Friday, September 22, 2017

Is A New Age Of Pressure Upon Us? - 13

Fig. 1 A seismograph becomes a trend-o-graph
I. Background

About 7.5 years ago I penned Global Warming & Volcanic Eruptions.

Shortly following that (about a month later), I began a series on the issue.

This series has covered the subject over the several years since its inception (Is A New Age Of Pressure Upon Us?, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10,11, 12); however the last post in this series (#12) took place almost a year ago.

So, today we continue the discussion of this important, overlooked, but strongly ongoing issue (Fig. 1).

II. Not Much Mediocrity Mediacrity Has Changed

As the USGS reports, not much has changed, except perhaps that in the last few days
Fig. 2 More graphs here
earthquake coverage has inhabited the mass mediasphere.

As has been said, "All I know is just what I read in the papers, and that's an alibi for my ignorance." Will Rogers

Which in whole or in part can lead to a particular world view as to what is important and what is not  ("The old newspaper adage, 'If it bleeds, it leads,' is as true today as it was a century ago." Peter Diamandis); thus, foreseeing an oncoming reality becomes less important than reacting to it once it has arrived, because the media disdains foresight as it clings to bleeding breaking news.

III. Some New Insights On Old Insights

This series has focused on the reality that there is more than meets the eye concerning the actual nature of the impacts of sea level change.

For example, there is more than merely impacts to coast lines and coast line maps, more than refugees having to move further inland, and more than the ongoing and upcoming retreat of world seaports (The Extinction of Robust Sea Ports, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9).

Fig. 3 Humble Oil-Qaeda
The impacts I am now talking about are the changes in pressures upon the Earth's crust.

Those impacts concern both a decrease in pressure in some areas, as well as an increase of pressure in other areas.

One reason for that type of change is that the great weight of ice sheets releases pressure from the land beneath them as they melt and flow into the ocean.

Their watery residue then creates pressure in various far away places where their melt water has relocated to.

Not only that, the loss of their gravity, which was once pulling water toward and upon them, frees that large quantity of water from being bound up against them (The Gravity of Sea Level Change, 2, 3, 4).

This phenomenon is not limited to the waters around Greenland and Antarctica (Proof of Concept - 3).

That once-gravity-trapped water will then flow away from its place to decrease pressure there, but to increase pressure elsewhere (The Ghost-Water Constant, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9).

"So what?" you may wonder.

IV. The Answer

The previous question is answered by "glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA)" as discussed in Mitrovica, et al., (2015), a PDF file.

The bidirectional up and down GIA causes torque, stress, and tension between crustal movement upwards and crustal movement downward.

Likewise, the speed-up and slow-down of the Earth's rotation, as a result of those changes in the Earth's shape, also cause additional torque, stress, and tension on the crust (ibid).

Those rotational speed changes cause changes in shape that engender a shape that is closer to a perfect globe, for awhile, then other speed changes make further changes to a shape that is closer to an imperfect globe shape.

Those contortions and changes force, in various degrees, a release of impediments to earthquakes and volcanism in some places, while impeding, in various degrees, earthquakes and volcanism in other areas.

V. Conclusion 

Remember that the 1750 Industrial Revolution began to inject greenhouse gases into the atmosphere long ago, which has increased climate and sea level change since then.

As the graphs in earlier posts of this series show, seismic and volcanic activity have also increased during this, the Anthropocene (Fig. 2).

The previous post in this series is here.

Who knew (Fig. 3)?



Tuesday, September 19, 2017

On The More Robust Sea Level Computation Techniques - 2

Fig. 1a
I. Background

I have been surprised by the outcome of using the TEOS-10 thermodynamics toolkit.

Fig. 1b
As regular readers know, for the longest time I calculated thermal expansion caused volume change as a percentage of sea level change.

Fig. 1c
That percentage was 5.1% calculated from actual sea level change minus the ghost water percentage.

Even that 5.1% was lower than current establishment science calculates, which was said to be more than sea level change caused by the melting of the Cryosphere.

II. Along Comes TEOS-10

Looking for possibly a more accurate way to calculate the percentages that thermal expansion and contraction (thermosteric) contribute to sea level change, I ran across the TEOS-10 Toolkit (TEOS-10 Website).

I made various experimental attempts to calculate thermal expansion values with the TEOS-10 toolkit, partnering it up with the traditional formula for such calculations and WOD, PSMSL, and GISS data.

