Tuesday, February 27, 2018

NEW BOOK just out

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change by Marc Morano

It's a very comprehensive coverage of all the issues associated with the global warming theory

From the blurb:

Less freedom. More regulation. Higher costs. Make no mistake: those are the surefire consequences of the modern global warming campaign waged by political and cultural elites, who have long ago abandoned fact-based science for dramatic fearmongering in order to push increased central planning. The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change gives a voice -- backed by statistics, real-life stories, and incontrovertible evidence -- to the millions of "deplorable" Americans skeptical about the multibillion dollar "climate change" complex, whose claims have time and time again been proven wrong.

The Russian encouragement and perhaps origin of the now discredited theory of "nuclear winter"

Matt Ridley

So, Russia does appear to interfere in western politics. The FBI has charged 13 Russians with trying to influence the last American presidential election, including the whimsical detail that one of them was to build a cage to hold an actor in prison clothes pretending to be Hillary Clinton.

Meanwhile, it emerges that the Czech secret service, under KGB direction, near the end of the Cold War had a codename (“COB”) for a Labour MP they had met and hoped to influence — presumably under the bizarre delusion that he might one day be in reach of power.

There is no evidence that Jeremy Corbyn was a spy, or of collusion by Trump campaign operatives with the Russians who are charged. Yet the alleged Russian operation in America was anti-Clinton and pro-Trump. It was also pro-Bernie Sanders and pro-Jill Stein, the Green candidate — who shares with Vladimir Putin a strong dislike of fracking.

The Keystone Cops aspects of these stories should not reassure. The interference by Russian agents in western politics during the Cold War was real and dangerous. A startling example from the history of science has recently been discussed in an important book about the origins of the environmental movement, Green Tyranny by Rupert Darwall.

In June 1982, the same month as demonstrations against the Nato build-up of cruise and Pershing missiles reached fever pitch in the West, a paper appeared in AMBIO, a journal of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, authored by the Dutchman Paul Crutzen and the American John Birks. Crutzen would later share a Nobel prize for work on the ozone layer. The 1982 paper, entitled The Atmosphere after a Nuclear War: Twilight at Noon, argued that, should there be an exchange of nuclear weapons between Nato and the Soviet Union, forests and oil fields would ignite and the smoke of vast fires would cause bitter cold and mass famine: “The screening of sunlight by the fire-produced aerosol over extended periods during the growing season would eliminate much of the food production in the Northern Hemisphere.”

Alerted by environmental groups to the paper, Carl Sagan, astronomer turned television star, then convened a conference on the “nuclear winter” hypothesis in October 1983, supported by leading environmental and anti-war pressure groups from Friends of the Earth to the Audubon Society, Planned Parenthood to the Union of Concerned Scientists. Curiously, three Soviet officials joined the conference’s board and a satellite link from the Kremlin was provided.
In December 1983, two papers appeared in the prestigious journal Science, one on the physics that became known as TTAPS after the surnames of its authors, S being for Sagan; the other on the biology, whose authors included the famous biologists Paul Ehrlich and Stephen Jay Gould as well as Sagan. The conclusion of the second paper was extreme: “Global environmental changes sufficient to cause the extinction of a major fraction of the plant and animal species on Earth are likely. In that event, the possibility of the extinction of Homo sapiens cannot be excluded.”

Who started the scare and why? One possibility is that it was fake news from the beginning. When the high-ranking Russian spy Sergei Tretyakov defected in 2000, he said that the KGB was especially proud of the fact “it created the myth of nuclear winter”. He based this on what colleagues told him and on research he did at the Red Banner Institute, the Russian spy school.

The Kremlin was certainly spooked by Nato’s threat to deploy medium-range nuclear missiles in Europe if the Warsaw Pact refused to limit its deployment of such missiles. In Darwall’s version, based on Tretyakov, Yuri Andropov, head of the KGB, “ordered the Soviet Academy of Sciences to produce a doomsday report to incite more demonstrations in West Germany”. They applied some older work by a scientist named Kirill Kondratyev on the cooling effect of dust storms in the Karakum Desert to the impact of a nuclear exchange in Germany.

