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Comments 401 to 450:

  1. How not to solve the climate change problem

    I think the evironmental defense fund estimate of 20% of CO2 emissions was probably 20% of human-caused CO2 emissions. I think that makes more sense.

  2. IPCC Explainer: Mitigation of Climate Change

    Michael Sweet and [BL]: I was not intending to re-start any discussion on this forum, and I will not respond here to any criticism. I am inviting your participation in a more neutral forum.

    The article on cost is new. I am doing my best to collect the most important facts on a controversial issue.  This forum seems to be the most technically informed on the anti-nuclear side, so I value your participation in the debate. From our earlier discussion, I as able to distill two critiques on the ThorCon article, one of which (Cs-137) has not been adequately answered by the ThorCon engineers.

    I am about to submit the earlier articles for final peer review, and I am intending to put an invitation on the other post where those articles were discussed. This post on climate change seemed like the better place to invite discussion on a more general topic. If you would rather I communicate privately, send and email to macquigg at gmail.  I value the work here on climate change, and I don't want to distract you with the nuclear issue.

  3. IPCC Explainer: Mitigation of Climate Change


    Nuclear is on the tree of solutions, read more carefully.

  4. IPCC Explainer: Mitigation of Climate Change

    This presentation seems to be ingoring nuclear power as a low-cost solution to our CO2 problem.  I understand there are worries about safety, waste management, weapons proliferation and cost. I have been designated editor for a series Nuclear Power Reconsidered in Citizendium to address those issues.

    There is a discussion of our latest article examining the cost issue at Renewable vs Nuclear Debate. If you having some good information to contribute, please join that discussion.

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] You have your run on about your other blog when you brought it  up on the "What role for small modular nuclear reactors in combating climate change?" post.

    Please do not re-start that same unproductive discussion.

  5. New temperature reconstruction vindicates ...

    The Problem with this article is not only that you've done the same stirching job which was supremely questionable with the Mann Graphs to begin with, but even that aside, you have used alarmist graphs which double the amount of warming we've experienced vs the actual observations. If the stitching were done with a non-manipulated Temperature graph, then you find that the temperatures we have today are *Still no different than the range of temperatures that were experienced in the MWP.   

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] The problem with this comment is that it makes unsupported accusations of dishonesty, and throws in a few unsupported claims. All items that have been discussed elsewhere on this site:

    On Mann and the reviews of his work:

    On the myth that observations show less warming that predictions:

    ...also covered in a post over at RealClimate with more up-to-date observations:

    ...and lastly, the Medieval Warm Period

    Unsupported assertions will gain you no credibility here.


  6. How not to solve the climate change problem

    The 20% figure for deforestation is from the Environmental Defense Fund.

    It looks to me like defostation is a major cause of CO2 increase. Deforestation has certainly increase over the years.

    CO2 growth has been around 2 ppm per year. The level is abot 400 ppm. The 20% figure is about 80 ppm. That is about 40 years of CO2 increase from deforestation alone. Deforestation in the Amazon dramatically increased around 1991 and has countinued to increase since then.

    It would take many decades and trillions of dollars to get rid of fossil fuels and it certainly hasn't warmed enough for most people to want to pay much extra for it. Buying up the rain forests would probably be much cheaper. Florida and Texas are still getting large immigration from people in the north seeking a warmer environment.

    The Sun is also emitting less energy and we don't know how much less  it will drop and when it will return to normal. The feedback effects will mean more clouds and rain as well as a cooler environment for an unknown amount of time. We may be needing fossil fuels more than ever.

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] You continue to treat this web site as if it this single post is the only place you want to comment.

    Please learn to use the Search tool. You have been pointed to other blog posts that look at deforestation. There are also several hits if you search for "Amazon", including

    Your claims about the cost of getting off fossil fuels also has better places:

    Please note that posting comments here at SkS is a privilege, not a right.  This privilege can be rescinded if the posting individual treats adherence to the Comments Policy as optional, rather than the mandatory condition of participating in this online forum.

    Please take the time to review the policy and ensure future comments are in full compliance with it.  Thanks for your understanding and compliance in this matter.

  7. Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    John Oneill

    Sovacool et all 2000   (free copy linked here in the right column) reaches a different conclusion from your web page.   Was yours peer reviewed?  Sovacool et al find:

    "we use multiple regression analyses on global datasets of national carbon emissions and renewable and nuclear electricity production across 123 countries over 25 years to examine systematically patterns in how countries variously using nuclear power and renewables contrastingly show higher or lower carbon emissions. We find that larger-scale national nuclear attachments do not tend to associate with significantly lower carbon emissions while renewables do."

    I prefer peer-reviewed links.  I doubt that we will come to agreement on this point.

    Most of the nuclear improvements in your ten year list were made decades ago, with that remainder being single plants that took decades to build in small countries  Then people learned that nuclear was not economic and stopped building.  By contrast, all the wind and solar builds are recent.  Next year more wind and solar builds will be on the list and they will rise in the amounts of electricity generated.  You are comparing the best years of an old, failed technology to a new, rapidly expanding technology.  And you forgot solar.

    Renewable energy has only been the cheapest energy for a few years.  Nuclear has been around for 70 years.  More reactors shut down every year because they are worn out than are built.  Gas and wind have been built lately because they were cheapest.  Now, solar is also being built because it is cheap.  With the increase in the price of gas, all new build power will be renewable.

