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Policy and solutions / Re: Batteries: Today's Energy Solution
« on: April 13, 2021, 07:12:46 AM »
Re: " peaker plants threaten to close down completely unless they are paid a lot more for being on stand by."

I believe in the USA there are already payments for both spinning reserve and standby capacity. I think the difference is that the first is immediately available to take excess load (subject to generator ramp limits), the second has dispatch calls every 5 minutes and must come to full power in ten.


The structure of payment in each US region may be dramatically different. The range in the US goes from strict monopoly to nearly unregulated free market. All regions except Texas have a balancing authority who is responsible to maintain sufficient reserves. They may do this themselves or contract it out. As these BA's are regulated monopoly's rates are approved to cover these costs These are audited by FERC regularly to ensure sufficient reserves and compliance. The lightly regulated Texas market assumes high enough prices are sufficient motivation for someone to maintain these reserves. This philosophy failed Texas again. If the occasional failure was acceptable this would be the most efficient method. It is not. California is also market based though it is subject to federal oversight. California also had a failure for a different reason. California regularly imports about 6-8 gw of power. They own/contract sufficient assets but it is difficult to build a power plant in California due to NIMBYism. Many generating assets for California are out of state. Hotter temperatures lower transmission capacity. Hotter temperatures also lower output of thermal plants. During peak power demand last summer California realized they did not have enough transmission/local power to meet demand. As building out either transmission or power plants is slow the quickest fix was determined to be 1.5 gw of battery storage latter revised to 1.7 gw. Most of that should be online for the July August peak season. AFAIK Tesla batteries (others may now too) now provide ancillary grid services, techno speak for spinning reserve. In any case batteries are now better (read faster) at providing ancillary grid services.

Policy and solutions / Re: Batteries: Today's Energy Solution
« on: April 10, 2021, 04:13:11 AM »
The road to commercialization is long and full of mostly failures. While many ideas just are not feasible some better ideas die just because they do not have an aggressive advocate or enough seed money or just poor timing. These types of announcements usually only focus on the positive and not the negative. Statistically Lab announcements are bound to fail. When I read them it is interesting to learn about the new approach but I do not expect to see a successful product on the market. Announcements of pilot/low volume production are usually failures when not backed by an experienced industry player. Even from experienced industry players new product failures are common.

Such a small fraction of Lab successes lead to products that failure  :'( should be assumed and to me speculation of real world impacts sound terribly naïve and criticisms sound true but are stating the obvious. ::)  I still like to learn about them.  ;D

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: April 08, 2021, 04:32:58 AM »
I think this is a good way to depict where US is on electric generation. The other two major sources of generation are nuclear and hydro which have been stable for decades. All other sources, like geothermal and petroleum, are relatively insignificant. April 2021 numbers are an estimate. Presenting it this way makes the switch from coal to NG not evident so the focus is on fossil fuels and renewables which will replace them.

Science / Re: 2021 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« on: April 03, 2021, 04:20:07 AM »
looking at the chart one of the daily averages is around 419 ppm and one of the hourly averages is 422 ppm.
My guess is "officially crossed over" means the "monthly average is over" but I am guessing.
Another thought I wonder if decarbonizing the Hawaii electric grid and replacing fossil fuel vehicles with electric will significantly reduce the Mona Loa CO2 numbers variations.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: April 01, 2021, 11:41:04 PM »
Its may be to early to call it a trend but US electricity generation from natural gas was lowest in March at 62 TWH since April of 2017 (April typically is the lowest demand month of the year. It was also the lowest March since 2014. The narrative being pushed by some is that this represents some rebound in coal. That narrative is not really supported by the numbers. After early 1900's the earliest a lower amount of electricity was produced by coal was April 2019. Of the 22 months since that time only 6 months were lower 4 of which were the first most extreme covid-19 lockdown. At best(for coal advocates) I would say coal has stabilized but more likely it will continue to fall.

Wind set another all time high record in March with 40 TWH . The next highest number was set in November with 34 TWH. Solar set a March record high at 11 TWH. Solar is growing fast enough to set a new monthly record every month.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: March 26, 2021, 05:26:50 AM »
For electricity generation the generation by source numbers reported on the real time graph (actually it adds yesterdays data) provide accurate data to a level that the differences are indistinguishable on a monthly graph. An occasional gap of a few hours on one source or another is rare but such gaps do occur. The graph includes Realtime data for February and an estimate for March based on interpolation of the first 24 days. In a week all of March will be included. As you can see coal use is up and natural gas use is down. Overall natural gas is down more than coal is up. This continues the very slow decline of fossil fuels overall. Hydro capacity is largely unchanged with weather providing most of the variation in generation. 
Nuclear is suffering a slow death with in increased number of closures this year with only the Vogtle project scheduled to go online. Despite the 1.1 gw Vogtle reactor going online a net loss of 4 gw are expected this year.

Capacity factors for coal appear to continue to decline though not as much as spring 2020 seemed to indicate. As I got into a discussion about earlier capacity can stabilize and even reverse for coal if they go on a spree of plant closures. Price increases for natural gas have caused a small resurgence of coal consumption.
The use of diesel generators continues to decline.
Using the annual heat rates for coal and natural gas as well as monthly prices paid by utilities I calculated an estimated fuel cost per kwh of coal and natural gas. Coal prices are largely set by long-term contract supplemented by a small immediate delivery market. This is evident in the stable but slowly declining cost of coal. Natural gas prices were once closely tied to petroleum prices but now fluctuate more independently as volumes in power production increased. I have only included fuel costs not delivery and handling costs which tend to be higher for coal.

