Driving To Deliver Your Business

Climate Change, Blue Water Cargo Shipping and Predicted Ocean Wave Activity

In this three part article I explain what the scientific community defines as the “Business as Usual” scenario in regard to atmospheric pollutants fueling Global Warming. A brief review of the existential threat to marine life that this scenario represents will follow. Subsequently, I discuss global shipping.

I provide a summary of the tremendous importance of blue water (deep ocean) cargo shipping to global civilization. You will be surprised at how vital to global civilization blue water cargo shipping is. All the military vessels, all the pleasure yachts and even all the fishing fleets are insignificant in tonnage compared to that of ocean going cargo and tanker vessels.

I then leave the subject of shipping and the types of cargo vessels, which I return to at the end, to provide the reader with a graphic climate history of the Northern Hemisphere, from the last Glacial Maximum to the present, followed by the, scientifically based, predicted sea level and land vegetation changes in the “Business as Usual” scenario within the next 83 years. The discussion then returns to cargo ships and their behavior in rough seas. I provide graphics to explain what has been learned about ocean waves in the last 40 years that shocked the scientific community and caused them to go back to the drawing board on the science and math formulas of hydrodynamics in regard to maximum wave heights.

Some tragic cargo vessel losses from “rogue” waves (that turned out not to be as “rogue” as science had thought) are presented as evidence that the oceans are becoming increasingly dangerous to shipping. Finally, the Hansen et al paper, published in June of 2015, is referenced as evidence of a coming abrupt sea state change that will make modern blue water surface cargo shipping either too costly or impossible. The reason for this will be explained in detail with graphics showing ocean wave action and modern shipping design limitations.

Included in the last section that ties all the others together is a reference to another scientific paper published in July of 2015 that provides evidence that the worst case scenario (“Business as Usual”) modeled by the scientific community severely understates the amount of sea level rise in the next 83 years. I conclude with recommendations on what the governments of the industrialized countries of the world need to do within the next decade in order to prevent a collapse of civilization (or worse) within the next 25 years. Water vapor and clouds are the major contributors to Earth’s greenhouse effect, but a new atmosphere-ocean climate modeling study shows that the planet’s temperature ultimately depends on the atmospheric level of carbon dioxide.

Without non-condensing greenhouse gases, water vapor and clouds would be unable to provide the feedback mechanisms that amplify the greenhouse effect. The study ties in to the geologic record in which carbon dioxide levels have oscillated between approximately 180 parts per million during ice ages, and about 280 parts per million during warmer interglacial periods. To provide perspective to the nearly 1 C (1.8 F) increase in global temperature over the past century, it is estimated that the global mean temperature difference between the extremes of the ice age and interglacial periods is only about 5 C (9 F).

“When carbon dioxide increases, more water vapor returns to the atmosphere. This is what helped to melt the glaciers that once covered New York City,” said co-author David Rind, of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. “Today we are in uncharted territory as carbon dioxide approaches 390 parts per million in what has been referred to as the ‘superinterglacial’.” “The bottom line is that atmospheric carbon dioxide acts as a thermostat in regulating the temperature of Earth,” Lacis said.

GHG_control_the_temperature_of_earth.png

Greenhouse gases are vital to regulating Earth’s temperature. But there is a goldilocks band of these gases that must be adhered to in order to provide a viable biosphere.

In addition, GHG changes in concentration within that band must proceed, down or up, at or slower than a certain rate in order to allow the organisms that live in that biosphere to adapt to the changes or they will go extinct. Industrial civilization has BOTH exceeded the upper margin of the GHG band by a huge margin AND has done it at a rate far above the ability of most complex non-microscopic organisms to adapt to these violent changes. Mammalian vertebrates, among the complex organisms on Earth, are the least able to adapt to rapid GHG concentration changes.

The_6th_Mass_Extinction.png

There is no precedent in the geological record for the increase in CO2 caused by the burning of fossil fuels over the last century.

And the rate those fossil fuels are being burned is increasing, not slowing down or ceasing. Non-self aware mammalian vertebrates, unlike us, cannot use technology to adapt. This is the part the CEO of ExxonMobil (Rex Tillerson) forgot accidentally on purpose when he said, “We will adapt to that”.

