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  1. One Planet Only Forever at 11:36 AM on 9 August 2020
    2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #32

    nigelj,

    Pope Francis may not be a scientist, but he is a Jesuit which means he is open minded about correcting beliefs based on evidence that justifies correction of established beliefs. In that way he is like a scientist, but is constrained by popular opinion among his flock.

  2. 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #32

    "The encyclical was seen in some camps as an attack on capitalism, and it made some Catholic Republican leaders squirm, like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who in 2015 observed that the pope "is not a scientist."

    The pope is not a scientist. Yes Mr Bush, we know that. The Pope is not claiming to be a scientist. He is not making up his own science. He is not twisting or interpreting the science. Hes quoting the majority view in the scientific community. Plenty of consensus studies show what the vast majority of scientists think documented here.

  3. michael sweet at 20:32 PM on 8 August 2020
    Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    Preston Urka:

    Your posts are too long to reply to all the misleading errors and half truths.  I will reply to the biggest ones.

    This Al Jazeera article gives some background on the Barakah plant.  It appears a lot of people are not happy with how the plant has been built.

    Eclectic above was concerned about terrorists.  The Barakah plants are built without the "Generation III Defence-In-Depth reinforcements to the containment building to shield against a radiological release resulting from a missile or fighter jet attack." They also do not have a "core catcher" to contain a meltdown as occured at Fukushima.  It would be illegal to build these plants in the USA or EU.

    Why leave out crritical safety features?  To save money.   

    In addition part of the reason they are 3 years behind schedule is that hundreds of counterfeit control valves and other components were installed.  Apparently the Korean suppliers routinely fake certifications.  All four of the containment buildings have suffered severe cracking.  Perhaps the people who approved the lack of protection from terrorists think the repairs are good enough.  Who would want  to live near them?

    On the issue of timeliness, these plants were supposed to connect to the grid in 2017.  Being only 3 years late on a 5 year build (assuming they connect to the grid before 2021) is fast for nuclear.

    The budget for the plants is secret so it is difficult to determine the true cost.

    As far as the pudding argument, these plants were ordered in 2009 when nuclear was cheaper than solar, as long as you do not install a core catcher.  Since then 

    "Between 2009 and 2019, utility-scale average solar photovoltaic costs fell 89 percent and wind fell 43 percent, while nuclear jumped 26 percent, according to an analysis by the financial advisory and asset manager Lazard"

    KEPCO, the contractor building the plant has exactly zero (0) orders for additional plants.  Looks like no-one enjoys pudding with fake valves.

    Meanwhile the UAE is installing larger and larger amounts of solar. 

    I will not reply to your calculations except to note that you count only the build time for nuclear while counting the planning, biddiing and build times for solar.  They initially installed small solar systems as pilot plants.  Currently they are installing larger and larger solar units.  No additional nuclear is planned.

    Large installations like nuclear and coal power plants require at least 10-15 years to plan and build.  Renewable energy has only been the cheapest option for about 5 years.  Power plants planned more than 5 years ago are still being completed.  Completing a unit planned 11 years ago does not mean they are competitive now.  Coal and nculear builds world wide are being cancelled because now renewable is cheapest. 

    Suggesting  a plant announced in 2009 answers the pudding argument shows how  barren the nuclear argument is.

  4. Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    Preston, thank you for that information.  (btw, I myself was not so much concerned about "proliferation" per se, but rather the underlying vulnerabilities.)

    Love your quote : "a problem that can be solved with money is not a problem".  Petrodollars or no petrodollars.  And in my mind's eye, I can see the response by every economist ever born ~ the living ones are frothing at the mouth, and the dead ones are spinning in their graves.  Cruel of you, Preston.    ;-)

  5. Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    There was a post a while back that solar on residential rooftops and use of useless deserts for solar PV was great. Here is a note from use of residential rooftops in useless deserts!

    Basically, they moved the panels off the rooftops to the ground as it is easier to clean them.

    This is what I find hard dealing with super-pro-wind-and-solar people; you guys don't really think about the practicalities. I am pro wind and solar, but I am not such a starry-eyed optimist that I refuse to see the real issues involved in adopting them. In contrast, the only real issue with nuclear is the high capital costs of construction. However, a problem that can be solved with money is not a problem, imho.

  6. Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    Proliferation Progress (for Eclectic's concerns) via Barakah
    Although the UAE had ratified the NPT in 1995, it strengthened the world's non-proliferation efforts when adopting civilian nuclear power by:

    • Ratified a safeguards agreement with the IAEA in 2003
    • Joined the IAEA Convention on Nuclear Safety in 2009
    • Joined the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management in 2009
  7. Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    Been quite busy lately, but I ran across a note on the Barakah plant which lead me to a fantastic comparison of nuclear build vs. wind/solar build, with shades of the Pudding Argument.

    The UAE is transitioning from an electricity generation system nearly 100% powered by gas power plants (2010) to 100% powered by low-carbon resources (2050). This background is what makes this nuclear vs. wind/solar perfect - there is no installed base on either side.

    Some might argue that the UAE's plan is flawed, but I give deference to the politicians and bureaucrats who are taking care of their country. We should assume they have good intentions for their country and have embarked on a proper plan to do so.

    In comparison, I find it hard to say the same of Germany - the Germans have clearly made progress towards their goal of high penetration of wind and solar. However, the German goal has historically not been a goal of reducing GHG emissions and it is clear the Germans are not making much progress in reductions. The Germans have knowingly built more coal plants and knowingly plan to continue to run them until at least 2038, despite the known deaths and disease coal causes, in addition to GHG emissions.

    Somewhat damaging to the Pudding Argument is the UAE decision to go ahead with nuclear - remember this is the site of the .03USD/kWh solar PV bid in 2016 - my conclusion is the nuclear pudding is fairly tasty!

    With that context, back to Barakah:
    Barakah 1 start: 2012 online: 2020 8y
    Barakah 2 start: 2013 online: ~2021
    Barakah 3 start: 2014 online: ~2022
    Barakah 4 start: 2015 online: ~2023
    nameplate capacity: 5380 MW (1345 MW each) over 11y
    75% capacity factor (using APR-1400 c.f. from Shin Kori)
    25% of United Arab Emirates electricity (from 2023 onward)

    • Barakah NPP
    • Build Time 11 y
    • individually 1,105 GWh/y
    • collectively 3,215 GWh/y
    • percentage-wise 2.27 %/y

    UAE's Wind/Solar progress
    Dubai Clean Energy Strategy has to goal (from start of 2013? or 2015? year is unclear, but we will use 2015 as is more favorable to Wind/Solar):

    • 7% from 2015 to 2020: 1.40 %/y
    • 25% from 2015 to 2030: 1.67 %/y
      • 7 years slower than same generation as from nuclear
    • 75% from 2015 to 2050: 2.14 %/y

    Note the solar/wind rates are all slower. GWh/y is harder to calculate as I don't have a list of the proposed solar/wind projects over the next 35 years. Nor do I have a good list of the existing plants, but presumably 7% is reliable, so you can back it out.

