Another One Bites The Dust

I live in a suburbanized Oak forest North of Chicago. Today I saw that the village has cut down the remains of one of the younger Oaks in my neighborhood.

oakbitesdust1

I’m 61 years old, and this tree existed before I was born, I know because I remember it being there when I was a small fry. There are many Oaks that are larger than this one, in fact the majority of them in my little suburb are larger in diameter. Not many Oak seedlings or saplings survive the lawnmowers and the other hazards that threaten Oak survival.  This area, while predominantly Oaks (White, Red, Pin…), has also American Elm, (Yes! there are a few that have survived the great die-off from Dutch-Elm Disease in the 60’s), Cottonwood, Ash(suffering badly now due to the Emerald Ash Borer beetle), Hickory, and perhaps a few others indigenous to the area.  What I find most disturbing is the lack of undergrowth to insure a continuance of the Oak/Elm biome. Sadly there are few young Oaks coming up under the magnificent crowns of these mature ones, some of which are getting close to 200 yrs or more in age!  These big Oaks won’t remain if their babies are not cared for.

oakbitesdust2       oakbitesdust3

A small hollow is seen in the bottom of this tree, with some tunneling made by Black (Carpenter) Ants. This is not what caused the demise of this tree. Most likely its roots have been disturbed by the relaying of the bricks in the street to the right. Additional factors could be the percolation of rock salt used in Winter, application of lawn weed control chemicals, being overshadowed by neighboring trees, and the perpetual annual loathsome human habit of the raking and removal of leaves which happens every fall.

Importance of Soil Humus

Oaks, and indeed all trees, deciduous or evergreen, have developed before humans came along and raked up or disposed of their leaves. When undisturbed, the forest litter performs an important function for the health of a forest. It provides nourishment and acidification for the soil as well as a home for a myriad of insects, most of which are beneficial to the ecosystem.  This is why I prefer to ‘lawnmower mulch’ the leaves in place and let the small bits filter down into the lawn. All of the nutrients and acidic tannins from the leaves will percolate down into the soil and ultimately help the trees in the following seasons.

What can we do?

If you like Oaks and their related forest dwellers as much as I do, then you can help by planting some acorns, or moving a seedling which is too close to a fence or a house into a more open spot in your yard.  Mulch your leaves, or allow a humus layer to develop underneath your trees. Limit your use of weed killers. Important!: Oaks have a tap root, so when you go to move one, do not chop off the tap root!, and dig a deep enough hole to accommodate it.  Do not indiscriminately hack off roots that may be going across the surface of your lawn, you might kill a tree. Be careful when digging for other plantings, if there’s a large root in the way, you can always choose another spot. Be kind to your Oaks!

oakcrown2

A Classic Oak Crown – This magnificent tree must be approaching 300 years old or more, there are several large trunks which emerge from a stout base that looks to be 12 to 15 feet circumference. This one is a block away from my location, and looks like three trees in one. Most trees in the neighborhood are comparable to just that one trunk rising at the right.

Advertisements

Putting the Hockey Stick in a Proper Context

Climate Change In Perspective

If you’ve been living under a rock, then you probably haven’t heard of the (now famous) “hockey stick graph.”

OriginalStick

‘Hockey Stick’ was coined by the climatologist Jerry Mahlman, to describe the pattern shown by the Mann, Bradley & Hughes (MBH99) reconstruction, creating a graph that is relatively flat with a downward trend to 1900 which looks like an ice hockey stick’s “shaft” followed by a sharp, steady increase corresponding to the “blade” portion.  The hockey stick graphs have featured in the IPCC reports as evidence of Anthropogenic Global Warming, or AGW.

Note that the time frame of this graph is for 1000 years. That’s barely the blink of an eye in terms of the Earth’s 4.5 billion year existence. Also note that everything prior to 1855, the start point of the red line in the graph above, is not actual direct measurement of temperature, but inferred by proxy.

Greenland Ice Core Proxies

The compacted snow in Greenland Ice Cores above the 1855 level is too recent and not compacted enough to be usable in ice core proxies. But everything prior to that is usable, and goes back nearly 52,000 years.  Greenland ice core data doesn’t go back any farther than that. Temperature estimates are determined by analysing the ratio of Heavy Oxygen and Heavy Hydrogen to normal O and H in the samples of ice.
“Oxygen and hydrogen isotopes in the ice are analyzed to determine hemispheric temperatures because heavy water (water with deuterium instead of 1H), as well as heavy oxygen water, (water with 18O instead of 16O), have higher boiling points than regular water, and more heavy water gets into the atmosphere when global temperatures are high. The warmer the earth, the more heavy isotopes wind up in the ice. This has nothing to do with the temperature of the ice, it has to do with the temperatures at the evaporation sites.” [The evaporation sites from which the ice originated, which for this hockey stick graph are primarily from locations all over the Northern Hemisphere.] – scroll down to ‘Modern Warming’ at this link for a more detailed explanation of Greenland Ice Core Proxy derivations.

