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Messages - Ken Feldman

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Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: July 29, 2020, 11:17:20 AM »
I don't get the (excitement about) DMI chart. If green line is the average, and I have seen it notably below during summer( posted here multiple times during recent years) somewhere around 0C line. Then for the green line to be average, there either must have been periods like this one, where we go above the line, or their chart is simply wrong, to put it easy.

The rest / Re: Astronomical news
« on: July 21, 2020, 11:54:04 PM »
The comet was visible last night here in Calif.  It was about halfway between the horizon and the Big Dipper at 9:45pm.  Kinda fuzzy with the naked eye but nice using binoculars. You only see so many comets in one lifetime. I can remember where I watched four memorable ones.
Quite visible in the Maine darkness. Snagged a few shots last night.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Bering Strait
« on: June 22, 2020, 08:14:45 PM »
Freegrass, There are no buoy arrays currently monitoring Bering inflow rates so you have to read as much as you can by Rebecca Woodgate . She authored a number of papers about a buoy array no longer being maintained.
 She has a 2018 paper on causes of variability in flow rates . “ Most notably, however, we find the increase in the Bering Strait throughflow is due to a strong increase in the pressure-head forcing of the flow, consistent through most of the year, reflecting the naturally longer timescales of the far-field forcing of the flow. ”

Here is another older link that includes Chukchi circulation 101

I didn’t think I wanted to post on the melting season .  Just read Woodgate .

Kate Marvel has spent most of her career studying cloud feedback (which has proven to be key w.r.t. the high values of ECS projected by the high-end CMIP6 model projections) and in the linked opinion piece she acknowledges a good amount of uncertainty about projections of future climate change; which from a risk point of view is not good:

Title: "Global Warming: How Hot, Exactly, Is it Going to Get?"

Extract: "All climate models simulate a changing planet in response to a changing temperature. And, increasingly, we know why they disagree on that final warming. In the climate models that warm more, low, thick clouds appear to be changing in ways that reduce their sun-blocking power. In the models that warm less, these changes are smaller.

So scientists have devoted their time to measuring clouds, understanding them, and figuring out how to represent them in climate models. This work has paid off: the range of uncertainty is now changing. Unfortunately, it’s increased. Climate models that use more modern techniques to simulate clouds are now projecting more warming: five or six degrees Celsius in response to a doubling of carbon dioxide. To put those numbers in context, four and a half degrees is the difference between now and the last Ice Age.

But the past is not the future, and we have good reason to believe that there are no analogues for the future into which we are hurtling."

She is quite skeptical to the unbelievably high ECS values of the majority of CMIP6 models, though:
"I find these high numbers hard to believe, but as a scientist it’s my job to find things hard to believe. My skepticism is rooted in clues from the planet’s past. At the height of the last Ice Age, temperatures were cooler and carbon dioxide levels lower. It’s hard to reconcile these measurements with extremely high climate sensitivities."

Science / Re: Where are we now in CO2e , which pathway are we on?
« on: May 10, 2020, 09:36:57 PM »
Said and done.
I recalculated the data, now turning from CO2 equivalents into Delta radiative forcing. I checked my calculations with the NOAA table. It worked well for CO2, CH4 and N2O. I didn't find any conversion formula for SF6, therefore I used a factor from the fourth IPCC assessment report where I found the factor 0.52 (*10-3) with which the SF6 concentration shall be multiplied to give its additional warming potential. As SF6 has a very low in concentration it does not really matter. The distribution among the gases are:
CO2 74 %
CH4 18 %
N2O  7 %
SF6   0.2 %
In addition I could add the years 1979-2001 for all four "NOAA gases" to my spread sheet. :)

I hope you are satisfied with the attached graph:
(linear fit again doesn't work perfectly due to the acceleration of the concentration)

Arctic sea ice / Re: When will the Arctic Go Ice Free?
« on: April 15, 2020, 04:44:19 AM »
I guess apocoalypticists are constantly seeing signs of imminent collapse. And have been since at least Ramses' time. I on the other hand, who am absolutely certain that our human civilisation will survive both Covid-19 and AGW, see amazing resilience and innovative adaptation everywhere.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 22, 2020, 05:29:24 PM »
If you don't cover your respiratory holes you are covidiot that will get others infected. Cover your respiratory holes! Keep your germs to yourself.

If you are living in a region where masks are rare and keep them for yourself instead of donating them to nurses, you are a way bigger covidiot!

You can stay at home. Nurses can't!

Consequences / Re: Global recession
« on: March 09, 2020, 01:23:22 PM »
If this thing collapses the fracking industry, i would count this as a net-positive.

Arctic sea ice / Re: 2020 Sea ice area and extent data
« on: March 02, 2020, 04:28:43 PM »
JAXA ARCTIC SEA ICE EXTENT: 14,386,278 km2(March 1, 2020)

- Extent gain in the last 2 days 91 k,

I think this is a 3 day gain. Leap day isn't in your spreadsheet, but I fear it's real.
My reality belongs to me, even though you are correct.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: February 24, 2020, 04:02:31 AM »
Alberta, Canada

Bill McKibben on Twitter: "Wait! News breaking that campaigners have seemingly won a signal victory against a giant proposed tarsands mine. The company says that 'investors' worried about climate make it impossible to proceed. What great organizing! #RejectTeck #stopthemoneypipeline”

Teck Resources Ltd. is pulling its application for the proposed Frontier oil sands mine.
The company, which on Friday released disappointing fourth quarter results, decided to pull the project following a board meeting, according to two sources with knowledge of the decision. The Globe and Mail is not identifying the sources as they were not permitted to speak publicly about the decision.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: February 09, 2020, 04:04:20 PM »
For all flat-earthers, around the globe. ;)

“How the power lines at Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana, USA simply and clearly show the curvature of the Earth”

Soundly Proving the Curvature of the Earth at Lake Pontchartrain
Photo below.
I always said these new electronic cameras produced distorted images. I know the surface of the water is flat and the pylons are dead straight.

