Genesis 7, the flood.

In chapter 6 Noah was to take two of every kind, but now in Chapter 7 he is to take seven pairs of every clean animal. This becomes important later when Noah  sacrificed to the LORD.

Every living creature? It is clear God meant only mammals and birds, not every living being. The fishes hardly noticed.

A map of the last ice age.

It was cold. Ice covered Northern Europe, Northern Asia and Northern North America. The ocean levels was about 400 feet lower than today.  The CO2 level was about 180 ppm, less than half of today and could barely sustain plant growth. On the ice it snowed less than half of what snows on Greenland nowadays.

Then something happened. The ice started melting and the ocean levels started to rise. As we used to say in North Sweden, “Spring is not a season, it is a natural catastrophe.” One possible candidate for the flood was in the Persian Gulf, which got inundated about  10000 years ago. While probable, it is a gradual rise, not the catastrophic rise mentioned. A better candidate for the flood is  the melting ice cover in the North. The ice melted rapidly and formed  ice lakes south of the receding ice, both in Europe-Asia and North America. The water rises year after year, and suddenly it begins to form new rivers going south. When they break through the soil erodes and the lake empties suddenly. So it was with the Caspian sea, that made it rise until it finally emptied into the Black Sea.

 

And with this rapid ice melt came the deluge of rain. With the rapid ice melt the land under the ice rose rapidly, making the earth more spherical again. In fact, this is continuing to this day with the Bothnian bay rising out of the water by 3 feet per century and the Hudson Bay rising by four feet per century.

(Later the water emptied out in what is now Sweden, having risen out from under the ice.) The springs of the great deep burst forth, this was probably associated with a large number of earthquakes bursting forth geysers and springs in many places.

Yes, it is The LORD that opens and shuts.

Yes, the fishes and whales kept on swimming.

Here is another possible place for the Ark to have landed on Mt Ararat. The dimensions are right.

A Climate Realist’s (not so) short Answers to Hard Questions About Climate Change. Question 16 (of 16) Is it really all about carbon?

NOV. 28, 2015 gave his answers to 16 questions in the N.Y. Times regarding Climate Change. This Climate realist added his answer.

 Answers to Question 1: How much is the planet heating up?

Answers to Question 2. How much trouble are we in?

Answers to Question 3. Is there anything I can do?

Answers to Question 4. What’s the optimistic scenario?

Answers to Question 5. Will reducing meat in my diet help the climate?

Answers to Question 6. What’s the worst-case scenario?

Answers to Question 7. Will a tech breakthrough help us?

Answers to Question 8. How much will the seas rise?

Answers to Question 9. Are the predictions reliable?

Answers to Question 10. Why do people question climate change?

Answers to Question 11. Is crazy weather tied to climate change?

Answers to Question 12. Will anyone benefit from global warming?

Answers to Question 13. Is there any reason for hope?

Answers to Question 14. How does agriculture affect climate change?

Answers to Question 15. Will the seas rise evenly across the planet?

Justin Gillis answer to Question 16. Is it really all about carbon?

“Here’s a quick explainer.

The greenhouse gases being released by human activity are often called “carbon emissions,” just for shorthand. That is because the two most important of the gases, carbon dioxide and methane, contain carbon. Many other gases also trap heat near the Earth’s surface, and many human activities cause the release of such gases to the atmosphere. Not all of these actually contain carbon, but they have all come to be referred to by the same shorthand.

By far the biggest factor causing global warming is the burning of fossil fuels for electricity and transportation. That process takes carbon that has been underground for millions of years and moves it into the atmosphere, as carbon dioxide, where it will influence the climate for many centuries into the future. Methane is even more potent at trapping heat than carbon dioxide, but it breaks down more quickly in the air. Methane comes from swamps, from the decay of food in landfills, from cattle and dairy farming, and from leaks from natural gas wells and pipelines.

While fossil-fuel emissions are the major issue, another major creator of emissions is the destruction of forests, particularly in the tropics. Billions of tons of carbon are stored in trees, and when forests are cleared, much of the vegetation is burned, sending that carbon into the air as carbon dioxide.

When you hear about carbon taxes, carbon trading and so on, these are just shorthand descriptions of methods designed to limit greenhouse emissions or to make them more expensive so that people will be encouraged to conserve fuel.”

My answer to Question 16. Is it really all about carbon?

Climate change has very little to do with carbon. The term “carbon pollution” is a misnomer set up to simplify the argument to put the blame for climate change on increased CO2.

Coming out of the ice age both temperature and CO2 rose, but, and this is important, temperature rose first, and then, with a 300 to 800 year lag CO2 rose. When temperatures had risen to a couple of degrees higher than today, temperature stopped rising, CO2 caught up and has been stable until about 1700 A.D, when coal mining started in earnest. During this time of CO2 stability we have had the Minoan warm period, a cooldown, the Roman warm period, sharp cooldown during the dark ages, the Medieval warm period, the little ice age, and finally today’s warming period, called “Climate change.” Each warming period was a little cooler than the previous, and each cooling period a little colder than the previous. We are now well into the bog building phase of the interglacial period, during which time the CO2 levels used to decrease until the Milankovitch cycles ended the interglacial period. The unprecedented increase in CO2 levels experienced since the start of the industrial era might get us back to  the Medieval warming period, but the long term trend is lower temperatures, and the nest cooling period might trigger the next ice age.

