JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Coal is a gift from Gaia

Solar Energy Storage – A Gift from Gaia

There is a massive problem with photo-voltaic solar power. Modern cities and industries require power 24/7 but solar panels can only deliver significant energy from 9am to 3pm on a clear day – a maximum of 25% of the time. Even within this time, energy production peaks at midday and falls off steeply on either side.

Science has yet to develop a solar storage battery suitable for grid power. It must be sufficiently large, cheap and efficient to hold the solar power generated during the short solar maximum so it can be used later, when peak demand usually occurs. This process requires that much of the solar energy produced in peak times would have to be devoted to recharging the massive battery.

A linked hydro plant would work in certain limited locations, but the same people advocating solar power are opposed to dam building for hydro power.

But Planet Earth has already solved this problem. For millions of years Earth has use photosynthesis to store solar energy via wood and plant material then converted this to long-term storage in the form of coal.

Coal is nature’s answer to solar energy storage and in a wonderful bit of synergy, the process of recovering the energy releases back to the atmosphere the building blocks of life – water vapour and carbon dioxide. These are again converted back by solar energy into more plants/wood/coal. And the whole process does a bit towards postponing the next ice age and returning Earth to that warm, moist, verdant, life-filled environment that existed when the coals were formed.

Coal is a gift from Gaia – the 100% natural, clean, green and sustainable answer to Solar Energy Storage!

Viv Forbes – Carbon Sense


For more info:

—————————————–

Kudos to Viv Forbes who runs CarbonSense, is in based in Queensland and has been voluntarily writing hundreds of letters like these to Australian newspapers since 2007.  – Jo

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Coal is a gift from Gaia, 9.1 out of 10 based on 63 ratings

Tiny Url for this post: http://tinyurl.com/oy82252

145 comments to Coal is a gift from Gaia

  • #
    Owen Morgan

    Britain’s infinitely catastrophic Environment Agency enthusiastically enforces directives from Brussels concerning the disposal of “controlled waste”, including dredged river silt and vegetation. It seems as though the ideologues are not merely against the use of coal now, but are trying to prevent the formation of coal over the next two hundred million years, as well.


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  • #
    John F. Hultquist

    I admit this essay is nicely written but it is not new. It doesn’t resonate because of the time and scale differences. Besides, the need for grid-scale storage and the space needs of photo-voltaic units (either one) make this (PV) a non-starter. Wind is no better.


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    • #

      Indeed. A recent article at the German-language EIKE site illustrates that wind+solar is incapable of baseload (or even useful supply).

      The last figure shown (Abbildung 7) shows the frequency diagram of availability of all of Germany’s wind and solar power, with a nominal “capacity” of 64GW (at the end of 2012). The vertical axis is the number of days per year and the horizontal axis the power available. The author points out that less than 10% of the nominal capacity is available for half the year.


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    • #

      John, Viv is not suggesting that coal makes modern solar systems work. His point is that coal is old stored solar, and we ought be very grateful we can use it, and that its use has so many beneficial side effects as well. Truly a gift…

      This is not about renewable energy at all, this is about reframing the unproductive hate campaign against coal.


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      • #
        Roy Hogue

        His point is that coal is old stored solar, and we ought be very grateful we can use it…

        Jo,

        You aren’t allowed to be grateful for that terrible CO2 polluting dirty old coal, are you? ;-)

        Well, kidding aside, the whole global warming argument needs re framing in terms that include honesty and undoctored data. I understand his point but it’s not just coal, it’s whatever you happen to be blessed with as a natural resource to use for your benefit.


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      • #
        John F. Hultquist

        I said it is a nice essay and I agree 100%. But it is not new and won’t change much. This from “chacha”:
        http://www.chacha.com/question/how-can-coal-contain-stored-solar-energy
        And another from (it seems) 14 years ago:
        http://www.powerscorecard.org/tech_detail.cfm?resource_id=2
        “. . coal is stored solar energy.”

        I grew up in Western Pennsylvania coal land and family members worked in the industry. When young, our house was heated with coal. I swam in water filled coal cuts – some say that’s what is wrong with me. So, I have no problem with coal. I don’t think this essay is news to James H. and others that hate coal. I’d like to think otherwise, but can’t see it happening.


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        • #

          And you are right that this is not news.

          But if more skeptics start to speak more confidently, eloquently and raise awkward contradictions in letters to news editors or talk back radio or at dinner parties, it’s a slightly saner world. The meme spreads.


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          • #

            Yep, it’s about loving coal. I take it too far, getting off on the colour, the gloss, the Lapsang Souchong aroma. I used to adore it when they wetted down the piles of coal at Wollstonecraft loader on a warm day. Mmmm.

            And to think that the Sydney-Gunnedah Basin has the best, and has it in quantities that will be hard to exhaust. Now, we just need the new coal plants to do justice to the lovely stuff.

            Good on Viv and Jo for paying this little tribute to our greatest resource. I never again want to hear the expression “durrdy coal” rolled through the Gillard adenoids. And I’m ashamed to live in a country where a pensioner has to think twice about turning on a hotplate, let alone a heater or air-con. It’s beneath us, below us…and whatever is under that.

            Coal. Mmm. Chocolate sunshine.


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  • #
    crakar24

    JFH,

    (putting on my green hat) You could look at it this way, if not for mans intervention, when the earth emerges from the next ice age co2 levels could well have been below the minimum spec to support plant growth thereby killing us and every other living organism allowing a new species to evolve one not reliant on co2, maybe this is part of Gaia’s plan. If so then are we effectively giving Gaia the bird?

    Maybe that is why we are experiencing climate extremes, its Gaia’s way of trying to kill us.


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    • #
      Hasbeen

      Now that would be a good thought, if we were experiencing climate extremes, which we aren’t, so it isn’t.

      Go sort that out at your leisure.


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    • #
      Yonniestone

      “Giving Gaia the bird.” LOL A big Blackbird it would seem, I wonder if you could swap Gaia for well known sayings?

      - Never turn your back on Gaia.(lest the Greens get votes)
      - Gaia abhors a vacuum. (especially one run on dirty coal)
      - The circle of Gaia. (like warmists’ goes on and on and no one knows why)
      - The only constant in Gaia is change. (not much of that left after the green troughers pig out)


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    • #
      Streetcred

      Well, GAIA is taking out her displeasure on the ‘Kalifonicators’ … she don’t like them telling her what to do, so no water !


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    • #
      crakar24

      Funny how i dont get red thumbs for posting absolute, complete and utter crap but i get two when i post data from the BOM website and disclose the geographical locations of airports around Adelaide.

      Maybe there is a logical reason for this?


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      • #
        Roy Hogue

        Crakar,

        It’s the truth that hurts, not the crap. They react accordingly, lurking in the darkness of anonymity with the mouse constantly poised over the red button and ready to strike at anyone who displeases them.

        Think of them this way — if it weren’t for the red thumb crowd you’d have nothing to complain about. ;-)

        It would, however, be a wonderful occurrence if instead of the red thumb they actually stated their reason for objecting. I hope for that but I don’t hold my breath while waiting for it.


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        • #
          crakar24

          Roy,

          What must it be like to constantly live in the shadow of someone else, the shadow of your tormenter?


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          • #
            Roy Hogue

            What must it be like to constantly live in the shadow of someone else, the shadow of your tormenter?

            After thinking about what I said about what you said and remembering an incident from long ago, I realized that perhaps it’s best that they settle for the red thumb and hopefully be done with it because some sort of violence is always just around the corner.

            As a student I was tormented at one point by a pair of bullies. It was awful to say the least. I went to the school authorities (boy’s vice principal) and asked for help. I even knew exactly who the bullies were and said so. Nothing changed. So finally in desperation (and that’s what it was) I took the matter into my hands and the next time a blow landed on me I came out swinging. To my surprise a guy weighing at least 20 lbs more than I did and probably much stronger began to back away as I landed punch after punch. It ended when a teacher stopped it. And she was way up in orbit somewhere over the fistfight until I calmly explained (well maybe not so calmly) that I had been suffering the bullying for a month or more, had gone to the boy’s vice principal and had had absolutely no relief. I was surprised a second time when she turned away with her tail between her legs almost like a whipped dog — a teacher actually running from the situation where I expected to get hauled off to the office, my parents called, etc.? All she said was, “Don’t ever do it again.” And of course the bullying stopped.

            I was about 14 then and I still think it was legitimate self defense. But I don’t advocate what I did, nor do I think it necessarily settles anything. And it could have resulted in serious injury. I wish to this day that it could have been settled without the fight.

            But as you suggest, I do think the red thumb people see themselves as tormented by those who won’t follow their enlightened plan of action. And the temptation to violence is always there. I could mention the mother of them all, James Hansen as an example along with myself.

            I have never been able to muster up enough hubris to want to force others to comply with my wishes. As much as I want change, I want it by legitimate means. But others are not so capable of self control.

            Now, as a matter of balance about being tormented — are we not entitled to feel tormented by those who distort science, lie and cheat, try to silence the voices of dissent and other things; plus try to force us into a financially ruinous situation? I think so. And all we ask for is a fair hearing.


