CO2 Makes Headlines To Grow Like Trees, Shaping Different Forests Offering Different Views (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD)


CO2 Makes Headlines To Grow Like Trees, Shaping Different Forests Offering Different Views (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD)

In pdf format at Researchgate: File name: CO2 Tree Management and Technology. Discussion Review By Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD.pdf. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.16286.33601 https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Diego_Fdez-Sevilla/contributions
(This is a long piece where I share some articles published in the media on CO2, tree growth and cover and management under the expectations of technology. I try to offer a point of view based on the use of headlines addressing media, science and policies with and implementation reviewing my own research. I hope the length of it is worth your time reading. Feedback is welcome here at my blog and by email d.fdezsevilla@gmail.com
My time responding is restricted since I am focused on finding sources of funding and processes of selection for a job position. Input on my search is also welcome. I encourage you to explore the pieces published in my blog to see the whole picture described by them.)

My point is described in the title, CO2 in the Media Makes Headlines To Grow Like Trees, Shaping Different Forests Offering Different Views to People. Depending on the “trees”/”titles” you choose the picture we see changes.

I have just looked at some titles calling my attention in the media and I have chosen a few to express my point.


The state of the Earth`s forests?


Source at Sciencemag.org
mihtlander/iStock

Earth’s forests grew 9% in a new satellite survey

The Age of Exploration may be long past, but even in the 21st century, our maps can still get a major update. Using satellite imagery, a new study has found hidden forests all over the world—almost enough for a second Amazon—in areas with little moisture known as drylands. Past estimates of how much of the world’s drylands are covered in forests have run into lots of problems: For instance, the satellite images used to measure them are often so low-resolution that it’s hard to figure out the difference between a tree, a shadow, or even a patch of dirt. To correct for that, an international team of researchers performed the first global study using a new set of ultra–high-resolution Google Earth images—in which each pixel represents a patch of ground less than a meter wide, as opposed to tens of meters. Hundreds of scientists and students then combed through 210,000 images and found that the world’s drylands host 40% more forests than thought, the team writes today in Science. That’s more than a 9% bump in total global forest coverage, or two-thirds the size of the Amazon.

A new study using high-definition satellite images has found 378 million additional hectares of forest around the globe—almost enough for a second Amazon.

The study will help researchers figure out how best to conserve and restore these forested areas. It will also help scientists make more accurate estimates of how much carbon dioxide Earth’s trees are sucking out of the atmosphere—and how much of our fossil fuel emissions they’ll be able to handle in the future.


Source at Nature.com | News. 26 February 2015 Jeff Tollefson.

Raphael Alves/AFP/Getty. Forested land in the tropics is often cleared to create new fields for agriculture.

Tropical forest losses outpace UN estimates

Satellite data suggest that forest loss accelerated in the past 20 years, contradicting the United Nations’ reports that it decreased.

The rate of forest loss across much of the tropics increased by 62% in the first decade of the millennium compared to the 1990s, according to an analysis of satellite data.

The study, published in Geophysical Research Letters on 25 February1, examines conditions in 34 countries, including Brazil, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It contradicts 2010 findings by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations suggesting that forest losses decreased by 25% from 1990-2010. Researchers attributed the discrepancy to differing survey methods, definitions and methodologies among countries that report to the FAO.

“This is a huge increase,” says lead author Do-Hyung Kim, a remote-sensing scientist at the University of Maryland in College Park.


EU policies on Forests.


‘My worst nightmares are coming true’: last major primeval forest in Europe on ‘brink of collapse’

Polish government is accused of pushing Białowieża forest ecosystem to point of no return with state-sanctioned logging in Unesco world heritage site.

Scientists and environmental campaigners have accused the Polish government of bringing the ecosystem of the Białowieża forest in north-eastern Poland to the “brink of collapse”, one year after a revised forest management plan permitted the trebling of state logging activity and removed a ban on logging in old growth areas.

Large parts of the forest, which spans Poland’s eastern border with Belarus and contains some of Europe’s last remaining primeval woodland, are subject to natural processes not disturbed by direct human intervention.

“At some point there will be a collapse, and if and when it happens, it’s gone forever – no amount of money in the universe can bring it back,” said Prof Tomasz Wesołowski, a forest biologist at the University of Wrocław who has been conducting fieldwork in Białowieża for each of the last 43 years. “With every tree cut, we are closer to this point of no return.”

Logging in Białowieża forest. Photograph: Adam Bohdan/Wild Poland Foundation

“They are logging in Unesco zones where timber harvesting is forbidden, they are logging 100-year-old tree stands in contravention of European law, they are logging during breeding season and destroying habitats occupied by rare species. It is disrupting natural processes which have been continuing there for thousands of years. We are losing large parts of the last natural forest – my worst nightmares are coming true,” said Bohdan.

The government argues that the logging is needed to protect the forest from a bark beetle outbreak and for reasons of public safety, both hotly disputed by conservationists.

“Logging of infested spruces does not stop a bark beetle outbreak, it just leaves thousands of hectares of clear-felled sites instead,” said Dr Bogdan Jaroszewicz of the University of Warsaw, the director of the Białowieża research station.

“Of course, dead trees can’t be left standing along public roads or tourist trails, but logging is taking place in places quite remote from these routes.”

Opponents accuse the environment minister, Jan Szyszko, who is a forester and lecturer in forest management, of sacrificing the forest for the sake of the vested interests of the Polish forestry industry. …

… Campaigners note a substantial discrepancy between figures provided by the Polish government in a joint report with Belarus submitted to Unesco in 2016, and those provided by state forest officials as a result of freedom of information requests. Whereas the report said there had been 21,172 cubic metres of wood extraction on the Polish side in 2016, according to official statistics the figure is actually 64,059 cubic metres – more than three times the number submitted to Unesco – with 39% of the logging conducted in zones where logging is not permitted in accordance with Unesco World Heritage obligations .

The Polish government now faces the threat of being taken to the European Court of Justice by the European commission. “Due to the threat of a serious irreparable damage to the site, the commission is urging the Polish authorities to reply within one month instead of a customary two-month deadline,” the commission said in April.

But campaigners say the government is impervious to its legal obligations and fear that fundamental irreparable damage has already been done.

“It’s like replacing wild birds with battery hens,” said Wajrak, as he surveyed an expanse of land recently cleared of trees and which is now surrounded by metal fencing and is bare except for neat rows of newly-planted oak saplings.

“We want a forest, not an oak farm.”


Source. http://lulucf.inscope.am/what-is-lulucf/

What is LULUCF?

In July 2016 the European Commission published their proposed Regulation for the Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) sectors. It sets out accounting rules and targets to determine how Member States must act between 2021 and 2030.

LULUCF is a complex topic even for the most hardened climate veterans. Here is some basic information that you might find helpful to navigate the issue:

 ·         NGO position paper on LULUCF (also available in French)

·         Fern briefing explaining the basics of a good LULUCF regulation

·         NGO report explaining why LULUCF does not deal with bioenergy emissions

Forests and the Climate

The proposed Regulation will weaken the EU’s ability to meet its Paris Agreement commitments such as keeping the average global temperature rise to well below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C; and balancing the release and removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by the second half of this century.

