Friday, June 28, 2019

The Common Good - 12

Not Common Enough?
The fundamental struggle which "groups" (nations, civilizations) must contend with in order to perpetuate themselves is the tension between the common good and the common bad.

That dynamic is discussed in two series here on Dredd Blog (The Common Good, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11; How To Identify The Despotic Minority, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11).

The great historians have identified the issue as an existential one:
But always TCS ["The Creep State"] is primarily the population segment diagnosed as a despotic minority which the once most-often-quoted historian, Toynbee, fingered as one of the members of the trinity of extinction that he found in all civilizations that were about to become very successful at becoming extinct:
That something is the dementia that produces and ends up in suicide:
"In other words, a society does not ever die 'from natural causes', but always dies from suicide or murder --- and nearly always from the former, as this chapter has shown."
(A Study of History, by Arnold J. Toynbee). There is no cure for the final symptom of that group dementia, there is only prevention by way of avoiding it altogether in the first place.

The components of that group dementia were pointed out in an encyclopedia piece concerning that historian quoted above:
"In the Study Toynbee examined the rise and fall of 26 civilizations in the course of human history, and he concluded that they rose by responding successfully to challenges under the leadership of creative minorities composed of elite leaders. Civilizations declined when their leaders stopped responding creatively, and the civilizations then sank owing to the sins of nationalism, militarism, and the tyranny of a despotic minority" ...
(Encyclopedia Britannica, emphasis added). The show stopper, in terms of remedy, in this type of group dementia is that it is a contagious dementia.
(Etiology of Social Dementia - 18). That particular "minority" is not a racial or ethnic minority, rather, it is primarily composed of a destructive suicidal trance (Choose Your Trances Carefully, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8).
(Arrested Development: The Creep State). It seems that just about everyone in the world who is aware of current events knows that the USA is awash in that tentative situation.

Nations who are being overcome by the tyranny of a despotic minority begin to develop various outbreaks of cruelty and dishonesty within.

For example, horrific mistreatment of persecuted people seeking asylum (Asylum Officers: Trump's 'Remain In Mexico' Policy Is Against 'Moral Fabric' Of U.S.).

The majority is taken aback at first, not realizing the gravity of the situation, and therefore they focus on the illusionary, vain words "bipartisanship", "consensus", and the like.

That is, the majority does not realize that the despotic minority is only interested in capitulation from "the other" party, group, race, or religion.

The dynamic to focus on is that those "sins" ("the civilizations then sank owing to the sins of nationalism, militarism, and the tyranny of a despotic minority") are infectious and unlikely to be seen as a cultural disease.

They are eventually seen as virtues.

Once the majority realizes the mistake they have made, historically it is too late.

The common bad develops and the civilization commits suicide (fades away as a nation or civilization).

The previous post in this series is here.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Gerrymandering - Geological Deceit? - 7

It says what the Supremes
say it says

The issues involved in this Dredd Blog series (Gerrymandering - Geological Deceit?, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) have now been decided in terms of federal court involvement.

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Rucho v. Common Cause, No. 18-422 (U.S. Jun. 27, 2019), ruled that federal courts have no jurisdiction to decide gerrymandering issues.

It was a 5-4 decision.

One has to wonder why, after a couple of hundred years, this important issue has not been considered and dealt with by the federal government.

The states do not have final authority on the issue, because the U.S. Constitution has specific language to that effect (more on that later in this post).

In the previous post I wrote:
Why not simply make one or more counties the voting districts, and allow she or he who wins the most counties to become elected?

I say that because counties already hold elections and have the apparatus to do so, in both federal and state elections.

It will save the expense we now have in managing votes in far flung and outlandishly shaped gerrymandered voting districts.

Meanwhile the counties already exist and have the money to conduct elections.
(Gerrymandering - Geological Deceit? - 6). The Congress could enact federal law to implement that process:
"The times, places and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by law make or alter such regulations, except as to the places of choosing Senators."
(Article I, Section 4, emphasis added; cf. The Elections Clause). If they passed legislation to require that counties (or the equivalent) or combinations thereof must compose the districts for electing members of the House of Representatives, it would simplify elections.