The next graph is capacity by source in GW. By capacity their are three main types of natural gas sources. A steam turbine can be uses with a variety of fuels including coal and natural gas. Anything that produces significant heat can be used to drive a steam turbine. Thermal cycling of the blades is a major source of wear on the turbines and should be done slowly and infrequently as possible. Turbine blades are grown from a single crystal and once they wear out it is usually more economical to tear the plant down and rebuild rather then replace the damaged blades. These are fairly efficient and economical for the conversion of heat into electricity. Efficiency falls quickly if run at less than full load. These are usually run for days or weeks though frequency of cycling is a large source of wear. Converting a coal plant to natural gas primarily involves replacing the boiler fuel.
A gas fired combustion turbine is in essence a large stationary jet engine. Expanding gas burned in a constrained environment cause a rotor to spin. While thermal cycling of combustion turbines is a source of wear tolerances are not so tight and they can be cycled in minutes not hours. While not as efficient or long lasting the quick cycling time has made them the main source of peak power for utilities. Efficiencies decline quickly if run at less than a full load. Most utilities have a series of small combustion turbines that can be ramped up and down quickly. This is why they are often referred to as peaker turbines. These are often run for only a few minutes or hours. They may ramp up and down to fill in gaps between large power plants turning on and off.
The third major type is a combined cycle. the combined cycle uses a combustion turbine with the exhaust used to heat a boiler. The steam is used to power a secondary steam turbine. Combinations of one or more combustion turbines power the steam turbine. This is the most efficient type of power plant and efficiencies can reach too the upper 60 percentiles. These are ramped up and down slowly and as infrequently as practical. These usually runs for a few days to weeks.
The replacement of diesel engines with cheaper natural gas is driving the increase in a fourth type. Combustion engines are more complicated than turbines and have higher maintenance costs. Their main advantage is the ability to maintain high levels of efficiencies over the upper half of the load range. This coupled with fast start and stop times make them useful to provide more flexibility in meeting variable loads. Not only are natural gas versions replacing the more expensive diesel fuel options but they seem to be used more often, as shown in the capacity factor graph, to complement renewable sources.

The politics / Re: Biden’s Presidency
« on: March 26, 2021, 02:08:12 AM »
Republicans should spend more time learning about reality (good and bad) and less time suppressing people with different backgrounds and information about reality.

The politics / Re: Biden’s Presidency
« on: March 23, 2021, 11:05:13 AM »
with such a thin majority one democrat opposed the 15 dollar minimum and killed it I forget who.

The problem that it is a one size fits all solution to a multi-faceted problem.  People working in Mississippi or New Mexico can live on substantially less income than those in California or New York.  Some of the higher rent districts, like Seattle, San Francisco, and New York already have a $15+/hr minimum.  Raising the wages in low cost of living states to equal those solves very little.
I agree that one size fits all is not the solution for minemum wage I was commenting on it was not Biden per say but a senator who killed it. But he did not fight for it very hard either. On the other hand some states would never raise it at all. Either way inflation is the preferred way to cut your pay and all but the super rich are getting poorer every year. 

The rest / Re: Walrus lands on island off the west coast of Ireland
« on: March 21, 2021, 03:21:41 AM »
Coming to a shore near you.


Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2021 melting season
« on: March 20, 2021, 02:58:53 AM »
Oren, ironically that was ok decision for the freezing season (it is easier for Hycom to predict thickening by freezing than thinning by melting, plus Hycom does ok with ice drift; C2MOS is not available in Summer). For the Summer we are left with Piomas only.

But As long as wild claims are controlled in the mid of Summer when Hycom shows paper-thin ice where buoys show otherwise, it is ok anyway.
Buoys may be placed on thick chunks where surrounding ice is much thinner. This depends on selection criteria. Working on ice thinner than some threshold (1m? 1.5m?) means buoys can not always be installed on typical ice.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Freeform season chatter and light commentary
« on: March 19, 2021, 05:51:48 AM »
Unlike last year at this time, this year there is not a pile of thick ice near the Fram Strait vulnerable to export. 
And Cryosat still insists there is

     It is confusing to have such inconsistency between HYCOMM, PIOMAS and CS2SMOS.  I'm leaving out Mercator because my brain can only handle three things at a time.  Cryosat is the source data for CS2SMOS so they should be the same.  My guess is that CS2SMOS is just a more smoothed version of Cryosat.

     I hope the differences can be resolved and a winner chosen by the end of the 2021 melt season.  Perhaps comparing what the different models say now vs. the end-of-season condition will allow judging which of the current estimates was most realistic.  The presence or absence of thick ice along the shore of ESS east of the New Siberian Islands (prominent band of 4M in PIOMAS, thin sliver of 3M in HYCOM, nothing more than 2M in CS2SMOS) could be a good test case.  Or it may not reveal much because if it disappears by Sept. the CS2SMOS fans would say "See, PIOMAS was wrong", and the PIOMAS folks would say "There was a lot of melt along the shore of the ESS this year."

