Friday, April 25, 2014

How Fifth Graders Calculate Ice Volume - 3

Earth viewed from space
In the previous post of this series we noted that the volume of both Arctic and Antarctic Ice is mathematically calculated the same way.

The result of that calculation is then expressed in cubic feet, cubic kilometres, or cubic miles.

That is, if an ice measurement and calculation were to be expressed in square feet, square kilometres, or square miles, it would have a different meaning.

If the result is expressed in square units rather than in cubic units, it is an expression of the area or the extent of that ice, not of the volume of that ice:
l * w = area (e.q. square feet, ft2)
l * w * h = volume (e.q. cubic feet, ft3)
(How Fifth Graders Calculate Ice Volume - 2). ESA's Cryosat satellite uses the volume formula in order to calculate the quantity of Arctic ice:
While these observations on ice extent provide invaluable data, this is only part of the picture. In order to understand fully how climate change is affecting these remote but sensitive regions, there remains an urgent need to determine exactly how the thickness of land and sea ice is changing. CryoSat is Europe's first mission to address this.

CryoSat-2 carries sophisticated technologies to measure changes at the margins of the vast ice sheets that overlay Greenland and Antarctica and marine ice floating in the polar oceans. By accurately measuring thickness change in both types of ice, CryoSat-2 will provide information to complete the picture and lead to a better understanding of the role ice plays in the Earth system.
(ESA Cryosat, emphasis added). People had gotten into the habit of using the word "extent" to argue for and against global warming induced polar ice cap melt.

Those arguments were based on how much extent of coverage of the water surface there was.

But the word "extent" does not tell us about volume / quantity so we need to use the word "volume" now because we have the satellite that can measure thickness.

Thus, we can now more accurately determine expected sea level rise because that involves the volume of ice, not the extent:
In the years since 2006, this thinning has been characterised and linked to Synthetic Aperture Radar interferometry measurements of ice flow, which show an increased flow rate into the sea. The rate of thinning is stunning, at about 16 m per year.

While this has been reported by several groups, it has been put into perspective by the late-2009 report by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research Antarctic Climate Change and the Environment, which projects a sea level rise of about 1.4 m by 2100, significantly higher than the
2013-14 Cold temps over U.S. & Canada
well-known 28–43 cm projections of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The difference is largely attributable to melting of the ice caps at their base by warming oceans.

Change is not limited to Antarctica. Greenland, being smaller and at lower latitudes, may be even more vulnerable. Gravity measurements from the NASA/German Aerospace Centre (DLR) GRACE mission have revealed large-scale mass changes and even sensitive GPS receivers placed around the coast show signs of uplift as the burden of ice is reduced.

So indeed, in the decade since the CryoSat mission was proposed, the signs of change in the polar regions have become unambiguous, and this trend is also clear in the four years since CryoSat-2 was approved.
(Earth's Changing Ice, emphasis added). Anyway, this last year of polar vortex weirdness has caused an out-of-trend cold over the U.S. and has increased the ice volume of the floating Arctic ice, but not the Antarctic ice.

Additionally, the number of tornadoes in the U.S. has decreased due to that against-the-trend (On The Origin of Tornadoes - 3) cold spell.

The arrival of an El Niño is expected by some scientists, which would upset the apple cart as well, helping some places but not others:
  • Large amounts of heat from the tropical Pacific ocean would be released into the atmosphere, likely raising global temperatures to record-setting levels
  • Above normal rain would be favored in California.
  • Hurricane activity would likely be suppressed in the Atlantic
  • Washington, D.C. might see depressed snow next winter.  Our two least snowy winters on record (0.1 inches at Reagan National Airport) coincided with two of the three strongest El Nino events on record (1997-1998 and 1972-1973).
  • Link: List of El Niño impacts on North America
(WaPo, A super El Niño on the way?, cf. NOAA). The gist of this is that when the Global Climate System is damaged as it is, and continues to be damaged even more, accurately predicting anything other than weird climate and weird weather is more difficult.

So Dredd Blog predicts surprising, weird weather until we are no longer addicted to fossil fuels, and instead are using renewable, clean resources such as wind, solar, tidal, geothermal, and other non-polluting fuels.