Fig. 2a
Then I came across a bombshell paper which narrowed down the remaining techniques to two.
Fig. 2b

That bombshell paper pointed out the following:
Fig. 2c
"A common practice in sea level research is to analyze separately the variability of the steric and mass components of sea level. However, there are conceptual and practical issues that have sometimes been misinterpreted, leading to erroneous and contradictory conclusions on regional sea level variability. The crucial point to be noted is that the steric component does not account for volume changes but does for volume changes per mass unit (i.e., density changes). This indicates that the steric component only represents actual volume changes when the mass of the considered water body remains constant."
(On The More Robust Sea Level Computation Techniques, quoting from JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH: OCEANS, VOL. 118, 953–963, doi:10.1002/jgrc.20060, by Gabriel Jordà and Damià Gomis, 2013; @p. 953, 954, emphasis added). That certainly can change things.

III. Along Comes New Graphs

And so, today's graphs are presented to show the stark difference between the results of those two techniques mentioned in the paper.

Fig. 3a
The graphs are numbered in Fig. 1, Fig. 2, and Fig. 3 groups, each group having an 'a', a 'b', and a 'c' member graph.

Fig. 3b
The 'a' member of each graph group is in compliance with the paper quoted above, which sternly points out:
"The crucial point to be noted is that the steric component [thermosteric] does not account for volume changes but does for volume changes per mass unit (i.e., density changes). This indicates that the steric component only represents actual volume changes when the mass of the considered water body remains constant." (ibid, emphasis added).
Fig. 3c

In other words, one must calculate the ocean volume from the 1st year a calculation of sea level change commences.

Then one must use that same quantity throughout all the other years of that span of time being calculated and graphed.

That is, the increasing and decreasing sea levels (ocean mass and volume changes) over a span of time are not to be used if one seeks to present an accurate estimation / calculation of thermosteric volume change over that span of time.

IV. The Tide Gauge Station Selections

In these graphs I present the two techniques using three lists of tide gauge stations: Fig. 1 group) 491 stations used by Church & White (2011), Fig. 2 group) all stations (1,484), and Fig. 3 group) "the Golden 23".

The 'a' member in each of those three groups shows the calculation mandated by the paper quoted in Section II.

As you can see, the thermal expansion calculations show significantly less sea level change caused by thermosteric dynamics than the old Dredd Blog 5.1% method shows.

Yikes !

Can "thermal expansion as the main cause of sea level rise in the 19th and 20th centuries" be that much of a myth?

V. How I Process The Data

I won't go through the arduous task of building a billion rows of SQL based data after downloading that data from PSMSL, WOD, and GISSTEMP.

I won't go through the software architectural work of designing software modules to analyze that data.

Today, let's just look at how the completed modules handle that data, beginning with TEOS-10 functions.

First we acquire in situ (at a specific latitude, longitude location) temperature along with in situ salinity ("practical salinity") readings from a specific ocean depth at that location.

Let's call them 'T' (temperature) 'SP' (practical salinity) and 'Z' (a depth or 'height' in TEOS parlance).

First we convert those in situ values into TEOS values:

1) Z into P (pressure) using the TEOS function P = "gsw_p_from_z(double z, double lat)";

2) SA using  SA = "gsw_sa_from_sp(double sp, double p, double lon, double lat)";

3) T into "conservative temperature" CT = "gsw_ct_from_t(double sa, double t, double p)";

Now, we can calculate the all important "thermal expansion coefficient"
(symbol 'β') β = "gsw_alpha(double sa, double ct, double p)".

Last but not least, we use a traditional formula for calculating thermal expansion / contraction volume change: V1 = V0(1 + β ΔT) as I noted early on in the struggle:
The one I settled on is: V1 = V0(1 + β ΔT), where: V1 means new volume, V0 means original volume, β means temperature coefficient, and ΔT means change in temperature (T1 - T0), which is another way of "saying" dV = V0 β (t1 - t0), a formula in widespread use (Engineering Toolbox, cf here).
(On Thermal Expansion & Thermal Contraction - 18). When calculating a long span of years, the "ΔT" becomes the previous years temperature minus the current year's temperature (change in temperature), or vice versa depending on the direction (backwards in time, or forward in time) in which you are calculating.

VI. Discussion Of The Graphs

The 'a' member of each graph group features what happens when the mass-volume (V0) remains constant as conservative temperature (CT), absolute salinity (SA), and pressure change over time.

The 'b' member graphs the temperature and salinity changes.

The 'c' member shows what happens when the volume (V0) changes along with the temperature and salinity.

