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All IPCC definitions taken from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Working Group I Contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Annex I, Glossary, pp. 941-954. Cambridge University Press.

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Comments 51 to 100:

  1. From the eMail Bag: the Beer-Lambert Law and CO2 Concentrations

    Well, no. It's more complex than that.

    If you look at the diagram in comment 23, there are two sets of actual measurements - one looking up from the surface, and one looking down at an altitude of 20km. Let's think about what each one is looking at in more detail - but we'll pick the 15 μm wavelength as a single example.

    • From the surface, we are looking at radiation emitted by the sky - at all heights. Some of the 15 μm radiation might have been emitted from just a few cm above the surface - nearly all of that would have been transmitted through the air (and CO2) because the distance is so short. Some of it might have been emitted tens of metres above, and some of it might have been emitted hundreds of metres above. From higher altitude, the 15 μm radiation has a much smaller chance of reaching the surface, because it has a much higher chance of being absorbed in the longer atmospheric path. This is due to the Beer-Lambert Law that is the subject of the blog post - the longer the path, the less likely the radiation will be transmitted (figure 5).
    • From 20 km looking down, it is more or less the opposite. IR radiation emitted at the surface is unlikely to get to 20 km without being absorbed. Radiation emitted at 19 km altitude is more likely to reach 20 km, and radiation from just a few metres lower is highly likely to reach 20 km.

    I wrote the following over at another blog the other day, in response to someone else discussing the greenhouse effect.

    For the upward flux for any wavelength at a selected height (chose 100m, 5km, 20 km - anything you like) you need to remember the following:

    1) every single photon of that wavelength is the same - there is no way of knowing if that photon was emitted from the surface, 5m, 100m, or any specific height below the viewing point.

    2) It might have travelled 2cm, 2m, or 15km.

    3) You have no idea what the temperature was in the atmosphere at the height that photon originated.

    4) The probability that an individual photon will be absorbed at the current height has nothing to do with its origins. It has to do with its chances of interacting with a molecule that will absorb it.

    The entire vertical profile needs to be integrated as a set of coupled equations. Radiative transfer calculations such as MODTRAN break the atmosphere into layers. For each layer, there will be:

    1) A flux arriving from below, of unknown origin. Some of that flux will be absorbed, and some transmitted to the next layer above.

    2) A flux arriving from above, of unknown origin. Some of that flux will be absorbed, and some transmitted to the next layer below.

    3) An emission of radiation, half of which will be added to the upward-directed flux (1), and half to the downward-directed flux (2).

    4) The flux going out the top will be the sum of what arrived from below and was not absorbed, plus the amount emitted upward by the layer.

    5) The flux going out the bottom will be the sum of what arrived from above and was not absorbed, plus the amount emitted downward by the layer.

    6) Obviously, the amount moving upward out of this layer will be the same as the amount moving upward into the layer above. This is how all layers are coupled together into one system.

    With all these coupled layers absorbing, transmitting, and emitting, determining the flux of radiation requires a model of some sort. In the quoted text above, I referred to MODTRAN, which is one such model that you can read about - and try - online.

    http://modtran.spectral.com/

    http://climatemodels.uchicago.edu/modtran/

    At the second link, the online model will let you choose a height, looking up or down, the temperature structure, etc. Lots to play with.

    In short, a stream of 15 μm photons will be coming from a variety of distances away, at a variety of temperatures (and may have been emitted by something other than CO2). All we know about it is that they are 15 μm photons that all look the same to us.

    Looking only at the emission at 15 μm, comment 20 shows the Planck curves for 288K and 255K. The (blackbody) values for each curve at 15 μm are 18.2 and 11.7 W/m2/μm.

    If I do the calculation for 193K, the curve will be lower (and the peak further to the right), and the 15 μm emission drops to 3.4 W/m2/μm. The peak wavelength doesn't enter the calculation. The emissivity for CO2 will not be 1, but it will be more or less the same at the different temperatures, so you would expect a 193K cloud of CO2 to be emitting only 30% of the 15 μm photons you'd get from a CO2 cloud at 255K.

     

  2. From the eMail Bag: the Beer-Lambert Law and CO2 Concentrations

    Bob Loblaw @23

    Thanks for clearing up my confusion.  I thought 15 μm was only emitted from an object that was at the peak temperature, in this case 193K.

    So, that means CO2 would receive the maximum amount of 15 μm at 193K?

