Quote of the week #38 – you're not heavy, you're my outgasser

qotw_cropped

I never knew chilly, heavier water could do this:

The deep seas are a vast reservoir of carbon dioxide, dissolved under pressure, but the chilly and hence heavy water from the disappearing bergs – helped by the Fleuve and its fellows – sank to the bottom and pushed that ancient reserve of trapped carbon towards the surface. Gas bubbled out and entered the air, pushing onwards the wave of warming. Within a couple of centuries the glaciers began their precipitate retreat, the oceans rose by tens of metres, and we were in the modern world.

From this mythic article in the Telegraph, written by a professor of Genetics.

That water sure has to sink a long way, and as we all know, cold and warm water don’t mix. /sarc

Of course, some simple grade school science on water density can tell us a lot too. From Steve Spangler’s Science:

The Floating Egg

It’s so simple and amazing. A raw egg will float in very salty water but will sink in plain tap water. Why? Salt water is more dense than regular water. You’ll need to make a very saturated salt solution by dissolving roughly 4 tablespoons of salt in about 2 cups of water. Use pickling or Kosher salt to make a clear salt solution. Table salt may be used, but the solution will be somewhat cloudy due to the additives used to make the salt free-flowing.

Fill a glass half full with the salt water. Slowly add plain water by pouring it down the sides of the glass, being careful not to mix the two liquids. Gently drop the egg into the water and watch as it sinks through the plain water, only to abruptly stop when it hits the salt water. The egg floats on the top layer of the salt water.

=====================================

Also, for those that might argue that berg meltwater just above freezing is more dense because it is colder, there is a curious thing that happens at 4C, as outlined in this Iowa State course:

http://www.iitap.iastate.edu/gccourse/ocean/images/density.gif

“In regions where precipitation is high, such as the Intertropical Convergence Zone in the central Pacific Ocean shown in the lecture on Atmospheric Structure and Circulation (figure 9), fresh-water rain will ride on top of the saline ocean water. Similarly melting ice in polar regions will be less dense than nearby ocean water of temperature 4 oC because of its lower temperature and lack of salt.”

==========================================

And Verity Jones adds this in comments:

http://www.sams.ac.uk/sams-news/Media%20releases/arctic-sea-ice-pumps-50-more-carbon-dioxide-into-the-oceans

“Arctic sea [melt] ice plays a critical and hitherto unknown role in the removal of the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide (CO2)”

“…in this study, the researchers have found that sea ice itself plays an important role in CO2 capture, effectively pumping this potent greenhouse gas out of the atmosphere. As sea ice forms, it rejects brine, rich in inorganic carbon compounds (derived from atmospheric CO2), into the underlying seawater, a process further stimulated by carbonate precipitation within the sea ice. The summer sea ice melt liberates water which is strongly depleted in CO2. The very low concentration of CO2 in this surface water then drives the extraordinary uptake of CO2 from the atmosphere.”

==========================================

h/t to Pablo ex pat who quips: “Geomythology is a new science to rival Climomythology”

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UK Sceptic

Climomythology! What a wonderfully descriptive word. 😀

Phillip Bratby

I’m just about to patent a method to tap that heavy water and bring it to the surface. It should be a boon to the canadian nuclear industry.

Hmmph. The bergs came from inland snows – the meltwater is freshwater, so isn’t all that dense compared to seawater in the typical bergy graveyard.

John S.

Isn’t salt water more dense than fresh water, even very cold fresh water?

Craig Goodrich

Wait a minute; water from melting ‘bergs is fresh and hence lighter than the salty ocean water. That’s one reason salty water in the Gulf Stream, having given up most of its warmth to the Brits and all, can sink to do its part in the thermohaline circulation (or whatever it’s called this week). Innit?