But here we go again, almost starting over.

The only consolations to the dilemma is that the supreme courts of some states have outlawed partisan gerrymandering, while others have passed laws by referendum of the people to require bipartisan commissions to set the election district boundaries.

We now enter a contentious time due to one of the main practices of our government bodies: "kick the can down the road."

The previous post in this series is here.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Why Sea Level Rise May Be The Greatest Threat To Civilization - 7

Common Problems
I. Problems, What Problems?

Even without considering sea level change (SLC) problems, seaports currently have a plethora of challenges.

Here are a few indications of the types of challenges they face today:
"Ports play a critical role in the development of many countries. They represent a country’s national heritage, culture, and local commercial attitudes. Simply put, ports are the gate ways for trade. Unfortunately, despite the rapid globalization and modernization, most ports are not as efficient as they should be and are becoming barriers to international trade.

If you are a keen follower of emerging trends, you will note that most ports are plagued with problems like clearance delays, inadequate investments, captivity issues, increased freight rates, lack of effective strategies, and inappropriate international mandates.

What is causing all these challenges?" (Challenges Facing Ports).

"Containerization has consequently become a fundamental function of global port operations and has changed the structure and configuration of port terminals that tend to occupy more space."
"As terminals, ports handle the largest amounts of freight, more than any other types of terminals combined. To handle this freight, port infrastructures jointly have to accommodate transshipment activities both on ships and inland and thus facilitate convergence between land transport and maritime systems. In many parts of the world, ports are the points of convergence from which inland transport systems, particularly rail, were laid. Most ports, especially those that are ancient, owe their initial emergence to their site as the great majority of harbors are taking advantage of a natural coastline or a natural site along a river. Many port sites are constrained by:

Maritime access, which refers to the physical capacity of the site to accommodate ship operations. It includes the tidal range, which is the difference between the high and low tide, as normal ship operations cannot handle variations [between high and low tide] of more than 3 meters.
Maritime interface. Indicates the amount of space that is available to support maritime access, namely the amount of shoreline that has good maritime access. This attribute is very important since ports are linear entities. Even if a port site has an excellent maritime access, namely deep water waterways, there may not be enough land available to guarantee its future development and expansion.
Infrastructures and equipment. The site, to be efficiently used, must have infrastructures such as piers, basins, stacking or storage areas, warehouses, and equipment such as cranes, all of which involving high levels of capital investment. In turn, these infrastructures consume land which must be available to insure port expansion. Keeping up with the investment requirements of modern port operations has become a challenge for many ports, particularly in light of containerization which requires substantial amounts of terminal space to operate. Modern container terminals rely on an unique array of infrastructure, including portainers, stacking yards serviced by gantry cranes and the vehicles used to move containers around the terminal, such as straddle carriers.
Land access. Access from the port to industrial complexes and markets insure its growth and importance. This requires efficient inland distribution systems, such as fluvial, rail (mainly for containers) and road transportation. The land access to ports located in densely populated areas is facing increasing congestion." (The Geography of Transport Systems).

"The start of 2019 is sending signals that we may have slower trade growth than anticipated, presenting challenges to all. The National Retail Federation says it expects a decline in year-over-year growth, and the World Bank is sending signals that the global economy is slowing, with China leading the way.

This isn’t great news for any sector of global trade. Carriers are already smarting from a less-than-spectacular 2018 and face increased capacity being delivered in 2019. Shippers, some of whom felt the sting of unusually high spot market rates during the last couple of months of 2018, face what could be increased tariffs after March 1 when the US and China end their trade talks. Carriers also are seeking increased rates and anticipate a jump in fuel costs related to the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO’s) low-sulfur fuel mandate that will take effect Jan. 1, 2020.