    The nuclear industry in France, the largest adoptor of nuclear, is collapsing because their reactors have reached the end of their life.  Your link from post 290 says future heat waves could cause 30% of France's nuclear to shut down during periods of highest need.  So much for "always on".  We see this already in 2022, except so many plants are closed for emergency repairs the shut downs from drought and heat are smaller.

    in post 289 you state that 60% of Frances nuclear is currently shut down during the worst electricity crisis in Europe.  Most are closed for emergency repairs with no restart date.  You keep posing conspiracy theories about governments sabotaging nuclear.

    You cite data from the 1980's to support nuclear.  Meanwhile the reactors built in the 80's are wearing out and shutting down.  Come back when you have recent data that supports nuclear.

    Nuclear is too expensive, takes too long to build and there is not enough uranium.

  8. Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    The countries Sepulveda examines are mostly reasonably large. Those with more than 50% of their power from nuclear include France and Ukraine, large countries at opposite ends of Europe both geographically and in wealth. Germany and Japan, both economic giants, got almost 30% of their power from nuclear before the Fukushima meltdown led both to turn off most of their plants - unwisely, in my view. Making an unrealistic example of a small country is mostly a crime of the renewables enthusiasts. I've often seen lists online of places 'approaching 100% renewable', those including my own homeland, New Zealand. New Zealand has actually been receding from the '100% RE' ideal lately, as low hydro production led to record imports of coal. In fact, nearly all the places touted as nearing 100% RE are small, most rely largely on hydro, and many are quite poor, with low electricity use, and associated low rankings for general well-being. Brazil is an outlier, a large economy that used to get the great majority of its power from hydro, but climate change has been causing problems with that. There are a few countries which have reached around ten percent of their power from solar, but even by that level, intermittency, and usually, out of control incentive payments, are causing intractable problems. The two countries with a large share of power from wind are Denmark and Uruguay - both comparatively small, and both able to export their surpluses, and import to cover their deficits, from the much larger economies either side of them. (Uruguay also relies mainly on hydro, which can fill the wind gaps.) Your citing of Luxembourg is a bit rich - they used to have some of the most coal-heavy power in Europe, but still felt entitled to back Austria in taking legal action against other EU countries trying to decarbonise with nuclear. Conversely, Lithuania used to get over 90% of its electricity from two Soviet-era reactors, which it was forced to close to be allowed into the EU. Instead of exporting plenty of low-carbon power, the Lithuanians now import most of it - often from Sweden, which is roughly one third nuclear-powered, and which, like France till its recent problems, exports copious clean juice to all the countries around it.

    I just listened to an interesting podcast on grid economics, among other things. The Australian interviewee points out that leaving power planning to the market, as has been the fashion of late, is getting increasingly problematic - the Australian grid operator has a 'rule book' 1,700 pages ong, but the one for the PJM ( Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland) has 4,000 pages! The way the market rules are set tends to mean that just one type of generation is built in a period - nuclear in the early eighties, coal in Australia in the eighties, wind in Germany, gas and wind in the US lately. This was a reaction against the perceived socialism or dirigism of top-down control, but has led to a situation where nobody is really making long-term, coherent plans for the infrastructure that underpins our whole existence. Stephen Wilson: Adjunct Professor at University of Queensland

  9. Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    John ONeill @292,


    Maybe I've missed something but it is quite easy to demonstrate that nuclear is not delivering.

    It is not a particularly clever analysis by this economist Edgardo Sepulvda. Cutting the world into tiny bits such that a small country with a nuclear power plant or two will suddenly have a big chunk of low carbon electricity capacity arriving in short order. Isn't that inevitable?

    Imagine. Shoe-horn a nuclear reactor into Luxembourg, press the on button and bingo - we have a winner!!

    A cleverer approach would surely be to take the global view of this. AGW is after all a global problem requiring a global fix.

    OurWorldInData shows the meatiest increase in nuclear generation occurred back in 1984 & 1985 when generation jumped by 221TWh/y & 234TWh/y respectively. This compares with the almost exponential rise in wind generation which jumped 265TWh/y in 2021. Or if longer periods are compared, both nuclear and wind  increased massively from under 100TWh/y, wind achieving 1,860TWh in the last 17 years, and nuclear 1,730TWh/y over a similar 17 year period. So the numbers are not dissimilar but the nuclear stuff was back over thirty years ago.

    Of course, we don't know for certain how tomorrow will shape out but the near-exponential growth in wind generation will presumably continue in coming years, so presumably easily exceeding a linear increase which would be 265TWh/y. Meanwhile for nuclear we know there is 0.058TW of new build expected to switch on in the next six years which. if it arrives on time to give say 90% load factor and none of the existing capacity shuts down, that would result in 76TWh/y increase in low carbon generation, a level well below 30% of the wind delivery.

    And that is why I say that, in comparison with wind, a sensible analysis shows nuclear not delivering. But then, have I missed something?

  10. One Planet Only Forever at 09:44 AM on 28 August 2022
    Cranky Uncle: a game building resilience against climate misinformation


    Perhaps a clarification of the issue being discussed would help. Discourse is only possible when there is a common understanding of what is being discussed.

    The issue is the need to help people be less tempted to believe misunderstandings regarding climate science.

    There is undeniably a problem of successful efforts to selectively/misleadingly tempt people to want a product or service that they do not 'need'. There is even the hope that people will be so powerfully tempted that they will consider an 'unnecessary want' to be an 'essential need' which will keep them from investigating or recognising harm done. Those marketing efforts include deliberately failing to investigate and inform about, or misinforming about, harmful risks or results of the 'hoped to be popularly needed' product or service.

