Sunday, August 02, 2009

The myth of global energy accumulation

An email from Hugh Clark [] below. Note: Special characters (delta, sigma etc.) used by Hugh are not reproduced in their original form below because of my limited html expertise but I am sure Hugh will be happy to supply interested readers with a copy of his paper in DOC format

I was appalled to read in Bo Nordell and Bruno Gervet, "Global energy accumulation and net heat emission", Int. J. Global Warming, Vol. 1, Nos. 1/2/3, 2009, their comment “Independent of what causes global warming, it should be considered in terms of accumulated energy”.

As an engineer with over thirty years experience in aeronautics, including gas turbines, I believe that I have some knowledge of thermal processes. Consider that a man made heat source such as, for instance, a power station, dumps heat into Earth’s environment over a period of time. We might reasonably expect a certain rise in temperature due to this.

Even while this is happening, however, the Earth is seeking a new balance point or equilibrium. It does this by radiating heat into space. If the power station continues to dump heat into the environment, after a certain time a new equilibrium will be found at a slightly higher temperature, which will then remain constant indefinitely while the power station continues to operate.

As a first approximation, at least, this is covered by the Stephan-Boltzmann Law, E = s T4, where the energy E is equal to the fourth power of temperature T multiplied by a constant s = 5.667x10-8 in SI units.

To find the effect of a small change, we can differentiate this which gives: DE = 4 s T3 DT, which can be rearranged as DE = 4 s T4 (DT/T) or DT = ¼ (DE/E) T.

Now to fill in the numbers, I refer to Tarsia, R.D., Quiroga, R.J., Pellegatti Franco, G.A., "The interstellar medium and the glacial eras during the Pleistocene", Earth, Moon and Planets 41 (1988) 173-190, Kluwer Academic Publishers. From this reference, T = 288 K and E is thus calculated to be 390 W/m2. Note that this figure is lower than the figure for solar energy received due to reflection and radiation, not to mention greenhouse effect.

Additionally we learn that the thermal scale time for Earth is “~ 107 seconds or 120 days and this is the reason why we have seasons on Earth”. This means that the Earth will adapt to its new equilibrium point within about a year and it is pointless to consider the accumulation of energy over many years.

Taking the Earth’s radius as 6378 km, the Earth will then radiate about 4p (6378x103)2 390 = 20x1016 W. Taking the Nordell and Gervet figure for annual world consumption of commercial non renewable energy for the year 2000 of 1x1014 kWh or 1x1014/365/24x1000 = 1.14x1013 W, the temperature increase due to this power consumption can be estimated by the formula derived above as DT = ¼ (1.14x1013/20x1016) 288 = 0.004 °C.

This is a long way from the 51% of 0.7°C quoted by Nordell and Gervet. Even if the above calculation is out by 100%, it is only 2% of their figure. To conclude, when it is realised that the Earth will establish a new equilibrium and not indefinitely accumulate heat, the effect of man’s energy usage is seen to be insignificant.

Ocean current changes now predicted to be gradual

Even the Greenie "models" are getting less scary, not that any model is realistic. The report below just shows that the Greenie scientists are getting more cautious as the data go more and more against them

In a rare bit of hopeful news linked to global warming, findings of a major new study are consistent with gradual changes of current systems in the North Atlantic Ocean, rather than a more sudden shutdown. The latter, more frightening scenario would probably trigger rapid climate changes in Europe and elsewhere, scientists say. They stress that the findings, while encouraging, don't change broader concerns about global warming.

The research, based on a giant computer simulation of Earth's climate for 21,000 years back to the height of the last Ice Age, indicates major changes in important ocean current systems can occur, but they may take place more slowly and gradually than had been suggested. The findings, published Friday in the research journal Science, are consistent with other recent studies that are moving away from the theory of an abrupt "tipping point" that might cause dramatic atmospheric temperature and ocean circulation changes in as little as 50 years.

"For those who have been concerned about extremely abrupt changes in these ocean current patterns, that's good news," said Peter Clark, a geoscientist at Oregon State University. "In the past it appears the ocean did change abruptly, but only because of a sudden change in the forcing," he said. "But when the ocean is forced gradually, such as we anticipate for the future, its response is gradual. That would give ecosystems more time to adjust to new conditions."

