Wednesday, June 26, 2019

How Warm And Cold Periods Correlate With Solar Activity, Not CO2 Levels

The climate of the Earth has been constantly changing during its entire 4.6-billion-year history. Variations in our planet’s average temperature due to natural causes have ranged over a span of 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Most of the periodic temperature increases and decreases observed in human history are consistent with variations in the output of energy from our Sun.

The mild heating and cooling periods seen since 1900 (each less than 2 degrees Fahrenheit) reflect changes in solar activity. The temperature of the Earth has never been constant.

Continental positions determine the distribution and circulation of heat on Earth and have a major impact on our planet’s long term climate.

As little as 70 years ago if a child or adult made note of the fact that our current continents could be fitted together like a jigsaw puzzle, they were laughed at; but in the1950s scientists proved that our continents had historically resided in different places on the globe.

Sometimes the continents were near the equator, sometimes near the poles, sometimes they merged into a single land mass.

The largest changes take place over time periods of 20 to 100 million years. These changes, both gradual and catastrophic are associated with continental motions due to plate tectonics or continental drift.

Periodic changes in the Earth’s orbit also influence how energy that the Earth receives from the sun is distributed, resulting in our current era of recurring Ice Ages.

The Earth is now experiencing the high-temperature end of the latest Ice Age cycle. Both deep-sea sediment and ice core samples show that ice ages take place every 22,000 years.

The Earth’s axis wobbles around a tilt angle of zero degrees in a cycle that requires 22,000 years to complete. At one end of the cycle the North Pole faces the Sun in the winter, while at the other end, the North Pole faces the Sun in the summer.

The tilt angle relative to the sun also varies over a 41,000-year cycle. The annual orbit of the Earth around the Sun cycles between circular and elliptical every 100,000 years.

These are called Milankovitch cycles for the Serbian scientist who discovered them a century ago. Man’s presence and activities are insignificant compared to natural cycles.

Most of the warming and cooling trends observed during human history operate on time scales of a ten to a thousand years resulting in temperature shifts spanning a range of about seven degrees Fahrenheit.

They arise from changes in the output of energy and radiation from our Sun, according to long-term and short-term cycles of solar activity.

These cycles, have been documented using the recorded history of sunspots, aurora observations, radio-carbon dating techniques, and changes in solar radiance.

Changes in solar activity affect the stream of electrons, protons, and alpha particles emitted by the Sun which are called the solar wind.

These changes have been observable in the form of auroras and more recently in the disruption of radio communications and electromagnetic devices.

Changes in average global temperature since 1900 are much more consistent with oscillations in solar activity and the average amount of energy that we receive from the sun than they are with the exponential increase in fossil fuel emissions.

The Earth’s temperature increased from 1880 to 1935 as the Little Ice Age ended. It decreased from 1935 to 1980 and increased from 1980 to 1990 and has since leveled off.

Temperatures did not continuously and dramatically increase to mirror the increasing CO2 emissions.


World’s 76 Best Tide Gauges Show ‘Negligible’ Sea Level Rise

A new scientific paper affirms “all the long-term-trend (LTT) tide gauges of the world consistently show a negligible acceleration since the time they started recording in the late 1800s/early 1900s” and there is “no sign of climate models predicted sharply warming and accelerating sea level rise.”

An accurate determination of sea level rise acceleration trends requires at least 100 years of data due to the natural (60- to 80-year) oscillations that could bias the results depending on the start and end dates.

There are 88 world tide gauges with a record length of at least 100 years in the database. Of those, 76 have no data quality issues.

The average rate of sea level rise for these 76 global-scale tide gauges is just 0.337 millimeters per year (mm/yr), and the acceleration is a “negligible” 0.007 mm/yr².

Thus, the average rate of sea level rise for the world’s best long-term-trend (LTT) tide gauges amounts to about 3½ centimeters per century.

Further, the relatively high (2 to 3 mm/yr) local rates of sea level rise in the studied region (the Mexican Caribbean) were determined to be primarily associated with land subsidence.

This affirms the conclusion (Piecuch et al., 2018) that geological processes, or vertical land motions, are more influential than climate-related processes in establishing local relative sea level trends.

These results once again serve to undermine the model-based claims that the world’s seas are sharply rising and accelerating due to CO2-induced global warming.


EU Drops Climate Change to a Mere Footnote at Summit

A push by most European Union nations for the world’s biggest economic bloc to go carbon-neutral by 2050 was dropped to a footnote at a summit on Thursday after fierce resistance from Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary.

France and Germany had led efforts for the 28-member EU to lead by example in setting an ambitious new climate goal ahead of U.N. climate talks in September that U.S. President Donald Trump has abandoned.

But unanimity was needed, and last-ditch persuasion efforts in what diplomats described as “impassioned” talks that dragged on for four hours failed to ease fears among the central and eastern European states, including Estonia, that it would hurt economies like theirs dependent on nuclear power and coal.

EU leaders called on the European Investment Bank (EIB) to increase climate funding and acknowledged vast differences in the continent’s energy mix, but Poland remained unmoved.

