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2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #52

Posted on 26 December 2015 by John Hartz

A chronological listing of the news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook page during the past week.

Sun, Dec 20

Mon, Dec 21

Tue, Dec 22

Wed, Dec 23

Thu, Dec 24

Fri, Dec 25

Sat, Dec 26

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Comments 1 to 3:

  1. I searched the release of the agreement and (I might have missed it) found zero references to "population numbers".

    This is quite extraordinary. Increasing population by 30% will, all things considered, increase emissions by 30%. Everyone knows this.

    Global population is the most fundamental parameter in emissions, let alone resource depletion, yet seems to be a taboo topic even amongst climate negotiators. I see little hope for the future until this elephant is recognised.

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  2. In 2012 it was East Coast and New York. Now, 3y later, it's the old York accross the ditch.

    Unprecedented flooding in Britain

    A very remarkable is the current outcome of the review of the country's flood defences by UK env agency:

    Apart from conventional flood defences, Mr Rooke also anticipated the government could help people "move electrics up the wall" so homes and businesses could recover faster from floods.

    Hmmm, that's the last ditch attempt, short of abandoning hte town. I haven't seen any gov anouncing a measure like that yet, which essentially means all other measures have failed.

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  3. Since I cannot/do not comment on Facebook: we may need 500,000 km2 for Solar PV. The sahara has 9,400,000 km2 ( ) . No problem there.

    However: do we have the minerals to do so? What are the ecological consequences of that? More generally: interesting article (in German) regarding this: Prof. Hans-Peter Dürr said, we might need to stabilize energy use at 8TW for entropy reasons, the limit being determined through exceeding the natural biodiversity loss rate.


    Translation (by me):

    The Ziegler eco number (translated citation from a book of Ziegler):

    "In a study by Wolfram Ziegler in which the antropogene loss of biological species is valued as an important indicator for technical civilisation over burdening of natural systems, the interesting claim was made that the antropogene and in last recourse thermal average energy flow per time and surface can effectively be used to measure ecological burden. For central Europe he deduces a maximum limit burden of ± 20 kW/km2 or 0,16 ± 0,02 W/m2.

    It is interesting to compare this limit burden with the average solar surface radiation in Germany of 116 W/m2. The burden limit is 0,1%.

    More telling however seems a comparison with the (previously) estimated average of solar induced biomass of 0,65 W/m2 (which amounts to 0,5 % of the solar surface radiation). This means, that the maximum ecoloogical burden of commercial energy use is 20% of the sun induced biomass. For the globe, an overall burden limit through antropogene technically provided energy of 8 TW can be extrapolated"

    From: Hans Peter Dürr 1993, Zukunft, Page 161

    (My own comment from a german post, translated):

    In his article “The 1,5kW society” (“Die 1,5 kW-Gesellschaft”) Prof. Dürr puts in relation the above Ziegler eco number of 20% “admissible" (solar) energy resp. 8 TW with the (former) 5,5 billion world population: sustainability would thus be achieved with the living standard of an average swiss citizen as of 1969. Today, we are already 7 billion people and many do not live like swiss citizens in the 50s or 60s ..

    Prof. Dürrs “The 1,5kW society” (german)

    Original german text:

    Die Zieglersche Ökozahl:

    "Wolfram Ziegler hat in einer Studie, in welcher der anthropogene Ausfall biologischer Arten als wichtiger Hinweis für die technisch-zivilisatorische Überbelastung der natürlichen Systeme gewertet wird, die interessante These vertreten, daß der anthropogene und letztlich thermische durchschnittliche Energiefluß pro Zeit- und Flächeneinheit effektiv als Kausal- und Kenngröße für die Umweltbelastung geeignet sei. Für Mitteleuropa kommt er hierbei auf eine maximale Grenzbelastung von 160 ± 20 kW/km2 oder 0,16 ± 0,02 W/m2.

    Es ist interessant, diese ermittelte Grenzbelastung mit der in Deutschland im Mittel am Boden einfallenden Sonnenstrahlung von 116 W/m2 zu vergleichen. Die Grenzbelastung liegt hierzu bei etwa einem Promille.

    Aufschlußreicher erscheint vielleicht ein Vergleich mit dem früher abgeschätzten Mittelwert für die sonnen-induzierte Biomasse von etwa 0,65 W/m2 (also etwa 0,5 % im Vergleich zur am Boden ankommenden Sonnenstrahlung). Dies bedeutet, dass der ökologisch maximal verträgliche kommerzielle Energieumsatz bei etwa einem Fünftel der im Mittel durch Sonnenenergie gebildeten Biomasse liegt. Für den Globus ließe sich daraus eine Grenzbelastung durch anthropogene, technisch aufbereitete Energieumsätze in Höhe von insgesamt 8 TW extrapolieren.
    aus: Hans Peter Dürr 1993 Zukunft S. 161"

    In seinem Artikel "Die 1,5 kW-Gesellschaft" setzt Prof. Dürr obige zieglersche 20% "zulässige" (Sonnen-) Energie bzw. 8 TW bei (damals) 5,5 Mrd Weltbevölkerung in Relation zu damaligen Konsumzahlen: nachhaltig wäre demnach der Lebensstandard eines Schweizers im Jahre 1969. Heute sind wir schon 7 Milliarden Menschen und viele leben längst nicht mehr wie die Schweizer in den 50ern und 60ern ...

    Prof. Dürrs "Die 1,5kW Gesellschaft"


    Off topic: I just donated (twice the amount of last year). You folks deliver an incredible source on climate change and I at least want to help cover costs of the site. I recently took a german online course on climate science to evaluate links and material and of course there were deniers. What would I have done without this site? I painfully remember the days before I came to know it. Deep bowing and a happy new year!

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