Global temperatures are still projected to increase about four to 11 degrees by the end of this century, Clark said, and the study actually confirms that some of the most sophisticated climate models are accurate. "The findings from this study, which also match other data we have on recorded climate change, are an important validation of the global climate models," Clark said. "They seem to be accurately reflecting both the type and speed of changes that have taken place in the past, and that increases our ability to trust their predictions of the future."

The intensity of computation on this experiment, involving a quadrillion calculations each second, was so great that it took more than a year to run, Clark said. It was the longest such study of its type that ever examined past climate in such detail and complexity. The research was supported by the National Science Foundation and other agencies. It included the height of the last Ice Age about 21,000 years ago, the emergence of the Earth from that Ice Age around 14,000 years ago, and some other fairly sudden warming and cooling events during those periods that are of interest to researchers.

The period when the Earth emerged from its last Ice Age actually had amounts of natural warming similar to those that may be expected in the next century or two, with some of the same effects -- melting of ice sheets, sea level rise, increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Studies of those periods, researchers say, will provide valuable insights into how the Earth may respond to its current warming.

A particular concern for some time has been the operation of an ocean current pattern called the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. This current system is part of what keeps Europe much warmer than it would otherwise be, given its far northern latitudes, and there is evidence that it has "shut down" with some regularity in Earth's past -- apparently in response to large influxes of fresh water, and sometimes quite rapidly.

"Our data still show that current is slowing, and may decline by 30 percent by the end of this century," Clark said. "That's very significant, and it could cause substantial climate change. But it's not as abrupt as some concerns that it could shut down within a few decades." Climate changes, Clark said, are actually continuing to occur somewhat more rapidly than had been predicted in recent years. Arctic Sea ice is both thinning and shrinking, and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are going up faster than had been projected by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. [Note no mention of the Antarctic or temperature trends of the last 10 years]


Climate Fear Promoters Explain Record Cold and Snow: 'Global warming made it less cool'

Switch from predictions of 'climate crisis' to "global warming made it less cool'

The year 2009 is proving to be a yet another very inconvenient year for the promoters of man-made global warming fears. As the “year without a summer” continues, the U.S. in July alone has broken over 3000 cold temperature records, and global temps have fallen .74F since Gore's film “An Inconvenient Truth” was released in 2006. In addition, meteorologists are predicting more record cold and snow this winter. See: Brisk July portends 'heavy snowfalls and bitter cold this winter along Eastern Seaboard'

But man-made climate fear promoters have finally constructed an explanation for the recent record cold temperatures. The explanation? According to climate activists: “Global warming made it less cool.” It appears the global warming fear movement has gone from predictions that we face a "climate crisis" and we are all going to die to their new slogan: "Global warming made it less cool."

The environmental activist group Union of Concerned Scientists declared “Global warming made it less cool.” Brenda Ekwurzel, of the Union of Concerned Scientists, claimed in a July 24, 2009 letter to the editor in the Washington Post that “2008 was a cooler year, but global warming made it less cool.”

Let's consider the Union of Concerned Scientists' claim that “global warming made it less cool.” Gore's hometown, Nashville, recently broke an 1877 cold temp record set when Rutherford B. Hayes was in the White House. Are we to believe that instead of breaking the 1877 Nashville cold temperature record set when Rutherford B. Hayes was president, the city would have allegedly broken a hypothetical 1862 cold temp record set when Abraham Lincoln was president? Or a hypothetical 1797 temperature record set when George Washington was president?