    From your example, 11.4 is a reduction from 15 by 24%.  Would that mean there is a 24% reduction of 15 μm emission going from 193K up to 255K?

    ( I just don't like winter)

  3. From the eMail Bag: the Beer-Lambert Law and CO2 Concentrations

    Hello, Likeitwarm.

    Yes, you are misinterpreting Wiens' law. It does not link a single photon to a specific temperature - it tells you the wavelength of the peak emission of all radiation from a blackbody as a function of temperature. You can read more about it here.

    If you look at figure 2 of the blog post (or the non-log version for two IR temperatures in comment #20), you can see that Planck's Law tells us that any blackbody emitter, regardless of temperature, emits at all wavelengths. From those graphs, we can derive two interesting features:

    1. The area under each curve tells us the total amount of energy at all wavelengths. Stefan-Boltzman did the caculus for us, and we end up with a result that says the total area is σT4.
    2. The peak of the curve happens when the slope of the Planck Curve is zero, and Wien did the calculus for us on that one to get λpeak = (2898/T)

    If an object was at 193K, then the peak emission would be at 15 μm, but the body would still be emitting radiation at other wavelengths.  At 255K, the peak emission would be at 11.4 μm, but the object would still be emitting at 15 μm, too - just not as much as at 11.4 μm.

    All this is thinking in terms of blackbodies - perfect emitters. For gases, they do not tend to emit as blackbodies. You revise Planck's Law with a wavelength-specific emissivity. For a blackbody, the emissivity is always 1 for all wavelengths, leading to the curves in figure 2. In gases, the emissivity is rarely 1, and the emission curves are not nice smooth ones like figure 2. With many gases in the atmosphere emitting at many different wavelengths, you end up with curves that look like this. You can see that the measured spectral sort of follow the blackbody curves, with drops where atmospheric emissivity is less than 1.

    Infrared emission spectra

     

    (That figure is from this blog post.)

    So, you have done the calculation correctly in Wien's Law, but misinterpreted it because it only applies to blackbody radiation, and it only tells us what the peak is. Once you factor in emissivity for a specific gas, we no longer have a blackbody, and the peak from a specific gas (e.g. CO2) is more a function of what wavelength has the highest emissivity. Even as the temperature of that gas changes, the wavelength with peak emissivity does not change, so knowing the peak emissiion can tell us what gas we are dealing with, but not its temperature. (At least, not without a lot of other information.)

  4. From the eMail Bag: the Beer-Lambert Law and CO2 Concentrations

    Excuse me!  Bob Loblaw. Brain out of gear!

  5. From the eMail Bag: the Beer-Lambert Law and CO2 Concentrations

    Boblaw @20,  So it matters not what temperature the emitter was at, except that it governs the number of photons emitted.  I was thinking of Wien's law that says the wavelength of the radiation is linked to the temperature of the emitter, so I was assuming that 15 μm radiation indicated 193K as the temperature of the emitter, meaning that radiation could only come from very cold places like the poles of the earth.  Did I read Wien wrong?

  6. Skeptical Science New Research for Week #16 2022

    Thank you for pointing that out, One Planet. Corrected.

    Joel, yes indeed. It's a good metric to have in hand, not least because latent heat liberation from water vapor is a major component of extreme weather of various kinds. The authors make a good point. 

  7. One Planet Only Forever at 02:04 AM on 24 April 2022
    Skeptical Science New Research for Week #16 2022

    The second link under Other Notables (How do Right-Wing...) is not working for me.

  8. Joel_Huberman at 23:43 PM on 22 April 2022
    Skeptical Science New Research for Week #16 2022

    Thanks, Doug, for pointing to the importance of using latent heat measurements in science communications. I was previously unaware of this fascinating, important issue.

  9. New resource: myth deconstructions as animated GIFs

    A Myth Deconstruction as an animated GIF is now also available for "The difference between weather and climate".

  10. One Planet Only Forever at 07:25 AM on 15 April 2022
    The latest IPCC report has a lot to say about carbon fee and dividend

    Aeyles,

    I suspect that the $200/tonne value was considered to be a level of pricing that would effectively produce a rapid rate of reduction of fossil fuel use (something arguably required by 2013 due to the pathetic lack of action by the most harmful portion of the global population by that date).

    But sensible leaders understand the need for carbon pricing to start at a lower level with everyone being motivated to change by understanding that the price will be increasing annually (starting at $40 to $80/tonne and increasing significantly annually, potntially to levels higher than $200 as required to achieve the required ending of harmful emissions).