Nice try but you can't fool me!

The politics / Re: Elections 2020 USA
« on: February 06, 2020, 05:12:57 PM »
Remember these names!

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 27, 2020, 07:56:51 PM »
Remember, the S in IoT stands for security!

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 24, 2020, 07:51:33 PM »
 A bit of good news from Australia.

Looks like coal is about to get a bit of a kicking

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: January 17, 2020, 08:27:01 PM »
We are far, far away from nondispatchable renewables reaching penetration with systemwide impact. By the time we get to even 50% penetration, storage prices will have dropped much further. And i see no problem keeping a few pet gas peakers or rampable nukes around to cover the times when intermittent renewable is insufficient. Or of course we can overbuild wind/solar by a factor of three or so and dump excess into carbon capture or fuel

Positing that a situation that may arise several decades in the future is a insuperable barrier to building renewables at full speed today is a lazy argument.


The rest / Re: SpaceX
« on: January 10, 2020, 11:09:47 PM »
It's amazing what gets in the way of a telescope.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: December 27, 2019, 08:53:24 PM »
Having spent a lot of time building a spreadsheet to use IEA's monthly country by country data on electricity production, they have discontinued updating that spreadsheet and put the data on a ig fat spreadsheet with separate sheets for each country without all the previous months tabulted.

So, all I can give you is their one page summary for electricity production for all OECD countries as at September 2019. Nevertheless, it shows that
- OECD countries in the year to date are making less electricity than last year (-1.2%),
- coal down by 12,8% (-260 TWH)
- solar + 12.8% and wind +12.5%, (altogether +100 TWH)
- natural gas + 4.%, (+90 TWH).

So the increase in solar+wind was more than the increase in natural gas use. What do I take from this?
In the OECD
- coal is not yesterday's news, it is 20th Century news.
- Natural Gas is already on the back foot.
- for the OECD, economics vs. "The Koch Connection" will decide the pace of the conversion to renewables,
- The key decisions on the future of renewables and CO2 emissions from fossil fuels is now in the hands of the non-OECD countries, and we are talking now mostly about India and China and probably increasingly Africa.

And what decisions are made there will be decided by their priorities - not by the OECD countries. 
Greta - go East, young woman.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: December 19, 2019, 04:23:24 AM »
The year-end spending bill in the US extended the tax credit for wind projects by one year.  The solar tax credit is down to 10% for developer-owned systems.

Just a slight correction :)

Solar tax credit = 26% in 2020
2021 = 22%
2022+ = 10%

A little annoyed at the wind extension, since my education and first career was in the energy industry in TX. Solar is perfect for TX because of all the high demand, hot days that align perfectly with solar's generation profile, but since it's a "competitive" market, and PPAs are still the main vehicle for helping reduce risk in renewable installations (companies buy certain amounts of output, and electricity is cheap in a competitive market so developers + finance are hesitant to just play the market with solar since there really isn't a whole lot of precedent on big projects. playing the market is typically called a "merchant" project), the PTC has made wind extremely cheap in TX. $18-20/MWh, solar can't beat that yet, so all the companies who just want the cheapest electricity they can get, decide to just sign PPAs for wind offtake instead. That's why TX is going to have about 30GW next year (or soon after), and a criminal amount of solar, considering it's the fastest growing electricity demand in the US and reserves have been tight in the summer.

Was hoping with the wind credit coming to an end you'd see some of the 50-60GW of solar in the interconnection queue get financed. But, probably be a trickle in 2020 now. Oh well, silver lining, when solar does boom in TX, and it will, there will be a ton of wind (wind actually generated 22% of all TX electricity in 1st half 2019, there was about 30% of that amount of wind under construction or advanced development a couple months ago), and solar will be even cheaper. Won't even need "storage" for storage sake for a while, and the sheer amount of wind will help cover more of the 24hr load.

One reason wind got extended was undoubtedly because fossil groups much prefer it. Classic generators and interest groups in TX, who pay the pencil pushers 200k in the capital to lobby, don't want to give up those high demand daytime hours where they overwhelmingly meet demand and soak up the reserve adders (they get $7,000-$9,500/MWh when reserves are tight during TX summer days). Wind typically generates early evening through the night. Why yes, solar would be perfect for all of these days, and as much as people love to talk about "capacity factors" as some sort of detriment, even the modules currently installed are pumping out 80%+ nameplate during 100+ degree days. But, if wind is cheaper for companies to buy electricity from, it's hard to get a bunch of solar installed, currently anyway (finance + developer risk). TX is pretty unique in its market, but I wouldn't be surprised if similar factors were at play in other states, like the midwest. You get to say you're not against renewables, you get to be "pro business" with companies buying cheap offtake from wind, and you get to prolong all the classic fossil generators most profitable hours (and by extension, the fossil suppliers + pipelines).

But, 2020 solar credit at 26% won't change much. 2021 at 22%, maybe. It wouldn't if we didn't have such high tariffs disabling us from taking advantage of the ridiculous changes that happen basically quarterly in China. Hard to say, because if the orange turd is defeated, obviously it changes the game. On that note, hopefully whoever it is realizes is semi-competent and realizes rooftop is much more expensive than it should be. I actually am in the works preparing for something like that, as an energy professional turned software/web guy. I'll let you guys know if it works out  ;D . I'll give you a hint, "customer acquisition" can be 20-30% of an installation's cost to generate profits, and who really wants to plan to have 3-4 solar idiots coming to their place, not knowing if they're full of crap or not? Seems like it'd be much easier to have one person come out, and handle it like a real estate agent, using their expertise to find you the best deal. Solar companies can then pay the "agent" saving $$ on customer acquisition, at no costs to the person getting them installed. Solar companies already pay commission to their own sales teams. Design a web portal, keep tally of what companies actually do good work, in the future when battery costs come down or they want an EV charger, you can help arrange that too. On that note, if you have kids, electrical engineering/electricians in the future will probably have more work than they can handle, especially when EVs are common and solar panels are 500-600W, weigh 10 pounds, cost about $.80c/watt to install, and can get a rooftop install done before lunch with just a couple of hands, batteries become more common, smart homes, HVAC + appliance adoption/replacement.

