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(Nature)   How soot stopped the little Ice Age. WOO WOO   (nature.com) divider line 41
    More: Interesting, Little Ice Age, Industrial Revolutions, soot, black carbon, global warming, Innsbruck, smokestacks, air pollution  
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5755 clicks; posted to Main » on 04 Sep 2013 at 9:41 AM (32 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



41 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-09-04 09:45:58 AM
In before herpaderp.
 
2013-09-04 09:49:33 AM
GOLBALE WORMINGT FREAD!
 
2013-09-04 09:55:29 AM
They guess....

Now that's science you can trust.
 
2013-09-04 09:55:46 AM
So, cutting back on carbon emissions would result in the ice age coming back? Sounds like the plot of a science fiction book.
 
2013-09-04 09:59:24 AM
i171.photobucket.com
 
2013-09-04 10:00:41 AM
Can we just tweek the carbon levels to get a temperature we want?

I am in favor of 'just warm enough to sink Florida.'
 
2013-09-04 10:04:11 AM

mbillips: In before herpaderp.


Nice ad hominem.
 
2013-09-04 10:05:40 AM
We've known about the modern impact of black carbon for a while now, and have a good handle on the magnitude of its impact.  This just pushes the start of anthropogenic influence back a bit.

Courtesy of NASA:
data.giss.nasa.gov

 (BC = Black Carbon.  The changes in greenhouse forcings add up to about 3 Watts per square meter.  Black Carbon contributes about +0.4, but in the modern day this is largely countered by the reflective effects of other combustion-related aerosols.  Our present combustion processes don't make as large of a percentage of black carbon as 17th-century stoves and such.)

And before someone comes in and herps "It's the sun!" note that the change in solar contributions from 1750-2000 was about +0.3, or 1/10th of the impact of changing greenhouse gases.  The sun's brightness has been on a downward part of its natural cycles for the past few decades, and cannot be used to explain the recently observed increase in temperatures.  (Study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.)  We've seen warming since ~1980 despite slightly declining solar irradiance.
 
2013-09-04 10:06:28 AM
Too early.  Eyes still blurry, looking at the front page of fark on an iPhone 5 and no coffee yet this morning.

I read the headline as "How sluts stopped little Ice Age. WOO WOO"
 
2013-09-04 10:10:53 AM

fruitloop: [i171.photobucket.com image 350x263]


Came for this, leaving satisfied.
 
2013-09-04 10:11:00 AM

indarwinsshadow: They guess....

Now that's science you can trust.


Ctrl-F "Guess".  No matches in article.

All I'm seeing is:
"When Kaser's team looked at ice cores previously drilled at two high-elevation sites in the western Alps - the Colle Gnifetti glacier saddle (elevation 4,455 metres) on Monte Rosa near the Swiss-Italian border and the Fiescherhorn Glacier (3,900 metres) in the Bernese Alps - they found that at around 1860, layers of glacial ice started to contain surprisingly large amounts of soot.  The team converted the energetic effect that this soot that would have had on glaciers at the time into equivalent changes in air temperature. When included in a simplified mass-balance model, the melting effect of black carbon nicely explained the observed Alpine glacier retreat without the need for unrealistic increases in precipitation to be made to the model."

Characterizing that as a "guess" is dishonest.
 
2013-09-04 10:12:10 AM
This kind of plays into my "white hat, black hat" hypothesis that if you want to cool the earth everyone wears a white hat, if you want to warm it you go with black. I feel this is a substantial improvement over my first idea to cool the earth by only allowing old people and blondes outside during the daytime.
 
2013-09-04 10:17:20 AM

Bschott007: Too early.  Eyes still blurry, looking at the front page of fark on an iPhone 5 and no coffee yet this morning.

I read the headline as "How sluts stopped little Ice Age. WOO WOO"


That article would have been more fun to read.
 
2013-09-04 10:29:20 AM
"The emission of soot from Europe's proliferating factory smokestacks and steam locomotives explains why glaciers in the Alps began their retreat long before the climate warming caused by human activities kicked in, a study suggests."

Weren't Europe's proliferating factories owned and run by humans then?
 
