Obama on Climate Change: The Trends Are ‘Terrifying’

Sep 10, 2016

By Julie Hirschfeld Davis, Mark Landler, and Coral Davenport

Seventy-four years ago, a naval battle off this remote spit of land in the middle of the Pacific Ocean changed the course of World War II. Last week, President Obama flew here to swim with Hawaiian monk seals and draw attention to a quieter war — one he has waged against rising seas, freakish storms, deadly droughts and other symptoms of a planet choking on its own fumes.

Bombs may not be falling. The sound of gunfire does not concentrate the mind. What Mr. Obama has seen instead are the charts and graphs of a warming planet. “And they’re terrifying,” he said in a recent interview in Honolulu.

“What makes climate change difficult is that it is not an instantaneous catastrophic event,” he said. “It’s a slow-moving issue that, on a day-to-day basis, people don’t experience and don’t see.”


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90 comments on “Obama on Climate Change: The Trends Are ‘Terrifying’

  • @ OP – link – He acknowledged that his rallying cry to save the planet had not galvanized Americans. He has been harshly criticized for policies that objectors see as abuses of executive power and far too burdensome for the economy.

    This is the cry of the obstructive deniers of the wilfully obstructive Republican Party!
    They make democratic processes dysfunctional, and then whinge about “executive power”, taking urgent decisions when they refuse to constructively participate!

    That has made Mr. Obama’s record on climate curiously contradictory, marked by historic achievements abroad and frustrating setbacks at home. The threat of global warming inspired Mr. Obama to conduct some of the most masterful diplomacy of his presidency, which has bound the United States into a web of agreements and obligations overseas.

    This simply reflects the heavily funded deniers’ lying campaigns in the USA media, and the obstructionist approach of the Republicans! – Much more limited in influence in countries where scientific research is respected!

    Yet his determination to act alone inflamed his opponents, helped polarize the debate on climate change and will carry a significant economic cost.

    The claims of “significant economic costs” of remedial measures, is simply an indication of the economic incompetence of those whose biased views and vested interests, motivate them to cherry pick only one side of the balance sheet: – highlighting the relatively minor costs of investing in replacing obsolete polluting technology, while ignoring the escalating on-going massive costs of damage and losses of resources, resulting from powering up the weather and climate, loss of ice-caps and associated seasonal water supply, drought, floods, wildfires, desertification, ocean acidification, and rising sea-levels!



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  • If the greenhouse effect is NOT real why did horticulturists and gardeners start using greenhouses more than 100 years before I learnt about it at school ? I hate to say how many years that was ! As for ocean acidification, that was about 20 years ago, when I first came across it. Jeez do some people really worship money so much, when the evidence is so clear for man made global warming ?

    (Rhetorical question. YES !)



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  • “What makes climate change difficult is that it is not an instantaneous catastrophic event,” he said. “It’s a slow-moving issue that, on a day-to-day basis, people don’t experience and don’t see.”

    Being cognizant of the location one would think those frameworks and rules would be that which has the teeth of many Spruances, those dedicated to changing the perception by military like means, that whether this event, instantaneous or not, will be catastrophic.



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  • Mr DArcy #2

    It is useful to note that the Greenhouse Effect as developed and explained by Svante Arrhenius has nothing to do with how glass houses actually work. (Though it was once thought so.)

    Glass houses work essentially by keeping cooling breezes off perspiring and transpiring organisms inside. It is not due to the heat energy trapping capabilities of glass in an analogous way to CO2.

    A glass house made of IR transmissive rock salt is as good as one made of IR trapping soda glass. (Heat trapped in the soda glass is mostly conducted and convected away by breeze on the outer surface. Our atmosphere has no analogue of that process.)



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  • phil rimmer #4
    Sep 11, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    Mr DArcy #2
    >

    It is useful to note that the Greenhouse Effect as developed and explained by Svante Arrhenius has nothing to do with how glass houses work.

    Glass houses work essentially by keeping cooling breezes off perspiring and transpiring organisms inside.

    That is certainly one aspect.

    It is not due to the heat energy trapping capabilities of glass in an analogous way to CO2.

    ???

    http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/thermo/grnhse.html
    The greenhouse effect refers to circumstances where the short wavelengths of visible light from the sun pass through a transparent medium and are absorbed, but the longer wavelengths of the infrared re-radiation from the heated objects are unable to pass through that medium. The trapping of the long wavelength radiation leads to more heating and a higher resultant temperature. Besides the heating of an automobile by sunlight through the windshield and the namesake example of heating the greenhouse by sunlight passing through sealed, transparent windows, the greenhouse effect has been widely used to describe the trapping of excess heat by the rising concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The carbon dioxide strongly absorbs infrared and does not allow as much of it to escape into space.
    A major part of the efficiency of the heating of an actual greenhouse is the trapping of the air so that the energy is not lost by convection. Keeping the hot air from escaping out the top is part of the practical “greenhouse effect”, but it is common usage to refer to the infrared trapping as the “greenhouse effect” in atmospheric applications where the air trapping is not applicable.




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  • unless the automobile industry in america and around the world is demonized and demolished

    you know the drill, quare.

    You wish for the stars. I’ll wish for the moon, however, ambiguous.

    We can get to the moon.



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  • quare

    i’ll wish for more hidalgos

    me too.

    But the demise of the auto industry is ever less likely (and star wishing) as new, big and ambitious players enter the market like Google and Tesla.

    What seems increasingly likely is that car ownership will plummet as circular economy friendly, cash stream business models are adopted. This will propel energy efficiency and waste concerns to the top of the list in vehicle technology and make stringent legislation a doddle bringing national self sufficiency in energy an easy political win.



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  • phil rimmer #9
    Sep 12, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    Here is an update of Wood’s original experiment substituting polythene for rock salt

    As an owner of both glasshouse and polytunnel greenhouses, I would see a shortcoming in this experiment, in that a key element of the radiation filter argument is the storage of heat in the floor and internal structure of the buildings.

    If small boxes with a high surface area to volume ratio are used with minimal internal thermal capacity apart from the convecting air, this will maximise heat losses via convection and conduction through external surfaces (despite efforts at foil reflection and insulation).

    If the internal insolated areas lack thermal storage capacity, they will increase in temperature at a greater rate than otherwise, and repeatedly re-radiate heat internally (if long-waves are reflected back) until the heat is stored in the convecting internal air.
    In a sealed container, this heated air will convect to external surfaces where it will be lost by conduction at a rate dependent of the conductivity and thickness (or in the case of polytunnels – the thinness) of the material.

    The surface area to volume ratio and thermal storage capacity, is highly relevant to any heat experiments, with small glasshouses (let alone boxes) overheating more readily in sunlight, and cooling more rapidly out of it, than larger structures.



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  • Leading with the headline ‘July hottest month on record’ is cherry picking data don’t you think?

    Some basic climatology: NGW: Natural global warming – is heat from the sun, the earth’s nuclear core, interstellar radiation minus the heat reflected into space. Heat is retained by water vapor, aerosols, dust and 0.004% trace gasses like CO2. You would be dead without NGW because the surface temp would be similar to that of Mars.

    AGW – Anthropogenic global warming – is the change in that reflected heat due to change in CO2 concentrations, popularly stated in PPM so we can savor each point increase from 350 in the 1950s to 400 today. As a % of trace gasses it remains insignificant. IPCC report 4 stated that ‘scientists were busy teasing the AGW signal from the natural background noise.’ IPCC report 5 sidesteps the issue by addressing mitigation of effects like rising seas which are just as likely the result of sinking landmass.

    The earth’s crust is not static, rising and sinking as we pump out water, rebound from glaciers. As the earth’s core moves so does gravity, which has a direct effect on water levels. Then there’s the moon. Global sea levels vary by almost 50 feet from the north atlantic to the south pacific due to differences in pressure, gyres, gravity etc. When DOD invented GPS they also had to invent a constant sea level datum’ to compensate for sea level variations.

    When James Hanson created his AGW hypothesis, he acknowledged that surface temps are a poor predictor that a rise in CO2 would cause a rise in global temp: The true measure is a rise in the lower stratospheric temp (actually a proxy because by definition the top of the troposphere is a change in the temperature lapse rate. It varies by altitude and latitude, with the equatorial troposphere about twice the mean sea level height as that at the poles, with seasonal variation. (Google ‘general circulation model’ for more.)

    The sun is at it’s most perpendicular angle to the earth’s surface @ 45 degrees latitude north of the equator on 22 July. If cloud cover is scant then temps are the hottest. That’s just weather. When one claims July is the hottest on record it is irrelevant wrt CO2. It is relevant to cloud cover, El Nino/La nina which stated simply is the sloshing of ocean water between continents due to the chaos of the earth’s rotation, coriolis effect, atmospheric pressure and temp gradients. Cloud cover and diurnal heating keeps heating uneven, which keeps it chaotic.

    The atmosphere is not a greenhouse, it is an open system. Greenhouses stop air circulation and simply doesn’t describe what happens with NGW. CO2 and H2O are dipole molecules that absorb reflected radiation, flexes and re-radiates at a different frequency, retransmitting some of the reflected heat back to the surface. (Weather radar can ‘measure’ water content of air by transmitting at the excite freq and listening at the release freq)

    Here’s the punchline that Hanson and his Nasa bosses forgot to mention: The re-radiative effect of CO2 is inverse logarithmic. A doubling of CO2 does not result in a doubling of re-radiated heat: It’s a fraction of the previous reading and easily demonstrated by experiment. This is why Algore’s hockeystick graph is a chimera – it is physically impossible for CO2 and temps to track so perfectly without some math tricks. Since those are surface temps, they are irrelevant to CO2 per Hanson’s hypothesis anyway: It’s the upper atmosphere that matters, and it hasn’t changed.

    Nasa put up satellites with sensors to measure those temps. They do not confirm the hypothesis that CO2 drives AGW.

    A null hypothesis is a set of observations that if made, disprove the hypothesis. It appears that Hanson and his followers forgot to do that. Indeed, changing AGW to ‘climate change’ shows their willingness to point at any observation favorable to their hypothesis as evidence. One can easily counter that extremely cold winters ‘prove’ the opposite. The constant rise in atmospheric CO2 has not corresponded to a rise in upper atmospheric temps for nigh onto 20 years, so it appears nature has done the task for them: CO2 has not caused a temp rise.



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  • Thankfully we have Elon Musk. Please read his Wikipedia entry and be astonished by how much one man can do from Paypal to rockets to Tesla to SolarCity to mega battery production to the Hyperloop. Solar panels have come down in price massively and their efficiency has increased massively. Elon doesn’t patent his ideas, he wishes them to be freely available to all. His current big idea to prevent global warming is have batteries in every home with solar panels so that solar power is available 24/7 and not just when the sun shines. That will lead to more homes and factories going off grid and a big reduction in fossil fuel burning. He also has 250,000 per-orders for the new small Tesla electric car. The only l.imitation is the availability of lithium for the lithium iron batteries. I have read that the sun hits us with more energy in 60 minutes or sixty hours than we consume in a year. Solar plus battery storage is the green future leading some such as Goldman Sachs to say that the 100 year history of oil is over, oil is dead.



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  • Tom Connor #12
    Sep 14, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    Leading with the headline ‘July hottest month on record’ is cherry picking data don’t you think?

    Nope! It is talking about a global average in comparison to long term records!

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=88607
    In 136 years of modern record-keeping, July 2016 was the warmest July according to a monthly analysis of global temperatures by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS).

    Because the seasonal temperature cycle peaks in July, that means July 2016 also was warmer than any other month on record. July 2016 was a statistically small 0.1 degrees Celsius warmer than the previous record Julys in 2015, 2011, and 2009.

    The animated figure above {on the link} shows global temperature anomalies for every month since 1880, a result of the Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications, version 2 (MERRA-2) model run by NASA’s Global Modeling and Assimilation Office. Each line shows how much the global monthly temperature was above or below the annual global mean from 1980–2015. Note how monthly temperature anomalies rise over the 136-year record.

    The GISS team assembles its temperature analysis from publicly available data acquired by roughly 6,300 meteorological stations around the world; by ship- and buoy-based instruments measuring sea surface temperature; and by Antarctic research stations.

    Some basic climatology:

    That does seem to be what is lacking from your post, which appears to be quoting some AGW denier’s cherry-picked pseudoscience!

    NGW: Natural global warming – is heat from the sun, the earth’s nuclear core, interstellar radiation minus the heat reflected into space.

    Natural global warming and cooling cycles have been studied by climatologists in detail for decades, using indirect methods over centuries, and in general over thousands and millions of years.

    Heat is retained by water vapor, aerosols, dust and 0.004% trace gasses like CO2. You would be dead without NGW because the surface temp would be similar to that of Mars.

    That is so, but has nothing to do with the increased CO2 from burning billions of tons a year of fossil fuel and the feed-back increase in water vapour as temperatures rise.