Oh, and Ken, i do peruse this thread every so often. One thing that is drastically underrated, is petrochemicals. These are massive sources of emissions. And yes, the electricity game is changing (very quickly in the big scheme of things, but not quickly enough unfortunately, the convergence and material, computing/modeling age we're entering is going to be very interesting indeed, as well as the bi-directional grid and demand response adaptation of the grid. btw if anyone's interested in something neat, watch "perovskite" development.), however, as countries develop like SE Asia, demand for a bunch of stupid crap goes up. Look around you right now, look in your cabinets, petrochemicals used in production of material goods are all over the place. Electricity generation and transportation are two huge areas of the energy industry, and it's great that we're seeing them develop, but industry + chemicals is also a massive emitter, and "developing countries" consumption of these are going to increase.

Hydrogen as a feedstock is a no-brainer (which is why it's getting attention, you can also inventory it and fire it off in turbines for extreme weather events), but genetically engineered biofuels and recycling are absolutely 100% going to have to evolve.  You can't create matter from nothing, after all. And this is a major challenge. I only mention this because you seem genuinely interested, so maybe you feel inclined to check updates on developments in this area. If there's a "promising" outlook for this sector, it's that genetic research is advancing pretty quickly, and the nanomaterial arena like interfaces, handling, observable data, is leading to a lot of very interesting and novel catalyst research. And the computing + modeling (ML/AI), with the breadth of research data is helping things a lot. But, these are "musts", and replacing countries' established petrochemical value chain that powers cheap material goods is going to be a heavy lift.

Anywho, sorry for the long diatribe, i might post more if people want. Here's something fun, increasing silicon wafer size -> goes into solar cell manufacturing is an easy way to increase power. The biggest producer marginally increased size and wanted everyone to adopt it, so the 2nd biggest producer said, "DIS.. IS.. CHINA", and increased that size about 30%, so there's going to be a 500W utility scale panel in Q1-Q2 next year, thinking they can take it up to 600W. Wafer wars? Other producers will probably go up to that size, so no telling what the biggest producer ends up doing. 500W bifacial panel is a good chunk of power though. If you're interested in solar the trends over the next year or two are going to be wafer size, and interest in "passivated contacts". The rate of scale and iteration in China is unreal. Just for reference, in 2018 the average module from top producers was about ~340W, and a small segment of bifacial (~8-15% gain). 2019 saw 415-430W and a bigger adoption of bifacial, and 2020 will see plenty of 500W+ and bifacial will be pretty standard, all while the entire industry basically shifted to a specific type, monocrystalline PERC. Production lines are basically turnkey 5GW-10GW now. And there's still headroom from better quality wafers and passivation, like TOPcon, HJT (these are what's considered passivated contacts, because they use an "n-type" wafer, which is of better quality, but equipment hasn't evolved to be more cost effective vs the current ridiculous throughputs of the "p-type" PERC products, which managed to corner a 100GW market in 12 months).

Okay, i'm done  :D

"Eye halve a spelling chequer
It came with my pea sea
It plainly marques four my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.

Eye strike a quay and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait a weigh.

As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite
It's rare lea ever wrong.

Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
It's letter perfect awl the weigh
My chequer tolled me sew."


Arctic sea ice / Re: MOSAiC news
« on: November 16, 2019, 01:49:41 PM »

So you've volunteered and lobbied like mad to be on the project - what an opportunity for a young scientist!

You've got a bit of Arctic experience - in the summer's 24 hour daylight.

But today,
- 2 months of darkness is getting to you,
- it's about -7 celsius outside, + windchill from 50 kmh wind,
- the ship is creaking and groaning,
- the ice is creaking, groaning, grinding, crack! a new lead.

The boss needs you to go on the floe to rescue some gear before it heads 4,000 metres down.
The polar guards have said the bears are a bit active today - lots of holes in the ice means a better chance of getting a seal.

Life is wonderful.

Stuff that for a game of soldiers.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: November 15, 2019, 12:16:20 PM »
South Australia household batteries keeps lights on in Queensland after coal unit fails

The outage at Queensland’s Kogan Creek coal power station happened when the unit –  the biggest single unit in Australia – tripped, reducing supply by 784MW, and causing the power system to drop well below the normal level of system frequency.

The VPP detected the frequency drop and immediately injected power into the grid from residential batteries installed on SA Housing Trust properties across the state, contributing with other providers to return the system back to normal, said South Australia energy minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan in a separate statement.

Well that was not quite what i expected from the headline.

I don´t think that really holds.

We don´t feel specific temperatures but we are comfortable or not and that depends on what you wear but also on activity. Also we spend loads of time indoors.

What i personally think of as more important:

The rate of change is rather quick. It is really noticeable especially if you are old enough...and lived in the right location.

1986 was the last of the years under the long term average global temperatures.
Some of the late 70ies early 80ies winters were cold and long in the Netherlands.
I really hated winter and especially the end of it because snow is fun when it is new and it is crisp but after a couple of months you had enough. In some years it was really cold well into the end of march, too cold to just go play outside. At the end of april you actually could do that.

And that was the long term norm. ´Maart roert zijn staart , april doet wat hij wil. En in mei leggen alle vogels een ei.´ This translates as ´March turns its tail (can be like winter or spring)  April does what it wants (variable spring weather) and in May all the birds lay their eggs.

This all changed. I have seen baby chickens in february when the weather was like spring. Some of the last years there is hardly a trace of winter with very little days with snow or ice on the ground or the canals.