2013-09-04 10:31:46 AM
Black carbon, in the form of charcoal created through pyrolysis of organic materials, could also be tilled into the soil, creating terra preta loam and sequestering it for decades.
 
2013-09-04 10:32:22 AM

santadog: Weren't Europe's proliferating factories owned and run by humans then?


Nope, intelligent design. God did it.
 
2013-09-04 10:46:27 AM
Black crunchy coating encased the glaciers thus beginning the age old question of "what would you do for a Klondike bar?"
 
2013-09-04 10:58:44 AM
The banner ad on the top of that page keeps making my mobile browser jump back to the top of the page.
 
2013-09-04 11:01:47 AM

indarwinsshadow: They guess....

Now that's science you can trust.


maybe you should RTFA ;

"But even so, this study offers a very elegant and plausible explanation for the glacier conundrum. It appears that in central Europe soot prematurely stopped the Little Ice Age."
 
2013-09-04 11:21:47 AM

cajunns: indarwinsshadow: They guess....

Now that's science you can trust.

maybe you should RTFA ;

"But even so, this study offers a very elegant and plausible explanation for the glacier conundrum. It appears that in central Europe soot prematurely stopped the Little Ice Age."


Wipe the sand out of your vagina Nancy. It's a joke. F*cking relax.
 
2013-09-04 11:23:54 AM

give me doughnuts: That article would have been more fun to read.


And just about as accurate
 
2013-09-04 11:24:59 AM
Supposition, assumption, belief, conclusion, possibility,,,

Not a sound foundation upon which to redistribute the wealth.
Especially when the "real"(1%) wealth is NEVER GOING TO PLAY with you.
 
2013-09-04 11:27:03 AM
BTW, your Lizardoid Masters want to send out a big thanks, the Lizardforming of planet Earth is proceeding on schedule.
 
2013-09-04 11:32:29 AM
I love how "they say" our sun has been factored in and it's had no impact on global warming and yet when the warming pauses "they" run and say it's the sun! I love "greenies" they have their cake and get to eat it too. carbon tax paid in advance so the energy used in posting this has been covered so it's green too!
 
2013-09-04 11:40:34 AM

Tricky Chicken: Can we just tweek the carbon levels to get a temperature we want?

I am in favor of 'just warm enough to sink Florida.'


In theory, yes. That is to say, if we ever get CO2 levels under control then we could have coarse control of average global temperatures.
There would still be the short term cycles that will shift annual average temperatures up and down but it should be possible set the center point.

If man is still around in 10,000 years (and still technologically advanced) I wouldn't be surprised to see them increasing GHGs to try to stave off the cooling from the Milankovitch cycles (which will likely be pushing us slowly in the cooling direction by then).

They may not use CO2 though. And it assumes that we do get our emissions of GHGs under control.

In theory we could allow it to warm up enough to give Florida a good rinse and then cool it back down to recover the land.
 
2013-09-04 11:51:28 AM
Since the earth is known to heat and cool in 400--year cycles, I would have to say cause and effect is not proven.

What is known for sure is we are at the peak of a 400--year hot cycle, and if it cools off just a little bit in the coming century, we are in serious deep doo--doo.  Take a few weeks off the growing season, move the arable land south, figure the third--worlders will keep breeding like flies irrespective of their ability to feed themselves-----you gots big problems, dood.
 
2013-09-04 11:58:27 AM

olddinosaur: Since the earth is known to heat and cool in 400--year cycles, I would have to say cause and effect is not proven.

What is known for sure is we are at the peak of a 400--year hot cycle, and if it cools off just a little bit in the coming century, we are in serious deep doo--doo. Take a few weeks off the growing season, move the arable land south, figure the third--worlders will keep breeding like flies irrespective of their ability to feed themselves-----you gots big problems, dood.


www.pnas.org

Overlay of ~20 different reconstructions, courtesy of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  The sharply increasing red line on the right is an instrumental record.  Please feel free to highlight the 400-year cycle that "is known" "for sure" (by who?).  Please also feel free to suggest what mechanism drives such a massive periodic fluctuation in energy.

I'm sure you won't deflect, again.
 
