s main span finally collapsed under 40-mile-per-hour (64 km/h) wind conditions the morning of November 7, 1940.

The investigation Board’s most significant finding was simple and obvious: the engineering community must study and better understand aerodynamics in designing long suspension bridges.

Meanwhile, Professor F. B. Farquharson continued wind tunnel tests. He concluded that the “cumulative effected of undampened rhythmic forces” had produced “intense resonant oscillation.” In other words, the bridge’s lightness, combined with an accumulation of wind pressure on the 8-foot solid plate girder and deck, caused the bridge to fail.

Leon Moisseiff, who was contacted immediately after the failure, said he was “completely at a loss to explain the collapse.” Moisseiff visited the ruined bridge one week later, touring under the watchful eye of Clark Eldridge. Moisseiff’s design, while pushing beyond the boundaries of engineering practice, fully met the requirements of accepted theory at the time.

Many other examples of small magnitude factors having big repercussions can be found in many engineering challenges and behind many failures. Those small processes are all over our environment passing unnoticed. So everything comes to the scale of the force that we are able to recognise as significant.

A perspective of scale

When we look at the state of our atmosphere and the dynamics involved, in order to identify a forcing triggering a change, we look for big magnitudes which alter our cyclic patterns of thought. In other words, we look at what it is a referent of stability in our environment and we talk about variations between day and night, between seasons in a year and between seasons among years.

Such cycles are easy to identify to our understanding when in fact, our planet is in constant exposure to radiation from the Sun without day and night. It is like a chicken being roasted in a barbecue set in space. There is no average between day and night in the percentage of surface under radiation. The Earth has exposed to Sun’s radiation half of its surface, always and constantly. There is no day and night. Like when you are under the sun at the beach, you can face upwards or backwards, but you would not call that difference day and night.

Our seasons are only related to our position in latitude, whereas the planet as a whole, it has just small variations in the amount of radiation through the whole round around the Sun. And even more, our Sun is not static while our planet moves around. It also moves in position through space, and the Earth (we) with it.

So if we look for changes in those forces with the major magnitudes, we will be overcome by trying to understand the constant change of those and, at the same time, the constant rate at which those forces interact. Such constant rate in those changes gives stability to our environment. And that gives more significance to the repercussion from changes in the forces of minor magnitude. Like steering a ship in the middle of the ocean, you do not need to change the currents, you just need to change the angle of approach.

 Perspective and Attitude

We have to face major questions considering all magnitudes and perspectives. But that might require a change in our perspective and attitude.

What we consider too small to matter and big enough, are just considerations of our limitations.

Exploring the Ups and Downs

We are looking for answers everywhere, Up and Down, to East and West, to the North and the South. But how much of our limitations come from those same applications?

Many of us doing research over environmental transformations, atmospheric dynamics and climatic drifts are looking at the same images. However, we not all are applying the same perspectives and getting the same interpretations.

Such differences make science to move with its own ups and downs, as previous thinkers felt discussing the shape of the Earth. Nowadays science is facing similar challenges and, somehow, in the era of technology, the behaviour and attitude towards challenging the establishment seems to carry same type of threats.

Ups and Downs Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD

In the present world of bigdata, we are facing also the challenge of figuring out what to do with the amount of data being generated. Such challenge represents the other side of the same coin represented by the previous image: “Without an opinion, you are just another person with data.” Somewhere in the middle lays the useful thinking we need.

Many discoveries have come from people unable to have the data which would demonstrate that they were in the right path. They would not have any chance to be considered by the scientific community in the present time. Not even Einstein had enough data to support all of his claims. So, was he kind of another person with an opinion?

An opinion has shape, data requires to be given shape.

Could we see different things in a different way by just opening our perspective to new positions as observers?

Ups and Downs by Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD

There is a price we have paid for leaning heavily on the idea that humans must be information processors just because computers are information processors (more here). The scope of Environmental Science and Scientific Thought has moved from Thought-driven to Data-driven, from Critical Thinking to Data Management.

Computers and models can give us results, and all of them will have to be interpreted from a human perspective since everything programmed by man is a projection of the limitations carried by the programmer.

You can obtain maps giving you images, and yet, we will look at them and interpret their meaning subjected to ups and downs.

Diapositiva21

Perspective on our ourselves

Perspective is a state of mind, not only represents where we stand but also, how difficult it can be for us to change ourselves before changing everything around us to find sense on it.

Follow-up on the Research published in this Blog

Washingtonpost.com_news. The U.S. coast is in an unprecedented hurricane drought — why this is terrifyingtakoma narrow bridge. By Jason Samenow (August 4)

Twenty-seven major hurricanes have occurred in the Atlantic Ocean basin since the last one, Wilma, struck Florida in 2005. The odds of this are 1 in 2,300, according to Phil Klotzbach, a hurricane researcher from Colorado State University.

Florida hasn’t seen a hurricane of any intensity since 2005’s Wilma, which is shocking considering it averages about seven hurricane landfalls per decade. The current drought in the Sunshine State, nearing 11 years, is almost twice as long as the previous longest drought of six years (from 1979-1985).

ixty-seven hurricanes have tracked through the Atlantic since Florida’s last hurricane impact. The odds of this are about 1 in 550, Klotzbach said.

Even the entire Gulf of Mexico, and its sprawling coast from Florida to Texas, have been hurricane-free for almost three full years, the longest period since record-keeping began 165 years ago (in 1851). The last hurricane to traverse the Gulf waters was Ingrid, which made landfall in Mexico as a tropical storm, in September 2013.

Scientists have no solid explanation for the lack of hurricane landfalls. The number of storms forming in the Atlantic over the past decade or so has been close to normal, but many have remained over the ocean or hit other countries rather than the United States.

A study published by the American Geophysical Union in 2015 said the lack of major hurricane landfalls boiled down to dumb luck rather than a particular weather pattern. “I don’t believe there is a major regime shift that’s protecting the U.S.,” said study lead author Timothy Hall from NASA.

Every once in a while there is a broadcast about some type of discomfort between real time observation, data and models. But what it is more striking is that everybody seems to be expecting for data and models to give answers about everything. And when those do not fit, nobody has an alternative!!! There is no feasible theory or sensed opinion describing a possible mechanism explaining any principles driving the state of our atmosphere. Only  positions based on defending the probability of seeing a factor raise or decrease without  having a purposed mechanism driving those changes. Even the concept of Arctic Amplification has its ups and downs.

In Oct 2014 I shared my theory through all channels in my hand with the aim to offer it for an open, public and multidisciplinary review.

I wrote it down in my blog and I shared it in my profile in academia.edu and at several groups in LinkedIn, (you need to be logged-in in order to have access to the links)

(Updated 22/Dec/14) A Groundhog forecast on climate at the North Hemisphere. New theory proposal to assess possible changes in Atmospheric Circulation (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) Posted on 21 October 2014. (link to the publication in this blog)

Links to the publication at LinkedIn’s groups (2014/10/25 12:58:23 UTC):

Wordpress Visits Stats Post Theory CLimate Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD

WordPress Visits Stats 2 weeks between Oct 20, 2014 and Nov 2, 2014. Post Theory Climate by Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD.

In an exchange of emails with Jennifer Francis asking for feedback she pointed me out that there were no peer reviewed publications at the time available to verify my assessments so I should offer my own data and analyses. Accordingly, in February 2015 I wrote a follow-up piece revisiting and contrasting my theory with the events occurred throughout the winter 2014-15.

(UPGRADED 24th March2015) Revisiting the theory of “Facing a decrease in the differential gradients of energy in atmospheric circulation” by Diego Fdez-Sevilla. Posted on 10th February 2015.

Links to the publication at LinkedIn’s groups (2015/03/24 07:22:15 UTC):

It is being more challenging than I expected to find feedback on it when members at specialised groups like AGU and NOAA kept silent without agreement or disagreement.

In the last year 2016 it has been refreshing and encouraging to finally start finding feedback and positive comments. Reaching same conclusions from different points of view is what strengthens the validity of any approach to discuss and implement new ideas in atmospheric and climatic assessments.

When it is claimed that there is an absence of ideas exploring connections between data, atmospheric dynamics and climatic shits, I am just trying to offer mine (follow this link to see those posts with DOI published at ResearchGate and this link with the Timeline and Framework of all publications in this blog)

Hurricanes, tornados, typhoons, thunderstorms… are all expressions of localised accumulations of energy in a constrained space. Their lifespan and impact, is conditioned by the rate at which the energy gets dissipated into their surroundings. Interfaces of phases with high contrasts in energy gradients clash abruptly. By homogenizing the energy contained and dispersed all over the surrounded atmosphere, it is reduced the differential in the gradients of energy, reducing also the amplitude of the shock wave generated by the contrast required to dissipate their energy.

Overall, my conclusions from my research are that the mixing ratio between the usually compartmentalised parts of the atmosphere, in latitude and longitude, is increasing.

The consequences are affecting dynamics in different ways, with different implications but all sharing same origin.

A week ago I answered a message to Kenneth D. Murray (Managing Director, IEC) about the action of Dust storms building high electric fields due to particle collision and electron transfer mitigating CO2.

The number of wildfires active around the world, and in particular in Europe, makes my answer quite appropriated at this time.

In previous posts in my blog I have said that if we consider that things are changing, we cannot contemplate projections based on maintaining the conditions as they are. Where I would put my finger pointing at would be at the generation of new synergies once thresholds are reached. And that is a complex matter on its own where we can incorporate, but not only, deforestation, fossil fuel combustion and seasonal hemispheric differences.

Particles in the air are compounds of different nature, characteristics and behaviour. Biological and none biological as well as organic and inorganic compounds. Some are inert and some are active. Activity can be chemical or other nature like holding electric charges. Some particles are crystals which can get dissolved like salt from sea breeze. Others are biological components liberated in evapotranspiration processes, pieces of tissue or cells like pollen and spores. Then we have also black carbon from combustion of fossil fuels. And more.

When you say: “Dust storms build high electric fields due to particle collision and electron transfer. How much do these mitigate CO2?”

A quick thought comes to my mind. How many wild fires will be started due to lightning from the thunderstorms? And overall, and in the absence of thunderstorms, how much CO2 can a thunderstorm mitigate in comparison with the amount of CO2 being emitted?

For a complete index with all the previous publications in the line of research published in this blog follow the link

At this moment I am in a transition period with no institutional or economic support. The performance of my work as independent researcher, with no institutional and economic support, is limited by my lack of access to resources and economic stability. So far what I have published in this blog is what I have been able to offer with those limitations. I am looking either for funding to extend the work published in this blog or for a job position worldwide joining a team in their efforts. The ideal situation for me would be to join a team having the opportunity to incorporate my experience and results from my research. I believe that with more resources it could make a contribution in the establishment of agreement in the scientific community as well as in the design and implementation of strategies aimed to adopt measures to adapt and to increase resilience in our societies and natural ecosystems.

I am always open for feedback in the comments section. Also, I will attend any communication at my email d.fdezsevilla(at)gmail.com

IF you want to know more about me you can find more info in the About page in this blog. Also you can find my Profile at ResearchGate, at Linkedin and at  SlideShare (CV and Resume letter in pdf format).

______________________________________

I keep constantly looking into new developments and info in related topics. Since every person reaching my publications are interested in the same subjects, I would appreciate that you leave a comment and use attribution to my work when you find it influencing yours. Either through inspiration, data or methodology.

So please, get involved in my effort and join me, don´t exclude me from what it should be a team’s effort.

At the end of the day, and our lives, each one of us choose what we want to be recognised for.

The aim of publishing my work openly is to allow for it to be exposed for an open review. So any constructive feedback is welcome. After a period of time of at least a month from the publishing date on this blog and at LinkedIn, if no comments are found refuting the value of the piece published I then publish it at ResearchGate generating a DOI for posterior references.

In order to protect my intellectual rights, more assessment in depth and the statistical and numerical analyses that I have performed to support my arguments can be discussed at my email: d.fdezsevilla(at)gmail.com

If you find that my work is worthy to be acknowledged, share your thoughts openly and publicly because by sharing public acknowledging over the value of my work is what will help me in order to find the attention from those able to allow me access to a job position or resources to increase the functionality of my research.

PerspectiveSince October 2013 I have been studying the behaviour of the Polar Jet Stream and the weather events associated as well as the implications derived into atmospheric dynamics and environmental synergies.

Many of the atmospheric configurations and weather and climate events we see these days are very similar with the progression followed since 2013. Please take a look at posts addressing those events from previous publications in this blog or look at the categories in the top menu. Also at research-gate. Feedback is always welcomed either in this blog or at my email (d.fdezsevilla(at)gmail.com). All my work is part of my Intellectual Portfolio, registered under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License,  WordPress.com license and it is being implemented at my profile in researchgate. I will fight for its recognition in case of misuse.

Posted in Biological productivity, Cultural Cognition, Energy Balance, Extreme climatic events, Filling in, Water vapour | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Compartmentalization of Evolution (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.)


The Compartmentalization of Evolution (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.)

Integration

In maths, Integration is the inverse of differentiation.

In engineering, system integration is defined as the process of bringing together the component subsystems into one system and ensuring that the subsystems function together as a system.

In Sociology and Economy

  • Social integration, in social sciences, is the movement of refugees and underprivileged sections of a society into the mainstream of societies
  • Racial integration, refers to social and cultural behaviour
  • Economic integration, refers to trade unification between different states
  • Educational integration of students with disabilities
  • Regional integration, a process in which states enter into a regional agreement in order to enhance regional cooperation through regional institutions and rules

Meanwhile in calculus, Integration is the inverse of differentiation, in our societies, integration is facing the challenge of “combining” in a functional system the value of “identity” and “unification”.

The problem comes from the idea of being united under a single identity.

In evolution, the process of integration offers an advantage. Through the integration in one single unit of multiple components brought from different several others it is generated a new single identity stronger than each of the individual parts surviving separately. The advantage comes from the new capacity developed to combine the strongest assets of each part to overcome the weaknesses carried by the performance of each part working individually.

This idea is simple to understand and it is used everyday to talk about team work and sports and economy and environmental policies and so on. And yet, there is a strong fear against losing identity, what ever that might be.

