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Comments 451 to 500:

  1. Flaws of Lüdecke & Weiss

    The roguish curve-fitting in this LW17 paper will surely become more apparent the deeper you dig.

    I was intrigued by their use of HadCRUT4 and RSS (v3.3 as v4.0 was not published in April 2017) and their comment "For Bün, HADCRUT4 and Pet respectively the most recent years which show unusual deviations from the remaining reconstructions were also omitted." Perhaps this is why their Figure 3 makes such a poor showing at representing 20th century global temperatures. Their blue trace (31-year rolling ave, last data 2015) shows temperatures only reachng about 0.12ºC above the 1940s peak, about a quarter the actual value from HadCRUT4. And the final values plotted don't reach 2015 by a few years. Perhaps it was too painful to plot it all out properly as that would show their predictive red trace dropping 0.66ºC over the 75 year period since 1940 while the blue trace was travelling in the opposite direction by about the same amount. Such a mis-match looks to be unique on their 2000-year-long red-blue-dancing traces and, darn it, it is just at the point of interest.

    It must be very frustrating for curve-fitters when their curves refuse to cooperate!

  2. The Key To Slowing Global Warming

    Recommended supplemental reading:

    With Donald Trump in the White House, the prospects for fighting climate change have never been any bleaker in the US. Yet there are options available to state governments to move forward with the greening of the economy even without federal support. This point is made crystal clear in two studies produced recently by economist Robert Pollin and some of his colleagues at the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst for the states of Washington and New York. In this exclusive interview for Truthout, Pollin explains the significance of Green New Deal programs.

    How to Achieve Zero Emissions, Even if the Federal Government Won't Help by C.J. Polychroniou, Truthout, Jan 17, 2018

  3. Flaws of Lüdecke & Weiss

    >>Unchecking all the boxes should stop any glossary terms from popping up.<<

    Many thanks - I hadn't seen that.

  4. Scott Pruitt insincerely asked what's Earth's ideal temperature. Scientists answer

    Pruitt: "how do we know what the ideal surface temperature is in 2100"?  Ideal surface temperature 4 C cooler than now.  At that temperature, Eastern U.S. covered under a mile of ice, sea level hundred feet lower than present, wooly mammoth everywhere, plenty meat and skins for all neanderthal.  Good times!  Signed,  Thorg.

  5. Flaws of Lüdecke & Weiss


    When you are logged on, you should see a tab on the lower left of your window that says "Look up a Term". Click on that, and you open up the glossary function. On the right, you can customize your settings. Unchecking all the boxes should stop any glossary terms from popping up.

  6. Flaws of Lüdecke & Weiss

    OK, off subject - but Mods, is it at all possible to change the site coding so that one has to say right click on an "explained" link instead of the explanation appearing just because the mouse has lingered momentarily over the link?

    It's irritating to constantly have to cancel expanatory boxes which have appeared unwantedly!

  7. Flaws of Lüdecke & Weiss

    It's a question of relative radiative forcings acting on the Earth's land surface, oceans and atmosphere.

    The periods of deep glaciation in recent geological times that have covered a large part of the Northern Hemisphere in thick ice sheets and dropped global temperatures for thousands of years are likely the result of the Milanchovitch Cycles which can reduce the amount of Solar irradiation at northern latitude. These are on the order of a few tenths of a watt per meter squared and act over thousands of years in a dry process of more snow and ice cover lasting longer and reflecting more sunlight back into space dropping temperatures and drawing down more carbon dioxide cooling things even more creating more snow and ice cover which reflect more sunlight cooling things further. It's a feedback loop than when most of the continents are near the Equator can cover almost all of the Earth in ice.

    The radiative forcing from the changes we have made in atmospheric CO2 alone are almost +2 watts per meter squared, we have totally swamped the natural focrings that have resulted deep glaciation periods.

    There almost certainly will be no transition to a glaciation period due to the human release of CO2 alone. The Solar Cycles are also not that significant in relation to the forcings of atmospheric CO2 in recent times, once again in the range of a few tenths of a watt per meter squared.

    Even a prolonged Solar Minimum is not going to result in a cooling trend on the Earth's surface now, it will only result in a slowing of global warming as long as the positive radiative forcing from carbon dioxide emissions and other human activities greatly exceed the possible negative forcings from Solar Cycles.

