New insides on old concepts (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.)
Those of you familiarised with my articles looking into climatic connections and developments might have found at the least curious, if not annoying, that I don´t use usually references to other papers.
Some years ago somebody challenged me with the political agenda behind climate change and global warming. At that point I had already looked at the impact from urban heat island effect over plant productivity. However, I realised that I didn´t have my own criteria, based on my own interpretation of global data, to backup my own arguments. And that forced me to rely on criteria made-up by others of whom I would not know about their political agendas. So I decided to start doing my own research, avoiding applying assumptions which I could not support with my own methodology, based on facts and arguments, which I could defend and share.
Considering that it takes around three years to complete a scientific study in a specific field (e.g. my PhD), and that I have been straggling to find a position in research, I could not spend three years looking for papers in each one of the fields that I was willing to combine based on my knowledge on environmental synergies. If I identify a scenario based on observation and some data analyses, it takes me less time and resources to do my own interpretation than looking into all the papers being published. Furthermore, many of them finish claiming that they have data but they don´t have a theory to match with their results whereas I have the data and the theory. In my position as job seeker, I have enough knowledge and intuition in all the fields that I am trying to connect to be productive in science identifying relevant questions, but not enough money and time to do more things than just answer them.
Freedom of mind
The mere fact of performing research based on your own knowledge and intuition brings a freedom from unchallenged dogmas but makes a challenge on its own.
In one hand you never know what piece of relevant information you might be missing when applying approaches and developing theories. But also, in an not less important matter, who is going to take your work seriously if you are not giving them a proper vocabulary and a list of references supporting your research?
In any case, I decided that I would not leave my criteria to be generated based on arguments which my own judgement could not corroborate. Moreover, applying an outsider look into established patterns of thought would allow me to explore freely perspectives without following dogmas based on previous “data” allegedly missing theories matching a “coherent” explanation. This approach of applying different perspectives is similar to the one required to see in a picture more than one interpretation, a freedom of mind that allows you to see “an old woman or a young one” in the same painting.
In all my research I have tried to make regular use of those three mayor references: common sense, intuition and coherence. Those only served Einstein to publish his first work in scientific journals, but those were other times. I believe that if I manage to apply basic principles and vocabulary to defend my research in a good manner, every scientist from each field that I am addressing, should be able to understand my point of view, find its value and translate it into their own language (ref). Making sound “simple” issues of a complex nature is not easy but in that way I aim for any scientist to engage and complement my work with whatever it lacks of. I am trying to build a common framework where to work together.
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 house needs to be replaced, you have to do the work and generate profits.
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.
Through the time which followed the start of my publications in 2013 I have had the chance to receive a response from 99.9% of an audience. A percentage made from thousand of visits in this blog and 340 LinkedIn followers with 80 Research profiles, 80 Environmental and 13 Governmental Administration profiles. All of them have shared two type of responses, silence (90%) and public support (8%).
Since I am not having economical or institutional support to spend all the time I wish in this research it seems challenging, at best, to integrate it in the “official channels” to become part of the state of knowledge applied on scientific debates. Therefore, I rely on having the recognition from those in an official position before others choose to neglect any value on my work or, use my claims in their official publications without any acknowledgement.
I have to thank people whom have frequently shared their thoughts on my work and publish information at LinkedIn allowing me to catch up with new developments in different fields of scientific and social repercussion. So thanks to, but not only, Giulio Betti, Antony .Alex Bagalue, Gabriel Labrador, Pedro C. Fernández, Larry Cosgrove, Russell Martin, James Elliott, Jeffrey Strickland, Kenneth D. Murray, Jaime Saldarriaga, Jeffrey M Doyle, Deni Newman, Panayota Yeorgopoulou and Glynn Goulding.
In performing my own research I saw an opportunity to address different objectives. I wanted to own my own criteria over relevant environmental issues such as GMOs, Land Use and Cover transformations and climatic drifts. Also I saw this as an opportunity to showcase my capabilities to stand out from the crowd in order to increase my chances to take the attention from potential employers.
