“Unite behind the Science” – Greta Thunberg in the mid-Atlantic

But what is that science?  Here is one part of it I have come to know.

 

Screen Shot 2019-08-18 at 6.39.05 PM

“Figure 1 | SIC variability over the B–K seas during the early winter season. (a) An area-averaged time-series of SIC for the entire area of the Arctic Ocean (dashed) and B–K seas (solid) during the early winter for the period 1979–2012. The area of the B–K seas is indicated by hatched region in b. Years during which the area-averaged SIC o50% over the B–K seas are indicated by red dots (11 sample years). The composite mean anomaly of (b) SIC (%) and (c) surface turbulent heat flux (W m 􏰀 2; the sum of sensible and latent heat flux) for the years indicated by the red dots in a. Anomaly is defined as a departure from climatology data for the period 1979–2012.” –  NATURE COMMUNICATIONS | 5:4646 | DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5646 | http://www.nature.com/naturecommunications& 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


It is documented that the variability of the Arctic vortex has increased in recent years.   For instance, whereas the sudden weakening of the vortex, known as a Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW), occurred infrequently during the 1980s-1990s…it has occurred ALMOST EVERY YEAR since 2000.

The Barents-Kara Sea (B-K) Region is only one small part of the Arctic.  Yet, with human-generated Global Warming and the rise in the B-K heat content, this region has had dramatic and lasting effects over most of North America and Eurasia [BLUE in (b) and RED HOT in (c)  near 120ºE] with the almost routine collapse of the Arctic Vortex.

When ‘political leaders’ talk about how frigid the Winters seem to be, then use that pretext to mock the Science of Global Warming, be forewarned.  That frigid wind blasting into your hometown further South is the result of a global warming trend giving rise to the Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW).  Without that global warming trend, the Polar Vortex would stay intact, and that cold air with it.


What happens if we do not take Action on the Climate?

At UCF, I was assigned a course,  “Chemistry For Engineers,” to lecture.  One thing I know everyone of my students had an appreciation for was the power of waste energy through entropy.

“The Entropy of a system equals the log of the total possible states in the system, times a constant  (Boltzmann’s constant).”

The entropy of our home planet, Earth, is a measure of the amount of energy on it which is unavailable to do work.  All it can do is heat us up.  No, it cannot cool us down.  That takes work.

“How is that possible?”  I mean it’s e-n-e-r-g-y.  Think of Jet Fuel B, the fuel that makes a jetliner take-off and stay at elevation.  There is a temperature at which it is too volatile to be injected orderly, and pre-ignites almost spontaneously in the turbine.  Sorta like that.  There is no order to the energy, and cannot do work in an orderly fashion.


Screen Shot 2019-08-18 at 7.22.38 PMSo profound is this concept, it is on the headstone of Boltzmann’s own grave in Vienna.


One outcome from this waste energy is Iceland, which is losing its famed geothermal heat sources to aluminum production and tourism.  Eastern Iceland is cold, geothermally.  I learned this last year on a personal visit.  All things become one giant heat-bath.   That is, all things are at the same temperature.  Sure there is energy, but it is disorganized and every other form of energy you find, has the same temperature or same heat content.  What awaits is a horrid end.


 

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