  8. We've been having the wrong debate about nuclear energy

    Suggested supplemental reading:

    How to drive fossil fuels out of the US economy, quickly by David Roberts, Energy & Environment, Vox, Aug 6, 2020

  9. We've been having the wrong debate about nuclear energy

    Michael, Nigel.

    Both of you have a respected background of commenting here, and you're now both pleading to moderators. I am not a moderator, but perhaps you should both take a cool-down period and remember that you are not in a discussion with Preston Urka any more.

    I'd hate to see either of you disappear from this forum, either from moderator action or your own volition. Put the buns down.

  10. prove we are smart at 21:11 PM on 7 August 2020
    Skeptical Science New Research for Week #31, 2020

    Great, thanks for link-I'd forgotten how short lived water vapour is in our atmosphere. Sceptical Science has been so helpful for explaining to me the very basics to a more intimate understanding of AGW. A clued up moderator keeps everyone honest-good news with your new partners..

  11. Why we don't act: Climate Change Psychology

    More related to this theme which shows what a challenge we face.

    www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5530483

    "Harvard psychology professor Daniel Gilbert argues that humans are exquisitely adapted to respond to immediate problems, such as terrorism, but not so good at more probable, but distant dangers, like global warming. He talks about his op-ed piece which appeared in Sunday's Los Angeles Times......"

    One disagreement with the video. Its wrong to say the world has not responded strongly to covid 19. Plenty of countries have responded robustly and at least moderately quickly particularly Europe and Australasia, and have supressed the curve for months now. This is exactly what professor Gilbert would expect. This has not been quite the case in the USA which appears to this outsider to have a disjointed approach to the problem related to the leadership. If you can call it leadership (sarc).

  12. We've been having the wrong debate about nuclear energy

    Michael sweet @14

    "You are not familiar with scientific discussion. In a scientific discussion I say "this paper supports my position". Then you say "this paper supports my position".

    Please don't be ridiculous. Yes its good to quote papers  when appropriate, but  It's possible to have a scientific discussion without having to mention papers. It happens all the time all over the place and by highly qualified people. Realclimate.org a highly reputable leading edge climate website and they dont demand that people posting comments have to quote scientific papers. It would just shut down discussion. People dont always have the time and relevant papers might not exist.

    That said, I post references to peer reviewed papers quite often, with respect to this websites rules, and because it is good to back up claims with a source, but its absurd to have to constantly quote scientific papers all the time. I notice you never demand it when people make claims about the benefits of renewables or expound on the dangers of climate change. You appear to apply double standards.

    You have also utterly ignored what I said. Sometimes there are valid criticisms of a scientific issue and no relevant published research to quote in support.

    "In this discussion I have provided a paper that supports my position, Abbott 2012. You say you do not like that paper and we should all agree with you. You have provided no reason why we should all agree with you."

    I did not say that.

    "You must support your claims with at least white papers from industry. "

    I provided a white paper above at comment 12 being a lengthy criticism of Jacobsons work. I provided a published study on renewable energy. I provided entirely credible material on why nuclear projects are being built. So why do you go on misrepresenting me?

    Regarding Abbot, there is no need to provide studies on the known scale of earths mineral resources, this is common knowledge easily googled. Do I need to provide studies that the moon goes around the earth?

    "Your unsupported opinion as a person who claims no training or professional experience in the field"

    Where do you get that from? I have never claimed that. I have said several times on this website I did physical geography at university, which covers the introductory basics of weather and climate. I also have a design degree in architecture and I may have mentioned that here, cant remember. I also did psychology and some basic maths and chemistry at university. Not that any of this makes me right or wrong about anything, but since you raised the issue I have to correct your error.

    "Bringing in information that you pick up in unmoderated forums on the web also does not advance the discussion."

    This is not a valid argument. Its illogical, and pretty much an ad hominem. Whether a forum is moderated or not clearly does not make information either right or wrong.

    And you are wrong to claim Realclimate.org is not a moderated forum. It has a moderation policy, and comments get deleted, or sometimes thrown into the junk file.

    "Clack 2016 does not rebut Jacobson 2018."

    Whatever. Who cares. Maybe its because hes tired of arguing with Jacobson. Maybe he's got better things to do. 

    "If you cannot find published critism of someones work then you must look harder for support for your wild claims. "

    Ridiculous statement.

    "Since you have no training or experience in any power systems, and you refuse to read the published literature on the topic, why should I care what you think?"

    I have read some of this material. I have told you that already. I'm trying to find the time to read more.

    "If you want to speculate on these topics many non-scientific boards, like the unmoderated thread at RealClimate, exist."

    All threads at RC are moderated as per previous comments. More lightly than here but they are still moderated.

    "The moderators want to encourage discussion of nuclear power so they have allowed nuclear proponents to make many wild, unsupported claims. I respond to these claims. Since you make many unsupported, uninformed claims I respond so that casual readers do not think that your arguments have merit."

    People make wild unsupported claims about renewables and other matters on this website. I never here you complain about that. You apply double standards.

    "I linked the incorrect Jacobson paper on materials for renewable energy. It is actually Jacobson 2011. He shows that all materials for a renewable energy system exist. Please provide data to support your deliberately false claim that not enough materials exist for a renewable system."

    I have never disputed this so why do you keep implying otherwise.? My point was whether they would last for a thousand years. As far as I can recall Jacobson never considered this. Its a discussion we should be having.

    "Your point that renewable energy projects use more tons of concrete and steel than nuclear power plants was popular with nuclear supporters in 2005 (I remember when they first used this argument). Since Jacobson 2011 was published, all informed people know that it is a false argument. You show your lack of preparation when you cite an argument that is 10 years out of date."

    I never said that. I said renewables look like they use a larger volume of all materials in total, so concrete, steel, copper, fibreglass etcetera combined.

    "By contrast, Abbott 2012 described the lack of rare materials used in the constructions of nuclear plants (especially uranium and "unobtainium"). ..... All known uranium reserves will only produce 5 years of power for the world. "

    I assume you mean land based reserves. Uranium is abundant in sea water, with billions of tons enough to power the world for many centuries assuming we can extract it. Table of quantities here. Uranium has been experimentally extracted from sea water here. Even if the costs are high they would inherently form a very small proportion of the costs of running a nuclear power plant. Abbot looks like it might be out of date in respect of this. 

    "Renewable systems use little of the rare elements,"

    That is just a huge understatement, and ignores other materials in relatively limited supply like copper and aluminium ( bauxite reserves could all be gone in a century or two) required for generators and a vast network of new trasmission lines to enable power to be shared regionally.

    I was not going to respond to you, but I dont like it when people missrepresent my position hence the response.

