Thursday, September 06, 2018

A warm-water time bomb could spell disaster for Arctic sea ice

What rubbish!  Melting sea ice (floating ice) will NOT raise the water level.  Archimedes demonstrated that over 2000 years ago

The Arctic is in hot water, literally, following the discovery that heat has been accumulating rapidly in a salty layer of the Arctic Ocean 50 metres down. Currently, it’s being held at that depth by a less dense layer of freshwater overhead, but if the two layers start to mix it could melt all seasonal sea ice, accelerating the already-rapid loss of polar ice cover.

Researchers discovered the heat time-bomb after analysing publicly available data on ice cover, and at different depths on sea temperature, heat content and saltiness over the past three decades. The data was gathered around the Canadian Basin, a major basin of the Arctic Ocean fed by waters from the North Chukchi Sea, just north of the Bering Strait between Alaska and Siberia.

Over this timespan, the heat content of the salty layer doubled, from 200 to 400 million joules per square metre, enough to reduce overall Arctic ice thickness by 80 centimetres.

The root cause is global warming, which has seen temperatures in the Arctic rise by 2 degrees from pre-industrial levels–twice the global average—leading to record-low sea ice coverage. The researchers found that with sea ice retreating, heat absorption by exposed surface waters has increased fivefold in 30 years, mainly from direct sunlight, which no longer gets reflected by ice.

And with no ice in the way, strong northerly winds push these newly-warmed surface waters at the Arctic fringes down to the depths where they’re now accumulating under the Arctic. The fear is that the freshwater “lid” keeping them there could fall apart.

“It could be lost through increased mechanical mixing of the water layers, especially driven by the winds,” says Mary-Louise Timmermans at Yale University and head of the team. “With continued sea-ice losses, we’d have more wind-driven mixing, and that would erode this natural barrier,” she says.

Loss of a protective “freshwater” layer is already happening elsewhere around the Arctic in the Barents Sea north of Scandinavia, allowing warmer Atlantic waters to flow in and potentially destroy an entire Arctic ecosystem in the North Barents Sea within a decade.


Global Warming Doomsday Fails To Arrive – Deadline Moved To 2035

Climate alarmists claim in a newly published study that the world will reach a “point of no return” if there is no dramatic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2035. “We show that there are strict deadlines for taking climate action,” said Henk Dijkstra, a co-author of the study.

The news media is extensively reporting on the prediction, characterizing the study as ominous, yet the study serves as a refreshing reminder of how all previous predictions of climate deadlines and doomsdays failed to materialize.

In 1989 a United Nations senior environment official said entire nations could be wiped off the face of the earth if global warming was not reversed before the year 2000.

In 2006 Al Gore wrote that “We have at most ten years—not ten years to decide upon action, but ten years to alter fundamentally the trajectory of global greenhouse emissions.”

Also in 2006, James Hansen said the world had just 10 years to take “serious action” about greenhouse gas emissions or we would cross of “tipping point” of climate danger.

In 2009, Hansen reduced the time he said we had to address global warming, writing: “Barack Obama has only four years to save the world” from global warming.

In 2007, the head of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that it would be “too late” to address global warming if action weren’t taken by 2012.

In 2009, Prince Charles said the world had just eight years left to end global warming or there would be “irretrievable climate and ecosystem collapse, and all that goes with it.”

In 2012, the president of the United Nations Foundation said the Obama second term would be “the last window of opportunity” to emplace dramatic carbon dioxide restrictions necessary to keep future warming “anywhere approaching” a two-degree Celsius tipping point.

At least this time the alarmists are giving themselves a little more time before they have to embarrassingly reset the doomsday climate clock.


Another glut

Greenies are constantty claiming that we are about to run short of food.  Below is one example of the reality:  We are producing TOO MUCH food.  There is a glut of strawberries where I live, making beautiful fruit available for a song

Cranberry farmers buried under a glut of the tart fruit are seeking permission for a radical way to dig themselves out: destroying millions of pounds of their crops.

