Open Talk Tuesday

Yes, another in a continuing series ;-)

Continuation of the prior:

http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2011/12/06/open-talk-tuesday-3/

and the one before that:

http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2011/11/18/open-thread-thursday/

To start things off I’ll just note that in the last quake page here:

http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2011/12/14/quakes-png-7-1/

There was a 6.6 quake in Siberia that didn’t even break the surface of the news pond…

Magnitude 6.6 – SOUTHWESTERN SIBERIA, RUSSIA
2011 December 27 15:21:56 UTC

Earthquake Details

This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.

Magnitude 6.6
Date-Time

Tuesday, December 27, 2011 at 15:21:56 UTC
Tuesday, December 27, 2011 at 10:21:56 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

Location 51.858°N, 95.825°E
Depth 6.9 km (4.3 miles)
Region SOUTHWESTERN SIBERIA, RUSSIA
Distances 96 km (59 miles) E of Kyzyl, Russia
336 km (208 miles) NE of Ulaangom, Mongolia
361 km (224 miles) ESE of Abakan, Russia
3744 km (2326 miles) ENE of MOSCOW, Russia
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 14.9 km (9.3 miles); depth +/- 6.8 km (4.2 miles)
Parameters NST=227, Nph=227, Dmin=541 km, Rmss=0.82 sec, Gp= 36°,
M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=7
Source

Magnitude: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
Location: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)

Event ID usc0007dax

Also, well worth a read is this paper / poster (though it needs to be made bigger to read it…)

http://www.wcrp-climate.org/conference2011/posters/C7/C7_Nikolov_M15A.pdf

with a h/t to Wayne in comments here:

http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2011/12/26/s-america-mwp/

Where they lay out the math and physics behind how the ideal gas laws and PV=nRT drive convection and keep the planet at a relatively constant temperature (modulo solar and atmospheric volume / mass changes).

It puts in more usable and more formal terms my assertion that convection dominates and connects it to other planets and moons in a kind of proof. Very nicely done. My more intuitive oriented versions here:

http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/12/02/does-convection-dominate/

http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/12/28/ignore-the-day-at-your-peril/

I think that Nikolov paper pretty much nails it on why the GHG thesis is just broken. (NOT that GHG does nothing, it keeps us warm AND STABLE… it’s the ‘catastrophic’ idea that’s broken).

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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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104 Responses to Open Talk Tuesday

  1. The Climate-gate of Fear is Vanishing Tonight!

    There’s a new book for children with a message of Hope for the Holiday Season:

    “Love Your Monsters: Postenvironmentalism and the Anthropocene”

    Michael Shellenberger, Ted Nordhaus, & Associates , The Breakthrough Institute

    Professor Curry has a link to Amazon bookshop where you can preview the book:

    http://judithcurry.com/2011/12/27/love-your-monsters/

    Or purchase the digital or Kindle version for $4.99.

    Another free message of Hope is written in every atom, leaf and rock:

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10640850/No_Fear.pdf

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel

  2. E.M.Smith says:

    Interesting link here:

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/Paleoclimatology_IceCores/

    has an interactive flash of temperature graph in it. You can ‘zoom in’ and then slide a window back and forth over the temperatures of the last few glacials and interglacials.

    To me, it looks like the last one had about a 5 kyr ramp to warm, then about 10 Kyears of warm (after a couple of k yr mild overshoot warm) and a long slow slide into cold. Prior interglacials were somewhat shorter / faster…

    Looking at our interglacial in comparison, it looks like a ‘dip’ in the entry clips off the ‘overshoot’ so we end up dead flat compared to prior more pointed rise /fall cycles.

    As I read the length of the graph of this interglacial, I’d put us at about 1 ky to 2 ky from The Long Slide.

    The good news is that it looks like ‘the slide’ is really fairly slow.

    The bad news is that it looks like our ‘lower lows’ are already drifting down and the next ‘little ice age’ is likely going to be worse than the last. At any time the Arctic Ice could stop melting in the summer, and once that happens, permanent Arctic Ice is the signature of the start of the next glacial… Once we have consistent year over year ice gain, next stop is the bottom of the glacial…

    The “oh bother” part is that the error band is rather wide on such guesses. We could already be in the decline phase…

    At any rate, it’s an interesting tool to play with.

  3. George says:

    That core data on the slider has been modified. Most of the rise from the Younger Dryas to the Holocene Climate Optimum took place within a decade or so according to Greenland cores. These data seem smoothed in some way. The 8.2ky event isn’t shown at all. It is also clear on most data sets that global climate took a step down about 4kya and has had a gradual ramp down for the past 2ky. This does not show this at all. This looks to me like an example of “Mannian” climate reconstructions.

    This doesn’t even look like other Vostock core representations that I have seen.

  4. p.g.sharrow says:

    That Nikolov pdf is very good at nailing the cause and effect of atmospheric density/pressure on surface temperature. As a refrigeration engineer I concur. And they created a work of art as well, beautifully done. pg

  5. George says:

    @p.g.sharrow

    THAT right there is one thing I have mentioned at other blogs several times over the years that many people simply have not seemed to catch. Earth has a natural refrigeration system that uses water as its working fluid. You can not model Earth as a typical black body. The surface is refrigerated!

  6. George says:

    In fact, it is one of the things that tries to keep the temperature stable. Attempt to increase the surface temperature, and you simply turn up the refrigeration. Turn down the surface temperature, as during a glacial, and the refrigeration reduces. Less evaporation, less convection, less condensation … increase in drought … the refrigerator slows down.

  7. p.g.sharrow says:

    Exactly correct George! The thermostat of the Earth is the surface pressure of the atmosphere on the Ocean. This thing works like a Servel gas Refrigerator or Smith’s heat pipe. pg

  8. George says:

    And the latent heat for water is nearly twice that of ammonia used in absorption type refrigeration units. Water’s latent heat is over 2200 kJ/kg. So when you evaporate a kilo of water, it absorbs over 2200 kJ of heat. Then it carries that heat far above most of the CO2 (the temperature of the water changing through adiabatic cooling notwithstanding) and when it condenses to cloud, releases that heat during the phase change. It is not like a radiator that simply moves heat from one place to the next (it isn’t convection like a lava lamp), it is a sudden absorption of a huge amount of heat that is released upon change of state independent of the temperature of the water. That water will release a further 300 kJ/kg when it freezes, again notwithstanding any temperature change of the water, that is the energy release as a result of the phase change of the material.

    So even including convection isn’t enough. A column of moist air changing state from vapor to droplets (cloud) will release a lot more heat than simply moving it to altitude as a carrier fluid of heat.

  9. George says:

    Fuel taxes should be adjusted for the amount of energy in the fuel. Ethanol mandates are a sneaky way of increasing fuel tax revenue by forcing you to buy fuel that has less energy content. This means you have to buy more fuel to go a given distance. Fuel is taxed per gallon meaning an ethanol mandate results in an immediate increase in fuel tax revenue for the state.

    I believe fuel taxes should be based on the energy content of a gallon of standard fuel (either diesel or gasoline) and then adjusted according to fuel mandated by government. If they mandate fuel with less energy content, the fuel tax per gallon should be adjusted to compensate.

  10. George says:

    Found this in a comment thread over at Anthony’s:

    http://www.fao.org/docrep/005/y2787e/y2787e04.htm

    (preceding page is interesting, too)

    Notice the Atmospheric Circulation Index and how it tracks with fish catches.

  11. E.M.Smith says:

    @George:

    Yeah, I noticed it looked kind of flattened compared to what I usually use. OTOH, I was most interested in the ability to compare ‘durations’ of the interglacials (last one to this one) and the ability to stretch the scale and zoom in with calibrated markings was nice… You can see a bit of what I think was a (much stronger than shown…) cold pulse just as we are exiting the glacial. That ‘down pulse’ is, IMHO, why we had no ‘overshoot for 1000 years’ peak, then longer and earlier drift down. So compare the length from ‘first lift upward’ at the warming entry of the last glacial to ‘drop below the line, clearly’; then look at the Holocene. Pretty close to the same duration. We’re nearing ‘exit time’ as I read it.

    On the fish thing:

    I’d seen an article like that somewhere else once… It’s a nice cross check on the ‘warmest ever’ nonsense. The fish know…

    The relationship between the circulation epochs and maximums of the major commercial fish production in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans is shown in Figure 3.7. The long-term fish production follows the regular alternation between the “meridional” and “zonal” circulation epochs. Regular alternation of the epochs for the last 110 years suggests that the present epoch of “zonal” circulation is coming into its final phase and the new “meridional” epoch is due.

    What changes are expected to occur in commercial fish production in the oncoming circulation epochs? The most important fishery regions are the North Atlantic and North Pacific. A close agreement between the dynamics of climatic indices and commercial catches in the North Pacific is shown in Figure 3.8. The long-term fluctuations of the major pelagic fish species in the North Pacific can be described as the sequential passing of two climate-governed “waves” with the maxima falling on 1940-50s and 1970-90s.

    The last (current) “wave” is coming into its final phase similar to that of 40-50s. This means that the population of main commercial species in North Pacific (Japanese Sardine, Alaska pollock and Pacific salmon) is expected to decline in the near future.

    Unlike the North Pacific, the maximum of commercial fish production in the North Atlantic falls on the “meridional” ACI epoch of 1950-70s. The oncoming “meridional” circulation epoch in the North Atlantic is similar to that of 50-70s when production of herring, and cod and other gadoids reached up to 9 million tons. Therefore, with the coming of the meridional circulation epoch, we may expect an increase in these species population (herring, and cod and other gadoids) in the North Atlantic over the next decade.

    Gee, Pacific warm catch 40s-50s, cold 60s-70s, warmer late 70s-90s, returning to cold pattern now… Atlantic following about a decade later with 50s-70s… Gee, just like GIStemp used a baseline 10 years early compared to HADCRUT… almost like each was tayloring for their local coldest baseline…

    but the fish now are saying it is cooling. Nice to know. Maybe it’s time for a Sardine Index ;-) Or perhaps a “Holy Mackerel Thermometer” ;-)

    @P.G. Sharrow & George:

    That’s why a heat pipe works so well and is such an apt analogy. They can have higher heat transfer rates than solid metals due to the phase change heat.

