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Old 17th January 2020, 02:50 PM   #1
Steve001
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150 Million Hiroshima Bombs

That's a visual metaphor for the amount of heat energy the world's oceans have taken up.
In joules that equals 19.67 x 10 or 19,670,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. Nearly 20 septillion joules.
More > https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencet...ima-bombs.html

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Old 17th January 2020, 10:04 PM   #2
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A back of the envelope estimate is this is about the amount of energy absorbed by the Earth from the Sun in a bit under a week. Fortunately for us that much plus a bit more* energy is radiated away from the Earth into space.

*More? Wouldn't that mean the Earth should cooling down? No, the Earth is a net emitter of energy.

In any case the piece is designed to convey scary imagery and I really don't like propaganda even when in support of the very real AGW.
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Old 17th January 2020, 10:26 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by marting View Post
*More? Wouldn't that mean the Earth should cooling down? No, the Earth is a net emitter of energy.
Energy from the Earth's core, originating in the fission of radioactive elements, I guess?
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Old 17th January 2020, 10:50 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by marting View Post
A back of the envelope estimate is this is about the amount of energy absorbed by the Earth from the Sun in a bit under a week. Fortunately for us that much plus a bit more* energy is radiated away from the Earth into space.

*More? Wouldn't that mean the Earth should cooling down? No, the Earth is a net emitter of energy.

In any case the piece is designed to convey scary imagery and I really don't like propaganda even when in support of the very real AGW.
I don't completely disagree regarding imagery, but I do feel that it is effective at giving some sort of handle on scale.

The Earth is accumulating roughly 4 Hiroshima atomic bombs worth of energy Per Second.
That's not the total energy we receive from the sun, that's the net increase that is causing AGW.

In my opinion it is important that we emphasize the scale, because that way we can start focusing on solutions that can fit that sort of scale too.

There is only one thing we humans do at that scale that can significantly reverse AGW, and that's agriculture. Farming Claims Almost Half Earth's Land Farming of course uses tools, but in a more general sense agriculture can also be seen as a tool. Fundamental changes in agriculture if done world wide could make a huge difference in the atmospheric carbon cycle because that natural carbon cycle is vastly larger than fossil fuel emissions.

The natural C uptake by terrestrial photosynthesis is ~120 billion tonnes/yr +/- yet the net uptake is only ~3 billion tonnes C/yr due to respiration and decay.
Fossil fuel cement and other human emissions are roughly 9 billion tonnes C/yr with a net of roughly 4 billion tonnes C/yr due to all the net sinks.

Since agriculture is directly managing at least roughly 40% of the terrestrial carbon cycle, we should be capable of effecting at least 40% of that 120 billion tonnes/yr from photosynthesis back of the envelope 48 billion tonnes with a net increase of 10% improvement and that gets us in a drawdown scenario, all else equal.

Right now agriculture worldwide is a net emission source. It wouldn't take much to convert agriculture to systems that sequester 10% of the total products of photosynthesis into the soil. Natural systems are a net sink, We can model our agricultural systems after those sinks and restore this valuable ecosystem function.

The scale is large enough and the Hiroshima analogy get the scale into focus, even though they are only indirectly related.

Of course we also must reduce fossil fuel use. That's a given. But any talk of solutions ABSOLUTELY MUST include agriculture changes too, given the scale.
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Old 17th January 2020, 11:04 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
Right now agriculture worldwide is a net emission source. It wouldn't take much to convert agriculture to systems that sequester 10% of the total products of photosynthesis into the soil. Natural systems are a net sink, We can model our agricultural systems after those sinks and restore this valuable ecosystem function.
I like this way of looking at things. I think we certainly need to get off fossil fuels, and the sooner the better, but we also need to be looking at ways we can start sequestering the CO2 already in the atmosphere, and looking to agriculture as a means of doing so makes sense, particularly given the issues of scale that you mention.
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Old 18th January 2020, 07:21 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by marting View Post
A back of the envelope estimate is this is about the amount of energy absorbed by the Earth from the Sun in a bit under a week. Fortunately for us that much plus a bit more* energy is radiated away from the Earth into space.

