Author Archives: gymnosperm

Entropy and Watermelons

What is the entropy of a watermelon? This question is not entirely fair, because living things are singularities swimming upstream against the tide of entropy. We can’t merely count the ways the invisible molecules in a watermelon can be rearranged … Continue reading

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God and Dice

We don’t spend much time thinking about what God does for recreation these days, but the great scientists from Newton to Einstein who have framed our Western cosmology were often deeply religious men. It is understandable that when they found … Continue reading

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Entropy and the Grand Canyon II

We left off in the last post having boated 78 miles, about five days on a typical trip, and having encountered the last of the suite of three books that comprise the geological story revealed in the Grand Canyon. We … Continue reading

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Entropy and the Grand Canyon

It has been our good fortune to row 280 miles of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon twice in the last seven months. This is rare for private boaters limited to one trip per calendar year and subject to … Continue reading

Posted in Geology, Paleoclimate, Paleogeography | 1 Comment


MODTRAN deals only with infrared light, and at least the version we are using includes only low level cloud types.   Above is a screen shot of the menu. It can be seen that the highest altitude is three kilometers. … Continue reading

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CERES and MODTRAN VI, Cloud Radiative Effect

CERES is the acronym for the rather chewy title Cloud Earth Radiative Effect Satellites. Displayed above is the TOA net flux in blue. The net TOA cloud radiative effect is in red. The axes are inverted to maintain the energy … Continue reading

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We must begin by confessing that we have resorted to digitizing. The first CERES data were garnered by mousing over the visualization tool, writing in a notebook, and typing into Excel. We discovered that if we right clicked the tool … Continue reading

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