Physics question related to the geography of the Bay of Fundy?

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by Dennis Tate, Mar 7, 2021.


Could high tide levels be up by a meter or more near Truro, N. S?

  1. Yes

    1 vote(s)
  2. No

    0 vote(s)
  3. I have got to do some research on this... I think the answer is more complex!

    1 vote(s)
  1. Dennis Tate Valued Senior Member



    Thank you for this exceptional reply!

    When I first began to research all of this, (around 2006), I could not visualize any way to do this that would not involve a huge amount of desalination of ocean water.

    Over these past fifteen years though I have ran into quite encouraging bits and pieces of information that indicate that perhaps..... just perhaps.... this can significantly be done largely without mega- scale desalination of ocean water.

    As far as the destruction of ecosystems goes...... for one thing...... I cannot say that there are no negatives with this theory.......

    I can only say that it sure seems to me that the alternatives to doing something along this line are even worse.........

    I am worried about a mass extinction event that could well affect up to ninety percent of humans within this century.......

    I would love to be terribly in error in that concern but.......... I still believe that the worst case scenario as climate change continues is far, far, far worse than the majority of experts are predicting........
    partly because they are risking their careers to make the predictions that they do write.

    I consider the predictions regarding how quickly the West Antarctic Ice Sheet could perhaps crack and slide...... (which is a very different thing from it melting)...... are so terribly "conservative" that I would use the word "naive" to consider those projections but......

    again... I would so love to be wrong... and it would be great to find out that those relatively conservative scientists were correct?!

    14 February 2020 8:00
    Guest post: How close is the West Antarctic ice sheet to a ‘tipping point’?


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    Last edited: May 25, 2021
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  3. Dennis Tate Valued Senior Member


    So am I correct in assuming that turning a thousand square miles of desert into a forest could potentially have a positive impact on the amount of heat going into the atmosphere?

    Do you happen to know if this is due to the amount of H2O that trees and other plants hold in and circulate?
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  5. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Forests will increase the amount of heat trapped by the planet due to their lower albedo. So if your goal is purely lower trapped heat, then it's bad. However, forests are pretty good carbon traps so that's a positive.
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  7. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    No. The opposite.

    If you want to cool the planet, paint it white, so it will reflect a maximum of light back to space.

    He said why. A low albedo means a darker colour.
    Darker colours absorb more heat and light than lighter colours.
    Dennis Tate likes this.
  8. Bells Staff Member

    Again, underground water in desert and arid regions may have been found to be one of this planet's biggest carbon sinks. Tapping into those water sources risks releasing that carbon into the atmosphere.

    Desalination poses different risks:

    If you wish to describe a complete and utter disaster as a mere "negative", then you do you.

    Desert regions are essential to this planet's ecology and yes, climate.

    For example, sand from the Sahara is rich in minerals. That sand is picked up and basically carried around the globe, where it settles on rain forests and in the oceans.. All of which needs those minerals to survive. Now, I want you to imagine what would happen to plants and phytoplankton that rely on those minerals from desert sands, if that was taken away because people decided to create desalination plants to plant trees in deserts - which would stop that sand from being picked up and carried around the planet and essentially fertilising plants on land and in the ocean?

    I shouldn't have to tell you how phytoplankton play a huge role in sequestering carbon from the atmosphere..

    The Sahara desert, for example, feeds the phytoplankton in the Atlantic Ocean, as well as the Amazon forest. In a balanced form, it's a pure dance of synergy. Too much sand, phytoplankton bloom which can cause damage and issues, too little, and say bye bye to carbon sink and animals that feed on them die off..

    So I am at a loss to understand why anyone would so willingly wish to put pressure on or damage that precious balance by a) destroying deserts and arid regions, b) destroying the environment with desalination plants that would pump brine into the ocean, which would kill off plant life in the oceans that we desperately need to survive and destroy animal life in the process (not to mention destroy mangrove forests, etc) and c) risk destroying, damaging and stunting existing forests..

    Large scale greening of forests would have disastrous results elsewhere. And while you may shrug at the impact on those ecosystems or declare it to simply be a negative, that impact would be felt elsewhere.

    I think what I find so nauseating about your attitude is that it is inherently selfish.

    Instead of addressing current practices and way of life, you instead wish to destroy massive ecosystems which would have a horrific knock-on effect on other ecosystems.

    You want to reduce the affect of climate change? Don't drive your car. Plant more trees in cities. Rethink housing estates to take up less land space and have more green spaces. Rethink cities. Plant large trees on roadsides. Have policies and laws that require each property to have a certain number of trees, etc to act as carbon sinks. In short, change how we live instead of trying to change the planet to suit how we live. Which is essentially what you are proposing - altering this planet's landscape to protect humanity's arse. And it is inherently selfish and short sighted.