Would the absence of man-made “global warming” impacts have brought us to cold temperatures back in the colonial times? (Ok, that is a weak attempt at humor since there are no reliable land based temperature records going back that far. But recent peer-reviewed scientific papers are continuing to further embarrass climate fear promoters: See: Peer-Reviewed Study Rocks Climate Debate! 'Nature not man responsible for recent global warming...little or none of late 20th century warming and cooling can be attributed to humans' - July 24, 2009 & Climate Fears RIP...for 30 years!? - Global Warming could stop 'for up to 30 years! Warming 'On Hold?...'Could go into hiding for decades' study finds – – March 2, 2009 )

It appears the man-made climate fear promoters believe the “global warming made it less cool” claim is their ticket to persuade Americans that record cold and global cooling are meaningless. Yes, pay no attention to that record cold and instead think about how it would have been cooler without man-made global warming. With their new logic, Union of Concerned Scientists may soon be one step away from recommending that Americans idle their SUVs in the driveway to make it even “less cool” in the future. (Note: Union of Concerned Scientists also recommends that people “should take a look at the federal government's recent report "Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States" to find out "the facts” on global warming. That would be the Obama “science” report that was soundly rejected by scientists from around the world. See Climate Depot Report: Scaremongering': Scientists Pan Obama Climate Report: 'This is not a work of science but an embarrassing episode for the authors and NOAA'...'Misrepresents the science' - July 8, 2009 )

In addition, in even more bad news for the Union of Concerned Scientists, many scientists are now predicting a coming global COOLING. (See: Scientist: 'There is no possible global warming threat for at least next 193 years' -- Predicts possible COOLING; Australian scientists declare climate change 'a natural phenomenon'...warn of 'severe COOLING'; Geologist warns of 'coming ice age'; The Sun: 'Lowest of any solar cycle since 1928' and 'Global temps have flat lined since 2001...This is nothing like anything we've seen since 1950...Cooling trend could last for up to 30 years' - June 22, 2009 )

But “less cool” is exactly what many around the globe are wishing for in recent years, particularly this summer. Let's see how much impact man-made global warming had in making recent temperatures “less cool.” ... Small Sampling of Recent Record Cold Around the Globe: (See website to activate links below)

Cold prompts grizzly bear attack warning: 'Unseasonably cold temps have made food scarce for bears, pushing them closer to towns to find more'

Cincinnati is having its 'coldest July ever'

Iceland's Potato Crops endangered by unusual Coldness


Omaha breaks 1873 cold record during Summer

New Zealand: Coldest May on record..."broke records from one end of the country to the other'

'250 children under the age of 5 died' due to freezing temps in Peru -- 'Experts blame climate change for the early arrival of intense cold'

Frost may force Brazil to cut this year's corn output; Canada's June frosts the most widespread in recent memory

'Worst snow event in 50 years' hits South America

Record cold hits the tropics'Unseasonable cold' causes French carrots to make later start

South Africa: Cold a killer for homeless

Danish Meteorological Institute records show: No Arctic Warming Since 1958!: 'Arctic was warmer in the 1940s than now'

Wisconsin set to see coldest July day since 1900; N. Dakota farmer on Cold July: 'Gore should be out here and tell us about this global warming stuff'

Scientist: 'Cooling earth temps may last a couple of decades': Moment of Clarity: 'If we don't understand what is natural, I don't think we can say much about what the humans are doing'

No Warming Until 2020? ' giving climate skeptics reason to cheer': Imagine, twenty-two or more years (1998 to ~2020) of no new global temperature record. What would that do to the debate?'

3,000 Low Temp Records Set in U.S. This July! - Sea-surface temps drop as well!

Much more HERE (See the original for links)

In New York, It’s the Summer That Isn’t

It’s a gross, grungy, disgusting summer-in-the-city tradition: the muggy 90-degree day or, worse still, the 99-degree day. But this summer has been conspicuously different in New York City. Not one 99-degree day in Central Park. Not a single day that the temperature even approached 90. For just the second time in 140 years of record keeping, the temperature failed to reach 90 in either June or July.

The daily average last month was at or below normal every day but two. The temperature broke 80 on 16 days in New York — one more day than in Fairbanks, Alaska. Depending on Friday’s high, this was the second or third coolest June and July recorded in New York. If August follows the same pattern — and the latest forecast through midmonth predicts that it will — this could be the coolest summer on record. The result: relief, lower electric bills, spared lives and undisturbed slumber.

