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Messages - SATire

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Policy and solutions / Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« on: September 18, 2013, 07:29:17 PM »
to give some evidence to my words in the post above please find atached a picture from here:
Be careful - it is election time in Germany and this study was ordered by green party from solar Fraunhofer institute ;-)

top picture: prices in week 12 (large negative price on sunday)

lower picture: where did the energy come from
(translation: Laufwaser = river water, Braunkohle=brown coal, Steinkohle= hard coal, Pumpspeicher= water pump accumulator)

edit: Utilization on that sunday in March at 2-3pm (during the negative price peak) was: river water 32%, nuclear 77%, brown coal 56%, hard coal 12%, gas 19%, wind 55%, solar PV 42% of installed peak capacity. That was for -7 c/kWh and a lot went for export...

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« on: September 18, 2013, 07:00:18 PM »
I am always looking for the first evidence of increasing capacities of renewables being used to offset fossil fuel use (we turn this coal plant off because we have wind to replace it).  To date I have not seen any meaningful evidence of this occurring. 
JimD - that is ecactly what I am looking for. But as I have tried to explain in all the posts above, in Germany that will not happen with current set-up of "Energiewende". Just look at the graphs - renewables just make the electricity from coal to get exported instead of get it switched off. Therefore, the CO2 emission is not effected by renewables.

Maybe I have to be even more explicit: In Germany the reason for that problem is brown coal.

Why not hard coal? Because it can be tuned down to 10%. So electricity by wind and PV result in less hard coal to be burned. If there is no wind or sun, the hard coal is burned and the plants run according to demand. Just look at the utilization graph.

Why is brown coal to be blamed? It can only tuned down to ~50% of full capacity of the plant. Because of all the water in the brown coal, it can not be tuned lower - the fire would die. So if there is wind and sun, the brown coal keeps on burning for nothing. They even export the electricity for large negative price - they pay someone to take the power while emitting CO2!

Why do they not switch off brown coal plants for a day (since day-ahead prices are quite precise, that would be the way to do - see post above)? Because it takes 15h to start the brown coal plant again - that takes a lot of energy. And because every shut-down and start-up results in serious degradation of the plant. Both reasons translate to large costs for the owner and are avoided by paying someone to get rid of the power while emitting CO2 for nothing...

So you will not see significant reduction of CO2 emissions in Germany before some brown coal plants close (without being replaced by new ones, of course). But new brown coal plants are already planned...

What we need to get arround that are: storage, tunable renewables like water and biogas, and for transition period we need only tunable fossils.
What we do not need are: continuous fossil like brown coal, nuclear (which is also not tunable well, too). Those do not help us to prevent CO2.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« on: September 16, 2013, 07:13:36 PM »
The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has promised to cut subsidies to solar and wind farm operators, but has yet to specify the size of the cut or the timescale.
It is also unclear what will replace the more environmentally friendly forms of electricity if operators are discouraged from further investments by lower subsidies. At the moment Germany and the UK have dramatically increased their consumption of coal and gas to make up the shortfall from nuclear production.
Hi JimD, the information you got is very misleading in the 2 quoted points:
1) Even if the FIT would be turned to zero now - it would not change electricity prices much. The high FIT-times are long over - see post #127 - the FIT for new installations is now very close to fossil-nuclear price. We just have to pay the bill for getting solar to the tipping point 15-20 years anyway - after that, we will have it for free. So we give a bit back to our children we have stolen by using nuclear.
2) The coal burning in Germany has not much to do with nuclear. Especially the CO2-rich brown coal is burning for export even for negative prices just because it can not be tuned (post #134).
3) do not blame Fukushima for German Energiewende dated in year 2000 (post #121 and #126) - the exit from nuclear was due to large future prices & risks, which are both not accepted by poeple. Nuclear can not help renewables anyway.

(edit) JimD - the above is not critics to your comment. I assume the source you cited is election campaign. That pretty much explains also, why Merkel "has yet to specify the size of the cut or the timescale". She will tell soon after next weeks election , that solar companies all around the world will have yet another bad year...

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« on: September 16, 2013, 03:35:56 PM »
The cheapest 'battery' that I am aware of is well-insulated hot water tanks that can store 24 hours worth of hot water. Hot water accounts for around 30% of total energy usage in a typical household.
Hello slow wing, you are absolutely right with that. The brownish color in the picture "Stromnutzung = utilization of electricity/ demand" in post #131 is just that "heat storage=Wärme Sp.". Of course that makes only sense, if the electricty comes from wind (wind on-shore or wind off-shore) and then it is a valuable "battery". For 100% energy from renewables that is the way to heat in 2050.
If electricity is not from wind, it is is way cheaper to get heat by solar collectors. And to burn some fossils to get ~40% electricity energy and to convert that back to heat is absolute nonsense - heat that water better directly by the flame at home, if you really want to burn something.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« on: September 16, 2013, 01:20:10 PM »
It would be nice if the companies that sell the electricity could adjust the production according to the demand real time. Let's give them a 1/4 of the control over the production...!?
Laurent, they can not do that.
Most of the 1.3 million plants in Germany are PV or wind - they can not tune and they do not want to tune, because running cost is about zero.
The nuclear-fossil fraction in high production time is mainly nuclear and brown coal - that can not be tuned below 40-60%. That is why they produce electricity even for negative price (see picture of utilization attached). That is also the reason, why CO2 emission is constant while renewables increase: The brown coal must burn in steady rate - so that electricity must go to export even if they have to pay someone for taking that power... Brown coal is bullshit - it is so cheap only because external costs are ignored.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« on: September 15, 2013, 11:42:30 PM »
Hi Jim,

it is very nice to have an expert here. I am not and expert on standardization but I want to take my chance.

In Germany and Scandinavia or other liberal countries it is important that private data is secure. So private machines must not phone home to companies or governments about their existence or needs. That would not be accepted by poeple and such system must fail.

Instead, the local distributor of electricity (typically community owned) should mail the "day ahead" data of prices to the machines (see blue line in post above). The fridge should be programmed by the owner - since a "class A" fridge needs power every few days, it could decide on that basis and the programming by the owner (e.g. for a -18°C fridge: if Temp >-20°C buy for 20C, if Temp >-22°C buy for 10C...). Similarly for the battery in my car: It should be programmable, that it always has 30km to get me to work and back - the rest can be used to sell expensive electricity and buy cheap one to pay for degeneration and some profit for me.

For all other purposes it would be desirable, that the current price and the forecast for the next hours would be displayed in the home. That would allow the consumer to decide properly.

The local electricty distributor will learn about the flexible demand in his region and can adapt to it in his forecasts and may give this data to broad distributers for their forecasts.

On the producers side, there should be e.g. some extra FIT for PV adjusted to east or west instead of south - resulting in less absolute power but more expensive power in the morning and the evening.

And lastly - the system must be compatible with 100% renewables in future. E.g. see attached picture from:

(translations: Stromnutzung: demand of electricity, -erzeugung: generation, KWK: cogeneration of heat and power, GUD: gas and steam turbine, P2G: power to gas, Wärme Sp.: Heat storage)

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« on: September 15, 2013, 01:28:16 PM »
(yet another addition to the former posts as explanation)
The problem of the current system in Germany is, that prices change due to renewables (see picture attached, need to log in). Renewables are allways preferred on the grid, since running costs are lowest. Since you can not tune sunlight or wind, something else must be tuned. Big fossile-nuclear utility typically can be tuned only to 40% and must fade out anyway. So the prices will be increasingly variable in future.

