Wednesday, July 18 2012
As the image above shows with terrifying clarity, Las Tusas is dry and in desperate need of rain. Decades of dedication by my father to his beloved pasture are in jeopardy. We take very good care of our grasses as you can see by the good ground cover, but still it is dry and brittle. It has rained nearby, and the traditional rainy season isn't over so there is still hope.
(July17th2012windturbine) Dry, yet we're still hopeful
(Dry-forest-July17th2012) My brother Jack came with me on my morning hike
(ATV-Jack-July17th2012) The forest is stressed from this drought. We're seeing trees lose large boughs of pine needles. The early Spring moisture enabled most of the trees with new growth, but some do not look well at all. Jack and I agree that we need to remove more trees, and sooner than later.
(ATV-Jack-July17th2012forest) I am grateful for the mobility I have lately, thanks to a reprieve from gout. Jack is not so lucky. He is ten years older than me, still it scares us both how quickly a body can breakdown.
(forest-July17th2012) This is one area where Jack has helpers cutting trees for saw logs and firewood.
I did with Jack's help clean trash from our yard yesterday morning and bring a couple dozen bags of trash to the relay station in Sapello. Our bill with the county is building up faster than we can pay it off. At some point the price went up to nearly $15 per month. Anyway, we'll get back on top of it ASAP. The guy at the dump suggested we pay for a year at once it is supposedly cheaper. If only we could.
After a cat nap and some lunch I got back in the pit and busted rocks to my heart's content. What I'm trying to do is create a hollowed area near the edge of the tub for the drain trap. I'm not even sure what the thing looks like, so I'm mostly assuming that the trap is similar to the trap under a sink, except the inlet and outlet are horizontally opposed.
(Brian-TheShell-drain-plumbing-July2012) Besides showing that I need to cut back on the ice-cream, the above image shows what determination and a coal chisel can do. I'd like to think I burned more calories than I took in yesterday, but I don't know if it is so. I'm sore, that fifty pound rock bar is a calorie burner for certain, hehe, I'm sore all over.
(TheShell-July17th2012trap) Jack and I did a lot of measuring and checking of levels. Everything looks good, meaning all of the rocks in the floor are below grade, and no more need to come out. The room size will be 18 feet long, not the 16 we first thought. That extra two feet will be needed since we are now incorporating a full bathroom into the kitchen. Some of the rocks I busted out yesterday will give drain pipe access to the added shower stall in the plan.
(Perfect-bond-TheShell-July17th2012) I don't know if anyone can tell what the above image shows me clearly. As I cut down through concrete which is part of a footing for the utility pole we installed nearly a decade ago, I noticed the bond between the concrete and the rocks which we've been cracking and picking to clear and lower the floor to the kitchen bath project.
The perfect bond is not a fluke. No doubt I scraped and wire brushed the surface of the rocks before pouring concrete around the utility pole. This same process will be done around the edges of the floor where the concrete meets the rocks. I had planned to drill the rocks in places and place steel bars to anchor the concrete to the rocks, but after seeing how well this bond held up over the years, I don't think the bars are needed. There will of course be loads of steel rebar and mesh in the slab.
Jack and I did try to drill one hole yesterday for a stake, never mind that idea, that limestone is as hard as a rock. After ten minutes the hole wasn't a inch deep, and I tried smaller drill bits to see if I was merely biting off more than I could chew. Nah, but now there is a good mark in the rock clearly marking the northwest corner of the shell.
I want to go for a little hike, maybe down to the river. First I want to start a batch of cookies.
Study Indicates a Greater Threat of Extreme Weather
Published: April 26, 2012
New research suggests that global warming is causing the cycle of evaporation and rainfall over the oceans to intensify more than scientists had expected, an ominous finding that may indicate a higher potential for extreme weather in coming decades.
By measuring changes in salinity on the ocean’s surface, the researchers inferred that the water cycle had accelerated by about 4 percent over the last half century. That does not sound particularly large, but it is twice the figure generated from computerized analyses of the climate.
If the estimate holds up, it implies that the water cycle could quicken by as much as 20 percent later in this century as the planet warms, potentially leading to more droughts and floods.