Healthy land and forests have long been recognised as an important tool to help avert catastrophic climate change. Yet signatories to the Paris Agreement, including the EU, have not committed to emissions cuts ambitious enough to meet the 2°C target, let alone 1.5°C. Scientists say we will have to find ways to remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than we emit – so called “negative emissions”. Technically, there are many ways to do this using chemistry and geology. But the most feasible, economic, and safe option is to use the power of biology – harnessing the process of photosynthesis in plants to absorb atmospheric CO2.

Restoring forests is the most feasible option to achieve negative emissions at scale. This means Europe must shift towards more sustainable forestry and land management. Achieving emissions reductions and removals in the LULUCF sector is therefore as important to the EU’s 2030 climate and energy framework, as reducing emissions with the Emissions Trading System and the Effort Sharing Regulation. To improve the LULUCF proposal, NGOs call on the EU to:

  1. Raise: We need to restore natural carbon sinks to increase carbon removal
  2. Implement simple accounting rules that encourage sustainable forestry and good land management
  3. Introduce mandatory accounting for ‘managed wetland’ – one of the largest sources of carbon
  4. Ensure respect for EU Nature legislation in all activities
  5. Don’t allow progress in the forestry sector to offset work in any other sector
  6. Ensure all emissions from bioenergy are fully accounted

LULUCF loopholes

Loophole 1: not counting the climate impact of forest management

When you harvest a large quantity of wood from a forest, it often reduces the forests ability to sequester CO2 – meaning more CO2 in the atmosphere. Many Member States, particularly Finland and France are planning to significantly increase wood harvesting in the next decades (+25% and +33% respectively). This would mean EU forests sequester close to 100 million tons less CO2 in 2030 than today. That would be equivalent to keeping an extra 100 million cars on the road.

Countries including Finland, France, Austria, Sweden, Latvia and Poland do not want to count the climate impact of reducing sequestration which is a main reason why they are near the bottom of the LULUCF ranking. They say that regardless of how much harvesting they undertake, their forests are managed sustainably so they don’t need to account for forest emissions. Scientists agree that increasing harvesting increases CO2 in the atmosphere whereas strong biodiverse forests actually reduce the level of atmospheric carbon. We need honest accounting rules now that incentivise forests to play a positive climate role in the coming decades.

The European Commission proposes that we should account for all increases to atmospheric carbon from harvesting, and Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Belgium, the UK, Luxemburg and Denmark all agree!

Loophole 2: Hiding emissions from bioenergy

When wood is burnt, it emits CO2. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recommends that these emissions be counted when the wood is cut rather than when it is burnt, and EU climate legislation agrees. No matter how many millions of tons of CO2 are released by burning bioenergy in industrial installations, the EU Emissions Trading System counts them as zero on the basis that they are accounted for in the LULUCF Regulation. Indeed the LULUCF regulation states “ emissions related to biomass use are reported and accounted for under LULUCF, i.e. biomass use in the energy sector is zero rated. In this way double counting of emissions is avoided”. It is of great concern therefore that countries such as Austria, France and Finland are pushing for emissions from cutting not to be counted (see loophole 1). If they get their way, emissions from bioenergy won’t be counted anywhere!


Forests and Atmospheric Carbon


Stop hoping we can fix climate change by pulling carbon out of the air, scientists warn

May 22

Scientists are expressing increasing skepticism that we’re going to be able to get out of the climate change mess by relying on a variety of large-scale land-use and technical solutions that have been not only proposed but often relied upon in scientific calculations.

Two papers published last week debunk the idea of planting large volumes of trees to pull carbon dioxide out of the air — saying there just isn’t enough land available to pull it off — and also various other strategies for “carbon dioxide removal,” some of which also include massive tree plantings combined with burning their biomass and storing it below the ground.

“Biomass plantations are always seen as a green kind of climate engineering because, you know, everybody likes trees,” said Lena Boysen, a climate researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Germany, who led one of the new studies while a researcher at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. “But we just want to show that that’s not the complete story. They cannot do that much.”

Forests have long been recognized as one of the world’s most important natural carbon sinks, capable of storing large amounts of carbon that would otherwise end up in the atmosphere. Simply preserving the world’s forest resources — and replanting areas that have already been deforested — is viewed as an important step in protecting the climate.

But for years, scientists have discussed the idea of going further by using large plantations full of fast-growing, carbon-storing trees to pull extra carbon emissions out of the atmosphere, a strategy sometimes called “afforestation.” But the amount of land and other resources this strategy would require to actually help us meet our global climate goals — namely, keeping global temperatures within at least two degrees of their pre-industrial levels — is completely impractical, according to Boysen’s new study in the journal Earth’s Future, and would require the destruction of huge amounts of natural ecosystems or productive agricultural land.

Considering different scenarios for planetary emissions, Boysen and her colleagues find the land space that would be required for the amount of trees necessary to keep temperatures within a 2-degree threshold under our current climate trajectory could have “dire consequences for food production or the biosphere.” And even under more optimistic scenarios, where future carbon emissions are lower and fewer trees would be necessary, they conclude that “high inputs of managed water and fertilizers would be needed in order to avoid fierce competition for land — with potentially negative side-effects for climate and society.”

It isn’t just planting forests on their own: Many scientists have suggested that a more advanced strategy may be necessary to keep to a two-degree pathway in the future — particularly now, as analyses increasingly suggest that even the emissions reduction pledges established by countries participating in the Paris climate agreement are still not enough to keep us on track.

The solution that’s been proposed in numerous reports and climate models, including those released over the years by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), is a technology known as bioenergy and carbon capture and storage, or BECCS. This strategy involves establishing large plantations of fast-growing trees, capable of storing large quantities of carbon, which can then be harvested and used for fuel. Biomass burning facilities would need to be outfitted with a special carbon-capturing technology, which would capture the carbon dioxide produced and store it safely away, potentially in geological formations deep underground.

It’s an ambitious proposal, and one that many scientists have pointed out is nowhere near the point of becoming feasible, even from a technological perspective. Carbon capture and storage technology is just getting on its feet from a commercial standpoint, and there are only a few facilities around the world — several of them in the United States — that use it. Without this technology, the planting and harvesting of biomass becomes far less climate friendly, essentially releasing all the stored carbon right back into the atmosphere.

These biomass energy systems could be valuable, “but only if the biomass is entirely sustainable,” said Daniel Kammen, an energy professor at the University of California at Berkeley and director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory, in an emailed comment to The Washington Post. Kammen was not involved with the new study but has conducted much of his own research on biomass energy and carbon capture and storage systems.

The new study, he says, agrees well with what previous work has suggested — that when the system is not completely sustainable, “the value of a biomass crop for meeting climate targets is non-existent,” he said. Large plantations of fast-growing trees, as explored in the recent paper, are clearly not sustainable, he pointed out.

And other experts agree as well. In a separate paper, published Thursday in the journal Science, Stanford researchers Christopher Field and Katharine Mach argue that carbon dioxide removal strategies, including BECCS, are still too risky to rely on for limiting climate change. In regard to BECCS, they also point out that the massive amount of resources required to sustain the system makes it unfeasible.

“Converting land on this staggering scale would pit climate change responses against food security and biodiversity protection,” they write. “Massively expanding managed land for CDR [carbon dioxide removal] could crash through the planetary boundary for sustainable land use.”

