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Comments 64451 to 64500:

  1. Preventing Misinformation
    johd #67 - not off the top of my head, no. You could find them as easily as I could. Google Scholar is your friend.
  2. 10 Indicators of a Human Fingerprint on Climate Change
    Oops - posted on wrong thread. The above link should be on ten indicators of a warming world. Sorry.
  3. 2nd law of thermodynamics contradicts greenhouse theory
    Re #838 in Response: [Dikran Marsupial] you wrote :-

    "I suspect there is a good reason the article talks of an "equivalent temperature" rather than simply a "temperature"."

    There is.

    Photonic energy is regarded as electromagnetic, although when they are created they take mechanical momentum from the emitting particle and give it (the momentum ) up when absorbed.

    But photons are not mechanical 'objects'; they have no mass so can't collide. Collision is how mechanical particles exchange momentum (thus energy), according to kinetic theory.

    Temperature is essentially a mechanical concept, that is why the energy of a photon gives it an 'equivalent' temperature.
  4. 10 Indicators of a Human Fingerprint on Climate Change
    Here is a possible 11th indicator: wave height.
  5. A climate 'Gish Gallop' of epic proportions
    Ken L #4 - the Knox and Douglass paper you reference was a horrid example of cherrypicking. See Monckton Myth #1, Cooling Oceans for a better analysis of all available data.
  6. A climate 'Gish Gallop' of epic proportions
    "CO2 was higher in the past"

    In addition to the Sun being cooler, the Earth was hotter -- at times a *lot* hotter -- than it is now.

    According to Dr. Richard Alley (in his memorable 2009 AGU talk), sea surface temperatures approached 100F in the tropics during the Cretaceous Hothouse period. But along with 100F sea surface temperatures, you will get dangerous levels of atmospheric heat and humidity, as in dew points well over 90F. Once the dew-point hits 95 F or so, *everyone* caught outside in conditions like that for more than a few hours will die of heat-stroke. Everyone.

    To keep your body's core from overheating, your skin temperature needs to be kept at 95F or below. Get dew points near or above 95F, and this becomes impossible.

    If we woke up to a Cretaceous Hothouse climate tomorrow, billions of people would die of heat stroke long before they had a chance to starve to death.

    A CO2 hothouse climate is incompatible with human existence.

    This was covered nicely in this most excellent skepticalscience piece last year: Heat-stress-setting-an-upper-limit-on-what-we-can-adapt-to

    Now, how to summarize all this in a nice sound bite...

    Maybe something like this?

    "CO2 was higher in the past" --> "It was also hot enough to kill most humans in a few hours."
    Moderator Response: [DB] Hot-linked URL.
  7. A Plan for 100% Renewable Energy by 2050

    > Well David MacKay's "Sustainable Energy without the hot air" most certainly considers it.

    MacKay's book has been accepted with a puzzling level of passivity. Most people seem to have simply assumed it's an unbiased, factually infallible work.

    A few people think otherwise:

    * David MacKay's "...inflated demand figure of 490 GW is nowhere near our real energy demand, and has mislead people into believing the myth that Britain’s energy demand exceeds its renewable resource, whereas the reverse is true: our renewable resource is much greater than our energy demand."

    * 'No Hot Air' About Renewable Energy While Blowing Smoke: David Mackay plays 'Brutus' to the Sun's 'Caesar'.
  8. 2nd law of thermodynamics contradicts greenhouse theory
    Re #839 Bibliovermis you wrote :-

    "Individual photons of equal wavelength are identical regardless of source temperature."

    If photons of 'equal wavelength' are 'identical' then they have the same energy also, which according to the link means they have the same 'temperature'. The only difference betwen a photon and a particle moving at less than c is that a photon must be absorbed to give up its energy.

    When you talk about 'curve matching' and 'spectrum' you are no longer talking about individual particles (including 'photons' as particles). These terms form part of statistical mechanics, the science of large collections of particles. But the concept of temperature is not confined to 'large collections of particles', temperature is an intensive property, meaning individual particles have a temperature also.
    Moderator Response: [Dikran Marsupial] No, it means they have the same "equivalent temperature", it does not imply they were emitted by bodies of the same temperature.
  9. 2nd law of thermodynamics contradicts greenhouse theory

    That article is talking about curve matching an observed wavelength spectrum to a known emission profile at a given, not the temperature of an individual photon. Individual photons of equal wavelength are identical regardless of source temperature.
  10. Why we have a scientific consensus on climate change
    @ Arkadiusz 98

    I don't really understand the point you are getting at in your first paragraph. Which is the "imperfect" model are you referring to?

    As DB said, when you are interpreting the result of the model, you should keep in mind what feedback the model captures. Is 1.94 degrees that far from the range? As someone pointed out elsewhere (don't remember where I read it), you should also keep in mind the model assumes that foliage increases, which is not necessarily true.