The difference in the thermal expansion / contraction is dramatic between the two usages (constant volume, variable volume).

VII. Conclusion

There is more work to do to figure out just how the oceanographers calculate thermosteric volume.

Any suggestions?

The previous post in this series is here.

Friday, September 15, 2017

On Thermal Expansion &Thermal Contraction - 23

Fig. 1a Constant Ocean Mass & Volume
I. I Repeat Myself

I reread Church, White (2011) (PDF) in light of the post concerning the inconsistent calculations of thermosteric sea level change (thermal expansion / contraction).

Like others who were mystified by "the European problem" they flounder, because they do not mention, let alone understand, the gravity of ice sheets (The Gravity of Sea Level Change, 2, 3, 4).

Therefore, neither do they comprehend the Dredd Blog discussions of the phenomenon of ghost water (The Ghost-Water Constant, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9).

Go figure (these guys still haven't discovered gravity: On the rate and causes of twentieth century sea-level rise, PDF).

II. But I Fulfill (Most of) My Promises

Fig. 1b Variable Ocean Mass & Volume
Today I want to fulfill the promise I made in a recent post:
"In future posts I will use the same PSMSL tide gauge stations that the authors in journal papers used in their papers, in order to further expand upon the concepts addressed in today's post."
(On The More Robust Sea Level Computation Techniques). In the paper Church, White (2011) they used 491 PSMSL tide gauge station data ("We use ... data ... from ... PSMSL" p. 587), so, that seems like a tall order.

Not to worry, Fig. 1a and Fig. 1b are graphs using the same 491 PSMSL tide gauge stations that they used, excluding "metric" data (I don't use the "Metric" data, as recommended by PSMSL here).

III. The Same Old Story Emerges

Their selection of PSMSL data does nothing to change the reality that if you do not discuss ice sheet gravity dynamics, you don't get it (see Mitrovica video below).

The graphs I provided here (where I made, and today fulfilled, a promise) shout out the same message as today's graphs do (Fig. 1a, Fig. 1b).

That message is the message shouted out for all that consider the four corners of the scenario, which is to say that the assertion indicating "thermal expansion is the main cause of sea level rise in the 19th and 20th centuries" is not supported by robust analysis (On Thermal Expansion & Thermal Contraction, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21).

IV. Conclusion

According to Dr. Mitrovica, a lot of the fault for the problem discussed in this series is the obsession with the mythical bathtub model (The Bathtub Model Doesn't Hold Water, 2, 3, 4).

The previous post in this series is here.

Professor Jerry Mitrovica, Harvard University:



Thursday, September 14, 2017

On The More Robust Sea Level Computation Techniques

Measurements of change
I. Background

The scientific literature contains some debate. or at least different methodologies, concerning the proper way to calculate the quantity of thermal expansion and contraction of ocean water.

Which means that you can expect, based on the same evidence, different statements about the portion of sea level rise or fall that is considered to be thermosteric (thermal expansion / contraction) in nature, compared to what is considered to be eustatic in nature (scientific literature reflects that unwanted reality).

II. Some Clarification

Thermosteric warming (thermal expansion) does not add atoms to the ocean water, but it does move the atoms further apart from one another, so, the ocean volume increases (even though the number of atoms remains the same).

Thermosteric cooling (thermal contraction) draws the atoms closer together, so, the ocean volume decreases (even though the number of atoms remains the same).

Mass-volume (eustatic) increase  is a different dynamic, because it is a function of adding more atoms to the ocean water (via ice berg calving, or by melt water from ice sheets or glaciers on land flowing into the ocean).

Mass-volume (eustatic) decrease is caused, among other things, by evaporation of ocean water into the atmosphere, and the eventual placement of that water on land by rain.

