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Birds have no mystical powers to predict the future configuration of isotherms. They arrive early for two reasons:
(a) It is cold where they come from.
(b) They have a following wind.
“Birds have no mystical powers to predict the future configuration of isotherms.
They arrive early for two reasons :
(a) It is cold where they come from.
(b) They have a following wind.”
John, this a most intriguing perception, or mis-perception, depending on your frame of reference.
Your first sentence is clearly correct, but only by reference to the term “mystical”. The power to 'predict' is a natural phenomena essential to a bird's survival. They must be able to predicate their actions in response to sensory inputs; in this case, I believe that a bird possesses acute sensitivity to low Infra-Red radiation. As “isotherms” are thermal events, they scan these events and home in on the 'heat' source. (The owls in my paddock seem to hunt successfully whether it be starlight or moonlight. --- Birds enjoy the sensations of soaring; when in a glider, exploring a 'Thermal', one is inevitably sharing it with birds. When it gets too crowded they peel out and make an arrow-straight bee-line for the next Thermal. Cross country long distance glider pilots have learned to 'follow that bird'!)
(a) Very true, but birds migrate in both directions, so how do they decide which way to go? Here again the IR sensor comes to their rescue because it is both an Absorber and an Emitter. They face towards the heat source then face towards the 'cold' source and differentiate the signals. The signal comparison process is enhanced by the fact that the 'cold' signal is derived from the sensation of net heat Emission, whereas, the heat signal(s) are both Absorption and Emission. ( Try standing close to a window in the middle of winter, your skin adjacent to the window will instantaneously register the sensation of net heat Emission, that is what we call COLD!)
(b) Also true, but only up to a certain point. In the atmosphere, if an air stream is moving, it's direction will be determined by pressure (temperature) differentials, from high to low or hot to cold. So, depending on where the bird starts from, it could have a following tailwind, whereby the pressure and temperature is falling, and at some point it must face a headwind where the pressure and temperature is rising.
So how do birds deal with this problem over thousands of miles where above all, energy conservation is the real 'name of the game'? It is my belief that migratory birds have developed a dual flight mode whereby they alter their wing form to achieve a horizontal version of soaring flight. It makes the journey longer but only requires sufficient energy to maintain the aerodynamic form. I also believe that it was from the observation of bird flight that our ancestors learnt the art of sailing. We make headway against the wind by 'tacking'.
Ready About, Lee Ho. David
Some preliminary numbers as per my original Post.
CO2 in atmosphere set at 500ppm = 1000 Gt.
CO2 current annual flux combustion processes = 7 Gt.
CO2 current annual flux from combustion air = 2.5 Gt!
Therefore annual removal rate @ 100% Seq. = 2.5 Gt/PA
So, to reduce the atmosphere to 250ppm would only require - 500/2.5 = 200 years. However, if we apply an energy consumption growth factor of say 4 over 50 years, we then have a depletion rate of only 50 years!
To me this is a very sobering result and requires some further in depth scrutiny. The Gremlin in the figures is, of course, the hitherto missing combustion process air. For a better apreciation of how this CO2 Fuel/CO2 Air Ratio was derived, you need some more numbers:-
Average Terminal CO2 from fuel = 10%
Average Mass Air/ Fuel Ratio Cars, Petrol = 14
Diesel = 50
Trucks = 60
Gas Turbine = 100/200
Jet = 80/120
Fan Jet = 200/500
Industrial Process = 25/500
I have used an average of 75 but feel that this on the low side. However, I am in the right 'ball-park'. I should be because I have been a Combustion Engineer for some 40 years.
The problem with carbon levels is the same as with conservation in general; what are we trying to conserve?
Does anyone know what the AGW's have pegged as an "optimum" CO2 level in the atmosphere?
I suspect they are content to say that the climate is changing and that man is responsible and must be punished. Changing from what Utopian set of conditions? If we knew we could set a target and work toward it.
However, if there is to be money in it, tax or otherwise, then the longer the time over which the scam can work and the more expensive it is, the better, a quick cheap fix is no good at all.
So it will have to be carbon dioxide extracted from the atmosphere, and not some convenient biomass shoved down a hole, and it had better be a nice big target because compressing (pardon the pun) 200 years worth of activity into 10,20 or even 50 (depending on how long before people realise they are actually getting colder, not hotter and yell "Time out".
