Nitrogen in rocks identified as major plant fertilizer not considered by climate models

Organic nitrogen compounds such as ammonia (NH3) act as plant fertilizers. Robust plant growth consumes more atmospheric carbon dioxide during the process of photosynthesis. However, atmospheric nitrogen (N2) is relatively inert. It is converted to organic nitrogen compounds by bacteria in the top soil layers. (See nitrogen fixation) Climate models have assumed that the atmosphere is the only source of nitrogen and have therefore underestimated its fertilization effect and also underestimated the capability of plants to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. New studies show that much nitrogen comes from rocks, some already in useable organic form. Weathering of rocks releases this organic nitrogen.

“A considerable amount of the nitrogen in igneous and sedimentary rocks exists as ammonium ions held within the lattice structures of silicate minerals. In sedimentary rocks, the ammonium is held by secondary silicate minerals; in igneous rocks, the ammonium is contained largely within potassium-bearing primary minerals. Analyses indicated that most of the nitrogen in igneous rocks, and from one-tenth to two-thirds of that in sedimentary rocks (shales) occurred as fixed ammonium.” (Source)

Nitrate deposits in arid and semi-arid regions provide another source of nitrogen.

“Nitrogen bearing rocks are globally distributed and comprise a potentially large pool of nitrogen in nutrient cycling that is frequently neglected because of a lack of routine analytical methods for quantification. Nitrogen in rock originates as organically bound nitrogen associated with sediment, or in thermal waters representing a mixture of sedimentary, mantle, and meteoric sources of nitrogen.” (Source)

A new study, reported by Science Daily, concerns research conducted by University of California – Davis published April 6, 2018.

“For centuries, the prevailing science has indicated that all of the nitrogen on Earth available to plants comes from the atmosphere. But a study from the University of California, Davis, indicates that more than a quarter comes from Earth’s bedrock.”

“The discovery could greatly improve climate change projections, which rely on understanding the carbon cycle. This newly identified source of nitrogen could also feed the carbon cycle on land, allowing ecosystems to pull more emissions out of the atmosphere, the authors said.”

“Geology might have a huge control over which systems can take up carbon dioxide and which ones don’t.”

“While there were hints that plants could use rock-derived nitrogen, this discovery shatters the paradigm that the ultimate source of available nitrogen is the atmosphere. Nitrogen is both the most important limiting nutrient on Earth and a dangerous pollutant, so it is important to understand the natural controls on its supply and demand. Humanity currently depends on atmospheric nitrogen to produce enough fertilizer to maintain world food supply. A discovery of this magnitude will open up a new era of research on this essential nutrient.”

Study citation: B. Z. Houlton, S. L. Morford, R. A. Dahlgren. Convergent evidence for widespread rock nitrogen sources in Earth’s surface environment. Science, 2018; 360 (6384): 58 DOI: 10.1126/science.aan4399.

Looks like “climate science” is still not settled. For instance, a 2003 study published in the same Science journal claimed, “there will not be enough nitrogen available to sustain the high carbon uptake scenarios.” Investor’s Business Daily opines: “with more nitrogen available, plant life might be able to absorb more CO2 than climate scientists have been estimating, which means the planet won’t warm as much, despite mankind’s pumping CO2 into the atmosphere.”

 

See also:

Evidence that CO2 emissions do not intensify the greenhouse effect

An examination of the relationship between temperature and carbon dioxide

A Simple Question for Climate Alarmists

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People for the West newsletter for May 2018 now online

The People for the West May 2018 newsletter:

https://wryheat.wordpress.com/people-for-the-west/2018-archive/2018-05-may/

Some of the subjects covered:

Renewable energy mandates and politics versus science

How Bad Is the Government’s Science? (It’s worse than we thought.)