    Tragically 30 years ago most sensible leadership candidates failed to win the power to do that then. So here we are now, with many people still easily tempted to vote agsinst more sensible leadership.

  11. The latest IPCC report has a lot to say about carbon fee and dividend

    At a climate conference in Alexandria, VA in the spring of 2013, the consensus of the group, which included Joseph Romm, was that a ton of CO2 would have to carry a carbon fee of $200, or about 57 cents per gallon at the pump, in order to be meaningful. Anyone know what has changed, since then, to drop the fee to the amount stated above?

  12. One Planet Only Forever at 13:20 PM on 14 April 2022
    New IPCC report: Only political will stands in way of meeting the Paris targets

    I share Eclectic's interest in seeing rayates55 provide more detailed thoughts.

    I am well aware of the harmful history of success of political and consumerism misleading marketing tempting people to believe harmful misunderstandings rather than critically investigate things and learn to be less harmful and more helpful to others.

    SkS includes many helpful tools regarding misleading marketing targeting climate science. Those understandings relate to other harmful misleading marketing that tempts people to like to benefit from harmful activity and related harmful misunderstanding that excuses the harm done, or discredits and distracts from evidence of the harm done, by those who benefit from harm being done.

    Distracting misleading efforts can include attempts to focus attention on the growing population rather than the highest harming portion of the population that has set harmful examples that many lower status people can be expected to aspire to develop towards.

    Clearly, the policy development that is required must focus on identifying harmful pursuits of benefit and make those pursuits less desirable (more expensive or harder to do) regardless of the potential popularity and profitability of more harmful actions being permitted.

    The lack of political will is understandable and is understandably unacceptable.

  13. Medieval Warm Period was warmer

    astrophile @270,

    The link in the OP is to the paper Mann et al (2008) which in turn does provide links to Fig s6 but not very helpfully. Another on-line version of the paper here does give a link to the Supporting Information. Fig s6 resides within that Supporting Information where you will see the OP's Fig 4 is reproducing the paper's Fig s6f.

  14. Medieval Warm Period was warmer

    I followed the link for the Mann 2008 article given for Figure 4 but I don't see any figure in that article that references global temperatures.  Is it the wrong link or is the figure created in some other way?

  15. New IPCC report: Only political will stands in way of meeting the Paris targets

    Some contributors have noted that the planet birthed another 80 million humans in 2021, now estimated to be a little more than another 80 million in 2022.  80 million is a large number when we account for the carbon footprint and resource consumption of these added persons.  At the current annual rate of population growth, we will be seeing another billion humans by mid 2032 or 2034. I realize that this topic is toxic, but it seems that this problem will overshadow all other efforts to climb down from the loomimg disaster.

    Another large problem, industrial animal agriculture, is not mentioned in the above bar graphs, yet the elimination of animal agriculture is effectively painless because we can grow enough plant food to feed the global population. Industrial animal agriculture, as a leading cause of the climate problem we face, offers an immediate target to drastically reduce emissions and to substantially reduce several other negative impacts that are hoped to be addressed in the above graphs. Why can we not see more about this problem in the literature? 

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] Off-topic deleted. For some odd reason, you seem to think that complaining about the lack of emphasis on industrial agriculture is on-topic for nearly any blog post. It is getting very tiresome.

     

  16. Models are unreliable

    MichaelSF:

    The direct answer to your question would have to be "I don't know", because most of the "predictions" that you claim have been made by "climate models" bear very little resemblance to the predicitons from climate models in the scientific literature.

    If you want us to believe that such "predictions" actually exist, you are going to have to provide scientific references where the "climate models" are described and the "predictions" made.

    Once you actually provide some sort of detail, it may be possible to answer your question. Until then, you're just engaging in rhetoric (meaning #2)

  17. Models are unreliable

    MichaeISF @1305 , you sound a bit confused.

    Climate models (for estimating future climate changes) base their predictions on the observed (and projected) rise in CO2 levels.

    The CO2 level has continued to rise (observed fact).  The world is warming (observed fact).   Consequently, sea level is rising (observed fact) ~ so some increased flooding of coasts is occurring, and will get worse as a matter of course.   (Unless you think the higher sea level is due to more polar bears staying in the water.)

    Have you any evidence that "cancels" the facts?

  18. Models are unreliable

    Regarding models, the explanation is good, especially about whether or not a model is good or not.