Worryingly, they add, carbon dioxide removal is increasingly assumed by climate models and planning tools as a future mitigation tactic. While they encourage continued research and development of the technology, the authors also urge the necessity of “avoiding cavalier assumptions of future technological breakthroughs.”

That’s not to say that there isn’t any place for this type of technology in the future, Boysen added.

“There are areas indeed where we can plant biomass plantations where they would be beneficial for the region,” she pointed out. But on a global scale, she said, research suggests that it’s just not an effective mitigation tool.

“There are other options,” she said, such as more sustainable agriculture techniques, that can help make a dent in global carbon emissions. “But the most important option is, of course, not to release the CO2 into the atmosphere.”


My Take On

The Debate

From previous publications:

Who has the right and the responsibility to discuss Climate as a topic of debate? (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)

I am not the expert whom has “the answer” to the complex questions raising on climate. But I have been inspired to write openly my thoughts in here based on the knowledge that I have acquired in environmental science from academia, the work load behind performing a thesis in Aerobiology studying atmospheric dynamics and airborne particle behaviour as well as 8 years researching on climatic synergies. The latest research is what I started to publish in my blog. After leaving academia that was the only way I found to get published what it can not be in the absence of other peer reviewed papers addressing what I consider to be a new different approach and conclusions from main stream.
I am not looking to be a popular kid on the block or even convince others that my point of view is the “right” one. I just have a critical mind trained in environmental research and personal values which make feel responsible to share the little knowledge that I have.
I agree with you on that those considered themselves experts are obliged to attend any critical thinking questioning theirs assessments and behaviour. And they are the ones to be in charge to give answers. But any critical mind is entitled to make questions.

My position in the debate lies in the belief of considering as a major factor limiting our understandings the lack of attention given to the gaps of knowledge existent. The concepts, measurements and parameters applied to address environmental synergistic interactions are too narrow and isolated from each other to understand their full meaning, reaching dogmatic patterns of thought to make the quickest conclusions in the absence of a better and clear idea on what is going on.
Temperature and GHGs are linked, but they are not the beginning of our problems neither the end. The capacity that humans have to transform the environment was the beginning and it will not stop manufacturing solar panels. As a biologist myself I believe that the climate regimes we used to consider stable are closely linked with the composition of not only the atmosphere, but also vegetable cover, soil structure and water reservoirs and flows.

All those materials being part of the environment have different origin, composition and behaviour. But all of them are basically forms sustaining, transforming or carrying energy.

The energy we measure as temperature is only one part of the whole spectrum among all the forms energy is flowing around.
Our environment has been transformed in composition, distribution and structure in the solid, gaseous and liquid phases (water cycles, land cover, soil, and atmospheric composition). So, even considering natural variability and cycles as part of climatic drifts, I see as a matter of special concern and extreme importance, to be concious about what is that we assume to be similar and what not when we look into past events in time.

June 20, 2016

The value of having a point of view (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD)

We all have access to similar resources of data, and share similar foundations in our knowledge. That make us share points of view driving our focus of attention over similar events and images, being dragged into similar or opposed conclusions over the same point of attention. Such situation creates a funnel effect over what is worth or not to be discussed.

Funnel effect

Those who share a point of view from which they share an observation, they recognise its existence and even, sometimes, its value as part of a discussion.

But I have found that sometimes, such mechanism, drives the focus of attention of many into a funnel effect. Which instead of empowering the potential of delivering a team work from unification, by unifying their point of view, there is an effect of exclusion of other possibilities to be contemplated from narrowing down the capacity of attention.

Therefore, for some, there is a sense of finding a worth investment of their efforts (an effort of any type; mental, economical, analytical, …) only on those questions or aspects which are “visible” or “tangible” to them.

What this simple idea involves is that having a point of view different from others might exclude you and your considerations from those with different points of view.

This can happens either due to;

  • the lack of resources enabling each other to make their points of view to come across their differences or,
  • by  the lack of any consideration from one of the parts to invest any effort in considering other points of view than the one visible from their perspective.

That is a situation we all share.

I am not aware of all the points of view out there. And I am aware of that such situation creates a limitation.

However, based on my previous research, I have been able to find my own point of view. And I know that it is not replicating the mistakes  or misconceptions carried by following blindly the main stream channels.

While sources of assessments for atmospheric dynamics share similar points of view based on the same focus of attention delivered from the traditional imagery I have created my own resources and imagery to analyse and support my assessments.

January 5, 2017
December 23, 2015 New insides on old concepts (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)

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. …

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. …

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. …

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). …

Information

Just by choosing these titles to write this article I am already shaping the point that I am trying to make. So the reader should always be in command and alert before reaching conclusions based on the product offered.

Sharing information and enhancing communication are very sharp tools, and the result of their application lays in the hands of the users.

One thing is to describe what others have done by reporting on new papers being published. Another different matter is to offer an assessment over its repercussion or the impact in the state of knowledge.

From the publication:

July 27, 2016 Climbing The Hill Of Development (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.)

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.

From the previous publication:

InFormAtion. The “Act” of “Giving Form” to “Knowledge” (by Diego fdez-Sevilla)

It is a constant pressure in our lives how much we are influenced by the type of knowledge that we get under the label of “information”. From our years at school, throughout any conversation we engage into and all the way up through our careers.

From our early ages, we are taught to learn based on knowledge which has been previously organised and shaped. And furthermore, we are driven to adopt a position of undeniable trust towards whom allegedly claims to bring “information”.

The repercussions from adopting a position of undeniable trust towards those claiming to “hold” information was very well stated by George Orwell in his book “1984”.

The implications touch all corners of our society, from social behaviour reacting to the information “shared” in the media (TV, news papers, internet, etc) as well as in the scientific community dominating the drift generated from the information applied in “scientific” debates.

If “information” has become the “act” of “giving form” to “knowledge”, that has happened at the cost of diminishing the value of “Research”, defined as the systematic investigation into, and study of, materials and sources in order to establish facts, either to reinforce the validity of previous conclusions or to reach new ones. Nowadays, there are fewer minds exploring the validity of old and new postures, and more have adopted the trustful posture of basing their state of mind on “information” generated previously by others.

The amount of stimulus called “information” being spread all around us is so vast that it has collapsed the credibility and rigourosity applied previously in all the systems created to generate knowledge from data. From general media to academia, it is almost impossible to find enough resources and time to discern “objective unbiased contrasted knowledge” from the rest.

September 30, 2015

Ultimately I try to offer coherence in my writing. Enough to sustain the validity of my arguments anywhere and at any level of the scientific debate.

The responsibility of any writer is to be coherent. The responsibility of any reader is to find meaning not only in  the answers offered but, as important, in the selection of the questions answered, the questions avoided and the questions raising without answers from the piece of “information” offered.

From the publication:

December 17, 2016 Orbital Seasonality vs Kinetic Seasonality. A Change Triggered from Changing the Order of The Factors (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD)

… This phrase immersed in the article is an example of how looking at the same pieces of the puzzle, each one of us can find different pictures. In particular, in this case, the previous paragraph leaves more questions open than those that it resolves. …

Trees and/or Technology

Are we considering manufacturing pieces of technology which will substitute trees as the answer to resolve the problem from lacking trees …. ?

