Friday, September 12, 2014

Some amusing non-news about ozone

Here it is, right from the horse's mouth, the horse being the summary in the official WMO report which is giving a lot of Greenies erections at the moment.  Im my usual pesky way I went back to the original science rather than  accepting journalistic spin about it.  Read it and see whether you think there is anything notable in it:

Total column ozone declined over most of the globe during the 1980s and early 1990s (by about 2.5% averaged over 60°S to 60°N). It has remained relatively unchanged since 2000, with indications of a small increase in total column ozone in recent years, as expected. In the upper stratosphere there is a clear recent ozone increase, which climate models suggest can be explained by  comparable contributions from declining ODS abundances and upper stratospheric cooling caused by carbon dioxide increases.

The Antarctic ozone hole continues to occur each spring, as expected for the current ODS abundances. The Arctic stratosphere in winter/spring 2011 was particularly cold, which led to large ozone depletion as expected under these conditions.

Far from ozone declining, the finding is a small INCREASE in the amount of ozone overhead.  And the Antarctic ozone hole apparently shows no trend other than what can be attributed to recent COOLING.  (Where's that global warming gone?)

I would have thought that the findings were a total disappointment to the Greenies and their Montreal Protocol but they are manging somehow to spin it in a way that keeps their spirits up.

The spin that the Warmists are putting on it is that the ozone "hole" has stopped growing.  But how can they know that?  The hole is highly variable from year to year and it could very easily roar back overnight bigger than ever.  Warmists really are a sad bunch.

More prophecy spun out of thin air

The article below appeared under the heading: "Climate Change Gets Personal As Minnesota Faces Loss Of Its Beloved Loon‏".  Sadly the loon concerned is NOT Al Franken.  It is a bird. And what is the story based on?  Is is based on a series of annual population counts that show a decline?  That would be the scientific way.  But this is Warmism, not science, so there is no word of that. The  report appears to be just another Warmist prophecy which ignores the fact that the slight warming of the late 20th century has now stopped for some time and it is anybody's guess whether it will restart or not

Matthew Anderson, just like most other Minnesotans he knows, has a favorite loon story.

It happened this year. Anderson, the executive director of the National Audubon Society’s Minnesota chapter, was out on a boat in western Wisconsin with his four-year-old daughter. They spotted a common loon with two chicks on its back, and watched as the chicks slid off their parent’s back and dove beneath the water’s surface. The parent then stuck its head down underneath the water so it could keep an eye on the chicks as they swam underwater.
“To see her smile on her face … and to think that my four-year-old, when she’s 38, 39, 40, that loons might not be here, that hurts,” he said.

This week, the Audubon Society released a comprehensive report on the threats North America’s birds face from climate change. The report found that the common loon, Minnesota’s beloved state bird, is projected to have just 25 percent of its non-breeding season range and 44 percent of its breeding season range left by 2080.

Due to warming temperatures and changing weather patterns, the report states, “it looks all but certain that Minnesota will lose its iconic loons in summer by the end of the century.” The common loon has a better chance than some other birds of being able to adapt to a new, more northern habitat as the earth warms, but that still means Minnesota won’t have the loons its residents have long been used to.

I think for a lot of people, their trips north aren’t really complete without loon calls or seeing a loon or loon family on the lake.

For Minnesotans, Anderson said, that’s a big deal. Minnesota is the only state to have the common loon as its state bird (unlike the Northern cardinal, which is claimed by seven states, and the western meadowlark, which represents six states), and since the state is known as the “land of 10,000 lakes,” many of its residents frequent lakes and rivers for fishing, water sports, canoeing and boating, making loon encounters common. The loon’s haunting cry and its awkward gait on land — due to its legs, which are set farther back on its body than other birds’ — have helped Minnesotans fall in love with the waterbird.

“People care deeply about loons up here, especially people who live on lakes,” Erica LeMoine, coordinator of LoonWatch, which is based in Wisconsin but does work in Minnesota, told ThinkProgress. “A lot of people who visit northern areas, one of the things they want to experience is loons. I think for a lot of people, their trips north aren’t really complete without loon calls or seeing a loon or loon family on the lake.”


