2011-05-12 02:30:031524
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

Fixed.  Dunno why it does, but sometimes the WYSIWYG editor goes wanky.

What I usually do is work in multiple windows.  I keep a base copy of the article open in one window as a backup in case the file itself has the URLs corrupted, as happened to you.  That way, if it does happen, you can copy the article back into the editing window & save it again.  Works for me.

Check them all in case I missed one.  The editor sometimes throws in extra characters at the end of the string as well.

2011-05-12 03:28:08links
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

Did you save the post before entering a title or filename?  That's what always screws the links up for me.

2011-05-12 04:02:56comments
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

"An example of this has recently appeared in a Canadian newspaper article by Lawrence Solomon." => I'd specify that it's a National Post article.  They deserve to be called out specifically.

"the dry season typically coinciding with summer in the northern hemisphere summer (June/July/August),"

"This general pattern is tied to movement of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), which helps drive moisture from the Atlantic sea surface into the Amazon. A band of strong rainfall is associated with the ITCZ, and increased heating..."

Define the acronym for ENSO, and move the comma after "ENSO cycle" (instead of after "seasonal cycle")

I might finish the post up with a statement critical of Solomon and the Post.  Nice article though - good job.

2011-05-12 12:24:56
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

Rob,

First, Many thanks for doing this.  Second, I would love to provide feedback, but my mom arrives tomorrow from overseas, so we are chasing our tails right now to get the house ready, and I should be reviewing a paper for the Int. J. Clim. (crap!).  I'll try and have a look on Friday (in N. America).

2011-05-12 12:33:22
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

Rob,

Check this out.

http://www.star.nesdis.noaa.gov/smcd/emb/vci/VH/vh_browse.php

 

Had a super quick read...looks good.

You might also want to add a reference (Dai 2010) to support your statement that droughts will increase, a picture would be better. The Dai paper was covered at SkS (here), so you could grab one of those, images are powerful (ask Watts).

I would also highlight the logical fallacies that I noted in the other thread at 'General chat'. 

2011-05-12 15:29:50
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

Rob, this may be of possible interest/revelance.

2011-05-12 16:34:34
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.3.199

Alby, I think the post is long enough already, and that was after I chopped it down a bit. I was thinking, given the shortage of climate blog coverage, to do a couple of more posts on the Amazon. The fact that the droughts seem to be as a result of the tropical SST warming, worries me greatly. We could be seeing the death spiral of the rainforest. It will be interesting to see if a decent El Nino develops over the next year, and if the tropical Atlantic warms up again. It will be 2010 all over again.

Thanks for the last link, I was planning on doing a post on the ITCZ. Don't know if that's the same one, but I ran across a recent paper showing that it was going to migrate north (over South America) with continued warming. And I agree the post needs another picture/graphic. I tried to find an aerial shot of dead Amazonian trees from 2005/2010, but no joy.

Dana, amended as suggested. Ta.

2011-05-13 06:02:37
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

Hi Rob,
Found some time, here are some thoughts/suggestions.


1) "One of the key benefits of writing skeptic climate articles"
I would place skeptic in quotation marks, Solomon is not  a true skeptic, nor is anyone who does what your follow-up text states.

2)  "the dry season typically coinciding with summer in the northern hemisphere (June/July/August), and the wet season taking place in the southern hemisphere summer (Dec/Jan/Feb)."
Read awkward to me.  How about:
"the dry season typically coincides with the boreal summer (June/July/August), with the wet season occurring in the austral summer (Dec/Jan/Feb)."

3) "When the southern hemisphere heats up over summer,"
How about "Heats up during the austral summer"?

4) "...., forced by La Nina and El Nino"
I do not think it is correct to say La Nina and El Nino "force" ENSO.  Rather they characterize ENSO.  So maybe say "On top of this seasonal cycle is the ENSO cycle, with its associated La Nina and El Nino events.

5) "El Nino often brings drought because..."
Did you mean to say "El Nino often brings drought to the Amazon because"Also, the Amazon is a huge area, is the entire basin affected or only a specific portion?

6) "and the Amazon therefore dries out"
Some people might take this too literally.  How about "therefore experiences a rainfall deficit" or something along those lines.

