Friday, October 02, 2020

Greenland is on track to lose ice mass faster this century than during any other century in the last 12,000 years, according to a new study

“On track to”. Just another prophecy using a foolish straight-line extrapolation. The future is often NOT like the past

US researchers simulated how different levels of carbon emissions would be likely to affect the Greenland Ice Sheet – a 660,000 square mile body of ice that covers around 80 per cent of the surface of the island.

Even if the world goes on a massive ‘energy diet’ the Greenland Ice Sheet’s rate of mass loss this century is likely to exceed anything experienced in the past 12,000 years.

But under a scenario of high greenhouse gas emissions, ice mass loss could be four times higher than anything experienced during that period.

The researchers claim that societies need to ‘sharply curb’ emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, to decrease the contribution of the Greenland Ice Sheet to rising sea levels, which could flood cities in the next 50 years.

The edge of the Greenland Ice Sheet – the second-largest ice body in the world, after the Antarctic Ice Sheet. If human societies don’t sharply curb emissions of greenhouse gases, Greenland’s rate of ice loss this century is likely to outpace that of any century over the past 12,000 years +5
The edge of the Greenland Ice Sheet – the second-largest ice body in the world, after the Antarctic Ice Sheet. If human societies don’t sharply curb emissions of greenhouse gases, Greenland’s rate of ice loss this century is likely to outpace that of any century over the past 12,000 years


California’s Power Struggles Continue as Wildfires Reduce Solar Power Output

Smoke from California’s multiple wildfires darkened the skies in August and September, reducing the amount of electricity generated by solar cells across the state.

Just after noon on September 10, normally a peak time for solar power generation in California, the California Independent System Operator (CISO), the agency charged with managing the state’s electric power flows, reported statewide solar generation was approximately 33 percent below the levels normally generated at that time of day.

This drop in power comes just weeks after CISO was forced to impose rolling blackouts on businesses and residents as electricity demand during a heatwave exceeded supply.

News reports at the time attributed the states repeated power shortage to its embrace of renewable energy sources and exclusion of historically reliable and inexpensive fossil-fuel-generated electricity.

“California’s bet on renewables and shunning of natural gas and nuclear power, is directly responsible for the state’s blackouts and high electricity prices,” stated an article in the California Globe.

As reported in Breitbart, Gov. Gavin Newsom admitted California’s green power mandates and climate programs were responsible for the state’s episodic power failures.

“California Gov. Gavin Newsom said [on August 17] the state had to ‘sober up’ about the fact that renewable energy sources had failed to provide enough power for the state at peak demand, and needed ‘backup’ and ‘insurance’ from other sources,” Breitbart wrote. According to Breitbart, Newsom went on to admit the critical reason the state lacked power was its overreliance on wind and solar power, saying, “We failed to predict and plan these shortages.”

The wildfires and the smoke from them are adding to California’s electric power shortfall, with hundreds of structures, including many with roof-top solar power systems, being incinerated in the fires, and the smoke from the fires limiting the amount of sunlight reaching the large solar arrays at industrial solar facilities in the Western part of the state.

“We are seeing reductions to behind-the-meter and large-scale solar throughout the state,” Anne Gonzales, senior public information officer for CISO, said in a statement.

Solar power generation is hampered during the wildfires, and those effects will linger even after the wildfires are extinguished, Michael Bolen, project manager for solar generation at the Electric Power Research Institute told E&E News.

“With the wildfires that are burning in California and the Pacific Northwest, it’s very clear that with the smoke that’s in the air, there is a reduction in the amount of light that can reach solar panels,” Bolen said. “All those ash [and] smoke particles have to settle somewhere [and] if they land on the PV modules, then they could block light from entering the modules.”

Power Shortages Highlight Fossil Fuel Virtues

The persistent shortfalls in power from renewable sources in California, now exacerbated by the impact of the wildfires on solar power generation, have forced the state to import large amounts of electric power from outside the state, often generated by fossil fuels, and to allow the continued use of fossil fuels to generate electricity in the state.

On June 11, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved the use of up to 450 megawatts of diesel generators to fill the gaps when renewable power sources failed to supply sufficient energy. Unfortunately for Californians, the power shortfalls during California’s August heatwave exceeded 1,000 megawatts, more than double the allowed diesel backup.

The wildfire- and smoke-induced decline in solar power generation has forced California to generate electricity using natural gas generators. However, the diesel and natural gas generators undermine California’s increasingly stringent restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions from power generation.

‘Natural Gas will be Unavoidable’

At a recent electric power leadership conference hosted on-line by the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), Ernest Moniz, Ph.D., the secretary of the Department of Energy during Barack Obama’s presidency, said California politicians and regulators were deluding themselves if they believed the state could transition to renewable power as quickly as its laws are demanding without reliable energy sources as backup.