Cool summer doesn’t invalidate climate change (?)

You've got to hand it to the guy below.  He's better than most Warmists.  He ATTEMPTS to marshall some scientific evidence for his argunent.  But he has been taken in by Warmist pseudo-science.  He says “Each of the past three decades has been successively warmer" but hasn't noticed that the "warming" concerned is measured in (totally insignificant) hundredths of one degree!  He says the Arctic and Antarctic ice is shrinking. He is quoting old stuff about the Arctic.  In recent years the icecap  has started growing again.  And he is dead wrong about the Antarctic. The ice there has been continuously growing and is now at an all-time high.  So his "facts" are, in effect lies.  But Warmists have got little else.  Lies and distortion are their stock in trade

LABOR DAY has come and gone. Autumn looms. But how can summer be over when it never really began?

If you feel cheated — where were the scorchers and leaden humid nights? — it’s not your imagination. July and August really did feel more like an extension of spring than a separate season. The Boston area had but four days over 90 degrees; usually it has 10. Average temperatures for the summer were well below normal too. This, of course, followed on the heels of a cold and snowy winter that felt like it would never end. And, to top it off, the Farmers’ Almanac predicts that the winter to come will be even worse than last.

So much for this global warming nonsense, huh?

Admit it. In some fashion, you’ve probably given voice to the thought. If climate change is real — if the world is supposedly heating up — then how come last winter was so long and our summer so cool? It’s because our perspective is skewed. We’re like a guy with his head in the refrigerator while his house is burning down, thinking nothing’s wrong. In fact, climate change proceeds apace. Our cool summer offers proof.

The world continues to get warmer. Of that, there is no doubt. The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change just released drafts of its most recent assessment (the final version should be issued in October), and the news is grim. “Each of the past three decades has been successively warmer at the earth’s surface than all the previous decades in the instrumental record, and the first decade of the 21st century has been the warmest,” it notes. Indeed, despite New England’s experience, 2013 was, worldwide, the hottest year on record, and 2014 may be hotter still. And the impacts of that rise are now being observed everywhere. The oceans are warmer. Ice sheets in Greenland, the Antarctic, and Arctic are getting smaller. Glaciers are retreating. The acidity of the oceans (caused by the absorption of carbon dioxide) has gone up 30 percent since the mid-1800s. Sea levels are rising too — 6.7 inches in the last 100 years. Extreme weather events are on the rise.



Oh no, not another global warming article? Yep! It's true, but this one takes a little different tack to make a point about the folly of climate modeling. Hopefully, the reader will forgive this author's brief foray into the world of simple mathematics and logic.

Back in the early 60's when scientists started "dreaming" of how they could determine if there was life elsewhere in the universe, a radio astronomer by the name of Frank Drake came up with an equation (the infamous Drake Equation) to estimate the possibility of intelligent life on other extra solar planets in the Milky Way galaxy. He came up with the equation to help stimulate scientific dialogue at the up coming, first ever, Search For Extra Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) conference in Green Bank, West Virginia.

To develop the equation he had to make some estimates on some variables that were part of the elements of the equation in order to solve for "N", the number of possible intelligent life planets in the galaxy. First, he had to estimate the rate of star formation in the galaxy (R). Then he had to estimate the fraction of those stars that might have planets (fp). Then he had to determine an average of the number of those planets per star that would potentially support life (ne) and so on. In the end the elements of the equation were described as follows:

R = the average rate of star formation in our galaxy.
fp = the fraction of those stars that have planets.
ne = the average number of planets that can potentially support life per star that has planets.
fl = the fraction of planets that could support life that actually develop life at some point.
fi = the fraction of planets with life that actually go on to develop intelligent life (civilizations).
fc = the fraction of civilizations that develop a technology that releases detectable signs of their existence into space.
L = the length of time for which such civilizations release detectable signals into space.

There were several other variables Frank could have included in the equation but he was trying to keep it as simple as possible so that the scientific dialogue wouldn't get bogged down in the elements, or the variables to those elements. Since there was no clear science on these elements, Frank had to make guesses at each value based on the best available information he had at the time. Unfortunately, with no clear evidence, those guesses could vary widely and as they varied, so did the solution to the equation. A solution that varies widely is no solution at all. It is, at best, a wild-as…..d-guess.