7) "During the La Nina, the Amazonian trend is one of higher-than-average rainfall and cooler-than-average surface temperatures"
How about "During the La Nina, the Amazonian typically experiences higher-than-average rainfall and cooler-than-average surface temperatures"?

8) "Actual trends are more nuanced, and there is some regional variation, but it gives a good indication of the overall picture"
Missing period at end.  And I do not think we are talking trends at this point, maybe say "Actual response to ENS are more..."

9) Amazon Dieback.  Good section. This may be a good place to briefly mention the paleo study.  For example, "Projections of drying associated with warming are consistent with the paleo records/stidies (citation)".

10) Zen 2006, should be Zeng (2006).  Same convention for all other references in text. 

11)  "With the benefit of background knowledge, we can see that Solomon's claims are deeply flawed."

Rob, this comes out of nowhere, the reader may not have bothered to follow the link.  You seem to be addressing two claims ( (essentially that the forest has recovered since the drought and that we need to pump more CO2 into the atmosphere to help save the Amazon), you need to state the relevant one when you speak to it.

12) "mangled interpretation of their work"
I wold take this further, it is a misrepresentation of their work, and trust me, it is not accidental.

13)  "The findings of Phillips 2009 do not support Solomon's ideas, indeed Phillips and co-authors would likely not be pleased with Solomon's mangled interpretation of their work"
Also, you need to state which fallacy of Solomon you are addressing here, that is, his claim that a paper with a huge number of authors suggests that the Amazon is robust to drought.  This also leads to an important  logical fallacy of his, if the forest is as robust as he claims, why then is it necessary to increase CO2 to save it?  If his claim is true, that action is not required by his own words.

14)  "ideal conditions it cannot offset human carbon pollution"
Ned to beef this up.  I don't like the use of the word "pollution" here.  It would be useful if you had a reference that shows that the cons outweigh the gains, or that the cons are not offset completely by the pros.  The issue to me is the increase in the frequency and severity of drought as the planet warms. You say this a few sentences down, but it might be a good idea to make the connection "tighter".  I would also start the next sentence with 'But' or 'However'.

15) More CO2 in the atmosphere will likely increase the frequency of severe droughts in the Amazon by altering vital rainfall patterns
I urge you to include a link to the Dai et al. paper here, even if it is just to the discussion of the paper at SkS.

16) "this will provide a boost to drying of the Amazon because the rainforest itself is responsible for much of its own rainfall through the effect of evapotranspiration."I would say 'recycling of evapotranspiration (ET)'.  Indeed the Amazon is one of the hot-spots identified where there is strong coupling between the land-surafce state (e.g., soil moisture) and the subsequent precipitation.

17) "This will provide a boost to drying of the..."
How about "This will potentially exacerbate the drying trend.."?

18)  "So the effect of stomatal closure from high CO2 levels and warming could be dramatic."
How about "So the impacts of reduced ET arising from higher levels of CO2  could have a marked impact on precipitation".
Note, the stomata won't "close", rather we are talking about a because of reduction of stomatal aperture which in turn reduces transpiration.

To summarize, you are arguing that the reduction of atmospheric moisture available to feed rainstorms is two-fold: 1) stomatal "closure' from moisture stress (release of ABA from roots and reduced evaporation from drier soils, and 2) stomatal 'closure" b/c of higher CO2 levels?  I might also mention that if the soil moisture drops below the permanent wilting point then even 
I would also add a sentence noting that encouraging business as usual or continued emitting to save the Amazon is also absurd-- b/c by hypothetically avoiding one disaster he is encouraging making other issues much worse such as ocean acidification, heat waves etc.  I would also maybe have a sentence stating the absurdity of his argument, increasing CO2 to hypothetically save the Amazon from drought, when doing so is only going to make the forests experience more frequent and severe droughts.

I did this in a rush, but I hope I caught the most significant issues.  

2011-05-13 13:27:30
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.24.108

Alby, thanks for the feedback, but I urge you to: Not be such a scientist!!!!.

1. Agreed.

2 & 3. Austral?, boreal?, no thanks, I'm trying to cut back on the scientific jargon, and reach a broader audience. Long way to go, I know!.

4.Yeah, "forced" struggled to word that correctly. sorted.