The Hockey Stick In Context

If you were startled or alarmed at the original Hockey Stick graph above then you may be even more shocked at what I will show you now! The graphs below will show you this ‘hockey stick’ in a proper context to human and geological history:

Original Hockey Stick (proxy data of Temperature) Graph 1 – 1400AD to 1855AD

hockey1j

The Red arrow points to the blade of the ‘stick.’  The ‘blade’ starts at about 1780.  Coal was only just beginning to be used in industrial applications: it was 1781 when James Watt patented his first continuous motion steam engine.  But not until 1804 when the first railway using a steam engine in Wales took place. 

Graph 2 – looking back to 800AD

hockey2j

Here we see the Medieval Warm Period Circa 1000AD, when the Vikings settled Greenland, and the Little Ice Age, late 1300’s to late 1700’s.

Graph 3 – going back to 2700 BC

hockey3j

1400 BC was even warmer than Roman Warm Period and the Medieval Warm Period. And look what has happened to the ‘hockey stick!’

Graph 4 – Back to 11,000 BC, the last full-on Ice Age

hockey5j

You should be starting to get the picture by now, but we have two more graphs to go:

Graph 5 – 50,000 Years Ago

hockey6j

Here you can see that the ice-age is punctuated by a wildly fluctuating climate pattern with extreme swings between very cold and not so cold periods. You can bet on it that many violent weather events occurred that dwarf anything of the Holocene, which is roughly the last 1/5th of the graph above.

Graph 6 – 425,000 Years Ago [The Last Four Major Glacial Epochs]  Reconstructed global temperature over the past 420,000 years based on the Vostok ice core from the Antarctica (Petit et al. 2001).

screen-shot-2014-03-19-at-16-28-43

The ‘Hockey Stick’ is now an invisible blip in that little red outlined rectangle on the right, which is our current interglacial period. Previous interglacials(Red Spikes) were all warmer than our current one. 

The clock is ticking…

“A model of future climate based on the observed orbital-climate relationships, but ignoring anthropogenic effects, predicts that the long-term trend over the next seven thousand years is toward extensive Northern Hemisphere glaciation.”

And this model is probably correct in ignoring anthropogenic effects because they really don’t amount to much in the long run. And I haven’t even touched on the effects from possible future volcanism which are known to have worldwide repercussions.

Thanks to Wikipedia for the Graph at the top of the post.
Thanks to Morgan Wright’s page: “Global climate change from a realistic, non-political point of view.” for the graphs 1 through 5.

Looking Beyond the El Nino Hype

With the Sun continuing its descent into a Grand Minimum, we can expect global cooling to continue. El Nino is a manifestation of this cooling where warmer ocean waters give up their heat to the atmosphere. The wild swings in the jetstream(Meridional Flow pattern, as opposed to the more benign Zonal[W. to E.] flow) help to take that additional atmospheric warmth to the polar regions where the excess heat is more readily radiated away to outer space.

Meridional flow also leads to more extremes in weather patterns which is the direct opposite of the claims of the Global Warming/Climate Change alarmists. If it were my choice to make, I would take Global warming any day over global cooling, as it: 1. makes the planet as a whole more livable, 2. makes for better crop yields through, a) more dependable rainfall, and b) more vigorous plant growth via increased atmospheric CO2, and c) is characterized by the dominance of the jetstream’s Zonal flow component which lends itself to a reduced frequency of weather extremes.

The general cooling trend is expected to continue to around 2050 or longer and as a result, we can expect more droughts and floods, i.e.: a continued increase in weather extremes, more crop failures, more cows getting snowed over and freezing to death. And whatever any government entities decide we should do about dreaded ‘Climate Change’, it will have little to no effect on what mother nature has in store for us.
So, like the article says, don’t get too used to El Nino.
“Additionally, the Northern United States has more frequently observed brutally cold and snowy winters during La Niña events than El Niño ones.”