But today in Germany neither customers (fixed prices for households) nor the 1.3 million producers of renewables (fixed FIT for installed systems up to 20 years) can feel the prices at the stock-market. Such system must collapse in the case, renewables shall be succesfull in future, too.   

Source: slide 15,

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« on: September 15, 2013, 11:36:36 AM »
I feel that I have to explain my critics of old EEG a bit more explicite:

In my opinion what we need in Germany to transit to 100% renewables until 2040 or so is splitting the red curve in the picture above in two different electricity products:

1) Electricity delivered on demand by customer: High price, sometimes even very high. E.g. for cooking, lighting, TV, ...
2) Electricty delivered by the time determined by the producer: Low price, sometimes even negative. E.g. for fridges, air-condition, charging the car battery, ...

The customer with a car battery may also become a producer: In very high price peaks, currently met by oil combustion or gas turbines, the car battery could be discharged to some level to earn some money.

Bioenergy (from waste not crops - we need the alcohol from crops for our drinks ;-) is another energy usable for peaks. Furthermore storage in water energy (e.g. Norger, could be extended also in cooperation with Austria and Switzerland. Power-to gas is another way. But in general case politics should not rule the price - the market should do it now under fair guidance. The reason for a different way in 2000 was, that PV was way to expensive but it was assumed, that the cost reduction potential was also greatest. That fully turned out - green party was right those days. So some exceptions make sense.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« on: September 14, 2013, 05:04:39 PM »
A picture is telling more than words - so attached (need to log in) you see the cost and FIT of PV and how they were brought to the tipping point since 2000. Source: pdf "Recent facts about photovoltaics in Germany" on this site:

If you add 10ct/kWh external cost for coal, you see we are well beyond the tipping point for new installed PV and soon also for roof-top. Wind on land is even better.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« on: September 14, 2013, 01:20:56 PM »
Hi domen_

First a comment on the portion of renewables from total electricty, after which one should switch from fixed prices to demand driven prices:
I agree, the number of 25% is a bit arbitrary and could also be 30%. But keep in mind that Denmark has the relatively bigger battery Norway next to it while Germany has the small battery Netherland - that is an important practical factor.

Second comment on "why this government nearly killed Energiewende":
Keep in mind, that the EEG from 2000 triggered the transition to renewables and it is still working today. In a start-up phase you allways see the greatest absolut increase in the latest years.  It is normal problem in politics, that the fruits are harvested by later governments.

Why this government is nearly killing the thing:
1. By exceptions: More and more big consumers are excluded from paying the fee making the fee more expansive for small consumers. Poeple are normal consumers and thus acceptance of renewables is driven down.
2. By their wording: The government argues only on current price of electricity blaming renwables and is not talking about future costs or consumption of environment.
3. And mainly by refusing to act: The EEG must be adapted to future needs. I need to explain that in more detail here.

The EEG (guaranteed fixed prices for renewables and preference for renewables on the grid) was very good to get renewables past the tipping point. If you include also future costs of the energy sources, that tipping point has already passed in Germany - so a clear "yes" to the topic of this thread.
The next thing to do is to produce as most electricity from renewables as possible. To do that cost efficiently the prices must follow demand. We have days in Germany with allready 60% electricity from renewables and other days with much less.
You may find a lot of detailed numbers in the download area here:

To fill the gaps, we need both flexible production and flexible demand. Therefore a new law must link production and demand in a way, that both change to meet each other. This is the task avoided by the current government. In future production and demand must be met cost efficiently. I think, batteries are to expensive and we need all that rare materials to put it in our cars. There are way easier methods than batteries: Power the fridges just when there is much wind/sun and reduce your air-conditioning to more healthy temperatures - I always get a cold in USA or Singapore because I forget to take coat with me when I go shopping...

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« on: September 14, 2013, 12:49:03 AM »
Neven, at least for Germany that is probably wrong: Big utility companys here do not profit from renewables, they lose money because electricity prices droped much because of renewables and the big utility play-ground off-shore wind is not profitable yet. The profits from renewables go to house owners, farmers and the banks (because of risk-free credits).
Now big utility is sitting on fading nuclear and non-flexible old big power plants. They will perhaps not get enough profit to invest in their future - looking much like deceasing dinosaurs
Perhaps that is the reason why Spiegel forum is flooded by insane posts...

And renewables are not paid by German tax-payers but by normal electricity consumers (the large consumers do not have to pay that fee...). Tax-payers will have to pay the future extra costs for nuclear (storage) and partly for coal.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« on: September 13, 2013, 10:32:24 AM »
Hi JimD and domen_,

first comment: In Germany we have election next week resulting in a lot of noise - the current government (Coalition of conservative and liberal party, while "conservative" not try to conserve the planet but the outdated way of life and "liberal" is mainly the lobby of investors interested in efficiently transfering wealth from future to present time) is trying to reduce investment in renewables. So  Merkels "Faustian “Energiewende”" is only words and not a plan - it was just an popular U-turn (Fukushima 2011) after an U-turn (increased life-time of nuclear in 2010). There was no "hysteric panic" in Germany after Fukushima - most poeple just were upset because Merkel killed the "Energiewende" in 2010. It was just very easy  because of Fukushima to find public ears those days, forcing Merkel to react as she always is reacting instead of acting.

The real "Energiewende" from 2000 was a strategy based on broad agreement of industry and consumers. The real thing was nearly killed in the past 4 years - there is no working strategy left now, Merkels Energiewende from 2011 was a proclamation solely.

After election in 10 days we will see, if Germany is willing to work on a strategy again. It is needed, to develop the energy sources based on costs including future costs - everything else would not turn out fruitfull for German population in future.

The future costs of energie sources and costs of consumption of environment are quite well known allready. Only that costs are the reason to invest in renewables. E.g. additional cost of coal in Germany is about 8 c/kWh while PV is 1-2c/kWh additional - so renewables are competetive allready (article in Zeit from yesterday - not online yet. Edit 09/19: now online here Future cost of nuclear is close to infinity considering safatey costs for the next million years, which has to be paid solely by tax payers (German energy industry was convinced to start nuclear by that promise).
Furthermore - energy price should rise in future anyway, if energy cost shall be constant: That is the way to trigger energy efficiency and reduction of consumption to get sustainable soon.

So - we need a new strategy in Germany. Once renewables are 25% or more, the investion/subvention must not solely depend on amount of energy but on fluctuating demand. That must work on fluctuating price. If that will be done properly, Germany poeple will benefit from from the strategy because of cheap energy costs in future - in 15-20 years the plants produce energy nearly for free and long term costs are minimal for future generations.

Policy and solutions / Re: Future Governmental Structures
« on: August 28, 2013, 07:04:58 PM »
JimD - my latin is still good enough for that words, but the context was disturbing for me. Please reread my post and keep in mind that I did not criticize US. Of course there are lots of reasons to criticize other countries - but usually I concentrate most of my critics to my own country for a good reason in international discussions. Here I was refering to the advice to take major risks into account - not doing so would limit the feasibilty of any future plan significantly.

