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Some Scientific Problems (Geophysics)
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Ishmael


In: Toronto
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Brian Ambrose wrote:
I thought I'd addressed this. Just making humid air colder does not result in rain. For rain you need clouds.


Explain what you mean by this. You refer to condensation around dust particles? That's usually what is said is necessary for rainfall, but I have my doubts.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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Would members kindly give their explanations for why the Baltic Sea is practically fresh (two parts per thousand salt) in contrast to the normal thirty-five parts per thousand?
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Hatty
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In: Berkshire
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) has no explanation, or rather several explanations, for salt water oceans which once upon a time were 'probably only slightly salty' they say

It is estimated that the rivers and streams flowing from the United States alone discharge 225 million tons of dissolved solids and 513 million tons of suspended sediment annually to the ocean. Throughout the world, rivers carry an estimated four billion tons of dissolved salts to the ocean annually.

About the same tonnage of salt from ocean water probably is deposited as sediment on the ocean bottom and thus, yearly gains may offset yearly losses. In other words, the ocean today probably has a balanced salt input and output (and so the ocean is no longer getting saltier).

The Baltic's low salinity seems to be attributed to the large number of rivers running into it though, according to the NOAA article, the number of rivers should make the Baltic saltier, not less salty, in relation to the ocean. On the other hand, as the Baltic is a shallow sea, the inflow from rivers doesn't appear to have affected either sea level or salinity.

Another reason for the Baltic's low salinity is attributed to 'high temperature' which cannot be right as it only has about three months of hot weather and in winter roughly half of the Baltic is ice-covered.

But the strangest statement about salinity in oceans comes from the NOAA

The concentration of salt in seawater (salinity) varies with temperature, evaporation, and precipitation. Salinity is generally low at the equator and at the poles, and high at mid-latitudes.

https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/whysalty.html

As there are no two regions more different from each other than the equator and the poles, to lump them together in the least salty category is some anomaly surely.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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Another reason for the Baltic's low salinity is attributed to 'high temperature' which cannot be right as it only has about three months of hot weather and in winter roughly half of the Baltic is ice-covered.

I think you have got this wrong. The low salinity of the Baltic is usually attributed to the relative coldness of this area of the world, and thus relatively low levels of evaporation. But you are right in that the Baltic area is hot for three summer months and should evaporate like mad. And being shallow means it should be getting saltier like mad.

Orthodoxy is obviously barking madly up wrong trees if it thinks the oceans can get rid of its salt by depositing it on the bottom. There would be, in that case, several thousand million years worth of salt build-up for us to inspect. As opposed to 'none' whenever we do inspect the ocean's bottom.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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You never know where the next gobbet of information is coming from. A Scandinoir called The Investigation this week featured a detailed lecturette on how salinity in the Baltic interacts with the Skagerrak to produce various currents flowing between the two. They were trying to locate a headless torso thrown from a submarine at the time so I wasn't paying much attention to factors relevant to this enquiry, but it's there if I want it.
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