Friday, December 29, 2006

Government plans new way to tax car drivers

All motorists would be charged for the distance they travel under a plan designed to replace petrol taxes.

The Government is worried that its petrol tax income will fall as climate change concerns produce vehicles which are more fuel-efficient or use alternatives to petrol.

As reported in the hearld today.Seems reasonable yes? waht other motives could there be?.

We predicted here in May of the change in strategy and the introduction of a carbon tax by defacto means

The IEA says

It is disappointing that the government has decided not to proceed with its planned carbon tax for some sectors of the economy, as incorporating a carbon price signal into the market is a cost-effective means of reducing GHG emissions. Following on this decision, the government is considering other options, including in the short term a more narrow carbon tax and in the longer term other measures. The government should also consider policy options beyond a revised carbon tax, including an emissions trading scheme linked to international markets.

The IEA recommends .

1 Outline a budget and plan for international actions to meet New Zealand’s projected Kyoto Protocol shortfall, and implement the plan as quickly as possible.

2 Consider implementing a carbon tax or emissions trading – or a combination
of the two – as quickly as possible.

3 Address CO2 emissions from the transport sector through appropriate fiscal and regulatory measures.

One of my researchers in Europe said that the Carbon tax will be introduced under another name for transport.The government told the IEA that this will alleviate political problems as the shortfall in the mineral fuels tax for road funding can be used as a de facto Road transport carbon tax.

Various prebudget costing scenarios for an increase in the Mineral fuels tax and road user levies from the shortfall of 5% to an increase of 15% as well as inflation indexing are with treasury.

In addition the changes of registration fees for differing vehicle CC and fuel economy ratings is to be introduced.

I was preemptive in the budget prediction as the treasury costings had not been done and the CC strategy was not completed,the outcome is however unchanged.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

What is a number, an attribute or a descriptive Icon for Zealots.

“Fear feeds ignorance” said James Lovelock in the Ages of Gaia,*and a great niche was opened for fear when science became incomprehensible to those who were not its practitioners”

The attachment of a number to anything or anyone implies a significance that was missing from its physical description .A telephone number is valuable tool in comparison the observation that atmospheric abundance of perfluoromethyl cyclohexane is 5.6x10-15 ,or that whilst you have read this line of text a hundred thousand of the atoms in your body will have disintegrated.whilst interesting confer neither benefit or significance to your health.

But once numbers are attached to say an environmental property the means will soon be made to justify their recording,and before long a data bank of information about the distribution of substance x or radioactive isotope y will exist.It is a small step to compare the different databanks ,and in the nature of statistical distributions there will be a correlation of the distribution of substance x and disease Z

It is no exaggeration to observe that once some curious investigator pries open such a niche,it will be filled by the opportunistic growth of hungry professionals and their predators.A new subset of society will be occupied in the monitoring of substance x and disease Z as will as the makers of the instrumentation. Then there will be the lawyers who make the legislation for the beaurecrats to administer and so on.”

The entire new industry sector all funded and constructed on the raison d’etre that their continued employment and vested interests comes from more exaggeration of associated phenomena to maintain the gravy train. Crisis sells!

We can see this in the area of climate studies in the “reconstruction of dubious proxies” and questionable datasets to find that a 0.6 c + or – 35% rise in temperature over the last 100 years is evidence that Armageddon is upon when the absolute amplitude of temperature on earth in say the Antarctic can be observed as 79c or 129c over the earth.

Indeed as soon as the new ‘disease of the week” arrives in the local woman’s magazine or Sunday paper micro epidemics of the new disease inundate the local practitioners.

Great strides have since been made in the art of anatomy, physiology and all branches of science, and the workings of the man-machine are now perfectly clear. Yet the very fewest among us are able to trace their actions to primary external causes.