There is one situation which I did not foresee in this scenario. And that comes with the sense of responsibility which generates seeing developments on relevant issues differently from others. And with this, the implications from not sharing insides over a new perspective which might become relevant in the process of addressing such issues. And that feeling is what it has taken me to share what my research has produced with unlimited access for others to see. Either if I am right or wrong, the future of all of us, myself included, depends on having every scientist considering all the possibilities before is too late. And I prefer sharing publicly my thoughts risking being wrong now than finding myself in the future in a position in which I discover how right I was, but nobody had the chance to be aware of it.
With the publications available in this blog, now I feel that I have done what I had to and it is not longer my responsibility to prioritise furthering my line of research over the issue of not having a stable income.
Like any project, resources and the completion of objectives mark the time line. And this project has reached most of its objectives and is running out of resources.
I believe that I have helped to open the eyes of some scientists towards looking into environmental issues with a broader mind set, and that I have shown specific concepts, data. methods and scenarios to consider in present and future analyses. It is time to look at the picture generated by data with more than one perspective in order to see “the old environment and the young one”, the new one.
The objective of finding economical support is still pending so any suggestions or feedback is welcomed. I will keep moving forward my research for as long as I can, but it will have no priority until resources allow it.
Moving forward on my research
Since 2014 I have published pieces of research addressing synergies on specific climatic developments and atmospheric dynamics looking at the interconnectivity between Biotic components, Oceanic states on SST and Atmospheric dynamics.
One of the key arguments which I have applied in my research is considering that the unifying force which drives our planetary systems (terrestrial, oceanic and atmospheric) is the energy which is transferred between biotic and nonbiotic components. This energy is absorbed, transformed and transferred following thermodynamic laws unless biotic systems interact (ref).
Energy in kinetic, latent and potential form are also channelled in other ways: Mechanical Energy is the energy of motion that does the work like the wind turns a windmill or pushes down a tree. Heat Energy where motion or rise in temperature is caused by heat like a fire in your fireplace, heat waves raising temp or convective processes in the atmosphere. Chemical Energy is the chemical reaction causing changes; food and fuel both store chemical energy as well as the chemical composition of our atmosphere, biosphere, oceans and soils. Electrical Energy is when motion, light or heat is produced by an electrical current like the electric coils on your stove and lighting on storms. Gravitational Energy where motion, like water going over a dam or in flooding events moving ground, cars and houses, is caused by gravity’s pull.
Many atmospheric events, linked with climatic developments, are defined by how much heat, wind and water (in solid, liquid and gaseous form) gets concentrated in location.
All those variables are linked together sharing one single principle: the conditions required to have such concentration in magnitude and location for each one of those different forms of energy. From kinetic in the wind, potential in the mass of water and latent in the temperature holding water in vapour state. But also, all those variables are related together by the shared source of their energy. All those forms of energy are just the result of a transformation and transference between states. And the life spam for each one of those states depends on the amount of energy in the surrounding elements and the energetic conductivity (ref) which restrains those states from dissipating their energy when they move through the atmosphere from one location to another (ref), where they release their charge (ref).
In the middle of December 2015, overwhelming amounts of rain have provoked floods in latitudes over Europe (UK, Sweden) where snow is what it should be expected at this part of the year. In order to make water vapour to freeze in the form of snow, more energy should be dissipated in the surrounded atmosphere, but it didn´t dissipate. Such interpretation matches with one of the theories which my criteria supports, “the Gradients of energy in the atmosphere are being reduced due to a redistribution of energy carried by water vapour into higher latitudes from the Subtropical latitudes into Polar. That increase in the amount of energy being spread and contained in the surroundings around atmospheric events reduce the capacity for dissipation”. Flooding events out of season would be one of the side effects, also with the generation of blocking patterns, Arctic circulation strengthening cross oceanic linkage and heat waves, altogether through water vapour as a carrier of energy. But also, an heterogeneous atmosphere would find conditions where the combination of elements will develop events of discharge like wires touching creating short circuits, originating flash floods, strong winds and heat displacements. The conductivity found on the conditions of a location would act as a lightning-rod or a single tree in the path way of a storm. In climatic events that means, heat waves will follow the thermal conductivity of the atmosphere in those areas opposing less resistance to their intrusion.
This scenario is a combination between the principles described by Einstein, Tesla and Newton.
