sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Settled Science

Global Warming is settled science, right?

So is Global Cooling - there have been ice ages and many learned scientists say that if it was not for human-generated activity we'd be in the middle of an ice age again. --So, you're welcome. Chicago is not under three miles of solid ice because me and those like me are driving gas-guzzling trucks.

Of course the rant had to change to "climate change" because the climate always changes and "weather" because that changes too based on a number of variables which are poorly understood - manly based on both the sun and the regions of space that we are hurtling through. "Climate change" is much easier to prove than global warming/cooling because it changes every year to one degree or another. ("settled science" doesn't predict accurately the degree to which it will change and on which part of the globe)

Nearly 1,000 feet below the bed of the Dead Sea, scientists have found evidence that during past warm periods, the Mideast has suffered drought on scales never recorded by humans. Thick layers of crystalline salt show that rainfall plummeted to as little as a fifth of modern levels some 120,000 years ago, and again about 10,000 years ago.

Deep below the seabed, drilling revealed thick layers of salt, precipitated out during past warm, dry periods. In this specimen, transparent crystals (right) formed on what was then the bottom during winter; finer white ones (right) formed on the water surface in summer and later sank.
Yael Kiro, Steven L. Goldstein, Javier Garcia-Veigas, Elan Levy, Yochanan Kushnir, Mordechai Stein, Boaz Lazar. Relationships between lake-level changes and water and salt budgets in the Dead Sea during extreme aridities in the Eastern Mediterranean. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 2017; 464: 211 DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2017.01.043
Thus, in the past,  drought has plagued the desert worse than it does today -- times in the past when there were no humans. However, now that there are humans, the drought has returned to the Middle East and the fault inevitably lies with the United States of America, which needs to make massive financial reparations to the rest of the world. Or so-said Barack Obama, who bowed meekly and accepted the blame on our behalf. Thanks Barack.

The landlocked Dead Sea, straddling Israel, Jordan and Palestinian lands, is earth's lowest spot on land. Its current shoreline lies about 1,300 feet below sea level, and its floor extends down another 900 feet. Fed mainly by the Jordan River drainage, which extends also into Syria and Lebanon, it is a dead end for water, and so is extremely salty; its Biblical name in Hebrew is Y'm ha-Melah, the sea of salt. In recent years, its level has dropped about four feet a year. But hot, dry weather is not the main cause yet; rather, booming populations in the region need more water than ever, and people are sucking so much from the watershed, very little reaches the Dead Sea, where evaporation is outweighing input.

Israel (the country without oil) is meeting its demand by desalinating Mediterranean seawater.

The Arabs (the ones with oil) are sucking the water from the ground and are exacerbating the problem. To alleviate growing water shortages, Jordan plans to break ground next year on a canal to bring in water from the Red Sea for desalination; leftover brine would be dumped into the Dead Sea, possibly stabilizing its level. But the project is controversial, because it could cause drastic environmental changes in both seas, and could still leave much of the rest of the region with inadequate water.

Make of all this what you will. Environmentalists are predicting looming disaster. But then again, that's how they make a living---as they struggle, reconciling 'settled science'. 

The war against the weather continues, however, the funding from the Trump Administration to fight it, has ended.