    Regarding the coal-fire plant paper:
    The paper says that while the emission of pollutants may induce a cooling effect in the short term, the control of pollutants down the road will remove this effect. And as far as I can tell the authors didn't suggest that the models don't capture the effect, it's just that the current way of quantifying the effect doesn't not reflect the regional variation.

    Regarding black death:
    So despite the long list of criticism of Scott and Duncan's hypothesis, despite the lack of concrete evidence, and despite the strong evidence of Y. pestis being the cause, you think Scott and Duncan overturned the consensus because you LIKED their writing?
  11. A Plan for 100% Renewable Energy by 2050
    I think there is a lot of unecessary speculation here. First, there is, technically, no need of using FF at all in the long run, even with current combustion technology. Bio-substitutes are already important in the fuel mix in several countries, and they can be produced entirely from inedible raw materials, so there is no inherent competition with food use. Rather the contrary whenever the use of waste like straw from grain production makes agriculture more profitable.

    Second, the price increase due to increasing FF energy use is a problem for using gas/oil as industry raw materials - it is no longer the case that raw material use of hydrocarbons is not able to pay for itself. So if we want to promote that use, we avoid using gas for power plants and oil for gasoline. But the increasing gas prices also makes bio-mass more competitive for raw materials, which is probably not a bad thing.

    Third, if we use energy efficiently, the current world population could probably have the western living standard. Space, not energy, restrictions is what will make adaptation of the western life style impossible. For example, in Norway, less than 1700 kWh/person is used for air transport, and the demand is almost surely higher than will be the world average. It's not that hard to produce that amount of biofuels if people are willing to pay, and most other transportation could be electrified.

    Fourth, FFs can surely help in the transition, and it is not their use in itself, but the enormous levels of CO2 emissions that constitutes the problem. And it is not true that development of renewable energy has to take an enormous amount of energy and raw materials, compared to other enterprises. For a large part, renewable energy is already used to produce equipment for renewable energy, and if this is done consciously, it can speed up development greatly. Gas and coal fired backup for renewable electricity production will be important for quite a while, but not indefinitely.

    Fifth, those who advocate the use of nuclear as necessary baseload with renewable energy have surely not studied the field very well. For example, in Europe, pumped hydro can easily do all the necessary regulation itself, if a Europe-wide network of offshore wind turbines is used as a basis, and simple, economically motivated, measures are taken. Like intelligent grids and photovoltaic generation balancing air condition use, domestic heat pumps run in daytime against accumulation tanks, etc.

    I reallly can't get it: People are thinking and talking about renewable energy as the distant and unknown future, whan actually today, ca 20% of EUs electricity is already renewable, and the fraction is rapidly increasing. At today's pace, EU renewable electricity (610 TWh) will bypass nuclear (1000 TWh) in less than twenty years. With no policy changes. And we know that time is working for the renewable alternatives. The potentials are huge, which is why we don't really have to care too much about the future total consumption - the most important thing is faciliating change. And in this respect we have already proven tools, like predictable feed-in tariffs. The important question for me is: Why don't we use them more? Even China has a generous feed-in tariff for wind power...
  12. 2nd law of thermodynamics contradicts greenhouse theory
    Re #835 & #386

    If you find what I wrote in #833 unclear check this link and find - when a cosmologist talks - .

    when a cosmologist talks about the 'temperature' of a photon

    Then tell me what the problem is with 'the temperature of a photon'.
    Moderator Response: [Dikran Marsupial] I suspect there is a good reason the article talks of an "equivalent temperature" rather than simply a "temperature".
  13. A climate 'Gish Gallop' of epic proportions
    Ken, you could try clicking on the link to the full writeup on this issue. Your suggestion that it puts the warming imbalance in question is incorrect. We know there is an imbalance because we have measured that directly. What we can't measure is where the extra energy is accumulating within the climate system.
  14. 2nd law of thermodynamics contradicts greenhouse theory
    Damorbel @831

    Each photon is created by an individual electron that gets its energy from the particle that where the electron is found. A photons energy is directly related to the temperature of the particle emitting it.

    This is incorrect. Molecules emit photons when they transition from one quantum state to a less energetic one. The frequency of the photon is determined by the difference in energy between the two states, as related by E = hv. The energies of the quantum states are fixed, determined by the atomic makeup of the molecule and the strength of the bonds between those atoms. Thus the frequency (and hence energy) of the photon is not determined by its temperature. Temperature will control the intensity of the radiation at a given frequency, since that will determine the proportion of molecular in excited quantum states that can decay.

    IR radiation is emitted by vibration of atomic nuclei
    within a molecule, Microwave by rotation of the molecule as a whole, and visible/UV radiation is emitted by electrons.

    Two photons of identical frequency are not "tagged" by their emitting source. However the spectrum (plot of frequency versus intensity) of a given molecule (especially a gas) is a sufficient finger-print to identify the substance uniquely, and the relative intensities of the various frequency bands can often be used to infer temperature of the emitting substance.
  15. Dikran Marsupial at 01:02 AM on 26 March 2011
    A Plan for 100% Renewable Energy by 2050
    Giles wrote: "as far as I know, burning one atom of C does always produce one molecule of CO2 , whatever you're doing with it."