    Perhaps the analysis of thickness data from MOSAIC will bring improvement and better harmonization of thickness models.  To the degree feasible, it would be great to get model validation data by measuring the actual thickness at sites where the models disagree.  Maybe the U.S. and Soviet (and who else?) submarines playing cat and mouse in the Arctic Ocean could take Sundays off to resurface, take some ice cores, then go back at it on Mondays. 

    A profile of the late great Wally Broecker said he used discrepancies as his best learning opportunities.  I hope somebody is doing a PhD on the great ASI thickness model debate.  Carl Sagan said "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence".  A corollary is "Different claims require that not everybody is correct," (not necessarily that somebody is right and somebody is wrong because they might ALL be wrong).  John Lennon said "Just Gimme some Truth!" 

HYCOM is made in conjunction with and for the US navy. Ice thickness is a mission critical parameter to submarines hiding below the surface because below a threshold thickness satellites can detect the wake of submarines. Lidar from submarines up to the 1980's are publicly available. I have no doubt the HYCOM model funded mostly by the US navy and primarily designed for US navel operations benefits from more timely lidar sub data. At this point lidar on subs is the most accurate way to measure thickness at more than one spot at a time.
When the Polarstern was able to quickly move to the pole because their was little to no ice that is what HYCOM showed. HYCOM uses all available data to accurately portray conditions now. HYCOM focus is on producing the most accurate thickness data on the day it is produced.

climate models use satellite data to provide comparable data overtime. where your model fails it can be instructive to your understanding. Major differences were observed in the PIOMASS data during the Polarstern cruise. This is seems to be the driver behind the new CryoSat thickness algorithm.

Someone is working on an algorithm to create thickness product from Cryosat data. According to the creators it is a work in progress that needs to be validated with a number of field measurements. It is not a simple problem of this absorbance
 equals this thickness. The complexity is ice formed in different ways reflect differently and different wavelengths need to be used. Sorting all that out will take some time.

Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: March 16, 2021, 07:41:02 AM »
Patty Murry (D) senator just sponsored bill to fund purchasing electric for 10% of all school buses for next 10 years. Bill wording funds the difference in purchase price between electric and diesel. All moneys set aside would be available until used. Practically this will probably be sufficient to fund the difference until electric school buses are as cheap as diesel and widespread enough that all districts switch to electric. Money provides for charging infrastructure and gives priority to poorest school districts if money is insufficient to fill all requests.
School buses are the ideal electric vehicle. Most school buses travel less than 40 miles a day and return to the yard during the middle of the school day. Allowing them to benefit from cheap solar and or middle of the night charging. They stop, start and idle frequently making huge efficiency gains from electric possible. The also frequently idle near children making pollution an issue.   

Arctic sea ice / Re: Casual 2021 melting season predictions
« on: March 16, 2021, 04:59:52 AM »
I am not sure how it will impact the season but there is almost no ice thicker than 2.5 m along the Greenland and CAA coast.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: March 16, 2021, 02:30:06 AM »
response given in renewable thread

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: March 16, 2021, 02:29:22 AM »
Discussion began in Oil and Gas thread. Of all the complex changes facing hydropower changes in capacity factors if any are not and will not be a significant factor. This is contrary to rethinkx thesis. I expect hydro to be used more for balancing daily demand in the future but that change will be limited and driven more by a push to sell higher priced power in the early morning and evening than being undercut by solar or wind. I know some would prefer more concise responses but I tend to ramble on.
I have toured many hydro facilities in the US though more in the Northwest. Public tours of these places were discontinued after 9/11. While some of these tours were with groups of twenty or so many were with fewer than five and a few were just for me. I toured a fish hatchery and coaxed eggs from a fish and fertilized them. I was able to see the clever fish bypass that allows a human operator to count fish species and determine whether they are natural or hatcher grown while they swim upstream. I have been lowered in a basket into the turbine chamber to walk on and inspect a turbine blade, I seen and discussed operations of dam controls built before 1900. I toured major dam control upgrades in progress. I spent some time discussing generation decisions with one of the operators responsible for those decisions on a daily basis.
From my discussions with that operator I learned several things. In the Northwest US fish are the first priority. In reality that means during spring fish migration up river flow levels must be maintained even if it draws down the pool at a time when it should be filling. River flow levels are ramped up and down not adjusted quickly. Overall flow rates are not allowed to change more than a certain percentage per hour and a certain percentage per day. This protects the fish from being stranded. Minimum flow rates during all seasons must be maintained as well. Spring flow rates must be high to allow mature fish to return to spawning grounds while flow during other seasons allows growing fish to survive to maturity. When all of the impacts are considered including climate change a properly managed dam may be a net benefit to fish. This considers the benefits of money for fish programs such as habitat restoration, studies to identify populations and problems and maintaining flow during climate driven increasing drought.  Other priorities of dams include flood control and maintaining enough water for cities and irrigation. The last priority on the list is electric power production.
BPA operates dams along the Columbia River representing the largest share of hydropower in the northwest. BPA will join the western energy imbalance market in 2022. When it does more hydro will be available for balancing daily demand in the western US. As mentioned below much hydro is available to balance electricity demand but that fraction changes.
With all these competing priorities hydro provides the majority of power in Washington State and large quantities of power for Idaho and Oregon. It also provides about half of the daily power needed to deal with California’s roughly 10 gw solar peak. Currently the other half is provided by NG peaker turbines. With California’s solar mandate on new construction and improving solar economics I expect demand for power to fill the worsening duck curve to increase. Thankfully the economics of batteries have improved enough that this increased demand will probably be filled by batteries and not NG.