But this being New York, New Yorkers have also recalibrated their threshold for heat complaints. This summer, 85 is the new 95. “There’s no doubt there’s a tendency to acclimatize to a weather pattern,” said Fred Gadomski, a Pennsylvania State University meteorologist. “This summer, we’ve had so many relatively cool days that even if it gets a little warm people are reacting to it as if it’s a very hot day.” In the end, this will have been the coolest June and July since either 1903 or 1881, when sweltering New Yorkers grumbled about a sudden early August heat wave.

“There were warmer days during last summer,” The New York Times reported on Aug. 6, 1881, “but men and women became accustomed to the unexampled heat of that unexampled season and did not mind it so much.” This was the sixth coolest July on record. The high was 86 on July 17. For June and July, the average as of Thursday was 70.6, the third coolest. As of the end of the day Thursday, the average temperature in July was 72.6, nearly four degrees below normal “A monthly departure of four degrees below normal is very significant,” said Gary Conte, a National Weather Service meteorologist.

The relatively cool first half of summer in the Northeast and Upper Midwest has had far-reaching effects. In New York, Con Ed produced 5.5 percent less power in June than the year before, never appealed for special conservation protocols and reported no blackouts or brownouts. Daily peak use, which reached 10,934 megawatts on Tuesday, was well below this summer’s projected high of 11,945 megawatts. Many electric bills have shrunk by 6 percent or more. Attendance at city beaches through July 28 was down 30 percent, from 7.3 million to 5.1 million.

From July 1 to 28 in 2008, the Emergency Medical Service answered 134 heat-related calls. This year, there were 41. In 2008, the office of the chief medical examiner blamed the heat for nine deaths, all in June. This year, not a single heat-related death has been reported.

The threshold for opening cooling centers for the aging and other vulnerable New Yorkers was never reached. Nor was the 90-degree trigger requiring that carriage horses be stabled.


A Crude Reality

What's in a name? A bit of deception when it comes to the American Clean Energy and Security Act. A more accurate title might be: the American Clean Energy and LESS Security Act.

To get to the bottom of what's wrong with the 1,400-page energy bill passed by the House of Representatives, you have to dig deeper than Canada's tar sands. And what you find there is just as sludgy -- and taxing to process. Crudely refined: The greener we are, the less secure we're likely to be. Meaning, we either can be green or we can be less dependent on oil from terrorist-sponsoring states. But under the current energy bill, we can't be both. Put another way: The more we cap our carbon, the happier the Saudis are. That's because most Middle Eastern crude is more easily accessible and requires less processing than what we and our friendlier neighbors can produce.

If you don't know this, it's because beer summits are more fun than math. Herewith, a short course for word people.

Basically, the energy bill focuses primarily on stationary sources of CO2 emissions (power and manufacturing plants) and would do little to address mobile sources of emissions, i.e. transportation. Since virtually all U.S. stationary sources use domestic energy -- coal, natural gas, nuclear, wind, solar, biomass, etc. -- the energy bill would do almost nothing about reducing oil or gasoline imports. Foreign sources provide about 70 percent of the oil used in refining gasoline and diesel. In fact, new restrictions and associated costs would likely mean that we'd be going to foreign suppliers for oil more often rather than less.

The only way to be less dependent, obviously, is to produce as much domestic oil as possible. But even if drilling were allowed in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, for example, the cost of retrieving and processing the oil could be prohibitive under new cap-and-trade restrictions.

The Waxman-Markey bill, as the legislation is more commonly known, would require the U.S. to reduce carbon emissions to 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and 83 percent below by 2050. As a Prius-driving, pro-seal, recycling, organic vegetarian, I'm heavily tilted toward saving the planet. But we probably ought not to pretend that this bill would make us more secure by reducing dependence on foreign sources.

Even Canada's crude creates problems under the new proposed restrictions while seeming to solve others. As Matt Schlapp, a veteran of energy policy debates and former White House political director, describes it, Canada's oil is a sludge that borders on solid, which makes it difficult to refine: "Let's just say, the days of Jed Clampett are gone. You don't just stumble across oil anymore. The easy stuff is gone."

To refine Canadian muck to a usable form that would meet new emissions standards would require extensive processing that carries its own CO2 freight. Because Saudi crude is easier to get to, it's more attractive in a world where carbon is expensive. "We're giving the Saudis an advantage, in other words," says Schlapp. "Why would we want to do that?"