Our problem facing a climatic drift is basically a thermodynamic question. And therefore, the thermodynamic impact of both options are quite different. Lets call it the “thermodynamic print” from each of those options has far distant repercussions over the synergistic relationships existent between the biotic and none biotic parts of any ecosystem.

December 1, 2015 PARIS2015. Many Observing How Few Talk. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)

Sure each one of you would interpret it in your own way. For me, I just thought that “we are Just observing to those who are Just talking. I hope they are surrounded by knowledgeable people they can Just listen to.”

My posture on Climate Adaptation is based on the concept of that the stability of our climate is directly linked with the stability of our environment. And therefore, any technology applied to manipulate energy (energy is not produced or destroyed, just transformed and transferred) must be studied under one principle:

  • The suitability for any policy and technology to mitigate climatic drifts, either considered renewable or otherwise,  depends directly on its impact over the ability of the environment to regenerate the resources consumed (solid, liquid and volatile) and recover from the transformation enforced in any part of the ecosystem (Biosphere, Land, Water and Atmosphere) throughout any of the stages followed, such as:
    1. Development,
    2. Manufacturing,
    3. Application,
    4. Maintenance,
    5. Upgrading obsolete stages,
    6. and, Recycle, Reuse or Treatment of subsidiary residuals throughout all the stages (solid, liquid or volatile). From its development to disposal due to functional state at the end-of-live (EOL) .

Applying a gas-powered chain saw or an electric chain saw or axes to cut down trees without sustainable management would not make any difference in the long run.

Designing technologies to replace the functionality of trees as carbon sinks meanwhile clearing vast amounts of forested land cover to obtain the minerals and land surface required for their manufacture, application and maintenance would  make no sense in the long run.

Our global ecosystem is made off individual parts. Each one playing roles individually as much as throughout interacting synergies. The diversity in the distribution and composition of biological systems, water bodies and landmarks around the globe responds to such dichotomy of functionality. Forests, lakes, desserts, meadows, wetlands, … show specific properties adapted to local features (water availability, topography, wind speed, altitude, …) but associated with the developments of events involved in the global circulation.

Altogether, they have demonstrated through millennia that this system can absorb changes in external forces, minimize its impact and recover from such pressure.

The capacity of the human specie to interfere with the capacity for regeneration and recovery of the global environment carries, under my point of view, a way more dangerous risk in the long run than only the raise of temperatures and sea level.

September 2, 2016 Climate Drift, The True Meaning of Things and the Drift of Those. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.)

My point of view is that, if there is no agreement about using “climate change” as a terminology addressing the implications from seeing modifications (composition and behaviour) in so many parts of our environment (land, atmosphere/air and water (liquid, solid and vapour)), at least we might find common ground in identifying and/or studying the migration or “drift” of our climatic niches from previous regimes, either by addressing magnitudes, behaviour and/or location.

Biological seasons (like breeding seasons or pollen seasons) are driven by thermodynamic fluctuations. Similarly occurs in the atmosphere with seasons defined by hurricanes, tornadoes, Heat waves, etc.

In 2008, I performed research (later published a paper) highlighting modifications in biological pollen seasons, starting earlier and ending later, due to climatic alterations triggered from urbanization levels. As an Environmental Biologist whom became involved in Atmospheric biological studies, I have been observing and studying atmospheric dynamics since 2002 and more precisely, in the last 4 years. And I believe that all type of seasons, including those characterised by weather events, are shifting their behaviour becoming more erratic.

I discuss it also in the post “Aug 2016 Follow-up on previous assessments. Atmospheric Dynamics, Temperature Displacements, Atmospheric Mixing (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.)” Posted on August 26, 2016

My definition of Climate drift is, the deviation from equilibrium of the conditions allowing the perpetuity of an established symbiotic relationship between biotic and none biotic components in a micro and macro ecosystem. This situation can be due to changes in any component of the ecosystem playing a synergistic effect over the rest. And the causes can be either a change in the magnitude of the already implemented forces in place, changes in the directionality or rates in the flows of energy pre-established OR/AND the impact suffered by the incorporation of new components/forces and energy sinks or sources in any part of the system interfering with the previously established order and balance.

March 3, 2017 Thermodynamic Ecosystems by Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD

Planting trees is relevant. Keeping already established trees should be part of environmental policies.

Mature trees and forests have already generated a system of resilience in combination with soil and biosymbiotic net flows. New trees will have to develop symbiotic links in order to perdure over time. And the time a tree or forest perdure is what makes the difference when we evaluate the net equation between Carbon emitted and Carbon sequestrated throughout time.

Mature Natural Carbon sinks reached a point where there was a balance between the conc of Carbon naturally emitted (the earth is warm thanks to that) as the Carbon taken. Now we face a dysfunctional natural system acting as carbon sinks, weaken in resilience which in many places has been completely erased or at its infancy without time to fully develop and “sink” into it.

Biodiversity is being domesticated as much as the biological cycles, and the natural environments polluted. All together have an influence over the right performance of natural ecosystems as carbon sinks.

The challenge ahead will take for more than planting trees, any tree, any where. The challenge is to see them grow, in their eco-habitats as the time passes by.

The issue is that by planting any tree any where, sometimes we damage ecosystems, or even we might spend more energy than need it in order to follow our fashion choice. …

Through the whole line of research presented here there is one single idea which links all the assessments.

Being a Biologist myself, I have studied our planet as a global ecosystem which comes from the combination of all the organisms and the abiotic elements which affect them.

An ecosystem is an open system because it can exchange energy or materials with other ecosystems. Earth is a closed system with respect to nutrients and chemicals, but open with respect to energy. …

Therefore, there is a synergistic relationship between biogeochemical energy flows and those identified in weather patterns and atmospheric dynamics.

May 7, 2015 Domesticating Nature. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)

In order to adapt the performance from Natural resources to Human needs, the whole spectra of Natural expression (animals, plants, water cycle and soil) has been increasingly tampered with, generating dependence from Human care.

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. 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? …

May 5, 2017 Mixing Temperatures keep shaping A Roller coaster of Temperatures over South Europe. Follow-up on previous research 5th May 17. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD)

At some point in time, technology begun its path with the function of helping to answer relevant questions. Then technology increased its relevance in order to implement the conclusions adopted from answering those questions. That happened in periods of peace and later the process speeded up in periods of war. Lets look at the industrialization of the human society and the implementation of technology in social routines. The aim for the technology created and the industrial infrastructure created around it has the only objective of self preservation. 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. If the truth of things interferes with the preservation of some machinery it generates discomfort. Like publishing science without producing revenues to publishers … Technology is not the problem, it is the aim with which it is developed.


December 3, 2015 Energy. Looking For Sources of Something We Waste. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)

We need Energy to survive. And then, we need more energy to survive… with style.

Formal practices of survival require energy to obtain more energy to support our style of live. Which in turn, demands energy to address the consequences of having to deal with the residuals generated in the process of production and furthermore, the waste produced due to misuse and excess.

So in order to avoid the negative repercussions derived from our systems of production and consumption the conclusion achieved is that we “need” to find alternative sources of energy to keep consuming increasing amounts of energy.

Well, I wonder, why are we looking for sources of something that we already waste?

What Is Wrong With The Concept “Bio”? (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)

… It has taken my attention how easy it can be overused the prefix “Bio” to compose vocabulary which seems to be, by itself, self explanatory thanks to this incorporation.