Every living being is an engine geared to the wheelwork of the universe. Though seemingly affected only by its immediate surrounding, the sphere of external influence extends to infinite distance. There is no constellation or nebula, no sun or planet, in all the depths of limitless space, no passing wanderer of the starry heaven, that does not exercise some control over its destiny -- not in the vague and delusive sense of astrology, but in the rigid and positive meaning of physical science.
In the early stages of intellectual development man was conscious of but a small part of the macrocosm. He knew nothing of the wonders of the microscopic world, of the molecules composing if of the atoms making up the molecules and of the dwindlingly small world of electrons within the atoms. To him life was synonymous with voluntary motion and action. A plant did not suggest to him what it does to us -- that it lives and feels, fights for its existence, that it suffers and enjoys. Not only have we found this to be true, but we have ascertained that even matter called inorganic, believed to be dead, responds to irritants and gives unmistakable evidence of the presence of a living principle within.
Thus, everything that exists, organic or inorganic, animated or inert, is susceptible to stimulus from the outside. There is no gap between, no break of continuity, no special and distinguishing vital agent. The same law governs all matter, all the universe is alive. The momentous question of Spencer, "What is it that causes inorganic matter to run into organic forms!" has been answered. It is the sun's heat and light. Wherever they are there is life. Only in the boundless wastes of interstellar space, in the eternal darkness and cold, is animation suspended, and, possibly, at the temperature of absolute zero all matter may die.

Accepting all this as true let us consider some of the forces and influences which act on such a wonderfully complex automatic engine with organs inconceivably sensitive and delicate, as it is carried by the spinning terrestrial globe in lightning flight through space. For the sake of simplicity we may assume that the earth's axis is perpendicular to the ecliptic and that the human automaton is at the equator. Let his weight be one hundred and sixty pounds then, at the rotational velocity of about 1,520 feet per second with which he is whirled around, the mechanical energy stored in his body will be nearly 5,780,000 foot pounds, which is about the energy of a hundred-pound cannon ball.

This momentum is constant as well as upward centrifugal push, amounting to about fifty-five hundredth of a pound, and both will probably be without marked influence on his life functions. The sun, having a mass 332,000 times that of the earth, but being 23,000 times farther, will attract the automaton with a force of about one-tenth of one pound, alternately increasing and diminishing his normal weight by that amount.

Though not conscious of these periodic changes, he is surely affected by them.

.....The earth in its rotation around the sun carries him with the prodigious speed of nineteen miles per second and the mechanical energy imparted to him is over 25,160,000,000 foot pounds. The largest gun ever made in Germany hurls a projectile weighing one ton with a muzzle velocity of 3,700 feet per second, the energy being 429,000,000 foot pounds. Hence the momentum of the automaton's body is nearly sixty times greater. It would be sufficient to develop 762,400 horse-power for one minute, and if the motion were suddenly arrested the body would be instantly exploded with a force sufficient to carry a projectile weighing over sixty tons to a distance of twenty-eight miles.

This enormous energy is, however, not constant, but varies with the position of the automaton in relation to the sun. The circumference of the earth has a speed of 1,520 feet per second, which is either added to or subtracted from the translatory velocity of nineteen miles through space. Owing to this the energy will vary from twelve to twelve hours by an amount approximately equal to 1,533,000,000 foot pounds, which means that energy streams in some unknown way into and out of the body of the automaton at the rate of about sixty-four horse-power.

Tesla New York American, February 7, 1915

Has all that work and stress by simply living at supersonic speed changed the physiology of you,or is it merely an attribute?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Why summer is bad below 40south

Wondering why summer is bad this year, blame the sun. It is a paradox that not only does the sun warm the climate it cools it. Due to regulation of the ionization of particles in the atmosphere producing cloud cover and increased precipitation it modulates the ozone layers.

Ozone is one of the key constituents of the atmosphere. Despite its relatively small abundance, it effectively absorbs a great part of the UV radiation. Therefore,ozone plays an important role in the energy budget and dynamics of the atmosphere, ie Ozone retains temperature in the atmosphere reduction allows longwave (infrared) radiation to escape the lower atmosphere.

