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:

https://i2.wp.com/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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87 thoughts on “Quote of the week #38 – you’re not heavy, you’re my outgasser

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

  4. 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

  5. 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?

  6. So global warming caused the flood that Noah built the arc for?

    Who knew that Noah had that significant of a carbon footprint?

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

  11. 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.

  12. hmmmm David Suzuki, aka Dr, Fruit Fly, as a professor of Genetics.

    Maybe a conspiracy happening here :)

  13. 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

  14. 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’!

  15. “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

  16. 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 ?

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.”

  21. 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)

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. “”” 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.

  26. “”” 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.

  27. “”” 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. @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?

  31. ….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]

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

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

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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!

  38. 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.”)

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

  42. 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?

  43. 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.

  44. 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!

  45. chris y-
    I don’t think anyone got the IPECAC joke –

    (ipecac syrup induces defensive vomiting)
    lol, d

  46. P.F. says:
    July 13, 2010 at 11:21 am

    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.
    ___________________________________________
    Look at the common gray squirrel.

    When I was a kid (50 -60’s) the squirrel would dart back and forth avoiding the predator (car) and get squashed now city squirrels head straight across the road and do not zig zag. their poor country cousins still zigzag in my neck of the very rural woods.

  47. John from CA says:
    July 13, 2010 at 11:42 am

    CO3- + 2 H3O+ -> H2CO3 + H2O

    The H2CO3 is also use by shellcreatures to build ther shells b.t.w.

  48. Certainly snail gene frequencies are affected by climate, whether it is changing or not. For the last few years Sweden has been plagued by “killer snails” a large, prolific and voracious brown species that was accidentally introduced from southern Europe.
    Swedish gardeners have been hoping for a cold winter that would hopefully kill off these southerners.
    Last winter was very cold, and this summer I have jndeed only seen a very few “killer snails”. However we are not rid of the pests, because the crafty little critters have interbred with the native black forest snail (a moderate pest) and the resulting dark brown hybrids are unfortunately just as voracious and prolific as their brown ancestors, and additionally can survive cold winters.
    Evolution in action, and it doesn´t even take a professor of genetics to figure out what is going on.

  49. “effectively pumping this potent greenhouse gas out of the atmosphere”

    The description may show how sea ice and melt water work, but the characterization of CO2 is patently wrong.

    Why is it that each scientist only understands part of the picture and they constantly neglect parts of their own model?

    Do they not know where their knowledge ends and their assumptions, based on the opinions of others, begins? A good scientist should have a good foundational understanding of ALL parts of his/her model or construct.

  50. Thanks for the examples folks – however, going with the “weather versus climate” distinction, whilst I can see how weather events (such as an unusally cold winter) may have a direct effect on a population I’m struggling with the idea that there will be significant changes in a species in a response to a gentle (say) 0.5 C increase in temperature over a matter of decades, especially as it is a fluctuation within perfectly natural norms. Can someone enlighten me further?

  51. @ Gail Combs

    Isn’t that more of an adaptation then a change at the genetic level?
    Squirrels learn their skills from the expieriences of their parents. If one of the parents has a working skill to avoid cars it will be given on to their youngsters.
    Squirrels who know how to avoid cars will survive and reprocreate. Evolution.

  52. Just an aside: If water did not have the characteristic of expanding at +4C while cooling down and keep that expanded, less dense characterisitc as it continues to freeze and solidify, life on this planet would be very much different, if it would exist in the first place. Imagine the oceans and other water bodies freezing bottom up instead of top down. They would freeze forever, I think.

    This Jones lecturing us on water densities, CO2 release, global warming and all that, should really read a book or ten first. This Jones seems to know a lot about many things according to his musings on the Telegraph, and he thinks that he is smart. I think I’m smarter than him, but considering that I m stupid, I just shut up and let the writing for those scientists who do science not for money but for, um, science.

  53. @ Scott Basinger says:
    July 13, 2010 at 11:05 am

    I think that you mean g/cm3 instead of cm2..

  54. Gail Combs says:
    July 13, 2010 at 12:12 pm
    “[…]
    Look at the common gray squirrel.

    When I was a kid (50 -60′s) the squirrel would dart back and forth avoiding the predator (car) and get squashed now city squirrels head straight across the road and do not zig zag. their poor country cousins still zigzag in my neck of the very rural woods.”

    Mammals have pretty good brains – it would give the squirrels an advantage to store such reactions in their memory; the species could adapt much faster. So i would bet that this behaviour is learned. It would be an interesting experiment to find out. (No, you don’t really have to crush squirrels. You could observe their behaviour and stop shortly before you crush them.)

  55. 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.

    No! all that’s required is ice be less dense than 0°C water. Clear ice density is about 0.917 (grams/milliliter).

    BTW, seawater density is a function of salinity and temperature, but typically is around 1.028 at freezing and has peak density at the freezing point, see http://sam.ucsd.edu/sio210/gifimages/dens.gif

  56. Charles Higley

    Who says you have to be a “good” scientist to spread alarmisms and get grant money?

  57. The laws of science have been handed over to the lawyer/politician. These old laws are no longer in vigore, or have been altered to suit modern times and climate change. The law of gravity has been modified to make pigs fly, mercury now expands when it freezes and fresh water is now denser than salt water, while one can build a greenhouse in his garden without having to put a glass panel on top of it, just like our atmosphere.

    One can lobby his local MP to change these science laws according to one’s need, from time to time.

  58. Richard says:
    July 13, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    CO3- + 2 H3O+ -> H2CO3 + H2O

    The H2CO3 is also use by shellcreatures to build ther shells b.t.w.

    =====

    Interesting, but I’m not following.
    CO2 + H2O -> H2CO3
    Where did we get the loose Hydronium and the Carbon trioxide?
    LOL, please don’t say boat exhaust from the Northwest Passage.

  59. @John from CA
    July 13, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Excuse me, i must say i was looking a bit bewondered over what i typed too.
    Sleeping 6 hours in three days doesn’t help the senses become aware of what is actually wrong then.
    It should have read: CO2 + H2O -> H2CO3 -> 2 H3O+ + CO3-
    Hence the “accification”( H3O+ ) and the shell building. ( Ca+ + CO3- -> CaCO3 )

    With a bit of luck i’ll be on Bonaire for half a year starting this spring so the time difference will be a bit less. Perhaps that wil help to clear my mind. ;)

  60. Thanks Richard,
    Been there — grab a rem cycle and you’ll feel better.

    As I was searching to find an answer I wondered if this is what you were thinking:
    2H3O+ + CO3^2- –> CO2(g) + 3H2O

    That’s a boatload of CO2, I thought you might be having some fun with it.

    Thanks for clarifying. I guess an issue occurs with the absence of calcium ions? Is this the concern about thinning sea shells and ocean acidification?

  61. @ John.

    I’m just trying to get things straight for myself. Hence i ask stupid looking questions some might find. In discussions i had here in Holland i did the same and found that it is best to begin at the basics. In lay-man’s term if you want.
    First of all it keeps the discussion and the point clear, second it has some new insights to those who are not that familiar to the subject.
    ( Not to mension the people who read these thing in the middle of the night. ;) )

  62. “but the chilly and hence heavy water from the disappearing bergs”
    “Gas bubbled out and entered the air, pushing onwards the wave of warming.”

    Disappearing bergs because why, warming?
    He himself suggests that there is warming occurring prior to the release of the CO2.
    This brings us back to does CO2 levels follow warming?

  63. Correction:

    “This brings us back to does CO2 levels follow warming?”

    This brings us back to does CO2 levels follow temperature change?

  64. Phil. says:
    July 13, 2010 at 10:41 am

    “….A case of where a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, ….
    ….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.”

    Phil, considering that you did not answer my last question to you (about why you consider all of the increased atmospheric CO2 content to be man-made), I may have only a slight chance that you do better on this question:

    Can you be a little more explicit why you figure, “Old sea ice and bergs are ~fresh and so will stay near the surface”?

    I always thought that ice floats for no other reason than that H2O in its solid state has nine-tenth the density of its equivalent mass of H2O in its liquid state. For that reason it can be argued that ice will not merely stay near the surface of the water it floats in but it will always stay right at the top of it, with one tenth of its volume projecting above the water. Observations bear that out, while I don’t believe that anyone has ever seen ice float “near the surface” of the body of water containing it.

    2nd question: Is it only dense brine that sinks to the bottom of the water into which it is expelled, or is that true of all brine, regardless of its density?

    3rd question: Is expelled brine of specific density hydrophobic, or does it like to mix with seawater (or freshwater for that matter) of lower density?

  65. Already a lot of comments but I gotta say I did the floating egg experiment with my son as a third grade science fair project. I’m not an oceanographer or physicist (and definitely not a climatologist) but density differences between pure water and brine solutions isn’t rocket science. A dumb ole geologist like me (and a third grader) figured it out.

  66. No Worries Richard,
    I’m also trying to understand that which they make difficult with hidden data and their failure to present the Science in an insightful way.

    Best Regards,
    John from CA

  67. DirkH says:
    July 13, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Gail Combs says:
    July 13, 2010 at 12:12 pm
    “[…]
    Look at the common gray squirrel.

    When I was a kid (50 -60′s) the squirrel would dart back and forth avoiding the predator (car) and get squashed now city squirrels head straight across the road and do not zig zag. their poor country cousins still zigzag in my neck of the very rural woods.”

    Mammals have pretty good brains – it would give the squirrels an advantage to store such reactions in their memory; the species could adapt much faster. So i would bet that this behaviour is learned. It would be an interesting experiment to find out. (No, you don’t really have to crush squirrels. You could observe their behaviour and stop shortly before you crush them.)
    _______________

    That behavior is learned by city squirrels, and no doubt taught. Natural selection may, in due course in an urban population, tend to select for a population that learn well, that is, unless the girls get knocked up before the lesson completes. More likely, you are seeing in the city, a survivor population, not necessarily an adapted one. Look at squirrels in a suburban area. See what they do. If they bob and weave as much as run straight, the selection pressure is not having much impact on the adaptibility.

  68. @Richard
    “@ Scott Basinger says:
    July 13, 2010 at 11:05 am

    I think that you mean g/cm3 instead of cm2..”

    Ugh. Of course… ouch.

  69. Richard, you said…..

    “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?”

    Well, unless what I was taught was wrong….Bergs primarily melt from the bottom due to the much higher specific heat of the water they are floating in.

  70. After a needed good night sleep i had a second look.

    If icebergs melt from the top or bottom turns out to be irrelevant: Its still fresh(er)water.
    As ice forms in salt water, there is no room in the crystal for salt. Most of the salt
    is squeezed out of the ice structure and the resulting ice is less salty than when it began to freeze. In the polar regions, where seawater freezes to form sea ice, the ice is not as salty as the seawater from which it formed.
    If the ice was formed on land it would offcourse be all freshwater from frozen rain.

    @John from CA July 13, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    The Calcium comes from the shells of dead shellfish indeed. Even the ocean recycles. ;)
    As the ability to dissolve is dependent on temperature the calciumcarbonate will be less able to stay dissolved in lower temperatures and form sediment.
    As the temperature goes up so will the concentration of calciumcarbonate and thus CO2 in the air ( via the principle you stated :
    2H3O+ + CO3^2- CO2(g) + 3H2O ( As its a balance the arrows should point both ways ))
    This would also explain the lag in time for CO2 to catch up with temperatures.

  71. Some may be interested in these cross-sections of the ocean temperature which goes down all the way down to the bottom (produced by the US Navy). The temperature at the very deepest parts of the ocean should signal the temperature of the densest ocean water.

