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2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #30

Posted on 29 July 2023 by John Hartz

A chronological listing of news and opinion articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, July 23, 2023 thru Sat, Jully 29, 2023.

Story of the Week

‘Era of global boiling has arrived,’ says UN chief as July set to be hottest month on record 

Head of World Meteorological Organization also warns ‘climate action is not a luxury but a must’ as temperatures soar


Source: WMO Press Release, July 2023 is set to be the hottest month on record, July 27, 2023

The era of global warming has ended and “the era of global boiling has arrived”, the UN secretary general, António Guterres, has said after scientists confirmed July was on track to be the world’s hottest month on record.

“Climate change is here. It is terrifying. And it is just the beginning,” Guterres said. “It is still possible to limit global temperature rise to 1.5C [above pre-industrial levels], and avoid the very worst of climate change. But only with dramatic, immediate climate action.”

Guterres’s comments came after scientists confirmed on Thursday that the past three weeks have been the hottest since records began and July is on track to be the hottest month ever recorded.

Global temperatures this month have shattered records, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the EU’s Copernicus Earth observation programme, stoked by the burning of fossil fuels and spurring violent weather.

The steady rise in global average temperatures, driven by pollution that traps sunlight and acts like a greenhouse around the Earth, has made weather extremes worse.

“Humanity is in the hot seat,” Guterres told a press conference on Thursday. “For vast parts of North America, Asia, Africa and Europe, it is a cruel summer. For the entire planet, it is a disaster. And for scientists, it is unequivocal – humans are to blame. 

“All this is entirely consistent with predictions and repeated warnings. The only surprise is the speed of the change. Climate change is here, it is terrifying, and it is just the beginning. The era of global warming has ended; the era of global boiling has arrived.”

Guterres urged politicians to take swift action. “The air is unbreathable, the heat is unbearable, and the level of fossil fuel profits and climate inaction is unacceptable. Leaders must lead. No more hesitancy, no more excuses, no more waiting for others to move first. There is simply no more time for that.

Click here to access the entire article as originally posted on The Guardian website.

‘Era of global boiling has arrived,’ says UN chief as July set to be hottest month on record by Ajit Niranjan, Climate Science, The Guardian, July 27, 2023 

Articles posted on Facebook

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Monday, July 24, 2023

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Friday July 28, 2023

Saturday July 29, 2023

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Comments 1 to 10:

  1. This article from The Guardian (US edition) describes how solar and wind have supplied Texas power to keep the Air Conditioning on this summer during record demand.  (It is a month old).  There have been a lot of outages at fossil plants but the large amounts of solar that were installed in the last two years are keeping the lights on.  Wind has provided power in the evenings and at night. 

    Prices have stayed down, in contrast to the past two or three years when electricity and gas prices rose to extraordinary highs due to shortages from fossil plants failing during the heat.  It points out that fossil fuel backers do not count all the times that fossil plants fail in challenging weather conditions and claim "always on".  The Texas legislature has proposed new rules favoring fossil plants over renewable energy.

    They point out that it is easier to get permits for a renewable plant since renewables do not use significant water and produce no air pollution.  They are rapidly building more solar plants and are starting battery storage to replace peaker plants.

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  2. Here is a current article from CNN about wind and solar propping up theTexas grid during the current record heat wave.  The old fossil grid wuld have failed again without renewable energy.

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  3. Michael Sweet:

    Alas, the reality of renewable energy's performance in Texas is not acknowledged by the far right state elected officials who are beholding to the fossil fuel industry. The following article is illustrative:

    Gov. Greg Abbott vows to exclude renewable energy from any revived economic incentive program by Patrick Svitek, The Texas Tribune, Mar 1, 2023 

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  4. Always a good idea to cross check the story line against the raw source data so that you arent fooled by an activists story line. The raw real time source data from the Energy information administration paints a much more complete picture. See the attached link. One hand, wind and solar contributed considerable electric production to the ercot grid. On the other hand there were two periods starting July 1 lasting approximately 64 hours and a second period starting July 22 lasting approximately 64 hours in which electric production from wind was less than 20% of normal and less than 5% for several hours. These two periods were not confined to ERCOT , but were across nearly the entire north american continent. The MISO grid lost more than 80% electric generation for 9 day period.

    It was during those two periods where the grid was at the highest risk of failure and in which the fossil fuel plants prevented the collapse of the grid. Always best to cross check against actual real time source data.