Another principles which I have considered to to analyse climatic events come from Pascal laws on fluids.
Considering that an increased concentration of GHGs in the atmosphere would trap more energy in the form of heat, that would induce an increase in water vapour to be contained and carried in the atmosphere. Accordingly, water in itself is a gas which can carry enormous quantities of energy through the ecosystems, in the form of latent heat, chemical energy through photosynthesis and potential energy within its mass.
In an enclosed environment as it is our atmosphere, an incorporation of more water vapour would come in a heterogeneous distribution. Coriolis effect and the uneven distribution of atmospheric water supply from the ground level will depend on distribution of oceans, inland water bodies, the state of soils and evapotranspiration from biotic systems. The processes to release and retain water in all those components work at different speed. Thermodynamic and chemical mechanisms apply to inert bodies through evaporation processes linked with temperature, pressure, chemical composition (GHGs) and structure of the molecules of water (e.g. salinity, physical state), meanwhile, in biotic systems conducting evapotranspiration (e.g. Amazones), thermodynamic and chemical mechanisms are subjected to metabolism performance.
In another hand, the atmospheric behaviour towards atmospheric water vapour dynamics is also affected by the synergistic interactions between aerosols due to their Drop Nuclei Activity. Those particles have inert and biological nature (e.g. plant and pollen debris, bacteria and vapours liberated from metabolic processing).
In a dynamic thermodynamic system, the shape of the planet (spheroidal) and its constant state of motion (rotation), also generates forces driving the distribution of the masses of air. The masses of air occupying the volume of the atmosphere in the Equator are being constantly heated and charged with moisture despite rotation. Same as a chicken is cooked all way round when spinning over the grill. Meanwhile the masses or air occupying the Poles receive less radiation and are colder. Therefore, low temperatures restrain the amount of atmospheric water contained in the form of vapour.
The Coriolis effect defines an equator to pole movement. The northward currents creates an area of collition between warm equatorial masses of air and cold polar air. Such contrast in temperature and humidity generates a constant current of air called the Polar Jet Stream which keeps warm masses of air from entering polar circulation.
Having water vapour as the substance in the atmosphere with the highest capacity to absorb, carry and release energy makes it a key component shared by biotic and non biotic parts of an ecosystem. Where it does comes from, how it does moves and behaves as well as where it does go becomes relevant.
At this point, my interpretation of the recent developments makes me differ from the main stream in two areas:
- My interpretation disagree with: “Arctic amplification is considered as the fact of having the Arctic warming faster than the rest of the planet. Therefore, it is amplifying the warming effect from GHGs and lowering the thermal contrast at the Polar Jet Stream.”
My take on this scenario differs by considering that the Arctic is not amplifying the warming effect from GHGs. It is just the volume of space left for warmer volumes of air to expand in the North Hemisphere. The only space with low energy left to expand the constant charging effect suffered at equatorial and mid-latitudes. The constant friction of increasingly warmer masses of air from mid latitudes has been wearing off the strength of the Polar vortex. Whilst it worked properly, the increase in temperature was just at mid latitudes, but once it was reached its threshold, masses of air started to cross into polar latitudes. That has increased the volume of atmosphere to accommodate more energy, creating a slow down in global warming and yet, increasing the amount of heat being identified at the Arctic. In the Antarctic pole the circulation is different and yet, more snow covering topographic features but not increase in ice thickening from oceanic circulation point to an increase in atmospheric water vapour reaching south pole latitudes, being released in solid form.
In this line of thinking, the amplification would come from the equatorial latitudes due to the strong contrast in kinetic energy between the volumes of air at the Poles and those at the equator. Once a weak Polar Jet Stream allows Arctic inter-cross circulation between Atlantic and Pacific basins, the manifestation of Pascals laws on fluids will become stronger and alterations on Pressure over one volume of fluid will have an effect over the other. The following images show 3 Low pressure systems happening simultaneously at the Atlantic and Pacific basins in different days through 1 year period.
2. My observations disagree also with that: “The temperature of the Oceans are the ones dictating global atmospheric developments at this stage.”
