h a l f b a k e r y
Number one on the no-fly list
add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random
news, help, about, links, report a problem
or get an account
Not all science is equal. A fact lost on the majority, but
important nonetheless. Like any occupation, the size,
quality and motivation of the field tends to foster a higher
general standard and the peak quality is pushed a little
higher. A good and current example of this is neuroscience.
a field it is currently well funded, tends to publish in
bigger journals and most importantly is benefiting from a
sudden availability of new tools which provide an awful lot
of opportunity. In the past, new tools have inspired other
surges in scientific output. The electron microscope
produced a frenzy of interesting subcellular imaging in the
60's&70's and sadly, we're probably nowhere near as good
at that now as we were then.
Anyhow, climate science was a bit of a backwater in the
past. An offshoot of some Earth science or other, with
total of about 100 bearded Berghaus fleece wearers using
meagre funding to travel the world indulging their hiking
fetish. Now, it's more serious, competitive and as such
some real data exists*. Anyhow, we can increase the
quality a bit further, with a chunk of cash, a little
ambition and some proper techniques.
Currently, climate science is essentially observation only,
with a bit of computer modelling at the back end. Models
are only as good as the data you put in and as bad as the
variables left swinging about in the breeze. We're in an
interesting position where we can actually perform some
real experiments. The total amount of non-CO2 producing
power generation in the word has increased significantly in
recent years. it looks likely that this trend will continue.
Now, much of the coal,oil,&gas infrastructure remains. So,
before it gets phased out, lets use it for proper science.
Even solar and wind power generation techniques require
maintenance, as does conventional power generation. By
synchronizing these, we can have significant pulses of CO2
production followed by relatively low CO2 production
periods. So, we have 6 months of coal oil and gas burning
frenzy, then turn it off and watch. With care, you will
know how much carbon went in, how much came out,
where, and how that ends up distributed. If you're really
clever you can dope your CO2 with isotopes, you've got
C12, C13, C14 to play with and at least 3 stable oxygen
varieties. There's also Nitrogen, methane, sulphur and
argon that can be labelled and traced.
The idea is, that a little synchronization should only alter
the distribution of CO2 emission through time, not the
total amount. This gets it past the world government's
notoriously tricky ethics committee. There, some proper
more proactive climate science.
*Actually, it's still not that great. Turns out gases trapped
in ice cores diffuse around a lot before being properly
trapped, and you rely on proxies like isotope ratios.
Absolute concentrations of gasses are a nightmare to get
hold of from ice cores, we've only been measuring
atmospheric CO2 for a little while, in maybe 2 places, and
atmospheric oxygen for about 2 mins. No one is measuring
nitrogen or say, argon, so we have no good historical idea
of the total composition of the atmosphere, or annoyingly
the total amount.
||The problem is that the result is already known -
the only thing missing is the experimental data,
which will of course be construed to fit the known
||Consider each of the following possible results of
your pulse experiment, and the explanations in
light of the known answer:
||(a) There's no downstream effect over the
following 15 years. Explanation: the effects of CO2
manifest only over longer time periods. Solution:
||(b) There's no downstream effect over the
following 50 years. Explanation: the oceans are
buffering the pulses, but we still have a real
problem. Solution: more funding!!
||(c) There are short-term fluctuations, at some
point in the future, after your pulses. Explanation:
we told you so! Solution: more funding!!
||(d) There are fluctuations, but they appear to be
in the wrong direction. Explanation: the climate is
complex; localized or short-term cooling is a
consequence of long-term warming. Solution:
||(e) The next ice-age begins. Explanation: we
didn't call it "global warming", we called it "climate
change", and the climate is definitely changing.
Solution: more funding!!
||using satellite based lasers, you could actually, just possibly, measure column of air warming above a large herd of plantivores, like they could have them graze at areas 40 miles different than usual, then have a control and swap back to the usual grazing lands. this is not a silliness, it is just that with some thought a few million methane generators could occupy, avoid, then reoccupy a spatial area of earth, with column of air effect measurements
||I do not know how you put up with it being 72 F one afternoon and 70F another, other than the 3d volumetric mapping being super high p value like fMRI p values.