18 Comments

Great work, Alpha!

Do you think it correct to think of evapotranspiration as "escorting" heat past the CO2? The water vapor, by holding what would otherwise be long wave radiation and carrying it up out of the CO2 rich zone to the CO2 thin zone seems to be a critical part of the process. Do models recognize this at all? It doesn't sound like it.

The other thing that puzzles me, is how physicists hold this assumption that latent heat returns 100% to the Earth. If it's released where space is closer, the air is colder, and greenhouse gasses are thinner, then common sense says some heat will escape before following atmospheric currents back into the system. How can something so obvious get missed, or am I missing something.

Have you ever thought about writing an editorial about this for a scientific magazine?

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Dear Alpha: Thank you for this and all your thought and communication on this. It is of huge value and urgently needed to reach collective intelligence and collective intention globally. Hope you are well and happy. Let's catch up and talk soon.

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Thanks so much for putting all of this together so cogently. One thing to add here is that in a diversely vegetated landscape (that is giving off lots of condensation nuclei like plant VOCs) the water vapor from evapotranspiration will recondense and reevaporate many times before it becomes a cloud up in the sky. We see it in the morning mists, and the oddly changing low clouds that then disappear and reappear in other forms. This means that the heat is also shifting from latent to sensible to latent again, but presumably still rising. Yet another complexity that is truly impossible to model because each water molecule is doing its own dance.

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Thank you for this. This is the best explanation of Anastassia's work that I have seen, the warm water-vapor elevator through the CO2 greenhouse-gas layer, which transmits heat to space. Ugo Bardi referred to this link from his Holobionts site.

(As an aside, are you any relation to Alpha Stone? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhJuExax3EY )

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Aug 21, 2023Liked by Alpha Lo

Alpha, this post is probably the best I’ve seen on climate change! I’m a chemical engineer, so understand the argument. Pretty shocking that that parameter is left as a constant. Weather is well known for being non-linear!! What’s needed is experimental evidence for the cooling effect in quantitative terms. Can’t you just rig up a semi-closed small system and run it for a time to verify the new models? Intuitively, forest cover cools the area under it.

Also intuitively, an increase in CO2 emissions coupled with a decrease in forest cover (or evapotranspiration) should really affect surface temperature. Water vapor is a greenhouse gas, but latent heat is at least an order of magnitude greater than sensible heat. I guess the folks that say that clouds are the big missing part of the climate models we use may be right.

Amazing post!!!

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Alpha, hi. I think you wrote me something in a previous message, but I can't find it anymore. It must be because I am not yet so familiar with substack. Could you send me that message(s) again? Ugo

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Everything is written very interesting and useful, but I want to give a small clarification. Forests and wetlands are indicated among the sources of evaporation. With regard to forests, everything is certainly true. however, there are differences among wetlands. Wetlands whose vegetation is represented by vascular plants (bushes, reeds, sedges, etc.) behave in the same way as forests. But there are wetlands covered with Sphagnum mosses – Sphagnum bogs. In wet weather, the surface of Sphagnum bogs evaporates water in the same way as forests and other wetlands, but in hot dry weather (extreme droughts), the surface of the Sphagnum cover dries up, a dense layer of dry moss several centimeters thick which isolates the underlying wet layers and completely blocks evaporation. Thus, Sphagnum bogs keep themselves from drying out. When drying, the surface of the Sphagnum bogs turns white, which leads to an increase in the ability to reflect the sun's rays and heat up less. Of course, greenhouse gases reduce the sunlight amount going back into space, but the bogs surface heats up less by itself and does not heat the atmosphere directly above it.

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Glad to see an article bringing one more piece to the gigantic climate puzzle in my head.

I always thought that forests were essential to the carbon fixation and its effect on cooling due to their contribution in regional water cycle (keeping more in sub surface water tables and evapotranspiration/rainfall).

Forests help cloud formation due to release of aerosols (I saw an interview with Antonio Nobre telling just that). There are some scientists reckoning with lack of knowledge on cloud formation that is not well modelled in climate simulations.

And BillG is a dick!

https://www.fastcompany.com/90957447/bill-gates-says-complete-nonsense-planting-trees-solve-climate-change-why-we-should-do-it-anyway

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