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Messages - Sebastian Jones

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Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: January 05, 2018, 08:24:43 PM »
I'm enamoured of the Micro Nukes sometimes proposed for powering remote Arctic communities. Power plants similar to those used in nuclear submarines or modern icebreakers. An expensive proposition, but powering them now is expensive plus no greenhouse gases with the Micro-Nuke option.
The US had one in Greenland I believe, & I've read that the Russians are exploring the concept.

Both Yukon and Alaska were approached a few years ago by nuclear boosters who wanted to sell us what they euphemistically called nuclear batteries. These were to be - 1-5 MW reactors containers that would be buried safely underground at our off grid communities where they would provide clean, silent, emission free electricity for 20 years, at the end of this period, they would be removed and replaced.
It turned out that they wanted to install them in the remote north because they were untested and so that if if anything bad happened, damage would be minuscule- that is if you did not live there.
I understand that the Americans have yet to clean up their Greenland nuclear mess.
Needless to say, we all turned down their kind offer.

A new report says that the wider the gap between rich and poor, the more the environment suffers.

To solve climate change, solve income inequality

And the most efficient method of doing this would be to take all that excess from the world's richest...

Consequences / Re: Decline in insect populations
« on: December 30, 2017, 06:05:52 PM »
If the pesticides don't get you, the fungicides will.

Who would have guessed that poisons are poisonous?

I'm sure this has been discussed before, but does anyone here know about any good carbon calculators?
Doubtless you have tried google- there are many calculators available.
Those that I have seen use approximations- average for your location, plus/minus things such as number of plane rides you take. The problem is that not all jurisdictions have very good stats on how much carbon is emitted- in Yukon we don't have targets for carbon emissions because we don't know what our emissions are.
The 99.9 tonnes that GeoffBeacon lists is a lifetime, forever amount. It does not take into account population growth either. So, if an average global citizen lives 50 years, that works out to two tonnes per year.....which, considering that simply flying from Toronto to a climate conference in N. Africa will produce over 3 unlikely to be achieved!

Policy and solutions / Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« on: December 24, 2017, 08:57:52 PM »
Hi Terry, While I don't run an air sourced heat pump presently- because it is too expensive to purchase- the Energy Solutions Branch of the Yukon government reckons they are the most efficient source of electric heating down to minus 20.
Even here, the temperature is above minus 20 most of the time (it's minus 34 right now tho!).
Ground source heat pumps don't work at here because the ground is too cold- even where it escapes being permafrost.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: December 20, 2017, 09:17:52 PM »
Bob Wallace asks why we cannot have sustainable growth so long as the inputs are sustainable.
I do suspect he is asking rhetorically, but on the off chance he is not, I'll take a crack at his question.
Systems cannot grow indefinitely because they would eventually consume everything else, which is not sustainable....
Consider an organism: it goes through a period of rapid growth until it matures when growth essentially stops.
The global human economy will either follow this trajectory, or copy that of a cancer which never matures but overshoots its resources and crashes/dies/kills its host.
Bob further asks if stopping continued growth is dooming countless millions to abject poverty.
There is plenty of wealth in circulation currently, enough to provide every inhabitant of the planet an average 1950s American lifestyle. We have a problem of distribution, not a shortage of wealth.
There is a powerful argument to be made that we have already overshot our sustainable footprint and that we are now faced with the much more difficult task of managing shrinkage.

Walking the walk / Re: Managing PV + battery system
« on: November 27, 2017, 09:46:14 PM »
resistant heating for clothes driers can be a problem. In low humidity environments disconnecting the heaters and siting the drier outside works well. In winter venting a conventional dryer's heat back through the building cuts heater usage.
Caution, may not work efficiently away from desert regions. 8)

If one is seriously considering powering one's house with a PV + battery system, the very first thing to do is get rid of a clothes dryer. Clothes dry perfectly well hanging up, inside or out.

The rest / Re: Censorship by the good guys
« on: November 26, 2017, 05:24:38 AM »
Nope. None of the websites I have bookmarked are banned any where I have logged on.

Policy and solutions / Re: Geoengineering, another rush for money?
« on: November 26, 2017, 05:07:42 AM »
I assume that I'm missing something here, because it seems so obvious to me.
CO2 (and most other GHG gasses) result from the combustion of hydrocarbons which are really stable- they are mostly millions of years old. So we need something that can be stored for millions of years. CO2 does not cut it- it is a gas that tends to escape, so stuffing it underground is not a long term viable solution. Ideally, we need a machine that inhales CO2 and poops out pure carbon- like diamonds or graphite. It could include hydrogen and oxygen too, providing it is stable- like anthracite.
Perhaps you see where this is going now.
We take carbon, burn it, get energy and emit CO2. CCS means we take that CO2 and transform it back into carbon....kind of like perpetual motion....Kolbert's New Yorker article says we can do it if we use non-CO2 emitting energy, like PV. She says a solar farm the size of Nigeria would do it. This is a daunting prospect, but it pales in face of the real problem- we currently have no machine that will inhale CO2 and exhale carbon. She interviews a scientist working on the problem. He is an alumnus of the fusion project.....he gave up fusion because it is too hard.....Please, somebody, explain how I am wrong.