    Moderator. I have a history here  of quoting studies, more so than other people. Indisputably so.  I will make the effort to quote more papers bearing in mind there are only so many hours in the day.

    However I'm getting really tired of the way M Sweet repeatedly and blatantly 1) puts words in my mouth (hes done it to others as well) and 2) missrepresents my position and 3) misrepresents by background and 4) intellectually bullies people he doesnt agree with, and 5)falsely accuses me of making things up. And the way you let him get away with it.

  13. michael sweet at 05:37 AM on 7 August 2020
    We've been having the wrong debate about nuclear energy

    Nigelj,

    Skeptical Science is a scientific site.  Apparently you do not understand the method of scientific discussion.  This is common with nuclear supporters.  On the other nuclear thread at post 14 I described the scientific method of discussion to Barry:

    "You are not familiar with scientific discussion. In a scientific discussion I say "this paper supports my position". Then you say "this paper supports my position". Then I provide more papers to support my position and show why it is more accurate. You provide papers to support your position. Others read the papers and decide who they think has the best argument.

    "In this discussion I have provided a paper that supports my position, Abbott 2012. You say you do not like that paper and we should all agree with you. You have provided no reason why we should all agree with you."

    You should read the entire post linked above.

    You must support your claims with at least white papers from industry.  Your unsupported opinion as a person who claims no training or professional experience in the field does not contribute much to the discussion.  Bringing in information that you pick up in unmoderated forums on the web also does not advance the discussion.

    You linked the Clack et al paper which actually is a peer reviewed criticism of Jacobson 2015.  It is common in science for papers to be rebutted in this way.  Clack disagreed with Jacobson on the use of hydro power, the most flexible renewable power.  Jacobson responded with his 2018 paper (linked above) and answered all the questions that Clack raised.  I have not seen any references to any criticism of Jacobson 2018 so I conclude that Clack felt that Jacobson et al 2018 answered his questions.  Clack 2016 does not rebut Jacobson 2018.

    If you cannot find published critism of someones work then you must look harder for support for your wild claims.  Since you have no training or experience in any power systems, and you refuse to read the published literature on the topic, why should I care what you think?  If you want to speculate on these topics many non-scientific boards, like the unmoderated thread at RealClimate, exist.

    The moderators want to encourage discussion of nuclear power so they have allowed nuclear proponents to make many wild, unsupported claims.  I respond to these claims.  Since you make many unsupported, uninformed claims I respond so that casual readers do not think that your arguments have merit.

    I linked the incorrect Jacobson paper on materials for renewable energy.  It is actually Jacobson 2011.  He shows that all materials for a renewable energy system exist.  I believe this paper has never been challenged. Please provide data to support your deliberately false claim that not enough materials exist for a renewable system.  If you cannot find data to support your wild claims stop posting here.

    Your point that renewable energy projects use more tons of concrete and steel than nuclear power plants was popular with nuclear supporters in 2005 (I remember when they first used this argument).  Since Jacobson 2011 was published, all informed people know that it is a false argument.  You show your lack of preparation when you cite an argument that is 10 years out of date.

    By contrast, Abbott 2012 described the lack of rare materials used in the constructions of nuclear plants (especially uranium and "unobtainium").  Renewable systems use little of the rare elements, unlike nuclear plants which depend on these rare materials.  100 million tons of concrete is a small amount compared to world production of 10 billion tons.  All known uranium reserves will only produce 5 years of power for the world.

  14. Skeptical Science New Research for Week #31, 2020

    prove we are smart @1,

    Congratulations.

    You have spotted a soil scientist who is in denial with regard to the causes of AGW. I suppose soil scientists are not a million miles from geologists who often are found on record misrepresenting AGW. At 1:11:20 in the video you link-to we hear:-

    "0.04% of the atmosphere is carbon dioxide. Do you really think that's changing global climate? [Murmurs heard from the audience including 'yes'] Really? There is absolutely no science behind that at all to show. Yes, it [CO2] is a GHG and so is N2O and so is CH4 and so is water vapour. Those molecues all have the potential for what we call radiative forcing. But when it's 0.04% of the atmosphere it contributes very very little to global climate."

    The slides had previously shown this slide:-

    Fred Singer - CO2 is a trace gas

    This graphic is the work of Fred Singer, a well-known aged denialist who died earlier this year. It originates from this denialist webpage and is saying that the human impact on the GH-effect is no more than 0.28% but gives zero references to support such a crazy assertion.

    The webpage tries to make the case for CO2 having increased from 288ppm pre-industrial to 368ppm (which dates the webpage to perhaps 20 years ago as today CO2 is at 410ppm) , an increase of (364-288=) 80ppm but with the bold assertion that only 12ppm of this increase is due to mankind. So from all this we should not be surprised by any denialist outrage.

    The pre-industrial GH-effect boosts average global temperature by something like 33ºC. About three-quarters of this is due to water vapour and clouds and 20% due to CO2. But without the CO2 and other long-lived GHGs, the levels of water in the atmosphere would soon crash (it would take a couple of decades) leaving a snowball (or more accurately 'iceball' earth.

    The speaker in the video does make a stab at a man-made cause of AGW. A graphic @1:11:20 in the video shows two paths to 'temperature warming' - CO2 emissions from soil degradation and H2O emissions from warmer soils. But the speaker insists it is the H2O that is the dominant warming agent:-

    1:03:13
    "And when we lose carbon, we lose moisture because that's what gives us our moisture holding capacity. All this moisture, extra moisture, is evaporating and going up into the atmosphere. And it's increasing the temperature, hugely.
    "This is, to my mind anyway, the chief cause of the climate instability that we have at the moment. Because what happens is if you heat something it evaporates, like you put a saucepan of water on the stove and heat it up, it evaporates.
    "So these soils get a lot hotter than these covered soils and we now have huge amounts of water vapour up in the atmosphere that weren't there a couple of hundred years ago. We have to look at the whole system..."

    It would be good if the "whole system" were considered as we would be saved having to listen to the likes of the dysfunctonal account of AGW in this video.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Fixed image display issues.  The Geocraft pages are not secure.

  15. Nature’s Dangerous Decline ‘Unprecedented’; Species Extinction Rates ‘Accelerating’

    Earliest for this quote so far is 2004.
    Does anyone know of a scientific paper this might be from?

    "It is estimated that between 150 and 200 species become extinct every day."

    LINK

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Link breaking page formatting shortened and hyperlinked.

  16. prove we are smart at 17:26 PM on 6 August 2020
    Skeptical Science New Research for Week #31, 2020

    I hope this is the correct area to ask this, but I was reading this 2020 soil health conference and very informative about soil microbes etc. However when giving the closing 15mins, Dr Christine Jones explaines the major driver of climate change is the increase of water vapour from evaporation from depleted and cleared soils/land, moreso than our increasing co2. I always thought it was mainly the ppm of co2 causing gw? Is the Dr right in blaming our land use which is increasing the amount of water vapour and is then the primary ghg? Can someone review the last 15mins and advise, thanks..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4uVKIGBk2s

  17. We've been having the wrong debate about nuclear energy

    Addendum. "Renewables like solar panels and wind farms use a much larger volume of materials in total than nuclear power plants.