Identity

What it is part of the situation is the question of, what is an identity based on?

Religion, Pigmentation, Social background, Geographic location on birth, Education, economic status, family, …

Evolution has been always the integration of different parts to create a single unit incorporating aspects from those which complement each other and as a result, enhance the performance of the new unit.

As I see it, we might be the first specie in the Earth history that confronts the pressure from natural evolution with the capacity to take decisions over how to adapt. Normally, natural selection just makes the decision by just keeping those whom are able to adapt to the pressure. And as it happens in evolution times, it is not about if we want or not to adapt.

The human specie is embedded in a natural system with a single identity, like it or not. We represent one component of this identity. We survive thanks to what we take from this natural system but instead of playing our part covering for its weaknesses, we might be actually making them even weaker.

Compartmentalization

What it takes us to the point of considering the whole aside the parts. So our natural system as an identity represented by the whole, is considered omnipotent.

When the whole is divided in its parts, we have the elements interacting in Space (Sun, planetary alignment), the position of our planet in Space (Tilt, rotation, etc) and the situation of the Space in our Planet.

One assessment comes from considering the evolution in the interaction between the elements present in space (planets, radiation, gravitational forces, debris, …) as the forces dominating the evolution in our planet.

Then there is also the implications derived from the evolution in the dynamics driving the behaviour of our planet in relation with its angle of tilt and distance related with the Sun as well as the magnetic field, velocity of rotation, …).

When we look at the evolution of the conditions within the surface of the planet, and the forces driving its evolution, the assessments diverge from each other. Some are based merely in the influence from forces at planetary scale either originated from the interaction between elements present in Space or the conditions of our planet as whole.

From this point of view, the single unit we are part of and that we call our planetary environment, is evolving driven by those forces and independently from the interaction between the parts that constitute it.

Time

Maybe, it is about time that we call the attention on “time” as a major force involved in evolution.

Our planet has suffered many changes through its existence. The time scale applied to understand it is many times beyond our ability to comprehend its full meaning. Relatively speaking, humans exists as seconds in a 24 hour period of existence for our planet. Such small margin of existence in such a vast period of time make us insignificant in the life experiences of our planet.

Even the capacity that humans have developed to manipulate energy, is not comparable with the amount of energy flows that the Earth as a planet can generate through gravity, magnetism and kinetic movement. Those forces have been through time before our existence and they will be after.

But, those energy flows and planetary interactions, represent magnitudes which are driven by wide timescales. So, we know that as the magnitude of a force increases it also increases the timescale through which this force evolve. It is like moving volumes of mass. The bigger the volume the longer it takes to move it.

So, is it irrelevant what happens when the time scale is reduced?

Compartmentalizing Time

Well, if you take the metabolism of a mosquito, Males have the shortest lives, usually 10 days or less. So, the timescale for “relevant” things to happen is way shorter than for us. And what they consider their pace is faster than ours. For us it is easier to handle what happens in our surroundings as closer gets to our timescale. It is easier for us to follow the movement of a cat than of a mosquito.

Does this means that even though mosquitoes and us do not share same time-scale we do not have an impact to each other?

We know that our planet handle variations in forces coming from interacting with planetary elements, of enormous proportions and in a planetary system. But, how well does it take changes in a smaller timescale and happening from within, is another different matter.

We are small in comparison with other players and the forces involved, but we move way faster.

We can blame our changing climate to natural causes or human transformation, but, as the economic system is managed nowadays, the problems behind human displacement and societal resilience are rooted over the unsustainable and inefficient management of resources and the incapacity to evolve allowing cultural evolution through integration.

In the earth’s planet timescale, dealing with this it will become part of its evolution. But in our timescale, as a society, we are keeping our differences in defence of our identities and social so we are compartmentalizing our evolution. In other words, we are not taking the advantage of our differences to cover our individual weaknesses but making our weaknesses an added pressure for our evolution and the evolution of our environment.

We as specie are expending our time thinking about the weather and climate in planetary timescales when meanwhile, in our timescale, we might not even get to survive the impact in our evolution from our own waste.

 

Posted in Filling in, Finding out, Opinion | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

What is on the menu? “Plastic” (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.)


What is on the menu? “Plastic” (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.)

Plastic never really goes away, it just breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces — so small the naked eye can’t see it.

Microplastics are harming water resources to an extent that is not fully understood by science today.

In a previous publication in this blog I have discussed aspects which I consider to be relevant behind the lack of knowledge identifying the impact from plastics in the functionality of the Oceans as Climate regulators:

The problems derived from releasing vast amounts of plastic as waste into the open generates issues which range from the mere degradation of sceneries aesthetically appealing, the impact over resources required to maintain the ecosystem’s equilibrium, the chemistry  behind their degradation, up to the less evident and more harmful which is its incorporation in our own bodies as part of the trophic chain. The aquatic fauna in Rivers, Oceans and Lakes consume those plastics on all their sizes, and even as molecules in polymer form, and we eat them.

Any search for information in this subject will offer you many sources for you to look into.

Plastics on the menu

One example comes from two publications from 2015.

TheGuardian published on Thursday 12 February 2015 (by Andreas Merklthe) the presentation of a study questioning the final destination for the huge quantities of plastic entering the ocean.

Ocean plastic is likely disappearing into the food chain, new study indicates.

Since much of it isn’t accounted for, says Andreas Merkl, we should be concerned about where it’s ending up.

The drifting garbage patches we hear about in the news – such as the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” – are the tiny tip of a man-made iceberg, accounting for probably just 5% of all the plastic waste that has been dumped, blown or washed into the sea.

New research published today in the journal Science offers the first real estimate at the quantity of plastic waste entering the ocean. And it doesn’t look good. The findings show that between 5 to 12m tonnes of plastics enter our ocean every year. This is on top of the 100 to 150m tonnes likely already in the ocean.

What’s truly worrying me is the missing plastic. We don’t know where all this plastic goes. We know that most of it never deteriorates. Instead it “weathers”, breaking down into ever smaller parts, most invisible to the eye. The often-publicized plastic gyres hold less than 5% than the estimated total. Some is trapped in Arctic ice; more sinks to the sea floor; and a good bit rests on beaches and shorelines. But where is the rest?

We know that plastic in the ocean is eaten by animals; we find it in every species of fish we examine, and it has caused the death of countless seabirds, turtles, and ocean mammals. We are afraid that a good bit of the missing plastic is actually inside the animals.

The new Science study identifies where the plastic is coming from: it originates mainly in developing countries, with rapidly growing populations and emerging middle classes, which are consuming more and more plastic.

A different publication was presented on the 25 September 2015 at http://www.newscientist.com by Karl Gruber.

Plastic in the food chain: Artificial debris found in fish.

Fish caught off the coasts of California and Indonesia and sold in local markets have been found to have plastics and textile fibres in their guts, raising concerns over food safety.

Chelsea Rochman at the University of California Davis school of veterinary medicine and her team visited a fish market in Half Moon Bay and Princeton in California and in Makassar, Indonesia.

In California they sampled 76 fish from 12 species and one shellfish species, and in Indonesia 76 fish from 11 species. All had been caught nearby. The animals were dissected and their guts treated chemically to dissolve body tissue and reveal any plastic and fibre debris they contained.

The team found that 55 per cent of the fish species sampled in Indonesia contained human-derived debris. This included Indian mackerel, shortfin scad and silver-stripe round herring. In total, 28 per cent of the fish sampled contained the debris, with one having 21 pieces of plastic inside it.

In the US, 67 per cent of the species – including the pacific oyster – contained the debris. The species included Pacific anchovy, striped bass and Chinook salmon. A quarter of the individual fish sampled were affected.

Textile fibres made up the majority of human-made debris found in fish in the US, while plastic dominated that found in Indonesia’s fish. “I was very surprised to see such a difference in type of debris between locations,” says Rochman.

“This clearly shows that plastic is in our food chain,” says Pete Davison of Farallon Institute for Advanced Ecosystem Research in California. “There is now quite a bit of literature showing that a wide variety of marine species consume plastic. It is likely to be happening everywhere.”

Journal reference: Scientific Reports, DOI: 10.1038/srep14340

Every little counts

As part of my own contribution into the issue of managing knowledge addressing the impact from plastics in our environment I want to make some space in this blog to promote and acknowledge initiatives addressing those topics. In a previous post I presented a small association from Galicia-North west Spain called Mar de Fabula.

Today I want to present an initiative from the Canadian Wildlife Federation promoting a petition to urge the Government of Canada to continue to address the issue of plastic waste.

With over 202,000 km of coastline along three oceans and 891,163 square kilometres of its total area covered by fresh water, Canada is a nation defined by its connection to water.  Unfortunately, those waters are under threat from a growing environmental concern: microplastics.

 The Government of Canada has taken an important first step by recently adding microbeads to the List of Toxic Substances under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act; however, there are still many other sources of microplastics polluting our waters. In fact, in a recent study researchers found microplastics in every sample that was taken near shore areas along both Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.

__________________________________

More assessments presenting chronologically the line of research published in this blog can be accessed in the category Framework and Timeline.

Among those posts related:

Our Environment. One Vision and Many Thoughts. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.)

Domesticating Nature. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)

Posted in Environmental Resilience, Filling in, Finding out, Inland Water Bodies and Water Cycle, Opinion | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Environmental Questions and Answers for Petrol Fans (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.)


Environmental Questions and Answers for Petrol Fans (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.)

I like engineering, wherever I see it. May be I like it because I see it everywhere. So, even though I am a Biologist, and not an engineer, I would like to make an attempt to address a question which I have seen too many times unresolved, from an engineering point of view. And any one can add their corrections if they feel like it.

Doesn’t more CO2 mean more plant Growth?

NO. Same as more fuel in the tank of your car does not mean your engine goes faster. Similarly, more fuel getting into your engine does not enhance its performance unless you increase also the amount of oxygen (or Nitro if you like) which is required for the fuel to burn and trigger the internal explosion. Furthermore, if you increase the combustion rate (or power) in your engine, you better strengthen accordingly the engine heads and block to support the increase in the stress that the materials have to support. Furthermore, you will need to increase the performance of the cooling system and oil lubrication, because more explosions will produce more friction and heat. And overall, Don’t Let Your Engine Outpace Your Chassis and Break Power.

So, in the same manner, plants use CO2 as engines use petrol. And face the same limitations. CO2 is just one element. Increasing its concentration will make available the potential for enhancing photosynthesis, which demands an increase in the performance of the whole “metabolism” (internal combustion) sustaining the process. That means, the plant requires, for instance, more water (equivalent to oxygen in combustion, H2O combines with CO2 to make molecules, “sugars”, CnHnOn chains) and use them as bricks building the material from which plants are made. But plants, like humans do not survive only with oxygen and water (CO2 and water in the case of plants), they also need other elements, essential nutrients. And, similarly as with the performance of an engine, the access to all those elements and the processes managing their interaction have to be in balance in order to make it work consistently. If you build a greenhouse over a terrain and you try to grow any plant based on only CO2 and Temperature, you will not go far. If you want for your greenhouse to be profitable you will have to invest in infrastructure to monitor and control air temperature, humidity and CO2 as well as constant supply of nutrients to equilibrate the demands from boosting the metabolism of your plants. Otherwise, they will grow showing anomalies in their development. The same as if you want to change the engine in your car by one more powerful, you will have to adjust the whole car, and your wallet, to the new demands.

(Some related reading from others:

  • Reduce greenhouse costs. Source
  • Comparison and Cost Analysis of Growing Hops in a Greenhouse versus and Outside Environment. Source.)

From there on you can make your own assessments. It does not matter if you are a lawyer working as a waiter or as a minister in any government, if you see the analogy, you will easily understand why there are different plants in different parts of the world or just in different parts of your surroundings. Like different cars are made to perform in different surfaces and terrains, different plants are also designed to perform in different conditions. If those conditions change, it adds more stress in their design.

Do plants overheat from stress?

Yes. They will take more water from the soils in order to refresh their internal parts and increase evapotranspiration. If there is not enough water in the soils, they will collapse.

Will they get stressed if there is more CO2 but not other supplies?

Yes, if only CO2 is increased, it will demand more H2O from soils and the atmosphere as well as more nutrients to keep upgrading the machinery from the increasing performance demanded for all the collateral systems (vascular system, roots system, foliage system, structural growth, …).

Doesn’t more plant Growth mean capture of more CO2?

Only if it happens in equilibrium with the rest of the ecosystem. IF plant growth overtakes nutrients and water supplies it will collapse and not even reach maturity. Plant growth, like an engine, can consume more CO2 equally to as an engine can consume more fuel, but it does not mean it will do it more efficiently.

Doesn’t capture of more CO2 mean less available CO2?

At some extent yes, but, the same as consuming more fuel means less available fuel. How much CO2 is required to be consumed by plants in order to feel the difference? It all depends on how much CO2 is available and how much is captured, and retained, by plants. If plants capture CO2 but they do not retain it cause they die and release their Carbon material due to decomposition or combustion, we will not feel the difference in the equation.

How many cubic miles of just “Peat” and equivalent captured CO2 is there on the earth that have been there for thousands of years? Doesn’t that mean there will be a natural balancing point? What is that balance point?

Time. If there is not enough time to counterbalance the rate of emissions of CO2 with the time of permanence of CO2 inactive in a fixed form, the concentration of CO2 will keep high.

Which also begs the question, “Why are we converting naturally captured CO2 in plant life into free CO2 molecules by burning instead of taking free CO2 and converting them into fuel?

That is a good question. It would just keep the concentrations equivalent to the energy used. Which it would open a new question. How much energy is efficiently used from emitting CO2? 50% maybe? The rest goes into heat and friction.

So I keep my futuristics hopes in enhancing the efficiency of transferring the most of the energy harvested from any source into work.

Image capture of a question I asked through my account on twitter to the commentators in a National TV channel over a f1 training session. The question was about how much freedom was available to play with the distribution of weight in the cars between different circuits.

Don´t take me wrong. I love driving anything mechanical. I would love to have the opportunity of driving any powerful vehicle in any terrain and surface, ships in the oceans and I always had fascination for helicopters (I would love to learn to pilot those). But I just don´t mind if the power comes from electrolysis of water. What I care about is the waste produced from the release and transference of energy to make work.