I also have the feeling this is not the right place to discuss which of the latest wars like Iraq, Libya, Mali or maybe soon in Syria make sense or not. In the end it turns out, that most wars made no sense at all. We could also discuss somewhere else the colonies in Arabia and the origin of al-qaida or why the main source of our fossils is from parts of former USSR and how that fact is bad for some poeple there - a lot of complicated things which all can easily be understood in very different ways.

And I would like to questionize that countries take advantage from US actions, especially those actions, they never agreed to. At last point I questionize, that the transfer of wealth is really working well on the long term - instead of stealing ressources it is more effective to benefit from win-win-situations. E.g. the development of China and South-America is very fruitful for the economy in other countries - e.g. we love to sell the machines there. That is another reason to work for smoth transitions - a crisis in China would be very bad for both old economy as well as for the path to a sustainable economy, let alone the dangers of an instable gigant in Asia.

All this kind of discussions and actions just keep us away from starting the real things - to get sustainable while fullfiling the needs and without killing each other.

Policy and solutions / Re: Future Governmental Structures
« on: August 28, 2013, 09:32:36 AM »
[...] Then I expect them to act either unilaterally or in concert with other powers.  When have countries not behaved in this fashion?  Many of those countries which have the ability to use force have not had the need because the US has been providing a part of their military/security burden for them.   Part of the price they pay for this service is that they assume a secondary status in the strategic relationship they have with the US.  Quid pro quo.
JimD - quid pro what?

Since I am sure we can transform our economy into a long term sustainable one without the need of fossils, the future risks will all be man-made and thus controlled by all the players.

Biggest risk #1: A major conflict with nuclear weapons. The nuclear winter would kill all our children in the Northern Hemisphere during the >10 years without plants. Also the children in US-fallout shelters will not do much better than children in EU or any other similar place.

#2 risk for children: The mad-max world, which some people fear could be a result of a collapse of US or a similar place (this scenario is very unlikely in most places in Europe, as explained elsewhere). Life expectation for children would be severely limited in such an environment.

#3 risk for our children: Famine in an AGW-world with to much population and lack of ressources. This is exactly the situation wich needs to be addressed by the future governmental systems (Fullfilment of Needs), e.g. by education (to limit population peacefully), e.g. by technologies (renewable/sustainable economy). 

So - for the transition we have to carefully skip #1 and #2 to be able to organize #3, which I understood is the topic here.
Please do not understand that naming the risks is similar to blaming someone/some country. It is just an observation and the risks similar are both inside US and outside US. I did not understand that last point was addressed by your "quid pro quo" - but at least that could fit a bit.

Policy and solutions / Re: Future Governmental Structures
« on: August 27, 2013, 04:42:38 PM »
I do not agree that one can limit this point to the US.  [...]
If I understood Terry right (here and in that mitigation scenario thread), US is currently the only one able and willing to enforce their interests. I am not talking about good or bad here, that is just an observation. And I agree with Terry, that this observation must be considered in any plan for the future. So we have to find ways to survive and to evolve inside or next to the "wounded animal".

Given your perspective I see the consistency of your description of how you would like to see the world change into the future.  My perspective is very different than yours and I come to very different conclusions.  But that is why we are all here discussing the future and gaining understanding of different perspectives. 

You are right with that point. I have to admit, that my perspective on future changes is strongly biased. Since I have children (teenagers) biology forces me to some responsibilty. So I am strongly biased to governmental systems and transition periods which both offer minimum risks. Secondly, I am biased to sytems and transitions which could be feasible to go in my personal environment/experiences during my lifetime - because that makes risks a bit manageable for me personally.

Subsidarity and the way the EU grows after collapse in eastern Europe and Yugoslawia makes me think, that the brocken parts of collapsed countries can be peacefully joined under some common rights. That could also work in future, I think and hope. There is plenty of room for different governmenal systems below the roof - until all the needs can be fulfilled for the poeple.

To go arround the collapse due to AGW/fossil fuel crisis I also prefer smooth transitions - e.g. to start to switch to renewables allready now (until 2030 or 2050, since that is easy and allready targeted by several communities) and not when it is to late (when we allready suffer the crisis). Energy-wise that is the same - whether oil/coal is empty or we stop to use it to limit AGW is a similar scenario.  I assume the latter case much more probable - the stone age also did not end because of a lack of stones ;-) AGW-wise there is a difference - the planet will be quite different in both scenarios.

To conlude - yes I am biased. I am biased to any feasible path to a governmental system worth to live in and which can be achieved in and by my generation without sacrificing my children. I am pretty sure that you may be biased in a very similar way - so differences could mainly be in the perception of "feasible" or "worth to live in" and the "how" and "when".

Policy and solutions / Re: Future Governmental Structures
« on: August 25, 2013, 07:35:05 PM »
JimD, indeed Somaliland is surely not in a fine shape (e.g. female circumcision) - but doing way better than the Somalia. The situation in small societies may be principally unstable, if they have resources big societies are interested in. As TerryM concluded, you could limit that point to interest by USA. Maybe within this century we will have to add China as candidate, after they will have matched USA not only economically but military-wise.

I think, future governmental structures must still be able to maintain all points of "Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs" (see e.g. above in OLN's-post) for their poeple to stay stable and accepted. So some kind of democratic structures, human rights or liberty must be existent - but the structures could be very different dependent on regional/historical backgrounds and the different perception of the word "liberal" or other priorities in religious societies or philosophies in Asia. 

To maintain both acceptance of the poeple and to reach a size to get more stable next to USA (or China) I think the principle of subsidiarity is usefull. Local self-administration under some kind of federal government should be extended by contracts beween countries/nations/societies. Maybe the EU could grow to something like that in future. E.g. after Russian gas/oil will be consumed or became obsolete the EU could savely grow far east without beeing to much bothered by the powerfull. It could also be attractive to Africa - if there wasn't that population increase preventing any sustainable future there.

Since the basic need is education, it must be provided by that governmental system in optimal way: That is not only the most valuable resource you can have - it can also not be stolen other than by attraction. It is also the basis for sustainable economy, ecological live, constant population and the fundament for stable governmental structures. So in future societies/regions will have to compete via educational systems instead of resources.

The big question is - how to fit big international companies in such a system? Neither the German way (companies "advise" the government) nor the French way (companies "are owned" by the government) nor the EU or USA way (regulations from competing lobbying) nor Chinas "brute-force capitalism with some plans" seem to be practical in my opinion. I think we would need some kind of economical government system to solve the AGW-problems in the long run. 

Policy and solutions / Re: Future Governmental Structures
« on: August 25, 2013, 05:01:03 PM »



Post Western influence I would expect a declining population living near subsistence level that experiences frequent famines and constant low level warfare as different tribes/factions vie for control.  At this point no one will ever hear of the place again because we will all be too busy elsewhere.

JimD - there is a part of Somalia called Somaliland which managed to evolve a bit since 1991
There was a very good arcticle in German Zeit "Fortune in the blind angle of the world" It is now some kind of federal-religious-democratic system, able to live from taxes and to invest a bit in education.

So it seems to be possible to survive after collapse if you can manage to stay in the dead angle. That would also fit the brute/realistic conclusion presented by TerryM.