III. Some Variations In Values

I won't belabor the issue of variation of analysis of steric vs eustatic in the published literature (because there is a lot of it), but I will quote from two papers which are at odds as to "who dunnit" (steric man or eustatic man):
"We examine the relationship between 50-year-long records of global sea level (GSL) calculated from 1023 tide gauge stations and global ocean heat
Fig. 1a All Zones, Constant Volume
content (GOHC), glacier and ice sheet melting. The lack of consistent correlation between changes in GOHC and GSL during the period 1955–2003 argues against GOHC being the dominant factor in GSL as is often thought.
[IOW eustatic man dunnit] We provide clear evidence of the substantial and increasing role in GSL from the eustatic component (47%) compared with the contribution from increasing heat content (25%), suggesting that the primary role is being played by the melting glaciers and ice sheets. There remains about 1/4 of GSL rise unaccounted for by the best estimates of both eustatic and thermosteric effects [BTW that is the ghost water constant].  This fraction also exhibits large variability that is not readily associated with known causes of sea level variability. The most likely explanation of this unknown fraction is underestimated melting, climate-driven changes in terrestrial storage components, and decadal timescale variability in global water cycle. This argues for a concerted effort to quantify changes in these reservoirs" (JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 113, D08105, doi:10.1029/2007JD009208, 2008, PDF).
...
"Over the years 2002–2014, we find a global mean steric trend of 1.38 ± 0.16 mm/y, compared with a total trend of 2.74 ± 0.58 mm/y [steric man dunnit]. This is
Fig. 1b G23 Zones, Constant Volume
significantly larger than steric trends derived from in situ temperature/salinity profiles and models which range from 0.66 ± 0.2 to 0.94 ± 0.1 mm/y. Mass contributions from ice sheets and glaciers (1.37 ± 0.09 mm/y, accelerating with 0.03 ± 0.02 mm/y2) are offset by a negative hydrological component (−0.29 ± 0.26 mm/y). The combined mass rate (1.08 ± 0.3 mm/y) is smaller than previous GRACE estimates (up to 2 mm/y), but it is consistent with the sum of individual contributions (ice sheets, glaciers, and hydrology) found in literature
" (Revisiting the contemporary sea-level budget on global and regional scales, 2015, PDF).
The ongoing exercise to unify the research into which factors contribute most to ocean volume change (steric or eustatic), must be bolstered with unification of both research and analysis.

One effort in that direction is the TEOS-10 toolkit, which I use.

But, the major factor in unification will be to unify the conceptual framework IMO.

IV. Some Procedural Inconsistencies

One paper expands upon the proper techniques and procedures involved in steric vs eustatic analysis:
"A common practice in sea level research is to analyze separately the variability of the steric and mass components of sea level. However, there are conceptual and practical issues that have sometimes been misinterpreted, leading to erroneous and contradictory conclusions on regional sea level variability. The crucial point to be noted is that the steric component does not account for volume changes but does for volume changes per mass unit (i.e., density changes). This indicates that the steric component only represents actual volume changes when the mass of the considered water body remains constant."
(JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH: OCEANS, VOL. 118, 953–963, doi:10.1002/jgrc.20060, by Gabriel Jordà and Damià Gomis, 2013; @p. 953, 954, emphasis added). One way to remember mass volume compared to steric / spatial volume is that mass volume is how many atoms the water column contains, but steric / spatial volume refers to how far apart from one another those atoms are.

V. A Dredd Blog Solution

In light of ("the steric component only represents actual volume changes when the mass of the considered water body remains constant") I decided to modify the software module to calculate both situations.
Fig. 2a All Zones, Variable Volume

That is, to calculate based on both the mass remaining constant, as well as the mass quantity changing.

(Of course the mass is constantly changing in the real world, but I digress.)

I decided to do both the constant scenario and the variable scenario because it would be helpful for detecting situations where presentations are at odds as a result of the use of these  two different techniques as if they were the same.

Fig. 2b G23 Zones, Variable Volume
Notice Fig. 1a and Fig. 1b, which graph the situations in both the Golden 23 as well as All Zones as to the situation where the mass remains constant.

They both use the constant mass volume technique.

Then compare those two with Fig. 2a and Fig. 2b, which use the variable mass volume technique to graph those situations in both the Golden 23 as well as All Zones.

VI. Conclusion

The situation where the mass remains constant generates less thermal expansion and contraction than the variable mass situation does.

The constant mass is more accurate, in terms of calculating actual thermosteric volume change, than the variable volume scenario is.

That is because using the variable volume assumes a volume amount that has been increased or decreased because of an increase or decrease in the total amount of water in the oceans, rather than being based only on the temperature and salinity changes.

Thermosteric change can only be isolated by using a fixed quantity of water that experiences changing water temperatures.

Using the varying mass-volume quantity each year will mix steric with eustatic to produce a conflated thermal expansion analysis.

It is, in that respect, the same as using a combination of zones that are biased toward either sea level fall or sea level rise.

One must choose both carefully with an unswerving goal of having a balanced input of data.

In future posts I will use the same PSMSL tide gauge stations that the authors in journal papers used in their papers, in order to further expand upon the concepts addressed in today's post.

The next post in this series is here.