*More? Wouldn't that mean the Earth should cooling down? No, the Earth is a net emitter of energy.

In any case the piece is designed to convey scary imagery and I really don't like propaganda even when in support of the very real AGW.
I heard this yesterday while listening to "Science Friday" Though the article might be mistaken for sensationalism there is sobering science there. The Earth's average temperature continues to increase, but not as fast as predicted. Accounting for the 3 major greenhouse gases why not? Where is the heat going? It is ending up warming the Earth's oceans.
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Old 18th January 2020, 09:46 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Steve001 View Post
I heard this yesterday while listening to "Science Friday" Though the article might be mistaken for sensationalism there is sobering science there. The Earth's average temperature continues to increase, but not as fast as predicted. Accounting for the 3 major greenhouse gases why not? Where is the heat going? It is ending up warming the Earth's oceans.
It's not news that the oceans store most of the near surface Earth's energy. This has been known for centuries given water's exceptionally high thermal capacity.

What bugs me is that the imagery of massive qty's of nuclear bombs. I suppose it's more effective than pointing out the oceans temps are rising at about 1C per 50 years.

I found this a much better and far more informative.
https://link.springer.com/content/pd...020-9283-7.pdf
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Old 18th January 2020, 09:50 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by marting View Post
It's not news that the oceans store most of the near surface Earth's energy. This has been known for centuries given water's exceptionally high thermal capacity.

What bugs me is that the imagery of massive qty's of nuclear bombs. I suppose it's more effective than pointing out the oceans temps are rising at about 1C per 50 years.

I found this a much better and far more informative.
https://link.springer.com/content/pd...020-9283-7.pdf
Do you think there might be people who aren't exactly interested in getting their information the same way you might be?
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Old 18th January 2020, 09:56 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
The Earth is accumulating roughly 4 Hiroshima atomic bombs worth of energy Per Second.
I find it very weird that we keep using "Hiroshima bomb" as some sort of layperson-friendly unit, as if anybody has any understanding of what 15 kilotons of plutonium-fueled fission represents.
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Old 18th January 2020, 10:44 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Do you think there might be people who aren't exactly interested in getting their information the same way you might be?
Obviously not. Each person gets and processes information based on their pre-existing beliefs, knowledge base, and critical thinking skills.

What bothers me is the producers of information that exaggerates through use of emotional imagery combined with facts that are also not understood. The result is increasing polarization and cries of fake news.

For instance some people I know think the apocalypse is on us and the World will not be habitable in 10 years. The deniers see a globalist conspiracy and think the Earth might actually be cooling. This sort of article feeds those fears. The deniers, also ignorant of the underlying physics, will cry "fake news." They will just tell themselves it's obviously fake because, with that many nukes going off wouldn't the oceans be boiling already? So it must be "fake news."

Had the article described the enormous capacity of water to absorb energy without large increases in temperature it could have communicated the scale of AGW's energy increase without leaving themselves as open to attacks by the fake news crowd.
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Old 18th January 2020, 10:46 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by marting View Post
It's not news that the oceans store most of the near surface Earth's energy. This has been known for centuries given water's exceptionally high thermal capacity.

What bugs me is that the imagery of massive qty's of nuclear bombs. I suppose it's more effective than pointing out the oceans temps are rising at about 1C per 50 years.

I found this a much better and far more informative.
https://link.springer.com/content/pd...020-9283-7.pdf
I knew that so do you. I doubt many folks though remember it. It's news to actually quantify it.
Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
I find it very weird that we keep using "Hiroshima bomb" as some sort of layperson-friendly unit, as if anybody has any understanding of what 15 kilotons of plutonium-fueled fission represents.
I wrote out the number 19,67 septillion. We all know that's a really big number but it's meaningless. There's no easy way to convey the amount of energy stored via a big number not to mentions joules which is entirely meaningless. But photos abound of the destruction that bomb did. That visual analogy in a small way helps.