Mr. Tillerson is an idiot or a liar (possibly both). Those “qualities” seem to be a job requirement for those that work in the fossil fuel industry.

Mr. Tillerson’s optimistic happy talk is not based on climate science or the geological record. Quote

“Mass extinctions due to rapidly escalating levels of CO2 are recorded since as long as 580 million years ago.”

http://theconversation.com/another-link-between-co2-and-mass-extinctions-of-species-12906[1]

Whether we humans want to admit it or not, we need the 75% of all of Earth’s species in danger of extinction from climate change. I know it is really hard for the fossil fuel industry predators ‘R’ US crowd to wrap their greedy heads around this, but it’s hard to live on a diet of hydrocarbons. And if we don’t stop burning them, both our plant and animal food supply, along with thousands of other species of other earthlings that make this planet viable, will go extinct.

This is not hyperbole. Mass extinctions are part of the geological record. In all but one of those mass extinctions, the rapid rise in GHG was the cause of the extinctions.

Furthermore, in all the former mass extinctions, the RATE of rise in GHG was much slower than today. Quote

“As our anthropogenic global emissions of CO2 are rising at a rate for which no precedence is known from the geological record with the exception of asteroid impacts, another wave of extinctions is unfolding.”

http://theconversation.com/another-link-between-co2-and-mass-extinctions-of-species-12906[2] According to the latest scientific studies on Global Warming, “Business as Usual”, touted as the basis for the continued health of global civilization, is actually the greatest threat to global civilization and our species that we have ever faced.

Before we get to what exactly is meant by, “Business as Usual”, let us first review the human caused pollution effects on ocean physical chemistry and temperature and marine species biochemistry. The following review references an analysis of oceans that totally omits a growing problem for worldwide shipping. Although the review is mostly very bad news, it may turn out to be, in terms of what deals the collapse triggering blow to human civilization as we know it, the “good” news.

The World Ocean Review The ocean may be buffering the most severe consequences of climate change for now. But in the long run we can only hope to avoid these if we strictly curb GHG emissions today.

Experts are concerned that hundreds of thousands of tonnes of methane hydrate could break down due to the warming of seawater – gas masses that are lying inertly in solid, frozen form in the sea floor sediments today. A portion of the methane, which is a powerful greenhouse gas, could then rise into the atmosphere and further accelerate the process of climate change – a vicious circle.
The oceans absorb many millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. They are the largest “sink” for anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

The excess carbon dioxide, however, upsets the chemical equilibrium of the ocean. It leads to acidification of the oceans, the consequences of which are unpredictable. Acidic water disrupts the sense of smell in fish larvae, carbonate formation by snails, and the growth rates of starfish.

The phytoplankton, tiny algae in the ocean and vital nutrient basis for higher organisms, are also affected by acidification. The coastal environment is still being damaged by effluent and toxic discharges, and especially by nutrients conveyed to the ocean by rivers. Thousands of tonnes of nitrogen and phosphorus compounds flow into the ocean around the world, causing an explosion in algal reproduction.

In many coastal regions the catastrophe begins with the death of the algae. Bacteria feed on the algal remains and consume oxygen in the water. In these oxygen-depleted zones all higher life forms die off.

Efforts to reduce nutrient levels have been successful in Western Europe. Worldwide, however, the input of nutrients is becoming increasingly problematical. People are, without a doubt, abusing the oceans in many respects, and this is increasing the stress on marine organisms.

Through over-fertilization and acidification of the water, rapid changes in water temperature or salinity, biological diversity in the ocean could drop worldwide at increasing rates. With the combination of all these factors, the disruption of habitats is so severe that species will continue to disappear. Clearly the oceans continue to be the “last stop” for the dregs of our civilization, not only for the persistent chemicals, but also our everyday garbage. Six million tonnes of rubbish end up in the ocean worldwide every year.

The trash is a fatal trap for dolphins, turtles and birds. Plastic is especially long-lived and, driven by ocean currents, it collects in the central oceans in gyres of garbage covering hundreds of square kilometres. A new problem has been identified in the microscopically small breakdown products of plastics, which are concentrated in the bodies of marine organisms.
http://worldoceanreview.com/en/wor-1/wor-1-in-short/[3]

That World Ocean Review I just quoted from, after laying out the hard facts, incredibly goes on to happily discuss ocean mining opportunities and methane hydrate harvesting plans for “energy products” for “energy independence”. The only caveat they supply is more of an epitaph for human willful denial of facts than a precautionary warning. Please file the following in the WTF!? category: Quote

Energy from burning ice

In addition to abundant minerals, there are large amounts of methane hydrate beneath the sea floor.