My interpretation of the behaviour of the Ecosystem as a whole is that the first and fastest medium reacting to the energy entering the system is the atmosphere. And therefore the atmosphere leads, and the events found in the other mediums follow (ref).
At the current time we can see warm Sea Surface Temperatures (SST) at the Equatorial Pacific which it has been identified as part of a cycle, the warm phase of the ENSO also called El Niño. There is also a cold area of SST at the north Atlantic, and warm SST at Barents sea and Mediterranean sea (ref). At the same time, air temperature measurements at 2m show warmer than normal anomalies at the North Pole.
Looking at the implications from those situations in the atmospheric circulation I can see that warmer Equatorial Pacific SST will bring more moisture in the atmosphere, but what it drives it around, and keeps it out from carrying the energy contained into the Poles is the strength of the barrier created by the thermal contrast generating the Polar Jet Stream.
The warmer than normal SST at the Pacific Equator is happening this year meanwhile the erratic behaviour of the Polar Jet Stream it has been already for at least since I started looking in 2013. So I can only assume that the deterioration in the rigidity of the Polar Jet Stream has been happening due to a condition in the atmospheric circulation developed before the conditions created by El Niño.
Thanks to Giulio Betti I have seen two articles pointing out claims which I believe support those from my own research.
- The atmospheric circulation linked with the Atlantic and Pacific basins are interconnected.
“Extending climate predictability beyond El Niño”. Date: April 21, 2015 Source: University of Hawaii – SOEST
“Our results present a paradigm shift,” explains co-author Axel Timmermann, climate scientist and professor at the University of Hawaii. “Whereas the Pacific was previously considered the main driver of tropical climate variability and the Atlantic and Indian Ocean its slaves, our results document a much more active role for the Atlantic Ocean in determining conditions in the other two ocean basins. The coupling between the oceans is established by a massive reorganization of the atmospheric circulation.”
2-“New study questions long-held theories of climate variability in the North Atlantic”. Date: October 15, 2015 Source: University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science
This new analysis shows that the pattern of the AMO can be accounted for by atmospheric circulation alone, without any role for the ocean circulation.
New insides on old concepts
In order to identify new patterns in a constant evolving scenario we have to allow our brains to adopt more than one perspective.
Apart from previous patterns in atmospheric circulation pointed out in my previus publication here I share another one:
Back in February 2015 I published a post: 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.
In this post I discussed that “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)”, and I presented the following image.
This is the images for the atmospheric pressure scenario at sea level we could see the 22th of Dec 2015 after one of the warmest Novembers on record.
Also in this publication I discussed the existence of some persistent Blocking patterns:
“Since October, there has been a deep H in the Atlantic sea (taking from 1000 hPa to 250 hPa and higher) which has played a big impact over the Jet Stream circulation, dividing it in two. This impact over the Jet Stream from the High pressure in the middle of the Atlantic continues now Feb 2015. Another H tilting from west to central Pacific, together with the blocking H in California, have been very resilient features. But also, systems of Low pressure have been generated frequently taking from 1000 hPa up to 250 hPa over the central North Pacific Ocean, strong enough to interfere with the Jet Stream and resilient enough to create blocking patterns influencing meteorological conditions across North America.”
Similar blocking patterns show to be happening at 22th Dec 2015.
There is one difference. At this moment, December instead of February, the High over California has oscillated to the West, so the temperature gradients in North America have been displaced in comparison with last year. At this stage, the East of NA is warmer than the East, but the division in temperature gradients is maintained longitudinally instead of latitudinally. And the oscillating nature of these Highs will make very volatile such scenario with a high probability of seeing the H coming back to California bringing cold spells over the East of North America and some storm resembling Juno.
In Europe we haven’t seen the High positioned over the Eastern Atlantic that we saw last year at Dec14/Jan15. Instead, similarly with what happened on Feb2015 but earlier this year, a strong persistent High has kept blocking the jet stream located just above the continental western Europe, dragging warm air from Africa into Northern latitudes generating among the highest temperatures in Nov and Dec on record. In some way, the H which last year was over the Atlantic influencing western Europe, is now located over the continent coalescing with others at both sides.
One main situation remains, the regiment of temperatures is divided in longitude when usually it was divided in latitude. As I mentioned in a previous post, it might not be so important why cold masses of air move at lower latitudes but why warm masses of air move at higher latitudes.