Tretyakov said: “I was told the Soviet scientists knew this theory was completely ridiculous. There were no legitimate facts to support it. But it was exactly what Andropov needed to cause terror in the West.” Andropov then supposedly ordered it to be fed to contacts in the western peace and green movement.

It certainly helped Soviet propaganda. From the Pope to the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament to the non-aligned nations, calls for Nato’s nuclear strategy to be rethought because of the nuclear winter theory came thick and fast. A Russian newspaper used the nuclear winter to inveigh against “inhuman aspirations of the US imperialists, who are pushing the world towards nuclear catastrophe”. In his acceptance speech of the Nobel peace prize in 1985, the prominent Russian doctor Evgeny Chazov cited the Nobel committee's citation: "a considerable service to mankind by spreading authoritative information and by creating an awareness of the catastrophic consequences of atomic warfare". The statement continued: "...this, in turn, contributes to an increase in the pressure of public opposition".

“Propagators of the nuclear winter thus acted as dupes in a disinformation exercise scripted by the KGB”, concludes Darwall. We can never be entirely certain of this because Tretyakov’s KGB colleagues may have been exaggerating their role and he is now dead. But that the KGB did its best to fan the flames is not in doubt.

It soon became apparent that the nuclear winter hypothesis was plain wrong. As the geophysicist Russell Seitz pointed out, “soot in the TTAPS simulation is not up there as an observed consequence of nuclear explosions but because the authors told a programmer to put it there”. He added: “The model dealt with such complications as geography, winds, sunrise, sunset and patchy clouds in a stunningly elegant manner — they were ignored.” The physicist Steven Schneider concluded that “the global apocalyptic conclusions of the initial nuclear winter hypothesis can now be relegated to a vanishingly low level of probability”.

The physicists Freeman Dyson and Fred Singer, who would end up on the opposite side of the global-warming debate from Schneider and Seitz, calculated that any effects would be patchy and short-lived, and that while dry soot could generate cooling, any kind of dampness risked turning a nuclear smog into a warming factor and a short-lived one at that.

By 1986 the theory was effectively dead, and so it has remained. A nuclear war would have devastating consequences, but the impact on the climate would be the least of our worries.

The stakes were higher in the Cold War than today. The Soviet peace offensive secured the support of many western intellectuals and much of the media, and very nearly prevailed.


Delingpole: NOAA Caught Lying About Arctic Sea Ice

The Arctic is melting catastrophically! Sea ice levels are experiencing their most precipitous decline in 1500 years! Something must be done – and fast…

Well, so claims the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and we know by now what that means, don’t we?

Yep: the Arctic sea ice is doing just fine. Yep: yet again, the NOAA is telling porkies.

As usual, Paul Homewood has got its number.

First, here’s what the NOAA is claiming, as relayed in a scaremongering piece at Vox:

The Arctic Ocean once froze reliably every year. Those days are over.

Arctic sea ice extent has been measured by satellites since the 1970s. And scientists can sample ice cores, permafrost records, and tree rings to make some assumptions about the sea ice extent going back 1,500 years. And when you put that all on a chart, well, it looks a little scary.

In December, NOAA released its latest annual Arctic Report Card, which analyzes the state of the frozen ocean at the top of our world. Overall, it’s not good.

“The Arctic is going through the most unprecedented transition in human history,” Jeremy Mathis, director of NOAA’s Arctic research program, said at a press conference. “This year’s observations confirm that the Arctic shows no signs of returning to the reliably frozen state it was in just a decade ago.”

Now, courtesy of Homewood, are the facts:

Sea ice in the Arctic is recovering after a period of decline:

Arctic sea ice is getting thicker:

Arctic temperatures now are no higher than in the 1930s and 1940s:

On longer timescales. there is nothing unusual about Arctic temperatures:

If you’re still worried that the Arctic is about to disappear, here are more papers confirming that Arctic sea ice is well within its normal range of variability.

One of them, Stein et al. argues that there is more Arctic sea ice now than there has been for most of the last 10,000 years:

If only liberals and greenies relied on media that give facts rather than narrative, eh?