    Oh, and IMHO there ought to be NO fuel taxes at all. It is in essence a ‘means of production’ (be it delivering goods, getting to work, or just going to buy groceries) and taxes just reduce our productivity…

  12. R. de Haan says:

    Here are a few more links to articles and publications that are worth reading:

    Temp History: Heat source free stations tell us different story
    http://notrickszone.com/2011/12/22/temperature-history-part-2-more-on-mullers-sloppy-job-heat-source-free-stations-tell-a-different-story/

    and

    Chinese 2485 year tree ring study forecasts cold til 2068
    http://iceagenow.info/2011/12/chinese-2485-year-tree-ring-study-forecasts-cold-colder-til-2068/

  13. R. de Haan says:

    I like this article too.
    Especially because it was published in Europe by a German journalist.

    German Veteran Journalist Maxeiner On Norfolk Police DOJ Moves:
    Something you would expect against Chinese Dissidents
    http://notrickszone.com/2011/12/26/german-veteran-journalist-maxeiner-on-norfolk-police-doj-moves-something-youd-expect-against-chinese-dissdents/

    And this one from Curry: Reducing the future to climate
    http://judithcurry.com/2011/12/26/reducing-the-future-to-climate/

  14. George says:

    One thing that isn’t taken into account, or I haven’t SEEN taken into account due to this “refrigeration” of the surface is that Earth collects radiation based on its surface area but it does not radiate all of it from the surface. In fact, I don’t think it even radiates MOST of it from the surface.

    1.356e+15 liters of water evaporates every day. Each liter of evaporation removes, what, about 2250 kJ of energy. That is an absolutely huge amount of energy removed from the surface every day.

    The problem is that the surface area doing the collecting is a lot smaller than the surface area doing the radiating. The majority of the collecting is being done by a flat ocean which evaporates a bunch of water that then goes up to high altitude and is radiated from there when the water condenses.

    You almost have to model the surface of the ocean as having millions of heat pipes sticking out of it to various altitudes. And when you increase the heat, you increase the number of heat pipes, their size, and increase the altitude that they reach. Hotter water means more vigorous convection and cloud tops reaching higher altitude.

  15. E.M.Smith says:

    @George:

    I saw exactly that happening in Florida. Spend some time by a tropical pool and you can just SEE the new clouds blossom in the afternoon as the evaporation / convection / condensation kicks in.

    VERY hot times get the Tropical Storms. When one passes a ways off, the air is sucked in for dozens of miles around. It air significantly cools and dries. It is quite striking.

    It was watching those obvious heat pipes of gigatons of water vapor that got me thinking of ‘heat pipe earth’.

    Oh, and that Africa paper where they measured the bolus of hot air rising and had the timing from ground to altitude at a couple of hours. Hotter runs faster too.

    At the other extreme, the temperature graphs of cold places show very wide ranges of temperatures at the cold end. Just doesn’t get the heat pipe started when it’s frozen ;-)

  16. Another Ian says:

    E.M. For your economics side.

    If you get a chance read Charles Massy “Breaking the Sheep’s Back” on the rise and fall of the Australian wool reserve price scheme. Amounts to probably the largest corporate crash ever here. On reading it seems there were a number of places that, among the things they needed, was your line of “There is hope. But hope is not a strategy”.

    Should be compulsory reading for any carbon taxers or Agenda 21-ers imo.

  17. George says:

    Thing is, all the math I have seen assumes the same surface area that is collecting is the surface area radiating. That isn’t so in real life.

  18. George says:

    Some surface of ocean absorbs radiation. Water evaporates as a result. Water vapor rises and changes phase to liquid and radiates heat well above most of the CO2 … meanwhile that original sea surface is STILL radiating LWIR and still evaporating water. Now you have a larger surface area actually radiating LWIR … the cloud and the ocean surface. The cloud has maybe drifted over land when it formed as wind pushed it over a range of hills.

    The ocean radiates heat over land in addition to over water! The system is too complex for them to model.

  19. Pingback: Unified Theory of Climate, Nikolov and Zeller « tallbloke's talkshop

  20. R. de Haan says:

    Unfortunately we have those crazy good for nothing Danes that entered politics.
    http://sppiblog.org/news/danes-decline-oil-gas-coal-and-nuclear

    The next harsh winter will rid them of this crazy Government

  21. George says:

    That’s fine. That means Denmark will pay a severe price in higher energy costs which will manifest in lower economic growth. Apparently they have money to burn. In the meantime, that will increase the supply of fossil fuels for everyone else (particularly China) and result in their economies growing.

    I say to let Denmark commit economic suicide if they wish. Just leaves more oil for me.

  22. david says:

    George, what are your thoughts on how much energy it would take to simply accelerate the hydrologic system from any increase in LWIR?

  23. George says:

    Do you mean artificially added energy? I am not sure I understand your question completely. Any increase in LWIR would probably be coincident with an acceleration of the hydrological cycle.

    I think I am getting close to another “aha” moment, though, on another piece of why we stay in glacials and why they tend to get colder as they progress and why they snap out “suddenly” and not gradually as orbital dynamics changes and it has to do with the Arctic Ocean (the snapping out of the glacial) and the oceans’ response to decreased insolation at higher latitudes (why we get colder as glacials progress).

    I’m still mulling it over.

  24. R. de Haan says:

    WUWT just published a “killer” publication under the header “The Unified Theory of Climate”.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/29/unified-theory-of-climate/#comment-846549

    To me this was the best Christmas Gift ever.
    I’m sure you will share my excitement and the inevitable effect of this publication as it completely destroys the current IPCC Climate Change Doctrine.

  25. david says:

    George, my thought process is very simple here in that the energy from any increase in CO2 could simply go towards an acceleration of the engine driving the climate. Science calculates a direct radiative affect of 1.2 degrees for a doubling of CO2. I however see the potenial that some this energy could simply accelerate the heat engine /evaporation / convectionm and in this manner be a negative feedback.

    In regard to entering and exiting ice ages, I am behind the curve in this but look forward to the thoughts expressed.

  26. R. de Haan says:

    Read the Unified Theory on Climate guys.
    Co2 has no effect whatsoever.

  27. George says:

    Thank you, David, for clarifying it for me. To hear the IPCC tell it, if we were to replace Earth’s atmosphere with one of 100% CO2 we would cook. Well, that probably isn’t true. Earth would probably be just about the same temperature it is now with a pure CO2 atmosphere. We can get an idea of that by looking at Venus. The dry lapse rate of Venus’ atmosphere is about the same as Earth’s. in other words, if you get to a point in Venus’ atmosphere where the air pressure is 1 bar, the average global temperature on Venus is within 5C of the surface temperature of Earth.

    Earth’s surface warmth is mainly due do adiabatic warming due to the pressure. If you were to increase Earth’s surface pressure to 90 bar, the same as Venus, the surface temperature would be about the same as Venus.

    What their equations do not take into account is convection. They assume that a CO2 molecule that absorbs a photon will stay right where it is. Their calculations completely ignore energy flow via convection and count only radiative heat transfer (which is the most efficient method of all). Our atmosphere does not work that way. Or better put, they assume an infinitely thick atmosphere (that has a pressure of only 1 bar!) of even temperature and pressure throughout.

    Greenhouse warming only works if you have, well, a greenhouse to stop convection. You must trap the air inside the greenhouse and prevent its convection and loss of trapped heat. If you open the peak of the greenhouse and open the lower walls, the greenhouse cools.

    Earth has no “lid” to trap the heat other than possibly at the tropopause.

    The entire notion is a fantasy. It is a model of a different system, not Earth’s.

  28. tckev says:

    Sometime the simple questions are the hardest, e.g. “Where does the flame go when you blow it out?” – asked by my friend’s 11 year old son. Beats me!

    Well I have one.
    Everyone breaths! And as a rough calculation 6 billion people exhaling about 0.3 liters/minute of CO2 still amounts to some 1.8 billion liters of CO2 exhaled every minute. And that is just now.

    How much CO2 generated over, say, the last 200 years?
    World population has risen by approximately 5 billion people over the last 200 years, and everyone exhaled/exhales CO2, so surely there should be much MORE CO2 in the atmosphere than what is measured.
    Well shouldn’t there?

    Approximation of lung respiration rates and capacity assume everyone is at rest and is from –
    http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/lung_and_airway_disorders/biology_of_the_lungs_and_airways/exchanging_oxygen_and_carbon_dioxide.html

  29. P.G. Sharrow says:

    @ George; It just occurred to me that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is set by the CO2 vapor pressure in the water/ CO2 mix. Back to the same physics as the water/ammonia refrigeration system. The vapor pressure of CO2 is very low at this time at 350ppm and the solution in the seas is “starved”as the “fume scrubber” is very effectively removing CO2 from the atmosphere and the sea salts are precipitating out the carbonates.
    Thank you for the intelligent feed back pg

  30. E.M.Smith says:

    Oh Dear…

    I post a ‘typical’ open talk page and one little summary of Marx (with a couple of ‘connections’ observed) then the spouse hauls me off to the Monterrey Aquarium for the day…. So now I’m getting ready to post a summary of some stock ETFs and discover that I’m about 100 comments behind in my reading, on my own blog, and interesting stuff too!

    OK, it will likely be this evening before I can get the next posting up ( dividend ETFs being raced as a better alternative to bonds for income going forward) and maybe even before I can make a relevant comment! So I’d say “You all keep the party going while I make a beer run”, but looks like no encouragement is needed!

    OK, I’m off to the store, but I’ll be back “soon” ;-)

    (Or, as Adolfo is fond of saying “More Popcorn!” … )

  31. George says:

    @P.G. Sharrow

    Yes, the oceans and the geology on the surface are very efficient scrubbers of CO2. It is only through the process of subduction and reprocessing of ocean floor do we recycle CO2. The problem is that things like limestone accumulate on the surface which “floats” on the mantle and do not subduct. So over time the amount of CO2 permanently sequestered increases. We could restart some of that process by injecting limestone into the subducting side of a thrust fault but that would take a long time to subduct and cycle through back to the atmosphere.