Antarctica / Re: Consequences of ASLR from a WAIS Collapse
« on: July 13, 2013, 10:04:47 PM »

[...] and I believe that a structural solution to The Netherland's risks are economically possible depending on the motiviation of the people.  The next two figures show conceptual alternate approaches for using adaptive engineering for flood protection; including incremental upgrading, temporary evacuation (for the dynamic portion of the flood risk); pumping, and retreat. [...] 

from reading your posts I am not sure if you realised, that the poeple in Netherlands are the experts in coastal protection for centuries - they got their land from the sea and it is already 6m below sea level. So if they prepare for 4 m more, that results in 10 m below sea level - and additional storm flooding is taken into account, too. As far as I know for most serious coastal protection projects poeple all over the world ask dutch experts to design it. So if the dutch are not sure if protection is worth the effort, we all are in serious trouble. But if you are aware that facts, please feel free to ignore my post because it is to trivial.

I second that, a discussion about free will is a dead end. Although I support finding explanations or even solutions based on brain science, I would propose 'motivation' as an aspect explaining more . What drives you to do that extra step beyond basic needs every day? And if I look at the current resource hungry economy being incompatible with but operating on this finite planet I wonder what might create a motivation scheme beyond economic needs, i.e. better salary, steeper carrier and fancier gadgets?
I agree to that - without the assumption of an existing free will all religions, ethics, laws and social live would have no basis, thus we need the concept of free will anyway.

The question of motivation for work/effort needs to be adressed. I think man try hard to impress the girls - that is it. The main motivation is sex - in the end we are just the taxi-cab of the germ cells.
Since male motivation for sex is in principle near-sighted some shift of emphasis towards femal motivation could rescue us in the longer term. So include some care-taking, education and conservaton to sex - sustainable reproduction is done not after fertilization but after children have grown up with good education and in an environment worth enough for the children to think of reproduction, too. Maybe even include the grandchildren into that motivation. Since that is allready femal nature of mankind we still have a chance to survive just by decrease the impact of male (mis-)behavior.

Policy and solutions / Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« on: June 30, 2013, 03:28:12 PM »
As cc reminded me we are talking about collapse & mitigation. Collapse does infer the internal breakup of nations, and my fear is that some won't go quietly into the night. The US seems to be positioning itself to be the last one standing rather than becoming the mentor nation that helps prepare the others for what is ahead, or even the role of the reluctant supporter willing to bow to the requests of the other nations. I think they'll succeed to some degree & that The US will be one of the last to fall. I think in their death throes they may do much to alleviate the worlds population problems & I think any mitigation strategy that doesn't consider this possibility is flawed.
So angst of the eigthies is back. While it surely is possible to mitigate 2-4 °C warming and a sea level rise of 1 m the consequences of a nuclear war would be impossible to adapt to. Global winter (6-8°C colder on average and 20-30°C colder in North America and Eurasia for more than 10 years);jsessionid=8E2310E3BDB41A71A1CCC937F09CD6AA.d03t03 would kill us for sure, if we survived the direct impacts. And then the feed-backs. We would have to move far south, where all of our mitigation strategies would not be needed, since poeple there e.g. know how to kill a chicken.

Therefore, I try to consider your points seriously in a new possible mitigating strategy.
So first and most important mitigation strategy is to prevent nuclear winter. I think USA will have to drop some nukes during collapsing - otherwise apocalypse would probably not convincing enough. But we must limit the amount of nukes they need to believe - sorry for the usual suspect satanics. To achieve that, I see 3 important conditions we have to comply with:

1) No external military threat for USA left in 2030-2050. We have to proove seriously that no other power is able to attac USA e.g. with nukes. E.g. Russia and China will have to work hard - but they are reasonable, so they will.

2) No big stock of resources and no significant consumption of resources outside USA. So we must continue to become CO2 free by 2030-2050 and to get sustainable by that date, that we can e.g. get all needed rare earth metals from our waste.

3) Last nation standing. Small countries like Sweden will probably be ignored. But some like China, Russia, Japan, Germany and finaly sister UK will have to collapse convincingly, making USA believe they are the last one standing and could start rapture appeased. I think for that task collapse of financial system and governmental structures are sufficient - no need for MadMax here, since that is impossible anyway in social societies (but USA will ignore that fact, because they believe something else). Perhaps we just need to fail e.g. with the euro and do something like they tested in Belgium recently.

Could that work for poeple in USA? What do you think?

Policy and solutions / Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« on: June 27, 2013, 07:34:50 PM »
I do find it interesting that your comments have evolved to bringing up the use of force to get your way.  That is kind of what I have been trying to point out is the instinctual reaction to stress and threats to one's security.  Cooperation is not a common tactic used in such instances.  'Fairness" is not a motivating emotion.  Fear is. 
Yes that is interesting for you. For me it was "interesting" to learn that an existing society could consider a fearful total collapse more appropriate than a future with bit of cooperation and some concedes. If I understood you right that could be due to religious fundamentalism - some kind of suicidal heading towards Armageddon.
If your partner/enemy is not willing to cooperate and insist on killing you as collateral damage of his suicide, fear is appropriate and cooperation is becoming futile. I thought Americans were a bit crazy but what I have learned here is pure madness. 

Policy and solutions / Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« on: June 27, 2013, 02:00:05 PM »
Do we depend upon "our" high-tech life?

Is it not far easier to start to fight collapse with a smaller scale than 1-10 million and build up the numbers and raise the complexity of the technology (and hence the floor of collapse) supporting the society as possible? One must take these people outside the collapsing societies - easier said than done even with a few. I think you are thinking that some form of transition will be possible in time to avoid collapse, perhaps?
I do depend a bit on high-tech for two reasons. I am older than the median in any society without high tech and without health-care I would die from the next infection. Second as most poeple here my skill are related to high tech production of things. But that are individual/personal arguments without broader importance - you easily could try without me. Several poeple live here proving that you can do without any tech and produce all you need by yourself - but they also go to the dentist from time to time  ;) .

Your second point: It would be by far easiest to transit from current high-tech state - it would cost us less effort than e.g. "euro-crisis" which most of us only know from newspapers without effects in real live (you may have lost some money in US "real" estate or greece bonds - but you did not know how to spend that money anyway - so no effect for life).
Further - I see no reason why to exclude any poeple in good faith. Poeple will gather together by their nature and want to be usefull and accepted in a society. E.g. I would not feel comfortable in some kind of sect excluding others. We would have enough work excluding CO2 emission and preventing others from emitting CO2.

Your last point:
Education is the key for a smooth transition - look what did work and what did not work e.g. in Växjö, Copenhagen, ... And education anyway is by far the most fruitful investment you could do in a society.

Policy and solutions / Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« on: June 27, 2013, 11:00:45 AM »

As a Canadian that lived in the US for 40+ yrs I can assure you that the US simply would not accept a trade embargo at any meaningful level. They don't outspend the rest of the world in armament for no good reason.
I don't know how to get us out of the hole we keep digging, but forcing the US to comply just won't work.

Terry - I know you are a wise guy and you are right with your analysis. But please - could you try to be a bit optimistic to give the young generation a different answer than "die!" when they ask "what shall we do?". You sound like you consider US-poeple beeing the alliens in Emmerich's independence day. So we are forced to fight for the right to life?

That idea makes me both so sad and angry!

Policy and solutions / Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« on: June 27, 2013, 10:54:03 AM »
If those people were gathered together and isolated from the main body of the population the main body of the population would proceed into collapse, disregarding their options to mitigate sufficiently as we agree is very likely and our species has small groups specifically designed with the purpose of raising the floor on collapse and trying to ensure an avenue to ultimate recovery along sustainable principles (socially and environmentally).

Is this a reasonable solution that works within the established constraints?

