Discussion Central

Topic: RE: Global Climate Change

1.  RE: Global Climate Change

Posted 01-18-2017 09:12
The reality is most Americans have neither the scientific knowledge nor skills to judge of climate change is true or not. Rather be a just relying in the words of somebody else, often someone they are inclined to agree with for political reasons





2.  Global warming

Posted 11-22-2016 22:20
I have read with interest the postings on the pros and cons of global warming, and what is causing it, but would rather focus on the real problems that we as engineers will have to deal with.

First, let me say that I am a believer in the fact and dangers of global warming in that the great majority of the worlds climate and weather experts agree that it is happening, and that the supporting data is persuasive.

I also think that we chemical engineers have been rather parochial in that there is convincing evidence from other disciplines that has not been mentioned (unless I missed it) in any of the postings. For example, I have been an active bird watcher since 1945, and it is striking how there has been a steady progression of southern birds nesting further and further north. In 1945, the cardinal, formerly “a bird of the south” was a rather unusual occurrence in New York. Now they are a common breeding bird as far north as southern Canada. In Atlantic City, laughing gulls used to be an occasional visitor, with herring gulls being the dominant gull species. Now one sees mostly (the more aggressive) laughing gulls, and the herring gulls have been pushed further north.

Similarly studies of fish populations in the Bering Straits is quantifying the steady annual northward extension of the limits of southern species. And the birds that feed on these fish are also nesting further north each year.

Natural food supplies are very temperature sensitive, and respond to a fraction of a degree change. And the species that rely on this food follow suit. So, as a bird watcher, I knew about global warming before the term was even invented!

My second point is that we are spending much useless energy on debating the cause of global warming, when we should be concentrating on developing strategies and technology to minimize future negative impacts from weather changes and rising oceans. A one degree change in ocean temperature increases evaporation (by about 15%, as I recall), and this has to come down somewhere as more rain and snow. And a warmer atmosphere means much thicker rain clouds that can cause more destructive torrential rains. Yet other regions will experience prolonged drought, so water from wet areas has to be transported there, or more ocean or brackish ground water has to be purified. And I have not mentioned the need for affordable clean energy to deal with these problems.

There is much for chemical engineers to do. Lets work more on the real needs of mankind down the read!

Sincerely,
Herm Bieber, consultant


3.  RE: Global Climate Change

Posted 01-19-2017 05:40
The earth is getting warmer.    I'd love to see an integrated model as there are several sources to earth heating/cooling listed in order of impact
1.   Solar radiation - the primary cause.     To what extend are solar cycles responsible.
2.    Humidity is present in far greater concentration than CO2 and has a far more significant impact - both as a blanket to keep heat in and as a shield (as clouds) to keep radiation out.     Somehow this is ignored,  perhaps as a result of inability to model it, but is more significant than CO2.
3.  CO2
4.  Other greenhouse gases.





4.  RE: Global Climate Change

Posted 01-20-2017 11:16
To Gary Goetz,

All the established Climate Models include every single one of the features that you mentioned, and more.  The ranking you give to the impact of various effects, however, will probably not be confirmed by these models.

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Jimmy Kumana
CEO
Kumana & Associates
Missouri City TX
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5.  RE: Global Climate Change

Posted 01-20-2017 14:16
Hi, Gary Goetz. Climate models are complex. There is an open source general circulation model at opensource.gsfc.nasa.gov/projects/GEOS-5/. If you want to see a climate model, learning about that how that one works might be a good place to start.

It would be difficult to separate the influences of global warming in a pie chart kind of way because some influences amplify the influence of others. For example, more CO2 leads to warming leads to more vapor and clouds. I did find a figure that shows the effects of different climate forcings on the earth's radiation balance on this page: Figure 2 at www.eea.europa.eu/soer-2015/europe/the-air-and-climate-system  

Here is some information about your numbered list:

1) solar radiation. While past climate change has largely been driven by cycles in the sun's intensity or changes in orbital patterns, an increase in solar radiation is not driving current global warming. The sun's irradiance has not increased during the last few decades, but temperatures have. See www.epa.gov/climate-change-science/causes-climate-change

2) Humidity. Scientists have been able to experimentally confirm the modeled impact of water vapor. Here is more information about the influence of water vapor, which is a major player in climate change: www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/vapor_warming.html

Cloud climatology is a hot topic in climate science; the impact of clouds on global warming is difficult to predict with certainty. Clouds have both a negative (albedo effect) and a positive (greenhouse effect) effect on global warming. Both high and low clouds have both types of effects, but low clouds have an overall cooling effect and high clouds have an overall warming effect. In the short term, there has not been a chage in the type of clouds formed as the earth warms. Also, if there is a feedback loop to global warming that causes more low than high clouds to form, thereby cooling the planet, the paleo history of the earth's temperature would demonstrate a temperature profile that was dampened in its response to greenhouse gases, and it doesn't. Clouds haven't acted like a thermostat in the past and it is unlikely that they will act like a thermostat now. Information like this has led climate scientists to expect that cloud formation due to warmer temperatures is going to have a modest impact on global warming. Here is more information about clouds and global warming: www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/delgenio_03/

3) Carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is the dominant greenhouse gas. It comes as no surprise that the temperature of the earth has tracked with carbon dioxide concentrations for as far back as those two items can be measured (800,000 years). For the paleo record going back 400,000 years, see www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/globalwarming/temperature-change.html. For the modern record, see www.isws.illinois.edu/atmos/statecli/climate-change/gtrends.htm

4) Other greenhouse gases. There are other anthropogenic effects besides other greenhouse gases. These other forcings aren't expected to dominate the big picture.

It is a myth that climate models ignore water vapor and clouds. This myth is a misrepresentation of the facts.

-Kirsten

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Kirsten Rosselot
owner
Process Profiles
Calabasas CA
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6.  RE: Global Climate Change

Posted 01-19-2017 10:34
I heartily agree with Michael Mackaplow's observation that most of us participating in this AIChE online debate are not experts on Climate Science, and we should defer to the real experts.

Back in the mid-70s when I was working on my doctoral dissertation 2-phase coolant flow in nuclear reactor cores, the mathematical model became so complex that I could not solve it.  Someone suggested I talk to a group at Lehigh Univ for help.  They suggested I use Perturbation theory to solve the problem.  I discovered that most of them were post-docs working on developing a model of the Climate.  This well before Al Gore came out with his movie.  These were dedicated scientists from a variety of complementary disciplines, with no political agenda. At the time my University had only one mainframe IBM-360 computer, and it could not handle the numerical computations. So, not wanting to start over on a new dissertation topic, I abandoned it.

The point is that this experience gave me a deep respect for the people working on Climate models, and I would recommend we all trust them.  Climate models they have been developed and refined over the past 40 years by dedicated and competent professionals, for the most part guided only by he desire to get at the objective truth, although I am sure there are some groups that pretend to be true scientists, but are motivated by promoting a particular political ideology or agenda.  But the latter are in a small minority, and their motives are quite transparent.