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    • #
      Owen Morgan

      Hominids have survived the Ice Ages so far. We’re probably better placed to survive the next one, too, except that our technology is deliberately hamstrung by moronic politicians and self-interested apparatchiks. The thing that came closest to making our own species extinct wasn’t the last Ice Age, but the Toba eruption.


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  • #
    Safetyguy66

    Yeah its disappointing that combined renewables don’t seem to be getting explored that much. I guess its not surprising when the motivation behind the obsession with alternative energy is emotive and not rational.

    That said, the idea of using solar and wind to pump water into elevated storage (on any scale) that can then be hydro’d out again on call is definitely worth consideration. However as Jo points out, hydro is more often than not on the “unacceptable” list for most advocates of renewables because you have to save everything while producing something, no cost is acceptable, unless its just tax payers money, then no cost is too great.

    The organisation I work for has almost completed construction and commissioning of a 6MW hydro system designed to offset some of the costs associated with the operation of the irrigation scheme it is attached to. Its a cutting edge turbine and will produce considerable amounts of power, from a water source that is all but inexhaustible by any historical measure. Were it necessary to manually replenish this storage, doing so from a low land river via the use of solar and or wind would make excellent sense.

    The wording of the article is pretty cunning because in essence coal is a renewable and in so much as its combustion adds atmospheric CO2 and hastens plant growth, it almost seems like it was designed to work that way, if you believe in that sort of thing.


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    • #
      Vic G Gallus

      I read somewhere that it might be more viable to pump water under Bass Strait than to have a desalination plant in Adelaide and Melbourne. Now that would have been a good use for wind and solar. When the power is in excess, start the pumps.


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      • #
        Greg Cavanagh

        It’s also quite a geologically active location.

        Some of the strongest deep water currents in the world, and Tasmania is slowly drifting away from Australia. Which all means a high maintenance infrastructure and location.


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  • #
    Bob Malloy

    Have posted the following as off topic comments on previous post, however as they both relate to solar and renewables they probably fit better here.

    O/T. Tony from Oz may want to comment on this.

    Mark Diesendorf, from the University of NSW, another passenger on the renewable energy gravy train getting free publicity from the fauxfacts press for his new book

    Mark Diesendorf, from the University of NSW, is a name well known to anyone in Australia with a serious interest in renewable energy.

    He has a new book out called Sustainable Energy Solutions for Climate Change (UNSW Press, 352 pages, RRP$54.99). The publisher says the book ‘‘is a call to action on climate change, filled with clear and detailed information on the strategies we need to adopt to ensure a sustainable future for the planet’’.

    Diesendorf and his team are responsible for one of three reports that I am aware of that conclude it is both technically feasible and affordable for Australia to transition to 100per cent renewable energy with current technology.

    …………

    O/T, Tony Abbott has those rent seekers from the Solar Industry in a tizzy.

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott is making solar advocates (like me!) both nervous and angry.

    His recent “signals” leave little doubt that, after years of progress, the Abbott government may be the first administration to slash Australia’s Renewable Energy Target (RET).

    Abbott believes Australia should be an “affordable energy superpower”.

    But traditional fossil fuel generators like Origin Energy and AGL are finding it harder and harder to stay “affordable” these days.

    Thank, Gaia, we have Tony from Oz. P.S. The (like me!) referred to in the block quote above does not refer to me, myself or my shadow. :-)

    Also from the same article,

    The truth, as most Australian (and German and Chinese) citizens know, is that the days of affordable fossil fuel energy is over and slashing the RET isn’t going to bring them back.

    I looked for a comments link to point out that China is still opening a new coal fired power station every week and Germany is rushing to build new coal powered plants because the rush to green energy has back fired. All I can find is an offer to have three quotes for solar installation.


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    • #
      Streetcred

      ” … the days of affordable fossil fuel energy is over … ” Only because those bastards made it so !


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    • #
      Roy Hogue

      All I can find is an offer to have three quotes for solar installation.

      I get almost one spam email a day offering solar installations. My bit-bucket is full of them. They have a government subsidy to induce buyers and they’ll push that until the gravy train finally derails.


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    • #
      Boris

      Fact is solar and wind power will never be able to provide sufficient power for a minimal base-load never mind providing any kind of continuous power at all. Even EU governments are now realising the utter bulldust be sprouted by the ever Greens and their ilk that sustainable energy such as wind and solar is just that bull dust. PM Tony even knows that. Solar and wind is great for a one off bush weekender or private home with sufficient batteries but not as any kind of base power provider. It’s about time the latte set realised that.


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  • #
    crakar24

    Just so you all know, as of about 1300 CDST you where in the presence of a world record holder (Adelaide is so insular its a world record). At that point in time the Kent town weather station thermometer reading rose above 40.0C and we recorded the highest number of days above 40.0C for the JAN/FEB period since 1898.


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    • #
      Truthseeker

      OMG – It is catastrophic global national regional small town warming!

      We are all going to diiiiiie …


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      • #
        crakar24

        Actually its so small that if you stood on your tippy toes you could see the Adelaide airport from Kent town and if we had of been using the airport temps we would not have broken the record.

        Even today Adeliade peaked at 42.5C at 3:30PM whilst the airport peaked at 37.7C two minutes earlier.


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    • #
      Mark D.

      Maybe Air Conditioners really do cause global warming.


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    • #
      Vic G Gallus

      I plotted the max temps for a few summers in Adelaide. I don’t think that I have gotten the years mixed up and it seems that it broke the record for 1907/1908. The 1987/1988 summer had four days over 40°C in December.


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      • #
        Greg Cavanagh

        It’s a difficult graph to read.

        Perhaps a simple count of days over 40C would have been easier (assuming this is what you wanted to show).

        To my eye, the green 1987/1988 had a lot more hot days.


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        • #
          Vic G Gallus

          The graph is not up to date. The 1987/1988 season had 11 and one at 39.9. The recent summer has 11 on the graph until the end of Jan, and one at 39.9. Remember that the earlier temperature readings were in park land and the Kent Town site is in a bult up area. The West Terrace site is slightly higher than the suburbs between the coast and the site while the Kent Town site is blocked from sea breezes by the city. As crakar24 pointed out, that makes a big difference to the airport temperatures.


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        • #
          Vic G Gallus

          Oh, crakar24 referred to the number for Jan/Feb. The earlier summer had hot days in Dec.


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          • #
            crakar24

            Yes you are correct Vic, i should have stated DEC/JAN/FEB for 1897/98 and 2013/14…….we have had X number of days over 40C across DEC/JAN/FEB for 13/14


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    • #
      Safetyguy66

      Lets take this slowly, one step at a time, so I can follow it.

      So in 1898 a similar temperature event event occurred. This happened with only a tiny contribution from man in terms of industrial GHG emissions. Do we call this “natural variability”? and what did the 100 year temperature lead up to that event look like?

      Then here we are in 2014 seemingly having equalled that temperature record with a CO2 content of around 400ppm. What was it in 1898, 250ppm? (Im guessing).

      So how about this then…

      “March 2013 tied March 2006 as the 10th warmest March since global temperature records began in 1880. The coolest was March 1898. ”

      A quote from this site http://co2now.org/ A site that would hardly be expected to publish anything that assisted the arguments of people like “us”.

      So 1898 it seems was a year punctuated by extremes my dear Watson. Extremes in an environment with a CO2 ppm level that most warmists have wet dreams about returning to.

      So please, indulge me…….just for the benefit of this stupid high school dropout, explain again the relationship between CO2 and forced warming, because Im still not getting it.

      http://youtu.be/zrzMhU_4m-g


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      • #
        Graeme No.3

        I think the earlier time was Jan. Feb. in 1897. The CO2 then would have been close to Arrhenius’s figure of 295 p.p.m.

        For collectors of trivia the West Terrace station was in the west parklands but bounded on 2 sides by roads. It was fairly open to the prevailing winds and was 58.7 metres above sea level (unless they were lying).


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      • #
        Vic G Gallus

        I had an idea of plotting the square of the degrees above 32°C the maximum is, in order to compare summers over the past century with a single graph, so that the hotter days stand out. This is the plot for Adelaide. The totals of this for each summer season is in this plot. While 2014 is not up to date and will be up with the worst summers, it is not unprecedented. That things are getting worse in Melbourne is less convincing.

        You might not agree with this method but it weights the hot days as 22 days of 35°C is the same as 2 days at 44°C and one day at 46°C.


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    • #
      Roy Hogue

      Help! Help! Help! The world is ending. Above 40 C (104 F) in Adelaide! We’re doomed I say, doomed, fried, cooked like a Christmas goose. ;-)

      Or do we just turn on the air conditioning?

      104, by the way is common summer fare in the San Fernando Valley northwest of Los Angeles. It doesn’t happen every day but it does happen almost every summer. I expect no one likes it that hot but so what? You cope. And until all this scare over climate change, no one ever worried about it.

      PS: There are much hotter places in the U.S., Phoenix, Tucson, and other places in Arizona regularly reach 115+ in the summer. Been that way for thousands of years…


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  • #
    old44

    Coal is a gift from Gaia – the 100% natural, clean, green and sustainable answer to Solar Energy Storage!

    God I love a shitstirrer.