Solar variability is observed on three main time scales: solar rotation (27-day), solar cycle (11year) and the Grand Minima time scale. The magnitude of the variability progressively increases from the short to long scales. Earth's climate responses are now found on all these scales. The most recognized are the responses to solar irradiance variations. These variations strongly depend on wavelength rising from 0.1% per solar cycle in total irradiance (mostly infrared-optical range) to 10% in UV and 100% per solar cycle in X-ray range. The variations in the total irradiance produce a small global effect. More substantial is the effect of solar UV variability on large-scale climate patterns. These patterns are naturally excited in the Earth's atmosphere as deviations (anomalies) from its mean state.

Atmospheric ozone is also affected by natural causes, e.g. due to volcanic eruptions or changes in the solar forcing. For example, the solar ultraviolet flux varies with the 11 year solar cycle much more strongly than the total solar irradiance.Also, ultraviolet radiation received by the atmosphere changes by about 7% with the variation of the distance between the Sun and the Earth. These kind of variations may modulate the middle atmospheric ozone [e.g. Callis et al., 1991]. Therefore, when estimating the changes caused by anthropological sources, it is essential to contrast them with variations and changes due to natural processes.

Among the most striking natural phenomena affecting ozone are solar proton events (SPE), during which energetic solar protons precipitate into the middle atmosphere in the polar regions. Ionisation caused by the protons results in production of odd nitrogen and odd hydrogen species, which then destroy ozone in catalytic chemical reactions.

Solar proton events (SPE), also known as polar cap absorption (PCA) events in the history of radio physics, begin as emission of electrons and ions from the surface of the Sun. The ions are mostly protons (≈ 90%) but heavier particles are also emitted, the relative abundances being similar to those in the solar corona. For the most energetic coronal mass ejections (CME), particle energies can be up to MeV or even GeV level, thus far exceeding the normal solar wind values,

These have the ability to allow penetrating radiation to ground level at the poles,indeed one of the Antarctic phenomena’s is the ambient temperature is 40% from small wave radiation(left side of the spectra) Uv, Gamma, and X ray. Indeed as we see here the radiation levels are 2-3 times sea level radiation backgrounds in the tropics.

In early December we had a large solar proton event indeed the x-class flare was 15Th largest recorded .The flare arrived in 15 minutes in the Antarctic sending graphs up30% and forcing ionization towards the equator.This shut down several satellites and the FAA issued a warning to lower altitudes and several satellites were forced to increase height due to thermosphere temperatures in the radiation belts increasing by 500k.The international space station inhabitants were forced into protective areas and altitude corrections for the space station were required .

An incredible good reconstruction and animation of the 2003 SPE and CME from the SVS Animators at NASA is here (also known as the Halloween storms )

There it is blame the sun for a bad start to summer.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Tesla the founder of the internet.

As soon as [the Wardenclyffe plant is] completed, it will be possible for a business man in New York to dictate instructions, and have them instantly appear in type at his office in London or elsewhere. He will be able to call up, from his desk, and talk to any telephone subscriber on the globe, without any change whatever in the existing equipment. An inexpensive instrument, not bigger than a watch, will enable its bearer to hear anywhere, on sea or land, music or song, the speech of a political leader, the address of an eminent man of science, or the sermon of an eloquent clergyman, delivered in some other place, however distant. In the same manner any picture, character, drawing, or print can be transferred from one to another place. . . ." — Nikola Tesla "The Future of the Wireless Art", Wireless Telegraphy and Telephony, 1908, pg. 67-71.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Kyoto and emissions trading a really good idea like dehydrated water

The media accelerated Climate change politicization ,has seen the western democracies politicians across the spectrum jumping onto the bandwagon of feel good environmental issues and embracing mechanisms that will accentuate the relegation of the western world and the OECD countries to theme parks visited by rich Asians .