    No, that would only be true if it burned cleanly and completely, which generally is not the case (e.g. carbon monoxide in car exaust fumes). Tar sands produce less energy per unit carbon than natural gas because you need to expend (vastly) more energy extracting it. I would have thought that was blindingly obvious. IIRC the reason for interest in tar sands and shale deposits has more to do with security of supply than economics, although that will change as more economic supplies are used up.
  16. A climate 'Gish Gallop' of epic proportions
    One of your items on the list of dud sceptic arguments is: "Trenberth can't account for lack of warming" and your answer is:

    "Trenberth was talking about the details of energy flow - not whether global warming was happening".

    Not quite true.

    Trenberth was highlighting the fact that in Aug09 when his now famous paper was published - he could not account for more than about 60% of the warming imbalance which was postulated by Hansen in 2005 (0.9W/sq.m)

    Since then; Knox and Douglas published a paper in Aug10 which showed that 2003-08 data for OHC contect was flat or slightly negative (cooling)for the top 700m and deep ocean of approx +0.09W/sq.m (Purkey & Johnson).

    Five Argo studies for 0-700m OHC by Willis, Loehle, Pielke, Douglas & Knox show **negative** OHC change, while von Schukmann (0-2000m) is the outlier showing +0.77W/sq.m.

    I would like know if the Knox & Douglas paper has been contradicted or its findings overturned by more recent studies.

    If not, then Trenberth's lack of warming is still with us, and in fact has gone from finding 60% of Hansen's 0.9W/sq.m to finding almost **none** of it.

    I would have thought this was a serious problem for the whole theory of a positive warming imbalance.
    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Trenberth discusses this issue directly here on this very recent and still active Skeptical Science thread: Teaching Climate Science; a post wholly devoted to Dr. Trenberth and his work.

  17. The Libertarian Climate Conundrum
    Not true, Poptech. You're referring to the market system as described by economic modes that rely on private property relations. Markets (and market solutions) can easily work within other modes, including those where the government has a hand in regulating the markets such that they perform optimally. A completely free market under private property relations would perform so inefficiently that people (having had the experience of government regulation in theory if not in practice) would demand some form of social regulation.

    The libertarian support of capitalism is one of the more bizarre philosophical moves of the last few centuries. Why encourage the concentration of real (economic) power in the hands of a small group of people who don't have your interests in mind? In other words, what's the difference between a government and a business run under the capitalist model? At least a democratic government has the ostensible job of serving the people (i.e. worrying about all that externalizing). The driving value of the business under capitalism is the generation of capital (i.e. finding ways to externalize and drive up profits). I remember a free market theorist, speaking in the documentary The Corporation, making the claim that if he could, he would turn air into a commodity (subject to the private property system).
  18. A Plan for 100% Renewable Energy by 2050
    Giles 58 Wrote "reducing" CO2 production means actually producing more usable energy and/or GDP per unit carbon. "

    les 56 wrote "terms of efficiency and reduced CO2 production"

    Efficiency means exactly producing more usable product per unit of input. In the case of oil, using less of it for the same output will reduce CO2 production. So I'm not at all sure what what your wrote adds.

    On the other hand, your remarks about coal, tar sand, natural gas etc. only goes to show that you did not understand what you wrote above... if it produces more energy per emitted unit of CO2, it's exactly what I wrote.

    Clearly you're so into objecting to what you think you see written (not, actually what is written) that you end up disagreeing with what you wrote your self!
  19. A climate 'Gish Gallop' of epic proportions
    This was truly a giant and thorough Gish Gallop (108 MB!). It even caused John to give up listing the arguments before finishing. That's a record breaker.

    This guy should have its name on a Gish Gallop scale - all other gallops would be measured as to what extent they compare to this one.
  20. Philippe Chantreau at 00:35 AM on 26 March 2011
    2nd law of thermodynamics contradicts greenhouse theory
    Damorbel, you are digging yourself into a bottomless pit of nonsense.
    This sentence makes no sense, and wouldn't even if the syntax was correct:
    "Each photon is created by an individual electron that gets its energy from the particle that where the electron is found."

    You say this:
    "photon energy is given by the formula E = hv"
    That is, in fact, correct. Where in that formula is the temperature of the source hidden?

    In other words, what distinguishes the energy of a photon at a given frequency emitted by a source at a certain temperature from the energy of a photon at the same frequency coming from a source at a different temperature?

