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2022 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #36

Posted on 11 September 2022 by BaerbelW

Listing of articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, September 4, 2022 through Sat, September 10, 2022.

The following articles sparked above average interest during the week (bolded articles are from SkS authors): CNN Exclusive: Scientists make major breakthrough in race to save Caribbean coral, Elon Musk might have it backwards when he talks about the big threat to civilization, More Australians worried about climate change than ever before, but conservatives less so, Brutal heat wave shatters all-time records, threatens power outages across California. And a hurricane could prolong it, and Skeptical Science New Research for Week #36 2022.

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Comments 1 to 6:

  1. A new study in Joule was described by many newspapers today.  They estimate future costs of fossil fuels and renewable energy and estimate that it will save trillions of dollars to build out a completely renewable energy systlem and get rid of expensive, polluting fossil fuels.

    They consider the costs of battery storage and electrolysers to make hydrogen. The only thing stopping the immediate building out of a renewable energy system is the political power of the fossil fuel industries.  The faster we build out renewables the more money we will save!!

    Vote climate in the next election!!!

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  2. I've done a search on here- for Paulownia... nothing comes up, why?  All these brilliant minds, and nothing mentioned, regarding the Paulownia Tree?  Look it up, in regards to CO2.  The data speaks for it's self.

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  3. JoJo @2,
    The absence of mention here at SkS of paulownia tomentosa (aka Empress Tree, named for a Russian princess who became queen of Holland) is probably because this wonder tree is seemingly not so wondrous. The oft-mentioned 10x CO2 uptake refers to a value of 103t(CO2)/acre/yr which is subject to a rather large dollop of hype. Thus "past studies planting the Empress Tree in Eurasia have ranged from 3-15 tons of CO2 per acre per year, which is not so remarkable versus other tree varieties."
    Empress tree CO2 uptake graph

    One advantage paulownia tomentosa possesses is it being a C4 tree which are pretty rare. C4 photosynthesis is more efficient than C3 although it will be more effected by rising CO2 levels. And comparing the 10t(CO2)/acre/yr [=6.75t(C)/ha/yr] x 5MWh/t(C)** = 34MWh/ha/yr which is nothing special. Mind, biofuels and natural carbon uptakes is not a simple subject. (**The value for coal use in power stations.)

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  4. M Sweet

    interesting study in cost of renewables , though 

    In my world, due diligence is paramount. We compare our results against real world data.

    The purpose of providing these links is so that the reader can perform some level of due diligence based on real world data provided from government sources.

    I have attached the EIA.gov link for the electric generation by source for the United States.

    I have attached the link to the German government website that provides similar data for Germany.

    I have also attached the link for the electric generation from wind and solar for the state of Minnesota.

    https://www.agora-energiewende.de/en/service/recent-electricity-data/chart/power_generation/18.09.2022/21.09.2022/today/

    https://healthy-skeptic.com/2022/09/21/renewable-energy-and-false-advertising/

    https://www.eia.gov/electricity/gridmonitor/dashboard/electric_overview/US48/US48

    Jacobson's claim is that he tested his model every thirty (30) seconds without failure. Based on a due diligence review of the electricity production, the claim of success every thirty seconds is dubious.

    So far, Jacobson and his team have run simulations for the all renewable, four-hour battery roadmaps for six individual states – Alaska, Hawaii, California, Texas, New York and Florida, and the contiguous 48 states taken together. (For the rest of the states, Jacobson has approximate simulations, which are available here.)

    Jacobson's claim that 4 hour battery backups is not a reasonable assumption based on real world data. Please see the EIA link which shows 3-5 day periods without wind or solar. a 4 day battery storage is 20x short for the typical 4 day doldrums that occur most every month across the planet.

    Also note the wind lost 90% of power across the entire North American continent during the Feb 2021 freeze for 4 full days,

    Another statement by Jacobson - " Efficiency alone reduces projected 2050 electricity demand by 39.3% – even as every end use, including transportation, converts to electricity. "

    Can anyone spot the logic error

    In Summary - due diligence is paramount.

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    Moderator Response:

    [BL] Much of the previous discussion of Jabobsen's work has taken place on the "Is Nuclear Energy the Answer" post. If this conversation is to continue, I suggest moving it there, for continuity's sake.

    Also, statements such as "Can anyone spot the logic error" are not constructive. If you see some sort of logic error and want people to respond, make your point.

  5. David-acct,

    How does comparing the energy generated for a few days in a small location like Minnesota relate to a study covering the entire USA for several years?  Jacobson compares a complete renewable system with required power.  What currently exists is a small amount of renewable energy added to a fossil system.  I note that hundreds of papers support Jacobson's analysis while your "due diligence" is simply ignoring the data.  What data do you have to show Jacobson's thirty second analysis is faulty?  The unsupported word  of an anonymous internet poster cannot be compared to hundreds of peer reviewed papers. Because you do not understand a paper does not mean that the paper is incorrect.

    You provide no data to support your wild claim that 4 hour batteries cannot support renewable supplies.  I note that if you have two four hour batteries you have enough power for eight hours.

    I note that in the most recent heatwaves both California and Texas were saved from blackouts by strong renewable energy production and batteries that contributed at the key times of highest energy use.  The problem in Europe is that the gas system is failing (as was the case in the Texas freeze).

    You obviously do not understand that renewables are much more efficient than fossil fuels.  For example, ICE engines in cars are less than 20% efficient while electric motors are 90% efficient.  Switching from ICE to electric reduces the needed energy by a factor of four or greater.  Likewise heat pumps are more than three times more efficient than fossil furnaces.  Nuclear and other thermal power plants send 60-70% of the energy as waste heat into the cooling water.   Wind and solar have no waste heat.  Add all the efficiences together and you need 40% less primary power.  

    Read the background to educate yourself.  The people at Skeptical Science can help answer your questions once you have aquired some basic knowledge.

    Hint: if you think you see an obvious logical error in a peer reviewed paper if means that you do not understand what you are reading.

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  6. This Skeptical Science article describes Jacobson's plan from 2015.  The plan has greatly changed since then as renewable prices have declined so much.  The basic outline is similar but the costs are much lower for renewables.

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