Monday, July 29, 2019

Numerous Studies Confirm Geothermal Heat Melting Greenland Ice Sheet

Yet another major research study, five if you’re counting, has concluded that accelerated melting at the base of Greenland’s glacial ice sheet is from anomalously high geothermal heat.

High heat flow, according to the combined areas of the four previous studies (NASA, Aarhus University, University of Kansas, University of Maryland), is present beneath 50% of the world’s second-largest ice sheet as shown in Figure 2 (cross-hatched red).

Also of interest in Figure 2 are outlines of above-sea-level high-bedrock heat-flow areas bordering Greenland, specifically the Svalbard Islands Hotspot (red hatched) and the Iceland Mantle Plume (red hatched), which are both fueled by hot molten lava and heat flow from the deep inner earth reaching the Mid-Arctic Spreading Center  (black hatched) fault system.

The reader is directed to previous Climate Change Dispatch articles that summarize the results of these four research studies and their impact on Arctic climate and climate-related events here, here, here, and here.

Now onto the discussion of the just-released research study by the University of Lancaster and University of Sheffield. Research that established for the very first time the existence of an estimated fifty-four subglacial lakes beneath Greenland’s vast glacial ice sheet.

Study researchers attributed the generation of these lakes to numerous factors, most notably geothermal high-bedrock heat flow that the authors term “enhanced geothermal heat flux.”

This study is of special interest because it provides detailed information that can be utilized to formulate a detailed explanation of exactly how bedrock heat flow generates Greenland’s subglacial lakes:

"All the various types of subglacial lakes highlighted in Figure 1 are located in long, linear bedrock valleys. This geological configuration is indicative of valley generation by long, linear faults, some of which uplift long, linear hills and others which act to down drop long, linear valleys. This very common geological process acts to form long, linear water catchment basins worldwide.

It is here we argue that these long, linear fractured fault planes, especially the very active ones, tap downward into deep and thereby higher temperature geothermally heated rocks. This acts to provide a vertical conduit for this elevated heat area upward onto areas adjacent to the fault plane / overlying glacial ice interfaces. Heat flow that acts to bottom-melt glacial ice that supplies meltwater to fill four-way closed catchment basins.

The researchers so-called “isolated” subglacial lakes designation (Figure 1) is an admission that they could not establish a connection of subglacial lakes to overlying glacial ice surface meltwater. It is here hypothesized that this so-called isolation is an indication of areas where the fault induced heat flow has not yet punched upward to the glacial ice / atmospheric interface. Non-isolated long linear subglacial lakes with a connection to the glacial ice / atmospheric interface are areas where the fault induced heat flow aided by fault induced fracturing of the overlying ice has punched through to the glacial ice / atmospheric interface.

Further proof of fault involvement in subglacial lake development is demonstrated on the researchers’ Figure 3, which illustrates the long linear straight alignment of multiple subglacial lakes (red line) which perfectly match known fault trends (red line) in this area."

In summary, it’s way past time for the media, responsible scientific organizations, and political entities seeking the truth to step forward and inform the public of the significant, dominant role of Greenland’s extensive geothermal heat flow in melting glacial ice.

Silence by these entities is no longer a truthful option because it indirectly supports the notion that manmade atmospheric warming is the 100% proven cause.  It’s not.


The folly of “climate emergency”

A recent letter to the Editor by Mr. Boyd Walker called on the Alexandria City Council to declare a “Climate Emergency”, which would mirror a resolution recently passed by the Alexandria Democratic Committee.

There is so much misinformation, disinformation, misunderstanding and blind obeisance to climate alarmism orthodoxy in this letter that one hardly knows where to start in response.

But let’s give it a try. We’ll start with some undisputed facts, which are supported by hundreds of well researched studies and thousands of scientists (not Hollywood celebrities, politicians, and grant-seeking organizations).

First, there is a natural cycle of variability in the Earth’s climate, driven by variations in the output of the Sun, the Earth’s orbit around the Sun, and other factors that have nothing to do with human activity.

Fifteen thousand years ago the Earth was a very cold place, with glaciers in the Northern Hemisphere covering all of Canada, and down the Eastern seaboard, to the south of New York City. Then the Earth, for unknown reasons – but certainly not man-made nor having anything to do with atmospheric CO₂ – rapidly warmed, and the retreating ice left Long Island, Cape Cod and the Great Lakes, as its’ residue.

We are now in a period between the last Glacier, and the one which will surely come in the future, with brief periods of warmth (such as the Medieval Warm Period a thousand years ago, when grapes grew in England, and the Vikings colonized Newfoundland) and cooler periods (such as the Little Ice Age, 300 years ago, when the Thames in England froze over.)