I am a methodologists, I study the best methodology enabling us to understand and perform in any activity with an aim. The bigger concern for me is not the colour of the result, but the purity of it.  In climatic assessments I don’t have a side. I just look at the methodology applied and search for the coherence behind when contrasted with the discussion that the results generate.

And this post is just aimed to simplify with an analogy what it concerns to CO2 and plants when grow in a greenhouse maintained by nobody.

I have already explained my assessment over the North hemisphere as part of a process in expansion from mid-latitudes. Now, through the Southern winter, we can see also anomalies in tempt entering Antarctica. I can only repeat what I have said in previous assessments in atmospheric developments. The mixing ratio is increasing and it is not going to follow the same pattern through time.

 More on this topic:

SOILS. The Skeleton Holding The Muscle On Our Ecosystems (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.) Published 9 December 2015

Plant growth, CO2, Soil and Nutrients. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.) Published 31 March 2016

External publications:

Managing uncertainty in soil carbon feedbacks to climate change

Mark A. BradfordWilliam R. WiederGordon B. BonanNoah FiererPeter A. Raymond &Thomas W. Crowther (Source)

Planetary warming may be exacerbated if it accelerates loss of soil carbon to the atmosphere. This carbon-cycle–climate feedback is included in climate projections. Yet, despite ancillary data supporting a positive feedback, there is limited evidence for soil carbon loss under warming. The low confidence engendered in feedback projections is reduced further by the common representation in models of an outdated knowledge of soil carbon turnover. ‘Model-knowledge integration’ — representing in models an advanced understanding of soil carbon stabilization — is the first step to build confidence. This will inform experiments that further increase confidence by resolving competing mechanisms that most influence projected soil-carbon stocks. Improving feedback projections is an imperative for establishing greenhouse gas emission targets that limit climate change.

Geosciences Column: The World’s soils are under threat. By Laura Roberts-Artal July 22, 2016. (Source)

An increasing global population means that we are more dependant than ever on soils.

Soils are crucial to securing our future supplies of water, food, as well as aiding adaptation to climate change and sustaining the planet’s biosphere; yet with the decrease in human labour dedicated to working the land, never have we been more out of touch with the vital importance of this natural resource.

Now, the first-ever comprehensive State of the World’s Soil Resources Report (SWRS), compiled by the Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils (ITPS), aims to shine a light on this essential non-renewable resource. The report outlines the current state of soils, globally, and what the major threats facing it are. These and other key findings of the report are summarised in a recent paper of the EGU’s open access Soil Journal.

The current outlook

Overall, the report deemed that the world’s soils are in fair to very poor condition, with regional variations.  The future doesn’t look bright: current projections indicate that the present situation will worsen unless governments, organisations and individuals come together to take concerted action.

Many of the drivers which contribute to soil changes are associated with population growth and the need to provide resources for the industrialisation and food security of growing societies. Climate change presents a significant challenge too, with factors such as increasing temperatures resulting in higher evaporation rates from soils and therefore affecting groundwater recharge rates, coming into play.

The three main threats to soils

Soil condition is threatened by a number of factors including compaction (which reduces large pore spaces between soil grains and restricts the flow of air and water into and through the soil), acidification, contamination, sealing (which results from the covering of soil through building of houses, roads and other urban development), waterlogging, salinization and losses of soil organic carbon (SOC).

Global assessment of the four main threats to soil by FAO regions. Taken from Montanarella, L., et al. 2016.

More assessments presenting the line of research published in this blog can be accessed chronologically in the category Framework and Timeline.

Posted in Energy Balance, Environmental Resilience, Filling in, Opinion, Water vapour | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Climbing the Hill of Acknowledgement. Peer reviewed articles supporting previous assessments and research published in this blog. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.)


Climbing the Hill of Acknowledgement. Peer reviewed articles supporting previous assessments and research published in this blog. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.

(last update 9th Aug 2016. In order to facilitate the differentiation between present and past as well as first person and  third person, I have applied colouring to letters in paragraphs. “Blackto refer to first person, in present and “Blue” to first person in past, referring to previous publications.Maroon”, third person email, and “Gray”, third person and external references. I hope it makes sense and helps. Comments are welcome in the comment section or at my email d.fdezsevilla(at)gmail.com)

__________________________________

In 2014 the line of research defined by the assessments published in this blog could not be verified by peer review articles due to the absence of them applying similar approach. That was confirmed by direct communication with Jennifer Francis by email (in full here) when I shared with her my views over changes in atmospheric dynamics expressed in two publications:

“date: Tue, Dec 2, 2014 at 1:36 PM 

Dear Francis,

I have been for a year looking into synergies and parameters which might regulate our climate at global scale and I would like to know your opinion about the accuracy of a theory that I am working on. Could you help me here?

My name is Diego Fdez-Sevilla. I am a Biologist with a PhD in Aerobiology. After couple of years doing research and working in institutions linked with environmental research and management, I am myself in a period of transition searching for a new job. However, in such competitive scenario, instead of just moving my cv and wait for my next opportunity to arrive, I have decided to invest also my energy and time in finding ways to stay active in research showing what I am capable of. Since without resources it is very difficult to create data with the standards to publish in scientific journals, I have started my own blog in which I publish pieces of research focused on addressing relevant environmental questions.

Throughout several posts in my blog, I have explored the connections between Solar activity, Biological productivity, Polar vortex, Environmental Resilience, Inland Water Bodies and Water Cycle, Energy Balance and the Influence of Continentality on Extreme Climatic Events. Based on my criteria (always open for corrections) I have developed a theory about what I believe it has induced an increase in atmospheric water vapor content and, further I discuss its implications in atmospheric circulation, Jet Stream behaviour and weather system’s patterns.

Based on my previous research published in this blog and, the arguments pointed out in various assessment, I propose for open evaluation by the scientific community the theory of “Facing a reduced differential energy gradient in atmospheric circulation” and the consequent implications over Weather Patterns, Atmospheric Circulation and Atmospheric Oscillations.

In order for me to test the accuracy and validity of my arguments I would like to find feedback from a multidisciplinary audience. And here is where I ask for your help. I am aware of that you might be busy with your daily responsibilities so I understand that it could take you a while to reply. At the same time, I am cautious about how my own perspective about my own work is limited, and I am open to receive feedback giving me a reality check showing how un-relevant it can be the line of research that I address in my approach. Both options would be welcome. Before moving forward in the development of my thoughts I believe that I have to calibrate the accuracy of my conclusions and points of view.

You will find the most relevant posts in the following links:

  • New theory proposal to assess possible changes in Atmospheric Circulation (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) October 21, 2014

https://diegofdezsevilla.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/a-groundhog-forecast-on-climate-at-the-north-hemisphere-by-diego-fdez-sevilla/

  • Why there is no need for the Polar Vortex to break in order to have a wobbling Jet Stream and polar weather? (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)
    http://wp.me/p403AM-mt

Thank you in advance.

If you don´t have time I would appreciate you could give me a brief reply so I can confirm that you have received this message.

Diego.

New theory proposal to assess possible changes in Atmospheric Circulation (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) Posted on 21 October 2014. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.4859.3440)

Why there is no need for the Polar Vortex to break in order to have a wobbling Jet Stream and polar weather? (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) Posted on 14 November 2014. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.2500.0488)

On December 17, 2014, I was very grateful for having her answer:

“On this particular topic, I would suggest reading the recent review paper that I’ve attached, which includes an extensive bibliography of relevant papers.”

(from the mentioned review paper:

  • How that signal propagates out of the Arctic to mid-latitudes differs and can be loosely grouped under three broad dynamical frameworks: (1) changes in storm tracks mainly in the North Atlantic sector; (2) changes in the characteristics of the jet stream; and (3) regional changes in the tropospheric circulation that trigger anomalous planetary wave configurations.
  • The theory that Arctic amplification is resulting in a slower zonal jet, increased meridional flow, amplified waves and more persistent extreme weather has received a lot of attention from the media, policymakers and climate scientists. In part due to the high profile, this hypothesis has been scrutinized in the scientific literature more extensively than other hypotheses linking Arctic climate change to mid-latitude weather. However, it is worth noting that other studies on related topics, especially other observational studies, share some of the same shortcomings: lack of statistical significance, causality unclear, incomplete mechanistic understanding, and so on))

(email continues) The topic you’ve written about is extremely complicated and many of your statements have not yet been verified by peer-reviewed research. It is an exciting and active new direction in research, though, so I encourage you to pursue it. To get funding or a job in this field, however, will require a deeper understanding of the state of the research, knowledge of atmospheric dynamics (not just suggestive examples and anecdotal evidence), and statements supported by published (or your own) analysis.

Francis communication

Francis communication

On December 24, 2014, I sent her my reply, which represents the final one since it has not been further communication:

“I just want to thank you for giving me a chance and read my ideas. What I wrote was after reading that Cohen proposed that early snowfall over Asia increases albedo leading to heat retention in the atmosphere provoking Artic ice to melt and create heat absorption leading to jet stream weakening due to Artic Amplification in atm heat absorption. I believe that all of that is a consequence and not the trigger. That is a symptom and not the cause. My theory tries to find common ground to explain the cause leading to Artic amplification, blocking patterns associated to deep cyclonic events, a pause in atmospheric T raise, increase in kinetic energy dispersed over the whole hemisphere, water flash floods, as well as frequent  trans-equatorial circulation between hemispheres at jet stream level. I will try to find data to support my theory and I am open to reconsider all my assumptions. That’s why I really appreciate your input.”

Since those emails many more assessments have been published in this blog supporting the line of research purposed (see Timeline here). Those publications have received many visits but few researchers have chosen to share their opinion on them. And none to acknowledge their contribution publicly through their work.

Filling In Finding Out Gaps Around by Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD July 2016

Stats Oct 2013-July 2016. “Filling In Finding Out Gaps Around” by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.

In 2016, some peer reviewed publications start to appear supporting those assessments and arguments shared in this blog. If you are familiarised with them you will easily identify the arguments verifying each other despite the difference between the vocabulary applied in my assessments (open for understanding to most levels) and those in the scientific journals. If you need some clarification on why my assessments are not published in scientific journals the reason is that I have not had a position in research, neither economic or institutional support which would allow me to do it. Furthermore, as Jennifer said, the data and assessments which I supply, based on analytical thinking and observation, even though are consistent with the arguments which I developed and represented an innovation in identifying mechanisms and patterns in atmospheric dynamics, “could not be verified by previous published analyses“.

So it is up to you to consider the value of my assessments under the new light brought by the new analyses being published.

Previous assessments  presenting the line of research published in this blog addressing changes in Atmospheric Circulation

Most data sets and scientific publications have shown to not be able of unifying scientific assessments in a single criteria. Sometimes allegedly blamed due to political agendas, other times due to methodological lack of agreement, also data sets with weaknesses, or simply because “the data was there” but there was no theoretical approach, conceptual framework or idealised mechanism able to explain the meaning behind it.

In this scenario, in order to avoid carrying unknown bias by following lines of research and conclusions adopted by other scientists, I decided to build my own conceptual and experimental framework, defining an independent line of research and choosing my own methodology to perform data research and analyses.

So far my research has led me to conclude that there is a real mechanism shifting the atmospheric circulation, primarily in the North Hemisphere. Such shift has shown through a major weakening in the barrier separating Arctic circulation from Mid-Latitudes and the Equator, the Polar Jet Stream.

This weakening in the latitudinal thermal contrast creating the steadiness of the Polar Jet Stream can be associated with the increase of anthropogenic GHG’s (C13 and C12) being spread all over the atmosphere, not just at a specific altitude.

The incorporation of those gases into atmospheric circulation at equator and mid-latitudes (wild fires/industry) enhance the thermal conductivity of the atmosphere. Such effect increases the capacity for the atmosphere to carry energy, mostly identified in the form of temperature (but not only). An elevation of temperature in the atmosphere increments the capacity of the atmosphere to absorb and transport a strong natural GHG’s which is water on its gaseous form. The process of evaporating water captures energy within water molecules. This energy gets incorporated in the energetic pool of the atmosphere as thermal energy (latent heat) also with the mass of water molecules increasing the gravitational energy available. The difference between the thermal energy carried by masses of air generate winds and ultimately, it is such contrast makes the fuel for the kinetic energy generating Jet Currents like the Polar Jet stream.

The data and observations which I analyse are similar to those followed by the Arctic Amplification theory. However, we apply a different approach and analyses giving as a result a different interpretation over the meaning of the factors and results obtained. Arctic Amplification is delimited in location and follows the idea of seeing faster increases of temperatures in the Arctic than at mid-latitudes (amplification) as a trigger for changes in atmospheric dynamics. Meanwhile, I consider it as another symptom resultant from a broader mechanism.

Like seeing increases in the temperature of a body as the cause of a illness, or as part of the developments raised from a previous trigger, the identification of the right treatment is quite different.

I purpose a theory which considers Arctic increases of temperature as a symptom  resultant from a broader distribution of energy through the atmosphere, in altitude and latitude. The repercussions from this theory implies to consider mechanism involving changes throughout the whole atmosphere, interacting throughout all levels of stratification (land, oceans and atmosphere, biotic and none biotic). Therefore, Artic Amplification, is just too narrow in location and too limited in considering wider synergistic interactions to be applied in the theory here purposed farther than just the result of the weathering effect exerted by warmer mid-latitudes pushing towards the Poles.

Continuity developing  a line of research.

In 2013 I started to develop a new approach analysing climatic developments observing atmospheric dynamics assessing its behaviour as the result of being a medium containing an increasing amount of energy thanks to the GHG’s effect.

In Oct 2014 I published what is my interpretation over the actual developments in atmospheric dynamics and climatic drift:

New theory proposal to assess possible changes in Atmospheric Circulation (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) Posted on October 21, 2014. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.4859.3440

“The theory that I have developed follows “in alignment” with the work published previously by scientists  Judah CohenMasato Mori, Colin Summerhayes, Coumou and Ted Shepherd. Their work supported the theory of that early snowfall over Asia increases albedo leading to heat retention in the atmosphere provoking Arctic ice to melt. Their studies points to decreasing snow cover as the cause diminishing albedo enhancing heat absorption. Ultimately, their approach theorize that such enhanced capacity of the Arctic to absorb heat would lead to “amplify” atmospheric heat absorption already being fuelled with GHGs. And therefore, such increase in atmospheric temperature would reduce the thermal contrast required for a strong jet stream and consequently originating disturbance in atmospheric weather patterns associated.