Jeez,
I can imagine myself as a frog laughing at all this! It must be genetic…
BTW, is this Steve Jones related to Phil Jones???
Ecotretas

Scott

Hey, he got published didnt he? Why is it easier to get something like this printed than a well researched article that doesn’t support GW?

michaeljgardner

So global warming caused the flood that Noah built the arc for?
Who knew that Noah had that significant of a carbon footprint?

pat

The dissolved CO2 is constant. And the water and CO2 are not compressed to any appreciable degree. This is the unique feature of H2O, is it not? As for the oceanic absorption of CO2, the vast majority is eventually in the form of carbonates and organic sentiments. Extremely stable and destined to become rock. Or so I have been led to believe.

Jim Clarke

The story ends with:
“Most of those ingredients are evident today, but millions insist that the warming story is made up.”
By ‘most’ I assume they mean ‘one’. The whole catalyst for their fable is the breaking off and melting of vast icecaps that extended down into the mid-latitudes. Last check of ‘Cryosphere Today’ doesn’t show anything like what they described in their whack-noodle story. Aside from a science that is nothing like reality and conclusions that have no connection to the evidence presented, I thought the article was still poorly written!

Neil Jones

Is it a myth or is it hagiography?

The high priests of Climomythology are called Slimeologists.
Climomythology adherents are called Climeballs.
Hockeystick Team members are Graphic Artists.
And all of them want to take liberties with our liberties.

John Blake

At bathymetric (deep-ocean) depths, seawater composition compresses to the point where vast sheets of cold, dark, saline H20 solidify. Over time, plate tectonics alternately contracts and expands this “bathymetric substrate”, causing large, thick flakes suffused with heavy-laden C02 to rise and dissipate as pressure reduces towards sea-surfaces. This concentrated C02 then sublimates, evaporating from shallow-water continental shelves to cast a pall over continental landmasses, reducing Earth’s albedo to correspondingly increase temperatures worldwide.
“Geomythology” need not restrict itself to deeds of Gods and Men. Since Hansen first invoked the wrath of Boreas and Neptune in 1988, Climate Cultists’ door to Bathymetric Substrates has gaped wide. He that has eyes to see, let him see!

Severian

Oh NOOOOO! It’s worse than we thought!!!! Every AGW story is “it’s worse than we thought!” Chicken Little is alive and well and living in the media.

Fred

hmmmm David Suzuki, aka Dr, Fruit Fly, as a professor of Genetics.
Maybe a conspiracy happening here 🙂

Just discovered his page: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/slms/people/show.php?personid=10687
Do you believe this guy’s investigation?
and am now involved in a Europe-wide survey of snail populations to see if there has been any change in gene frequency over the past fifty years and more in response to the changes in climate that have taken place
I bet these scientists give any justification just to keep the grant money flowing… And I can’t imagine how fast (LOL LOL) snails evolve!
I’ve also let him, & Telegraph, know what I think of the article.
Ecotretas

Sonya Porter

From the letter page of the Daily Telegraph 13,7.10:
From the Daily Telegraph 13.7.10:
Sir: I wonder if Paul the Psychic Octopus might now usefully be employed as a consultant to the University of East Anglia, helping to model future climate change?
Mark Welford
Southampton
I reckon Paul would do better that the chap who’s written the bit about ‘heavy water’!

chris y

“Geomythology is a new science to rival Climomythology”
Excellent! Some others to consider-
1)- Munchausen by proxy syndrome (MBPS)-
A relatively uncommon condition that involves the exaggeration or fabrication of climate illnesses or symptoms by a primary caretaker (scientist).
2)- Gaian Phrenology-
The process of attributing short-term trends in weather (temperature, tornadoes, hurricanes, sea level, ocean pH, polar ice, etc etc etc) to increases in anthropogenic CO2 emissions. It is now considered a pseudo-science.
3)- Climate horoscope-
“These predictions are intended for entertainment value only.”
As found at the end of your newspaper’s daily horoscope, this disclaimer should be placed in the footer of every page of IPCC reports.
4)- Miserabilism-
The inability of Today to successfully imagine Tomorrow.
(Where are the TV shows like ‘Here Come the 70’s’?).
5)- Paleo-Rorschachism-
A widely-used psychological test in which climate scientists’ pre-conceptions of dangerous anthropogenic climate change are ‘verified’ by extracting signals from climate proxy data using psychological interpretation, complex scientifically derived but erroneous algorithms, or in the case of the IPCC, both. It is now widely considered to be a pseudo-science.
6)- IPECAC-
The proposed new branding for the disgraced IPCC.
Intergovernmental Panel on Earth’s Climate and Anthropogenic Changes

