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Gardener's thoughts, May 2023

IN THE WORLD


THE AMERICAN WAR IN UKRAINE

Slowly but surely some words of caution are creeping into the “gung-ho” propaganda of the main-stream media. Not only is the US likely to lose this war (at terrible cost to the Ukrainian people) but the global economic fall-out from pushing together Russia/China/India/Brazil/South Africa/Turkey and even the middle eastern oil states will be a disaster for the people of the USA. Presidential hopefuls Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump are both keen to end the war and the latest challenger for the Democratic nomination (Robert Kennedy Jnr) has just made an excellent speech which I highly recommend watching here.

OUR CLIMATE

The climate hype is shocking and human efforts to “manage” Earth's climate are deluded. Seeing the rapt attention of young grandchildren watching the cartoon penguins' terror at the disappearing cartoon ice made me pretty cross. Next thing I'm told that my local County Council (Northumberland) has declared a “Climate Emergency”. We are not allowed to replace our oil-fired central heating boiler and I've already been “de-platformed” for questioning the woke environmentalism of electric cars. We seem to have more than a touch of scary green fascism.


What we know.......

  • Every 10 years since the end of the Second World War, the Earth has been getting warmer by about 0.1 degree and sea levels have risen by about 1 inch.

  • The Earth's atmosphere contains about 2200 gigatons of CO2 (about 0.04% of the air)

  • Natural inflows and outflows of CO2, caused by photosynthesis (mostly by plankton), respiration and decay, are large and difficult to measure accurately at about 400 gigatons each year.

  • Every year humans currently release about 30 gigatons of CO2 by burning fossil fuels.

  • The annual increase in atmospheric CO2 is currently about 9 gigatons (less than half of what we release from fossil fuels) – this is less than a 0.5% annual increase.

  • Weather records show there has been no increase in the incidence of severe weather events over the last century.

  • The UK's electricity generating capacity would have to increase by 400 percent to provide sufficient power to meet the government's proposed targets for electric vehicles and heat pumps.

  • Use of thermal power to generate electricity in large, centralised power stations is at best only 34% efficient.

  • As a civilisation we are wasting fossil fuel energy on a massive scale when we should be rationing it to enable a smooth and well-planned transition to solar, tidal and nuclear fusion power.


What we don't know...

  • How the plankton in our oceans will respond to increased temperature, increased levels of CO2 and hugely increased levels of nutrients provided by human sewage and nitrogen run-off.

  • Whether the 0.5% annual increase in CO2 is causing the warming or whether the warming, perhaps from changes in solar output or behaviour of water vapour (much more significant than CO2 as a greenhouse gas), is causing the increase.

  • If our sophisticated climate models are able in any accurate way to predict future changes in Earth's highly complex climate dynamic – especially the behaviours of extremely important ocean currents.

  • How quickly natural ecosystems will adapt to gradual changes in temperature.

  • If we stopped burning fossil fuels completely, what difference would it make!!


MAKE YOUR OWN MINDS UP...

Do the facts, as we know them, justify the hype and fear being generated deliberately by governments, scientists and industries to further their own vested interests?


Would a rise in sea level of less than 1 foot in 100 years have catastrophic consequences?


Could natural evolutionary processes cope with a rise in temperature of 1 degree C in 100 years?




References:

1. Weight of Earth's atmosphere is 5.5 million gigatons


2. Percentage of CO2 in atmosphere is 0.0414% (414 parts per million)


Based on this percentage, the weight of CO2 in the atmosphere is 2,200 gigatons


3. Quotes from IPCC:


This report quantifies the large natural inflows and outflows of CO2 – at around 400 gigatons, these are more than 10 times larger than CO2 released by burning fossil fuels (about 30 gigatons)


“The human influence on the fluxes of carbon among the three “reservoirs” (atmosphere, ocean, and terrestrial biosphere) represent a small but significant perturbation of a huge global cycle” (p187)

(So very small changes in these natural flows of around 400 gigatons will dominate modelling and make predictions very difficult.)


“Anthropogenic inputs of nutrients to the oceans by rivers and atmospheric dust may influence marine biological productivity, although such effects are poorly quantified.” (p186)

(So we don't really know how much CO2 the warmer ocean and its plankton will absorb via photosynthesis!)


4. Percentage increase in atmospheric global CO2 between 1999 and 2021 is 0.0047% (180 gigatons) or about 9 gigatons each year compared to human CO2 output of over 30 gigatons/year – so the Earth is already absorbing more than half the human output. https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/2018/02/TAR-03.pdf


5. Methane is continually broken down in the atmosphere to CO2 and water – as a result the quantity of methane is relatively stable and may indeed be decreasing.

Julie Nicely in Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmosphere


6. Dr Judith Curry – Her video message is that we are not smart enough to manage the complexities of our climate and there is no evidence of extreme weather getting worse over the last 200 years. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBdmppcfixM


7. There has been NO increase in extreme weather events over the last 200 years.


8. Methane from wetlands (warming) and changes in atmospheric “sinks” (OH molecules) explain increases in atmospheric methane in recent years. The dynamics of wetland release are poorly understood. This report sees no significant increase in methane arising from agriculture or livestock.


9. Measured global rise in sea level 2006-2015 was 0.14 inches per year (this trend would produce a 12 inch increase by 2100) https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-change-global-sea-level


10. The government's annual agri-climate report does not take any account of the reductions in atmospheric CO2 when animals eat grass, crops are harvested and consumed and the organic content of soils is increased by organic manures. All the carbon in ruminant methane comes from the air when it is collected by photosynthesis as grass/crops grow. Equally all the carbon released when farm waste is burned has been collected directly from the air by growing plants – burning just puts it back into the air with no net change. This report is highly misleading – good farming practices (especially organic cultivation) can significantly reduce atmospheric CO2 by soil improvement.


11. In fact, soil-based carbon sequestration has huge potential to reduce atmospheric CO2 by 1 billion tons each year. https://climate.mit.edu/explainers/soil-based-carbon-sequestration


12. The Earth's temperature has risen by about 0.008 degrees centigrade each year over the last 150 years (less than 1 degree in 100 years). https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-change-global-temperature


13. We don't know what caused the mini-ice age in the 17th century – our climate models cannot explain it nor the unpredictable appearance of El Nino years.

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