What I propose with my hypothesis is that the so called “Arctic Amplification” is a synchronic consequence altogether with other environmental phenomena (ENSO, NAO, etc…) and not the trigger. I defend that “Artic Amplification” is a symptom and not a causation of atmospheric dynamics. Arctic circulation does not amplify a process but on the contrary, it reflects the consequence of absorbing the influence from mid-latitude conditions.”

I am looking at the implications of having the Arctic circulation not “Amplifying” but “Absorbing” constant increases in atm CO2 and Water vapour. In my approach, instead of looking at what happens in the Arctic as the origin of a chain reaction, I look at what happens in the Arctic just as a side effect (with its own implications) of a wider process resultant from a reduction between the differential  gradients of energy driving the atmospheric global circulation, being water vapour the carrier of the energy being dispersed all over the atmosphere.”

What I am trying to highlight in my theory are the possible mechanisms which would explain: changes in albedo which support the concept of “Arctic Amplification”, early snowfalls in central Asia, Arctic ice cover meltdown and oceanic increases in salinity and ultimately, the origin of atmospheric blocking patterns and a slow down or “pause” in T raise, unified in single principle: Increasing conc. of CO2 and water vapour induce a decrease in the differential gradients of energy in atmospheric circulation. (see more discussion and data at origin)

Back in Nov 2014 I also defended the existence of a “bottom-up” forcing from mid-latitudes circulation in altitude disrupting the Polar Vortex instead of following the mainly accepted argument assuming a down-forcing pressure from a broken polar vortex:

Here I hypothesise that it can be considered that the volume of the atmospheric system accommodating increasing conc. of GHGs and water vapour has expanded from sub-polar regions into Polar Circulation. Consequently,  following the second law of thermodynamics, an added space for those gasses to expand would allow for the atmosphere containing GHGs and water vapour to retain more heat with no increase in atmospheric temperature. Which it could explain why under increasing concentrations of atmospheric CO2 there has been a so called “pause” in global warming.

Increasing amounts of atmospheric CO2 and Water vapour would incorporate forms of energy not  only into cyclonic events, increasing its strength, but also it would increment the energy in the atmosphere around it. A scenario in which the difference between the energy carried by an atmospheric event and the atmosphere surrounding it is high, the energy in a cyclonic event would dissipate faster, losing strength and resilience. However, we can see in the North Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, cyclonic and anticyclonic events building what it has being called “blocking patterns”, growing from near surface level (1000 hPa) to levels as high as the Jet Stream (250 hPa).

For all of these reasons, I see a reasonable link between the recent observed disturbance in the atmospheric circulation of the Jet Stream, without the Polar Vortex being broken yet,  and the possibility of being the result of a decrease in the differential gradients of energy between cyclonic events and atmospheric barriers like the Jet Stream. Under such scenario, the Jet stream loses stability becoming wobbly, allowing more frequent exchange of masses of air between both cold and warm sides. (see more discussion and data at origin)

In order to contrast the accuracy of my approach with the atmospheric events being under observation, and with the encouragement from a brief exchange of emails with Jennifer Francis, in February 2015 I published a review over my own assessments:

Revisiting the theory of “Facing a decrease in the differential gradients of energy in atmospheric circulation” by Diego Fdez-Sevilla. Posted on February 10, 2015. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.1975.7602/1

“The differential thermal contrast between Polar and subtropical regions creates a barrier, or Jet Stream, separating both parts of the atmospheric circulation. The influence of CO2, increasing the heat absorption capacity of the atmosphere, would be amplified at Subtropical regions due to the synergistic relation with other GHG, Water Vapour, which is less abundant at latitudes with low temperatures. This situation would be contained momentarily by the barrier generated from such thermal contrast between both areas, Sub-tropical and Polar, in a feedback loop accumulating heat absorption by constant release of CO2 and increasing concentrations of Water vapour.

However, this scenario of constant contact of one side of the Jet stream with the other, and the global circulation in altitude, slowly but steady it would wear off the differential thermal contrast between regions weakening the strength of the Jet Stream barrier.”

“With the weakening of the Jet Stream, the volume of space to be occupied by warm air would expand into the Polar regions. Accordingly, highs associated with the subsidence of the Hadley cell move several degrees of latitude toward the poles even before the summer heat arrives (see following image on Pressure at Mean Sea Level 5th and 6th March 2015).”

“The expansion would allow for the atmosphere to keep absorbing energy through GHGs without increasing its temperature globally whereas increasing atmospheric pressure at higher latitudes.”

“That could explain the “pause” in global Temperature raise and yet, why it has not dropped. The weakening of the Jet Stream would allow more frequent intrusions of masses of air from both sides, inducing sudden and extreme changes in weather patterns for Northern and Southern latitudes. Once the barrier weakens, “warm and wet” currents of air would reach further North being dragged by High pressures moving at higher latitudes without the opposition of the Jet Stream.” (see more discussion and data at origin)

Among many assessments, in April 2015 I analysed the situation over Greenland due to a resilient high pressure system:

Two models, GFS (left) and ECMWF (right), forecast for the 25th April 2015 a High pressure enclosed over Greenland matching exactly its size.

Total Square What do you see Square What do you see

Questions and answers

I can consider two possible scenarios. The models are accurate or not. But then, some major questions raise here.

One would be if the models overestimate the difference in albedo between Snow and surrounding Sea Ice when they simulate their effect over atmospheric pressure at the sea level. Consequently the mapping of the extent of Land Being Covered by Snow marks the margins for the High pressure to develop.

But, considering that the models are accurate, several major questions arise:

  • The impact of Land Cover is strong enough to define the conditions driving the evolution of Atmospheric Processes (in this case High Pressure) involved in Atmospheric Circulation. That brings more evidences about the influence of continentality, and the activities carried inland, over  the atmospheric circulation.
  • The level of transformation on Land Use and Cover required to have an impact over atmospheric processes can be as small as the differences triggered in albedo between Ice cover and Snow cover.

Commonly reported Albedo values from different surface types.

Surface              Albedo value %
Soil                                  4
Forest                              8
Gravel road                   12
Bare soil                         17
Green grass                   25
Sand                               40
Concrete                         55
Snow                               85

Synergistic interactions exist between:

  • Land Cover and Use with
  • Albedo and Surface Temperature
  • which are linked with Atmospheric Pressure developments,
  • which are related with Atmospheric Composition and Behaviour
  • and all of them are dependent on Energy flows and gradients.

This post is part of a bigger piece of work looking into the synergistic interactions and the relevance of the role played by Land Cover over Atmospheric Circulation and the Meteorological Processes associated. The situation over Greenland seems to be a perfect example pointing out the existence of such strong interactions and synergy as much as it has also been observed in the behaviour of the atmospheric circulation over the Amazones.

There are many factors interacting throughout feedback loops in our climate, and here, I have just looked at the impact generated by alterations in albedo. This example highlights the necessity for not underestimating the relevance from spread changes in Land Cover and Use across all continents changing the albedo properties of surfaces, and their potential impact  over the global atmospheric circulation.

On March 2015 I extended the assessments verifying previous arguments analysing atmospheric dynamics and the events observed through the winter of 2014/15. Such analysis was added as an upgrade into the publication “Revisiting the theory of “Facing a decrease in the differential gradients of energy in atmospheric circulation” by Diego Fdez-Sevilla. (Upgraded 24th March 2015)

On January 2016 I compared my assessments over atmospheric dynamics and energy dissipation with the events observed through the winter 2015/16:

Since 2013, and after having decided to publish my new approach assessing the developments in the global circulation and associated climatic components, I have kept constantly updating those assessments. In such effort I have tried to integrate the new weather events identified in a constant discussion over the implications derived from considering synergistic interactions between them and the biotic components in our environment.

The previous publications pointed out above are among the 150 published in this blog. All the publications are interconnected discussing synergies between all the components playing a role in the debate over environmental  assessments, either as part of a conceptual framework or bringing analytical assessments over specific issues.

So far the chain of events happening this year are following a common pattern with what we saw last two winters. First, downpours and strong winds, next, flooding, and after, periods of cold temp and snow. And everything shares a key point. They are “concentrated” in time, location and quantity. Also, pressure systems are developing moving across latitudes more frequently than the longitudinal patterns associated with the traditional belts described by Hadley cells in global circulation.

Peer reviewed articles verifying previous assessments  presented in the line of research published in this blog:

Previous Assessments and Recent Publications on Atmospheric Dynamics and Hadley Circulation:

  • The 5th of May 2016 the AGU’s website made a joint release of a paper verifying previous assessments presented in the line of research published in this blog:

“A new analysis of 30 years of satellite data suggests that a previously observed trend of high altitude clouds in the mid-latitudes shifting toward the poles is caused primarily by the expansion of the tropics.”

The 6th of May I published a Post discussing the repercussion over the line of research presented in this blog: Climate and Hadley Circulation. Research Update May 2016 (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.) Posted 6 May 2016.

  • The 11 July 2016 another article was published online by Nature offering assessments which verify those previously discussed in the line of research published in this blog:

“Evidence for climate change in the satellite cloud record” Nature(2016)doi:10.1038/nature18273. .

Abstract. Clouds substantially affect Earth’s energy budget by reflecting solar radiation back to space and by restricting emission of thermal radiation to space1. They are perhaps the largest uncertainty in our understanding of climate change, owing to disagreement among climate models and observational datasets over what cloud changes have occurred during recent decades and will occur in response to global warming2, 3. This is because observational systems originally designed for monitoring weather have lacked sufficient stability to detect cloud changes reliably over decades unless they have been corrected to remove artefacts4, 5. Here we show that several independent, empirically corrected satellite records exhibit large-scale patterns of cloud change between the 1980s and the 2000s that are similar to those produced by model simulations of climate with recent historical external radiative forcing. Observed and simulated cloud change patterns are consistent with poleward retreat of mid-latitude storm tracks, expansion of subtropical dry zones, and increasing height of the highest cloud tops at all latitudes. The primary drivers of these cloud changes appear to be increasing greenhouse gas concentrations and a recovery from volcanic radiative cooling. These results indicate that the cloud changes most consistently predicted by global climate models are currently occurring in nature.

Previous Assessments and recent publications on Energy gradients:

  • On June 9th 2016, Nature published an article by Tedesco and colleagues which seems to corroborate the assessment considering Energy flows, distribution and dispersion in the generation of new atmospheric patterns defining weather patterns.

The findings expressed in the publication by Tedesco et al. support the assessments expressed throughout my line of research pointing out the relevance behind addressing the impact of having an increase in the energy pool being spread over the atmosphere.

The Washington post has presented the publication by Tedesco et al and Chris Mooney has presented some of the author’s explanation behind their findings (link):

Weird jet stream behaviour could be making Greenland’s melting even worse, scientists say.

A group of scientists looked back at the last summer melt season — 2015 — they found something odd and troubling.

Specifically, they found that Greenland had shown much more unusual melting in its colder northern stretches than in the warmer south, and that this had occurred because of very strange behavior in the atmosphere above it. During the month of July, an atmospheric phenomenon called a “cutoff high” — a region of high pressure that stayed relatively immobile over the ice sheet, bringing with it sustained sunny conditions — lingered for many days and produced unusual warmth at the surface and record melting for northwest Greenland.

A cutoff high “describes this atmospheric high pressure system that detaches from the jet stream, in this case, and then basically sits there, it’s almost like living by itself,” said Marco Tedesco, the lead author of the study just published in Nature Communications, and a researcher with the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University. “You can imagine something with enough energy to sustain itself, and there’s nothing bothering it. And it’s sitting right there, and that is driving the clear sky conditions over northwest, and also blowing the cold air over southwest.

The high was accompanied, in this case, by a northward departure of the mid-latitude jet stream — a stream of air in the northern hemisphere that can travel in a more or less wavy route as it progresses from west to east — that set a record for its northward extent, the study found.

The 10th of June 2016 I published a Post discussing the repercussion over the line of research presented in this blog: The Butterfly Effect on Arctic Circulation. Peer review verification on previous assessments (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.)

The theory of Arctic amplification applies the point of view of seeing the temperatures raising in the Arctic as a half full scenario. However, by applying the interpretation of assuming that the Arctic is one of the locations with an atmospheric volume with lowest energy content, we should look at it by how empty used to be, thus “half empty”.

The different interpretation between both scenarios bring into question the directionality on the triggers driving climatic and atmospheric events. Is it the Arctic affecting Mid-latitudinal circulation or is the other way around? So my approach into this question is simple: Where is the energy required to drive atmospheric circulation coming from? And the answer is held in the composition of the air that carry that which we measure as temperature. Albedo can make the ice to melt but can not warm up dry air. If the temperature at the Arctic circulation increases is because it carries a molecular composition which carries and retains energy. And since high temperatures over the Arctic melt ice and reduce albedo, there is less energy being radiated into the atmosphere so the temperature measured over the Arctic  has to come from circulation introduced by mid-latitudinal intrusions. But that is just the beginning of a process resultant from seeing mid latitudinal circulation invading Arctic circulation due to an overload on its energy pool. Moreover, if my take over the present developments is accurate, what comes after is what will make things interesting.

Previous Assessments and Recent Publications on Statistical errors:

Anomalies are standardised concepts. As such, and considering the limited capacity of perception that we can apply in modelling natural interconnections (lack of data and understanding in general of how to apply the data), they carry a very simple but relevant limitation. This limitation comes in the form of so called Type I and Type II errors.

Error I and II

All the Anomalies applied in climatic research have been “designed” to substitute the incapacity of identifying tangible “Thresholds”. In natural science, thresholds are those which define a change. But they are usually multivariate interdependent, and therefore, almost impossible to define accurately, and even less accessible to be modelled or predicted. Unless the magnitudes are too big, like being hit by a car makes finding the threshold of having something broken with a high probability and no Type I or II errors.