    Nasa put up satellites with sensors to measure those temps. They do not confirm the hypothesis that CO2 drives AGW.

    That is simply nonsense! – apart from ommiting to mention the satellites from ESA, JAXA, ROCOSMOS and other space agencies which along with ground-based weather stations, confirm NASA’s measurements. The satellites also measured a whole load more climate details than just temperatures.

    It appears that Hanson and his followers forgot to do that. Indeed, changing AGW to ‘climate change’ shows their willingness to point at any observation favorable to their hypothesis as evidence.

    Classic psychological projection from deniers, who have absolutely no idea of the huge assemblage of data from multiple sources which record the increases in global temperatures.

    One can easily counter that extremely cold winters ‘prove’ the opposite.

    But only to gullible audiences who will swallow regional changes in place of global averages, and who usually know nothing about the basic climatology of hot summers and cold winters being related to Milankovitch Cycles, axial procession, measuring techniques, ocean currents, etc.



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  • The UK chemical industry reduced it energy consumption by 30% some ten years ago. Its the third world that we have to worry about. There is a permanent orange plume covering tens of thousands of square miles over the Malaysian area due to wood burning. Yet we always blame the US for polluting the atmosphere with their gas guzzlers. But its the US that spends the most on climate change research and funds most of the scientists in the Antarctic. There was also a very good reason why the US couldn’t sign the 2009 Copenhagen. The US economy was growing whilst the Russian economy was falling. To sign would commit the US to paying financial penalties as its CO2 production was set to grow and Russia would receive this money for its default reduction in CO2 because its economy was slowing. The US would be financially supporting Russian rearmament. Nothing to do with the US being against the green movement.



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  • David #13
    Sep 14, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    His current big idea to prevent global warming is have batteries in every home with solar panels so that solar power is available 24/7 and not just when the sun shines. That will lead to more homes and factories going off grid and a big reduction in fossil fuel burning.

    There are various ideas in addition to this, one of which is a smart grid, with devices switched off at peak times, and batteries feeding back into the grid when not needed on site.

    Of course some geographical locations (such as sunny deserts), are suitable for molten salt solar thermal generators with heat storage for 24/7 generation. Others are suitable for tidal or wave generation, and of course wind and geothermal power.

    There are also technical improvements like waste heat recovery, ground heat storage, better insulated buildings, and higher efficiency electrical equipment – such as LED lighting.



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  • Tom Connor #12
    Sep 14, 2016 at 4:51 pm >

    The earth’s crust is not static, rising and sinking as we pump out water, rebound from glaciers. As the earth’s core moves so does gravity, which has a direct effect on water levels. Then there’s the moon. Global sea levels vary by almost 50 feet from the north atlantic to the south pacific due to differences in pressure, gyres, gravity etc.

    Do you really think that global oceanographic measurements don’t record these changes in plates, and tides and make the data available to climatologists?

    BTW; You seem to have omitted the key feature of sea-level rise – namely the reduction of gigatons of mass of polar and mountain icecaps as a result of the heat energy being absorbed in melting the ice!

    http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/reportcard/greenland_ice_sheet.html
    Ice mass loss of 186 Gt over the entire ice sheet between April 2014 and April 2015 was 22% below the average mass loss of 238 Gt for the 2002- 2015 period, but was 6.4 times higher than the 29 Gt loss of the preceding 2013-2014 season.



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  • Tom Connor #19
    Sep 14, 2016 at 7:04 pm

    Alan4discussion: Teach me how to quote back comments in orange. Then we’ll get started.

    To quote a pasted section, put > in front of the first line and leave a line space at the end of it.

    Alternatively you can use the Bold, Italic or ” quote tools along the top of the comment box.

    However I will need to reply in the morning as it is after midnight here.

    To make any progress here, you will need to quote or link reputable scientific studies, not out of context scraps from deniers, or “Merchants of Doubt”, which have been aired on this site before.



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  • Alan, You always beat me on stuff. I was big on stuff and always spent every penny on encyclopedias. But I gave it up before I was eleven and junked soft subjects like history and geography at thirteen. You do great arguments and to me that is all there is. Evolution over time (and it is only history), science, philosophy and politics are all examples of argument. Popper’s scientific method (we learn by trial and error) isn’t about science but problem solving in general and solutions don’t come from brilliant ideas, rationalism or empiricism but from being critical and testing.

    My argument about Elon Musk was full of stuff, he’s a dynamo, it was necessary. But in general we should avoid stuff and concentrate on concepts and skills, mega knowledge rather than junk knowledge. We should get knowledge of stuff on a NEED TO KNOW BASIS. An example of mega knowledge is Newton’s third law of motion “to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”. This tells you something about anything that has ever moved, is moving or will move. An example of junk knowledge is that my laptop is black. The next generation can get through life not knowing the capital of Bulgaria but if they ever need to know this junk knowledge they can Google it. Kids should only be taught skills and concepts and never stuff that they can forget and get it on a few clicks on their smartphone on a NEED TO KNOW BASIS.

    That over.

    Are Elon Musk’s save the planet and the human race (by placing them on multi planets) good ideas and should our representative get behind them and accelerate their coming into being? A consequence of his development of the biggest factory in the world producing the next generation of batteries is that Russia, Saudi and the parasitic states depending on their sole export of oil and gas will have to go begging to the IMF and the World Bank to get conditional loans giving up Islamic governance to some professional accountants. Sounds great to me.

    Bottom line. Is solar plus batteries the way forward?



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  • Alan4discussion #20
    Sep 14, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    To make any progress here, you will need to quote or link reputable scientific studies, not out of context scraps from deniers, or “Merchants of Doubt”, which have been aired on this site before.

    If ‘merchants of doubt’ means anyone you disagree with I’ll make it easy on both of us. Can you provide a reference to an experiment and empirical evidence that shows a cause and effect relationship between atmospheric CO2 levels and global temps?



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  • Alan4discussion #18
    Sep 14, 2016 at 6:13 pm
    Do you really think that global oceanographic measurements don’t record these changes in plates, and tides and make the data available to climatologists?

    Yes. Tide markers attached to the ground don’t tell the station agent if the water rose or the land fell. When hurricane sandy hit NJ the alarmists promptly claimed the resultant flooding was evidence of AGW.

    Geologists stepped forward and said ‘probably not.” NJ coastal areas have a connection to post-glacial crustal rebound in the great lakes area: As one area rises another adjusts by falling. NJ and NY coastal areas have been adjusting for years in spots: It wasn’t a uniform rise as water would tend to do. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016GL068015/full The adjustments have been more abrupt in Scandinavia where the courts see a steady business adjudicating ownership of ‘new land’ born from the sea. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-glacial_rebound

    BTW; You seem to have omitted the key feature of sea-level rise – namely the reduction of gigatons of mass of polar and mountain icecaps as a result of the heat energy being absorbed in melting the ice!



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  • Alan4discussion #1
    Sep 11, 2016 at 6:32 am The claims of “significant economic costs” of remedial measures, is simply an indication of the economic incompetence of those whose biased views and vested interests, motivate them to cherry pick only one side of the balance sheet: – highlighting the relatively minor costs of investing in replacing obsolete polluting technology, while ignoring the escalating on-going massive costs of damage and losses of resources, resulting from powering up the weather and climate, loss of ice-caps and associated seasonal water supply, drought, floods, wildfires, desertification, ocean acidification, and rising sea-levels!

    Most of those things are are opinions, easily refuted. Germany has done as you suggest, replacing ‘obsolete polluting nuclear and coal plants’ at the, as you call it, ‘trivial’ expense of wind and solar. It has resulted in a 4x rise in energy cost, driven Krupp and Mercedes out of country and created a dependence on Gazprom and French nuclear power operators for peaker power at non-happy hour prices. Solar doesn’t work after dark and Southern Germany isn’t know for it’s wind. Without an economical way to store that energy it is often wasted, with a huge weekend daytime excess and a huge shortage after dark on workdays.

    The Bund has become the unwilling owner of homes as they foreclose on the unemployed who cannot afford the new green energy cost.

    Power factor is the data tag capacity of a project divided into a time-weighted actual output. PF is a measure of reliability and output. The grid manager throttles coal, gas nuk and hydro generators that are area dense and have a power factor in the 90% range or better. Green sources are throttled by nature – a grid manager’s nightmare because a passing storm can shut down green energy production in minutes. hence she must keep coal, gas, nuk and hydro in spinning reserve or buy from the French nuc operators.

    Green sources are inefficient, with a power factor in the teens. If a PV project has a data tag capacity of 1000MW it will actually only produce about 10-20% of that figure due to darkness, maintenance, ice, dust, location and aging. As the optimum sites are used, power factor declines further.

    Photo-voltaic efficiency declines with sun angle, dirt, wind, hail and snow damage. The dc to ac inverters are lightning magnets and expensive to repair. Output declines either side of an optimum temp and time.

    Windmills consume energy: The blades have to be heated for optimum flex and for anti-ice.

    Green sources are area hogs – replacing a 400 acre, 1000 MW coal plant with solar can take up to a quarter million acres. Wind is similar.

    Merkel’s solution is to build 25 new ‘green’ coal fired power plants. So they’ve gone full circle, chasing their tails and wasting money. They are the poster child for how not to go green. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2012/08/31/germany-insane-or-just-plain-stupid/#5a3c03302fe0

    On the subject of lost ice caps, I don’t know who to believe: The Sierra club and FOE claim it has all melted this afternoon and a tsunami is on it’s way. Others claim the arctic is melting but the antarctic icepack is expanding. Or vise versa. Or all of the above depending on their agenda. Send money.

    I know that before the US trade embargo with Russia, american oil companies with deeps sea experience were contracting to explore off the north shore of Murmansk because the ice was gone. Fine, that sounds like evidence for your argument that tons of ice is melting. But those US companies later considered themselves blessed with the embargo because the ice had returned with a vengeance, windblown, tearing out derricks.

    Ditto the Northwest passage, which was discovered in 1901 and Ammondson sailed from baffin bay to Alaska in 1903-1906, then the route closed again. This is simply evidence that the ice has never been permanent. Blaming it on coal plants and SUVs lacks merit.

    Greenland: People point to that and the 3km thick ice sheet and make astounding projections. Most are wrong. Iceland is a fraction of the size shown on mercator projection maps, a deception some use to mislead. Second, melting is coastal. Inland and north of the arctic circle the ice is at altitude where it rarely gets above zero F, let alone melt. This is why you don’t see huge rivers coming off Greenland like you do Iceland. The ice sits in a rock bowl of it’s own making, so if it were to melt, it will create a huge lake.

    Claims that it will melt in our lifetime is the final deception: If Northern Greenland warmed to 50F year ’round it would take centuries to liquify it all.



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  • Tom Connor #12
    Sep 14, 2016 at 4:51 pm >

    The earth’s crust is not static, rising and sinking as we pump out water, rebound from glaciers. As the earth’s core moves so does gravity, which has a direct effect on water levels. Then there’s the moon. Global sea levels vary by almost 50 feet from the north atlantic to the south pacific due to differences in pressure, gyres, gravity etc.

    This is not basic metrology, or climatology. It is very basic geology, which suggests your sources are from some climate change denier, who is possibly a geologist mining engineer, spreading disinformation on behalf of vested interests.

    These are geographically local events (glacial rebound after ice-cap retreat, deltas sinking under the weight of sediment, plate movements near subduction zones, gravity anomalies on the spheroid Earth, due to varying densities).

    They are irrelevant to the issues of rising sea-levels due to global warming, ice melt and thermal expansion, and are simply thrown into arguments to blind the uneducated who do not know how to measure or what to measure, with (pseudo-)science and complex measurements!

    Tom Connor #22
    Sep 14, 2016 at 10:05 pm

    To make any progress here, you will need to quote or link reputable scientific studies, not out of context scraps from deniers, or “Merchants of Doubt”, which have been aired on this site before.

    If ‘merchants of doubt’ means anyone you disagree with I’ll make it easy on both of us.

    “Merchants of Doubt” refers to renegade scientists and PR agencies, funded to the tune of millions by dishonest industry backing groups, who wilfully produced misleading information, and gratuitously disputed valid scientific work.

    The earlier ones worked for the tobacco industry rubbishing cancer research in the popular media. Some of the same plus others, set about rubbishing valid work on climate science, which is supported by a consensus 97% of climate experts.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merchants_of_Doubt
    Robert N. Proctor, who coined the term “agnotology” to describe the study of culturally induced ignorance or doubt, wrote in American Scientist that Merchants of Doubt is a detailed and artfully written book. He set it in the context of other books which cover the “history of manufactured ignorance”:[15] David Michaels’s Doubt is their Product (2008), Chris Mooney’s The Republican War on Science (2009), David Rosner and Gerald Markowitz’s Deceit and Denial (2002), and his own book Cancer Wars (1995).[15]

    Robin McKie in The Guardian states that Oreskes and Conway deserve considerable praise for exposing the influence of a small group of Cold War ideologues. Their tactic of spreading doubt has confused the public about a series of key scientific issues such as global warming, even though scientists have actually become more certain about their research results. McKie says that Merchants of Doubt includes detailed notes on all sources used, is carefully paced, and is “my runaway contender for best science book of the year”.