The Parade of Impending Catastrophes

Yes, NOAA must adjust data — but its climate record really is quite wrong

Confronted With Severe Climate Change, Ancient Britons Kept Calm and Carried On

Green Shock: Entire Forests Being Murdered to Produce Wood Pellet Biomass

New Study: Battery Storage “Not an Economic Prospect”

Renewable energy mandates and politics versus science

Competing renewable energy mandate legislation will appear on the Arizona this fall. You can read about them in two Arizona Daily Star stories:

Arizona utility APS crafts renewable-energy initiative with escape clause

Arizona Senate puts utility-written renewable energy plan on ballot

Neither addresses the real issue: electricity produced from utility-scale solar and wind is unreliable, expensive, plays havoc with electrical grid stability, and is not as green as advertized. Rather than play with tricky fixes, the Arizona legislature should repeal the Arizona Corporation Commission’s renewable energy mandate and forbid the ACC from mandating how electricity is generated. I can find no place in the Arizona Constitution nor in the Arizona Revised Statutes that gives the ACC authority to impose such mandates.

For background of ACC action, read a report from the Goldwater Institute: “Rediscovering the ACC’s Roots: Returning to the Original Purpose of the Arizona Corporation Commission” (link)

Here is the executive summary of the 26-page report:

The Arizona Corporation Commission was established through the state constitution to regulate corporations, public utilities, securities, and other investments. But in an unprecedented move, the Arizona Corporation Commission sought to single-handedly determine alternative energy policy in Arizona with a bold and unconstitutional energy mandate in 2006.1 This mandate forced energy producers to embrace state-favored alternatives instead of deciding for themselves which options are most attractive in Arizona.

Arizonans now face the real threat that the Arizona Corporation Commission will continue to seize power meant to be held by the state’s legislative branch. Important decisions about energy policy, corporate governance, and other areas have been removed from the legislative process which, for all its faults, offers more transparency, citizen input, and accountability than the opaque and bureaucratic proceedings of the Arizona Corporation Commission.

The framers of the Arizona Constitution had serious concerns about the Commission’s potential to abuse its authority. Records of the state constitutional debate show the constitution’s authors intentionally limited the Commission’s powers to prevent interference with internal business decisions. The framers’ fears have been borne out.

The Commission’s attempt to act as the state’s de facto energy czar clearly oversteps its original role.

Arizona courts should re-establish a proper balance between the Commission and legislative power. Courts in other states with similar utility regulatory commissions already have concluded such agencies don’t have constitutional authority to mandate statewide policy. The Legislature also can reassert its authority by ordering an audit of the Commission that would recommend ways to streamline the agency and to restore it to its proper role. Finally, the state constitution could be amended to transfer necessary functions to other agencies and decommission the ACC to stop its policymaking power grabs, which Arizona’s founders specifically aimed to prevent.

See these articles for more detail on the consequences of the ACC mandate:

Six reasons Arizona should repeal its renewable energy standards mandate

The economic impact of Arizona’s renewable energy mandate

The high cost of electricity from wind and solar generation

The more installed solar and wind capacity per capita a country has, the higher the price people pay for electricity.

Political correctness versus science:

The alleged rationale for these mandates is that we must reduce carbon dioxide emissions to forestall dread global warming. But, there is no physical evidence that emissions from fossil fuels play a significant role in driving global temperature. See these ADI posts for more detail:

A Simple Question for Climate Alarmists

“What physical evidence supports the contention that carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels are the principal cause of global warming since 1970?” I posed that question to five “climate scientist” professors at the University of Arizona who claim that our carbon dioxide emissions are the principal cause of dangerous global warming. Yet, none could cite any supporting physical evidence.

Evidence that CO2 emissions do not intensify the greenhouse effect

The “greenhouse” hypothesis of global warming makes four major predictions of what we should see if the “greenhouse effect” is intensified by adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. All four predictions are shown by physical evidence to be wrong.

What keeps Earth warm – the greenhouse effect or something else?

An alternative hypothesis with observable evidence.