In the early 1990’s the Economist predicted Asia excluding Japan will account for 57 percent of the global economy by 2050,the OECD will have 12%.In 1990 the OECD had 74% and Asia 9 %.The increasing foreign reserves of Asia, growth, and market economies removal of beaurecratic roadblocks and inertia are some of the reasons ,other are the ability to turn a 5 million dollar cost into a 500 million dollar income stream from western taxpayers through the emissions trading schemes (no wonder Al Gore and his emission trading company are globally active).

Even as hundreds of millions of dollars from the program are devoted to the refrigerant industry, countries in sub-Saharan Africa, which were originally envisioned as big beneficiaries of emissions trading, are receiving almost nothing. Just four nations — China, India, Brazil and South Korea — are collecting four-fifths of the payments under the program, with China alone collecting almost half.

Two-thirds of the payments are going to projects to eliminate HFC-23.
Those payments also illustrate conflicting goals under Kyoto and the Montreal Protocol, a 1987 agreement that requires the phasing out of ozone-depleting substances. The problem is that the trading program backed by the United Nations, known as the Clean Development Mechanism, is helping support an industry that another international organization is trying to phase out.

Under the program, businesses in wealthier nations of Europe and in Japan help pay to reduce pollution in poorer ones as a way of staying within government limits for emitting climate-changing gases like carbon dioxide, as part of the Kyoto Protocol.
Among their targets is a large rusting chemical factory here in southeastern China. Its emissions of just one waste gas contribute as much to global warming each year as the emissions from a million American cars, each driven 12,000 miles.

Cleaning up this factory will require an incinerator that costs $5 million — far less than the cost of cleaning up so many cars, or other sources of pollution in Europe and Japan.

Yet the foreign companies will pay roughly $500 million for the incinerator — 100 times what it cost. The high price is set in a European-based market in carbon dioxide emissions. Because the waste gas has a far more powerful effect on global warming than carbon dioxide emissions, the foreign businesses must pay a premium far beyond the cost of the actual cleanup.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Plant a tree heat the Planet

As we mentioned here there a fallacies arising from carbon neutrality from forest sinks and the effects of comparison on pastoral farming and mature forestry.

The perspective is that our national parks and the mature plantation forests are sequestoring carbon and are productive carbon sinks is already accepted as a nonsense,Once the forests reach maturity the sequestion of carbon turns slightly negative,and with heterotrophic respiration of various microflora it has a further negative effect on the GHG emmission budget.

The models assume that croplands and managed farming conversion have a negative balance on the carbon budget,This is not the case plant growth from various arable crops actually outperform forests by 2-6 times due to enhanced growth rates,now further benefits have been identified.

Further papers were released at the AGU meeting on the value of forestry to enable a cooler planet.

In the first study to investigate the combined climate and carbon-cycle effects of large-scale deforestation in a fully interactive three-dimensional climate-carbon model, scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Carnegie Institution and Université Montpellier II found that global forests actually produce a net warming of the planet.

Forests affect climate in three different ways: they absorb the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and help to keep the planet cool; they evaporate water to the atmosphere and increase cloudiness, which also helps keep the planet cool; and they are dark and absorb a lot of sunlight, warming the Earth. Climate change mitigation strategies that promote planting trees have taken only the first effect into account.

“Our study shows that tropical forests are very beneficial to the climate because they take up carbon and increase cloudiness, which in turn helps cool the planet,” Bala said.

But the study concludes that by the year 2100, forests in mid and high latitudes will make some places up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than would have occurred if the forests did not exist.

“The darkening of the surface by new forest canopies in the high latitude Boreal regions allows absorption of more sunlight that helps to warm the surface. In fact, planting more trees in high latitudes could be counterproductive from a climate perspective,” Bala said.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Science wars or Climate change the ozone wars Déjà vu again

It is an interesting observation to see the manifestation of the phenomena of climate change and the cargo cult representatives mostly driven with agendas perceived or otherwise to react to the unified singularity that globalization and integration of diversity have brought, and will bring as barriers, both economic, technological, and cultural are reduced.