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  5. Below is an except of the statement in the CNN article linked to by michael sweet.  

    "And as the state struggled through an early heatwave in June, non-fossil fuel power including renewables and nuclear made up 55% of total generation on June 28 and 29 and close to 50% of the power needed during the evening peak, according to statistics from the federal Energy Information Administration."


    I Went to the EIA electric generation by source, dialed into the ERCOT grid and compared the actual data against the claimed data in the article ( basic due diligence).  At best , Wind solar and Nuclear only got to 45% of total  electric generation  and they article included Nuclear which is generally not considered a renewable.  


    As I have previously stated multiple times, cross check the claims against the actual source data to prevent being fooled. 

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  6. David-acct:

    Can you provide a link to where you say you found data that contradicts the CNN article?  A claim without a link is not worth much.  I note that even if renewables provided "only " 45% of total electricity that renewable energy was what kept the lights on in Texas the last two months. 

    SInce renewables have only been the cheapest electricity for about 5 years I would say they are doing great!!

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  7. I looked at your EIA link (sorry I missed it before).  I could not figure out how to get data for ERCOT from it.  I noticed that the lowest times for wind were allways durig the day when the production of solar was high.  At night demand is much lower.  WIth more wind and solar buildout that should continue to be benificial.  

    Hydro can be used to generate power at times when wind and solar are low.  In the cases you mention, hydro could probably cover most or all of the shortages at night.  Since they are also installing battery storage in ERCOT, as well as a lot more solar, they should be covered.

    Scientists who study power systems have all come to the conclusion that renewable energy will be able to handle all power all the time with higher reliability than current fossil systems.  You are simply making up your own claims without any analysis to support your incorrect conclusions.  I have already provided you links to support this claim but you apparently have not read them.

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  8. Regarding the ERCOT grid controversy being discussed. I had a look at the EIA page with the interractive graph. I plugged in the Texas ERCOT grid for 28 June - 29 June 2023. (you do this under the select balancing authority / region and then the date selection panel). I discovered you can then hover the arrow over the point on the  graph you want and the data appears.

    The best case for renewables plus nuclear power was on 28 June (although both days were very similar). I got the following numbers: wind + solar + nuclear 35,562 mwhr and for Gas + coal 43,472 mwhr. This is 44.304 % for wind + solar+ nuclear (using an online percentage calculator that would only let me enter simple numbers 35 and 43 but this is useful enough) so this does seem to roughly confirm David Accts result.

    However I'm wary of such things. Im just reading things off a web page. Im not an electrical engineer, and its not clear how the people in the article arrived at their numbers. Although all the raw data seems to be on the EIA page there is the perrenial problem of potentially comparing apples and oranges.

    And 44.304% is still a very credible result. And obviously it should be noted that wind and solar are still only a smaller component of the grid relative to fossil fuels.

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  9. Michael - Nigrelj partially answered your question on how to drill into the EIA data

    using the link - right side column "chart options"

    Chose frequency - daily or hourly

    Date range type - choose custom

    Number of days - less than 30 days will provide the hourly - longer than 30 will only display daily

    Select balancing authority - click on any grid - ERCOT/ MISO / PJM / SWPP or any other grid.

    Hope that helps you learning how to navigate the real time source data.

    A baseball player can look at the box score printed in the sports section of the newspaper (on line these days)  and tell you what happened every inning. Same thing with the EIA electric generation by source report. Once you learn how to read the source data, you will have a greatly improved grasp of what is actually happening, and far less easily fooled by the activists representations. Hope that helps.

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    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Inflammatory snipped.  Do better.

  10. Nigelj - 44.304% number was the same as yours (though I was rounding ) ..

    Thats what I like about cross checking the data in a dispassionate manner against actual source data so the I can honestly evaluate the factual evidence without being swayed by activists talking points.  


    for example Michael makes mention of Hydro  to cover the shortages, though there is no Hydro in the ercot grid, nor is the geography  or water storage needs compatable with utilizing hydro.  

    Michael also makes mention of the battery storage such as being used in the De Cordova plant near grandbury with 260mw battery storage,  though that battery storage is only good for 1 hour at full usage.  The 260mw is comparable to the plant hourly capacity, so it the plant shuts down, the backup power is only good for 1 hour ( longer if shut down occurs in non peak season)  The backup power is used to reduce the  peaking power requirement , thus is nearly fully discharged daily during the summer.  


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