Monday, December 10, 2018

Weather forecast by energy distribution

I'll do this every 5 days when the new ocean currents maps comes out.  Standard weather forecasts treat high and low pressure areas as objects, when they are actually effects.  Same as the jet stream.  Storms are objects driven by energy, and could still be called effects.

If you go a bit deeper into the physics, then you can do forecasts based on heat energy flows.  All of the Earth's weather is driven by the heat in equatorial belts.  That's 'major' weather.  The dull stuff is our season default weather, which is determined by latitude, or solar energy flux.  As well, the weather around Southern Ontario is moderated by the Great Lakes.  In the middle of the western prairie we have very hot summers and very cold winters.  The default UK weather is moderated by the ocean, but without the Gulf Stream, it is the weather (climate) of Labrador.

Climate is just a statistical compilation of weather, over a given time, determined by philosophical debate.  We live in a unique time where 'climate' dominates over weather, and people make linear extrapolations.  Never used to happen.

The Earth has a wonderful sweet spot of temperature at 30c for moist air.  It is just an empirical law that things start to happen above that.  Convection starts to go wild and takes away heat.  In the ocean, we can start hurricanes, warm air plumes, and new ocean currents.  The oceans are our great air conditioning system, and everything wants to stay at 30c.  It is no coincidence that life centres around this temperature.

All normal life is happy at 30c.  The internal reactions of life optimize at 37c, and fall off a cliff at slightly above that.  Exotic life can go on at 40c, but not much else.  Warm-blooded animals can't move much about 30c because internal heat starts to build up.  Small is beautiful above that because of the great ratio of surface area to mass. 

Cold-blooded life enjoys rapid movement from 30 to 37.  Thus, you can see giant alligators tromping across golf courses at that temperature.  At 37, they could easily outrun a hot horse.

The Earth has gone through big cycles of temperature in the past 2 billion years of life.  Yet, because we exist, everything is self-regulating, and nothing has gone 'ballistic', or the Earth would be like Venus, and nobody to fret about climate.  Each cycle of 300 million years or so sees us going from 'Snowball Earth' to 'Hot Steamy Earth", yet the variation is not that great.

It is known that Mother Earth has accumulated at least 3 oceans worth of water and mucky carbon in the deep crust.  The people confirming this never speculate what would have happened if the Earth had been 'just' accumulating for 4 billion years.  That's right, all the water would be deep underground, and the Earth would be a dried prune.  That doesn't happen.  What goes around, comes around.

So, at some point, all that water and carbon has to come barfing back at us, in a never-ending cycle.  I have speculated that this happens during our 'steamy' cycle, when all the continents are jammed together.  The one we have the most info on, is the Mesozoic, although this has happened many times before. 

The cycle before the Mes, was the Permian.  It was cold, and life was dominated by large proto-mammals, warm blooded.  Cold weather favours large warm-blooded animals, the larger the better.  That's because they needed to keep all the heat in, and being large has a smaller ratio of surface area to mass.

Unfortunately for these guys, we went into another cycle when all the continents smooshed.  At this point, the continents form a huge thermal blanket over the hot deep part (mantle).  All the water and carbon muck is baked, and blows out in the form of massive volcanism.   Very high carbon dioxide, that pales in warming the Earth, compared to the massive amount of water vapour.  A very hot time in the old town tonight, but not that hot.

Large mammals all died out, and reptiles ruled the Earth, because the temperatures were above 30c.  Not too much more, because of the self-regulating convection.  We know that the dinosaurs were happy and jumping around at the North Pole.  Such a fine time to be cold-blooded.

Alas, the reptile party ended at the next cycle, where we now find ourselves.  We are going back to 'Snowball Earth', but we are lucky that our major ice advances are still at 10,000 year cycles.  Perhaps, in the future, the continental glaciers will be permanent, until the next cycle.

During a major ice advance, large mammals are dominant, such as the woolly mammoth.  This is just a heat retention/dissipation thing.  

Take Aways

The Earth is a perfect self-stablizing heat engine.  Any instability and we'd be dead. 

Carbon dioxide has gone up orders of magnitude over today, and yet we still live.  Water vapour is the main atmospheric insulator.

We are in a 'Snowball Earth' era.  The general trend for the next few million years is a major freeze.

Ocean currents are the main heat pipes that take care of us.

Looking at the charts

I'm ending it here, because I wrote too much for Penny.  The 'air plume' chart (MIMIC) and the sea temp chart tells me everything.  The ocean current chart shows longer term trends.

Weather forecast

Look to more 'default weather', and the ocean breezes are nearly dead.  Toronto will be at -20c this winter because of Lake Ontario, and Huntsville will be at -40c.  The UK should be at -10c because it is surrounded by ocean. 


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