    And the overall trend in Solar activity is not a decrease in Solar irradiance, it is an increase. The Sun puts out far more energy now than it did say 500 Mya for instance.

    Appealing to the Sun to save us as papers like LW17 do seem far more religious to me than scientific.

  8. One Planet Only Forever at 08:56 AM on 18 January 2018
    Scott Pruitt insincerely asked what's Earth's ideal temperature. Scientists answer

    The problem is: Change/Harm/Uncertainty on a global scale being created by rapid alteration of the living environment of this amazing planet by an unsustainable and damaging human activity.

    The Real question is: How much damage/trouble are the pursuers of Private Interest (trying to personally benefit from the unsustainable and damaging activity) going to get away with creating?

    The debates needs to be: How did we end up in this unsustainable damaging situation? And what changes get the future of humanity out of the damaging unsustainable downward spiral that only looks like progress? Hint - new technological developments may be helpful but are Not the answer.

    The likes of Pruitt appear to be deliberately Unhelpful (potentially deliberately harmful, and potentially deliberately harmful is almost criminal)

  9. Scott Pruitt insincerely asked what's Earth's ideal temperature. Scientists answer

    Recommended supplemental reading:

    Climate scientists on Wednesday suggested that they may be able to rule out some of the most dire scenarios of what would happen if greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere were to double.

    Unfortunately, the same scientists say the best-case scenarios are also probably unrealistic.

    How a doubling of atmospheric greenhouse gases would affect the climate is of tremendous importance, as humans are running out of time to avoid that outcome. With current atmospheric concentrations at 405 parts per million, as opposed to about 280 parts per million before the dawn of the industrial era, the planet is already about halfway there.

    Climate scientists say they may be able to rule out the worst-case scenarios — and the best ones by Chris Mooney, Energy & Environment, Jan 17, 2018

  10. Flaws of Lüdecke & Weiss

    Ruddimans ideas are quite compelling. By some estimates we have already released more than enough CO2 to prevent or hugely delay the next ice age. We could still have a colder than normal period, but it only takes a couple of degrees to stop the full advancement of continent sized ice sheets. We don't need to release any more CO2.

    I gather the research in the main article deconstructs 200 yeas of solar irradiance data into its component curves and one of these correlates with recent decades of higher temperatures? But even if this is the case, which appears in doubt,  a correlation doesn't prove a great deal by itself. Changes in solar activity like this don't appear to have much effect, and the overall recent decadal trend is falling solar activity.

  11. Scott Pruitt insincerely asked what's Earth's ideal temperature. Scientists answer

    Yes its a rate of change problem. An ideal temperature is a strawman. Heatwaves will increase, and we cannot adapt quickly enough biologically, so have to expend energy to adapt, diverted form other pressing priorities,  and it will create refugee problems.

    But this will not worry people like Scott Pruit. Pruitt sits in his secure, air conditioned office with his millions of dollars, secure from the effects of climate change, and not caring about anyone apart from his immediate circle of people. You cannot reason with people like Pruitt. The fossil fuel industry now runs the American government. 

  12. Flaws of Lüdecke & Weiss

    We should be going into the next glaciation, not because of the sun's output but because of the Milankovitch cycle.  In fact if you read Ploughs, Plagues and Petroleum by Ruddiman, you see that snow and ice had begun to accumulate in the high lands of Baffin Island.  Fortunately our output of green house gas reversed the process.  It would have happened a little earlier but ploughing had released enough carbon into the atmosphere to slow the otherwise inevitable slide.  The great plagues in the old world and the destruction of the native population in the new world by diseases brought by the Spanish caused a huge recovery of forests which was enough to just tip us over the edge to snow accumulation. Increased industrialization then came to our rescue.   It is a shame we are using fossil fuels so extravegantly.  If used judicially, we could completely avoid the next glaciation.  Instead we may tip ourselves into a very nasty heating scenario, followed by a collapse of our civilization and a rapid draw down of Carbon dioxide as the forests and jungles recover.  From a destructive heating we could then slide into the next glaciation.

  13. The Key To Slowing Global Warming

    NorrisM @ 8

    How has the South Australian Battery pderformed?  This analysis provides the answer.

  14. Science of Climate Change online class starting next week on Coursera

    Sometime ago there was a useful set of comments and critiques on Modtran Infrared Light in the Atmosphere. Results obtained by myself and David Archer are published as part of the annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society and may be accessed at the URL


    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Link activated.