    The fact that you have not heard of this, may explain your use of disinformation sources of material on the subject (without citations) which fly in the face of the evidenced science on the subject!

    Even the more reputable oil companies eventually dissociated themselves from these charlatans and their “tobacco strategy”!!



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  • Tom Connor #23
    Sep 14, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    Do you really think that global oceanographic measurements don’t record these changes in plates, and tides and make the data available to climatologists?

    Yes. Tide markers attached to the ground don’t tell the station agent if the water rose or the land fell.

    True, – But satellite altimeter readings linked to GPS systems do!
    As I said earlier, false doubts are generated to mislead people who do not know how to measure!

    When hurricane sandy hit NJ the alarmists promptly claimed the resultant flooding was evidence of AGW.

    The “alarmists” were of course sensationalist journalists, NOT climate scientists.
    Climate scientists have consistently said that while increased storm activity is to be expected as a result of global warming, individual events cannot be distinguished from natural rare freak events – other than them becoming less rare as time goes on!

    Geologists stepped forward and said ‘probably not.” NJ coastal areas have a connection to post-glacial crustal rebound in the great lakes area: As one area rises another adjusts by falling.

    Which is true, but irrelevant to the issue of hurricanes and the related sea-surges, being increasingly generated, as average ocean water temperatures rise globally, and surface temperatures rise in the areas generating hurricanes/cyclones.



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  • Tom Connor #24
    Sep 15, 2016 at 12:49 am

    Windmills consume energy: The blades have to be heated for optimum flex and for anti-ice.

    On-shore wind generation in suitable locations, is the cheapest source of electricity available – when it is working (about 70% of the time).

    On the subject of lost ice caps, I don’t know who to believe:

    That is why I said you should use reputable scientific papers as sources, rather than media crap or disinformation blogs!

    Greenland: People point to that and the 3km thick ice sheet and make astounding projections. Most are wrong.
    Second, melting is coastal. Inland and north of the arctic circle the ice is at altitude where it rarely gets above zero F, let alone melt. This is why you don’t see huge rivers coming off Greenland like you do Iceland.

    The reason superficial observers don’t see rivers, is because they run in ice-caves under the glaciers after forming temporary lakes on the ice surface and draining down.

    https://news.osu.edu/news/2015/01/21/lakedrain/

    Two Lakes Beneath the Ice in Greenland, Gone Within Weeks
    Mysterious sub-glacial lakes build up over years—then suddenly drain away

    The ice sits in a rock bowl of it’s own making, so if it were to melt, it will create a huge lake.

    As you say, – other glacial lakes form under the ice.

    The Ice is melting around the coast by the gigaton and a small amount of extra snow is building up inland because warmer moister air creates more snow. It is the measurements of gigatons of net loss of cubic miles of ice per year which matter.

    Claims that it will melt in our lifetime is the final deception: If Northern Greenland warmed to 50F year ’round it would take centuries to liquify it all.

    This is simply poorly informed speculation.

    Vast quantities are lost as icebergs from calving glaciers, without melting in situ!
    They then float south, and increasing chill the Labrador and USA East coast, as the volume of ice lost to icebergs increases.

    The scientific evidence is clear. The Greenland ice-cap is melting rapidly. So is West Antarctica, while there is some increase in snow in East Antarctica.
    Mountain ice-caps and glaciers are also rapidly diminishing to the concern of those who use them for irrigation, and who would prefer a seasonal build of snow reserves to wet-season floods!

    It is important to take properly scientifically reviewed information from people who know how to use scientific instruments to make competent measurements, rather than uncritically accepting ignorant or misleading opinions from dubious publications or paid propagandists marketing hidden agendas!



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  • Tom Connor #24
    Sep 15, 2016 at 12:49 am

    Alan4discussion #1
    Sep 11, 2016 at 6:32 am The claims of “significant economic costs” of remedial measures, is simply an indication of the economic incompetence of those whose biased views and vested interests, motivate them to cherry pick only one side of the balance sheet: – highlighting the relatively minor costs of investing in replacing obsolete polluting technology, while ignoring the escalating on-going massive costs of damage and losses of resources, resulting from powering up the weather and climate, loss of ice-caps and associated seasonal water supply, drought, floods, wildfires, desertification, ocean acidification, and rising sea-levels!

    Most of those things are are opinions, easily refuted.

    Not at all! and certainly not without doing an analysis of alternative technologies in appropriate environmental locations, or a cost analysis of effects of climate change.
    The ethical investors and the “smart money” are already dis-investing in coal and oil, and moving their money to green technologies.
    Even Saudi Arabia is developing solar energy!

    Germany has done as you suggest, replacing ‘obsolete polluting nuclear and coal plants’ at the, as you call it, ‘trivial’ expense of wind and solar.

    No they haven’t!
    They are developing importing a bit of peak-time hydroelectric power from Norway (which is 98% hydro-generation and is planning to export some electricity to Germany and the UK)

    Germany has local photo-voltaic systems will reduce grid-dependence and give some feed-back (Photo-voltaic cells are rapidly becoming cheaper and a bit more efficient).
    Wind is cheap and effective as part of a mix with other systems and smart-grid management systems.
    Germany could be developing Thorium Nuclear, and tidal generation.

    There is no such thing as “clean coal”! C + O2 = CO2

    BTW; the “greenhouse effect” is basic physics.
    (although not a lot to do with horticultural greenhouses)

    It is laughable when deniers suggest that organisations like NASA, ESA, etc., do not understand transparency and reflectivity of materials to various radiation wavelengths, when every satellite, probe, capsule, shuttle and space-station, has been designed to maintain a heat balance between internal systems, solar energy inputs, and heat losses to space from black-body radiation! –
    Not to mention radio astronomy and communication dishes, focussing assorted wavelengths to create images of the galaxy and universe, or communicate data!



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  • phil rimmer #4
    Sep 11, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    Glass houses work essentially by keeping cooling breezes off perspiring and transpiring organisms inside. It is not due to the heat energy trapping capabilities of glass in an analogous way to CO2.

    A glass house made of IR transmissive rock salt is as good as one made of IR trapping soda glass. (Heat trapped in the soda glass is mostly conducted and convected away by breeze on the outer surface. Our atmosphere has no analogue of that process.)

    Indeed, for a test on a simulated horticultural greenhouse, to be comparable with the Earth’s atmosphere, it would need a vacuum on the outside of the transparent surface, which (like a vacuum flask), would have no air convecting heat away from the outside surface, so it would actually test radiation rather than convection heat losses!
    It is also noteworthy that vacuum flasks have mirrored surfaces to reflect back heat from the warm liquid inside.



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  • @#26 – Climate scientists have consistently said that while increased storm activity is to be expected as a result of global warming, individual events cannot be distinguished from natural rare freak events – other than them becoming less rare as time goes on!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-37370198

    Typhoon Meranti has landed in mainland China after battering Taiwan with its strongest storm in 21 years.

    The super typhoon, with gusts of up to 227km/h (141 mph), killed one person and left half a million homes without power in Taiwan.

    It is the strongest typhoon to hit Taiwan in 21 years in terms of maximum sustained wind near the centre,” forecaster Hsieh Pei-yun told news agency AFP.



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  • Tom Connor #22
    Sep 14, 2016 at 10:05 pm

    Can you provide a reference to an experiment and empirical evidence that shows a cause and effect relationship between atmospheric CO2 levels and global temps?

    Venus!



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  • David @#21 – Are Elon Musk’s save the planet and the human race (by placing them on multi planets) good ideas and should our representative get behind them and accelerate their coming into being?

    I don’t think privately sponsored interplanetary travel is a credible option at present.

    Nor do I think any significant numbers of humans will travel to other planets, although small groups of colonising explorers may.

    For the bulk of the population, looking after the only planet they have, – or going extinct, are the only options.

    A small group elsewhere might save the species and make a new start, if the the home crew go kamikaze.

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2014/01/manned-mission-to-mars-by-2030s-is-really-possible-experts-say/#li-comment-111877

    Unfortunately some of the links to debates on green technologies at the bottom of the linked page, no longer exist.

    There are however many other posts relevant to climate change and space technologies on that discussion.



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  • The single big takeaway for a Mars mission and the technology to support it, is the technological and cultural crystallisation of the unavoidable need (for everyone!) of absolute sustainability.



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  • Tom Connor #12
    Sep 14, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    One can easily counter that extremely cold winters ‘prove’ the opposite.

    Or .. . . at least those in denial can kid themselves, if they know so little about climatology, that they fail to notice that locally cold winters in one hemisphere have a simultaneous summer in the other hemisphere! (There is of course a slight imbalance, as the North has a greater temperate land area.)

    The constant rise in atmospheric CO2 has not corresponded to a rise in upper atmospheric temps for nigh onto 20 years, so it appears nature has done the task for them: CO2 has not caused a temp rise.

    Oh dear! oh dear!
    Global averages measuring heat inputs, include ocean heating, land surface temperatures, and latent heat of ice melt!

    Not just odd patches of atmosphere or stratosphere (even if we assume that assertion is correct!).

    The irrational denial argument remains the same: –
    “I don’t know how to measure, or what to measure, so all the data from these thousands of high-tech, tooled up scientists, is wrong”!

    So here is a summary of the world output of billions of tons of CO2 added to the atmosphere in years, 1990 to 2015, from people who do know how to measure!

    https://yearbook.enerdata.net/#CO2-emissions-data-from-fuel-combustion.html

    CO2 emissions from fuel combustion



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  • Not only are global temperature records being broken, but sea-ice ice melts are also at record levels!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-37376896
    Arctic ice cover in 2016 reached the second lowest minimum on record, tied with 2007.
    The sea-ice extent on 10 September stood at 4.14 million sq km, some way short of the 3.39 million sq km record low in 2012.

    Arctic sea-ice cover grows each autumn and winter, and shrinks each spring and summer.

    It has long been regarded as a sensitive indicator of change to the Earth’s climatic system.

    The ice extent has been tracked by the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado, using satellite measurements.

    However, the centre cautioned that the figures were preliminary, adding that changing winds could still push the ice extent lower.

    Ted Scambos, NSIDC lead scientist, commented: “It really suggests that in the next few years, with more typical warmer conditions, we will see some very dramatic further losses.”

    This year’s minimum is seen as something of a surprise as scientists believed that the low atmospheric pressure and cloudy skies in June and July had slowed down the melt.



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  • I wouldn’t put too much faith in informal agreements and earnest resolutions forged by
    national leaders. Back in 1990 everyone was yelping, “look, at least we have the Kyoto Accords so things could be worse.” Sure enough things got worse. The U.S. EIA projections forecast an impressive increase in renewables
    as a share of world energy sources by 2040. The bad news is that their projections also show absolute increases
    in the shares of fossil fuel use. Renewables are in the fight by 2040 but fail to win, place, or show coming in at number 4 in the running behind liquid fuels (petroleum mainly), natural gas, and…ready for this… COAL.



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  • Melvin #37
    Sep 15, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    The U.S. EIA projections forecast an impressive increase in renewables
    as a share of world energy sources by 2040.
    The bad news is that their projections also show absolute increases in the shares of fossil fuel use.
    Renewables are in the fight by 2040 but fail to win, place, or show coming in at number 4 in the running behind liquid fuels (petroleum mainly), natural gas, and…ready for this… COAL.

    You seem to be under the impression that the climate itself is not going to influence decisions or update forecasts in the meantime, and that developing technologies will not rapidly take over markets as they become established and increasingly competitive!

    It’s amazing how rapidly intractable minds can be kicked into the real world. when they are up to their necks in floodwater, running from wildfires, hiding from hurricanes, or looking at crop failures for the third year in a row!



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  • Melvin

    Sure enough things got worse.

    The less ideologically hobbled nation, China, however, got better.

    There is every possibility it has already gone through peak CO2. Its energy and carbon intensity (use per GDP) is on a firm downward trend.

    http://www.energypost.eu/chinas-electricity-mix-changing-fast-co2-emissions-may-peaked/

    “Only last Friday, China’s State Grid Corp Chairman Liu Zhenya (the head of the world’s largest power provider) said his company rejects the so-called all-of-the-above energy strategy to meet China’s evolving power needs and address climate change. Liu argues it’s better to move on to the next generation of energy technologies and that China believes it might as well start now.” The only hurdle to overcome is mindset, according to Liu. “There’s no technical challenge at all.””



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  • “It’s amazing how rapidly intractable minds can be kicked into the real world. when they are up to their necks in floodwater, running from wildfires, hiding from hurricanes, or looking at crop failures for the third year in a row!”

    The perception works only if it takes hold in the popular mind. Most people polled put climate change way down on their list of concerns because the weather events cited are just not that ubiquitous, frequent or destructive.