5. It's complicated, El Nino modoki shifts the main  tropical east Pacific convection area differently than the run-of-the-mill El Nino, but generally the effect is basin-wide, hence the qualifier in the last few sentences of the section.

6. It dries out, it's a drought. I'll leave it like methinks.

7. Noted, "trend" wasn't the right word.

8. Ditto.

9. Yeah, thanks for pointing out that study.

10. Fixed. Ta.

11. Fair point. Amended.

12. Misrepresentation, mangled interpretation......quibbles, I'll leave as is. Yes, I gather he is a lying shit.

13. Amended. I don't want to get too bogged down in what "he" says. Just a couple of things, the rest is a teaching moment for me, that's the way I'm approaching it. It's motivated to write a number of posts on the subject, because I don't think it's that clear that the circulatory changes projected in simulations, already seem to be taking place.   

14. Note link in following sentence, which supports this statement. Carbon pollution? I like it!, it's a good way to link CO2 with something bad, for the masses. Why do you think deniers hate such phrases?.  Could be a point for deniers to focus their powers of distraction on, but so what?.

15. Planning on linking to another paper. Either/or.

16."recycled" added. Ta.

17. Ha!, exactly what I wrote in the first place, but thought it too knobby.

18. Amended. 

I think I'll go over the subject, in a post of the model projections themselves, and anticipated vegeation feedbacks. Summarized:

a) More CO2 and warming will cause increased ocean heating in a tight band around the equator. The ITCZ will shift north, and this will be exaggerated by warming in the northern hemisphere, outpacing the SH warming. A further contributing effect is the reduction in reflective atmospheric aerosols (Cox 2008) which which drive NH warming even further. So on a seasonal basis the Amazon will get much drier. Incorporating aerosol into the simulations in Cox 2008 gives a very good match to observations of the 2005 drought (intense tropical Atlantic heating).

b) ENSO frequency and amplitude has increased throughout the 20th century. Paleo studies seem to indicate this is tied to the mean climate state of the tropics i.e. a future warmer Earth, with warmer tropical oceans, means greater freq/amp of ENSO. This paleo data supports the model simulations. During El Nino expect the drought severity to increase. Conversely we should see even more Amazon rainfall in a La Nina. So we have a seasonally drier Amazon shackled to a more damaging El Nino. Not good.

c) Vegetation feedbacks, stomatal restriction and a net loss of stomatal conductance activity (drought stressed & dead trees) will reduce the water recycling regime. This is significant, in some regions up 74% of rainfall is recycled, but the basin-wide average is anywhere from 35-50%. Fire feedbacks - tropical trees are hopelessly adapted to fire damage. The mortality rate from even pathetic-looking fires is somewhere around 40% (IIRC) and rises to 98% in secondary fires. Liana's (woody vines) seem to be running amok in the tropics. No one knows whether it's elevated CO2 or the drying of tropical regions that is causing this. Regardless, it's bad for trees because they smother them, out-competing them for space in the canopy, and for nutrients from the soil. They're shorter-lived, hold far less biomass, and so the trend (if it continues) is for the Amazon sink to decrease. The effect might not be that serious, I dunno, but certainly the combined effects (I've only covered a few) will be massive.

The Amazon might be fucked.  

2011-05-13 14:34:18
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

Hi Rob,

Now worries, glad to contribute.  Yes, not looking good for the Amazon is it?  Good ideas at a-c.

Sorry if my review came across as nit picky, I have trouble removing my reviewer's cap sometimes....in a round about way that reminds me-- I was speaking to my wife about your article (she is a conservation biologist) and she asked what you do.  And I'm afraid and embarrassed to say that I haven't got the foggiest idea what your discipline is.

2011-05-13 14:36:24
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

Oh, and  forgot to add this, sorry.

2011-05-13 23:32:06
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.92.102.53

Alby, no worries mate, it's all constructive criticism. I thought it was indigestable as it was, so I've chopped it into segments, and given it a somewhat incendiary title. Not quite finished yet. Here's my thinking:

1 - Seasonal and ENSO rainfall cycles. Skewer Solomon's strawman about the drought ending.

2 - CO2 fertilization & 2005/2010 droughts. 

