Columbus day, let’s celebrate Leif Eriksson day!

In fourteen hundred ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.

He had three ships and left from Spain; He sailed through sunshine, wind and rain.

He sailed by night; he sailed by day; He used the stars to find his way.

A compass also helped him know, How to find the way to go.

Ninety sailors were on board; Some men worked while others snored.

Then the workers went to sleep; And others watched the ocean deep.

Day after day they looked for land; They dreamed of trees and rocks and sand.

October 12 their dream came true, You never saw a happier crew!

“Indians! Indians!” Columbus cried; His heart was filled with joyful pride.

But “India” the land was not; It was the Bahamas, and it was hot.

The Arakawa natives were very nice; They gave the sailors food and spice.

Columbus sailed on to find some gold, To bring back home, as he’d been told.

He made the trip again and again, Trading gold to bring to Spain.

The first American? No, not quite. But Columbus was brave, and he was bright.

The first American? No, not quite. Besides the aborigines that came over from Siberia, crossing the Bering’s Strait the Vikings were there before. It was the Medieval warming period, and Iceland had been colonized, mostly by the Irish and Scottish, but around 900 A.D. the Vikings took over, set up farming on Iceland and even Greenland. They navigated as far north as Ruin Island, near the 80th latitude, went down on the North American side and setting up a settlement on what is now Newfoundland.

The settlement has been excavated but before excavation it looked like this:

It has been partially reconstructed:

There are many other signs of Viking activity in North America, mostly from Rune-stones. Some are authentic, but there are also frauds, so caution is of essence to validate them. But one thing is of particular interest, a map:

The map shows the world from the Viking perspective. It clearly outlines Vineland. Commerce was good, and the Vikings even exported Perigrene Falcons to the Arab Sheiks for their famous falconry.

The climate changed again, and around 1250 the Greenland settlement was abandoned, a glacier started cover what once was “gaarden under sanden”After the little ice age the inland ice is again retreating and excavations verify the farm really existed and produced cheese from cows.

Columbus probably knew about this map, and concluded it would be a better way to get to India. After being rebuked in his home-town Genoa he went to Spain to get financing for his endeavor, and the rest is history.

He was successful beyond all expectations, and yet, he didn’t know where he was going when he started, didn’t know where he was when he got there, didn’t know where he had been when he returned. And he got someone else to pay for the
whole thing!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

The piezoelectric effect of tears, a source of power?

The piezoelectric effect

of tears, this we must not neglect.

For the climate change cries

that bring tears to their eyes,

is power that powers their sect.

From wattsupwiththat 

From the UNIVERSITY OF LIMERICK and the “now if we can just keep people wailing about climate change we’ll have sustainable energy” department. Reports are that “weepy Bill McKibben” will be the first large scale electric tears generation facility. Eric Holthaus will be in the control group:


Irish scientists can now produce electricity from tears

A team of Irish scientists has discovered that applying pressure to a protein found in egg whites and tears can generate electricity. The researchers from the Bernal Institute, University of Limerick (UL), Ireland, observed that crystals of lysozyme, a model protein that is abundant in egg whites of birds as well as in the tears, saliva and milk of mammals can generate electricity when pressed. Their report is published today (October 2) in the journal, Applied Physics Letters.

The amount of electricity generated is negligible, but the emotional tension generated can produce strong emotional power.

Arctic ice growing again. 8th lowest minimum this year.

After a record warm winter in the Arctic last year leading to the lowest ice maximum, the ice melted at the slowest rate recorded,  leading to the 8th lowest ice minimum.

On Greenland the situation was quite different. It snowed and snowed, leading to the largest yearly ice gain recorded, which was quite a change from years and years of ice loss.

This year the ice gain started even earlier

Are these changes only temporary, or are they an early harbinger of the ice age to come?

New term for climate change in advance of Climate Week in NYC: “Existential threat”

The Climate Group Week in New York

attracts every Climate Change dork.

Global Governance bet.

“existential threat”

the Earth is not saved by more pork.

Thanks, Anthony Watts (wattsupwiththat.com) for pointing to this paper:

New climate risk classification created to account for potential ‘existential’ threats

Researchers identify a one-in-20 chance of temperature increase causing catastrophic damage or worse by 2050

From the UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA – SAN DIEGO

A new study evaluating models of future climate scenarios has led to the creation of the new risk categories “catastrophic” and “unknown” to characterize the range of threats posed by rapid global warming. Researchers propose that unknown risks imply existential threats to the survival of humanity.

Well Under 2 Degrees Celsius:
Fast Action Policies to Protect People and the Planet from Extreme Climate Change
Report of the Committee to Prevent Extreme Climate Change
Chairs:
V. Ramanathan, M. L. Molina, and D. Zaelke
Published September, 2017
Prominently and up front is a diagram that is supposed to explain everything:
 If we look at the last curve in dotted line they explain everything
BL (CI – 80% & C feedback). They explain that BL beans baseline (whatever baseline they mean is not explained). Then CI – 80%?

What does CI mean?

From the free encyclopedia: The term is usually used within the law enforcement world, where they are officially known as confidential or criminal informants (CI), and can often refer pejoratively to the supply of information without the consent of the other parties with the intent of malicious, personal or financial gain.

Well, that explains a lot, no need to understand the rest.

Major hurricanes hitting U.S. mainland and climate change.

Are the two hurricanes Harvey and Irma an indication of Global warming with stronger and more frequent hurricanes?

I think not. Let us look at all named major hurricanes hitting the U.S mainland since naming of hurricanes started.