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Terrorism & Hate Crimes Merging? - 2

Mein Delusion
In the first post of this series, about five years ago, we noticed the sharp rise of hate crimes during the Bush II administration.

Another series framed the issue as an evolution from left to right (Evolution From Left To Right), which is still the general trend in the country today, a trend back into the feudalism, class-ism, and bully-ism of the dark ages past (American Feudalism, On The Origin of The Bully Religion).

That is, the dark ages approaching, not just the dark ages past.

Anyway, here is the text of that post which seems to have been a story about a strata of American Culture that still exists:

The right wing neoCons are talking insurrection and murder in casual settings:
"We have the chance to fight this battle at the ballot box before we have to resort to the bullet box," Crabill said. "That's the beauty of our Second Amendment rights ... Our Second Amendment rights were to guard against tyranny."
(VA GOP Catherine Crabill). If she does not get elected by the voters at the ballot box, she will take up "the bullet box" and shoot somebody is her message.

She thinks not getting elected means the voters are practising "tyranny" so she will shoot some of them?

Wow, one thing is quite obvious, getting elected is not an easy thing for them any more, because the people see them for what they are now that the daze of 9/11 is wearing off.

Pat Buchanan advocated that Mr. Palin should water board his was-to-be son in law until he stopped struggling and was dead because he said he would not vote for Sarah Palin.

It is obvious that these neoCons take elections seriously, but they crave power much more than that, so they advocate violence to take power the people will not give to them any more at the ballot box.

These dark rhetorical machinations lead to the types of murders which Senator Leahy said are increasing:
... a recent report by the Leadership Conference for Civil Rights found that a hate crime is committed somewhere in America nearly once an hour.

This is a national disgrace.

The number of hate groups in America ballooned by over 50% between 2000 and 2008 ...
(Senator Leahy Says Stop Hate Crime). It is a crime to incite a riot, and a right wing radio host was indicted for urging his audience to kill some judges.

The neoCon infection must be stopped because it is far worse than the swine flu; but one wonders if the "policy differences doctrine" will subvert American justice once again?

Since it is still National Poetry Month:

by Bob Dylan
Meanwhile, far away in another part of town

Rubin Carter and a couple of friends are drivin' around.

Number one contender for the middleweight crown

Had no idea what kinda shit was about to go down

When a cop pulled him over to the side of the road

Just like the time before and the time before that.

In Paterson that's just the way things go.

If you're black you might as well not show up on the street

'Less you wanna draw the heat.

Rubin "Hurricane" Carter (RIP bro), was a victim of American Racism
(transcript of video is here).

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Message of Science & Religion - Western - 2

A Star Explodes (supernova)
Will Rodgers said "I only know what I read in the newspaper."

Scientists only know what they read in the scientific literature.

Religionists only know what they read in the religious literature (The Pillars of Knowledge: Faith and Trust?).

The first post of this series considered some similarities between some of the science and some of the religion in our culture.

In that first post of this series, we compared the vision of doom and the vision of salvation in both religion and in science.

As to science it was written:
Science says our star the sun will destroy the earth in the future, but there is a way out.

We must go into the heavens and find another home planet to live upon.

We must learn to live together here and now, and be decent to this planet in the interim.

Looking forward we must develop space travel technology but we must solve social problems now. Because our final trip into heaven is a very, very long time from now.

While we develop the space travel technology we must sustain a habitable planet until we do launch that final trip of salvation.

If we do not travel into the heavens our fate will be determined when
the sun eventually turns the inner four planets of this solar system
into the fires of hell.
(Message of Science & Religion - Western). A recent Dredd Blog post considers the long-range dynamics of the current scientific view of the evolution of solar systems, and points out the doom ahead for the planet Earth and all biological life on it (On the Origin of the Genes of Viruses - 8).

As to the aspect of religion in the comparison it was written:
Religion talks of potential Armageddon but those who are good will be spared, those who are good will go into heaven to a better home.

It generally teaches us that the golden rule is to be good to each other treating one another as we would be treated. If we do not there will be a hell instead of a heaven.
(ibid).  For a long time the way civilization has looked at the scientific version and the religious version has been classified as "doomer" or "end of the world" wacko ideology.