3. Model projections. Mechanistic explanation behind increased freq/severity of drought.

4. Paleo evidence for northward shift of the ITCZ under further warming.

5. Paleo evidence for intensification of ENSO.

6. Vegetation feedbacks & summary of the lot.

Sort of figured readers can have that 'lightbulb' moment when the next El Nino or extremely warm Atlantic SST season rolls around, and the Amazon plunges into another extreme drought. 

As for me?, my background has nothing whatsoever to do with science. Briefly considered a career in chemistry at high school, having a thing for solving chemical equations, but thinking about it was as far as I got. Spent 17 years in the Police and the last 9 in residential construction, built a couple of our own houses. Sure learnt a heck of a lot!. Getting out now, the building industry is knackered, and I'm sick of penny pinchers.

My environmentalism is driven by a life-long love affair with the ocean, I've been underwater long enough to see some profound changes here from eutrophication, silt build-up and overfishing. My eldest son doesn't quite get it, even though I explain to him what it used to be like only 20 years ago. I guess it's one of those you-had-to-be-there things, his expectations are a lot lower, not knowing any better. Really pisses me off when I see NZ being bandied about as some conservation role model. It's rubbish, the public here has to fight tooth and nail to preserve things. In my area there's a huge fight at the moment to set up marine reserves, and it's been dragging on for years.

So there ya go, something to tell wifey!. 

 

 

 

2011-05-14 02:30:58
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

Thanks Rob, very interesting.  Sad that you are able to see the changes in such a short time. Yeah, people make the same mistake with Canada, assuming that we are excellent stewards of the environment, NOT.  Well, at least the tar sands and our ridiculous (yes it is a cold and big country, cry me a river-- people idle their cars and trucks (that could feature in monster truck rallies) when it is +5 C) per capita GHG emissions are making people be more wary.

Well Rob, you strike me as someone who could have easily been a scientist.  I honestly thought that you were in marine sciences or similar field :)  My brother-in-law is a builder, loves the work, but not easy to make money as some might assume, especially working alone and not for one of the major building firms.

I'll have a quick read of the final version when its ready, just let us know when that is.

 

 

 

2011-05-14 03:13:39
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

Rob,

Did you track down a verison of that ITCZ paleo paper?  I could probably get a copy and email it to you if need be.

2011-05-14 07:35:25
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.92.118.128

Alby, Re - the ITCZ paper, no not yet. Had intended to e-mail the authors, but if ya could get me a copy that would be sweet!. e-mail:Paintingskeri@vodafone.co.nz

On a side note: A very good friend of mine lives up in Halifax, Nova Scotia (former copper). He married a local lady who is an environmental lawyer (didn't know such a thing existed before meeting her). Just chatting to her, I'm  aware of the some of the struggles you guys are having up there battling the forces of darkness. My mate says, because the cod fishery is gone, that lobster populations have exploded. He reckons it's torture diving there, because the sea floor is littered with big lobster, and not being a commercial fisherman, he ain't allowed to grab one!.

I'll get part 1 of the posts sorted within the next 12 hours, got my granddaughter over so I'm taking her to the beach (it's almost winter here in northern NZ and it still in the low 20's during the day! (celcius, that is). 

 

2011-05-14 10:19:40
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

Hi Rob, just emailed you the PDFs

2011-05-14 13:11:40
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.26.126

Got it, cheers mate.

2011-05-15 00:18:09
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.92.105.64

Alby, part 1 here.

- Title is deliberately provoking. Might be true, but regardless, issues of ecology tend to get ignored on climate blogs. The "skeptics" might find it hard to do so here. 

- Figure 1 needs to be enlarged a tad & sharpened. I'll get around to that in the morning.

- One more image to come. Trying to find precipitation image for typical La Nina/El Nino. Have a couple from two studies, but they're shit.

- Haven't thoroughly checked for typos (I always miss heaps anyway) and link problems.

Thoughts?

2011-05-15 06:17:16
Andy S

skucea@telus...
66.183.161.140

Rob, I like your latest version better and I look forward to Part II. 

It's sometimes worth contrasting the careful prose of scientists with the idiocy of people like Solomon. For example, read the final paragraph of Lewis's paper (which I can send you if you don't have it already):

Droughts co-occur with peaks of fire activity(5). Such interactions among climatic changes, human actions, and forest responses represent potential positive feedbacks that could lead to widespread Amazon forest degradation or loss (7). The significance of these processes will depend on the growth response of tropical trees to increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, fire management, and deforestation trends (3, 7). Nevertheless, any shift to drier conditions would favor drought adapted species, and drier forests store less carbon (8). If drought events continue, the era of intact Amazon forests buffering the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide may have passed.