Cheap energy forever: Permian’s mammoth cubes herald supersized shale future,/b>

‘Cube development,’ which taps multiple layers of shale all at once, could accelerate the U.S. shale boom and make the world swim in cheap and abundant energy for much of the next 250 years, as The GWPF reports.

In the scrublands of West Texas there’s an oil-drilling operation like few that have come before.

Encana Corp.’s RAB Davidson well pad is so mammoth, the explorer speaks of it in military terms, describing its efforts here as an occupation.

More than 1 million pounds of drilling rigs, bulldozers, tanker trucks and other equipment spread out over a dusty 16-acre expanse. As of November, the 19 wells here collectively pumped almost 20,000 barrels of crude per day, according to company reports.

Encana calls this “cube development,” and it may be the supersized future of U.S. fracking, says Gabriel Daoud, a JPMorgan Chase & Co. analyst who visited Davidson last year. The technique is designed to tap the multiple layers of petroleum-soaked rock here in Texas’s Permian shale basin all at once, rather than the one-or-two-well, one-layer-at-a-time approach of the past.

After a years-long land grab by explorers, “the Permian is graduating,” according to Daoud. “Now it’s all about entering manufacturing mode.”

With the new technique, Encana and other companies are pushing beyond the drilling patterns that dominated during the early, exploratory phases of the shale revolution. Now, operators are assembling projects with a dozen or more well bores that touch multiple underground layers of the Permian and other shale plays simultaneously, tapping the entire 3-D “cube” beneath a producer’s acreage.

The shift has been controversial, with some of the biggest names in oil shying away from the approach as too aggressive and expensive. But if proponents are right, the cube could accelerate a drilling boom that’s already helped push U.S. production past an historic 10 million barrels a day, rewriting the rules of global energy markets along the way.


Battery storage* in perspective - solving 1% of the problem

The energy world is fixated on the "huge" amounts of battery storage presently being installed to back up slowly-increasing levels of intermittent renewables generation. The feeling seems to be that as soon as enough batteries are installed to take care of daily supply/demand imbalances we will no longer need conventional dispatchable energy - solar + wind + storage will be able to do it all. Here I take another look at the realities of the situation using what I hope are some telling visual examples of what battery storage will actually do for us. As discussed in previous posts it will get us no closer to the vision of a 100% renewables-powered world than we are now.

*Note: "Battery storage" covers all storage technologies currently being considered, including thermal, compressed air, pumped hydro etc. Batteries are, however, the flavor of the moment and are expected to capture the largest share of the future energy storage market.

This post is all about the difference between pipe dreams and reality. Prof. Mark Jacobson of Stanford University et al. have just published a new study that responds to the critics of their earlier 2017 study. The new study is paywalled, but Stanford's press release describes the basic procedures used:

For the study, the researchers relied on two computational modeling programs. The first program predicted global weather patterns from 2050 to 2054. From this, they further predicted the amount of energy that could be produced from weather-related energy sources like onshore and offshore wind turbines, solar photovoltaics on rooftops and in power plants, concentrated solar power plants and solar thermal plants over time. These types of energy sources are variable and don't necessarily produce energy when demand is highest.

The group then combined data from the first model with a second model that incorporated energy produced by more stable sources of electricity, like geothermal power plants, tidal and wave devices, and hydroelectric power plants, and of heat, like geothermal reservoirs. The second model also included ways of storing energy when there was excess, such as in electricity, heat, cold and hydrogen storage. Further, the model included predictions of energy demand over time.

Scenarios based on the modeling data avoided blackouts at low cost in all 20 world regions for all five years examined and under three different storage scenarios.

What's the energy mix that leads to this happy ending in no fewer than 139 of the world's countries? The lead-in figure of Jacobson et al's 2017 report, reproduced below as Figure 1, tells us. Rounded off to the nearest percent it's 5% hydro + geothermal, 37% wind, 58% solar and not a kilowatt of nuclear.