Consequences / Re: The Climatic Effects of a Blue Ocean Event
« on: March 14, 2021, 11:41:23 PM »
I assumed we were sticking to the standard <1000000 km2 definition.

IMO a BOE will be bad but only as a continuation of the current deterioration.

Policy and solutions / Re: The hydrogen economy
« on: March 14, 2021, 12:38:13 AM »
Adding hydrogen to gas lines will substantially increase the risk of explosion in several ways.

Hydrogen is far more likely to ignite than other fuel gases. The range of flammability is 4 to 75%. Natural gas is flammable between 5 and 15% depending on its constituents. At really low concentrations the fire can not spread but at high concentrations like a broken pipe natural gas needs more air where hydrogen burns just fine. Natural gas is 85 to 90% methane

Hydrogen autoignition temperature is 585C. Natural gas autoignition temperature is 760C.

The kinetic diameter of H2 is 289 pm where as methane is 380 pm. This smaller molecule is more likely to leak. 

Hydrogen reacts with metal leading to hydrogen embrittlement. This will lead to accelerated degradation of natural gas infrastructure. Much of the natural gas infrastructure in residential areas is iron.

Experience in industry indicates hydrogen is more likely to leak and more likely to cause fatal accidents than natural gas. A utility or industrial customer is far more likely to maintain proper safety conditions than a residential customer.

Finally the main reason to add hydrogen to natural gas is to stall the transition from fossil fuels. This leads to my question "How many more people have to die to protect fossil fuel interests?"

The politics / Re: Biden’s Presidency
« on: March 13, 2021, 08:23:47 PM »
nadir your comment seemed to be attacking only dems i was just saying repub do same thing. generally yes the deck is stacked against regular people who are not rich.

The politics / Re: Biden’s Presidency
« on: March 12, 2021, 09:21:41 PM »
You should be honest enough with yourself to recognize that both sides use propaganda machines to spread their ideology. They both misrepresent things to win converts and push their agenda.                                                                                           

The politics / Re: The Trump Presidency
« on: March 02, 2021, 04:10:49 AM »
Economic numbers only portray how much is produced by the entire economy.  Everyone including companies and rich people benefit from services that governments provide. If a company or rich person pays less taxes they shift the burden to everyone else who does pay taxes. I pay higher taxes or receive less services. If I have to work three full time jobs to feed myself instead of one my economic output has tripled. The economy gets credit for all the work I do even if I do not.

When the rich get a tax break the economy improves. What that really means is you have redistributed wealth from those who have less to those who have more.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020/2021 freezing season
« on: February 27, 2021, 06:23:17 AM »
And then people ask me why I call them Americannots?
1st this is an offensive statement and does not strengthen your position. I can just as easily make vague offensive statements about you. Americans are flawed but your sh*t stinks too. Please wait before you post when you are worked up about something.
There is a relatively small community of people globally who work in this field. The satellite assets are shared. While individuals and institutes claim credit for certain products the connections between resources and individuals show that no country is really doing this work independently. It is not a position tied to nationalism.
Please, don't sh*t on NSIDC and in the same comment mention HYCOM as an example of how it should be done. HYCOM is extremely unreliable, and there is hardly any documentation that explains what they are changing when, what and how (and they don't have to, because they are not a scientific institute).
Neven I believe you have a strong bias against HYCOM which I do not understand is it because of it is associated with the US military or some other reason?
NSIDC produces many different ice products for different purposes. They produce an algorithm based product for long term consistency for climate work. They also make a more accurate product which uses human judgement for current conditions. This is the part that invalidates it for long term climate comparisons. HYCOM uses the current conditions product as a starting point. Most of the world shares these satellite resources and the community of people in the field does not appear to be that big.
HYCOM data is reliable. They fully document all changes they make. Further before each change is made they must validate that the change improves the model before the model is changed. All of this is available online if you wish to look though most if it is available at the civilian sight. Only the data is available at the military sight.
I agree this is more of a side topic but once inflammatory comments are made in the main thread some response in the main thread is appropriate.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020/2021 freezing season
« on: February 21, 2021, 03:20:32 AM »
My interpretation of the mission sitting on the ice for a year in a ship the major take away thus far has been how much worse the Ice was near the pole than they were expecting. While they do not say this Piomass is the ice climate model that I believe led them to this faulty assumption. Shortly after the mission the Wegener institute started talking about creating a better ice volume map. Before that mission I was only aware of satellite measurements being used for Ice less than 50 cm. Now we have someone looking at thicker ice trying to improve the algorithm. A method to determine snow thickness was created as well as well as identifying characteristics of different types of ice. I do not know if those events are unrelated or tell a cohesive story but no disrespect to the climate scientists who created the Piomass model but it has some major shortcomings with current arctic conditions. The model was made before most of the multiyear ice melted and I believe the dynamic has changed.  An extended discussion of Piomas versus Hycom can be found on the Hycom thread. While a full consensus was not reached I think people left better informed on the topic. I know I did. 