pablo an ex pat

Looks like Post Modern Science is alive and well at UCL.
I wonder if Prof Steve Jones consulted his colleagues in the UCL Department of Chemical Engineering about the suspension of the Gas Laws before this foray into their sphere or whether it was done by consensus modelling ?
Is there an e-mail trail ?
What other terrible things could occur now that these Laws have been suspended ?
No more ice in drinks, no more cold Fizzy Pop, Beer or Champagne.
Oh my it’s definitely worse than I thought.
From their website
“The Ramsay Memorial Chair in Chemical Engineering at UCL was the first of its kind to be established in the United Kingdom. The Department, which was founded in 1923, is one of only three UK departments in this discipline to have consistently received the highest research ratings in recent assessments”
He couldn’t possibly be related to Prof. Phil Jones could he ?

ZT

This must be the lemming gene switching on – seems to happen to British pop-academics – around the time that they start to desire a new title.

anna v

Ric Werme says:
July 13, 2010 at 8:56 am

Hmmph. The bergs came from inland snows – the meltwater is freshwater, so isn’t all that dense compared to seawater in the typical bergy graveyard.

Sea ice is also mainly fresh water, and not only because it also gets snowed on. It is the H2O that crystallizes, and that is pure water. Brine can remain in pockets but is eventually rejected.

Henry chance

This is arm chair science
Google scholaring
Speculation
and extrapolation.
I take it there is no need to gather data.
reminds me of alGore’s claim that the earth is several million degrees only a couple meters down.

Hmm, I bookmarked this from somewhere today (I thought it was here, although I can’t find who referenced it now – but thanks): http://www.sams.ac.uk/sams-news/Media%20releases/arctic-sea-ice-pumps-50-more-carbon-dioxide-into-the-oceans
“Arctic sea [melt] ice plays a critical and hitherto unknown role in the removal of the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide (CO2)”
“…in this study, the researchers have found that sea ice itself plays an important role in CO2 capture, effectively pumping this potent greenhouse gas out of the atmosphere. As sea ice forms, it rejects brine, rich in inorganic carbon compounds (derived from atmospheric CO2), into the underlying seawater, a process further stimulated by carbonate precipitation within the sea ice. The summer sea ice melt liberates water which is strongly depleted in CO2. The very low concentration of CO2 in this surface water then drives the extraordinary uptake of CO2 from the atmosphere.”

richard telford

The word “pure” on the density vs temperature plot is rather important.
(But yes, Steve Jones’ description of the reinvigoration of deep ocean circulation at the end of the glacial is not exactly right)

gcb

As pointed out above, water is at its densest at 4 degrees Celsius – which is why lakes don’t freeze from the bottom up. Scientists, on the other hand, are at their densest when they are attempting to rationalize their research in the light of AGW in order to get more funding.

Jack Simmons

Hmmmm….
Every year when the ice melts on lakes, the water mixes.
During this time period, fish that otherwise are limited to the deepest parts of the lake, will spend time in the shallows. If you time it right, you can get a chance at some really big fish who are cruising for food and reproductive opportunities.
With a warmer spring, the water again stratifies, with the colder, oxygen rich water going to the bottom of the lake.
See http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/chem03/chem03334.htm
It happens every spring, in fresh water.