If so - what sort of maximum size do we think such societies could initiate with?
If we want to avoid Hobbes "MadMax-scenario" and want to life in a comfortable society with familiar life quality I think we need a minimum size, since our high-tech life depends considerably on specialisation of skills. I think one needs about 1 million individuals for basic tech and about 10 millions to maintain a life we are used to - e.g. including laser processing of photovoltaics and manufacturing of electrical vehicels. For stabilisation it would be helpfull to have several of such societies with different cultures, roots and skills in different places in the world to have some back-up and synergy effects - think of ecology to understand that.
Since already today about 10-20% of the population in Europe is trying quite hard to act in a sustainable way (of course by different means but with increasing success), I think we are quite save to reach that threshold any time. Considering that the necessary effort is comparable to what we do to rescue our banks for unknown reasons, we can be sure that we will make even more it after understanding the reason. That may be the reason why all succesfull mitigation examples I know of start with education.

edit: Taking into account the danger implied in Terry's post above one needs to consider another necessity prior to setting up any new sustainable society. We must weed out the American way of life first, to prevent that future societies will fail again in the same way. Probably you may rely on some old German skills to perform that "weed out" carefully. That task requires concerted actions.

Policy and solutions / Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« on: June 27, 2013, 10:13:56 AM »
since we are both adults for quite a while allready we should avoid teaching us - I see it is hard to be flexible while rooted firmly in a specific environment. Instead I will try to accept all your points (which does not imply accepting them for me, e.g. I would not propose to act according to all your points, since that could result in the contrary of mitigating possible collapse due to AGW in contradiction to Kant's imperative).

Therefore, I try to stay to the topic of discussing possible mitigating strategies while accepting your point that e.g. USA will not cooperate to give our children a chance. So one possible strategy left for societies wanting their children to survive would be to force e.g. USA to mitigate AGW. Could that strategy be the logical consequence accepting your words?
In my opinion "forcing mitigation" should not imply a war for 2 reasons: First the consequences of a war would very likely be more severe than the consequences of AGW. Second while avoiding CO2 emission would cost us a few percent of our wealth/GDP a war could easily cost us 10 times of that with unclear chances of success. A SWAT-analysis would not make any sustainability-investor jump in that ;-)
Maybe forcing reckless societies by embargo could match cost and benefit much more balanced. Preventing money inflow and avoiding any CO2-related trade could do the job. E.g. the embargo made Cuba quite sustainable in respect to CO2 emission/capita. Such an approach would be very familiar e.g. for USA - only the viewing direction would be surprising at first.
Did you intend such kind of mitigation strategy or something else?

Policy and solutions / Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« on: June 25, 2013, 07:10:33 PM »

probably I did not get you right because a lot of things you write sound strange to me. To address the first part of your post - citing Hobbes does not include I would be a fan of him. He is just the first I know describing the "MadMax" scenario of total collapse of society. That is not the scenario I would consider likely as explained above by me. Neither is that any "mitigation" strategy to prepare for that.

In your second part I do not understand what you consider "my approach". The words you cited 2nd are known facts. Denial of that is a criminal act in Germany. We embeded that trauma firmly in the memory of our society - if you consider that "affectation" we have to live with that misunderstanding.

Your last two parts I understand and the message is also prooved in latest history - USA will not sign a treaty to reduce CO2. They will probably not try to reduce CO2 seriously either.
Despite that there will be some efforts in other countries, since one has to act in the right way. But the efforts maybe will be less, because unfairness kills motivation and less poeple would try hard, if some poeple stay lazy.
That is the reason why I considerd fairness important, because it could boost CO2 reduction in my country if other countries also would try hard. Competition and world trade just make no sense without sufficient fairness.   
So I understand that USA will head towards the collapse anyway. Other poeple may "act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law" (Kant, which I would prefer over Hobbes, e.g. if you would ask). But in sum there is no mitigation strategy left, which could be accepted world wide at least in significant parts.

Still I am open to read some proposals - maybe there is one which could find some consensus here. If that is not possible at this place, it will probably not possible elsewhere, where poeple care much less. In that case we would have to prepare ourself for the CO2-refugees - that is the future challenge. The other things are just weather, it would be totally ridiculous to collapse because of weather...

Policy and solutions / Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« on: June 23, 2013, 05:17:43 PM »
Since I do not believe that you would aim for a "war of all against all" to reduce CO2 emission by killing most poeple, I understand that you have some better concepts at hands than international agreements (on paying the price for emission) or the best-praxis example I knew of (some more here: So I am really curious to hear about your suggestion for mitigation.

edit: Please do not suppose that I could have intended any critics by above question. I just run out of any ideas how to proceed contributing to the topic.

Policy and solutions / Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« on: June 22, 2013, 08:05:52 PM »
I think that is precisely the outcome one envisages. Incidentally, the use of the word contract implies a two way deal. As soon as one party isn't getting their end of the deal - it's morally void.
Civilisations work by social contract:
(before that, the government was "selected by god" or something else the poeple agreed to for some reason)

citation: Thomas Hobbes famously said that in a "state of nature" human life would be "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short". In the absence of political order and law, everyone would have unlimited natural freedoms, including the "right to all things" and thus the freedom to plunder, rape, and murder; there would be an endless "war of all against all" (bellum omnium contra omnes). To avoid this, free men contract with each other to establish political community i.e. civil society through a social contract in which they all gain security in return for subjecting themselves to an absolute Sovereign"

Ah - no - I wasn't asking about the maximum size of just any society. I was asking about the maximum size of society that might be able to implement a suitable paradigm upon which to predicate a long term civilisation. That is to say the largest society that could operate on a long term sustainable basis and implement a sufficient level of social justice and equality (sufficient, not absolute).
What about Sweden? I think every modern society is able to "operate on a long term sustainable basis and implement a sufficient level of social justice and equality". That is only a matter of freewill and a bit a matter of fairness - since it makes no sense to try hard if your neighbors burn all the carbon you left on purpose. That was the reason why I spooke about a contract between societies... Without fairness we will be doomed until someone suceeds us with a new deal/contract.
To be more explicite on your point: The maximum size is not limited by sustainability but rather by your equality condition (as I explained in the prior post). A sustainable society could actually be larger, because they need much less resources.

On a city level: Växjö.
And the living is really nice there. If you look in the poeples faces there, quality of live is surely increased by sustainability. Perhaps due to the fact that sustainability puts an end to the fight between generations?

Policy and solutions / Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« on: June 22, 2013, 07:41:30 PM »
Nonetheless, if a young person wants to tool up - prepare for a high conflict environment and implement their own personal strategy for survival, I do not see how anyone within the broken system we have can take the moral high ground. We have been failed at the most fundamental level by the human world in which we live. Fighting for our survival (and our children) may be the only thing we have left. There are some very ugly and dark sides to this - but it would be hard to surpass the crimes of those who have brought things to this pass.
Since we are talking here about a conflict between old and young generation as well as poor and rich - in future mayby a conflict between CO2-emitters and CO2-refugees - that individual preparation will not help. In the case your society would collapse, the CO2-refugees would easily enter the free space and will build a new society at that place (like the German tribes succeeded the ancient Romans, e.g. Saxons and Angles took Britannia or the Goth got Spain after Rome collapsed and later both Americas).
Maybe it is about the time for new tribes which are ruling the world more sustainable? To prepare for the future in a AGW-world I think it would be best to consider, that we will have to pay for the CO2 we emitted. That would be considered fair and we should start to put something aside for the day of payoff - e.g. to leave some space for CO2 refugees. That will be the challenge for Europe, since we are not very good in integration of poeple now.