Speaking of which, I would like to mention an alternative theory of global warming, which is based on the biblical account n Genesis.  It goes like this.  Rather than being a historical account, the story of Adam and Eve is a warning to mankind about the dangers of disobeying God's command to desist from eating the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge.  Our pursuit of nuclear science and research leading to development of atomic weapons has brought this modern day banishment form the Garden of Eden.  Global warming is merely God's way of accomplishing His Will.  Can anyone disprove this theory?  I certainly cannot.  But if we accept this theory, the solution is to abandon nuclear technology completely. Is nuclear power a bad thing, or is it the solution to generating power without causing CO2 emissions?  Who knows.  May be the solution is to give up weapons but continue to use it for peaceful power generation?

Finally, there is one inexorable fact of thermodynamics.  In a closed system, which is effectively what our biosphere is, it is not possible to sustain exponential growth of consumption within the bounds of finite environment (of fertile soil, clean air, potable water, and limited deposits of mineral ores). So if we believe in thermodynamics, the solution to climate upheaval (the evidence is undeniable, even if the cause is being disputed) is to break our addiction to continuous "economic growth", ie. consumption of natural resources).

The future of life on Earth is within sight, and no matter which theory one believes in, it is not pleasant.  As a self-styled intelligent species, it is up to us to act quickly and correctly to save ourselves, for we are certainly and collectively on the way to expulsion from Eden.  No exceptions.

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Jimmy Kumana
CEO
Kumana & Associates
Missouri City TX
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7.  RE: Global Climate Change

Posted 28 days ago
Now we are getting to the crux of the climate change-eschatology or end times.  Every few years humans seem to need a dire fear of some catastrophic end to our current apparently debauched era to frantically run around judging whether each other's ideas and actions are abating or abetting the end times catastrophe.  In the 70's it was global cooling and then nuclear winter.  In the later 80's, began the global warming campaign.

Our nuclear age has done a fine job of corrupting the naturally low levels of radioactive 129-I from bomb testing, nuclear fuel reprocessing, and more recently Fukushima as measured in this paper.
http://www.biogeosciences.net/10/3839/2013/bg-10-3839-2013.pdf

There is enough U and Th if utilized fully in efficient breeder reactors to totally power the planet for a couple of millenia provided we can avoid destroying the planetary genome in the process.  The problem is timing. Some advocates of huge rapid shift to nuclear power fear that a sharp tipping point in the climate warming is imminent and that the ice caps will melt rapidly as the temperature soars.  If the tipping point of unstoppable ice melting and Albedo crash is only 5-10 years out, then we are SOL because we don't even have proven designs for efficient breeders to get one approved and running by then let alone build a global fleet of say 20,000 such reactors and replace all of the fossil fuel driven transportation and chemical industry to halt CO2 emissions.  Even if we have 20-30 years before tipping point occurs, we still won't have enough nuclear power online to stop it.  This leaves us with the tantalizing dream of renewables to displace fossil fuel energy.

We can look at the extensive reports by Mark Jacobson et al where they provide very thoroughly modeled road map concepts for each of the 50 states to achieve ~100% renewables (near zero carbon emissions) by 2050 or so.  They claim their work shows a low cost solution is possible given all of the assumptions that are made and that minimal storage is needed if thermal storage of heat and cold is widely implemented. From a Systems Engineering perspective this work is a concept design study.  The hard engineering work is yet to be done by senior engineers who have built first of a kind large complex systems.  There is little information given in these reports on how the complex models were validated.  Credible validation for an energy system as large and complex is an absolute requirement.

The biggest problem with building a huge energy system based on wind and solar is the intermittent output. The storage required to maintain 24/7 reliability year round is onerously expensive because in many locations seasonal storage for weeks even months is needed to back up the renewables.  Jacobson et al relieve this reality by NOT using actual wind and solar data.  Instead they take 3 years of simulated climate behavior and average them which minimizes the very real long periods of low production when load is high. This can be seen in the plots for the Texas ERCOT system easily found on the net.  ERCOT is a summer peaking region with high AC demand and long stretches of low wind output.

Our friends in Ontario, Canada have a grid demand that peaks in the winter for heating when solar is near zero and wind can be low for days even weeks at a time. The cost of ridiculous over build of capacity plus seasonal storage makes the electricity cost hockey stick rapidly upwards despite essentially zero fuel costs.  Today Ontario already has very low CO2 emissions of ~40g CO2/kwh  because they have 60% nuclear, about 23% hydro, some gas, and some wind and solar (Germany is lauded for 30% electricity from renewables, but they are over 500g CO2/kwh  partly due to having to burn coal to replace shuttered nuclear plants).  Ontario has delayed plans to add more wind and solar because it only makes their emissions and costs go up if they force the nuclear plants to shut down when the wind blows hard.  Nuclear plants of these older types can for short term vent 40% of steam to reduce output and efficiency.  If they are forced down, they will be off for three days to wait out xenon core poisoning with uncertain restart.  This is unacceptable as natural gas combined cycle plants have to back up the nuclear and increase emissions unless people are willing to have their heat turned off during the winter as in smart grid demand management.

As yet, no one in the other thread has responded as to how we chemical engineers are going to make all of the bulk commodities we do today with fossil fuels with only electricity and no CO2 emissions.  Are we going to stop making cement, steel, aluminum, silicon, petrochemicals, lime, soda ash, sulfuric acid (S from oil refining and gas wells), fertilizer, and so on?  The electric grid is only 40% of total energy consumption. A zero carbon emission energy system is a BIG DEAL.  No amount of platitudes or eschatology will change that.  So we hear what is needed is a carbon tax to finance this great transition.  I note that taxing tobacco has not ended its consumption and the government has a stake in continuing the revenues.

We may not be climate experts, but we do know that models that are to be used for process design must be credibly validated by senior experts and this requires physical empirically based validation with real experiments and real data produced by careful real perturbation not simulated perturbations.  The cautionary principle suggests to me that we ought to start abandoning our low lying cities if we are that concerned that the big melt is imminent.  

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John Rudesill
Adjunct
UMBC
Columbia MD
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8.  RE: Global Climate Change

Posted 27 days ago
Global "Cooling" was never scientific consensus. You are trying to equate Global "Warming" with Global "Cooling". This is a false equivalency.

Global cooling - Wikipedia

In 1965 A Presidential advisory  committee warned that the greenhouse gas effect was a real concern. This is not a fad that popped up in the 1980s and somehow persisted. Your statements are false and misleading.

A brief history of climate change - BBC News

I don't know why a discussion of breeder reactors or nuclear reactors in general is important in a discussion on Climate Change.

The solution to Climate Change will involve nuclear, solar, wind, hydro, etc. It will also require the retirement of the internal combustion engine. We will need a modernization of the electric grid. The electric grid could be expanded to North and South America and maybe even worldwide. Such a grid may not require batteries. The appropriate renewable can be located anywhere in the world and plugged into an electric grid that supplies power anywhere. We use a similar system for oil distribution. That system is comprised of oil tankers. It is a batch system. A continuous system of electrical distribution will be much more efficient. You're thinking too small.