This alterations in the temperature regimens in longitude is a reality with consequences in our present for our biotic systems and the synergies in which they are involved.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,
Good night and good luck.
Many of the atmospheric configurations and weather and climate events we see these days are very similar with the progression followed from 2013. Please take a look at publications addressing those events from previous publications in this blog or look at the categories in the top menu. Feedback is always welcomed.
- New theory proposal to assess possible changes in Atmospheric Circulation (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) Posted on October 21, 2014. http://wp.me/p403AM-k3
- 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 November 14, 2014. http://wp.me/p403AM-mt
- Gathering data to make visible the invisible (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) Posted on December 22, 2014. http://wp.me/p403AM-pN
- State of the Polar Vortex. Broken? From 29 Nov 2014 to 5th Jan 2015 (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla). Posted on November 29, 2014. http://wp.me/p403AM-o7
- Probability in the atmospheric circulation dictating the Weather (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) Posted on January 15, 2015. http://wp.me/p403AM-rm
- Meteorological Outlook Feb 2015 (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) Posted on February 7, 2015. http://wp.me/p403AM-sU
- 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. http://wp.me/p403AM-to
- Matching Features Between Land Surface and Atmospheric Circulation (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)April 23, 2015
- Drops of Weather. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)March 7, 2015
- Steering climate´s course (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)March 27, 2015
- Climate. Looking at the forest for the trees (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)April 9, 2015
- Matching Features Between Land Surface and Atmospheric Circulation (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)April 23, 2015
- Domesticating Nature. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)May 7, 2015
- A roller-coaster of temperatures in South Europe. Spain (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)May 14, 2015
- Talking about climate (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)May 12, 2015
- News from an Ecosystem (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)May 20, 2015
- In climate it is becoming Less probable to not have a High probability. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)May 29, 2015
- Drinking from the source (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)June 5, 2015
- Communication takes more than just publishing thoughts. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)June 9, 2015
- Extreme climatic events, implications for projections of species distributions and ecosystem structure (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)June 18, 2015
- The scope of Environmental Science and scientific thought. From Thought-driven to Data-driven, from Critical Thinking to Data Management. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)June 26, 2015
- Atmospheric Circulation and Climate Drift. Are we there yet? (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)July 2, 2015
- Lateral thinking. From Micro to Macro (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)July 4, 2015
- Something for the curious minds. Climate and Streamlines (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)July 17, 2015
- Solar Activity and Human Activity, Settling Their Environmental Liability. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)July 24, 2015
- Atmospheric composition and thermal conductivity? (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)August 6, 2015
- Latitudinal barriers and typhoons (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)August 13, 2015
- The Earth is Ticking (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)August 20, 2015
- What if, the relevant bit lies hidden on identifying the pattern behind similarities instead of trying to match anomalies? (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)September 3, 2015
- A Climate “Between Waters” (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla).September 8, 2015
- Sensing Atmospheric Dynamics (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)September 22, 2015
- InFormAtion. The “Act” of “Giving Form” to “Knowledge” (by Diego fdez-Sevilla)September 30, 2015
- Arctic Intake of Water Vapour (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)October 7, 2015
- SST Anomalies and Heat Waves. Are They Not All Just Heat Displacements? (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)October 16, 2015
- Discussing Climatic Teleconnections. Follow Up On My Previous Research (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)October 21, 2015
- Follow-up on Arctic circulation 30 Oct 2015 ( by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) October 30, 2015
- There is Ice or Frost In Antarctica? (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) November 5, 2015
- Starts Raining Drops of Winter at Mid-Latitudes. The new Autumn? (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) November 10, 2015
- Press release. Ask NASA (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) November 12, 2015
- Following the Behaviour of the Jet Stream (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) November 19, 2015
- What Is Wrong With The Concept “Bio”? (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) November 26, 2015
- Energy. Looking For Sources of Something We Waste. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) December 3, 2015
- SOILS. The Skeleton Holding The Muscle On Our Ecosystems (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) December 9, 2015
- Could It Be El Niño The New “Wolf” Coming? (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla) December 11, 2015
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