  18. We've been having the wrong debate about nuclear energy

    michael sweet @11

    "I note that you have provided no references, even to industry propaganda, to support your wild claims. "

    There is detailed criticism of Jacobsons work easily googled. I didnt think I needed to quote that which is easly googled, but here is some material. I do not accept all the criticisms, but some look credible.

    I do not know of an actual peer reviewed published study attempting to refute Jacobsons or Abbots work. My undertanding is that most published studies including ones that turn out to be wrong, are not specifically refuted by other published studies. That doesn't make the original published study correct as M Sweet seems to believe.

    If I'm not allowed to criticise someones work, or at least express doubts, because there is no relevant published study I can quote that is refuting the work, then that is clearly and indisputably absurd nonsense, and it is scientific censorship. If people cant express opinions or thoughts without a bibliography of references, that is also quite absurd. 

    "You have just made up your 20% claim. "

    Apologies. That was a typo. I confused  the 5% with a 20% number you quoted.

    "It is possible that in 5,000 years steel will run out and we will have to all go back to using stone. I doubt it. You are simply speculating without any support. "

    Where did I quote just steel? You are putting words in my mouth again. Renewables use copper, aluminium, and dozens of other relatively scare materials. Its well known that some of these materials are scarce. There is no need to provide references for common knowledge.

    Renewables like solar panels use many more materials than nuclear power plants. This is kinda obvious when you look at the size of solar and wind farms, but I have a reference here to satisfy the nit pickers. I'm just suggesting this is something that needs consideration in a world where we are using resources very fast. It doesnt make renewables a bad thing, but it does suggest we combine a wide range of options.

    "Nuclear plants are being shut down worldwide because nuclear is not economic."

    Unsupported assertion made with no references. Talk about hypocrisy. And more importantly its an unbalanced comment. At least some nuclear plants are shut down due to panic about safety, eg in Germany and plenty of nuclear plants are also being built here.

    "Nuclear proponents have been saying that in 10 years they will have solved all nuclear's problems ever since I was born and I am an old man now. "

    I agree and Im older now and I've certainly observed this. However not all the renewables problems have been solved either, and most of the plans that they can be solved are speculative or have not been scaled up,  just like the nuclear industries speculation and promises and experimental plant.

    All I'm saying is I think theres room for many clean zero carbon energy sources. Some countries could elect to use renewables and clearly are doing this. Others might use nuclear power. Countries could mix both perhaps in different parts of the country. Countries already mix various energy sources like geothermal and hydro. Its not clear to me why everyone would have to just use solar and wind and why nuclear must be excluded. Purists and dogmatic people get on my nerves.

    I will not be commenting futher on all this.

  19. michael sweet at 03:24 AM on 6 August 2020
    We've been having the wrong debate about nuclear energy

    Nigelj:

    I note that you have provided no references, even to industry propaganda, to support your wild claims.  I have directly cited at least 3 peer reviewed papers in this thread and in the past I have given you many more peer reviewed papers to read.   I recognize that you claim you do not have enough time to read peer reviewed papers and prefer to read the unmoderated forum at RealClimate to get information.

    Your claim that nuclear power will be comparable in price to renewables plus storage is completely false.  You rely on unsupported industry propaganda for your nuclear estimates.  Connelly et al and Jacobson et al 2018 show that renewables are at least a factor of three cheaper than nuclear power.  I note the largest pumped hydro storage plants in the USA were all built to store excess nuclear power.  You have not added in the necessity of storage for nuclear power in your wild claims.

    Abbott showed that no more than 5% of All Power can be generated by nuclear.  You have just made up your 20% claim.  Abbott showed that a 100% nuclear system would use up all known uranium reserves in 5 years.  That means for a 20% system the uranium would run out in 25 years, way before fossil fuels.  

    It is possible that in 5,000 years steel will run out and we will have to all go back to using stone.  I doubt it.  You are simply speculating without any support.  Jacobson 2009 showed all materials exist for a renewable system.  Since then renewable systems are built with less materials so even less materials would be used.

    Moderators: it is very tiresonme to have to respond to Nigelj's false posts every time nuclear is mentioned.  I understand that you want to promote a nuclear discussion but allowing repeated postings of completely unsupported falsehoods is sloganeering.  Nigelj should be required to support his claims like everyone else.

    Nuclear supporters commonly make the false claim that renewable energy cannot generate enough energy (or is too expensive, etc) and then claim that we have to use nuclear instead.  This is a false argument.  Even if renewables could not supply enough future energy that does not mean that nuclear would work. 

    Nuclear plants are being shut down worldwide because nuclear is not economic.  Nuclear proponents have been saying that in 10 years they will have solved all nuclear's problems ever since I was born and I am an old man now.  Jacobson 2009 shows that any money spent on nuclear increases carbon emissions since that means less money will be spent on cheaper wind and solar power that can be built much faster.

  20. Daniel Bailey at 02:54 AM on 6 August 2020
    Milankovitch Cycles

    Scientists have evaluated all natural forcings and factors capable of driving the Earth's climate to change using multiple lines of consilient and converging evidence, including the slow, long-term changes in the Earth’s movement around the Sun (Milankovitch cycles or orbital forcings), and it is only when the anthropogenic forcing is included that the observed and ongoing warming since 1750 can be explained.

    Natural vs Anthropogenic Climate Forcings, per the 4th US National Climate Assessment, Volume 2, in 2018 (orbital forcings shown in the top frame):

    Forcings

    https://nca2018.globalchange.gov/img/figure/figure2_1.png

  21. Milankovitch Cycles

    Approximate figures (as I recall) quoted are :-

    A gradual global temperature fall of 0.7 degreesC over the past 5,000 years, but a rapid rise of 1.2 degreesC over the past 150 years.

  22. michael sweet at 21:23 PM on 5 August 2020
    Milankovitch Cycles

    My understanding is that the current Milankovich forcing is to make the temperature go down.  So since temperatures are going up it cannot be due to Milankovich forcings.

  23. Milankovitch Cycles

    Hmm I think Hansen & Sato calculated this and reported in AR4. More like 4% for global solar change, 21% for albedo change and remainder from GHG (CO2 + CH4). However, locally (65N) the milankovich forcing is very high, enough to determine whether snow melts out in summer or not and so trigger the large scale albedo changes.