    And once Earth cools, we are doomed anyway because subduction stops. We have only 3% of the U-235 on earth that we had at the start of things. The heat being generated in the earth’s mantle is only a tiny fraction of what it used to be. Eventually this will stop. The amount of heat generated inside the Earth drops by 50% every 750 million years (assuming U-235 is the primary source of that heat). In other words, 750 million years ago there was twice as much heat being generated from U-235 decay (and the products in that decay chain) than there is now. We’re doomed but not from using fossil fuel, we are doomed from loss of heat in the Earth’s mantle.

  32. E.M.Smith says:

    @George:

    Have you thought of plotting the decay rate of U vs the CO2 atmospheric concentration over geologic time? Co2 ramps down long term. Could it be that simple? There would be variations while plants evolved, but if the central tendency is a match, it could be a way cool thing to demonstrate (in a “OMG We’re Screwed sooner than we thought!” kind of way ;-)

  33. p.g.sharrow says:

    Maybe we need to dump radioactive waste in to the subduction zones to help reprime the engine. ;-)
    @ EMSmith glad to be entertaining. pg

  34. E.M.Smith says:

    @Another Ian:

    Found a decent review / summary of what the problem was here:

    http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=12493

    We had some similar price support boards when I was a kid… most (all?) of them now gone. The idea of stabilizing a market sounds great, the reality is usually “not good”… Futures and options markets do much better.

    At one time my Dad brought home about a half dozen blocks of cheddar cheese of about 5 pounds each. They were being handed out by some county government employee as some cheese price support group was up to their eyeballs in stored cheese. So a rule was made that it could be given to ‘poor folks’, which was anyone who showed up and said they were poor….

    2 things happened:

    I got so tired of cheddar cheese that I didn’t eat it again for about a decade.

    Local stores could not sell much cheese, increasing the surplus.

    Why people think they can “manage markets” is beyond me… or why they think they can legislate economics…

    And yes, I’m adding the sheep book to my buy list.

    @R. de Haan:

    Well, “thank God for the Danes” is all I can say. With luck, they can sacrifice themselves on that altar to the Green God and the world can see them dying and freezing in a cold period of slack winds and their suffering will not be in vain as it will save the rest of the world from such folly.

    You would think folks could solve simple equations and understand basic limits of engineering. You would think so, but you would be wrong…. How all of Northern Europe is all going to do to wind and ALL sell their surplus to their neighbors when the wind blows and ALL get backing capacity when the wind stops… Well, let’s just hope England learned from the deep cold still air of last winter…

    @David:

    I think there are a couple of clear existence proofs that any added IR will show up in increased water cycle inside HOURS. The observations on storms in Florida, where it rained fairly regularly in the afternoon, just the amount of lag time after sunrise one would expect from that Africa paper where they measured convection impacts. The way winter has wide temp ranges, but summer tops out at 100 F (ish) in areas with water. Nearly NO insolation in winter, to full on 18 hours worth at some northern areas. So Alaska has such thunderstorms too, but ONLY in the hot part of summer. It’s an existence proof that added heat immediately goes into faster water cycling.

    @Tckev:

    The flame goes into the darkness ;-)

    (Well, really, it does… The gasses cool, and stop glowing. In a very real sense the flame is the glow and the glow stops in the cool…and the dark).

    The CO2 we exhale all comes from food, that takes it from the air. Closed cycle…

    @P.G. Sharrow:

    The earth is way too large for anything we do to matter. When the decay heat ends, so does the ecology. Only long term way out is to go off planet. Short term we can use U from the ocean to heat / decompose limestone, but even that will have limits.

  35. Pascvaks says:

    E.M. -
    “The earth is way too large for anything we do to matter.”

    Thought – ‘for anything we do to matter’ to the earth; but ‘anything we do’ always matters to us, right? “Global Climate Change” is a human ‘do’ and it matters, but only to humans. While humans are staring at anything, including their tummy-buttons, all else is continuing to march as it always has. I have wondered several times over the past few years: while the intellectual and political elite of the planet have been pulling their hair out, screaming at the top of their lungs, and whipping themselves into a frenzy over AGW, what was dear old Mother Nature cooking up for us while we were all so preoccupied with our reflection on the meaning of “is” and how much we –and the next 10 generations– can afford to spend to find out? Mother Nature has been lulling us into a trance and allowing us to ponder our navels for some time now. I just can’t get it out of my head that she’s been cooking something up. Something BIG. Remember the Tower of Babel? The last burst from the Yellowstone caldera? That meteor strike in Arizona that left that hole in the ground? The New Madrid quakes 200 years ago? I keep getting this eerie feeling that we’re going to need another 6 million years to get out of puberty, where we think everything is all about us, and get to the point that we start asking some intelligent questions. Like Vger’s: “Is this all there is?” Maybe, we too will want to join with the creator someday. (Thank you Mr. Spock, wherever you are;-)

  36. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M.: “The earth is way too large for anything we do to matter.”

    Just compare volcanoes in the following picture: In that area there are 3´000,000 people or more.
    Do you see any of those pesky humans? Volcanoes are visible of course. One of those volcanoes erupted during the Maunder Minimum, with a VEI=6,0, the Huaynaputina, causing the harshest of winters
    It is more than evident that the only thing we humans have of a very large size is our ego, but in Nature´s economy or for the “environment” we simply do not count!
    http://www.giurfa.com/volcanoes.jpg

    Any way, we are about to start the year 2012, an interesting year when we will cross the next critical point of the Solar octave,….just another “turn of the screw” …

  37. p.g.sharrow says:

    Ah yes 2012, the end and beginning year. We will need a lot more popcorn! 8-) pg

  38. adolfogiurfa says:

    @P.G. It is just a slope=0. The current goes on….unless somebody up there shuts it off :-)

  39. George says:

    @E.M. Smith

    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/image30.png

    Reconstruction of Earth’s atmospheric pressure.

    One thing I think we could do that would be immensely damaging is the industrial scale extraction of deep geothermal heat. I’m not talking about extraction of near-surface heat in onsie-twosie power plants, but the global industrial scale geothermal power extraction that some have proposed. That is basically the removal of “fossil heat” that can not be replenished because the reactions that generate that heat have long ago stopped. It is not renewable and could greatly shorten the time Earth can support a biosphere.

  40. George says:

    Interesting website I happened across:

    http://www.facesoflawsuitabuse.org/stories/

  41. George says:

    Interesting paper:

    http://www.clim-past.net/7/1247/2011/cp-7-1247-2011.pdf

    A temperature reconstruction between 120K – 60K years ago. Shows VERY dramatic swings in climate, often from glacial conditions to near modern conditions sometimes in only a few years to a decade, stays there for maybe one or two hundred years, and they drop back.

  42. E.M.Smith says:

    @Pascvaks:

    I know what you mean. It’s that “Itls just too quite lately” feeling…

    I’ve been watching volcanoes since I was about 5, waiting for levels like shown in history. Only lately have things picked up a bit.

    I’ve been watching meteors since about 8, and reading stories about the major falls in old Europe. Yet outside of the summer showers, and modest ones at that, nothing of interest much.

    etc.

    It just REALLY has that ‘calm before the storm’ feeling.

    As of now my working thesis is that there is a, roughly, 3000 year major cycle with 1500 year semi-major and 700 ish year minor nodes. They are combined rockfall from space / geologic / weather events. I think the coordinating factor is “resonance” between celestial bodies causing meteor showers to ‘bunch up’ in orbit and sync up with when the solar strength changes and when the same tidal forces cause more plate movement and vulcanism.

    We have both geologic records showing at least two and possibly three of those events happening in sync frequently. We also have old stories and legends that say the same thing. Perhaps more wisdom than myth?

    And I don’t know if I ought to be thankful that I’m still alive at a ‘time of changes’ as the sun going sleepy implies the time is now (so I might get some answers and get to watch the show) or bothered that I didn’t exit while the getting was good (!)

    I take some solace in the fact that the changes will likely be slow enough that I’ll get to see some, but not have the worst parts to deal with ;-)

    @Adolfo:

    I think the Maya glyphs that show a great outpouring of water are correct, for the equatorial areas, and that implies dry for the more polar areas and an overall very cold turn. Just in sync with when solar state would say the same… Yes, 2012 will be interesting… for the people watching as much as anything else ;-)

    @George:

    Thanks for the air pressure map. Looks like we run out of air rather soon if the line is projected…

    Do you have any numbers on the geothermal worry? I was under the impression that one big volcano was more heat than everything we use, or some such. Then again I think that was a ‘power’ number from an excitable TV show… but some zillion nuclear bombs worth for a Yellowstone type event.

    I have this (admitedly only intuitive) feeling that there is a heck of a lot more heat energy in the top mile or three of the earth than we could use in thousands of years….

    Going to read the links now ;-)

  43. E.M.Smith says:

    @Adolfo:

    That volcano link gives me a 404 not found…

    @George:

    Yes, lawsuit abuse is a natural result of having lawyers make the laws. The Bar wants to assure full employment, so provides mining opportunities… IMHO, of course.

    The link per stalagmites is interesting. Not just for some of the rapid changes shown, but for the detail on DO event profiles. Often a spike up just before the drop to cold.. Gee, does that remind you of anything recent? Like that 1998 spike and drop?…

    Per Iran: Dictatorships don’t have to worry much about the value of their currency or the happiness of their people, especially when they have a closed media system and a Great Satan to blame… but it does hold some promise that they are not doing well.

    @P.G.Sharrow:

    Better buy it soon, S.American and Texan popcorn growing are not doing well ;-)

  44. Jerry says:

    Forget Planet of the Apes, ring in Planet of the Sharks – brought to you by ‘Climate Change’ of course.

    http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/01/03/hybrid-sharks-found-in-australian-waters/

    Apes vs Sharks, throw Godzilla into the mix. LOL, what a time to be a bookie!! Us Humans, we are toast, just because we deserve to be toast. :) Oh, interbreeding sharks, hmmm, wonder if Dr. Darwin noticed this hanky-panky ? :)
    /sarc off

  45. George says:

    If they can mate and produce fertile offspring, they aren’t separate species, they are simply minor variations of the same species — like a boxer mating with a doberman.