    For example, Atmospheric conditions that cause annual or intermittent extreme flooding in certain geographic locations have been taken in stride for decades (if not centuries). The monsoon season in the Philippines brings waist-high flooding of streets and buildings almost every year. The small death counts are wrenching, but the people know how to clean the muck out each year and get on with their lives until the next mess arrives. The Sandy Hook episode in New York brings observations like ” the worst storm since 1932″ recognizing that destructive weather events can strike every 10 or 20 years as a matter of record. When major crop yields start to fail on an economy of scale, when major coastal lands are inundated by rising sea levels then people will certainly raise an outcry. If the process does not escalate to crisis levels over the next 50 to 100 years with alarming global magnitude, then the majority will sit complacently like a frog in water being brought to a broil without giving a croak.



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  • Alan4discussion #27
    Sep 15, 2016 at 4:52 am
    The scientific evidence is clear. The Greenland ice-cap is melting rapidly.

    That is alarmist speculation. IPCC4 agreed with you and IPCC5 equivocates, reporting that the rate of melting and snowfall is probably in balance. We had little data prior to 1990 and current data sampling averages 5D/300 nm cells, with fair resolution from military sites along the southern coast and very poor resolution inland and above 75D north latitude. Satellite data only measures surface height which appears stable with summer temps averaging M20F@6000 ft.

    So is West Antarctica, while there is some increase in snow in East Antarctica.

    Roger that: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/nasa-study-mass-gains-of-antarctic-ice-sheet-greater-than-losses

    Mountain ice-caps and glaciers are also rapidly diminishing to the concern of those who use them for irrigation, and who would prefer a seasonal build of snow reserves to wet-season floods!

    Don’t forget that we are in the ‘interglacial’ period where warming caused the ice sheets to retreat. The USSW was settled during a wet period when snowpack was generous and water easy to get. Last year it was a ‘crisis.’ This year not so much as the Sierras got 3x the average snowpack. Of course that is a historical blip and the trend is not favorable. India has gone thru similar perturbations with Himalayan snowpack, but the last five years have been excellent – I know – in 2013 My nephew had to abandon Reckong Peo india at an altitude of 2670 m MSL due to 30m snowpack in town.

    It is important to take properly scientifically reviewed information from people who know how to use scientific instruments to make competent measurements, rather than uncritically accepting ignorant or misleading opinions from dubious publications or paid propagandists marketing hidden agendas!

    Absolutely. However the caveat is that most of us don’t have access to the raw data nor would we know what we were doing if we did. Most forget that reliable thermometers were invented in the early 18th century, so graphs and tables that refer to earlier periods are proxy data inferred from tree rings, sediment, ice cores and composted ipods that require interpolation and interpretation.

    Leaving conclusions to the experts ‘ also has it’s pitfalls because. Bias. Conflict of interest. Flawed methodology. Note how Mr. Mann’s hockey stick graph has morphed from movie to Nobel prize and IPCC3 exhibit #1 to deleted from IPCC5 and great inconvenience for Mann. The problems are various. Using proxy data prior to accurate thermometers makes sense, but appending it to instrument data and making predictions with computer models has pitfalls: It is easily testable, and so far the results have been poor. When Hansen began his modeling it lacked sea temp data because he said it made modeling too complex. No wonder his predictions of armageddon by 2000 was a bit off the mark.

    The stupidest alarmist arguments are that’ the debate is over and that 97% of scientists agree’. Neither are true, nor should it be: The scientific method is designed to find the truth, not agreement. One experiment could invalidate all prior conclusions. I present satellite temp data of of the upper atmosphere: When it failed to validate Jim Hansen’s AGW theory, NCAR/GISS ignored it, claiming the instruments were out of calibration. Yet it corresponded nicely with balloon and U2 flight data. Many thought that mighty peculiar, but he was the guru, so Nasa saluted and accepted it. (Hansen was eased out the door as his pursuit of the ‘hidden heat’ of the AGW temp deceleration became a bit silly).

    Poor surface data quality was the the argument Hansen made to congress to fund airborne sensors. Little has been done to improve existing surface data quality and there are great swaths of land and ocean with no sensors, while others that were once in remote NWS and airport Flight Service stations -FSS – are now surrounded by urban sprawl and the well-known heat island effect. NWS/NOAA/FAA installed thousands of AWOS/ASOS sensors in CONUS the last 15 years as they decommission FSS. Wonderful for aviators for current observations, but short of historical data for the met crowd.

    Gotta go



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  • Alan4discussion #26
    Sep 15, 2016 at 4:13 am
    Do you really think that global oceanographic measurements don’t record these changes in plates, and tides and make the data available to climatologists?
    Yes. Tide markers attached to the ground don’t tell the station agent if the water rose or the land fell.
    True, – But satellite altimeter readings linked to GPS systems do!

    Not many tide stations are so equipped, and handheld WAAS GPS elevation accuracy is 1.5M at best. For millimeter GPS altitude accuracy you need to tie a differential GPS transmitter to a geodetic survey marker validated to elevation at 3-5x better accuracy as the precision needed at the tide marker – both of which take time and are expensive. The FAA sidestepped the matter for precision approaches with WAAS – easier and cheaper, which reduced CEP from 10M to 1.5M – fine for airplanes but not suitable for survey work.

    As I said earlier, false doubts are generated to mislead people who do not know how to measure!

    You are welcome to your hyperbole and opinion, but it doesn’t change the facts.



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  • Tom Connor #41
    Sep 16, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    Alan4discussion #27 – Sep 15, 2016 at 4:52 am
    The scientific evidence is clear. The Greenland ice-cap is melting rapidly.

    That is alarmist speculation. IPCC4 agreed with you and IPCC5 equivocates, reporting that the rate of melting and snowfall is probably in balance.

    The IPCC makes no suggestions that the net rate of melt and snowfall over the Greenland ice cap is “in balance”! The measurements show hundreds of gigatons of melt in excess of any local accumulations of snow!

    It really makes absolutely no difference to the science, how many sponsored denialists, or gullible denial parrots, repeat the word “alarmist”, or regurgitate the pseudo-science strawman claims, contradictions of evidence, cherry-picked untypical examples, or doubt-mongering valid scientific work.

    The measured net melt of Greenland’s is huge, AND CONFIRMED BY SEVERAL INDEPENDENT STUDIES USING DIFFERENT METHODS!

    Satellite data only measures surface height which appears stable with summer temps averaging M20F@6000 ft.

    This is utter nonsense! Ice penetrating radar mapping and other methods, have been mapping surface changes and the underlying bedrock for years.

    http://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/hidden-movements-of-greenland-ice-sheet-runoff-revealed

    Scientists using NASA data released new insights into the hidden plumbing of melt water flowing through the Greenland Ice Sheet as well as the most detailed picture ever of how the ice sheet moves toward the sea.

    For years NASA has tracked changes in the massive Greenland Ice Sheet. This week scientists using NASA data released the most detailed picture ever of how the ice sheet moves toward the sea and new insights into the hidden plumbing of melt water flowing under the snowy surface.

    The results of these studies are expected to improve predictions of the future of the entire Greenland ice sheet and its contribution to sea level rise as researchers revamp their computer models of how the ice sheet reacts to a warming climate.

    “With the help of NASA satellite and airborne remote sensing instruments, the Greenland Ice Sheet is finally yielding its secrets,” said Tom Wagner, program scientist for NASA’s cryosphere program in Washington. “These studies represent new leaps in our knowledge of how the ice sheet is losing ice. It turns out the ice sheet is a lot more complex than we ever thought.”

    University at Buffalo geophysicist Beata Csatho led an international team that produced the first comprehensive study of how the ice sheet is losing mass based on NASA satellite and airborne data at nearly 100,000 locations across Greenland. The study found that the ice sheet shed about 243 gigatons of ice per year from 2003-09, which agrees with other studies using different techniques. The study was published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    The study suggests that current ice sheet modeling is too simplistic to accurately predict the future contribution of the Greenland ice sheet to sea level rise, and that current models may underestimate ice loss in the near future.

    The project was a massive undertaking, using satellite and aerial data from NASA’s ICESat spacecraft, which measured the elevation of the ice sheet starting in 2003, and the Operation IceBridge field campaign that has flown annually since 2009. Additional airborne data from 1993-2008, collected by NASA’s Program for Arctic Regional Climate Assessment, were also included to extend the timeline of the study.

    As a step toward building better models of sea level rise, the research team divided Greenland’s 242 glaciers into 7 major groups based on their behavior from 2003-09.

    “Understanding the groupings will help us pick out examples of glaciers that are representative of the whole,” Csatho says. “We can then use data from these representative glaciers in models to provide a more complete picture of what is happening.”

    The team also identified areas of rapid shrinkage in southeast Greenland that today’s models don’t acknowledge. This leads Csatho to believe that the ice sheet could lose ice faster in the future than today’s simulations would suggest.

    In separate studies presented today at the American Geophysical Union annual meeting in San Francisco, scientists using data from Operation IceBridge found permanent bodies of liquid water in the porous, partially compacted firn layer just below the surface of the ice sheet. Lora Koenig at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado, and Rick Forster at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, found signatures of near-surface liquid water using ice-penetrating radar.

    Across wide areas of Greenland, water can remain liquid, hiding in layers of snow just below the surface, even through cold, harsh winters, researchers are finding. The discoveries by the teams led by Koenig and Forster mean that scientists seeking to understand the future of the Greenland ice sheet need to account for relatively warm liquid water retained in the ice.

    You really should avoid make a fool of yourself on a science site, repeating nonsense from junk-sources!



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  • Tom Connor #42
    Sep 16, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    Alan4discussion #26 – Sep 15, 2016 at 4:13 am
    Do you really think that global oceanographic measurements don’t record these changes in plates, and tides and make the data available to climatologists?

    Yes. Tide markers attached to the ground don’t tell the station agent if the water rose or the land fell.

    True, – But satellite altimeter readings linked to GPS systems do!

    Not many tide stations are so equipped, and handheld WAAS GPS elevation accuracy is 1.5M at best. For millimeter GPS altitude accuracy you need to tie a differential GPS transmitter to a geodetic survey marker validated to elevation at 3-5x better accuracy as the precision needed at the tide marker

    Providing the surface is not sloping steeply, millimetre accuracy of the GPS lateral position is not necessary. There are plenty of coastal plains to choose from which have relatively level flat surfaces which can be measured and compared to nearby sea levels or compared to other pieces of land, to determine if the land has changed elevation due to crustal movements.

    [http://m.esa.int/Our_Activities/Observing_the_Earth/CryoSat/CryoSat_sets_new_standard_for_measuring_sea_levels}(http://m.esa.int/Our_Activities/Observing_the_Earth/CryoSat/CryoSat_sets_new_standard_for_measuring_sea_levels)

    CryoSat sets new standard for measuring sea levels
    26 July 2016

    Trying to measure sea levels around rugged coastlines is not always an easy task. ESA’s CryoSat satellite is making a difference with its radar altimeter.

    Sea level is a very sensitive indicator of climate change, reflecting components of the climate system such as heat, glaciers and the melting of ice-sheets.

    Precisely monitoring changes in the average level of oceans is vitally important for understanding not only climate but also the social and economic consequences of any rise in sea level, especially in coastal zones.

    Previous radar altimeters have been aimed at measuring oceans and land, but CryoSat’s is the first sensor of its kind designed for ice, and able to map sea levels with unprecedented accuracy.

    Scientists from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences also discovered that CryoSat had the potential to map sea level closer to the coast.

    Using satellite altimeters in coastal zones is notoriously difficult. Norway boasts the world’s second longest coastline of some 100 000 km, comprising many islands, steep mountains and deep, narrow fjords.

    The rugged coastline means that other altimeters produce confused readings close to the coast, showing differences of 10 cm or more.

    So the poorer readings on a rugged coastline with breaking waves, which confuse the readings on conventional altimeters, can be inaccurate by 10cm or more close to the coast.

    Of course with more favourable conditions on land and sea, much greater accuracy is more usual!

    While classical altimetry offers a few tens of observations over a five-year period, more or less near a tide gauge, some 7000 measurements very close to the gauge are obtainable with CryoSat.

    The result is a better affinity with the Stavanger data, to within 7 cm for CryoSat, contrasting with the 10–15 cm for classical altimetry.

    This demonstrates the superior accuracy of CryoSat in the coastal zone, where the regional impact of sea level rise is more important for humans.

    But advancing technology is becoming ever more accurate.

    Of course to measure year on year changes in sea-level at any one location, changes of crustal movements on geological times scales, are largely irrelevant to changes over decades, and have usually been mapped by geologists, while any sudden changes land levels, are usually announced loudly by earthquakes!

    As I said earlier, false doubts are generated to mislead people who do not know how to measure!

    You are welcome to your hyperbole and opinion, but it doesn’t change the facts.