Describing Moniz’s discussion at EEI’s conference, E&E News wrote, “Backing solar and wind up with natural gas will be unavoidable until new technologies are developed for longer-lasting batteries, energy from hydrogen and, eventually, technologies that clear carbon dioxide from the air itself, according to Moniz.

“‘Right now there is a shortage of [generating] capacity,’ Moniz said, citing ‘tremendous challenges’ with addressing the variability of renewable power on both hour-to-hour time scales and wider shifts in seasonal demand,” wrote E&E News.


Modern dual-flush toilets intended to save water actually waste BILLIONS of gallons every year, reveals report

A bathroom innovation designed to save water is actually wasting billions of gallons every year.

Dual-flush toilets are wasting more water than they save, reports UK conservation group the Waterwise Project, which points the finger at frequent leaks and users being confused by the flush buttons.

Between 5 and 8 percent of UK toilets are leaking, the group says – adding up to about 88 million gallons of water a day – and most are dual-flush models.

‘Because so many dual-flush toilets flow continuously, ‘that water loss is now exceeding the amount of water they should be saving nationally,’ Andrew Tucker, water efficiency manager at Thames Water, told the BBC.

‘The volume of water loss is getting bigger every day as more people refurbish and retrofit their older toilets and as we build more homes, so we’re actually adding a problem.’

When used correctly the high-efficiency models can save up to 68 percent more water than a conventional low-flow toilet.

Traditional toilets use a siphon system – the handle forces a high volume of water over a lip down into a tube. When air hits the siphon tube, it stops sucking in water.

Most dual-flush toilets use a drop valve, which sits underwater at the bottom of the tank.

Instead of relying on siphoning it uses gravity to do the job, which means less water for every flush.

But that valve can easily be stuck open by mineral deposits or other debris, causing the toilet to fill continuously.

‘A siphon will not leak whereas an outlet valve – if we look at the figures we’ve got – they could leak within a week of installation. It could be two years but they will leak,’ Jason Parker, managing director at plumbing manufacturer Thomas Dudley Ltd, told the BBC.

Even though dual-flush toilets are his biggest seller, Parker says he wants drop valves banned in the UK. ‘If we’re serious about wasting water and we want to stop it, the only way to do that is put a siphon back in.’

Aside from the engineering issue, there’s also a communication problem. Thames Water found as many of half of its customers used the wrong button – or pressed both.

The first two-button toilets were developed in Japan in the 1960s but didn’t migrate to the West until the 1980s, when they were introduced in Australia by Caroma Industries.

They were seen as environmentally friendly because they gave users a choice of how much water to use: A full 1.6-gallon flush for solid waste or a half-flush for urine.

Old-school toilets typically use at least 3.5 gallons in every flush.

The dual-flush became ubiquitous in water-deprived Down Under, and is commonly seen across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

It’s increasingly popular in new construction in the US, as well.

Though they’re more expensive than other types of low-flush toilets, many consumers believe they’ll save money in the long run with lower water bills.


Australia: Leftist Qld. government inks deal with coal miner, days out from election campaign

The Palaszczuk government has finally struck a deal with Adani for royalties from its controversial $2 billion Carmichael mine, days before the government goes into caretaker mode before the October election.

Treasurer Cameron Dick confirmed the government “settled terms for a royalty agreement” this week, more than one year after it was originally intended to be finalised.

“I can assure you that Adani will pay every dollar in royalties that they have to pay to the people of Queensland and the taxpayers of Queensland, with interest,” he said.

“That is absolutely locked in now and that is something we have now concluded as a government.”

“Obviously you spend a lot of time negotiating royalty agreements, not just in relation to this mine but to many mining projects across Queensland, because we want to work through the details.”

A deadline for the deal, which Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk pledged to have finalised a year ago, was extended to November last year. That date also passed without any confirmation.

The project has led to divisions in the Labor Party at state and federal levels for years, after Ms Palaszczuk and then-Queensland treasurer Curtis Pitt agreed to a royalty holiday for the company without cabinet approval in 2017.

Former treasurer Jackie Trad later blocked the deal with the backing of the party’s Left and Centre factions. Labor’s deputy federal leader, Richard Marles, conceded the party’s “clumsy” attempts to “walk the tightrope” on Adani during the federal election campaign had left its traditional voter base feeling abandoned.

The exact details of the deal will remain confidential, but it was reached under the government’s Resources Regional Development Framework (RRDF).

The framework, drawn up after months of tense negotiation with the Labor caucus in 2017, allows mining companies to defer payments to the state government and then repay their debt in full, including interest.

A company may be eligible to defer royalties if it shared infrastructure and if it “assisted in opening up undeveloped resource basins”.

A 388-kilometre track linking the project to Adani’s Abbot Point coal terminal was originally slated, but later swapped out for a cheaper option.

Adani now plans to build a 200-kilometre rail line, valued at about $1.5 billion, to link its mine to Aurizon’s Central Queensland Coal Network, near Moranbah, in central Queensland. The company will be required to share the rail line with other proposed mines in the Galilee Basin.




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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