So, since thresholds are so complex to identify, there are side effects, indicators, which can be applied as conceptual “signals” which allow us to understand the expression of complex interactions otherwise invisible to our senses. Like trying to know if a infrasonic whistle works requires a dog giving us the “signal”.

The ENSO and the NAO are standardised indexes which have being designed and modelled statistically to frame in a tamed environment any possible reasoning. It seems that everything can be explained based on previous or predicted episodes of them but nothing can explain them. And that is where I see the conflict in the attitude applied to analyse, study and understand climatic developments base on “inexplicable” indexes.

In previous posts I have already discussed how “standardised” indexes (ENSO, NAO) and concepts (broken Polar Vortex is required to have a wobbly Jet Stream) have shown to be “limited”.

We can match episodes of “anomalies” with atmospheric events. A warmer ocean brings more humidity in the atmosphere of some regions so there is more rain, that is the “lighthouse” we can easily identify and follow. But we will need to find more ways of looking at things than that. We might need to stop fixing our attention into looking at the lighthouse and pay more attention into the difficult task of recognising the relevance of the “small”.

Anomalies are poor substitutes of absolute values giving thresholds. Useful for a while but limited in scope.

Following the line of research that I have designed in this blog I would expose one example of a threshold hidden in the anomalies.

Considering that CO2 induces increases of Water vapour in the atmosphere, those increments of water vapour would allow the atmosphere to carry more energy.

One first threshold being reached would come from the constant friction between subtropical and polar latitudes, and the global circulation at high altitudes. That would ultimately reduce thermal contrasts (thus barriers) and induce an expansion in the distribution of the water vapour around (and the energy carried by) the globe in latitude, longitude and altitude. That would alter the dynamic behaviour of the atmosphere and the weather patterns associated. So far, that is what I have proposed already in previous posts.

Another threshold in an imaginary scenario would come from adding a persistent pressure over the atmosphere to keep increasing its capacity to carry energy by water vapour with endless supply of CO2. Following that path there could be a moment in which CO2 might not be necessary any more to keep the feedback loop between the atmosphere sucking water and weather events releasing energy. Enough water vapour in the atmosphere might carry enough energy to keep the energy cycle Ocean-Atmosphere by a positive feedback loop, thanks to its characteristics as greenhouse gas. But of course, that is just too simple to be realistic (?). However, that kind of threshold would not be foreseen based on anomalies.

The 2nd March 2016 James Hansen and Makiko Sato. Published an article titled: “Regional climate change and national responsibilities”. Environmental Research Letters, Volume 11, Number 3. http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/11/3/034009)

Abstract. Global warming over the past several decades is now large enough that regional climate change is emerging above the noise of natural variability, especially in the summer at middle latitudes and year-round at low latitudes. Despite the small magnitude of warming relative to weather fluctuations, effects of the warming already have notable social and economic impacts. Global warming of 2 °C relative to preindustrial would shift the ‘bell curve’ defining temperature anomalies a factor of three larger than observed changes since the middle of the 20th century, with highly deleterious consequences.

Previous Assessments and Recent Publications on Limitations Modelling Environmental Changes

On May 15, 2014 I discussed the limitations of modelling environmental changes in the publication:The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything” is … 42 (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.) http://wp.me/p403AM-9M.

I used this publication to start several discussions over 10 different groups at LinkedIn and I used the title on those discussions:

“Are we ever be ready to use a number to measure the stability of our environment before establishing how it works?”

Within the body of the publication in this blog I wrote things like, but not only:

I have experience in evaluating the limitations of monitoring environmental atmospheric conditions from fundamentally looking at limitations when monitoring meteorological parameters and biological atmospheric particle load and transport (pollen). From my research, the papers that I have found through my career as researcher, and my experience participating in debates, there is a general bias admitted in today’s environmental data coming from conventionalisms based on prioritising building data sets. This situation induce many studies to overlook the impact that the disparity of representativeness between monitoring locations incorporates in the interpretation of many correlations.

Those limitations are consciously present in my position about global climate variations. I am not in neither side, claiming in favour or against AGW. Actually, I would like to follow a side walk, trying to be apart from any already adopted preconception, trying to start from the bottom up and see which conclusions could be found following separated paths.

“We try to correlate increases in temperature with changes in our environment. That means looking at only parameters “knowingly” related with temperature. And this relation has to be direct in order to give the strongest correlations. The limitation that I see in this approach is that indirect effects from multivariable synergistic feedbacks are poorly considered.” Instead of following the already settled in stone conception of temperature as the parameter to be correlated with anything or nothing I want to explore the idea of considering temperature as a mere symptom. Why not make the question backwards? Based on what we already know, what could be the possible implications in our ecosystem derived from the broad range of changes induced in our environment?

The most difficult thing in environmental sciences is to recognise and characterize thresholds based on correlations. No correlation can explain and forecast or project the transition from a primitive thermodynamic geologically dominated system to the origin of biological processes. That transition changed the chemistry of the environment in the hydrosphere, landscape, soil weathering and atmosphere composition, affecting the thermodynamics of the whole system.
No correlation can explain and forecast or project the genetic drift in evolution. The transition from simple structures with anaerobic and not solar related metabolism to complex organisms oxygen and solar dependent changed the availability of major volumes of elements by releasing them from their complex molecules into water cycles, ground and air. And it is as much difficult to understand which environmental conditions and parameters define the thresholds that change the magnitude of forces and trigger the activation of new systems (biotic and abiotic).

Lets imagine water as an unknown substance and heat to represent the concept of what I see as our limitations in understanding environmental evolution. The characteristics (physic and chemical) of this substance are different between states from solid, liquid and gas. The major correlation defining the presence of those states is temperature and therefore, the force affecting changes is heat. The strength of any correlation between temperature and water is different for each state of the substance. And there are thresholds that break the correlations by defining changes in molecular organization (freezing and boiling points). But also other factors affect those correlations such as impurities (soluble substances) and environmental conditions such as pressure and surrounding water saturation.

Following this idea, I would take Celsius degrees and liquid water to represent the time scale that we apply in studying environmental correlations. Similarly, in our time scale of environmental data, we see what happens between heat and temperature from 20 to 80 C. We can see raising temperatures in water correlating with other parameters (mostly heat related), and yet, the limitations of our measurements (we only monitor a small fraction of what is going on in our ecosystem, mostly in urbanized areas) and our understanding of synergistic interactions, make our models short-sighted to foresee thresholds marking points of inflexion which might induce changes in the dominant role played by the forces we know, as it would happen in order to foresee what would happen increasing temperature of liquid water beyond 99ºC. Or instead of temperature by increasing pressure, or instead Tª and Pressure by adding soluble particles or instead of … Are we ever be ready to use a number to measure the stability of our environment before establishing how it works? Would not it be like building models assuming liquid water beyond 100ºC? What are we measuring? How much amount of “something” or “everything” can the environment take without other numbers changing? What are we going to measure in order to define the “predictability” of our environment when this environment is constantly absorbing “unpredicted” fast paced alterations?

Let see simple numbers. How many mechanisms of resilience have we managed to identify in our environment at local and global scale? How many perturbations in our environment have already been identified by being linked with those mechanisms? Are we going to measure thresholds defining the limited capacity of those mechanisms to absorb perturbations?

Our environment, as we know it, is the result of many forces (internal and external, biotic and abiotic) exerting pressure against each other. The self regulated – constant adjustment between variations in those forces has created, as a result, the conditions that have been suitable for our ecosystem and ourselves to develop. And we have taken for granted that those conditions that we know, are regulated by forces so strong that anthropogenic pressure might not be “statistically significant” to interfere by any means. What we still don´t fully understand is how difficult or easy might be to interfere in the adjustment existent between those forces. It might be enough to allow one of those forces to gain strength over the others just to be the cause for a change in the adjustment.

In ecology as in biology, what it gives a 99% significant correlation, looking at causes having an impact over the health state of a system, does not come from what attacks the functionality of mechanisms of resilience, in biology called the immune system. Those threats do not aim to the organism existence, they just limit the capacity of defence against other threats. A 99% significant correlation comes from what threats the existence of the system by overcoming the mechanisms of resilience or just, the lack of them. In that way, anthropogenic pressure over the functionality of  the environment might not give ever a significant correlation when compared with other forces. For example,  tree rings will always be defined primarily by solar activity, however, one day it might become relevant to understand the role played in the ecosystem by the type of tree,  the location of those trees, their number and the stress factors affecting their metabolism.

There is a chance of that we might be looking in the wrong direction. Threatening the state of our ecosystem is a different matter that threatening the capacity of this ecosystem to absorb perturbations “in a manner suitable to our capacities for adaptation“. The question following this idea is about, what would happen if the global environment loses flexibility to absorb unusual variation from all the forces playing part in our climate?

The behaviour of the atmospheric circulation (climate) might well generate an indirect indication of fluctuations in forces being part of the mechanisms driving our climate. The correlations might also point to connections between Solar activity and localised events (AO/NAO/PDO/ENSO …). However, several studies have already pointed out that the atmospheric circulation, and potentially the oscillations associated, are also sensitive to the influence of established ecosystems (oceanic and continental). Thus, activities changing the environmental performance of those ecosystems become part of the whole feedback network.

Measuring singularities might give us numbers. However, if we want to find a number, a significant number which represents the answer to all our environmental questions, I may well take that the answer is 42. What I am missing here, is not about the value of understanding numbers, but the meaningfulness of questions … And please, don´t get me wrong, I am aware of that I might be so off topic, or redundant, or biased, or …  that, my own point of view might be a meaningless one. I leave it open for debate… I just want to make a point.

The February 17, 2016 a new article was published claiming that “Researchers find the tipping point between resilience and collapse in complex systems”.

Using statistical physics, network theorists have developed the “first-ever tool” to identify whether systems are in danger of failing.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/02/160217180253.htm

“The failure of a system can lead to serious consequences, whether to the environment, economy, human health, or technology,” said Barabasi, Robert Gray Dodge Professor and University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Physics. “But there was no theory that considered the complexity of the networks underlying those systems–that is, their many parameters and components. That made it very difficult, if not impossible, to predict the systems’ resilience in the face of disturbances to those parameters and components. Our tool, for the first time, enables those predictions.”

“Barzel, a postdoctoral fellow in Barabasi’s lab who collaborated on the research and is now at Bar-Ilan University, draws an elegant analogy between the role of temperature in identifying that tipping point in a pot of water and the single parameter–a temperature equivalent, as it were–that their tool can uncover to identify the tipping point in any complex system.

Consider: 100 degrees Celsius is the tipping point for water changing from liquid to vapor. Think of liquid as the desirable state for the system and vapor as the undesirable one, signifying collapse. Millions of parameters and components quantify what is going on within that pot of water, from the relationship of the water molecules to one another to their speed and the chemical bonds linking their elements.

As the water heats up, those parameters and components continually change. Measuring those multitudinous changes over time–a microscopic approach to assessing the water’s state–would be impossible. How, then, are we to know when the water is reaching the threshold that divides the desirable (liquid) state from the undesirable (vapor) state?”

“We collect all the data and map it to one number, a universal resilience curve,” said Gao, a postdoc in Barabasi’s lab. “That’s the only number we need in order to quantify whether the system is on the desirable or undesirable side of the threshold, or even approaching the danger zone.”

The 23 February 2016 I discussed the implications of this new publication in the line of research published in this blog: Do You Believe in the Value of Your Work? (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.) Published on 23 February 2016

Previous Assessments and recent publications on the role of Aerosols in Atmospheric Dynamics

The 17th February 2014 I discussed the role played by aerosols in the atmosphere as an indispensable component to drive atm. water vapour dynamics and cloud formation:    Met Office. The Recent Storms and Floods in the UK (Feb 2014) (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) Published on 17 Februry 2014

Met Office has published a paper that documents the record-breaking weather and flooding, considers the potential drivers and discusses whether climate change contributed to the severity of the weather and its impacts.

Back in Nov I wrote a post and discussed about the role of water vapour in atmospheric events (follow the link to see the post and comments at the bottom of the page:

https://diegofdezsevilla.wordpress.com/2013/11/27/climate-variability-and-energy-balance/).

Based on the publication from the Met Office I want to extend my previous evaluation of the role played by water in climatic events with the following comment in the subject:

What about studies looking at alterations in the role played by water in the atmosphere (absorbing heat and adiabatic behaviour inducing weather events) due to interaction with pollutants? I would like to know about studies looking at not only the increase of water vapour due to increases in temperature but also about how the interaction of pollutants with water could affect its properties throughout evaporation, condensation processes as well as in adiabatic processes.
I would like to explore the validity of an idea that is coming around my mind lately about the combined effect of:
In one hand, the effect of increasing amounts of aerosols leading to an increased capacity of the atmosphere to retain water. “Water drops in polluted cases are up to 50 percent smaller than in clean skies. The smaller size impedes the formation of rain clouds and the falling of rain, (http://phys.org/news169474977.html#jCp)” and in another hand, greenhouse gases retaining heat allow the atmosphere to expand retaining more water vapour.
Could the combine effect be part of the strong effect described as “The ‘buckling’ of the jet stream over the Pacific and North America became much more pronounced during January 2014, as the precipitation anomaly over Indonesia and the West Pacific strengthened? A notable feature of this anomalous area of tropical precipitation is its northwards extent into the winter hemisphere where it is able to interact with the North Pacific jet and generate Rossby waves that propagate along the jet and act to reinforce the huge meander of the jet stream off the west coast of North America.

Throughout my career I have studied and discussed the influence of atmospheric water vapour in the aerodynamic behaviour of one particle being part of the aerosol, pollen grains. In my research I already pointed out the need for further research about the implications of the biological atmospheric particle load by being involved in climate events through the microphysics of cloud formation due to the nuclei drop activity of such particles.

Aerodynamics_of_pollen_grains_involved_in_sampling_efficiency. Thesis_by_Diego_Fernandez-Sevilla (2007)

Furthermore, I have studied the amount of pollen grains contained in a gram of pollen released outdoors from related species of the same genus (unpublished yet). It has been estimated that a birch tree releases more than 5.5 billion grains over a single year, alder 7.2 billion, and an oak less at 0.6 billion grains. Spruce also produced about 5.5 billion grains in a year. Cereal rye grass contained 4.25 million pollen grains per inflorescence.