After struggling with an oversupply of the berries for nearly two decades, growers around the country are asking the Department of Agriculture for authorization to sell 75 percent of the supply and discard the rest.

With only a few weeks left before the Massachusetts harvest, the Cranberry Marketing Committee, made up of growers and handlers, is waiting for a USDA decision on whether the industry can cap the amount of berries produced.

“It’s been tough. Overproduction is the bane and has been for cranberries in the last few years, and consequently we’re not getting much money for our crops,” said Jack Angley, owner of Flax Pond Farms in Carver, which is a member of the Ocean Spray growers’ cooperative.

Angley is one of more than 300 growers in Massachusetts, which trails only Wisconsin in cranberry production. He and the rest of the industry are trying to reverse the painful cycle of rising inventories, lower prices, and disappearing profits.

If the government approves their request, farmers would hold back 25 percent of the berries grown, or roughly 100 million pounds.

Some would be composted, some likely sent to charities or researchers. But it wouldn’t immediately eliminate the cranberry surplus.

The surplus increased from 4.6 million barrels in 2011 to 9.9 million in 2016, and it’s projected to reach 10.9 million barrels in the coming harvest, according to the USDA.

Last year, inventories were large enough for consumption before cranberry farmers even began the harvest, and too much inventory means prices could keep falling.


Shock!  NASA finds something that is NOT caused by global warming

"Climate change" gets not a single mention.  Is this a sign of things to come?

The Okavango Delta in northern Botswana is one of the world’s largest inland deltas. It is known for its annual flooding, which happens between February and May as a wave of water from seasonal rainfall traverses about 20,000 square kilometers of wetlands. But just as water makes a regular appearance in this part of the Kalahari Desert, so too does fire.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instruments on NASA’s Aqua and Terra satellites acquired this series of images between April 28 and May 23, 2018. The images were composed from a combination of visible and shortwave infrared light (MODIS bands 7-2-1). The burn scar appears dark brown; vegetation is bright green; bare ground is light brown; and water is dark blue.

Notice how water appears to be moving from the areas of permanent swamp and filling the fingers of the so-called seasonal swamp. “The annual flood pulse is reaching the distal fringes of the delta about now,” said Michael Murray-Hudson, a wetlands ecologist at the University of Botswana’s Okavango Research Institute. At the same time, a slow-moving fire front (bright orange) is advancing toward the southeast, leaving a dark brown burn scar in its wake.

Also notice how the path of the fire appears to follow the path of the floodplain. Channels inundated with floodwater can generate a huge amount of vegetation that is prone to burning. But there is a sweet spot: researchers have shown that floodplains inundated with water on an intermediate basis—about every other year—have the highest potential to burn.

While the floodwaters help to generate the fuel needed for burning, the fires ultimately have a human origin. “Almost all of the fires are anthropogenic,” Murray-Hudson said. “People set them when they can, for example, when the landscape will carry a fire. It’s a pretty normal phenomenon, although the extent and frequency might be increasing as the human ecological footprint in the delta grows.”

Previous research suggests that fires can affect the ecosystem by changing the quality of floodplain water and by removing aquatic shelter for young, vulnerable fish. But the authors of that paper point out: “The amount of seasonal flooding has a larger ecosystem impact than fires and is the primary factor in the wetland’s productivity.”


Australia: Labor’s energy bill shock

Electricity bills will soar and gas and coal-fired power stations will close if the share of wind and solar generation increases dramat­ically, engineers have warned after analysing the nation’s ­energy supply.

The analysis casts doubt on Labor’s claim that a 50 per cent renewable energy target — the centrepiece of the opposition’s climate change policy — would reduce electricity prices.

It found bills were likely to soar 84 per cent, or about $1400 a year, for the typical household, if wind and solar power supplied 55 per cent of the national electricity market.

The analysis by a group of veteran engineers — written and funded by five mechanical, chemical, electrical and nuclear engineers, with decades of experience in the power industry — was sent to premiers, federal cabinet ministers and shadow cabinet late last month.