The reduction of the importance of government on a national or global scale has the command and control neo-Stalinists searching for new methodologies to re-introduce 1984 control manifestos since the inability to command economic parameters has been removed on the macro scales from governments.

Indeed it is a paradox that the obfuscation of science to promote political agendas was a direct reaction to the possibility of global nuclear holocaust, in the late decades of last century. The promotion and disinformation of the worst consequences of the innovative advancement of scientific achievements, all had their origins of Malthusian logic and constructivist agendas as a surreal sideshow in the geopolitical phenomena of the time.

A good background on the history of science wars from wiki is here.

The Science wars were a series of intellectual battles in the 1990s between "postmodernists" and "realists" (though neither party would likely use the terms to describe themselves) about the nature of scientific theories. In brief, the postmodernists questioned the objectivity of science and encompass a huge variety of critiques on scientific knowledge and method within cultural studies, cultural anthropology, feminist studies, comparative literature, media studies, and science and technology studies. The realists countered that there is such a thing as objective scientific knowledge and accused the postmodernists of having a poor understanding of the subject they were critiquing

This apparent attack on the validity of science from the humanities and social sciences worried many people, especially as the language of social construction was appropriated by groups attempting to assert political control over the use of science in society (for example, the Creation-evolution controversy). In 1994, scientists Paul R. Gross and Norman Levitt published Higher Superstition: The Academic Left and Its Quarrels With Science, an open attack on the postmodernists. According to supporters, the book brought the shortcomings of relativism into sharp focus, claiming that the postmodernists knew little about the scientific theories they discussed and pursued sloppy scholarship for political reasons. According to scholars in science studies (the postmodernists under attack), the book brought into sharp focus the authors' failure to understand the theoretical approaches they criticize and relied on "more caricature, misreading, and condescension than argument." The book received a moderate amount of mainstream attention and became a flashpoint for the science wars.

The present phenomena of science war with regard to climate, the environment, energy etc raises immediate alarm bells when the promoters of scientific research into the possibility of physical changes ,are the ones who promote the uncertainty principle.

The polarization of the scientific questions and accusations of heresy by words such as deniers etc with regard to the IPCC and Kyoto are merely the sane manifestations of the phenomena we observed in the ozone wars prior to the Montréal treaty.

On July 20, 1969, America's Apollo 11 astronauts landed on the Moon, realizing one of mankind's greatest dreams. As hundreds of millions of people watched and listened, a human being set foot on another body in the solar system. The future seemed bright, and the optimistic expression was born, ``If we could land a man on the Moon, then we can certainly....''

The next steps in the U.S. space program were to be the design and construction of an Earth-orbiting space station, and a reusable transportation system to and from orbit. These would be the stepping-stones to a manned mission to Mars, tens of millions of miles from Earth. Technological breakthroughs resulting from the space program had also produced new materials, engine technology, computers, and electronics, which opened up the possibility of developing prototype commercial aircraft able to fly faster than the speed of sound, and, one day, to take off from an airport and fly into outer space.

Even before the Apollo lunar module set down on the surface of the Moon in 1969, however, an intense fight over the future of the space program and related advanced technologies was taking place on Earth. Virtually as soon as President Kennedy announced the Apollo effort in May 1961, anti technology think tanks, like London's Tavistock Institute and the Washington, D.C.-based Brookings Institution, were worrying aloud that the space program would ruin their plans for a neo-Malthusian world. By the mid-1960s, Tavistock's Journal Human Relations reported that the space program was producing an extraordinary number of ``redundant'' and ``supernumerary'' scientists and engineers. ``There would soon be two scientists for every man, woman, and dog in the society,'' one commentator wrote. What worried them most was the climate of technological optimism that had been created.