And there is a question which raises from such commodity. For some people, the concept of Bio is misinterpreted as innocuous.

Just because your raw material comes from biological origin, it does not make the treatments applied to obtain by-products of market values (either compounds or energy) less innocuous for the environment. Just because a product comes from a biological process does not make it innocuous for the environment. And similarly, just because the process followed to treat the raw material to obtain a by-product of market interest is based on a biological transformation, it does not make it free from consuming resources and originate residuals with specific management requirements before they become innocuous for the environment.

Bio-products, bio-processing or bio-technology does not release the pressure from Land Use and Cover, water consumption and energetic demands, or dissipate the problems with chemically active waste compounds (gass, solid or liquid) as well as toxicity due to concentration, etc.

The innocuousness of any product, any process of transformation, decomposition or composition, extraction, purification, manipulation, storing or transportation … is defined by the control exerted over the potential sources of interaction which might be being generated at any stage with the conditions and composition of the environment in which they take place.

Bio does not always mean innocuous or beneficial for the environment if it does not allow the same environment to regenerate what it has been consumed.

WE can not forget that any transformation interfering with the development of regeneration exerts a type of pressure over the environment. That interferes with the capacity of this environment to keep healthy its mechanisms of resilience, witch are involved also with the climatic developments under their influence.

November 26, 2015

April 22, 2016 Plant an Idea and Then a Tree… But Which Ones? (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla)

We can see through the media that some data and scientific publications have brought a lot of discussion over their accurate legitimacy, either from pro-IPCC to anti-IPCC. So basing any research upon any of those papers makes you feel like walking over thin ice. Even though sometimes those papers have been allegedly blamed due to political agendas, other times they become weak simply because the conclusions are that “the data is there but there is no theoretical approach, conceptual framework or idealised mechanism able to explain the meaning behind it”, which means that you are at risk of not knowing either which mechanisms have came through the manipulation of your data leading you to your findings. It is something like “I have something that I have made which I don´t know what it is useful for.”

In this scenario I decided to built my own conceptual framework, based on my own data research and analyses. If I introduce bias in my research, at least those are going to be enclosed in my own framework.

The conclusions found over my previous publications have led me to interpret the presence of anthropogenic GHG’s as a major contributor allowing to explain the appearance and shifts of processes happening in the atmospheric circulation at global scale. So my findings and conclusions agree with the posture expressing concerns over the increase of anthropogenic GHG’s concentrations.

If you feel self-conscious on loosing trees due to deforestation, sure you have thought on planting a tree, or couple of them. And then, which ones? In our case, individually speaking, I guess any type of tree will do, always looking at the suitability for the type of soil, humidity and temperatures in your location.

But when we talk about the management of large areas, or even the implementation of policies, we have to go deeper and think over it, a little bit further.

When we consider the effect of plant populations over an environment, there is a two way interaction. Plant populations transforming and interacting with the other components in the ecosystem (biotic and non biotic, like soils, water cycles and climatic regimes), and in the other hand, the restrictions from those components affect the population. Thus, the balance between what they demand to develop and their capability to handle perturbations and renewable resources:

  • The demands of resources from the plant’s population over the environment:
    • soil structure, water, nutrients, space and stable climatic regimes as well as the required symbiotic relationships with other biota defined by the biodiversity available and,
  • The capacity to cope and recover from
    • the pressure that the plant’s population will suffer from competition with other biotic components; within the plant kingdom as well as with bacteria, fungus, insects and wild animals.
    • their exposition to climatic shifts, weather events and,
    • the limitations from consuming resources faster than they are being replaced or regenerated “naturally“.

Based on such synergistic relationship, the whole ecosystem (biotic and none biotic elements) will develop a tendency towards degradation or enhancement, similarly as it happens when changing the plant population over soils at the equator, and that demands a deeper analysis.

As I have addressed in a previous publication, the greener effect allegedly attributed to increases of CO2 are not balanced by other nutrients demanded so it is not enough to sit and watch how looses of plant populations are going to get replaced and redistributed naturally. And same limitations apply with algae in the Oceans. (ref).

Even though the plant population of our planet creates great sceneries and transmit to us a sense of comfort, the increase in the presence of “some plant species” at “some locations” actually has the potential of damaging the functionality generated by the balance once created by long settled species. I would assume that at this point it becomes needless to get deeper over the impact from agricultural practises over soil developments, water cycles, run-offs releases and contamination (e.g. glypphosate ref1&ref2 and Nitrogen) as well as  canopy interactions with atmospheric dynamics, either physically through albedo and turbulence or biochemically interacting with CO2 and water vapour.

What we might not see through the mass of vegetation which covers the background in our pictures, is the state of the resources keeping such vegetation active. What it becomes relevant for any new ecosystem comes in the meaning of its presence… over time. Soil transformation, water management, nutrients regeneration, …

It is not just how well can we expect, for new plant populations, to develop in a warmer and more rich in CO2 atmosphere, to maintain the first generations. Moreover, the real threat comes from considering for how long can we expect for new ecosystem, developing over soils which have not been prepared for such demands, to become stable by themselves, and how well will they manage the available resources.

Soils, CO2 and Plant Growth

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

In the tropics weathering is more rapid than in temperate climates because of heavy rainfall and high temperatures. Since the bedrock is very old and weathered it is also depleted in minerals and nutrients. Mineral release is also inhibited by the acidic nature of many tropical soils. There are few nutrients more than 5cm (2 inches) below the surface of the soil in tropical rainforests. Therefore, the species have adapted by being shallow rooted. Species with strong, long root systems would not find any nutrients to survive.

In other hand, Sayer and colleagues published in 2011 the results from a study looking at the carbon sequestration capability on soils in Tropical Forests under the influence of increasing concentrations of atmospheric CO2. They found that considering an increase in primary productivity in tropical forests attributed to CO2 fertilization, increasing litterfall in a lowland tropical forest enhanced carbon release from the soil, decreasing the carbon sequestration capacity of tropical forest soils.

Using a large-scale litter manipulation experiment combined with carbon isotope measurements, they found that the efflux of CO2 derived from soil organic carbon was significantly increased by litter addition. Furthermore, this effect was sustained over several years. Based on their results, they predict that a future increase in litterfall of 30% with an increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations of 150ppm could release about 0.6tCha−1yr−1 from the soil, partially offsetting predicted net gains in carbon storage.

Thus, it is essential that plant–soil feedbacks are taken into account in predictions of the carbon sequestration potential of tropical forests.

Another misconception has been adopted from observed increasing measurements of atmospheric CO2 and its potential boost on photosynthetic activity. Ecosystem effects of increasing levels of atmospheric CO2 will depend on the nutrient status of specific forests. Increased forest production will occur where soils contain adequate nitrogen. In areas where nitrogen is limiting, elevated CO2 levels will not increase the growth of trees — even though photosynthesis may increase. Without sufficient nitrogen, the trees cannot use the additional CO2 for growth. The additional carbon is used by soil organisms and respired to the atmosphere. In addition to contributing to CO2 buildup in the atmosphere such changes in the soil foodweb, which controls nutrient availability for plants, could have long-term effects on ecosystem functioning.

Understanding how much it is being affected the capacity of natural systems to not only stabilize Carbon in structures, but also, to keep them inactive, changes completely the assumption of what we consider to behave as carbon sinks.

