Posted by: graemebird | November 25, 2006



Think about this:

Rumplestiltskin is one of the greatest love stories ever told.

How about that letter at the beginning of “Crime And Punishment”.

Its a letter that the main character (a student I think) gets from his mother. And you read it as it supposedly arrived to him. And you think one thing. But suddenly you see it from the young mans point of view… And its just totally different. The same basic facts cast in a stunningly different light.

And you get through it and you are thinking paradoxically: “Oh my goodness? Its all TRUE. The kid has it right”

The point of this thread is to give people a bit of a progress report on where my perspective-shift to an oceanic point-of-view with regards to the climate has taken me.

And any and all of this could be total bullshit. But I’ll put it out there anyway. Since the point of all these small climate pieces is to leave the reader with the ability to see the presumption and foolishness of alarmist assumptions about CO2.

Loosely speaking I’m going to take things from the point of view….. NOT of that several metres above sea level that people tend to live…..

But instead, from a place that would normally be to the bottom of the PHOTIC-ZONE in the ocean.

Anyway a progress report of ideas that are probably ALL WRONG but that sooner or later I will be able to confirm or deny to my own satisfaction………. Here we go:

1. The more I read the more I like Lovelocks basic outlook in watered-down form.

2. Far from being a Greenhouse gas… Over the very long haul Ozone might be an anti-greenhouse gas. A very strong one. Since liquid water is such a strong greenhouse substance on its own right the other gases have to be considered in context and in relation to the time-scales that we are talking about.

3. Antarctica, or more generally, large land masses over either of the Poles look to me like a design-fault for Gaia. And a bit of a breakdown in the heat-regulatory-mechanism. Thats if we are going with some sort of Lovelockian analogy, not as evidence, but as a bit of a guide.

4. Whereas its been normally thought that water, in its manifestation as a solid, acts perversely as an ANTI-greenhouse substance…. via the mechanism of albedo……. I’m suspecting if we increase the time period an order of magnitude or three and change our perspective from the land-dwellers to dwellers at the lower-end of the photic-zone……

I suspect then that Ice becomes the ultimate greenhouse substance….. (but not insofar as it lies on the land… which is part of the heat-regulatory “design-fault” that I was speculating about before.)

5. Like the idea I had about Ozone, it might be the case that one gas can act as both a greenhouse gas and as an ANTI-greenhouse gas as well. Depending on the time-scale and on the context.

6. Brian Banisch told me that, according to Lovelock (who at the time I thought was a nutball) the last ice-age had a massively flourishing and diverse marine-life. I thought that this was a dubious claim.

But it stuck with me as a bit of a mystery. It looks like he is right. Its not that the critters like the cold. But more CO2 and oxygen can be absorbed into cooler water.

7. Taking the Lovelockian approach to the mystery of how this could be so… We might think of it as TRIAGE on the part of Gaia… for the purpose of keeping the heat in to maintain life on earth.

8. An idea that some of you have likely had is that if water turned black instead of white when it froze… then we would have a terrific, negative feedback for solar cooling……… I now think this is wrong, at least for oceanic ice and at least for the longer run.

By the way.

I was just messin-witcha over Rumplestiltskin.

But it was worth thinking about that possibility for awhile anyways.

Here is a neat little link to do with the tangential subject of how the water stratefies in a large lake.

This is a simpler setup to grasp then the entirety of the way the oceans and layers of atmosphere interact with eachother.



  1. Does that mean we can look forward to becoming plankton or maybe even plankton feeders during the next ice age? Can I be a dolphin?

    Having formally studied ecology, I agree that Lovelock’s Gaia hypothesis is a worthy one. I remember studying carbon, nitrogen and water cycles, nutrient cycles. So many cycles because from a scientific perspective environments and ecosystems are dynamic systems with energy and materials flows which tend toward homeostasis through positive and negative feedback systems. Just as individual organisms are.

    Mess too much with an individual organism’s dynamic balance and you’ll kill it, even if, like a doctor, you believe you are doing the right thing. Give a goldfish too much food and it will die.

    Now I studied, trained and worked with this kind of stuff for the best part of a decade. So I for one am a little concerned about what we have done in the name of progress. I’m not against progress. I have as many toys and indulgences as the next person. But 7 billion tonnes of extra atmospheric CO2 every year and growing can’t be a good thing, if for no other reason that no-one is really sure what might happen if we keep doing it.

  2. We would want to avoid the next glaciation like the plague.

    This planet takes CO2 and turns it into life. If it was Ozone you were talking about, or CO or aerosols or anything else I would understand.

    But the alarmists have just lost the plot when they are talking about CO2 being a problem.

    But tell me what you found when you were working on this stuff? I’d be most surprised to find out if anything that CO2 did wasn’t a good thing.

  3. “I have as many toys and indulgences as the next person. But 7 billion tonnes of extra atmospheric CO2 every year and growing can’t be a good thing, if for no other reason that no-one is really sure what might happen if we keep doing it.”

    Slim, is that a net figure?

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