Lessons Of The Pool

Sometimes you can learn things just by watching the world….

At my “Florida Friends” home, he has a very nice pool. Selling a California Bubble home let him buy a Very Nice Florida home with a very nice pool. Here is a view from the patio. The sun is just rising a bit to the right. It sets over the solar heater panels just behind and to the left from this perspective.

Pool Orlando, Florida

Pool Orlando, Florida

Yeah, sometimes “doing science” requires great sacrifice… but I’ve put in many hours the last few weeks, thinking hard and deep thoughts, pondering
The Lessons Of The Pool…

The Solar Panels:

Solar Panels Orlando, Florida

Solar Panels Orlando, Florida

During hot months (that is, now, during the summer) the pool filter runs during daylight hours ( a couple after sunrise to a couple before sunset). It is on a fixed length timer. The water is circulated through the solar panels and back to the pool via the spa in the center and the jets along the sides. During winter months, the “solar heater” is often left out of the loop as there is no heat to gather. No added heat is used (unless a special party in winter demands it).

Seasonal Heat Storage

The first Lesson Of The Pool is that there is no seasonal heat storage. When I was here last winter, the pool was cold. Just too cold to use. Depth in the middle is about 6 feet, at each end about 4 feet. The whole thing, cement and all, drops to quite cold in winter. ALL of the summer heat gain is gone as it approximates the daily average (i.e. quite cold and can even get minor ice forming if the temps stay below freezing for a few days, though I have not personally observed this, so it is “second hand hearsay”.)

The notion that “CO2 traps heat in a body of water over long duration” is just wrong. The heat is not trapped, it is in motion, and fairly fast too.

Day to Day Heat Storage

So, if ‘seasonal’ is a bit of a reach, surely it stores lots of heat for weeks? At least days?


Today was a ‘hot sunny day’ most of the day. The pool was ‘bathtub warm’. I’d guess near 90 F. (Buying a pool thermometer to better instrument my experiments on on the “todo list”…) Deep bone soothing warmth with a silky texture ( I added a bag of Epsom Salts to the pool a few days ago… it now has a bit of that silky feel ;-)

Two days ago was a cool, overcast, stormy day. The pool was decidedly cool. ALMOST a bit too cool. Nice for a dip, but not a long soothing soaker… (then again, even a ‘dip’ with lightning in the distance is pushing your luck…)

The pool rapidly matches the ambient temperatures.

Now, clearly, with that big ‘ol non-insulated panel on the roof, it can both absorb and radiate heat. But then again, so can a stream running down a hill, or even a lake sitting still in a valley. All that radiator does is give a more effective coupling of the body of water to the IR environment… And if CO2 is “trapping IR”, it ought to be doing a dandy job of keeping that pool warm.

But on overcast days, the pool is cold. “Back radiation” from the low clouds… “Enhanced Greenhouse effect”… “CO2 warming”… all of them accomplish exactly nothing. Overcast days that are warm result in a pool that is still not hot. The only thing that gives a nice hot pool is a day with a LOT of sunshine reaching the ground. That warms the pool. Overnight or under overcast the next day, and the pool cools.

CO2 doesn’t do a thing to keep the pool warm, even over a single night.

Furthermore, at the end of the afternoon heating surge, the top 6 inches to a foot are the warmest. Quite clearly warmer than the layers a bit lower down (even with the slow mixing of the pump). But on cold days, the pool is cool all the way through. Heat gain happens in the top layers, but heat loss rapidly spreads through the whole mass. (Heat rises and stratifies, cold sinks…)

So a larger body, like an ocean or a lake, ought to rapidly have the bottom levels become stable at the ‘average cold’ of the area, and the top layers will warm in direct proportion to the ambient solar heating in any given season and on any given day. Any ‘added heat’ shows up only in the depth of the thermocline during the hot season, then is rapidly gone as soon as cooling begins. ( I first noticed this at the “Dredger Ponds” out by the Feather River where we went swimming as kids. During late August, the thermocline would be 6 to 10 feet deep sometimes. VERY warm on top, then a deeper modestly warm layer about 3 feet down, then the Cold Thermocline and you were in ‘way cold’ land. In winter, the surface was ‘way cold’… Again, no heat ‘storage’ over the year. Barely any from week to week. Mostly just in equilibrium with the average daily sunshine level in the warm layers.)

So as a first conclusion, I’d have to say that any Global Warming thesis that puts heat ‘in the pipeline’ in bodies of water has a major issue. It can only be in a few feet of the surface layers for anything of modest size. For bodies in motion, such as rivers, it’s a flat out joke, and for the oceans, well, they are 4 C for the bulk of their volume. Only the surface gets warmed by all that sun, and even that is not warmed very deeply… or for very long.

Rate Of Heat Flux

Now think about the rate of heat flux. Several FEET deep get warmed or cooled by 10 F (or more) in a single day. Yes, the solar panel helps. But it is really just a ‘average albedo’ adjustment. I’ve seen a pool (two of them, actually) with dark tiles for part of the bottom. Just enough to be about the right temperature from solar heating without panels. (One was actually overly warm due to a bit too much tile). There isn’t much difference between dark tile in a pool and dark mud in a lake bottom or dark water in an ocean. It all absorbs the heat. And all of them cool too. (The tile lined pool required a gas heater in winter / fall / spring to be swimmable).

So we can warm or cool FEET of water in just a day or two. The 2 W/M^2 of the IPCC is just a bad joke when talking about TONS of water per square meter. (2 meters deep would be 2 metric tons). We are orders of magnitude off from the rest of the heating, and cooling, fluxes. It is just lost in the noise.

In places cooler than Florida Summers, you need a pool cover to keep the heat in over night. If not insulated, those tons of water rapidly lose heat to the air, and then on to the sky and stratosphere. Think of all those pool covers all over the world. Each one a small testimonial to the power of the pool at dumping heat back to space each night. (After all, if it could store the heat for days to weeks, there would be no need to try to store it over any single night… yet, leave the pool cover off and you must run that gas heater a very long time the next day to ‘make up for it’… CO2 is a lousy blanket…

pH and CO2

My first week, I was busy adjusting the chlorine and getting the total alkalinity right along with a couple of other minor things. The pH was reading ‘quite low’ at 6.2, but we didn’t have any “pH Up” chemicals. Finally, the day came to address the pH (as I’d got the rest where I wanted it). Finally I remembered that the ‘low reading’ on a test strip had no real “lower bound”, it just meant “this far OR MORE”… So I hit the pool store for an alkalinizing chemical.

What do they sell to make a pool more ALKALINE? To RAISE the pH from acid to basic?

Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate or Sodium Carbonate. Baking Soda and “Washing Soda”. This stuff is sodium with a carbonic acid group (i.e. CO2 hydrated) or two stuck on it.

To make the pool more alkaline, you dump in loads of CO2.

I put in about 8 pounds of Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate, and moved the pH to an indicated 7.3 or so on the dipper.

Clearly all that added carbon dioxide was unable to make the water acid… (In fact, it leaves the acid water, letting the sodium stay behind, to make it alkaline. So if an acidified river runs into the ocean, carrying it’s load of dissolved salts and CO2, the CO2 will leave the ocean to make it more alkaline. That is the Lesson Of The Pool for pH.

Anyone making their pool more alkaline has a dramatic example of the complete farce of thinking that CO2 can make a body of water acid in the presence of any metal ions. (And both land and ocean waters are full of metal ions. Manganese Nodules deposit by the mega ton on the bottoms of the oceans and are almost entirely metals.) Rainwater may be slightly acid, but once it washes rocks, acid forest floors, or even just mingles into the ocean, the CO2 will not stay in an acid solution.

(In fact, I’d speculate that causality may be ‘exactly wrong’ in the Warmers acidification narrative. CO2 stimulates plant growth in warm times. More plants from a greened world make more acid leaf litter and river runoff. That acidification BY LIFE, drives more CO2 from the ocean as the great rivers deliver it to the oceans. Which then further promotes life… It is life, booming in warm times, that causes the acidification (actually a reduction of alkalinity) that then causes more CO2 release from the oceans. CO2 is the product and result, not the cause.)

At any rate, such are the Lessons Of The Pool. Solar heat is fleeting. It is not stored for long times. The “greenhouse effect” is useless and trivial compared to the impact of seasonal sunshine variation and cloud changes. CO2 in solution is irrelevant to pH, it’s the metal ions in solution that control.

So pour a cold one, and watch as the CO2 leaves solution with gradual warming in the sun…

Pour two more, let them sit for a few minutes to warm to British Room Temperature. Poor another cold one. Compare acidity and ‘bite / fizz’. Notice that a fresh cold one will have more fizz than the one that’s set out in the sun for even just an hour (IFF you can stand to wait the long to do the test…) Repeat as needed to get enough data points to make a complete graph of CO2 vs time / temp.

Then dip a toe in the pool… Is it nice and warm on a sunny day? Or a bit cool on the overcast day?

Even if it’s cool, wade on in. Remember, you are doing this for Science and sacrifice is expected…

I’ve conducted this experiment dozens of times. Solar heated beer is flat. Sunny days the pool is warmer than cloudy days. Invariably, the CO2 in the air can not keep a pool hot over night, and it can’t make a flat beer fizzy and full of ‘bite’…

In honor of this simple demonstration, I propose that The Pool, be the banner emblem for the Skeptics. Wave that banner proudly. The Pool does not lie…


Confirmation and repeated experiments are encouraged… I might have gotten something wrong, and Lord knows (Monckton?) it takes a mountain of repeated evidence and results to convince a Warmer that they’ve got it wrong…

Wine Coolers may be substituted by those who find beer a difficult fluid to ‘evaluate’. Whiskey / Soda is suitable for those in regions ill suited to growing wine grapes. Gin / Tonic can be used for folks desperate to be prepared for Malarial risks. If all else fails, and health precludes other options, simple Club Soda can be used, though the CO2 is particularly fleeting without the “moderating” effects of the other working fluids and you will need to adjust the time constant scales of your graphs accordingly.

A similar effect can be seen in sugary sodas vs diet sodas, where the sugar organic component causes a better gas retention so perhaps a series of “sodas and sugars as analog to forest floor organic litter in CO2 retention” could be an area for future research… Though a prior experiment with Rum & Coke has left me unable to participate in that line of research due to “flashbacks”… I was an undergraduate then and, well, “the experiment did not end well” …

For me, my future direction will involve more closely monitoring the daily temperature excursions with appropriate instrumentation as my “day job” permits funding for thermal measuring devices. I’ve also been pondering the “Fizzy Margarita” as a test case, but have been unable to find my last notes….

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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43 Responses to Lessons Of The Pool

  1. When you get in over your head, it is time to resource your pool.

    I haven’t yet seen danger (or reliable data) on the acidification issue. I did see some scary numbers derived by manipulating sample sizes; you’d think that coral reefs grew on trees. Trees like the famous Yamal.

    The homebrew hypotheses are entertaining and thought-provoking. Enjoy your time there!

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  2. George says:

    Well, we also have to look at the scale of what they are talking about. We can see that climate HAS warmed by about a degree C over the past century so a pool the size of the planet Earth would be expected to be about 1 degree C warmer, on average, over the course of an entire year than it was 100 years ago. But who and what would notice that? Pretty much nobody, and nothing.

  3. boballab says:

    You might want to take a look at Dr. Spencers latest post on his blog:

    What’s weird is that these scientists, whether they know it or not, are denying the 1st Law of Thermodynamics: simple energy conservation. We show it actually holds for global-average temperature changes: a radiative accumulation of energy leads to a temperature maximum…later. Just like when you put a pot of water on the stove, it takes time to warm.

    But while it only takes 10 minutes for a few inches of water to warm, the time lag of many months we find in the real climate system is the time it takes for several tens of meters of the upper ocean to warm.


  4. H.R. says:

    Need a research assistant, E.M.?

    Oh wait. I get it. It’s up to us to replicate your experiments… proper science and all that.

    (After all that beer, make sure you take a whiz before getting into the pool or you may get highly localized anomalous temperature readings.)

  5. Pascvaks says:

    I believe I have a possible solution to the pool heat loss problem. It, to my knowledge, has never been tested on such a large scale, but I believe it will work at better maintaining heat in a swimming pool. In addition to the various pH adjusting chemicals, salts, on a day when the skys are forecast to be clear and the temps quite high add about 4 tons of corn meal (aka Grits). Nothing stays hot like grits in a pot of salted water. (This may require removing any filters from the pumps however;-)

  6. cementafriend says:

    EM, in OZ the government gave a rebate for buying a solar blanket (about 25% of the cost). It works in keeping the pool warmer- added at least two months extra swimming now September to May, reduces evaporation, and keeps a lot of leaves out of the pool. The blanket is like bubble wrap under a blue colored top plastic film layer. It floats on the water. The blanket lets in the near infra-red of sunlight and minimises heat loss by convection & evaporation. On a clear day in the summer under the blanket the top two to three inches can get to 45-50C. Through most of the summer we control the temperature to about 27-28C (we have a floating thermometer (cost about $20 extra with the $80 Oregon weather station but wireless now not working anymore) in the whole pool (the water is mixed when you swim) by leaving the cover off when it warms too much. Evaporation in the day and convection & maybe some radiation at night.
    Have not had to add any water beside rain in the last 4 yrs.
    Re pH we have a salt water pool with electric chlorinator. Something like 8*30kg bags salt per 50,000 litre per year. It is necessary to add a little hydrochloric acid (about 1 litre per year) to bring the pH down to about 7.1.
    Kept strong & healthy.
    Hope you saw my post http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2011/07/natural-gas-more-polluting-than-coal-only-according-to-the-ipcc-a-note-from-cementafriend/
    Note, I hope I made it clear that CH4 does not burn in the atmosphere to CO2 & H2O but some can be oxidised by ozone (O3) to CH3OH (not to CO2) which is soluble in water. (-OH radicals have been detected in the atmosphere)

  7. Richard Ilfeld says:

    Dear Dr. Science;

    May I complement you on your well-outfitted laboratory. Some say it is possible to judge the quality of a researcher’s work by the order in which the laboratory is kept.

    For any not local and wondering – the cage is essential. Not only are local mosquitos the size of hummingbirds (well, not quite) but they also carry nastiness like west Nile Fever. In my neck of the woods it also keeps the coons and possums from enjoying a nightime dip, not to mentiion the odd wandering gator.

  8. @George, who wrote:

    Well, we also have to look at the scale of what they are talking about. We can see that climate HAS warmed by about a degree C over the past century…

    That’s not entirely clear, I think. We have a pretty good handle on satellite measurements from that period, something like 1979 to present, though even these wind up being tinkered with using best guesses from balloon radiosonde data. Still, there is some consistency there, offset by degradation in the satellite instruments themselves, plus the vagaries of switching between satellites. It’s likely to still be fairly good, and is close to global.

    What we don’t have a reliable measurement of is the drop from the peak in 1935-1945 period to the lows in the 1970s. For example, in 1950, various magazines were reporting that the global temperature had dropped two degrees. In 1974, TIME reported that the drop since the 1940s globally had been 2.74° Fahrenheit or about a degree and a half C.

    Where did that massive drop go? Later, we would decide that this 1.5°C was only 0.1°C or 0.2°C, using a rather dubious set of assumptions about sea surface measurements to get there.

    In the Continental US, even after all of the adjustments, the peak around 2000 was equivalent to the peak around 1940; this is generally accepted even by catastrophists. The differences are small fractions of a degree.

    Around the world, various other suggestions have been made from dubious data adjustments, pointing out that the US is only a small part of the world. But that small part had better measurements than most, and even there the heavy hand of bias is evident.

    I think that the ultimate results will show that the Earth’s average global surface temperature was comparable at its highest (around the turn of the 21st century) to the decade of the 1930s, and that there has thus been no net surface warming in three-quarters of a century.

    Yes, it has warmed from the 1970s to the 2000s, but it did from the 1910s to 1940 as well, and those numbers seem quite similar. It is not evident to me that we are looking at a full degree from 1910s to 2010s, but the peak-to-peak numbers at about 75 years apart seem about level to me. I see little real evidence of net gain in that time.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  9. H.R. says:



    If someone is going to do geo-engineering to prevent the next glaciation, they might as well try your solution. If it doesn’t work, well… a lot of hungry people could be fed. (OTOH, the law of unintended consequenses would probably kick in and all the hungry people in the world would eat the solution to global cooling as fast as it was administered.)

  10. @Pascvaks

    Hominy will fit in a swimming pool?

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  11. PhilJourdan says:

    Lessons of the pool? #1 – You should have sold 4 years ago and moved to Florida! ;)

    Still, “cold” in Florida is a nice warm day up north!

  12. Pascvaks says:

    @ KeithDeHavelle

    Hominy??? No, No, No. Wrong word. Though some undereducated folks from California who’ve never been aywhere byt Mexico or Canada do say “Hominy Grits”, the correct, the accepted, the vulgar, the universal, the everyday American term is just “Grits”.
    Think Corn Meal (the yellow stuff of Hush Puppies) or Polenta (that yellow stuff from Italy), now take the yellow out, ya gotta think form inside the corn kernel and vuuaaala y’alls gots Grits.

    PS: And it ain’t “You all” it’s “Y’all”

  13. Joel Heinrich says:

    @ Keith

    > Around the world, various other suggestions have been made from dubious data adjustments, pointing out that the US is only a small part of the world. But that small part had better measurements than most, and even there the heavy hand of bias is evident. <

    Yes, climate change is very regional and very different. In the Pacific, there was the big climate change in 1976. In Europe "Global" Warming of 1°C happend in 1988. See for example here:


    No warming for the 200 years from 1780 to 1980. Be aware of the eruptions of Laki 1783, Tambora 1815 and Krakatoa 1883.

    If you like to see hockeysticks caused by this climate shift check this site:


    You can see the shift of 1988 also in the CET series or in the Netherlands (De Bilt, Vilssingen) or even in St Petersburg. There is no way that it was caused by slowly increasing CO2.

  14. George says:

    Most of that 1 degree C has been recovery from the LIA that started in the late 1800′s. I would also note that at least in North America, temperatures have been in decline since 1998, in fairly rapid decline over the past 7 or 8 years, in fact.

    In particular, the winters are cooling very fast at a rate of almost 10 degrees/century since 1998.

  15. @Pascvaks

    Hominy??? No, No, No. Wrong word. Though some undereducated folks from California who’ve never been aywhere byt Mexico or Canada do say “Hominy Grits”, the correct, the accepted, the vulgar, the universal, the everyday American term is just “Grits”.

    Y’all musta misunderheard me. “How many fit inna swimmin’ hole?”

    But everwho cain’t tell between hominy and reglar grits (or twixt white n yeller, sumpin altogether different) shorely is missin somfin. Time to put sum Souf in yo mouf, son!

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle (who grew up in Florida so far south that the South was somewhere up north, but whose family is from West-by-God-Virginia mountain country so up-and-down they sell both sides of the same acre)

  16. Tom Bakewell says:

    The world is a thinking man’s playground. You have outdone yourself again, sir!

  17. R. Shearer says:

    You could throw in several pounds of dry ice if you want to lower the pH with CO2.

  18. E.M.Smith says:

    Well, last night I woke up about every hour or two (not wanting to sleep through the alarm clock… a very real risk when partly deaf… and miss my first day at work…) and then got up at 6 am to go to work. After a long day (coping with the idea that I had to do particular things at particular times and keep my shoes on for 8 whole hours… the nerve…) I finally got off work…

    I’m reminded now of why I stopped doing it in the first place ;-)

    It’s now 10 pm, and I’m supposed to be “up” and doing this all over again in 8 hours…

    So I’ve read all the comments, and enjoyed them a great deal, but simply do not have it in me at the moment to reply to all of them… But please realize that I read them all, on each of the threads…

    I’m hoping that the 2nd day of work for money (in about 6? years) will be less traumatic than the first… I did discover that they have a coffee pot with seemingly infinite coffee available. Unfortunately, in a fit of sadism, one is discouraged from spending hours on end near said source of power and inspiration, no matter how compelling the manifest need… that, and they put the bathroom on the other end of the building… One can scarcely make it from one to the other and back again before needing to start over. Bad planning if you ask me… Better to just install coffee dispensers at the entrance door to the lavatory… though that might lead to a traffic congestion issue…

    At any rate, the head is now a bit ‘thick’ and the mind “fuzzy”, so best is that I see if sleeping all night long can still be brought to a reasonable conclusion at a fixed time with a mechanical noisemaker… even if the “good ear” is “down” into the pillow….

    I did manage to make my ’rounds’ of the pool tonight. After a cool raining afternoon it measured 88 F with my new thermometer. Oh, and I usually do the “frog check” (there are these micro-frogs about the size of the fingernail that get under the screen door and into the pool). Tonight, none to rescue. I typically get out 1 to 3 per day. I placed a ‘bolster’ at the door gap and it seems to be helping… If gotten soon enough (or chlorine is low enough) they are saved live. Yes, lots of interesting things live in Florida… And the mosquitoes are NOT almost the size of hummingbirds… hummers are MUCH smaller… ;-)

  19. Ron Zelius says:

    On pH and CO2.

    The difference between the situation you describe of adding sodium carbonate or bicarbonate and the one in (say) an ocean is that in the latter case the cation (sodium/potassium etc) is already there and you do not alter that by adding CO2. It is therefore true that adding CO2 to such a solution lowers the pH– potentially to a truly acid one but more likely in the real world to somewhat less alkaline – still above 7.0. You can demonstrate the truth of this quite simply by creating a weak solution of sodium bicarbonate in water with a bit of universal indicator in the water and then exhaling repeatedly into it through a straw. As you get progressively light-headed during the experiment, you’ll see the indicator change colour to a more acidic point. Mind you the pCO2 you are using is around 5 parts per hundred so it’s way way over the approximately 400 parts per million in the atmosphere (or whatever plausible number you might choose for the future). I’m not saying that I agree with the ocean acidifiers in terms of the magnitude of their scare story, simply that the direction of pH they suggest change is correct.

  20. Adrian Camp says:

    If the pool is a little too micro, and the ocean is just to damn big, has anyone ever really measured what happens to the sunshine which falls on a lake? I mean really measured, temps at all depths, evaporation, reflection, radiation. It always seems to me that uninsulated heat is going to find a new home quickly. It does not hide for centuries.

    I find I need three days in a new work environment to settle. Or become desensitized, maybe. Then two years to learn the job, no matter how simple it may seem.

  21. H.R. says:

    @Keith DeHavelle (who grew up in Florida so far south that the South was somewhere up north, but whose family is from West-by-God-Virginia mountain country so up-and-down they sell both sides of the same acre)

    My mother was from so far south in Texas, (how far?) you had to go a few hundred miles north just to hear a southern accent ;o)

  22. Pascvaks says:

    @Keith DeHavelle
    Dang it! And here I was thinking you were one of ‘dem Californy beach bum guys that didn’t know a grit from a black-eyed pea. My humble and most abject appologies Suh!

    A great American philosopher once said, “WORRRRRRRK!!!!” (Maynerd G. Crebs)

  23. PhilJourdan says:

    @Pascvaks – Not many know about old Maynard. Glad to see some classics live on.

    And I am proud to also be a member of the South Club, Family from Gawja and Nawlins, born in Vaginny, but raised by Uncle Sam’s GI Plan. (So I saw the world, and decided the south was where it was best). Besides, caint hardly get no grits outside of the south!

  24. pyromancer76 says:

    It will take “a while” to adjust! Glad you have the pool for company — and microfrogs to care for. When the head clears, you will be able to describe their life habits in relationship to your concern. Best wishes for life “in the harness”. Not so bad when the feed bag at the end of the “day” is a delicious paycheck. Hope it’s tasty enough. It will be interesting to hear about your new-found knowledge — outside of the proprietary — from this excursion.

    Wish our so-called “climate scientists” could get some real world experience from hands-on or body-on experiments, too. “The heat is not trapped, it is in motion, and fairly fast too.” They might emerge with some wisdom. Could they keep their “research” grants then?

  25. R. de Haan says:

    ClimateGate has forced the release of the RAW HarCRUD3 temperature data.
    Lubos Motl made a quick analysis of this data.

    30% of the stations show a cooling trend over the entire period
    But there is more.

    How our scientific elite has arrived at the conclusion our planet is subject to
    “unprecedented Global Warming” is mind boggling to me.

    The entire Climate Change Doctrine is a scam.
    Nothing more, nothing less.


  26. Jerry says:

    Hi EM,

    Since you are in Florida and surrounded by salt water rather than earthquakes these links might be useful. Particularly when that salt water gets nice and warm and the wind blows round and round. :) I freely admit that I am looking forward to your going thru
    a nice hurricane. No malice in that – been thru a few myself, I just want to ‘see’ a storm thru your eyes! :) House hunting yet? A house with natural gas can support an emergency generator that runs on natural gas (just a thought) A few days into a storm aftermath the guy who can trundle thru the neighborhood pulling a little red wagon handing out 10 or 20 pound blocks of ice will be named Hero for Life and will never be forgotten. Won’t belabor the point, everything you have written here about emergency
    preparedness for earthquakes is true for storms. Main difference is the duration and unrelenting nature of a hurricane – it just keeps on keeping on and keeping on.

    Just glanced thru Comments before posting: on waking to an alarm – Once upon a time when I was in the on call rotation I had to wake to a cell phone call. Since I have a high frequency
    hearing loss this was a major problem. Have a hard enough time hearing the cell phone ring when I am awake! :) I put the phone on vibrate and put it in a foil plate full of BBs with the plate
    on a little trivit or something to amplify the sound even more – worked for me. Morning alarm was a radio on a talk station and Loud.

    http://www.goes.noaa.gov/ starting point with links.

    http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/TROP/trop-atl.html tropical satellite index. start here to get different views.

    http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/breakpoints.shtml?gm locations where storms are allowed to come ashore. known only
    to meteorologists – mouse over the blue diamond and it will eventually give up it’s id. drag/drop the shaded
    area in the lower right corner to shift the location.

    http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ storm details – click storm for track.

    http://wwwghcc.msfc.nasa.gov/GOES/globalir.html NASA 2 cents worth.

    http://www.usno.navy.mil/ and the Navy chimes in with a variety of our tax dollars at work.

    Having some format problems – hope this not post twice.

  27. Jeff Alberts says:

    “A house with natural gas can support an emergency generator that runs on natural gas (just a thought)”

    My house is all electric, but I have a 10kw LP generator attached to the house. There is a large bottle right next to the generator shed. I have some pictures here.

  28. E.M.Smith says:

    @Ron Zelius:

    I’m sure adding CO2 would move the pH in the acid direction, the problem with the ocean is that all the cations are NOT already in solution. There are mega tons of metals AS metals on the ocean bottom. “Manganese Nodules” (that had many metals in them). The other problem is just that CO2 is consumed by life (so leaves the water that way too). Minor egress by tropical heating / evaporative entrainment is also likely… Adding Bicarb of Soda to the pool, the CO2 does not stay (even in an alkaline environment), it leaves. Even with high loadings. So why would it go the other way in the ocean…. ( other than to bind to all the Ca and leave as “gut rocks” in fish and chalk… or leave as diatom skeletons… or leave as krill eaten by birds or… just leave…)

    @Adrian Camp:

    I suspect someone has. Would be an interesting paper to see. I can speak to the ‘small lake’ of the dredger ponds, and to the larger lake of Lake Oroville (where the exit temp is closely monitored). BOTH have very cold lower layers. Only the upper layers warm and only during summer heat.

    For Lake Oroville, they added the “fore bay” and “Afterbay” to warm the water. It’s a large rice growing region, and rice needs heat to grow, so cold water is just not going to cut it. When the lake was built, they knew it would kill the rice farming (and those folks votes were needed…) so great effort was made to provide engineered water warming lakes to make the cold snow melt from the bottom of the lake (where it does NOT warm) suited to rice.

    The warming is done in two stages. Both ‘bays’ are about 20-30 feet deep at the deepest point. Average closer to 10 feet. Any deeper is pointless as it does not warm… (think about it… even in August in 110 F in the shade and there ain’t no shade… in California). These things are huge. A couple / few miles on a side. Used for boating, skiing, fishing, etc. All to warm the waters of the Feather River. Specs likely available on line somewhere.

    I’ve swum in all three…

    About 30 feet down in the lake it’s pretty darned cold (varies with date). The fore bay is cold at the entry, cool at the exit. The after bay is cool at the entry, warmer near the exit, and the surface waters at the shallow parts can be quite warm in summer (not so much in winter ;-)

    Lake Oroville is great for trout. Nice and deep and cold. Entry water ranges from about 32 F as snow melt up to about 80 F for mid-summer small creeks. The surface temp is very cold in winter, warming in summer, and if you expect to catch trout, you put the line below the thermocline in summer. (IIRC, it’s about 30 feet most of the time). The water from the lake is taken to the fore bay, then the after bay, and can be drawn from different levels as needed. (During early rice season, the surface waters are used, toward the end of summer as the ‘bays’ are better warmed, deeper water can be used to keep it fairly constant.)

    Basically, if you have a lake, it WILL be cold not too far below the surface if it is in a temperate region and does not have something acting to overturn the water. If you want to warm the water to any significant degree, it must be in small bodies (such as rivers), very near the surface, or special structures added to do the warming.

    There ought to be some online studies of the impact on fish in the Feather River when the damn was built. (I remember folks talking about how the river got colder, even with the ‘bays’. Not enough to hurt rice, but enough that some of the warm loving fish populations dropped. Fewer catfish, more bass and such. By the time the river reaches the Delta, its’ warmed nicely and the catfish on the bottom of the delta are legendary…)

    Hope that helps…

    FWIW, I’ve been “consulting” so long that I’m usually functional ‘darned quick’. On day 2 I’ve already made some “work product” that is usable and by the end of the week I expect to be pretty much “doing the job” for the basic stuff. By the end of a month I’ve got most new jobs pretty well figured out, then it’s “polish” for a year or so.

    @Pascvaks & H.R.:

    I grew up in one of them Cal-e-Forn-E-ay towns ‘up north’ (north of Sacramento) and we had enough refugees from the Dust Bowl Oklahoma and Texas that we had Grits on the menu in the family restaurant. You could get hominy too, and even hominy grits if you asked nice… I always liked grits… (cut a slice, pan fried in bacon grease with a side of ‘laced eggs’ and either that bacon or fried spam if you were stretching the bacon grease… toast and butter… YUM! Tabasco optional…)

    Some of The South can be quite far north these days…


    Ah, for a research grant to study The Pool… treat the mass as a capacitor, the heat source as a variable voltage, the ‘heater’ as a direct diode in, an out diode with a resistor (it’s on during the day only…) and then measure voltage at the capacitor… Compare to real measurements in the pool.

    Spend hours with scuba gear on measuring and observing different depths and surface readings on different materials on the bottom and study of convective flows from them…

    But ‘not to be’…

    At any rate, “the money is good” where I’m at now. Year or two and I can afford to “do Real Science” again…

    @R. de Haan:

    Thanks for the pointer… I’m going to need to find a way to read some stuff (like that) while on break at work….

    The actual raw data would be a treasure trove…


    Thanks for the pointers. So far I’ve ‘spontaneously awakened’ before the alarm each day AND the alarm has awakened me on other days. I’ve also set the clock radio to alarm too, just in case. Hard part so far is getting to work on time rather than watching stock news 8-0

    @Jeff Alberts:

    I’ve seen a nice LP kit for the Honda generators. Even seen a ’3 way’ one that runs on LP, natgas, or unleaded. My “dream rig” has such a generator and a couple of hundred gallon propane tank along with the natgas line.

    FWIW, the house where I’m staying has the whole neighborhood on a large automatic diesel generator. About once every month or two we hear it start up… It’s not UPSed, so the house ‘blinks’ and the electronics need a re-set, but the power is never off more than 2 seconds. I’ve asked my ‘host’ if I can add some UPS capability ;-)

    As the “money bucket” fills, I’m going to look for some “just dirt” for a garden (if it has a house, well, OK, I can accept that ;-)

    I expect to be where there is no natural gas line (if there is, I’m too damn close to ‘civilization’ ;-) so the LP / Diesel route is preferred. Frankly, my personal electric usage is low enough that it can likely be met via a second battery in the car and a 1 kw inverter… (that’s the ‘initial power plan’ anyway… a battery box and inverter).

    But all that is far in the future. For now, it’s “Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho, it’s off to work I go!”…

    I’d planned a post on how the “kick the can” had been done by congress, so nothing is changed, they punted the ‘problem’ to a commission and opened a new credit card… Gold likely to start a new rise (but a volume and velocity check needed to confirm) and stocks to be wobbly sideways (perhaps with a downward drift). Best is likely to by into Asia (Japan and Indonesia come to mind) until our Congress discovers that they can lie to people, but not to the wallet…

    But I spent my time on comments instead (and do not regret it…)

    I think I need to find a way to ‘pre write’ some postings at lunch time ;-)

  29. Jeff Alberts says:


    I don’t have continuous battery for the house either, so there is a second or two where the power goes out before the generator kicks on. Which is why I have all my computer stuff on UPS. Not to mention the fact that a power-conditioning ups will extend the life of your computer immensely.

  30. Jason Calley says:

    Speaking of grits…

    There are basically two true Southern ways of eating grits: The first and most common is with butter and/or salt and pepper. (My preference, by the way.) The second is with hot sauce such as red Louisiana Hot Sauce. (My wife’s preference and common among Georgia and Florida Crackers.) All else, especially the addition of sugar or syrup is “Abhorrent and Anathema.” Well, maybe not everything else. Grits formed into a loaf, then sliced and pan fried like mush is acceptable.

    We stopped one morning for breakfast at a national chain restaurant in cotton-country Arkansas and ordered grits for breakfast. The waitress came out with our order and then returned to put syrup on the table. My wife and I both looked at her with one of those Victrola Dog looks.
    The poor woman was visibly flustered and embarrassed as she set it down. “I am so sorry, I really am! We don’t want to bring this out, but our company is owned by Yankees. They make us do it!”

    True story.

  31. Butter and salt for me, thank you. I’m unable to eat hot spices, perhaps as counterpoint to my complete immunity to painkillers.

    Such restaurant confusion can be interesting. I recall ordering an “English muffin” with breakfast in western Canada, and the waitress gave me that look; she had no idea, and the description didn’t sound familiar to her at all.

    One aspect of thermoclines intrigues me: Much of the deep ocean is in that range of temperature between 4°C and zero — and in that range, a rise in temperature actually causes water to contract, not expand. The expansion curve reaches a low point at 4 degrees. The assumption has been that of course a warm ocean will expand, but this effect would need to be modeled in.

    The other issue is not something that applies to pools: The shape of the Earth has apparently changed in subtle ways in recent decades, with ocean water redistributing itself somewhat. Gravitational potentials from shifting magma plumes seem to be involved in this, but I’ve seen it referenced in more than one paper in the last twenty years or so. This adds a confounding factor to sea-level measurements, as the sea is only “level” when you correct for local gravity differentials.

    And the GRACE satellites, intended to measure this effect, have been shown to be rather far off the mark, with errors reported to be as much as 63%. That news appeared and was spiked, as so much of the ice warnings in Greenland depended upon GRACE being accepted by faith, so to speak.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  32. Pascvaks says:

    One last Grit Comment (or not) – In a little Yankee City with a humble name that once meant “City of Brotherly Love” there was a time when meat was expensive –no this isn’t a true story– so the local Quakers and Amish got together with the local Irish and some others who “need not apply” and invented a little mixture of Southern Hospitality and Northern Inginuity. They mixed good ol’ grits with the leftover scraps and floor sweepings (everything but the squeel) of the pork butchers and cooked it all together and came up with the best dang breakfast meat substitute ever made. Scrapple. When some guy named Heinz invented Katsup, it even made it across the Deleware River a couple miles into New Jersey.

    Well, that’s what my Irish Granny told me.

  33. Scrapple made it into the South, even, and I’ve partaken of it many times. My father was a hobo during the Depression (riding the same rails at the same time as the Scottsboro Boys), and many such “inventions of necessity” were luxuries at the time. He’d work for a dollar a day, and was happy to get a nickel-loaf of bread to augment the hobo camps’ “stone soup.” His sausage gravy was excellent, and he would have turned 100 this year.

    Many “Southern” foods had abject poverty in their origins, but not all of them. We think of watermelon as a Southern food, but it turns out that the US is #4 in consumption of that delicacy, after Iran, China and Turkey (though Albania is the highest consumption per capita).

    Back to EM in Florida: Now, if we can just build a large space over that pool — something like the Lido Deck on the Axiom — and measure precisely just how clouds affect the temperatures and albedo involved. (I was intrigued that in the excellent science fiction film WALL•E, Pixar went to the trouble of creating a misty atmosphere during “overnight” time in the three-mile-long spacecraft’s giant atrium, which was about half that length.)

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  34. David says:

    Talking of pools, NASA has a very large indoor pool about 35′ deep, a fairly deep blue. (The ocean is essentially a black body) I would think many experiments of different warming effects of various SWR and LWR could be done here. Although not as deep as desired it would still be a good experiment and begin to quantify the warming potential of various WL EM spectrum.

  35. Pascvaks says:

    Well we all knew it was only a matter of time, seems the pool heat regulation issue is going the way of the Dodo, well that’s what this link seems to suggest –

    Oh yes, not sure how far this it going to go, but Shiek Al Gore has now gone on record as Pro-Revolution (Code Word “Spring”) and Anti-Constitution (I knew he was one of ‘them’ @#$#@%$) – http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/08/04/al_gore_we_need_to_have_an_american_spring.html

    Since Gold is going through the roof, Grits just might be a fair investment (as long as you can keep it secure).

  36. Richard Ilfeld says:

    ” FWIW, I’ve “consulting” so long that I’m usually functional ‘darned quick’. On day 2 I’ve already made some “work product” that is usable and by the end of the week I expect to be pretty much “doing the job” for the basic stuff. By the end of a month I’ve got most new jobs pretty well figured out, then it’s “polish” for a year or so….. ”

    Glad you put “consulting” in quotes. I don’t think that anyone who reads you will doubt that you are contributing to the solution — my work has been project based for 30 years and on a lot of projects a “consultant” is someone who borrows your watch to tell you what time it is, then walks off with it……

    Emily it appears, will miss us, but tracking low pressure systems will be a fact of life for a while. I don’t think we’ve had either an earthquake or a volcano here in Florida for a few years now, but weather-watching is a consuming passion for about three months of the year. When one talks about energy matters….there is a lot of energy in hurricanes. I have no idea if there’s a string you can pull, but an experience to rival the shuttle launch is a ride with the hurricane hunters out of McDill air base. I got a static tour of one of their reinforced Orians once (repurposed four engine sub hunter) and even that was a big wow. The drops are now radiosondes instead of torpedos, and the oversize belts (so you don’t get bruised) give some idea of what the ride must be like!

    I saw someone posted you a bunch of links which pretty much duplicates my list. (Jerry?) Te only this I would add is that the Miami, Tampa, Orlando, and Jacksonville stations all have VIPR or a competitior and serval post their raw feeds , with convective hook signals (tornados) & wind shear in real time –
    example http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/subindex/weather/live_radar

    Hmm. Volcanos, Earthquakes, Hurricanes (and tornados)……or global warming.

    By the way, from personal experience, a sea level rise of eleven feet in 24 hours (to within two feet of the back door) is a whole lot scarier that a few centimeters per year for a century maybe possibly :<).

    Oh, welcome to Florida….

  37. hunter says:

    The entire ‘heat in the pipeline’ argument always seemed contrived and ad hoc.
    Something someone who is avoiding the implications of actually reviewing their theory would say to keep the gullible, gullible.

  38. hunter says:

    As for OA, your point is actually in keeping with recent marine studies.
    Yet another line of evicdence showing that the AGW community far off track.

  39. Jason Calley says:

    @ Richard Ilfeld “Volcanos, Earthquakes, Hurricanes (and tornados)……or global warming.”

    There actually once was a “volcano” in Florida, and it was apparently extinguished by an earthquake. Note the quotes around “volcano.” During the Nineteenth Century there were numerous reports of a volcano just south of Tallahassee, a volcano which no respectable geologist would agree to and one which no one seemed able to pinpoint. In truth, all anyone actually saw was a column of smoke out in the swamp, a column which eventually disappeared after the Great Charleston Earthquake of 1886. Best guess is that it was some sort of peat fire, an underground slow burn similar to a coal mine fire.

    OK, maybe it was not REALLY a volcano, but it is as close as Florida can offer!

  40. cementafriend says:

    EM have you seen the graph on US monetary base here http://joannenova.com.au/2011/08/the-money-you-earn-it-they-print-it-welcome-to-the-world-of-corruption/. Will US print more money and have inflation like the Weimar republic when the paper of a trillion mark stamp (which I have in my collection) was worth more than disignated money?

  41. George says:

    I had noticed M0 was skyrocketing yet the other money supply numbers weren’t. Where is that money? It is sitting in bank vaults acting against reserves.

    The various banking regulators have been jacking up the reserve requirements for banks. Now, every time a loan forecloses or is otherwise written off, a bit of those reserves are chipped away and that money actually becomes available to be lent. The administration seems to be betting that they can keep the economy from inflating by continuing to increase reserve requirements keeping the cash out of circulation. That cash will show up in M0 (monetary base) but not in the other indices.

    What gets interesting is when all those loans start coming up from under water and those reserve requirements are no longer needed. How does the fed jack interest rates up fast enough to put the brakes on the economy without precipitating another mortgage crisis?

  42. PhilJourdan says:


    Will US print more money and have inflation like the Weimar republic when the paper of a trillion mark stamp (which I have in my collection)

    Really? I only have a 20k mark bill! can you scan that puppy and post a picture? (Yea, I am one of those – a collector of coins and odd bills).

  43. richard verney says:

    I agree that it is a toughj life but hey someone has to conduct these sort of experiments. I too have whiled away the hours having a beer or some wine whilst lounging by the pool thinking about how it responds to sun and whether clouds (and back radiation from clouds) do anything to keep the pool warm.

    In Spain, I have an open air pool with avout 120 cu metres of water. It has sun on it all day long. It adopts a temperature a few degrees above night time temperatures. In the summer, it will be about 35 degC, in winter about 12/13 degreesC. When it is sunny, it can warm up very quickly and when cloudy it can cool very quickly.

    Earlier this year (in late May), it was about 25 degrees C. We had a few cloudy days and it almost immediately dropped to about 22 degs C. We then had a period of nice sunny weather and within 2 may be maximum of 3 days it got up to about 29 to 30degC. It stayed at that sort of temperature 30/32 degs through to late June and it was only in July and August that it got up to about 35 degs (night time temperatures remain warm in late June through July and through to nid to late August). In exceptionally warm summers, it has been up to 37 degs C.

    As you note, my pool does not appear to have much heat storage capacity and responds very quickly to lengthy sunny days and cools quickly when cloudy.

    If your friend’s solar heating is anything like mine, it will not work well. I have solar heating considting of 3 domes which are covered with rubber piping run in spirals around the domes. Each dome has a diameter of about 3 metres. The sun is on these domes from morning to night and some part of the dome will be at the ideal angle as the sun transverese the sky. At best, it raises temperature by about 2 degree C.

    The problem is that rubber (or plastic) is not a good heat exchamger and therefore does not provide heat quickly enough to the circulated water. Before switching on the circulating pump, the water in the domes may be 20 or even 25 degC warmer than the water in the pool. As soon as the circulating pump is switched on and the water is pumped through the system, the water in the domes is raised by only 1 to 2 degC above the bulk water in the pool. I am thinking of changing my rubber piping for copper pipe (painted black) but I am a little unsure as to the corrosion resistence given the chemicals. May be I need stainless steel (painted black) but even stainless steel does not like chlorine.

    I am investigating this since I am fairly convinced that if the piping was made of metal (which would be a good heat exchanger) the temperature increase could be more in the region of 8 degree C which would be a useful amount of heating and which would significantly increase the swimming season.

    I agree that swimming pools with darker tiling are warmer than pools with lighter tiling. I have often wondered why darker tiling is not more common.

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