  15. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #2

    Montecito CA looks to be quite a wealthy neighbourhood. It's more than obvious to anyone famirila with forces behind weather dynamics, that such violent event (1/2 inch of rain in 5 minutes after fires) is unprecedented and AGW has exacerbated its likelyhood severalfolds. Those residents do understand it, for sure. CA lawmakers also likely understand it, largely because they are hit by the event. But sadly, all REP in Congress together with their clown president, don't want to understand it (unless the disaster had hit themselves). I cannot wait until Americans wake up and vote them deniers-in-chief, out.

    Selfish human nature delays mitigation, e.g. literally no one in US cares about vulnerability of African nations. But this event shows that even wealthy can be vulnerable (and they have more monetary value to lose), so the experience may increase mitigation efforts in US and around the world, which paradoxically would be a good outcome.

  16. Study finds that global warming exacerbates refugee crises

    Question: is there a causal link between climate change and the attacks on America in 2001, or not?

  17. On its hundredth birthday in 1959, Edward Teller warned the oil industry about global warming

    Oldmanthames, that is the most excellent of excellent points.

    The large populated cities are now stuck with a nuclear solution! (So fossil fuels actually gave us nuclear power? NOW THAT is a conspiracy!!)

    Moderator Response:

    [JH] All-caps snipped.

  18. On its hundredth birthday in 1959, Edward Teller warned the oil industry about global warming

    @10, the partys that run for office don’t want tax payer funded election campaigns as it takes away half the campaign material about where the other side got their campaign chest from.

    Who would decide that this should be the case?

  19. On its hundredth birthday in 1959, Edward Teller warned the oil industry about global warming


    Democracy in the real world is a system and all systems breakdown over time. 

    Only life can put things back together and this is commonly known as ‘continual improvement’.

  20. Flaws of Lüdecke & Weiss

    Sounds like LW17 is a study in confirmation bias not actual climate research based on actual data.

    Sure the Sun moderates climate on Earth, that is not the issue today.

    The issue we now all face is the virtually unrestricted release of carbon dioxide - the primary persistent GHG - from fossil fuels.

    It is simple to chart the increase in concentration of cardon dioxide in the atmosphere with a clear increase in averge yearly temperature as well as other clear indicators of a warming Earth such as changes in the timing of seasons, loss of global cryosphere, thermal expansion of oceans and more.

    And we can directly measure the increase of heat coming from the atmosphere in the spectrum that is absorbed by carbon dioxide, a plain fingerprint of the role that carbon dioxide plays in moderating the Earthès climate. Which is something we've understood with growing confidence since the early 1800s which culminated with a scientist in the late 1800s working out by hand what would happen if you doubled the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide.

    And who's results are still within the margin of experimental error.

    Even without quantum mechnical theory, over a century of data, computer models and highly sensitive instruments that were at best theory in the 1800s, Svante Arrhenius in the 1890s was still doing better science than these guys.

    Thanks again Skeptical Science for decoding intentionally generated bad science such as is represented by "work" like this.

    As for Bentham Open, how peer-reviewed is a journal that published an article that was generated by computer and submitted to test just how reviewed Benthan Open articles are.

    CRAP paper accepted by Journal

  21. Study finds that global warming exacerbates refugee crises

    Recommended supplemental reading:

    Rising sea swamps island along Bengal coast

    Around 1.5 million people will be displaced in the Sundarbans, and the process has started

    by Joydeep Gupta,, Jan 15, 2018

  22. The Key To Slowing Global Warming

    NorrisM @50

    I have had a read of the Hartley article on Curries blog, and also the comments of Peter Lang and Beta Blocker. I have had a quick scan through Peter Langs research article on Nuclear energy and "learning rates".

    This is interesting stuff. Some quick thoughts, bear in mind I only read the material very quickly.

    Peter Lang is clearly a nuclear power fanatic, and makes some rather strange claims about what it can do, for example somehow providing liquid fuels for aircraft. I dont know how thats supposed to work. He is however correct that growth in nuclear power basically stalled in the 1970's, and part of this may have been safety concerns from three mile island, (but then these were real concerns as this came close to a huge disaster). However he is wrong to think safety concerns were the only factor, as Beta Blocker points out.