If you are 21 now you remember weather from lets say 2004 and on , 31 1994 and on.
But you have no experience of what the normal was like.


Now this should mean that the older people are even more convinced that something is off.

I have not done a survey i just know a bunch in the boomer age range or slightly younger.

Do they clue in that something is off. Yes most of them.

But at that age direct action is not an option. Many of them thrust the governments or someone to fix it. The ones that will go to marches are the ones that already were into it ages ago but they are but a few.

Sometimes people are emotionally invested otherwise. My dad is an engineer who worked on all kinds of stuff including engines and when i talked to him about engine efficiency for ICE cars and the transition to EVs all he sees is a thread to ICEs. Can´t really talk to him about the general thing to him. It does not register, then again he does not go outdoors ever which is a waste since there is so much beauty everywhere.

And other other life stages are focused on their own challenges. Working at 50 trying to not be made redundant because you need the money to put the kids through college etc.

So i would say premise people are more aware when more exposed. Farmers are feeling the effects all over the world. Office workers maybe not so much.

Then it depends on life history. Some people are more aware of what is out there even when it is not on TV while others are blind to this.

It is similar to production lines. People think oh nice garment at that price level but they usually do not wonder who picked the cotton, where they coloured it or where the runoff of that process went nor who sewed it together at what working conditions.

This is the consumerism we have been thought and it is because we are usually so far from any specific product except as we hunt it in the wild aka the shop shelf.

This same blindness extends to global warming.
And it is hard to think of the proper scenarios if you never read about it and so many people haven´t because there are more interesting soccer games or celeb divorces or foreigners to worry about all the time.

Science / Re: Trends in atmospheric CH4
« on: November 07, 2019, 05:58:43 AM »
NASA Flew Gas Detectors Above California, Found ‘Super Emitters’

Over the course of three years, NASA flew a plane carrying gas-imaging equipment above California and made a discovery that surprised even the state’s own environmental agencies: A handful of operations are responsible for the vast majority of methane emissions.

In a report published in Nature on Wednesday, scientists estimated that 10% of the places releasing methane -- including landfills, natural gas facilities and dairy farms -- are responsible for more than half of the state’s total emissions. And a fraction of the 272,000 sources surveyed -- just 0.2% -- account for as much as 46%.

For example, of the 270 surveyed landfills, only 30 were observed to emit large plumes of methane. However, those 30 were responsible for 40% of the total point-source emissions detected during the survey.

NASA’s aircraft made dozens of flights across 10,000 square miles from 2016 through 2018. Landfills accounted for 41% of the source emissions it identified, manure management 26% and oil and gas operations 26%.

The team identified more than 550 individual point sources emitting plumes of highly concentrated methane. Ten percent of these sources, considered super-emitters, contributed the majority of the emissions detected. The team estimates that statewide, super-emitters are responsible for about a third of California's total methane budget.

The results are already effecting change. The survey revealed four incidents of leaking natural gas distribution lines and one leaking liquefied natural gas storage tank, which operators confirmed and repaired.

Riley M. Duren et al. California's methane super-emitters, Nature (2019)

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: November 06, 2019, 11:41:59 PM »
Geronocrat, From the energy ca gov energy almanac you sourced. “Most electricity from PV is not counted into the total electricity production of the utility companies as the solar panels are mounted on individual homes or businesses.” So there is the solar being generated from ~ one million homes that have solar PV on their roofs not getting counted in the PV production numbers quoted + PV from businesses.
 The way to get renewables to power up the expansion in electric vehicles is to push home solar up
5 kW for each new electric car parked in the garage. Some study on how many new electric vehicles have most or all their electric supplied by behind the meter home solar systems would be an interesting read.
 Here is some numbers on ca. solar PV

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: November 03, 2019, 09:21:54 PM »
For The First Time in 137 Years, UK Got More Power From Renewables Than Fossil Fuels
We've just hit another major milestone in the shift towards renewables: in the third quarter of 2019, the UK generated more electricity from renewable sources than it did from fossil fuel power stations, an industry report says.

If confirmed, that means the combined energy produced from wind farms, solar panels, biomass and hydropower plants (29.5 terawatt hours) exceeded the amount of energy produced from coal, oil, and gas (29.1 terawatt hours).

While the data needs to be independently verified, let's hope it signals a tipping point for the future of the country's energy production – this is something that hasn't happened since the UK's first public electricity generating power station opened in 1882.

Across July, August and September, renewable energy production accounted for 40 percent of the UK's electricity, with fossil fuels (mostly gas) just behind at 39 percent. Of the remaining 21 percent, the majority came from nuclear power stations.
However, there is a caveat worth flagging: 12 percent of that renewable energy came from burning biomass and wood pellets, which don't meet the strictest definition of renewables – regrowing forests to suck up the carbon dioxide produced can take some time.

Less than 10 years ago, the fossil fuel contribution to the UK electricity market was around four-fifths, but the situation is quickly changing. Back in May, the country went six days without burning any coal at all – and indeed coal-powered plants are due to be phased out completely by 2025. ...

Antarctica / Re: What's new in Antarctica ?
« on: October 30, 2019, 11:01:45 PM »
Two Million-Year-Old Ice Provides Snapshot of Earth's Greenhouse Gas History

In a paper published today in Nature, a group of scientists used air trapped in the bubbles in ice as old as 2 million years to measure levels of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane.

... During the past one million years the cycle of ice ages followed by warm periods occurred every 100,000 years. But between 2.8 million years ago and 1.2 million years ago, those cycles were shorter, about 40,000 years, and ice ages were less extreme.

They found that the highest levels of carbon dioxide matched the levels in warm periods of more recent times. The lowest levels, however, did not reach the very low concentrations found in the ice ages of the last 800,000 years. ...