“This provides another piece of independent evidence that we need to start taking the problem of global warming seriously,” said Paul J. Durack, a researcher at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and the lead author of a paper being published Friday in the journal Science.
The researchers’ analysis found that over the half century that began in 1950, salty areas of the ocean became saltier, while fresh areas became fresher. That change was attributed to stronger patterns of evaporation and precipitation over the ocean.
The new paper is not the first to find an intensification of the water cycle, nor even the first to calculate that it might be fairly large. But the paper appears to marshal more scientific evidence than any paper to date in support of a high estimate.
“I am excited about this paper,” said Raymond W. Schmitt, a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, who offered a critique of the work before publication but was otherwise not involved. “The amplification pattern that he sees is really quite dramatic.”
The paper is the latest installment in a long-running effort by scientists to solve one of the most vexing puzzles about global warming.
While basic physics suggests that warming must accelerate the cycle of evaporation and rainfall, it has been difficult to get a handle on how much acceleration has already occurred, and thus to project the changes that are likely to result from continued planetary warming.
The fundamental problem is that measurements of evaporation and precipitation over the ocean — which covers 71 percent of the earth’s surface, holds 97 percent of its water and is where most evaporation and precipitation occurs — are spotty at best. To overcome that, scientists are trying to use the changing saltiness of the ocean’s surface as a kind of rain gauge.
That works because, as rain falls on a patch of the ocean, it freshens the surface water. Conversely, in a region where evaporation exceeds rainfall, the surface becomes saltier.
The variations in salinity are large enough that they can be detected from space, and NASA recently sent up a new satellite, Aquarius, for that purpose. But it will take years to obtain results, and scientists like Dr. Durack are trying to get a jump on the problem by using older observations, including salinity measurements taken by ships as well as recent measurements from an army of robotic floats launched in an international program called Argo.
Dr. Schmitt cautioned that the work by Dr. Durack and his co-authors, the Australian researchers Susan E. Wijffels and Richard J. Matear, would need to be scrutinized and reproduced by other scientists.
Another expert not involved in the work, Kevin E. Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., said that Dr. Durack had produced intriguing evidence that global warming was already creating changes in the water cycle at a regional scale. But Dr. Trenberth added that he doubted that the global intensification could be as large as Dr. Durack’s group had found. “I think he might have gone a bit too far,” he said.
Assuming that the paper withstands scrutiny, it suggests that a global warming of about 1 degree Fahrenheit over the past half century has been enough to intensify the water cycle by about 4 percent. That led Dr. Durack to project a possible intensification of about 20 percent as the planet warms by several degrees in the coming century.
That would be approximately twice the amplification shown by the computer programs used to project the climate, according to Dr. Durack’s calculations. Those programs are often criticized by climate-change skeptics who contend that they overestimate future changes, but Dr. Durack’s paper is the latest of several indications that the estimates may actually be conservative.
The new paper confirms a long-expected pattern for the ocean that also seems to apply over land: areas with a lot of rainfall in today’s climate are expected to become wetter, whereas dry areas are expected to become drier.
In the climate of the future, scientists fear, a large acceleration of the water cycle could feed greater weather extremes. Perhaps the greatest risk from global warming, they say, is that important agricultural areas could dry out, hurting the food supply, as other regions get more torrential rains and floods.
- BMN A Little Bit More (14) Brian's Morning Newsletter Tuesday, July 17 2012 July17th2012-TheShell-dawn Good…
- BMN July 2nd (2012) Progress Report (8.5) Brian's Morning Newsletter Monday, July 02 2012 Good Morning Well…
- BMN TheShell Project Begins (7.9) Brian's Morning Newsletter Wednesday, June 06 2012 Possible-Hailstorm-June2012 Good Morning…
- BMN Man On A Pole (7.4) Brian's Morning Newsletter Thursday, July 5th 2012 Brian, on…
- BMN Muscle Man (7.1) Brian's Morning Newsletter Tuesday, June 26 2012 Muscle-man Good…
Related posts brought to you by Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.