    There are only 2 terms to the energy of a photon, one is a constant. You are saying that, if the other is also kept constant, the product of the 2 can nonetheless be different according to a factor that is not part of the equation. Do you realize how idiotic that is?
  21. A Plan for 100% Renewable Energy by 2050
    les : "Technology is improving for oil use in terms of efficiency and reduced CO2 production; and will continue to do so."

    as far as I know, burning one atom of C does always produce one molecule of CO2 , whatever you're doing with it. That's precisely why I insist on this point : "reducing" CO2 production means actually producing more usable energy and/or GDP per unit carbon. People use to say that "coal (or tar sands) produce more CO2 than natural gas", but this is deceiving : actually natural gas produces more heat than coal per atom of C - but exactly the same CO2 : one CO2 per C.

    So barring carbon sequestration which is very unlikely to suppress a large amount of CO2, the total amount of CO2 produced during the industrial civilization will exactly be the total amount of C extracted. Period. And improving the use of energy does not change the ultimate amount of extractible reserves. The only reason why we should stop extracting fossil fuels are
    1) they have become much too expensive (or difficult to reach actually that's the same)
    2) there are much cheaper and more convenient alternatives and they've become totally useless - which can only be true if the alternatives are not limited by their amount compared to needs

    Even from what I'm saying in this scenario, we would be very far from case 2). It can work only through "a major effort" and " and increasing use of mass public transportation." - well, swimming in wealth is usually not a "major effort" - this means simply that all needs would NOT be satisfied . And so until 1) is reached, there is absolutely no reason why producers wouldn't extract FF for which they would find without problem customers.
  22. A Plan for 100% Renewable Energy by 2050
    Regarding the use of fossil fuels for aircraft - the US military is pouring a huge amount of funds into the development of alternative fuels for aircraft (seems they don't like spending $billions every year on oil from the middle east!).

    There was a story a couple of days ago about an F-22 fighter (their latest & greatest stealth jobbie) flying on a 50/50 blend of fossil/biofuel. I believe they've already flown some other aircraft on 100% biofuel.

    Regarding getting fossil fuel usage to zero - yes, it would be desirable, but no, it's not gonna happen. Given that natural sinks are currently soaking up about half of human emissions, though, an 80% reduction would be a good starting point!

    There are also some promising new technologies that may make it cheap & economical to strip CO2 out of the air on a truly industrial scale.

    So combine dramatic reduction of FF usage, with industrial-scale CO2 capture, and we're halfway there...
  23. A climate 'Gish Gallop' of epic proportions
    Just last night I had a discussion with my wife about the intractable nature of this ongoing (non-)debate with the deniers. It's bad enough that they collectively repeat the same long-ago debunked arguments ad infinitum (ooh, had a Monckton moment there and lapsed into Latin), but proving any one of them wrong on any one point does no good. The person or "think tank" or "news network" pays no price for being blatantly wrong and simply trundles along, spewing the same falsehood.

    How did we wind up in a position where even science is so politicized that accuracy no longer matters to a large portion of the public???
  24. 2nd law of thermodynamics contradicts greenhouse theory
    #831: "As a commenter said a bit ago, photons do not carry ID cards."

    #834: "If they wrote that, then it is not correct.

    Photons do carry ID cards?

    Will the madness never cease?

    'Get the new EZ-photon identification card! Never get held up by those pesky laws of physics again! With EZ-photon you too can make your own decisions about what forms of matter you choose to interact with. EZ-photon! Because reality is just so passe!'
  25. 2nd law of thermodynamics contradicts greenhouse theory
    Re #831 (in the grey area) someone wrote:-

    "That photon could have come from a source of any temperature. As a commenter said a bit ago, photons do not carry ID cards."

    If they wrote that, then it is not correct. Photons are emitted (and absorbed) by individual (accelerating) charged particles. The source of a photon characterises it by the energy the photon has. The photon keeps this energy (unless it changes energy in a gravitational field) until it is absorbed by another charged particle, even if it has to cross the universe before this happens.
    Moderator Response:

    [DB] I am simply gobstoppered. Please think about what you just wrote some more. As written, does-not-parse.

  26. Zero Carbon Australia: We can do it
    Marcus #100

    So black coal is only the cheapest because Governments heavily subsidize it.

    And that is why it is still the main power source for central generation thoughout the world.

    So please explain the economics of selling subsidized cheap coal to China and India and Taiwan and Japan? If we were subsidizing it, there would be a net cost to the Australian economy - not a main source of foreign exchange!

    Is your assertion 'Voodoo' economics Marcus??

    Wind farms need to be covered by base load reserve for the
    situations where light or no winds occur over a wide area.

    Without base load coverage - storage systems would need to cover at least a couple of day's supply to meet these weather events.

    As far as human health effects of Wind turbine noise, there are individuals who are more sensitive than others to low frequency noise. I would agree that those not being paid might be more inclined to imagine symtoms, in the same way that RSI infected the Public Service while it was lucrative - and is hardly heard of now with jobs less secure.
  27. Meet The Denominator

    You said, "All papers are listed because they support a skeptic's argument against AGW or AGW Alarm." So, yes you did unless you've reinvented english and logic.