Failure of climate models shows that carbon dioxide does not drive global temperature

Results from climate models based on the assumption that carbon dioxide controls global temperature diverge widely from reality.

Climate change in perspective

An overview of climate history

The 97 percent consensus of human caused climate change debunked again

The fake climate consensus

The men, mines, and geology of the Verde Mining District, Jerome, Arizona

From the Arizona Geological Survey:

The town of Jerome roosts on the slopes of Cleopatra Hill in Yavapai County, Arizona; and is steeped in a rich history of copper, zinc, gold, and silver ore mining from an ancient volcanogenic massive sulfide deposit that formed on a sea floor more than 1.74 billion years ago.

Author, geologist, and mining historian David Briggs’ new contributed report, ‘History of the Verde Mining District, Jerome, Arizona’, reviews the mining history of Jerome from the Spanish discovery of copper in A.D. 1583 at what is now the United Verde Mine site to recent remediation efforts of Freeport McMoRan c. 2010.

The United Verde Mine was the most prolific producer in the district. Between 1883 and 1975 it produced nearly 3 billion pounds of copper; 52 million pounds of zinc; 1.3 million troy oz. of gold; and 48.3 million troy Oz. of silver.

Snapshot of the geology of the United Verde Mining District. The oldest stratigraphic units exposed in the Verde Mining District are a part of the early Proterozoic Ash Creek Group, which is characterized by at least two mafic to felsic cycles of largely submarine volcanics that are stratigraphically overlain by a thick sequence of volcaniclastic sediments deposited along the steep slopes of an ancient intraoceanic island arc (Anderson, 1989 and Gustin, 1988). Evidence for subaqueous deposition of these units is supported by the presence of pillow basalts and hyaloclastitic (quench) textures, presence of black-smoker-type massive sulfide and exhalative chert, and turbidites and textures suggesting soft sediment deformation (Lindholm, 1991). The Ash Creek Group was deposited in a deep water oceanic environment, which is similar to the Izu-Bonin-Mariana arc, a modern day analog located in the western Pacific Ocean (D. Briggs, 2018).

High-grade ore -10-20% copper – was transported directly to the Jerome smelter, while low-grade ore was first treated on the hillslope by heap roasting with cordwood; a practice that undoubtedly reduced air quality.

By 1922, the economy of mining and falling ore grade caused the United Verde mine to begin open pit mining to complement ongoing underground workings.

Mine fires plagued the United Verde operation, killing miners, caving ground, hampering production and causing the 1,000-foot No.2 shaft to be abandoned.  Efforts to extinguish the mine fires using water or carbon dioxide failed because there was no way to prevent oxygen from filtering into the burn area. Uncontrolled burning of underground ore seams would at times fill the open pit with dense smoke.

The roles of James Douglas, Eugene Jerome, James Thomas and William Andrews Clark in establishing the United Mine Verde Mine and the towns of Jerome and Clarksdale are described in detail.

By 1920, the Jerome mining camp was a polyglot village with more than 20 nationalities, including: Americans, Chinese, Irish, Italian, Mexican, and people of Slavic origin. Life in the camp was primitive, austere, and the air, water, environment and sanitary conditions were degraded by smelting ore and deforestation of the surrounding Black Hills. Labor problems during WW1 were managed by forcing the ringleaders into cattle cars and marooning them in the Mojave Desert outside Needles, California.

By the 1950s, ore production was falling, forcing those living in Jerome to slowly transition from mining to a small but burgeoning tourism economy.  The Jerome Historical Society, founded in 1953, worked with the local mine companies, business leaders, and the community to strategize a move from mining to tourism bolstered by artisans and craftsman.

In the final section of this exemplary history, the author revisits recent reclamation efforts and explores the future of mining in the Verde mining district.