Balancing these conditions will be a challenge to all involved in ocean shipping, with shippers and carriers working on plans to keep their economic equilibrium, trying to meet budgets most set months ago before the unfavorable news of recent events.

Some of the drama started playing out in December as carriers met with larger shippers to begin the 2019-2020 contract negotiations. Carriers must get back on track to make money as they did in 2017 after six years of losses, having failed to do so in 2018 because of decisions made early in the year, decisions that will impact them through April.

By managing capacity, they were able to recover a bit in the spot market late in 2018. Carriers also caught a break with oil prices declining in late 2018. But the larger shippers have a deal in hand lasting almost four more months, and while they recognize conditions better than most, they aren’t in a mood to just accept increases because carriers aren’t making money.

So negotiations for the 2019-2020 contracts will be difficult. Carriers were able to get spot rates up by more than double some of the service contract levels. But facing the large service contract shippers who have low rates and asking for increases has never been an easy task for carriers; volumes available seem to bring out a gift-giving reaction." (Container challenges of 2019 to echo years past)

(emphasis added). The day to day economic, legal, contract negotiation, and geographical problems alone are substantial,  but adding the existential problem of SLC is likely to be overwhelming.

II. Countries & Seaports Impacted

Regular readers will know that previous Dredd Blog posts, from at least February of 2010, have listed countries and seaports that are impacted by SLC (Nation Building - The Will Of The Wind, Will This Float Your Boat - 3; Countries With Sea Level Change, 2, 3; Seaports With Sea Level Change, 2; The Extinction of Robust Sea Ports, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11).

The problems that arise when engineers contemplate elevating seaports several meters while trying to do business as usual is only exceeded by the problems that arise if they do not respond to the existential threat of SLC.

The scientific research has not been adequate enough to support robust engineering efforts or robust engineering solutions:
"This reality means society needs to think about climate change in different ways than the past, by focusing on reducing the risk of negative effects. And speaking as a climate scientist, I recognize that climate science research, too, has to change.

Historically, climate science has been primarily curiosity-driven – scientists seeking fundamental understanding of the way our planet works because of the inherent interest in the problem.

Now it’s time for the climate science research enterprise to adopt an expanded approach, one that focuses heavily on integrating fundamental science inquiry with risk management.
This long-term, iterative process is a break with current practices. It requires sustained relationships that are not a good fit for much of the academic scientific enterprise, which is driven by curious individuals and funded by short-term grants.

There are signs, though, that climate scientists are getting out of the ivory tower and taking a different approach to research."
(Climate research needs to change, Bob Kopp, emphasis added). The existence of civilization as we know it really is at stake.

III. Closing Question

What level of catastrophe will it take for the willingly blind to see?


The previous post in this series is here.

Monday, June 24, 2019

The Ghost Plumes - 9

Fig. 1 Phase One
I. Don't Worry Be Happy

You might ask: "Why worry about ghost plumes, ghost water, and ghost photons Dredd?"

Good question.

It reminds me of the time a detective was questioning an infamous bank robber: "Why do you rob banks?" the detective asked of the bank robber.

The bank robber quickly replied "Because that is where the money is!"

By analogy, too many researchers of the Cryosphere have not been "robbing banks", instead they have all too often chosen to attribute sea level change (SLC) to "thermal expansion."

The warming commentariat membership, in order to explain all things SLC, glibly write the
Fig. 2 Phase Two
half truth: "water expands when heat is added to it" (The Warming Science Commentariat, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13).

"Since thermal expansion is the main cause of SLC in the form of sea level rise (SLR)," they say or write to one another in news papers, magazines, and on blogs, "there is no need to respond to those folks [like Dredd] who have a different opinion about the main cause of SLC" (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, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39).

They don't have to believe in ghost water (The Ghost-Water Constant, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9).

They don't have to worry about ghost plumes (The Ghost Plumes, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8), and those pesky phantom ghost photons give them no pause (The Ghost Photons, 2, 3), so long as they can cling to a thermal expansion hypothesis which has been falsified.