And the last, but not least, of all uncertainties under study are the synergies between the impact of land surface variability on the predictability of climate, interactions between the terrestrial and atmospheric branches of the hydrologic cycle, and the impacts of land use change on regional and global climate.

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

Research published in April 2015 in Nature Geoscience suggests that plants won’t have enough nutrients to make full use of the extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.  So any benefits will be limited, say the authors.

Plants need the right mix of nutrients to grow. Two of the most important nutrients are nitrogen and phosphorus. But there isn’t an endless supply in soils for plants to use, lead author Dr Will Wieder, from the National Centre for Atmospheric Research in Colorado, tells Carbon Brief:

– “Many ecosystems appear to be co-limited, meaning that both nitrogen and phosphorus are important for plant growth. There are places where one element or the other may be slightly more limiting, but at the end of the day plants need both to build roots, leaves and wood. This is why many fertilizers used in gardens and farms come with both nitrogen and phosphorus.”

While nitrogen is abundant in the air we breathe, most plants can only take it up from the soil. Nitrogen gets into the soil by being ‘fixed’ from the air by microbes and certain plants, such as soy, Wieder says. Phosphorus primarily originates from rocks, and reaches the soil when they are worn down by the weather.

Most climate models used for the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report assume that enough additional nitrogen and phosphorus would be available for extra plant growth. But this might not actually be the case, Weider says:

– “This ‘new’ nitrogen and phosphorus would have to come from somewhere, and we found it is unlikely to be supplied from outside the ecosystem, meaning that the increases in plant growth would have to be met through accelerated recycling of nutrients within ecosystems.”

August 2, 2016 Environmental Questions and Answers for Petrol Fans (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.)

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.

CO2 and Temperature

May 5, 2017 Follow-up on previous research 5th May 17. Mixing Temperatures keep shaping A Roller coaster of Temperatures over South Europe. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD)

My take on CO2 and temperature dynamics, C=2 is not a source of energy like it is radiation. CO2 is a carrier like water vapour, another GHG. The particular thermal properties of those gases, absorbing heat, not producing heat, is what makes them different from others. Two practical examples: cooking food and keeping cold beverages from warming inside a vacuum flask. When cooking, also cooking with solar panels, the food being cooked require a greenhouse gas transmitting the heat into the food. Normally that is water, which can be added water or water within the food. In a vacuum flask, a cold beverage is kept cold (a warm beverage kept from cooling) by isolating it from being in contact with any molecular matter transferring heat between exterior and the interior of the container. Different molecular components that could fill up the vacuum would have different thermal properties, meaning, the transference of heat having CO2 filling in the vacuum would be higher than having lets say just O2. Water is used in cooking cause it has better thermal properties than CO2 and it is easy to find and handle as well as it is possible to transport in liquid form even is you want to use it as a gas (cooking).

The biochemical use of CO2 by plants is variable due to environmental pressures, but, CO2 on its own it is not enough to feed a whole metabolic cycle. We have to remember that biochemical processes are precise mixtures of molecules with established proportions. Biological processes require sources of Carbon (like CO2) and H2O but also Nitrogen, Potassium, calcium or magnesium as an example. When I hear the argument of CO2 as boost of growth I would like to ask anyone to look for information about how much does it cost to run a Greenhouse production. Ask whoever you trust about what else apart form a high conc of CO2 are those greenhouse producers paying for to add into their production.

In a final note I want to be clear on my side about CO2. Among our problems is that any truth can be handle by some as a “Half” truth in order to make profits in any way. CO2 boost plant growth same as fire. So using fire to boost production can be claimed as a good thing. Yet, the big question comes with sustainability: How many resources are used and how many are restored for each cycle? Fires introduce a boost of Nitrogen in the soils, but for a short period of time. The combustion of fossil fuels has become a problem due to its lack of efficiency in the balance of sustainability. The technology applied in combustion brings so low efficiency that, in the car industry, only about 14%–30% of the energy from the fuel you put in a conventional vehicle is used to move it down the road (from EPA). And that figure can be added to energy losses/resources in any type of production. If only combustion of fossil fuels would have increased its energy efficiency to reach 50%, if emissions would have been recovered/recycled by any % in the equation, and resources restored that would reduce all type its impact hugely. It is the technology applied what it has become unsustainable in the equation resources used+energy wasted/time.

CO2 is not like H2O which takes energy in order to change phases from liquid to water, and releases energy (latent heat) when it becomes liquid again. That is a huge distinction in the role of both gases in the greenhouse effect. In other hand, the article talks about increasing temperatures in “liquid water” due to volcanic eruptions. So water is the medium through which energy is transferred not the atmosphere. In the atmosphere the source of CO2 is planetary since biological bonds of Carbon (fossils) are not known in outspace material, otherwise we would know about the existence of extraterrestrial forms of life. The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is directly linked with the “speed” studied in the transference of heat, which is also directly linked with how rapid are temperature variations and climatic drifts (also mentioned in the article). Lastly, CO2 buoyancy makes it heavier than air and it is diffusion what makes it to mix in the atmosphere and not latent heat.

 The following are some publications where I explain my take on GHGs and temperature, I hope it helps in this thread:

Satellite Greening

January 20, 2017 Climate and Indexes. A dashboard of Confusion. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD)

Primer Effect

Priming is an implicit memory effect in which exposure to one stimulus (i.e., perceptual pattern) influences the response to another stimulus.

If the level of transformation over our ecosystems reaches the point of increasing the sensitivity of our environment to react against changes over internal and external forces, we will face new challenges ahead making useless any previous knowledge  built upon any type of previous standardised stereotypes.

We might see variations in Eq Pacific with no matching atmospheric patterns, the difference in atmospheric pressure over the latitudes at the North Atlantic (NAO) will no longer be predominant being overtaken by variations over difference in atmospheric pressure between the Ocean and the Continental European continent. And Solar activity will become a stronger player for a system driven by new rules dictated by the new composition and structure.

The challenge ahead is to understand that our environment might keep its state of a multicomponent system of green, brown and blue, but it might change entirely its attitude. (It might will or it might have already started.)

Those arguments offering a sense of relief when seeing green colours on satellite images I would like to suggest to think on what is the composition of the picture showing the colour. What kind of ecosystem is the green area able to hold and for how long? Is it populated or just an empty space of grass? How much biomass is being created and stored and for how long?

Satellites rely on echoes, surfaces emitting or reflecting wave lengths.  And that can easily make us to chase tails. Temperature is not the problem and neither the answer. Is the matter which traps, holds, carry and release this heat and all the other forms of energy performing “work” throughout all events which we see in the weather patterns and atmospheric dynamics.

March 10, 2017 Modelling the “Model” and the Observer (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD)

Instruments represent the reality of the measurements which they are designed for, and introduce a bias, since environmental conditions move in wider ranges than the design of any instrument. The environment affects the variable being measured, the variable affects the efficiency of the instrument and the design of the instrument the measurements.

The type of data obtained from the measurements are already biased by the design of our instrument. It can be due to the format (binary data, numerical data, qualitative, …) it can be due to its sensitivity through the time set to capture samples, by the interferences of other variables unaccounted for, and even by the shape of the data set built either from spatial dimensions or qualitative limitations.