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    • #
      Backslider

      Yeh…. I’m still gonna get that T-shirt that says:

      The Biosphere LOVES CO2


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    • #
      Boris

      Obviously you have no idea on the operations of new age coal fired powerhouses – cleaner than even nuclear without the hassles. The coal fired power stations in China and Germany are far superior to our old rust buckets in Australia. You are probably one of those who think the white stuff coming out of cooling towers is all of the nasty bits. Do some research. While you are at it, try researching why wind and solar will always remain small time iffies.


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  • #
    aussiebear

    Coal can be made to run clean through an experimental approach called Coal-Direct Chemical Looping (CDCL).

    New Coal Technology Harnesses Energy Without Burning, Nears Pilot-Scale Development
    => http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/looping203.htm

    …Now the scientists have to work on making it economically feasible. That takes time.

    Solar is only good for specific applications. It simply doesn’t work well as a reliable, consistent energy source…Unless you want to set-up some solar satellites that wirelessly beam down what they capture to a base station on Earth. The idea is ridiculously unfeasible in terms of economics and health concerns involving wireless transfer of electricity. But it does address the low efficiency of solar panels on Earth. (At least we won’t need to litter our landscape and our roofs of those unsightly panels!)


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    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      Unless you want to set-up some solar satellites that wirelessly beam down what they capture to a base station on Earth.

      Have you calculated the losses in such a system? If so, do share.


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  • #
    Peter Carabot

    Love IT!!! or… how to turn the tables on the green/tree-huggers. Me think: they are hugging the support bracket of a massive solar panel…. I wonder if Christine has a sense of humor…..


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  • #
    Levi

    You have nailed it exactly.
    People who scream about the rising CO2 levels caused by the use of fossil fuels don’t seem to grasp that at one time all of the sequestered carbon that we drill or dig out of the earth was at one time in the atmosphere. Indeed the CO2 levels in the atmosphere would have been quite high as compared to today. I’ll just throw out a random number maybe 1000 parts per million, or more. And you can believe that the planet must have been very very green.
    Hmmm. now that I’m thinking about it, maybe it was a drop in atmospheric carbon that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs….


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  • #

    Solar PV is virtually useless for any commercial power plant application, and that’s a big call.

    The idea that there will somehow be a form of storage for this is even more silly to contemplate really. Either all the power is used, or part of it used and part of it stored, because either way, it can only generate power during clear daylight hours.

    The power actually being generated is still only at the boutique level, despite how many times they use the bogus Nameplate Capacity as the go-to figure for power.

    Look at the largest commercial PV plant currently delivering power.

    It’s at Agua Caliente in Southern Arizona.

    It has a Nameplate Capacity of 290MW.

    The actual power delivered gives this plant a Capacity Factor of around 17%.

    Now what that effectively means is that averaged across the whole year, this plant is only delivering that full rated 290MW for 17% of the time, and drawn down to a daily average, that’s only 4 hours a day.

    Also, using that same CF of 17% then this plant only delivers that 17% of its total on a daily basis, or the equivalent of a power plant of just under 50MW.

    The plant cost $1.8 BILLION, so please don’t try and tell me that the more of them you build, then they will get cheaper.

    That’s $1.8 Billion for basically a 50MW power plant.

    Now, while the plant delivers dribs and drabs of its power across the whole daylight period, the equivalent is that 4 hours a day at maximum rated power.

    The bulk of that power is generated as the Sun shines directly full face onto the cells. So here you have a plant which averages power from barely 10AM until 2PM.

    Again when it comes to storage why would you bother, because it’s such a small amount, and as I said above, you either use it all, or store it for later usage, either way, you only get to use it once.


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    • #
      janama

      Exactly Tony – I found this website that may interest you. It’s our old friend Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg again at his University of Queensland – Global Change Institute who operate a 145kW solar array on their university buildings.

      http://www.gci.uq.edu.au/projects/uq-solar

      Here is a realtime graphic of their daily output

      Kinda like the windpower output website but showing a solar system. Note the dips in output throughout the day!!


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      • #
        janama

        BTW _ This is the only promising storage system in development that I know of.

        http://redflow.com/


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        • #

          The problem with storage is that you need vast, excess generating capacity because you’ve not had millions of year to accummulate energy from a diffuse source, as has coal; or peat, for the impatient.

          In my comment at 2.1 above, there’s a link that gives an idea of how much excess “capacity” would be required to make

          BTW: Germany’s baseload electricity requirement is about 53MW; and they have 64GW of renewables which’d need to have storage for about 2 weeks of baseload + ~20% to keep the country running through winter lulls and dim summers. Where will one put 21,400 GWh of nett energy storage and “generating capacity” in Germany? (Or indeed Australia?)

          Stuff like that doesn’t make sense outside of ideologically-distorted universes.

          I got a “close look” at the ZnBr technology ca 1985 when the owners of the company for which I was working, obviously mistaking me for some sort of genius, asked me to look at the research at Murdoch Uni. in W.A.. I knew nothing but the basics and asked “all the wrong questions” apparently; stuff about recovery efficiency over time, energy density, internal energy consumption (to pump electrolyte). Answers were peppered with “expectations”, “projections” and “theoretically”.

          There were far more certain investments available at the time. Including the dogs at Cannington.


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      crakar24

      I never grow tired of this stuff Tony


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      Peter C

      A pilot solar park was built at the Ballarat airport under a project known as Solar City. It has a nameplate capacity of 300kW. The park was built in 2009 and is still operating. There is a lot of signage about tons is carbon abated etc,

      I asked questions of the Deparmnet of Sustaianbility and Environment. Apparently it can deliver 300kW under ideal conditions, but the average output is equivalent to 4 hours/day at full output. That comes out to about 17% capacity factor, exactly the same as the Agua Caliente solar farm

      The construction cost was undisclosed.


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    Yonniestone

    Since the last drought here (Ballarat) we came close to running out of water mostly because our last water catchment was built in 1970 and for some reason the powers that be figure larger populations us less water, point is we got our daily usage down to 100-150 liters and we learnt the importance of saving water.
    The house we’re in now has a solar hot water boost system and I’d say it’s the biggest waste of water I’ve ever seen in a house, you have to run the hot water tap for up to a minute until it gets hot while wasting all that good water (sometimes you can use it) and this looks like a typical oversight of a so called green idea.
    It should be up to the home owner what they use for power to run their home not at the whim of some dullard imposing ass-hat technology on an uneducated public. End Rant.


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    • #

      The delay in getting water is down to 2 factors; plumbing (specifically the length/volume of plumbing between the hot water and the outlet) and the flow rate “permitted” through the fitting.

      Older piping often lacks insulation. So if the hot water hasn’t been tapped at that outlet for a while, there’s a large mass of piping that’ll cool the water when the tap is opened. Domestic plumbing is often laid out to save money and/or to ease installation; not for hot water as soon as you open a tap.

      Larger installations are supposed to have stuff like a “ring main” which is fed by hot water and has the water actively pumped at a high rate around the ring as soon as a tap opens. The pump pushes hot water from the hot water tank at a much higher rate than what is coming out of the “drop” from the mains to the tap. The cold water from the ring main drains into the water heater for re-heating.


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    george

    It’s all a matter of time that we fragile humans don’t have.Coal,Oil and Gas are all renewable energy IF you wait long enough.Civilizations don’t generally last that long.Use it or lose it and let the next lot worry about it.Maybe by then Mother Natures built in Carbon Capture Scheme(that actually works) will have done the job. cheers <:o)


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      Safetyguy66

      Its a fair point.

      But if we compare a country where they are still burning dung to one that started burning coal 150 years ago, we see one society still burning dung and the other with the technology to prolong life through modern medicine.

      One of these societies may last long enough to see todays trees become coal, the other is less likely.

      You cant make a society without breaking a few Leadbeaters Possums.


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  • #

    My favourite grid storage technology is super capacitors.

    But lets run a few numbers.

    Say you wanted your storage facility to be able to supply 1 Gw of power for 1 day – to provide backup for 24 hours when the sun didn’t shine and the wind didn’t blow.

    You would need to store
    1Gw x 24 hours
    = 1,000,000,000 watts x 86400 seconds
    = 8.6 x 10^13 joules of energy

    By an interesting coincidence, this is the same amount of energy which was released by Little Boy, the nuclear bomb which destroyed Hiroshima (6.3 x 10^13 joules).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Boy

    (1 kiloton is around 4 x 10^12 joules, so 10 kilotons is around 4 x 10^13 joules)

    So if the supercapacitors ever suffered catastrophic dielectric failure, as highly stressed capacitors sometimes do, the resulting energy release would be indistinguishable from a 10 kiloton nuclear explosion.


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    Manfred

    ‘It is presumed that there is sufficient coal for well beyond the next 1,500 years’.

    Craig et al. (1996)

    Now, let’s just get on with the business of prospering and flourishing.
    The Green scourge is a festering carbuncle on Gaia’s perfectly formed bottom, that’s about to burst.

    Stand clear.


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    pat

    try telling that to Al & Elizabeth!