II. Worried Contrarians

However, there are contrarians who do not blindly accept their assertions.

For example, NASA believes in ghost water (NASA Busts The Ghost), and prominent experts around and about the Cryosphere imply that most ice sheet mass loss takes place at the termini of tidewater glaciers:
"Glaciers worldwide are currently losing mass at substantial rates [e.g., Gardner et al., 2013; Luthcke et al., 2013], with the most rapid changes occurring at glaciers that terminate in water [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2013]. In fact, ice loss at the glacier front or underneath floating ice is an important component of the mass budget of many glacier
Fig. 3 Phase Three
systems worldwide: it accounts for most of the mass loss from the Antarctic Ice Sheet, as well as being a significant factor at other polar to subpolar glaciers and ice caps.For example, about 50% of the increase in ice loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet over the past two decades has been attributed to the rapid thinning and retreat of Greenland’s outlet glaciers. The thinning is a dynamic effect caused by increased mass loss at the glacier front [e.g., Rignot and Kanagaratnam, 2006; van den Broeke et al., 2009; Rignot et al., 2011; Shepherd et al., 2012]. Tidewater-calving glaciers have accounted for the loss of the entire ice fields in Alaska [e.g., Larsen et al., 2004] and still account for much ice loss there [e.g., Arendt et al., 2006; Berthier et al., 2010], as well as in other nonpolar areas, such as Patagonia [e.g., Rignot et al., 2003; Willis et al., 2012]. Recently, in Alaska, land-terminating glaciers have become the dominant contributors to sea level rise, because many tidewater glaciers have already completed their retreat [Larsen et al., 2015]. Numerous ocean-terminating (tidewater) glaciers worldwide have undergone a combination of thinning, rapid retreat, and, somewhat non- intuitively, flow acceleration.
(Truffer et al., 2016), emphasis added; cf. Rignot et al., 2019; Mouginot et al., 2019). The descriptions of the dynamics of ice melt seem to have been historically interpreted as if the only thing taking place is seawater contacting tidewater ice.

While that observation is true as seen "from a distance", that is, without the application of quantum physics, sometimes "just seawater touching ice" seems inexplicable (because the seawater is quite cold).

III. Enter Gibbs

Oceanographers have been neglecting the work of Gibbs, who should not be neglected according to Einstein:
"Albert Einstein called him 'the greatest mind in American history.' Gibbs’s studies of thermodynamics and discoveries in statistical mechanics paved the way for many of Einstein’s later discoveries."
(In Search Of Ocean Heat - 5). Dr. Einstein had good things to say about the type of work Gibbs did.

The easiest way to NOT neglect Gibbs is to use the TEOS-10 toolbox:
It boils down to the fact that in a world facing climate change catastrophe daily,  it is all the more important to have a standard way of talking about climate change / global warming:
"Observational data of salinity and relative humidity need to be globally comparable within requisite uncertainties over decades and centuries, but both quantities rely on century ‐ old provisional standards of unclear stability, or on ambiguous definitions. This increasingly urgent and long ‐ pending problem can only be solved by proper metrological traceability to the International System of Units (SI). Consistent with such SI ‐ based definitions, state ‐ of ‐ the ‐ art correlation equations for thermophysical properties of water, seawater, ice and humid air such as those available from the recent oceanographic standard TEOS ‐ 10 need to be developed and adopted as joint international standards for all branches of climate research, in oceanography, meteorology and glaciology for data analysis and numerical models.
TEOS-10 is highly accurate.
(Salinity and relative humidity: climatological relevance and metrological needs, emphasis added). That is why Dredd Blog uses the TEOS-10 toolkit (TEOS Org).
(The World According To Measurements - 12). The fact that the software is provided at no cost to the user is all the more reason to use it.

IV. No Excuses Please

You might wonder why I consider much of the corporate scientific community to be a problem (in the sense that it is willfully out of touch).