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020/2021 freezing season
« on: February 20, 2021, 02:41:31 AM »

Satellite observations of thickness have severe deficiencies work is being done to improve their performance. At this point they are not very reliable at some observations.
Hycom is most interested in providing an accurate picture of current conditions and a short term forecast used for operating in the Arctic. The starting conditions are updated by any and all observations available. This includes the aforementioned satellites. As satellite thickness observations improve so will the daily starting point for Hycom model. The condition of ice at the north pole surprised researchers on the polar star but were consistent with the Hycom model.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Casual 2021 melting season predictions
« on: February 19, 2021, 02:36:44 AM »
I am doubtful:
Record low volume. (At least according to PIOMAS)

You may be right but if you don't provide at least a little boldness in a prediction it is not as much fun.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Casual 2021 melting season predictions
« on: February 19, 2021, 01:24:25 AM »
Someone always calls the start of the melting season too early. I would call it a prediction but it happens every year. Based on extent it is probably at least two weeks away and based on volume it is probably more like 6 weeks away. If anything the peak seems to shift later in the year as warming has to reach further north to start melting as the extent gets smaller.


With thicker Ice shifted south into the Buefort and thicker ice on the Russian side early extent melt will be slow but accelerate mid season. A much deeper Atlantic bite than usual is probable. In early season the ice will seem stronger than it is.

The ice at the end of this season will be shockingly fragile. Record low volume.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020/2021 freezing season
« on: February 15, 2021, 06:44:19 PM »
And yet when analyzed no correlation was found between low extent at maximum and low extent at minimum. A slight but probably unimportant correlation was found between high extent at maximum and low extent at minimum. Depending on weather Beaufort could melt this year. We still have 6 weeks or so of thickening ice but "Arctic Blasts" in North America mean warmer temperatures in the Arctic. Higher temperatures on top of the ice lead to smaller gradients which result in less ice forming. Thinner ice near the pole seems more worrisome. Early season melting may be slower but mid season melt could proceed quickly. IMO a record minimum at the end of the melt season is very possible. As always weather will decide.

The politics / Re: The Collapse Of America
« on: February 14, 2021, 06:39:10 AM »
LeftyLarry The story your trying to sell is the republican narrative from the 1980's. If I work hard do my job blah blah blah. Welcome to 2020 open your eyes a little. Maybe leave the comfort of your safe neighborhood once in a while. Most poor people are not poor because they are inferior human beings. Most are poor because they did not get the opportunities that you got. The misguided assumption is if they had the opportunity they would not be successful. Some wealthy people or even just well off people are great but some develop this attitude that they got to where they are "only" by working hard. That somehow no matter what their circumstances  when they started out in life they would have been successful. I think it so common because it makes it easier to justify treating people who are not as successful poorly.  You need opportunity to be able to move up as well. Increasingly the number of opportunities are shrinking.

The top 1% pretty much already have what they want giving them a little more generally means changing some digits in one of their accounts somewhere and does  little to stimulate the economy. What is Elon or Bezo going to do with an extra billion? They can already afford everything they want. So they will not recirculate it in the economy. They are too busy (with work and/or play) to do anything entrepreneurial with it. If they had some great investment opportunity they have already made it. So they add it to some stock account somewhere where it basically does nothing.

The politics / Re: The Collapse Of America
« on: February 13, 2021, 04:08:01 AM »

While the pie may be getting bigger the size of most individuals piece gets smaller so your notion that everyone gets more is wrong. Most people are fighting over crumbs. Sure you get a "raise" sometimes but those do not keep up with the official inflation numbers which are artificially low to begin with. The only group who is getting a real increase in wealth are the very wealthy. Small business owners continue to be pushed out by major corporations. Taxes are very regressive once you account for the notion most income for the extremely wealthy is not considered income. The system is set up like this all so the uber wealthy can squeeze more income from the rest of society. The can not even spend more money in their lifetime so the only benefit they get from it is bragging rights anyway. I do not suggest we take a wealthy persons money. We need to demand that super wealthy people stop stealing so much money from the rest of us. The pie in the US is plenty big to allow everyone a reasonable piece and still reward those who entrepreneurs and all the others society chooses to reward with extra. If everyone had the same size piece that would be bad too.
I do not want everyone to get the same size piece. But we are in absolutely no danger of that occurring in this country just the opposite right now the right has made most of the population into wage slaves. I believe nine individuals own more than the lowest half of the population. Eleven families own over 50% of the wealth in the US. Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Warren Buffet, Sam Walton and sons. Their are plenty of people who are just as talented and hard working who make far less. Tens of thousands or more worked to make that money and most received far less. When anyone of these super rich individuals does not have enough money to buy anything they want then your argument about the distribution of wealth might actually resonate. Until then please stop repeating inaccurate propaganda. 

Antarctica / Re: Halley base shut down and new crack in Brunt shelf
« on: February 12, 2021, 08:38:10 PM »
article on brunt ice shelf bathymetry

If you look at figure 4D it shows probable pinning points. They go a long way to explain why it has taken so long for Brunt Ice shelf to break off and why it is unlikely to float away anytime soon.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: February 12, 2021, 08:12:49 PM »
While it is certainly important to recognize what damage this 13 trillion dollar hole does to some countries. It is important to recognize some of the savings will make to consumers and more of the money will circulate more locally to the consumer. As with any other creative destruction their will be more benefit to spread around than loss. Hopefully as little as possible will concentrate in the hands of a few.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020/2021 freezing season
« on: February 12, 2021, 07:30:23 PM »
When another poster noticed how well a particular day foreshadowed end of season area I checked previous years on the same day. It was apparent no correlation existed. While thicker ice will take longer to melt shape is determined as much by thinner ice which is highly mobile in wind and current. The other factor seems to be location (mainly latitude) some areas seem to melt no matter what and others hold on.