The moral of this exercise is to point out that the greater the number of variables in an equation and a wide difference within those variables, the less likely any answer or solution will be accurate.

So let's look at the number of variables to predict any long-range change in climate that climate Scientists plug into their super computers. There are a whole host of variables to predict long-range future climate conditions and those variables can vary widely, as they do in the Drake equation, because of a lack of accurate data. Bear in mind that a weather report, using computer weather modeling, is only good for about two hours. The reason for this is, the weather is a non-linear dynamic system and small changes in initial conditions can produce large changes in localized weather. True scientists, if there are any left, call this phenomenon the butterfly effect.

Wikipedia describes the climate modeling process called the "General Circulation Model" (GCM) as follows: "… GCM is a type of climate model and is a mathematical model of the general circulation of a planetary atmosphere or ocean and based on the Navier–Stokes equations on a rotating sphere with thermodynamic terms for various energy sources (radiation, latent heat).

Wow! What a mouthful. But in order to pull this off, they have to enter a wide range of variables into their super computers, along with a laundry list of equations for other variables. Those variables include the temperature and pressure at any height in the atmosphere. They also include, ocean currents, cloud cover, precipitation, water vapor, ice sheet cover, vegetation, soil types, variations in Solar radiation, trace atmospheric elements like CO2, ozone, methane, carbon monoxide and more. The climate Scientists might even put in a prognostication for major volcanic eruptions, but like the Drake equation, these would be guesses at best. Just imagine what a major volcanic eruption would do to any climate model, like Krakatoa in the late 1800's, or another major volcanic eruption that occurred in 1815 that created a year without a summer in 1816. You can kiss off any climate model in this scenario.

As this debate between the climate Scientists (and government) and well credentialed climate change deniers heats up, more and more evidence appears that the climate Scientists are dummying up variables to obtain a desired result because they just flat don't know how wide the variable is or can be. So they guess. In science circles this is called made-as-instructed science.

In an attempt to explain away the last 17 years of flat temperature rise that wasn't predicted by the supercomputer-driven climate models, the climate Scientists are now saying, "we believe that we didn't get the long-range variables of historical ocean currents right." What? Ocean currents play a huge role in the variations of climate and the scientists have the audacity to say that, "we believe we got ocean currents wrong." "We believe" is hardly a scientific term. Where is the evidence? Where are the observations and experiments to back up a statement based on "we believe?"

And before this "ocean current" fiasco, the climate Scientists had another explanation for the 17-year hiatus of temperature rise. In another article they said that, "we believe" that the rise in temperature was blunted by the absorption of heat by the oceans during this period. Really! Where is the evidence? Where are the observations and experiments that support yet another statement of "we believe?" And these people call themselves scientists? They give science a bad name.

Then another argument has surfaced about methane emanating from the bowels of domestic animals grown for protein. Their argument is that there are way too many domestic animals on the planet that are "flatulating" huge volumes of methane into the atmosphere, driving global warming. Since domestic animals are grown for protein to feed humans, then it follows that humans are responsible for the large amount of methane being emitted in the atmosphere. But it gets better. It turns out that methane is a greater driver of global warming than carbon dioxide (CO2), by almost twenty times. Wait a minute! Didn't climate Scientists tell us that CO2 was the main driver of global warming and humans are responsible? Now we are to believe that there is another culprit and once again, humans are responsible and they had better feel guilty ….. and pay up!

For a second time we must point out that the greater the number of variables in an equation and a wide difference in those variables, the less likely any answer, solution, or prediction will be accurate. That is why their computer models didn't predict the 17-year flat rise in planet temperature. That is why their computer models didn't predict a massive rise in Antarctica sea ice. Those same computer models are also in direct conflict with actual collected data over the last 17 years. How is that possible?

As credible evidence mounts against man-caused global warming, why do the environmentalists, government and climate Scientists still cling to the folly of their computer models containing too many variables with wide discrepancies in values, just like the Drake equation?