    Lang is also right to point out that S Korea seeem to have had a better "learning curve" on nuclear energy, and essentially lower current construction costs for plant today. Refer a below for global construction costs comparisons for nuclear power in terms of "learning curves".

    However S korea has had problems with quality control and safety (refer "nuclear power in S Korea" on wikipedia)  and is considering canceling all future neclear generation contracts out of safety concerns following the Fukushima disaster as below:

    So regardlesss of costs and so called benefits of nuclear power, this safety concern constantly becomes an issue, and public views are strong on it. This is understandable, because when nuclear power does go wrong it does so in dramatic and dangerous fashion.

    Beta blocker makes some good points. I think he is right overall, and  that poor construction management would be a large factor in the expense of construction costs for nuclear power in America. It's presumably also the main reason for slow construction times that routinely go over estimates. I have done consultany work for the building industry, so I hear where he is coming from. However until the management problem is turned around, generating companies won't want to build nuclear power.

    IMO strict safety standards are probably also a factor in costs, but then this is not something that should be compromised.

    The bottom line appears to be that nuclear power can be cheap power, but this is hard to achieve in most countries, and the safety worries are a constant concern.

  23. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #2

    New York prosecutor accuses Exxon of misleading investors on how it accounts for climate change risks:

    American law on securities offerings:

    "Both federal and state laws require companies conducting a securities offering to tell each potential investor all material information about the company, its principals, and the investment opportunity (including the risks of the investment) that a reasonable person would want to know in order to make an informed investment decision."

    "The offer and sale of many goods and services in the United States is governed by the market principle of "caveat emptor," which means "buyer beware.” This principle does not apply to the purchase or sale of securities."

  24. The Key To Slowing Global Warming

    NorrisM @50

    Thank's for the reference to the Hartley article and the attached nuclear discussion. I gather this is the article? For anyone interested...

    I assume the extensive and possibly frustrating regulation of the nuclear industry is to do with safety. This is not something that I would want to see compromised, or short cuts taken.

    I would not place absolute reliance on Hartleys views. They are the views of just one person, and the climate issue has become politicised and people have agendas. People need to read a range of views.

  25. The Key To Slowing Global Warming

    Riduna @47

    Yes you are right that reserves of bauxite are larger than for lithium. Scientists estimate 200 - 300 years of bauxite left as below.

    Of course aluminium is one of the most common materials in the crust, so these are reserves that can be practically mined at reasonable costs. Aluminium can also be recycled endlessly.

    We have plenty of resources for absolutely  huge numbers of batteries for cars and devices. However I still think its hard to see batteries being the main way of storing energy for power stations, because of costs and huge size of such instillations.

    I agree rooftop solar power and home lithium or aluminium battery packs could well  be the way of the future. An acquaintance of mine has just done a full home instillation of solar plus the tesla battery pack, and even now the economics are good. He has a nissan leaf electric car. Centralised power stations may increasingly be a form of backup for decentalised power.

  26. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #2

    michael sweet @ 3

    As you know, I am a Canadian lawyer so commenting on US law is somewhat problematic.  I have already learned that libel laws in the US do not strictly apply as I believe they would in Canada to public figures. 

    But in Canada, although securities laws relating to offering securities to the public do provide more detailed protection to investors, the laws of misrepresentation do apply to the customers of a corporation.  However, the problem often comes down to the "damages" incurred by the customer which are probably, per customer, quite small.  That is why "class actions" have been allowed both in Canada and the US.  But this is a whole different ball game and I do not think this is the place to get into an analysis of this area of the law. 

    But whenever you claim "misrepresentation" you are first presented with proving that there was in fact a misrepresentation even before you get to the issue of damages.  I have not really followed the Exxon story as to what they said to the public and what they had in internal memos. 

  27. The Key To Slowing Global Warming

    michael sweet @ 49 and nigelj

    I actually just came back on this site to reread the Arcus article on Xcel Energy before I post a question to Hartley on the Curry website (in between having to do some real work) so this helps as well.