In contrast to Jacobson et al, who compare this energy mix with computer-generated demand scenarios that foresee the replacement of fossil fuels with wind and solar somehow lowering demand by 42.5%, I have taken my usual approach of comparing an energy mix with real-life grid data, which raises the question of which real-life data to use. Well, Stanford University is in California, and I happen to have quite a lot of grid data from the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), so I used that. And California is also a good example to use because it's heavy into solar and battery storage, or at least would like to be.

So what’s the problem with energy storage in California? It’s widely perceived to be the now-famous California duck curve, which shows how rapidly increasing solar generation could within a few years increase afternoon ramp rates to the point where existing gas-fired and hydro balancing facilities are no longer able to handle them:

Figure 2: The California duck curve

But while this could indeed be a problem in the future it isn’t at the moment. We begin our analysis of the real-life CAISO grid data with Figure 3, which plots hourly generation against demand for three days in early March 2015. With the help of imports from surrounding states California had no difficulty matching generation to demand over this period, with most of the load-balancing handled by gas-fired generation:

Figure 3: Actual CAISO generation by source and demand (black), hourly data, March 3, 4 and 5, 2015

Figure 4 now shows what Figure 3 would have looked like with the Jacobson et al renewables generation mix (5% hydro+geothermal, 37% wind, 58% solar) in place. It looks more like the Shanghai skyline than a duck:

Figure 4: Generation and demand, hourly data, March 3, 4 and 5, 2015, Jacobson et al generation mix. Generation is scaled to match demand over the period.

In this case CAISO would have considerable difficulty balancing generation against daily demand, and since a) the imbalances are caused almost entirely by solar and b) when it’s dark in California it will be dark in the surrounding Western US states too there will be little or no surplus energy available. So balancing will have to be done by storing the daytime solar surpluses for re-use at night. How much storage would be needed over the three-day period considered? According to Figure 5, about 300 GWh, the equivalent of over 2,000 Big South Australian Batteries (BSABs):

This, of course, is not a real-life case. No sane grid operator, nor even the California state legislature, would allow imbalances and ramp rates of this magnitude to develop in the first place.......

As noted earlier this is not a real-life case, but should it wish to go 100% renewable California will clearly have a seasonal energy storage requirement which vastly exceeds its daily “duck curve” requirement. And what does California, which claims to be a world leader in energy storage, propose to do about it?

Well, in 2010 it passed an energy storage mandate, the wording in which (offpeak, peaking powerplants, peak load requirements) left little doubt that its basic intention was to flatten out the daily duck curve when more solar comes on line:

    SECTION 1.

    (b) Additional energy storage systems can optimize the use of significant additional amounts of variable, intermittent, and offpeak electrical generation from wind and solar energy
    (c) Expanded use of energy storage systems can (avoid or defer) the need for new fossil fuel-powered peaking powerplants
    (d) Expanded use of energy storage systems will reduce the use of electricity generated from fossil fuels to meet peak load requirements on days with high electricity demand

The mandate went on to confirm that this was indeed its intention by calling for 1.325 gigawatts of energy storage without specifying how many hours the gigawatts were to last for. Apparently this was unimportant. According to recent reports California is about to call for two gigawatts more “storage”, with gigawatt-hours again unspecified. It‘s questionable whether California even understands what energy storage is.

Now there’s no question that high levels of intermittent renewables generation will require fast-frequency-response capabilities to ensure grid stability during the day, but what is California doing about seasonal storage, which makes up 99% of its total storage problem?

Absolutely nothing. It has yet to recognize its existence.

And the same goes for everyone else, including the UK, where proposed revisions to the energy storage market concentrate almost entirely on “fast frequency response” (I remember reading somewhere that according to National Grid any storage exceeding 15 minutes in duration will be superfluous but can’t find the reference).

People may be wondering why I’ve been spending so much time recently writing about energy storage problems. Well, this is why. Go back to Figure 7 and imagine what it would look like with the little wiggles gone. To all intents and purposes it would look exactly the same. And these little wiggles are all the growing rush for battery storage is going to remove.

More HERE  (See the original for links, graphics etc.)



Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


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