Yet, there is the ancient story of a danger of global destruction:
"For there will be trouble then worse than there has ever been from the beginning of the world until now, and there will be nothing like it again! Indeed, if the length of this time had not been limited, no one would survive; but for the sake of those who have been chosen, its length will be limited."
(Matt. 24:21-22, CJB, emphasis added). Which we might poo poo as "The End Is Coming" scorn of "doomers," a reaction has been in fashion for quite some time.

Now, in hindsight, it seems to have been prescient (What Kind of Intelligence Is Prescience? - 2), especially in the modern scientific light of global warming induced climate change (Agnotology: The Surge - 8).

Interestingly, the religious concept of Armageddon, or its hangover, has fashioned Western Foreign Policy for over a century (see e.g. The Universal Smedley - 2, Viva Egypt - 2).

Since the scientific elite of Western Civilization now see the real potential for this calamity to happen, the widespread "the end scorn" is likely to become less fashionable (CSER, FOHI, FOLI, Krugman on IPCC Reports), especially as the denial proves to be more and more fanciful as catastrophes increase.

Thus, the scientific-socio-political search for remedies is replacing the scorn and denial of the actual reality of the already here, and yet still approaching, catastrophes.

As to the bottom line of the comparisons for remedies in religion and science:
That is essentially the same story told by two factions, but the how it is done is where the two stories drift far apart.

Science teaches us we must physically do it ourselves, but religion in a
general sense teaches us that we are to be saved by metaphysical
(ibid, Message of Science & Religion - Western). The same criticism of science by religionists, and criticism of religion by scientists, is interesting.

Scientists fault religionists for being overly mythological and foretelling inaccurately, while religionists fault scientists for making up "the myth" of approaching climate catastrophe, and also for foretelling inaccurately.

There are other interesting similarities, such as new stars and a new Earth  ("For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind." - Isa. 65:17) which dove-tails with the Big Bang theory of new stars and planets (On the Origin of the Genes of Viruses - 6, On the Origin of the Genes of Viruses - 5).

These origin of entities postulations are interesting to contemplate in terms of non-carbon-based life forms, in that, some religious writings indicate that there are beings who are not composed of matter, i.e. not composed of atoms and molecules, as carbon-based life forms are.

There is the story of a destructive war in the heavens involving beings of that sort:
"And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him."
(Rev. 12:7-9). Which we might compared to the big bang explosion and subsequent ongoing destruction of stars, planets, and life on those planets (On the Origin of the Genes of Viruses - 8).

Substantial numbers of religionists and scientists also have ideologies that see superior beings as a source of a solution (Will Humans Evolve Into Machines?, Will Humans Evolve Into Super Beings?, Will Humans Evolve "Further"?), while the scientists add artificial intelligence as another source of a solution (MIRI).

For the many empires and civilizations of history that suffered catastrophe, scientists find that type of catastrophe to be historically common (On The Origin of Catastrophe), and religious writings also detail the fall of empires and civilizations aplenty (e.g. Sodom & Gomorrah, Babylon, Hittites, Egypt, Tyre & Sidon, etc.).

However, both science and religion find that human solutions to such problems are not as common as the catastrophes are.

Nevertheless, in the 450 some-odd Christian denominations many non-human solutions are advanced.

By the same token, in the 97% consensus of scientists who agree that the solution is fossil fuels remaining in the ground from now on, some scientists also see that such a scientific "solution" is not really a solution in the political sense.

Because, as to the latter, scientists have no political power, however, Oil-Qaeda induced denialism does (The Exceptional American Denial).

And so here we are in an advanced scientific world with religion saying that science is imagining things (religionists generally believe God will destroy civilization, i.e., human activity won't), and here we are where religionists currently have greater political power than scientists do.

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day 2014

U.S.A. (blue) had a piece of the Polar Vortex over it
This past year brought on conditions that caused the polar vortex to lose some of itself by sending some of that cold south to the U.S.

It was like someone left the refrigerator door open and the cold leaked out over the U.S.