The answer is quite simple really. There is collusion going on between radical environmentalists, western governments, climate scientists and maybe even world central bankers. The collusion is driven by an agenda. The agenda is the unproven argument that human beings are a stain on the earth and must be drastically limited in their behavior (controlled) ….. by government. Further, government must spend billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars to curtail man's emissions of CO2 and domestic animal flatulent into the atmosphere that in the end will have zero affect on planet temperature rise. Instead, what happens is, government borrows the billions to pay for the controls and the central bankers laugh gleefully while sitting in their cushy bank chairs counting their profits.

To control human behavior, the governments and the environmentalists had to come up with a straw man to rationalize their man-is-guilty agenda and that straw man is "man-caused global warming." They have been promoting this straw man by propaganda, hype, distortion and lies for years. They exploit the masses by making the masses feel guilty because the masses are responsible for the degradation of the planet and they have to pay for their transgressions. Even though this made-as-instructed science has been exposed as a fraud, they continue to feed the public lie after lie, attempting to cover up their criminal duplicity. They even changed the name to "Climate Change" from man-caused global warming because Climate Change is much less controversial, nor is it definitive of their bogus accusations.

As we stated in a previous article, yes humans are affecting the planet. But we went on to say that, "We (humans) are an integral part of the environmental processes of earth but we will have little or no effect on any final outcome. We will but only tickle the grander elements such as the Sun, the Moon and the Earth itself, none of which is predictable, much less measurable to the degree necessary for accurate long-range predictions."

Government and powerful special interest groups are forever trying to hoodwink and deceive the masses for hidden agendas and they have been doing so since man came out of the jungles or deserts and set up shop in cities. The deception didn't stop when some wise men wrote a blue print for freedom in 1791. The masses are so stupid that they fall for it every time, to their detriment and eventual enslavement. Man-caused global warming is just one more tool in the elite's toolbox to manipulate the masses for hidden and not-so-hidden agendas. One of those agendas is absolute power over the masses. The second is money to be used against the masses. One might ask, which of these groups is the smarter of the two? It will probably take the blood of patriots to set it right ….. again!


Energy storage is no solution to the intermittency of wind and solar power

Pick up a research paper on battery technology, fuel cells, energy storage technologies or any of the advanced materials science used in these fields, and you will likely find somewhere in the introductory paragraphs a throwaway line about its application to the storage of renewable energy.  Energy storage makes sense for enabling a transition away from fossil fuels to more intermittent sources like wind and solar, and the storage problem presents a meaningful challenge for chemists and materials scientists… Or does it?

Several recent analyses of the inputs to our energy systems indicate that, against expectations, energy storage cannot solve the problem of intermittency of wind or solar power.  Not for reasons of technical performance, cost, or storage capacity, but for something more intractable: there is not enough surplus energy left over after construction of the generators and the storage system to power our present civilization.

The problem is analysed in an important paper by Weißbach et al.1 in terms of energy returned on energy invested, or EROEI – the ratio of the energy produced over the life of a power plant to the energy that was required to build it.  It takes energy to make a power plant – to manufacture its components, mine the fuel, and so on.  The power plant needs to make at least this much energy to break even.  A break-even powerplant has an EROEI of 1.  But such a plant would pointless, as there is no energy surplus to do the useful things we use energy for.

There is a minimum EROEI, greater than 1, that is required for an energy source to be able to run society.  An energy system must produce a surplus large enough to sustain things like food production, hospitals, and universities to train the engineers to build the plant, transport, construction, and all the elements of the civilization in which it is embedded.

For countries like the US and Germany, Weißbach et al. estimate this minimum viable EROEI to be about 7.  An energy source with lower EROEI cannot sustain a society at those levels of complexity, structured along similar lines.  If we are to transform our energy system, in particular to one without climate impacts, we need to pay close attention to the EROEI of the end result.

 The fossil fuel power sources we’re most accustomed to have a high EROEI of about 30, well above the minimum requirement.  Wind power at 16, and concentrating solar power (CSP, or solar thermal power) at 19, are lower, but the energy surplus is still sufficient, in principle, to sustain a developed industrial society.  Biomass, and solar photovoltaic (at least in Germany), however, cannot.  With an EROEI of only 3.9 and 3.5 respectively, these power sources cannot support with their energy alone both their own fabrication and the societal services we use energy for in a first world country.