Additionally, I also performed research about the impact that environmental heat increase and retention has in the atmospheric biological load due to the urban heat island effect. The results point out that the biological cycles of the biota are altered increasing the duration of their “pollen release” period. The scenario created by the urban heat island effect has been already applied to extrapolate global climatic alterations in the biota suggesting an increase in plant performance (metabolism) inducing more bioaerosol released into the atmosphere.

Assessment between pollen seasons in areas with different urbanization level related to local vegetation sources and differences in allergen exposure. Aerobiologia, Vol 26-1, 1-14. (2010)

Putting together my own experience in researching bioaerosols, my understanding of environmental processes and the findings by others I find enough dots connected to be very alert about the synergistic effects that the biota play and suffers as part of the whole system. For more about this topic follow the comments below and the post Resilience in our environment.

A new study published on June 13, 2016 addresses the role of aerosols on convective developments updating the state of the previous assessments presented in the line of research published in this blog.

According to news.utexas.eduthe study, published in the journal of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on June 13, is the first to address the impact that aerosol particles have on the lifespans of large thunderstorm systems called mesoscale convective systems.”

An abundance of aerosol particles in the atmosphere can increase the lifespans of large storm clouds by delaying rainfall, making the clouds grow larger and live longer, and producing more extreme storms when the rain finally does come, according to new research from The University of Texas at Austin.”

“A cloud particle is basically water and aerosols. It’s like a cell. The aerosol is the nucleus and the water is the cytoplasm,” said lead author Sudip Chakraborty, who recently received his Ph.D. from the Jackson School. “The more aerosols you have, the more cells you get. And if you have more water, you should get more rain.”

Previous Assessments and recent publications on the role of changes in Land Use over  Atmospheric Dynamics

The 07 May 2015 I discussed the implications from facing the level f transformation that our environment has suffered globally in a publication entitled:   Domesticating Nature. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)

The continuous interference from Human “care” has led to the modification of animal and plants behaviour, geographical distribution, size of population, biodiversity and genetic pool. The performance of soils have been changed in some places in order to produce more, and in other places just from alterations in Land use and cover as well as modifications in the Water cycles due to deviations and compartmentalization.

The implications raising from such kind of alterations are directly linked with the Natural balance established between all different parts of every ecosystem before Human activity started to impose such pressure.

And there are two major areas demanding attention:

  • The more Natural systems depend on “human care” to exist, the more are the resources and Energy required to maintain them. When at the same time there is room for discussion on which Natural systems perform better thanks to Human interference (e.g. GMOs, Oregon water defences). Is it ever going to be less Energy demanding to develop, manufacture, maintain and repair technology designed to absorb and fix Atmospheric CO2 than trees?

  • The transformation induced in the Natural system from the activity of Domesticating Nature “to fulfil Human Needs” goes all the way around the chain of synergistic interrelations existent between Atmospheric Composition; Oceanic, Inland and Atmospheric Water circulation and quality as well as changes over albedo due to changes in Land Use and Cover (Following images show Land Use change. Notice that when looking at desserts, constant green means no change in land use).

Land use change Compilation by Diego FdezSevilla Publication Domesticating Nature

Altogether, those transformations become part of the Energy flows dominating climatic events and atmospheric behaviour.

The demands of Energy required for our adaptation to the surrounding environment relies on its stability. An unstable environment demands more energy and resources from humans. But the stability of our environment depends on the stability of its structure and its resources in order to maintain a strong level of resilience against perturbations.

So, how much perturbation can our environment absorb before it looses the capacity to absorb interferences from external forces and becomes unstable?

A new paper  published on 05 August 2016 supports previous assessments in the line of research published in this blog pointing out that “land use change is a significant component of the global climate.”

“Effective radiative forcing from historical land use change” Richard A. BettsBen B. B. BoothChris D. JonesGareth S. Jones

The effective radiative forcing (ERF) from the biogeophysical effects of historical land use change is quantified using the atmospheric component of the Met Office Hadley Centre Earth System model HadGEM2-ES. The global ERF at 2005 relative to 1860 (1700) is −0.4 (−0.5) Wm−2, making it the fourth most important anthropogenic driver of climate change over the historical period (1860–2005) in this model and larger than most other published values. The land use ERF is found to be dominated by increases in the land surface albedo, particularly in North America and Eurasia, and occurs most strongly in the northern hemisphere winter and spring when the effect of unmasking underlying snow, as well as increasing the amount of snow, is at its largest. Increased bare soil fraction enhances the seasonal cycle of atmospheric dust and further enhances the ERF. Clouds are shown to substantially mask the radiative effect of changes in the underlying surface albedo. Coupled atmosphere–ocean simulations forced only with time-varying historical land use change shows substantial global cooling (dT = −0.35 K by 2005) and the climate resistance (ERF/dT = 1.2 Wm−2 K−1) is consistent with the response of the model to increases in CO2 alone. The regional variation in land surface temperature change, in both fixed-SST and coupled atmosphere–ocean simulations, is found to be well correlated with the spatial pattern of the forced change in surface albedo. The forcing-response concept is found to work well for historical land use forcing—at least in our model and when the forcing is quantified by ERF. Our results suggest that land-use changes over the past century may represent a more important driver of historical climate change then previously recognised and an underappreciated source of uncertainty in global forcings and temperature trends over the historical period.

Andrews, T., Betts, R.A., Booth, B.B.B. et al. Clim Dyn (2016). doi:10.1007/s00382-016-3280-7

Personal thoughts

Time ago I was told that in order for others to be able of helping me I should tell them that I needed their help and how they could help me.

I have tried to keep my research as a priority in my publications and expose my thoughts only as an exercise of analytical thinking trying to make them useful in a broad debate instead of focusing on my own personal situation (not always successfully you may say).

Ivory Towers Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD


My Ivory Tower. The Open access computer room at my local Library. Ourense-Spain.

However, sometimes I have addressed personal situations when I considered that thresholds were reached. And I hope that such public exposition will show how difficult, weak and sometimes twisted is the world of science in comparison with the idealised concept of PhDs, like me, living in ivory towers.

The present situation marks a threshold in the lack of professionalism and ethics in the scientific community. Not only I see work being produced by institutions tracked from IP visits mimicking parts of my own work without recognition. Couple of weeks ago one publication of this blog received a visit from a law firm. The publication is Probability in the atmospheric circulation dictating the Weather (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) posted on 15th January 2015. It is only a question of time that more publications will appear claiming new innovative ways of adding a contribution in the state of knowledge from institutions, which have visited this blog and replicate the same line of approach developed here, without any acknowledgement. And if you wonder about the legitimacy of my allegations, before asking for any SEO monitoring, you just have to question how many articles can you find about changes in Hadley circulation highlighting its expansion in latitude and altitude in the last years and why suddenly two raise within just two months of difference…

I need help. I have reached a point in which, my work, needs acknowledgement and, myself, to find a sustainable way of life, inside or outside science, in research, communication or any field where you find my attitudes with potential to be implemented. If you can help me in any of those two aspects I will appreciate it.

My work needs acknowledgement from those who find it of value so it can be sustained by itself instead of having me fighting for its recognition. But the acknowledgement that I am talking about is not just a facebook share or linkedin like. Those actions are of help since they call the attention from others over my work so the more people is aware of it more difficult is for others to perform copycats. But real acknowledgement involves to share at your workspace with colleagues, friends and in your own professional work output. Without a position in an institution performing research I can not publish in scientific journals. Without articles published in scientific journals my candidature is rejected in selection processes for jobs at research institutions. So acknowledgement on my work seems to be the only way to break the circle. (I am open to receive comments with a different or better advice).

The significance of my blog and my words on it are limited by the level of confidence that it is applied by the reader to the origin of those words. So I would like from you to share with me, publicly or through my email d.fdezsevilla(at)gmail.com

  • What it is the level of confidence that you get from my research?
  • Would you consider my work worthy of being considered a contribution in any professional field?
  • Would you give it consideration in your professional career or personal life if there would be a case?
  • Which place in our society do you think that my work is worthy to reach by means, just social media and general knowledge or higher levels of responsibility and discussion? and,
  • Among whom do you think that my capabilities would be worthy to be part of?
  • Which image about the level of seniority is projected for the author through the blog’s posts?

If you are among those who believe in getting involved in fighting for what you believe, and you believe in the value of my work, my work needs acknowledgement. I don´t ask for money (yet), neither for a petty pat on the back. Just be truthful to yourself as I try to myself.

I keep constantly looking into new developments and info in related topics. Since every person reaching my publications are interested in the same subjects, I would appreciate that you leave a comment or use attribution to my work when you find it influencing yours. Either through inspiration, data or methodology.

So please, get involved in my effort and join me, don´t exclude me from what it should be a team’s effort.

At the end of the day, and our lives, each one of us choose what we want to be recognised for.

______________________________________

The aim of publishing my work openly is to allow for it to be exposed for an open review. So any constructive feedback is welcome. After a period of time of at least a month from the publishing date on this blog and at LinkedIn, if no comments are found refuting the value of the piece published I then publish it at ResearchGate generating a DOI for posterior references.

In order to protect my intellectual rights, more assessment in depth and the statistical and numerical analyses that I have performed to support my arguments can be discussed at my email: d.fdezsevilla(at)gmail.com

The performance of my work as independent researcher, with no institutional and economic support, is limited by my lack of access to resources and economic stability. So far what I have published in this blog is what I have been able to offer with those limitations.

If you find that my work is worthy to be acknowledged, share your thoughts openly and publicly because by sharing public acknowledging over the value of my work is what will overcome the limitations of my cv in order to find the attention from those able to allow me access to a job position or resources to increase the functionality of my research.

PerspectiveSince October 2013 I have been studying the behaviour of the Polar Jet Stream and the weather events associated as well as the implications derived into atmospheric dynamics and environmental synergies.

Many of the atmospheric configurations and weather and climate events we see these days are very similar with the progression followed since 2013. Please take a look at posts addressing those events from previous publications in this blog or look at the categories in the top menu. Also at research-gate. Feedback is always welcomed either in this blog or at my email (d.fdezsevilla(at)gmail.com). All my work is part of my Intellectual Portfolio, registered under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License,  WordPress.com license and it is being implemented at my profile in researchgate. I will fight for its recognition in case of misuse.

Posted in Cultural Cognition, Energy Balance, Extreme climatic events, Filling in, Finding out, Polar vortex and Jet Stream, Water vapour | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Climbing The Hill Of Development (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.)


Climbing The Hill Of Development (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.)

Last week I found topics being addressed independently from each other by members of my network at LinkedIn which I find to be related.

What once could have been the “normal” has become the “precious” rare.

Patricie Polakova shared a picture of a very nice location in “Čertovo” (Devil) Lake – Šumava mountains, Czech Republic.

Patricie Polakova

I made a comment with which I wanted to represent the connection of many environmental issues in one:

It puts in perspective the whole lot of meaning behind the power that the decision of one single person can have to change such a beautiful scenario. Lets hope “development” changes its meaning before we change everything following the actual meaning of “development“.

Big Challenges require one big effort or many small ones

Few days ago I posted in this blog an entrance aimed to acknowledge the effort put by small groups adopting hand-on strategies to confront environmental issues derived from the fast paced rate of human development, like the impact of litter in the health state of natural environments. In that particular case, plastics in the Ocean.

There is a lot of “behind the curtains” work and people which does not take the credit they deserve. And because they do not make the tabloids they don´t get the attention and support that would increase their potential to have a bigger impact. Some innocuous papers can get more attention than the work carried out by these initiatives and people. Thanks to their persistence and passion, little by little, thinks are being done without mainstream media noticing.

The Development of “Mainstream Social Science”

The impact of public debates over environmental issues present in mainstream social media is another question which has taken my attention.

One of those reads which came across my path, but I can not recall its exact location, pointed out the problem generated with the excess of information available. And it made particular reference to the difficulty of filtering the good from the bad or misleading information. This subject has been touched by more people and it is generating an increasing demand of attention, as well as opinions.

Some people choose only peer review articles as a source of valid information. Some others question such attitude since we live in a world dominated by Political agendas and corporative interests where scientific publishing and research funding is being dominated and manipulated through economical pressures as much as any other sectors.

Some people have supported the value behind the contribution given by blogs hold by people with a scientific background. However, with the increasing access to information, an increasing number of individuals claim to hold the right training. So many people are willing to judge scientific postures, some people offer constructive discussion, less people take the risk of building up their own scientific alternative assessment and almost none of those judging others would take the responsibility of being the ones answering questions. All that activity is included under the umbrella of social fictitious science, drowning in the mud the already deteriorated public image of the scientific community.

My take on this issue is part of a repeating “mantra” which I have tried to highlight in this blog. The relevance of the answers we get are defined by the meaningfulness of the questions formulated. In scientific research, answers have to be objective. So the questions justifying its relevance can not come just from passionated rants. Being a scientist is not about having answers for everything. It is about building with knowledge the capacity to separate passion from objectivity. A perspective from where we can observe the world understanding which are our limitations to address the questions yet to be answered and identify the right sequence in priority for those to invest our energy.

So the first question everybody has to understand is why our thoughts are similar or different from those shared by others. Is it because we share similar training and education? social background? political views? are we applying similar methodology? do we give similar priority to the repercussion of different factors involved?

If you find the appropriate question, and don´t loose track of it while looking for answers, it is easier to find the right information telling you which is the state of knowledge for this particular matter.

The Question

In the issue of climatic drifts and their links with human activities, we have to remember, why did it came the question into place?

The Earth has had many climatic changes through its existence. And, through many of those, the conditions were so rough that we, as specie, would have straggled to survive. So, even considering the paleoclimate of our planet being in constant change, there is a component which makes a difference when we compare those previous changes. This component is time. In one hand is the time rate at which changes take place. How abrupt are those changes. In other hand it is space, how many factors coexist in location at the same time.