Some countries hope to become independent of energy imports by exploiting marine gas hydrate deposits near their own coasts. The technology for production, however, is not yet available. Furthermore, the risks to climate stability and hazards to marine habitats associated with extraction of the methane hydrates must first be clarified.

http://worldoceanreview.com/en/wor-3-overview/methane-hydrate/[4]

Yes, it seems the DANGER of extracting methane hydrates has not been “CLARIFIED” enough.

Neither the Permian Extinction geological record nor the PETM (Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum) geological record has “clarified” the methane issue enough. Hello? Is this, a more recent pre-human epoch, CLARIFICATION enough for you fellows providing your business friendly “World Ocean Review “, claiming, among other wonders of optimistic prose, that the sea level is only going to rise about 180 cm by century’s end?

Pliocene_was_last_time_GHG_was_this_high_25m_higher_sea_level.png

The following alarming, but still too conservative, MIT study EXCLUDES the ABRUPT climate change positive feedback loop effects we are now beginning to experience.

Do they think this MIT study needs “clarification”?

MIT_temperature_increase_study.png

And the DANGER of an acidified ocean to most marine species, which will clearly be exacerbated by the methane bomb, has not been clarified? Didn’t Professor Gerardo Ceballos, lead author of a study published in June of 2015 on the Sixth Mass Extinction we are now entering, with particular emphasis on marine mammal extinction threats, get the word? I think he and his fellow scientists CLARIFIED the methane issue AND the CO2 pollution issue rather well. For those that do not get it, the CO2 pollution, now baked in, is already threatening marine mammals with extinction.

When methane hydrates are added to the mix from a warmed ocean, acidification will accelerate and trigger anoxic conditions throughout the ocean water column, thereby destroying the food chain. That is a death sentence for most non-microscopic marine life and a large portion of the microscopic oxygen producing microscopic phytoplankton as well.

Climate_Change_Edangered_Marine_Species.png

These scientifically challenged, insultingly naive, business friendly, bland statements sold as “sober advice” are precisely the kind of double talk that has placed humanity in the polluted situation it finds itself. Some have blamed the scientific community.

Ffailure_of_scientists_to_communicate_the_urgency_of_the_threat.png

They forget that scientists are mostly employees. They forget that businesses gag their reports or keep their published, peer reviewed papers from the public on a regular basis.

So the criminally negligent, or deliberately criminal, here are business leaders, not scientists. My experience with reading these big picture reviews of our terribly polluted situation is that they seem to feel obligated to give some peppy, optimistic, happy talk at the end. Do these people understand what “business as usualmeans? It appears that either they don’t or willfully avoid doing so.

The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has a scientific name for Business as Usual. They have modeled it. They have a number for it.

It’s called the RCP-8.5. RCP stands for Representative Concentration Pathway.

RCP_2_point_6_versus_business_as_usual_8_point_5.png

Business as usual is a death sentence for over 75% (or more) of life on Earth.
The people that defend business as usual are deluded. There is evidence, which I will present, that even the RCP-8.5 scenario is too conservative.

And yet the methane issue needs “clarification”?

Doctor_Scott_Goetz_of_Woods_Hole.png

Dr. Scott Goetz (Deputy Director and Senior Scientist of the Woods Hole Research Center) has that thousand yard stare for a reason. CHANGES IN THE ARCTIC AND THEIR CLIMATE FEEDBACK IMPLICATIONS: Interview with Scott Goetz

Friends, there is a crime being committed. But the guiltiest parties do not want to pay for their share of the damage. And that is why these reviews lack the urgency that they need to have in order to successfully convince government policy makers to alter our destructive trajectory.