The rest / Re: Ukraine, Nazis and western support
« on: September 05, 2017, 06:46:56 PM »
You make some interesting assertions Terry, assertions at odds with the narrative to which I have been exposed. Do you have any references?

Arctic Background / Re: Walrus
« on: August 18, 2017, 06:46:53 PM »
Re the walrus hauling out on land. Prior to a series of over enthusiastic slaughterings, walrus were common in the Gulf of St Lawrence, as far south as the Gulf of Maine, they were present in Iceland and Norway and Scotland. All of these populations had to contend with at least seasonally ice free conditions.
These were populations of Atlantic Walri (Walruses?) rather than Pacific, so that may make a difference. I'm not familiar with the historic range of the Pacific Walrus, although a friend recently harvested one in the Yukon River in Alaska.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2017 melting season
« on: August 13, 2017, 05:08:45 AM »
Does anyone have an explanation for the Laptev polyna? Considering how mobile the ice appears to be, I'm surprised not just that a hole would appear way off in the pack, but how persistent it is.

Greenland and Arctic Circle / Re: Greenland 2017 melt season
« on: August 11, 2017, 06:20:14 PM »
The tundra burning in Greenland has not evolved with fire. The boreal forest- which may start to appear in Greenland this century- does have fire as part of its natural cycle. The hunters who were unable to get out on the land due to smoke, will also have to contend with caribou that no longer have forage, for decades, where the fires burned.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: August 03, 2017, 06:28:52 AM »
Yes, the fact that the diesel generators in most of the Arctic communities in Canada are at the end of their lives opens the door to a pretty good opportunity to rethink how to produce electricity. Complicating matters is the subsidies that consumers get ( thus also the utilities) of electricity so that they can actually afford electricity generated  with fly-in diesel. In Alaska they do not get subsidized electricity, so they are further ahead in installing hybrid wind-solar-diesel- battery systems. In Canada, there is less outcry from outraged consumers who do not pay the full cost of electricity, and no outcry at all from the utilities that do quite nicely under the current regime, and would do no better, and possibly worse if community members began generating their own electricity.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic Image of the Day
« on: July 20, 2017, 09:33:11 PM »
Numerobis: "At the same time, two empty cargo ships showed up. I assume Amundsen escorted them."
As a resident, what do you suppose two empty cargo ships are doing? These must be about the first ships of the season- and I should have thought that they would be fully laden. Or does all the freight come by Amazon now? ;)

I recently bought an 80V cordless chainsaw.
It is silent.
It has similar power to a 45cc gas powered saw.
The battery lasts about the same as a tank of gas.
It takes  a half hour to recharge.
Unfortunately, the fast chafer requires more oomph than my PV system is capable of, so I need to run the generator to charge it. Which, even were it only charging the chain saw, is way more efficient than running a gas saw.
It feels and sounds like a toy however, which makes me nervous as it clearly is a powerful and deadly tool.

Walking the walk / Re: What to do with PV electricity in excess ?
« on: June 14, 2017, 07:49:55 PM »
The simplest solution is, assuming that you are connected to the grid, to sell it back to the electricity company- which is effectively using it as a virtual battery.

Walking the walk / Re: Gardening
« on: June 11, 2017, 12:46:17 AM »
One advantage we have up here in north central Yukon is the almost complete lack of garden pests. But we have other challenges.... It has reached 30 degree here for 4 days running the corn is a metre high, the tomatoes are budding and the squash are flowering. BUT it is forecast to be zero on Monday night and minus three on Tuesday night....

Arctic sea ice / Re: Stupid Questions :o
« on: May 20, 2017, 07:00:17 AM »
Do you mean Jökulhlaup? It is not really the valley, rather the cause. The result can be termed a Jökulhlaup outwash. The valleys in northern Washington caused by repeated Jökulhlaups are called channelled scablands, which certainly does not roll off the tongue...

Permafrost / Re: Arctic Methane Release
« on: April 26, 2017, 08:45:07 PM »
The Pleistocene Park experiment/project is interesting on a couple of levels. The first is to see if the mammoth steppe can be re-created through intensive grazing, purely for academic interest.
The next is, assuming the hypothesis is correct and placing bison, horses, yaks and other grazers on tussock tundra does indeed transform it into a more biologically productive, better drained and warmer soiled grassland, what effect does this have on permafrost resilience?  What is the net carbon budget of this transformation? What does this tell us about the climate and biosphere effects of the late pleistocene mega fauna extinctions? Perhaps we shall have to extend the anthropocene back to 50K BP...

Policy and solutions / Re: Batteries: Today's Energy Solution
« on: March 02, 2017, 03:08:02 AM »
The father of the lithium battery is working on a next generation of battery.
And, of interest to me, it will work down to minus 60.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic temperature layers and inversions
« on: February 19, 2017, 12:32:55 AM »
If I understand this analysis (not a given....), it helps explain how the arctic was temperate all year round during warm periods. Watching the decline of sea ice one knows that the planet is approaching a warm arctic phase, but the mechanism was never clear. I thick it is looming out of the fog now. Brilliant work!