Yuzhen Yan, Two-million-year-old snapshots of atmospheric gases from Antarctic ice, Nature (2019)

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: October 27, 2019, 02:06:17 AM »
I would not take IEA as having any actual  expertise in anything to do renewable energy.
Their past performance in predicting renewable growth has been abysmal .
That is not just a one off failure.  That is year after year they have underestimated renewable market penetration. This repeated failure suggest that they have no competence at all and structural issue that prevent them developing a team capable of making meaningful projections.

If you want expert go to Bloomberg new energy not perfect but far more realistic.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: October 25, 2019, 05:05:51 PM »
Senator Schumer Proposes $462 Billion Car Swap—Gas for Electric

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is moving Democrats' climate talk to where the rubber meets the road, proposing a $462 billion trade-in program to get millions of Americans out of climate-damaging gas vehicles and into electric or hybrid cars over the next decade.

Schumer said the "proposal to bring clean cars to all of America" would be a key part of climate legislation by Senate Democrats. The injection of government-supported spending for electric cars "could position the U.S. to lead the world in clean auto manufacturing," he said.

... The New York Democrat's plan would give American car buyers thousands of dollars each to trade in gas-burning cars for U.S.-assembled electric, hybrid or hydrogen cell cars. Lower-income households, and buyers of cars with American-made parts, would get extra credits.

About $45 billion would go to boost availability of charging stations and other electric car infrastructure. And $17 billion would help automakers increase their production of electric cars, batteries and parts.

He didn't outline how he would pay for the plan.

I wonder if "quality polls" will become less relevant. Monmouth polls (which 538 rates A+) are done exclusively by phone, with the majority being landline. That will obviously under-represent younger demographics, who generally do not answer unknown callers on their cellphones. I don't know anyone under 40 with a landline.

In Monmouth's most recent New Hampshire poll, only 29% of respondents were under 50, and only 12% were under 35. Those percentages may have roughly correlated with actual voter turnout in past elections, but the under 50 vote was the majority in the 2018 midterms. The truth is probably somewhere between the "quality" approved DNC list and online polling like Change Research. If so, it's a shame that the DNC process is discounting younger generations in its rather un-democratic selection process.

The politics / Re: Elections 2020 USA
« on: October 01, 2019, 12:07:01 AM »
I got the ice polls correct this year so maybe I can take another guess and make a trifecta.

He gets impeached ! There will be enough key figures involved willing to cooperate. Their testimony is solid and deadly. The Senate can’t hide without risking a Senate turnover. We will see a Pence President because I believe the republicans can save him ,that is not impeach him, even if the dems do include him in the dragnet.

Walking the walk / Re: Meat Consumption and Global Warming
« on: September 19, 2019, 05:41:57 PM »
Quote from: Tom_Mazanec
... I have used up my New York Times free articles for the month. I have to take the quote from the Daily Climate listing now.
Note to Tom:

You don't 'HAVE' to do anything.

This is a voluntary forum for scientist and citizen-scientist to share data, information, knowledge, and sometimes wisdom. It's not some OCD competition.

The object is to have more signal than noise.

Flooding the forum with 40 posts (yesterday) or 30 (the day before) does not improve the S/N ratio.

Skim less; read more.

Perhaps, distill those 40 posts to 5 that haven't already been discussed or posted by someone else.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: September 18, 2019, 09:34:29 PM »
It’s a scary thought. Here’s an even scarier one: Suppose the United States reached this moment without ever having taken advantage of the innovative oil and gas production technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” which enabled drillers to free up previously inaccessible hydrocarbons from shale formations in North Dakota and Texas, among other places.

I guess Americans - and much of the Western World would have needed to conserve energy - or pay through the nose for it.
The Horror!

Unless something extraordinary happens it looks like more than 50% of the voters got this poll right. This applies even if extent drops another 250K.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2019 melting season
« on: September 12, 2019, 11:55:14 PM »

This makes a big assumption - that system behavior will be consistent as we reach that limit.

Based on the surprising end of season slowdown this year, I'm not sure that's safe. I'm still mulling hypotheses for what we are seeing and why the dynamics are not falling more in line with your assumptions. 

"Blue Ocean" is a boundary condition, and the retreat of the ice to where it stands now - post 2007 - suggests to me that the dynamics for the ice north of 80 are significantly different from those of the peripheral seas, which is were most significant visible changes in the Arctic have unfolded.

This is my thought too; that there isn't enough insolation to melt the ice N of 80°N with the current FDD thickness increase, even in a sunny year. To melt the ice there has to be less FDDs. Increased oceanic heat isn't going to effect the high Arctic sea ice while vertical mixing is prohibited by the halocline. The latter isn't likely to disappear completely because of the input of fresh water from rivers and ice melt. Mixing can occur during big storms, but they seem to be rare in the summer. If that's the case, then seeing the high Arctic ice free is likely to require a warm, cloudy winter as well as a bright summer.

Did I just state the obvious?

Arctic sea ice / Re: When will the Arctic Go Ice Free?
« on: September 10, 2019, 07:09:07 PM »
And just to remind you - my involvement in this discussion started when somebody tried to explain the percieved stall since 2010 (or whenever) based on a totally erroneous posting, and since I pointed out that a) there was no stall, and b) the explanation was erroneous anyway, a lot of people have used a lot of effort to convince me of the mechanisms behind this stall that they claim is there for all to see.

But - my graphs show a steady decline since 2010 or whatever. No stall. As I stated very clearly:

I suspect that the "someone" was me so I would like to clarify what I said. At no point did I suggest a stall in melt. The melt continues apace with the condition of the ice looking progressively worse every year. Peripheral seas no longer freeze over as they have in the past (Barents, Bering) while interior seas melt out earlier and freeze later. The pack overall is more fragmented and mobile with far less MYI and no prospect for the oldest MYI to return. The ice at minimum is generally more disperse due to the higher mobility.