But I have discussed that in my article, Dianoia is sine qua non to a viable biosphere. So, I will move on to other matters of concern to humanity.[5]

Global_Shipping_routes.png

Global shipping

Human civilization has come to rely on the relatively inexpensive movement of millions of tons of cargo over the oceans. It is difficult or impossible to avoid a collapse without the use of the oceans.
To underline the importance of cargo shipping as the lifeblood of civilization, you need to look at the massive amount of tonnage these ships move globally on a daily basis.

Shipping_activity_as_of_2015.png

Tankers, bulk carriers and container ships are the most important means of transportation of our time.

Each year they carry billions of tonnes of goods along a few principal trade routes. Containerization has revolutionized global cargo shipping, bringing vast improvements in efficiency.

Conny WickbergContainer_ship.png

Throughout history the oceans have been important to people around the world as a means of transportation. Unlike a few decades ago, however, ships are now carrying goods rather than people.

Deadweight tonnage (abbreviated to dwt) or tons deadweight (TDW) is a measure of how much mass a ship is carrying or can safely carry; it does not include the weight of the ship. Agelbert NOTE: Please take note of the caveat, “safely carry” (More on what that means in part two of this article) . In terms of carrying capacity in dwt,

Tanker_big.jpeg

tankers account for 35 per cent,

Bulk_carrier.jpg

bulk carriers account for 35 per cent,

container_ship_fouteen_per_cent_of_shipping.jpeggeneral_cargo.jpeg

container ships 14 per cent,

general cargo ships 9 per cent

and passenger liners less than 1 per cent.

In all, the global merchant fleet has a capacity of just under 1192 million dwt.

Shipping Activity of Tankers, Cargo and Cruise Ships on October 12, 2015

shipping_activity_october_12_2015.png

The growth of the global merchant fleet according to type of vessel (as at 1 January [sic]) 2009:

There is a LOT of shipping out there and a LOT of ships. If the above graphics have not brought home to you how much shipping is going on 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, take a look at this (number in a green square represents the number of ships in that location):

number_of_ships_out_there.png

As you can see, what is out there going hither and yon across the oceans on a regular basis is substantial.

anchored_ships.jpg

Singapore anchorage Most of those affordable products in our homes are a direct result of a the uninterrupted global lifeblood of efficient blue ocean shipping.

If that shipping was no longer possible, global civilization would be impossible because it would be unaffordable. It is, therefore, extremely important to ensure that human civilization can use those oceans for routine cargo transportation. The oceans, as was pointed out earlier in this article, are a giant heat sink.

The more CO2 we pump into the air, the hotter the oceans get. When the oceans get hotter, they become more active. This means trouble for shipping.

Insurance companies do not like that. They analyze the risks of blue water shipping and track any trends that might increase those risks. They have actuaries that pay a lot of attention to losses of insured ships.

All commercial shipping is insured. You and I are billed for insuring, not just the merchant fleets, but the military ships too! That’s what the “defense budgets” lobbied for by all those welfare queen corporations, constantly whining about that “dangerous world out there”, are all about.

Well, it looks like all shipping is going to find out how DANGEROUS the oceans, not some invented threat about bellicose humans, can be. The insurance actuaries already know that the “terrorist” or piracy threat on the high seas is insignificant compared to the threat of sinking from rough seas.
Of course you haven’t read that in the papers. But you will read it here.

And I will provide evidence for it. But I’m getting ahead of myself. To understand what is happening in the oceans today, we need to go back in time about 20,000 years. We need to go back to the Last Glacial Maximum.

You_are_kiddding_right_kitty.png

WHY?

Because the sea state, as well as the sea level, are both a function of the average global temperature. In addition, the vegetation changes that accompany changes in the average global temperature can have deleterious effects on the sea state, totally separate from the dire extinction threat these temperature changes represent to marine organisms. The Environmental Change Model (ECM)

The following series of graphics deals with accurately modeled representations of the climate in a large part of the Northern Hemisphere centered on the Arctic. A link to the science and the source is provided. The average global temperature and pertinent data on the ice cover and types of vegetation is provided.

Of particular importance to the reader are the different types of Tundra coverage. The legend has color codes for the graphical representations. NOTE: The Greek letter “DELTA” =”?”.

It is used in science to mean, “Change in”. The referenced average global temperature is what we have today (about 15 degrees Centigrade = T). So, ?T = – 6C is a change in average temperature of minus 6 degrees centigrade from today. THAT was when there was a two mile high glacier sheet edge near what is now New York City.