2013-09-04 11:59:41 AM

indarwinsshadow: cajunns: indarwinsshadow: They guess.... Now that's science you can trust.

maybe you should RTFA ;  "But even so, this study offers a very elegant and plausible explanation for the glacier conundrum. It appears that in central Europe soot prematurely stopped the Little Ice Age."

Wipe the sand out of your vagina Nancy. It's a joke. F*cking relax.


Queen my dishes, please.
 
2013-09-04 12:50:39 PM

chimp_ninja: indarwinsshadow: cajunns: indarwinsshadow: They guess.... Now that's science you can trust.

maybe you should RTFA ;  "But even so, this study offers a very elegant and plausible explanation for the glacier conundrum. It appears that in central Europe soot prematurely stopped the Little Ice Age."

Wipe the sand out of your vagina Nancy. It's a joke. F*cking relax.

Queen my dishes, please.


Fine, if you promise not to go all infinity times infinity.
 
2013-09-04 01:16:38 PM
cotradeco.com
/miley cyrus is apparently an anomaly
 
2013-09-04 01:30:13 PM

chimp_ninja: Please feel free to highlight the 400-year cycle that "is known" "for sure" (by who?).


By the Dothraki of course. It is 'known'!!

oyster.ignimgs.com

/evidence is for wimps
 
2013-09-04 01:39:29 PM
From what I have read on soot and other factors I have gleaned this:

Soot might be as important as GHG in Arctic snow and ice melt. A lot of the soot comes from cooking fires in Asia, Africa and South America, where open fires are used by the poor, notably in China and India, for boiling water to drink, cooking, and heating, and where tropical forests are being burned on a massive scale to clear land for plantations and subsistence farming.

Unlike some Westerners, the poor in these regions are aware of the consequences but have little choice or alternatives.

Some carbon offset programs are based on providing cleaner cookers ranging from more efficient designs that use less fuel to solar cookers or simple designs such as girl scouts might make to take camping. One good thing about black carbon is that it is easy to control and you can provide a helping hand to the world's poor very cheaply compared to higher fuel costs. This is one of many fruitful areas where anti-pollution and anti-carbon measures are cheap, easy and possibly even profitable. This "low hanging fruit" is stuff we should all be thinking about and doing out of enlightened self-interest. Save money, save fuel, and you help to prevent not only global warming but any number of evils, some of which are even more pressing than global warming, although perhaps not with the same unknown risk and costs.

Soot from Victorian tourists gave the retreat of Alpine glaciers a big boost (1 meter of ice decline) from the 1860s onward according to a recent article. You can view numerous before and after photos of glaciers on the web.

Also in the 1860s, the opening of Arizona to cattle ranching resulted in the sharp hooves of cattle piercing the crust on the dry soils of Arizona, creating a lot of wind-born dust. This fell out on the glaciers of the Southern Rockies and resulted in considerable melting. Dust, like soot, changes the albedo of the snow and ice, and absorbs heat. You've no doubt seen the results if you live in an area where snow is common. Soot from fireplaces falls out on the snow and melts the snow around the dark particles.

The fifty year time lag between the Industrial Revolution in England and then Belgian, Germany, France, etc., and the first signs of consequences suggests that even the high temperatures of the last 30 years are also-time lagged. We are seeing the consequences of carbon emissions a generation ago. They are mitigated temporarily at least, by other kinds of pollution and by the absorption of carbon and heat by the world's oceans, soil, ice and snow, etc.

It takes time for CO2 to mix and for damage to become evident. It took almost 200 years for the rising levels to become big enough to distinguish from background noise and we are still at a point where the noise can conceal the effects.

This is why scientists may sound alarmist but should be heeded. They are looking ahead, past the noise and past the negative feedback, to the time when the full force of what we have already bought into hits us.

Consider that the population of the world in 1800 was about one billion. Consider also that the USA was getting most of its power from burning wood as late as 1848. Wood is carbon neutral because the emissions are countered by the growth of new trees to replace the old (if you give them time).

In the 1880s, the price of oil reached an all time high per barrel--even in 2013 dollars! From then on, the price fell as petroleum rapidly became the fuel of choice. Coal did not give way until the 1940s in many places. In fact, there are still trains burning coal and wood in some parts of the world. They were still burning coal and wood in parts of Canada when my Mother was a young woman.