    However, for a fascinating discussion of the problems of nuclear power in the US related to cost overruns, I highly recommend that you and  Nigelj read the comments of  Beta Blocker on the blog following the Hartley article.  He has 35 years experience in building nuclear power in the US and describes what has gone wrong with the projects in Georgia and South Carolina (I think I have the right states).  Another blogger on that site, Peter Lang, suggests that new nuclear power could be installed for 10% of the costs of the projected $25 Billion one of them will cost to complete if government regulations were to be reduced.  Beta Blocker blows this guy completely out of the water.   I am not sure where Beta Blocker is on whether nuclear power makes any sense now.  I would have to go back and reread his comments.  But anyone who has the slightest interest in nuclear power should read what Beta Blocker has to say.  For this reason alone, I am glad that Curry posted the Hartley article (you will see I am not using the term "paper").  I think the bloggers use the term "essay".

    Unfortunately much of the blog on Hartley goes off onto a discussion of nuclear power.  I want to get Hartley's views but I am also going to see if Beta Blocker will comment on the Abbott papers.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Mr Lang had a history here of unsupported assertions and sloganeering, when he chose to participate here.  The Burden of Proof was onerous for him in this, a moderated forum.

  28. Study finds that global warming exacerbates refugee crises

    It must be difficult to separate the influence of climate change from the influence of the destabilization of Eastern countries by incessant wars, more often than not caused by America.  For instance, how do you evaluate the situation in Yemin with regard to refugees.  America is fighting a proxi war there, using the Saudis.  It is a very hot dry region but how has the exodus of refugees changed since the beginning of that war.  The war in Iraq led to the formation of ISIS as the Americans in their wisdom forbade anyone who had been a baathist from participating in the government.  Since even to be a dog catcher, you had to belong to the party, this eliminated anyone of tallent and sent them into the arms of radicalism.  How do you separate climate change refugees from war refugees.  Incidentally, the so called Conservation Agriculture (see Montgomery, Growing a Revolution) would go a long way to mitigating the effects of greater floods and stronger droughts as it stores water in the soil when it is available for use during the dry.

  29. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #2


    I am interested in yyour opiion as a lawyer.  

    My understandinng is that if Exxon lies to their customers and the general public they are allowed to say whatever they want because of freedom of speech.

    If they lie to their stockholders about how AGW affects their market value that is fraud and they can be legally punished.  

    It seems to me that the basic rule is you can lie to fool customers and hurt the public but you cannot lie to investors about their money.

    What do you think?

  30. The Key To Slowing Global Warming


    I read a little more of the Hartley paper.  He chooses a wind only model for renewable energy.  Then he finds that an enormous amount of storage is needed.  This is a deliberate choice to maximize the amount of storage, and cost needed for renewable energy.  I have referred you to at least 8 renewable models.  Show me one that uses wind only with no solar power.  Honest people search for the lowest cost solution, not the highest cost one.  Since Texas has great solar resources the only reason not to use solar is to make renewable energy more expensive.

    Wind and solar complement each other.  There tends to be more wind at night and more solar during the day.  Solar is also more consistent in the summer while wind is better in the winter.  By using only wind Hartley requires much more storage to supply all energy.  If he used a model of half wind and half solar he would dramaticaly reduce storage and the cost of renewable energy.

    This is a deliberare choice  I am surprised that you doubt Jacobson's detailed model where he counts all the generators needed in every state while you accept a contrived model like Hartley which details nothing.  Hartley has ignored all the research on renewable energy to make his predetermined conclusion.  

    Hartely knows that his model is absurd, that is why he does not submit it for peer review.  His blog was written for deniers to use on the web, no serious person would consider it.  It is written in a scientific style to fool the uninformed.  It speaks volumes that Curry posted it on her site.  She has no excuse for posting such contrived garbage.

  31. The Key To Slowing Global Warming

    michael sweet @ 38

    I have to agree that the Hartley article puts up a straw man in the form of pumped storage but he clearly acknowledges what he is doing.  In the first part of the article Hartley notes that he decided to use pumped storage costs as a measurement of storage costs because it was the only viable one given the much higher costs of battery storage.  See bottom page 11. He later acknowledges that there are a "limited number of sites ... suitable for storage" at page 17.

    I think why he provided the estimate in note 18 on page 23 that a carbon tax of $10/tonne is equal to a tax on natural gas of $0.53/MMBTU is to make the point that natural gas is cheaper even with, say, a $30 Carbon tax which would only equate to $1.59/MMBTU.   Pumped storage does not really come into his model unless the assumption is made that you completely exclude natural gas from consideration.

    But if the Xcel Energy quotes are correct which shows wind alone at around $0.018/kWh, then his Table 4 is incorrect in that wind does not even come into the picture in combination with natural gas in Table 4 even when natural gas prices are assumed to be 4.5 times the present price.  