    The paper, "An alternative explanation for differential temperature trends at the surface and in the lower troposphere" does not fall into the Sqeptic category (despite some apparent flaws) as these issues are known the climate scientists and are a matter of public record. Ergo, the paper falls into the realm of the usual skepticism which naturally prevails all of science and this paper is another attempt to resolve said issues.
  28. 2nd law of thermodynamics contradicts greenhouse theory
    Re #831 You wrote:-

    "What's this talk of photons having temperatures in Kelvins? A photon's energy depends on its frequency or wavelength, not on the temperature of its source"

    The temperature of a particle (in an ideal gas) is measured by the amount of energy (Joules) in the particle. The Boltzmann constant relates the energy to the temperature in Kelvins, the formula is E = 3/2 kT where k is the Boltzmann constant 1.3806504×10^−23J/K

    Photons are considered to be energetic particles, the term photon gas is used frequently. As energetic particles photon energy can be given as temperature or e/v (electron volts)

    Photon energy is also a function of the oscillation frequency of the electron that originates the photon, so photon energy is given by the formula E = hv
    where h is the Planck constant = 6.62606896×10^−34 J/s and v the frequency

    You wrote:-
    "...the temperature of an EM radiation source affects the spectrum of the radiation and that's about it."

    Not just the spectrum but the energy also.

    You wrote:-
    "An individual photon at a given frequency couldn't care less whether it came from a 5 gazillion degrees source or a light bulb, does it? If it does, how exactly does that manifest? A different spin angular momentum? Or what? "

    Each photon is created by an individual electron that gets its energy from the particle that where the electron is found. A photons energy is directly related to the temperature of the particle emitting it.

    When a photon is emitted it carries momentum, there is a recoil reaction on the particle emitting the photon which means the emitting particle loses the amount of momentum taken away by the photon. This is just the same but on a smaller scale, as a bullet leaving a gun.

    Thus photon energy is directly related to the source temperature and the photon 'knows' this because the frequency v is a direct function of the temperature.
  29. A Plan for 100% Renewable Energy by 2050
    Regarding FFs being used somewhere:
    One the one hand, it's not really a problem - any more than the fact that some people still ride horses doesn't give rise to huge problems clearing the streets of New York or London of manure. Technology is improving for oil use in terms of efficiency and reduced CO2 production; and will continue to do so. On the other hand it's always been a question of the shear quantity of the CO2 emissions.

    I do think there will, however, be a down side.
    The rest of the petrochemical industry (plastics, drugs, paint etc.) depends on the cost of extracting their raw material being subsidized by the fuel industry. If oil consumption drops to low (no, I don't know how low that is) it could be that the cost of other products rises to as they shoulder more of their own cost of production.
  30. Why we have a scientific consensus on climate change
    #96, Harry: Smug? Hardly. Factual? Yes. Directed at Gilles, who avoids fact-based argument whenever permitted? Also yes.

    "let's come up with a short, but better set of survey questions that are quantitative ... and post links to the survey here, and at WUWT"

    Yes, let's make scientific decisions by popular vote. How many think it would bemore effective if E = mc3? The ayes have it, so it must be true. Now, that was probably 'smug.'
  31. Of Satellites and Air – A Primer on Tropospheric temperature measurement by Satellite

    "Interesting that The Pielke's et al consider the possibility of a warm bias in the surface record but don't consider the possibility of a cool bias in the satellite record...'have more confidence in the UAH satellite data set compared with the RSS data set.'"

    Which is a couple of reasons I found your article useful while reading the the Pielke's study..

    "And how well can you compare...?"

    The points that you raised were very good and I admit to not having thought of them all at the time. There's a lot I'm trying to absorb at the moment. :-) Excellent article BTW, Glenn. I find I'm learning a lot.
  32. A Plan for 100% Renewable Energy by 2050
    On Gilles insistence that 'fossil fuel will still be used'... there is some validity.

    For instance, if most of the rest of the world converted to renewable energy it would be quite likely that Saudi Arabia would continue using oil... because they'd then have such a surplus of it that the cost for local use (no transport cost added in) would be negligible.

    There are also some applications which alternative energy sources can't handle yet. For instance, what other energy source has the energy/mass density needed to keep a 747 in the air? Or launch a satellite into orbit?

    So no, true 0% fossil fuel use in the next few decades does not seem likely with current technology. It is possible that the few remaining technical and economic hurdles will be overcome in that time frame, but by no means certain. However, even without revolutionary technological improvements we can certainly get down to some tiny fraction (less than 1%) of current fossil fuel use.
  33. Why we have a scientific consensus on climate change
    @ Arkadiusz Semczyszak

    "The existence of two (or more) contradictory (even if only partially) the theory of makes it impossible a consensus.
    That this is my "caution" ..."