    Al Gore on the latest doomsday book by Kolbert, who previously brought us the cheery “Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change”:

    10 Feb: NYT: Al Gore: Without a Trace
    ‘The Sixth Extinction,’ by Elizabeth Kolbert
    Over the past decade, Elizabeth Kolbert has established herself as one of our very best science writers…
    In lucid prose, she examines the role of man-made climate change in causing what biologists call the sixth mass extinction — the current spasm of plant and animal loss that threatens to eliminate 20 to 50 percent of all living species on earth within this century…
    If trends continue, the global temperature will keep rising, triggering “world-altering events,” Kolbert writes. According to a conservative and unchallenged calculation by the climatologist James Hansen, the man-made pollution already in the atmosphere traps as much extra heat energy every 24 hours as would be released by the explosion of 400,000 Hiroshima-class nuclear bombs. The resulting rapid warming of both the atmosphere and the ocean, which Kolbert notes has absorbed about one-third of the carbon dioxide we have produced, is wreaking havoc on earth’s delicately balanced ecosystems. It threatens both the web of living species with which we share the planet and the future viability of civilization. “By disrupting these systems,” Kolbert writes, “we’re putting our own survival in danger.”…
    This is the world we’ve made. And in her timely, meticulously researched and well-written book, Kolbert combines scientific analysis and personal narratives to explain it to us…
    A version of this review appears in print on February 16, 2014, on page BR1 of the Sunday Book Review.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/16/books/review/the-sixth-extinction-by-elizabeth-kolbert.html?hpw&rref=books&_r=0

    10 Feb: NYT: Chasing the Biggest Story on Earth
    ‘The Sixth Extinction’ Looks at Human Impact on the Environment
    When Elizabeth Kolbert joined The New Yorker in 1999, after more than a decade covering New York politics as a reporter and columnist for The New York Times, she began gravitating to environmental issues.
    “The magazine has a history in this area,” she told me in one of two recent conversations. “They’d published Rachel Carson. It was unoccupied territory at the time.”…
    Q. How does a journalist take on a topic this big — mass extinction?
    A. I wrote a book almost 10 years ago on climate change, and I was looking for the next project. And my thought was, “Climate change is a huge story — there can’t be a bigger one.” As I looked for a new book, what I kept bumping into was the reality that climate change was actually part of an even bigger phenomenon: the many ways humans are changing the planet…
    Q You posit that if there is a sixth extinction, it won’t be cockroaches who inherit the planet, as many New Yorkers predict, but rats. Why rats?…
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/11/science/the-sixth-extinction-looks-at-human-impact-on-the-environment.html


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      PeterK

      “Elizabeth Kolbert”

      Just another delusional tree hugger fairy tale writer out to make a buck because she is incapable of doing an honest days work!


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        Boris

        Totally agree. Tree huggers with no concept of anything other than their own imagination. We are on the way to the next ice age. It won’t be this year or next, maybe 20 years we will start to notice it, but it is on the way. Let’s just have Yellowstone blow or one of the other major supa volcanos goes bang and we will see how these idiots survive – not. I’m just glad most are in the northern hemisphere. It is these changes we need to be prepared for, because we can’t change the weather or restrain some volcano erupting somewhere.


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    pat

    i accidentally tacked on this old pre-CAGW abc/flannery interview when i posted the gloomy al gore/kolbert comment un WUWT, so might as well post it here. i’m reading a book by a former DFAT guy, who mentioned Flannery wanted 6-12 million max population for australia, so that, should there be famine to the north in asia, we would still maintain a large food aid programme to ward off refugees and aggression! i have never read flannery’s book, but found this to verify what i read:

    13 Sept 1995: ABC: Quantum: A Chat with Tim Flannery on Population Control
    Tim Flannery, Senior Research Scientist at the Australian Museum in Sydney, is an outspoken advocate for informed and vigorous control of populations. His best selling book, The Future Eaters suggests that we’re eating ourselves out of house and home…an appetite that’s lasted for thousands of years.
    The first of Quantum’s tenth birthday profiles on leading scientists.
    Q: Why is it that you believe Australia, which has an area the same size as the United States, can’t support a similar sort of population – hundreds of millions ?
    Flannery: Really because the ecology of Australia is so different and so unique. Land size really has very little to do with the number of people you can support on it. Witness the Antarctic which is larger than Australia, and no one’s suggesting in could even support a million people. The tiny island of Java which is very, very rich and fertile can support a hundred million. But Australia’s ecology is very, very limiting…
    Q: What do you think the ideal population of Australia should be ?
    Flannery: Well, my personal estimate is that’s probably going to lie somewhere between six and 12 million. But the great tragedy for the nation is that we don’t know the answer to that question. We’ve never asked it sensibly. I may be proven to be wrong, but I don’t think I’m going to be greatly wrong. The answer may be 20 million, but it’s certainly not going to be 200 million.
    Q: How would we control our population?
    Flannery: Well, the main and easiest thing to control really is immigration levels because that is what’s contributing to the major population growth at the moment…
    But really, in the long term, it’s going to be immigration which will cause the big change.
    Q: Your strong stand on population has earned you the criticism of being a racist. How do you respond to that?
    Flannery: All I can say is that I think there’s a place for immigration and always will be in Australia’s population policy. I don’t care in the least where anyone comes from – it’s just total numbers that really worry me. My concern as a scientist is simply to ensure that we have a sustainable future in Australia…
    http://www.abc.net.au/quantum/info/q95-19-5.htm


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    Neville

    In 2012 Gillard’s resources minister Martin Ferguson urged the Vic govt to modify the Latrobe valley brown coal to export overseas.

    http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/pilbara-plan-for-victoria-20120418-1x7ox.html

    Just proves that the Gillard govt couldn’t have cared lkess about co2 emissions providing the OZ people were denied the benefits of new jobs and industry.

    Ferguson even insisted the exports of this Vic coal could be so massive that it might be another Pilbara.
    So co2 emissions didn’t matter providing they were emitted overseas , but using our coal. Work that out if you can?


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      Safetyguy66

      Energy policy has been hostage to concerns related to a number of issues, few of which have anything to do with sensible energy policy for about 10 years. Hopefully, like all cycles, we are beginning to emerge from that “dark age” now.


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      george

      The Gillard government was broke the cookie jar was empty it had nothing to do with Co2.<:o)


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    Peter C

    Science has yet to develop a solar storage battery suitable for grid power. It must be sufficiently large, cheap and efficient to hold the solar power generated during the short solar maximum so it can be used later, when peak demand usually occurs. This process requires that much of the solar energy produced in peak times would have to be devoted to recharging the massive battery.

    A linked hydro plant would work in certain limited locations, but the same people advocating solar power are opposed to dam building for hydro power.

    I have always liked the idea of Pumped Hydo as an energy storage device.

    You extract the energy via the water turbine during times of high demand and pump the water back up to the high dam using available energy ( probably off peak base load power, but could be solar or wind) at other times.

    It does require a dam at the bottom to hold the water as well as one at the top, which adds to the construction cost.

    As it happens we have an ideal arrangement in North East Vitoria called the Kiewa Hydo scheme. It consists of a series of about 4 dams, starting with the Rocky Valley Dam at Falls Creek and ending at Mt Beauty. The dams are there. The power stations are there and the pipes are there.

    I don’t know if they have a pumped hydro scheme or not but I expect not. Doubtless the idea has been considered, given the very high prices which peak power use can command now under our flexible use pricing system.

    Does anyone have any information?


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      Graeme No.3

      Generally the schemes run at about 75% efficiency i.e. need cheap electricity to make money. The estimated cost of power generated is around $140 per MWh, which puts it about as expensive as the upper estimate of wind farms. So pumped storage would need prices from $150 to $200 (preferably higher) regularly to be economic. A few years ago Norway was selling hydro to Denmark at $137 per MWh, which was a bit rich as they were paying only $40 per MWh for surplus wind electricity.

      Capital costs are more like $2500 per kWh than in below.

      Try http://bravenewclimate.com/2010/04/05/pumped-hydro-system-cost/ for an estimate. NOTE also the comments.


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    AndyG55

    I’m sure I’ve said this a couple of times before.

    If you are a religious person who believes that God (or some entity) created the world for man, (the height of arrogance of course), then the FACT that all this coal, oil and gas is available there for OUR use just when we need it, is ABSOLUTE PROOF that we were MEANT to use it.

    No religious person can deny this, so come on you CAGW cultists, get behind what MUST BE.


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    Joe

    Like most species, us humans are much dependent on the sun, our tendency to ‘make hay while the sun shines’ has not gone away. Most of us still generally go to bed at night and do most of our activity during the day. To that extent, certainly not all, but much of our energy requirements also match this day-night pattern. It therefore would seem perfectly reasonable to use the direct solar energy (another more fresher gift from Gaia, maybe?). I think we would think it was a little crazy not to say take advantage of the daylight by building with glass windows and to use electric light bulbs instead during the day. Heating our water during the day with a solar hot water heater even seems to sit comfortably with many of the anti-solar-electric folk. And yet all of these solar treats affect the load pattern on our ‘grid’ if we do choose to use the solar power more directly. Even if every domestic solar electric producer was to use up their entire generating capacity and feed no excess into the grid by using it to run their water heaters or whatever the effect on the grid to some extent is similar, instead of a sunny peak in supply we have a sunny dip in demand. Largely our whole load profile is highly influenced by the sun and the twirling earth. I think that solar electric’s reputation is a bit tarnished from all the BSitty, non-market-based promotion of the solar, but logically it has its place as an augmentation to the traditional grid suppliers. Coal alone most definitely has it’s own problems fitting the 24/7 bill. The hyrdo pumping has been around long before the fickle solar joined the grid to help the coal fired stations cope with the day-night differences. The advent of newer gas fired generators to deal with peaking loads has definitely improved our lot. Given that much of our energy demands are heating and cooling it would seem logical to think about storing the energy directly in these forms before we think about centrally storing in some generic ‘electrical’ form to later just be distributed and converted anyway. I am pretty sure that with the small amount of solar we have right now that storing it is not the issue. We all understand the basic hot water heater and storage that pretty much gives us hot water day or night and we understand the principles of ‘storing’ cold in a block of ice in an esky or chilly bin. Right now the domestic solar folk would be silly to sell their excess for 6 cents or so and then buy it back at night for 20 cents to heat some water they should use it up locally.


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  • #
    Don

    Interesting article here on the current state of play with efforts to store energy derived form solar PV. looks like it still has a long way to go…………

    Headline: Researchers Manage to Store Solar Energy as Hydrogen — But Only 1%


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    Don

    I need to correct the previous post, the energy is not derived form Photo Voltaic (PV) but is directly applied to the catalytic process using mirrors.

    There’s another article here which might help to clarify things…………

    However, I guess the bottom line is this technology still has a (very) long way to go before it can become commercial………..


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    The Griss

    Just pointing out that last year the US seem to have had a pretty warm summer, (although I wasn’t paying that much attention at that time)

    Now look at the USA, freezing its butt off.

    Australia is having a reasonable warm summer particularly down south, apparently.

    What does winter have in store for us?

    Maybe time to invest in some new blankets ?


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    • #

      The U.S. ….. cold!

      Forget the Arctic.

      Gichigami (pronounced Gitchee Gumee) looks likely to be totally 100% frozen over in a few weeks. The previous record was 91% in 1994, and the Lake is indeed expected to totally ice over completely.

      Gichigami is the Ojibwe (pronounced Chippewa) North American Indian Family’s name for Lake Superior, the most Northern, and the largest of the five Great Lakes, and it is the largest fresh water lake on Planet Earth.

      Overall, those five lakes are now 81% iced over, and are fast approaching the 1979 record of 95% totally iced over.

      The mean average ice thickness on Lake Superior is 26 centimetres, just over 10 inches thick.

      Link to news article

      Tony.

      Post Script. Yes, I do remember the Gordon Lightfoot song. An earlier girlfriend made me memorise every word. The music was easy for guitar, with fairly simple chord progressions, just that the lyrics were, as you might expect for a six and a half minute song, difficult to remember. It focused you mind when you had to sing it to a large group of people. Neil Young songs were decidedly easier.


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      • #
        Bob Malloy

        The Song of Hiawatha
        Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

        By the shores of Gitche Gumee,
        By the shining Big-Sea-Water,

        Stood the wigwam of Nokomis,
        Daughter of the Moon, Nokomis.
        Dark behind it rose the forest,
        Rose the black and gloomy pine-trees,
        Rose the firs with cones upon them;
        Bright before it beat the water,
        Beat the clear and sunny water,
        Beat the shining Big-Sea-Water.
        There the wrinkled old Nokomis
        Nursed the little Hiawatha,

        Tony, while of your vintage, I well remember the Longfellow poem, I’m at a loss when it comes to the Lightfoot song unless, your referring to “The Edmund Fitzgerald”.


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        • #
          Mark D.

          The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
          Of the big lake they called ‘Gitche Gumee’
          The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
          When the skies of November turn gloomy
          With a load of iron ore twenty-six thousand tons more
          Than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty.
          That good ship and crew was a bone to be chewed
          When the gales of November came early……..

          http://www.lyricsfreak.com/g/gordon+lightfoot/the+wreck+of+the+edmund+fitzgerald_20061659.html

          A friend of mine lost his father on that wreck.
          *
          *
          *

          Yes Tony, she’s almost iced over. The odd thing this year is that the western point of Superior is the last to freeze. Usually that end ices earlier due to the shallower depths. Temps over that end have broken records for days of below zero and have been extraordinarily cold.

          Here are some webcams for you over-heated Aussies: http://www.glerl.noaa.gov/metdata/metarray.html

          and the last bit left to freeze over here: http://www.lsmma.com/webcam/webcam_lg.html (look out to the far limits of the camera view for the open water)

          More links:
          http://www.glerl.noaa.gov/data/ice/
          http://www.glerl.noaa.gov/res/glcfs/glcfs-ice.php?lake=s&type=N&hr=00


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            Roy Hogue

            As I remember, the disappearance of The Edmund Fitzgerald has been attributed to more than one outlandish theory or another, including space aliens.

            I don’t know exactly where you live, Mark. But you’ve said it’s north central U.S. Perhaps from a closer vantage point you’ve something you can add to the various tales of the demise of The Edmund Fitzgerald?


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              Mark D.

              Roy, I don’t know if there is an official updated theory on what happened to the Fitz. I have my own pet theory (actually two of them) First that she either bottomed out on shoal rock while in between two large waves weakening the hull and then snapped in half after many more waves alternately flexed the hull. Today She rests on the bottom in about 500-600 ft. depth and in two pieces. Some of her cargo* is strewn about such as to indicate that she broke apart at or near the surface.

              A hint of this type of hull failure was given by her crew that there was a deck railing broken down (this shortly before she disappeared). Her deck “rails” were heavy wire rope cables more than strong enough to withstand repeated blue water on deck. Only a massive floating object or her hull flexing in extraordinary fashion would cause the rails to snap. There was also suggestion that one or more of her cargo hatches broke loose. This would be a very serious problem in moderate seas but in what they were going through almost certain disaster. These massive steel hatches are clamped around the perimeter with a number of equally massive steel clamps.

              There were rumors that she was over-loaded and I don’t doubt that the owners would want to carry the heaviest load possible but I stop short of believing she was loaded to an unsafe state. However, if she had a hatch come loose then the extra water aboard could have made her weight more critical. In any case she was taking on water and the captain had pumps running hard. Non mariners won’t grasp the volume these pumps can move in gallons per minute but it is a great deal of water. Either one or more hatches were leaking or she had a cracked hull or both I suppose. Wave spacing on the great lakes is different than on the open seas. In great storms, the waves will create harmonics and reflections sometimes causing immense short spaced wave sets. These sometimes called The Three Sisters in folk lore. The Fitz may have encountered one too many of these sisters.

              The second theory of mine also includes some type of hull failure but instead of breaking in half at the surface, she got heavy and during a point where she had a monster wave abaft, simply torpedoed into a wave at the bow and essentially hit bottom with her nose causing the final snap in half. Recall that she was over 700 feet in length she could have touched bottom bow down before the stern was submerged. The effects of water pressure would be immense and rapidly change her ability to float (About every 33 feet of water depth is another 15 P.S.I. of pressure) as well as shifting cargo. The cargo space isn’t separated between hatches with any type of bulkhead

              Wiki actually has a pretty good writeup on her history along with some good photos http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Edmund_Fitzgerald

              *her cargo wasn’t exactly iron ore as the song romantically states but instead a pelletized iron concentrate called Taconite. Taconite pellets are semi-spherical and about the size of marbles.


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                Roy Hogue

                Mark,

                Thanks! Very interesting. And I like your theories better than the ones I’ve seen.

                Given her length and the deck rail failure it seems most probable that she broke in two under the stress of the situation as you theorize. But we’ll never know the truth about it because no one survived to tell the story.

                Like Roswell New Mexico, what isn’t understood is soon doomed to suffer through someone’s fantasy for an explanation and I’ve seen several about the Fitzgerald. Is there any similarity with global warming here?


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        Roy Hogue

        Gichigami (pronounced Gitchee Gumee) looks likely to be totally 100% frozen over in a few weeks. The previous record was 91% in 1994, and the Lake is indeed expected to totally ice over completely.

        Tony,

        It does get very cold in that part of the country. I may have related this before and forgotten, so give me a red thumb if you’ve already seen it.

        One winter day in the 1970s I was sitting in my office in Santa Monica with the window open on a nice sunny 70+ F day (good shirtsleeve weather) talking to the mainframe manufacturer’s software rep on the phone about several problems. After we finished business I asked him casually what the weather was like where he was, somewhere near Minneapolis, Minnesota. I wasn’t there to verify what he said but he told me that it was -40 outside (-40 F = -40 C). I told him we had mid 70′s and he seemed almost shocked at the difference.


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        Mark D.

        Tony, Chippewa is a subset or local tribe of the Ojibwa Indian Nation. Chippewa is pronounced pretty much as it is read; Chip-eh-wa and Ojibwa is pronounced Oh-jib-wah.

        The history of the Ojibwa including the Hiawatha story is very interesting. True also is that they were not the “native” tribe around the Western Great lakes. They migrated from the East because of a Divine Revelation and displaced the Souix Indians.

        A proud and resourceful people, especially to be able to survive the nasty winters in North Eastern Minnesota.


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    STJOHNOFGRAFTON

    A few years ago we had the chance to become early adopters of PV solar. We had the roof space on the shed, ideal solar aspect and the money to get a system that would earn us a healthy net profit, The feed in tariffs at the time were $0.60/ KWH. But we baulked. Something didn’t seem right. We could afford the ~ 20K for the system but where was the state government going to get the revenue to pay us that phenomenal $0.60/KWH?

    Too good to be true? Power bill heaven? Anyway we cooled off on the idea only to find that another property owner had installed PV to the max and was gloating at making ~$1600.00/quarter net profit.

    Were we chagrinned that we hadn’t installed a similar money making technology? No, but we were chagrinned that, as non adopters of PV solar, we were heavily subsidising the PV solar industry snake oil show. It’s not that we’d mind paying fair price for our use of electricity. The fact is we pay an ever increasingly inflated price, albeit as we try vainly to reduce our power consumption.

    The typical electricity bill gives the reality of the green energy con: Financial punishment for not having PV solar; absolutely no incentive for reducing consumption and attempted guilt trip display of data on the tons of deadly CO₂ we have caused to be produced as a result of getting “non-green” electrons via fossil fuel energy generation.


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    Will J. Browne

    Our planet has mostly been much hotter and more humid than we know it to be today, and with far more carbon dioxide (the greenhouse gas) in the atmosphere than exists today. The notable exception is 300,000,000 years ago during the late Carboniferous Period, which resembles our own climate and atmosphere like no other.

    Geocraft

    Dig up all the carbon that was removed from the atmosphere during the carboniferous era and put it back in and nothing bad will happen.
    Great advice JoNova! Up to your usual cretinous standard!


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    • #

      So let me get this straight, because 300 million years ago the climate was “good” and CO2 was low– the correlation “proves” causation (in your head anyway) and we should spend billions?

      I can point to millions of years (same link as yours) where the opposite situation exists.

      The only thing the carboniferous shows is that plant life on Earth loves CO2.

      Careful your inability to reason is showing…


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        Will J. Browne

        William Tyndall proved causation back in the 19th century.
        The benign climate (benign for the likes of us, not necessarily for the likes of super-sized insects) towards the end of the carboniferous era was a result of carbon being removed from the atmosphere and sequestered underground and in the sea beds. Suggesting that we can reverse that process in a couple of hundred years without running the risk of any adverse effects is cretinous advice.


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        • #

          Are you still pushing the old “it’s just physics argument”? Seriously? Even you surely know that the direct effect of CO2 doubling will only lead to 1.2C in the absence of feedbacks. (Hansen et al 1984, IPCC AR4).

          BTW Henry’s Law shows “causation” back in 1803. A warmer world will cause more CO2 to be released. It’s pointless arguing over simple physics principles. It’s the feedbacks that matter.

          And who is suggesting we’ll raise CO2 to 1500ppm by 2200? Get a grip.


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          Vic G Gallus

          I think that we can avoid putting it all back into the atmosphere if we don’t burn the limestone. So sceptics, do we agree not to use limestone in our power stations so that we don’t go back to the levels of CO2 in the carboniferous era?


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          Vic G Gallus

          John Tyndall, by the way, and he didn’t prove causation. He actually showed that if there was a greenhouse effect that it was due primarily to water with absorption due to other gases being relatively small.

          He also showed that it made the atmosphere a better emitter of IR, so better able to cool as a whole. There was no proof that greenhouse gasses create a blanket between the troposphere and higher altitudes. In fact, the temperature gradient no longer follows the adiabatic lapse rate but increases with altitude after the tropopause, none of which John Tyndall new about.


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      Alan

      Well Will J Browne I think you may have proven who the cretin is. You should read more closely what you link.

      “The hot and humid climate of the Middle Carboniferous Period was accompanied by an explosion of terrestrial plant life. However by the Late Carboniferous Period Earth’s climate had become increasingly cooler and drier. By the beginning of the Permian Period average global temperatures declined by about 10° C.”

      Not sure from what part of the planet (maybe just which one)you are from, but down here in part of the former Gondwana we have dominately Permian coals and they have formed from cold climate swamps


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        Will J. Browne

        I think you’re missing the point. the point is that changes in the level of carbon in the atmosphere will result in changes in the climate. that’s why we have something called the Carbiniferous era.


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        • #

          Will, look at the Geocraft graph you cite.

          Think about the resolution of the data 400 million years ago. Think about the timescales… does temp rise first, pushing up CO2, or does CO2 drive the temperature change? (Or are both effects happening at once on scales from 6 months to 1000 years?) From the Vostok cores we know temp drives up CO2 and leads by 800 years. In your wildest fantasy there is no way we can figure out which led what 400 million years ago. (The ordovocian being a great ice age in point…)

          CO2 levels fell from 4000ppm or so in the Devonian to 300ppm in the late Carboniferous, but temperatures apparently stayed high for the first 40 million years only falling in the second half of the era (as best as anyone can tell). Does that mean we only have 40m years to wait? Golly, time to panic…

          Did you ever notice that there are 4 major ice age eras and they happen every 150 million years regardless of what the CO2 levels are? Tick tick tick.

          Maybe CO2 is a minor player? Fits the data…


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            Will J. Browne

            CO2 levels fell from 4000ppm or so in the Devonian to 300ppm in the late Carboniferous

            The late carboniferous had a climate very like our own.
            In the 650,000 years up to 1950 C02 levels never exceeded 300ppm. They’ve now shot up to 398 and counting – and you’re not in the slightest bit worried about this?


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              So you missed my point completely, and (are you a denier) have no reply to the gaping hole in your argument that cause and effect cannot be determined from 400 million years ago and there is just as much evidence supporting skeptics in past ancient data as there is for believers.

              I worried (stupidly) about CO2 for 17 years. Then I looked at The Evidence. When will you actually read what our arguments are? You appear not to have a clue what this debate is really about. Willful blindness? We agree with your physics. We don’t agree with the model assumptions. You have been fed propaganda about “what skeptics think” and you have gullibly sucked it right up.


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              Rereke Whakaaro

              Two thirds of a million years is not a particularly long time, in the greater scheme of things.

              I can’t speak for Jo, but you have gotten your correlation back to front again.

              The CO2 that is in the atmosphere is already at its resonant frequency, and is therefore holding heat energy.

              Any increase in CO2 levels is due to evaporation from the oceans (which cover almost three quarters of the earth’s surface), releasing CO2 (which is soluble in water) and water vapour. So the increase in CO2 does not directly increase warming. It is the warming of the ocean surface that produces CO2. There is the real cause and effect

              Because these molecules are highly excited they rise in the atmosphere until they absorb enough energy to reach the point of resonance. The water vapour tends to mask energy from the sun, especially when clouds form, which lowers the temperature and reduces outgassing. This is the worlds thermostat. The world would have fried millennia ago had it not been for water vapour.


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              AndyG55

              “and you’re not in the slightest bit worried about this?”

              No, I worry in the slightest..

              I was worried that we might allow it to drop to the biosphere survival limit of 250 ppm or below again, but thankfully China Germany and India are pushing the level up to real biosphere sustainability levels.

              Hopefully eventually around 700ppm plus.


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          Rereke Whakaaro

          You seem to have a problem with correlation and causation.

          My view is that changes in the climate (from say, changes in solar activity) will directly result in changes to the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

          That statement is just as valid as the one that you make. In fact, I consider it to be more valid, because your simplistic position totally ignores solar influences.


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            Will J. Browne

            Causation was proven long ago. CO2 is a greenhouse gas. It absorbs energy. increases in the level of greenhouse gases will result in an increase in temperature, everything else being equal. You have cause. You have effect. What else do you want? If an increase in greenhouse gases doesn’t affect the climate then how come? Basic physics tells us it should.


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              Heywood

              Do you understand the position of a majority of sceptics at all?

              I don’t know many sceptics that don’t agree that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, but CO2 is not the only forcing that causes warming.

              Changes in solar activity, water vapour, clouds, cosmic rays, natural variability etc. all conspire to warm the atmosphere, not just CO2.

              You, like most warmists, have a very ‘black and white’ idea of the sceptical position.


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                Will J. Browne

                By sceptics I presume you mean denialists. I’m a sceptic. I base my views on the evidence available. If the evidence change, I change my opinion, unlike denialists. Denialists are impervious to the facts. No matter how much evidence there is they will never change their minds. I am aware that there are other factors that affect the climate. That does not change the fact that changes in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will change the climate, all other things being equal.

                [I'm letting this through so people can see why the mods and I pulled up Browne. He will not be able to use these terms again unless he can substantiate them. He will not be able to comment until this is resolved, and he shows he can speak English adequately. Being able to write English is a basic requirement of posting here. - Jo]


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                Will J. Browne

                OK. So I can’t use the word denial or any derivative of it, or the comment won’t be posted. But words like ‘alarmist’ or ‘warmest’ are perfectly all right apparently. Strange in a supposedly ‘sceptic’ blog.

                [Bleat on Will -- the only thing you need to post here is accurate English and a few basic manners. Sure, call yourself a skeptic and us - deniers, but you need to justify your word use in English. So let's start with what we deny. This is a science debate, the term "denier" makes no sense at all unless we deny scientific observations or scientific laws. Go right ahead and document with links or references what we deny. I will post it. But I will not allow you to abuse the English language and call yourself a skeptic if you can't name evidence to support your view, and I will not allow you to use the term denier, other than accurately. - jo]

                PS: Go figure, an “alarmist” wants people to be alarmed. They exaggerate the threat, I base my use of the term on the massive amount of evidence (documented here) showing that feedbacks are negative, and warming due to CO2 will likely be about 1/6th of that projected. I don’t use the term on scientists who disagree with me but stick to science rather than political or emotional arguments.


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                crakar24

                Dont forget Ultra Violet Heywood, i am thinking about starting up a UV appreciation club, you want in?


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                Heywood

                “you want in?”

                Only in an executive capacity. Is VP available? ;)


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                crakar24

                VP?……..you got it, i reckon there might be a nobel in it for you


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                Heywood

                Right. My first order of business is to come up with a research project.

                What about a study into the effects of direct and indirect UV radiation in fading the paint used by indigenous LGBTI artist’s paintings on the subject of climate change?

                We’ll get a grant for sure!


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                AndyG55

                Ahh yes UV !!

                We know that the one thing that varies greatly with sunspot count is UV.

                I’ve been looking at this report..
                http://ies.jrc.ec.europa.eu/uploads/fileadmin/Documentation/Reports/Global_Vegetation_Monitoring/EUR_2006-2007/EUR_22217_EN.pdf

                Of particular interest is the graph on page 28, (but there are also many other sections of great interest, like the effect of algae etc).

                You can see the large differences in UV penetration into seawater with frequency. What I would like to find is a breakdown on how the different frequencies of UV change in high sunspot events.

                It should then be possible to do an energy/ocean penetration/frequency change calulation and see just how much extra energy is delivered into the top of the oceans during high sunspot periods.. you know, like ALL of the last half of last century.


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                crakar24

                Good work Heywood you are off to a good start, my i suggest we plagiarise the good work done by others to develop UV rated zip ties, steal that technology to develop a UV resistant paint.


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                crakar24

                AG55,

                Dont forget O3 absorbs UV, less UV less absorption which leads to a cooling stratosphere which (hypothetically) leads to a shift in the jet streams which leads to the polar vortex moving south (NH) and north (SH).


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                AndyG55

                Yes, there are many actions and interactions that need far more investigation.

                Climate science is VERY MUCH still in it infancy, and has been held back from a rational development by the baseless egos and arrogance of the AGW movement.

                The movement needs to be defeated before climate science can get entry into kindergarten.

                Quite sad really.


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                Heywood

                “ But words like ‘alarmist’ or ‘warmest’ are perfectly all right apparently”

                Because ‘alarmist’ (one who advocates alarming the population with scary exaggerated predictions) and ‘warmist’ (one who believes absolutely that the word is warming) are accurate.

                These terms aren’t lazy vague comparisons with holocaust denial that you alarmist warmist activist w@nkers love to use to denigrate anyone who doesn’t 100% comply with the catastrophic view of AGW.

                Deny is less accurate than another ‘d’ word, Disagree.

                Disagreement can be healthy, calling someone a denialist or a denier just means you are a typical activist dip$hit.


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              The Griss

              What you got right..

              1.. CO2 is a gas used in greenhouses.

              2.. It absorbs long wave radiation…………….. thing is, it the emits it immediately. It does not warm up anything.

              so let’s take it from there shall we.

              Any warming of any part of the atmosphere is immediately compensated for by the pressure temperature gradient.

              Think of a bush fire.. all that CO2 released, but where does all the heat go.. Try to think. Please.

              And if you think that convection is not a very strong force of temperature equalisation, try this experiment

              a. light a candle.. now slowly move your thumb and finger either side of the flame as if you were going to squeeze the flame, see how close you can get your fingers (that’s radiation with a bit of conduction)

              b. now very carefully put your finger a few cm above the flame and gradually lower it.. that’s convection.

              Now do you really think that any tiny amount of heat could possibly be trapped but 0.04% of the atmosphere?


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                The Griss

                ” trapped but ” -> trapped by..


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                Will J. Browne

                Now do you really think that any tiny amount of heat could possibly be trapped but 0.04% of the atmosphere?

                Yes, of course I do. If you can’t keep up with the basic science then don’t expect the rest of the world to wait for you. You’re about a hundred and fifty years out-of-date if you’re still debating that point.


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                The Griss

                Good to see that you realise that climate science has not advanced in 150 years.


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                The Griss

                Yes, of course you do. You poor thing.

                Brain-washed, with no ability to think for yourself.

                Which propaganda site do you get your information from?


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                Will J. Browne

                Brain-washed, with no ability to think for yourself.

                Which propaganda site do you get your information from?

                I’m not 100% certain about anything. My views are based on the evidence. If the evidence changes then my views change. That is because I think for myself. I assess the evidence and consider the impact and probability of the risk. When faced with a risk you don’t have to be 100% certain to consider it prudent to take precautionary actions. You, however, are impervious to the evidence. No matter how strong the evidence is you will not change your mind. Why is that? Have you been brain-washed by a propaganda site? This one for instance.


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              Vic G Gallus

              You have cause. You have effect. What else do you want?

              Not one single fault.

              We had a much smaller effect in the early 21st century than the early 20th but the “cause” was much, much larger. Remember, we only have to show CAGW is flawed badly, not that CO2 doesn’t absorb IR radiation at all.


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              Graeme No.3

              Will J. Browne

              “CO2 is a greenhouse gas. It absorbs energy”.

              So what, it also radiates it (as proved by Tyndall). So your claim to have studied the matter hasn’t got above the kindergarden level.

              And by the way, the Carboniferous period didn’t have a climate similar to out own. It was mostly warmer (and wetter) at the start, declining in the middle and punctuated by numerous very cold episodes towards the end.

              Try http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/Carboniferous_climate.html

              Then why not try the Oligocene for some relief? “During maximum ice-sheet growth, pCO2atm was between approximately 450 and approximately 1,500 p.p.m.v., with a central estimate of approximately 760 p.p.m.v.”


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                Will J. Browne

                Try http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/Carboniferous_climate.html

                That’s tne same link I gave. It was the late carboniferous I was talking about, after all that carbon was removed from the atmosphere (the carbon the carbonifrous period is named after.)
                “The notable exception is 300,000,000 years ago during the late Carboniferous Period, which resembles our own climate and atmosphere like no other.”


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                Will J. Browne

                So what, it also radiates it (as proved by Tyndall). So your claim to have studied the matter hasn’t got above the kindergarden level.

                Of course it does. I’m no physicist but I don’t expect it to hold on to that energy forever. It’s going to pass it around. What else would you expect?


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              llew Jones

              That is not the issue. The issue is what effect does the human produced contribution to increases in atmospheric CO2 alone have on the global temperature.

              If you knew your history you would know that the Arrhenius equation linking atmospheric increases of CO2 and rising global temperature fails, as do all the attempts of contemporary alarmist climate scientists who use essentially the same science backing his equation, as a predictor of global temperature in terms of increasing concentrations of atmospheric CO2.

              If you knew your science you would know that Arrhenius and the contemporary alarmist climate scientists know, from that “150 year old” science, that CO2′s contribution is very minor and both he and they postulate the necessity of a positive feedback effect, between the miniscule and diminishing effect of rising CO2 concentrations and water vapour, if there is to be a significant global temperature increase.

              Thus the only relevant question that needs to be discovered is: “is that net feedback positive, neutral or negative?” If it is neutral or negative it is game over for the alarmists.

              It is important to note that annual human CO2 emissions are at present increasing at over twice the rate of the annual increase in the atmospheric concentration of CO2. Which means that the major portion, if not all, of our emissions are absorbed by the biosphere. That leads to the question, is the increase in atmospheric concentration of CO2 due entirely to a warming of the oceans and is that caused by natural external and or internal climate variability? In that case our emissions are irrelevantly small in the context of Earth’s massive biosphere.


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            Rereke Whakaaro

            Really?

            Proof is such a strong word. Are you saying that radiative energy can only increase the thermal excitation of a gas when carbon dioxide is present?


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              Rereke Whakaaro

              Good.

              So I can state that any gas can become thermally excited by radiative energy, and each different gas will vibrate at its resonant frequency, and harmonics thereof. This will include all of the normal constituents of air, plus any other gaseous or vaporous chemicals that may happen to be in the air from time to time.

              Is that a fair statement?


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                Will J. Browne

                It’s a weird one. What’s your point?


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                crakar24

                Will,

                I believe RW was suggesting that each gas in the atmosphere is made up of a combination of atoms, O2 is naturally 2 oxygen atoms, N2, CO2, H2O and CH4 are all molecules made up of a bonding of atoms.

                Each configuration of molecules will resonate at a particular frequency, a good example may be when you use a microwave to heat a pie, the frequency generated by the magnatron will enter the pie (most likely still frozen) and excite the H2O contained within causing the atoms within the molecule to move at a greater pace (if you like increased kinetic energy (motion)).

                The frequency used will be absorbed by the H2O ergo the energy will be absorbed by the H2O and your pie will appear cooked.

                As an aside, have you ever wondered why those microwaves never escape the oven and heat up the water content in your brain?

                Next time you are near a microwave oven and you look through the glass window you will notice a screen with small holes in it, the holes are not there so you can see your pie they are there because the frequency from the magnatron see’s these holes as a high impedance and will not go through, it cannot be absorbed, also you will notice a small groove around the door this is also seen as a high impedance and stops the microwave energy from leaking out. If you put a piece of metal in the microwave you will see sparks this is because the energy from the microwave cannot be absorbed by the metal.

                Now back to RW’s point, the Ultra Violet that enters the earth and infra red radiation that leaves the surface of the earth are in a specific frequency band this frequency will be absorbed by molecules (just like the microwave and the pie) Co2, H2O, O2, O3 will absorb some of this frequency, for example O2 & O3 will absorb much of the UV (pie in our microwave) however CO2 and H2O will not (metal in our microwave).

                However the IR frequencies will be absorbed by H2O and CO2 but very little will be absorbed by the O2 and O3. In between these two we have visible light and none of the above molecules absorb any of this energy.

                Does this clear things up or have i just confused you even more, i am happy to continue if it is required.

                Cheers

                Crakar24


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                Rereke Whakaaro

                My point? Molecular Physics.

                Energy = vibration, vibration = energy. Heat is vibration. Light is vibration. Sound is vibration. What distinguishes between them is our senses.

                Objects vibrate most efficiently, at a resonant frequency. The maximum amount of energy that can be held by an object is defined by the resonant frequency. At resonance, no more energy can be absorbed. Energy in equals energy out. This is important.

                The above also applies to atoms and molecules. Carbon dioxide has a resonant frequency, as does water vapour, and coincidently they are both at the same frequency, and this is why it was hypothesised (assumed) that one would excite the other, and thus there would be a feed-back loop which would amplify the effect, to the point where we had run-away warming. But if these molecules are both saturated by energy from the sun, to the point of resonance, they can absorb no more energy. They will not get hotter. So, there will be no runaway effect, at the molecular level.

                Do you accept that hypothesis?


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                Will J. Browne

                Now back to RW’s point, the Ultra Violet that enters the earth and infra red radiation that leaves the surface of the earth are in a specific frequency band this frequency will be absorbed by molecules (just like the microwave and the pie) Co2, H2O, O2, O3 will absorb some of this frequency, for example O2 & O3 will absorb much of the UV (pie in our microwave) however CO2 and H2O will not (metal in our microwave).

                However the IR frequencies will be absorbed by H2O and CO2 but very little will be absorbed by the O2 and O3. In between these two we have visible light and none of the above molecules absorb any of this energy.

                Which means that the amount of infra red radiation absorbed by the atmosphere is a product of the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. An increase in concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere means more infra red radiation gets absorbed (this is exacerbated by the feedback mechanism. The warmer it gets, the more water vapour you get in the atmosphere. The more water vapour you have, the warmer it gets.) This means it gets hotter. See, this is the problem! Thanks for helping me see it so clearly!

                [so then what stops the run-away situation that according to you already exists? Or is it possible that you don't know how the massive chaotic atmosphere really responds? Or is it possible that forcings and feedbacks are incorrectly calculated? By the way, it isn't "hotter" but that would be a choice word if you were into propaganda.] ED


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                Rereke Whakaaro

                You don’t say whether or not you accept my hypothesis. Is this because I haven’t explained it well enough?

                The important point, I was trying to make, is the concept of a resonant frequency of each atom or molecule.

                A tuning fork will produce a pure tone when struck. A different tuning fork may produce a different tone, when struck. But each will always produce its own tone, and one will not produce the tone of the other.

                If we then apply this analogy to our atmospheric molecules, we find that an oxygen molecule will resonate at a specific frequency in the ultraviolet band, as Crakar points out.

                Similarly, as he also points out, carbon dioxide and water molecules will resonate at specific frequencies within the infrared band. As I mentioned in my previous comment, once a molecule is resonating, no more energy can be absorbed. Resonating molecules also emit energy, of course, but only at that same resonant frequency. One type of molecule cannot resonate efficiently, at the frequency of another.

                I say efficiently, because they can resonate at harmonic frequencies, and they can even excite different molecules that just happen to resonate at a frequency that is adjacent to the resonant frequency, but in both cases, the energy transfer, is at a level that much reduced on a logarithmic basis.

                In no cases, can energy be created by this system. As I said before, “Energy in equals energy out.” And as I also said before, “This is important.”

                A broad band of radiation comes from the sun, including radio, infrared, visible, and ultraviolet (and x-rays, et al) frequencies. Some of this radiation will cause most of the atmospheric molecules (that are not in Earth’s shadow) to resonate, and thus become transparent to any further radiative energy, from the sun, or anywhere else. When these molecules move into the Earth’s shadow, they will give off radiation.

                Yes, one can argue that, “heat energy” is trapped by carbon dioxide (if heat energy is used to name the resonant frequency), but once each molecule is “full”, and resonating, it will pass “heat energy” in any direction, including outwards, into space. Once a molecule is “full”, it is also transparent.

                So, putting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere does not have a material affect, because once each of these “new” molecules is resonating, it becomes transparent to further radiation at that frequency.

                Counting the parts per Million of a molecule in the atmosphere is academically interesting, as a measure of the rate of conversion from sequestered carbon to atmospheric carbon, but has little other relevance, that I can see.

                As a final point: When we were children, we probably tried, at some stage, to hide under the bed clothes. In doing this, we would end up feeling hot and sweaty. That was because the carbon dioxide we breathed out became trapped under the bedclothes, and triggered a normal physiological response to having too much carbon dioxide in the lungs. It has nothing to do with the “warming” effect of carbon dioxide, per se, although the imagery is often used to frighten people who do not know much science, and therefore picture an impervious blanket of carbon dioxide covering the Earth. That blanket is there, but it is totally see-through.


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                The Griss

                “That was because the carbon dioxide we breathed out became trapped under the bedclothes,’

                Also the fact that we also breathe out a significant amount of water vapour.

                And also the fact that out bodies always produce heat, and the blanket stops that heat from escaping.

                Really stupid thing about the “blanket” idea of the atmosphere is that when the Earth’s surface gets warm, the atmosphere acts to cool the surface..

                … that’s a pretty strange sort of blanket.. one that cools you down when you get warm. :-)

                When I get too warm when in bed, I remove the blanket.


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                Rereke Whakaaro

                When I get too warm when in bed, I remove the blanket.

                And that is exactly the argument that supports the whole of the AGW meme. “If we get rid of the “extra” carbon dioxide, then we can stop temperature from getting too hot”.

                But that is wrong, because carbon dioxide becomes transparent to its radiative frequency when it is at resonance. The “heat” will pass straight through and go into space.


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                Will J. Browne

                Yes, one can argue that, “heat energy” is trapped by carbon dioxide (if heat energy is used to name the resonant frequency), but once each molecule is “full”, and resonating, it will pass “heat energy” in any direction, including outwards, into space. Once a molecule is “full”, it is also transparent.
                So, putting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere does not have a material affect, because once each of these “new” molecules is resonating, it becomes transparent to further radiation at that frequency.
                Counting the parts per Million of a molecule in the atmosphere is academically interesting, as a measure of the rate of conversion from sequestered carbon to atmospheric carbon, but has little other relevance, that I can see.

                That’s fascinating! So does that mean that the density of the atmosphere is utterly irrelevant to our climate? It could be dramatically less dense, like Mars, and we wouldn’t be any colder, or dramatically mored dense and we wouldn’t be any warmer?


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                Rereke Whakaaro

                … does that mean that the density of the atmosphere is utterly irrelevant to our climate?

                No, it doesn’t. We live in the atmosphere we evolved with, and within, so there are certainly limits. But taking an idea to the extreme, probably tells you nothing interesting about where those limits might lie.

                And anyway, in terms of my thesis, it is irrelevant. A molecule of carbon dioxide resonates at around 4.5um. At that frequency it becomes transparent, and ceases to “act as a blanket” to hold the heat in. Other atmospheric atoms and molecules resonate at other frequencies, and will also become transparent for energy at those frequencies. This is the Earth’s thermostat (or thermostats, for the more pedantic). So the amount of a particular gas in the atmosphere is irrelevant from an energy transfer perspective, except in terms of their respective energy absorption bands.

                If we had the low density of atmosphere of Mars (which is predominantly carbon dioxide, I believe), we would have evolved differently, if we evolved at all. I have no idea what the physiology of a Martian might be like. But, as an aside, I remember reading about some marine worms that live in the deep Pacific ocean trenches by ingesting the minerals expelled from thermal vents. It is life Will, but not as we know it. It seems that silicon based life forms are not just the stuff of science fiction.


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                crakar24

                I am glad i was a help Will, armed with this new found knowledge please explain to me how the temps have not changed for 17 years despite over 30% increase in co2 emissions because i have no idea.

                Cheers


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              Will J. Browne

              Yes, one can argue that, “heat energy” is trapped by carbon dioxide (if heat energy is used to name the resonant frequency), but once each molecule is “full”, and resonating, it will pass “heat energy” in any direction, including outwards, into space. Once a molecule is “full”, it is also transparent.

              I’m not a physicist so I’m guessing here. By passing heat I presume you mean radiating it. If it’s radiating heat then doesn’t that mean it is no longer full, and can absorb more energy, and radiate that as well? Can it really radiate heat and remain full at the same time?


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    delory

    Perhaps someone should suggest covering Antarctica with tracking PV panels as a solution to the day/night/25% problem… Then the penguins could enjoy solar 24/7 for half the year… (think of the warm-fuzzies that would create!)


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