Friday, November 03, 2006

Something to warm Roger Pielke Sr's heart...

As those of you who visit the Emeritus Colorado State Climatologist's blog are aware, Roger Pielke Sr., has a thing for Joules. He also has been greatly cheered by some recent measurements of ocean heat content and in particular recent papers by Lyman. Willis and Johnson. Eli was sitting in front of the fire patting Ethon after a fine liver dinner, well, as good as it gets, reading EOS, when to his great joy he came across an EOS article by Shaopeng Huang "Land Warming as Part of Global Warming".

Recently Huang, Chapman, Harris and others have been trying to figure out how increased atmospheric temperatures would effect the heat content of the earth. Based on those studies, in the EOS article, Huang figures out how much heat would have been absorbed into the ground using Jones and Moberg's surface temperature records. Figure 3 from the paper shows (a) the land surface temperature, (b) the amount of heat/m^2 that would flow into the ground infered from (a) and the increase in heat content of the ground from (b). ZETA Joules, my friends. 11.6 of them since 1851 and 65% of that since 1970, with 2.1 ZJ between 2001 and 2005. That's more than enough to solve any energy crisis. Zeta Joules are 1000000000000000000000 J.


Anonymous said...

There you go forgetting the balance of the energy balance from the biosphere Eli.

Physical and biological oceanographers led by FSU Professor William Dewar put the yearly amount of chemical power stored by phytoplankton in the form of new organic matter at roughly 63 terawatts, and that's a lot of juice: Just one terawatt equals a trillion watts. In 2001, humans collectively consumed a comparatively measly 13.5 terawatts.

Eviseerated again Eli it must be simply offal.


EliRabett said...

Plankton are as the lillys of the field, except for the fact they are slimy, ugly and stink. The earth abides.

Ian Forrester said...

maksimovich seems to think that phytoplankton are a sink for GHG's. Unfortunately, this is far from reality. Remember the experiment in which iron salts were added to the sea to stimulate the production of phytoplankton and hence act as a large carbon dioxide sink?

Seems that the theory was completely wrong. Yes, phytoplankton bloomed but instead of sinking to great depths when they died they stayed close to the surface and decayed giving off large amounts of methane instead. End result? Phytoplankton can be efficient converters of carbon dioxide to methane thus worsening the effects of GHG's.

Ian Forrester

EliRabett said...

1 terrawatt*yr = 0.03 zetajoules. File under biologists don't do math.