Posted 14 September 2011 - 12:43
This is as would be expected. Based on tbe conditions of the Arctic Oscillation to have the Polar vortex to actually reposition over the Canadian Martimes this past Winter it was clear that warmer winds and ocean currents would penetrate deep into the Arctic region. When we look at the positioning of the Bermuda/Azores High to have been over the Eastern Seaboard of the US for most of the Summer it would of been hard to miss that the flow of heat to the Poles wuld have been extreme this year.
When we add into the mix a general reduction of ITCZ cloud cover due to the extreme Northerly path of the Southerly Jet Stream this year, in association with the marked deviation of the Northern Jet Stream it was clear that the Northern Hemisphere was going to be in for a year of extremes. It looks like this Fall will likely follow suit.
To me the issue remains as to what could drive these changes, History/geology shows that 134ppm of CO2 is insufficient to drive these extremes. At best the condItions we are seeing map fairly well with the seasonal deviations seen 10kya as the Earth was emerging from the last ice age. It is likely that the only major difference between then and 7500 ya was the difference in vegetation cover. The advancement of the Forests into the former glacier valleys and plains speaks volumes wrt both the former CO2 uptake that has been lost, and the former soil moisture and aquafir capacities.
When we look at the former Forestation and the current we can see nearly 1/2 removed for farms, housing and transportation. Given that the former forests withheld nearly 90Gt more CO2 then today there is a major cause of change in the CO2 isotope balance. The C12-13 ratio change just goes to demonstrate the displacement of one system for another.
Now I am no tree hugger, I believe there should be a rich lumber industry; however, I do not condone the clear cutting and the invasion of land developers without the return of former housing or tailed out farms being returned to Forests. By the same token if you are going to cut down wide swaths of Oak, Elm, Chestnut and Ash, you should be replanting Oak, Elm, Chestnut and Ash. At worst case in wide flat regions subject to seasonal flooding we should be planting Willow, Persimmon, Birch..., not scrub pines and the planting rate should be 10 to 1, so that in 40 years at least one seedling makes it to maturity. (Note: Even with selective cutting strong healty specimens should be left standing otherwise we leave weak, disease prone, sources as the follow up generations. Hence, we can only reap what we sow. The largest and strongest every few acres must remain untouched within their drip line.)
In the past natural turnover may have run at about 10-15% for the worlds Forests, however the average Carbon sequestration was fairly flat, the biggest deviations surrounded volcanic or geologic activity resulting in either massive erosion or broad regional fires. After these passed the land would eventually return to forests, (reseeded by the mix of seeds already in the ground, including examples of the strongest specimens). We need to do a better job of returning our slums and fallow farm lands back to nature. Give them a couple generations to heal and then feel free to harvest the bounty of our efforts. Then replant and return them to nature; but, not as isolated blocks or strips; but, as whole regions which interlock with other regions.
As to homesteads, we need to abandon the idea of grass as a man made meadow in lumber regions. Sure surround your home with gardens whether flower or vegetable does not matter; but once you get 15 meters away from the house plant trees. As to homes, do we really need 2000sq feet under roof for two people? In my youth, yes I desired a 2300sq foot home, and yet I found plans for a 1384 sq foot house that offered every bit the level of comfort desired in a home... today 1140 sq ft is more then I and my bride can maintain..., maybe it is time for new types of home designs, that are flexible, that can accomodate changing needs, as our societies begin to reduce mobility requirements. (Information systems are going a long way to reducing the need to relocate.)
Sorry, Glyn, I did not intend to hijack this thread. However, we do need to start looking critically at the root cause of these changes. Simply changing the isotope ratios of Carbon do not explain it. That the anthropogenic Carbon load between 1800 and 1950 could have been met by nature suggests there had to be something at work in the 1800s for the CO2 levels to begin to rise. The most notable is the denuding of the land...