Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Europe: Lack of wind sparks new fears over green energy revolution

Lulls trigger questions over the long-term predictability of wind patterns amid escalating climate change

A lull in wind speeds over the summer was felt in boardrooms across Europe. As it blew at its weakest for around 60 years, major energy companies lost millions of pounds in electricity sales.

By September, households started to feel the pain. Coal and gas-fired plants were switched on to make up for loss of wind, compounding a global shortage of gas and pushing electricity prices to record levels.

“It’s very serious,” Mads Nipper, chief executive of Danish oil-turned-wind giant Orsted, told the Financial Times in August, as he warned shareholders of a hit to profits. “It is like you’re a farmer and it doesn’t rain.”

Countries are relying more on wind to meet their energy needs in the rush to slash carbon emissions. The technology accounts for more than 6pc of global electricity, and is set to grow as fossil fuels are muscled out of the way by cleaner sources.

In the UK, turbines on land and dotted around the coast generate about a quarter of domestic electricity over the year. Boris Johnson wants to make wind the backbone of the energy system, with a huge increase in offshore turbines, as part of the legally binding push to net zero.

But events like the wind lull have triggered questions over whether it was a sign of things to come, and how predictable wind patterns are in the long term amid climate change.

It’s an area of growing corporate and scientific research, with huge consequences for energy security and business investment. But much remains unknown.

“Given what we saw in 2021, I think we will see and we need studies to understand [wind trends] better, especially given our increased reliance on wind as an energy source,” says Paul Williams, professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Reading.

Scientists have identified a pattern of declining average wind speeds globally, averaging about one mile an hour every thirty years, based on wind speeds since the 1970s.


Youngkin plans to withdraw Virginia from interstate climate pact

Governor-Elect Glenn Youngkin of Virginia has signaled his intention to pull the state out of a climate compact that many small businesses there are glad to see go.

Youngkin has made clear his intention to pull Virginia out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). The interstate compact places penalties on entities that exceed emission regulations set by an organization representing all member states.

"Virginia’s small businesses are managing several obstacles such as the labor shortage and supply chain disruptions. Small business owners need lawmakers to enact policies that promote job growth, not deter it, as they work on recovering their businesses to pre-crisis levels," state director of the National Federation of Independent Businesses Nicole Riley said in a statement.

The NFIB is one of the largest associations for small businesses in the United States.

She continued, "By removing Virginia from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin is sparing small business owners from an increased cost in their electric bills and other expenses they simply cannot afford right now."

The RGGI currently boasts eleven member states in the initiative, all from the northeast: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia.

The RGGI is currently being courted by Pennsylvania for membership. It boasts itself as the "first market-based, cap-and-invest regional initiative in the United States."


Biden uses tornado tragedy to push climate agenda

President Biden on Saturday addressed the fatal weather that ravaged parts of the South and Midwest and used the tragedy to further his own beliefs on climate change.

While speaking to reporters and virtually assessing the tornado damage from Wilmington, Delaware, Biden was asked whether he "could conclude that these storms and the intensity have to do with climate change."

"All I know is that the intensity of the weather across the board has some impacts as a consequence of the warming of the planet and climate change," Biden said. "The specific impact on these specific storms, I can’t say at this point."

"I’m going to be asking the EPA and others to take a look at that," Biden added. "The fact is that we all know everything is more intense when the climate is warming. Everything. And obviously it has some impact here, but I can’t give you a quantitative read on that."

Biden’s remarks follow a series of deadly storms and tornadoes which swept across Kentucky, Illinois, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Missouri overnight and resulted in multiple injuries and the deaths of nearly 100 Americans.


No Joe, it is not “fact” that everything is more intense, nor that it has some impact here.

Provisional data from the NWS indicates that the tornadoes which hit Mayfield, Kentucky and Edwardsville, Illinois were both EF-3s.

Although most tornadoes occur in spring and early summer, strong tornadoes are not unheard of in winter. Indeed, on average since 1950 there have been five tornadoes every winter of EF3 and greater strength. And the official data shows that these winter storms are not becoming more frequent:

image from https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.files.wordpress.com/2021/12/image_thumb-58.png

Despite the latest outbreak, the number of tornadoes this year has been well below average

I find it utterly contemptible that Biden should use this tragedy to further his climate agenda, without even bothering to wait for the facts to emerge.


Himalayan glaciers are melting at an 'exceptional rate' - but NO MENTION of climate change this time

Himalayan glaciers are melting at an 'exceptional rate' and could threaten the supply of water for hundreds of millions of people in Asia, a new study warns.

Researchers have found that Himalayan glaciers have lost ice 10 times more quickly over the last few decades – predominantly since the year 2000 – than on average since the Little Ice Age hundreds of years ago.

The Little Ice Age was a period of major mountain-glacier expansion that spanned from around the early 14th century through to the mid-19th century, when rivers froze over and crops were decimated.

* Himalayan glaciers are also now shrinking far more rapidly than glaciers in other parts of the world *, which is raising sea levels, the study also found.

This accelerating melting has implications for hundreds of millions of residents who depend on Asia's major rivers for food and energy – including the Brahmaputra, Ganges and Indus.

Around the 17th century, Earth experienced a prolonged cooling period that brought chillier-than-average temperatures to much of the Northern Hemisphere.

It's said to have lasted from the 16th through 19th century, though some argue it began even earlier.

It was not a true Ice Age, but brought cold temperatures in three intervals from the mid-1600s to the 1800s.

In Europe and North America, this meant colder winters which in some cases destroyed farms and villages with encroaching glaciers.

Rivers also froze over in many locations, and 'frost fairs' were held along the River Thames.

Changes in sea ice disrupted travel and shipping around Iceland, and crop devastation led to years of famine in some parts of Europe.

The Himalayan mountain range – often referred to as ‘the Third Pole' – is home to the world’s third-largest amount of glacier ice after Antarctica and the Arctic.

Study author Dr Simon Cook, a senior lecturer in geography and environmental science at the University of Dundee, said people in the Himalayan region are 'already seeing changes that are beyond anything witnessed for centuries'.

'This research is just the latest confirmation that those changes are accelerating and that they will have a significant impact on entire nations and regions,' Dr Cook said.


My other blogs. Main ones below

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM )

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)


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