  46. E.M.Smith says:

    @George:

    Weeeelll…

    That is part of the definition we all learned, except a lot of recognized distinct species can make viable crosses. The ‘consensus’ on what is a species is kind of having issues… It’s pretty clear that lion and tiger are different species, but they cross (making two very different results…) as do several other cat species. Dogs are worse, with most of coyote, fox, wolf , domestic dog crosses being possible. Horses and related have some odd hybrids too.

    We won’t even start talking about bacteria that swap genes pretty much across the board via plasmids…

    With that said, two minor variations on ‘blacktip’ crossing is about like discovering you can get a labradoodle…

  47. George says:

    Well, a horse and a donkey can mate but the result is sterile. I think there is only one documented case of one spawning offspring. If they can create fertile offspring, they just aren’t a difference species.

    Now one thing that has been happening with “environmental” regulations is that in many cases someone is paid to declare a local variation of a species to be a unique species that they somehow warrants “protection”.

    This has happened many times even though DNA testing showed no measurable difference with other varieties of the same species. It would be like calling Caucasians a different “species” than Asians. They look different, but they aren’t different species. They are different varieties or races of the same species. These “experts” come in and declare some species of kangaroo rat to be a separate species because the ones in this area have 6 spots and the ones in the next county have 5 spots. It’s just dumb.

  48. Jason Calley says:

    @ George and E.M.

    The whole “species” thing is more a rule of thumb than an iron-clad law. I have been amazed more than once over the years by smart people — people with credentials! — who say as a flat statement, “Species cannot interbreed.” Really? Grizzlies and Polar Bear interbreed. And yes, lions and tigers, and horses and donkeys, and so on. A better interpretation of “species” is “does not usually interbreed.” Still, they learned at their professor’s knee that “species cannot interbreed”, and counter-examples must therefore be imaginary.

    I think you are right about the use of specious species to bend the rules of environmentalism.

  49. Jerry says:

    Update: this silly story made it into WUWT which I expect most of you read so this is just a ‘heads up’ :)

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/04/australian-hybrid-fish-story-media-jumps-the-shark/#more-54168

    What I thought was a hoot was the warming angle, which unsupprisingly seems to have been added by the media, not so much the interbreeding itself. The original story I linked to had this gem in it that is the main reason I posted it.

    ‘The scientists say interbreeding between the two shark species is a sign the animals are adapting to climate change and they also warn that hybridization could make the sharks stronger.’

    Gosh, sharks know about global warming and are taking action to breed a hybrid better able to survive. WOW. THE SCIENTISTS say nothing of the kind but that does not deter our intreped media.

    Just a Hoot !! and don’t forget you read it here first. :)

  50. E.M.Smith says:

    @George:

    Documented doesn’t mean ‘existing’. I’ve SEEN the offspring of a mule. ( I think the dad was a horse..) and the owner said they were not too common but you could get some if you tried enough, but they were usually not bred as they were not as good a draft animal as a pure mule and not as valuable in trade as a pure horse. “Sterility” is not as pure as we are told either… Did they go tell someone they had a 1/2 Mule? Nope, not “documented” anywhere. Just saddled and rode. (The kid was cute and very strong, but more horse like. Had a browner color too, not the usual mule grey.)

    Frankly, if you look at genetic history, the evidence is very clear simply from the fact that the FIRST mutation had to mate with a non-hybrid. So take humans. We have a different chromosome count as, IIRC, two chimp chromosomes got merged into one of ours. Folks like to point at that and say “See, no way we could cross”. Yet that first “human” did… it would have taken a bit of time to make a ‘stable cross’ with the new chromosome count.

    That is true for every single species that has a different chromosome count from the ancestral line, which is basically all of them at some point back up the species tree…

    Plant breeders deal with this all the time. It’s quite common. Animal breeders deal with it too, but more rarely. ( I forget which ones, but some common domestic animals have mixed gene counts or different from some of the wild populations).

    Is there often a tendency for some difficulty in the cross? Yup. It is a ‘barrier’? Not nearly as much as believed. It’s an odds thing, not a wall.

    One of the more “productive” areas for making new plant varieties and some interesting animal types is inter-”species” or chained “near species”. (One of the problems with different ‘species’ is that often they are a grey scale. One end can’t breed with the other, but in between areas have individuals that can breed either way… There’s even a term of art for this that I knew 30 years ago for the Genetics 100B final ;-)

    So you can take one species, cross it with a ‘near’ one. Take another species that can’t cross with it. Cross that to the same ‘near’ one. THEN cross those two and select out some of the ‘near’ genes… Once that is stable it can often then ‘breed back’ to the ancestral outside lines and intensify the cross. Kind of exotic, but doable… Canids are easy do do this with, cats a bit harder. Other species often unknown (but I remember some papers on doing various bird crosses this way…)

    So while I fully agree that the present rush to rename every bug a new species is dumb, it just isn’t the case that different species can not breed and make fertile offspring. It’s what is taught in high school with Newtonian mechanics, and both are good rules of thumb, but incomplete…

    BTW, part of the “push” is that if you show something is a new ‘species’ you get to publish and get resume fodder… that, too, is wrong…

    The “species barrier” is at best a “species strong suggestion” and the details are very complicated, especially in the case of wide ranging species where all along the spectrum individuals cross, but the two ends can not…

    It is almost certain, for example, that you could make a human / bonobo cross that (with some effort) could be stabilized. It might take a thousand crossing attempts to get the first one, and a few hundred after that to stabilize it; but the genetics are so very close, given other known crosses that have worked, it is highly probable. In a half dozen generations after the first crossing I could have it stabilized. So, you ready to say that humans and bonobo are the same species?

    Again, I’ll point out tigers and lion. Quite clearly different species, but fairly easily crossed. Coyote, wolf, fox and domestic dog. Most crosses known (some harder than others), but also quite clearly different species. There are a whole lot more bird crosses and several other interspecies crosses known (both artificial and from the wild). They simply do not justify tossing out the ‘species’ marker for the parents. (For one thing, you would then need to say there is exactly ONE species of bacteria…. a bacteria eating the leftovers of another bacteria will often ‘pick up some genes’ in the process. ANY Bacteria with a plasmid will swap genes with any other species with a plasmid and compatible pipes systems [which is most] and we won’t even talk about fungi and viruses…)

    Heck, we have Neanderthal genes in us from a cross between two different species. Our mitochondria most likely started as free swimming protists. (as, btw, chloroplasts). When they started doing the Clad thing (and renaming all the species names) based on genetic affinity, they found large chunks of Out Of Place Genes (not from the presumed parents) that look like they got moved wholesale from other species. Sometimes across very wide divides. It has literally “stood on it’s head” the prior assumptions about speciation and who can cross with whom. Geneticists are still trying to sort that out. (The best thesis is that some of it came as chunks hauled around by viruses, other chunks from wide ranging crossing via that ‘species chaining’ behaviour; so if you can cross with anything near you, and they can cross near them, and … you can move a block of genes a long ways pretty fast. Most species have nearer neighbors than humans have…)

    The whole kale, cabbage, mustard, rutabaga, turnip, etc. family of vegetables exists due to a 3 way cross of different ancestral species with different gene counts. ( Ethiopian Mustard, Kale, and a turnip IIRC – but Siberian Kale is a cross of the same two parent species that give you a Rutabaga … so they are the “same” while their parents are “different”) The genetics of that family is just fascinating and a bit bizarre…

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

    has a neat graphic of how the different gene counts in the 6 species families map back to only 3 parent species.

    You can get a decent introduction here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_%28biology%29

    (Yes, it’s a wiki, but a decent one). My favorite on that page is the Zonkey, a Zebra Donkey hybrid ;-) Looks like a donkey with striped stockings…

    Yakow is fun too (Yak / Cow) as is the sheep / goat hybrid (as they have different chromosome numbers so their history shows how such a cross can happen despite the ‘issues’)”

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

    At the Botswana Ministry of Agriculture in 2000, a male sheep impregnated a female goat resulting in a live offspring. This hybrid had 57 chromosomes, intermediate between sheep (54) and goats (60) and was intermediate between the two parent species in type. It had a coarse outer coat, a woolly inner coat, long goat-like legs and a heavy sheep-like body. Although infertile, the hybrid had a very active libido, mounting both ewes and does even when they were not in heat. He was castrated when he was 10 months old, as were the other kids and lambs in the herd.

    A male sheep impregnated a female goat in New Zealand resulting in a mixed litter of kids and a female sheep-goat hybrid with 57 chromosomes. The hybrid was subsequently shown to be fertile when mated with a ram. In France natural mating of a doe with a ram produced a female hybrid carrying 57 chromosomes. This animal backcrossed in the veterinary college of Nantes to a ram delivered a stillborn and a living male offspring with 54 chromosomes.

    So you do ‘enough’ of that kind of ‘often fails’ hybrid and start doing ‘both sex’ crosses and crosses in the intermediate chromosome counts and pretty soon you have a ‘stable hybrid’. Not easy, but it is why humans exist (as we have a different chromosome count from our ‘ancestors’ so this must have happened.)

    That, btw, is why I’m darned sure a bonobo / human hybrid can be made AND stabilized. Perhaps gorilla / human too, though they are a bit further away genetically. (Might need a couple of interspecific crosses to get the ‘blend’…)

    Species Barrier just isn’t. Most species today exist because it isn’t.

    I need to stop now as inter species hybrids is one of my fascinations and I’ll go on for days if I don’t throttle myself ;-)

  51. Jason Calley says:

    On a slight veer from actual interspecies breeding, there is a similar situation with interspecies grafting — at least with trees. Consider three species: A, B, and C, different species but all in the same family. Suppose that A will graft to B, B will graft to C, but A and C are too different to allow a graft. A botanist may graft branch B onto rootstock A. After B is established, he may then cut back B to a foot or so long, and graft C onto the stump of B. Net result is a graft of C onto A, with a sort of “B filter” in between. This is usually not worth the trouble but has, on occasion, been done.