Fossil Fuels do not produce chemicals. Oil does. Eighty to ninety percent of every barrel of oil becomes a fossil fuel. Eliminate fossil fuels and you eliminate a big chunk of the CO2 production. You can cut 30-40% of light hydrocarbon production from oil just by eliminating cracking operations. We can drastically cut the amount of oil we use preserving a limited resource. Some of the natural light hydrocarbons remaining in a barrel of oil will become useful products. The rest will be burned to power the refining process. We don't need to eliminate all the CO2 we produce. We just need to get the amount we produce below the rate it is removed.

The problem is not just ice melting and the evacuation of coastal cites. We lock in the effects of Global Warming for decades. Every day it gets a little worse. The question is how much long term destruction and expense are you willing to accept until something is done about it.


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John Braccili
Wallingford, PA
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9.  RE: Global Climate Change

Posted 27 days ago
Studies have shown that current technology is sufficient to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the necessary amount without having a significant impact on the economy. Wind power, greater vehicle efficiency, solar power, building efficiency, carbon capture, nuclear power, biofuels, forest preservation and reforestation, and no-till agriculture are some of the possible solutions.

Like most economic problems, there is a sweet spot in responding to global warming. This sweet spot is where the where the cost of the efforts to reduce global warming is offset by the cost of the damage from global warming. One climate economist, Chris Hope, used net present value to estimate that the economically optimal peak atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is around 500 ppm.

One strategy for reducing carbon emissions is to put a price on them. Economic assessments of this strategy agree that the net impact on the economy would be minor and the climate benefits would outweigh the costs. Descriptions of six of these studies can be found here: www.skepticalscience.com/co2-limits-economy-intermediate.htm

It's a myth that it's too hard to stem the effects of global warming. This myth is a red herring.

There is no global warming "campaign." That's a myth based on conspiracy theories.

-Kirsten

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Kirsten Rosselot
owner
Process Profiles
Calabasas CA
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10.  RE: Global Climate Change

Posted 25 days ago
In the 1970's we suffered from OPEC oil embargoes which sent shock waves through our economy.  In response President Carter launched a program to make the US energy independent.  It did not have anything to do with carbon reduction.  I attended Texas Tech during Carter's tenure.  TTU had several grants to pursue technology's to reduce our dependence.  The ChemE department had some of these projects, including coal gasification, Crosbyton Hybrid Power Plant using a combination of solar heating and coal, and fuel alcohol from cotton gin trash (I worked on this one). Another major focus was extracting oil from shale.

President Carter was trained by the Navy in Nuclear Power as I was after graduation.  The one technology that President Carter took of the table was Breeder Reactors.  Breeder reactors sound wonderful, but they have a major problem, production of fissile material that is easily weaponized.  President Carter was throwing everything at the problem, but fear of breeder technology leading to a proliferation of nuclear weapons shut this track down.   

A note on Global Cooling.  As I understood the concern at the time was based on the level of aerosols we were putting in atmosphere.  As we cleaned up our emissions we reversed the cooling effect of aerosols.  As chemical engineers, I believe we will get really active in engineering the atmosphere to counter the greenhouse gas effect.  The Global Climate Change denier crowd will fall away once real effects of Climate Change breaks the camel back so to speak and the public demands action to reverse what we have done.  What our options are at that point, I have not a clue.

A note on what is really scary.  Its not the main stream gradual warming its massive methane releases from the tundra arctic ocean floor and shutting down of ocean currents.  I have seen estimates of amount of methane trapped on the arctic ocean floor in the form of methane ice to raised average temperatures 60 F.  The other is the shutting down of the main ocean currents due to arming of the arctic.   A recent pier publication predicted this could happen at 710 ppm CO2.  I do not believe we have anything close to consensus on either of these things, but is not hard to see these as an extinction level event.  


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William Wagoner PE
Owner
Wagoner Consulting
Chesterfield VA
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11.  RE: Global Climate Change

Posted 24 days ago
Wm Wagoner raises an interesting point about global cooling due to aerosols - something I was not aware of.  It suggest that if we bring back the use of aerosols, that would counteract the global warming effects of CO2. Hmm... wonder why no-one has proposed this course of action before.  Are there other adverse side-effects?

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Jimmy Kumana
CEO
Kumana & Associates
Missouri City TX
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12.  RE: Global Climate Change

Posted 22 days ago
Edited by John Rudesill 22 days ago
Here is a very cogent report pdf link on the status of implementing renewables in Germany.  It is not a sustainable pathway.  For John Braccili, I suggest you note the author's comments regarding the transmission costs and objections just for Germany and how they have only built a few % of what ultimately is needed.  To imagine a world wide transmission grid is a unbelievably expensive not to say impractical.  Storage with batteries adds serious expense as well.  Germany is shedding much of its wind output to neighbors stressing their grids because it is uneconomical to to shut down base load conventional generators when wind is strong. What is happening there is not a myth it is real and it is the result of scientists and policy makers denying engineering realities.  If we in the US continue in this direction, we will see a very expensive unreliable unpleasant mess.

http://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2017/01/Vahrenholt-Energiewende.pdf

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John Rudesill
Adjunct
UMBC
Columbia MD
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13.  RE: Global Climate Change

Posted 21 days ago
Jimmy, the reason we cut aerosols was because of what they were doing to the upper atmosphere ozone layer.  As a member of a family that has seen more than its share of skin cancer, the results were pretty obvious and not at all beneficial.

PS you can see the same kind of cooling from fine particulate.  But since we can't dramatically increase volcano activity at will,  I don't think thermonuclear war is the way to go to offset global warming.

John, it may be that we never get to complete renewables, or don't get there in a handful of decades, but no sane climatologists are advocate that as a reality.  As a design goal, yes, the way an engineer might set an artificially high heat recovery goal on some chemical process.  The key is to reduce fossil fuel consumption as low as possible.

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Henry Waldron
Principal
Private
Voorhees NJ
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14.  RE: Global Climate Change

Posted 21 days ago
Renewable energy and grid management is undoubtedly a major issue.  With our given system there is point at which the current controls and set up are an issue.  These are engineering issues that require attention.  Power producers are not going to push for solutions willingly on their own.

Storage capacity is not currently part of the mix, but I have heard of studies that envision Plug-In Hybrids becoming part of the answer particularly with regards to Peak Power production.  The one that I was believed that this option starts to become viable with Plug-In hybrids fleet at 10% along with a smart grid.  Hybrid owners would have a contract the utility that allows the utility use the vehicle's batteries to deposit excess energy in the batteries or extract energy as needed.   In return the hybrid owners get reduced rate energy.  

 The point is, these are known issues and people are thinking about how to solve them.  If we put our backs into it we can solve these issues, but it will take will and incentives and research and development money to get there.  The argument used to be renewables cost too much.  Now that the cost of renewables has come down, argument is now they are too disruptive.  

I do not work in the renewable energy field , but have a good friend who does.  One of the things I get our discussions is that field is desperately in need of good engineering talent and project management.  

As a note:  I hope we never get to the point that we as a people start seriously considering trying to engineer the atmosphere.  It is just my fear that inertia will cause us to wait too long and that engineering the atmosphere is all we have left.  


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William Wagoner PE
Owner
Wagoner Consulting
Chesterfield VA
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15.  RE: Global Climate Change

Posted 21 days ago
John Rudesill

I'm not exactly sure what your point. It seems to be that this is all very complicated and expensive and we should just keep on studying the problem and do nothing. A wait and see approach. I wish that was possible, but it is not. What you have seemed to neglect that there is a cost for doing nothing. The cost of Climate Change will just continue to rise. It will make all the costs that you deem as prohibitive insignificant.