What is putting a limit on temperature rise? One have to remember that the major greenhouse gas, bar none, is water vapor. In the tropics water vapor is more than ten times as abundant as when temperatures reach the freezing point. In the tropics water can be measured in percent, at the poles in parts per million. This has tremendous ramifications. Water vapor is lighter than air, and humid air tend to rise, get cooled down as temperature falls with altitude, and when saturation occurs clouds will form if there are condensation points, such as pollen, soot or cosmic radiation. The amount of CO2 does not matter in the tropics, if clouds or, better yet, thunderstorms occur there is a negative feedback keeping the temperatures stable, near the temperature of the oceans. Not so in the deserts and at the poles. Where water vapor is lacking CO2 plays a role. In the deserts the long term temperatures will increase at the full 0.9 degree C for every doubling pf CO2, at the poles far more, not so much because of increased CO2, but increased water vapor will cause it to snow more, releasing additional heat, causing more snow. And we can see that snowfall over the northern hemisphere is increasing, but the spring melt is also earlier.

In short, climate change so far has been all to the good.

 

 

 

A Climate Realist’s (not so) short Answers to Hard Questions About Climate Change. Question 8 (of 16) How much will the seas rise?

NOV. 28, 2015 gave his answers to 16 questions in the N.Y. Times regarding Climate Change. This Climate realist added his answer.

 Answers to Question 1: How much is the planet heating up?

Answers to Question 2. How much trouble are we in?

Answers to Question 3. Is there anything I can do?

Answers to Question 4. What’s the optimistic scenario?

Answers to Question 5. Will reducing meat in my diet help the climate?

Answers to Question 6. What’s the worst-case scenario?

Answers to Question 7. Will a tech breakthrough help us?

Justin Gillis answer to Question 8. How much will the seas rise?

“The real question is not how high, but how fast.

The ocean is rising at a rate of about a foot per century. That causes severe effects on coastlines, forcing governments and property owners to spend tens of billions of dollars fighting erosion. But if that rate continued, it would probably be manageable, experts say.

The risk is that the rate will accelerate markedly. If emissions continue unchecked, then the temperature at the Earth’s surface could soon resemble a past epoch called the Pliocene, when a great deal of ice melted and the ocean rose by something like 80 feet compared to today. A recent study found that burning all the fossil fuels in the ground would fully melt the polar ice sheets, raising the sea level by more than 160 feet over an unknown period.

With all of that said, the crucial issue is probably not how much the oceans are going to rise, but how fast. And on that point, scientists are pretty much flying blind. Their best information comes from studying Earth’s history, and it suggests that the rate can on occasion hit a foot per decade, which can probably be thought of as the worst-case scenario. A rate even half that would force rapid retreat from the coasts and, some experts think, throw human society into crisis. Even if the rise is much slower, many of the world’s great cities will flood eventually. Studies suggest that big cuts in emissions could slow the rise, buying crucial time for society to adapt to an altered coastline.”

My answer to Question 8. How much will the seas rise?

During the Pliocene epoch the water levels were about 80 feet higher than today, temperatures were 1 to 3 degree C warmer, but the CO2 level was less than 280 ppm, so there must have been another cause for the high temperatures than Carbon dioxide. My guess is that the activity of the Sun and the Milankovitch cycles triggered the meltdown of most of the Greenland and part of the Antarctic ice sheet. This is not the case now.  We are well into the bog generating phase of this interglacial period, the Minoan optimum temperature ( at 260 ppm CO2) did not trigger the ice-melt, and ever since we have been in a downward temperature trend. What is remarkable about this period is how stable sea levels have been. The ocean levels have been rising at an average rate of about one inch per century, quite different from emptying out the Baltic Ice Lake, an event that rose  Ocean levels by feet per year until it emptied out, the rest formed what is now the Baltic Sea. Coming out of the ice age rose Ocean levels about 400 feet, and then it stopped. There are places in northern Sweden where the land still rises out of the sea at about 3 feet per century. The Mid-Atlantic ridge is rising, has plenty of undersea volcanoes, about one third of all undersea volcanoes are between Jan Mayen and Svalbard. All this displaced water has to go somewhere, and so most of the rest of the world’s coastlines are experiencing rising sea levels. This is especially true for the U.S. East coast, sinking of its own. The warming of the oceans are vastly over-estimated, being confined to the surface and the upper 1000 feet, the sunlight is absorbed in the first few feet of water and there is limited and very slow mixing of deep water with surface water. But there is a temperature dependence of sea levels, the sea levels were fluctuating with temperature, as the chart to the right indicates.

Right now average ocean levels are increasing by about a foot per century, but the trend is not increasing. See Fig:

The take-home from this chart: Sea level rise has nothing to do with CO2 level rise, it is more about tectonic plates movements and what happens on the sea floor.