Rutger's English Blogg

Amazonas 2013-02-01

Publicerad 2013-01-31 23:04:15 i Allmänt

Amazonas, like other tropical areas are much affected by this burning technique.

Not only flat areas are burned but also steep slopes and thus  soil erosion can accelerate.
On a Video a man in the Amazon is introduced who have found that it is possible to earn a living without burning the forest and he is about to teach others how to do this. This man is planting trees instead. Check the video that is available on this website:    

There's also an interview with the filmmaker. Persons like Reynaldo are needed. Indians who once were frequent in the Amazon had its way of farming which among other things included that they buried charcoal in the soil and thus got it fertile. Some Indians still do the same but if Reynaldo is doing like that we will not know.

Restoration of degraded land 2013-01-30

Publicerad 2013-01-30 11:11:54 i Allmänt
Use cattle wise, it's Allan's message. Many cattle graze intensively in larger herds but a short time in each place. This leaves trampled plants and much feces. the area recover itself and grows until it is time for the next round of cattle. As the picture shows.

The world can therefore get more meat, but not from meat factories but from the large amount of pasture available particularly in Africa and America. But the world does not need more animal factories where lots of animals are in a confined space and where food is grown on farmland around it. It should be more free range meats in our shops. Our agricultural policies do not support this wholeheartedly. Farmers in Sweden are compensated for cutting the grass on fields that will only lay there to no avail. It would be better that farmers received better compensation for keeping animals in natural rangelands which would also lead to that more biodiversity would recover in our country.

In addition to Allan and some more photos.

This river in Zimbabwe used to flow year-round. Then overgrazing by wandering livestock bared much of the soil in the surrounding area. Today the river flows only as flash floods following heavy rains. Biodiversity loss is severe, livestock are starving, and most wildlife has disappeared.

Not so far away.

This shot of a nearby river was taken on the same day. It used to have similar problems but now it always has water and flows most of the year. Drought is rare, biodiversity is increasing, and wildlife has reappeared in large numbers.

Read more

Following Allan Savorys advice will not only result in better grasslands, more meat, but also more of the wildlife. In addition, the vegetation that comes back also affects the climate and dehydration decreases. It's a win-win situation.

He writes about this land.

At the outset, when we donated the ranch land, it had no elephant and buffalo at all (due to a veterinary fence, since removed), and a sparse, fluctuating population of other game. While the communal land still supports little wildlife, the situation on the ranch is very different today. The ranch now supports significant and increasing numbers of elephants, buffalo, kudu, sable antelope, waterbuck, zebra, impala, giraffe, reedbuck and many other diurnal and nocturnal animals. Widely ranging elephants can on some days number 300 or more and, likewise, buffalo herds from 500 to 1,000.




Allan Savory 2013-01-28

Publicerad 2013-01-27 22:55:18 i Allmänt
This lecture was held in Dublin but this researcher has become more and more famous in the world. He shows that even if you do not let the animals graze in areas that have been overgrazed there will be more grass in the beginning but after a while it becomes as bad as before. What is missing are that many animals that are ruminants as well as our cattle graze intensively in an area for a short time, leaving behind much feces besides they tramled the soil. With much feces there will be a lot to do for all decomposers and the result are that both minerals and carbon compounds in the soil will increase, which means that it grows better afterwards. This benefits in particular grasses.

Here you have him at full speed during his lecture. He shows us that it is not overpopulation or overgrazing which is the biggest problem, but our ignorance.
The same development of the land, we have had in Texas even though the land is not overgrazed and overpopulated in these areas.

A degraded land in Africa. Overgrazing and overpopulation.

Then he compares with western Texas.


How does it look in western Texas?
A lot of ghost towns!

Desertification. In the past there were livestock here but now the cattle are gone and it looks worse than before.

According to Allan Savory's livestock is an important part of the solution not the problem.

His lectures are available online.
An excerpt of just over 10 minutes
Full lecture in 1 hour,

He speaks calmly and clearly so it's easy to follow him. Please listen.


The ice retreats 2013-01-25

Publicerad 2013-01-25 22:46:26 i Allmänt
In the Alps, we see a similar trend in our time. Here the glaciers have been studied for a long time. Glaciers which advanced posed a danger to humans and the Little Ice Age caused despair in some Alpine valleys when glaciers advanced, killed trees and destroyed pastures. You can see two glaciers where the glacier front has been determined since the birth of Christ and their advance into the valleys reached maximum during the 1800s.