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Old 18th January 2020, 11:01 AM   #12
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I like how they throw "Hiroshima bombs" out there like it's a comprehensible unit of measurement.. Part N in an ongoing series about how the media only exists to mess with your head.

"20 septillion joules? I can't visualize that. Is that a lot? Is that bad?"

"Think of it in units of Hiroshima bombs."

"Oh! That sounds very bad!"
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Old 18th January 2020, 12:30 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I like how they throw "Hiroshima bombs" out there like it's a comprehensible unit of measurement.. Part N in an ongoing series about how the media only exists to mess with your head.

"20 septillion joules? I can't visualize that. Is that a lot? Is that bad?"

"Think of it in units of Hiroshima bombs."

"Oh! That sounds very bad!"
Yeah, very bad. Further, most people don't think of "Hiroshima bombs" in terms of thermal energy but rather destructiveness.

But there has been, over the last few decades, a big shift towards click bait rather than conveying useful information and explaining it in comprehensible terms. The quoted article conveys information but mostly it's just apocalyptic imagery. It's one thing to attract attention but another to ignore putting that info in a form that is more understandable by at least some fraction of the readers. This sort of thing feeds echo chambers and furthers distrust of the media.
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Old 18th January 2020, 12:49 PM   #14
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I think most people don't think of Hiroshima in terms of destrutiveness, either. Rather, they think of it it in terms of moral horror. This is what makes "Hiroshima bombs" a dishonest unit of measurement.
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Old 18th January 2020, 01:24 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I think most people don't think of Hiroshima in terms of destrutiveness, either. Rather, they think of it it in terms of moral horror. This is what makes "Hiroshima bombs" a dishonest unit of measurement.
Good point!
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Old 18th January 2020, 01:32 PM   #16
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If it makes you feel any better it's only 150,000 Castle Bravos.

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Old 18th January 2020, 01:49 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Elagabalus View Post
If it makes you feel any better it's only 150,000 Castle Bravos.
I can't visualize 150,000 Castle Bravos. Could you convert to furlongs per fortnight?
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Old 18th January 2020, 02:53 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I think most people don't think of Hiroshima in terms of destrutiveness, either. Rather, they think of it it in terms of moral horror. This is what makes "Hiroshima bombs" a dishonest unit of measurement.
Originally Posted by marting View Post
Good point!
Must be a slow day on this forum if you both need to argue about this.
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Old 18th January 2020, 03:18 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Steve001 View Post
Must be a slow day on this forum if you both need to argue about this.
Argue about what?
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Old 18th January 2020, 06:39 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
I find it very weird that we keep using "Hiroshima bomb" as some sort of layperson-friendly unit, as if anybody has any understanding of what 15 kilotons of plutonium-fueled fission represents.
In my case I just found one of the metrics from here:
Skeptical Science Widgets
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Old 21st January 2020, 12:09 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by marting View Post
A back of the envelope estimate is this is about the amount of energy absorbed by the Earth from the Sun in a bit under a week.
I get ~35 days. Regardless it’s still a very big number compared to anything else we are familiar with so conveying the amount of energy involved is difficult.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orders...nitude_(energy)

Originally Posted by marting View Post
Fortunately for us that much plus a bit more* energy is radiated away from the Earth into space.
The earth’s surface heat flux is ~0.1W/m^2. The radiative forcing from anthropogenic greenhouse gasses is currently a little over 3W/m^2, but net anthropogenic forcing is ~2.5W/m^2 due because aerosols offset part of that. Actual radiative imbalance will be slightly smaller but likely still larger than surface heat flux.
https://skepticalscience.com/heatflow.html