1950 Easy, Fl; King, Fl

1951

1952

1953

1954 Hazel, NC, SC; Carol, RI.

1955

1956

1957 Audrey, La.

1958 Helene, NC.

1959 Gracie, SC.

1960 Donna, Fl.

1961 Carla, Tx.

1962

1963

1964 Hilda, La.

1965 Betsy, Fl, La.

1966

1967 Beulah, Tx.

1968

1969 Camille, La, Ms.

1970 Celia, Tx.

1971

1972

1973

1974 Carmen, La.

1975 Eloise, Fl.

1976

1977

1978

1979 Frederic, Al.

1980 Allen, Tx.

1981

1982

1983 Alicia, Tx.

1984

1985 Elena, Fl, Ms; Gloria, NY, NC.

1986

1987

1988

1989 Hugo, SC.

1990

1991

1992 Andrew, Fl, La.

1993 Emily, NC.

1994

1995 Opal, Fl.

1996 Fran, NC.

1997

1998

1999 Bret, Tx.

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004 Ivan, Al; Charlie, Fl; Ivan, Fl; Jeanne, Fl.

2005 Dennis, Wilma, Fl; Katrina, La, Ms; Rita, La.   “Hurricanes are going to be worse and more frequent”

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017 Harvey, Tx; Irma, Fl.           “I told you so!”

The energy in Hurricane Irma

The energy in Hurricane Irma.

Hurricane Irma was enormous, the eye was up to 40 miles in diameter,  the hurricane center core was up to 140 miles wide, tropical storm winds reached 150 miles from the center, it rained up to 200 miles from the center and clouds covered the skies up to 350 miles from the center. The eye of the hurricane covered over 1000 square miles, hurricane winds covered 15,000 square miles, tropical storm winds covered up to 70,000 square miles, rains stretched out over 125,000 square miles and clouds affected up to 400,000 square miles.

A Hurricane takes energy from the ocean and releases it in the form of rain,  wind and radiation into space. We measure hurricanes in categories dependent on the sustainable winds, but the wind energy is so much less than water energy. Nowhere was that more evident than in the case of hurricane Harvey, where nearly all the damage was from rain.

Hurricane Irma was different. It had landfalls in the Caribbean as a category 5 hurricane. At landfall Irma generated about 8 million Megawatts  of wind energy or more than twice as much as world wide electrical energy produced, and Irma made landfall on small islands in the Caribbean, on Cuba, the Florida Keys, near Naples, Florida and once more north of Tampa.

The first landfall was on the little island of Barbuda,size 62 square miles. It has a population of 8000, the power of Irma killed one of the inhabitants and destroyed 90 percent of the buildings on the island. Irma did this using about one tenth of one percent of its wind energy! The Virgin Islands also got a direct hit and a dozen deaths occurred in the rest of the Caribbean.

The situation i Cuba was much different. Irma entered Cuba with 155 mph winds, grazed the coastal archipelago, slowed down to 6 mph forward progress, briefly made landfall on the mainland and exited with 130 mph winds. This 72 hour Cuban visit claimed (so far) 10 lives in Cuba, Cuba absorbed maybe 30 percent of the wind energy from Irma, about 2.5 million Megawatts of wind energy during 72 hours, or about 180 million  MWh, or about nine times more than the yearly power consumption in Cuba.

This is a lot of energy, but it is dwarfed by the energy released in the condensation of the water vapor in the form of rain. This is about 800 million Megawatts, and continued in the case of Irma for 11 days, nearly all of it returning to the ocean from which it was fed. This is about 500 times the worldwide electrical energy produced, and since lasted 11 days, that is the equivalent of about 15 years of worldwide electrical production. Priced at 6 cents per kilowatt-hour this comes to about 12 trillion dollars worth of electricity if it could be harnessed, but instead it is destructive in its path, but usually beneficial in its periphery, since many of the islands it passes over depends on the rain from the hurricanes for its supply of fresh water.

But that is not the only cooling Irma provided. When the Sun shines over water 90 percent of all the sun’s energy is absorbed. The hurricane cloud was large, up to 700 miles in diameter or 400,000 square miles. The sun’s rays has an incoming energy of about 400 Watts per square meter, and the clouds reflect about 90 percent of the sun’s rays back into space rather than getting absorbed in the ocean or over land. The cooling effect of the hurricane Irma from clouds was about 200 million megawatts during peak daytime, or about 1,200 million mWhours. This alone is more than sixty times the worldwide electricity production.

Of course this all pales in comparison when one realizes the sun reaches us with 1,500 trillion Megawatt-hours of solar energy per day, so we are still talking of less than one millionth of the energy we receive from the sun.

Houston’s vulnerability to flooding is getting worse.

The pictures from Houston are horrific, with water, water everywhere and roads flooded in so many places that the only way to evacuate people is with boat.  But is it unprecedented? Here are photos of the flood of Dec 1935.

Houston is built on what was once swampland and river delta-land leading into Galveston bay.  Houston is now a concrete and asphalt jungle as seen in these photos

There have been many flood disasters in the Houston area, even dating to the mid-1800s when the population was very low. In December of 1935 a massive flood occurred in the downtown area as the water level height measured at Buffalo Bayou in Houston topped out at 54.4 feet.

By way of comparison, as of 6:30 a.m. this (Monday) morning, the water level in the same location is at 38 feet, which is still 16 feet lower than in 1935. But Buffalo Bayou is still rising.

Buffalo Bayou at low level.

Here is a map of Houston in 1940 and 2017. Green area is undisturbed land, red area is over 50% filled with buildings, asphalt or concrete. In these areas no water is absorbed into the ground.

The drying up of what was originally wetland leads

to a rapid sinking of the Houston area. See map of Harris County of which Houston is a part.

 

 

 

Most of Houston has dropped about 5 feet  since 1920, but near the bayou levels has dropped about 10 feet. It is not ocean rising, it is land sinking, since undisturbed land is not sinking.

Vulnerability to flooding will only get worse from now on.