The climate is presently in a period of stasis, with the temperature holding relatively stable over the last 30 years, despite an increase in CO₂. But the climate will change. It always does. Perhaps warmer. Perhaps cooler. And man has nothing to do with it.

Second, 300 million years ago, life on Earth was rich with plant and animal life. Atmospheric CO₂ then was 5,000 parts per million (ppm). It is now just 410 ppm. At the rate CO₂ is increasing, it will take over 200 years to reach historical levels.

Yet the alarmists want us to believe that shortly (they refuse to define exactly when) the Earth will cross a CO₂ “tipping point” which will cause the Earth to burn to a crisp. The so-called “tipping point” is the latest ludicrous invention of the scaremongers, right up there with “catastrophic” weather, in their attempt to sell a bizarre and nonsensical theory.

Third, extensive studies of the Earth’s polar ice cores establish that over the last 400 millennia increases in CO₂ follow, and do not precede, a warming of the Earth. Thus, CO₂ has not been, and cannot be, a causative factor of global warming.

But alarmists are not interested in facts, or science, but rather in group think and demonizing their opponents, therefore cloaking their arguments in name calling (such as labeling climate realists as “deniers”) or invective (realists do not want to “save the planet” – as if the human species possibly could).

So, Mr. Walker wants the City Council to follow the Alexandria Democratic Committee in declaring a “climate emergency”. If the Democratic Committee has decided to pass such a do-nothing, meaningless, pat-yourself-on-the back, virtue signaling, measure – fine. Go for it. But the City Council represents all Alexandria citizens, not just the true believers of climate alarmism, and it would be well advised to decline the invitation.

Instead, I respectfully suggest that the City Council address matters over which it actually has some measure of control, such as the plague of scooters which has descended on Alexandria out of nowhere, like some kind of electric locusts, littering our town and likely paving the way for a tragic accident in the future.


Blown away by wind farm “capacity” versus actual output

Promises, promises. We’re constantly being blown away with the growing capacity of wind farms to provide renewable energy, but they’ve yet to produce anywhere near their projected capacity. Compounding their lack of production, is the intermittency of what they produce.

Let’s be clear about what that means. First, it’s not renewable energy, it’s only renewable electricity, more accurately its only intermittent electricity. Renewables have been the primary driver for residents of Germany, Australia, and California behind the high costs of electricity. Second and most important is, electricity alone is unable to support militaries, aviation, and merchant ships, and all the transportation infrastructure that support commerce.

In Australia, they’re losing businesses, jobs, and money – the new definition of madness that’s becoming laughable stuff. Australians have become increasingly tired and frustrated with the wind movement. As such, voters went to the polls at their 2019 Federal Election, billed as a referendum on ‘Climate Change’, and voiced their opinions.

The Aussie Green/Labor Alliance promised an all wind and sun powered future with across the board subsidies for electric vehicles and household battery installations, subsidies for wind turbines, and subsidies for solar panels, and a crippling carbon dioxide gas tax, dressed up as a CO2 emissions reduction target, and an elevated directive for new cars to be electric.

The top-billed reason Green/Labor was supposed to fare so well at the polls, was Australians are, apparently, spending their every waking hour fretting about carbon dioxide gas and believing windmills and solar panels will save the day. Well, apparently not – Green/Labor duly lost the ‘unlosable’ election.

Australia has a the total 6,558MW of wind farm generating capacity, the equivalent of three 2,200 MW San Onofre Nuclear Plants, spread from Far North Queensland, through NSW, across Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia. Despite that huge capacity, actual production has varied widely from a low of 400 MW to a high of 4,400 MW. Plus, all that actual production is intermittent electricity.

California is following Germany and Australia by phasing out its nuclear reactors, which have generated continuous uninterrupted zero emission electricity, in favor of intermittent electricity from wind and solar. In 2013 California shutdown the continuous nuclear facility of SCE’s San Onofre Generating Station which generated 2,200 megawatts of power and will be closing PG&E’s Diablo Canyon’s 2,160 megawatts of power in 2024.

The overall capacity of all wind turbines installed worldwide by the end of 2018 reached 597 Gigawatt according to preliminary wind power statistics published by the World Wind Energy Association (WWEA)   All wind turbines installed capacity by end of 2018 will cover only 6% of the global electricity demand with actual production significantly less than rated capacity, and that’s only intermittent electricity.

Judging from the headlines, the world is on track to ratchet up renewable electricity and begin the rapid scale-down and ultimate phase-out of fossil fuels. Most energy analysts consider the fossil-fuel phase-out to be a scientific, economic and political fantasy, akin to levitation and time travel, but somehow the movement keeps making news.