What I have stated and will continue to maintain is that the decline in SIE at minimum has slowed over the past decade. I have previously provided some suggested reasons for this behavior. Since someone (I don't know who) has defined an ice free Arctic or BOE as less than 1 million km2 of extent at minimum, this slow down in the rate of decline at minimum is relevant to the question posed by this thread. When will the Arctic go ice free?

For the record, IMHO...

  • We will not go ice free in the coming decade.
  • Our 1st BOE will occur some time between 2030 and 2040.
  • After the 1st BOE we will see a rebound in SIE at minimum for the same reasons that SIE at minimum has slowed recently. We will not immediately see BOE's occur every fall after the 1st occurs.

Policy and solutions / Re: Batteries: Today's Energy Solution
« on: September 09, 2019, 06:04:04 PM »
The Union Of Concerned Scientists has done a detailed, Cradle-to-Grave study of the emissions of EVs vs. ICE cars — mining and manufacturing, to driving and disposal.  Looking only at mining/manufacturing ignores the much higher contribution of ICE vehicle emissions over their lifetime.  They are literally created to pollute.

Life Cycle Electric Vehicle Emissions (2015) | Union of Concerned Scientists

When looking at the full life cycle of the vehicle, electric cars are cleaner and greener than their conventional gasoline-burning counterparts. While true that building an electric car produces more emissions than a conventional car, mostly because of battery production, these emissions are dwarfed by those saved over the driving life of the EV. In fact, they are offset in most cases in the first year of driving by emissions reductions from normal operation and use of the vehicle.

Arctic sea ice / Re: 2019 sea ice area and extent data
« on: August 30, 2019, 07:26:34 AM »
Since Juan is out ... my humble submission of an less complete pinch hit...:

You beat out a grounder for a hit!

Policy and solutions / Re: Space colonization
« on: August 28, 2019, 11:20:26 PM »
What would be the cost of this huge number of satellites? For a fraction of that cost, the whole world can be switched to solar and wind energy with batteries, and solve the root cause of warming.

Policy and solutions / Re: Space colonization
« on: August 28, 2019, 04:03:45 PM »
Maybe we should try becoming carbon neutral instead.

Arctic sea ice / Re: When will the Arctic Go Ice Free?
« on: August 11, 2019, 01:40:53 PM »
Just interested to know if anybody is like-minded in their opinions.

So 10 years after the 1st BOE at minimum, you expect the Arctic to become perennially ice free?

Could be mistaken but others have said seawater begins to freeze at a temp of -2.0 C. Below is a chart that models the temps in the Arctic above 80 degrees. (Yes. I know this chart has serious issues and many here feel it is useless but I have nothing else to reference due to my limited knowledge.) In the long dark polar night, while temps are warmer in recent years, they still reach -20.0 C to -30.0 C degrees. Could you explain to me how seawater won't freeze in these conditions?

My very unscientific opinion? The Hudson Bay freezes every winter after melting out completely. We should expect the same with the Arctic Ocean.

Science / Re: Has climate sensitivity been under-estimated?
« on: August 01, 2019, 11:56:13 PM »
Interesting timeline of published ecs estimates at

Perhaps worth noting that what the models show isn't necessarily what the final best estimate range is.

Early results suggest ECS values from some of the new CMIP6 climate models are higher than previous estimates, with early numbers being reported between 2.8C (pdf) and 5.8C. This compares with the previous coupled model intercomparison project (CMIP5), which reported values between 2.1C to 4.7C. The IPCC’s fifth assessment report (AR5) assessed ECS to be “likely” in the range 1.5C to 4.5C and “very unlikely” greater than 6C.

2.8-5.8 is certainly up from 2.1 to 4.7. More work needed before we know how much that pushes up the 1.5-4.5C likely range.

Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: July 30, 2019, 09:47:15 PM »
We do not need nuclear power.

We know that a mixture of wind, solar, with battery & hydropower etc backup plus perhaps a bit of over-build the complete replacement of fossil fuel electricity generation is possible in a cheaper and more timely manner than nuclear.

How many times have we gone through this on this forum?

Arctic sea ice / Re: When will the Arctic Go Ice Free?
« on: July 28, 2019, 04:22:51 PM »
For the free full text try this:

(NB: In general, use Google Scholar to search for free versions.)

Arctic sea ice / Re: When will the Arctic Go Ice Free?
« on: July 25, 2019, 09:25:43 AM »
You do know that there are no "sources" of cold?

Of course there are sources of cold. If I have a glass of warm water and I need a source of cold I just go get some ice and throw it in.

OK, while creative, not really A Thing.

You don't really have "sources of cold" any more than you have "sources of vaccuum".  What "cold" indicates is a difference in enthalpy - net heat content components of a system, and thanks to the laws of thermodynamics heat will attempt to equilibrate across it - thus your ice cubes melting. 

There wasn't any "cold source" here, just the heat of varying levels being redistributed.

This does bring me to a point which I feel people have been overlooking.  It unfortunately is one for which we probably have the least instrumentation for - net enthalpy of the Arctic ocean and surrounding seas.

*This* will be the key factor in the tipping point.

Insolation year over year is virtually constant.  How much heat is retained or lost is a factor of our GHG levels and import from outside the Arctic during the refreeze.  There is in fact a calculable maximum possible loss which can be determined via calculation of black body radiation per square meter.  That can go up, but only if the temperature of the atmosphere goes up.

Further, once you have ice, and then snow cover, the rate of heat flow out of the ocean goes down again. Temperature drops and decreases the flow out of the atmosphere - or the heat source changes by way of the thermal gradient driving more import of heat into the arctic via broad scale convective atmospheric circulation from lower latitudes.  When that happens - as we've been starting to see, possibly as far back as the 1990s - the imported heat replaces the losses which normally would come out of the ocean, and enthalpy increases. 