Citation. Briggs, D.F., 2018, History of the Verde Mining District, Jerome, Arizona. Arizona Geological Survey Contributed Report CR-18-D, 85 p.    http://repository.azgs.az.gov/uri_gin/azgs/dlio/1877

 

See my post on the Jerome district:

https://wryheat.wordpress.com/2010/01/11/ancient-undersea-volcano-in-arizona/

 

Mass Shootings: Guns are not the problem; gun-free zones and drugs are

The February 14, 2018, murders at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, demonstrate that government cannot always protect us. Local, State, and federal government agencies had numerous red flags about the shooter, yet failed to act. Even as the school shooting commenced, local police at the scene failed to engage him.

Guns themselves are not the problem; gun-free zones, or otherwise unprotected areas are. For instance: The non-profit RAND corporation spent two years and $1 million on an analysis, searching for evidence of benefit from gun control policies. RAND’s analysis looked to establish connections between gun policies and rates of homicide, suicide, self-defense gun use, hunting, and other categories. The vast majority of those categories went unaffected by legislation. Read more Gun-free zones, such as ,schools, provide a pool of helpless potential victims.

Another side of the problem are legally prescribed pyscho-active drugs. Selwyn Duke, in his article “From Prozac to Parkland: Are Psychiatric Drugs Causing Mass Shootings?” catalogs mass shootings and finds one commonality: almost all shooters have had pyscho-active drugs in their system. These drugs include Luvox, Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Effexor, Amitriptyline, Thorazine, and Ritalin. Duke notes that clinical studies by the drug manufacturers found that side-effects of these drugs may include mania, “suicidal ideation” and “homicidal ideation.”

The political left and left-media are not letting this crisis go to waste:

The Patriot Post opines in their article: “The Adolescent 2nd Amendment Puppet Protests

In a display of just how dumbed down American students’ civic awareness has become, thousands of students across America walked out of their schools March 14 [and March 24], using their First Amendment rights to protest against Second Amendment rights. The Leftmedia coverage has been fawning, to say the least. These kids are viewed with reverence as sages possessing moral authority that cannot be questioned. By contrast, little attention is given to the students who did not walk out, or gathered to show support for our constitutional rights. Spurred on by leftists, however, student protesters are being used as pawns in a play designed to shame conservative lawmakers for not creating more laws to limit the Second Amendment.

A string of Democrats, including Nancy Pelosi and Bernie Sanders, addressed the crowd of students in DC, which speaks volumes about the political agenda. But remember: Democrats don’t care about children unless they can serve the leftist agenda.

Not that students are admitting it. “It’s not Republican or Democrat; it’s about keeping people safe,” said a 16-year-old student from Manhattan. “We know what we want from our society: to have less guns and, at some point, no guns at all.” (Grammar police: shouldn’t that be fewer guns?)

There you go — safe spaces and gun confiscation. Unfortunately for this naive young lady, those two are mutually exclusive. Liberty isn’t defended with a smart phone and poster-board sign.

 

“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms … disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes.” —Cesare Beccaria

 

“It is only by obtaining some sort of insight into the psychology of crowds that it can be understood how powerless they are to hold any opinions other than those which are imposed upon them.” Gustave Le BonThe Crowd

Jury Duty and Jury Nullification

I recently received a summons to jury duty. The date has been rescheduled and I don’t know if I will actually have to appear. However, this brings to mind the last time I had jury duty.

During voir dire, the judge asked prospective jurors if evidence indicated conviction, would they vote to convict even if they disagreed with the law. Everybody said “yes” except me. What follows is the justification for my answer.