    Your psychological projection and invention of your own (pseudo) “facts” is once again showing! – particularly an ignorance of the sheer number of reputable studies using multiple techniques, providing multiple confirmations of claims, and illustrating the range of scientific measuring techniques available for cross checking data.



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  • Tom.
    All the science discarded, there is still what we see. Glaciers melting. Animal movement with the global changes, the heating of the oceans.
    I’m sorry, but the reality is visual. There is no need to try to discredit the experts and attempt to emulate one.



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  • looking at the global picture:-

    http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v5/n6/full/nclimate2635.html

    The rate of global mean sea-level (GMSL) rise has been suggested to be lower for the past decade compared with the preceding decade as a result of natural variability1, with an average rate of rise since 1993 of +3.2 ± 0.4 mm yr−1 (refs 2, 3). However, satellite-based GMSL estimates do not include an allowance for potential instrumental drifts (bias drift4, 5). Here, we report improved bias drift estimates for individual altimeter missions from a refined estimation approach that incorporates new Global Positioning System (GPS) estimates of vertical land movement (VLM). In contrast to previous results (for example, refs 6, 7), we identify significant non-zero systematic drifts that are satellite-specific, most notably affecting the first 6 years of the GMSL record. Applying the bias drift corrections has two implications. First, the GMSL rate (1993 to mid-2014) is systematically reduced to between +2.6 ± 0.4 mm yr−1 and +2.9 ± 0.4 mm yr−1, depending on the choice of VLM applied. These rates are in closer agreement with the rate derived from the sum of the observed contributions2, GMSL estimated from a comprehensive network of tide gauges with GPS-based VLM applied (updated from ref. 8) and reprocessed ERS-2/Envisat altimetry9. Second, in contrast to the previously reported slowing in the rate during the past two decades1, our corrected GMSL data set indicates an acceleration in sea-level rise (independent of the VLM used), which is of opposite sign to previous estimates and comparable to the accelerated loss of ice from Greenland and to recent projections2, 10, and larger than the twentieth-century acceleration.



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  • Tom Connor #41
    Sep 16, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    Alan4discussion #27 Sep 15, 2016 at 4:52 am

    It is important to take properly scientifically reviewed information from people who know how to use scientific instruments to make competent measurements, rather than uncritically accepting ignorant or misleading opinions from dubious publications or paid propagandists marketing hidden agendas!

    Absolutely. However the caveat is that most of us don’t have access to the raw data nor would we know what we were doing if we did.

    The studies are published and reviewed in scientific journals by specialists expert in those subjects, so their validity is unaffected by how many ignoramuses don’t understand them!

    Leaving conclusions to the experts ‘ also has it’s pitfalls because. Bias. Conflict of interest. Flawed methodology.

    Allegations of “bias” from the biased, and allegations of “flawed methodology” from deniers with flawed arguments and no understanding of the subjects, are political problems, not scientific ones.

    Note how Mr. Mann’s hockey stick graph . . . . . The problems are various. Using proxy data prior to accurate thermometers makes sense, but appending it to instrument data and making predictions with computer models has pitfalls:

    However, seeking opinions from those who have no grasp of the use of proxy data, no idea of how it measures of what it measures along with propensities for doubt-mongering, it an almost certain formula for arriving at garbage views based on ignorance!

    It is easily testable, and so far the results have been poor.

    Nope! It has multiple confirmations, but is ASSERTED TO BE POOR, by science illiterates and deniers of evidence!

    The stupidest alarmist arguments are that’ the debate is over and that 97% of scientists agree’.

    97% of scientists working on climate related subjects who have papers published in peer-reviewed journals, was the percentage from over 13,000 sampled.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php?a=17&p=8

    Neither are true, nor should it be:

    This denial is simply false! Several competent surveys confirm that that percentage is so!

    The scientific method is designed to find the truth, not agreement.

    Mmmmm – 97% of 13,000+ reputably reviewed papers, and their authors agreeing with each other after detailed studies, is “not true” because you choose to sit in denial, and then laughably pose as lecturing scientists on scientific methodology while making it up as you go along (or possibly copying from those who make it up as they go along?)!

    One experiment could invalidate all prior conclusions.

    You assert that one unspecified experiment could invalidate thousands of confirmed ones and all the detailed measurements? –
    That wish-thinking delusion is indeed deep!

    alarmist arguments

    An assertion acquired from hired media propagandist “merchants of doubt”, which for years has been the badge of the assertive spoon-fed, denialist, non-researcher, of science!

    The other badge, is the substitution of rhetoric in place of evidence, and the assertion of a false equivalence of opinions, and expert opinions.



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  • I still hold out hope that innovations in wind and solar technology combined with rapid dissemination may delink world energy demand from fossil fuels. But when??? For the time being no realistic study shows
    such a process is underway. All realistic trajectories show fossil fuel use increasing
    at least through mid-century and beyond even alongside growing shares of renewable energy coming on line.
    The fundamental problem lies not with denialists, conservative lackeys, or subversive industry and political propaganda but rather with the failure to invent new technologies that can solve the problems of global warming, the massive emissions of greenhouse gases pronto. All the “good ideas” and scientifically accurate studies will change nothing until we invent new zero emission technologies implemented globally over the next 35 years. All the ink and tears shed on paper, all the puffy measures to conserve and mitigate, will not erase the dismal reality. It’s 2017 and we ain’t done nothin’ yet.



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  • Melvin,

    Our problem at the moment is entirely your belief that some killer piece of technology is to be invented. Let me re-quote the person most likely to know…again…

    Only last Friday, China’s State Grid Corp Chairman Liu Zhenya (the head of the world’s largest power provider) said his company rejects the so-called all-of-the-above energy strategy to meet China’s evolving power needs and address climate change. Liu argues it’s better to move on to the next generation of energy technologies and that China believes it might as well start now.” The only hurdle to overcome is mindset, according to Liu. “There’s no technical challenge at all.”

    The problem is only a political one and one of long term economic investment. For several years now we have had GaN switching technology that dramatically drops the cost of terminating HVDC lines. These can shift enormous amounts of power over long distances. Wind and solar as well as a time smeared demand shared over larger areas becomes increasingly stable. The problem as Liu says is not the technical challenge but is one of political will. I add a second which is the demand for an investment community more incentivised into long term investments and cash stream businesses.

    Taxation regimes disfavouring short term (gambling, zero sum) investments in favour of long term (assett secured value adding) investments has been long overdue. The gamblers don’t want to kick their habit. Whats missing is an informed political leader to run with it. Its a big idea with an immediate win that I think needs much more public driving.

    Investment in negawatts (energy efficiency) still has a huge way to go and would benefit from this taxation regime change. (The lighting industry alone will get another 15% efficacy increment in its light sources this year available to it. The last 40% increment is still no where near implemented because of old fashioned business models favouring least cost hardware rather than least cost of ownership.)

    Old money and its ways are your enemy Melvin.



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  • @Phil: I respect your views and admire your vision for the future though I confess a deficit of understanding.
    I’m doing my best to look at the world we live in and the innovations that trend setters claim will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the near to intermediate future.

    You quote China’s State Grid Corp Chairman Liu Zhenya but China like all nations has many huge energy sectors some of which rely on increasing use of fossil fuels. Projected for 2016:

    China’s oil demand will grow 4.3 percent this year to surpass 11 million barrels per day, compared to 4.8 percent growth last year, the country’s top energy group forecast on Tuesday.
    State-owned China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) sees the country’s oil demand rising to 566 million tonnes, or 11.32 million bpd in 2016, some 460,000 bpd higher than last year.
    The forecast, in an annual report released by CNPC’s research institute, also put the country’s net crude imports up 7.3 percent this year to 7.14 million bpd.

    This is the point I’m making. There’s a huge gap between the grand vision and the dismal reality.



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  • Melvin your figures don’t make your case. As I reported, China is going through peak fossil carbon use now, well ahead of predictions. Carbon and energy intensisties have firm downward trends well ahead of economic growth. The total fossil picture is the key, not its inevitable (and rather benign) refining profile.

    Change though could happen far faster as Liu says. If only instead of pining for technological inventions (quite unneeded) folk demanded the economic inventions that have been needed anyway since 2008.



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  • @phil rimmer: China is going through peak fossil carbon use now, well ahead of predictions.

    From The U.S. Energy Information Administration:
    Different fuels emit different amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) in relation to the energy they produce when burned. To analyze emissions across fuels, compare the amount of CO2 emitted per unit of energy output or heat content.

    Pounds of CO2 emitted per million British thermal units (Btu) of energy for various fuels:
    Coal (anthracite) 228.6
    Coal (bituminous) 205.7
    Coal (lignite) 215.4
    Coal (subbituminous) 214.3
    Diesel fuel and heating oil 161.3
    Gasoline 157.2
    Propane 139.0
    Natural gas 117.0

    The “peak” of fossil carbon use and subsequent measurements recording a minuscule downward trend in carbon emissions over the last two years probably reflects numerous shutdowns of dirty coal-fired plants especially in China, notably in the United States and Europe and generally worldwide in favor of shifting to cleaner burning cheap natural gas. The change-outs should impact annual measurements that show a small downward trend in annual co2 emissions extending some years into the future. The underlying dynamic still relies on one fossil fuel replacing (to a degree) another. Over the coming decades, shrinking reliance on coal combined with rapidly growing demand for natural gas could result in something like a wash as world population rises from 6 billion to 10 billion souls with energy-poor populations achieving parity with their energy-rich counterparts. Unless there is an expedited economic-technological revolution in the effectiveness, affordability; implementation and distribution of renewable energy on a worldwide scale in the next two or three decades, we may well stay mired in a dangerous status quo.



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  • Melvin #53
    Sep 20, 2016 at 2:07 am

    The underlying dynamic still relies on one fossil fuel replacing (to a degree) another. Over the coming decades, shrinking reliance on coal combined with rapidly growing demand for natural gas could result in something like a wash as world population rises from 6 billion to 10 billion souls with energy-poor populations achieving parity with their energy-rich counterparts.

    It is the misled “developing countries”, which need to simply bypass the dirty obsolete polluting technologies, and put their investments directly into clean green energy.
    While decisions on technical choices are involved, these are political and economic decisions, which is why denialist vested interests are so keen to promote disinformation.

    Unless there is an expedited economic-technological revolution in the effectiveness, affordability; implementation and distribution of renewable energy on a worldwide scale in the next two or three decades,

    The point Phil made to you earlier, is that the technologies are there, available, developing rapidly, and also rapidly dropping in price as they mature. It is the economic and political decisions to stop subsidising coal, oil and gas, and to instead make those industries pay the full cost of their pollution, and then tax them some more as a disincentive to pollute which are needed!
    That will speed the re-direction of investment into the clean alternatives and speed further clean developments, replacing the obsolete systems.

    The stupid deniers, fighting rear-guard actions will then lose the money they have spent seeking new “reserves” of carbon, and on obsolete industries.
    This will probably have minimal effect, or beneficial effect, on the wider economy, as most general purpose construction equipment, can be just as easily be used on green developments, as on obsolete systems.
    (For example marine engineering can just as effectively be applied to tidal turbines, wave power, and off-shore wind farms, as to off-shore oil rigs.)

    we may well stay mired in a dangerous status quo.

    The carbon “status quo” is a myth which deniers have worked at maintaining, and tabloid readers have swallowed, due to a lack of knowledge of alternative options!
    Huge investments are being made in alternatives, but many are yet to reach production because of the long-term nature of major projects, but reckless silly people are still trying to direct investments into drilling rigs, tar-sands, oil pipelines, bulk transport systems for coal, etc.



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  • Melvin, I agree with quite a lot of this, but, my thesis is Liu’s thesis.

    Until early 2016 coal fired electricity was slated for great increase still. Dramatically in April this was downscaled by 40%. Whilst folk point to an economic downturn as a cause, far more significant in enabling this fundamental policy shift (for such it was) was the very steady and significant improvement over the previous years of carbon and energy intensities (units per GDP), effective energy efficiency. THIS is why this moment is significant and why, this commitment to change is going to accelerate the reduction in Carbon emitted from China.

    I still must correct the view of economic-technological change needed to accelerate change. It is only economic-political change needed. There is a ton of technology available (SMART grids, distributed and embedded generation, green gas, flow batteries, and on and on) aching for the ability to scale into affordability (there is no technological barrier to these given the right types of investment…long term). The problem is that all this stuff works only when all the other stuff works. China has now bitten the bullet (and most needed to!) AGW denial totally scuppers such whole hearted commitment to the renewable enterprise in the US. Legislating against short term gambling investments is still unlikely given the power of old money. The US needs to sell far more on the political virtues of sustainability.

    Also let me rail a bit against futurologists who look at trends and from this predict a future. This is mere fatalism. Policy is everything. Policy can direct our actions and investment. Policy takes us to the moon in 7 years because all the primary technology is already in place.

    All the primary technology is in place.