That was also when the oceans were 120 meters = 394 feet lower than they are today.

ECM_1.png

http://cci-reanalyzer.org/ECM/[6] Notice the amount of dry Tundra area and moist Tundra area coverage then. Notice the range and size of the types of forests and the polar desert coverage too. At a glance you can see that this was a very dry world in comparison to our world.

Fast forward to ?T = – 0.5C. This was the Little Ice Age of 1850. That was just before the industrial pollution revolution had gotten up to full biosphere trashing speed. Sea level is close to the present level.

Notice how the forest cover has changed. Notice how the Tundra moved north as the ice retreated. Notice how the forests and the forest Tundra transition changed.

ECM_2.png

Tundra responds in one of two ways when it goes above freezing.

It has to do with the available oxygen. If there isn’t enough in the soil, the microbes resort to anaerobic metabolism and make lots of methane. This is NOT methane locked in the Tundra.

This is NEW methane. This is unrelated to the methane hydrates frozen on the ocean bottom, but it is still an additional feedback mechanism that increases the RATE of atmospheric heating. So these mechanisms are, by definition, not linear.

They can become self reinforcing. That means they can go exponential. Below, please find, the world we all grew up in (?T = 0C.).

I have labeled some areas for clarity. The Tundra continues to shrink, as does the ice coverage. The forest transition area creeps north and the forests grow along with the prairie grass covered areas.

There is less ice.

ECM_3.png

Which brings us to the IPCC RCP-8.5 scenario labeled “Business as Usual”.
This scenario is considered “worst case”. It does not expect us to hit ?T = plus 2C until 2050. The boundless optimism of the IPCC sounds a lot like those fellows doing the “World Ocean Review” that mentioned the methane “issue” needed “clarification” right after they admitted that the PRESENT conditions were causing the extinction of most marine animals.

Please look at this graph:

Three_kinds_of_Warming_Sam_Carana.png

The line with the number “1” is the IPCC RCP-8.5 scenario. The temperature increases in lines 2 and 3 ARE NOT in the IPCC RCP-8.5 scenario.
?T = plus 2C is considered extremely dangerous.

Hansen.pngBows.png

The IPCC projects a mere 0.5 meters sea level increase by 2050. But the July 2015 study that I reference in a graphic (further below) establishes that a sea level rise greater or equal to 6 meters (over 19 feet!) is evidenced in the geologic record for this type of temperature rise. [7] The IPCC projected sea ice decline graphic below will give you more context for understanding why it is unrealistic to believe that we will not hit the ?T = plus 2C until 2050.

Ice_melt_rate.png

But nevertheless, the IPCC RCP-8.5 scenario for ?T = plus 2C is instructive because the Tundra is disappearing. You know what that means for increased methane release, don’t you?

ECM_4.png

A note about the word, “Equilibrium” on the graphic: The word “Equilibrium” means that the full effects of the temperature change are being felt throughout the planet.

Glaciologists had previously thought that “equilibrium” effects on ice sheets took centuries or millennia. Now, because of empirical observations on the Greenland ice sheet, Antarctica and various glaciers in the world, they have come to accept that equilibrium is reached in decades or in years, depending on the temperature anomaly increase. As you know, or should know, the polar regions have warmed over 3C MORE than the rest of the planet in the last 50 years.

The huge differential was not plugged in to the IPCC models, resulting in their overly conservative (to put it mildly) predictions on ice retreat and sea level rise. So, if somebody tells you that all this is a long way off, they are uninformed or working for the fossil fuel industry. I will return to the dangers of the ?T = plus 2C (and beyond) world in a moment.
For now, I wish to show you the rest of the IPCC RCP-8.5 scenario projections.

Please remember that they are conservative projections and the effects portrayed will most likely arrive 25 years or more earlier than predicted. Also please remember that the actual sea level increase (see graphic below), according to the July 2015 paper referenced previously, will be several METERS, not feet, above the predictions.[8]

Sea_level_rise_prediciton.jpg

?T = plus 3C

ECM_5.png

Sometime after the loss of the ice cap, all the Tundra will have thawed. ALL the trapped gases, including CO2 and CH4 (methane, which is over 80 times more powerful a GHG than CO2), will be released. Added grasses absorbing CO2 will not be enough to counteract the warming acceleration. There are those who expect a negative feedback from the stopping of the thermohaline oceanic current circulation (stopped by all the cold fresh water melted off the Greenland ice cap into the oceans).