It seems to me the noise level on extent based on wind and weather makes predictions similar to reading tea leaves or casting wands. I accept the general downward trend but much beyond that seems contrived. Average annual extent has more value IMO.

I think Volume is a more reliable measure with more a stronger signal in the signal to noise ratio. Unfortunately the only volume numbers I am aware of are Piomas. So far the most significant observation that I am aware from Polarstern was that Piomas does not accurately represent current arctic conditions. For all the argument defending Piomas Hycom seemed to be much more accurate.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: February 06, 2021, 11:17:25 AM »
As with anything else you will pay more for a more efficient heater. The cost was 20% higher for 96% efficient natural gas duel fuel heat pump compared to 80% efficient natural gas. 
I am not sure what your specifics are but duel fuel heat pumps are deceptive.
The first one I came across paired a 1.5 ton heat pump with a 5 ton natural gas heater. This is probably were most of the nonsense that they don't perform well in cold temperatures comes from. Obviously a 1.5 ton heater will fail to heat a house that needs a 5 ton heater.  They also perform poorly if they are undersized for the house. Proper sizing requires testing air flow into your house. Most people do not want to pay for this. Guessing low is cheaper install but higher energy bill. Guessing high is more expensive install. Other than new housing with decent energy efficiency rules it is just guessing without testing.  Most new units work down to -20C or -4F. The COP at -20C is 1.5. In climates that get colder or even get near that a unit that works in colder temperatures should be considered. The temperature rating is based on the coldest temperature a COP of 1.5 is still possible. So a unit rated at -30C would have a COP of 1.5 at -30C. It can deliver the rated BTU at its lowest temperature.

CO2 wise if all your electricity comes from renewable than a heat pump is best
if electricity comes from fossil fuels its trickier
for this unit any temperature of -12C or higher will use less natural gas (based on average COP for power plants using natural gas) if your power comes from coal the temperature will be much higher.

I did a cost analysis on natural gas @ $11.07/1000ft^3 (first retail price I found) The chart is for the 96% efficiency natural gas duel fuel heater above. The chart gives the effective natural gas price per outside temperature per kwh. if your electricity cost is cheaper than price from the chart at a given temperature it is cheaper to run a heat pump otherwise gas makes more sense. this dual fuel heat pump switches to natural gas at about 4.5 C for that to make sense economically your electricity price should be at least $0.32/kwh. Average us electricity price is $0.1319/kwh. For economic purposes that would mean it should not switch to gas until the temperature is at or below -19C. In Reality switching at these lower temperatures would only be appropriate if your heat pump was sized at the same tonnage as the natural gas furnace which as I explained is not the case.

These calculations change based on many factors if you want to provide your actual natural gas per unit cost (typical winter rate), price per kwh, tonnage and BTU rating and some information about the near coldest, typical winter low temperatures I will do the calculations for your situation. If you are willing to list a utility I can also find out about your energy mix.  I am willing to do this for a few people say up to 3.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: February 04, 2021, 06:50:16 AM »
Geothermal is rarely above 110-120 C to make electricity production possible (I know, because I have been involved with geothermal projects for a while). It is usually more suitable for heating houses and then greenhouses in a cascade design...
Geothermal temperature is a function of depth drill deeper and temperatures increase.

Up till recently one of the most critical limitations to geothermal was how close magma was to the surface. Areas with shallow magma were good for geothermal. The continued drive to extract oil from deeper and deeper locations has driven improved drilling technologies that make it possible and cheaper to drill much deeper. Further the ability to precisely control direction changes what is possible. Current geothermal technology requires drilling two or more holes and fracturing the rock between them. Water is pumped into one hole and hot water steam comes out of the other. New drilling technologies can reach as high a temperature as desired almost anywhere. The new wells can drill down until they reach the appropriate temperature then drill laterally for a sufficient distance to heat the water and a second well can be drilled to bring the water to the surface. So far this is all current technology nothing new to develop. This avoids fracturing the rock which is less likely to be a problem when their is not any oil around but still can create problems. The new development is they want to apply a coating to the drill hole which allows excellent heat transfer but does not allow any leaching of minerals into the water. This eliminates the extraction and need to test and dispose of any toxic substances. They are working on a pilot plant the real question is cost. They are hoping to bring the first one online for about 150 dollars a MWH and reduce costs from there. That should bring the cost in under new nuclear. New nuclear costs ignore nuclear waste disposal costs. 