I'm not sure that you need Fig 1, I would have thought that a simple statement that their are wet and dry seasons in the Amazon followed by the discussion if the ICTZ would suffice.

Pet peeve: you sometimes use "it's" when you mean "its".

I'm not sure if "facetious" is the right word but apart from that, I like your final two paragraphs.

You may be coming to this in part two but the Phillips paper says:

Meanwhile, carbon gains from photosynthesis cannot rise indenitely andwill almost certainly asymptote. Thus, ecophysiological principles alone suggest that the sink in intact tropical forests will diminish and may eventually reverse.The major uncertainty is when this will occur.

Whereas Solomon says: The short version: It’s CO2 to the rescue. The more of it in the atmosphere, the better the Amazon’s chance of survival.

2011-05-15 07:21:02
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

Rob,

You are welcome :)  

I agree with Andy S, Fig.1 can probably go.  Pretty elementary stuff, IMO.

Busy this weekend, but I'll try and give it a proper read ASAP.

2011-05-15 07:29:11Process question
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
98.122.68.19

Rob,

Do you intend to transmit the article directly to Lewis and Phillips? I personally believe it would be well to do so.

2011-05-15 08:39:25
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.10.6

Andy S - thks.

-Good point about contrasting the "skeptic" idiocy with that of the scientists prose. Aim to do that with the discussion of the Phillips paper. He's lead, and co-author, on a lot of Amazonian studies.

-Your pet peeve (it's), don't know why I do that, I know it's (he he) wrong, yet I constantly do it, and am blind to it when I'm checking for errors. A few others here have already complained about that!.

-Figure 1. Yeah, I know, one of the fundamentals, and doesn't need illustrating to anyone here, but I wonder how many casual readers understand it?  My thinking was that an uninformed casual reader could follow the thing from go-to-whoa and 'get it'. Argument-by-complexity and obfuscation, are the most common "skeptic" approaches here, I just want to cut through that garbage and make things plain (Neal King's "barmaid" philosophy).

-Facetious. Yeah, not obvious in the Solomon article, but I'm sure he was being exactly that when he wrote it. I'll amend.

Badger - thanks, hadn't thought of that, although I note that the University of Leeds already has a link to that Solomon article. I wonder if they have a response in the works? Might send an e-mail to both anyway. 

2011-05-15 09:04:26not ready?
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.97.203

Sorry, John asked me to publish this one.  A bit of confusion as to what to publish and what's ready.  Is this (Part 1) ready?

2011-05-15 09:10:16
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.10.6

Dana,

This is the current version, although Andy S and Alby think figure 1 is 'teaching your grandmother to suck eggs'. I haven't checked all the links work yet. Will have finished in a couple of hours (gotta head out shopping).

2011-05-15 09:13:51
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.97.203

I think Figure 1 is fine to leave in there, personally.  Nothing wrong with covering the basics in a nice picture.  I published Part 1 and pulled the draft off - hope that's okay.

2011-05-15 09:14:18
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.10.6

Already sorted I see. I'll go over it when I get back. Ta.

2011-05-15 09:15:23
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.10.6

Righto.

2011-05-15 09:18:16
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.97.203

Yeah sorry about that, my mistake.  Long discussion thread - I saw the link at the top but not the link to the updated part 1, and I think John linked to the original draft too.  Anyway, it's all sorted out now.

2011-05-15 09:34:08
Andy S

skucea@telus...
66.183.161.140

My problem with Fig 1 was not so much that everyone knows what causes the seasons (I read something somewhere that actually most people don't know, even many educated people) but more that the figure was a bit confusing and wouldn't actually help someone who didn't already understand.

For example, I was thrown off at first by the bit in the figure that shows the wobble; of course, we all know that the wobble has nothing to do with the annual seasonal cycle but someone who doesn't understand seasonal cycles won't.

2011-05-15 12:05:47
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.92.119.11

Andy S, I'll see if I can find a better graphic. I felt the same, but got tired of trying to find a simple enough version.