    Shows that you simply don't know what the term 'Consensus" means. Consensus simply means "General agreement among the members of a given group or community, each of which exercises some discretion in decision-making and follow-up action." Note the 'General Agreement'-it does *not* mean that *every* scientist in the field has to be in agreement-only the majority, a fact that your claims have not been able to alter.

    Also, when these skeptics provide something called *proof* to back their contradictory ideas, then maybe the consensus might be in danger but-if A.A. Marsz is anything to go by-then its not in danger yet. We *know* what caused the 'great warming' (it wasn't that great) of the Arctic in the 1930's & 1940's-it was this thing called a massive increase in solar irradiance. Yet we *know* the Sun isn't responsible for recent warming, because its been in a state of *decline* for the last 30 years-reaching levels unseen since the 19th century in just this last decade. I think its time for Marsz to go back to school.
  34. A climate 'Gish Gallop' of epic proportions
    Oh dear. I've spent a while to convert the file into something a bit more web friendly and so far it's failed. This leads me to the conclusion that they're not really interested in passing their message to a wider audience.

    I would advise that you edit the post to advise that the pps file for download is over 100MB mind you, which is a ludicrous size for a presentation slide deck.
    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Done, thanks! It took over 3 hours just to pull the links out of the file.

  35. A Plan for 100% Renewable Energy by 2050
    "could give a simple argument explaining why the world would renounce entirely , for eternity, to extract some tens of Gt of carbon still available at cheap prices , increasing the total wealth"

    You really are a broken record, Gilles, & you still haven't provided proof to back this assertion. You're part right, in that extracting this carbon will *probably* increase the total wealth-but that wealth ultimately accrues to those who mine & sell it, not to those who burn it & ultimately will have to clean up the mess this stuff leaves behind.
    There are better ways to increase wealth-starting with paying the people of the developing nations a wage commensurate to the work they do, rather than being exploited for slave wages-something *no* amount of fossil fuel consumption will rectify. Similarly, helping nations to improve education & health care standards will do far more to increase overall wealth than just burning tonnes of coal & polluting the atmosphere. The fact is that burning coal is less tied to wealth now than at any point in the last 150 years-yet still people like yourself continue to cling to these outdated mythologies about the miracle panacea of fossil fuels.
  36. The Washington Times Talks Greenhouse Law
    Not visible, but carbon monoxide is also a 'naturally occurring odorless colorless gas'... which is lethal to humans at about 670 ppm. Yet is also a nutrient (i.e. "life giving") for some types of bacteria.
  37. 2nd law of thermodynamics contradicts greenhouse theory
    your assertion that the earth, if receiving energy faster than it looses it, will not warm beyond 255K here violates the first law of thermodynamics - what you propose does not conserve energy. Either you are wrong or the Laws of Thermodynamics are wrong - take your pick.
  38. Arkadiusz Semczyszak at 21:32 PM on 25 March 2011
    Why we have a scientific consensus on climate change
    97% of climatologists who are "behind" - in 90% came from the U.S.. Science the U.S. is biggest - agreement - but it's not the whole world.

    For example, my country. Climatologist, a professor A.A. Marsz - a skeptic. He has significant scientific achievements - Arctic climate:
    In his paper he writes: “The genesis of the ‘Great warming of the Arctic’ in the 1930s and ‘40s is the same as that of the present day. Both may be considered to be attributable to natural processes and are not demonstrably associated in any way with a supposed ‘Global greenhouse effect’. Changes in the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere could only explain 9% of variations in the SAT in the Arctic.”
  39. Arkadiusz Semczyszak at 21:31 PM on 25 March 2011
    Why we have a scientific consensus on climate change

    The quoted fragment does not change the fact that before „... create more sophisticated models that will chip away at the uncertainty range of climate change and allow more accurate projections of future climate ..." possible to have different scenarios.
    Let us assume - for convenience - a direct warming of around 1.2 degrees C for each successive doubling of CO2.
    1.94-1.2 = 0.74 degrees C - a positive feedback - by still "imperfect" model of the quoted paper.
    IV Report IPCC: “... defi ned as the global average surface warming following a doubling of carbon dioxide concentrations. It is likely to be in the range 2°C to 4.5°C with a best estimate of about 3°C, and is very unlikely to be less than 1.5°C”.

    What does it say skepticalscience: „The lowest estimate of warming is close to the models - 1.8°C (3.24°F ) on average - but the upper estimate is a little more consistent, at an average of around 3.5°C (6.3°F).”, “All the models and evidence confirm a minimum warming close to 2°C for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 with a most likely value of 3°C and the potential to warm 4.5°C or even more.”

    The question is: whether the claim is more likely that the lower limits estimated for whole RF doubling of CO2 - is already skepticism? Does it violate the scientific consensus?

    And as the great "the unknown" (for negative feedbacks) we have here, this paper demonstrates example The net climate impact of coal-fired power plant emissions, Shindell and Faluvegi, 2010.:
    „More broadly, our results indicate that due to spatial and temporal inhomogenaities in forcing, climate impacts of multi-pollutant emissions can vary strongly from region to region and can include substantial effects on maximum rate-of-change, neither of which are captured by commonly used global metrics.