Policy and solutions / Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« on: June 22, 2013, 07:12:46 PM »
The general consensus seems to be that the main block is human nature rather than an empirical absence of policies or solutions. If we accept that the majority of the population is not going to change their nature - does anyone have any view (or precedent examples) of the largest groups of people that could operate under a different paradigm that would provide an appropriate long term behavioural model for civilisation?
ccg - just because poeple know about human nature things like the social contract to form a government of a society and laws were invented to limit anti-social behaviour. If you go back behind laws and social contract you will end up at a clan level - not much civilization will be left in that case.
You asked for the maximum size of a society. Since the basis of the social contract is, that the individuals agree to the contract and hand over their power and part of their freedom to someone else, they need to be sure, that the contract is fair and not exessively exploited by the government. So the maximum size can be very flexible. In a modern democracy it depends mainly on the similarity of conditions of live and the balance between rights and duty. E.g. in Europe it is working quite well if poeple in Bavaria pay for poeple in Berlin (or similar Milano for Rome, Barcelona for Madrid...). But recently that solidarity was stressed a bit between northern and southern Europe, since some poeple are not willing to pay for others if the poeple do not even try to care for themselves or believe that the help is in fact imperialism. If the faith is lost, the society will devide in smaller parts. That happend in Soviet Union after Glasnost, when poeple lost confidence in the fairness of the contract - so from the moment they were not forced to stay anymore, they left.     

Maybe the largest society which could stay nowadays could be the Han-Chinese - so a large part of China could be free after letting go Tibet and the Muslims in China. 
Maybe also India - but I have really no idea why/how India is working. I never went there.

Policy and solutions / Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« on: June 21, 2013, 12:02:28 AM »
What it comes down to is my understanding of human nature precludes the solutions you are advocating.  For the kind of solutions you advocate will not work unless humans can make and execute decisions that are contrary to basic human nature.  Your solutions are premised upon issues of fairness and responsibility.  Those required to act (the rich and powerful entities) must accept your premises and then willingly give up most of their wealth and power and dramatically decrease their standards of living.
The rich and powerful (like America) will never willingly give up their position and wealth.  They will work as hard as they can to maintain it as their culture and nature tell them they earned the right to be where they are (they think they are exceptional and thus more valuable).   
JimD, before I am able to get to your main point, I have to comment on your second point because that shocked me:
In our German history we had a time when "social Darwinism" was mainstream and due to a thinking like "they think they are exceptional and thus more valuable" we killed millions of Jews and Russians and also the handicapped persons, gays and Roma... We will never do such things again and we will take action to prevent that elsewhere. The leader of the pacifistic green Germany party sent troops for the very fist time after WW2 abroad to Yugoslavia for that reason. No - we will be totally out of that. And we are not allone in Europe with that position.

To come to your main point I have to admit, that I do understand that quite well. I have travelled to American cities quite often in different stages of my life and I have the idea, that money exhibits a particular important value there. Compared to other cultures (e.g. in Europe, Africa or Asia) I think it is save to call that significance of money a kind of fundamentalism. So I do understand that a money crisis must look like a real collapse for American poeple although that may sound strange for other poeple in the world.
The second think I have learned in American cities is, that poeple there are very anxious. Especially poeple in America are afraid of other poeple. Also this is quite unique in the world, I think. Both observations make me think that you are right with your collapse-scenario for America and the concentration on self-defense.

Fortunately it is a bit different somewhere else. E.g. in Sweden poeple consider it valuable to pay >50% taxes to ensure that the basics for live are prepared for everybody and the future of their children is safe. In Germany we are half that way - e.g. the party with the richest voters promises higher taxes and spending money for sustainable life and ecology. That is not the majority as yet in whole Germany, but the mechanical-engineering country Baden-Würtemberg is allready run by them.

So in the case you or at least your young generation want to avoid a future collapse in USA, they could find some partners to achieve that objectives. If not, then you voluntary hand over the leadership e.g. to China. Probably they would do better in that case. So I think it could be a good time now to look on the other side of your borders before it will be to late to react.

I prefer to rely on the power of your young poeple to protect their life - mainly just because I want my children to have a future, too. And I will fight without condition for my childrens future and also of that of my neighbors, my city, my tribe and all friendly societies (the word "nation" has not a good sound here).

Policy and solutions / Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« on: June 20, 2013, 12:45:23 AM »
I think after reading TerryM's very precise analysis one may now have the Young Man Blues for a reason. The situation is unfair and needs to be changed. There is a saying "if you are young and are not a revolutionist - you have no heart. If you are old and still a revolutionist, you are narrow minded".
The nowadays established generation once tried to get their share by fighting in the streets (Street Fighting Man, Rolling Stones) with "violence against things". They made it their way and somehow the "things" turned out to be our planet.

Maybe it is now your turn to show, that one can't fool all the people all the time (Bob Marley - Get Up Stand Up) and to start some action to save your future.

For readers of this forum it is obviously clear, that we will have to transit to 100% renewables sooner or later and that the deceasing "growth-goal" needs to be substituted by something else. The more different societies will find different possible ways, the better - so try to follow one possibility which is accepted by poeple near you and that fits to you. And look how others do and learn from them, if adequate.

If you feel the need to revolt I would suggest to revolt against money. In the current crisis that antagonist is allready crippled - e.g. if you do not need money you are now able to get it for free in huge amounts. The "rich" poeple in most cases just own papers of promises - in the case the money is not payed "back" (and there is no chance on the long run that it will be payed anyway), they will realize, that they are not rich by any means.
Usually - in a crysis the value of money is destroyed and the of course still existing virtue is newly distributed more evenly than before. For most poeple in a society that is a good thing and not a collapse (if the virtues are not destroyed in a war or other absurdity).

There is no correlation between money and happiness - so I would draw conclusions about your individual path way to happiness and develop strategies to reach that. Still believing in money or endless growth is just naive and must be overcome somehow, therefore. 

Arctic sea ice / Re: Home brew AMSR2 extent & area calculation
« on: June 19, 2013, 09:28:34 AM »
Area up :83k4 almost all CAB
BTW - how do you treat the "value=37-NP-hole"? Do you ignore it or do you give that area some mean SIA from the surrounding like CT?

Policy and solutions / Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« on: June 18, 2013, 07:38:24 PM »
I think you know what I am going to say.  The playing field is NOT going to be leveled.  Asking for that ignores reality and how the world works.  Never has been, never will be.  Rich and powerful entities just do not EVER give up what they have without a struggle.  And since they ARE the rich and powerful then no one else has the ability to sanction them, shun them or force them.  This is just the way it is and we have to deal with it from that basis.
Do you want to say because one nation is powerful and decided not to take responsibility of what it does (like reducing CO2 emission or helping CO2-refugees), the collapse will come? And this collapse is irresistible, because the poweful nation does not have any power to change its life-style and therefore, accepts the complete death of that life-style? Very strange logic. 

I do not agree. Mankind did it once in the case of CFC (the ozone-killer) - so it is possible. If you do not like UN for some reasons, a treaty can be found somehow else.