So it has been for several years also that I've started becoming a much closer student of winter refreeze and weather conditions, and to a lesser degree have been trying to better understand the changing dynamics of current and salinity.  I have a very long way to go.

These I think more than summer melt are the real players - behind the scenes, pulling the levers of the secondary stuff we focus a lot of our attention on.

So again, when a BoE occurs, a great deal else will need to have happened to make it possible.  The net sum of those changes will already be driving, have been driving climate changes which are not reversible without our finding a way to dump petajoules of heat out of the ecosystem. 

The state of the ice will be a side effect of that, and while no doubt a BoE will help dump more heat into an already overwhelmed system, it will be stacking it on top of an already monumental pile.  Absent of this any BoE is simply an anomaly which the system would swallow and then rapidly return to where it was previously. 

In a small way, that is *exactly* what we saw in 2012.  We were all convinced in 2013 that the End Was Nigh, and there were lots of scary moments which ended in... a bounce back.  The heat content of the system at the time is exactly why that happened.  If the area loss was the key to tipping the system over, that should have done it, but it didn't.  To be clear, I'm not trying to minimize the cascading effect of 2012, which was huge, but rather to put it into what I think is correct context.  In that regard, I think if we want to understand the most key drivers behind 2019, we need to go well past 2012, probably at least another decade, possibly two in order to find the build up which led us to where we are now.

So right now you are witnessing the history of previous winters playing out.  There is excitement, driven in part by weather, much as in 2012, but again, now as then I think it is the heat the system started with in May that is the hidden power behind what is playing out now.

(Edit:  Looking for papers on Arctic Ocean heat content, I found this, which helps partially illustrate where I was trying to take my point.


Arctic sea ice / Re: When will the Arctic Go Ice Free?
« on: July 24, 2019, 02:22:57 AM »
We have been through this. And we have been through this exhaustively.

The ideas are simple.

1) the models we have are largely based on the quasi steady state conditions that man evolved under, and specifically the last two centuries of data. They are not great for predicting the precise effects of transition to a new state in conditions we have never observed. Translation: Real world... the models dramatically under predict the speed and consequences of the transition. Real world... the models fail to fully incorporate key aspects of the actually quite straght forward thermodynamics. Earth's climate is a heat engine. Remove the cold pole and the heat engine dies. With that the atmospheric and oceanic driving forces either die or are greatly altered - rapidly...  Real world... no model yet has been able to adequately model the known paleoclimatic conditions of the equable climate system that results.  But we do know what that looks like. And it is radically different from the state know now. We also know that a rapid transition from one to the other is fatal for most creatures on earth. The PETM involved a different though similar transition and serves as one of our best unserstood exemplars. Real world... the IPCC has grossly under estimated the speed and severity of the transition to our great peril, and simultaneously painted roses cheeks on how hard it is to prevent this transition. It is now long since too late.

2) the prove it to me, and until you do it isn't true, argument is a loser. That's not how things work. Sadly it all too often is how humans work, with tragic consequences.

As to papers...  here is a non-representative sample of a few to highlight both some of the issues and the extent of time we've known these things. These do not form a complete argument. They are only examples. For full citations, check the papers.

Nonlinear threshold behavior during the loss of Arctic sea ice

A Numerical Study of Sea Ice and Ocean Circulation in the Arctic

Future abrupt reductions in the summer Arctic sea ice

Some results from a time‐dependent thermodynamic model of sea ice

Fast Response of the Tropics to an Abrupt Loss of Arctic Sea Ice via Ocean Dynamics

So, what can we glean from these handfull of citations?

1) the transition is chaotic and non linear with massive impacts on oceanic and atmospheric circulation
2) the transition is abrupt, though non-linearities soften that slightly. The first day, week or month of BOE isn't likely to cause the collapse. But, it won't take much more than that to cause an abrupt state transition in both the atmospheric and oceanic circulation with cataclysmic impact on the Earth's biota, fauna, and us. The transition is likely to take about 3-8 years. And with the beginning imminent in 3-8 years itself, that puts us ~11 years +/- ~6 years from that transition to a radically different system. Those are my guesstimates.
3) the consequences of that rapid transition quickly flow through the Earth's oceans, atmosphere, and biosphere with effects in the tropics in ~25 years. So ~36 years +/- ~ a decade from now. That is an absolute blink in geologic time.
4) we are in deep trouble. If you aren't terrified you aren't paying attention, or you just don't care, or you are in fear and simple blind denial. Take your pick.


I haven't fully read all of these papers only done a quick review. Also I am not an academic or expert, just interested in climate modelling and Arctic sea ice. I could easily be misinterpreting the papers. Feel free to correct me if/where I am missing or misinterpreting the papers.

Nonlinear threshold behavior during the loss of Arctic sea ice” is a 2008 paper on nonlinear behaviour. It’s abstract includes:
“the stabilizing thermodynamic effects of sea ice mitigate this when the Arctic Ocean is ice covered during a sufficiently large fraction of the year. These results suggest that critical threshold behavior is unlikely during the approach from current perennial sea-ice conditions to seasonally ice-free conditions. In a further warmed climate, however, we find that a critical threshold associated with the sudden loss of the remaining wintertime-only sea ice cover may be likely.”

So it is saying no non-linearity prior to a BOE but there may well be some considerable time after. There is little indicating how large a ‘sufficiently large fraction of the year’ is except perhaps for this passage:
“However, perennially ice-free Arctic Ocean conditions occur in 2 of the model simulations after CO2 quadrupling. Neither of the models exhibits an abrupt transition when the annual minimum (September) ice cover disappears, but after further warming 1 of the models abruptly loses its March ice cover when it becomes perennially ice free (26). The physical mechanism presented here may help explain this abrupt simulated loss of March ice following the gradual simulated loss of September ice.”