We will have to watch and wait to see if that increases the warming in the Arctic at a quicker pace or rate than it has been warming at in recent years:
But Noaa, a federal agency, has also floated the possibility that a reduction in summer sea ice cover caused by climate change could be a factor behind the weakening of the polar vortex. That would have the paradoxical effect that while Arctic waters are getting warmer, North America experiences much colder snaps such as the present severe weather as a result of Arctic air spilling out from the North Pole and moving south.
(The Damaged Global Climate System, emphasis in original). The massive loss of cold could mean more warming there in terms of an increase in the rate of melting of the polar ice cap.

The shedding of some of the cold to parts south caused more stable air currents in terms of tornado-causing factors, which cut down significantly on the number of tornadoes.
It has been a roller-coaster ride (Sandy)

Meanwhile, cyclones continue in southern latitudes, in fact, there have been two cyclones to hit the search area of the lost Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 during the search so far (MH370: cyclone Jack, MH370: cyclone Gillian).

Thirty years ago, in 1984, a climate scientist was warning us about what we were doing to the Earth by dumping fossil fuel waste (greenhouse gases) into the atmosphere, and also what would happen to us as a result of that abuse we were doing:
I’ve never thought of myself of a pioneer in warning about climate change, but maybe, just a little.

Back in 1984, Viking published a book I wrote with Pascal J. Imperato, titled Acceptable Risks, which examined how regulators, and individuals, choose to ignore certain hazards—such as smoking or living in earthquake-prone California—while taking action against others, often in a highly irrational way. The penultimate chapter explored an emerging danger we called “The Ultimate Risk: The Greenhouse Effect.”

This is what it was called before it was referred to as “global warming” and then more accurately and broadly, “climate change.” Back in the good old days we figured we still had plenty of time to address it. In that period, the nuclear threat was the prime concern.

On the eve of another Earth Day, I decided to check back on that chapter, which I penned myself, for the first time in a few years. What I found: there’s not much new under the ever-hotter sun. The “inconvenient truth” of global warming has been told for decades—Dr. James Hansen was even featured in our chapter—to little avail. Ironically, I had interviewed the young congressman Al Gore for my previous book on whistleblowers, related to toxic dump sites.

In fact, the chapter in Acceptable Risks opens with a warning about the Antarctic ice sheet melting, and a rising of the sea level likely to “submerge” coastal cities.
(Climate Change Warnings - 1984, emphasis added). Our civilization does not yet have a rational system of response to warnings up to and including this very Earth Day (The Exceptional American Denial).

Happy Earth Day!

Black Magic Woman, by Santana

Monday, April 21, 2014

A Tale of Coup Cities - 11

Subtitle: "When You Are Governed by Anarchists."

It is a plague upon the people and the nation that the officials of government do not obey the supreme law of the land.

Especially when they do so publicly after they take an oath to obey, protect, and uphold that supreme law.

The U.S. Constitution is most abused by the officials of government because they immediately, upon taking the oath, proceed to defend foreign interests and anything else other than what they vowed by taking the oath which does not say that they will protect and defend the nation, the people, or themselves, rather, it says:
I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.
(5 U.S.C. §3331, emphasis added). The oath that the president takes is similar, to wit:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
(Article II, Section I, Clause 8; Constitution, emphasis added). The reason these oaths are taken may not be so obvious to some (especially many who take it).

That reason is: to the extent that the constitution is damaged, diminished, or demised, is the extent to which the government, the nation, and the people are damaged, diminished, or demised.

The beginning of terrorism is anarchy against the constitution which was designed for the people (The Common Good, Racial History).

This series and others have chronicled how an ongoing coup has slowly overthrown the people's government to slowly replace it with a rogue Epigovernment; slowly putting a plutocracy in its place (A Tale of Coup Cities - 2Epigovernment: The New Model, American Feudalism - 6, The Homeland: Big Brother Plutonomy - 8, Ayn Rand: Patron Saint of The Plutocracy).

A closing quote:
"For those who work for a living the level of inequality in the U.S. is probably higher than in any other society at any time in the past, anywhere in the world ..."
(Capital, a book by Thomas Piketty, see video below).

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.

On the Plutocracy (they mistakenly call it "oligarchy") - Krugman, Moyers