Perhaps that will help slow the heating (north of about 45 degrees latitude – below that they will roast even more!) for a decade or so. In any event, it will do nothing to calm the ocean surface.

?T = plus 4C

ECM_6.png

The worst effect is that Arctic ocean bottom frozen clathrates will thaw and the methane will be released. The planet will continue warming increasingly faster past ?T = plus 4C.

That will exacerbate ocean conditions even more.

With more and more heat energy present, the ocean surface will get increasingly more turbulent. And we will already be well past the ?T = plus 2C mark. As evidenced by the two referenced scientific studies, both published recently this year (2015), and the woefully conservative IPCC predictions on the rate of the North Polar Ice Cap retreat, Antarctic and Greenland ice cap melt rates, and temperature rise rate, sea level will most likely rise a minimum of 6 meters within 10 years, not 35 years. We are talking about 2025, not 2050, for a ?T = plus 2C world. We are not preparing adequately for that.

For those who will point to the increase in size of the floating ice around Antarctica as evidence that the Earth is not really warming, I beg to differ. The fact that the Antarctic land mass IS losing ice has been measured with satellites. It is losing ice because of global warming.

It is true that the floating ice around Antarctica had been increasing up until 2015 due to high winds. That has now stopped despite the fact that the increased rate in Antarctic land ice mass shed melt water had temporarily enabled increases in the floating ice coverage. This was because of two factors.

The first one is that there are very high winds around Antarctica, unimpeded by any land mass. The second factor is that fresh water freezes more rapidly on the ocean surface than salty water. That’s why salt is spread on roads in winter.

On the ocean, the water molecules must rid themselves of the sodium and chloride ions dissolved in them before they can freeze. All the ice floating on the oceans is water ice. It has no salt in it.

And as long as that floating ice is the product of melt water from the Antarctic land mass, it will ADD to sea level. And when the sea level goes up just 6 feet, never mind the 19 feet or more increase expected with CURRENT CO2 levels, all shipping port facilities (and most coastal airport facilities too!) in the world are no longer usable without gargantuan and heroic efforts requiring trillions of dollars in costs for every foot the land and port infrastructure must be raised. It seems that the countries (see: every industrialized country on the planet) dragging their feet on CO2 reduction actions do not understand this.

There are, as of this writing, over 140 countries investing trillions of dollars in port facilities. No, they aren’t raising the level of the port facilities to prepare for rapidly rising sea levels. They are trying to cash in on container shipping by building more container shipping infrastructure.

Don’t these governments listen to their climate scientists? End of PART ONE. Below is a link to PART TWO. If you wish to read it here, expect it in a few weeks.

It is quite slog loading all the graphics, so please be patient. Climate Change, Blue Water Cargo Shipping and Predicted Ocean Wave Activity: PART TWO[9] Also, feel free to pass this on with or without attribution.

People need to know what we are up against.

Have a good day.

References

  1. ^ http://theconversation.com/another-link-between-co2-and-mass-extinctions-of-species-12906 (theconversation.com)
  2. ^ http://theconversation.com/another-link-between-co2-and-mass-extinctions-of-species-12906 (theconversation.com)
  3. ^ http://worldoceanreview.com/en/wor-1/wor-1-in-short/ (worldoceanreview.com)
  4. ^ http://worldoceanreview.com/en/wor-3-overview/methane-hydrate/ (worldoceanreview.com)
  5. ^ Dianoia is sine qua non to a viable biosphere (renewablerevolution.createaforum.com)
  6. ^ http://cci-reanalyzer.org/ECM/ (cci-reanalyzer.org)
  7. ^ July 2015 study (www.sciencemag.org)
  8. ^ according to the July 2015 paper referenced previously, will be several METERS, not feet, above the predictions. (www.sciencemag.org)
  9. ^ Climate Change, Blue Water Cargo Shipping and Predicted Ocean Wave Activity: PART TWO (renewablerevolution.createaforum.com)



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