    Scott and Duncan's theory ...
    ... when I doubt that science will give us ever satisfactory answers to important questions, then read once again over 280 pages of their work. Despite the criticism I admire the austerity of the statement, their "Benedictine" work.
    I'm no epidemiologist but - Haensch et al., 2010.:
    “Some epidemiologists and historians have denied this conclusion due to inconsistencies between the clinical and epidemiological characteristics of plague in historical records and those observed in India in the early 20 th century . Alternative putative etiologies of the Black Death include a viral hemorrhagic fever or a currently unknown pathogen.”
    This sentence from the above work:"...ends the debate about the etiology of the Black Death, and unambiguously demonstrates that Y. pestis was the causative agent of the epidemic plague that devastated Europe during the Middle Ages."- But this probably just “pious wishes”.

    Similar "pious wishes" may contain a question: “Why we have a scientific consensus on climate change ...”

    The existence of two (or more) contradictory (even if only partially) the theory of makes it impossible a consensus.
    That this is my "caution" ...
  40. A Plan for 100% Renewable Energy by 2050
    51 Gilles - 1st. I am certainly not playing with words. Well, they may only be words to you - but in reality the relate to actual theory and practice and have substantial technical meaning. When someone just throws them around it's a clear indicator they're not really clued in.
    The fun thing about your reference and use of economic is that you are doing exactly what you say is illegitimate to do for climate modelling... If you look behind the words to the science, it's obvious.

    regarding your question #51
    That clearly begs so many questions that I'm tempted to suggest that it's an insult to everyones intelligence even to ask it!

    Regarding your question #45
    "Now a question concerning a 100 % renewable energy world : with these hypothesis, which fraction of people could leave on vacation overseas , for instance in Maldives islands, following you ?"
    Who knows, not everyone likes fish so much and a vacation on the Maldives may not be that appealing. Others like snorkeling, maybe it would suit them. I don't know how these and other preference break-down on a global basis. sorry not to be of more help. Maybe the Maldives tourist office could be of more help.
  41. A Plan for 100% Renewable Energy by 2050
    Considering the account is already well in the red, doesn't that mean that every ounce of carbon emitted means just adding to the total that has then be removed to get anywhere near safe?

    Doesn't matter if the CO2 is building a fridge or a wind turbine it is going into the atmopshere and therefore will have to be removed again if 350ppm is to be acheived.

    Therefore renewables don't reduce atmospheric CO2 as they area source of CO2 emissions and that a proportion of that CO2 will have to be removed again to reduce atmospheric CO2.

    Clearly to produce power renewables cause far less CO2 emissions than coal but they do still casue CO2 emissions and compared to stopping using the power there is no contest.

    And also keep in mind that LCA or very likely to be on the low range of reality as infra-structure inputs are rarely counted nor the CO2 costs resultant from secondary effects of the production of the materials, like eco-system disturbance from mining.

    Can't help feeling that we need to start considering a CO2 budget that is upfront and final, that is we have x tonnes of carbon we can use and that is it, so no payback accounting or offsetting just an upfront amount and that upfront amount has to not only provide the energy to build all the energy replacement but also all the additional infra-structure and product replacements.

    So say the CO2 budget is set for 400ppm peak (it doesn't feel exactly safe to go higher), means for the UK the budget is less than 1 years of the UK's currents emissions if the budget is equitably distributed across the globe.

    Now considering the need for adaptations and priority services (hospitals) that isn't exactly much to spend on renewables to sustain the extremely high energy use we currently luxuriate in and means that for every ounce of carbon spent of renewables you want the maximum out, so putting a solar panel array in driving rain drenched West Scotland wouldn't make much sense!

    Anyway all this conjecture on carbon budgets isn't in actuality going to make much difference, as the carbon industry is huge powerful and popular; what government is seriously going to BAN the use of fossil fuels any time soon, especially considering the military consequences of doing so, war is the biggest user of carbon and fastest way to destroy habitat and there no way your running an aircraft carrier on solar panels!

    I've reduced my peronal power usage by ~80% or more and amazingly I'm still alive and not in the third world.

    Surely if everyone markedly reduced energy use wouldn't acheiving the carbon sequestering situation needed be a lot easier and an awful lot quicker?

    And do keep in mind that CO2 isn't the whole sorry there is CO2e and the larger current threat of biodiversity loss which also need major changes to occur to create a future that is sustainable.
  42. A Plan for 100% Renewable Energy by 2050
    les, instead of playing with words, maybe you could give a simple argument explaining why the world would renounce entirely , for eternity, to extract some tens of Gt of carbon still available at cheap prices , increasing the total wealth (at least for some time) of the world, for a "cost" of only a few more tenths of degrees?