Upside in the diagram shows how glaciers advance, down how they retreat. Horizontal lines show trees in the area killed by the ice and the line to the left shows tree-ring series.
We can see that around 600 century AD it was a severe cold spell which in the first part coincides with the Migration Period from around year 375 to about year 600. Little Ice Age lasted from the 1300s to the end of the 1800s broadly. What happened during the 1900s are not so apparent in this chart so we decide to take one more chart.

At the top of this chart, we see something called the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, AMO. It is a measurement of the thermal fluctuations in the Atlantic waters measured from the equator to 60 degrees north latitude. It is a compilation of temperature average deviations around a normal. It was slightly cooler during two periods in the 1900s. This is compared with 38 glaciers in Switzerland and how they have moved.

Around 1920 it was about 25 glaciers which advanced (blue color), someone was stationary (yellow color) and 12 retreated (red color). There are not always good data, especially in the 1800s and that's when there are light markings. AMO's cold spells are reflected in the Swiss glaciers advance.

We'll say, it's lucky that the Little Ice Age got such abrupt end in the late 1800's and early 1900's. We got a better world in several ways. I just read Herman Lindqvist's book about Jean Bernadotte and it tells about some years at the time of the French Revolution when there were several long winter periods of 20 degrees below zero in France. We don´t have that today.





Pliocene 2013-01-14

Publicerad 2013-01-24 22:39:58 i Allmänt
At the end of the era known as the Pliocene a period of major climatic fluctuations began and that period is still going on. In a few thousand years, there will be a new ice age.
We can determine ice ages further back through analysis of Antarctic ice. The ice encloses a little of the air in small bubbles. Also in sediment layers we find plankton shells from plankton species that are sensitive to temperature. How much there is of a given species depends on the water temperature and the water temperature is dependent on the solar radiation and the solar radiation is what ultimately controls the climate. Luckily we live in a warm period between cold spells. The last warm period is called the Holocene. This warm period had its optimum at least in the northern hemisphere during our Stone Age. All our glaciers melted and even the great Icelandic glaciers. The warming after Ice Age maximum came quickly and it was warmer over the world even if it was warmest in the northern hemisphere. During this time period  also the Sahara was green, but nothing lasts forever as you know.
The temperature went down and the glaciers began to re-form in different places, this is called neoglaciationen.
Why did the climate began to swing more in the late Pliocene and continued to swing throughout the Pleistocene? See picture for fluctuations between glacial and interglacial below.
It has also been fluctuations in temperature during this interglacial. The Stone Age was not  hot all the time if we are to believe the proxy curve from Greenland south, GISP2.
Even in the curve from southern Finland based on pollen studies appear swing in temperature but not as much as the Greenland curve. This pollen diagram is from the woodlands in southern Finland.
Back to the question of what caused so large swings in climate? As anyone might imagine, it depends crucially on the sun, but it's hard to answer this question.
Attempts have been made to explain it by more greenhouse gases, different currents, extensive mountain building when continents collided and the Isthmus of Panama arose, but also a land bridge between Alaska and Asia. It happened a lot during this time. Each event gave probably some contribution to climate change.
The major ice ages during the Pleistocene are explained by Milankovitch Cyclerna which allowed the solar radiation during certain seasons  to decline.  It has to do with the Earth's orbit around the sun and how elliptical it is and how the Earth's axis tilt is.

The eocene period 2013-01-13

Publicerad 2013-01-24 11:21:20 i Allmänt
The earth looked different at that time. The continents were on their way to their current place. Atlantic ocean was more narrow, the Mediterranean had not yet been formed, in Asia there was a great inland sea. India was about to collide with Asia and the Himalayas had not yet been formed. Look at the map.
But it was hot during this time. Much warmer. The ocean currents were different, the CO2 concentration was much higher. During certain periods of up to 2000 ppm.
Some of the biggest predators were birds. Pictured Gastornis. Another great bird was Diatryma as previously thought was a bird of prey, but now believe was a herbivore.
The climate was warmer over the world, no ice in Antarctica even though it was above the South Pole. Even though it was so hot forrests covered most of the continents. The oceans was warm and full of life. Polar forests were vast. Up in Arctic Canada, Alaska and Greenland they have found fossils of tropical trees. If we look at the map from that time these places were situated almost at the same place as today. There is a problem with explaining that the earth was more even hot at the time. Hot at the poles without the tropics too hot.