Meanwhile, the transportation issues remain largely unaddressed. The extent to which oil and gasoline imports do decline in coming years wouldn't be a function of the Waxman-Markey bill, but will be thanks to initiatives begun by George W. Bush and implemented by Barack Obama, according to C. Boyden Gray, former ambassador to the European Union and pro-ethanol "green" Republican, who served under Bush 41 as special envoy for Eurasian energy.

One, the so-called CAFE (corporate average fuel economy) legislation, raised auto mileage standards by about 30 percent. Bush 43 also pushed through energy legislation in 2005 and 2007 that requires the blending of 36 billion gallons of biofuels in the transport sector -- or about 20 percent of total liquid fuel consumption. "These measures should significantly reduce oil imports," says Gray. "But both CAFE and the biofuel legislation predate Waxman-Markey and would achieve much of the import-reduction security goals publicly associated with Waxman-Markey."

Although the bill would put refined gasoline consumption under the cap along with coal, natural gas, etc., the baseline for counting reductions is 2003. The reductions in oil consumption already required by the CAFE and biofuels bills may exceed for many years the requirements of Waxman-Markey.

In other words, it's not clear what more the oil industry would have to do under Waxman-Markey than is already happening. Waxman-Markey has many commendable elements, but increased energy security can't legitimately be counted as one of them.


UK: Energy policy “too wind focused” says business group

The UK must invest more in nuclear and clean coal energy and put less emphasis on wind power if it wants a secure low-carbon future, business leaders say. The CBI says government energy policy is "disjointed" and it is urging a "more balanced" energy mix. The current approach means the UK might miss climate change targets, it added.

The government said putting in place a balanced mix of renewables, new nuclear and cleaner fossil fuels was at the heart of its energy policy. It is due to set out its Energy White Paper on Wednesday. But the CBI is calling for more action in its report "Decision Time". "The government's disjointed approach is deterring the private sector investment needed to get our energy system up to scratch, bolster security and cut emissions," said CBI deputy director general John Cridland. "While we have generous subsidies for wind power, we urgently need the national planning statements needed to build new nuclear plants. "If we carry on like this we will end up putting too many of our energy eggs in one basket."

The CBI's comments are based on computer modelling of current power sector investment by consultants McKinsey. The CBI wants the government to:

• reduce the percentage of wind power expected by 2020 under the Renewables Strategy later this week, to encourage investment in other low-carbon energy sources.

• speed up the planning process for energy supplies

• produce rules and funding arrangements for for Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) demonstration plants

• accelerate investment in the grid

• improve energy efficiency in the electricity, heating and transport sectors, including offering financial sweeteners for consumers choosing more efficient products.

A spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said: "We know that big investments need certainty, and we're on track with our promise to remove costly unnecessary barriers to new nuclear, such as the planning reforms already in train."

Andrew Warren, director of the Association for the Conservation of Energy and formerly a member of the CBI's energy policy committee, told the BBC's environment analyst Roger Harrabin that the increase in wind power was threatening to the big power generators who he said dominated the committee. "This document is no surprise. EDF have been lobbying very hard for less obligations on renewables, saying it will distract from nuclear," he said. "This is precisely what Patricia Hewitt [the former trade and industry secretary] warned would happen when she published the 'no-new-nukes' 2003 energy white paper."

Greenpeace executive director John Sauven said that by calling for wind power's contribution to the UK's renewable energy targets to be reduced the CBI is actually doing its members a great disservice. "Nuclear power is less effective than wind power at tackling climate change, while investment in renewables would create much needed British jobs in one of the few growth sectors in the global economy," he said. "Here in the UK we have one of the best renewable energy resources anywhere in the world and a manufacturing sector champing at the bit to capture the lead in marine technologies like offshore wind and tidal power."

Meanwhile a DECC spokesman told Roger Harrabin the government was "fully behind" the 15% renewables target. "We're not setting fixed sub-targets [for electricity, heat, transport], but our projections are about finding the most practicable and cost effective mix. "Our analysis supports the approach we're taking. We don't believe it inhibits new nuclear - there are a myriad of other considerations to factor in."



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