Read more here:
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-weather-elnino-braun-idUSKBN0U50U720151223

An Example of Short Period Glacial Activity

Landslide at Mt. Steele

An avalanche/landslide has occurred at Mt. Steele, Yukon, CAN
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=86826&eocn=home&eoci=iotd_title

here is another map of the area for comparison:
http://mapcarta.com/24511312

While most Glacial activity is at a slow snail-like pace, material transport, undercutting, and ice accumulation often leads to unstable slopes:

There was no earthquake or other obvious trigger for the avalanche. 
“Very large landslides like this often have very ambiguous triggers,”
said Stark. “Failure takes place because of a long-term accumulation 
of stress within the rock slope and a long-term weakening of the 
rock. A hair-trigger is often all that is needed.”

The Definitive Answer: YES! (updated 11/11/15)

Patrick Moore: Should We Celebrate CO2?
GWPF Annual Lecture by Patrick Moore “Should we celebrate CO2?”

“Human emissions of carbon dioxide have saved life on Earth from 
inevitable starvation and extinction due to lack of CO2”. To use 
the analogy of the Atomic Clock, if the Earth were 24 hours old 
we were at 38 seconds to midnight when we reversed the trend towards 
the End Times. If that isn’t good news I don’t know what is. You 
don’t get to stave off Armageddon every day."

The ignorance displayed by ‘Climate Change’ activism and activists is staggering to say the least.
All of the illogical hand-wringing and irrational fears promulgated about atmospheric CO2 are laid bare in this important lecture by Patrick Moore, ex-Greenpeace co-founder, PhD in ecology in 1971. In this lecture he lays out the facts about CO2, the lack of correlation with temperature, the precipitous decline since the Cambrian era, its necessity for life on Earth, and how our use of fossil fuels and the release of sequestered CO2 may just have bought more time for life on Earth to continue! The entire lecture is well worth your time to read. He even addresses the Canadian Oil Sands issue, and the benefits of “cleaning up the biggest natural oil spill in history.”

"If we assume human emissions have to date added some 200 billion 
tons of CO2 to the atmosphere, even if we ceased using fossil fuels 
today we have already bought another 5 million years for life on 
earth. But we will not stop using fossil fuels to power our 
civilization so it is likely that we can forestall plant starvation 
for lack of CO2 by at least 65 million years."

Regarding the end of the Carboniferous Era, Patrick says,

"The Devonian Period beginning 400 million years ago marked the 
culmination of the invasion of life onto the land. Plants evolved 
to produce lignin, which in combination with cellulose, created wood 
which in turn for the first time allowed plants to grow tall, in 
competition with each other for sunlight. As vast forests spread 
across the land living biomass increased by orders of magnitude, 
pulling down carbon as CO2 from the atmosphere to make wood. Lignin 
is very difficult to break down and no decomposer species possessed 
the enzymes to digest it. Trees died atop one another until they 
were 100 metres or more in depth. This was the making of the great 
coal beds around the world as this huge store of sequestered carbon 
continued to build for 90 million years. Then, fortunately for the 
future of life, white rot fungi evolved to produce the enzymes that 
can digest lignin and coincident with that the coal-making era came 
to an end.
There was no guarantee that fungi or any other decomposer species 
would develop the complex of enzymes required to digest lignin. If 
they had not, CO2, which had already been drawn down for the first 
time in Earth’s history to levels similar to today's, would have 
continued to decline as trees continued to grow and die. That is 
until CO2 approached the threshold of 150 ppm below which plants 
begin first to starve, then stop growing altogether, and then die. 
Not just woody plants but all plants. This would bring about the 
extinction of most, if not all, terrestrial species, as animals, 
insects, and other invertebrates starved for lack of food. And that 
would be that. The human species would never have existed. This was 
only the first time that there was a distinct possibility that life 
would come close to extinguishing itself, due to a shortage of CO2, 
which is essential for life on Earth."

Read the entire text of his lecture here: http://www.thegwpf.com/28155

Hat tip to WUWT

(Update 11/11/15) White Rot Fungi Slowed Coal Formation
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/mushroom-evolution-breaks-down-lignin-slows-coal-formation/

Grand Solar Minimum Alert

A spotless Solar disk 10/09/15

An interesting Update from ‘Suspicious Observers’ Ben Davidson, caught my ear this morning.