If the last 15 years of falling high temperature and storm records hark back 50 years, what will today's emissions be doing in another 50 years?

The population of the world was about 3 billion in 1960. It doubled by 2000. And all of those people are using more and more fossil fuels and fossil water.

It takes over 80 times as much energy to melt ice as it does to heat ice water by one degree. That threshold past, the albedo of the surface covered in ice or snow drops by half. And then you get real problems, such as burning tundra and melting permafrost releasing billions of tons of GHG.

Climate change starts out with stealth, too slow to notice, but it can happen catastrophically, with stunning rapidity. The world climate has flipped from one state to another many times from natural causes, and it is becoming more certain every day that it is going to flip again, from human activity. We have changed climate many times in the past on a local or regional scale, and perhaps even some of the global climate is due to the rise of agriculture and the decline of the forests that once covered every acre of cleared land. But this time, the change won't be small or something we can adapt to without major risks or costs.

This time the whole global climate is likely to flip from "Ice World" to "Hot House World" and stay there for a very long time. It might take 5,000 years to melt the Antarctic ice caps, but in the lifetime of a species, that is blink of God's eye.

A lot of people don't care about anybody not immediately valuable to them, or things that will happen after they are dead or at least after their grandchildren are dead, but I do. A mass extinction is a mass extinction whether it happens today, in the space of an hour, or in 150,000 years, over a period of 10,000 years.

We will lose so much that we don't even know we have right under our noses--cures for diseases, for example. Species we haven't catalogued let alone studied. Keystone species that will take down the life of whole continents to a much less rich, productive and diverse level. And possibly even worse damage to the world's oceans, without which we could scarcely breath, let alone live.

Scientists hedge every word they say because they know other scientists will pick everything to pieces and make them look like fools. Journalists puff up everything to make it saleable to editors, publishers and the reading public and thus prematurely report every sniffle as if it were the Black Death. The public doesn't understand how it gets information and what is wrong with it or what it means, and thus become overly cynical because reports keep coming in on every side of an issue or a scientific hypothesis, contradicting, retracting, inching forward.

But cynical dismissal is wrong, and worse than credulity. It doesn't hurt much if you take vitamin D one day and reject it the next, but if you totally deny its existence and take none, you are in for a lot of trouble. The same is true of every scientific fact or theory, except maybe gravity. The public doesn't understand gravity any better than they understand evolution, disease or climate, but they have learned not to jump out of 10th floor windows.

Sadly, denial of medical and scientific knowledge is almost always a 10th floor window, but looks like a crack in the sidewalk the way it is taught in schools or reported in the news.
 
2013-09-04 01:47:03 PM
The Earth is headed towards a dust cloud. In 50,000 years time, the Sun will pass through this cloud and the Earth will cool. This is another factor in the random noise of climate change. It is not connected to the Milankovitch cycles, which depend on wobbles in the not-so-perfect revolutions and orbits of the Earth.

If we are still a technological Civilization, there will be global cooling on the surfaces of Earth, Mars, the Moon, even Mercury. Some of the gas giants might not be affected in the same way because they produce internal heat, notably Jupiter which is not big enough to be a brown dwarf but still generates more heat than it receives from the Sun.
 
2013-09-04 02:10:04 PM

santadog: "The emission of soot from Europe's proliferating factory smokestacks and steam locomotives explains why glaciers in the Alps began their retreat long before the climate warming caused by human activities kicked in, a study suggests."

Weren't Europe's proliferating factories owned and run by humans then?


Yes, of course. They're not saying the soot was "natural". They're saying the soot melted ice before the heat from the CO2 rise showed up strongly enough to be measured. Humans have been making soot for perhaps 800,000 years (although the first known hearths have only been dated back a small part of that duration). Our CO2 emissions were negligible until the Industrial Revolution and the Population Boom, both of which began together due to scientific, medical, social, political and other advances.

Light a fire, you get soot and CO2. The soot falls out of the air over a few hours, perhaps. In that time, the CO2 would hardly have any effect except locally, especially if your fire burns only at night when it is cool and the Sunlight is negligible and in the form of moonlight. It takes about 7 years for the air to mix thoroughly, so you can't really start looking at CO2 emissions and warming before the gas is dispersed.