OK David, let’s play the game of textual analysis:
“The power to 'predict' is a natural phenomen(on) essential to a bird's survival. They must be able to predicate their actions in response to sensory inputs; in this case, I believe that a bird possesses acute sensitivity to low Infra-Red radiation.”
You may believe what you wish. I am cursed with the disease of scepticism, which means that I have a pathological inability to believe. Animals do not have to predict: they have to play the cards that are dealt to them, with the skills that evolution has provided. Those that play the wrong card die – a lot of them.
“ “isotherms” are thermal events, they scan these events and home in on the 'heat' source.”
No individual experiences isotherms. They can move and form an estimate of the thermal gradient, but that is highly localised.
“ but birds migrate in both directions, so how do they decide which way to go?”
They go in the direction that centuries of evolution have decreed, when is decided by the triggers. Those that get it wrong usually die, but the lucky few start a new trend.
“In the atmosphere, if an air stream is moving, its direction will be determined by pressure (temperature) differentials, from high to low or hot to cold. So, depending on where the bird starts from, it could have a following tailwind, whereby the pressure and temperature is falling, and at some point it must face a headwind where the pressure and temperature is rising.”
Unfortunately, because of the nature of fluid flow, the motion is largely orthogonal to the pressure gradient. Whether that result is a tail wind is somewhat arbitrary. That’s life – luck of the draw.
“So how do birds deal with this problem over thousands of miles where above all, energy conservation is the real 'name of the game'? It is my belief that migratory birds have developed a dual flight mode whereby they alter their wing form to achieve a horizontal version of soaring flight. It makes the journey longer but only requires sufficient energy to maintain the aerodynamic form. I also believe that it was from the observation of bird flight that our ancestors learnt the art of sailing. We make headway against the wind by 'tacking'.”
Again, you may believe what you wish, but all evolution requires is more successes than failures. The fundamental question is whether a bird, for all its remarkable capacities, by sampling one point in space and time, can predict the future configuration of a world-wide varying thermo-fluidic structure, when the vaunted supercomputers with vastly more data cannot.
My digital camera is actually sensitive to infrared (at least if you push the button on a remote control and point it at a camera, you can see the light flashing).
Has this IR sensitivity in birds been documented?
Do the birds have some other integrating mechanism along the lines of ...
"Hey guys, ice if forming on the water and has for the last 6 days.. It time to get the flock out of here!"
As to finding their direction, do they need something more exciting than the sun's relative altitude (i.e. This time of year is a pain in the eyes for me because afternoon has sun shining directly in my window, since my window faces south).
I am sure it is much more complicated that this, but why make it more complicated unless absolutely necessary.
Your question; “has IR sensitivity in birds been documented”
It certainly has in Owls along with UV sensitivity in Humming Birds, Insects, Kestrel Hawks. Magnetic sensitivity in Pigeons and Electro-Magnetic Field sensitivity in Robins etc. etc. etc.
Your very good point; “but why make it more complicated than absolutely necessary”. Well, in my studies I have found that Nature, through Evolution, never ever misses a trick where survival of a species is concerned. Every species possesses an array of sensors with wide variations in sensitivity to suit their operational niche. And in most cases these sensors offer double and triple redundancy.
If I may digress for a moment and give an example from my own life. When I was six years old, I lost the auditory nerve in my right ear, however, because I had started to play a musical instrument when I was just four, I carried on to study and practice towards a musical career. This I achieved to symphony orchestral standards, ( and here, I am not 'playing my own trumpet', honest!). The point is, by the time I was sixteen very few people could detect that I was stone deaf in one ear. I could pinpoint sounds with precision, not just position, but the true sound level. Absolutely essential in an orchestra, otherwise balance would be impossible.
This is Nature at work, my hearing is stereophonic because, my hearing has coupled with my haptic (touch) sense to detect micro levels of phase difference. Our acoustic sense is,of course, a specialised extension of the haptic sense. (I am sure that John could give us the numerical definition of this phenomenon). Blind people develop a similar sense: echo location.
My original Post about bird migration was really to bring, through extrapolation of the IR theme, the fact that Long Wave IR radiation at all levels is the primary energy transfer/transport system in the atmosphere. IR radiation is ubiquitous and all pervading. It would be very strange if Nature had failed to exploit just this part of the electro-magnetic spectrum, would it not?
Extrapolating from the Carbon and Energy posts through Atmospherics and Climate, add in the influence of IR Radiation, and we can see the appalling ignorance which Climate Scientists ( seancetists), and their silly Computer Models express. They half-heartedly acknowledge the Sun, and thats it. Mind you, only because they can't miss it, it's big, bright, and HOT!