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  • Melvin #53
    Sep 20, 2016 at 2:07 am

    From The U.S. Energy Information Administration:
    Different fuels emit different amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) in relation to the energy they produce when burned.
    To analyze emissions across fuels, compare the amount of CO2 emitted per unit of energy output or heat content.

    This is misleading not what is described below!

    Pounds of CO2 emitted per million British thermal units (Btu) of energy for various fuels:
    Coal (anthracite) 228.6
    Coal (bituminous) 205.7
    Coal (lignite) 215.4
    Coal (subbituminous) 214.3
    Diesel fuel and heating oil 161.3
    Gasoline 157.2
    Propane 139.0
    Natural gas 117.0

    {Coal (anthracite) 228.6} does not emit more CO2 per unit of energy produced than {Coal (bituminous) 205.7} or {Coal (lignite) 215.4}.
    It emits more CO2 per pound of fuel, because anthracite has a higher concentration of carbon in the fuel.
    Anthracite is purer carbon, so burns more efficiently to produce less of the other toxic exhaust fumes, less smoke, and less ash.
    To use superficial figures to suggest that lignite is less polluting than anthracite, is a sick joke!



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  • Alan

    In fact lignite produces slightly less CO2 per kWh (0.36Kg) than the high carbon coals (0.37Kg).

    There is a trick to burning low carbon, wet coal which the industry has mastered, maintaining/elevating combustion temperature and managing the steam production and heat transfer into the flue gas and extracting it efficiently. (China, in fact, leads the way at 44% extraction efficiency.)

    http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/co2-emission-fuels-d_1085.html

    The point about other pollutants is entirely correct. Lignite is the filthy choking pits….



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  • phil rimmer #57
    Sep 20, 2016 at 6:21 am

    In fact lignite produces slightly less CO2 per kWh (0.36Kg) than the high carbon coals (0.37Kg).

    As you say, the usable heat production, is very dependent on the combustion process, rather than simply on the fuel.

    The management of this has changed over the years.
    As I understand it, anthracite was the fuel producing most heat and least smoke when the Navy used it to power high performance steamships.

    Your comments #57 and #58 give a good explanation of more recent developments and ask relevant questions.



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  • From Enerdata: Stabilisation in [world] energy consumption for the second consecutive year

    Relying on statistical tracking of fossil fuel and renewables in recent years using quantitative and qualitative analysis doth make futurologists of us all. Pessimism or optimism about current trends need not brand anyone a fatalist.

    Extrapolation on dubious or short-term data is probably unreliable in 2016. The Enerdata bar graph shows several two-year periods where energy consumption “stabilized” because of circumstances unrelated to energy intensity and efficiency. Because of the global recession, energy consumption showed a relatively huge dip in 2009.

    Phil and I are in agreement on the significance of China’s action and commitment to close many coal-fired energy plants. I’m less convinced that Chinese government policy driven by an imminent clean-energy revolution is a credible explanation. I view 3 other factors effectively propelling this development:
    1) Coal has generated insufferable air pollution in China’s urban areas (e.g., Beijing) forcing government to drastically reduce the burning of coal as a mandatory public health and quality-of-life measure.
    2) Government leaders have committed to economic reforms that reduce production and increase consumption. An emerging consumer economy sustaining viable aggregate demand will also have the salutary
    effect of lowering energy consumption from the declining smokestack manufacturing sector.
    3) More of China’s energy demands can be met with natural gas which burns far cleaner with only about half the emissions of coal.

    The force of arguments do not derive from emphatic assertions taken in isolation. Multiple factors must be integrated into a coherent picture. Yes, China will continue to dismantle (some) coal-fired energy plants while she continues to build up wind and solar energy infrastructure. On the other hand, China will also continue to import oil in greater quantities on an annual basis. Energy infrastructures will probably evolve into “hybrids” relying on variable mixes of fossil fuels and renewables for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately the global current mix relies preponderantly on fossil fuels both in developed economies and ominously more so in developing economies where 100% of population growth will take place through the end of the 21st century.



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  • Melvin

    I’m less convinced that Chinese government policy driven by an imminent clean-energy revolution is a credible explanation.

    and yet

    1) Coal has generated insufferable air pollution in China’s urban areas (e.g., Beijing) forcing government to drastically reduce the burning of coal as a mandatory public health and quality-of-life measure.

    I think the first statement is at odds with this more credible second assertion.

    I claimed that the timing of the change in investment policy was due to a history of sustained reducing energy intensity faster than economic growth rates (by implication that future demand must fall) and that a current cut in actual growth rate made the moment particularly opportune.

    Unfortunately the global current mix relies preponderantly on fossil fuels both in developed economies and ominously more so in developing economies where 100% of population growth will take place through the end of the 21st century.

    This needs some serious evidence to support it.

    Africa will grow from 1bn to 4bn before flat-topping in 2100 (UN median projections) the remainder of our 12bn peak at 2100 will come predominantly from the Indian sub continent peaking itself around 2050 (all unless unexpected policies are enacted.)

    Though less so than Nigeria, Uganda and South Africa and Mumbai , these possessing some infrastructure, renewables will make a much larger contribution into Africa and the Indian subcontinent. Solar is an easy win and operates without infra-structure if needed. It plants locally at any scale. Fossil fuel needs roads and pipelines, tanks and power stations and distribution grids. Its bonkers to think this can find the investment needed. Already solar powers villages and houses. Non infrastructure technologies, mobile phones, tablets, and battery powered base stations, battery powered LED lighting, have made huge penetration already and complement solar perfectly. Your vision doesn’t match the facts, only in the largest cities will your scenario pertain. E-bikes will displace those needing outside fuel. For 25% of the costs of the bike you can buy a panel that will recharge it in an afternoon. Solar is added as needed, topically and independently of mostly disorganised governments.



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  • @Phil

    Perhaps we can agree on how we are disagreeing. Apparently we’re both looking at a welter of ambiguous data
    and reaching divergent conclusions. I appreciate trends showing a decoupling of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from population growth because of energy intensity (efficiency) increasing faster than economic growth. My skepticism remains in the absence of empirical evidence that these revolutionary trends have really taken hold for the long run and are in fact accelerating at a pace necessary to curb global warming in this century. Whatever the outcome, we all face a closing window of about 30 years. The next 5 years will prove the clean energy pudding so let’s keep a sharp lookout. I still find it suspicious that the base year of 1990 has been pushed ahead to 2005 by Obama and other world leaders. Perhaps our children will find themselves faced with the bold “new” challenge of reducing CO2 emissions to 2010 levels by the Orwellian leaders of a not so distant future.



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  • The data is the data and its a darn sight easier to read than what the weather scientists have to deal with.

    I think you mistake me, Melvin. I am not optimistic about whats happening. It is too little too late. China’s very recent policy change is a source of relief. It is timed in such a way, I think it credible it will stick to its guns. I am not worried at the roll out of energy in a modernising Africa and India (etc.) This will be how China achieves a moral (!) and commercial dominance of the planet. My concern is that where the US excels it is in a patchy statewise way or from a few over-dreamers who may suffer from idealistic vision (every house its own battery as Elon Stark would have it) when State-backed local-district flow batteries will get to what we need ten years earlier in a scalable and future proof way.

    The problem is as I describe it the lack of economic reform and the obfuscators like yourself bizarrely waiting to commit and vote on policy changes. Only when you folk, who know a thing or two become proactive, will the duller witted rump of society (the market can fix any problem devout) see this and start endorsing wholesale change.

    I think we are already hitting the iceberg. The need is to mitigate the worst of the damage. And learn at least going into the 100 year disaster how we can actually live sustainably after it. This is the very best moment to learn the political and moral message of sustainability. This is the lesson we will not forget.



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  • phil rimmer #64
    Sep 21, 2016 at 3:29 am

    The data is the data and its a darn sight easier to read than what the weather scientists have to deal with.

    China has been building two wind turbines every hour, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has told BBC News.
    This is the world’s biggest programme of turbine installation, double that of its nearest rival, the US.

    The nation’s entire annual increase in energy demand has been fulfilled from the wind.

    But the IEA warns China has built so much coal-fired generating capacity that it is turning off wind turbines for 15% of the time.

    The problem is that coal-fired power stations are given priority access to the grid.

    An IEA spokesman told BBC News: “The rather rosy statement on wind energy hides the issue that 2015 and the first half of 2016 also saw record new installations of coal.

    “China has now a clear over-supply. In the province of Gansu, 39% of wind energy had to be curtailed (turned off because there is not enough capacity on the grid).

    The average European wind farm is forced to stop generating between 1-2% of the year.

    He said: “China’s position is clearly unsustainable. It will need strong policy decisions, including the construction of many more grid lines and a phase-out policy for older, more inefficient coal power plants.”

    State media has reported China’s plans to impose a moratorium on all new coal-fired plants until 2018.

    The IEA says China installed more than 30,000 MW of new wind energy in 2015 – partly thanks to a rush driven by the Chinese government making its existing subsidies less attractive.

    Construction has slackened in 2016, but only to a level of more than one turbine per hour.

    Steve Sawyer from the Global Wind Energy Council told BBC News: “China’s build up of its capacity in wind – and now solar – is truly without parallel.

    “It is no surprise that the Chinese grid’s capability to integrate this variable renewable energy has not progressed at the same rate, but to change this situation China needs to rapidly progress with electricity market reform.”

    China has a recent history of setting targets on energy and climate change that it is sure it can achieve.

    The government apparently over-estimated the likely increase of electricity demand, which grew just 0.5% – as China’s growth slowed, and dirty industries either closed down or improved energy efficiency.

    It’s this decrease in demand and increase in renewables that gave China the confidence to ratify the Paris climate change agreement last week.

    Lauri Myllyvirta of Greenpeace China told BBC News: “China has a coal bubble: it already has more coal-fired generation than it needs yet it is still building one power station a week.

    “This complicates the transition to clean energy because companies are unhappy because they can’t run their power stations as much as they expected – they are sitting idle for much of the time.

    “It is also a massive waste of resources that could be spent on clean energy instead.”



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  • Its fairly clear how enhanced spending on UHV and smart grid infrastructure can benefit this surplus energy production. From 2017 and for the next five years the State Grid Company will spend 28% more on copper based capacity, than… er… currently.

    Flow batteries are jumping up scale quite nicely now. The 20MW installations in the US are being dwarfed by this 200MW installation in China.

    http://www.utilitydive.com/news/flow-battery-developer-to-build-worlds-largest-battery-storage-system/420164/

    US and Canadian companies have pioneered the battery technology but will lose control of their leadership not long after this as these upscale opportunities only seem to exist in China where there is reasonable supply of free electricity to fill them. Rongke Power will be branching out on its own soon enough.



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  • Alan4discussion #32
    Sep 15, 2016 at 7:17 am
    Tom Connor #22
    Sep 14, 2016 at 10:05 pm
    Can you provide a reference to an experiment and empirical evidence that shows a cause and effect relationship between atmospheric CO2 levels and global temps?
    Venus!

    No Alan, bad example. Comparing what nasa thinks is 95% co2 atm on Venus to .004% on earth is illogical.



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  • Alan4discussion #25
    Sep 15, 2016 at 3:58 am
    Tom Connor #12
    Sep 14, 2016 at 4:51 pm >
    The earth’s crust is not static, rising and sinking as we pump out water, rebound from glaciers. As the earth’s core moves so does gravity, which has a direct effect on water levels. Then there’s the moon. Global sea levels vary by almost 50 feet from the north atlantic to the south pacific due to differences in pressure, gyres, gravity etc.
    This is not basic metrology, or climatology. It is very basic geology, which suggests your sources are from some climate change denier, who is possibly a geologist mining engineer, spreading disinformation on behalf of vested interests.

    It appears you have a problem with geology as a source of historical data. Or a specific geologist. Tell us more. And explain why geological records are less credible than say computer models?



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  • Alan4discussion #25
    Sep 15, 2016 at 3:58 am

    You made great praise of ‘Merchants of doubt’. The book, not the people. I’ve read and find it loaded with logical fallacies. Oreskes’ one-sided polemic attacks four men with falsehoods and lies. It isn’t science – it isn’t even good reporting. The book is another Silent Spring.

    According t Brad keyes, the story ostensibly takes place in an alternative world where neutral pH is 6, “prions” are simply “folded proteins”, common words like “refute” mean something different (the reader is never told what), and humanity has lost all interest in the pursuit of knowledge, reducing science to a kind of colosseum for the playing-out of old ideological and moral grudges.

    But every so often the authors add a little touch of realism to make the reader wonder: is this Earth really so different from our own? For example the antagonists, a tight-knit cabal of skeptical scientists who’ve been pulling the strings of world opinion from behind the curtain of history, have names like Fred Singer, Fred Seitz, Emmanuel Goldstein, William Nierenberg and Robert Jastrow.

    Nudge nudge. Yep, Those People are up to their old business-savvy tricks again. And you’ll never guess what they’ve managed to turn into a profit this time: doubt itself.