    My observation: Are these the same models that for the last 40 years (Since I was in high school.) that predicted global warming before it predicted global cooling before blaming any and all weather on climate change driven by man's activity?

    Are these the same models that for the last 40 years have predicted global coastal flooding, sinking island, the extinction of polar bear, penguins and increasing deserts and that man has only 8-12 years to survive?

    I make these observations to prove that is seems there are NOT any good models, based on a proven, accurate track record, that can be called "good".

    Moderator Response:

    [PS] You appear to be engaging in strawman arguments - ie making claims about what science has said that are not true. You can find details of how well past predictions have done in "Lessons from Past Predictions" series. Broecker's 1975 model holding up pretty well.  See here for the "Scientists predicted cooling" myth.  If you dispute this, then please provide 1/ a link the scientific prediction you think was mistaken, and 2/ link to evidence that it is wrong.

  19. Wildfires are not caused by global warming

    A-Train1906 @ 4:

    You state "As for my claim they didn't give fuel density it's due, I simply read the inputs on their model."

    If you want us to listen to you, I suggest that you provide details on the following:

    • who "they" are.
    • the details on the model(s) you are referring to.
    • what inputs are included in the model(s).
    • what inputs you feel are missing from the model(s).

    I am familiar with the Canadian Wildland Fire Index, and have seen its application to changing climates, if you want to pick one to start.

     

  20. New IPCC report: Only political will stands in way of meeting the Paris targets

    Quite right , Rayates55 .   Although SkepticalScience is a website primarily and almost  exclusively oriented to the scientific aspects of climate change, nevertheless you will find occasional articles on the psychological aspects of science denialism.   Politics, in the sense of partisan politics is hardly touched upon.   And if you hail from the USA, you know how toxic & insane the partisan politics can be ~  about science, epidemics, vaccines, and you-name-it-whatever . . . including public toilets !

    So in the practical area of influencing the various legislatures, SkepticalScience is not a participant.

    Rayates55 , your scope at this website is therefore very minimal for discussing the political science aspects.   But this very thread may be your opportunity to make a brief contribution to such a topic.

    Please start the ball rolling, with your own summary of the important points which you feel would be of practical use !

    ( My own thoughts are that the political world will gradually ramp up its corrective actions, as the technological capabilities slowly improve ~ and as, decade by decade, the worsening situation stimulates voters to demand more action.   So, not very fast.   And if anything good is to come from the recent/current coronavirus pandemic - plus the atrocities of the Ukraine War [happening in Europe, not Africa]  - then it may be that national governments will pay more attention to "resiliency" of local energy supplies & food production & manufacturing. )

    Rayates55 , the floor is yours.  I am all ears, for your insightful ideas.

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] Everyone reading this and thinking about commenting should be reminded of the section of the  Comments Policy that says:

    No politics. Rants about politics, religion, faith, ideology or one world governments will be deleted. Occasional blogposts on Skeptical Science touch on issues intimately related to politics.  For those posts this rule may be relaxed, but only if explicitly stated at the end of the blogpost.

    As this blog post explicitly has "political will" in the title, it clearly falls into the category of posts that "touch on issues related to politics", but please try to keep it on topic.

  21. New IPCC report: Only political will stands in way of meeting the Paris targets

    Once again we see an article that follows this format: 1) Time has almost run out, 2) radically decreasing CO2 emissions is essential, yet they continue to rise, 3) countries' current policies will not reach necessary emissions goals at this rate, 4) here is a list of technological solutions if only there was the political will.  All true.

    But when will Skeptical Science begin to apply its discerning analysis to the proven blockage to progress: the lack of political will? Political Science is a thing, albeit a much squishier one.

     

     

     

  22. michael sweet at 11:18 AM on 10 April 2022
    Wildfires are not caused by global warming

    A-train 1906

    So no data to support your claims.  Yuo claim that you have extensive experience working in the forrest service. Perhaps yo could use that experience tofind some acutal data to share with us.  Your claim defies common sense.  You need to provide data to support your wild calim that increasing temepratures do not incfluence the amount of fires.

  23. Philippe Chantreau at 11:04 AM on 10 April 2022
    Wildfires are not caused by global warming

    I haven't seen the Potholer video. Nonetheless, I don't believe that A-train1906' remark applies to the immense fires in Siberia, affecting areas that have historically received little to no human intervention. 

    Reaching temperatures close to 50deg Celsius at 50 degrees lattitude, as happened last year in BC should not be discounted as insignificant.

