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  Tuesday September 2nd, 2014    

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Oceans (11/06/2013)
From: Bruce Montplaisir

I think of oceans as collections of large liquid flywheels that are turned by the polar caps and the equator much like the armature (rotor) on an electric motor is turned by positive and negative charges. Ocean water near the polar caps gets colder, denser, and heavier and sinks forcing the water at the bottom of the ocean to move away, towards the equator. Water at the bottom of the ocean near the equator is pushed up to the surface where the sun warms it up before it is pushed away towards one of the polar caps.

As ocean water moves from the equator to the polar caps wind flows over the ocean warming the coastal regions of continents and when the water gets to the polar caps it again gets colder, denser, heavier and sinks, and the cycle starts over again.

As the polar caps become smaller the large liquid flywheels that make up the ocean slow down, a lot like a variable speed motor slows down when the power to it is reduced. This slows the movement of warm water from the equator towards the polar caps. The winds flowing over cooler water than before the large liquid flywheels were slowed down means cooler coastal regions and a changed climate.

Our kids were always interested in trying out new gadgets and once one of the boys said “Hey dad, watch this.” and he held his six inch magnifying glass over the Sunday newspaper I was reading. A flame popped up where the sunlight was focused in a few seconds.

The diameter of the earth is about 7,900 miles and the first layer of the atmosphere, the troposphere, is estimated to be from a little over six miles to a little over nine miles thick so the troposphere forms a dome over the earth that is about 7,915 miles wide. This is where weather, air moved by the uneven heating and cooling of the earth, occurs.

Heat from the sun warms the surface of the earth but most of the sun’s heat is sent back into space. Water vapor and carbon dioxide in the troposphere trap enough of the sun’s heat to keep the earth warm. So this porous 7,915 mile wide magnifying gas keeps the earth warm. Putting tons of carbon dioxide into the troposphere makes the magnifying gas less porous and traps more heat than has been favorable to life as we know it on earth.

People living near the equator will notice the increased heat sooner than people living closer to the Arctic and Antarctic continents. People living near sea level will notice the rise in sea level because of melting polar caps and glaciers and warmer, less dense water taking up more space per pound than cooler water than people living at higher elevations.

For a while, at least, the air temperature above the oceans will not get warmer because the oceans act as giant heat sinks and pull the heat out of the air while warming up the ocean water. This speeds up the decline of the polar caps and slows down the ocean currents further, until the oceans become big stagnant ponds.

In the United Sates we are fortunate to have the only scientists in the world, even though there are only a few of them, that can tell us this is not how physics works and that nothing done by people has caused the drastic changes that are going to happen in the next 50 years.

 

 

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