The changes that we are seeing in the conditions associated with temperature in our planet are happening at a fast pace so when we look at which forces interacting with our climate are changing in magnitude at similar fast paced rate the question raised:

  • If the time rate that we see for atmospheric changes to happen is due to a factor speeding the process, which factor is different from previous paleoclimatic records? And the most rapid developing factor in contact with our changing planet is Human Development.

The Method

So the question in itself represents a situation of change which, it might not be new to the planet in its nature, but it is in its shape. It is the shape of our environment what it is changing and we have realised that we are still trying to understand the role that we play as specie.

And the methodology which we, as a collective force of scientific thought, are applying is proving to be far more complicated than everybody would expect at first. Some people even question that human expansion and its capabilities to transform its surroundings could have any significant impact in our climatic regimes, ever.

What I see as a major conflict in scientific evolution is the debate created around the mere fact of having to justify which questions are worthy to be addressed? That is an attitude which involves assuming a huge amount of responsibility. Like if we can afford to move forward with only one eye open and the other one blindfolded.

Science nowadays it is showing to be, at least, as “independent” as it is justice from political views, and political decisions from economic powers.

There is a ministry of education in every country and yet there is no ministry of science. What we need to manage is not only how we teach knowledge but how we produce it. It  seems that science, like many other establishments, is loosing the trust and recognition required to generate an independent body of knowledge which would be applied on making assessments and policies, manage their implementation and justify the educational contents being taught.

Justice, Political Ideals, Scientific Knowledge and Sustainable Economy walk hand by hand driving the path chosen for humanity. All those challenges which society face today in all aspects of live are not new in our history. Racism, Religion and Political confrontation, economic deterioration, and lost of trust in management are like the challenges faced by science, not new in history but new in shape.

Times have changed, our surroundings have changed so the reactions triggered against old similar problems have different repercussions. From local disruptions with local impacts we have moved to generate synergistic links which connect us globally. We have moved from identifying previous organic climatic drifts confronted by a functionally resilient and equilibrated environment in the past to ask ourselves how much tampering can our land, air and water systems tolerate, under a continuously increasing and extensive pressure, before they embark on a one-way path towards a new equilibrium less beneficial for our development? The mere existence of a reality which justifies such question makes all the difference. Without all the changes that our planetary systems have being accumulating through time due to human activities (atmospheric composition, water cycles displacements, land cover and biotic composition) we would not have reached the state of considering our development enough to generate a reasonable doubt.

The Answer

Some answers are offered to calm down expectations but those answers scape to analyse the meaningfulness of addressing any relevant question. One example comes from a recent article: “3 developments that could help the world stay below a dangerous global warming threshold”. (http://uk.businessinsider.com/)

  1. Green energy is getting cheaper
  2. Carbon dioxide emissions have stopped rising
  3. Green jobs are good for the economy

1- The industry of “green” energy is getting cheaper.

Lets hope that “cheaper” has a meaning which does not replicate what happened with the increasingly cheaper “digital” industry and the increasingly amount of digital waste produced. Once more, it seems that solutions and problems can be geolocated. The solutions for some societies are part of the problem for others. So, in “average”, we might not move far from where we are. (see related article at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/)

2- Carbon dioxide emissions have stopped rising

Emissions or concentration? Both are very different things.

Less CO2 being emitted is related with production. Concentration measured is related with the volume of the atmosphere accommodating the CO2 emitted.

When we see applied the reasoning of “Emissions not raise”, this is a concept which implies that they keep being emitted at the same rate as previously. It is like saying that your house is getting under water but the water flow rate has stopped increasing. Now that the “emissions” from the leaks of water into your house do not “raise”, they just keep flooding your house but at a steady rate.  Which is not good, at all.

If you stop “increasing” the heat in your oven that will not avoid your food from getting burned.

The concentration of CO2 might not raise. And even the temperature might fluctuate. But all of that comes from measuring averages in an atmosphere with a volume which is compartmentalised in altitude and latitude (Mid-Latitudes and Polar Circulation). Based on my research I would expect that as the mixing ratio between  the masses of air contained in those “compartments” increases (more discussion at ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, and ref5) the measurements of temperature and concentrations will fluctuate, thanks partly to stratospheric warmings and a wobbly Jet Stream opening the Arctic circulation to mid-latitudes.

3-Green jobs are good for the economy

Meanwhile developed countries rely on economic consumption, underdeveloped countries on strengthening their economies. Everybody needs production and resources. Western countries sell technology for eastern cheap production and labour. Meanwhile, everybody waste resources. We waste more than we consume, energy efficiency is not profitable, nothing is built to last any more and food is thrown away just to control the prices in the markets.

Curiously enough, the kind of economy claiming to improve “green jobs” do not accommodate science as a sector in which the conditions are improving, and that is settled science for some.

Scientists have been put on the spot. Some enjoy it, others feel under pressure, in front of an audience looking for whom to blame from the result of political decisions. The image of “an united effort” should not only be political, it also should have a botanist, an edaphologist, a physicist, a chemist, an oceanographer, a climatologist, … and the outcome from such meeting, I am sure, it would not bring such a cheerful picture as from PARIS2015. There is nothing to celebrate when you identify a problem and moreover, if you feel the pressure from having to take the responsibility of dealing with it. It is like celebrating that there is consensus on that the roof of your own house needs to be replaced, you have to do the work and not only to not loose money but furthermore, generate profits.

Political Policies

The 18th of May (2016) I attended to a speech given by the sub-director of the Spanish Office of Climate Change. He started his speech acknowledging the efforts behind the Paris meeting and used the majority of his more than an hour of talking describing the complex process of being a politician gathering different sides together to address issues on the GHGs agenda. What surprised me the most was the ending of his speech. In the last 15 minutes he explained that the real deal and responsibility lies in the hands of the population and their daily decisions. At the Q&A time I presented my arguments to perform a question:

Despite the fact that industry has a far bigger impact than urban populations, we both industry and population, are obliged to follow the laws and directives designed by Politicians. We are free to choose, but only between the options given by the policies and laws dictated by our governments. One example, in Spain, we can not have a house with an autonomous supply of electric energy. If you produce electricity you have to pay for it, even if it comes from your own solar panels. Consumption facilities have to pay a fee for each kilowatt-hour of energy self-consumed instantaneously. There is also another charge (fixed charge) to be paid in respect of all facilities including those using batteries. (article related here. European Commission posture here).

Since the industry of a country and its population is ruled by the policies dictated by the governments I asked: “what was the relationship between the beginning of his speech giving so much credit to the efforts behind the Paris meeting and, his final assessment putting the responsibility of mitigating the impact from human activities over the global ecosystem over the shoulders of the population?. (I felt that there was a gap missing the link between those two. And I promise that I paid attention)

The answer was… an elaborated improvisation of self preservation. I am aware of that the organisers made a sound recording of this speech but I haven´t found it in the internet.

Climbing The Hill of Development

The reason behind the title for this article is that in all aspects of climate research it feels like we are climbing a hill in too many senses. The effort that it takes to move in scientific agreement and the measurements being monitored. And we have become so used to see numbers climbing that it seems like a relief when we are told that the deterioration of our environment has stopped from increasing regardless the implications from keep happening at an steady continuous pace.

The table and the graph show annual mean carbon dioxide growth rates for Mauna Loa. In the graph, decadal averages of the growth rate are also plotted, as horizontal lines for 1960 through 1969, 1970 through 1979, and so on Source.

800,000-year Ice-Core Records of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide (CO2)

Over the last 800,000 years atmospheric CO2 levels as indicated by the ice-core data have fluctuated between 170 and 300 parts per million by volume (ppmv), corresponding with conditions of glacial and interglacial periods. The Vostok core indicates very similar trends. Prior to about 450,000 years before present time (BP) atmospheric CO2 levels were always at or below 260 ppmv and reached lowest values, approaching 170 ppmv, between 660,000 and 670,000 years ago. The highest pre-industrial value recorded in 800,000 years of ice-core record was 298.6 ppmv, in the Vostok core, around 330,000 years ago.

Lüthi, D., et al. 2008. EPICA Dome C Ice Core 800KYr Carbon Dioxide Data. IGBP PAGES/World Data Center for Paleoclimatology Data Contribution Series # 2008-055. NOAA/NCDC Paleoclimatology Program, Boulder CO, USA. “accessed from the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy” Source.

Atmospheric CO2 levels have increased markedly in industrial times:

CDIAC: 50-year moving averages of spline-function values of CH4, CO2, N2O

Measurements in year 2010 at Cape Grim Tasmania and the South Pole both indicated values of 386 ppmv, and are currently increasing at about 2 ppmv/year. (Source)

CO2 Cape Grim Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD

Monthly mean atmospheric carbon dioxide at Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii

The carbon dioxide data (red curve), measured as the mole fraction in dry air, on Mauna Loa constitute the longest record of direct measurements of CO2 in the atmosphere. They were started by C. David Keeling of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in March of 1958 at a facility of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [Keeling, 1976]. NOAA started its own CO2 measurements in May of 1974, and they have run in parallel with those made by Scripps since then [Thoning, 1989]. The black curve represents the seasonally corrected data.

Data are reported as a dry mole fraction defined as the number of molecules of carbon dioxide divided by the number of molecules of dry air multiplied by one million (ppm).

Monthly mean atmospheric carbon dioxide at Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii. Source.

Are GHGs all we should care about?

The image which I used to open this article is what we could expect to see almost everywhere in the paleoclimatic records. A healthy ecosystem in a clean environment. Even under the influence of a natural warming period, there is a big difference in the amount of radiation required to explain the increase of temperature the way it happens nowadays if our atmosphere did not contain GHGs and aerosols at the present concentration and the soils were protected under a dense healthy biotic cover and accessible water.

In 1969 Eugene P. Odum wrote an article titled The Strategy of Ecosystem Development.” An understanding of ecological succession provides a basis for resolving man’s conflict with nature. Athens (Georgia, US), 1969. (First published in Science, volume 164, number 3877, pages 262-270.)

When we compare the actual state of our environment and the assessments in this publication from 47 years ago, this article can help to put in perspective the cumulative bias which under my point of view is obviated when focusing exclusively on GHGs assessing the state of change in a global system, driven by synergistic interactions, and under constant pressure throughout time. A bias which is generating new publications giving the impression of identifying new challenges when, in fact, are just part of a long ongoing process.

In some of the previous publications in this blog I have addressed the relevance of understanding the impact from human management over synergistic relationships between biotic and none biotic components in our environment in relation with climatic developments:

I can not expect from you to read them, but there is a line of continuum progression in the assessments that I publish in this blog that makes all previous publications to be interconnected and related with the publication from Eugene P. Odum (1969).

The abstract of the paper reads as follow:

“The principles of ecological succession bear importantly on the relationships between man and nature. The framework of successional theory needs to be examined as a basis for resolving man’s present environmental crisis. Most ideas pertaining to the development of ecological systems are based on descriptive data obtained by observing changes in biotic communities over long periods, or on highly theoretical assumptions; very few of the generally accepted hypotheses have been tested experimentally. Some of the confusion, vagueness, and lack of experimental work in this area stems from the tendency of ecologists to regard succession as a single straightforward idea; in actual fact, it entails an interacting complex of processes, some of which counteract one another.

As viewed here, ecological succession involves the development of ecosystems; it has many parallels in the developmental biology of organisms, and also in the development of human society. The ecosystem, or ecological system, is considered to be a unit of biological organization made up of all of the organisms in a given area (that is, community) interacting with the physical environment so that a flow of energy leads to characteristic trophic structure and material cycles within the system. It is the purpose of this article to summarize, in the form of a tabular model, components and stages of development at the ecosystem level as a means of emphasizing those aspects of ecological succession that can be accepted on the basis of present knowledge, those that require more study, and those that have special relevance to human ecology.”

From the body of the publication I would like to highlight:

The basic problem facing organized society today boils down to determining in some objective manner when we are getting too much of a good thing.

This is a completely new challenge to mankind because, up until now, he has had to be concerned largely with too little rather than too much. Thus, concrete is a good thing, but not if half the world is covered with it. Insecticides are good things, but not when used, as they now are, in an indiscriminate and wholesale manner. Likewise, water impoundments have proved to be very useful man-made additions to the landscape, but obviously we don’t want the whole country inundated! Vast man-made lakes solve some problems, at least temporarily, but yield comparative little food or fiber, and, because of high evaporative losses, they may not even be the best device for storing water; it might better be stored in the watershed or underground in aquifers. Also, the cost of building large dams is a drain on already overtaxed avenues. Although as individuals we can have too many dams or other large-scale environmental changes, governments are so fragmented and lacking in systems-analysis capabilities that there is no effective mechanism whereby negative feedback signals can be received and acted on before there has been a serious overshoot. Thus, today there are governmental agencies, spurred on by popular and political enthusiasm for dams, that are putting on the drawing boards plans for damming every river and stream in North America!

Society needs, and must find as quickly as possible, a way to deal with the landscape as a whole, so that manipulative skills (that is, technology) will not run too far ahead of our understanding of the impact of change.”

Last Thoughts

Back in May 2015 I wrote in this blog an entrance titled Steering climate´s course (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla). As part of this publication I wrote:

Arctic Amplification has introduced feedback effects associated with temperature, water vapour and clouds. Changes in the surface albedo feedback—the increase in surface absorption of solar radiation when snow and ice retreat— are the ones often cited as the main contributor. What I am researching about are the mechanisms provoking those changes in albedo. I am looking at the implications of having the Arctic circulation not “Amplifying” but “Absorbing” increases in water vapour due to atm CO2, triggering; early snowfalls in central Asia, Arctic ice cover meltdown and oceanic increases in salinity and ultimately, the origin of atmospheric blocking patterns and possibly, the pause in T raise.

Arctic and Antarctic circulations behave in a very different way due to its particular asymmetries as consequence of their land/ocean thermal contrasts and Ocean circulation.

All the oscillations considered in atmospheric circulation, PDO, OA, AMO, Solar activity… move around pivoting points. These pivoting points make the impact from those oscillations close to neutral in a long time scale.

We can see that by looking at the gene pool in the evolution of the biological environment which we see today. An environment which has evolved closely thanks to environmental resilience absorbing perturbations originated from those oscillations.