    'Does it work' is therefore regarding how effective the 'game' is at helping a person be less likely to be misled into misunderstanding climate science matters. The objective is to reduce the popular support for unnecessarily harmful human activity.

    So it is possible that your perception of the issue is 'a good distance', remote, from the common sense of what the issue is. The popularity of the 'game' is not the issue. Neither is the possibility that someone who is fond of misunderstanding climate science matters would feel 'manipulated' by the game.

    If you believe there is a better tool to help limit the popularity of harmful misunderstanding offer it up. It could be helpful beyond the challenge of the popularity of harmful misunderstandings regarding climate science. But it is common sense that it would be wise to use any such 'better' tool in addition to, not instead of, other helpful tools.

  11. Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    As (mostly) a bystander to discussions of this kind, I keep thinking that I'm hearing something along the lines of "are winter tires the solution to driving with good traction?"  Emphasis on "the."

    There's no "the," it seems, if one looks at reality as it unfolds on a daily basis: USEIA Electric Power Monthly with Data for June 2022. 

    We want simple, "the," but that's very unlikely, is contradicted by plain evidence and facts on the ground. What we actully get is "it depends."

  12. Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    Economist Edgardo Sepulvda has analysed the electricity generation profiles, and the concomitant emissions reductions, for thirty OECD  countries. 'Over the last 50 years, countries that adopted nuclear power consistently reduced emissions intensity, by more than three times as much as those that went without nuclear.'

     He proposes that the faster nuclear builds in the 70s and early 80s occurred when electricity demand was growing faster than GDP, whereas demand more recently in the richer countries has been flat, so long-term investment was discouraged. To have any hope of reducing the impact of climate change, we'll have to increase non-fossil power generation by about 3x at least. Nuclear generation has been static, but that's hardly surprising when some of the governments of many countries with high nuclear percentages - Germany, Japan, South Korea, France, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan - have been actively trying to reduce or eliminate the industry. So have regional governments - Governor Brown in California, and Governors Mario and Andrew Cuomo, in New York, spent forty years trying to sabotage their respective States' largest low-carbon generators. 

    Of the twenty fastest deployments of electricity generation per capita, measured by increase in MWh produced per person during deployment, eight were from hydro and nine from nuclear - only three involved wind power.

    The Olkiluoto reactor in Finland has been a byword for how slow reactor projects can be to come to completion - it has in fact taken seventeen years, just being brought up to full operation now. ( Chinese, Japanese, South Korean, and formerly French reactors have been built and powered up in about four years.) Yet this troubled plant will produce more power than all the wind turbines built in Denmark over the same period. Denmark and Finland have similar populations, though the Danish economy is larger. Denmark is famous for having the world's highest proportion of power from wind, but the electricity emissions of Finland, which has five nuclear reactors, are almost always lower.

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] Links activated.

    The web software here does not automatically create links. You can do this when posting a comment by selecting the "insert" tab, selecting the text you want to use for the link, and clicking on the icon that looks like a chain link. Add the URL in the dialog box.

    You have been advised about this before. Please make the effort to make it easier for readers to follow your links.

  13. How not to solve the climate change problem

    Scvblwxq1 , now you are talking sense, I reckon.

    Your tropical deforestation 20% component is rather too high for a long-term nett figure . . . but 25% would be nearer the mark by the time you add in production of cement and steel.

    Deforestation is obviously self-limiting . . . as we approach zero natural forest remaining.  And even half of that Climate Change legislation's USD369 billion (over 10 years, I gather) would not go far against the underlying causes (Third world poverty and entrenched corruption etc).   In perspective: USD369 billion is about 5% of US military expenses over 10 years.

    #  More effective and logical, imo, would be to aim more at reducing the other roughly 75% of the CO2 problem that comes from fossil fuel usage  ~ that is a formidable problem, yet not as intractable as the example you have chosen.

  14. How not to solve the climate change problem

    Getting rid of tropical deforestation would drop greenhouse gas emissions(probably mainly CO2) by 20% would drop the CO2 ppm value from about 420 ppm to about 336 ppm, about the 1980 value.

    The US Climate Change bill was $369 billion. The US and the other countries should consider spending most of that money buying up the forests they are burning and making arrangements to take care of displaced people.

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] If you wish to discuss deforestation, there are better places than this thread.


  15. How not to solve the climate change problem

    The article doesn't mention 3 major sources of CO2 that have been producing more CO2 in modern times. 

    Forests and grasslands are being converted to farmlands worldwide. Both forest and grasslands take up CO2 constantly compared to cropland that only takes up large quantities of CO2 when the plants get larger and shortly after that they are harvested and no CO2 is taken up by that land until more crops are planted.

    Tropical deforestation contributes about 20% of annual global greenhouse gas emission alone. 'Measuring Carbon Emissions from Tropical Deforestation: An Overview' Environmental Defense Fund

    The other major source of CO2 that has changed is insects. Insects comprise more than 50% of all animals by weight and are major CO2 producers. The population of the birds that control the insects has dropped by 30% in the United States in the last 50 years and the decline in bird populations is worldwide. Fewer birds means there are more insects eating the plants that have taken up CO2 and releasing it when they exhale.

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] Then maybe it is off-topic? You've been warned. Pay attention to those warnings.

    ...and reposting comments that have had things moderated out is a rapid path to having comments deleted completely.

  16. CO2 lags temperature

    The other thing apparent from that graph is that temperature climb rate early in the post-glacial period seriously flattens at the peak. That seems to imply a variation in sensitivity that is not mentioned in the Shakun paper. If that were not the case, the temperature would continue to climb at the faster rate.