  24. We've been having the wrong debate about nuclear energy

    Michael Sweet @8, I never said in my post that storage for renewables would be expensive. I suggested its unlikely that there would ultimately be much difference between the costs of nuclear power generation and renewables generation. Renewables have to be able to deal with about two weeks of low wind and cloudy days and big diurnal and seasonal variations in demand, which means either a big overbuild, or masses of some form of storage or carbon capture .Yes it can be done eventually and economically with mass production, but I think you would have to be crazy to believe it will end up lower cost than nuclear power. The research paper you quoted saying "They show that a well designed All Power system might require zero storage" is little more than speculation based on various assumptions, the word 'might' gives it away.

    The nuclear power advocates dont all suggest the entire energy system of the world rely on just nuclear power. Many accept we need biofuels and pumped hydro and so on. So your comments are a bit of a strawman.

    Yes nuclear power faces big resource constraints with supplies of uranium, but that is not a compelling reason not to build any nuclear power at all. Even if Abbot is right and theres only enough uranium to power 20% of the world ( and this has been heavily contested) thats still 20%.

    And my point was that renewables also face resource constraints. I actually never said there were not enough resources to build renewables at scale, simply that this probaly wont "last forever". From my recollection, Jacobson only found that there are enough resorces to build the first generation or two of renewables at scale. We have to be able to keep this going for thousands of years, and even with recycling that will be challenging. Let me remind you the earths mineral resources are finite, and rich seams of even common minerals are actually quite rare. Therefore it might make sense to mix both renewables and nuclear power.

    Of course reserves of fossil fuels are even more limited, with credible estimates suggesting light crude oil has already peaked in terms of supply, and America may only have 50 years of economically recoverable coal left, and obviously oil and coal cannot be recycled. Once they are burned they are basically gone for good, so the use of fossil fuels is fast nearing the limits. At least the sun and wind are essentially unlimited and most metals can be recycled. All the more reason to adopt renewables, but maybe nuclear is ok as well.

    A few of us think more in terms of a combination of systems or a hybrid system,  while most people seem to take firm sides on the nuclear versus renewables thing, but to me this doesnt look terribly science based and more like its based on emotion and hype.

    You said "This article is just nuclear industry propaganda uncritically presented. " Yet the article fully ackowledged the considerable challenges facing the nuclear industry. I think the article bent over backwards to be accurate and balanced, and covered as much as it could within a one page format.

  25. We've been having the wrong debate about nuclear energy

    Recognizing that I am broadening the discussion beyond the narrow focus of the article. The issue is not whether renewable generation is better than nuclear, but remains whether nuclear should be considered to be part of the future energy mix. What is lacking in the article is a discussion of values.

    In one sense I agree with the title of the article: “We've been having the wrong debate about nuclear energy”, since the article overlooks the intergenerational responsibility and consequence of the use of nuclear power. This issue of kicking down the raod the responsibility for waste, proliferation, environmental damage, and threats of nuclear terrorism has plagued the nuclear power debate since the beginning of the nuclear age.

    For the moment, setting aside the obvious problems with the article that implicitly accepts that energy narcissism/inequality is acceptable, the promotion of technical fixes to first “Climate Change”, and now the “Climate Emergency” has always been self-serving for the nuclear power industry. This industry needs to be rescued from the failed experiment that it is.

    The Canadian nuclear industry, like the USA industry, has recently been pushing for small nuclear reactors … as well as newer large reactor designs, in an effort to retain some relevance … and especially to mask the legacy of the proliferation of the failed experiments of the old boiling water technology of the 1960s and 1970s designed reactors. …

    Nuclear Waste (low and high level), … The plans basically amount to requiring future generations to clean up the mess from our and previous generations that benefited from the energy, but refused to take responsibility for the long-term radioactive wastes … This legacy continues.

    Nuclear proliferation (extraction for bombs or creation of dirty bombs), … Curiously, perhaps this generation is just numb to the existential threats of nuclear weapons, and the potential for extraction of radioactive materials to produce weapons. Perhaps this generation has bought into the myths of limited nuclear war, and that they will be among the survivors. Perhaps there is a belief that there will be good procedures that will maintain control over the nuclear waste stream as reactors are deployed around the world … Perhaps the central White House figure should be a cautionary tale for those who believe that good leadership will always control the management of nuclear power, nuclear materials, and nuclear weapons.

    Nuclear environmental damage … Throughout the nuclear life-cycle, especially the fabrication processes, through the history of nuclear power … a great deal of radioactive material has been generated: from old dump sites (land and sea) to old reactors sites and components to accident sites. Given the storied history of misadventure and mismanagement, I would have thought that some humility with respect the pollution that has been generated would have been reflected in the article.

    Nuclear threats of nuclear terrorism … i.e., non-governmental actors as well as rouge governments. Given the decent in to autocratic malevolence that we are seeing throughout the world, it seems oddly irresponsible to promote a wider distribution of such lethal technologies at this time, and sadly ironic as we collectively try to fend off the environmental damage caused by the irresponsible use of fossil fuels. In many respects the irresponsible responses of governments to the Climate Emergency and pushing responsibility to future generations look similar to the issues of nuclear proliferation and terrorism …

    Yes, we will need technical fixes to the Climate Emergency that has been caused by fossil fuel use. However, these technical fixes must be combined with deep social changes that are more substantive than the suggested ‘politics’ in this article. This generation in its responses to irresponsible fossil use, should not be adding to the burden of future generations by promoting additional nuclear power use. If the nuclear power industry was to be responsible, I would expect that if would put all its resources into cleaning up the messes of the past and current of nuclear power use and developing responsible nuclear power policies …

    “But taking one step farther back, a few things are glaringly obvious: Smart planning, big investments, science-based strong leadership, and a motivated populace are precisely what’s needed. While we can argue about the details ad infinitum, perhaps we can also agree to stay focused on the end goal, dream big, and move forward boldly.”



    The bold step back … would be to accept that nuclear power should not be part of the mix of future energy sources. A bold step would be to address the social changes and technology changes that are needed to address the energy narcissism/inequality that will only be made worse if we focus only on technology … and worse the technologies that benefit only this generation.

  26. michael sweet at 03:10 AM on 5 August 2020
    We've been having the wrong debate about nuclear energy

    Nigelj:

    At post 3 you say: "For example, Nuclear power is expensive compared to wind and solar and gas, but probably cost competitive with wind and solar and mass storage, at current costs of mass storage."

    Connelly et al 2016 (reviewed at SkS here) and the references in it show that the bigger the system the lower the storage cost.  This means that an electricity only system requires relatively much more storage than a system that provides all electricity, heating, transportation and industry.  That means a system that provides ALL POWER requires much less storage than an electricity only system.  They show that a well designed All Power system might require zero storage.   Obviously if we want to get to zero carbon dioxide emissions we require an All Power system.  Electricity only systems, as nuclear supporters describe, are not helpful in reaching zero carbon emissions.

    I wrote that summary specifically to address your complaints that storage for renewable energy would be too expensive.  Nuclear supporters, like those on the RealClimate thread you frequent, do not discuss All Power systems because electricity only systems make renewable energy look more expensive.  The OP has the same problem since it is written from a nuclear point of view.