  24. Wildfires are not caused by global warming

    A-train1906 at post #4 :

    Welcome back to this thread after your 18-month hiatus.   (An enjoyable vacation, or a period of deep cogitation? )

    It is indeed difficult to reach unambiguous conclusions about forest wildfires, because of the many confounding factors ~ and as you indicate, the forest understory (carbon buildup) is a major factor in fire intensity.   ~Among other factors, like moisture levels and high temperatures.

    To reach a scientifically valid conclusion, would require careful analysis of areas of untouched old-growth forests versus logged forests and plantations ~ of various degrees of management (including of the understory).   So many variables, and so much room for gut-feelings to be wrong!

    But either way, high temperatures and low moisture levels must be huge contributors to the problem, and are very evidently influenced by global warming.   Clearly there is room for better forest management, and perhaps of novel types.   Less clear, is whether that should include managed burns in virgin forests where (in previous centuries & millennia) the climate was cooler and/or wetter and where native peoples did not do burns.

    All very difficult to assess (and react to).   But we should not fall into the trap of implying that modern rapid global warming should be ignored.

    A-train1906,  there is a Youtube video by Potholer54 title from January 2020, titled:  "The cause of Australia's bushfires _ what the SCIENCE says".    Recommended.   It is rather long, at 36 minutes . . . but Potholer54 does include some humorous parts, so it is all good entertainment as well !   It covers the catastrophic Australian fires only, but there are some general applications too.

  25. Wildfires are not caused by global warming

    Michael,

        I'd love to see the data source you are referencing. As my observational opinion, having worked for the Forest Service for years, would be antithetical.  Canada, Australia, and the US have had a century of aggressive fire suppression that has resulted in areas of carbon build up that is multiples of the norm for these historic fire regimes.  Not only are the fires significantly larger now, because of the higher fuel density, the intensity now causes many of the nutrients to sublimate, lengthening the restoration phase.  As for scientists "measuring everything", I would push back, especially since these models have so many moving parts, with significant unknowns.  Once a scientist no longer questions their models, data, inputs, etc. it's very easy to let bias creep in.  As for my claim they didn't give fuel density it's due, I simply read the inputs on their model.

  26. Eric (skeptic) at 21:43 PM on 9 April 2022
    Energy transformation can strengthen democracy and help fight climate change

    Three issues should be on topic: energy, climate and money.  The PM of Norway was unfortunately constrained in the interview: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0btv5rh by the interviewer.  But he claims cutting off the money would have no effect (implying sanctions are binary when they have not been binary in reality).

    Also I read up after my comment above on seasonal alternatives to natual gas.  Something like this https://www.emmetenergy.com would take years of planning.  But ramping up such a capability quickly may have a deterrent effect which was what we hoped the threat of sanctions would do.  And it uses the same pipes as Russian natural gas.

    European leadership should look for ways to apply their wealth quickly on Russian-funding harm reduction.  I would note they have done that recently to achieve greater CO2 harm reduction by phasing out Russian coal starting April 4th.

    In short, all harm reduction must be considered, holistically.

  27. EnergyRethink at 09:53 AM on 8 April 2022
    Energy transformation can strengthen democracy and help fight climate change

    Just to correct nigelj, the value of the Ruble is basically back where it was before the war.  This is due to Russia pegging the Ruble to the price of gold and demanding payment for oil and gas in Rubles. It is unfortune though for Germany that they are moving away from Nuclear as they have essentially snookered themselves.

  28. Energy transformation can strengthen democracy and help fight climate change

    Eric the sceptic:

    "Russia had a debt to GDP ratio of just 19% last year up from 18% the year before"

    This is not much of an advantage when 1) The world wont loan you any more money, 2) the ruble is crashing in value 3) Inflation in Russia is now rampant 4) The western world has frozen many oligarchs accounts 5) Markets are closing to Russias exports 6) Russias have been denied access to various international financial systems 7) Russia is having trouble importiung enough goods.

    I guess Russia might print its own money. That creates a further raft of problems.

    "One question that needs an answer, therefore, is how to deal with the increased demand for fossil in winter, in Europe and elsewhere."

    Scary scenario for places like Germany. They are very reliant on Russian gas. Apparently America is supplying lpg gas but ships can only transport so much.

    I have read that Germany has commited to a big acceleration of its renewables programme. Building nuclear would probably be too slow.

    Moderator Response:

    [PS] Just a little prompt to would-be responders, that while energy and climate implications of Ukraine war are on topic, this is not a forum for general discussions of the war and it's politics.

  29. One Planet Only Forever at 02:38 AM on 8 April 2022
    Energy transformation can strengthen democracy and help fight climate change

    This is a timely presentation of Options for Helpful Leadership action by global leadership.

    It would have been beneficial for helpful global leadership (those claiming to defend democracy) to have pushed harder for Option 2 starting 30 years ago. That would have reduced the harmful pursuits of control, and the related acceptance of harmful regional leadership, in the Middle East and parts of Africa (and Russia). And it may have avoided the harmful power play by Putin today.

    There is an important supplementary action that everyone can be helpful with right now (it is never too late to learn to change to be less harmful and more helpful).

    Everyone who is consuming more than their basic needs can help by reducing their consumption, especially their direct use of fossil fuels. That would reduce the need for Option 1 and maximize the rate of achievement of Option 2.

    There can be very rapid benefits realized if everyone transitions quickly (immediately) to cooler indoor spaces in winter and warmer indoor spaces in summer. People can also have shorter showers and fewer baths starting immediately. And people can also help fight the harmful likes of Putin by stopping unnecessary power consuming trips (Walk and bike more. Use public transit more. Enjoy 'getting away to somewhere close' rather than going far away for a change).

    There is growing evidence that consumers who attempt to be Greener while maintaining or increasing their consumption are far more harmful and less helpful than consumers who simply reduce their consumption without pursuing 'greener options' (of course reducing consumption is improved by pursuing genuinely less harmful options for the remaining reduced consumption).

  30. Eric (skeptic) at 22:48 PM on 7 April 2022
    Energy transformation can strengthen democracy and help fight climate change

    I'm glad someone finally brought this topic up.  Every time I listen to a story in the media about "sanctions" I think about the BBC hard talk interview with the Prime Minister of Norway last month. They asked him why Europe was sending a billion dollars a day to Russia.  The PM tried to make the case outlined above, but he was constrained by the hard talk interview "gotcha question" format.

    The amount is less than a billion a day now, and I don't have a figure.  Some omissions from the article above: Putin attacked in winter at the time of peak demand.  Russia had a debt to GDP ratio of just 19% last year up from 18% the year before, an extremely strong financial position compared to most countries.

    One question that needs an answer, therefore, is how to deal with the increased demand for fossil in winter, in Europe and elsewhere.  It's hard to say no to fossil when you need it for heat.

  31. EnergyRethink at 09:50 AM on 7 April 2022
    Energy transformation can strengthen democracy and help fight climate change

    What about Option 3: follow France and dispatch more Nuclear ?

  32. How a few geothermal plants could solve America’s lithium supply crunch and boost the EV battery industry

    Meurig: Geothermal power is already very flexible, and appears quite suited to working with solar and wind power: "At the same time, geothermal power plants offer more flexibility than some other types of baseload power sources, as it is relatively easy to ramp their power production up and down depending on need."

    www.rff.org/publications/explainers/geothermal-energy-101/

    "It (geothermal power) can run as baseload power around the clock, including at night, or “load follow” to complement renewables’ fluctuations."

    www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2020/10/21/21515461/renewable-energy-geothermal-egs-ags-supercritical

  33. How a few geothermal plants could solve America’s lithium supply crunch and boost the EV battery industry

    This potential source of lithium is great news, and I would be interested as to where else in the world the same might apply.
    However, one point about geothermal.  In order to properly complement low-cost low-impact variable sources like wind and solar, we don't need traditional (inflexible) "baseload" - that would merely compete with wind and solar for high merit-order grid slots and actually reduce the ability of the grid to be responsive.  Instead, we need sources which can be ramped up and down easily and rapidly, to "fill the gaps" when solar and wind aren't able to fully meet demand.  I can conceive of ways (high temperature heat storage, for example) that geothermal can be made somewhat flexible, but I'm wondering how much work has been done on this.
    This is an important consideration as we shift to renewables-based grids in places where a substantial proportion of hydro isn't an option.  As the IPCC AR6 WG3 TS states (box TS.9, p.55),:
    "An increasing reliance on electricity from variable renewable sources,
    notably wind and solar power, disrupts old concepts and makes many
    existing guidelines obsolete for power system planning, e.g. that
    specific generation types are needed for baseload, intermediate load and
    peak load to follow and meet demand. In future power systems with high
    shares of variable electricity from renewable sources, system planning
    and markets will focus more on demand flexibility, grid infrastructure
    and interconnections, storage on various timelines (on the minute,
    hourly, overnight and seasonal scale), and increased coupling between
    the energy sector and the building, transport and industrial sectors."

  34. How a few geothermal plants could solve America’s lithium supply crunch and boost the EV battery industry

    Philippe. Sorry I missed your mentioning this. It would have been nice to have seen someone else who sees the enormous potential for this. Possibly the greatest  aspect is that it would even up the share of global energy supply that most nations would have because the newer techniques can access the energy almost everywhere on earth - no small set of nations would have a stranglehold on the supply of large amounts of energy

  35. Getting involved with Climate Science via crowdfunding and crowdsourcing

    Update notice: This article was re-published on April 5 2022 to mention the short term crowdfunding project "Warming Stripes on the Sachsenbrücke" in Leipizg, Germany. We also added a fourth section to highlight our own projects you can contribute to.

  36. Philippe Chantreau at 02:48 AM on 6 April 2022
    How a few geothermal plants could solve America’s lithium supply crunch and boost the EV battery industry

    Nick Palmer, on that point we definitely agree, although I'd say that it is not that new. I have mentioned it several times over the years in various threads without arising much interest. Nonetheless, it remains one of the best options available. The small surface footprint, the 24-7 operation independent of weather, the lack of any waste product ending up in the environment, the lack of any kind of fuel needing to be extracted, exchanged and transported, the lack of risks of harmful by-products escaping, make a compelling argument in its favor. The plant in France drilled to 5000 meters, many locations would not require such deep drilling, but there is now technology that allows for even deeper wells. Of course, geology won't allow it to be done anywhere, but it should be done everywhere it can be. It's as close to a freebee as we can possibly find on our planet. 

    Last I read, the Soultz-sous-Forets plant was feeding 1.5 MW in the grid. Much knowledge and experience were gained in the development of what was intended to be a pilot experimental facility, that was later converted in a commercial electricity generation operation.

  37. michael sweet at 02:43 AM on 6 April 2022
    2022 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13

    This article in The Guardian describes how small solar set ups (not specifically described in the article but probably one or two panels and a storage battery) have improved the lives of refugees in Rwanda.

    Recently several commentors suggested that developing countries might need to use coal to get their economies started.  This use of solar is more environmentally responsible and much cheaper than coal or other fossil fuels.  In addition, it can be impemented in small steps that are more easily funded.  Why build a fossil generating plant that will be obsolete in ten years and is subject to extreme price swings like current fossil energy supplies?

  38. michael sweet at 02:25 AM on 6 April 2022
    How a few geothermal plants could solve America’s lithium supply crunch and boost the EV battery industry

    It is very interesting to hear about echnologies that have dual applications.  Here generating electricity and producing lithium.  The amounts of lithium sound very large.  We will have to see how their pilot plants work.

  39. It's the sun

    krit242 @ 1298:

    The argument that short wavelengths of solar radiation have a large effect on climate is usually tied to the "it's cosmic rays" argument. The total amount of energy at those shorter wavelengths is very limited - although individual photons have more energy  at shorter wavelemgths, there are just a lot fewer photons. A large percentage change in a small number is still a small number.

    As for cosmic rays, Skeptical Science has a page for that, too.

    The review I linked to at 1297 looks at a paper that tries to argue in favour of "indirect" solar effects - i.e., effects that are related to "something unknown" that is not the direct heating/energy input from variations in solar output. (Spolier alert: it's not a good paper.)

  40. How a few geothermal plants could solve America’s lithium supply crunch and boost the EV battery industry

    Yup. Geothermal has been rather overlooked. Even this article doesn't really refer to the exciting new development of 'enhanced geothermal' and ultra-deep geothermal, both of which promise huge capacity available to almost all areas of the world, not just the current 'hot spots'
    wiki article about some enhanced geothermal systems

  41. It's the sun

    Krit242  @1298 ,

    Please look again at the diagram Figure 1 at the top of this page.  The blue line shows the solar irradiance (in watts per square metre) has been decreasing since about year 1960.   There is no increasing.   The planet Earth is warming, and the warming is not due to solar changes.

    That is why Pepper  @1296  is wrong also ~  and the paper linked  @1297  [ Ziskin & Shaviv, 2012 ]  is poor science.   Pepper has been deceived by Shaviv & some of the other (very tiny number of) scientists who are acting as propagandists.   And why are these propagandists trying to deceive people ?  . . . yes, that is an interesting question !   Most likely, these propagandists are first trying to deceive themselves.

    Krit242  ~ please look at "the big picture".   Look at the huge forest of climate evidence, and not at just one or two trees.

  42. Understanding the promise and peril of fusion power: Chimera or climate panacea?

    Global birth licensing and enforcement would be easier and less risky.

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] Off-topic and inflammatory statements deleted.

  43. Climate scientists are in it for the money

    I feel like scientists in every field are important to us. Scientists are vital to the globe since they assist individuals in comprehending how the world operates in very particular ways. Humans have spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to stay alive and happy, and science has proven to be an useful tool for doing so, even if it doesn't always make us happy. Science is a certain perspective on the environment. It's a mode of thinking, a means of organizing what we know in order to better comprehend how things work. I also think there aren't much people choosing the environmental science field because of the "they are doing it for money" reason and also there aren't much people paying much close attention to their result/studies. 

  44. It's cooling

    The Earth is not in radiative balance with forcings and will continue to warm for some time yet until that balance is reached. Even the warming is uneven. Further, current levels of the warming of the globe likely exceed those found both in the Holocene and in the previous interglacial.

  45. Planting a trillion trees will solve global warming

    I think that planting many trees would be able to help with climate change but it wouldn't be that much effective. Sure, plants are cheap and can absorb carbon dioxide. Can also remove a substantial portion of heat-trapping emissions from the atmosphere. However, there are more different problems that makes climate change way worse. For example ocean pollution, industrial activity and agricultural activity. I also think that planting trees will take time to grow because of the environment. Temperature rising would make it hard to grow and there will also be people who would deforesting the trees. Which means that planting more trees would be useless. So i think we should focus on the people first then the environment. 

  46. It's the sun

    The video tell the problem of energy balance. Temperature is tightly coupled variables. The solar irridiance is increasins during the past 50 years, I think it's important to know that solar irridiance changes most in the shorter wavelengths. It might not look like large effect for this change but there is something more.

  47. It's the sun

    Pepper: Welcome to Skeptical Science.

    Although there is a lot of noise about solar variations being a possible cause for recent warming, the papers that make this claim usually suffer major flaws.

    The numbers that you are quoting need a reference - "they" is not enough detail! It sounds like you may be referring to the results of the paper that is reviewed in this blog post at Skeptical Science. Follow that link to see an example of how papers claiming a significant solar effect can have serious shortcomings.

  48. 2022 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13

    Hello, all Skeptical Science readers.

    I am using this weekly digest post as a place to make a comment about recent activity on a number of blog posts.

    A few years ago, we had a collection of students from KMIDS college in Bangkok that were assigned work that included reading and commenting here at Skeptical Science. It looks like we may be seeing similar activity this month. (We are trying to confirm if it is indeed the same school.)

    When this happened before, we wrote a short blog post explaining the situation.

    Please try to provide these students (if we have correctly identified them as such) wtih a warm welcome and encourage them to read material here and engage in constructive dialog.

    Thanks.

  49. There is no consensus

    Sun:

    There is a lot in between the two extremes of "catasrophe" and "no need to do anything". It is not a binary system or "right or wrong" - it is a range of likely outcomes and risks.

    We know with pretty much 100% certainty that adding CO2 causes some warming. For doubling of CO2 (from 300 to 600ppm) it is very unlikely that it will be less than 1.5-2.0C. It will also be very unlikely that it will be more than 4.5-5.0C. But that leaves a lot of range of likely temperature effects that will cause serious changes in climate and very likely serious (and expensive) impacts on society. The larger the temperature change and the impact, the more important it is that we take additional action.

    The idea that CO2 limits will harm the economy is discussed in this thread at Skeptical Science.

  50. CO2 lags temperature

    The time lag between CO2 and temperature is due to the time offset between warming oceans and continued ocean CO2 emissions. with this cumulative effect Carbon dioxide, therefore it will becomes the main driver of temperature during glacial and interglacial warming. Shakun et al 2012 paper showed that warming was indeed triggered by the Milankovitch cycles and that a small amount of orbital cycle-caused warming eventually triggered the CO2 release, which caused most of the glacial-interglacial warming. So while CO2 did lag behind a small initial temperature change, it led and was the primary driver behind most of the glacial-interglacial warming. According to the Shakun data, approximately 7% of the overall glacial-interglacial global temperature increase occurred before the CO2 rise, whereas 93% of the global warming followed the CO2 increase.

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