The first real  whales show up and has been named Basilosaurus, a really great whale. The mammals are emerging more and more. Largest mammal was a hippo-like creature.

Sequoia trees 2013-01-21

Publicerad 2013-01-21 11:07:21 i Allmänt

When the Europeans arrived, they were lyrical about how much timber there were in these trees. With diligence and patience they began to chop down these trees so that today there are only 25% left of the original stock. It took many people to cut down these trees. Swedish lumberman  was sought for in this work.

Source  Picture from 1901.

More pictures in this site

Still giants are felled in North America.

Sustainable development is to use the trees as a renewable resource, the people like Weyerhaeuser who cut down these giants say when they cut down these contemporary giant tree "a single tree will not last forever, but a forest can". So just go on to cut down these trees. 

In Sweden we grow forests and this is also true in other countries, but sometimes you should save unique trees not only for the environment but also because these giants are a showingthe greatness of the trees.

Besides when it's cold both in Europe and Nordmaerika and green investments make energy prices rise greatly wodd thieves make themselfs more known. This is happening right now in both the U.S. and Germany.


Sea level rise again 2013-01-16

Publicerad 2013-01-16 19:56:50 i Allmänt

Last time I wrote about these things was  december 18 after I read a new article published by NOAA in the U.S. It showed that the sealevelrise were not so high. Maybe even these 3 mm/år measured during the 80´s and 90´s are the result of the method of measurement  when they only used altimetry and not as the article showed that altimetry combined with measurements of ocean mass and Argo floats that measure ocean temperature gives a netter measurement.

The program from Science Radio Sweden interviewed some IPCC scientists who point out that in the early 1900's it was a slightly larger sea level rise than in the middle, but we had no great CO2 emissions. They also point out that there are natural variations and the relationship between the greenhouse effect and sea level rise is not so clear. Lennart Bengtsson also interviewed emphasizes that there is no acceleration in the sea level rise.
In the leaked report/draft of the IPCC, I discovered that Valentina Radic and Regine Hock are involved as co-author. It was these scholars who, having added approximately 120,000 glaciers in the models arrived at a probable sea level rise of 10-12 cm from the glacier melt by 2100.

The article on NOAA:s site: The Budget of Recent Global Sea Level Rise 2005–2012

In this paper, you will find the following table of sea level rise.

Nice to see that the doomsayers get some public resistance.

The role of testosterone

Publicerad 2013-01-15 22:16:35 i Allmänt
Testosterone is important not only to develop big muscles but it is also crucial for the development of sexual characteristics, ie to become a man. Without this hormone, all XY fetuses will become like the picture of today. This applies to all mammals. They begin their development towards becoming women/females but in XY fetuses a testosterone shower will come. In humans, at six weeks of age. This shower forces the development on a different track and it becomes a man / male. The testosterone comes from a gland in the fetal body that develops early and then become testes. The opposite is also possible. An XX fetuses may have been exposed to too much testosterone and then it will be a man, even if chromosomer set is XX.
Prospective physicians must consider this situation. Imagine you're sitting there as a doctor with a woman on a visit and she comes to you because she does not get pregnant. She wonders why, and you do a number of tests routinely. You also tests her genetically, the chromosomes she has. The answer from the lab is that she has XY set in terms of sex chromosomes and that she is sterile. What do you say to her then? Are you going to say bluntly that she is genetically a man?
The recommendation for medical student is that you have to be careful with the information and maybe say something like "sorry you have a chromosome damage so you can not have children." Now this is not very common but it does occur.
What has happened is that there has been a mutation that made the cell receptors for testosterone immune and the testosterone message can´t get forward and then the development continue along the basic pattern to make a woman. A woman with a female brain and a full female body apart from a couple of dwarf testicles that may appear in a woman's labia.
The biological significance of gender development has begun to be denied from a certain direction. Gender research do not agree that sex is a biological construction. Sex says it is a social construction. "Gender researchers' mean then that the children should grow up with gender-neutral toys. As a biologist, I can´t understand this and most people experienced in life think it is obvious that it is biology that determines.