    I have shown your claims of expensive storage are false as described in the peer reviewed literature.  If you want to claim expensive storage you need to find peer reviewed sources to support your repeated, false claims.

    Your claims at post 3 " Nuclear power relies on a non renewable fuel, but several of the metals used to make wind and solar power plants will obviously not last for all eternity either" are also false.  I have referred you repeatedly to Jacobson 2009 which shows that all the materials to build out renewable energy exist is adequate amounts, except for rare earth elements in the turbines.  Since then the turbines have been redesigned so that they do not use excess rare earth elements.  By contrast, Abbott 2012 shows that many rare elements in nuclear plants, including uranium, do not exist is sufficient amunts to build out more than 5% of All Power.  The nuclear industry has not replied to Abbott which shows they agree with his assessment.   In general, renewable plants use common materials which are not in short supply.  By contrast, many exotic materials are used in nuclear plants to attempt to counter the extreme conditions of heat, corrosivity and radiation field found in nuclear plants.

    If you want to contradict the accepted, consensus science you need to provide references to support your wild claims.  Constantly repeating false claims does not make them true.

    Nuclear supporters constantly repeat false claims about renewable energy.  It does not make nuclear look better to falsely claim renewables have problems.

  27. We've been having the wrong debate about nuclear energy

    I see most comments so far are significantly critical of the opening post; and there's some justification for that. For example, they simply pass by the issue that nuclear power cannot, without energy storage, meet changing demand - it is uneconomical to run a nuclear power plant at anything but full load, and the output is therefore flat. Meanwhile they critique renewables in California for not time matching demands either.

    However, the article does point out nuclear disadvantages, such as very long lead times, yet to be developed technology, costs, waste storage, and the certainty that the price of advanced nuclear power will be 2-3x that of renewables. And that renewables are much faster to build.

    I think a central point of the argument is really the take-home: that claiming the way forward is either renewables or nuclear is a false dichotomy, that just as current energy supplies are a mix, we can continue to consider mixed supplies going forward. That's important, folks. Every bit forward helps.

  28. Prometheus 1962 at 20:53 PM on 4 August 2020
    We've been having the wrong debate about nuclear energy

    Author says "we've been having the wrong debate about nuclear energy", then writes an article that doesn't say what the right debate is, and makes the exact same points as some of those who have been engaging in the "wrong" debate.

    In short, this article is a complete waste of time.

  29. Milankovitch Cycles

    Kylesa @63 , your question is a bit off the bulls-eye.

    The climate change caused by the Milankovitch cycle during the past 1 million years, has occurred in cycles of approx  100,000 years.  It is much more correct to say that those climate cycles have been triggered by the Milankovitch orbital alterations ~ because the Milankovitch changes in solar heating of the Northern Hemisphere are very slight (purely in themselves much too weak to make a difference in global climate).  However, these slight changes are then greatly magnified by the consequent change in atmospheric CO2, as the atmospheric CO2 leaves or enters the planetary oceans.

    Basically, I think of the recent glaciation/de-glaciation cycles as being caused 10% by the Milankovitch changes (which are the trigger) and 90% by the CO2 rise/fall (the CO2 being the main charge of gunpowder moving the bullet).

    More than 1 million years ago, the Milankovitch cycles were still in operation, but were having near-zero effect on climate because the atmospheric CO2 level was so high it swamped the tiny Milankovitch effect.

    The anthropogenic causes (mostly the fast-rising CO2) have been so rapid and powerful in causing GW, that it's fair to say that the weak and ultra-slow Milankovitch effects are tiny/negligible ~ like comparing a cockroach to an elephant.

  30. We've been having the wrong debate about nuclear energy

    Norway has also made huge progress with energy efficiency documented here. 

  31. Milankovitch Cycles

    What causes more climate change then, Milankovitch cycles or anthropogenic causes?

  32. wilddouglascounty at 12:11 PM on 4 August 2020
    We've been having the wrong debate about nuclear energy

    Oddly missing in this discussion is the role of energy efficiency as the most cost-effective way to "generate" energy by reducing its waste. For instance, the California graph charts how energy production is provided by the mix of renewables, nuclear and fossil fuels, but it does not include the greatly reduced energy needed to be produced because California has led the nation in energy efficiency measures, maintaining the same per-capita energy use while the rest of the country has gone up 33% per capita since the 1970s. All roads to a 100% carbon free energy future is impossible with continued gains in energy efficiency investments, which continues to be a less expensive investment in terms of saved kilowats when compared to the cost of any form of energy production per kilowat hour, whether that is nuclear, wind, solar, natural gas or wood, for that matter. 

  33. We've been having the wrong debate about nuclear energy

    I'm a realist, and right now renewables are winning the debate in places like America because they are quicker , cheaper and simpler to build than Nuclear power and in a market economy thats how things should properly work. And we have to be able to build stuff quickly to even come close to meeting the Paris goals.

    But in terms of which is the best source of power in a technical sense, maybe there just isn't much difference between renewables and nuclear power. For example, Nuclear power is expensive compared to wind and solar and gas, but probably cost competitive with wind and solar and mass storage, at current costs of mass storage. Nuclear power relies on a non renewable fuel, but several of the metals used to make wind and solar power plants will obviously not last for all eternity either, or could eventually become expensive. Nuclear waste is toxic, windfarms kill birds. There is no perfectly sustainable energy nirvana, just choosing the best options at some point in time.

  34. michael sweet at 10:39 AM on 4 August 2020
    We've been having the wrong debate about nuclear energy

    This article does not respond to most of the items in Abbott 2012.  It is simply an amalgam of various nuclear industry fantasies with little to support the claims.

    I note that the author describes generating part of electricity.  Jacobson 2018Connelly et al 2016 and many other peer reviewed articles searching for future energy systems describe using renewable energy for 100% of ALL POWER used in the economy.  Electricity is only about 20% of all power.  Even if nuclear was able to generate 50% of current electricity it would only be 10% of the necessary power needed.  Renewable energy would be required for the other 90% of All Power.

    Abbott 2012 shows that even for 10% of All Power nuclear cannot meet the need.  There is not enough uranium.  If fantasy breeder reactors are attempted to be used (using "unobtainium" for critical parts) it will be even more expensive and the designs cannot be commercially available for even longer.

    Re-reading the headings in the OP gives a better look at nuclear power:

    • Smaller and more flexible … but when?
    • Long lead time misses the key window for action
    • High and uncertain price tag
    • But what about nuclear waste?
    • Funding and political will … uphill battles ahead

    This article is just nuclear industry propaganda uncritically presented.  I note there are no citations of peer reviewed material in the OP.  The OP shoud be deleted.  If the writer actually read scientific research like Jacobson 2018 and Connelly 2016 they would not write such drivel.  