Arctic sea ice / Re: What are you expecting to see this melt Season?
« on: February 07, 2017, 07:26:38 PM »
Communication of effectively ice free is a bit of a conundrum.
There will be some ice for decades, even if only icebergs.
Clearly trumpeting an ice free arctic with almost a million km of ice is asking for trouble.
Setting a DMI N80 temperature/time threshold is much better, but very hard to communicate.
Perhaps it is time to give up on declaring an ice free arctic ocean.
Once a ship can sail to the north pole without encountering any sea ice, and once images of blue sea to the horizon are transmitted, I think the message will have been sent.

Thank you Niall et al.
I'm afraid I did not do any checking before asking the forum for an answer.
I was using my recollection of global temperature. Which is not perfect.
I did not think of zeroing in to mid winter.
I did not think of zeroing in to NW Europe.
I did not consider how the AO and NAO might correlate with Baltic ice cover.
Thank you for satisfying my (clearly lazy) curiosity. :)

What drives sea ice cover in the Baltic?
Well, yes, temperature, but the amount of ice does not seem to line up with my recollection of global climate. E.G. The coldest years of the 20th century were around 1913/14 yet they were low Baltic ice years - with a recovery by 1916. The warmest period of the 20th century was the early 1940s- which had the heaviest Baltic ice cover of the 20th century. According to this counter intuitive correlation, the Baltic should be producing heavy ice the past few years, but it didn't. Therefore there may be something different going on these days......Seriously, I don't understand and would really like to!

Antarctica / Re: Rift in Larsen C
« on: January 07, 2017, 02:01:54 AM »
@jd:  "I presume that ice shelves don't calve in the same way glaciers do, so I find it difficult to see how this can be a "natural" event unrelated to global warming."
But they do calve the same way that glaciers do, ice shelves can be thought of as extensions of the glaciers that feed them. Another way to think of them is as floating piedmont glaciers. They grow as the glaciers grow, and periodically, big chunks break off.

Walking the walk / Re: Heating with wood or pellets ? and air heat pump ?
« on: January 07, 2017, 01:52:34 AM »
I agree with Dundee.
It sounds to me as if your chimney pipe is too short for when the wind is really howling (like wow -100kph!!!!). When I install chimneys, the rule of thumb is that they should be the highest thing on the roof by at least half a metre. In addition, I always remove the cap in fall to reduce soot buildup in the top section where the pipe is cool enough for the gasses to precipitate out.
I definitely would not get one of those rotating thingys. They are great for keeping voids ventilated, but they will gum up for sure if used with a wood stove.
The latest heat pumps, even the air source ones, work just fine down to minus 20, so I would say that if you can afford both a wood stove and an air source heat pump, go for it. In Europe, I would imagine that you could heat your place just with the heat pump (not so much here in north central Yukon!).
This guide is for Yukon, rather than Austria, and for rather large houses, but it does discuss the better performing brands and models and designs.

Consequences / Re: Potential effects caused by loss of sea ice
« on: November 02, 2016, 08:42:49 PM »
You asked for any positive results from a BOE.
Digging home in the heart of the coldest part of Canada will need less firewood to heat it.
My corn crop will be more than a vanity project.
Of course, in the aftermath of a civilization collapse, I'll have to do this with stone age tech.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Ice Crashing Into Ice
« on: June 23, 2016, 06:49:23 AM »
When there is a storm, the wind causes waves to rise, which can make the ice floes crash into each other. This causes them to break. In addition, different floes have different profiles, which means they catch the wind differently, which means they move at different speeds and even different directions. This also causes collisions. The waves themselves sometimes cause the floes to break. A long lasting storm with plenty of open water can cause mixing of layers of water, some of these layers are warm enough or salty enough to accelerate melting. This can also result in fractures.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016 melting season
« on: June 17, 2016, 07:21:42 PM »
I have just published a post on the ASIB, explaining why the probability of this year breaking the minimum record has gone down considerably: 2016 melting momentum, part 1
In your post there is some questioning around the amount of warmth flowing in through the Bering Strait. To me, this: indicates there must be a fair amount; it is unusual to see SSTs of 3 degrees up against the ice edge unless there is a current pushing it.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Northwest Passage thread
« on: April 21, 2016, 08:14:01 PM »
Professor Laurence Smith, in his book "The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization's Future" published by Penguin in 2010, eISBN: 978-1-101-44352-1 addresses how shipping patterns might evolve as arctic ice melts.
He posits that rather than seeing an explosion in trans arctic shipping, we shall instead see vastly increased intra arctic shipping. His reasoning is that until such a time as there is zero ice floating around in the arctic, low certainty and insurance rates will still be to high to justify extensive trans arctic voyaging. However, the cost and importance of shipping to a from arctic ports and communities is high enough to justify the high cost and reduced reliability of these routes..

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