Sex is determined by biology but considering that all begins its development towards becoming a women / female and for it to be males, the development must change onto another track with the help of hormones. It is not difficult to understand that there may be errors in this development. An example of this is that boys are affected more often by different disorders than girls. But you can not just rely on these cases that not completed a full development because then you end up wrong.

Gender-neutral upbringing is written about in the media and some preschools provide gender-neutral upbringing and there you use gender-neutral toys. A swedish preschool writes on their site.
"We believe that when we in society in general talk about "male" and "female" so are these words heavily influenced by myths about sex. At Egalia believe that the traditional notions of "feminine" and "masculine" has affected humans to separate us according to sex., we find that even small children in the community are aware of the differences in the sexes and what is considered appropriate for girls and boys. This limits as us men and women's in lifes choices and we at Egalia believe we have an important task to change this."  "On Egalia all toys, books, materials, and treatment of children and adults thought are from a gender equality perspective."
An ad that tries to be gender neutral. Why is not spiderman pink in his attire?
Personally, I think that all kinds of toys should be available so that kids can choose. Any move to remove toys that are not considered to be gender-neutral will instead discriminate the children.
When one of my daughters once asked for a makeup doll she got it and when my other daughter wanted a tool box she got it also. Besides this, they have both been given both dolls and cars. I think sometimes about the Impact I had on my girls, my oldest girl will be sea captain and my youngest will be a pilot. This they have come up with completely themselves. And instead, I wonder if I will have any grandchildren.

Cool Sports Cars 2013-01-14

Publicerad 2013-01-13 23:11:59 i Allmänt
This is a Swedish Koenigsegg, a car från "Skåne", the southern part of Sweden, the world's coolest sports car! An engine with over 1000 hp, more than what you really need.

How is it to drive? You can jump in and follow the driver with this video.


But there are more cool cars. Italian cars for example, Lamborghini and Ferrari

Jaguars also are not bad, although the Indians, Tata Group, has taken over the production. Previously they said about Jaguar that it was the fastest car without brakes. At that time, they struggled a lot with quality and it was best to have two of the same model to always be able to drive a Jaguar. Jaguar C-X75 below.


Though I think I prefer the old classic Jaguar E-Type


But then you should have good roads to drive on. In Arizona and Utah, for example, there are roads with impressive views along the roads.


Or how about Monumemt Valley in Arizona. An eroded landscape where old hard volcanic cones stand straight up as monuments. Unfortunately I have not been there.

There are also nice roads in Europe. For example the road up to the Stelvio Pass between Italy and Austria. During the trip abroad with my NV-class we drove on this small road with a bus a couple of years ago. Large buses are unable to drive here, but small buses that we went with could drive here but sometimes they had to do extra moves in the curves. A fun experience for my students. See pictures from the Italy trip, found on the first page.

It was best to take it easy here.


Though one of the coolest roads are probably in China. How about this road carved into the mountainside.


Where shall we go to see many cool sports cars? London, Arab boys with a lot of money in their pockest bring their sports cars on the plane when they go to London in summertime because it's too hot along the Persian Gulf. These Arab guys love western technique so much, camels is not good enough anymore. Today, there are 10 times more cars in Saudi Arabia than there are camels. For this part of their old culture, they don´t have much left, possibly camel races betting om.
See video from London.

Though the original Londoners are not so fond of these cool cars with a roaring sound that runs late at night.

Millionaire Boy Racers of London in HD  

Sometimes you are unlucky. Some forget to get the right insurance paper.


When the right insurance papers is missing there will be another trip for the car.


Then one can also shine with a under water carl. Well it can run on land too.