“We need concrete things on the table,” Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said. “What additional money could be allotted to Poland so that we do not end up in an offside trap?”

In an unusual move that nevertheless sends a strong signal to businesses, 24 of the EU leaders chose instead to reflect support for the mid-century goal as a footnote in their final statement:

“For a large majority of member states, climate neutrality must be achieved by 2050.”


Combined-Cycle Natural Gas Power Beats Everything Else

Combined-cycle natural gas power plants offer lower cost electricity than anything else, especially renewables, the true costs of which are never counted.

Our friends at the Institute of Energy Research have come out with a study that finally examines the true costs of renewables, including their impacts on the efficiencies of other energy sources. The Energy Information Administration has long studied the "levelized costs of electricit" or LCOE of different sources of power but hasn't accounted for all the hidden subsidies, which often take the form of indirect costs on other electricity producers. Combined-cycle natural gas power plants typically come out best anyway, but the spread is minimized by failure to consider these indirect costs. This latest study does address them and natural gas comes out way ahead.

The focus of the study was to compare the costs of new energy generators with existing, across the entire spectrum, and existing generators are far more efficient than either solar or wind. New combined-cycle natural gas power plants also come out as especially efficient.

This to say it is the cheapest source new electricity generation and it runs about 35-40% less expensive than wind or solar. The key to understanding why is in the word "dispatchable." Solar and wind demand dispatchable energy backup when the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow. Therefore, every solar and wind farm demands redundancy, which is always inefficient.

Think of it this way. Imagine there is such a thing as a completely solar-powered car. It will transport you whenever the sun shines and another 20 miles or so when it stops shining. Let's say it costs you $30,000. It works fine around town on sunny days. It costs you $500 per month to buy and nothing to operate except for minimal maintenance.

But, if you want a car that works after dark, when its's snowing or that will safely take you a 150 miles to visit your daughter, you need a second vehicle that is usable when you need it - a car that runs on gas or something comparable. The solar car would save you lots of gasoline and maintenance and make your dispatchable car last a lot longer, but you'd be paying twice as much in capital costs at the outset. More to the point, the value of your dispatchable vehicle would be steadily depreciating regardless of the miles driven and you'd be paying a whole lot more per mile to drive it. Your solar car would make your other car much more expensive at the same time that your capital costs doubled.

That, in essence, is the problem with renewables from an economic perspective; they only add to the cost and save nothing. They drive down the efficiency of everything. Here's how the IER study explains it:

What is the levelized cost of electricity? The Energy Information Administration (EIA) defines it as "the cost (in real dollars) of building and operating a generating plant over an assumed financial life and duty cycle." But EIA's Annual Energy Outlook and similar LCOE reports focus only on new generation resources, while ignoring the cost of electricity from existing generation resources.

[W]e estimate existing combined-cycle (CC) gas power plants can generate electricity at an average LCOE of $36 per MWh, whereas we project the LCOE of a new CC gas plant to be $50 per MWh.

[We calculate] the costs that non-dispatchable wind and solar generation resources impose on the dispatchable generation resources which are required to remain in service but are forced to generate less in combination with them. Non-dispatchable means that the level of output from wind and solar resources depends on factors beyond our control and cannot be relied upon to follow load fluctuations nor consistently perform during peak loads. Wind and solar resources increase the LCOE of dispatchable resources they cannot replace by reducing their utilization rates without reducing their fixed costs, resulting in a levelized fixed cost increase.

Our calculations estimate that the "imposed cost" of wind generation is about $24 per MWh (of wind generation) when we model the cost against new CC gas generation it might displace, and the imposed cost of solar generation is about $21 per MWh (of solar generation) when we model the CC and combustion turbine (CT) gas generation it might displace.

See what I mean? Renewables are no bargain for anyone. They're like the second car that was going to save you so much money but left you with two car loans and less money in your pocket.


City of Sydney to declare a climate emergency in face of national inaction

Just showboating

Sydney, the largest city in a country acutely vulnerable to global warming, moved on Friday to declare a climate emergency, joining hundreds of local governments around the world in calling for urgent steps to combat the crisis, some in the face of inaction by national politicians.

The declaration does not include any major new actions. But Mayor Clover Moore said it was important that Sydney, which has already made ambitious pledges to reduce greenhouse emissions, raise its voice in a global demand for action.

"Cities need to show leadership, especially when you're not getting that leadership from the national government," Moore said.

Amanda McKenzie, chief executive of the Climate Council, a research center, said Sydney's declaration - which the City Council is expected to easily approve - underlined "just how serious the climate change issue is." "It is a genuine crisis," she said. "Sydney has responded in an appropriate way."

Australia, home to some of the most extreme natural environments on the planet, is recovering from the hottest summer on record - a season of raging wildfires, burning fruit on trees, and crippling drought in farming regions.

But in national elections last month, voters rejected the major party calling for stronger action on climate change, delivering a surprise victory to the incumbent conservative government, which has resisted proposals to sharply reduce carbon emissions.

The conservative coalition was propelled to victory in part by support in the state of Queensland, where the state government cleared the way this month for a fiercely contested coal mine.



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