    The premise, as I recall, is that to understand why half the population of the developed world—muggles and scientists alike—are unable to admit the compellingly obvious future fact of catastrophic AGW, we have to go back.

    Way back. To a period archaeologists call the Tobacco Wars.

    According to a memo dated 1969—unearthed by top historians and immediately surrendered to Ross Gelbspan for safekeeping—a history-changing meeting took place that year.

    (This document, opening with the famous words ‘Doubt is our product,’ is known as the Protocols of the Merchants of Doubt.)

    The major cigarette corporations are taking a hammering from the increasingly-good oncological evidence against tobacco. They need to attack lung-cancer science, but without looking like they’re attacking lung-cancer science.

    Their solution: to send an élite team of top scientists forward in time, to a point long after the Tobacco Wars are over, when everyone knows smoking causes lung cancer, the miniskirt has given way to the upskirt, Global Cooling has become Global Warming, and the last thing anybody will be expecting is a guerrilla marketing attack from nicotine shills.

    It’s a plan so incoherent, it just might work!

    To carry out this suicide mission they choose 4 brilliant, easily-corrupted scientists, of whom only one is still alive today to take legal action.

    Their orders: to attack Science at its weakest point, sowing confusion and ambiguity in the public mind.

    And what point could be weaker than climatology, the unprotected groin of science?

    Once the man on the street saw that there was no connection between empirical reality and what mainstream scientists were saying, he’d start to question everything—even whether smoking was bad for you!

    “If an irretrievably-politicised, hand-waving, grey-literature-based, unfalsifiable, decline-hiding, nebulous and innumerate ‘Consensus’ about the future state of the Earth’s climate isn’t credible, then obviously neither is the redundantly-copious, endlessly-reconfirmed epidemiological evidence that smokers have a Relative Risk [RR] of 23.0 for respiratory neoplasms—or the fact that I’ve watched my own relatives die of emphysema!

    “It’s all just speculation!”

    And that, boys and girls, is why there are Bad People who don’t want to fight ‘carbon pollution.’



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  • Alan4discussion #26
    Sep 15, 2016 at 4:13 am
    Tom Connor #23
    Sep 14, 2016 at 11:18 pm
    Do you really think that global oceanographic measurements don’t record these changes in plates, and tides and make the data available to climatologists?

    Yes. Tide markers attached to the ground don’t tell the station agent if the water rose or the land fell.
    True, – But satellite altimeter readings linked to GPS systems do!
    As I said earlier, false doubts are generated to mislead people who do not know how to measure!

    You fail to mention what percentage of tide marker are so equipped?



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  • Alan4discussion #29
    Sep 15, 2016 at 5:52 am
    There is no such thing as “clean coal”! C + O2 = CO2

    Explain that to merkel. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2012/08/31/germany-insane-or-just-plain-stupid/#7f6277382fe0

    I find it interesting that you claim CO2 = coal. if you gander at a table of energies, a ton of coal produces the same amount of CO2 as a ton of LNG. It’s the solids the sierra club has a problem with. We used to make roadbed and wallboard from it, but that went away by declaring the melted slate and fools gold hazardous waste. So it collects in tailing ponds.

    The energy cost to fabricate a wind tower, foundation, genset and fan is similar to legacy sources when normalized for actual lifespan. Solar is much worse – fabrication and maintenance exceed coal by a factor of 2.

    When you compare the energy cost of fabricating and maintaining wind or solar, vs coal, nuc and gas the 20 year energy input and output are similar, with nuc winning by a huge margin.

    And you still haven’t solved the problem of who throttles the sources.



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  • When you compare the energy cost of fabricating and maintaining wind or solar, vs coal, nuc and gas the 20 year energy input and output are similar, with nuc winning by a huge margin.

    From the Technical University of Denmark

    Throughout its operating life, this 2.3 MW onshore wind turbine produces 47 times more energy than it consumes, with a 100 per cent ROI in just five and a half months.

    So your figures, Tom. Sources please and some direct quotes.

    We’ve learned a huge amount in just twenty years of serious use of wind turbines and beyond the examples examined at the Technical University of Denmark (Siemens) we now have designs that may very substantially extend asset life. Generators are massively simplified (no gearbox), towers stand to get tuned mass dampers to eliminate degrading vibrations, blade damage (leading edge and gel coats) now get regularly maintained, extending life well beyond planned.

    Considering how new these technologies are we have come an amazingly long way, with even better prospects. They have survived the concerted mis-information attacks of 2012. Though some of that smearing still persists today.



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  • if you gander at a table of energies, a ton of coal produces the same amount of CO2 as a ton of LNG.

    Incoherent nonsense.

    Most electricity generation is from lignite which is 60 to 70% carbon. (LNG 75%). 1kWh of electricity results in 1.22 pounds of CO2 from LNG fuel but 2.17 pounds from lignite.



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  • Tom Connor #67
    Sep 27, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    Tom Connor #22 – Sep 14, 2016 at 10:05 pm – Can you provide a reference to an experiment and empirical evidence that shows a cause and effect relationship between atmospheric CO2 levels and global temps?

    Alan4discussion #32 – Sep 15, 2016 at 7:17 am – Venus!

    No Alan, bad example. Comparing what nasa thinks is 95% co2 atm on Venus to .004% on earth is illogical.

    Logic is a process of deduction or induction – not an a badge to be stuck on to asserted personal erroneous opinions.

    The laws of physics work the same on Venus as on Earth regardless of the concentration levels of CO2, although Earth does have water vapour boosting the effect and increasing it as temperatures rises.



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  • Tom Connor #68
    Sep 27, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    ……….

    Tom Connor #12
    Sep 14, 2016 at 4:51 pm
    The earth’s crust is not static, rising and sinking as we pump out water, rebound from glaciers.

    These are local geological effects which have minimal effect on global sea levels, but obviously global sea levels have an effect on these relatively small areas of local coasts.

    As the earth’s core moves so does gravity, which has a direct effect on water levels.

    Detailed gravity mapping has been done, but is irrelevant to the GLOBAL increases in sea-level as the increase is added to whatever existing level exists at the local site.

    http://m.esa.int/Our_Activities/Observing_the_Earth/GOCE/Earth_s_gravity_revealed_in_unprecedented_detail

    31 March 2011 – After just two years in orbit, ESA’s GOCE satellite has gathered enough data to map Earth’s gravity with unrivalled precision. Scientists now have access to the most accurate model of the ‘geoid’ ever produced to further our understanding of how Earth works.

    Then there’s the moon. Global sea levels vary by almost 50 feet from the north atlantic to the south pacific due to differences in pressure, gyres, gravity etc.

    Of course they do. That is because of tides, the passing of so called “tidal surges” caused by hurricanes and cyclonic low-pressure systems, and variations in gravity due to differences in densities within the Earth and differences in the convection below the crust.
    These are local effects causing local complexities and variations, which do not have a great deal of relevance to the global issues of the atmospheric and ocean CO2 pollution, or massive polar and mountain ice melts raising sea levels globally.

    As I said in this earlier comment:-

    Alan4discussion #25 – Sep 15, 2016 at 3:58 am This is not basic metrology, or climatology. It is very basic geology, which suggests your sources are from some climate change denier, who is possibly a geologist mining engineer, spreading disinformation on behalf of vested interests.

    It appears you have a problem with geology as a source of historical data.

    Please do tell what this problem may be, if you have any idea what you are talking about!

    Or a specific geologist.

    It is well known that most of the “scientist deniers” are geologists employed by mining and oil companies who have sufficient scientific skill to sound plausible to amateurs.

    Tell us more. And explain why geological records are less credible than say computer models?

    That is simply a false dichotomy!
    In fact some of the best geological mapping comes from computer digital image construction based on input of satellite and aircraft scanning, using ice penetrating and ground penetrating radar.

    As I have pointed out elsewhere, those throwing in irrelevant local issues simply because they are difficult to measure, simply illustrates that they have no understanding of the comparative scales of global and local events, or of industrial time-scales and geological time-scales.

    Put briefly:- those in denial of the evidence, generally don’t know what to measure or how to measure, but want to dispute findings they don’t like anyway, so they look up misleading quotes on pseudo-science websites!
    Of course pasting a misleading denial quote to produce a confusing side-track, and understanding the subject, are two entirely different levels of skill!



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  • phil rimmer #73
    Sep 27, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    if you gander at a table of energies, a ton of coal produces the same amount of CO2 as a ton of LNG.

    Incoherent nonsense.

    On this site, we are familiar with the Gish Gallop, which produces cascades of erroneous, nonsensical, and irrelevant diversionary assertions, in the denial of science!

    The classic school-boy howlers of denial!
    Those who can’t do basic chemistry, should not be trying to lecture on how science works!



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  • Tom Connor #71
    Sep 27, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    Alan4discussion #29
    Sep 15, 2016 at 5:52 am
    There is no such thing as “clean coal”! C + O2 = CO2

    Explain that to Merkel.

    @ – your link – But don’t worry. Germany is building about 25 clean coal-fired power plants to offset the loss of nuclear and address Germany’s admittedly “unaffordably expensive and unreliable” renewable portfolio (Der Spiegel). The German Green Party can now celebrate the opening of a 2,200 MW coal-fired power plant near Cologne. It started spewing out its annual, relatively clean, 13 million tons of CO2, and other nasties, so much lower than those older dirty coal plants that would have put out 15 million tons of CO2 for the same power output.

    A perfect fit to Germany’s low-carbon future. [sarcasm]!

    We usually give the Germans credit for being rational, but this coal plant will emit over one million times more carbon this year than all of their nuclear plants would have over the next 20 years, and cost over twice as much to run as any one of the them. Germany’s present strategy will absolutely not allow them to reduce their carbon emissions anywhere near their goal of 40% by 2020.

    I agree with the linked article that Merkel is being stupid, irrational, and has added another poor decision on energy to earlier German ones!

    The knee-jerk reaction to accidents in the cheap, nasty polluting and dangerous {and quite expensive} versions of the nuclear power industry, derive from the military requirement to provide a smoke-screen cover for producing plutonium for bombs as a bi-product.

    Had investments and development grants been put into the peaceful uses of Thorium nuclear power, or even the UK Advanced Gas Cooled Reactors, these accidents at Three-Mile Island, Fukushima and Chernobyl, would not have happened.
    The Chinese and US are now STARTING research into Thorium nuclear generation many decades too late, after the initial work started in 1947, was abandoned “because it had no military applications”!

    As I said – More efficient burning producing 13 million tons of CO2, and other nasties in place of 15 million tons of CO2, and other nasties, is not “CLEAN”!
    It is slightly less dirty!



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  • Tom Connor #69
    Sep 27, 2016 at 3:37 pm – Alan4discussion #25
    Sep 15, 2016 at 3:58 am

    You made great praise of ‘Merchants of doubt’. The book, not the people. I’ve read and find it loaded with logical fallacies. Oreskes’ one-sided polemic attacks four men with falsehoods and lies. It isn’t science – it isn’t even good reporting.

    Oh well! Carry on with the self delusion!

    Meanwhile – back in the real world:-

    http://www.ecowatch.com/koch-brothers-continue-to-fund-climate-change-denial-machine-spend-21m-1891180152.html

    Koch Brothers Continue to Fund Climate Change Denial Machine, Spend $21M to Defend Exxon
    The Kochs have spent more than $88 million in traceable funding to groups attacking climate change science, policy and regulation. Of that total, $21 million went to groups that recently bought a full page New York Times advertisement defending ExxonMobil from government investigations into its systematic misrepresentation of climate science.

    If you’re an executive at a big oil company watching as ExxonMobil is finally exposed for studying climate change, covering up the science and spreading misinformation, you’re probably worried now that state attorneys general are knocking on Exxon’s door.

    Charles and David Koch must be worried, anyway. Their foundations gave more than $21 million to the people and groups that signed a recent, full page New York Times advertisement that defends ExxonMobil’s longstanding efforts to ruin the public’s understanding of climate change science.

    Traceable funds only represent a portion of the Koch family’s contributions to CEI. At CEI’s annual fundraising events, Koch Industries’ lobbying subsidiary has been listed as a sponsor. Full-disclosure tax filings published by PR Watch revealed that Koch Industries directly paid Americans for Prosperity, the Texas Public Policy Foundation and other organizations.

    PR Watch discovered another revelation in the full-disclosure tax documents that were leaked. Apparently, David Koch likes to cut CEI $100,000 checks straight from his own coffers. David Koch’s money was not sent through his nonprofit foundation, which would have had to report the grants to CEI.

    This incomplete patchwork of previously-undisclosed funds from Koch Industries and David Koch adds $3,124,834 to the accounting on groups that co-signed the CEI ad. This raises the question: who else is just cutting a direct check to the climate deniers?

    And then there’s the “Dark Money ATM” sister groups, DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund. The DonorsTrust franchise is run by CEI’s former president, Lawson Bader, who helps donors—including Koch—anonymize tens of millions of dollars that go to dozens of front groups each year. DonorsTrust & Capital Fund have funneled millions of dark money dollars to CEI.