See especially 2:09 to 2:37 of the following video:

System Shift Update, Solar Eruptions | S0 News October 14, 2015

Ben Davidson says,
“Let’s move over to our top story, a major long-term update. We again confirm Jupiter is changing rapidly.
Remember we’ve seen evidence that the Sun, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus are all changing, much faster than Earth is, and boy, that’s not our pollution, It’s the coming Grand Solar Minimum.
Red spot still shrinking, losing color. Stripes still moving, and all indicative of increased storm activity, cyclones and anticyclones, climate chaos on Jupiter.”
This ‘evidence’, though not yet widely accepted or talked about, seems to indicate that the much talked about ‘climate change’ is not limited to Earth’s ecosphere, but is a Solar-System-Wide phenomenon! Additionally, it makes sense(to me) that changes on the Gas-giants: [Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus] would be more noticeable, and on a larger scale, due to their large surface areas and active atmospheres, than on smaller planets like Earth. But we also have evidence, though much more recent and of statistically meaningless time duration(to be fair, or is it just a temporal coincidence that the Hubble series from 2002-2003 can now be compared to the more recent images from the New Horizons Mission 2015 flyby? ), that changes on Pluto are also much faster and more dramatic than previously understood: http://www.universetoday.com/54114/new-hubble-images-show-pluto-is-changing/
http://www.popsci.com/latest-pictures-pluto-reveal-new-surprises

What Is The Real Cause of Severe Weather?

Claims from the ‘Global Warming/Climate Changers’ side of the ‘debate’ about ‘Earth’s climate’ say that a warmer world has more severe weather. This is a misdirect, and is wholly untrue. The main cause of extreme and severe weather is an increased difference between warm regions and cold regions. When considering Earth’s overall climate(the Earth actually has many climates, but that is a different discussion), the warm regions are the Tropics, and the cold regions are the Poles.
It is the temperature gradient between these two regions that dictate the severity of weather in a given location.

Even during intense Glacial epochs, the Tropics remain relatively warm, simply because of their location close to the equator and the fact that they receive more sunlight and hence more warming than do the Arctic and Antarctic, but because of the tight temperature gradient, a cooling overall climate is more likely to have severe weather. In a world where warming was ubiquitous, there would be a decreased Pole to Tropic temperature gradient, and therefore less extreme weather occurrences. Perhaps that is what we have seen with the last few years of very low Hurricane activity especially noted in the Atlantic activity.

Severe weather is more likely to be seen during transitional Cooling periods, as well as transitional Warming periods, but not as likely during the stasis periods between.
Although severe weather can happen anytime conditions are right.

Dr. Tim Ball, Ph.D. (Doctor of Science), Queen Mary College, University of London (England), 1982, has written a concise article exploring the claim that ‘a warming world will have more severe weather,’ and the historical evidence that demolishes it.

Here are a few teasers, and below is the link to the article by Dr. Tim Ball:

“Every day we hear that storms of greater intensity than ever before are occurring, and it will get worse because of global warming. These claims contradict the current and historic evidence and the mechanisms of formation for mid-latitude…”

“There is no doubt the IPCC set climate research back almost 30 years. They became the central authority on climate change and directed all the focus of research to anthropogenic global warming (AGW).

“The IPCC anthropogenic global warming (AGW) hypothesis says the Polar air will warm more than the Tropical air resulting in increased storminess. In fact, this reduces the ZI and, therefore, the frequency and intensity of storms.”

“Their theory of future increased storminess contradicts the physics of the formation mechanism.”

 See more at: http://drtimball.com/2015/how-does-the-ipcc-explain-the-severe-storms-of-history/#sthash.VUZDG8ZQ.dpuf

Smokey The Bear – You’re Fired (a reblog from Real Science)

Forest fires are a natural occurrence. Forest mismanagement and reckless land use such as developing houses on the fringes of National Forest land has led to disastrous consequences.

Real Science

screenshot_023

Wildfires sweeping across California are threatening the US state’s famed Sequoia trees, with firefighters scrambling to protect the national treasures.

The so-called Rough Fire, the largest of more than a dozen burning across northern and central California, has edged closer to the giant trees in recent days with firefighters scrambling to protect them.

“The fire has moved into a number of Sequoia groves in King’s Canyon National Park and Sequoia National Forest and we are taking preventive measures to make sure nothing happens to them,” park spokesman Mike Theune told AFP.

Of particular concern is the General Grant tree, the second largest Sequoia in the world. It stands 268 feet (81.7 meters) tall.

Theune said firefighters are monitoring the tree round-the-clock, spraying water and clearing the area around Grant grove.

Wildfires threaten California’s treasured Sequoias – Yahoo News

Fire is an essential part of the Giant Sequoia life cycle.

Fire…

View original post 166 more words