It contrasted the costs of supplying electricity in the national electricity market under different mixes of generation. This included the Australian Energy Market Operator forecast for the year 2040 of 65 per cent renewable energy including hydro, as well as five other scenarios, including replacing coal-fired or gas generation with nuclear power.

The AEMO scenario, the closest to Labor’s policy, would lead to retail electricity prices rising by 84 per cent to 39c per kilowatt-hour — adding $1374 to the average household’s 2017 electricity bill based on the competition regulator’s June report into the electricity market.

Robert Barr, an electrical engineer and academic at University of Wollongong, said “in practical terms what would happen is the coal and open-cycle gas stations would go broke long before we reached this situation”.

Co-author Barry Murphy, former managing director and chairman of Caltex Australia, said the scenarios with high levels of renewable energy could force coal-fired power stations to be turned on and off at irregular intervals, or spin their turbines uselessly, “which isn’t economic so they would shut down”.

Labor in government would ensure at least 50 per cent of the nation’s electricity was sourced from renewable energy by 2030.

The new figures emerged as Scott Morrison moved to shift the emphasis of Coalition energy policy away from reducing emissions to cutting prices and shoring up reliability. In Cairns yesterday, the Prime Minister criticised NSW and Victorian governments for restricting gas exploration.

“We have to be prepared to use all the resources we have available to get electricity prices down,” he said. “They’re achieving that in Texas while at the same time reducing their dependency, because of the abundance of gas reserves there, on other ­fossil fuels.”

Mr Morrison noted that electricity prices were a third lower in the US state than in Queensland.

The analysis takes aim at “technology agnosticism” that ­ignores the “complexities of power system engineering”.

“Looking at the total cost of particular forms of energy in isolation is sensible only if you’re going to rely on that form of energy alone, but for the electricity market, it’s the total system costs that matters,” Mr Murphy said.

The study recommends ceasing subsidies for renewable energy and ending the national ban on nuclear energy. “The fact is technology matters, and poor and poorly informed choices on the NEM can lead to expensive mistakes that could bedevil our prosperity,” it found.

The AEMO scenario of 65 per cent renewable energy by 2040 would reduce emissions at a cost of $365 a tonne of carbon dioxide, the study estimated. Replacing coal-fired power generation with nuclear power would reduce emissions by a far greater amount at an abatement cost of $27.50 a tonne. The Gillard government’s ill-fated carbon tax envisaged a tax of $29 a tonne.

“Even if you allow for the reductions in the cost of batteries, etc, it doesn’t make much difference to the total cost because of the extra transmission costs,” Dr Barr said. “If we put a whole lot of wind farms into the system, we need to spend a lot of money on the transmission network for power that is intermittent.”

The AEMO forecast would require more than a 40-fold increase in the solar capacity and around a tripling of the number of wind turbines. “That’s a total of 62,000MW of unreliable, intermittent, weather-dependent generating capacity, with a lot situated a long way from points of high consumption,” Mr Murphy said.

In his first speech as Energy Minister last week, Angus Taylor all but dropped the national energy guarantee, the Turnbull government’s proposal that included promises to meet emissions reductions agreed to in the Paris agreement.

The new analysis calls for a bipartisan agreement to end the ban on nuclear energy — despite ongoing uranium exports — that has prevailed since 1998.

“Countries like Germany can experiment with high levels of renewables because they can always import nuclear power from France or Czech Republic when there isn’t enough wind or solar energy, but we’re on our own,” Mr Murphy said.

The authors said much of the existing analysis rested on arbitrary assumptions that the cost of renewable energy would fall in the future rather than “actual costs and actual use”.

“Speculating about future costs 22 years hence is futile: where will gas prices go, or recent developments might reduce nuclear costs, who knows for sure,” Mr Murphy said.

“The South Koreans would jump at the opportunity to help us with building nuclear power stations.”

Dr Barr said: “I don’t think politicians realise how much damage is being done to industry.”




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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