  17. CO2 lags temperature

    Figure 2a in the Shakun paper seems to confirm that the very minor warming due to higher CO2 after the peak temperature is reached following deglaciation is substantially smaller than the effects of the Milankovitch cycles, which clearly dominate earth's climate. Is that not apparent from the graph?

  18. Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    John ONeill @289/290,
    You can blame all them cooling problems on the fishes if you like and point to wondrous solutions, but the access to cooling water from rivers for existing nuclear reactors is a problem. Yet in the grand scheme of things, the various problems nuclear would have to address are all-of-them fixable with enough time and effort, even the uranium fuel constraint. And surely even the constraint which Abbott (2012) describes as the "harder one, ... An increased demand for rare metals" is not beyond the wit of man.
    But time is a ticking and time-&-tide waits for no man, while there are also limited resources available to address AGW with the competing available technologies.
    The challenge set by the OP above is for "nuclear proponents" to provide a demonstration of approaches for fixing all these problems, and fixing them all in a useful and timely manner such that nuclear can then play a significant part of the non-carbon-emitting power required by humanity (which Abbott 2011 totals as 15TW), this within the next couple of decades and without costing an arm and a leg.
    Now that is quite a daunting challenge, but perhaps that is the measure of what is needed to set out a case for nuclear.

    So as 2050 draws ever closer, while discussion of the different approaches to cooling nuclear reactors may be an interesting one, where would demonstrating cooling problems as being fixable (or not) get us?

    Perhaps the question should be "How is the ramping-up of global nuclear capacity going?" (Note this is my 'Pudding Test' from up-thread.)

    We do have a start-point in today's 0.39TW global nuclear capacity and as of today, the output of that nuclear capacity has been flat-lining for the last two decades.
    Global nuclear capacity 1970-2021
    So not an encouraging start. But maybe there is a new dawn for the technology.

    The WNA list 53 reactors under construction completing 2022-28 (totalling 0.058TW and comprising 0.019TW, 0.008TW, 0.005TW & 0.009TW in successive years, so no sign of any accelerating in the building although an increase on the 0.004TW/yr average new capacity 2000-16 graphed in this CarbonBrief piece from 2016), this WNA listing seemingly smack up-to-date and pointing to a 0.01TW/yr of new capacity.
    The WNA also talk of 0.09TW "on order or planned and over 300 more [that's 300 reactors = 3TW pro rata] are proposed."
    Strangely, the WNA also quote numbers from the IEA for 2050 nuclear capacity variously as 0.525TW amd 0.669TW, neither of which seem to match the level of planned/proposed new nuclear described by WNA on the same webpage, a mismatch which goes without comment. But that is the nature of the WNA commentary.
    I note they have a page in which it addresses the question "In practice, is a rapid expansion of nuclear power capacity possible?" and they argue in reply that the 1980s saw a large increase in nuclear capacity with a new reactor starting up "an average of one every 17 days. .... So it is not hard to imagine a similar number being commissioned in a decade after about 2015." The actual increase in nuclear generation seen 1980-90 was 0.14TW which would pro rata add 0.39TW 2022-50, less closures of 0.15TW, yielding simplistically a 66% increase to 0.65TW by 2050.
    Perhaps it should be a more thoughtful analysis presented in the WNA's Harmony Programme which talks of a 0.033TW build rate 2025-50 and 1.25TW capacity by 2050, although if it is a more thoughtful analysis, that thought is not evident.

    So "a nuclear realist" as described by Abbott (2011) who "would only suggest that we need about 1 TW of nuclear power as part of our world energy mix" has less daunting challenge, although Abbot (2011) does conclude that "one only has to divide the results, in this paper, by fifteen to see that 1 TW still stretches resources and risks considerably." And the rate of build is yet still deep in the inadequate zone.

  19. Cranky Uncle: a game building resilience against climate misinformation

    That's a good distance from what I said, so I don't have an answer for you.

  20. Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    Article on adaptation of French nuclear to climate change.

  21. Cranky Uncle: a game building resilience against climate misinformation

    Whoa there, Jason. We're still stuck at your first question. You've started a discussion— don't scurry away now.

    You asked "does it work?"  You were shown where that question is answered. You say you've read those cites, and to have found your question unaddressed.

    So in a nutshell, you're saying that Cook is making unsupported claims. 

    Specifically,  how are Cook's assertions "Inoculation has been found to be effective in neutralizing misinformation casting doubt on the scientific consensus on human-caused global warming [2, 6]. Inoculation messages are also long lasting [8]"  unfounded?

  22. Cranky Uncle: a game building resilience against climate misinformation

    If you don't want to discuss the article, Doug, obviously there's no obligation to.  I followed the first two citations you recommended, found they didn't address any of the interesting questions, and one has limited time for data mining expeditions.  I also tried out the app.

  23. Cranky Uncle: a game building resilience against climate misinformation

    We can lead you to water, Jason, but we can't force you to drink.

    Sincerely: do youself a favor by finding the answers yourself. You'll find most (if not all) of your questions addressed in the list of citations.  Whatever your attitude, belief or intentions, you'll be the better for investing some effort.

    Many of the citations above will show up with a link to given article in our glossary/cite system if you hover your cursor over titles. What I personally can do to help is to render the entire citation list into a set of clickable links. Would you like that? 

  24. Cranky Uncle: a game building resilience against climate misinformation

    My questions remain, Doug. The in-vitro studies based on recruited panels are one thing, a game app is another. Can it gain any traction with people who aren't being obliged to use it?  Is it supposed to?  To what extent does it convert versus filter for the already converted? Does it sharpen critical thinking skills generally or on the contrary build commitment to a particular point of view regardless of subsequent input? Which is the goal? How often does it backfire, triggering people's sense they're being manipulated, preached at, or talked down to?

  25. Skeptical Science New Research for Week #33 2022

    Accustomed as we are to using the same tool for providing nearly all of our energy requirements, perhaps part of the challenge here is the mental shift of needing context-dependent replacements. 

    If one likes "simple," perhaps it's unappealing to need a relative plethora of capture and storage tech where previously everything was centered on combustion and turbines. 

    We're nonetheless left with the plain fact that our days of "simple" are fleeting, not a permanent feature. 

  26. Halfway point in this year's run of Denial101x - 6 more months to go!

    Wol, we could start with legislation demanding that all online comment systems include the option for bullet points. :-)

  27. Cranky Uncle: a game building resilience against climate misinformation

    " benefits." 

    I suppose you're thinking of tangible, material personal benefits that sit in a driveway or a bank account, Jason. 

    There are other benefits we can seek, such as not embarassing ourselves by being gullible chumps, soft putty in the hands of demagogues etc.

    Does it work? That begs another question: did you read the article?

    Inoculation has been found to be effective in neutralizing misinformation casting doubt on the scientific consensus on human-caused global warming [2, 6]. Inoculation messages are also long lasting [8]

    Those numbers are called "citations," and they lead to "references," foundational support for claims of which we may not be familiar. Here the complete list of references accompanies the article directly inline. 

    As you become more familiar with scientific literature, you'll understand the value of citations and references. Here you can practice by actually reading Cook's article. When you run into something not plainly obvious to a reader versed in a paper's topic discipline (for the rest of us such as "the sun rises in the east") there'll generally be a supporting citation.

    If you see a claim made that is controversial or in doubt and is not supported or that a citation is misapplied, that's when things become potentially interesting, assuming you can articulate the problem. 

  28. Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    'We currently see in Europe that during heat waves and/or drought that many reactors on rivers have to be shut down due to lack of cooling water.'

    The reactors have not been shut down ( or run below full power) because they can't be cooled - the problem is that the rivers downstream of the power plants are already much warmer than normal, so a couple of degrees further from the reactor could push the river beyond limits that have been set to protect fish life. Due to the severe power shortage, some plants have been allowed to exceed these limits. This applies only to at most five of the fourteen inland power stations. The others are equipped with the iconic hyperboloid cooling towers, which reduce run-through water temperatures from a few degrees C hotter, to a few tenths of a degree. In theory, the remaining plants could be retrofitted with cooling towers, but that's unlikely. More than 60% of France's nuclear capacity is currently offline. This follows a decade of the industry being deliberately downgraded by renewables zealots, with the stated goal of reducing nuclear from 75% to 50% of the grid. Hopefully, the country will revert to having an 'energy minister', instead of an ex-Green Party 'minister of the ecological transition'. Changing the system of 'l'ARENH' -'Acces Regule a l'Electricite Nucleaire Historique' - which forces Areva to sell a quarter of it's output at below cost to its competitors, fossil and renewable - would give the industry a healthy capital boost to maintain its systems. Reactors in the USA run at capacity factors over 90%, and time their maintenance for either spring or fall, when power demand is lowest. Most of them have also had their capacity boosted by up to 25%, as increased knowledge of the reactors' behaviour allowed them to be run at higher power levels. France has traditionally aimed for highest availability in winter, when electrical heating placed most demand on the grid. Rising temperatures, and increased use of air conditioning, will force a change to a schedule more like the US. New accident-tolerant fuels, combined with higher enrichment, will allow reactors to run for two years straight, instead of eighteen months, further reducing downtime.

    One retrofit that could be cheaply applied is a recently developed system to harvest water from the cooling tower plume, further cutting water use by about a third. A wire grid can be installed at the top end of the tower, to collect water droplets, but most of them just go round the wires. By beaming ions at the water vapour column, the droplets pick up a charge, and are instead attracted to the grid. There is no loss of efficiency, and not much installation needed. The harvested water is extremely pure, and could be used for domestic supply in a pinch.

  29. How not to solve the climate change problem

    Scvblwxq1  @10 and prior :

    Your arguments seem to be rapidly moving their goalposts, or (perhaps) are turning into a drip-feed sort of Gish Gallop.

    The points you try to make have all been addressed many times before (over decades!) . . . and it is high time you educated yourself about them (if that was indeed your intention?).   Please read through the "Climate Myths" and other information available at SkepticalScience etcetera.

    The regurgitation of inaccurate & debunked Myths does become more boring than entertaining, in the eyes of readers here.

    That said, it was rather entertaining that you implied all the climate scientists are wrong because more New Yorkers are moving to the warmer climate of Florida (than vice versa).     ;-)

    Still, if you do actually have valid argument to support your claim of gross scientific error . . . then now would be a good time to make it.

    (Heh ... still chuckling about them thar rich elderly Northeners. )

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] If scvblwxq1 wishes to continue to participate here, scvblwxq1 needs to do two things:

    1. Find an appropriate thread, using the search function or the list of Most Common Climate Myths. Both of these are available in the upper left of every page.
    2. Read the posts that point out why these are myths.
    3. Actually make a coherent argument in support of the statements that he is making.

    Three things! Three things that scvblwxq1 needs to do if he wishes to continue posting here!

    As eclectic says, seeing these simple, wrong, often-repeated claims gets boring.

  30. Cranky Uncle: a game building resilience against climate misinformation

    Procter and Gamble and other large companies who want to persuade people to their point of view spend billions on ads to make the brand name familiar, build good associations with it, and convey the benefits you might get from buying it.

    This is a very different approach.  No brand name, no positive associations, no benefits.  Find people with low critical thinking skills, give them a game designed to perhaps improve their skills, perhaps innoculate them against specific skeptic arguments.

    Does it work, for whatever definition of work it aims at?

  31. How not to solve the climate change problem

    The IPCC says that CO2 only stays in the atmosphere for 4 years average before it is converted to sugar by plants or dissolves in the ocean. That means the CO2 from fossil fuels have allowed more plants to grow and that means more animals eating them and exhaling CO2.

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] This one is interesting (almost). You are clearly confused about what the the IPCC says about CO2 and what it means. Numbers in the 4-5 year time span indicate the residence time of a single molecule - how long one molecule will remain in the atmosphere before it is removed into some other carbon storage.

    But the residence time has very little to do with how long it will take for the natural systems to compensate for the atmospheric addition of CO2 by burning fossil fuels. CO2 levels will remain high for centuries.

    And guess what? This has already been addressed here at Skeptical Science.

    Allowing plants to grow? Also address here, in the "CO2 is plant food" topic.

    And most of your repetition of common myths is off-topic for this thread. You need to read the Comments Policy. For your convenience, I will provide the first four items in the policy - all of which you are violating.

    • All comments must be on topic. Comments are on topic if they draw attention to possible errors of fact or interpretation in the main article, of if they discuss the immediate implications of the facts discussed in the main article. However, general discussions of Global Warming not explicitly related to the details of the main article are always off topic. Moderation complaints are always off topic and will be deleted
    • Make comments in the most appropriate thread.  Some comments, while strictly on topic, may relate to issues discussed in more detail in some other thread.  Extended discussion of those points should be carried out in the more appropriate thread, with link backs to reference the discussion as needed.  Moderator's directions to move discussion to a more appropriate thread should always be followed.
    • Comments should avoid excessive repetition. Discussions which circle back on themselves and involve endless repetition of points already discussed do not help clarify relevant points. They are merely tiresome to participants and a barrier to readers. If moderators believe you are being excessively repetitive, they will advise you as such, and any further repetition will be treated as being off topic.
    • No sloganeering.  Comments consisting of simple assertion of a myth already debunked by one of the main articles, and which contain no relevant counter argument or evidence from the peer reviewed literature constitutes trolling rather than genuine discussion. As such they will be deleted. If you think our debunking of one of those myths is in error, you are welcome to discuss that on the relevant thread, provided you give substantial reasons for believing the debunking is in error.  It is asked that you do not clutter up threads by responding to comments that consist just of slogans.
  32. How not to solve the climate change problem

    I remember the Global Gooling movement that ended in the 60's and the Global Warming movement that started in the 70's and ended around 2000. Now it is Climate Change which really means Global Warming. It's 50 years of global warming movements that just haven't shown that enough warming is going to happen anytime soon enough to stop people from moving to warmer cllimates. Many more people are moving to warmer climates than are moving to colder climates every year.

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] It is beginning to look like  you are reading through the Most Common Climate Myths page, and picking items that you want to post -one-liners about.

    The "Global Cooling movement" was never a movement, and the myth is about the 1970s, not the 1960s, so your memory is faulty. You can read about why it is a myth on this page.

    You can also read about the myth that "they changed the name from global warming to climate change" on this page.

    There is no such thing as "the global warming movement". If you are trying to argue that climate scientists are in it for the money, you should read this post.

    If you are trying to claim that warming isn't happening as fast as predicted, you need to read this post.

    Congratulations. One paragraph, and at least four previously-debunked myths!

  33. Skeptical Science New Research for Week #33 2022

    David acct @9. You keep highlighting periods of several days where weather has not much wind thus reducing output of wind farms. Where I live gas peaker plants make up for this deficit, if required,  and this seems common practice in the world. Do you not realise it works that way? Eventually in NZ gas peaker plants will be replaced by storage.

    The government is considering pumped hydro storage at Lake Onslow (you can google this if you are interested). It comes down to the costs and practicalities of storage as previously stated. However pumped hydro is proven practical technology and is used  in places like Australia. I also endorse what MS is saying. 

  34. Skeptical Science New Research for Week #33 2022


    The authors name is "Clack", my spell checker changes it to " Clark".  I note that there was controversy because some people listed as authors did no work on the paper.  We will leave that aside.

    I don't think you understand scientific argument the same as I do.  In 2015 Jacobson et al published what they thought was right.  They had data for the USA and found renewables were as reliable as fossil fuels and only a little more expensive.  Clack et al published what they thought Jacobson said that was wrong.  The primary issue was the use of hydro power.  Jacobson replied.

    Back in 2017 there was a question of who was correct.  I thought Jacobson was correct but I think you would have agreed with Clack.

    Science advances by people obtaining more data and making better arguments.  In 2018 Jacobson published a new paper where he showed 100% renewable energy in 139 countries was as reliable as fossil fuels and cost about the same as fossil fuels.  He treated hydro power as Clack had suggested and adjusted his model to correct the other issues Clack had raised.  Clack did not raise any issues with this new paper which indicates that he felt his issues were addressed properly.

    In 2022 Jacobson has a new paper (linked above) about 145 countries.  Now renewable energy is much cheaper than fossil fuels and more reliable.  Jacobson uses primarily batteries to store electricity instead of more exotic storage way back in 2015.  His model uses a much better weather model testing every 30seconds where he tested every 5 minutes in 2015.  He has adjusted his argument to include changes, like the immense decrease in cost of batteries, solar and wind, that have occurred since 2015. No one has challenged his 2022 paper.

    You are wasting our time arguing about Jacobson 2015.  It has been superseded three times.  Even if Clack had been correct way back in 2015, Jacobson has answered all the issues Clack raised in his subsequent papers.  You need to address Jacobson 2022 if you have any questions.  New data has shown that Clack was wrong and Jacobson was right.

    Breyer et al 2022, previously linked above, has over 460 references.  Virtually all of them show that 100% renewable energy is cost effective and as reliable as fossil fuels.

    If you want to argue that renewables are limited, you need to address current thinking and not try to argue that people in the distant past were incorrect.  Your claim that Jacobson did not address periods of low wind or solar is simply wrong.  Read Jacobson 2022 and Breyer 2022.

  35. How not to solve the climate change problem


    Yes we know that solar output has been decreasing. But this purported "cooling" just isn't happening, Things are warming up, instead. Maybe there is some other factor involved?

    If you think we're heading towards another glacial period (within the current ice age), you're worrying about something that would not happen until the distant future.

    If you think that warming is going to be good for us, you need to think again.

    Please take discussions of these arguments to the appropriate thread, as indicated by the links I have provided.

  36. How not to solve the climate change problem

    The Earth is in a grand solar minimum and the total solar irradiance(the energy Earth receives from the sun) has been dropping, the recent high value was about in 2002. There was an increase in 2015 but is was below 2002. The Earth won't warm while it is receiving less energy.    The total solar irradiance during the recent solar minimum period measured by SOHO/VIRGO.

    We are still in the 2.588 million year ice age called the Quaternary Glaciation. That isn't going to change until all the permanent ice on Earth melts and 11% of the planet is permafrost. We already have to live in heated house and travel in heated vehicles. The average temperature of the US is 52 degrees which is colder that the 60 degrees people can stand for a long period. 

  37. How not to solve the climate change problem

    For what it is worth, RealClimate also has an older post (March 2020) on bad papers in the "Climate change is caused by solar radiation" subject area. Triggered by the retracted Zharkova paper, but a broader discussion.

  38. Remote sensing helps in monitoring arctic vegetation for climate clues

    David-acct @3,

    So you are actually saying that tree-line records assist in providing "a better proxy for temp," not that they are better relative to "proxies such as tree-rings," although you still suggest tree-line data would "most likely" have precedence over tree-ring data when the two datasets show differing results, but I'm not sure why that would be.

    As for that 'Yamal controversy', I don't think there was anything that would have abated that particular denyospheric storm because the last thing the perpetrators were seeking was "reconciliation." 

    The subject review of tree-lines of Harsch et al (2009) 'Are treelines advancing? A global meta-analysis of treeline response to climate warming' is still a good start to understand the value of tree-line records as temperature proxies, to which we can now also add Hannson et al (2021) 'A review of modern treeline migration, the factors controlling it and the implications for carbon storage'

  39. Remote sensing helps in monitoring arctic vegetation for climate clues

    Any vegetation-based measure of "climate" needs to address three factors:

    1. What is it about vegetation that you are measuring? The remote sensing disucssion in the post will be looking at changes in radiation that are linked to changes in physical characteristics of some sort. Ground-truthing can assess physical characterisitcs directly.
    2. How does that physical characteristic change with respect to weather or climate? What other factors affect that physical characteristic?
    3. How long does it take for that physical characteristic to respond?

    In the case of tree rings vs. treeline, the response time is very different. Rings show annual effects, while tree line takes decades or longer to change. That means that tree line has a built-in "climate" averaging - less affected by extremes in a single year, or other short-term factors such as insect outbreaks. It will not respond quickly to rapid shifts in climate, though.

    Tree rings can be measured as changes in width, or density, or other structural characteristics of the wood. Both temperature and moisture will have an effect, as will insect or disease outbreaks. Rate of growth also changes as a tree ages, so this is factored into the analysis. And data will be collected from trees of varying ages, to look for consistency.

    In addition to tree line, things like pollen analysis in local sediments can tell about species abundance and changes over time.

    And as David-acct says, reconcilliation across multiple sources of analysis is important. That's why reconstructions of past climates from proxy data bring together large numbers of proxies of different types - to search for common signals.

    An old post here at SkS talks about some of this:

    It is also worth noting that the common Koppen Climate Classification system -  where we get terms such as "continental", "maritme", "temperate" etc. that are part of the common language of climate - was originally developed to explain vegetation patterns. The links between climate and vegetation are strong.

  40. Remote sensing helps in monitoring arctic vegetation for climate clues

    MA Rodger - you raise a good point on why the tree line records can be better proxies for temps than tree rings.  


    The primary reason is that the tree line is a good cross check against the tree ring proxies.  The location of the tree line in the past is a strong indicator of warmer or lower temps.  So if the tree ring proxies show colder temps (or comparable temps) with present day, but the tree line is farther north (or higher), then most likely, the calibration of the tree rings is off.    


    If nothing else, the tree line serves as a basis for reconciliation.  partly noted in the yamal controversy

  41. Remote sensing helps in monitoring arctic vegetation for climate clues

    David-acct @1,

    The subject is evidently not that interesting as the lead author has not continued the work, at least not in the last decade. (The paper dates to 2007). As for tree-line records being "a better proxy for temp than proxies such as tree rings," in what way is that?

  42. Remote sensing helps in monitoring arctic vegetation for climate clues


    interesting study on the tree lines in russian artic region during the holecene period. 

    this should provide some context and comparison with the common era past with respect to the current warming

    The is some indication that the tree line is a better proxy for temp than proxies such as tree rings.  

  43. Skeptical Science New Research for Week #33 2022

    Michael - Can you point to studies where the Clark critique has been discredited by any experts with real world experience. The only rebuttal I located was from Jacobson which was quite superficial. The critiques of Jacobson are based partly on the unrealistic assumptions for future storage capacity along with the failure to properly address the frequent drop in electric generation from renewables due to the variations of weather..

    Again in my world, due diligence is imperative. In my world , we dont rely on what someone claims in a study just because they said it was true. We test against other known data. I provided the EIA website link which allows you review actual electric generation by source on a real time basis. I previously mentioned the Feb 2021 drought of wind and solar production which affected most of the north american continent for 7-9 days.

    The EIA website for just the 8 months of 2022 shows drops in wind and solar generation in the USA

    Feb 23 - march 3, 9 days average drop of electric generation from renewables approx 60-70%

    May 3-7 4 days 50% -60% drop

    June 1 - June 12 10-12 days, average drop of electric generation from renewables approx 60-70%

    July 4th through August 22, approx 50 days where electric generation dropped by 2/3 with the exception of 8 days where the electric generation only dropped by 1/3.

    Additionally, there were numerous other days that had significant drops in generation from wind and solar.

    I saw nothing in Jacobson's analysis that addresses those frequent periods of 3-4 days or the 40-50 days drop in electric generation from wind/renewables in a realistic fashion.

    comparing and contrasting the quality of the competing analysis, and comparing real time data (due diligence ), the clark et al critique has the better analysis of the feasibility.

  44. How not to solve the climate change problem

    Typo correction from @4 :

    (last paragraph) 

    ... a GSM typically will produce a global cooling of 0.5 degrees or less ...


  45. How not to solve the climate change problem

    Scvblwxq1 , may I offer a couple of points to save you time (and you may wish to check them against the record of published scientific papers & expert views).

    A /  The length of interglacials varies considerably.  You are correct in saying that an interglacial length does average somewhere around 10,000 years.  Yet the present Milankovitch cycle has an unusually low level of ellipticity ~ which likely results in a long interglacial . . . thought to extend for 20-30,000 years (as best as can be judged from prior effects of the Milankovitch cycles during the past million years).   In other words, the deep glaciation will next occur in something around 15,000 years from now.

    So there is no need to hurry to warm our planet.  And it has been estimated that the current (420ppm) level of atmospheric CO2 has already exceeded the level required to make a major postponement in the next glaciation that you were worried about.  A postponement of some tens of thousands of years.   And so the present-day concern is the adverse effects of the current rapid global warming.

    B /  Will the proposed Grand Solar Minimum have a (beneficial) cooling effect on planetary temperatures?   Evidently not ~ for a GSM typically will produce a global warming of 0.5 degrees or less : and that effect will be insufficient to counter our ongoing AGW of approx 0.18 degrees per decade.  Sorry, but there is more warming ahead (even if Prof. Zharkova's very uncertain predictions of GSM turn out to be mostly correct).

  46. CO2 is coming from the ocean


    Glad to hear that you find the resource useful. Just remember: on the upper left of every page (just below the masthead banner) there is a search box and links to the most common climate myths. Always at your fingertips (or whatever you click your mouse or trackball with). Make it your friend.

  47. How not to solve the climate change problem


    That particular paper by Zharkova was previously mentioned in the weekly Skeptical Science New Research post back when it appeared in 2020. Quoting from that post:

    The Taylor and Francis journal Temperature has squeezed in a paper by Valentina Zharkova claiming (yet again) upcoming global cooling, as an "editorial." Zharkova's work is a redo of a previous publication that was retracted due to a basic misunderstanding on the behavior of the barycenter of the solar system.

    You can read about the previous paper in this thread at PubPeer:

    and the retraction was noted at Retraction Watch. The blogger And Then There's Physics was involved in noting some of the many issues with the earlier paper, and wrote several blog posts on the subject:

    Zharkova makes a habit of beating this drum, and the results are rarely worth reading. To coin a phrase, this is nothing new under the sun.

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] Corrected third link to And Then There's Physics.

  48. How not to solve the climate change problem

    I forgot to include the link to an article explaining the calculations and forecast.

    'Modern Grand Solar Minimum will lead to terrestrial cooling
    Valentina Zharkova'

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] Link activated.

    The web software here does not automatically create links. You can do this when posting a comment by selecting the "insert" tab, selecting the text you want to use for the link, and clicking on the icon that looks like a chain link. Add the URL in the dialog box.

  49. How not to solve the climate change problem

    The Sun has entered a Grand Solar Minimun that will last from 2020 to 2053 and will cool the Earth. Solar irradiance has already started declining. The worst will be from 2028 to 2032 when crop failurs due to cold wet weather are widespread. The cold will cause the oceans to absorb CO2 and it will get colder. We are still in the 2.588 million-year ice age called the Quaternary Glaciation. The interglacial period is usually aboout 10,000 years. It has been 11,700 since the last glacial period which suggests that with the cold another 90,000 year glacial period might be starting.

  50. CO2 is coming from the ocean

    @Bob Loblaw

    I agree.  I should have searched your site more thoroughly before making that post.  Just trying to figure out who to believe. SKS seems to have a lot of supporting science.

    On the topic, I see adding more CO2 to the atmosphere would also increase it in the ocean by whatever the ratio is.

    Thanks for the education.

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