You seem to be enthralled with nuclear reactor design. Why, I have no idea. You seem to have forgotten that the Sun is a nuclear fusion reactor, the most powerful energy source in the universe. If we don't figure out how to limit the excess energy that the Earth is absorbing, the temperature of the Earth will continue to rise and this energy will reek havoc on the planet. Eventually the situation will resolve itself. The way it resolves itself will not be an outcome hospitable to human existence. Put a price tag on that. This is not academia. You don't win debating points or look smart by obfuscating reality.

As for you comments about a world wide power grid, they are incorrect. Some of the pieces of a worldwide super grid are already in place. More are in the planning stage. Will it be expensive? Absolutely! The costs will be trivial compared to the costs of not responding to Climate Change.

http://spectrum.ieee.org/energy/the-smarter-grid/lets-build-a-global-power-grid 


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John Braccili
Wallingford, PA
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16.  RE: Global Climate Change

Posted 21 days ago
John Rudesill


The source you cite, The Global Warming Policy Foundation is a Climate Denier organization. They refuse to reveal their funding sources, always a tell tale sign of a front group for the energy industry. They should not be cited as a reliable source.

Global Warming Policy Foundation

 


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John Braccili
Wallingford, PA
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17.  RE: Global Climate Change

Posted 18 days ago
Edited by John Rudesill 18 days ago
John Braccili;

Thanks for the links and critical analysis of the UK group.  So no doubt then there are no supportable facts or conclusions in Varenholt's screed as one can easily find on the Skeptical Science blog who are themselves no doubt above rapprochement.

The reason I dwell on nuclear is that if as you espouse the melting is imminent and a major part of the solution is nuclear fission, then we have to get real about what it is going to take to do this.  Academic studies are not a basis for engineered buildable designs.  The necessity of building breeders is simple.  The natural fissionable 235-U isotope is only 0.7% of natural U.  If we consume most of it in more conventional reactors that don't breed much fuel, then we have consumed the seed corn needed to start up breeder reactors and we have destroyed the option of going big time with breeders to utilize all of the 99.3 % of 238-U in nature. Thorium is abundant more abundant that U by 2-3x, but the breeder cycle for it has a low neutron output and can only breed enough 233-U to keep it self running with no excess to fuel other new reactors.

i read Gelling's article you linked from IEEE Spectrum thank you.  He presents a plausible seeming case for the vast interconnect with HVDC.  The details of design, financing, and building are left to others.  He does say that China may spend $4 trillion on transmission and conditioning upgrades by 2030.  I am sure we'll never see that in price increases at Walmart?!

Today the MD state Senate joined the Assembly in voting to override GOv. Hogan's veto of the renewables job bill that commits the state to 25% renewable energy in the electric supply by 2020!  This bill does not count nuclear as renewable though it is very low CO emissions.  I have seen the few wind turbines we have in western MD and they are idle much of the time and some are off line completely.  I can hardly wait from thousands and thousands more to be stuck everywhere especially on prime ridges in the critical bird migratory routes.  Surely as the legislators believe, it will only cost $1-2 more a month on our electric bills. Why didn't they get serious and go for 50% or even  90% by 2020?  What is the hold up? 

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John Rudesill
Adjunct
UMBC
Columbia MD
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18.  RE: Global Climate Change

Posted 17 days ago
John Rudesill -

Thanks for your insights about Nuclear power options. I harbor no ill will toward Nuclear; I'm totally fine with it as an option, but I don't think it will be the answer to our problems. My reasons are totally economic. There are details below, but in a nutshell, Nuclear to too expensive; is not competitive with other green options (even excluding questions of proliferation and nuclear waste disposal).

I've seen several economic analyses, but a useful one for today's purposes is Lazard's recent (Dec-2016) analysis of levelized cost of electricity (LCOE). You can find that study at Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis 10.0

A summary of Lazard's unsubsidized LCOE values is in their summary table on page 3. Key assumptions that define the economics are laid out in the tables on pages 17-21. Lazard give a range of assumptions resulting in a range of costs. For the sake of simplicity, lets put everything on the most optimistic basis and use the lowest costs for everything (doesn't change the conclusion, just makes the discussion cleaner).

Nuclear LCOE comes in at $97 per MWhr. One reason it can achieve a value even that low is that nuclear is given the privilege of running 100% base load. It has a capacity factor of 90% (essentially, it is full load 90% of the time). That high capacity factor enables the cost to be as low as it is. Nuclear is a technology where capital cost is everything a fuel is nothing. If you had to run this at the variable demand of the overall grid, the price would be up to twice as high.

Compare that to Solar and Wind which are coming in at $32 to $49/MWhr. Solar and wind are given the same benefit as Nuclear, they are allowed in the economics to run flat out when they are available, so their cost would also go up if they had to be curtailed to match consumer needs. But they are starting at a cost as low as 1/3 the cost for nuclear. And while Solar may be best in sunnier climes, there are good wind sites distributed around the country.

You correctly point out that these renewable sources are intermittent and that some storage is required. Lazard even takes a cut at that with a value for LCOE of Solar when adding the needed battery backup. That gets to $91/MWhr for Solar+Battery. I'd note here that there is massive R&D underway in the battery arena and such backup costs are widely expected to drop in half over the next 10 years.

Finally, consider some fossil options. Combined Cycle Gas Turbines (CCGT) come in at $48/MWhr. They are not given the privilege to run baseload in the economics; if we adjust for that, the value would be ~$46 on the same basis as Nuclear and renewables. CCGT is already cleaner than the current grid, but could be made 90% CO2-free using Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). Lazard doesn't analyse that, but using their methods and assuming $100/tonne, one can get a CCS cost estimate of $34/MWhr (again at baseload). That brings the CCGT+CCS combo in at $80/MWhr. While this is calculated at baseload - just like the others - it does have advantages in capital cost and load following ability that are unavailable to Nuclear and any solar/wind that lacks batteries.

In the end, I think that a portfolio of power sources having a range of characteristics will be the best answer. The batteries that make solar/wind more feasible may also add a lot to grid stability. Gas and Nuclear can help with the longer-cycles of renewable resource intermittancy. If we don't make ourselves crazy about ridding the world of all fossil or about eliminating every last molecule of CO2 (or uranium for that matter), we can get to a pretty effective solution pretty quickly.

All this leaves me really excited about the prospects for the future. There are huge opportunities for Chemical Engineering here, as well as American innovation and technology. We just need a broader swathe of the country to acknowledge the problem and let us loose to solve it!

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Frank Hershkowitz
Engineering Advisor
Basking Ridge NJ
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19.  RE: Global Climate Change

Posted 15 days ago
Grid energy storage is vital going forward.  In an earlier post I mentioned V2G, vehicle to grid, as something for the future.  Current we have tens of gigawatts of energy storage already online.  We have pumped source hydro (PSH), compressed air energy storage (CAES) used for long term and capacitors and flywheels used for short term frequency regulation.  Much of this was built decades ago.  Projects to expand and upgrade these proven energy storage sources are being looked at.  

CAES utilizes large underground storage like salt domes to store the air.  The air is then used to compress the air intake for gas turbines reducing the gas consumption by more than 50%.  Now this gets to a little talked about problem with gas and greenhouse effects.  Methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas than CO2.  I have seen studies that conclude that because of well head leakage around frac gas wells, burning frac gas is no better than coal regarding greenhouse effects.  The amount of we'll head losses and degree to which well casings fail is controversial.  The energy producers don't want this topic discussed to keep the regulators out.  Lots of issues here.  

I do do not think we will see a fast breeder built in the US anytime soon.  May see one it two built somewhere in the world in next few decades.  The cost of nuclear raised earlier just scratched the surface.  Safety and siting costs will be exorbitant.  Fast breeder reactors are inherently less safe than the conventional light water reactors.  All neurons born of fission are "fast", they are born with high amounts of kinetic energy.  In light water reactor designs, the fast neutrons get thermalized by the hydrogen in the cooling water until their kinetic energy equalizes with the coolant. Part of the inherent safety revolves timeframe around the life cycle of the neutrons.  Light water reactors require thermal neutrons to maintain the reaction,  where fast breeder reactors require fast neutrons to maintain the reaction.  Fast breeder designs call for liquid sodium or very high temperature helium to slow down the thermalization process.  We all know what happens when elemental sodium does when it hits the atmosphere.  

Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima are all indelibly stamped in the collective word memory.  The first incident just damaged the public' confidence, the other two are ongoing festering boils that will never heal.  It's easy to make Techical arguments that things will be safer, better, that we can look past the proliferation and waste disposal issues.  Getting past public opposition and insurance constraints on top of the very real high building costs makes these options a very long shot.

I was trained by Admiral Rickover.  He understood that the survival of the nuclear navy required public confidence at home and abroad and it takes is one incident to lose it.  The navy still has that confidence, the civilian nuclear power industry does not have anywhere near the same confidence level and I doubt it ever will.

------------------------------
William Wagoner PE
Owner
Wagoner Consulting
Chesterfield VA
------------------------------



20.  RE: Global Climate Change

Posted 17 days ago
If we are not going to get serious about halting Climate Upheaval (more accurate than the insipid term "Climate Change"), our generation is at risk of being remembered by the survivors of the inevitable future population collapse as the Monster Generation.  And we will have deserved it.

------------------------------
Jimmy Kumana
CEO
Kumana & Associates
Missouri City TX
------------------------------



22.  RE: Global Climate Change

Posted 9 days ago
This kind of comment is the reason normal people do not take AGW people seriously. 

------------------------------
Stephen Shaffer PE
Niotaze KS
------------------------------



23.  RE: Global Climate Change

Posted 7 days ago

97% of climate scientists agree that humans are causing global warming.  This is because there are many lines of evidence that humans are causing global warming, including:

  • The surface temperature of the earth is warming -- thermometers on land and on buoys (www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/201613) and satellite measurements (www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures) confirm this. 
  • The earth isn't warming because of the sun -- solar activity and surface temperatures have been moving in opposite directions for the last few decades (skepticalscience.com/solar-activity-Sunspots-global-warming-intermediate.htm).
  • A measured increase in CO2 in the atmosphere coincides with the increase in global temperature (www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/globalwarming/temperature-change.html).
  • The vertical profile of the atmosphere's temperature is evidence that greenhouse gases are causing the warming (www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2013/09/vertical-human-fingerprint-found-in-stratospheric-cooling-tropospheric-warming).
  • Consumption of fossil fuels by humans has put a lot of CO2 into the atmosphere and continues to do so (www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/global-greenhouse-gas-emissions-data).
  • The carbon isotopes that are observed in the atmosphere show that the contribution from fossil fuel consumption drives the net balance of CO2 in the atmosphere (www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/outreach/isotopes).

About 2/3 of Americans support the US government doing more to reduce the types of activities that lead to climate change and sea level rise (77% of Democrats, 66% of independent voters, and almost half of Republicans) (www.monmouth.edu/assets/0/32212254770/32212254991/32212254992/32212254994/32212254995/30064771087/bbab2f4a-3eef-4772-9b82-8fbdd996452a.pdf).

Stephen Shaffer, it is a myth that normal people do not take AGW (anthropogenic, or human-caused global warming) seriously.  This myth is perpetuated by the media giving a platform to a vocal minority that is well-funded by industry groups wishing to cast doubt on science.

-Kirsten

------------------------------
Kirsten Rosselot
owner
Process Profiles
Calabasas CA
------------------------------



24.  RE: Global Climate Change

Posted 6 days ago
Debatable points. Briefly:

> 97% of climate scientists agree that humans are causing global warming.

A poll :) Science is not a democracy and nothing is "settled" (not even gravity).

> The surface temperature of the earth is warming
Very contentious for lack of open review. Whence the 2009 Climategate and the current Pausebuster scandals.

> The earth isn't warming because of the sun --

The sun can have effects beyond flux -- solar winds/particles can affect cloud formation.

> A measured increase in CO2 in the atmosphere coincides with the increase in global temperature

"Post hoc ergo propter hoc" fallacy. Ever open a warm beer? CO2 foams out. CO2 will increase from increased temperatures however caused. In both historical and geologic time, the Earth has been both much warmer and much colder (iceages) without human intervention.

> The vertical profile of the atmosphere's temperature is evidence that greenhouse gases are causing the warming

Even if proven valid, could have other causes. Clouds? Jet travel?

> Consumption of fossil fuels by humans has put a lot of CO2 into the atmosphere

"A lot" compared to what? What percentage of natural (decay, volcanic, ...) emissions?

> The carbon isotopes that are observed in the atmosphere show that the contribution from fossil fuel consumption drives the net balance of CO2 in the atmosphere

Rain does not? Temperatures do not? Both will affect isotope partitioning.

> About 2/3 of Americans support the US government doing more to reduce the types of activities that lead to climate change

Polls published prior to most recent US Presidential election give excellent reason to doubt all polling.

> Stephen Shaffer, it is a myth that normal people do not take AGW (anthropogenic, or human-caused global warming) seriously.

Whether "normal people" believe in AGW is also besides the point. We are chemical engineers and professionally required to be critics of science. Scientists discover new effects by isolating focus. As engineers we have no such luxury and must consider all effects (known and unknown) because we are required to make our machines (systems) work.

-- Robert in Houston




25.  RE: Global Climate Change

Posted 5 days ago
A whimsical thought: if only there was a large celestial object about the same distance from the sun with no human activity and temperature measurement data.

Well, there is. The moon. Did NASA land temperature measurement instrumentation as part of Apollo? If lunar warming is not occurring, I would think that fingers man pretty well as the cause of global warming

Sent from my iPhone




26.  RE: Global Climate Change

Posted 5 days ago
Robert Redelmeier, 97% of climate scientists agree that humans are causing global warming. You are not the first person to suggest that this high rate of consensus was determined by a poll. In fact, a number of studies have concluded that there is a high rate of consensus among climate scientists that humans are causing global warming. I put links to four studies along with abstracts/summaries of the articles below.

It is a myth that there is no scientific consensus about humans being the cause of global warming. This myth is perpetuated by news media that gives a broad platform to the vocal minority.

The temperature of the earth's surface is warming. A 2015 paper by a team of NOAA researchers revealed that a previous "pause" in global warming was an artifact of incomplete data. The Pausebuster scandal is another attempt to use falsehoods to smear climate scientists. NOAA's results are independently verified and they agree with other land records, and NOAA data are available to anybody with an Internet connection. See www.carbonbrief.org/factcheck-mail-sundays-astonishing-evidence-global-temperature-rise if you want to see a discussion of the changes NOAA made to their analysis of the temperature record.

The 2009 Climategate scandal manipulated a portion of some stolen emails to make it sound as though climate scientists were hiding information that showed that global warming was not occurring. The full text of the emails shows that the climate scientists were talking about the divergence of tree ring density data and temperature starting in the 1960s, more in some locations than others. This divergence was not hidden by climate scientists, on the contrary it was reported in a 1998 article in Science that said that post-1960 tree ring density data cannot be used as a proxy for temperature. The scientists involved in Climategate were investigated and while it was found that they should have been more open about their reasons for disregarding the tree ring density data, their rigor and honesty as scientists are not in doubt and nothing they did undermined the conclusions of the IPCC assessments.

It is a myth that every news story that attacks climate science is right-minded. This myth is based on conspiracy theories.

It's true that light intensity is not the only measure of the sun's warming effect on the earth. Solar activity is a combination of light, solar wind, and energetic particles. The solar activity of the sun has contributed very little to global warming since 1975. (It's my understanding that solar winds bearing particles would be a real problem for all of us if they weren't blocked by the earth's magnetic field. I don't think solar winds are responsible for cloud formation that causes global warming.)

It is a myth that the sun is the cause of current global warming. This myth is based on cherry-picking -- it ignores the contributions from humans and ignores the fact that recently the sun and climate are moving in opposite directions.

CO2 will escape from an open beer whether the beer is warm or not. That's a pressure issue. The CO2 will escape quicker from a warm beer but it will escape from an open beer either way.

It's a myth that CO2 levels in the earth's atmosphere are increasing because the earth's temperature is increasing.

The stratosphere is cooling, this is an observation based on measurements. See the final figure at www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/2012-state-climate-temperature-lower-stratosphere. When the earth is warming due to increased greenhouse gases, the stratosphere is expected to cool because increased greenhouse gases block more of the infrared energy from the earth before it reaches the stratosphere. Observed stratospheric cooling trends match predictions based on the increased amounts of greenhouse gases and ozone concentrations in the stratosphere. If the planet was warming because of the sun, the stratosphere would be warming.

It is a myth that we don't know why the stratosphere is cooling or whether it is cooling. Clouds and jet travel are red herrings.

Humans have emitted nearly 2 trillion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere since 1850. CO2 has a long half-life in the atmosphere. There are natural sinks and sources but the sinks haven't been able to keep up with the sources now that humans are emitting these large amounts. That is why the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere over the last 12 months has risen to over 400 ppm. This is a higher concentration of CO2 than the earth has experienced in hundreds of thousands of years.
The concentraion of CO2 in the atmosphere was much lower than this (about 315 ppm) less than 60 years ago. Recent human emissions of CO2 are 60-120 times bigger than emissions from volcanoes. Vegetation and land are a sink, and so is the ocean, but they cannot keep up with the additional emissions caused by human land use changes and burning fossil fuels.

It is a myth that the human influence on greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere is tiny. This myth is based on an over-simplification that ignores the carbon cycle.

I don't understand why you think rain and temperature would cause isotopes of carbon that reveal a fossil fuel fingerprint to be found in the atmosphere.

There is a difference between skepticism and denial. Skepticism is a healthy part of the scientific process -- it is a critical review of data and what conclusions were drawn from the data before forming an opinion about the validity of the science. Denial happens when someone forms an opinion prior to reviewing the evidence and then denies the evidence that does not support their opinion.

It is a myth that climate science deniers are smarter and more scientifically correct than people who believe that human activities are causing global warming. This myth is based on a misrepresentation that global warming is a hoax.


-Kirsten


CONSENSUS AMONG CLIMATE SCIENTISTS:

Cook, J., Nuccitelli, D., Green, S. A., Richardson, M., Winkler, B., Painting, R., ... & Skuce, A. (2013). Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature. Environmental Research Letters, 8(2), 024024. iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/8/2/024024 "We analyze the evolution of the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming (AGW) in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, examining 11 944 climate abstracts from 1991–2011 matching the topics 'global climate change' or 'global warming'. We find that 66.4% of abstracts expressed no position on AGW, 32.6% endorsed AGW, 0.7% rejected AGW and 0.3% were uncertain about the cause of global warming. Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming. In a second phase of this study, we invited authors to rate their own papers. Compared to abstract ratings, a smaller percentage of self-rated papers expressed no position on AGW (35.5%). Among self-rated papers expressing a position on AGW, 97.2% endorsed the consensus. For both abstract ratings and authors' self-ratings, the percentage of endorsements among papers expressing a position on AGW marginally increased over time. Our analysis indicates that the number of papers rejecting the consensus on AGW is a vanishingly small proportion of the published research."

Anderegg, W. R., Prall, J. W., Harold, J., & Schneider, S. H. (2010). Expert credibility in climate change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(27), 12107-12109. www.pnas.org/content/107/27/12107.full.pdf "Although preliminary estimates from published literature and expert surveys suggest striking agreement among climate scientists on the tenets of anthropogenic climate change (ACC), the American public expresses substantial doubt about both the anthropogenic cause and the level of scientific agreement underpinning ACC. A broad analysis of the climate scientist community itself, the distribution of credibility of dissenting researchers relative to agreeing researchers, and the level of agreement among top climate experts has not been conducted and would inform future ACC discussions. Here, we use an extensive dataset of 1,372 climate researchers and their publication and citation data to show that (i) 97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field surveyed here support the tenets of ACC outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and (ii) the relative climate expertise and scientific prominence of the researchers unconvinced of ACC are substantially below that of the convinced researchers."

Doran, P. T., & Zimmerman, M. K. (2009). Examining the scientific consensus on climate change. Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union, 90(3), 22-23. onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2009EO030002/pdf This is the only study based on a poll. "In our survey, the most specialized and knowledgeable respondents (with regard to climate change) are those who listed climate science as their area of expertise and who also have published more than 50% of their recent peer-reviewed papers on the subject of climate change (79 individuals in total). Of these specialists, 96.2% (76 of 79) answered “risen” to question 1 [When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?] and 97.4% (75 of 77) answered yes to question 2 [Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?]."

Oreskes, N. (2004). The scientific consensus on climate change. Science, 306(5702), 1686-1686. science.sciencemag.org/content/306/5702/1686.full "Policy-makers and the public who are not members of the relevant research community have had to form opinions about the reality of global climate change on the basis of often conflicting descriptions provided by the media regarding the level of scientific certainty attached to studies of climate. In this Essay, Oreskes analyzes the existing scientific literature to show that there is a robust consensus that anthropogenic global climate change is occurring. Thus, despite claims sometimes made by some groups that there is not good evidence that Earth's climate is being affected by human activities, the scientific community is in overwhelming agreement that such evidence is clear and persuasive."

------------------------------
Kirsten Rosselot
owner
Process Profiles
Calabasas CA
------------------------------



27.  RE: Global Climate Change

Posted 5 days ago
So Mr Robert Redemeier in Houston, what is your explanation for Climate disruption that the world is experiencing?  What evidence or theory do you have to support you case? And what constructive solutions can you offer?  It is easy to have a tantrum and cast stones, but harder to act responsibly.

------------------------------
Jimmy Kumana
CEO
Kumana & Associates
Missouri City TX
------------------------------



28.  RE: Global Climate Change

Posted 4 days ago

Magma changes cause climate change.  Beneath our feet lies liquid rock convecting up heat from the Earth’s core.  The inner part of this core is as hot as the surface of the sun.  The only thing protecting us from instant death is a relatively thin crust of cooled magma.  It is sobering to realize that there is enough heat beneath our feet to vaporize all water and with it all life in our ecosystem many times over.

As Thermodynamics 101 tells us in laymen’s terms, you let the heat out.  The earth has been cooling since it was created.  Of course, originally it had no crust.  As it cooled the crust formed and later our ecosystem became cool enough for water vapor in the atmosphere to condense and fall to the earth.  As more time went on more water vapor was introduced into our ecosystem through volcanic eruptions and through time the water in our ecosystem shifted from the majority existing as vapor in our atmosphere to the majority existing in liquid form as surface water.  Which now this surface water covers over two thirds of our planet and holds over 97% of the water in our ecosystem.

Imagine a spinning raw egg with the egg white exerting force against the shell.  Imagine now that the direction of rotation of the egg yolk and white is slightly off from the direction of rotation of the shell.  Such is the case with our Earth.  We know this from the geomagnetic forces set up by this rotating magma.  We also know that the direction of this rotation has been changing.  We also know the amount of this change has been accelerating in the last few decades.  The location of the magnetic north pole had been moving for the last few centuries at around 10 km/yr but since around 1990 has been skyrocketing and since 2000 has been averaging around 60 km/yr.

http://deeptow.whoi.edu/images/northpole.jpg

http://modernsurvivalblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/420-year-graph-of-annual-magnetic-pole-shift.jpg

We also know this magma is now causing localized magnetic anomalies with the strength of our geomagnetic field decreasing at a rate 10 times the rate just a few decades ago.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/earths-magnetic-field-is-weakening-10-times-faster/

We had been observing a geomagnetic decay rate of around 6% per century starting around 1860.  Which in itself is huge considering we had seen nothing close to that the previous 2000 years.  If we had, we could be today where Mars is now with essentially no magnetic field.  We know Mars at some time in its past had a significant magnetic field along with water on its surface.

Now we know, thanks to the European Space Agency (ESA) satellite array SWARM which went active in 2014 that the rate of collapse of the Earth’s magnetic field has increased around 10 fold to around 5% per decade.

I’m sure there will be those who will try to monetize the collapse of Earth’s magnetic field.  Has not EMF pollution from Man coincided with this collapse?  Has not electromagnets interacting with Earth’s magnetic field since Tesla’s invention of the induction motor proliferated during the last century?  Have not use of super strong electromagnets in healthcare and superconductors in particle accelerator colliders greatly increased?  Has not EMF from cell phones use greatly increased in the last two decades around the globe?  Aren’t there some cell phones that give off considerably less EMF?  And did not a Russian military journal warn that the consequences of our HAARP’s interaction with Earth’s magnetic field could destabilize our Earth’s magnetic field and even cause it to possibly flip?

The irony in all of this is we could have electric car manufacturers having to buy EMF credits from conventional car manufacturers instead of being able to sell CO2 credits to them.

Now our decaying global magnetic field would expectedly warm our ecosystem in two ways.  One, would be to increase the amount of charged particles which would reach our Earth from the solar wind.  This consists of alpha particles, electrons, and protons which are said to have thermal energies from 1.5 to 10 keV.  There is also speculation that our magnetic field also protects our atmosphere from being stripped away by the solar wind.  Although another study shows that other planets without a magnetic field seem to be losing their atmosphere at around the same rate as our own with a magnetic field.

The other way our decaying magnetic field would expectedly warm our ecosystem would be the increase of global internal turmoil of electrically conductive magma which would have a net effect of increasing circulation of higher velocity and higher temperature magma closer to the crust.  This would increase heat transfer preferentially where the crust is the thinnest under the oceans.

So what can we expect from an increase of geothermal heat reaching our ecosystem?  The O2 and CO2 equilibrium balances between the waters on earth and the atmosphere will change.  Both O2 and CO2 have less solubility in water as the temperature of water rises.  Less O2 will be available in the oceans for both plants and animals as both need O2 availability to burn food for energy.

While it has been said that only 1% of the oxygen in our ecosphere is dissolved in surface waters, we are told 98% of the carbon dioxide resides there.  And the deeper one goes, the more soluble CO2 becomes.  And pressures can reach in the deepest parts of the ocean over 1000 atmospheres.

http://docs.engineeringtoolbox.com/documents/1000/solubility_CO_water.png

Which means more CO2 will escape out of sea water into the atmosphere as ocean currents bring warmer deep water into shallow waters.  Which today this causes the water to appear to boil from the escaping CO2 in many equatorial waters.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solubility_pump

We can do a material balance using documented changes of both CO2 and O2 in the atmosphere over 24 years.  This could give us an idea of how much atmospheric CO2 has increased due to higher water temperatures vs. how much may be due to higher production of CO2 such as from burning hydrocarbons.

Natural gas which is mainly methane is burned as follows.  CH4 + 2 O2 = CO2 + 2 H2O.  One molecule of methane uses up two molecules of oxygen from the air.  This is a two for one oxygen to hydrocarbon burned along with CO2 created molecular ratio.  The average for all hydrocarbons currently burned including oil and coal is closer to 1.4.

As a caveat in doing this material balance there are assumptions that have to be made as to other parameters remaining static over time.  For example the oxygen content of the air over 24 years is measured as the ratio to N2.  The decrease in O2 to N2 ratio is taken as being 100% due to O2 being taken out of the ecosystem while N2 percentage remains constant.  Technically, taking O2 out of the atmosphere without replacing it molecule for molecule with something else such as CO2 means the atmosphere shrinks and the N2 percentage by difference increases.  Also, we know higher ocean temperatures mean N2 dissolved in the ocean water will be released to the air.  Another is the conversion of CO2 to biomass releasing O2 has remained constant.  Although it has been reported that the levels of phytoplankton creating biomass has decreased.

With all this in mind, using observations from the Mauna Loa, Hawaii from 1991 to 2015 without going into how representative it is, we can do a material balances.

http://scrippso2.ucsd.edu/sites/default/files/pdfs/plots/daily_avg_plots/mlo.pdf

We can come up with an O2 mol% decrease in air extrapolated per 100 years of 0.15 mol%.  Likewise the CO2 increase in air extrapolated per 100 years would be 0.02 mol%.  Taking the O2 decrease and converting it to equivalent CO2 using 1.4 molecules O2 per molecule of CO2 works out to 0.11 mol% CO2 increase per 100 years.  As only 2% at equilibrium at constant temperature of this 0.11 mol% CO2 will stay in the air with 98% of the CO2 contained in the water, that leaves 0.0022 mol% CO2 increase due to atmospheric O2 decrease of the total 0.02 mol% increase per 100 years.  This works out to around 11% that we can attribute to possible hydrocarbon burning and 89% that we can attribute to magma changes.

Years

O2/N2 meg

CO2 ppm

O2 mol%

CO2 mol%

 

Start

1991

-90

361

21.94298

0.0361

 

End

2015

-560

409

21.90632

0.0409

 

Difference

24

-470

48

-0.03666

0.0048

 

Extrapolated

100

-1958.333333

200

-0.15275

0.02

 

 

CO2 mol% equiv increase per 100 yrs from O2 @ 1.4 mol/mol

0.1091071


This ignores the argument by some that as long as the water sinks are not saturated, which they say they aren’t, all the increased generated CO2 is naturally stored in the water sinks.  Which means shifting atmospheric CO2 concentrations merely reflect shifting CO2 equilibrium based ONLY on the water sink temperature changing.  So this would mean in the last 24 years we have seen this water sink temperature to rise as confirmed and reflected 100% by the increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration.

I haven’t brought up whether this increased CO2 in the atmosphere has a net heating or cooling effect on the climate when coupled with the sun shining through the atmosphere.  If it is a net heating effect then this will cause the surface water anyway to get warmer which will cause it to release more CO2 which will heat more surface water which will cause more CO2 to be released, etc. etc.  Which sounds to me if true, something in process control we call an unstable positive feedback loop or possibly a self-integrating process.  This question though is way too politically charged for me to take a stand one way or another.  I will point to a fellow Chemical Engineer, Dr. Pierre Latour, who has taken a stand and written about four scientific ways atmospheric CO2 cools earth’s climate.  Maybe he’s right.

http://principia-scientific.org/the-four-known-scientific-ways-carbon-dioxide-cools-earth-s-climate/

But regardless, we are talking about the CO2 concentration increasing its percentage by 0.02% in the air when extrapolating over 100 years.  Over the same time we are talking about the O2 concentration deceasing in by 0.15% or 7 ½ times as much.  But this gets blown away in terms of the magnitude of chaotic changes in magma flow which has caused the Earth’s magnetic field to decrease 6% in the previous 100 some years and which is now falling off the cliff at nearly 10 times that at 5% per decade.  However, there are many magma deniers out there.

 



------------------------------
Ted Porter
Houston TX
------------------------------



29.  RE: Global Climate Change

Posted 3 days ago
Yes. Thank you Ted, for taking the time to help us think this through. 

------------------------------
Dr. Steven T. Perry
Marysville, OH
------------------------------



30.  RE: Global Climate Change

Posted 4 days ago
Engineers need reliable observations far more than incomplete theory. The climate has varied greatly on both historical and geologic timescales. I expect it will continue to do so, and see no reliable evidence the variation has changed (X2-test).

Climate has been both considerably hotter and considerable colder in the past, and I expect whatever mechanism was responsible without human interaction will continue to operate. To my knowledge this mechanism is uncertain. I personally believe something to do with cloud- or icecape formation/destruction is likely responsible. Until this 20'C swing can be explained within 10%, it is premature to worry about 2'C (max) AGW.

-- Robert in Houston




31.  RE: Global Climate Change

Posted 3 days ago

Hi, Robert Redelmeier.  You are right, there is a lot of noise in the surface temperature record.  However, even if there was no surface temperature evidence of global warming, we would still know that global warming is occurring.  There are many lines of evidence that show the globe is warming, including 

species are migrating poleward and to higher elevations (link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10530-015-1025-x)

sea ice has decreased (nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/ and www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/nasa-study-shows-global-sea-ice-diminishing-despite-antarctic-gains)

ice sheets have decreased (nsidc.org/cryosphere/sotc/ice_sheets.html)

sea levels have risen (www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessmentreport/ar5/wg1/WG1AR5_Chapter13_FINAL.pdf)

spring comes earlier (nca2014.globalchange.gov/report/our-changing-climate/frost-free-season#intro-section-2)

glaciers have retreated (wgms.ch/downloads/WGMS_GGCB_01.pdf)

-Kirsten



------------------------------
Kirsten Rosselot
owner
Process Profiles
Calabasas CA
------------------------------



32.  RE: Global Climate Change

Posted 3 days ago
To Mr Redelmeier and others who believe current Climate Change poses no threat to life on Earth

It is true that the climate has changed in the past significantly more, in absolute terms, than it has over the past 50-100 years.  But remember, previous changes happened gradually over a time span of tens of millions of years, whereas today they are happening almost in real time - decades.  Life can adapt to changing climate if it is gradual, but not when the change is occurring in a time span of one human lifetime.  It is the rate of change that is critical.  We can easily escape a bullet heading towards us at 0.001 mph, but not one that is coming at us at 500 mph.

Insects have lifespans of just a few days.  They go through 10-15,000 generations in 100 years.  Humans go through only 4 generations withing than time.  We do not have enough time to adapt to current climate changes by evolution alone.  That is why we need to slow the rate of change as the first critical step while we sort out how to survive. And the best immediate measure is to improve industrial energy efficiency, and abandon profligate resource-intensive wasteful habits.  I guess that is too great a sacrifice for some.  Easier to let our grandchildren suffer a life that is "nasty, brutish, and short".

So here is my prediction: The the CCDs will win politically, and the next phase of life on Earth will be dominated by the insects.

------------------------------
Jimmy Kumana
CEO
Kumana & Associates
Missouri City TX
------------------------------



33.  RE: Global Climate Change

Posted 10 hours ago
Jimmy:

A couple of anecdotes RE the frequency and period of rather significant local climate changes (and almost any information over perhaps a couple centuries old that we have are local and arguably anecdotal). 1) In the Zuricher Kantonsmuseum in Zurich, Switzerland there is a series of large dioramas of the history of Switzerland.  This is accompanied by written summaries of what happened at various times.  A series of glacier expansions and retreats in periods of no more than a very few centuries is evident, as villages and military outposts have been built, then abandoned because of ice, then rediscovered and even rebuilt over then past roughly 2000 years.  Records and evidence of the duration of the outposts over periods of greater than a century each time.  It's been over 10 years since I last visited, but I recall at least 3 full cycles, with some newly re-re-discovered in the last couple of decades.  2) in the US southwest, significant cities that were vibrant and locally influential for well over a century, were abandoned within a very short period (estimated to be less than 20 years), because of sudden climate change. Years ago, when the Park Rangers and tour guides talked about it, it was puzzling why or how the climate could change so fast.  Now we have data to show that it is possible.  We still don't necessarily know why, but we know it happens and it's not new. 

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Bruce Bullough
Portage MI
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34.  RE: Global Climate Change

Posted 6 days ago

I was interested in seeing the information on the layers of the atmosphere.  I had tried to find information like this on my own but didn't see much.  Thanks for the link.