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 31, 2021, 09:28:44 AM »
Some decisions were made to reduce peak power demand because thermal plants waste energy starting and stopping. Thermal generators run most efficiently at full power. Large electric users were encouraged to run off peak where practical. An aluminum plant I know of had a rate structure that made a day shift uneconomical. Electroplating aluminum is probably the most power intensive industry around. Municipalities were encouraged to increase street lighting. I am sure there are many other examples where night time demand was encouraged to flatten the curve. There is some flexibility in time of day usage. The real question is how much of night time demand can be shifted to the day. So on a grid with large amounts of solar and time of day charges night time demand will be reduced. Some usage will shift to the day. It seems probable that using electricity at night could be far more expensive. So baseload demand is not as rigid as some think it is.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 30, 2021, 03:35:40 AM »
Zenith. I think we can all agree the transition should speed up. Many who have been pushing for change a long time are frustrated at the slow pace so far and rightly so. Many of those people are disilusioned that it will continue to happen that slowly. Despite wind turbines and solar panels existing before Hanson predicted global warming around 1980 (1980 was congressional testimony? his paper preceded that) they were not competative enough until about 2008 for wind and 2014 for PV to appear on the grid in a significant enough volume to register on the same chart as other sources. Even then they were heavily subsidized. Think about that before those dates the did not even show up. Only in the last year or two have they truly been economically competitive with the other major power sources. Now renewable energy is starting to pick up. Now wind and solar produce more usable energy than coal. Usuable energy in the graph is primary energy after removing the wasted energy lost converting heat to usable energy. This was acomplished by applying the average heat factor for the fuel and time period to the fraction not used directly for heat. (it was a little more complicated but that was the basics) If the desired outcome is heat 100% of energy was considered usable even though it is more like 97%.

The first thing that I notice is renewables are producing almost 3 times as much usable energy as coal. This is true when the primary energy graph shows the same amount of renewable energy as coal. The growth in wind and solar since 2008 and 2014 respectivly provide more usable energy then coal currently does. Further renewables currently provide more usable energy than used in transportation. Nuclear is low carbon. Add it all up and almost half of usable energy is low carbon. At current (from 2013-2020) growth rates  all US primary energy is displaced in about 20 years. If we add 500 gw by 2030 that is enough energy to completely decarbonize the grid but may only result in 90-95% depending on how well storage develops.

land transports can work on battaries as well as short trips on boats or planes. For cargo the new car hauler wind powered boat is about 80% as fast of the fuel saving speed used by many container ships. For faster boats and planes ammonia can be used. It has been used with the critical reactions used in industry for a long time. It is easier to handle than hydrogen and reactions are well characterized and used for generations.
Pilot CO2 sequestering cement plants are in various stages from planning to limited operation.   
Steel makeing has pilot programs but It may take a little longer for the best solution.

Most electricity and energy can be transformed today if we just have the will. Yes it will take a while to replace all fossil fuel vehicles but not nearly as long as you seem to think. In a stable market their are more of the newest vehicles than older. People who drive more replace the vehicle more. Those skews numbers to newer vehicles. As more people drive electric fewer are willing to by gas cars as resale values fall faster for gas cars. As gas sales start to decline gas prices grow to replace lost volume. The cycle will move quickly by 2030 I think new fossil fuel vehicles will be hard to find. Many them will be melted for scrap before they are worn out.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 28, 2021, 03:43:21 AM »

I'm not a climate denier, nor is Smil.
I'm getting a faith based religious vibe going on in this thread, as opposed to a sceptical science based mindset. You'll need to look elsewhere for a heretic to burn.

If somebody posts articles about China's "renewable" energy builds they should off-set that with all the recent coal fired development, that will be around for decades, and all the new coal plants being built.

We don't live in the realm of angels, we live in a messy material world. Simple narratives are appealing though.
Your source is either greater than twenty years old or is intentionally deceptive. My guess is Smil was making a good point thirty years ago and it has become irrelevant.  If Smil wrote it and it is not about that old he is being deceptive. If your source is not that old than the source is being deceptive. The other possibility is your motivations. No matter who the original source of the deception is it is not as important as the fact that it is wrong.

Your argument is that PV modules require large amounts of fossil fuels based on the claim that processing by a particular method requires too much energy such that PV modules did not produce enough energy to make them. I responded that a method used twenty years ago used far less energy than that and it is highly probable the latest processes use even less energy. Now it is up to you to counter the argument if you can.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 27, 2021, 03:47:34 AM »
Now that November 2020 numbers are in I can Judge how close those hourly generation numbers came to official generation numbers. As I expected they were close the hourly numbers were equal to or lower than monthly numbers and only around a percent off. Looking at the raw hourly numbers there were a few data gaps that appear to be the source of any discrepancies.  The only other problem is the way they report biomass seems to have changed.

November capacity numbers for everything but wind were close. Solar added slightly more capacity while natural gas and coal lost slightly more then scheduled changes. Those differences were under 150 mw. Wind was the big surprise it was 3.5 gw under predicted expansion for November. I wonder if those were just delays because I read about some supply chain disruptions in wind.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 26, 2021, 10:27:43 PM »
abundance of elements in earths crust
Oxygen      46%
Silicon       28%
Aluminum   8.3%
Iron            5.6%

Solar cells are mostly silicon and aluminum

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 20, 2021, 06:24:08 AM »
Like this....
75% increase over the 4 years
depressingly straight line growth.

We need the curve
Growth in wind and solar.

The politics / Re: Biden’s Presidency
« on: January 19, 2021, 10:24:29 PM »
mitch mconnell: Capitol hill mob was 'provoked' by trump

See trump it sucks to be thrown in front of a bus by your allies. It is not like you came up with the idea but most people are more strategic about it. mconnell waited until you were no longer usefull to him instead of letting his ego make the decision. Hope to see you in prison soon.

The politics / Re: The Trump Presidency
« on: January 14, 2021, 05:08:50 AM »
I could give well reasoned thought out responses but that would be a waste of my time and yours. The partisan vitriol on both sides is already scripted. You could go online and read the liberal narrative if you want. Let me save you the trouble it depends on who you believe. Apparently you believe trump.