    Sure, you can plant 10 trillion trees in arid and desert areas on the planet. But what happens to existing forests and ocean plant life when they are suddenly starved on the vital nutrients they need to exist because the deserts that provided those nutrients are now covered in trees? What happens to sea life if phytoplankton's reduce significantly? What happens to the absolutely massive amounts of carbon they are storing if they start dying off because you want to green deserts and have desalination plants?
    Dennis Tate likes this.
  9. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Look, you want a big geoengineering project that will benefit the US in terms of climate change a bit? Build a canal from the Pacific to the Salton Sea. The Salton Sea is drying up, and becoming a stinking saline pit that even tilapia can't live in. If it dries out birds lose an important migratory stopover. Since the Salton Sea is below sea level you'll need locks to keep from flooding all of El Centro. (And the locks will allow a small amount of water circulation if you pump them out to drop the level.) But that's pretty proven technology.

    Refilling it with seawater will do a few things:
    1) Reduce the salinity of the sea and make the water a bit less toxic
    2) Maintain the stopover for migratory birds
    3) Create/maintain a water source (water evaporates and falls as rain nearby)
    4) Restore that area as a recreational area (it used to be pretty popular)
    5) Moderate the climate there a bit
    Dennis Tate likes this.
  10. Dennis Tate Valued Senior Member


    But..... if the documentary series "Kiss the Ground" is based on good science.......
    as opposed to bad science ........
    then it may be easy to take carbon out of the atmosphere and put it into the soil
    which could perhaps lead to humans and animals being healthier and larger like they were at certain periods
    of time in the past when atmospheric carbon was even higher than it is now.

    What they write here at least gives people hope.....
    but I think it gives much more than merely hope.

    I've read that there was a period of time in earth's history when the ancestors of the modern Timber Wolf were about eight feet tall at their shoulders.
    Was this at all due to atmospheric carbon being even higher than it is today?
  11. Dennis Tate Valued Senior Member

    Personally I love that idea..... but I am biased partly due to our own house being on a lake classified as tidal water. I look at every cubic meter being diverted out of the oceans as a good thing.

    Apparently there is a somewhat similar situation in Australia where a pipeline could take a massive amount of non-desalinated salt water to a large portion of Australia that is below sea level.... and turn the whole area into a tourist haven.

    An online friend of mine even had an idea of a nine meter wide tunnel from out in the Mediterranean near Tel Aviv that could go down 1200 feet or so to the Jordan River Vallen taking nearly two million cubic meters of ocean water annually. which could have as many as twenty seven hydro electric generation stations along the distance of the pipelines.

    Once the sea water would arrive in the Jordan River Valley it could be largely desalinated and the left over brine would be similar to the water of the Dead Sea anyway.

    Thank you for making me aware that there is an area in California that looks good for a project of this nature as well.

  12. Dennis Tate Valued Senior Member


    I actually sent in a submission for the Virgin Earth Challenge back in 2007 and I admit it......
    my bias.... or you may well consider it my selfishess... .was somewhat obvious.

    Now that we are in 2021 and the world is facing a possible situation like 1929 you may find
    what I wrote a little more interesting.

    Two situations need to be in place to create a time of hyper inflation:
    1. print a lot of extra money
    obviously both criteria have been met over this past year and a half.

    You are free to look at this as being very selfish..... but to my mind this relates to boosting the economic activity of the nations of both Jordan and Israel as well as in the West Bank if this were to include a tunnel that would take nearly two million cubic meters of ocean water to the Jordan River Valley annually.

    I am thinking that what I wrote back then may fit in better in the Conspiracies forum... because in a way I have my own little "conspiracy" to convince world leaders to alter the world economy in a way that is very different than what Mr. Al Gore has been I will post it there and add the link.

    Turning the deserts green to decrease Global Warming?
  13. Bells Staff Member

    Kiss the Ground is about regenerative farming.

    What you were advocating and I was responding to, was building desalination plants all over the place and greening deserts.


    But that's not what I was addressing. Perhaps you can actually respond to people without changing the subject because you want to keep linking the same movie over and over again.

    Okay.. Another change of subject.

    And the answer is no.

    Are you insane?

    That would affect our underground water tables and completely destroy our already fragile ecosystem and literally eradicate hundreds of species.

    Not to mention it would affect our water tables and cause even more salination issues.

    There's a reason it's called the "Dead Sea".

    And dumping even more brine in it would affect the bacteria that lives at the bottom.