George E. Smith

So is that a real graph of Temperature versus depth in the ocean; or is it for fresh water.
Why would the sea water stop cooling at 4 deg C since that is not any special Temperature for salt water; which keeps on getting denser right down to its freezing point for more than 2.47% salinity. Now I don’t have any curve for what sheer pressure does to the freezing point of either fresh water or salt water; but somehow, I doubt that melting freesh water ice over the top of the oceans, is going to cause lots of fresh water to sink to the bottom; and if it di, it would just soak up some of that pressurized CO2, so I don’t see any mechanism of that kind that would bring masses of CO2 to the surface.

George E. Smith

“”” gcb says:
July 13, 2010 at 9:43 am
As pointed out above, water is at its densest at 4 degrees Celsius – which is why lakes don’t freeze from the bottom up. Scientists, on the other hand, are at their densest when they are attempting to rationalize their research in the light of AGW in order to get more funding. “””
And as pointed out here many times ad infinitum; that ONLY applies to fresh water. Salt water of 2.47% salinity or higher has NO maximum density before its freezing point. Average ocean salinity is about 3.5%
So “lake turnover” does NOT occur in the oceans.

George E. Smith

“”” Verity Jones says:
July 13, 2010 at 9:38 am
Hmm, I bookmarked this from somewhere today (I thought it was here, although I can’t find who referenced it now – but thanks): http://www.sams.ac.uk/sams-news/Media%20releases/arctic-sea-ice-pumps-50-more-carbon-dioxide-into-the-oceans
“Arctic sea [melt] ice plays a critical and hitherto unknown role in the removal of the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide (CO2)”
“…in this study, the researchers have found that sea ice itself plays an important role in CO2 capture, effectively pumping this potent greenhouse gas out of the atmosphere. As sea ice forms, it rejects brine, rich in inorganic carbon compounds (derived from atmospheric CO2), into the underlying seawater, a process further stimulated by carbonate precipitation within the sea ice. The summer sea ice melt liberates water which is strongly depleted in CO2. The very low concentration of CO2 in this surface water then drives the extraordinary uptake of CO2 from the atmosphere.” “””
Well you obviously haven’t been attending WUWT for very long; because the melt/freeze cycle transport of CO2 is something I have been harping on here for quite some time.
And as a result of that effect (and presumably others) the atmospheric CO2 in the arctic (up to the north pole) cycles by 18 ppm every year; which is three times what happens to CO2 at Mauna Loa. So much for atmospheric CO2 being well mixed. That 18 ppm drop in CO2 when the ice melts, happens over five months; which puts the lie to the claim that CO2 persists in the atmosphere for 200 years or more; which places the decay time constant at a minimum of 40 years (for 99% removal). 18 ppm in 5 months could remove all of the atmospheric CO2 in 108 months (at that rate), and could remove the 100 ppm excess (over the 280 ideal) in about 2 1/2 years.

George E. Smith

“”” pat says:
July 13, 2010 at 9:06 am
The dissolved CO2 is constant. And the water and CO2 are not compressed to any appreciable degree. This is the unique feature of H2O, is it not? As for the oceanic absorption of CO2, the vast majority is eventually in the form of carbonates and organic sentiments. Extremely stable and destined to become rock. Or so I have been led to believe. “””
Not only is it NOT the unique feature of water; it is NOT even a feature of water; which is just as compressible as any other material (liquid). Whoever started the rumor that water is incompressible needs to be tarred and feathered as a buffoon.

DirkH

Obviously Steve Jones’ knowledge about anything physical is next to non-existent. And worse, he’s not a certified climatologist yet he talks about climate.
So where are the pro-AGW people here protesting against some random fruitcake entering their territory, like they usually do when a skeptic speaks up?
They’re not protesting; Telford even wriggles toward a half-apology of the fruitcakes drivel. So as long as something catastrophic is involved, anyone can write anything about climate and the pro-AGW crowd will just sit back and enjoy.

Alan F

Who wants to wager that while Roger Pielke Sr. might have trouble getting grants for his studies, this clown is in line for a wheelbarrow full of someone’s tax dollars.