    But that’s still not the end of the financial trail. Other mechanisms used by Charles Koch and his army of donor friends include Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, a dark money umbrella group that has hidden hundreds of millions of dollars in politically-charged cash, shuffled between various trusts, nonprofits and limited liability corporations.



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  • Alan4discussion #77
    Sep 28, 2016 at 4:47 am
    phil rimmer #73
    Sep 27, 2016 at 5:10 pm
    if you gander at a table of energies, a ton of coal produces the same amount of CO2 as a ton of LNG.
    Incoherent nonsense.

    Agreed. I’m thawing out the frozen crow. I confused energy produced for each. Thanks for gently pointing out my error.



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  • Alan4discussion #79
    Sep 29, 2016 at 2:13 pm
    Tom Connor #69
    Sep 27, 2016 at 3:37 pm – Alan4discussion #25
    Sep 15, 2016 at 3:58 am
    Meanwhile – back in the real world:-

    http://www.ecowatch.com/koch-brothers-continue-to-fund-climate-change-denial-machine-spend-21m-1891180152.html

    In the 90s when AGW became an issue I wondered why the energy companies weren’t defending themselves for producing hydrocarbons to make things everyone wanted. Here we have evidence that the Kochs openly donated money to groups that demand their right to do so and by golly, Eco watch and you claim it’s a BAD thing. Yet nobody complains when Solyndra or Winergy used federal grants to tell the public what great products they almost made. We all know how that ended.

    I’m underwhelmed by your consistency.



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  • Alan4discussion #78
    Sep 28, 2016 at 5:38 am
    Tom Connor #71
    Sep 27, 2016 at 4:07 pm
    Alan4discussion #29
    Sep 15, 2016 at 5:52 am
    There is no such thing as “clean coal”! C + O2 = CO2

    Explain that to Merkel.

    The knee-jerk reaction to accidents in the cheap, nasty polluting and dangerous {and quite expensive} versions of the nuclear power industry, derive from the military requirement to provide a smoke-screen cover for producing plutonium for bombs as a bi-product.

    Do you have a reference for that? My recollection is that civil grade PU239 isn’t suitable for weapons grade use because it is contaminated with PU240 and we don’t know how to separate them, but mixed with fresh U238 it makes great power plant fuel.



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  • Tom Connor #81
    Sep 30, 2016 at 1:52 am

    Do you have a reference for that? My recollection is that civil grade PU239 isn’t suitable for weapons grade use because it is contaminated with PU240 and we don’t know how to separate them, but mixed with fresh U238 it makes great power plant fuel.

    The politics of the nuclear industry is complex and cloaked in secrecy, but you can find plenty of information about nuclear plants and their associated technologies being used to produce weapons-grade materials. That is why there is a flap about Iran and North Korea having nuclear plants.

    Your information on PU240 is correct for light water reactors which have been running for a long time.

    http://nuclearinfo.net/Nuclearpower/WebHomeNuclearWeaponsProliferation

    However much of the same technology is used for producing weapons grade material – hence the concerns about nuclear proliferation.



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  • Tom Connor #81
    Sep 30, 2016 at 1:52 am

    The knee-jerk reaction to accidents in the cheap, nasty polluting and dangerous {and quite expensive} versions of the nuclear power industry, derive from the military requirement to provide a smoke-screen cover for producing plutonium for bombs as a bi-product.

    Do you have a reference for that?

    http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/current-and-future-generation/molten-salt-reactors.aspx

    Molten salt reactors (MSRs) use molten fluoride salts as primary coolant, at low pressure. This itself is not a radical departure when the fuel is solid and fixed. But extending the concept to dissolving the fissile and fertile fuel in the salt certainly represents a leap in lateral thinking relative to nearly every reactor operated so far. However, the concept is not new, as outlined below.

    MSRs may operate with epithermal or fast neutron spectrums, and with a variety of fuels. Much of the interest today in reviving the MSR concept relates to using thorium (to breed fissile uranium-233). There are a number of different MSR design concepts, and a number of interesting challenges in the commercialisation of many, especially with thorium.

    The salts concerned as primary coolant, mostly lithium-beryllium fluoride and lithium fluoride, remain liquid without pressurization from about 500°C up to about 1400°C, in marked contrast to a PWR which operates at about 315°C under 150 atmospheres pressure.

    The main MSR concept is to have the fuel dissolved in the coolant as fuel salt, and ultimately to reprocess that online. Batch reprocessing is likely in the short term, and fuel life is quoted at 4-7 years, with high burn-up.

    The advantages of molten salt thorium reactors are:

    They can’t melt-down and blow up.

    Thorium has a much shorter half-life for waste.

    These reactors can be used to burn up old nuclear materials from other reactors which would otherwise have to be stored for centuries of millennia.
    These are the sorts of reactors which the nuclear industry, should have been developing, and which they should now be building, rather than using revamps of dangerous obsolete designs.



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  • Here’s a time line covering numerous types of research into nuclear power.

    http://energyfromthorium.com/timeline/

    1972 – January 20. In his State of the Union speech, Nixon references his June 4 message to Congress and states “in that message last June, I presented a long list of means for assuring an ample supply of clean energy –including the liquid metal fast breeder reactor–and I again emphasize their importance. Because it often takes several years to bring new technologies into use in the energy field, there is no time for delay.

    July 10. The Democratic Party platform for 1972 is released and states “we should promote greater research and development, both by government and by private industry, of unconventional energy sources, such as solar power, geothermal power, energy from water and a variety of nuclear power possibilities to design clean breeder fission and fusion techniques. Public funding in this area needs to be expanded, while retaining the principle of public administration of public funds.

    An “evaluation” of the molten-salt breeder reactor concept is released by the Division of Reactor Development and Technology of the AEC in response to a request from the Office of Science and Technology (WASH-1222). Although it contains no overt recommendations about MSR research, it essentially ignores all of the beneficial safety and performance advantages of the MSR over solid-core reactors (especially the LMFBR) and accentuates the problems uncovered during the operation of the MSRE, such as tellurium cracking and tritium generation.

    It also emphasizes the AEC’s preference for the LMFBR and the cost difficulties of funding two totally different approaches to breeder reactors (fast-spectrum uranium-plutonium vs. thermal-spectrum thorium-uranium).

    1973 – January. ORNL is directed by the AEC to terminate all development of the molten-salt reactor.

    So – (as with the space shuttle accidents,) – safety was regarded as an optional extra which could be dispensed with in the interests of cost cutting!



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  • Tom Connor #80
    Sep 30, 2016 at 1:34 am

    I’m underwhelmed by your consistency.

    I am totally consistent in challenging dishonesty and pseudoscience – especially the sort of dishonesty and pseudo-science which is paid to cynically denigrate honest and competent science and scientists so as to con gullible members of the public and pervert political decisions!

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2016/09/deniers-club-meet-the-people-clouding-the-climate-change-debate/#li-comment-211987



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  • @#85 – So – (as with the space shuttle accidents,) – safety was regarded as an optional extra which could be dispensed with in the interests of cost cutting!

    It’s beginning to look as if this could also a factor in the recent Hoboken train crash.

    http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/09/29/495904103/commuter-train-crashes-into-station-in-hoboken-n-j

    “They said the train was shaking before it came to an eventual stop and it was moving at a high rate of speed,” he says. Afterward, “there were people climbing out of windows, there was water coming down from the top of the ceiling and there did appear to be folks who were unconscious.”

    There is no indication of what may have caused the accident. The Federal Railroad Administration has investigators on site, NPR’s David Schaper reports, while the National Transportation Safety Board is sending a “go team” to the site to investigate the cause of the crash.

    NTSB Vice Chairman Bella Dinh-Zarr said that among other things, the team will look into the possibility that the crash might have been prevented if positive train control, or PTC, were installed. PTC is a complex system that can automatically slow or stop a train if the engineer misses a signal or a locomotive is traveling too fast.

    NPR’s Jeff Brady notes that Congress set a 2015 deadline for America’s railroads to implement PTC. That deadline was extended after industry complaints about cost and delays in approval for necessary radio towers.

    “PTC has been one of our priorities — we know that it can prevent accidents,” Dinh-Zarr said. “Whether or not it is involved in this accident, that is definitely one of the things we will look at carefully.”

    Cuomo addressed the question of PTC at the news conference Thursday night, noting it was not yet clear why the train was moving at high speed.

    Dinh-Zarr said later Thursday afternoon that it was now safe to recover one of the train’s event recorders from the locomotive. “Once we pull that we’ll have more information about the speed, and braking, and other issues,” she told reporters.

    She added that there is a second event recorder in the controlling car that was not yet safe to remove owing to the building’s collapsed canopy. The two recorders both have outward-facing cameras that will provide different information to investigators, she said.



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  • Tom Connor #80
    Sep 30, 2016 at 1:34 am

    In the 90s when AGW became an issue I wondered why the energy companies weren’t defending themselves for producing hydrocarbons to make things everyone wanted. Here we have evidence that the Kochs openly donated money to groups that demand their right to do so and by golly,

    That’s right! Various industries donated millions to PAID LIARS to contradict the sound evidence of the damage they were causing so as to continue to profit from their destructive enterprises. Well – If thousand of people get cancer and other medical problems or others suffer from intense storms, droughts, floods, crop-failures etc. – the polluters can still DEMAND THEIR RIGHT to continue to profit from these deceptive activities – along with the “RIGHT” of buying corrupt politicians to obstruct the legislation needed to protect and inform citizens or giving them the right to redress!

    Eco watch and you claim it’s a BAD thing.

    Of course this sort of dishonesty and corruption is a bad thing for most of the population.

    Yet nobody complains when Solyndra or Winergy used federal grants to tell the public what great products they almost made. We all know how that ended.

    Why would failed start-ups of new technologies or prosecution for fraud have any relevance to this? This is just a thrown-in side-tracking diversion, presented as a distracting false dichotomy!

    I’m underwhelmed by your consistency.

    There is no need to play the false balance game to try to justify the mental gymnastics of denial of honest science and evidence.

    Many families of victims of the lies about smoking, are belatedly being awarded compensation for the wilful inflicting of cancer on their relatives, although the morally bankrupt companies have resorted to legal prevarications to deny many of them even this while they were still alive!
    Perhaps. some of the billionaires’ assets could be seized and used, to at least make token compensate for the damage to those their well funded morally bankrupt, climate-change denials, have caused and will continue to cause.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/nov/25/developing-countries-will-need-270bn-more-to-adapt-to-climate-change-study

    Developing countries will have to pay $270bn extra each year to adapt to the impacts of climate change if global pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions do not increase, according to a new report by Oxfam.

    Plans submitted by more than 170 countries ahead of crunch UN climate change talks in Paris next week are likely to lead global temperatures to rise by 2.7-3C above pre-industrial times.

    According to the aid agency’s report, it would cost developing countries $790bn every year to adapt to this scenario, 50% more than the $520bn it would cost them to adapt to a 2C world, the target for avoiding catastrophic climate change agreed at previous UN conferences.

    If these adaptation costs are not met, in a 3C world the economies of developing countries are likely to shrink by $1.7tn every year, equivalent to 1.3% of their GDP, the report says.



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  • I see international political positionings are jeopardizing the two important issues of low carbon fuel, and nuclear threat reductions!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-37539616

    Russia has suspended an agreement with the US on the disposal of surplus weapons-grade plutonium, the latest sign of worsening bilateral relations.
    In a decree, President Vladimir Putin accused the US of creating “a threat to strategic stability, as a result of unfriendly actions” towards Russia.

    Moscow also set pre-conditions for the US for the deal to be resumed.

    Under the 2000 deal, each side is supposed to get rid of 34 tonnes of plutonium by burning it in reactors.

    It is part of cuts to nuclear forces.

    The US state department said the combined 68 tonnes of plutonium was “enough material for approximately 17,000 nuclear weapons”. Both sides had reconfirmed the deal in 2010.

    ‘We fulfilled our duties’

    In Monday’s decree (in Russian), President Putin said Russia had to take “urgent measures to defend the security of the Russian Federation”.

    In April, Mr Putin said the US was failing to fulfil its obligations to destroy plutonium. Instead, he argued, the US reprocessing method allowed plutonium to be extracted and used again in nuclear weapons.

    Both sides had agreed to build special facilities for disposing of the surplus plutonium.

    “We fulfilled our duties, we built that enterprise. But our American partners did not,” Mr Putin said.

    The US rejected that claim, insisting that its disposal method did not violate the agreement.



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  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-37553134

    The European Parliament has backed the ratification of the Paris climate deal, paving the way for the world’s first global agreement.

    To become operational, the treaty needs at least 55 countries representing at least 55% of global emissions to complete all the steps.

    “With the action taken by the EU parliament, I am confident that we will be able to cross the 55% threshold very soon, in just a matter of a few days,” Mr Ban said.



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