And also the rich nations play with the future of their own children. It is not a big deal to  abstain from some things. Nobody wants someone to reduce the quality of life, but it is no problem to reduce life-style - that is just a fashion and can easily be exchanged by a nature-friendly fashion. If that is not possible e.g. in some societies which are powerful today, it is very sure that these societies will change and a more reasonable society will lead the world towards a sustainable quality life in future. So collapse will be only for some societies, some others will not realize the change as collapse but a different way of life e.g. by concentration on quality instead of quantity or by taking care instead of consuming their future.

And to remember - the only reason for the laws mentioned some post above is to make all poeple accepting in an easy way, that the price for CO2-emission will have to be paid one day. If you prefer the hard way, that may be suitable for a hard nation. But softer societies will surely prefer to act differently. Some societies are allready quite well prepared, others are on the way and some will perhaps not even try to manage the necessary transition and perhaps collapse. That is freedom.

So I'm incorrect that every second that you hold up 1kg, that gravity does not confer the potential energy of 9.81 Watts? 
Yes, you are incorrect with that - just put it on the table and it costs you nothing to let it stay there. Your muscles ache for no reason ;-)

I estimate that a good engineering workshop could prove or disprove the idea in a week.  Granted a week of a good engineering shop is “Expensive” with a capital E.
Hi NeilT,
as mentioned above, the engineering and the manufacturing of the prototype I could organize here easily. But even if you offer 98% of the profit, nobody would invest a significant amount of time/material/machine costs, if the profit is below zero as it would be in the case that the machine is a perpetuum mobile. So either you find some investor to pay the cost or you give the details to calculate the machine. Normaly it takes less than a day to check that and all I need is a pencil to disprove a perpetuum mobile. It is only conservation of energies, momentums and sometimes also that entropy-thingy, if you did include gases or temperatures somehow.
If you want to think about it by yourself first - please consider that also angular momentum (spin and orbital angular momentum) are preserved and take also in count the kinetic energy in turning parts.
But in any case - if you do not "consume" any energy, you will not get any electrical power out of the machine. In a tidal power station you e.g. consume energy from the spining earth - you decelerate the earth a bit to get the power - so you make the days a bit longer. There is no energy for free in nature - even the sun consumes its hydrogen for our solar cells or plants. So think about which energy your machine consumes and if you have enough of that available.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Home brew AMSR2 extent & area calculation
« on: June 18, 2013, 01:34:30 PM »

I think you are right with all your arguments. Probably any algorithm which could solve the vapour-issue would incorporate new software specific artifacts, which could make any results questionable. It would be better for amateurs like us to work with plain data and to discuss any artifacts separatly after viewing the map. Further I believe that you allready have a lot of more fruitfull ideas, since you also have all the PIOMAS data in grids in your hands, too. To repeat it: Great work you did!

Arctic sea ice / Re: Home brew AMSR2 extent & area calculation
« on: June 18, 2013, 11:16:20 AM »
Cool Wipneus - you made it! Now all values out there are also at your fingers :D
And thank you very much for sharing that!

Do you think it could be possible to detect the artifacts in the AMSR2-maps one day? As Lars did explain in ASIB there are two features: Melt ponds and water vapour effects - both should be treated differently of course. I have the feeling that both effects are visible in the maps - so there should be some way to detect them automatically, too. But that is not an easy thing.

The weather "smear" features (red stuff in above picture) show less contrast, give a SIA between 60% and 90% and move from day to day by large distances - but there may be overlapp from one day to the next day of course. Maybe a low contrast in a quite big connected area with SIA of 60-80% could be a first warning signal.
A work-around could be to check clusters of 100-200 pixels if SIA reductions with quite low contrast occure suddenly and disappear some days later and after some days to ignore SIA/Extent-losses in such areas. Maybe IJIS is doing something like that?
A perfect way would be to include information from other sensors to detect that - I think it is related to the thick orange clouds visible in MODIS 3-6-7. But unfortunately that pictures are taken at different time and the clouds move fast. Also on channel in JAXA is used to detect that. So maybe a human eye is necessary as reference...

The melt-ponds are visible by a quite rapid reduction of SIA to dark shades of grey, which then stay quite a long time without dropping close to zero. Those things do not move or only very slowly like the pack. If I understood Chris Reynolds right, that is some kind of "cliff-detector" and we could take the values seriously due to albedo things. However - it would be nice to know the amount of SIA reduction related to those melt-ponds.

Do you think those things make sense at all?

Arctic sea ice / Re: Home brew AMSR2 extent calculation
« on: June 17, 2013, 06:40:57 PM »
Thank you Wipneus, that you make this possible - you can check Extent and SIA with better resolution and faster than anybody else and you can perform a lot of new statistics, trends and what you want.

I hope this place is appropriate for this, otherwise feel free to move it (e.g. in Wipneus' future home-brew-SIA thread?).
For us noobs, who can not programm such nice tools I would like to summarize here an easy way to measure SIA on your own by using a paint programm of your choice. I explain it for gimp, which you can get for free (

To compute SIA from that concentration maps from Wipneus ( is totally easy with gimp:

1. Select the area of interest
2. use the histogramm function (Menue: Colors -> information -> histogramm)
3. look up the "mean" value and devide it by 255 (=100% ice) to get the ice fraction
4. multiply by selected area (e.g. number of pixel from histogramm function times 3.125 km times 3.125 again (pixel area)   

If you have the black hole in your selection, choose lower level of histogramm >38 to avoid a wrong mean since the black hole has pixel value of 37.

If you have land in your selection - use a mask or change it's color to black. If there are lakes or artifacts in the area: just paint that black, too  ;)

All warnings Wipneus mentioned above are valid here of course, too.

This is not as flexible and cool as the thing Wipneus is doing, but it is a nice and easy thing to compare SIA in areas of your personal interest from day to day. Just note the position and the size of your selection for comparisons over time and as reference for other poeple interested.

(copy from a comment at

In attached picture I put in the SIA concentration in % and the selected area for example.

Since Wipneus also gave a map of the CT-region at ASIB - you may compute the CT-SIA with larger resulution on your own in future. One should learn to paint somehow selectively over that "weather smear" features (see redish area in attached picture), which allways disturb also U-Bremens maps for the same reason.

SATire, Neven,

Bremen today shows a large drop of concentration and opening of open water off ESS coast.
Chris, I am sure that you have realized, that the U-Bremen maps are from the same sensor as the U-Hamburg maps I was refering to above. The later are with higher resolution and it is much easier to recognize the "smear" (I coloured it redish) in U-Hamburg pictures. And from Wipneus transformation we gain the simple possibility to measure SIA on our own - that is the %-number I gave in above picture. So we can be aware of U-Bremens "errors" exploiting the higher resolution. And since Wipneus also gave a map of CT-regions, we can also check CT's numbers, if we like. We could even get that SIA numbers some hours earlier, since Hamburg is several hours east  ;)

Policy and solutions / Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« on: June 17, 2013, 05:18:30 PM »
All too common - and at the risk of offending delicate sensibilities in some quarters - liable to increase anti American sentiment around the world in any society affected by climate change that understands how it works and that contributed substantially less to it.
Oh - in no way I wanted to increase anti American sentiment or something similar. That was only an example relating to the "american dream" in a prior post. Of course the rule would be applied to any society in the world - so it is purely "anti CO2-emitting" and follows the simple rule "who had the lunch has to pay for it". I think nobody in any culture of the world would dispute that point.