    I think I might contribute a comment on the Curry website asking this question as to why some mix of wind and natural gas is not considered given the quotes for wind alone referenced in the Xcel Energy article by Christopher Arcus.

  32. Electric Cars are the Missing Link to a Zero Carbon Energy Grid

    Bob Loblaw @ 37

    Thanks.  I have saved the instructions for next time so hopefully no pictures required. :)

  33. The Key To Slowing Global Warming


    "Reserves of lithium are probably larger than we realise" . . . . . Yes, and the largest deposits appear to be in Australia!

    That said, it is fair to note that aluminium is far from a scarce product and what little has leaked out indicates that it could offer far higher storage than lithium.  Research in this area is being kept very hush-hush, as are other alternatives such as zinc-air or flow batteries.

    It seems likely that within a decade most households will have access to batteries which enable them to be 24/7 self-sufficient in electricity generated by roof-mounted solar panels. Grid scale generators would then be meeting the needs of the business and public sectors and heavy industries/transport, with continuity of supply provided by pumped hydro and battery storage.

    Where do you think the future lies?

  34. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #2

    Exxon has been yelling "No Fire!" in a crowded theater (with no exits) that is, in fact, on fire.  Therefore, I claim the right to yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater that is not, in fact, on fire.

  35. The Key To Slowing Global Warming

    Suggested supplemental reading...

    German power sector: coal and nuclear down, renewables up in 2017 by Graig Morris, Energy Transition-The Global Energiewende, Jan 11, 2018

  36. The Key To Slowing Global Warming


    Lots of scanning and speed reading.

  37. The Key To Slowing Global Warming

    michael sweet

    This article from ANU scholars may be of interest. It refers to 22,000 mostly coastal sites suitable for development of pumped hydro. At present only 7 sites have been surveyed in detail and, so far, only 3 (Spencer Gulf, South Australia, Snowy 2, New South Wales and at Kidston, Queensland ) approved for and being developed.

  38. Study finds that global warming exacerbates refugee crises

    See for example:

  39. Study finds that global warming exacerbates refugee crises

    Good points, nigel, especially about night time temperatures, and we all know that GW effects those most strongly. I also wonder if in some places the humidity levels are also exacerbating the problems with mere livability.

  40. Electric Cars are the Missing Link to a Zero Carbon Energy Grid


    You need to linkify the link within the comment box before submitting. Otherwise it is just more text.

    Type in some text (either the link itself, or text you want displayed in place of the link). Select it with the mouse. Click on the "Insert" tab above the comment box. In the new set of pictures that appears as menu choices, click on the one that looks like a chain link or infinity symbol. A dialog box opens up. Put the link/URL into the text box labelled Link URL. Click on "insert".

    If you haven't already selected some text before opening the link dialog box, it will have two text boxes to fill. One for the text you want displayed, one for the actual link. You will need to put something in both boxes. Then "insert".

    If this doesn't make it clear, I will try to create some pictures.

  41. The Key To Slowing Global Warming


    How do you find these things?

    Nice to see Queensland still leads the way with number of installations (parochial gloat!) though domestic battery uptake has been a bit slow. Many consumers are waiting for an improvement on the Tesla II offering and I don’t think they will have much longer to wait

    Total capacity of domestic rooftop installations in Australia now exceeds 6 GW.

  42. The Key To Slowing Global Warming

    Riduna @39

    I agree advances in batteries will inevitably improve the technology, and reduce prices. Two known prototypes are solid state lithium batteries and aluminium batteries. This will make electric cars a very attractive option indeed, and greatly help solve the climate problem. I just saw a Tesla model X parked down the road, an amazing looking machine.

    But a warning: I'm a born sceptic or everything. The tesla battery in Australia is 100 mw, and is reputed to have cost $50 million. That is seriously expensive storage, that would need to drop considerably to be applicable as general bulk storage. Right now it works cheaper than starting up gas plant for small power outages, but becomes uneconomic for large outages of more than one hour.

    Both lithium and aluminium are also limited resources. Some estimates have us running out at current rates of use well before the end of this century. Numbers I have seen suggest there is plenty for hundreds of millions of electric cars, and one estimate was one billion electric cars.