  35. One Planet Only Forever at 07:56 AM on 4 August 2020
    We've been having the wrong debate about nuclear energy

    An important point to keep in mind is that Nuclear Energy Production is also a non-renewable system that creates harmful 'externalized costs'. Like climate change impacts from fossil fuel use, the waste is hazardous for very long time periods meaning it is inappropriate to use any discounting to determine the acceptability of the risk of harm. Believing a nuclear waste storage system is almost certain for almost 100,000 years does not make the cost of the increased chance of harm after 100,000 years almost zero (a fatal flaw of only evaluating costs and discounting the future when doing that).

    Another item to keep in mind is that the nuclear power generation would be the intermittent filler in the energy production system. That means building nuclear power plants that are not the 'base-load slow to change capacity' type of generator.

    New Nuclear needs to be thought of as a temporary helpful activity. It cannot be part of the required rapid transition to sustainable solutions for the benefit of the future of humanity.

    All that considered, New Nuclear should be limited to safely generating power with the already created waste from existing nuclear operations and the material in existing nuclear weapons (nuclear weapons are harmful waste).

    It would be a shame to claim to solve the problem of harmful consequences of the unsustainable use of fossil fuels by developing a different unsustainable harmful way of doing things.

    Unsustainable and harmful activity needs to be understood to have no future, no matter how much cheaper and easier and more enjoyable it is than the alternative of lower energy consumption with that energy being sustainable and obtained with minimum harm done (accumulating harm is unsustainable).

  36. The Trump EPA is vastly underestimating the cost of carbon dioxide pollution to society, new research finds

    “If the predictions of Nordhaus’s Damage Function were true, then everyone—including Climate Change Believers (CCBs)—should just relax. An 8.5 percent fall in GDP is twice as bad as the “Great Recession”, as Americans call the 2008 crisis, which reduced real GDP by 4.2% peak to trough. But that happened in just under two years, so the annual decline in GDP was a very noticeable 2%. The 8.5% decline that Nordhaus predicts from a 6 degree increase in average global temperature (here CCDs will have to pretend that AGW is real) would take 130 years if nothing were done to attenuate Climate Change, according to Nordhaus’s model (see Figure 1). Spread over more than a century, that 8.5% fall would mean a decline in GDP growth of less than 0.1% per year. At the accuracy with which change in GDP is measured, that’s little better than rounding error. We should all just sit back and enjoy the extra warmth. . . .
    In this post, Keen delves into DICE (“Dynamic Integrated model of Climate and the Economy”)—the mathematical model underpinning Nordhaus’ work and the flaws in Nordhaus’ methodologies.”

    evonomics.com/steve-keen-nordhaus-climate-change-economics/

  37. The Trump EPA is vastly underestimating the cost of carbon dioxide pollution to society, new research finds

    @gseattle #2

    A lot of people asked NOAA what the effect of the global shutdown was on CO2

    You should read the text in your link. The reduction due to the pandemic is still to small and short to have a big impact on CO2 concentrations. The annual emissions are estimated to be only 8% lower. The annual rise in the last two decades was roughly 2 ppm per year (fluctuations from 1.6 to 2.9). Therefore, the reduction is not significant enough to be measureable. This does not show, that the rise would be natural.

  38. 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #31

    The earths magnetic field is not causing the AMOC to slow. Magnetic fields affect electrical fields, not physical phenomena like ocean currents.

    There is no correlation between the slowing AMOC and weakening magnetic field. The magnetic field has been weakening for at least the last 200 years, and the recent slowdown in the AMOC is believed to have started at earliest in the 1850's but the strongest evidence suggests in the last couple of decades.

    The AMOC is slowing because anthropogenic global warming is not surprisingly affecting ocean currents. Some related stuff below.

    timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/health-news/earths-magnetic-field-is-weakening-here-is-how-it-might-impact-you/articleshow/76003806.cms

    www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-04086-4

     

    Why would anyone propose an idea like this? Not the average scientist. I think only a "ego driven" denilalist crank would do this.

  39. 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #31

    The science is clear. Unless we're missing something.
    "A 2015 study suggested that the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) has weakened by 15-20% in 200 years."
    "May 20, 2020 - Over the last 200 years, the magnetic field has lost around 9% of its strength on a global average."(ESA)
    "Atlantic Circulation [is] Consistently Tied to Carbon Dioxide". Weakening AMOC means more CO2 is left in the air instead of absorbed in the ocean, no?
    The missing piece of the puzzle is whether electrically conductive salt water experiences the Lorentz force moving through earth's magnetic field.
    Weaker field = less AMOC = less ocean CO2 = more air CO2 which is what we're seeing and most of it is from nature (NOAA), and the time frame is even correct.
    Since the field is only half a gauss, the question is the quantity of force compared to the coreolis effect, convection or other forces.
    Scientists are currently frustrated in trying to model AMOC so that might be a missing factor.
    It's presented here as just a theory that can be checked out if we want to cover all the bases to avoid missing anything.
    Does this fall into one of the four categories or might there be a fifth?

    Moderator Response:

    [DB]  Others have already responded to you, except for this:

    "Over the last 200 years, the magnetic field has lost around 9% of its strength on a global average"

    In actuality and for full context, the strength of Earth’s magnetic field is currently among the strongest in the past 100,000 years:

    "Except for the Laschamp excursion, which is seen globally in the model, other apparent excursions appear in limited locations and are likely regional in nature.

    Transitional or reversed directions during excursions do not occur simultaneously all over the globe. And, the regional duration of the excursions varies from a few centuries to about 3.5 thousand years.

    It has been suggested that the current dipole decrease and association with the South Atlantic Anomaly where field intensity is unusually weak might indicate an imminent field reversal or excursion.

    However, none of these similar cases progressed to transitional events: thus the present field morphology cannot be taken as any clear indication of an upcoming reversal or excursion."

    Panovska et al 2020 - One Hundred Thousand Years of Geomagnetic Field Evolution

    100,000 years of magnetic field strength

     

  40. One Planet Only Forever at 13:47 PM on 2 August 2020
    The Trump EPA is vastly underestimating the cost of carbon dioxide pollution to society, new research finds

    nigelj,

    I agree that it is a distraction to claim that Global population growth is causing the climate change problem. Many actions are happening that impact Global Total Population. And some new research indicates that the peak of Global population may not be as high as many have estimated.

    "Fertility, mortality, migration, and population scenarios for 195 countries and territories from 2017 to 2100: a forecasting analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study" published in the Lancet on July 14th

    It includes the following forecast for Global Population:

    "In the reference scenario, the global population was projected to peak in 2064 at 9·73 billion (8·84–10·9) people and decline to 8·79 billion (6·83–11·8) in 2100. The reference projections for the five largest countries in 2100 were India (1·09 billion [0·72–1·71], Nigeria (791 million [594–1056]), China (732 million [456–1499]), the USA (336 million [248–456]), and Pakistan (248 million [151–427])."