The fabricated argument that a depletion of the ozone layer would result in a shower of ``cancer-causing'' ultraviolet rays onto the Earth became one of the most powerful weapons in the antitechnology arsenal. This weapon was wielded without mercy against America's economy through the 1970s and 1980s, in a series of battles that has become known as ``The Ozone Wars.'' The casualties of these wars include the SST project, the Dynasoar, and CFCs, some of the most benign and useful chemicals ever created by man, now banned from use.

The time is March 1971; the place, congressional hearings on the SST program. Testifying is James McDonald, an atmospheric physicist from the University of Arizona, one of the foremost proponents of the idea that space aliens regularly visit the Earth in UFOs and a passionate opponent of supersonic transport. The ozone depletion theory is about to be unveiled.

Taking the podium to deliver his testimony, McDonald announced a new SST catastrophe theory. His research, he said, had shown that water vapor released by the exhaust of the SST in the stratosphere would lead to a 4 percent depletion of the ozone layer. And, said McDonald, this ozone layer depletion would result in an additional 40,000 cases of skin cancer in the United States each year. The ozone wars had begun.
Congress, however, remained skeptical. Lydia Dotto and Harold Schiff chronicle the events that followed in great detail in their 1978 book, The Ozone War. According to Dotto and Schiff:
``McDonald came under sharp questioning, but the congressmen seemed more interested in his views on unidentified flying objects, than they were in his concerns about SSTs. McDonald had, in fact, been interested in the UFO problem for some time. He had done a study of UFO data, believed the problem to have been `scientifically ignored,' and had been a vocal opponent of plans to cancel a UFO observation program'' (p. 39).

One of the greatest problems faced by the ``ozone priesthood'' was that the SST threat to the ozone layer could not be rendered realistic by a computer model. The search was on for a real world phenomenon that could be modeled in such a way as to produce computations predicting catastrophic depletion of the ozone layer caused by the injection of nitrogen oxides into the stratosphere.

As this work proceeded, the perils of nitrogen oxide poisoning of the stratosphere by nuclear explosions soon became a major international issue on its own. Predictions of a ``nuclear summer'' began to fill major newspapers. This new doomsday scenario predicted that the immediate result of a nuclear war would be the total destruction of the ozone layer, which would allow lethal doses of ultraviolet radiation to reach the Earth. All life on Earth would be wiped out.
This new ozone depletion theory came just at the right time to play a major role in the SALT I negotiations managed by then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. According to Dotto and Schiff:

``[I]n the fall of 1974, Fred Iklé, director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, gave several speeches in which he emphasized the hazards to all life on Earth that might result from the ozone depletion caused by nuclear war. His remarks received considerable press coverage.... Iklé was hopeful that the ozone connection might be a useful bargaining tool in disarmament talks, and he asked the National Academy of Sciences to do a study....

``The Academy held a five-day workshop in January 1975 and released a report that summer. This report did not consider casualties from the direct hits of belligerent nations, but the aftermath effects of the war, particularly on noncombatant nations. Nor did the study confine itself solely to the ozone question but, as we shall see, the ozone effects were a prominent feature of the report. In fact, the Academy's president, Philip Handler, said that the `principal new point' developed in the study was that the ozone effect, not dispersion of radiation, would be the major impact on countries not directly involved in the conflict.

``The study considered what would happen if ten thousand megatons of nuclear weapons--about half of the then-existing arsenals--were exploded. The conclusion was that the amount of NOx in the stratosphere would increase by factors of from five to fifty.... This in turn would lead to an ozone depletion in the atmosphere over the Northern Hemisphere of from 30 to 70 percent and from 20 to 40 percent in the Southern Hemisphere. The peak effect would occur within a few months of the event, and the atmosphere would take twenty to thirty years to recover. In addition to predicting increases in skin cancer lasting for over forty years, the report said that short-term effects would include `severe sunburn in temperate zones and snow blindness in northern latitudes.... For a 70 percent decrease in ozone, severe sunburn involving blistering of the skin would occur in ten minutes.'[pp.| 302-4]
As was the case concerning all the other hoaxes perpetrated by the ozone depletion theorists, the actual evidence flew in the face of the theory and made a laughingstock of the National Academy of Sciences' report in scientific circles.
In 1973, P. Goldsmith definitively repudiated this ``nuclear summer'' theory in an article for Nature magazine. Goldsmith wrote:

``Analysis of the ozone records reveal no detectable changes in the total atmospheric ozone during and after the periods of nuclear weapons testing. Although two models of nitrogen oxide injection [SSTs and nuclear bombs] may not be identical from the meteorological viewpoint, the conclusion that massive injections of nitrogen oxides into the stratosphere do not upset the ozone layer seems inescapable'' (p. 551).
The same view was echoed by most leading scientists, among them James K. Angell and J. Korshover, writing in the January 1976 issue of the Monthly Weather Review.
``If there was a reduction in total ozone following the [nuclear] tests, it is difficult to see how it could exceed 1 to 2 percent...,''
they asserted.

``We hereby raise the caution flag, and suggest that perhaps the theoreticians and modelers are in error somewhere along the line, and that at the very least they have overestimated the magnitude of the nuclear (nitric oxide) effect on total ozone'' (p. 72).

Since then, it has been discovered that most of the nitric oxide in the atmosphere results not from any of man's activities, but from the solar wind, [which] carries vast amounts of energetic solar protons, which generate nitrogen oxides when they collide with the Earth's atmosphere.

Our misplaced expectations for science derive in part, I believe, from an overly restrictive view of how science extracts truth from nature. This restrictive view assumes that the culmination of science is the ability to develop predictive hypotheses and theories through highly controlled experiments (real, or imagined). Experiment serves to hold nature's complexity in abeyance, so that nature can be parsed into its component parts and governing laws. This is the physics view, dominant in modern culture, and for very good reason: the character and quality of modern life are derived in no small part from the transforming impact of science and science-based technologies, which in turn reflects a perspective on nature and a method of research derived from the success of physics. But nature can be viewed from another angle that is no less scientific, which is to say, no less devoted to creating a true picture of what is really out there. This might be called the geological view, and it recognizes that nature, as experienced by humans and as recorded in the lithosphere and cryosphere, is the evolving product of innumerable complex and contingent processes and phenomena, revealed through historical reconstruction, and through analogy with what we see in nature today.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Just because you cannot see it does not mean it is not there

An interesting phenomena that is not often seen or mentioned in climate studies is the underwater volcanic arcs of the pacific plate.With around 90% of the volcanic activity underwater there is some interesting discussion on this.What quantification of the energy budget to ocean currents and the SST and coupling may produce some interesting discussion.

Pictured View of the caldera of Macauley submarine volcano, from the northwest looking to the southeast. The caldera size varies from 6 to 10 kilometers across. Depths range from < 200 meters (~650 feet) at the rim to > 1000 meters (~3300 feet) at its deepest point.

"A normal hydrothermal vent might produce something like 500 megawatts, while this is producing 100,000 megawatts. It's like an atom bomb down there."

Recent studies have attempted to factor the heat from the world's known hydrothermal ridges into ocean circulation models. "Some studies estimate that for the Pacific, background thermal heating might increase ocean circulation by up to 50 percent," Murton said.

Regular hydrothermal fields stir the water for only a few hundred meters (about a thousand feet) above the ocean floor. "But these megaplumes can reach a column of 1,000 to 1,500 meters [3,280 to 4,920 feet], so it reaches right up into the midwater," he said.

But even the Indian Ocean megaplume may be small compared to larger underwater eruptions that have as yet gone undetected.

The Kermadec Arc is located in the southwestern Pacific, north of New Zealand. Over the past several years, international expeditions to the Kermadec Arc have found that over half of the submarine volcanoes surveyed are hydrothermally active. This year we will make dives to the seafloor to explore seafloor hotsprings on some of these active submarine volcanoes.

Web Counters