These EROEI values are for energy directly delivered (the “unbuffered” values in the figure).  But things change if we need to store energy.  If we were to store energy in, say, batteries, we must invest energy in mining the materials and manufacturing those batteries.  So a larger energy investment is required, and the EROEI consequently drops.

Weißbach et al. calculated the EROEIs assuming pumped hydroelectric energy storage.  This is the least energy intensive storage technology.  The energy input is mostly earthmoving and construction.  It’s a conservative basis for the calculation; chemical storage systems requiring large quantities of refined specialty materials would be much more energy intensive.  Carbajales-Dale et al.2 cite data asserting batteries are about ten times more energy intensive than pumped hydro storage.

Adding storage greatly reduces the EROEI (the “buffered” values in the figure).  Wind “firmed” with storage, with an EROEI of 3.9, joins solar PV and biomass as an unviable energy source.  CSP becomes marginal (EROEI ~9) with pumped storage, so is probably not viable with molten salt thermal storage.  The EROEI of solar PV with pumped hydro storage drops to 1.6, barely above breakeven, and with battery storage is likely in energy deficit.

This is a rather unsettling conclusion if we are looking to renewable energy for a transition to a low carbon energy system: we cannot use energy storage to overcome the variability of solar and wind power.

In particular, we can’t use batteries or chemical energy storage systems, as they would lead to much worse figures than those presented by Weißbach et al.  Hydroelectricity is the only renewable power source that is unambiguously viable.  However, hydroelectric capacity is not readily scaled up as it is restricted by suitable geography, a constraint that also applies to pumped hydro storage.

This particular study does not stand alone.  Closer to home, Springer have just published a monograph, Energy in Australia,3 which contains an extended discussion of energy systems with a particular focus on EROEI analysis, and draws similar conclusions to Weißbach.  Another study by a group at Stanford2 is more optimistic, ruling out storage for most forms of solar, but suggesting it is viable for wind.  However, this viability is judged only on achieving an energy surplus (EROEI>1), not sustaining society (EROEI~7), and excludes the round trip energy losses in storage, finite cycle life, and the energetic cost of replacement of storage.  Were these included, wind would certainly fall below the sustainability threshold.


Revision of Australia's marine parks looming

Under Greenie influence, Australia's previous Leftist government locked away vast areas of Australia's coastal waters,  making fisheries very restricted

The Abbott government's overdue review of Australian marine parks has been launched with representatives of the fishing industry dominating advisory panels.

The previous Labor government established a vast network of new marine reserves throughout five stretches of Australian ocean and set out rules for how much fishing could occur in each one, if any at all.

Heading into the last election the Coalition promised to tear up the management plans for the new parks and to carry out a review, claiming anglers had been locked out of the process.

As part of the review, which was formally launched on Thursday, an overarching expert scientific panel will be set up to take carriage of the process.

The expert panel will be chaired by Bob Beeton, an associate professor at the University of Queensland's School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management and the former head of the Australian Threatened Species Scientific Committee.

The government has also created five advisory panels for each region of Australian ocean where the new parks were set up - the north, north-west, the east, the south-west and the Coral Sea - which are dominated by members of the commercial or recreational fishing industries.

Details of the review had initially been promised by the government by early this year.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt said the review would examine the management arrangements for the new marine reserves, which had been "rushed through" by the previous government.

"Unlike the previous government, we are committed to getting the management plans and the balance of zoning right, so we have asked the expert panels to consider what management arrangements will best protect our marine environment and accommodate the many activities that Australians love to enjoy in our oceans," Mr Hunt said.

He added that the government was "determined to ensure a science-based review of Commonwealth marine reserves and zoning boundaries, while maintaining our strong commitment to the marine reserves and their estates."

But Michelle Grady, Oceans director for Pew Australia, said the review was unnecessary, created more red tape and was a threat to Australia's marine protection.

"Regardless of who they put on these panels, this puts Australia's marine protection at risk and also the Liberal Party legacy of putting in place large and important marine parks," Ms Grady said.

"It's the Liberal Party who started this [protection] in the Fraser and Howard years."



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

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