Without resilience, the severity of the variations associated with the oscillations would have not allowed genetic evolution to grow in such a close divergence as we have seen. The climate through latitudes has suffered variations but the global climate has allowed species to develop closely instead of perishing without time for adaptation inducing the generation of new branches of genetic divergence.

Two major components are working side by side in our planet. Passive mechanisms driven by thermodynamic forces transferring energy between components of the ecosystem and, Active processes absorbing, transforming and storing energy throughout biochemical processes.

Consequently, two postures rise in the debate from these two mechanisms:

Are thermodynamics defining the state which allow life to evolve in a changing climate? or, Are biotic systems the ones which develop against thermodynamic fluctuations taming the weather?

Foreseeable Atmospheric Dynamics and Climatic Developments

In September 2015 I wrote an article (ref3) describing the progression in the development of atmospheric dynamics following the theoretical approach published in 2014 (ref1 and ref2) which describes the implications of facing the atmosphere accommodating increasing amounts of water vapour as the carrier of energy being spread  throughout the atmosphere in altitude and latitude due to the positive feedback originated from higher concentrations of GHGs and aerosols.

Some weather patterns seen in the years following 2013 seem to agree with the mechanisms proposed in the line research published in this blog. (ref4 and ref5)

In particular for the present publication in time, 27 July 2016, it is worthy to mention the conditions being observed over the whole globe. In the North Hemisphere heat waves have begun to take place moving northward in India, then Europe and EEUU. Those heat displacements follow continental basins, the same surface where the management of emissions and land cover can make a difference.

Last week, in the South Hemispheric winter, heat displacements moved into Antarctic latitudes, and the location for those seem to be in alignment with continental proximity. I discussed such scenario in a post.

Heat Antarctica July 2016 Diego Fdez-Sevilla

Following the mechanisms described in the post A Climate “Between Waters” (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla), any volume of air coming inside a compartmentalized space displace another volume of air moving out. And that is what it seems to have just happened over the South Polar altitudes.

Record breaking rainfall and cold weather grips South Africa. Met Office Source)

Posted on 26 July, 2016 by Met Office Press Office.

There has been snowfall, heavy rain, and flooding across parts of South Africa as a low pressure system moves slowly along the southern coast.

Rainfall affecting coastal areas of South Africa.

Rainfall affecting coastal areas of South Africa.

Flooding and mudslides have been reported in and around Durban with the city recording 150mm of rainfall in 12 hours on Monday, that’s equal to 5 times its average July rainfall.   Along the coast in Paddock, 315mm of rain has fallen since Sunday, equivalent to around a third of the rainfall it would expect in a whole year.

Meanwhile inland in the southeastern interior there has been heavy snowfall. The South African Weather Service has issued a number of snow warnings and has highlighted the risk of travel disruption for various passes between the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.  There is a further 15-25cm of snow expected in the area over the next few days.

______________________________________

The aim of publishing my work openly is to allow for it to be exposed for an open review. So any constructive feedback is welcome. After a period of time of at least a month from the publishing date on this blog and at LinkedIn, if no comments are found discussing the value of the piece published I then publish it at ResearchGate generating a DOI for posterior references.

In order to protect my intellectual rights, more assessment in depth and the statistical and numerical analyses that I have performed to support my arguments can be discussed at my email: d.fdezsevilla(at)gmail.com

The performance of my work as independent researcher, with no institutional and economic support, is limited by my lack of access to resources and economic stability. So far what I have published in this blog is what I have been able to offer with those limitations.

If you find that my work is worthy to be acknowledged, share your thoughts openly and publicly because by sharing public acknowledging over the value of my work is what will overcome the limitations of my cv in order to find the attention from those able to allow me access to a job position or resources to increase the functionality of my research.

PerspectiveSince October 2013 I have been studying the behaviour of the Polar Jet Stream and the weather events associated as well as the implications derived into atmospheric dynamics and environmental synergies.

Many of the atmospheric configurations and weather and climate events we see these days are very similar with the progression followed since 2013. Please take a look at posts addressing those events from previous publications in this blog or look at the categories in the top menu. Also at research-gate. Feedback is always welcomed either in this blog or at my email (d.fdezsevilla(at)gmail.com). All my work is part of my Intellectual Portfolio, registered under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License,  WordPress.com license and it is being implemented at my profile in researchgate. I will fight for its recognition in case of misuse.

Posted in Aerobiology, Aerosols, Biological productivity, Energy Balance, Environmental Resilience, Filling in, Finding out, Inland Water Bodies and Water Cycle, Water vapour | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Colour of Intelligence (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.)


The Colour of Intelligence (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.)

As Environmental Biologist I have used colour to stain tissues and particles in Aerobiological studies, also I have used fluorescence to identify biological tissues and particles, spectroscopy to measure light that is emitted, absorbed, or scattered by materials and even spectrophotometry for dna quantification in allergological studies.

Today I have seen the program of a Congress focused on Colour. And it made me think.

The applications and studies around colour cover many different fields.

From perception and brain imaging to industrial applications.

Colorimetry to determine the concentration of coloured compounds in solution, its presence and applications in art, culture and also in architecture and its relationship with health. Also the design of glasses, lenses and sensors as well as in spectrophotometry focusing on the quantitative measurement of the reflection or transmission properties of a material as a function of wavelength. And more.

The congress misses how many of those applications are being incorporated in environmental studies since imagery has become more and more influential in assessing the dynamics and evolution of our global system. And with the incorporation of these techniques also comes their limitations.

Colour is tangible by the perception that we have of it but mostly, by the interpretation that we make of it. So the “brains” processing what the sensors perceive makes the most of the information that we get. And from there, our interpretation of that our sensors perceive make us build an image, conceptualise its meaning and reach conclusions. And that is a process which we make biologically and we try to replicate with computers.

This innate processing that we can make instinctively by the connection between our eyes and our brain is part of our data recovery system which also manage and integrate the data coming from our other sensors (senses). And all that processing evolves in close contact with the development of our own Intelligence capabilities.

The development of Artificial Intelligence and its integration in the analysis and modelling of our surroundings, grows in  relevance day by day. I have talked about the limitations of relying on artificial and systematic manipulation of data before.

One post that I have published recently was not so obvious:

This post looked more like an emotional speech aimed to build confidence in ourselves. But in the development of any type of “autonomous” intelligence, as the one we consider to be part of human nature, there are two major aspects which are part of the inner nature of processing data and build up of cognitive paths.

One aspect is the dynamic capacities of our brain to play with different parameters to generate scenarios of multiple possibilities allowing the generation of virtual interactions under a set of directives which break any repetitive path adopted as true. In other words, the link between intelligence and imagination revealing its most powerful connection through those process of unconscious dreaming, asleep or awake.

The other major aspect involved in the development of intelligence is the interpretation that our brain makes out of the perception given by our senses, and how much can we replicate the processing associated between the “interpretation” of colour in developing Intelligence.

One simple example comes with the behaviour adopted when seeing Red. Red is a colour, and not always means danger, or stop, or fire, … Can we teach artificial intelligence to interpret red as passion? Can we teach artificial intelligence to paint choosing colours? Can we develop the intelligence that enable us to perceive colour with so many meanings?

Just  a thought.

Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.

Posted in Cultural Cognition, Filling in, Finding out, Opinion | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Atmospheric Dynamics. Foreseeable, At The Moment. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.)


Atmospheric Dynamics. Foreseeable, At The Moment. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.)

In one previous discussion at LinkedIn I said that I was concern about the expansion of mid-latitudinal developments to the South.

I have explained in this blog my assessments over the North hemisphere as part of a process in expansion from mid-latitudes. And the changes in seasonality associated.

Those atmospheric dynamics seem to keep happening describing a similar pattern. Heat moves up in latitude through Europe generating the highest records in the last years, with and without El Niño conditions.

2016 July 18 Max temp Diego Fdez-Sevilla

Temperature 18 July 2016. Several areas with warnings issued due to high temperatures.

Now, through the Southern winter, we can see also anomalies in tempt entering Antarctica from the closest parts to the continents, America and Africa.

GFS T2_anom 19 July 2016 Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD

I can only repeat what I have said in previous assessments in atmospheric developments. The mixing ratio is increasing and it is not going to follow the same pattern through time. But now it seems foreseeable.

In a previous publication in this blog I pointed out already that it is time to be vigilant about seeing repeated what has happened in previous years.

As part of the discussion I pointed out the little attention given to see the development of three tropical systems at the same time in the same location over the Pacific with and without El Niño conditions:

2014 Trio Low P Pacific

2015 Trio Low P PacificWell, guess what:

Lows Pacific July 2016 Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD

Last year Atacama desert suffered bad flooding in 2015. I discussed it as part of a scenario driven by the influence of atmospheric dynamics due to synergies beyond the ENSO:

Nine days ago, Larry Cosgrove  a colleague from my network at LinkedIn, pointed out:

“Very odd weather for a winter’s day in Iquique, Chile. While there has been no rain at Diego Aracena International Airport, some parts of the city and areas to the north and east have seen high winds and fairly strong thunderstorms! On the edge of the Atacama Desert, this is usually one of the calmest and driest cities in the world.”

I believe that the weather over Chile, cold spell over West South Europe with strong winds, thunderstorms, lightening and hail together with the Typhoon in Taiwan are linked in a pattern:

And this pattern dominates the atmospheric circulation dictating the behaviour over the ENSO.:

One example on this comes with the interpretation of these two following images from SST anomalies, in two different years, with opposite ENSO index. Which one do you think is the result of El Niño and which one La Niña? Beyond that, which of both represents colder conditions in the north hemisphere?

ENSO 2 YEARS Comparison Hemispheres Diego Fdez-Sevilla

One question remains.

There is one question in the mind of many: how much of the atmospheric dynamics that we study are related to human activities?

Since I write in my blog on climate I want to say that I started my own line of research just because I didn´t want to follow the random paths dictated by others and their data so I would not leave them make a fool of myself and my beliefs in this subject. So if reading what I write you find non sense in my assessments and conclusions, at least, those would be my own.

The situation as stands nowadays it is pretty similar to the cold war. Was it real or just a mere strategy to manipulate through fear and ignorance. As much as I look at it, it is impossible to have the technology and knowledge to study worlds in space but not having a position over what is going on in the closest one. Can the development of a single specie affect the global climate, ask paleoclimatologists. Can we be one of those species? Do we have the capacity of transformation required? Yes, sooner or later. And we better figure it out sooner than later.

There is a reality behind the political agenda driving today’s scientific debate which is taking its toll on our common social health state. Many members of our society do not feel secure on that they can share openly their thoughts in this matter. We can start with climatologists, general scientists and also meteorologists.

Actually, I am not even sure of that if by saying my opinion I might be damaging my chances to find a job being myself an Environmental Biologist. Not only meteorologists are under “the weather” produced by this non sense. Even a simple researcher seeking a job position, like me, has to be very cautious with what or how says what he thinks in this subject. Why it does not happen when talking about food and cancer?

If you want to have a simple point of view on the matter of human impact over atmospheric dynamics lets look at some simple chemistry.

In some of my earliest posts I used the process of cooking as an analogy to address the problems behind modelling climatic shifts and synergistic interactions. And when I say cooking, I mean something more… demanding than a pizza.

The order of the factors/ingredients affect the product

The behaviour of water is none lineal

It is water vapour, a greenhouse gas, what cooks the aliments.

Dry food requires water to be cooked.

But if you ask me what is the most relevant analogy of all considering the impact from human activities over atmospheric and climatic developments, I would take, the impact of just adding salt into water.

Thanks to this small contribution, water can retain more heat in liquid form (the new boiling point is increased) and also its  electric conductivity increases. Similar, with the introduction into the atmosphere of GHGs and aerosols, the amount of heat that it can retain increases as well as its thermal conductivity. But furthermore, by releasing land cover from vegetation, it also increases thermal conductivity from the ground since it gets hotter from sun’s radiation than when it is covered with vegetation.

The combination of these simple factors, allow the atmosphere to become more thermodynamically conductive. Which in turn allows more different forms of energy to be absorbed and displaced. This is something which I consider to be happening based on the previous research and assessments which are part of this blog.

Peer reviewed articles supporting previous publications in the line of research published in this blog:

Since 2014 most of the assessments published in this blog can not be verified by peer review articles due to the absence of them applying similar approach. However, some peer reviewed publications start to appear supporting these assessments:

Hadley Circulation:

Energy gradients:

Statistical errors:

 

Answer to the SST images above follow this link

______________________________________

The aim of publishing my work openly is to allow for it to be exposed for an open review. So any constructive feedback is welcome. After a period of time of at least a month from the publishing date on this blog and at LinkedIn, if no comments are found discussing the value of the piece published I then publish it at ResearchGate generating a DOI for posterior references.

In order to protect my intellectual rights, more assessment in depth and the statistical and numerical analyses that I have performed to support my arguments can be discussed at my email: d.fdezsevilla(at)gmail.com

The performance of my work as independent researcher, with no institutional and economic support, is limited by my lack of access to resources and economic stability. So far what I have published in this blog is what I have been able to offer with those limitations.

If you find that my work is worthy to be acknowledged, share your thoughts openly and publicly because by sharing public acknowledging over the value of my work is what will overcome the limitations of my cv in order to find the attention from those able to allow me access to a job position or resources to increase the functionality of my research.

PerspectiveSince October 2013 I have been studying the behaviour of the Polar Jet Stream and the weather events associated as well as the implications derived into atmospheric dynamics and environmental synergies.

Many of the atmospheric configurations and weather and climate events we see these days are very similar with the progression followed since 2013. Please take a look at posts addressing those events from previous publications in this blog or look at the categories in the top menu. Also at research-gate. Feedback is always welcomed either in this blog or at my email (d.fdezsevilla(at)gmail.com). All my work is part of my Intellectual Portfolio, registered under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License,  WordPress.com license and it is being implemented at my profile in researchgate. I will fight for its recognition in case of misuse.

Posted in Aerobiology, Biological productivity, Energy Balance, Environmental Resilience, Extreme climatic events, Filling in, Finding out, Influence of Continentality, Inland Water Bodies and Water Cycle, Polar vortex and Jet Stream, Water vapour | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments