Friday, February 01, 2008

WINDMILL CRASH IN SWEDEN

An email from Jens Kieffer-Olsen, M.Sc.(Elec.Eng.) [dstdba@post4.tele.dk]

As you may have heard a Swedish windmill lost its rotor blade last Friday. My translation:

A rotor blade weighing several tonnes separated from a wind turbine. "This just shouldn't happen. People are walking their dogs in this area!" Those are the words of Hardy Pettersson in N„s [near the southern tip of Sweden's Baltic island of Gotland]. He lives less than one kilometre from the field where a rotor blade separated from a wind turbine last Friday morning. The rotor blade weighing several tonnes created a crater one meter deep on impact.

Last Friday a strong wind was blowing in Gotland. And just before eight o'clock in the morning several people in N„s heard a strange noise. But it took a while, before they realized what had caused it. "It's too fiendish". I could see from the distance that a wing was missing from the turbine. I thought at first it had been taken down. But then we arrived and saw what had really happened, says Hardy Pettersson, who lives less than one kilometer from the wreck site. "It's too fiendish that this can happen. There are after all 300 wings in the area, and people move about everywhere. And it is strange that it takes several days to come out in the news, says Hardy Pettersson.

The wind turbine belongs to a group of nine which was erected in 2002. They are of the type Vestas V52 and generate 850 kilowatt. Each rotor blade is 25 meters long and weighs several tonnes. The rotor blade that separated landed 40 meters from the tower and created a crater one meter deep, before it moved onwards another five meters. The tip of the rotor blade ended up 70 meters from the tower. [Danish manufacturer] Vestas who built the turbine despatched people to the site on Friday in order to check up on whether the remainder of the installation was safe and to gather pieces for their investigation.

"To us it is serious. But to the windmill industry in general it is very serious, says Hans Ljungstrom from Vestasvind Svenska AB. A group of technicians from Denmark are on their way in order to make a report. In the meantime it is hard for me to make comments on what has happened. But I can say that I have never heard of anything like it in Sweden, says Hans Ljungstrom.






TOTALITARIANISM AND CLIMATE ALARMISM

An email from Paul Saunders [prsaunde@enter.net]

In the United States, radical environmentalist and socialist academics have organized a massive, two-day-long (January 30 and 31, 2008), man-made global warming indoctrination effort called "Focus The Nation." See - http://www.focusthenation.org

This two-day event will take place on 1,500 U.S. campuses and indoctrinate hundreds of thousands of students with one-sided climate alarmist propaganda. This propaganda will include the demand to implement an 80% reduction in energy usage by 2050 which they call the annual "2% Solution" to minimize its devastating impact on human existence. There are several university announcements of the planned activities. See here and here and here

No scientists skeptical of the claims of the alarmists or of man-made global warming theory are being allowed to present their views or to debate the propagandists during this event. To illustrate the deceptive language being used for this event, here is a sentence from the Moravian College announcement in Bethlehem, PA,

"The Mayor of Bethlehem and regional experts will talk about what can be done locally to make a difference."

The "regional experts" have been already been identified as, "representatives of Clean Water Action and the Sierra Club." These are radical environmentalist groups.

The purpose of this massive Orwellian effort by the academic "Thought Police" is to produce a generation of indoctrinated "skulls full of mush" who will be willing fight for the abolition of the world's liberal democracies and constitutional republics to make way for authoritarian dictatorships run by climate experts. These dictatorships are viewed as necessary by Dr. David Shearman and Dr. Joseph Wayne Smith in order to save the planet from climate change. The despicable, anti-Enlightenment proposals of Shearman and Smith were discussed by Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. in his 1/23/08 essay "The Authoritarianism of Experts"

In 1940, American President John F. Kennedy wrote a book titled "Why England Slept" on the menace of rising totalitarianism. We need a new book today titled "Why America Slept" on the rising totalitarianism of the climate alarmists.





ENERGY CRISIS IN SOUTH AFRICA

An email from Will Alexander [alexwjr@iafrica.com], Professor Emeritus, Department of Civil and Biosystems Engineering, University of Pretoria

South Africa is experiencing an energy crisis that has all the dimensions of a national disaster. Last Friday all South Africa's gold, platinum, diamond and some coal mines closed. This was because of the dangers to miners during unexpected power failures. Energy-demanding ventilation and dewatering are critical requirements for our mines. Large energy-consuming aluminium and other smelters have closed down. Tens of thousands of workers are out on the streets. Gold and platinum account for about 25% of South Africa's exports. Losses are estimated to exceed R200 million per day from these sources alone.

Our only energy supplier is the semi-state body Eskom. The mining industry uses 12% of Eskom's capacity, accounts for 7% of the economy, 30% of exports and 25% of foreign exchange earnings.

This is only one of the consequences of the energy crisis. There are many examples of how the crisis is affecting all aspects of life in this country. Our national economy has already been adversely affected. On two occasions I visited local shopping centres. The lights were out, doors were closed, and the staff were waiting in the corridors for the power to come on again.

In order to overcome the problem, the authorities intend imposing severe reductions in electricity use. These will be in place for the next five years at least. The reductions include industries (10%), commercial use (15%), shopping centres and hotels (20%), large office complexes (15%), agriculture (5%) and household use (10%). The target is the reduction of national energy demand by 10% to 15%. No mention is made of the mining sector or of the natural growth in demand.

The relative use of electricity of the various sectors is as follows: households (35%), industry (35%), mining (12%), commercial use (9%), export to neighbouring states (4%), agriculture (3%) and transport (2%). The economies of our neighbouring states will also suffer.

I was directly involved in the imposition of water restrictions during the severe drought of the 1980s. These were very difficult to implement. The control of electricity use will be even more difficult. Voluntary reductions on the required scale will not be achieved. It will take at least a year to implement enforceable measures.

Other long-term measures are proposed. They include the compulsory use of energy-saving light bulbs and the installation of solar water heaters. It is not a coincidence that these restriction measures have long been proposed by climate change activists. They are also the basis for South Africa's support for internationally enforceable and economically damaging greenhouse gas control measures.

Now the South African public will directly experience the consequence of these measures long proposed by climate alarmists. There is little prospect of South Africa meeting its goals of halving unemployment and poverty by 2014. Economists are also predicting that we will not achieve the targeted 6% annual economic growth within the foreseeable future.

The South African authorities have acknowledged that the crisis is the result of not taking heed of warnings issued in 1998 that this would happen if our power generation network was not expanded to meet the growing demand. There is some suspicion that the delay was also the result of pressures from environmental activists.

This is a very good example of what will happen to the fragile economies of other developing countries with large disadvantaged populations. It also demonstrates the consequences when developing countries are forced to comply with compulsory reductions in greenhouse gas emissions imposed by developed counties such as the EU for example.

The UK sent Nicholas Stern and David King to South Africa in order to persuade the South African authorities to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and to persuade other developing counties to follow suite. Now we see the result.






NEW STUDY CHALLENGES ONE OF THE CENTRAL BELIEFS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING

New information is leading to a controversial shift in thinking on the impact of global warming on ocean circulation, partly due to the work of a UA researcher. The scientific community has long believed that as global warming continues and large amounts of freshwater ice melt into the ocean, the ocean's circulation will slow. This would have a catastrophic impact on the environment as vividly, if somewhat overdramatically, portrayed in the film "The Day After Tomorrow." But a paper published last week in Nature magazine, the result of several studies of past and possible future weather, says that in fact the very opposite is true and ocean circulation will become stronger as the icecaps melt.

"We missed what was right in front of our eyes," said Joellen Russell, assistant professor of biogeochemical dynamics at the University of Arizona and co-author of the paper. She was at the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory at Princeton University before coming to the UA two years ago, and spent several years studying and creating models for what weather will be like as global warming continues.

For this study, she and co-author J.R. Toggweiler "pulled all that research together" to conclude that wind pushes the ocean currents and that warming temperatures will increase the speed of these currents. The westerlies, also known as the trade winds, are the main wind in the middle latitudes of both the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Observing that the winds have been migrating toward their respective poles for 40 years, Russell and Toggweiler realized this could be the explanation of how the last ice age ended 18,000 years ago. "The question of how atmospheric CO2 and the carbon cycle varied during the ice ages is the big mystery in the field," Toggweiler said.

As the westerlies move, the ocean's circulation increases, releasing more carbon dioxide from the deep ocean, leading to more warming and even stronger circulation in a feedback loop strong enough to push Earth out of an ice age. It also has a local effect. The westerlies "are how we get water in the winter," said Russell, and with their movement, the weather will go from "occasional winter storms to not very many at all. Our rain will end up in Oregon." This will become more noticeable during the next few decades. Previous models had placed the path of the westerlies in the wrong spot to begin with, making any predictions erroneous from the start. "The new model gets it just about right," Russell said.

Early weather models were based on the idea that ocean circulation was based on wind only for the surface and on buoyancy for deeper circulation. So adding freshwater to the ocean as the Earth warms would lead to less movement of ocean. Now, however, oceanographers mostly agree that it is only wind that has a major effect on ocean circulation.

Evidence from the most recent ice age, which reached its coldest 21,000 years ago, shows that the ocean had very little movement and exchange of deep water and surface water until the warming of the Earth about 18,000 years ago. "The evidence is piling up," that those models predicting a weakened ocean circulation in the coming decades are wrong, Russell said.

The increasing speed of the westerlies and their movement toward the poles "should stir the ocean's salty and fresh waters around and minimize the effect of the polar freshening," Toggweiler said.

Still, the idea that the ocean's circulation will increase as the Earth warms is not fully accepted by scientists. "It's controversial, but it explains what happened in the past and what is happening now," Toggweiler said. The mounting evidence has won the new theory a lot of converts, Toggweiler said. "We were lucky to publish first," Russell said. "This is what science is all about," Toggweiler said. "Looking for where the common wisdom is wrong."

Source

Journal excerpt follows:

Ocean circulation in a warming climate

By J. R. Toggweiler & Joellen Russell

Climate models predict that the ocean's circulation will weaken in response to global warming, but the warming at the end of the last ice age suggests a different outcome.

There is an old truism in climate circles that the cold climate at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), which occurred 21,000 years ago, had stronger winds. This idea fits with the common observation that it is windier in the winter than in the summer because there is greater thermal contrast within the atmosphere in the winter hemisphere. Temperature reconstructions from the LGM show that Equator-to-pole gradients in sea surface temperature were indeed larger - that is, the polar oceans were colder than the tropical ocean at the LGM in comparison with the temperature differences today.

It is now becoming clear that the winds in the atmosphere drive most of the circulation in the ocean. If the LGM climate really did have stronger winds, it would thus be expected that the circulation in the ocean was more vigorous. The oceans seem to tell a different story, however. The deep water in the ocean's interior is continuously being replaced ('overturned') by surface waters from the poles. This overturning circulation in the Atlantic Ocean seems to have been weaker at the LGM1. The water in the deep ocean was also very 'old' in relation to the atmosphere - in terms of having a low radiocarbon content - indicating that the ocean's interior was poorly mixed and poorly ventilated2. The overturning circulation then seems to have strengthened as Earth began to warm about 18,000 years ago. The increased overturning vented the radiocarbon-depleted carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere, as seen in a pair of big dips in the radiocarbon activity of the atmosphere and upper ocean3. This addition of CO2 to the atmosphere helped to warm the climate and bring the last ice age to an end.

These findings present a conundrum. If the winds were stronger in the cold glacial state and became weaker going into the warm interglacial state, then why was the ocean's circulation weaker during the cold glacial period? And how did it increase in strength during the transition to the warm interglacial period, causing the ocean's interior to become better mixed and better ventilated? Are researchers missing something about the factors that affect ocean circulation, or is it the old truism about the strength of the winds during the cold glacial period that is flawed?

During the 1990s, the first generation of coupled climate models predicted that the ocean's overturning circulation would weaken markedly over the next 100-200 years in response to global warming4. The predicted weakening is a response to the warming itself and to a stronger hydrological cycle, both of which make the ocean surface waters in the models less dense and less able to sink in relation to the water below. Thus, the models suggested that circulation would be less vigorous in a warming climate, somewhat like the weakening expected from diminished winds in a warmer climate outlined above. But again, the real ocean became better mixed and better ventilated when Earth began to warm about 18,000 years ago. So what will happen to the ocean's circulation in a warming climate? Are the models getting it wrong?

Winds and the ocean's overturning circulation

Until recently, the circulation of the ocean was thought to comprise two fairly independent parts. The wind-driven circulation drove the surface currents in the ocean gyres, whereas the overturning circulation ventilated the interior with cold and relatively saline water from the poles. The latter was called the 'thermohaline' circulation to emphasize that it was driven by buoyancy forces - warming, cooling, freshening and salinification - rather than the stress on the surface coming from the winds.

The inconsistencies mentioned earlier could be overlooked if this dichotomy holds, because the winds and the wind-driven circulation in the upper ocean could still have been stronger during the LGM while the thermohaline circulation was less vigorous. However, the dichotomy and the use of the term 'thermohaline' have almost disappeared from the oceanographic literature, because the circulation in the interior is now increasingly seen as being driven by turbulent mixing from the winds and tides5, 6 and directly by the winds themselves7.

The westerly winds over the Southern Ocean seem to be crucial in this regard7. The Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) is a wind-driven current that goes around Antarctica through an east-west channel between South America, Australia and Antarctica that is not blocked by land. Because the winds over the channel and the flow of the ACC are aligned for the length of the channel, the ACC is easily the world's strongest current (by volume of water transported). According to Carl Wunsch8, about 70% of the wind energy going into ocean currents globally goes directly into the ACC.

The same dense water found in the interior north of the ACC is also found just below the surface around Antarctica, and the westerly winds driving the ACC draw this dense water directly up to the surface (Fig. 1). In this way, the winds driving the ACC continually remove dense water from the interior. Dense water must sink elsewhere to replace the water drawn up by the winds around Antarctica. [...]

Lessons from the past

Anthropogenic additions of CO2 to the atmosphere have resulted in a stronger hydrological cycle and a warming of the upper ocean that are currently threatening to weaken the ocean's overturning circulation. However, larger differences in temperature in the middle of the atmosphere have given rise to stronger winds that are acting to strengthen the circulation, as we argue they did at the end of the last ice age. What is uncertain is whether stronger winds and a stronger circulation will counter the freshening and distribute the extra heat through the interior over the next 200 years.

Current climate-system models say that the ocean's overturning circulation will weaken over the next century19, but these predictions might not rest on a solid foundation. The early climate models were deficient because they understated the effects of the winds in general and failed to anticipate the poleward shift and the intensification of the westerlies over the past 40 years. The latest models are much improved but might still not fully represent the wind effect.

A key test for the models is to reproduce the changes that took place at the end of the last ice age. Does the oceanic circulation in the models get weak enough in a cold LGM-like state to bottle up so much CO2? More importantly, can the weaker circulation make the CO2 in the deep ocean very old with respect to the radiocarbon activity in the atmosphere2? Can the circulation then get strong enough to let all the radiocarbon-depleted CO2 back out? From the observations, it is clear that large circulation changes took place, and it seems unlikely that circulation changes of this magnitude could have happened without substantial changes in the wind forcing. It seems that the information from the past is telling us to expect a stronger oceanic circulation in the warmer climate to come.

FULL PAPER here






CARBON TRADING SCHEME TO WIPE OUT EUROPEAN PAPER INDUSTRY

Paper companies have warned that the rising cost of raw materials and the introduction of an EU CO2 carbon emission trading scheme will raise prices and kill off profits.

The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) said the trading scheme will take œ750m out of the European paper industry, effectively wiping out its annual profits.

It described it as the "first direct EU tax in history", as it even stipulates how the monies raised should be spent by member states.

"[The draft legislation] will generate up to œ55bn per year in 2020, as the impact assessment shows. This will see the largest amount of money being taken out of the EU economy ever, unprecedented in scale and impact," it said in a statement.

According to Finland's Pellervo Economic Research Institute, the European Commission's draft CO2 emission quota trading legislation will cause price hikes of between 6% and 12% when it comes into effect in 2013. It said the trading scheme would drive energy costs up by as much as 45%.

FULL STORY here




Britain's stupid Green/Left: "Only three "sustainable" homes built in UK so far. Gordon Brown's dream of "eco-towns" with tens of thousands of homes powered by wind and solar power has failed to grip the public's imagination. Officials have confirmed that only three low-carbon homes are being built in the UK. The Prime Minister made the plan for 100,000 sustainable homes a key element of his pitch for the Labour Party leadership last summer. But individuals have failed to match the Government's enthusiasm for cutting household emissions. Only three households have taken advantage of a tax-break for all new zero-carbon homes, the Treasury revealed last week. The Treasury minister, Jane Kennedy, said the Government expects the number of applications to increase "as more properties eligible to claim the relief go on the market".

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1 comment:

Magnus said...

Here's a blog post with pictures of broken wind power stations.