  52. E.M.Smith says:

    @Jerry:

    The ants are an example of why I’m not keen on our present method of GMO variety creation. We shotgun in a gene with a ‘locked on’ feature. It may well end up next to any other extant gene and turn it on too.

    All species of animals and plants have that kind of ‘ancient toolkit’. We are turning on all sort of genes and have no idea what they are or what they do. Do some produce toxins or mutagens? As we don’t test, we don’t know…

    Many viruses integrate with the genome of species. Are we turning on some odd viral DNA? We don’t know…

    BTW, if you take the tissue that will turn into a beak on a bird (the “gums” as it were) and transplant those cells in the embryo to a different part of the body, they develop teeth. Yes, “chicken teeth” or “hens teeth”. They still have the ancestral “tool kit” for making the reptilian teeth of their dinosaur days… only the beak hormones prevent the formation…

    The chimeric monkeys are interesting, and may well help cure many diseases. Though using 6 parents is a bit over the top ;-)

  53. H.R. says:

    @George (06:53:46) :

    “Record snow over much of Europe:”

    Get enough of that white stuff and glaciers might start growing again ;o)

  54. Pascvaks says:

    Genetics always was a fascination of mine. Please, let me get this right, people — who came along by “virtue” of crossbreeding between other kinds of primates– are more horny or less horny than those other primates were before they invented us? The fact that there are now so many of us would tend to argue that we are more horny. The fact that there is only one dominent species of us would tend to say we’re not as horny as the whoevers that put us together. Did I miss something? ;-)

    Sure hope that by the time the Starmen (and Stargirls) arrive that we can pass the basic physical. Or they’re so smart and adaptable that they can cross with us and create the next species without the necessity of going to some lab with just a mouth swab or a gallon of blood. ;-)

  55. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M.Smith (09:02:00) :
    @Adolfo:

    That volcano link gives me a 404 not found…
    Here it is:
    http://www.giurfa.com/volcanes.jpg

  56. Jerry says:

    @E.M.

    FrankenFood, to use the scare term, has always bothered me a bit because I worried about some super great variety of corn and/or wheat being developed that was just better by a long shot than anything else out there. Everybody except the ‘crazies’ are planting it exclusively and then one day a super weevil comes along that likes the new stuff and nothing else and is a really tough customer. Yield drops by some insane amount and the Lab Coats are scrambling around saying – ‘Hey, you there, you crazies, you got any legacy seed??’ Meanwhile, the world is sitting around with no corn, no wheat, and no ethanol, just starving quietly in the dark – yeah right. I had not thought about turning on a gene in corn itself so it might not want to be corn anymore!! Arghh! I won’t know whether to go long ‘crazies’, go long potassium iodide, or just go long gold and buckshot and head for the hills. Decisions, decisions… Maybe there ought be a Warning on this blog similar to the one on the XKCD comic strip: ‘May be unsuitable for NT’s’ :)

  57. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Jerry Instead of developing Frankestein food, why don´t you cultivate in the USA the biggest corn of the world, naturally developed by the peruvian Incas, the “Choclo”(pronounced Chokloh)? It has big white grains, usually eaten after boiling it, Its flavor is really great. The one you have is for feeding chicken.

  58. p.g.sharrow says:

    @ Adolfo; We grow many kinds of corn, “maize” in California, some to eat, some to pop, some to feed to pigs and chickens. I have not heard of “Choclo”. I wonder where I could get some seed to try in my garden or fields? pg

  59. Jerry says:

    @adolfogiurfa

    I am of course shocked and astounded that the largest corn in the world is not grown in Texas :), and will get right on that! If you have time will you please look at these sites and let me know if their product looks like the genuine article?

    http://www.delange.org/Cuzco_Maize_Giant_White_Corn/Cuzco_Maize_Giant_White_Corn.htm

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=160402433977+

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=180686978516+

  60. Jason Calley says:

    One of the things that keeps people confused about genetics is the very basic supposed-to-be-a-fact that genes and DNA are “blueprints” or are “codes” or are “plans” for creating biological structures.

    No. There is no blueprint, no code, no plan. There are certain genetic sequences that just happen — when sitting around in the same neighborhood as certain other sequences — to eventually lead to the mindless agglomeration of proteins, amino acids and various other cellular bits, to make beaks, or livers, or eyeballs.

    Think of this… you are driving in the Arizona desert, and you happen across one of those places where a harder stone happened to be above a softer stone, and the wind, rain and water eventually eroded the stone into a narrow pillar with a large capstone of harder rock on top. The top rock will gladly sit there until a big earthquake comes along, at which time it will tumble off. No one will say “Aha! Someone has designed a seismograph! See how cunningly the top stone makes a binary one mark in the dirt to signify an earthquake!” The reason why no one invokes the idea of a design or a seismograph blueprint or a vibration detection code, is because the pillar and cap are so simple that we can see right away that this is just a case of something being shaped so that a shake makes it fall down. There is no mystery because the stones are so simple.

    OK, so yes, a chicken’s DNA is much more complicated than a stone pillar and cap, but the principle is the same. It is nothing more than a VERY complicated accidental Rube-Goldberg machine that will (chemically and metaphorically speaking!) interact with various nutrients and environmental forces such that the resulting lump “falls into a chicken shape”! And here is an important consequence of seeing DNA as having attained its form through accident rather than design; when we humans design we do so through the efficient process of dividing functions and processes into discrete and manageable modules. We design software that way. We design airplanes and boats that way. If we were designing a chicken, we would indeed, have a section of DNA that does a beak, and a section that does livers and a section that does eyeballs. But real chickens were not designed — they were accidental. The part(s) that do beaks may also interact with some other part that does pores, or feather shafts, or claws. In other words, the “design” of something may be most strongly localized in a specific section of DNA, but in all likelihood, the “design” is distributed to at least some degree throughout the entire genetic structure. In a similar way to how information is spread throughout a neural net or a holographic plate, biological attributes are spread throughout the entire DNA. Genes are NOT blueprints, and shifting a gene is not the same as replacing one page or one drawing in a house plan. The only reason why we speak of designs and plans is as an analogy with human design; the real genetic structure does not have design. It has order and pattern, but not design.

    So consider modern genetic engineering. For very simple attributes (such as “make this specific amino acid”) you can probably (probably, not certainly) move a gene or two and get a result that you expect. However, as larger sections of genes are swapped or moved, the chances of having an unexpected interaction between what you moved and what was already there become greater and greater. Large changes are almost guaranteed to produce unintended consequences.

    I suspect that most GMO foods are safe, but I do not know whether “most” means 51% or 99.99%. I would sleep better if I knew which number is more reasonable – but I do not like the idea of being one of the test subjects to find out.

  61. Pascvaks says:

    @Jason Calley -
    First reaction, Yes! & No!
    Yes, accident happens and that’s the way it seems to have worked in genetic evolution. No, at some point in the past 500 million years, give or take 4 billion, accident has happened to effect a design system that works with self-awareness, or has till now, and is probably one of many possible design systems in the universe that is self-aware. I guess my latter point boils down to – when the accident can hold a new born accident in his hands and can marvel and appreciate the unique properties this miracle possesses then the accident is no longer an accident but a fantastic design;-)

    Yes, I’m playing word games. But I’m also saying that “self awareness” changes the meaning of everything. I agree with everything you’ve said; but I had to point out something you didn’t say. We change the meaning of everything. What we see, and what we call it, depends on where we stand and what we think and feel when we touch it.

    Thanks to you I’m going to be thinking more today about what you said and what I just tried to say. Accidents happen;-)

  62. E.M.Smith says:

    @Pascvaks:

    Humans and the Bonobo (a close chimp relative) both share the trait of having a more “recreational” attitude toward sexual activity. Reading the anthropology of the Bonobo is, er, interesting…

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1525/aa.1990.92.3.02a00100/abstract

    Sexual behavior is one of the reported similarities between Pan paniscus and Homo sapiens that has stimulated recent interest in the phylogeny of the Pan and the Australopithecus/Homo genera. Similarities do exist, but an understanding of the forms and functions of Van paniscus sexual behavior is best achieved through a comparison to Pan troglodytes. Pan paniscus shows increased female receptivity, variability in copulatory position, male or female initiation of sexual behavior, differential male and female preferences for copulatory position, and association of food sharing and sexual behavior. Their sexual behavior appears to function in proximate terms as a tension-reduction mechanism. Lowered tension, in turn, facilitates multi-male, multi-female social groups. Lowered levels of aggression and increased sexual activity appear to be associated with paedomorphism, and the behavioral and anatomical/physiological characteristics of the species appear to be a consequence of a feeding ecology that promotes large groupings of the animals at preferential and comparatively rich feeding sites

    In other words, they really like to party ;-)

    I suspect that a Bonobo (paniscus) / Chip (troglodytes) cross is somewhere in our ancestry …

    @Jerry:

    Already happened. Well, almost. We had gone to such a uniform kind of corn back in about the ’70s that a corn rust mutated and almost wiped out the whole crop in one year. Took fancy footwork by breeders to not have a collapse…

    http://aboutbiodiversity.org/agbdx/cornblight.html

    Lately A GMO version from Monsanto did a flop in South Africa:

    http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/270101

    South African farmers suffered millions of dollars in lost income when 82,000 hectares of genetically-manipulated corn (maize) failed to produce hardly any seeds.The plants look lush and healthy from the outside. Monsanto has offered compensation.
    Monsanto blames the failure of the three varieties of corn planted on these farms, in three South African provinces,on alleged ‘underfertilisation processes in the laboratory”. Some 280 of the 1,000 farmers who planted the three varieties of Monsanto corn this year, have reported extensive seedless corn problems.

    Also you may remember a couple of years back a big hoopla over a rice shortage. Less mentioned was that it was the fault of Bayer (yeah, the Aspirin folks) who had planted a GMO test plot near the MAJOR seed regions. Contaminated the ‘founder stock’ of some of the most widely grown rice(s). They had to go back to the vaults and re-grow founder stock from archives (and then to the multigeneration growouts to make sellable seeds…).

    It really is just one big Aw Shit waiting (or not quite waiting…) to happen.

    And “look, we mostly dodged the bullet a couple of times!” does not make me feel any better about it.

    I have a miniature freezer (that cost something like $79) on the back patio. In it are jars. In the jars are packages of seeds. Primarily open polinated, but some hybrids for a ‘quick crop’ if needed. Seeds will keep for at least a decade (for the hard to keep ones) and up to a lifetime (for the big easy ones like corn and beans) in a simple mason jar in the freezer…

    See the preparation topic category for more info:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2011/04/20/seed-saving/

    Even a single quart jar in the freezer can hold enough seeds for several years of gardening.

    @P.G. Sharrow:

    I think it is what is being called “Giant Inca White” here:

    http://www.tradewindsfruit.com/corn_seeds.htm

    If not, you can try checking out the thousands of individual listings at SeedSavers…

    http://www.seedsavers.org/CatalogRequest.aspx

    An ‘open source’ effort at preserving heirloom seeds…

    @Jason Calley:

    Add in the FACT that the lab boys were taught “One Gene One Protein” and we’ve now figured out (due to the Human Genome being way too small for that by about a factor of 4…) that it’s more like a hologram…

    One SEGMENT of a gene makes one thing, another segment some other, the overlap of the two a third, etc.

    We have no clue what we are doing with GMO. Yes, we’ve learned a ‘trick’ that sometimes ‘works’, but it’s about the same stage as astrology was to astronomy or alchemy was to chemistry. We are, metaphorically, putting liquid mercury on hats because it gives a more sellable product; and know not what bad it is also doing.

    (I say this with 2 upper division genetics classes and many decades of attention on breeding animals, plants, etc. along with being way interested in GMO when it first started and being in school AT the university where the first Rubber Tomato started this whole thing off. One professor somewhere in the world had made the great breakthrough of crossing a radish with a cabbage… the result having the roots of a cabbage and the tops of a radish…. Dooh! )

    @Pascvaks:

    The problem is that the “design” is rather haphazard and when we chuck monkey wrenches into the workings, it doesn’t have a planned outcome.

    That most of the tries result in dead embryos is your first clue. That the few that survive have many with ‘issues’ is the second. That any of THOSE that make it to final production can spread those “strange genes” into other natural crops as a kind of genetic pollution is the next to last clue.

    That the farmer who’s crop has been so polluted can be (and has been) sued for “theft of intellectual property” is criminal…

    Yeah, GMO is a problem. A big one getting bigger by the day.

  63. Jason Calley says:

    @ E.M. “Add in the FACT that the lab boys were taught “One Gene One Protein” and we’ve now figured out (due to the Human Genome being way too small for that by about a factor of 4…) that it’s more like a hologram… ”

    YES! I have had rather frustrating discussions about this with people who were well credentialed but could only repeat what they had memorized. What we are dealing with is not a flow-charted design, not a blueprint. It is a tangled mess of interactions, some major, some minor, but almost all of them VERY poorly understood. This is not a slam on geneticists or biologists: the number of interactions is so huge that “astronomical” is a poor adjective. In addition, as the plant or animal develops, each further step is based on and influenced by the immediately prior step. This re-iteration is happening in a complex non-linear system. And this implies what? Bueller… Bueller…Can anyone say “chaos”? It is no wonder that very small initial changes produce wildly varying later states, states which are intrinsically unpredictable.

    “That the farmer who’s crop has been so polluted can be (and has been) sued for “theft of intellectual property” is criminal… ”

    Well, at least being sued is as far as it goes… oops!
    http://www.darkgovernment.com/news/monsanto-now-owns-blackwater-xe/
    Hmmm… being sued might be a pleasant choice compared to the alternative. All kidding aside, it IS criminal that the farmers are being sued. By any normal interpretation of the law, the GMO developers should be sued for releasing their product into the public space without proper restraints.

  64. Pascvaks says:

    @Jason Calley -
    “By any normal interpretation of the law, the GMO developers should be sued for releasing their product into the public space without proper restraints.”

    Precisely. And it kind’a sort’a says ‘WHO’ our ‘professional’ politicians think is buttering their bread. little old John & Jane Q. Public don’t seem to have a horse in the race do they? Even though they do actually ‘pick’ the Wiener. Can’t (at the moment;-) think of one blogger here @chiefio I wouldn’t vote for as my Representative in Congress for one term in 2012. If s/he could learn to walk on water and spit backwards in the first 2 months of their term, I might think about voting for them ONE more time in 2014, but that would be the end of it unless they were the best Rep in the state, then I might think of voting for them for the Senate for ONE term. The root cause of all evil is people, everyday, ordinary people, who have no bleeding idea how important their vote is or how to use it for their maximum long term gain and good. (Sorry, let me get down from this pulpit..;-)

  65. P.G. Sharrow says:

    @ EMSmith: “The genetic code is read as a hologram blueprint.”

    That is, very much close to the truth! Atoms have a EMF soul, Therefor molecules have a EMF soul or Picture. Your DNA/RNA code creates a hologram like image of you and your cells fill in the picture as coded. pg

  66. Jerry says:

    @E.M.

    I do not believe the problem is a haphazard “design” . Chickens work OK, monkeys work OK, mosquitoes work way too well. The problem is that the ‘GMO scientists’ have a bad case ‘climate scientist’ disease! The Hadron Collider is not all that haphazard but a monkey with a big wrench ain’t gonna rewire one of the rings. Only difference between the monkey and the ‘Climate/GMO scientist’ is that the monkey does not think he can. (and the monkey won’t lie)

    A bit surprising that the prior problems were not blamed on global warming, but I guess the Enviros hate Big GMO and Big Energy about equally. (thanks for the links)

    I remember the post about the seeds. That is when I switched from plastic to glass jars – so a belated Thanks for that tip. :)

  67. pyromancer76 says:

    As someone who has written intelligently about the “free market”, do you want to weigh in (or could you be persuaded to) on Bain Capital and Private Equity as a free market venture. Biggest indictment for the race: “the sloppy rhetoric on free enterprise on the campaign trail.” Of course, the main aim of Bain is to return equity to investors. My concern is with those laws (or lax, or even “criminal” regulations) that make only the rich richer and stick it to everyone else — the period of easy money and leaverage. 1. Creating debt and then using debt as equity and the creators of debt have no or little responsibility for it; 2. Pensions not being considered part of the company’s debt — unloaded eventually on the taxpayer. A quote: “Mitt’s not even in office and he already stuck taxpayers with a $44 million dollar bill by defaulting on pensions, while he profited.”

    The record I have found from Jan 2010: Bain Capital engaged in 22 total deals, 5 are in default, 5 are in distress, for a total of 45% in distress and default. “Virtually all the blockbuster LBO deals are on the verge of collapse/bankruptcy/default/insolvency….Between 2011 and 2014 there is roughly half a trilion in LBO debt maturing.” Add this to the bank debt ($1.5 trill) and CRE debt ($3 trill) and the next president will have a jolly good time The figures are from “Tyler Durden” at zerohedge.com

    Frequently used example — “looking for undervalued cash cows, loading them with debt for dividends swap, then running them into the ground”, e.g., KB Toys. Another way of saying this is that they looted many of the companies they bought.

    Most significant charge against Romney and Bain: they “participated in corrupt, crony, predatory capitalism”. Most significant support: they create wealth and prosperity where there had been (would have been) failure and eventual bankruptcy. “the process of weeding out weaker companies and reallocating resources may serve a greater good.”

    Can your economics background help bring some clarity to the discussion?

  68. adolfogiurfa says:

    @P.G. Atoms have a EMF soul, Therefor molecules have a EMF soul
    Have you read the book from the link I gave you?…it says the same!!

  69. E.M.Smith says:

    @Pyromancer76:

    I think you pretty much summed it up.

    The idea that what is practiced in America or Europe is “Free Market Capitalism” is, er, “entertaining”….

    We have, as you put it, “corrupt, crony, predatory” capitalism at best.

    ONE example:

    When in school working on the econ degree, we had the president of an IDEALLY run industrial gem come to speak to us. He ran Pacific Lumber.

    He spoke about how they nurtured and cared for their chunk of the forest. How, during economic downturns, they continued to create wealth as the trees grew even if the market did not recognize it and how trees were a quarter century crop so needed long planning horizons and proper stewardship of the company to provide consistent products, consistent employment, and consistent dividends to shareholders despite rampant business cycles (one a much faster scale of about a decade).

    About a half dozen years later a “Takeover Artist”, during one of those downturns, said “The stock is undervalued, I can restore shareholder value”. They did a hostile takeover.

    Now, it is true that the value of standing wood per share was more than the then market price. This reflected the net present value of that wood when it would reasonably and rationally be sold in the future. What the corporate raider wanted to do was capture the company, strip mine the wood (clear cut and sell NOW, future be damned) and pay off the debt for the purchase while pocketing the excess NOW. Which he proceeded to do.

    Pacific Lumber turned from a well respected corporate citizen with a sustainable business model for CENTURIES to come; into a social pariah with folks protesting their clear cutting of Old Growth Redwoods on the national news.

    Eventually a kind of ‘middle ground’ was reached where (after way too much damage was done) SOME small part of the old growth headlands was put into conservation while way to much other was allowed to be cut (but with a slightly slowed schedule). Nobody was very happy with it.

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

    The Pacific Lumber Company, officially abbreviated PALCO, was one of California’s major logging and sawmill operations, located 28 miles (45 km) south of Eureka and 244 miles (393 km) north of San Francisco. The once storied company and its historically positive relationship with conservationists begun in the 1920s was altered drastically after a hostile takeover began in 1985. As a result, the company was transformed into a wholly owned subsidiary of Maxxam, Inc by 1986 and during its two final decades. The bulk of operations, including the historic company town of Scotia, California, remain adjacent to US 101 along the Eel River. Operations were split over several milling sites over the many years to mill logs from timber holdings exceeding well over 200,000 acres (890 km²)[1] in the Redwood and Douglas-Fir forests of Humboldt County. For generations, it was one of the largest private employers in the entire region, appropriately known as the Redwood Empire.

    In January 2007 the company filed for bankruptcy protection. On July 29, 2008, the “Final Order” from US Bankruptcy attorney, Judge Richard Schmidt, led to the transfer of the assets of the bankrupt PALCO and all its subsidiaries to the Mendocino Redwood Company and Marathon Structured Finance. After 145 years as PALCO, the new company is known as the Humboldt Redwood Company.

    The legal strip mining of pensions, minerals, timber holdings, bond holders, stock holders, et. al. is simply criminal, though legal.

    If you think including stockholders in the list is wrong, well, I’ve got a story about Microsoft demanding patent libraries in exchange for Just Enough Money to keep the company going a bit longer AND a special “Class D” stock that stood in front of everyone else who owned stock… No, the stock holders didn’t get to decide. The board of directors did (and it could not be reversed).

    In the long run does it lead to more “efficiency”? Not nearly as often as claimed. IMHO, the “hostile takeover” (and it’s evil twin the “take under”) have done far more damage than good. There is ZERO value ascribed to stability and ALL time horizons are down in the 1 or at most a few years range. Primarily it is a method to enrich a few rapidly at the expense of the many and to let the executive classes get out of a poor deal with the cash (including the directors and upper management of the target company if a ‘friendly’ takeover). Lots of executive time is spent running companies in such a way as to prevent such takeovers. All a waste of time and talent.

    If there were just ONE thing I could change about corporate governance it would simply be that only one class of stock could be issued, that no future stock issuance could stand before it, and that ANY takeover had to be done via CASH purchases of the outstanding stock holdings.

    A significant number of companies are taken private substantially just to avoid all the crap that can be done to good corporate governance by such games.

    @Jerry:

    It isn’t so much the chicken is a bad design as it is that the PROCESS of making a chicken is NOT DESIGNED. It’s a haphazard series of events that unfold in strange ways and eventually lead to a reasonable result. Our mental model of it is a fine tuned machine manufacturing cells to spec. That is just wrong.

    Example? You had gills at one point as an embryo. So whack the ‘wrong’ spot in the process (accidentally damage that bit of ‘process’) and you get people with gills. Probably not large enough to support your body (as they were for when we were in the salamander size class…) and you would likely find your skin no longer suited to perpetual immersion in water, but hey, what the heck…

    Another? In a GMO, turn off ONE gene and you have no idea how many OTHER products are also now ‘turned off’. We HOPE they are not important… But you could easily have a case where, for example, a beneficial omega-3 fatty acid is no longer made. Plant might manage to survive, but you end up ‘gypped’ on the nutritional value. And no, nobody goes back to check the GMO plants to see what all is still there (or what new unknown chemicals ARE being produced).

    Monsanto puts a pesticide in EVERY CELL OF CORN that kills off bugs that eat the corn. YOU can not wash it off. It is not on the surface. It is IN the corn. What does that do to people? We don’t know. What does the pollen (that also has the pesticide built in) do to thousands of OTHER species of insects that eat OTHER plants where the pollen has blown onto them? They die or get sick. Endangered or not. Beneficials or not.

    The particular toxin chosen is one of the very few natural toxins (from a bacteria) that can be used in organic gardening where it is used very sparingly to conserve it’s future value. Massive and pervasive use WILL result in the survivor bugs being resistant. Once Monsanto has destroyed the utility of this, what will the organic folks do? Who will compensate future generations for the destruction of that utility?

    As the genes migrate widely into wild plants, it will destroy the ability of the original bacteria to use it’s special gift to survive in it’s niche. When it then goes extinct, who will fix the damage?

    The basic problem is not that the chicken is poorly designed, it is that all the other PROCESSES around it are poorly designed…

    @Jason Calley:

    Oh Dear…

  70. Judy F. says:

    Regarding GMOs: A group of organic and other interested small farmers and organizations have a lawsuit against Monsanto. I get a newsletter from the family farm where I get my seed potatoes every year and they are active in this lawsuit. ( I do recommend the potatoes). http://www.woodprairiefarm.com/. It will take you to their homepage and you can then click on the Organic Lawsuit link. The oral arguments will be January 31, 2012 in Manhattan. I was talking to one of my sons about GMO contamination and how I was concerned that it was so pervasive. His comment was that he thinks it is too late and that everything has probably been affected.

    @ pascvaks

    Back in the good old days I read a book called The Naked Ape by Desmond Morris http://www.amazon.com/Naked-Ape-Zoologists-Study-Animal/dp/0385334303/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1326231436&sr=1-1
    IIRC his thinking was that whereas most animals mate only during female estrus, the Naked Ape (humans) have developed socially to forge relationship bonds strengthened by mating during all phases of the female cycle. Perhaps our greater numbers reflect complex social bonds that help decrease infant mortality, reduce male fighting and support numerous young offspring at the same time.

    @E.M. I have a brother who had a rudimentary gill, which sounds ever so much weirder than a branchial cleft, and he had it surgically repaired when he was about 2. I wonder how many of us walk around with things ( sensations, sounds, growths etc) that we don’t know are unusual because they have always been that way for us. Probably more often than we think.

  71. E.M.Smith says:

    @Judy F:

    Well, after the ice caps melt some of us will survive in WaterWorld ;-)

    BTW, my seeds were frozen before the contamination got going big as did many other folks preserving seed types. Some, like beans, are hard to ‘cross out’ so tend to stay pure anyway (and if you grow ‘odd types’ you can spot and rogue out any intruders…) Other like Corn are only going to be preserved in places like Indian Reservations 100 miles form no body else growing commercial corn.

    I have a couple of packets of various Hopi kinds in the freezer… preserving the sacred ones…

    Good luck to them in the suit. It REALLY needs to be treated as far worse than an oil spill. The oil eventually goes away, the genetic contamination propagates…

    The big different between the Bonobo/Human pattern and the Chip/Gorilla pattern is that the Bonobo/Human patter has larger groups living together with less fighting and more shared defense against predators and shared child rearing. Basically, fewer Alpha Dominant Bulls and more “Go Along To Get Along” party types ;-) IMHO “Mellow is better”, and evolution agrees with me ;-)

  72. Jason Calley says:

    @ E.M. “It isn’t so much the chicken is a bad design as it is that the PROCESS of making a chicken is NOT DESIGNED. It’s a haphazard series of events that unfold in strange ways and eventually lead to a reasonable result. Our mental model of it is a fine tuned machine manufacturing cells to spec. That is just wrong.”

    Brilliant! I wish you were teaching in some university somewhere. Wait, you kind of are! :)

  73. Pascvaks says:

    There are a few schools of thought about evolution, one says it was all accidental, imagine what one of the other schools thinks.

    Regarding the loving, peaceful, social primates idea – this tends to hold up well as long as there is a common enemy (preditor or “Mother Nature” herself); but when there isn’t, there does seem to be the need to invent a common enemy too, so as to maintain the loving, peaceful, social life within the group; but, then too, the bigger the group the less able is it to keep things under control. I guess it all depends on the size of the cave each group lives in, and how many people there are and what their ages are and the breakdown of sexes by age and the number to kids and the quality of the food and water supply and if toothpaste has been invented yet, and what the BIG Chief thinks and his Big Frau and how spoiled their kids are, and …etc.

    I still think people are more like pennys, one side’s OK and the other is just the opposite. If you can only “see” one side, you’re missing half the penny.

  74. George says:

    Norwegians make another “massive” oil discovery, second one since August:

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/massive-oil-deposit-discovered-in-arctic-region/

  75. Jerry says:

    @E.M.

    Life is just wondrously robust and diverse and lots older than us. Nature (life) does not throw things out, it throws things into the attic. Chickens can make teeth, humans can make gills, OK may need that to come back from the Great Die Off of XX??. Odds favor those able to do a call to the subroutine library over those having to do a rewrite. Next big rock may be rounding third and heading for home Stephen Hawking says ‘get off the planet’ Good advice!. So lets kill the space program and buy some votes for 2012. Someday there may be some Prof lecturing the class about how remarkable it is that a primitive people called the Mayans were able to predict the Great Die Off of XX?? within a couple of thousand years (dates still being a matter of some controversy). Prof and class may look like chickens with teeth. If we humans last long enough we will reach an understanding of how things like genes and climate work and interact – right now, as you say, we are doing alchemy and astrology, calling what works science and burying what does not. We just do not know enough to say anything is haphazard – it may be a Picasso. Just my opinion. :)

  76. George says:

    North Dakota oil production record. Half a million barrels/day.

    http://nextbigfuture.com/2012/01/north-dakota-produces-record-509754.html

  77. George says:

    Interesting cut-off low sitting off the coast of Southern California. Don’t think I have seen a pattern like this since the early 1990′s when we had the “6-year drought”.

    Calling for a change in the weather here in the SF bay area about Wednesday of next week. Looks like we might get a week of rain.

  78. E.M.Smith says:

    @George:

    It would be nice to get a bit of rain. So far the pattern is looking a whole lot more like the drought years of the ’70s…

    @Jerry:

    Sounds about right to me.

    Looking at the air pressure graph of history, and figuring we black out and die over about 20,000 feet: It looks like (linear projection of wobbly line…) we have about 45 million years to “not enough air to breath”….

    I think we have some evolving in our future…. Either that, or we find a way to manufacture more air…

    @All:

    In our ongoing adventure in Linux Land, this is being posted from Firefox inside a “Simply MEPIS” distribution CD. It has a nice ‘liquid” look to the graphics and works well. (Then again, it’s about 10x the size of ‘Puppy’). I’ve got some “Build a USB ‘disk’” tools, but so far ‘no joy’ at booting from the USB distribution. Oh, and MEPIS did boot on the laptop AND gave a usable display (YAY!!!) though it is stretching a square presentation into the “HiDef” format screen so things are misshapen (BOOO!!!). Didn’t find the wireless card either (not really a surprise… one of the common issues with Linux on a new laptop model…)

    At any rate, I’ve got “something” I can run on the laptop even if not networked. So some progress.

    I think “Puppy” will be my BBC choice for a while ( small CD that holds about 50 MB) and MEPIS has pole position for general desktop bootable CD (700 MB size more or less). For some unkown reason the newest Knoppix didn’t want to boot on this machine. So some more investigation there….

    Yes, I’m playing ;-)

    For now I can encrypt on all boxes under their native OS and I can boot SOME kind of Linux / Unix on all of them. Now all I need to do is ‘integrate’… But I’ll likely try a couple of other bootable CDs just because ;-)

    Oh, and George: Nice about that Norwegian Oil. At $100 / bbl all sorts of stuff becomes economical. And did you notice that natural gas prices in the USA just crashed today? $2.xx Remember when it was $12.xx ?….

    That’s about $1.50 / gallon of gas equivalent I think…. So much for an ‘energy shortage’ ;-)

  79. George says:

    I remember when it was expensive. One of the best things I did was in the 1970′s during the “oil crisis” convinced my mom to change from oil heat to gas. My reasoning at the time was “if they have to, they can make gas from garbage and sewage”.

    As for running a live Linux from CD, you might consider Knoppix.

    http://www.knoppix.com/

    It is (or was last time I used it) excellent at detecting the proper drivers for hardware and is kept pretty up to date. Just burn the image, load it in the drive and boot it.

  80. adolfogiurfa says:

    @George (16:26:15) :
    I remember when it was expensive. One of the best things I did was in the 1970′s during the “oil crisis” convinced my mom to change from oil heat to gas
    That was a good thing!, we´ll have to rely on garbage and sewage if the liberal “green energy”non sense succeeds in the world, though it is really a one of the distraction tactics, while the “profiteers” of other people work attain their goal of “Global Governance” through “their” UN.

  81. George says:

    Most snow in Anchorage since records have been kept, and more on the way:

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2012/01/12/national/a020319S15.DTL

    I imagine they are going to have a late melt up there. I would expect to see some glacial advance and maybe even the formation of a new glacier or two if it all doesn’t melt in the higher altitudes.

  82. adolfogiurfa says:

    @ George: The “Gore Effect”…Did “Al Baby” go to Alaska recently?

  83. E.M.Smith says:

    @George:

    Knoppix is my general favorite, but doesn’t work on the HP laptop. ( It has a strange video and wireless so most things don’t work on it. I have yet to find one that works “out of the box” . HP Pavilion g6 bought just a few months ago… You CAN make it go, but I’m trying to be lazy and find an already built release ;-)

    What I’m trying to avoid:

    http://admaris.com/wp/blog/2011/07/03/ubuntu-on-hp-g6-laptop-tales-from-the-grave/

  84. Pascvaks says:

    I mentioned my Mother-In-Law’s “Turn-of-the-last-century-annual-weather-prediction-system-when-ya-ain’t-got-a-Farmer’s-Almenac-or anthing-better” (the temps +/- normal for the first 12 days of the year correspond to the 12 months +/- normal). OK here it is for a few spots around the country -

    TempKey: ~+, slightly above norm; ~-, slightly below norm;+, above norm; -, below norm;++, Very Warm; –, Very Cold; N, Normal.

    Location -Jan-Feb-Mar-Apr-May-Jun-Jul-Aug-Sep-Oct-Nov-Dec
    SanJose: ~+, ~-, ~-, ~+, ~+, ~-, ~+, +, ~+, ~-, ~+, N
    NYC: ++, ++, –, –, ~+, ++, ++, ++, +, ++, ++, ++
    ElPaso: +, ~-, ~+, +, ~+, +, +, +, -, ~-, ++, -
    Chicago: ++, N, -, ++, ++,++, ++, ++, ++, ++, ++, +

    PS: Back when the World was much bigger, back even before radio, people were a lot like they are now. Really! ;-)

  85. E.M.Smith says:

    @Pascvaks:

    Well, now you will have to keep us posted through the year as to degree of ‘match’….

  86. Pascvaks says:

    Another little something my Better Half pointed out to me, she has a point,and it is very interesting. Begs the question, is there something fishy about MS? -
    From Wikipedia:
    “Ciguatera is a foodborne illness caused by eating certain reef fishes whose flesh is contaminated with toxins originally produced by dinoflagellates such as Gambierdiscus toxicus which lives in tropical and subtropical waters… Hallmark symptoms of ciguatera in humans include gastrointestinal and neurological effects.[5][6] Gastrointestinal symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, usually followed by neurological symptoms such as headaches, muscle aches, paresthesia, numbness, ataxia, and hallucinations.[1][6] Severe cases of ciguatera can also result in cold allodynia, which is a burning sensation on contact with cold (commonly incorrectly referred to as reversal of hot/cold temperature sensation).[5] Doctors are often at a loss to explain these symptoms and ciguatera poisoning is frequently misdiagnosed as multiple sclerosis.[7]”

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

  87. Pascvaks says:

    Two new items today at “Calder’s Updates”
    http://calderup.wordpress.com/
    “Dying Comets Probe the Sun”
    “The Sun and Auroras for Beginners” (Fantastic Pic)

  88. Pascvaks says:

    For those who suspect that things like climate may have been different in the not too distant past, a little tickle for your fancy-
    “Once Hidden by Forest, Carvings in Land Attest to Amazon’s Lost World”
    By SIMON ROMERO; Published: January 14, 2012

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/15/world/americas/land-carvings-attest-to-amazons-lost-world.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

  89. George says:

    I posted a link to a paper here a while back that showed that the native population of the Americas had major impact on the local environment to include massive forest clearing, road building, etc. They weren’t some group of people living in perfect harmony with the environment..

    The thing is that by the late 1600′s about 90% of the native population of the Americas were dead from diseases brought in by initial contact with Europeans. By the time we started exploring Westward in any earnest way in the 1700′s, nature was already well on her way to reclaiming many of these areas. By the time we had any significant population in the colonies, practically all of the natives were dead. The populations we faced in the 1800′s in various battles as we went West and settled the Great Plains was only a tiny fraction of the population that had existed there in the 1500s.

    There were some absolutely huge cities built along the Mississippi river valley that apparently experienced multidecadal periods of massive flooding (some of these old “cities” are under tens of feet of sediment) and drove people to other locations. Large cities in the Southern Mississippi region (Louisiana) complete with pyramid-like structures predate the large Meso-American cities.

  90. George says:

    And this graphic continues to haunt me:

    http://i43.tinypic.com/iyk2mq.gif

  91. E.M.Smith says:

    @George:

    I note that the ‘massive flooding’ they talk about potentially causing abandonment of the Mississippi area was smack dab on top of the Bond Event at about 800 BC. The one called the Iron Age Cold Period.

    To the extent that history rhymes, and to the extent we’re up for Bond Event Zero (c) I would not suggest buying a home near the Mississippi for a while ;-)

    I may make a posting out of this… it looks like there was a ‘mega-drought’ near then in parts of the west, too. With some digging it might be possible to show a shift of water from The West to the midwest, with the resultant floods.

    Worth a ponder, that.

    @Pascvaks:

    America has had massive changes from natural climate cycles as well as human occupation (for at least 20,000 years and possibly much longer). The folks who think it was pristine and only occupied by a few scattered tribes of hunter / gatherers are the ones without a clue.

    The history of the Maya was lost to Spanish cultural domination, but it’s very clear they had a long observational period of the sky. You don’t come up with a 25,000 year long calendar if you just barely moved out of a skin hut and stopped hunting monkey meat a couple of years before…

    IMHO, it started (the culture) somewhere up in N. America, probably about 16,000 years back. Got whacked by the comet that hit the ice sheet causing the Clovis Event, recovered just in time for the floods (noted above) then packed up and headed down to Latin America (like all good Gringos do when it gets cold and wet ;-) and we get the Maya / Aztec / etc. ‘sudden’ development. (Mostly reflective of a shift to stone from ‘dirt mounds’ as a construction material, rather than actual new culture, again IMHO.)

    Everything nice and dandy until Europeans brought various plagues with them. (They got some revenge, though: Tobacco, Syphilis, and Montezuma’s Revenge ;-) Oh, and Cocaine… ) I suspect if you add up all the non-NativeAmericans killed by Tobacco, we’re probably about even now…

    At any rate, there are indications all over the Americas of massive climate sensitivity to Bond Events and for periodic flood / drought cycles causing the collapse of civilizations. ALL of it natural…

  92. George says:

    Why the Keystone XL pipeline was nixed by the Obama administration!

    If the pipeline isn’t built, the oil goes by rail. The rail company that ships the oil is Burlington Northern. Burlington Northern is owned by Berkshire Hathaway which is run by Warren Buffet who is a major Obama supporter.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-23/buffett-s-burlington-northern-among-winners-in-obama-rejection-of-pipeline.html

  93. Jason Calley says:

    @ George and E.M.
    “(They got some revenge, though: Tobacco, Syphilis, and Montezuma’s Revenge ;-) Oh, and Cocaine… ) I suspect if you add up all the non-NativeAmericans killed by Tobacco, we’re probably about even now… ”

    You probably are both aware of the occasional reports that come out on testing of Egyptian mummies; some of them (IIRC, all of them royal family members) test positive for nicotine and cocaine.

    As for the effect of Europe on the Western Hemisphere, Randy Newman said it most eloquently.

    I am not bashing Europe. The nations of the Americas would have done the same to Europe if they had been able. Who can doubt that the Aztec’s or the Inca would have treated pale skinned goblins any differently than they did their Amerindian brothers?

  94. George says:

    The real reason the the Megaupload takeover?

    http://wcollier.blogspot.com/2012/01/megaprotectionism-for-record-companies.html

    Apparently they were set to roll out an entity competing with RIAA and MPAA and just as they were getting ready to roll it out .. .WHAM!

  95. R. de Haan says:

    @George (22:22:58) :
    “And this graphic continues to haunt me:

    http://i43.tinypic.com/iyk2mq.gif

    What model produced that. Has someone been drinking (LOL)

    I say buy a plot near the tropics with your own spring and your own coal mine and start digging.

  96. George says:

    That is not a model. That is temperatures plotted against solar cycle length. Actual data, not a model. That long red line down is the estimated length of the current cycle. The blue line hasn’t happened yet.

  97. George says:

    But yeah, I would say that within 10 to 15 years, California temperatures will be colder than they have been since Europeans settled here.

Comments are closed.