Monday, April 9, 2018

You Are Here - 7

Fig. 1 Oh YAH
This series points out that way too many of us do not know were we are (You Are Here, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).

In the first post if this series it was pointed out that the psychological condition that focuses on this aspect of cognition is called "YAH".

The psychological considerations are quite real, however, I think they can be a metaphor as well (YAH MapsYou Are Where? The Function and Frustration of You-Are-Here Maps).

Especially in the sense of a "Life Map" scenario, where, if you do not know where you are in life, it is much more difficult to map out where you want to go from there (e.g. Life Road Maps, Using Spiritual Maps to Navigate Through Life, Drawing a Life Map).

One consequence of confusion causing us to not know where one is at any given time is being lost.

A quote from a Dylan song emphasizes the point somewhat:
"Sometimes I feel so low-down and disgusted
Can’t help but wonder what’s happenin’ to my companions
Are they lost or are they found
Have they counted the cost it’ll take to bring down
All their earthly principles they’re gonna have to abandon?
There’s a slow, slow train comin’ up around the bend
(Slow Train, emphasis added). Remember all the science fiction movies and TV series about being lost in space?
Fig. 2 Ohhhh Yaaaahhhhhhh

Way too many people would not know what clothing to wear or not wear when told "We are on the largest desert on Earth ... or we are on the second largest desert on Earth ... or the third largest desert on Earth."

The largest desert in the world (Antarctica) is defined as that because of its precipitation, or the lack thereof.

Same with the second largest, the Arctic desert (see: Ten Largest Deserts).

But size alone does not determine precipitation:
"Antarctica is classified as a desert because so little moisture falls from the sky. The inner regions of the continent receive an average of 2 inches (50 millimeters) of precipitation — primarily in the form of snow — each year. More rain falls in the Sahara desert. The coastal regions receive more falling moisture, but still only average 8 inches (200 mm) annually."
(Live Science, emphasis added). Like the Sahara (the third largest desert), what they are now is paramount (in the sense that these desert locations have gone through changes; i.e. once upon a time they were not deserts) to their future.

Fig. 3 Potential Sea level rise
Their future begins now in the sense that today is the first day of the rest of their "life map."

Can you imagine a ship captain today using an ancient map of the world to navigate across the ocean?

Or can you imagine a news release telling us the old tale that Antarctica is gaining ice mass via precipitation?

A recent news release says that  in some parts of Antarctica precipitation has increased 10% in the past 200 years.

I became suspicious of the news release when they started it with the "Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) is the largest reservoir of fresh water on the planet," not mentioning that Antarctica is not only a desert, but it is the largest desert on Earth (do they know where they are?).

Fig. 4 Oh Yeah
Deserts are determined by how much precipitation falls on that area.

Those who released the news report did not seem to know that they were on the Earth's largest desert when they took 79 ice core samples and plugged their interpretation of those cores into a computer model. (News release, PDF).

It is well known that peninsula ice cores are to be carefully used:
"The Antarctic Peninsula has a number of ice cores, the longest of which extends back to 14,000 years ago. However, most are very short and it is difficult to compile a ‘representative’ ice-core stack, due to the different techniques and proxies used and measured, the disparate nature of the ice cores, the variance in length, and the widely different climatic regimes either side of the Peninsula. What we can do is reconstruct the climate over the Antarctic Peninsula in different places and over different periods, using the ice-core record in conjunction with other climate proxies, such as lake and marine sediment cores, glacier fluctuations, and soil and moss banks.

...the last 100 years of the ice core indicates strong, but not unprecedented, warming during the Twentieth Century ...

Zooming in on the last 1000 years from the James Ross Island ice core, we see cool conditions from AD 1410 to 1460, followed by warming. This warming has resulted in strong intensification of surface melting, with melt increasing dramatically in the twentieth century."
(Ice cores on the Antarctic Peninsula). The folks who released the news need to explain their computer model.

Notice the "mass gains are predicted under future climate warming scenarios" false declaration in their statement (i.e. that is not the scientific consensus: Hot, Warm, & Cold Thermal Facts: Tidewater-Glaciers, 2, 3, 4).

Their use of the Antarctic Peninsula as a representative of the entire continent of Antarctica is also misplaced.

For example, it (the Antarctic Peninsula) can only produce 0.46 meters of sea level rise compared to 64.80 meters by East Antarctica and 8.06 meters by West Antarctica (Fig. 3).

It will take more than 79 ice core samples at the peninsula, and a computer model, to convince current scientists that their daily observations are inaccurate, or that Antarctica is not a desert (10% of a desert is still a desert).

Fig. 5 Oh Yeah
And, like the Sahara which once had lots of rainfall, then is not the same as now, because the Sahara is a desert now, no longer a forest.

The life map of these deserts must begin with what they are now, not what they once were.

Antarctica is not the mythological place described in the textbooks these researchers read when they were in school a while back (Antarctica 2.0, 2, 3, 4).

Denial is not the stuff that good science is made of (The Pillars of Knowledge: Faith and Trust?).

What we need to do is carefully examine in situ reality and choose carefully (Choose Your Trances Carefully, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8), so as to avoid yet another surge of Agnotology (Agnotology: The Surge, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20).

Civilization has made Antarctica and Greenland into enemies of civilization, which unlike enemy nations, cannot be bullied into submission or coerced by denialist propaganda (Greenland & Antarctica Invade The United States, 2, 3, 4).

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

Dr. Eric Rignot ...


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  3. Good stuff! Great vid by Rignot-many thanks!

    How 'bout a little 'Strine humour?

    'First Dog on the Moon' cartoon. 'What is it about coal that makes old white men so crazy?"