So, here are some quotes from some who are in accord with my complaint:
"In 2017-18, the Australian Senate inquired into the  implications of climate change for Australia’s national security. The Inquiry found that climate change is 'a current and existential national security risk', one that 'threatens the premature extinction of Earth-originating intelligent life or the permanent and drastic destruction of its potential for desirable future development'."
(Existential climate-related security risk: A scenario approach, PDF).

"No one is planning for the collapse of civilization, for food shortages, epidemics and mass displacement, but that could happen as the result of a major climate disaster. The vast majority of Americans move ahead with their daily lives as normal. Few actually consider the national, global and personal implications of the breakdown of our climate" (The Hill).

"I suspect the existence of what I call the `John Mercer effect'. Mercer (1978) suggested that global warming from burning of fossil fuels could lead to disastrous disintegration of the West Antarctic ice sheet, with a sea level rise of several meters worldwide. This was during the era when global warming was beginning to get attention from the United States Department of Energy and other science agencies. I noticed that scientists who disputed Mercer, suggesting that his paper was alarmist, were treated as being more authoritative.
I believe there is a pressure on scientists to be conservative. Papers are accepted for publication more readily if they do not push too far and are larded with caveats. Caveats are essential to science, being born in skepticism, which is essential to the process of investigation and verification. But there is a question of degree. A tendency for `gradualism' as new evidence comes to light may be ill-suited for communication, when an issue with a short time fuse is concerned." (The Ghost-Water Constant - 9, quoting James Hansen)

V. Today's Graphics & Graphs

Fig. 4
Plumes are formed when infrared photons radiate from ambient ocean water into tidewater glacier ice.

When enough photons have radiated away from the sea water and then entered into atoms of the ice, the ice eventually reaches its melting point (see graphics at Fig. 1, Fig. 2, & Fig. 3).

Fig. 5
The ice contracts (thermal contraction), i.e. it shrinks (Fig. 6), because it loses volume as it becomes melt water.

The space which the glacial ice once took up is a bit larger than the smaller volume of the newly melted ice water, so, the pressure at the Mesopelagic depth causes the ambient seawater to flow into the smaller volume, and also to mix with the fresh, melted ice water.

Fig. 6
A melt water plume is formed by the melt water that mixes with ambient seawater as thermodynamic forces act upon the growing plume (Fig. 1 - Fig. 3). 

The glacial ice that has now become liquid is mixed with the ambient seawater, so the plume's salinity increases.

Another difference exists, in terms of the density of the melt water plume compared to the higher density of the ambient sea water, which is that "buoyancy" enters the picture.

Therefore, the plume's buoyancy (as a result of the lower density of the melt water plume compared to the greater density of the ambient seawater) causes the plume to flow toward the surface.

When there is an ice shelf at the surface of the tidewater area, the plume flows along the bottom of the ice shelf.

VI. Closing Comments

The melt cycle that produces tidewater glacier plumes automatically continues because the warmer ambient seawater will flow into the vacated plume space as the plume flows toward the surface.

The warmer ambient water that replaces the melt water plume has infrared photons in it, which can radiate into the newly exposed glacial ice.

Thus, the melt cycle repeats itself so long as there is ambient seawater and glacial ice for those infrared photons to radiate into.

When the melt cycle is done sea level in some places will have risen 263.5 feet or 80.32 meters (USGS).

UPDATE: A recent paper indicates that this Dredd Blog series is on to something:
"How fast does warm ocean water melt glaciers that terminate in the sea? That question is central to understanding how fast ice sheets may lose mass, and thus how fast sea level will rise, in response to global warming, but there are few data about the process. Sutherland et al. used repeat multibeam sonar surveys to observe an Alaskan subsurface tidewater glacier face to create a time series of its melting and calving patterns. They observed melt rates up to a hundred times larger than those predicted by theory, observations that compel us to reevaluate predictions of such ice loss."
(Science Mag, emphasis added. This type of research is sorely needed in Antarctica.

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