    The reason you want to post in the Conspiracies sub-forum is because you do not like to be challenged and you believe that you can get away with preaching there.. In short, you think posting there will allow you to keep posting utter rubbish.

    I would recommend you stop cross-posting your threads all over the place and that you stop starting threads on the same subject matter all over the place. That's called spamming.
    Dennis Tate likes this.
  14. Dennis Tate Valued Senior Member

    I thought that you would consider that what I wrote back in 2007 and 2008 would fit in better in the "Conspiracies" forum as opposed to the Earth Science Forum.

    If you want to define that as spamming... .that is your choice.... you are a Moderator?
  15. Bells Staff Member

    It is spamming, Dennis.

    Just as your posting the same links and things over and over again is considered spamming.

    I closed the thread in Conspiracies simply because you already had one thread open on this subject and you were using it to publish letters you had written to other people and posting links to your blog..
    Dennis Tate likes this.
  16. Dennis Tate Valued Senior Member


    OK... no problem.... but here is some evidence that a lot of the atmospheric heat going into the atmosphere is indeed coming from deserts.

    I see a general greening trend as a good thing whether it is done on a large scale through desalination or on a smaller scale by individual farmers, so to my thinking, the Kiss The Ground movement fits perfectly with a movement toward increasing plant cover all over the world.

    So where does the heat generated on the surface of the Sahara Desert each day go?

    Obviously into the atmosphere.

    So the theory of cooling the atmosphere of the world and cooling the deserts by turning them green seems logical as a way to reduce a general Global Warming trend.
  17. Dennis Tate Valued Senior Member

    My beliefs on this topic were affected by a couple of paragraphs by New Mexico biologist and coach Carl Cantrell.

    Were his statements basically true....... or false??????

    For the record I never asked Carl what he specifically meant by terming himself a "biologist?" Did that mean that he taught biology?

    I am not sure... but I liked how he worded that theory, it seemed to me to be the type of statement that could be used to get people who are relatively "conservative" to begin to take the topic of humans negatively and positively impacting the climate through our choices and behaviour.
  18. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    No. Most of the heat goes into space.
    It is not convected or conducted; it is radiated.
    Dennis Tate likes this.
  19. Dennis Tate Valued Senior Member

    So you are saying that it is NOT significantly conducted by the atmosphere of the earth???????
  20. Bells Staff Member

    Deserts actually cool the planet. Not warm it.

    Nor do they contribute to global warming.

    Once AGAIN..

    You are not accounting for the environmental impact of desalination and its contribution to global warming.

    Why are you so willing to destroy such vital regions to our planet?



    It goes into space.

    Oh for god's sakes! How many times have we been over this? Billvon brought this up earlier:

    Didn't you understand what this meant? Why do you keep pushing the same ridiculous claims over and over again?

    Greening deserts will contribute to warming the planet.. Sure, trees might act as carbon sinks, but they do not reflect heat and light back into space like deserts do.

    Sand in deserts and arid regions reflect much of the heat back into space, therefore, deserts actually help cool the planet.

    Deserts do not produce heat.

    Do you understand this?

    Deserts aren't hot because they are producing heat.

    The heat from deserts come from the sun. At night, when the sun sets, that heat goes back out into space. Deserts are not pumping or putting heat into the atmosphere. Nor do they contribute to global warming. Far from it, deserts actually help cool the planet.

    Please, for the love of all that is holy, read up on the albedo effect of deserts.

    Although tropical deserts are hot locally, they are unique regions for the energy balance of the planet. Not only does desert sand have a high albedo, but the hot surface also emits infrared radiation strongly to space through a relatively dry and cloud-free atmosphere. This lack of greenhouse trapping also helps deserts get cold at night. In fact, because the Saharan and Arabian desert regions are bright and effectively lose infrared energy (both cooling mechanisms), the annual mean top-of-atmosphere net radiation is negative over those regions (see figure below), which is unusual for a land region near the equator. Over the Amazon in South America, for example, the outgoing thermal radiation is instead relatively low due to the high moisture content and energy emanating from cold cloud tops.


    Greening would take up some carbon, but “sequestering” is the wrong word since the carbon isn’t very securely stored. It is right near the surface where it can easily oxidise back to CO2. The ability of land practices to cause more carbon uptake is real, but the effect is exaggerated in terms of the proportion of the climate problem it can deal with.