@Ecotretas:
“and am now involved in a Europe-wide survey of snail populations to see if there has been any change in gene frequency over the past fifty years and more in response to the changes in climate that have taken place”
This kind of “science” never ceases to amaze me. Do these people follow the same kind of evolutionary principles as most of us? How is it possible that a species would show changes at the genetic level, within 50 years, in response to a tiny increase in temperature over that period?

latitude

….and neither the Telegraph or Jones were the slightest bit embarrassed to print this
[snip – let’s not insult an entire group of people with a common last name ~mod]

dearieme

Look, the poor chap is a biologist and he’s of the age when you studied biology only if you couldn’t do maths and physics. Be reasonable.

gcb says:
July 13, 2010 at 9:43 am
As pointed out above, water is at its densest at 4 degrees Celsius – which is why lakes don’t freeze from the bottom up. Scientists, on the other hand, are at their densest when they are attempting to rationalize their research in the light of AGW in order to get more funding.

A case of where a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, sea water has it’s maximum density at its freezing point!
See: http://www.classzone.com/books/earth_science/terc/content/investigations/es2202/es2202page03.cfm
http://www.csgnetwork.com/h2odenscalc.html
That’s why the circulation in the oceans is referred to as ‘thermohaline’ circulation.
The dense brine expelled when seawater freezes is dense and sinks to the bottom. Old sea ice and bergs are ~fresh and so will stay near the surface.

Stephen Wilde

I seem to recall that Steve was a pupil at my old Grammar School. I wonder if he slept in the physics lessons ?

Sean Peake

Ecotretas (9:24 am),
Do you believe this guy’s investigation?
———
Absolutely. He is in France studying Helix aspersa. I also believe he is eating his subjects with garlic butter.

Scott Basinger

This is what I sent to him in an email:
Dr. Jones,
There is a notable error from your article “Gods, floods – and global warming”:
“but the chilly and hence heavy water from the disappearing bergs – helped by the Fleuve and its fellows – sank to the bottom and pushed that ancient reserve of trapped carbon towards the surface”
You should revisit this and correct for two reasons:
1. Cold (fresh) water (<4C) is less dense than warmer water.
2. Salty water is more dense than fresh water (regardless of temperature – density of salt water being 1.020-1.029g/cm2 at the surface, and 1.050g/cm2 under high pressures – fresh water being <1.000g/cm2 regardless of temperature).
Therefore, the type of mixing by downwelling, as you describe, is impossible because of #2. Furthermore, mixing turbulance as ice melts into a pool of fresher water is unlikely because of #1.
Easy experiment: http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/OceanSci_p002.shtml
You could replace the fresh water in the experiment with icecubes in the saltwater glass.
From what I understand, in the context of your scenario, deep circulation (~2km) is driven by tides and renewal takes in the order of around 1000 years. Surface mixing is primarily driven by wind and takes on the order of 1-10 years.
Sincerely,
S. Basinger
"We've learned from experience that the truth will come out. Other experimenters will repeat your experiment and find out whether you were wrong or right. Nature's phenomena will agree or they'll disagree with your theory. And, although you may gain some temporary fame and excitement, you will not gain a good reputation as a scientist if you haven't tried to be very careful in this kind of work." – R. Feynman.

gcb

Okay, sorry, I forgot the “fresh” part of my statement. Mea culpa. Can y’all stop beating me up for accidentally omitting one word now? Of course salinity affects things like density and freezing point.
I was trying to make a (weak) pun about dense scientists, and got flamed instead. What fun!