An instrument measures just what it is designed for, which is only what the designer has been able to identify and the technology available allows to.

So the method is static whereas the variables measured are dynamic, the narrowness of the value for the data describing the variables is far more restricted than the variables in themselves. Measuring heat can be done with mercury, the expansion of a fluid, but it will not describe if it is enough to trigger forms of work associated to processes being activated or inhibited in the environment. Is it an “active” form of heat or a passive one? A sensor in a satellite can read wave lengths “associated” with processes. Two processes sharing wave length would not be identified easily, or processes restricting each other.

That is just the challenge of building a data set worth to be considered as an accurate description of the environment that we want to model.

Then there is the question of our algorithms.

Which in turn are handmade instruments to carry one value from one place in our data set to another place outside our dataset in the form of a forecast or prediction.

And as I have described in my previous blog post, shares limitations with that of an instrument designed to measure a variable. It will only measure what its design allows it for. Or even when measuring indirectly something else, it will not be represented in the data obtained from the instrument due to the nature of the data set designed to use those measurements.Furthermore, if an instrument is measuring two things at the same time but it was designed just for one, the measurement resultant and the data set created will incorporate an unknown interference. Let say, plants do not feel “heat” as a variable completely isolated from the rest of the variables. There is direct radiation, transference, conductance, humidity and advection to say  some. Like describing the temperature in a location and the wind chill factor. Both talk about similar things but both are related to the activation or inhibition of different processes.

So the accumulation of uncertainties through the chain of command takes us to assume levels of uncertainty.

And yet, when the level of uncertainty in the outcome of our model is low, with a high probability of happening, it means that its occurrence is the replication of something which is plausible because it has become, somehow, part of a “normality” built on repetition for an event which has happened before.

So if it has happened enough times to be certain it will gain probability and reduce uncertainty.

On the subject of seeing our environment “greening” through the lens of our satellites I have to make an emphasized effort to call the attention over the situation which is creating.

Green is a colour, a wavelength measured by a sensor built and calibrated to transform wavelengths in numbers by pixels. Then this numbers are categorised into measurements of something which is standardised in order to make interpretations based on the parameters applied in the calibration of the sensor.

What is “green” describing in our measurements is a question which is far from settled based on an accurate design in the instrument. It relies entirely in the capacity of the researcher using it to make sense of it.

I can not emphasize enough the repercussions from this over the conclusions adopted.

One simple example can be seen in the following image:

If you are thinking over the healthy state of the ecosystem based on the presence of “green” I would suggest you to think again.

The image represents the comparison between February 2005 (on top) and 2007 (below) for the level of water at the wetlands of Bornos in Spain. As you might recognise, the drought over the period drained all water present in previous periods changing enterly the “colour” of the scenery.

The drought which is suffering Spain at the current period 2017 is also generating such change in colour towards green for some river beds part of reservoirs. And that is nothing related with an increase in the healthy state of the ecosystems.

Not even measurements looking at Leaf Area Index are considering measurements directly dependent on the type of composition for the flora analysed versus the biomass generated and store through time.

Populations of Deciduous plants versus evergreen plants are changing and creating a bias on those measurements also with soil changes.

Last Conclusions

I think that my work assessing climatic dynamics has been done already and published in my blog. From my point of view, everything that is happening is verifying my previous assessments:

An increase in latitudinal mixing is driven by kinetic processes overwriting seasonal transitions from orbital tilt.

December 17, 2016 Orbital Seasonality vs Kinetic Seasonality. A Change Triggered from Changing the Order of The Factors (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD)

Based on my research we are way beyond the first of many tipping points. We are actually going through stages like cyclists or like water going through the stages from solid ice to steam. And it is being a weathering process.

First the conditions of thermal capacity for energy absorption increases. Energy storing begins at the part of the atmosphere receiving the highest volume of energy: Equatorial and mid latitudes. Such process starts without an increase in temperature as the volume can transfer heat into variations in volume. Then the kinetic energy is not balanced by the work delivered so there is an increase in temperature. Such increase enhance the power of the atmosphere to expand its limits into the nearest compartment. Mid latitudes have such a strong friction with high latitudes that the barrier separating Arctic circulation from Mid Latitudes begins to wear off its strength becoming wobbly in altitude and latitude. Like releasing the tension in a guitar string. Such wobbly behaviour allows mid-latitudinal masses of air to invade a new compartment. The Arctic circulation.

Such increase in the volume of space to be occupied by the energetic overloaded mid latitudinal masses of air increases the amount of kinetic energy which can be converted in work expanding its volume. Such conversion creates a pause in temperature increase. However, like a pressure cooker when releases vapour pressure from inside, the temperature stops from increasing but it does not decrease. And at the same time, the system now can accommodate more energy in an expanded volume of space. The energy pool keeps increasing and it becomes evident in the different forms of extreme discharges we see for all different forms of energy, from gravimetric energy by the volume of water and precipitations, kinetic in the form of windy events, tornadoes, etc… as well as heat waves and cold displacements triggered from intrusions of warm air into the Arctic volume.

Simultaneously with horizontal movements, the expansion of the energetically charged mass of air from mid-latitudes starts to interact in the vertical profile of the atmosphere. Such movement, enhanced by the Coriolis effect, pushes warm intrusions into Polar latitudes while raising at higher altitudes, disturbing the lower part of the polar vortex and promoting processes of Sudden Stratospheric Warming.

March 23, 2017 Final Review in Progress. March 2017. From ENSO to Scientific Thinking by Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD.

The mere identification of seeing numbers of trees decreased over 46% from wild ecosystems being affected through time due to agriculture, urbanization, deforestation, same for soil degradation, decrease in O2 conc, and an increase in GHG, can not be left out of the equation when considering what it is and what it is not “natural variability”, and the future expected for our thermodynamic planetary system.

Our planet is getting fat on GHG, lacking O2, space to breath and capacity to fix and store energy. Biology integrates all components in an ecosystem, yet it is missing in climatology assessments. An AstroBiologist would easily judge a planet with the rates like ours.

Einstein and his developments were mainly applied in physics due to the use that it was made of his work with the aim to manipulate energy in times of conflict, or to understand space. The equation is simple E=mc2. The language of physics has dominated the discussion over physical developments since then and it has been established as the logical translation of climatic developments. However, in the current times, the role of scientific understanding demands to move beyond the barriers of language, either between semantic cultural languages and between disciplines.

Being myself a Biologist involved in Atmospheric dynamics applying physics to explain such a complex subject as it is climatic evolution might seem like the tale of the child claiming that the Emperor has no clothes.

And yet, it seems to me evident that a thermodynamic system as it is our planet, can not scape from the most basic and powerful understanding of our contemporary scientific evolution. If E=MC2, and the anthropogenic activity is increasing the transformation of M into Energy in the system (from burning Mass from fossils and vegetable components,  as well as by liberating other forms of energy such as gravimetric in Dams, Solar, transformation of raw materials, etc,) such transformation rate will move the balance in the thermodynamic behaviour of the whole system, and the rate of such deviation from equilibrium will be related with the speed at which the transformation rate between E/M is performed: M>(c)2.

As conclusion:

An increase in the amount of energy being in “free” state means that kinetic processes will increasingly dominate thermodynamic processes, inducing a transition in our climatic regimes from being driven by Orbital Positioning to be driven by more erratic Kinetic processes.