Originally Posted by marting View Post
I suppose it's more effective than pointing out the oceans temps are rising at about 1C per 50 years.
Part of the issue is that people have little perspective in what 2 deg across the entire earth means. 2 deg per 100 years It’s an order of magnitude faster than any other warming in the last 65 million years. De-glaciation where mile thick ice sheets melt involve warming of 4-6 deg C over ~10000 years.
https://science.sciencemag.org/content/341/6145/486
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Old 21st January 2020, 12:12 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Steve001 View Post
I wrote out the number 19,67 septillion. We all know that's a really big number but it's meaningless. There's no easy way to convey the amount of energy stored via a big number not to mentions joules which is entirely meaningless. But photos abound of the destruction that bomb did. That visual analogy in a small way helps.
A very small way, because it's still outside of our normal understanding, and since it's not destructive energy, it doesn't translate well.
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Old 23rd January 2020, 03:09 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Steve001 View Post
That's a visual metaphor for the amount of heat energy the world's oceans have taken up.
In joules that equals 19.67 x 10 or 19,670,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. Nearly 20 septillion joules.
More > https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencet...ima-bombs.html
150 million MK1 detonations is only about 9.5E21 Joules

Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
I find it very weird that we keep using "Hiroshima bomb" as some sort of layperson-friendly unit, as if anybody has any understanding of what 15 kilotons of plutonium-fueled fission represents.
Uranium.
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Old 23rd January 2020, 03:34 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Steve001 View Post
That's a visual metaphor for the amount of heat energy the world's oceans have taken up.
I feel like it can't be emphasized enough: This isn't a visual metaphor at all. Nobody has ever seen 150 million Hiroshima bombs. Nobody has any visual frame of reference at all to make sense of this metaphor.
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Old 23rd January 2020, 04:45 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by catsmate View Post
Uranium.
Oops. Nagasaki was plutonium, of course.
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Old 23rd January 2020, 04:48 PM   #26
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That's why it's easier with Castle Bravos.

Watch the vid and then imagine 150,000 of those. Boom.




Perhaps I should make a giffy and fill up page after page until I hit 150,000. Maybe I should consult the mods first ...
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Old 23rd January 2020, 04:54 PM   #27
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Imagining 150k Castle Bravos isn't any better. I don't think there's any way to make rational sense of such a mental image.

The point of the metaphor isn't to help people really *understand* how much energy the oceans are absorbing. The point is to leave the reader with the vague impression that we're nuking the oceans somehow.
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Old 23rd January 2020, 07:18 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Imagining 150k Castle Bravos isn't any better. I don't think there's any way to make rational sense of such a mental image.

The point of the metaphor isn't to help people really *understand* how much energy the oceans are absorbing. The point is to leave the reader with the vague impression that we're nuking the oceans somehow.
You know how these things start.

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Old 23rd January 2020, 08:16 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Imagining 150k Castle Bravos isn't any better. I don't think there's any way to make rational sense of such a mental image.

The point of the metaphor isn't to help people really *understand* how much energy the oceans are absorbing. The point is to leave the reader with the vague impression that we're nuking the oceans somehow.
I don't think that's clear. You are saying that someone wanted to leave a vague impression that we're nuking the oceans somehow. If they wanted to do that, this might be an effective measure.

If someone only wanted to convey the amount of excess energy being absorbed by the oceans, they will conceavably have thought about ways to do that. Comparing it to the amount of energy released in one of the highest energy things people think about might have seemed like a useful way to do that. That also seems consistent with the content of the article.

Your argument that it's not the most effective way of communicating the point doesn't demonstrate ill intent on the part of the writer.

I also don't agree that people reading the article don't understand the comparison to the energy content independent of the other aspects (radiation, destruction) of a nuclear bomb. The comparison didn't affect me that way, but I can't speak for others.
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Old 26th January 2020, 11:01 AM   #30
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Other analogies.
It would boil Sydney Harbour dry EVERY 12 HOURS!
https://skepticalscience.com/Breakin...ill_A_LOT.html
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Old 26th January 2020, 12:21 PM   #31
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Could I get that in Sydney Opera Houses, please?
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