    First a cross-section which shows the coldest water around Antarctica in the Weddell Sea at 45W, 70S (under the sea ice since it hasn’t melted out in this area in several years). It is mainly below 0.0C all the way to the bottom at 4500 metres.

    Second, a cross-section which gives the best view of the cold water in the Arctic Ocean at 10W. It is also below 0.0C and some is -1.5C (with the deepest part at 4000 metres -1.0C or so).

    And then a cross-section of the Pacific Ocean at 140W. It is mainly about 1.0C at the deepest levels at 5500 metres (seems to be about the same in the deeper trenches at 6600 metres as well).

    The salinity profile shows that it is not a really big factor. There is not a great deal of difference for the deeper oceans (more at the surface).

  72. Richard says:
    July 14, 2010 at 3:30 am

    Ice by construction is fresh water, it is the crystal form of H2O. If it crystallizes gradually the non H2O is excluded easily. If it freezes fast, some brine may be trapped in bubbles. Ice itself is fresh/sweet ( as we say in greek :) ).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_ice

    Sea ice may be contrasted with icebergs, which are chunks of ice shelves or glaciers that calve into the ocean. Icebergs are compacted snow and hence are fresh water from the beginning; sea ice loses its salt during its process of formation from sea water and thus eventually is fresh as well.

  73. Richard says:
    July 14, 2010 at 3:30 am
    “This would also explain the lag in time for CO2 to catch up with temperatures.”

    =====
    Glad to hear you caught some zzzzs (a good nights sleep).

    …”catch up with temperature” — exactly the same conclusion of most Scientists –> “temperature drives CO2 not the other way around”.

    Its also a interesting aspect of Ocean cycles and perhaps cycles of temperature driven acidification.

  74. @ anna v July 14, 2010 at 11:10 am

    Other source but the same conclusion. Thanks for stating my point.

  75. @ John from CA

    I’m trying to form the bigger picture. I’ve been around long enough to know most things in life go around in circles.
    Even within our bodies energy moves in circles.
    Mother earth has been around for a long time and has seen and expierienced a lot of things before we were even here. She has her own set of rules to deal with annoing little critters like us.
    If Climate “science” is ever to succeed they will have to understand the past and for them selves learn how these mechanisms work and not program computers to give them the results they want. Remember yesterday, dream about tomorrow, but live today.

    But back to science before i get too mushy.
    As i can recollect CO2 lags warming with about some 600 years?
    If anyone has a recent CO2 / Temp chart it might be interesting to see where we were 600 years ago qua temperature. Wasn’t that around the MWP?!

  76. @ Richard
    …”they will have to understand the past and for them selves learn how these mechanisms work”

    Anna dropped a comment in a blog a while back that led me to a NASA post I think you’ll enjoy; “When Sun’s Too Strong, Plankton Make Clouds”.
    http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/environment/0702_planktoncloud.html

    As a defense mechanism, Plankton make clouds to prevent sunburn. Given that this evolutionary feat didn’t occur yesterday, one has to wonder. But its an amazing example of a compensating factor in nature.

    It also has to be nearly impossible to predict its impact on conditions that directly effect weather over time and thus climate unless climate is either hot or cold.

    It will truly be amazing when the models manage to unify all the factors – assuming that is even theoretically possible.

    Vostok Ice Cores: The 800 year lag
    http://joannenova.com.au/global-warming/ice-core-graph/

    I think the counter point is that CO2 may not be the initial driver but its a major pain when things warm up.

    Interesting, MWP as a driver in conjunction with emissions. It brings up an interesting issue. Where are the CO2 measurements taken and what percentage is identifiable as Industrial?

  77. @ John

    Medieval Warm Period was 9th to 13th Centuries , add 800 years to that and we have a CO2 high starting in the 18 hundreds untill 2100.
    How very inconveniant, lets get ridd of the Medieval Warm Period. Wait a minute: That sounds familiar..

    Still searching for site location though.

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