 

_______________________________________

For More related posts in this topic see timeline page to consult the index with all previous assessments published by Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD. (d.fdezsevilla@gmail.com)

About myself:

After finishing my Masters in Biology Environmental Science in 2001, I have performed research at PhD level and worked inside and outside academia at institutions linked with environmental research and management. In 2013 I found myself in a period of transition searching for a new job’s position.

In such competitive scenario, instead of just moving my cv between desks waiting for my next opportunity to arrive, I used it as an advantageous standing point to start and develop independent research in a blog in which I could open my own line of research completely free of external pressures or interferences.

Through the whole project I have increasingly being focused on publishing pieces of original research applying my own perspective aiming to address relevant environmental questions.

The level of uncertainty which I have accomplished in my assessments has reached enough accuracy to replicate real time developments to the point of compete with models sustained by corporate and administrative budgets.

At this point Feb 2017, it has reached an stage in which its framework has been defined and it has been applied in follow-ups (in the timeline section at the bottom use ctrl+F: “follow-up”) delivering the subsequent conclusions. Therefore, the work which I present in my blog has become a chapter in my career, and I should focus now my attention on my new steps towards professional and personal growth.

The economic support sustaining the three years of research presented in this blog has been private based on my own capacity to generate it. Once the main conclusions of the project have demonstrated their value, it is time for my career to find new ways of growth and/or external sources of financial support.

Therefore, at this time Feb 2017, the generation of assessments over present developments discontinues its weekly bases in the absence of external financial support.

Diego Fdez-Sevilla PhD In transition

I am looking for new opportunities and new challenges, to join a team. At the same time that I look for job openings to incorporate my resume, I would encourage any one finding interesting any of the skills which I apply throughout my research, as well as communicator, to evaluate my profile as a candidate for your projects. email d.fdezsevilla(at)gmail.com

You can look at the whole project (more than 190 posts between Oct 2013 to Feb 2017) published at https://diegofdezsevilla.wordpress.com and also you will find some of those publications in my profile at ResearchGate and at the Citations page.

I am living in Spain free to relocate geographically worldwide.

About this Project:

My definition of Climate Drift is: the deviation from equilibrium of the conditions allowing the perpetuity of an established symbiotic relationship between biotic and none biotic components in a micro and macro ecosystem. This situation can be due to changes in any component of the ecosystem playing a synergistic effect over the rest. And the causes can be either a change in the magnitude of the already implemented forces in place, changes in the directionality or rates in the flows of energy pre-established OR/AND the impact suffered by the incorporation of new components/forces and energy sinks or sources in any part of the system interfering with the previously established order and balance.

This project published in a blog format, offers pieces of original research in environmental science, and a space for discussion, based on considering as a major factor limiting our understandings the lack of attention given to the gaps of knowledge existent. The concepts, measurements and parameters applied to address environmental synergistic interactions are too narrow and isolated from each other to understand their full meaning. Such circumstance induce to reach dogmatic patterns of thought to make the quickest conclusions in the absence of a better and clear idea describing what is happening.

In this Project I aim to address those limitations using observational analyses offering assessments over real time events considering those as proxies of significant value to make interpretations over global synergistic relationships.

Feedback is always welcome here and at my email d.fdezsevilla(at)gmail.com

Since 2002 I have performed research over the Atmospheric Dynamics interacting with the biota in the field of Aerobiology. In Oct 2013 I focused my attention over climatic dynamics and in Oct 2014 I published what I believe to be a valid theory explaining current developments in atmospheric dynamics. I shared my thoughts at my blog and several groups in LinkedIn (like the AGU, NASA and NOA groups) where the immense response offered has been silence.

In Feb 2015 I published a revision and since then a constant follow-up throughout more than 200 assessments. Still today, April 2017, the majority of the response is silence despite the amount of visits identified by all the SEO tools and the interactions and shares accounted. See the related stats at the Timeline page.

So I thank your open feedback and share.

Nowadays, there are many divisions between disciplines due to the isolated nature of their specific language and methodologies. I might not use the right vocabulary for all the fields which I discuss, or the right data or the right reasoning. But when nobody is able to offer a consensus over what it is going on, I wonder, what is right this days?.

Licencia de Creative Commons
Esta obra está bajo una licencia de Creative Commons Reconocimiento-NoComercial 4.0 Internacional.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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About Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.

Citing This Site "Title", published online "Month"+"Year", retrieved on "Month""Day", "Year" from http://www.diegofdezsevilla.wordpress.com. By Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD. More guidance on citing this web as a source can be found at NASA webpage: http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/bibliography/citations#! DOIs can be generated on demand by request at email: d.fdezsevilla(at)gmail.com for those publications missing at the ResearchGate profile vinculated with this project. **Author´s profile: Born in 1974. Bachelor in General Biology, Masters degree "Licenciado" in Environmental Sciences (2001, Spain). PhD in Aerobiology (2007, UK). Lived, acquired training and worked in Spain, UK, Germany and Poland. I have shared the outcome from my work previous to 2013 as scientific speaker in events held in those countries as well as in Switzerland and Finland. After 12 years performing research and working in institutions linked with environmental research and management, in 2013 I found myself in a period of transition searching for a new position or funding to support my own line of research. In the current competitive scenario, in order to demonstrate my capacities instead of just moving my cv waiting for my next opportunity to arrive, I decided to invest my energy and time in opening my own line of research sharing it in this blog. In March 2017 the budget reserved for this project has ended and its weekly basis time frame discontinued until new forms of economic and/or institutional support are incorporated into the project. The value of the data and the original nature of the research presented in this platform and at LinkedIn has proved to be worthy of consideration by the scientific community as well as for publication in scientific journals. However, without a position as member of an institution, it becomes very challenging to be published. I hope that this handicap do not overshadow the value of my achievements and that the Intellectual Property Rights generated with the license of attribution attached are respected and considered by the scientist involved in similar lines of research. **Any comment and feedback aimed to be constructive is welcome as well as any approach exploring professional opportunities to be part of.** In this blog I publish pieces of research focused on addressing relevant environmental questions. Furthermore, I try to break the barrier that academic publications very often offer isolating scientific findings from the general public. In that way I address those topics which I am familiar with, thanks to my training in environmental research, making them available throughout my posts. (see "Framework and Timeline" for a complete index). At this moment, 2017, I am living in Spain with no affiliation attachments. Free to relocate geographically worldwide. If you feel that I could be a contribution to your institution, team and projects don´t hesitate in contact me at d.fdezsevilla (at) gmail.com or consult my profile at LinkedIn, ResearchGate and Academia.edu. Also, I'd appreciate information about any opportunity that you might know and believe it could match with my aptitudes. The conclusions and ideas expressed in each post as part of my own creativity are part of my Intellectual Portfolio and are protected by Intellectual Property Laws. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial conditions. In citing my work from this website, be sure to include the date of access. (c)Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD, 2017. Filling in or Finding Out the gaps around. Publication accessed 20YY-MM-DD at https://diegofdezsevilla.wordpress.com/
This entry was posted in Aerobiology, Air, Biological productivity, Cultural Cognition, Energy Balance, Environmental Resilience, Extreme climatic events, Filling in, Finding out, Influence of Continentality, Inland Water Bodies and Water Cycle, Opinion, Water vapour and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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