I think we are several decades if not 100+ years away from losing April Ice cover. Similarly CO2 quadrupling is also a long way off. That doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen earlier but the implications of what is included in the paper seems much more 'well after a BOE' than the timeline Sam seems to indicate.

Also note IPCC report saying

a substantial number of pre-AR5 studies have found that there is no indication of hysteresis behavior of Arctic sea ice (Holland et al., 2006; Schroeder and Connolley, 2007; Armour et al., 2011; Sedláček et al., 2011; Tietsche et al., 2011; Boucher et al., 2012; Ridley et al., 2012). In particular, the relationship between Arctic sea-ice coverage and GMST is found to be indistinguishable between a warming scenario and a cooling scenario. These results have been confirmed by post-AR5 studies (Li et al., 2013; Jahn, 2018)

That is more studies, generally later than 2008. This might be an indication that IPCC is downplaying possibility of nonlinear behaviour, or maybe the later studies are considered more reliable or maybe IPCC were aware of it but since it is so far into future, well past 1.5C or 2C of warming, it was appropriate to downplay the possibility in such a report. Different people might reach different conclusions depending how much esteem they think IPCC deserves.

A Numerical Study of Sea Ice and Ocean Circulation in the Arctic
A 1986 paper. Abstract seems to say Arctic sea ice is vulnerable to CO2 increases but not to river discharge. I don’t think anyone in this forum is saying that CO2 does not have effect on Arctic sea ice level. So I am a bit puzzled as to why this paper has been included.

Future abrupt reductions in the summer Arctic sea ice
“find that abrupt reductions are a common feature of these 21st century simulations. These events have decreasing September ice extent trends that are typically 4 times larger than comparable observed trends. One event exhibits a decrease from 6 million km2 to 2 million km2 in a decade, reaching near ice‐free September conditions by 2040.”

This model had about 6m km^2 extent in 2000. The extent remained constant til about 2025 then reduced to 2m km^2 in a decade. It then levels out having about 1m km^2 in 2050 and continues to have some ice in September off and on up to 2100.
Yes 4m km^2 loss in a decade is fast. 2007 to 2012 lost less than 1m km^2 in 5 years so twice as fast as that. Yes that is rapid. If it is a lot less rapid before and after, is this really hugely significant? If we jump down from 4m km^2 to 0 in the next decade and then start seeing huge consequences of the BOEs perhaps it could be, but continuing very small amounts of Sept sea ice extents for 50 years after we get down to 1m km^2 does not seem to back up what is being suggested.

Some results from a time‐dependent thermodynamic model of sea ice
A 1971 paper, one dimensional model. Early days of modelling. Umm what are you taking from this? Wouldn’t you rather results from more recent models?

Fast Response of the Tropics to an Abrupt Loss of Arctic Sea Ice via Ocean Dynamics
Compares a simple slab ocean model to a more dynamic model. Concludes “This fast response indicates that ocean dynamics needs to be represented for an accurate picture of the global impact of Arctic sea ice loss.”

So it would be nice if we could get away with a simpler model but we can’t. The more realistic dynamic model has much smaller changes in SST in Northern Hemisphere and precipitation in most places. SST increases in Southern hemisphere are more pronounced. The strong SST warming pattern in eastern equatorial pacific looks quite El Nino like so could be getting stronger or longer lasting El Ninos. Reduced precipitation over Amazon might be rather concerning even if it is hatched indicating not statistically significant.

My notes seem rather different from the conclusions Sam seems to have gleaned.

Perhaps someone can point out a few of the things I have missed from these papers and explain why our notes are so different.

Sorry the post is so long.

Arctic sea ice / Re: When will the Arctic Go Ice Free?
« on: July 22, 2019, 02:24:12 PM »
What El Cid and Crandles are doing is a version of "no warming since 1998".  Their arguments are not a product of science or logic. Their arguments are a product of freezing fear that stops them from seeing evidence that confirms their fears.

If they are advocating no action against climate change and no alarm, they better have a damn good case, because the evidence is reason for great alarm.

I am not advocating no action against climate change. I think we should be doing a lot more than we are doing.

In arguing for more action, I believe the case should be sound. There is plenty of good reason for more action without unduly hyping uncertainty and threats are are likely quite mild and/or highly unlikely.

Hyping uncertainty and/or threats and/or the possible timeline for things that are not really considered very serious, just gives conservatives reason to dismiss environmentalists as wide eyed, gullible, tree hugging, alarmist fools.

Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: June 27, 2019, 06:49:20 PM »
This interview is from 2015, so things will have moved on quite a bit from then:

What is the future of baseload generation in such a system? “That’s asking the wrong question”, says Holliday. “The idea of baseload power is already outdated. I think you should look at this the other way around. From a consumer’s point of view, baseload is what I am producing myself. The solar on my rooftop, my heat pump – that’s the baseload. Those are the electrons that are free at the margin. The point is: this is an industry that was based on meeting demand. An extraordinary amount of capital was tied up for an unusual set of circumstances: to ensure supply at any moment. This is now turned on its head. The future will be much more driven by availability of supply: by demand side response and management which will enable the market to balance price of supply and of demand. It’s how we balance these things that will determine the future shape of our business.”

Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: June 26, 2019, 08:54:16 PM »
And since there is no need.......
And that is the final and conclusive point.

There is no need for nuclear power. So why do it?

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: June 04, 2019, 05:30:34 PM »
SH, not great news, but not awful either:

From the link: Global coal demand in the next five years is set to be stable, with declines in United States and Europe offset by growth in India and other Asian countries ­– though China, the main player in the global coal market, will see a gradual decline in demand. In terms of the total energy mix, coal’s contribution will decline from 27% to 25%, mainly due to growth of renewables and natural gas.

A few years ago, the mainstream forecasts all argued that coal demand would continue to expand extremely rapidly for the foreseeable future. I suspect that the forecasts continue to overestimate rather than underestimate demand for coal in 5 years' time.

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