I had an acquaintance once. He spent some time in jail and when he came back he was different. Even if I saw something myself he would firmly and repeatedly deny something if he felt it benefited him. If I did not agree with him completely he would bring it up over and over again until I would get sick of him bringing it up again and I would agree. If you agreed with him every thing was great but disagree and he would badger and pester you until you agreed with him. He would repeat his lies over and over again. If he expected someone to  disagree with him about something in the future he would say bad shit about them first. He would tear them down anyway he could. He would turn on his "friends" at the drop of a hat He treated everyone like that.  Trump acts exactly like him. Its a "life skill" prisoners teach each other. Though in prison you might also get assaulted or killed for disagreeing. You can believe the narrative of a liar and bully if you want but I prefer more reality from politicians. Eventually even his allies get tired of him rewarding their loyalty with a kick in the ass for not sucking up to him fast enough. This is who you are supporting when you spread those lies.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020/2021 freezing season
« on: January 08, 2021, 04:03:45 PM »
A rebound is a change in direction. To most that implies a sustained change. While their is not a precise definition in this case that would be a major increase in ice.  A minor uptick does not qualify. Their is a well established trend of decreasing ice with some yearly variation. Minor variations are not a rebound to most people even if your views are different.

Antarctica / Re: Pine Island Glacier (PIG) Calving and Discussion
« on: January 06, 2021, 02:00:10 PM »
PIG looks to me to have accelerated from moving 12 m/day to 13m/day in the last year. That is a rough estimate from the graphs not the data.
That is not good at all.

Consequences / Re: Places becoming less livable
« on: January 04, 2021, 08:49:09 AM »
Fortress Charleston: Will Walling Off the City Hold Back the Waters?  
Officials in Charleston, South Carolina have endorsed a $2 billion plan to wall off the historic downtown from rising seas and surging storms. It is the latest in a growing number of extravagantly expensive seawalls and barriers being proposed to defend U.S. coastal cities [like New York City and Galveston, Texas].
We need a federal law requiring that all funding for such nonsense only come from those land owners protected by the wall. The decision to do it should be limited to those who will be required to pay for it. This will encourage the proper response of managed retreat.

Antarctica / Re: Pine Island Glacier (PIG) Calving and Discussion
« on: December 30, 2020, 01:20:49 AM »

If I understand things initially you were saying that t11 was contributing significant side pressure as shown in A with significant side pressure somewhere in the middle of the southern shear margin. With arrow length roughly represent pressure. I was thinking that elevation of the southern shear margin indicated the greatest side pressure was near the ice edge and was smaller further away from the ice edge. This is represented by shortening arrows. My diagram does not show that I didn't think this side pressure was very significant. After reading an article on the effects of damage on the southern shear margin that t11 is not (as I thought) providing significant to the main flow. When the pig was flowing slower the side pressure on the shear margin was such that the main flow did not exceed the strain rate. At that time the ice sheared at the shear margin. Something changed and the velocity of the main flow increased enough to exceed the maximum strain rate resulting in tears perpendicular to the shear margin. These tears became the damage zone. The damaged shear zone provides substantially reduced resistance to the main flow because the ice no longer has to shear ice on that side. Further the main flow ice on the shear margin side is free floating. A number of other parameters also influence the main flow rate but sorting out which is cause and effect is difficult.
An interesting article on the subject

The forum / Re: Merry Christmas everyone.
« on: December 26, 2020, 07:20:50 AM »
Merry Christmas all. ;D
The spirit of Christmas is giving to others but not always things and not always to people you know. Think random acts of kindness. Call people and tell them how much you appreciate them.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: December 22, 2020, 04:12:21 AM »
Carbon capture in the us is pretty much dead except the hype.
Of 22 projects in the US only 3 were attached to post combustion processes. Capturing 90% of CO2. I think I read somewhere that only one of the three is still in operation. The one in operation was only built for one of the burners of a coal plant. All 22 projects were planned, under construction or completed in 2014. All of those were completed by 2017 and no new plant sized projects have been announced since then. Eighteen of the projects were used primarily to increase depleted field oil extraction. Other than hype about what carbon capture could do I can't find information on the projects more recently than 2017. The more recent stuff just says how wonderful carbon capture could be. A number of the projects have closed already. The nineteen non post combustion projects make synthetic fuels from coal or natural gas. Sound familiar? It should so called "blue hydrogen" is carbon sequestration of natural gas rebranded to sound better. Blue hydrogen is unlikely to become cheaper than grey hydrogen ever because it is an extra step and the marketable uses for CO2 are small and the largest volume use by far is for the extraction of oil.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: December 18, 2020, 10:13:43 PM »
For all of its other flaws the one thing capitalism does best is balance supply and demand. It can result in short term pain but whoever acts to fix the imbalance first and/or completely receives excessive profits. Nothing and I mean nothing we use fossil fuels for is irreplaceable.

For fossil fuels I think peak demand will obviously constrain markets but peak supply seams unlikely to do so before we go extinct. One way or another someone will always provide supply as long as there is demand at the right price.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: December 17, 2020, 01:03:01 AM »
US solar capacity was approximately 69.6 GW at the end of September according to EIA. That includes behind the meter resources. Another 69 GW of capacity would be awesome. See it is picking up now that the economics have changed.

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