    It also indicates that if the Sustainable Development Goals are effectively achieved the Total Global Population will be even lower.

  41. Skeptical Science New Research for Week #30, 2020

    Doug, this is a WONDERFUL and important resource.  Thank you so much for your devotion to promoting access to original source science.

  42. The Trump EPA is vastly underestimating the cost of carbon dioxide pollution to society, new research finds

    gseattle @2

    No population growth is not the "only real problem". Its also a question of what fuel sources that population uses, obviously I would have thought. A large population using zero carbon energy is one potential solution to the climate issue. Your own link refutes your own assertion that burning fossil fuels is not a significant problem by pointing out you need large reductions in human emissions for it to show up in the data.

    Of course population growth is also problem, but lets look at the actual evidence: The rate of global population growth started falling in the late 1960's due to the demographic transition. Population growth in developed countries is near zero, and some countries have a falling population eg Japan. The main population growth of significance is in Africa and parts of Asia. This stuff is easily googled.

    But the point is natural processes called the demographic transition push population growth down, like increasing wealth provides security so people dont need to have such larger families, womens rights slowly improve, contraception becomes accepted. Clearly history shows the corporation's havent managed to stop those things, even if they have tried and they benefit from the creation of wealth.

    Governments sometimes intervene to make population growth fall like China's notorius one child policy but there have been others. Do corporations lobby governments to oppose such policies, and do corporations  pressure the media to keep population issues off their agenda? I wouldn't be surprised, but you provide no hard evidence.

    But whatever the corporations have tried to do, the overall trend globally has been slowing population growth and it will almost certainly happen in African sooner or later, and there's nothing corporations will be able to do to stop this demographic transition. In fact its clearly  in their interests for countries to grow their wealth.

    Refer "projections of population growth" on wikipedia to review the research on where we are and where we are most likely heading.

    In terms of the climate problem, population pressure obviously contributes, but at least the trends are mostly slowing,

  43. Why low-end ‘climate sensitivity’ can now be ruled out

    If we hit double pre-industrial levels of CO2 in 2060 and we are likely locked into a 3 degree rise in temps above pre-industrial levels, how long does it take and around what year will it be before we reach that 3 degrees? Is this possible to estimate?

  44. The Trump EPA is vastly underestimating the cost of carbon dioxide pollution to society, new research finds

    A lot of people asked NOAA what the effect of the global shutdown was on CO2:

    https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/covid2.html

    Nature's portion is vast. So it's a myth.

    150 new people on earth each MINUTE per world population balance, that is the only real problem and we are all ignoring it, because every large media outlet is controlled by the giant corporations which care only about their own growth.

  45. The Trump EPA is vastly underestimating the cost of carbon dioxide pollution to society, new research finds

    Nordhaus got a nobel prize for this Dice model? And yet it appears to have been mostly discredited along with the assumptions and  input information selected by Nordhaus. This doesn't say much for the economists who nominated him and the Nobel expert panel that assessed his work. I mean theres a serious lack of academic rigour going on here, and a serious lack of even basic commonsense and picking up on obvious red flags. The exact same can be said for the EPA, and the Trump Administration.

  46. A conundrum: our continued presence on Facebook

    Eclectic @40, I dont visit WUWT very much these days. It appears to be the hard core denialati. The truly faithful and driven. I get enough observing of denalists on our local daily media.

    I suspect some of the denialati are also paid to post commentary by various conservative leaning lobby and business groups.Their job is purely to cast doubt on climate science, and they do this the simplest way they can while making a dollar: They more or less copy and paste their list of nonsense repeating old memes and myths, in other words propaganda. No point in wasting time acually addressing the article or having difficult discussions!

    I agree about facebook. I certainly don't see it going away, not short to medium term anyway but it might get smaller. I dont use it these days because Im just not a hugely socially connecting sort of person in that sort of way, and prefer email, but I can see its great for people wanting to connect a lot in a group sort of way and to track down old school friends. These perfectly well intended functions have sort of been highjacked to turn it into a fake news site. Not sure what the solution is, but society is starting to loose patience with hate speech and fake news, so pressure will come on facebook from all quarters, and it may be other websites like Mewe gain traction. Old saying: The only constant is change.

    Just on the denialists on WUWT. I sometimes wonder if they are inherently psychologically weak with all the motivated reasoning and other biases, or their underlying ideology and world view drives the motivated reasoning, or whether certain libertarian world views naturally coincide with a tendency towards motivated reasoning.

  47. michael sweet at 02:49 AM on 30 July 2020
    Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    Baerbel,

    The article you linked gave a reasonable summary of the pro-nuclear argument.  Those who read it will note that proposed nuclear options will not be available until the 2030's and the cost is unknown.  Many other problems are left unaddressed.

    The author of the piece is a free lance writer and ski instructor.  Why should I think she knows more about nuclear energy than I do?  By contrast, Abbott is a well known electrical engineer who has studied nuclear power for years.  Most of the points Abbott makes are not addressed in the Climate Connection article.

  48. 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #30

    Sailrick, I kind of agree with you. It's more a ruling out of low end then high end states. Personally I will place more importance on the paleontological evidence. If we're 1C+/- now

    + 0.2C for the pre-preindustrial warming 

    + 0.5C for aerosols

    plus you have a 30year/66% lag meaning the temperatures were experiencing now are more indicative of 350ppm than 420ppm. So I see your point on how a +40% increase in CO2 has in all probability commited us to +2C rise in 150yrs. This doesn't address what the end state will be in 1000yrs or more. Now instead of a 40% increase imagine an actual doubling its obvious that a 2C warming shouldn't even be in the equation

  49. 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #30

    Thanks for the clarifications. The Carbon Brief article was one the two I had read.

  50. A conundrum: our continued presence on Facebook

    Thank you, Nigelj.  From time to time I do see your comments at Realclimate ( I am an irregular visitor to the site).

    Yes, the comments sections at WUWT  are much more for venting, than for actual discussion.   WUWT puts out several new articles per day ~ and the comments after each article are mostly repetitious venting, a churning of scores-to-hundreds of posts by the usual suspects.  Often with scant connection to the article itself.   Yet there are subtle variations in the exhibited Motivated Reasoning . . . and this I find interesting (maybe my brain is already curdled or yoghurtified? )    And always, but always, there are immediate & childish attacks on anyone making a rational well-informed comment there (something which a few brave souls - e.g. Nick Stokes - do venture to make, occasionally.)

    Facebook itself is a different kettle of fish, on my limited experience of it.   I like to think that WUWT  is perhaps useful in satisfying the anti-social aggressiveness of its denizens ~  so that they are less likely to go out and commit gun massacres . . . but really I'm not sure on that.

    Facebook seems a mixture of good and bad, for society.  Probably more bad than good ~  but its existence is now a "given" , and we must now join the dance and make the best of it we can.

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