    I'd like to know your opinion about the question at the end of my post #45, BTW. I have a funny story to tell you about that. So how many people could afford to travel to Maldives Islands, in this 2050 world?
  43. A Plan for 100% Renewable Energy by 2050
    Re dana1981 at 05:30 AM on 25 March, 2011 - Carbon capture more expensive than alternatives

    Dana - I have no doubt that renewables are the most cost effective power generation mitigation methods for low to medium penetration scenerios. My scepticism tends to be greatest for high penetration levels of renewables since the cost of storage techniques have to be included for 100% renewable strategy.

    The problem tends to be most acute when weather conditions require much longer storage timescales of several weeks or even months. Winter anticyclonic conditions over Europe come to mind. I think most cost calculations assume storage periods of days at most. Of course we could just go without power during these rare periods, but this seems to be politically unacceptable. The problem is we need to build a lot of storage to cover that period which is very expensive indeed.

    Many prominent environmentalists such as George Monboit and Mark Lynas have realised this, and eventually come round to accepting the need for solid baseload generation, nuclear in their case.

    In my wind article you can see how I attempted to partly solve that problem by integrating space heating via CHP and heat pumps into the electric generation mix, which requires using some natural gas but allows greater renewable penetration.
  44. A Plan for 100% Renewable Energy by 2050
    I 48 Gilles - I absolutely think there's relationship between economy and game theory*!

    Read what I wrote.

    Nash equilibrium is part of game theory, not cost-benefit curves - although individual agents may choose to use those. It certainly is not used in calculating marginal cost curves

    * Well, to be more precise, game theory is a useful model to calculate some aspects of economic relationships. It is very often used in computer simulation of economic models to look at the range of outcomes and, there by, the probability of future situations.
    This is, believe it or not, much the same procedure people use with climate models where they have to vary a range of parameters to look the the likelihood distribution of projectsion and model parameter fits and stuff like that...
    ... stuff you have objected to very strongly.

    Soooo... I guess you could not possibly think that game theory has any possible relationship to the economy - any more than you think that climate models have a relationship to the climate.
    And further, as the economy is also a non-linear / chaotic system... a whole pile of other 'skeptical' arguments which apply to the climate apply to economic modeling.

    I do hope we're not cherry picking here!
  45. There's no empirical evidence
    How about the pushing of Human Caused Global Warming is just a distraction to postpone doing the necessary things to reduce consumption of oil, reduce consumption of coal, prepare ourselves and the environment for whatever climate changes occur! Pushing the idea that you are effectively know how it all works is a time waster. Plenty good reasons to reduce oil and coal consumption. Its just pushing the all the blame on to industry when individuals consume the electricity and resources.
  46. A Plan for 100% Renewable Energy by 2050
    les : and you think there is no relationship between economy and game theory ?
  47. The Washington Times Talks Greenhouse Law
    @ 23

    Food colouring turns water into wine? Man, just think of the super low budget undergraduate drinking opportunities...

    But seriously, I get your point - my personal favourite in a typically pointless net battle was as follows, 'if you think 400 ppm can't block light, go and stir the best part of a cup of ink into your bath water next time you wash'

    (mine holds a 450 litres (roughly) - 400 ppm is 180mls.
  48. Pre-1940 Warming Causes and Logic
    Dana, I took the 50 % figure from here

    "at equilibrium, this CO2 change [from 1900 to 1940] would be expected to cause a 0.22°C increase in the average global surface air temperature."
    Due to the ocean lag and other anthropogenic effects, "the best estimate of the anthropogenic contribution to the 1910-1940 warming is approximately 0.1 to 0.15°C". "

    for me 0.1 to 0.15 is roughly 50 % of 0.22. So 50 % is not excluded , but " that only 33% of the equilibrium warming is realized over the period in question is not physically plausible."

    To say that, you have to have an accuracy of a few 10 % on the relevant quantities - for instance on the equilibrium increase due to CO2, that you stated later to be "1.4°C equilibrium warming from CO2 thus far. "

    But here , we learn that climate sensitivity is only very broadly know with a factor 2 of 3 of uncertainty. So the whole discussion about "accuracy " and "inaccuracy" is very confused for me - I just see play with numbers with or w/o error bars following the need, sometimes it's accurate enough to exclude, sometimes not ... sorry but the real accuracy of your numbers is totally unclear.
  49. A Plan for 100% Renewable Energy by 2050
    good grief. Gilles is now doing to the dismal science what damorbel did to thermodynamics.

    Nash Equilibrium is nothing, directly, to do with marginal costs nor, indeed cost/benefit curves. It's an equilibrium point in game theory.
  50. The Washington Times Talks Greenhouse Law
    This colorless "argument" goes in to same category as "There's only 1 in 10,000 parts of CO2 in air, it's ridiculous to say that could affect anything."

    But I think you need only couple of PPMs gobolt to tint glass. And how many drops of food color you needed to turn a gallon of water into wine? Any other examples in visible spectrum?

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