Thursday, April 6, 2017

Numb: Number & Number - 2

Fig. 1a
This is a follow up to: Numb: Number & Number.

That previous post detailed Layer Zero through Layer Sixteen, in terms of comparing sea level rise to ocean water temperatures at all depths and in all layers.

Fig. 1b
This follow-up deals with all of the WOD Zones contained within just one layer, Layer Thirteen, of that post.

In other words, we are looking deeper into the non-intuitive, non-thermal expansion, non-bathtub model, and non-mythical components (the zones) of that layer of the world oceans.

Fig. 1c
There are three graph views of each zone, view 'a', view 'b', and view 'c' (for example, Fig. 1a, Fig. 1b, and Fig. 1c).

The 'a' view shows the total sea level rise in a given zone, together with the estimated contributions of Antarctica, Greenland, and Land Glaciers (the sea level rise at the three geographical locations add up to the combined total sea level rise pictured in the upper left pane).

Fig. 2a
The 'b' view has the same dynamics, except that geophysical dynamics are pictured instead of geographical locations.

"Displacement," "ghost water," and "thermal expansion" contributions to the total sea level rise are graphed.

Fig. 2b
Finally, in the 'c' view a satellite track of global mean average is placed in juxtaposition with the tracks of PSMSL tide gauge station records of local sea level rise in the zone being depicted.

The lesson to be learned from this approach is that even zones within a layer can have mild to severe differences.

Fig. 2c
That can be grasped at once by comparing Zone 3417 (Fig. 3a, Fig. 3b, and Fig. 3c) with Zone 5417 (Fig. 6a, Fig. 6b, and Fig. 6c).

The other zones are generally somewhere in between those two zones.

Finally, the 'c' view of these graphs shows that zones within a layer, and even complete layers themselves, can be above, below, or about equal to the global mean average as calculated using satellite data.

All in all, one salient point that was made in the first post of this series ("IV. Research Should Benefit Society") was that use of a too simple global mean average is detrimental to that goal.

Local areas can be assisted when data specific to their "zone" is provided to them.

The officials in Zone 3417 (New Zealand, where the sea level is 510.8 mm (1.68 ft.) higher now than it was when their tide gauges began to record sea level back in 1901) will benefit from actual in situ measurements which give them a handle on what particular trends they face.

Other officials in other zones in the same layer may not need to take the same precautions as those officials in Zone 3417 may need to.

Global mean average facts really are not helpful to any official who needs to be very precise when dealing with the issues in their specific locality.

So, there you have it.

What to do is their choice, however, it will be a better choice if they have facts that are specifically relevant to them.

The general focus we have provided (the sea level, the ocean temperatures, and the ocean salinity) has been done in a manner that utilizes ten degree latitude by ten degree longitude zones as a conceptual building block.

We have adhered to the best datasets we could find and use, so, as a result the picture that emerges is reasonably concrete and useful.

The motto for this endeavor, the motto we come away with, in terms of engineering coastal structures and sea ports, is: "focus on your area, not on 'everyone's area', because there is no such place as 'everyone's area' when it comes to local reaction to sea level."

The only thing that applies globally is "leave it in the ground" (the "it" being fossil fuels).

The notion that we can ignore the reality of what is taking place is utterly unthinkable.

The surface temperatures have to be watched of course, but that is only the beginning (A tipping point Greenland, Greenland Report).

It must not be done at the expense of watching all of the subsurface temperatures and salinity:

"We use numerical climate simulations, paleoclimate data, and modern observations to study the effect of growing ice melt from Antarctica and Greenland.

Meltwater tends to stabilize the ocean column, inducing amplifying feedbacks that increase subsurface ocean warming and ice shelf melting. Cold meltwater and induced dynamical effects cause ocean surface cooling in the Southern Ocean and North Atlantic, thus increasing Earth's energy imbalance and heat flux into most of the global ocean's surface. Southern Ocean surface cooling, while lower latitudes are warming, increases precipitation on the Southern Ocean, increasing ocean stratification, slowing deepwater formation, and increasing ice sheet mass loss. These feedbacks make ice sheets in contact with the ocean vulnerable to accelerating disintegration.

Humanity is rapidly extracting and burning fossil fuels without full understanding of the consequences. Current assessments place emphasis on practical effects such as increasing extremes of heat waves, droughts, heavy rainfall, floods, and encroaching seas (IPCC, 2014; USNCA, 2014). These assessments and our recent study (Hansen et al., 2013a) conclude that there is an urgency to slow carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, because the longevity of the carbon in the climate system (Archer, 2005) and persistence of the induced warming (Solomon et al., 2010) may lock in unavoidable, highly undesirable consequences. Despite these warnings, fossil fuels remain the world’s primary energy source and global CO2 emissions continue at a high level, perhaps with an expectation that humanity can adapt to climate change and find ways to minimize effects via advanced technologies. We suggest that this viewpoint fails to appreciate the nature of the threat posed by ice sheet instability and sea level rise. - (Hansen et al. 2016,).

More recently on another front, one writer summed it up as follows:
"The subject is actually extremely serious. OMG amounts to a comprehensive attempt, using ships, planes, and other research tools, to understand what’s happening as warm seas creep into large numbers of fjords that serve as avenues into the vast ice sheet — many of which contain large and partly submerged glaciers that are already melting and contributing to sea-level rise."

"Greenland is, in fact, the largest global contributor to rising seas — adding about a millimeter per year to the global ocean, NASA says — and it has 7.36 potential meters (over 24 feet) to give. The question is how fast it could lose that ice, and over five years, OMG plans to pull in enough data to give the best answer yet"
(OMG: Oceans Melting Greenland).

The previous post in this series is here.

1 comment:

  1. Cold water absorbs heat more readily than warm water, thus, one facet of the fate of the heat in warmer surface waters is to spontaneously flow to the colder water (Scientific American).

    "When a hot and a cold body are brought into contact with each other, heat energy will flow from the hot body to the cold body until they reach thermal equilibrium, i.e., the same temperature. However, the heat will never move back the other way ..." (Live Science, 2nd Law of Thermodynamics).

    "An example of an irreversible process is the problem discussed in the second paragraph. A hot object is put in contact with a cold object. Eventually, they both achieve the same equilibrium temperature. If we then separate the objects they remain at the equilibrium temperature and do not naturally return to their original temperatures. The process of bringing them to the same temperature is irreversible" (NASA).