The sad part is the ratchetting up renewables is not the call of energy analyst specialists, it’s the call of elected government officials and appointed government personnel supporting their decisions with less than accurate information.

Bear with me as we look at some energy numbers. Based on data, in 2018 the world consumed 11,865 million tons of oil equivalent (mtoe)

You might ask what is an MTOE? Well, it a unit of energy measurement. One million tons of oil equivalent (mtoe) is equal to the following alternatives for electricity generation:

Fifteen hundred, YES 1,500 – 2MW wind turbines equals one mtoe, or

Fourteen million, YES 14,000,000 – 295W solar panels equals one mtoe

Carbon-free energy (electricity) consumption (wind, solar, and nuclear) is at 14.4 percent of total global consumption. The other 85.6% of the energy market needs to be captured by carbon-free sources by 2050. That means we’ve got 11,161 days to achieve net zero fossil free usage by then.

Thus, the above represents the amount of carbon free energy needed to be deployed every day, yes, EVERY DAY, for each of those 11,161 remaining days until 2050 to replace fossil fuels in order to hit net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The staggering bad news is that the above example is only what’s needed to replace current oil usage, as the example does not include new consumption especially from the 2.7 billion residents of China and India that are just starting to board the energy train and enjoy the lifestyles that energy and the products manufactured from those deep earth minerals/fuels most of the rest of the world is presently enjoying.

Seems obvious that we cannot rely on wind and solar expected outputs as they can realistically only provide a fraction of their capacity and then, only do it intermittently. Such intermittency requires fossil fuel backup for continuous uninterruptable electricity.

While everyone improves their efficient use of energy and implements conservation to the best of their abilities, the world needs to use the time to diligently develop new technologies to find an energy source or sources that are similar or superior to what deep earth minerals/fuels have been providing civilization. Hopefully those new sources will be abundant, and affordable.


British Public Faces Huge Electricity Price Rises To Bail Out Wind Farms

The British public is facing a doubling of electricity prices to bail out new wind farms. That’s according to Professor Gordon Hughes of Edinburgh University, who has analysed the latest data for wind farms coming on stream in the next few years.
“A number of large wind farms have contracts to supply power at extraordinarily low prices”, says Hughes. “But the cost and performance data suggest that they will be unable to cover their costs”.

Professor Hughes has compared Moray East – one of the new wind farms concerned – to a similar one that opened recently:

“Moray East, currently under construction in northern Scotland, and Beatrice, which came on stream just a few months ago, use very similar turbines and are situated just next door to each other. There is nothing about Beatrice to suggest that costs or performance are out of the ordinary, yet it has a strike price nearly three times that of Moray East.”

According to Professor Hughes, the operators of Moray East will need to at least double their selling price if they are to break even. He says they are playing a high-stakes poker game with the government, with the government as patsy:

“They are probably gambling that if they threaten to go bust, the government will be forced to raise carbon taxes sharply. This will push market prices up, and the operators will simply walk away from their agreed contracts and trade at the new prices”.

This means that instead of seeing cheap renewables, the consumer will be hit by huge electricity price rises.  “There is a real possibility that we see the public take to the streets, just as the gilets jaunes are doing in France” says Professor Hughes.


Australian climate change protester is fined $61,000 after attaching herself to a barrel filled with concrete, shutting down a railway for hours

A climate change activist has been handed down a whopping $61,000 fine after attaching herself to a 500 kilogram oil drum, obstructing railway services for hours.

Brisbane protester Alice Wicks, 26, blocked all coal trains heading to the Port of Brisbane for five hours during a protest in Wynnum West on April 19.

The drum was weighed down with concrete, and she was pictured squatting next to it, her hand appearing to be inside. 

A banner behind her read: 'STAND in the way of EXTINCTION'.

Ms Wicks's actions temporarily shut down the railway line, and  after she was released from the barrel, she was rushed to hospital suffering hypothermia. 

On Monday, the Wynnum Magistrates Court ordered Ms Wicks to pay $61,000 to Queensland Rail after she pleaded guilty to the charges of trespass on a railway, obstructing a railway and obstructing police.

She was placed on a good behaviour bond, but the court found Queensland Rail was the victim of her actions and she has been ordered to pay the massive fine in compensation, The Courier Mail reported.

The activist has been protesting for the past three years, and works in the environmental sector.  'I took this action because I have exhausted all other avenues for demanding action on the climate crisis,' Ms Wicks was quoted in Greenleft Weekly.

'The permafrost has melted 70 years ahead of scientist's predictions. We need to act now.' 'It's clear that the state is cracking down on anyone who tries to shed light on this corrupt system', Wicks said.


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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