It is the job of the court to see to the law, but it is the job of the jury to see to justice. Columnist Walter Williams gives an example:

“I was summoned for jury duty some years ago, and during voir dire, the attorney asked me whether I could obey the judge’s instructions. I answered, ‘It all depends upon what those instructions are.’ Irritatingly, the judge asked me to explain myself. I explained that if I were on a jury back in the 1850s, and a person was on trial for violating the Fugitive Slave Act by assisting a runaway slave, I would vote for acquittal regardless of the judge’s instructions. The reason is that slavery is unjust and any law supporting it is unjust. Needless to say, I was dismissed from jury duty.” – Walter Williams, 11 July 2007

The judge in my past appearance asked why I said “no.” I explained that, in my opinion, jurors had the right and duty to judge all of the circumstances as well as the evidence. I also mentioned the following which establishes that principle:

John Jay, first Chief Justice, U.S. Supreme Court, wrote in Georgia v. Brailsford, 3 U.S. 1 (1794): “The jury has a right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy.”

Samuel Chase, Supreme Court Justice and signer of the Declaration of Independence, wrote in 1804: “The jury has the right to determine both the law and the facts.”

U. S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said in 1902: “The jury has the power to bring a verdict in the teeth of both law and fact.”

Harlan F. Stone, the 12th Chief Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court, stated in 1941: “The law itself is on trial quite as much as the cause which is to be decided.”

In 1972, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said that the jury has an “unreviewable and irreversible power… to acquit in disregard of the instructions on the law given by the trial judge….” (US vs Dougherty, 473 F 2d 1113, 1139 (1972))

That jurors can rule against both law and evidence is called jury nullification. Jury Nullification, as defined by the US Dictionary of Law is “A sanctioned doctrine of trial proceedings wherein members of a jury disregard either the evidence presented or the instructions of the judge in order to reach a verdict based upon their own consciences. It espouses the concept that jurors should be the judges of both law and fact.”

More recently, Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor supported Jury Nullification. (Source)

The purpose of Jury Nullification is to protect citizens from unjust laws perpetrated by government. It is part of the “checks and balances” of our republic.

Prospective jurors are not likely to hear about this from a trial judge. I was dismissed as a prospective juror.

UPDATE: I reported for jury duty on April 3, 2018. The case was vehicular manslaughter. The judge asked if anyone had a problem with the law. I answered: “I hold to the principle that jurors have the right to judge the law as well as the evidence in the case.” The judge replied, “dismissed.”

Multi-shot Assault weapons of the 1700s and the 2nd Amendment

 

Note: This post is an updated version of https://wryheat.wordpress.com/2013/02/16/assault-weapons-a-machine-gun-from-1718/

Proponents of stricter gun control have a problem with the Second Amendment: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” One of their arguments is that our Founding Fathers could not have imagined the rapid fire weapons of today. But, in fact, during the time of the American Revolution and ratification of our Constitution there were several weapons in use that could fire much faster than the standard muzzle-loading flintlock rifle of the time.

 

In 1718, James Puckle invented and patented what was essentially a machine gun. According to Wikipedia, the Puckle gun “had a pre-loaded cylinder which held 11 charges and could fire 63 shots in seven minutes [9 shots per minute]—this at a time when the standard soldier’s musket could at best be loaded and fired three times per minute.” The gun was intended for use aboard British ships to repel boarders. Although the Puckle gun was never widely used, it was known at the time of the American Revolution, and the concept was certainly known since Leonardo da Vinci designed a rapid fire weapon in 1481 (see here).

 

Another relatively rapid fire weapon was the Ferguson Rifle invented by British officer, Major Patrick Ferguson. The Ferguson Rifle was a flint lock, but it was breech loading rather than the standard muzzle-loaded rifle. It could fire up to seven rounds per minute, two to three times faster that the muzzle-loading weapons of the day. Using the Ferguson Rifle, light infantry troops could continue loading and firing without breaking cover, even when lying prone. This rifle was used by the British against the Americans in 1777. Read more

 

The Girandoni air rifle was an airgun designed by Tyrolian inventor Bartholomäus Girandoni circa 1779. The Girandoni air rifle was in service with the Austrian army from 1780 to around 1815. This rifle had a lethal combat range of 125 to 150 yards. It had the advantage of a high rate of fire, no smoke from propellants, and low muzzle report. It had a detachable magazine containing 19 rounds of ammunition. A single shot from the Girandoni could penetrate a one-inch wood plank, or take an elk. Read more