It would be nice if the big/rich/powerful nations could declare above laws first. Just to prevent some simple minded poeple in some backward regions from the strange idea, that it could be a bit more likely that geoengineers in future would nuke Krakatau instead of Yellowstone to cool down the world. I know American poeple are responsible poeple and that the world can rely on the honor of that nation once more. Everybody will stay at their side.

The main point is: Such a law would make it easier for poeple to agree, that emitting CO2 produces some kind of cost and to accept that cost. By this acception the collapse could be prevented easily, because poeple would start to move for a reason and their own benefit.

By the way - even denialists could sign such a law: Since they assume there will be no AGW-refugees just because there will be no AGW, the cost of such a treaty is exactly zero for them. Isn't that a nice idea?

Today there is a big drop of Sea Ice Area in East Siberian Sea - just inside the ellipse I have coloured bluish yesterday. Melting is a gear higher now. Same also for some regions near Chukchi and Barents - but quite "smear effected".

Most "smear" moved - and appears somewhere else - please ignore features similar to the ones I have coloured redish in the attached map yesterday.

Policy and solutions / Re: Collapse scenarios & mitigating strategies
« on: June 17, 2013, 11:44:45 AM »
The American dream is a high standard of living. Americans don't want their living standard reduced unless we are directly attacked [...] The 'attack' will not take place
 until  after I'm dead.
That is a common attitude - but not very helpful.

I would consider a United Nations Law for every society to get over this shortsighted selfishness:
1) Distribution of AGW-refugees proportional to the historical accumulated CO2 emission of that society (who had the lunch will have to pay for it). The refugees have to get work permission or alternatively housing & food for free.
2) If one society really wants to reduce its bill by geoengineering - that must be done only on the territory of that society and any side effects for neighbours must be compensated. If USA really wants to nuke Yellowstone in future, maybe the poeple are going to change their mind.
3) Any action on cost of future generations elsewhere are no option for every society.

they probably confused "L" and "H" again, pikaia.

Policy and solutions / Re: The true cost of renewables?
« on: June 16, 2013, 08:02:13 PM »
I read a number that Germanies poeple have paid 68 billion € for paving the way for solar so far - and they will pay more because contracts are 15 years and volume is rising faster than subvention declines.
But it will spare us a lot of imports of oil in the future. So we have to pay a lot now and will gain a lot in future. By this we pay a small piece back to our children to compensate a bit the disaster we are going to prepare for them. I think that is fair and should be done by other societies, too. Scandinavia allready nearly completed that task.

On the long run we have to learn from the ants: No problem to grow if we bring everything back to the place it came from. If we recycle everything and only use renewable energies - there is some space to grow for something. And if the things we need could become smaller, we can get more of that to satisfy more poeple. So - think small, think circles and take care that you bring everything back and do not take anything from your childrens future anymore ;-)


I think there may be some misunderstanding here.
Yes Chris Reynolds - there was some misunderstanding. I was refering to the effect of clouds while you were refering to the melt ponds - clearly to different things.

To be more precise: The effect of water vapour as Lars did explain is the effect I was talking about. Probably the same thing, that makes Neven repeating that you should wait ~3 days for any area with significant SIA-drop not to move in U-Bremens maps.

I am not really sure yet, but I think the smear-like structures, which can easily disappear or move far away within a day, are correlated with the thick orange clouds in Modis/Terra 3-6-7. This smear-like structures give a SIA of only 60-80% but that loss may not be true. But sometimes there is some loss after the clouds moved away - if there is some correlation ("rain-ponds"?) I do not know. I am only an interested amateur with a lot of questions but no answers to the field... 

Back to business: What's the ice doing?
Nice clarification of a straight mission, Neven. I think the ice is doing consequently other things than CICE/hycom predicts or even shows as "nowcast". If I compare their latest "nowcast" for concentration (June 15):
with attached AMSR2-map (.jpg in attachment) from yesterday (source again from Wipneus/U-Hamburg: you can easily identify differences e.g. in the bluish shaded regions:
In east Siberian sea (some risk for "smear-effects" here) and near Svalbard CICE gives to high concentration and in the CAB CICE gives still way to low concentration.
I marked some areas with redish shade, where I assume "water vapour"/weather "smearing" effects are present - maybe some concentration loss may happen there in the next days, but often this kind of smear-features either disappear or move some 100 km in a day...

And some of you may answer again that thickness prediction of CICE is much nicer - I understand that colorful moving pictures are nice, but if you can not observe them and they differ from PIOMAS (which is at least a bit approved by cryosat), than I would consider them not as appropriate for determining the sea ice state and even less as basis for any predictions. Those things can fool us towards ludicrous predictions, since a lot of poeple allready warned us here not to take the obviously wrong Navy maps as "scientific basis". Just my 2 cents.

So - ice's attitude keeps being strange, it is disappearing differently this year, I guess ;-)

Not sure I think it does explain it.
I am also very far from sure, that the cited explanition explaines it. It may be a possibilty to explain the observation, that CICE/hycom, U-Bremen and CT insisted on showing less concentration in the CAB than we could see. But there may be other explanations, too. If you compare the CICE concentration picture with the picture I attached above, it is quite clear that Navy is doing some strange things. But how to explain that?

I also agree with you, that melting is dominated by Laptev-CAB this year as allready mentioned a month ago due to the early and rapid snow-melt in Siberia.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« on: June 15, 2013, 06:42:30 PM »
On cloudy days Germany relies ever more on brown coal. Last year its CO2 emissions rose.

All this is happening as prices for natural gas and electricity in North America are plunging, thanks to the shale revolution, so Germany’s most energy-intensive industries are now eyeing expansion on the other side of the Atlantic.
You got it - that makes poeple really angy here: That "energy-intensive" industries have allready an exceptional case - they do not pay the extra-costs of the renewables. So "normal" poeple have to pay the share of the energy-intensive industries, too. That is considered as unfair. And since you need your own roof (most poeple in Germany do not have that) to profit from that - poor poeple have to pay the transition to the biggest part now. But fortunately for poor poeple, 5% of roofs are allready used for PV - so costs can only rise by a factor of 20 - so maybe a limit 2.000€/year/person. Politics will change that.

What politics is not willing to change is burning of brown coal - that stupid stuff. The country NRW is governed also by green party - and they do not stop burning the most brown coal and plan new power stations...

So we have paid a lot and the results are still small. "Energiewende" is in a very critical stage due to "double-U-turn" Merkel's politics especially since 2009.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Treating fast ice that has turned blue due to some surface melting of the overlaying snow as an abrupt change to 60% coverage, when in fact it remains 100%, inflates the reported rate of change to the ice area and fabricates a "cliff" in the data. The shadows of clouds over the central arctic have a similar effect, making 80-90% ice coverage look like regions of 60% coverage.
That would nicely explain, why in CT/U-Bremen/Navy maps we find big areas in the CAB with ~50% concentration but in the AMSR-2 maps we did find much higher concentration or mainly "weather-artifacts".
But today we can find several small regions (100 km diameter) with 60% SIA in the CAB (colored circles in the picture). A large part of the CAB between north pole and Laptev exhibits a mean concentration of 80% and I find 145 pixel with concentration < 10% - that is allready 1,400 km2 "open water" in the CAB.
The picture attached to this post is a .png of high res (3.125km pixel) concentration map of the central arctic basin.

Original image source (without the drawings):

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