P.F.

michaeljgardner says: July 13, 2010 at 9:03 am “So global warming caused the flood that Noah built the arc for?”
Well, yes. But Noah did not cause either the warming or the flood. His is just a myth based on an oral tradition base itself on factual events. The myth provides an interesting confluence of geology and archaeology. The basis for the Noah character was a mariner in the Black Sea who traveled regularly to Istanbul. Around 2500 bce, there was an abrupt cooling. No one presently knows what caused it, but it produced more than a four meter fall in global sea level. Around 2340 bce the sea level began rising, equally as abruptly as the fall. Depending on which archaeological or historical record one consults, Noah gets into the ship building business somewhere between 2348 and 2288 bce. As the interpretation goes, during a visit to Istanbul, Noah notices that the seas are rising rapidly at the very narrow Dardanelles and backing up at the Bosphorus. Apparently, Noah’s concern was that the backing up at Bosphorus would eventually break through, causing a rushing flood of water into the Black Sea, inundating his home. With in a few centuries, the global sea level reached the Late Holocene Interglacial maximum of over 3 m higher than today’s sea level.
There is quite a bit of archeology on the subject. NatGeo and Bob Ballard have an interesting take on that side of the story. The sea level aspect comes from Rhodes Fairbridge and can be found in Science 191 (4225) 353-359 1976
(Alarmists shut down discussions with me when I point out the Holocene climate maximum of 3 m higher than now at around 2000 bce and the IPCC’s worst case scenario is less than half that. It also kills the argument of anyone claiming the last decade has nine of the warmest years “in history,” or as Congressman Markey put it, “in the history of the planet.”)

CRS, Dr.P.H.

Good heavens, climomythology! All I can say is “RELEASE THE KRAKEN!”

hunter

Yet another CAGW hype story that proves upon reasonable review to be bogus.

P.F.

Katabasis says: July 13, 2010 at 10:32 am “How is it possible that a species would show changes at the genetic level, within 50 years, in response to a tiny increase in temperature over that period?”
Look into the finches on the Galapagos. Biologists are seeing morphological and genetic changes on a very short time frame. The challenge is linking the changes to tiny increases in temperatures. For the finches, it is the availability of food and the adaptation to what’s available. The key concept here is that the critters adapt and change. That’s what we see to a greater degree on tremendously larger geologic time events such as the boundaries between epochs and stages.

pablo an ex pat

In my day you studied Biology because that was the science that more of the girls opted for. Social Studies was a winner in that respect too.
Never one to follow the crowd, and with an eye on my future career path, at A level I studied Chemistry, Physics and Applied Mathematics.
And now in my dotage I find that my diligence in my late teen years was wasted. What was the point in me denying myself the company of a larger population of young ladies if the Laws of Physics are dead. sigh.

Enneagram

But…as the Alien Bedwetter said, is it not several million degrees down there?
And, if there is a lot of CO2 down there, was it not suppose to save heat in its molecules?
I believe in the words of the Prophet, he is INFALLIBLE, we are supposed to be inhabitants of the happiest planet in the Master Flintstones Universe, where we have the privilege of having his most gracious highness, the greatest pee in the universe, the most great blasphemous 666 himself, living with us, preaching us his most veritable truths.

Richard

Correct me if i’m wrong but i take it that icebergs melt from the top from rising airtemperatures. Would that not give meltwater from snow and frozen rainwater? Meaning it would be freshwater?

John from CA

Phil. says:
July 13, 2010 at 10:41 am
“A case of where a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, sea water has it’s maximum density at its freezing point!”
Good point Phil — but doesn’t it also depend on how quickly the salt water freezes?The faster the freeze the greater the salt content in the ice.
Pat hit the issue on the head for me when she said:
July 13, 2010 at 9:06 am
The dissolved CO2 is constant. And the water and CO2 are not compressed to any appreciable degree. This is the unique feature of H2O, is it not? As for the oceanic absorption of CO2, the vast majority is eventually in the form of carbonates and organic sentiments. Extremely stable and destined to become rock. Or so I have been led to believe.

Keith Flanders

Prof Steve Jones was appointed in March by the BBC Trust to lead the investigation into the impartiality and accuracy of the BBC’c science reporting!

dwright

chris y-
I don’t think anyone got the IPECAC joke –
(ipecac syrup induces defensive vomiting)
lol, d