    But green areas do not cool the planet. By absorbing more sunlight, they actually warm the planet. The statement confuses the local surface energy balance with the global balance. By providing a moist and shaded surface, the evaporation helps cool the ground locally. However, the evaporation just moves heat to another part of the atmosphere. Further, a sufficiently green moist area can cause warming by increasing atmospheric water vapour, though the amount of warming depends on what kind of clouds form, and where. (Clouds reflect sunlight, but both water vapour and clouds add to the greenhouse effect).


    Since deserts reflect back solar radiation and are associated with dryer upper atmosphere (and hence a reduced water vapor greenhouse effect) deserts are a vital part of maintaining a relatively cool tropical mean temperature.


    It is absolute rubbish to say that “If we want to do something about global warming, we have to do something about deserts.” There may be local benefits to greening a desert, in terms of the local environment or food production, but deserts cool the planet as a whole, they don’t warm them. Whether human interventions can produce a “stable” greened climate is controversial. The great greening of the Sahara that happened some thousands of years ago was driven by changes in the Earth’s orbital characteristics, which the proposed human interventions don’t duplicate.


    These are all quotes from professors from universities like Oxford, Purdue, not to mention climate scientists at NASA.

    What you are proposing will not only contribute to the warming of the planet, but also destroy vital ecosystems, carbon sinks and basically one of this planet's most effective ways of cooling..

    Do you understand now?
    Dennis Tate likes this.
  21. Dennis Tate Valued Senior Member

    I think that you are guilty of over simplifying this whole question.

    I am not saying that one hundred percent of the heat generated on the sand of the Sahara goes into the atmosphere... but even without doing a search it is obvious that a significant percentage of it certainly does.

    Is it ten percent of the heat on the sand of the Sahara that goes back into outer space.......
    or is it thirty percent?

    Even if it is thirty percent... that still leaves up to seventy percent of the heat going into the atmosphere and increasing a general Global Warming trend.

    I have the impression that in your own way you may be nearly as biased on this topic as I am.... .but obviously your bias is based on different information and goes in a different direction than my own bias, (that frankly I admit that I am somewhat guilty of).

    We all have some biases due to the articles and books on a topic that we did read vs the articles and books that we did not read!

    The simple answer as to why I am willing to seriously discuss the option of turning deserts green even though some animal species could be negatively impacted... .is because I feel that the potential benefits very likely far, far, far, far outweigh the possible risks involved.
  22. billvon Valued Senior Member

    I actually think you're the one oversimplifying things. "Planting a forest in the desert" will have a huge number of ramifications, and proposing it as a simple solution is definitely oversimplifying.

    Planting a forest will:
    -Increase total heat absorbed via albedo changes
    -Require a massive amount of water
    -Transpire more water into the air (causing local cooling among other things)
    -Absorb carbon (and sequester it if it's the right sort of forest)
    -Release carbon from the desert
    -Change the local climates for hundreds of miles around
    -Radically change the ecosystem

    Will the forest release or absorb CO2 overall? Will the greater heat absorbed compared to the CO2 absorbed be a net positive or negative? Will cloud formation (which increases albedo) overcome the effect of reducing albedo? Will the local weather changes cause OTHER changes to albedo? Will the energy/infrastructure needed to desalinate all that water make the CO2 problem worse? Will the forests start liberating old carbon stored in the sands?

    I mean, it's great that you are thinking about all this. But you wouldn't want to embark on a project like that only to discover you have made things much worse, right?

    As an example:
    This is basic radiative balance, and we understand it fairly well. We know how much energy in sunlight is absorbed by the atmosphere on the way in, how much is absorbed/reflected by the various surfaces on the planet, and how much of the reradiated light/long wave IR is absorbed by the atmosphere on the way out. And we know there are spoilers that will mess up your calculations, like clouds, dust storms and water concentrations in the upper atmosphere.

    You could start there; there's a lot to it, but it's important to understand before planning big geoengineering projects.
    Last edited: May 27, 2021
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  23. Dennis Tate Valued Senior Member

    To at least some degree I am almost certain that I am GUILTY of somewhat oversimplifying this whole discussion, (partly because the number of relevant variables to all of this are bewildering.... and the most accurate specific numbers for those variables is even more confusing still)!

    I admit it..... I am somewhat confused and in something of a state of shock by all the evidence that can cause us to sincerely differ widely on how we believe that the topic of stabilization of the climate should probably be addressed????

    One of my goals was to be less DIVISIVE than Mr. Al Gore had been in his film An Inconvenient Truth..... I was hoping to make the topic more interesting to a conservative reader who would tend to think that producing more trees or plants in arid regions of the earth would almost certainly be a step in the right direction?

    I also admit that there are parts of the Sahara where the air currents over that particular land is so dry and so hot that those particular areas should be left until the very last, just in case this general idea does take off over the coming years?

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