William Blake wrote about the Dark Satanic Mills of the Industrial Revolution while the mills were being built. The soot was obvious. It was only in the 1830s, by which time Dark Satanic Mills had made it to Belgium and Germany, that the idea of the greenhouse effect occurred. It was in 1859, fourteen years after the invention of kerosene, that the Irish scientist John Tyndall measured the greenhouse effect in his labs under the Royal Society building.

From the 1830s to the present day, climatologists have pretty much known the world is warming slowly. The  big hint was the discovery of the Ice Ages.

In 1897, the Swedish scientist Svante Arhenius did the labour-intensive math to see if CO2 could explain the Ice Age. It could. No doubt it was not sole factor but a swing of 100 ppm of CO2 was enough to produce a swing of 5-6 Degrees according to his calculations. And that's precisely what happened. A low of 180 ppm at the peak of the last Ice Age and of 280 ppm at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution is a pretty fair match, although in reality, this accounts for only half of the real temperature difference. But he did damn well for a man without an adding machine, let alone a computer.

It was only in the 1950s that the rising C02 levels were tracked by Charles Keating, who taught Al Gore. And the ozone layer problem could never have been spotted without the invention in the 1970s of equipment to measure tiny amounts of CFCs and other gases. This invention was made by James Lovecraft, he of the Gaia Hypothesis. His equipment measurements lead eventually to the Montreal Protocol. Which is still the most we have done to fight global warming, seeing as these gases not only devoured ozone in the upper atmosphere, but are extremely durable and powerful greenhouse gases as well.

Soot can change climate, so can CO2 and many other factors, noted above.
 
2013-09-04 08:08:45 PM
That's impossible, I've been told here on Fark quite clearly in green print that humans have NO EFFECT on global climate.
 
2013-09-04 08:41:46 PM
Tricky Chicken: Can we just tweek the carbon levels to get a temperature we want?

I am in favor of 'just warm enough to sink Florida.'


Farking Canuck: In theory we could allow it to warm up enough to give Florida a good rinse and then cool it back down to recover the land.

Somebody on Fark.com would consider bringing Florida back? Oh wait, he's a Canadian. Forgivable.
 
2013-09-05 06:24:01 AM
The weird thing about soot- it should still be the major factor. It's not like it dissipates or evaporates. If soot melts the top inch of ice on a glacier, shouldn't it just keep on working its way down, until the glacier is gone? When did it stop? Why did it stop?
 
2013-09-05 08:01:02 AM

HAMMERTOE: The weird thing about soot- it should still be the major factor. It's not like it dissipates or evaporates. If soot melts the top inch of ice on a glacier, shouldn't it just keep on working its way down, until the glacier is gone? When did it stop? Why did it stop?


Soot will be covered by the next snowfall and be made competely ineffective. New soot of course will fall and again will bring some melting, and will again be covered in the following snowfall. See how nicely nature is shown to be a self-adjusting, self-correcting machine?
 
2013-09-05 03:04:00 PM

HAMMERTOE: The weird thing about soot- it should still be the major factor. It's not like it dissipates or evaporates. If soot melts the top inch of ice on a glacier, shouldn't it just keep on working its way down, until the glacier is gone? When did it stop? Why did it stop?


A Wild Ass Guess, but I would imagine that if the top layer melted, it would wash the offending soot away.

I would imagine one could test this in the Himalayas, where glaciers are under tremendous assault from soot and are melting away so fast... wait, why aren't they gone now?
 
2013-09-05 06:38:57 PM

SVenus: I would imagine one could test this in the Himalayas, where glaciers are under tremendous assault from soot and are melting away so fast... wait, why aren't they gone now?


www.epa.gov

From the EPA's summary on glaciers.  You were saying?
 
2013-09-05 06:42:06 PM

EVERYBODY PANIC: See how nicely nature is shown to be a self-adjusting, self-correcting machine?


Self-adjusting, sure.  There's just no guarantee you'll like the "adjustment".

Self-correcting?  No.  Nature doesn't have any bias towards keeping any one state.  (Why would it?)   Push it in a direction hard enough (say, by changing the atmospheric composition on a decadal time scale), and many feedbacks are reinforcing, not corrective.
 
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