Thursday, November 8, 2012
What's Time to a Planet?
If you don't know what "normal" is, you cannot make any claims what so ever as to what impact any change in any climate variable will have on climate relative to ":normal" You would be shooting in the dark talking gibberish.
One of the more popular gibberish Faux Facts propagated by the warm and fuzzy climate pseudo-scientists is the X integrates to Zero. Implying that X can be ignored. That allows the pseudo-scientists to focus on their pet theory. There is absolutely nothing wrong with "assuming" the X integrates to Zero, if you can confirm that X integrates to Zero in a reasonable time frame. What are the time frames for the Xs?
This is where the pseudo-scientific discussions get to be amusing. One will say that during the Pliocene, that CO2 was X and Temperature was Y, since Y is greater than today, the X caused Y so we can expect Y today. Fine. What else was different during the Pliocene and would that have an impact?
During the Pliocene, continents were likely close to their current locations, but there could have been about 250 kilometers drift from then to now. The gap between North America and South America likely closed and that would imply that the gap between Antarctica and South America grew wider. Currently, that gap is about 700 kilometers, so during the Pliocene that gap could have been 450 kilometers, or 64% less than today. There is roughly 130 million cubic meters per second of water flowing through that gap today and could have been less than 83 million cubic meters per second of water flowing through that gap during the Pliocene. Since the Gulf Stream current is about 30 million cubic meters of water per second today, having the impact of possibly two less Gulf Streams flows, might impact the rate that "global" energy redistributed.
So does the pseudo-scientists mention that? Typically no, they do mention the closure of the Panama gap, but not so much the expansion of the Drake Passage gap. Is that selective memory or selective science?
It seems that the new up and coming scientists don't share the same selective memory of the aging scientists trying to make their mark on humanity by saving the World from itself. The new gang happens to notice that something just don't fit the models of the aging scientific super heroes. That is how science progresses. You look for gaps in theories and in this case, gaps between continents, the say, "How long did that take?" After all, what is time to a planet?