    However use of lithium or aluminium as bulk power station storage would be another thing, that would use very large quantities of lithium. The following picture gives an idea of the size of the tesla australian battery instillation. It's huge.

    I think pumped hydro would have to be cheaper than batteries, where the geography suits this approach and land is available. The various technologies that convert electricty to gas etc would probably be cheaper ,and use more abundant resources.

    But of course its all speculation. Reserves of lithium are probably larger than we realise, and experiments show it can be mined from sea water.

  43. Electric Cars are the Missing Link to a Zero Carbon Energy Grid

    John Hartz

    Copy and paste did not work for a url.  Can you again direct me to where the instructions are to provide a link?  Thanks.

  44. Electric Cars are the Missing Link to a Zero Carbon Energy Grid

    This is an interesting article on the scarcity of cobalt for batteries for electric vehicles.  


    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Hyperlinked URL.

  45. The Key To Slowing Global Warming

    Good news from Down Under...

    Powering up: rooftop solar installations jump by half to hit record 1GW in 2017 by Peter Hannam, Envoironment, Sydney Morning Herald, Jan 16, 2018

  46. The Key To Slowing Global Warming


    I am interested in the sites you mention near sea level.  Are they pumped storage or tidal energy?  I know the tides around Darwin can be very large.   If you have a link to an article I would like to read it.  There are parts of Australia that have very few people so coastal areas can be used for projects that cannot be done elsewhere.

    15 years ago no-one thought that batteries would be as good as they are today.  Hopefully this will be an area where scientists discover remarkable new technology.  I think electricity to gas (either hydrogen or methane) looks very promising.

  47. The Key To Slowing Global Warming

    michael sweet

    Thank you for your contributions. I should have made it clear that my comments are influenced by the current position in Australia where over 20,000 coastal sites have been identified as suitable for pumped hydro. Although many of these sites could be threatened by rising sea levels, ad-interim they offer the best way of ensuring continuity of electricity supply during periods when renewable sources are unable to generate.

    However, I remain confident that battery technology will make significant advances over the next decade and that those developments will result in greater capacity and lower cost of battery storage. This is likely to make battery storage a major source of back-up for renewable generators in the 2020’s.

    A problem is that advances in battery technology are, for commercial reasons, seldom publicised. For winners in the race to produce the cheapest, highest capacity, most durable battery, the prizes are immense, hence the pressure to be first offering a great advance. I would certainly expect such an offering to be commercialised by 2025 but would not be in the least surprised if it appeared in 2020.

    Whatever the time-scale, there can be little doubt that advances in battery storage will prove key to reduced use of fossil fuels for both electricity generation in displacing use of fossil fuels for all forms of transport.

  48. Study finds that global warming exacerbates refugee crises

    The article talks about impacts of high temperatures on agriculture. I wonder if people are also just tired of the extreme heat. Syria average summer temperature is 30 degrees.  It could be part of the reason for the migration.

    Related article: “How Australia’s extreme heat might be here to stay”

     “While it is record-breaking that tends to make news, scientists say it is the unbroken run of hot days in the high 30s and 40s that causes the significant problems for human health, and other life.”It’s not being able to cool down at night, and in the days that follow, that causes problems,” he says. (Death rates spike during heatwaves)

    “I was camping in the Blue Mountains [west of Sydney] on Saturday night. It was about 30 degrees at midnight, and I could feel my heart racing. Now, that extra stress on my cardiovascular system didn’t kill me, but it might have if I was 20 years older.”

  49. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #2

    "Exxon Ramps Up Free Speech Argument in Fighting Climate Fraud Investigations"

    It's hard to see where they are going with this, or why they think it would work. The Supreme court has long recognised that commercial speech is not fully subject to first amendment rights. (Refer "First Amendment to the United States Constitution" Wikipedia).

    It just looks like a desperate defence from a company with big problems. A company that allegedly hid a lot of things from shareholders and the public.

  50. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #2

    Climate change may have added to the problem of oceanic dead zones but the primary cause is the export of Nitrogen from our farm lands via our rivers into the oceans.  Witness how the major dead zones are at the mouth of rivers.  The wide adoption of the so called Conservation Agriculture would hugely mitigate nitrogen pollution while keeping this valuable and expensive nutrient on the land where it would be a fertilizer instead of a pollutant.  The best explanation of Conservation Agriculture I have seen is the book by Prof Mongomery, Growing a Revolution

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