 

Washington Post article by David Kopel notes: “Gun-control advocates often argue that gun-control laws must be more restrictive than the original meaning of the Second Amendment would allow, because modern firearms are so different from the firearms of the late 18th century. This argument is based on ignorance of the history of firearms. It is true that in 1791 the most common firearms were handguns or long guns that had to be reloaded after every shot. But it is not true that repeating arms, which can fire multiple times without reloading, were unimagined in 1791. To the contrary, repeating arms long predate the 1606 founding of the first English colony in America. As of 1791, repeating arms were available but expensive.”

 

The Washington Post article mentions a German breech-loading matchlock arquebus from around 1490-1530 with a 10-shot revolving cylinder, the Girandoni air rifle, and many other multi-shot hand weapons all available at the time when the Second Amendment was written.

 

The “failure of imagination” argument falls to the facts of history.

See also:

Assault Weapons Ban Not Correlated with Decrease in Homicides

 

 

 

Russian collusion with environmentalists to disrupt American energy production

It seems that there is indeed Russian collusion, collusion with environmental groups to harm American energy production. This has been going on for years.

Environmentalists have campaigned for the following:

1) US nuclear energy facilities to close down

2) US fossil fuel reserves to stay in the ground (onshore and offshore)

3) the costs of fossil fuels to go up (e.g. with a carbon tax)

4) a high percentage of the US electric grid to be based on unreliable sources? (wind and solar)

5) the US to waste trillions of dollars on unreliable electricity

All of this plays into Russian hands as they battle to maintain their European markets.

 

See a Congressional Report about this collusion:

Mar 1, 2018,WASHINGTON – U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) released a staff report uncovering Russia’s extensive efforts to influence U.S. energy markets through divisive and inflammatory posts on social media platforms. The report details Russia’s motives in interfering with U.S. energy markets and influencing domestic energy policy and its manipulation of Americans via social media propaganda. The report includes examples of Russian-propagated social media posts.

According to the report: “Russia has a significant interest in disrupting U.S. energy markets and influencing domestic energy policy. American energy is booming. America’s emergence as a global energy exporter presents a significant threat to Russian energy interests. Such competition reduces the revenue and influence generated by Russian energy exports. This adversely affects the Kremlin’s ability to leverage Eastern Europe’s reliance on their energy and their ability to carry out their geopolitical agenda. The surge of American energy into the global marketplace heightens the Kremlin’s desire to eliminate or mitigate the American energy threat and to do so by influencing social media users, American voters, and public officials.”

 Read press releaseRead full report.

 

Consider these stories:

Environmental group may have to register as foreign agents

Reported by Washington Examiner, 01/15/18 Link to story

“U.S. environmental activists who are working to halt the production and use of fossil fuels could be required to register as foreign agents if Congress gets serious about enforcing an existing law.” The Foreign Agents Registration Act, passed in 1938, calls for individuals and organizations to provide full disclosure when they are working to advance the public policy interests of a foreign government.

Democrats dig for Russian connection and uncover environmentalists.

Reported by The Hill, 10/26/17. Link to story

“Democrats and the media have been on a year-long deep dig into Russian involvement into U.S. elections. But when you dig a hole you sometimes run across things you wish had remained buried — like the dirt pointing to Russian ties to the U.S. environmental movement.

Russia secretly working with environmentalists to oppose fracking.

Reported by The Guardian, 19/06/14. Link to story

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, secretary-general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato) said: “I have met allies who can report that Russia, as part of their sophisticated information and disinformation operations, engaged actively with so-called non-governmental organizations – environmental organizations working against shale gas – to maintain European dependence on imported Russian gas.”

 

See also:

 

https://wryheat.wordpress.com/2018/02/27/the-high-cost-of-electricity-from-wind-and-solar-generation/