Hopefully back on track
Thank you for such an excellent response. My first reaction to your critique was, “whoops', what have I said to upset you”. On immediate reflection, I realised that I had inadvertently created a misunderstanding, for which I apologise.
I was alerted to the error of my ways by your first words, “let's play the game of textual analysis”. This is an activity for which I am ill equipped to indulge in as I perceive textual analysis as an important academic pursuit and I am not an academic. I am an engineer thoroughly schooled in the discipline of 'contextual analysis', be it written or verbal, especially verbal, e.g. 'in the context of what you say'. Engineering or Applied Science is fundamentally about problem solving. We have a problem solving philosophy that brings us to the conclusion that, '90% of the solution to a problem lies in its definition'. Hence the need for informed critical analysis.
The misunderstanding that I refer to stems from the fact that I am very new to participation in Public Forums. The need for brevity imposes many restraints, not the least of which is to use a vocabulary which is inclusive to the majority of members. We cannot be patronising, pedantic, or arrogant, because we are members of a Forum which specifically seeks to challenge the world of political obfuscation and all its evils. It is very easy for informed 'argument' to deteriorate into uninformed altercation which can destroy our credibility.
So, John, please accept some definitions of my words, and clarification of my contextual purpose:--- When I say “I believe” or “It is my belief that”, this is my short-hand for saying, “to the best of my perceptions and observations of the empirical facts and theoretical evidence, my conclusion is that we should proceed on this basis in order find a workable hypothesis”.
In the hard tough world of Industrial engineering decision making, time is always of the essence, 'Rome is always burning'! Given that premise, dialogue is always brief, (why do we call it a 'Brief'?). When a production line is broken down and 'standstill' is costing £1000 per minute we think on the hoof', we design on the hoof', and decisions are made on the hoof'. If we get it wrong, we get the 'chop'. You only rise in the profession by not getting it wrong. 99% of the time, getting it wrong is caused by a failure of Communication. We avoid failures in communication by adopting a vocabulary and terminology that is shorn of all redundancies, we do this to achieve concision, to avoid ambiguity, and to keep the team focussed. There is only one problem with all this, it does not translate into the public arena because we have to explain too much, and the public at large do not have our insights.
John, I must do better and trust that you will accede to allowing me to return to this theme at a later date because I have used up my self imposed quota of words.
Fascinating article by Tom Scheffilin of the California Air Resources Board: "Global Warming Causes Carbon Dioxide". Go to (www.designnews.com), use their Search---enter author's name or article title.
Sound science,sound numbers, and impressive supporting qualification.(How did Californian Bureaucracy let this one out of the bag)?
A must read, especially the 900&1800 year cycles of the Earth/Moon system!!!
Er, I remember the "Jupiter Effect" which claimed planetary lineouts caused all sorts of disasters.
I just mean that I treat such claims with caution.
There are a lot of books out there (anything to sell a book) from Von Daniken to Byrd about Kyrilan photography, ley lines,the secret of the pyramids, you name it.
Nice ideas... but do they have a foundation in fact? are the effects significant? I note the phrasing is:
"causes changes in massive movements of underwater ocean water,..." Note the placing of the word "massive".
Tom Scheffillin and Earth/Moon Tidal Forces
JMW, Fair comment, but how else can one convey a sense of the enormous forces involved when
around 300,000,000 cubic miles of water have a periodic 'slop'. (My error, correction, not 1800/900 years but a big heave every 1800 years with minor surges every 9 years).
So, MASSIVE, it must be. Oscar Petterson,a Marine Scientist discovered it 80 years ago! And it has since been confirmed by other authorities. The entire air/water exchange CO2 modelling scenario is based on the assumption that the oceans are not 'stirred'. No way could Climatologists handle this anomaly. It could 'blow them out of the water' (sic'). Which is probably why it has been kept safely buried in a Swedish academic library all this time. ---I would be interested to see how the numbers pan out on this 9 year cycle, 1800/9 = 200, could the prescessional cycles of the earth's axis be involved I wonder?
By following the links, I found William Shepherd's site and his very interesting on-line book “England's Climate and Energy Politics”. Also, Michael Crichton's “Science Policy in the 21st Century”. All worth reading. --- The only part of Tom Scheffillin's article that I could not agree with was at the end:- “Finally, put your trust in God, the world is in his hands”. --- But not since the dawn of the Nuclear Age, now compounded with Environmentalism!