Bushfires 2013-01-11

Publicerad 2013-01-11 23:01:41 i Allmänt
These fires are terrifying in its size and fire trucks are so small. In 2009 173 people died in the fires, the highest number ever. But in 1851 in the month of February fire ravaged five million hectares of land. This year, about 200 000 ha have been damaged by fire so far. It is hot, dry and plenty of combustible material om the ground. What has happened is unfortunately nothing new. When I traveled in Australia Jan / Feb. 1975, I learned that there had recently been major fires even in Tasmania. In rural areas, people have no wells because the water is salt. In the country there are at each house large water tanks in which they collect water from the roof and then use it for drinking water. There were the people who had not had time to go away from the fire and to save themselves they crawled down into the water tanks. Unfortunately, instead they were cooked in these tanks. So severe was the fire.
Image source  and on this site you can find some statistics of severe bushfires in different years back to 1851.

In which area are most bushfires? According to this map the most are in the northern parts.
The other map shows the area burned in 1974/75.
Read more on this site about the Australian fires.

Sometimes it burns so much that you can see the outline of the Australian continent from satellites. This satellite photo is from 2006.
The vegetation survives because it has adapted to these fires. There are even tree species thet would die out without these fires. Nowhere in our world, has nature adapted so much to the fires as in Australia. And the animals then, well see below in the picture. Most survive.

The heat in Australia 2013-01-10

Publicerad 2013-01-10 12:13:38 i Allmänt
According to many newspapers the new scale are of up to 54 degrees, but it does not mean as some newspapers write that it has been up to 54 degrees. I can´t find this map in Australia's weather service site.
This is how their map looks like. The map shows that there was substantial heat over large areas.

Then proceed to their tables of extreme heat, we also learn that it has been very warm in many places, over 48 degrees, phew! But now the temperature has dropped somewhat luckily.
But how has it been previously? Suspicions confirmed, Australia is a land of temperature extremes.



Sydney, January 4.  1903

The heat wave which set in early last week continues unabated in the country districts. Reports received from various points yesterday show that excessive heat is being experienced, the highest shade registration being 122 deg. at Mount Drysdale. The northern rivers are also suffering severely, and according to telegrams received the exceptional heat is causing great   damage to the maize crops and grass, which was started by the late rains. Kempsey registered 118 in the shade, Brushgrove 117, Baradine 120, Bingara 113, Brewarinna 119, Grafton 117, and Mudgee 112. Yesterday was the hottest day experienced at Bourke for many years, the shade register in the afternoon being 121.5 de- grees. Later on a cyclone passed over the town, when houses were unroofed and four or five were completely blown down. Others were more or less injured; trees were uprooted, and fences destroyed. Seve- ral persons had narrow escapes.Goodooga registered 123 degrees, which is the highest recorded. A few thunderstorms have been reported from the country, but.....


123 degrees F = 50.55 degrees C  This was already 1903.

Some links about Austalien temperature:

År 1923 -1924

År 1903

År 1896

Change F to C degrees.

On the WMO (World Meteorological Organization) website of Australia, we learn that in 1889 it was also hot weather perhaps up 53.3 degrees but the thermometer was not a recognized variety. So it was probably also the 1896  That´s why the temperature record of 50.7 degrees is from 2 jan 1960th

It was also hot in the past with less CO2




A lot of snow in our world 2013-01-09

Publicerad 2013-01-10 12:05:26 i Allmänt

Welcome back to my blog and "God Fortsättning" of the new year. During my Christmas leave from school my good friend Lesli that is responsable for programming Lagmansnatursida have found some beutiful nature photographs that we are allowed to use and written comments to these. We plan to make an English version of "Picture of the Day" and the blog. This is the first attemt.

Here in Västergötland, it is very mild and we don´t not need so much firewood as we did in december. But one must be careful not to think that this is something typical in our world.

According to Snow Lab / Rutgers University more than 50 million square km of Earth's surface was covered by snow in the last week of december. It is not far from the record. It is only in our part of the world that it is different. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the winter unfolds.

Cool ice pictures from China at this link. Northen China has experienced vey cold weather.

Over 1000 ship frozen in the sea ice due to the severe cold in Laizhou Bay to the east of Bejing


It was several decades ago, it was so cold in northern China.


Eastern Russia is very cold also.

Despite the chill in Russia some are still out there to fish. A type of catfish.



In New Delhi, it has not been so cold in the last 44 years, even if it is not below freezing point according to the BBC. Over 170 people have frozen to death in India, many in the countryside outside New Delhi. The lower limit of the average temperature in January is 11 degrees. Now it was about 2 degrees.

This has been a common sight in New Delhi during the beginning of January.

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